Win $100 Every Month


Don’t believe it? Check out this link to see the past lucky winners of PC Pitstop’s Tips and Tricks section. We will choose at least one submission each month. I’m showing some tweaks that I use so you have an idea of what we’re looking for. Jump in and grab an extra $100.00.

1. PRIVACY Are you looking for an easy way to hide and lock your desktop for trips away from your desk? No problem, as this little trick is just the ticket. All you do is: right click your desktop/ New/Shortcut/ Copy-Paste rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation into the box and BINGO, no more worries. Works great home or office.

2. PRIVACY Lower prices and increased performance have everyone buying and using new laptops. Most of these come with Vista and wireless networking. Vista is great for finding and connecting your wireless feature but it’s also just that easy for someone else to find your wireless. To keep your signal and information safe you need to tweak your wireless settings from the default of Public to Private. Start/Control panel/Network and Sharing/Custom/Make Private.

3. SAVING EMAILS In the past it happened to me all the time. I needed to do a fresh install of windows and although saving all my pictures and documents seemed to be an easy task, I could never figure out how to save all my emails from Outlook Express. Follow this easy path and just save the folders to a zip drive. The ones I save are InBox/Deleted Items/Sent Items. Once you have reinstalled Windows it’s an easy task to follow the path again and drag and drop the folders to the new location. The path is: Start/My Computer/C/Documents and Settings/(UserName)/Local Settings/Application Data/Identities/(12345678-1234-AMBD-DFGH-1234567890AB)/Microsoft/Outlook Express.
Note: () contains information specific to your system.

4. EASY WAY What is “Sticky Keys” and why would you want to use this function? It’s a nifty idea Microsoft dreamed up that allows you to hit multiple key stroke functions one at a time. The perfect example would be Control/Alt/Delete. This can be a stretch and it also interrupts the flow of your typing to click multiple keys at once. By using the stickey key function you can hit those keys one at a time and still call up the function. To emable Sticky Keys just strike the “Shift” key 5 time in fast succession. To remove this function just hit any two keys at the same time.

Get your name in the hat by heading over to our Forums and posting up your submission or just enter them here and if your tip is chosen you’ll be the lucky winner for that month. We’ve had well over 100 people who have contributed and won prizes for their efforts. Why shouldn’t you be one of them?


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18 thoughts on “Win $100 Every Month”

  1. Budd Wicker (Brunswick, GA)

    Yes, I second that thar motion, Mr. S.G. Thomas. Remembering that I’m a novice and have nearly fried a couple of old pcs in the past your step by step process would be a real blessing. So don’t tease us. Old dogs don’t like it. Looking forward to your help.

  2. Just a note, to all those people discussing paging files. If you have Vista you can buy a fast USB stick and use the “Speedboost” function and increase the speed of your maching since what this function really does is use this USB memory (best to use a 4 Gig stick) as your virtual memory or paging file. It will amaze you at how much faster your programs can open. On my Vista performace indicator it raised me from 5.5 to 5.6 (its hard a h#ll to get it raised cheaply. This cost about $20-$30 bucks. I would receommend Kingston since cheap USB sticks will not pass the testing Vista does on the inserted Thumbdrive to allow this function.

  3. Sounds very good,how do you do that, SG Thomas? (Message directly above). Please explain step by step, assuming I know nothing (which just may be the case.) 🙂
    Thanks and Happy New Year.

  4. To keep from fragmenting the paging file, I find the simplest and most effective way is to make a small partition (I think the smallest it will take is 2 mb)to use specifically for it. It will never fragment since it will only contain the paging file.

    Set ‘no paging file’ for any other partitions you have except for that small partition.

    I’ve been doing this for years and find that it even speeds up my system a bit.

  5. Where would we be without Windows?
    Stop complaining. The Vista advisor..lets you know if your computer is one to run Vista.
    If it is not…you will save time and money by buying a Vista Compatible computer. Expect to buy other hardware…which is Vista Compatible.
    I spent money and time..trying to make my XP run Vista. Some of the old equipment has been updated… XP was good. I should have left that on my old computer.
    When I purchased a Vista compatible 64…..the WINDOW OPENED…AND I COULD SEE.
    I am still finding features with Vista that I did not know before…with a 32.

    Other OS software…has not performed as promised.
    I started with a
    Commodore 64….. then a PC with a floppy disk to start… Since about 1980…what progress.
    The Commodore was fine…the Amiga was much better….if you had one…you know that.

    The more trouble you have…the more you learn.
    A man..years ago wanted to send his family to England. He advertised for a good Captain.
    All said…no…no problems…no serious storms…etc.
    The next man said…”Oh, yes…I have been through all of that.” The gentleman chose this one to make a safe crossing for his family…because he had survived those problems.
    It may be we do not know enough to properly use Vista….and to have a good ship (computer) to sail.

  6. you guys have good trouble shooting software,and many answers to problems that chew away at our pc,s. but yearly subsciptions is tough on the family buget!

  7. (Not for laptops unless plugged in)
    Change your power plan from balanced to always on Vista (Some of this may work for Xp).

    Control panel > power options >
    Select Always on power option and click on change plan settings underneath.

    You will see a list of items in a new window that you can change.

    You can’t harm your system from this as all it does is change how your computer regulates things like the strength of the wireless signal, pci link, when different parts of your computer go into a powersave mode etc.

    On some machines you can enable Hybrid sleep which is a cross between the conventional Sleep and Hibernate mode.
    Here’s how it works.. Your computer goes to sleep but also save the content of memory to the hard disk in case of a power outage.
    You can either resume by hitting any key or sometime the power/sleep button.
    After a set amout of time in sleep mode your computer will half wake up in order to shut itself down fully.
    Upon your next reboot it will restore your previous state by reading the contents from the hibernate file.

    Note #1: it will take longer to enter sleep as the contents are written to the hard disk.

    Note #2: The hibernation file will be approx the size of the amout of memory in your system, ie 2GB ram = 2 Gb Hibernation file etc.

  8. @ Steven Gunning

    It didn’t follow what’s on your machine because you are running Xp and the tip is for Vista.
    Warning though for vista laptop users by applying this to free wi-fi hotspots when out and about it actually lowers your security as your pc thinks you are in a secure location (ie: At home)
    The public option is there to protect you by raising the security level of the network controller.

    Not even sure this applies to Xp though, as far as I remember Xp dosen’t offer the private/public option.

  9. This did not follow the info on my computer/
    It is Control Pannel/Network Connections, or Network Setup. Iam running XP Media. How can I do what this article says to make my wireless network secure?

    2. PRIVACY Lower prices and increased performance have everyone buying and using new laptops. Most of these come with Vista and wireless networking. Vista is great for finding and connecting your wireless feature but it’s also just that easy for someone else to find your wireless. To keep your signal and information safe you need to tweak your wireless settings from the default of Public to Private. Start/Control panel/Network and Sharing/Custom/Make Private.

  10. About Tip3.

    There is an easy way to find and backup your emails.
    1. Make a new folder called ‘my emails’ in my documents.
    2. Open Outlook Express.
    3. Go via Extra to ‘Options’
    4. Choose the tab ‘Maintenance’
    5. Choose ‘Archivefolder’ and then ‘change’
    6. Browse to your new made folder ‘my emails’
    7. Click three times ‘OK’
    8. Restart Outlook Express.
    9. The only backup you now have to make, is a backup of ‘my documents’

  11. Surely it is simpler just to type the WindowsKey+L (Start+L) to lock your system?

    And for those asking, unlock is at most, Ctrl+Alt+Del then your logon password.

    The various WindowsKey shortcuts are great, link WindowsKey+E for Explorer, or WindowsKey+R for Run, or WindowsKey+D for Desktop.


  12. The paging file is an extension of physical memory called “virtual memory” that resides on your hard drive. If it becomes fragmented, performance suffers. Most hard drive defragment software does not defrag the paging file. To permanently prevent paging file fragmentation:

    1. For Windows XP, Right-click on “My Computer”.
    2. Left-click on “Properties” to get to the “System Properties” window.
    3. Left-click on the “Advanced” tab.
    4. In the Performance box, left-click on “Settings” to open the “Performance Options” window.
    5. Left-click on the “Advanced” tab.
    6. In the Virtual memory section, left-click on “Change” to get to the “Virtual Memory” window.
    7. Choose the “No paging file” option and then left-click on the “Set” button.
    8. Left-click the “OK” button.
    9. Left-click “OK” to the messages about restarting.
    10. Close the windows remaining open by choosing “OK” for each one.
    11. Restart your PC.
    12. Follow steps 1 through 6 above.
    13. This time choose “Custom size” and enter a number that is twice your physical memory size for the “Initial size (MB)” and exactly the same number for the “Maximum size (MB)” and left-click on the “Set” button.
    14. Follow steps 8 through 11 above.

    This procedure sets up one contiguous space for the paging file that the operating system can’t change because it is constrained by the initial and maximum sizes being the same. Thus, fragmentation is permanently eliminated.

  13. One of the most useful features I have found with Windows Vista is actually quite simple but I have found it to be a great time saver. It is Vista ability to put a shortcut to the control panel on the desktop. I love Vista, but to be honest,I have to access the control panel frequently and I have found putting the shortcut to it on the desktop very helpful.

  14. In the hot tips of 12/19, tip number 1 allows you to lock your computer. What do you do to unlock it then or is it just a key strike?

  15. On the subject of transferring Outlook Express mail folders to a new install or a new PC, there is one tip that makes it effortless. Copy all the DBX files into the correct folder which is Local Settings/Application Data/Identities/{…}MicrosoftOutlook Express. THEN DELETE THE FILE NAMED FOLDERS.DBX. When you next run Outlook Express, it will create a new Folders.dbx file and everything will be exactly as it was before.

  16. Great! how to lock my computer but not unlock it. Too flippant. Some of us need a wee bit more explanation before executing something like this

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