ScreenTek’s First Tech Q&A!

Written by mcarberry on. Posted in Q&A

Thank you so much for sending your questions our way. We had more questions come in, but had to limit the Q&A to three today because the answers to the first three had to be so in depth. We’re planning on showcasing the other questions next Thursday at this very same blog. Q: Is there anything I can do to fix a dead pixel? – Josh Well Josh, before we get into solutions, let’s first establish what a dead pixel is. A dead, or stuck pixel is a spot on your screen that is either always lit in a certain color, or always dark. The most common cause of a dead pixel is because of the liquid crystal inside the display building up in specific parts of the screen. Think of a dead pixel like a clogged artery. In many instances, dead pixels can be remedied. Now, another thing to consider is whether or not the pixel is dead or just stuck. Yes, there is a difference. If a pixel is actually dead, it’s not coming back, and you have two options. Either you live with it, or you ditch the screen and get a new one. However, if the pixel is only stuck, you have a few more options. The Rub – If your pixel is stuck, giving it a nice massage with your finger is probably the best way to bring it back to life. First make sure your monitor is on an all black or all white tone. This is going to make finding those rogue pixels easy. Next, wrap your finger with a soft cotton cloth, or something that won’t scratch up your display. My personal favorite is a microfiber cloth that came with my sunglasses, very nice indeed. Apply pressure, but make sure you’re not crushing the screen because you could damage the working pixels surrounding the bad one. Also, make sure you don’t put a hole through your display, because the manufacturer probably won’t cover that. The Sweat – This idea is a little risky, and not ScreenTek tested or approved. The basic idea is that if you stash your laptop someplace that isn’t ventilated very well, and keep your laptop from falling asleep, the heat will loosen up the pixel. Be warned, this isn’t guaranteed, and it could pose a potentially serious fire hazard. If you do this, make sure you keep an eye on the laptop. The Warranty – If your computer is still under warranty, by all means, contact the manufacturer and see what they can do. They may fix or replace it, and they may not, but it’s a valuable option to have in your back pocket just in case. Q: What, if any programs need to be selected for startup? – Amy Amy, this is a great question. Customizing your boot programs is one of the easiest ways to speed up your computer when it starts up. As for what you should kill and what you should keep, well it all actually depends on the programs you like to run. In order to customize which programs start when you boot the computer just type in “msconfig” into the search bar in the windows start menu. (This applies for Windows Vista and Windows 7. For XP Type it into run). Now go to the startup tab, and deselect anything you don’t want to start up right away.

Type in "msconfig" into the search bar

Kill or keep whichever services you'd like, but be careful!

Here is where I would suggest exercising some caution because not all of these services are labeled well, so you may want to do some research on what you’re killing before you do it. My computer for example only has one service starting upon boot. That’s my rainmeter dashboard because I have a customized, interactive desktop that I do all of my navigation through. In the end, it’s mostly about taste and not functionality. At one point I didn’t have anything starting up. After you apply the changes you may be asked to reboot your computer. Go ahead, and keep your eyes peeled for faster load times. Q: What is Superfetch and how do I go about making it work? –Amy Amy, Superfetch is a process that computers that run Vista and up use. It was formerly known as PreFetcher in Windows XP, and it was pretty terrible. Now Superfetch has two main objectives. The first one is to decrease boot times, and the second is to increase application load efficiency. It does this by storing load data in your computer’s RAM (Random Access Memory) rather than the hard drive. When you boot up your computer, whether or not you’ve chosen to load any programs or services in msconfig, your computer still has processes and services that it needs to run. Superfetch records these actions and the order in which they are executed to make the load more efficient and thus, faster. All of the data are stored in a file on your computer in /Windows/Prefetch/Layout.ini, and yes, the folder is still labeled “Prefetch” in Windows Vista and Windows 7. This file is updated about every three days. Now in order to increase application efficiency, Superfetch preloads the programs you open and use most often in the computer’s memory. It even takes into consideration the times that you load the applications, so if you use mail more often in the morning, it will preload your email client in the morning, but maybe not at night. Superfetch finds the files critical to an applications first ten seconds of startup and loads that data into the system’s memory. The application data for Superfetch is stored in /Windows/Prefetch and it includes all of the .pf flies. Now, as far as making Superfetch work, unless you’ve previously disabled Superfectch, it should be working already. If your question is more on how to customize it and make it better, well that’s tricky. In order to edit which files are cached in Superfetch, you have to do some registry key editing, which is not something I nor ScreenTek recommends. A lot of scary stuff can happen in there, and unless you’re pretty knowledgeable in the ways of the registry, we don’t suggest you go in there. Now there is a loophole of sorts to making Superfetch run better. Superfetch’s performance depends solely on the amount of RAM you have in your computer, so the more RAM you have, the better Superfetch does it’s job. Most new computers these days come with anywhere between 4 and 8 gbs of RAM, which should be absolutely plenty for Superfetch However, if you’re running an older computer with a smaller cache of memory, a RAM upgrade might be a solid solution to speed up your computer. If that’s the case, let us know because a RAM upgrade tutorial is definitely something ScreenTek can help you out with. If there are any other solutions to any of these questions, please put them in the comments below. Additionally, please keep sending us your computer/tech questions. We’re always willing to help out our beloved fans!
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