From The Tips Box: Open Walls, Slow Windows Laptops, TV Storage

Open Walls, Slow Windows Laptops, and TV Storage

Readers offer their best tips for knowing what's behind your walls, diagnosing slow Windows laptops, and storing stuff behind your TV.

Every day we receive stacks of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using our contact form.

Take A Picture Before Closing Walls During Construction

Open Walls, Slow Windows Laptops, and TV Storage

Ed shares a simple tip for when you have construction done:

We recently had to have drywall in my home office replaced after a bad roof leak. Before they put the new drywall back up, I took pictures so I would know exactly what the interior layout of the walls was in case I wanted to do work later. Now, I know where studs and cross supports are, where electrical and phone cables run. When it comes time for me to install network cabling (my spring project), I know just how to plan the run.

I know it's a simple trick, but I thought it was worth sharing. Any time you have the walls (or anything really) open, snap a picture. You never know when it might come in handy.

Photo by mel0808johnson

Check Windows Updates On A Slow Laptop

Open Walls, Slow Windows Laptops, and TV Storage

Mike shares a possible solution for slow-running Windows laptops:

I'm the family and friend tech support guy, just like I'm sure a lot of Lifehacker readers are. Over the years, I've come across this particular problem several times when people have told me their laptops seemed to be running really slowly or accessing the hard disk all the time.

Many times, the culprit is Windows Update stuck in an updating cycle. I think that when people are using the laptop wirelessly, Windows starts the download and installation automatically, but then they put the laptop to sleep before it's finished and Windows doesn't recover well from that. The installer or updater process just sits there eating up cycles.

The fix is simple, though. Plug the laptop into the network with an Ethernet cable and run Windows Update. Let it install everything and then update it again to make sure there's nothing left over. When you're done, adjust the Windows Update settings so that instead of downloading and installing updates automatically, Windows just notifies them when new updates are available.

Photo by Baddog_

Mount Stuff On The Back Of Your TV With A Pegboard

Open Walls, Slow Windows Laptops, and TV Storage

Martin shares this easy tip for stashing stuff behind your TV:

I've been looking for a simple and cheap way to hang all the clutter that hides behind my TV and all the solutions offered online seemed to require some kind of carpentry or metal bending. I really wanted to make use of the universal mount screw holes on the back of the TV, figuring they should be strong enough to hold at least the TV's weight.

I just bought a 16x16-inch black pegboard, some peggable wire baskets, and 4 M6 40mm cap screws. I did have to drill four holes in the pegboard to match the mounting holes on the back of the TV, but that was all the assembly required.

Note: We have talked before about ways you can mount stuff to the back of your monitor, but we haven't seen the pegboard approach before.


    Re. Ed's Tip. Wouldn't it have been better to drill the holes for the routing of the network cable and fitout the network cable whilst you don't have dry wall on? If you didn't have the budget for the network cable even running rope through the walls to allow the network cable to be easily pulled through at a later stage would have been ten times better than a photo.

    Wow I think the pegboard behind the television idea is simply ingenious. Who would ever have thought of that? Usually that area behind it is left abandoned until we need to plug a new cable inside. Little did we know that very space could provide some neat storage for the loose and dangling devices that complement the television set itself. I am definitely going to try it out at my own television later tonight.

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