h264ify is a Chrome extension that's been around for a while. What it does is force YouTube to play videos using the h264 codec, rather than VP9, as the former has wider hardware acceleration support. Unfortunately, if you're still on Windows 7 or 8.1 and use Chrome, it doesn't matter if you bought your GPU yesterday — VP9 won't be hardware-accelerated in Chrome.
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Uninstalling an update that addresses a security vulnerability like Spectre or Meltdown sounds like a bad idea. But if the alternative is a PC that constantly crashes, you might be happy to take the small risk in exchange for stability. For Windows users, Microsoft now offers a patch that reverses Intel's microcode fix, but you won't find it via Windows Update.
You're running Windows 7 on your AMD machine, heard about Meltdown/Spectre and did the right thing by updating your OS. And then your PC starts BSODing or worse, fails to boot at all. Fortunately, you don't have to reformat if you can access the recovery console or have your system rescue disc handy.
If you really want to make Windows crash, it's not that hard. Fire up Photoshop and resize an image by a billion per cent. Done. There are other ways that don't require third-party software of course, thanks to bugs in the operating system's core code and in the case of pre-Windows 10 platforms, the NT file system.
Microsoft has gone ahead with its plan to disable updates on pre-Windows 10 operating systems running on newer AMD and Intel processors. While your machine won't suddenly stop working, it does mean your Windows 7 or 8.1 install won't benefit from the latest updates. Fortunately, a simple workaround is now available.
Drive space isn't as big a concern as it used to be, but if you're sporting an SSD as a main drive and it's on the smaller side, every megabyte counts. Once you've squared away the low-hanging fruit, you'll always come back to Windows itself. Usually, there isn't much you can delete from the operating system folders, however, with some finesse and the right tools, you can banish old, bit-hungry drivers.
No matter how well you prepare, hooking up an extra display to your Windows machine can sometimes put you in a weird limbo where none of your screens are showing what you need, leaving you with no choice but to reboot (at worst). Next time this situation pops up, keep this simply shortcut in mind: Windows key + P.
Just when you think you can rest easy, Microsoft decides to release a bunch of updates that once again add telemetry (information-gathering) services to your machine. While not harmful, they can sometimes hog system resources and be annoying in other ways, so here's how you can purge your PC and -- hopefully -- keep your computer clean for good.
There are many ways to open a new window or instance of an application. Simply selecting it again from the programs list; right-clicking its icon on the taskbar and using the context menu; or typing its name into the Start Menu search box... the list goes on. But they're all less convenient and slower than using Shift or the middle mouse button.
Plenty of people are still kicking along with Windows 7 and will likely stick with it for the foreseeable future. If you've noticed that the update procedure for the OS takes forever -- or never finishes at all -- your salvation is at hand. Microsoft has released a patch that should sort out Windows 7's slow patching process.
Microsoft is not as Service Pack happy as it once was. While Windows XP and 2000 had three and four SPs respectively, Windows 7 had just one while Windows 8 went with a versioning approach instead, in the form of 8.1. Microsoft now looks like it's bringing Service Packs back for older platforms, except they're called 'Convenience Rollups'.
We might agonise over operating system start-up times, but it's not the occasional restart that affects your productivity. It's the little delays that add up over time that you should worry about. Take the humble Windows context menu. It can get filled with crud from application installs and if it's not appearing near-instantly when you right-click, it's time to clean it out.
At the start of the year, Microsoft announced that operating systems before Windows 10 would not receive support for newer Intel hardware and support for Skylake on said systems would be dropped mid-2017. Yesterday the company decided to extend this grace period to 2018 to provide "greater flexibility".
If you have an MSDN subscription, grabbing current and old versions of Microsoft's operating systems is a trivial affair. However, if you have a valid license, but don't have the DVDs on hand or the aforementioned privileges, downloading disk images directly from the source doesn't have to be complicated.
It's been a long time since we've had to worry about CPU / OS incompatibilities. In fact, the last time it was an issue was the shift from x86 to x64, but that was largely transparent to consumers thanks to AMD and its x86-64 specification, which was later adopted by Intel. Now, with Windows 7 having just entered its extended support phase, Microsoft has taken the opportunity to drop the news that only Windows 10 will be supported on upcoming CPUs.
Everyone has their own bag of diagnostic tricks when Windows decides to chuck a wobbly. While OS corruption isn't as big a problem as it used to be thanks to journalled file systems and tools such as System Restore, you can still be caught with your pants down by malware, viruses and other nasties. In those cases, a utility called SFCFix might get you out of trouble where other options fail.