How to Optimize USB Storage for Better Performance on Windows 10

According to Microsoft, Windows 10 no longer optimizes external storage devices for “better performance” as of the October 2018 Update. Instead, it optimizes them for “quick removal.” Here’s what that means—and how to change it if you like.

We don’t think every Windows user has to change this option. Despite how tempting “better performance” sounds, the default “quick removal” policy is fine for most people.

Quick Removal vs. Better Performance

Quick removal and better performance options in Windows 10

Windows has different “policies” you can select for external storage devices connected via USB or Thunderbolt, whether it’s a USB thumb drive or external hard drive. Each individual storage device has its own specific policy setting so that you can select different policies for different devices.

By default, Windows 10 now uses the “quick removal” policy. Whenever you write to the drive, Windows writes the data to the drive as quickly as possible. This ensures you can remove the USB drive without using the “Safely Remove Hardware” option—in theory. A program may be writing to your USB drive in the background anyway, so we recommend against it. This does dramatically reduce the risk of data corruption if you’re in the habit of safely removing storage devices before unplugging them.

However, this can slow down your applications. For example, when you’re saving a file to the external drive, the program you’re using may stop and wait for the save process to finish before you can continue working.

The “Better performance” option eliminates this slowdown. With this option, Windows will cache write operations to the drive and let applications proceed as if they had already written the data. Windows then performs the write operation in the background. That can make applications snappier.

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How to Install Chrome OS on Any PC and Turn It Into a Chromebook

Google’s Chrome OS is built on an open-source project named Chromium OS. Google doesn’t offer builds of Chromium OS you can install yourself, but Neverware is a company that takes this open-source code and creates Neverware CloudReady. CloudReady is basically just Chromium OS with a few additional management features and mainstream hardware support, and Neverware sells it directly to schools and businesses that want to run Chrome OS on their existing PCs.

Neverware also offers a free version of CloudReady for home users. It’s basically just Chromium OS modified to work on existing PCs. As it’s Chromium OS-based, you won’t get a few extra features Google adds to Chrome OS, like the ability to run Android apps. Certain multimedia and DRM features may also not work on some websites.

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How to Use Chrome’s Hidden “Send Tab to Self” Feature

A new “Send Tab to Self” feature in Google Chrome lets you quickly send tabs between all your Chrome devices. This feature, available via a hidden flag in Google Chrome, is available in the stable version of Chrome today.

Sure, you can access open tabs on other devices via the History page without any hidden flags if you use Chrome Sync—but this new feature is slicker and faster.

Once you’ve enabled it, you’ll find a new “Send to Your Devices” option when you right-click on a web page. It’ll list all the Chrome browsers you’re signed into with your Google account—on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and even iPhone and iPad. Select a device to send a Chrome tab to that device.

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How to Use Google Chrome’s Hidden Reader Mode

Chrome 75 has a hidden “Reader” mode that strips web pages down to the bare minimum to make them easier to, well, read. But it’s not enabled by default—here’s how to get it now.

Google has been experimenting with this feature on and off in the desktop version of Chrome for years, but it’s now available with a hidden flag instead of an extra hidden command line option. We expect Google is gearing up to release it in stable form without any flags required.

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Fix Windows 10 DVD/CD-ROM Error: Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information is incomplete or damaged

If you’re having Code 19 issues with your DVD/CD-ROM drive, don’t worry. You can fix the problem with one of methods below.

The full error message in Device Manager appears as follows:

Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. (Code 19).

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Stretched Screen Issues for Windows 10

We’ve included two possible solution:

  1. Check display settings
  2. Update the graphics driver
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How to fix “MSVCP140.dll Is Missing” error

Does this look familiar?

You may see a message like this when you launch a program or game on your Windows computer.

It can read either:

  • “The program can’t start because MSVCP140.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.” or
  • “The code execution cannot proceed because MSVCP140.dll was not found. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem.”
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