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Archive for the ‘System Tune-Up Help’ Category



Safely Running Utility Software

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

We sell a lot of utility-type programs and it seems to be one our customer favorites, and with good reason. This type of software can perform duties that otherwise you would have to pay a tech to perform, and in some cases all the PC techs do is run utility software on your PC then charge you $65.00 for it.

This software can do things that you couldn’t do normally… Continue reading

Troubleshoot Start-up Problems

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

Do you have problems when you start up your computer? Does it seem to take a long time or you get strange messages? Fortunately Windows has something called “Selective Startup” that will help you figure out what’s going wrong.

Hold the Windows key and press the R key ( Win+R) and type msconfig in the Run box that pops

DirectX Diagnosis Tool

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

Direct X components accelerate hardware to enhance sound, graphic, and security performance. Many games install Direct X plug-ins to create 3-D animation.

The DirectX Diagnostic Tool, available in all versions of Windows after Win 98, can help you troubleshoot sound or video issues but is also a great source for specific information about your system and hardware.

Go to Start/Run and type “dxdiag” (without the quotes) into the box then… Continue reading

Troubleshoot Startup Problems

Friday, March 4th, 2005

Do you have problems when you start up your computer? Does it seem to take a long time or you get strange messages? Fortunately Windows has something called “Selective Startup” that will help you figure out what’s going wrong.

Go to Start/Run and type “msconfig” (without the quotes) in the box.

Under the “General” tab click “Selective Startup”. (Screen shot shows XP, but this will work in Win 98/ME &amp… Continue reading

Clear Your Backups

Saturday, February 12th, 2005

Hiding in your computer are backup files from imaging software, media creation software, and other programs. In most cases they only take up a few kilobytes of space, but occasionally can run up to a meg or two. It’s usually safe to delete these files.

A few of the common file extensions are: .bac, .bak, .bck, .bk!, .bk$.

One way to track them down is to do a Search for… Continue reading

Pruning Your Fonts Folder

Saturday, February 12th, 2005

I have like 500 fonts and I don’t need them all-not to mention it takes forever to find the right one. Is there a way to get rid of the extras?



Seems like every graphics program and printer software gives you free fonts, then the next thing you know you have so many that you can’t keep track of them all! Many of them you’ll never

Mysterious Music

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

Do you have mysterious music playing from your computer? If you hear “Fur Elise” or “It’s a Small Word” emanating from your CPU, this is a signal sent to the PC speaker from the computer’s BIOS that the CPU fan is failing or has failed, or that the power supply voltages have drifted out of tolerance. Waltz on over to your nearest repair shop and get it fixed… Continue reading

Bit Quallity Problems

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

Q:
For some reason my desktop looks like it’s in safe mode or something. How do I fix it?

A:
Sounds like a bit quality issue. You might notice after you’ve been in Safe Mode or played a game on your PC that the desktop looks strange–the icons are bigger, the colors are off, etc.

If you have an icon for your… Continue reading

What is Safe Mode?

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Q:
What is “Safe mode”?

A:
Safe mode is a Windows maintenance mode where only the bare minimum of drivers are loaded. You don’t have access to CD ROMs, printers, or other non-essential devices.

It’s helpful to use this mode when you are having problems with your PC. For example, maybe you just installed an awesome new video card, but in all the excitement loaded the… Continue reading

Windows Setup Trick

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Windows Setup Trick

Web Link – http://www.worldstart.com/tips/winsettrick.htm

(Note – the screen shots for this tip are from a win 98 computer. It works with all versions, but the only CD we could put our hands on was our Win 98 CD. So, ya get win98 screen shots.)

Have you ever installed something on your computer only to have it ask you for your Windows CD? Isn’t that… Continue reading

Upgrading Memory–Installing RAM

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Q:
How do I upgrade memory?

A:
Memory is usually an easy one. Here’s how to do it, step by step.

Note that the procedure is only slightly different on computers using older RAM (72 pin EDO type). Usually these machines are 233 MHz or less.

1. Check the manual that came with your computer to find out how much memory your particular machine can upgrade to. It… Continue reading

Troubleshooting Video problems

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Does your display flicker? Are your animations not working correctly? Have you been notified that you have “display problems. This program can’t continue”? This tip will help you solve those video problems.

Hold the Windows key and press the R key (Win+R). This will bring the Run command. Type, or copy, the following devmgmt.msc into the field in Run.

Defrag Mysteries

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Defrag Mysteries

Is your computer running slow? Is it locking up on you? Are programs suddenly terminating?

Perhaps it’s time to Defrag!

When you “defrag” your hard drive, you run a disk defragmentor program to optimize the placement of files on your hard drive. Here’s what happens. As you use your computer, it writes to the first available spot on the hard drive. Over time, files tend to get rearranged… Continue reading

Sluggish System

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Q:
My system seems sluggish. I know it has to do with all the programs that sit in my system tray, but how can I keep these programs from running at startup?

A:
I hate it when I install programs and they insist on starting when I boot the computer. You know the drill. You install something and it places an icon in your System

Security for Windows XP

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Security for Windows XP

Don’t you hate it when people mess with your computer without you knowing it? Here are two ways to prevent this, (and still be lazy): create a desktop icon to lock your computer, and password protect after the screen saver is activated. Both of these only work if you already have your computer password protected on login.

If you already have a password, skip to… Continue reading

Fixing Uninstall Errors

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Have you ever gone to uninstall a program, only to get some kind of nasty error message? It was probably something to the effect that the uninstall part of the program was hopelessly messed up and good luck trying to remove it from your system.

Don’t think you’re ever going to have this problem? HA!

Check System Properties

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Q:
Yesterday you mentioned checking system properties. How do I do that?

A:
Well, you *could* click the Start button, Settings , Control Panel , then open the System icon.

Here’s the quicker way…

Hold down the ALT key and double click the My Computer icon on your desktop.

And you get this:

Now you can find out almost everything you need to know about your… Continue reading

Windows’ Built-in Zip Program

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Q:
I heard mention that Windows has its own unzip program. Where is it and how does it work?

A:
Actually, you do not need to open a “program”. If you have a zipped file, just double click it.

A menu will open from which you can save individual files to your computer. Just click & drag or copy the file you… Continue reading

Missing File at Startup

Thursday, November 18th, 2004

Q:
When I start Windows, I get an error message saying that it can’t find a file. I click OK and everything seems alright. How do I get rid of that annoying message?

A:
This has to be one of our most frequently asked questions.

Probably what has happened is you’ve uninstalled something that normally loaded when you started Windows. The program is gone, but… Continue reading

Windows 98 Shut Down Problems

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Q:
I’m running Win 98 and every time I shut down my computer, it hangs on the “Windows is shutting down” screen. Is there a way to fix this?

A:
This can happen for a variety of reasons with any version of Windows (well, I guess it doesn’t really happen that much with XP).

Usually it’s due to a program that’s not shutting down the way it’s supposed… Continue reading

Limit System Restore

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Limit System Restore

If you have one of the newer versions of Windows (ME, 2000, XP) your system automatically makes system restore points. These are backups of your system configurations and windows settings. The restore points can be used to repair your system in the case of a system error. The default settings for the space reserved for these restore points is usually a bit high. Changing this is very… Continue reading

XP and Vista Clock Trick

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

If you are running Windows XP or Vista, you’ll never have to worry about manually setting your computer’s clock again! Of course, you have to be online for this little trick to work, so keep that in mind.

For Windows XP: Just double-click the little clock in the System Tray and it will bring up the Time and Date Properties screen. Click the Internet Time tab and you’ll see a… Continue reading

Set Computer’s Clock

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Q:
How do I set my computer’s clock?

A:
To set the time, just double-click the clock in your system tray (your system tray is located on your taskbar, opposite your Start button). A “clock screen” will be displayed.

You’ll see a box under an analog-looking clock where you can click on the hour, minute

Limit System Restore in Windows ME

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Limit System Restore in Windows ME

Last month Kyle told us how to limit the System Restore feature in Windows XP (see July 17, 2003 Computer Tips ). He mentioned that Windows ME also had System Restore, but it turns out that the process for adjusting it was different. But have no fear ME users—you too can limit your System Restore.

As you may know, your system… Continue reading

Ahh, I’m losing my mind, I mean, my mouse!

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Ahh, I’m losing my mind, I mean, my mouse!

Yes, I hear that cry daily… You’re typing along, life is good, then you need to click on something and you can’t find your mouse. Despite moving that little critter all over your desk, your eye can’t seem to locate the pointer. Ugh!

Well, here’s a quick solution for you Windows XP users:

Click on Start , select Control Panel … Continue reading

MS-DOS Prompt in Windows XP, Vista and 7

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004

Older versions of Windows had the MS-DOS prompt conveniently located in the programs file. For some reason, Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7 buried it in Accessories and renamed it “Command Prompt”. So, how do we get there from here?

Simple!

To get a DOS prompt in Windows 2000, XP, Vista or 7, you can go the long way… Start>Programs>Accessories, and select ” Command

Q:
I was installing a program and it told me disable my anti-virus software. How do I do that?

A:
On the right side of your taskbar is your system tray . In it you can see the programs that are currently running.

Move your cursor over an icon and you should get a little text line telling you what the program is… Continue reading

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