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Archive for the ‘System Tune-Up Help’ Category

Use Internet Explorer for Windows Updates

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

Some people don’t like getting automatic updates. They’d rather go to the Microsoft website and choose what they need.

If you are one of the many people using Firefox, you may discover that you can’t update Windows from the Microsoft update site. You’ll still need to use Internet Explorer to update.

You didn’t think Uncle Bill would make it easy for the competition did you?

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

Un-doing a Modification

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

If you follow a tip to modify your system and decide to change it back, what should you do?

In most cases, just follow the tip again and put the setting back (if you unchecked a box then re-check it). If you take a file out of a location, then put it back in.

For instance, we often tell you to go into Safe Mode to troubleshoot problems… Continue reading

Save Sound Scheme

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

I created a sound scheme for my computer. Is there a way to save it?

Making a sound scheme is a fun way to personalize your computer. You can download wave files of sound effects or favorite movie quotes and use them at start-up, shut, down, when mail arrives–all sorts of things. To find out how, check out this tip…

So, after… Continue reading

Hide Drives and Partitions

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

Do you have data on a partition or hard drive that you don’t want tampered with or easily accessible to other users? Well, you can hide any drive/partition in Windows XP, NT, and 2000. That means that they won’t show up in Explorer or My Computer.

If you want access to that drive from your user account you should create a desktop shortcut before proceeding. Once hidden, you can still… Continue reading

Change Computer’s Owner Name

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

I got a used computer and it has the old owners name on it. Is there a way to change this?

Yes, you can go into the registry and change the owner name. We always recommend that you back up the registry before making any changes—here’s how…

Go to Start/Run and type in “regedit” without the quotes (Win 2000 type “regedt32″)

With… Continue reading

Reactivate DLL’s

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

I keep getting a message that says a dll file is missing, but I did a search for the file and it was there. How do I get it to work?

Somehow the .dll was deactivated. This can sometimes happen when new software or applications are installed. Thankfully, with Windows ME, 2000, and XP Microsoft made a way to re-activate the dll files called… Continue reading

Windows Repair Install

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

I know it’s hard to believe, but Windows can sometimes stop operating properly—even the amazing XP (note sarcasm). When this happens the instinct is often to wipe out the operating system and do a clean install. Yeah, you could do that, but before you get that drastic, try a few other options.

With Windows XP and ME try a System Restore

Run Error Checking (Scan Disk… Continue reading

Viruses that Won’t Go Away

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Some viruses just won’t go away. You try everything from running your anti-virus software to digging through the registry just to have it come back. Well, if you have Windows ME or XP the infected file might be stored as a backup file that your virus scan can’t touch.

So, what to do? Try disabling System Restore and running a virus scan.

With Windows XP:

Right-click “My Computer”… Continue reading

Uninstalling Programs with the disk

Thursday, April 7th, 2005

Some programs don’t have an uninstaller in the program folder or don’t show up in Add/Remove programs.

If this is the case, try putting in the disk as if you were going to install.

You may get the option to Remove, Install or Repair.

Choose “Remove” and it should take care of everything.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

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

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

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

What is “Safe mode”?

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 –

(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

How do I upgrade memory?

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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