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Archive for the ‘System Tune-Up Help’ Category

Checking up on kids’ web use and clearing your web history

Want to know what sites the kids (or your spouse) have been visiting on the internet? Besides the #1 rule of internet parenting (No child should use the web without at least periodic living human supervision), you can check the sites in History. In Internet Explorer, the icon looks like a clock with an arrow going counter-clockwise.

The… Continue reading

Disk Cleanup- Open up some space!

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Feel like giving your computer some elbow room to get work done a little faster? Don’t want to remove any programs or files to do it?

Similar to the Scan Disk tool, Disk Cleanup is Windows XP’s tool to speed up your computer by removing temporary files that might be cluttering up your disk space. Unlike Scan Disk, Disk Cleanup doesn’t require rebooting your computer, and it gives you more… Continue reading

Low Disk Space

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Do you ever see “Low Disk Space” error messages? They mean that your computer has used most of the open space on your disk and may not be working efficiently. This problem can cause programs to run slowly, even if you haven’t seen the “Low Disk Error” message yet. ~Chris Fisher… Continue reading

Weekly Download: AutoStreamer

Friday, September 16th, 2005

If you have installed Windows XP, then you know that half the battle is keeping the system up-to-date with service packs and patches. This can actually take longer than the install. In fact, if you use a dial-up connection, it can take longer than a holiday weekend. This can be a real “time sucker”.

If people call you to fix their PC, you may find yourself installing Windows from time… Continue reading

Skip the User Login Step

Friday, September 16th, 2005

I am the only user name on my computer. How can I skip the user login step?

For security reasons, it can be a good idea to leave this be. However, if saving time is important to you, try the following:

In Windows XP Go to “Start” and choose “Run”.

In Windows Vista click “Start” and type in the Search Bar

Web Accelerator Vs. Updates

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

If you have a web accelerator on your computer you may need to turn it off before downloading updates for Norton Antivirus and other programs.

Set your programs for manual updating and find out how to temporarily disable the accelerator.

This advice comes from a reader named Syd “who learns everything the hard way”.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

Windows XP System File Checker

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

I tried typing “sfc.exe” in the Run window of XP and all I got was a one second DOS window flash. So, I figured that SFC wasn’t necessary. Then, to my surprise, I found out how to use SFC in XP. I’m gonna pass this info along to you today.

When you run System File Checker it looks to see if any protected files have been overwritten. If so, it… Continue reading

Apply or OK?

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

When I make a change to a program or in Control Panel, should I hit “Apply” before “OK” or is just “OK” fine?

Hitting OK will apply the changes that you want made, so you don’t need to hit “Apply” first.

Where Apply comes in handy is when you are making a change to your desktop… Continue reading

Defrag Restarts

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

Does your Disk Defragment keep restarting?

We’ve often suggested running it in Safe Mode, but what if the problem persists?

Reader Debbie H. sent in this suggestion that worked for her: if you have a cable or broadband “always on” internet connection, disconnect or unplug the modem before you begin defrag.

Another good

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

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