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Archive for the ‘System Tune-Up Help’ Category



XP Disaster Recovery

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

XP Disaster Recovery

Microsoft says “XP” stands for eXPerience. I recently discovered it stands for eXPlode.

Here’s what happened: I installed some new software on my XP machine. It told me to re-boot the computer, so, like I good little geek I yelled “Affirmative!” and promptly re-booted.

At which point, XP would try to boot, get to some kind of blue screen chock full of error messages, and re-boot again… Continue reading

Hard Drive Space

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
How can I tell how much hard drive space I have left?

A:
We get this one a lot. To see how much space you have left, open the My Computer icon on your desktop (or under the Start menu for XP users) and right-click the drive you are curious about (for most people, this would be

What is a Buffer?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
What is a “Buffer?”

A:
A buffer is basically an area of memory a hardware device or software program uses when it needs a constant, uninterrupted flow of information.

For example, if you ever listened to any kind of streaming audio, the program you use probably “buffers” the signal a little before the music starts to play.… Continue reading

Back It Up!

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Back It Up!

As most of you know, I recommend backing up your computer on a regular basis. Since I’m always harping about it, I thought it might be a good idea to actually explain how to do this!

First, what exactly does it mean to “backup” your files?

To backup simply means to

Get Your Computer Details

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Get Your Computer Details

Want to figure out all your computer specs? Stuff like CPU speed, RAM, Hard Drive space, screen resolution, etc? It’s actually not as easy as it should be. Maybe I’m missing something, but as far as I can tell, you have to go to separate areas in Windows to figure this it out.

So here’s a how-to chart:

RAM & Windows Version -
Right-click My… Continue reading

Windows XP and Vista Compatibility Mode

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

So, you’ve upgraded to Windows XP or Vista and now some of your old programs don’t work. I hate that! It’s been our experience that most older programs designed for older versions of Windows will run on XP, regardless of what version they were originally designed for. The only ones that refuse to run are the ones you really, really need :-)

If you can’t get a… Continue reading

Check for Corrupt System Files

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Check for Corrupt System Files

Did you ever have the suspicion that one of your Windows system files was corrupt? Normally, this problem causes lots of frustration while you try to hunt down the impaired file or do a complete re-install of Windows. Well, hold your Install Disks! There’s another way.

Prior to Windows ME the operating system might overwrite shared system files (for example .dll and .exe files) when… Continue reading

Stop XP Pop-ups

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Q:
I have been receiving these annoying pop-ups that say that Windows XP has a security leak in it’s messenger that allows my IP address to be leaked and allows these annoying pop-ups to occur even without my browser open. They try to get me to buy their software to stop the pop-ups. Do I need to install their software or is there something I can do?

A:

Frozen Computer Options

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Sometimes Windows will get itself all tied into a bunch and there is no choice but to cut the power to your computer and restart. Well, maybe not. Here are some other things to try… Continue reading

Deleting Setup Files

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004

Deleting Setup Files

You’ve downloaded some software and ran its setup program. Now you want to delete the setup program, but should you?

Usually. If it was a .ZIP file, you’re normally safe. If it was an .EXE file, make sure it’s only a setup program and not the actual program itself (in most cases, it’s only a setup program).

Here’s why:

The way most setup programs work is they… Continue reading

Over-Clocking

Monday, November 15th, 2004

What is Over-Clocking? Find out here! Continue reading

What of these?

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
My Windows folder is full of these things called”$NtUninstallQ…etc”. There’s a whole bunch of them! Are they OK to delete?

A:
This should only happen to you Win XP users out there. When you install a patch or update, Windows makes a directory for files you’ll need if you decide to uninstall the update/patch. In other words, it’s an escape hatch in case their update… Continue reading

Automatic Processes

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
In Windows XP when I go into Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) there are a lot of programs running under “Processes” that I have never seen before and don’t know what they are for. How can I find out what these “processes” are for and how to keep them from loading if I don’t really need them?

A:
Think of those processes as the parts under the hood of… Continue reading

Installing a New Font

Monday, November 15th, 2004

When you buy some new fonts or download them off the internet you may need to manually install them. Sounds difficult, but it really isn’t.

If you downloaded the font it may be in your downloads folder in a zipped format, so first you need to unzip the folder. If they are on a disk, then just have the disk in your drive.

Now, open the Fonts folder. You can… Continue reading

Check Available Disk Space

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Check Available Disk Space

We get readers wanting to know how do do this all the time.

To see how much space you have left, open the My Computer icon on your desktop (or under the Start menu for XP users) and right-click the drive you are curious about (for most people, this would be their C: drive, but this trick works with any drive). Select Properties from the resulting… Continue reading

Disable Error Reporting in Windows XP

Monday, November 15th, 2004

Q:
Every time I have a problem with this one program, a little window pops up and asks me to report the error to Microsoft. How do I stop this?

A:
To get rid of that pesky request Windows XP likes to pop up, right-click the My Computer icon on your desktop and choose “Properties“.

In the System Properties window that… Continue reading

Upgrading to XP? Proceed Carefully

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Upgrading to XP? Proceed Carefully

So, you finally decided to give in and upgrade to Windows XP. There are some issues you should know before making the switch.

Before you do anything, it might be a good idea to visit the Microsoft Windows XP website . You can compare XP to Win 98 , and get answers to compatibility issues . There is even… Continue reading

Power Management Setting

Friday, November 12th, 2004

Q:
Why does my monitor go black after about 15 minutes of not using the computer?

A:
Windows has a Power Management setting that will shut your monitor off after a specified amount of time. If you don’t like when it’s shutting the monitor off, you can change it by doing the following:

In Windows XP:

1. Hit the Start>Control Panel , then go to Performance and Maintenance

System Password Protection

Friday, November 12th, 2004

System Password Protection

*This tip is for advanced users only. If you try it and mess your computer up, don’t come crying to me.

Password protecting Windows will keep most people out of your computer, it won’t stop ‘em all. I can get into a password protected Windows computer in less than 2 minutes. For obvious liability reasons, I’m not going to tell you how, but rest assured I (and… Continue reading

Keep It Clean

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Keep It Clean

When it comes to our computers, all we tend to think about is the stuff we see on the screen — the software. Most of us tend to neglect the computer itself.

What can you do with your computer to make it run longer? As I just mentioned above, keep it clean.

I can’t tell you the number of computers I’ve opened that have… Continue reading

Strange sounds when computer is turned on

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
Help! My computer just started making a strange sound when I turn it on. It sounds like rapid ticking or rattling (not hard drive sounds either) and goes away after a few minutes. Any ideas?

A:
Sounds like a problem with one of your fans (no, not the people who love you, the ones that blow air).

Your computer probably has two internal fans – one that… Continue reading

Updating Windows

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Updating Windows

If you’re running a newer version of Windows, you’ve probably noticed the Windows Update item when you press your Start button. What is that all about?

Windows update is actually a really cool little feature. You know how Windows tends to have a few bugs? Well, these updates take care of bugs, security holes, and lots of other problematic stuff. Who knows, if you’re having problems, this may… Continue reading

Where is my Control+Alt+Delete?

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
Why doesn’t my Windows XP have Control+Alt+Delete ?

A:
This could be caused by a virus, b ut before you panic, it could also be missing if, for some unknown reason, Task Manager did not install or was deleted. So, first you should find out if it’s there:

Start / Search “all files & folders” for ” taskmgr.exe “. This file should be located on your C… Continue reading

Compress NTFS Files

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
How do I enable File Compression in Windows XP?

A:
If you are using Windows XP, chances are your hard drive uses the NTFS filing system. If you are in NTFS, you can save space on your hard drive by using File Compression.

First, open My Computer and double-click a drive or folder.

Right-click the file or folder… Continue reading

Screen Resolution and Older Games

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
I was trying to play an old game on Windows XP, but it won’t work. I hear sound, but the screen is blank. Why can’t I see the graphics?

A:
I ran into this the other day with an old program that my kids love. It turns out that we had to change the screen resolution to 256 colors.

What you could do is look for the… Continue reading

Backing Up the Registry

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

If you’re planning on messing with your Windows Registry, it’s probably a good idea to back it up first!

Here’s how:

Click Start /Run and type in “regedit” (no quotes). (If you’re in Windows Vista or 7, just type it into the search box.)

Next, click the File menu, then ” Export“.

Select a location from the resulting box and give your backup… Continue reading

Program Ghosts

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Q:
I deleted a program but it still shows up on my Add/Remove Programs list. How can I get rid of it?

A:
I get this ghost story all the time. The program is gone, but its entry is still there. Who you gonna call?

When that happens, most people click the program, hit the Add / Remove button and end up with an error. And… Continue reading

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