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Archive for the ‘System Tune-Up Help’ Category



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

Prefetch Clutter

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Prefetch Clutter

Do you find that it takes longer and longer for applications to open when you boot Windows XP? One common cause is the Win XP prefetch system.

“What’s Prefetch?” you ask. It’s a way for Windows to pre-load the data needed for running applications before you launch them. It’s supposed to make them launch quicker. What actually happens is that programs you hardly ever use take… Continue reading

Get Your Money’s Worth

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Get Your Money’s Worth

We often mention various Windows tools only get emails from readers who say those tools are missing. Many times this happens because the feature is not installed (for instance Task Manager in XP—see 8/4/04 ). Especially if your system came with the OS already on it, you might not have all the tools and toys available.

What to do?

Go to Control Panel… Continue reading

Nslookup – what those numbers mean

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004


Q:
My firewall keeps telling me that someone is trying to get into my computer, but all it shows are a bunch of numbers. Is there a way to find out who this is?

A:
This digital trick is actually pretty easy to pull off:

For Windows Xp users:

1. Hit the Start Button / Run . Type… Continue reading

Win XP Time Travel

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Win XP Time Travel

Have you ever made a change to your computer that messed everything up? A great feature of Windows XP is System Restore. You can go back to a previous setup without losing your documents, jpegs, emails, or other files. It keeps track of changes in your system and automatically creates what are called “restore points”. These points allow you to travel back in time to when… Continue reading


Q:
What does it mean to Partition your hard drive?

A:
When you partition something in a computer, you divide it into isolated sections. For the most part, when you’re talking about partitions, you’re talking about hard drive partitions, so we’ll take a closer look at those.

First off, when you partition a drive, each partition will act as an… Continue reading

Control Your Updates

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Windows XP can automatically update itself. That means any time you go online it will look for any new Hotfixes that you might need. But, what if you don’t want more control over the updating? Maybe you want to see what the hotfix does before you install it. Guess what? You can.

Right-click “My Computer” and choose “Properties“. Click on the “Automatic Updates” tab. There you’ll find… Continue reading

Windows XP Service Pack 2 and blocked pictures

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Q:
Help! I just installed Windows XP Service Pack 2 and now I don’t see any pictures in your newsletters—only a red X. Is there a way to fix this?

A:
This security feature only affects Outlook Express users. All you need to do is click the bar under the subject line in the preview pane that says, “Some pictures have been blocked…Click here to download pictures.”

Updating Drivers

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Updating Drivers

Keeping drivers up to date can help your computer run better, add features to your existing equipment, and/or make the device run faster. Of course, it can also make a piece of hardware compatible with a new operating system (like if you’ve gone from Win 98 to XP) or if you add a critical update to your OS like Service Pack 2 for… Continue reading

How to find out if you have Service Pack 3?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Burt from Montana asks:
How do I know if I have Service Pack 3 on my Windows XP computer?

A:
It’s easy, burt. Just right-click “My Computer” and choose “Properties“. In the System Properties box look under “System“.

If you see “Service Pack 3″ listed there, then it is installed

~David… Continue reading

SP2 Hardware & Software Conflicts

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

SP2 Hardware & Software Conflicts

So, you’re about to install Win XP Service Pack 2 . I suggest you find out if there are any measures you should take before installing. Head over to the web site for your computer’s manufacturer first.

Dell: Dude, if you got a Dell there are some hoops you need to jump through before installing SP2. Check out their page or get whacked…… Continue reading

Get rid of Windows XP MSN Messenger

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Q:
How do I get rid of MSN Messenger in Windows XP?

A:
Microsoft decided to make MSN Messenger a built-in default feature in XP. A nice gesture, but for some, yet another useless feature that gets in your face.

Well, if you just remove it from your system you might run into trouble. This is part of Microsoft’s “make it an ‘integrated’… Continue reading

Deleting Unwanted Programs

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Do you have programs you no longer use taking up space on your hard drive? Maybe you didn’t like a particular program and want it off your computer, or worse, it messed up your system. Well, here are some ways to get ‘em out…

1. The first thing to do is click Start /Programs then hunt for the program you want to delete. Oftentimes, you’ll find an Uninstall program under… Continue reading

Script Debugging

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004


Q:
What is script debugging? I have been told to select “no” when a screen pops up at work. Is there a risk to it, or is it just a waste of time?

A:
Before I learned how to shut off this “feature”, I too would be surfing along when suddenly an error message would pop up on a website asking me if… Continue reading

Illegal Operations

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Illegal Operations

Don’t you hate it when you see this error:
“This program has preformed an illegal operation and will be shut down”.

It can happen for a variety of reasons. In my experience, most of the time it’s due to a software conflict of some sort, usually with a program that’s running in the background.

If you find you have a bunch of stuff sitting in your system… Continue reading

Tips for Running Scan Disk

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Q:
When I try to run Scan Disk it keeps resetting. How can I get it to run?

A:
For anyone out there unfamiliar with Scan Disk, I will begin by explaining how to run it first.

Scan Disk will keep resetting if Windows is performing background tasks. Many times you are not even aware that these are happening, nevertheless they are… Continue reading

Command Prompt

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

I know that a command prompt has something to do with MS-DOS, but what is it?



A Command Prompt is where you enter text commands to the computer. This type of entry was used prior to graphical user interfaces (GUI). Although it isn’t often used in Windows, it is still the preferred method of input for certain operating systems like Linux and Unix.… Continue reading

Close programs when installing new ones.

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Q:
When installing a new program in Windows it is recommended that you close all running programs. I have never done it, because I do not know how to do it. My question is: How do I close all running programs?

A:
Actually, you probably don’t need to close each and every program on your system. I do installs all the time with… Continue reading

Conscientious Software Installation

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

We get calls and email all the time from readers who have trouble running software. Many times, these problems are caused by PBDC errors (Problem Between Desk and Chair) during install. I’m guilty of this too. Many times we try to install software without checking the memory and system requirements. So often we click “I Agree” to things we have not read or “Next” without reading the screen. Here are… Continue reading

Monitor Your CPU Activity

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Monitor Your CPU Activity

I don’t know about you, but I’m a hardcore multi-tasker . Sometimes I’ll have four programs up, two web browser windows, and some music playing all at the same time. For a while I had a real problem with my computer freezing up since I didn’t know how many running programs were too many. Then I learned to monitor my CPU usage.

Windows… Continue reading

CPU Percentage

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004


I hit Ctrl+Alt+Del and looked at my running processes and it showed “System Idle Processes” at 90%. What does that mean?



When you click on the Processes tab in Windows Task Manager you’ll see a column marked CPU. This tells what percentage of your RAM is being used. The value of this column must always add up to 100%.

Don’t worry though; System Idle

Adjust Virtual Memory

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Adjust Virtual Memory

If you have two hard drives in your computer and your C: drive is about full, you can tell Windows to use your other drive for virtual memory .
OR—if you have one hard drive that is faster than the other, it’s probably better to use that one for virtual memory, since your data is retrieved faster.

In any event, if you want… Continue reading

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