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Archive for the ‘System Tune-Up Help’ Category



Turning Windows Features On and Off

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

“Always hidden.”  That’s what Microsoft’s motto about its operating systems should be. Something like this:

If you want it, if you need it, it’s always there. Always hidden.

Microsoft Windows. The world’s biggest treasure hunt.

So last night, I am fiddling around with things because I am just that daring (you

Would you like to know what’s happening in your Vista or Windows 7 computer right now? For a quick read on current activity and performance, follow the steps below.

First, open the Run dialog box, by holding the Windows key and typing R (Win+R).

In the Run box, type cmd and hit the Enter key.

Safe Mode with Command Prompt

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Have you ever booted up your computer and not been able to reach the Windows desktop? It may be because of corrupted Windows system files, or perhaps you inadvertently downloaded a virus. Either way, a terrible sense of panic begins to set in – trust me, I know. “All my photos and files are gone! I have no backups!” Take a deep breath and relax. Today

Checking Internet Connection Speed

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Do you want to cross check whether you are getting the download and upload speed that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) promises?

Browsing the web, checking emails, or using Facebook does not consume a large amount of bandwidth. However downloading movies, large files or watching YouTube videos one after another, can consume a very large amount of bandwidth. If you aren’t on

Hiding Protected System Files

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Dave from New Albany, OR asks:

How can I keep the desktop ini icon from popping onto the desktop and other locations? I delete it and pretty soon it’s back.

Dave, thanks for the question. What you need to do is hide these icons (shown below).

Speed Up That Computer

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Adele, from Cleveland UK writes:

My computer is running really slow, it takes about 5 minutes or more to open a program. What could be the cause of this? I am running Windows XP SP2,Version 2002,With AMD Sempron2800,2.01GHz,448mb RAM.

The first thing that jumps out at me, Adele, is that you’re running

Kaleen writes:

I really try to take care of my computer and use defragment a lot. I don’t know if it’s possible, but can I add it to the right-click menu? I use Vista.

First let me say that I think it’s awesome that you defragment your computer a lot. One of

Is formatting a flash drive different than defragging the drive? I generally format the flash drive when I want to clean everything off after having transferred it, I also format my camera card after downloading the pictures. Am I causing too much wear on the cards?

Formats, Defrags, and Flash Drive Death!

Whatever you

Dealing with an SNMaster.idx Error Message

Monday, February 14th, 2011

I keep getting an error message when I start my computer. It says “The snmaster idx file database file is missing, please restore this file”. What’s this all about? Can I restore it? Error: Missing or Corrupt SNMaster.idx. What Do I do!?

Do you start your computer up every day, greeted by a message notifying you that your “SNMaster.idx”

How to Stop Screen Shake

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Richard from Hudson, Florida asks:

I am using Microsoft Outlook 2003. Sometimes in checking my mail, a red flag would come up on the right side of a message and the page would shake. I tried to shut down Outlook and restart it, no help. I would even reboot and the red flags are still there. I

Upgrading a Dell Computer

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Andrew from South Africa asks:

I need to update my PC processor. I have an old Dell Dimension 4600 Pentium 4 2.66GHz-1.5GB RAM-AGP card slot. Can I just buy a better/faster processor like a Duo or quad core or something for my PC?

First, you’ll need to find out how many pins

Dealing with Buffer Overflow Errors

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Receiving a buffer overflow (also known as a buffer overrun) error may not seem that dangerous, but it’s a serious security risk. A direct result of bad programming, buffer overflow errors occur when too much data is stored in a space designed for less.

Think of it this way. If you pour a large jug of water into a small glass, the excess water will spill… Continue reading

SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition is a great program for locating and quarantining spyware in your computer, and it is also really simple to use. As we all know, Spyware can become a major pain, causing many issues within your computer.

Some of the many great features of this program include a Quick Scan, Complete Scan, or even a Custom Scan, which will check for malicious files in areas that you… Continue reading

Regular PC Maintenance Tips

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Juan, from Albuquerque NM asks:

I like to perform monthly maintenance on my PCs and I’d like some advice from you regarding getting this task done? I’m using windows Vista and 7. I already clear temp files, cookies, and other basic items.



Juan, maintaining your computer is like maintaining a car. The more you look after it, the better it will run… Continue reading

Auslogics Duplicate File Finder

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Auslogics Duplicate File Finder is a nice way to further clean up your computer. It is designed to find duplicate files on your computer that are taking up valuable space. It has the ability to search for many different types of files such as: image, audio, video, archived, and application files.

Not only is this program really useful, but it is really easy… Continue reading

Windows 7 Memory Diagnostics Utility

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011


If you suspect that your computer has a memory issue, but it’s not being detected automatically, it’s best to make use of the Windows Memory Diagnostics utility that’s built-in to Windows 7.

Here’s how to access it:

Click Start, and in the Search Box type mdsched.exe. You can then either hit the Enter key or click the mdsched icon that appears… Continue reading

Suggestions for Seized Up Computers

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Royal V. from CT asks:

My computer seized up, and now it just shows a black page with white lettering. My problem: I had some very important papers (material for a future e-book) written in WordPad. Is there some way I can retrieve them?

Well, Royal, if you brought your computer to me for repair and asked this question, the first thing that I would… Continue reading

Create a Virtual Hard Drive in Windows 7

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Windows 7, Microsoft’s latest Windows release is the smoothest operating system I have come across in my entire life in terms of user experience. It has an easy to learn user interface that looks marvelous and does the job equally well. It is extremely snappy and has been done in great detail so that there are no loose ends. This has made Windows 7 a huge success over any earlier… Continue reading

Ellen, from Columbus Ohio asks:

How do you delete a corrupt or unrecognized file from a flash drive?

Every now and again, for any number of possible reasons, a file can become corrupt, unreadable and, occasionally, seemingly impossible to delete from your USB flash drive. When these types of files appear, it can be frustrating attempting to rid your drive of the corrupt file(s) with… Continue reading

Windows 7 Troubleshooter

Monday, November 29th, 2010

If you’re having a computer problem, Windows 7 offers a quick route to a possible solution.

Just type the word Troubleshoot in the Start search box, and hit the Enter key, or select Troubleshooting from the list.

This will bring up the Windows 7 Troubleshooter. From there, you can choose from a list of potential problem… Continue reading

Low Memory Error

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Vivien from Port Charlotte, FL asks:

Every time I receive an attachment in e-mail that requires Windows Media Player, I get a message that my computer is low on memory. I know for a fact that I have lots of memory! What could be wrong?

If I may, Vivien, I would like to start by clarifying… Continue reading

Free Stuff

Monday, November 8th, 2010

The other day, I was reading online comments about software from an unhappy user. I have the same software installed in my computer, and it does what I need it to do, so I wasn’t particularly concerned with the specific issues described by the writer. What occurred to me though was that this software is free, and that fact was overlooked. I don’t have a problem with that omission, but… Continue reading

Finding System Information in Vista

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Dolores of Carson City, Nevada, writes:

The other day I went to install a program and it told me to make sure that I had Vista SP2, and that it wouldn’t run if it had Vista SP1. I don’t know where to look for that. In fact, I know nothing about my computer. Can you help show me where to go to find everything?

Backing Up to an External Drive

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Duane from New Port Richey, FL asks:

I just bought an external hard drive and would like to copy my whole C-drive to it. How do I do this?

What you’re asking about here, Duane, is called a disc “image” or “mirror”. This is used to help you recover your Windows setup and all of your files in the case of catastrophic drive failure… Continue reading

Uninstalling a Stuck Program

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Babs from Michigan asks:

How do I remove MusicMatch jukebox 9 from my computer? It does not show up on my Add/Remove Programs area of my control panel.

Thanks for the question Babs. It’s frustrating when you want to uninstall a program and it won’t uninstall.

If MusicMatch Jukebox

Shirley from Fairfield, CA asks:

I understand that the many programs listed on the control panel may be what slow my computer. The security updates listed are 4 in 2007, 31 in 2008, 49 in 2009 and 37 already in 2010. A few are listed as Hot fix. Must they stay there year after year or can they be removed without causing trouble?

Well… Continue reading

WinUtilities Free Edition

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

I’m always looking for new products that will clean junk from my computer. As a result, after repeatedly installing new junk removing software, more junk accumulates. While I have kept, and still use, several other utilities, none seem to clean as thoroughly as WinUtilities. Most maintenance software misses or ignores certain items, including WinUtilities, but this one seems to find and correct more problems than any of the others. It… Continue reading

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