“Device cannot be stopped” can be a frustrating error if there’s no obvious cause. Turning off device power or unplugging anyway isn’t really safe.
Computers, computer systems and the physical components and accessories that make them what they are.
Newer machines often come with multiple partitions. While it’s tempting to remove them, there’s little to be gained.
If your mouse and keyboard stop working, you may be able to repair the situation — if you can overcome one huge obstacle.
Every so often, the Windows Print Queue gets “stuck”. Everything looks like it should print, but it won’t. We’ll clear that up.
“Hard Disk Failure Is Imminent” is a message you want to take very seriously — so seriously that hopefully, you’ll have planned for it beforehand.
It’s not difficult to shut down a machine if you can’t see its screen — as long as you plan ahead.
All technology changes, and yes, USB ports will someday disappear. “How quickly?” is the real question. I’m not terribly concerned.
Windows 10 makes it easy to make things bigger on the screen.
Using your computer’s Power button improperly, or pulling the plug, can lead to serious data loss. I’ll look at the right way to turn your computer off.
It’s always a good idea to look for the “best”. The problem is that when it comes to hard disks, “best” is a moving target.
If your machine won’t boot for some reason, there are a couple of approaches to try to get the data off its hard drive.
An “invalid system disk” error has several possible causes. Two of them will make you hope you backed up recently.
Four basic approaches to storing a laptop that isn’t being used.
BitLocker is a fine approach to encrypting hard drives–especially the system drive. It’s also easy to turn off if you decide you no longer need it.
There’s deleted, and there’s deleted. Secure delete is one approach to making sure your files can’t be recovered.
I tested a Google Chromebook. On a business trip, can I do every task I need to do, where I need to do it, without major inconvenience?
It’s not the printer. Software on your computer controls print size, so you need to investigate the settings on your computer or in the application that you use to print.
We’ve all been told that defragmenting a hard disk is a good thing for performance – but the same is most definitely not true for solid state drives.
Windows 10 made adjusting the size of items on your display much easier.
CHKDSK and Defrag are different tools for different purposes, and have different side effects. One is OK on any drive; the other should be avoided on SSDs.
It’s not difficult to gain access to a used computer without knowing the password. You just don’t want to.
Recently when attempting to back up my new Windows 10 laptop, I inserted one of my external USB drives and … nothing. Here’s what I did.
A lack of sound can happen for a variety of reasons. I’ll review the common things to look for if your computer isn’t making sound.
File corruption happens most commonly when there’s a hardware issue or bad sector on your hard drive. I’ll look at implications and preventative steps.
The voltage and polarity of the power supply must match. Amps and watts have some flexibility.
Normally, a defrag operation will not cause data loss. Unfortunately, if there’s a pre-existing problem, a defrag could bring data loss to the surface.
Using an on-screen keyboard instead of a real keyboard might stop some keyloggers, but there’s no guarantee that other techniques aren’t also being used.
MAC address filtering is a technique that theoretically prevents unauthorized computers from accessing your network. I’ll explain why the theory fails.
ISO files are often used to distribute images of CD and DVD data discs. I’ll walk through how to burn ISO files to optical media using ImgBurn.
SATA and PATA are two different and incompatible disk drive interfaces. PATA’s the old guard, but SATA’s taking over. I’ll look at the differences.
Adjusting the brightness of a monitor or display can often be done right on the display itself. Sometimes it’s also possible to adjust the brightness in software.
Multiple partitions can be useful at times. I’ll show you how to create a new partition by “splitting” an existing C: partition.
Processors are generally available with what are called “multiple cores”. We’ll look at what that means, and how you might select which is right for you.
Intel’s Core i3, i5, and i7 processors present a headache-inducing combination of characteristics. I’ll look at what matters and then dig a little deeper.
Device-driver updates can come from several places. I’ll review which sources for driver updates are best, and where else you might need to look.
Chkdsk checks your disk for errors at a low level, requiring exclusive access to the disk to do so. “Chkdsk cannot run…” means that it doesn’t have the exclusive access it needs. I’ll review what to do.
Photographic images have a number of characteristics that we often don’t consider. I’ll review how digital pictures are constructed and stored and what you need to keep in mind when sharing or publishing.
Why do some chargers work faster or slower than others? We’ll take a look at some basic electrical concepts to understand what to look for in a charger.
“No Signal” is a message coming not from your computer, but from your display device, indicating that it has nothing to display. I’ll review possible causes.
A black screen on your computer can mean several things. A black screen is most commonly a screen saver, but there are other possibilities.
Sometimes fixing a pesky problem with a hardware device is as simple as forcing Windows to reinstall a driver. I’ll show you how.
Drivers are critically important components of your computer, but knowing when and how to update drivers isn’t as easy or as obvious as we might like.
I had an impending NAS drive failure. I’ll share how I got there, the mistakes I made, the things I did right, and the lessons I learned.
When sending your computer out for repair, you’re handing over everything on it, including your data. Options to secure a hard drive are limited.
Multi-core processors add an additional layer of complexity to software design. Occasionally that can manifest as only 25% of the CPU being used.
I’ll review the characteristics of external drives, and include a couple of specific recommendations.
Extracting data from hard drive in a dead computer isn’t typically all that hard – unless it’s the drive itself that caused the problem.
A few steps immediately after you get your new computer can save you a lot of time, effort and loss of data later. I’ll review my recommendations.
A new computer is a major purchase, and knowing what to get isn’t easy. I continue my review of some of the important qualities to think about when purchasing.
After deciding on what kind of computer they want, many people ask for recommendations for specific computer brands. That, too, is a tough question to answer.