Your system BIOS is software, but updating it regularly may not be appropriate. Updating it to fix a bug, of course, would be.
Computers, computer systems and the physical components and accessories that make them what they are.
When attempting to back up a new Windows 10 laptop, I inserted one of my external USB drives and … nothing. Here’s what I did.
Chargers and power supplies come in a wide variety of configurations. Choosing the right one is important. I’ll look at a few of the parameters.
External hard drives are handy and portable, but occasionally, it might be nice to move all that storage into your PC. You probably can.
I’ll review the characteristics of external drives and include a couple of specific recommendations.
Replacing a power supply is common solution to some problems. Making sure you have the right wattage power supply is important… and bigger doesn’t hurt.
Taking a few steps immediately after you unbox your new computer can save you a lot of time, effort, and data loss later.
There’s nothing wrong with covering your camera, but it’s probably not worth the effort.
If you don’t have a CD or DVD drive, you may be able to turn that ISO image into a bootable USB thumb drive.
CRC errors happen when there’s a bad spot on the media of your hard disk. Data recovery and disk repair are often possible with the right tools — but you won’t need them if you have a backup.
Depending on your usage, turning your computer off at night might be appropriate. But is it actually saving energy? In the long run, it’s hard to say.
The VPNFilter malware that impacts routers is complex and difficult to know what to do about.
We’re all told to shut down Windows before turning power off, but what if the power just goes out? If you’re not protected, bad things can happen.
Terminology around routers and access points can be quite confusing. I’ll describe each, how they relate, and why the differences matter.
Airflow through your computer is an important part of keeping it cool and running well. Dust and dirt often block fans.
Partitions may be hidden for good reasons. Here’s how to peek inside.
“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.
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.
Leaving a laptop running all the time boils down to two things: your convenience and a decision.
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.
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.