Is There a Way to Get a Notification Sound when Startup is Finished?

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I receive the Windows startup sound and I ignore it because I’m doing other things. And then a little while after that, I see that it’s ready to go because it has now loaded the different startup pieces of software. Is there any way in which a sound can be inserted that tells me the system is ready to go?

This actually would be kind of handy.

I’m very much in the same situation that you are. My machine automatically reboots overnight so that when I login in the morning, it takes a few seconds to reload all of the startup software and just do a couple of things. It would be nice to know when it’s done.

Unfortunately, the concept of startup in Windows is incredibly complex.

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Will Windows XP Keep Working after Support Ends?

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Lots of people on the web think that when support for XP SP3 ends, the OS will no longer work. If I’m correct, patches will end like they did before (Windows 98). So what is the harm in me continuing to use this old machine with viruses and spyware? With an iPod, I can’t think of what I would really get in a new PC with Windows 8 or 9 if I wait long enough. I don’t buy much software  anymore. I use Chrome because IE doesn’t work anymore. I also have an Ubuntu DVD burned for banking. I run it directly off the DVD to avoid viruses. And I ran several scans before I burned the thing last year. Should I rush out and get a new HP compact tower before they’re no longer made?

No, you don’t need to run out and getting a new tower before they’re no longer made.

Let me address your questions here more or less in order.

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How do I defragment a hard drive on Windows XP?

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How do I defrag a hard drive on my Windows XP? In my home, I am using Windows 2000 and I love it, but I’ve had two occasions where I visited a friend who was using XP. I could not find the defragmentation program. I appreciate your point that frequent defragmentation is unnecessary, but over a period of one or two years, occasional defragmentation has its place. Once at a machine at a motel lobby, I found that defragmentation program but was unable to execute it because I was not the administrator. Why would defragmentation demand administrative privileges?

Getting at the defragmenter is actually pretty easy in Windows XP. We’ll talk about this and some other issues related to defragmenting.

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How do I slow down my router at night?

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My wireless internet works very well. At night, my son will not get off the net. I want to slow down the internet to a crawl by changing a setting in the router so that my son will go to sleep. Can you tell me what setting I can change in the router that slows the speed down by say, 75%?

Controlling children’s internet activity is nothing new. Parents have been dealing with that (or fighting their kids over it) since people started having home computers.

Unfortunately I am not aware of any consumer-grade (in other words, affordable) routers that do what you ask. I’m not aware of any standard setting that will somehow throttle the internet speed.

But there are alternatives.

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Does Having Multiple Partitions Shorten My Hard Disk’s Life?

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I have a Solid State Drive for Windows and applications and a hard drive for data. I also have some games on the hard drive. Right now, I have only two partitions: C and D (those are actually two drives, but yes, I get the idea). I want to know if having multiple partitions on my hard drive would shorten its life? For example, let’s say I have three partitions on my 1 TB hard drive. Partition D for games, partition E for data, and partition F for downloads. Now let’s assume that I would play a game and download a patch around 4 GB or a free game from Steam around 10 GB at the same time. Because all my downloads will be saved to partition F and my games are all installed on partition D, performing these two tasks would force my hard drive to move its head to and fro between its outer and inner edges of the platter. Right? So, would that affect my hard drive’s lifespan more than if it had been left as a single partition?

The really short answer is no. These would not affect your hard drive’s life span. But from the sound of your question, you’re making some assumptions here that aren’t really valid. Let’s take a closer look.

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Should I back up if my machine is infected?

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I try to be careful about opening my email, but there’s a hacker out there who has the names in my address book. He or she sends out emails that look like they come from people I know. Their email address doesn’t show up, so I can see the address is not correct, but some made up address. The title is something like “Look here” and the message is “Hello, excellent website!” with a name of the website. I opened it thinking that the email was from my son. I got two of these kinds of emails and one after the other before I got suspicious and realized that I’d been hacked. So far, nothing bad has happened. Now I’m afraid to do a backup because it might mean the importation of the virus into my external backup drive. Is my thinking about this correct?

It is and it isn’t.

When people think their machine is infected, I typically tell people to backup that machine. Yes, you are backing up a possible infection, but that’s actually okay. You’re never going to actually restore that infection simply because you know that it’s there.

So why backup?

Let’s walk through the scenario.

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Can I Remove Unneeded Language Folders and Files?

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Hi Leo. Many programs have folders and files with other countries’ languages (for instance, C:/Windows/boot).  Apple is one company that does this when you install iTunes. Over the years, I’ve deleted these seemingly unnecessary files to gain space and had no problems doing that. Recently, I noticed that after I delete these files, the next time that I run a particular program, the app needs to repair itself and re-installs all of the unneeded language files. Can you shed some light on this confusing aspect of Windows? There are many apps for Macs which strip out all of the unneeded language files and so forth, but I’ve never come across something like that for Windows.

Deleting localization files on your machine is typically fine, but as you’ve seen sometimes applications don’t like it.

Just make sure to back up first (which is what I advise everyone to do before making any deletion that you’re not 100% certain of). Once you do that, if you delete those files and they stay away, great.

But keeping those files off your machine? That’s not necessarily so easy. I’ll explain why.

Read moreCan I Remove Unneeded Language Folders and Files?

How do I backup multiple partitions?

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I’m backing up a multi-partitioned hard drive. When making the image backup, can I make one of all of the partitions in one image or do I need to make multiple images? To restore the backup on a new drive, do I use the image disk to boot up my computer and copy everything to a new blank unpartitioned hard drive? Is it that simple? Or do I need to install other significant things like Windows or drivers and so forth? I really don’t know. I’ve been told that if I clone my hard drive with Windows XP and if I need to replace my machine, the cloned drive will not work. If I clone with Windows 7 and on a cloned hard drive, it will work on a new machine. Is this true?

We’ve got several really good fundamental and common questions about backup.

Let’s look at each.

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Why Does My Wireless Mouse Stop Responding?

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At least three times a week, my mouse will stop responding. Anything that I was doing will lock up and all I can get to work is Ctrl > Alt > Delete and Task Manager.

Task Manager displays the program, but doesn’t indicate what’s stalling the mouse – at least, no indication that I can tell. I’m running Windows 7 Pro fully updated. It doesn’t matter which wireless mouse I use, the Logitech or the HP. It does not appear to be program or application centric and it happens in various programs. Any thoughts?

I have several ideas about why this might be happening. But before we start, I have a question for you: when you say that the mouse is freezing, are you certain that it isn’t your entire computer that’s freezing?

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What is wssetup.exe?

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What is wssetup.exe? A search on the internet tells me that it could cause problems, but I can’t find where the program is or how to get rid of it?

Wssetup.exe sounds like the setup program for an application with the initials W.S. Have you installed anything with these initials lately?

My guess is that wssetup.exe is benign, but of course we can’t know for sure. While you googled the file name, there’s actually no guarantee that this file is the same as the one whose information you found online. Software companies aren’t required to give program files unique names, and neither are malware developers, for that matter. Anyone can name a file how they like.

So, it sounds like you need to do a little research.

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