Articles in Category: Windows

System Restore

Why I Don’t Like System Restore

System Restore doesn’t restore your system and has proven itself too unreliable to count on.

Unsupported hardware notification

Why is Windows Complaining About Unsupported Hardware?

Unsupported hardware because the CPU is too new? It’s a scenario some users of older Windows versions can experience. There are a couple of solutions.

CHKDSK report showing cluster size

Why is the Same File a Different Size in Different Places?

Because of the way file systems organize and track your data on disk, size may be displayed differently in one place than in another.

What Windows Startup Programs Do I Need?

What Windows Startup Programs Do I Need?

Windows startup is a complex process further complicated by the number of programs that add themselves to the list. Paring it down takes work.

Is There a Real Alternative to Windows?

Is There a Real Alternative to Windows?

Only Windows is Windows. There are alternatives, but whether they’re right for you depends on you.

Create Recovery Drive - Warning

How to Create a Windows 10 Recovery Drive

A Windows 10 Recovery Drive can be used to restore Windows backups to your machine and more. I’ll show you how to create one.

Windows 10 DVD

How To Reinstall Windows Without an Installation Disc

The best way to prepare for needing an installation disc is to create one before you need it. I’ll review some approaches.

Windows With Multiple Virtual Machine: A Conceptual Diagram

What’s the Difference Between a Sandbox and a Virtual Machine?

Sandboxes and virtual machines share some characteristics, but they are fundamentally different technologies. I’ll look at both from a high level.

We All Get Bigger Over Time

Why is Windows 10 Using More and More RAM?

Software programs, like people, tend to get larger over time. I’ll look at how that happens and a few things you can do to compensate.

Where can I download Windows?

Where Can I Download Windows?

You can download Windows versions 7, 8.1, and 10 from legitimate sources. If you have a legal retail product key, this could be your replacement media.

Windows Update Troubleshooter

How Do I Fix Windows Update?

Windows Update can get confused or stuck. I’ll review ways to fix Windows Update, including what I refer to as the “nuclear option”.

How Do I Find Out What Program Is Using All My CPU?

How Do I Find Out What Program Is Using All My CPU?

Occasionally, one program uses all of your computer’s processing resources. Using Task Manager, it’s easy to figure out which program that is.

Recovery Console

How to Repair a Computer that Only Blue Screens

Blue screens on startup can be difficult to diagnose and recover from. If your machine only blue screens on start up, there are a number of things to try.

Windows 7

How To Keep Using Windows 7 Safely After Support Ends

Yes, it’ll be possible to keep using Windows 7 after it’s no longer supported. However, doing so safely will depend on you.

Why is My Machine Slowing Down?

Why Is My Machine Slowing Down?

A PC running Windows can slow down for many reasons. Viruses, spyware, updated software, disk fragmentation, and more can lead to performance drops.

Tiled Start Menu in Windows 10

Open-Shell: Regain Your Start Menu in Windows and Much More

The single biggest complaint about Windows 8 and 10 is the tiled Start menu. Don’t like it? There’s an app for that.

System Idle Process in Task Manager

What is the System Idle Process and Why Is It Using Most of the CPU?

Can a computer really do nothing? Yes and no. When it’s doing nothing it has to do something, and that something is the System Idle Process, waiting for something to do.

Remote Desktop option in Windows 10

Disabling Remote Access Doesn’t Disable All Remote Access

You can disable Remote Access in Windows, but don’t be fooled: that doesn’t disable all types of remote access.

Remote Access

What’s the Difference Between Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance?

Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance are related yet different technologies included in Windows to allow remote access. I’ll review the differences.

Where’s My Disk Space Going?

Where’s My Disk Space Going?

It’s not uncommon to run out of disk space. A free utility can show where your disk space is going so you can determine what steps to take.

Do I Need OneDrive?

Using OneDrive is up to you — but here’s why I absolutely recommend it.

Pausing or Delaying Windows Updates

Should I Install the Latest Windows 10 Update?

My take on the latest Windows update and your options therein.

Windows 8 Start Sceen

Should I Upgrade to Windows 8.1 Instead of Windows 10?

As Windows 8.1 is “between” Windows 7 and Windows 10, it’s tempting to think it’s a less jarring change. It’s not.

Task Manager's Startup Tab

What Can I Disable in Task Manager’s Startup List?

Task Manager shows many of the items that run automatically when you start your machine. What you need and what you don’t depends on many factors.

Reset this PC

How Do I Reset Windows 10?

“Reset your PC” is an option within Windows to return Windows itself to its initial state. I’ll walk through the steps.

Why Haven't I Received the Latest Windows 10 Update?

Why Haven’t I Received the Latest Windows 10 Update?

The latest major update to Windows 10 has an issue that’s preventing wider rollout. I’ll review what it is, and what to do.

Windows 7

Will Windows 7 Keep Working After Support Ends?

The end of support for Windows 7 means Microsoft will no longer issue security updates. Here’s how to continue using it safely.

CHKDSK: What Is It and How Do I Run It?

CHKDSK, short for Check Disk, is a utility that checks the integrity of the files and file structure of your hard disk. I’ll walk you through it.

Choosing a new default web browser in Windows 10

How Do I Change My Default Web Browser in Windows 10?

Changing the default browser used to be simple — and then along came malware. It’s still easy to change the default browser; it’s just different.

Slow Computer

How Can I Boost My Laptop’s Performance?

There are a host of items that contribute to your computer’s (lack of) performance. I’ll review some of my top issues.

Windows 7

How Long Does Windows 7 Have Before It’s Phased Out?

The end is coming for Windows 7. But what does that really mean?

Windows 10 in High Contrast

Coping with Gray Text

Gray text is a problem for many people. Unfortunately, there’s no simple solution, though there are some (very) ugly ones.

Update in Progress

How Do I Clean Up After Windows Update Breaks Other Applications?

Software rot can result in odd behavior, including a Windows update causing other software to fail. Here’s one approach to try to get things working again.

Free Trial!

Why Do System Cleanup Utilities Report So Many Errors on a Supposedly Clean System?

System and registry cleaners often report wildly differing results. The reason? Sales tactics, and no clear consensus of what it means to be clean.

Windows 10 Scale and Layout

How Can I Make the Text on My Screen Larger?

There are several ways to adjust the size of text and items on your screen. I’ll discuss a commonly-used wrong way as well as the right way.

Moving the Windows Taskbar Back to the Bottom

How Do I Move the Taskbar Back to the Bottom?

Occasionally, the Windows taskbar can end up on either side (or even the top of) your screen. I’ll show you how to move the taskbar bar back to the bottom.

Advanced Attributes on a Folder

How Do I Decompress All the Files that Windows Compressed for Me?

Windows includes the tools needed to uncompress files that you (or prior versions of Windows) might have compressed using Windows File Compression.

Pagefile.sys displayed in Windows File Explorer

What Is Pagefile.sys? Can I Delete It?

Pagefile.sys is the “paging file”, or system file, that contains Windows’ virtual memory. You can remove it — if you understand the ramifications.

Windows 10

Can I Copy Windows 10 System Files to Another Drive?

Copying, moving, and licensing Windows 10 isn’t nearly as simple as we might like.

Windows 10 Routlette

Coping with Windows 10

Windows Update seems less than reliable. How can you prepare for what may or may not happen without tearing your hair out?

Uninstallable Updates in Windows 10

Do All These Software Updates Take Up More and More Disk Space?

Staying up to date is an important part of staying safe. Sometimes that means disk space is slowly used for more and more updates — and sometimes not.

Windows 10 Edition in the About page

How Do I Figure Out My Windows Edition?

The “edition” of Windows you’re running — Home, Pro, or others — defines some of the features made available. It’s not difficult to find out which edition you have.

Adjust ClearType

How Do I Fix Jagged Fonts in Windows 10?

A simple setting I’d assume to be on by default, wasn’t. As a result, the text on my screen looked … ugly.

OneDrive Setup - email address

Using OneDrive for Nearly Continuous Backup

OneDrive can be used for many things, but one of the most valuable is ongoing online backup.

The Snipping Tool

What’s a Screen Shot and How Do I Make One?

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a screenshot – an image of your computer screen, saved as a picture – can eliminate a lot of frustration when trying to describe to someone what you’re seeing on your computer.

October 2018 Windows 10 Update

Critical: Back Up Before the 1809 Windows 10 Update!

The October 2018 Windows 10 Update is apparently deleting some people’s files. Here’s how to prepare and protect yourself.

Deleting Data

Is it Safe to Delete This File?

Looking for large files when running out of disk space makes sense. I’ll look at the steps to determine whether a file, such as a .dat file, may be important.

64-bit OS

How Do I Upgrade Windows from 32-bit to 64-bit?

If you have a 64-bit capable machine, you may want to upgrade from 32-bit Windows to 64. Unfortunately, the upgrade, while quite possible, isn’t easy.

Typing

Can I Tell If Something’s Been Pasted Instead of Typed?

In theory, pasting text is the same as typing it. Except when it’s not.

How Do I Remove My Personal Data from My Computer Running Windows 10?

It’s almost impossible to remove all personal information from a Windows installation, short of one extreme option.