Articles in Category: Windows Components
Windows components include the various and sundry applications that make up Windows itself, as well as many of the design and implementation characteristics of Windows.
OneDrive can be used for many things, but one of the most valuable is ongoing online backup.
Your computer likely has many more files on it than you realize. That’s quite normal.
Hiberfil.sys, pagefile.sys, and swapfile.sys are Windows system files that support two very important features: hibernation and virtual memory.
If Windows or another program reports that a file is in use without telling you what program is using it, Process Explorer can.
System Restore doesn’t restore your system and has proven itself too unreliable to count on.
Normally, you can request CHKDSK be run on the system drive at the next reboot. If that doesn’t work, there is another way.
OneDrive can be useful, and it can be annoying. It’s on by default, but it’s not terribly difficult to decouple or turn off.
Limited User Accounts restrict the ability of malware to cause problems on your system. Unfortunately, it may also restrict your ability to use the computer.
SSH is a popular tool to access command prompts and shells remotely. Windows makes an OpenSSH server is available for install.
Many Windows components log messages and use Event Viewer to display them. Sadly, the messages are often cryptic and inconsistent, and the result is a mess.
Windows runs a lot of software even when you’re doing nothing at all. We’ll dive into how to examine what’s really running, and what to do with the information you glean.
Taskbar and Start button disappeared? We’ll look at solutions for several reasons why this might happen.
Windows File Explorer defaults to a simple view of files on your machine that isn’t secure. Changes these settings as soon as you can.
Apparently, there’s a prank or scam suggesting that people delete their System32 folder. Don’t do it. It’s a trap!
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.
Assorted redistributables and shared libraries are installed on your PC by programs that need them. Removing them, while tempting, is fairly risky.
A Windows Recovery Drive can be used to restore Windows backups to your machine and much more. I’ll show you how to create one.
The MBR is one facet of a successful boot. Windows Startup Repair is a tool that addresses all of them.
Hard disks continue to increase in size, as does what we’re storing on them. There are size limits, but not limits most people need to worry about.
Programs can be installed in many ways and many places. There’s no single authoritative list of what’s installed, but we can get close.
System Restore is allocated a certain amount of space on your hard disk. If that’s excessive, you can use less space, but at the cost of fewer restore points.
Because of the way file systems organize and track your data on disk, size may be displayed differently in one place than in another.
You can disable Remote Access in Windows, but don’t be fooled: that doesn’t disable all types of remote access.
Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance are related yet different technologies included in Windows to allow remote access. I’ll review the differences.
Windows includes the tools needed to uncompress files that you (or prior versions of Windows) might have compressed using Windows File Compression.
Relying on a Recycle Bin can be a costly mistake, particularly when USB and other removable drives may or may not even have one.
Start-Run, or the Run item on Windows Start menu, is a way to run any program on your machine. Sometimes it works as expected, but other times, it just produces a quick flash. We’ll look at why, and what to do instead.
User Account Control, or UAC, requests confirmation when a program needs administrative access. If you know it’s safe, we can bypass UAC with a shortcut.
Unfortunately, there’s no consensus on what it means to be an “installed program”, or how to find them.
In my opinion, System Restore is good for exactly one thing: backing up and restoring the registry.
Windows assumes it knows where you want your OneDrive folder. If you want it somewhere else, it’s easy to move.
A crash at any time can cause problems, but a crash during an uninstall can be disastrous. I’ll look at what steps to take and how to avoid problems in the future.
Change the default program to open files in the application of your choice.
There are often many copies of the Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime on a Windows computer. Part legacy, part optimization, and certainly confusing, I’ll look at how and why.
Scheduling a nightly reboot or shutdown is easily done using Windows Task Scheduler and the built-in shutdown command.
You’re missing your boot loader. This may mean serious hardware problems… or perhaps just something forgetful on your part!
It turns out that resetting your Windows account password is frighteningly easy as long as you have physical access to the machine.
This is a system sound that could even be indicating an internal event. We’ll try to track down its source.
Be careful what you disable from starting up with your computer. You might end up with unexpected results.
System restore just doesn’t seem to work reliably. There is actually a much better way to protect your system from corruption and mistakes.
The registry is just a database, and needed for the complex issues it solves. It’s true that things can go wrong.
Unfortunately, the full solution to this problem can be quite painful. We’ll start with some easier fixes.
In general, it’s safe to delete log files, but is it really a necessary risk? You know what I’ll say… be sure to back up first.
The Windows system utility CHKDSK is a powerful and useful tool in diagnosing and repairing certain types of disk problems. I’ll review several ways to run it, and try and describe what it does.
Windows does support multiple languages. Unfortunately, many applications developed independently over time and seem to use different techniques for providing internationalization or localization support.
Appdata roaming doesn’t mean your computer has been roaming. It’s nothing more than a folder designation on your machine. Why data may be put there, however, is a bit more complex.
Usually a new window will open on top of previous windows. There are several things that may cause a window to “pop under” the window you’re looking at.
How much a swap file gets used depends on how much RAM your computer has, and what’s running on it at any given time. Knowing that will also help you decide where to place the file.
Windows File Compression automatically compresses files so they take up less space. In the best of circumstances, it can free up a lot of space, but all too frequently it’s not as much as you might expect, and there is a cost.
Windows Explorer is a ubiquitous and under-appreciated component of Windows 7. I’ll look at some settings I recommend changing if you’re a frequent user, and include a bonus tip that can sometimes speed up Windows Explorer’s start-up.