Articles in Category: Windows Programs
I get lots of questions about what the best software for various situations may be. I can’t answer them all, particularly as it often depends on your own situation, but I can tell you what I’m using.
It’s relatively easy to reinstall Windows and keep most of your data while doing so, though it can be a bit time consuming.
Factory reset is a great option to have, but it doesn’t cover all the scenarios a full image backup does.
Windows File Explorer tries to help by hiding some information. Unfortunately, that opens a hole hackers can use to fool you.
The System File Checker is a little-known, simple-to-run command-line program. It validates that Window’s operating files are undamaged.
Problems with a program that won’t install can be tricky. It’s important to capture the exact wording of any error messages you are receiving.
The best way to prepare for needing an installation disc is to create one before you need it. I’ll review some approaches.
When running out of disk space, considering what you can delete makes sense. I’ll look at the steps to determine whether a file, such as a .dat file, may be important.
You can use the Windows 10 Out Of Box Experience, or “OOBE”, at any time to reset a variety of items most commonly associated with initial setup.
It’s sometimes hard to tell why Word thinks a document changed even though you haven’t done anything to it. I’ll look at a few clues.
Uninstalling a program is pretty easy. Uninstalling it completely, on the other hand, can be a challenge.
Install the software you need to fully use your computer. Just be sure to back up along the way.
To reformat and reinstall is considered the “nuclear option” when it comes to dealing with Windows problems (or just cleaning up).
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.
System and registry cleaners often report wildly differing results. The reason? Sales tactics, and no clear consensus of what it means to be clean.
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.
It’s almost impossible to remove all personal information from a Windows installation, short of one extreme option.
Microsoft Word documents display differently on different systems because of differences between the systems. Getting Microsoft Word documents to display identically typically means processing them into something else.
When Windows tells you it’s out of memory, what does it mean, and what can you do about it?
It’s not uncommon to set up Windows 10 only to find you’re required to log in with a Microsoft account. I’ll show you how to restore a local account sign-in.
CHKDSK must sometimes be run at boot time. When done, its displayed messages disappear. I’ll show you where to find those CHKDSK results again.
“.mobi” format is the native format for books used on Amazon Kindle reading devices. I’ll show you how to get that “.mobi” book you just downloaded from your PC to your Kindle.
We can certainly find a way to repair your system registry. But my concern is, why did this happen in the first place?
Windows programs often make these oddly named files as part of their setup process. You’ll have to make sure they are not being used to delete them.
Software packages, more and more, are coming as large download files – I wouldn’t even attempt to do it on dial-up! There may be a few options for you that will work.
If you bought it you can, and should, save it. Even if it is just a downloaded installation .exe file and activation code.
Software vendors seem to think these days that everyone has high speed internet for downloading large files. What happens if you don’t?
At some point, you’re going to need your Windows installation CD/DVD. If you don’t have it, you could be severely out of luck. I’ll review alternatives.
Sometimes you need an old program that won’t run on your current operating system. No Problem! Virtual machines to the rescue.
Is it really gone? Or just hidden? Either way we’ll work through the solution to get Windows Explorer back.
More frequently, unwanted software is included in the download package of things you actually want. Preventing these programs from being installed is easy; getting rid of them may not be.
Moving Microsoft Office to a new computer is usually an easy process as long as you follow a few steps.
Resource Monitor is a helpful little system resource examination tool that doesn’t get nearly the press it deserves. I’ll review what it can do.
Using an external drive is not going to work like you think in the long run. In the end, a backup image is the most convenient tool to use when reinstalling Windows.
The symptom described is usually a leftover startup entry. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to remove this.
Writing over a file is a good way to lose data, but if you are willing to dive into some command line programs, you may be able to recover some of it.
CCleaner is a useful and powerful system-cleaning tool that can help recover disk space as well as clear general clutter. It can be run manually, but in this article, I’ll show you how to set it up to run once a week automatically.
By definition, reformatting a hard drive erases everything. The big question is, why didn’t the technician tell you that?!
This file could be anything. I’ll show you how to track this file down and do a cleanup – just to be sure that it’s not malware.
Installing software safely is something that I suspect many don’t really think about, even though installing software is something we do often. I’ll review some recommendations to minimize both impact and danger.
If you don’t have installation or recovery media then you’ll need to take additional steps to prepare for the day you might need to reset to factory settings. Additional steps using software that I hope you already have.
When it’s important that you save several things for the day disaster strikes and you need to reinstall downloaded programs. I’ll look at what you need to save to prepare for the worst.
Windows 7 often comes with several pre-installed components that were part of the Windows Live Essentials package. They’re not required to run Windows, and can be uninstalled or replaced with more recent components.
In this scenario, the real issue is that your C: drive is full. What I recommend you do is clean it up.
DAT files are used by many different applications. To know what to do with a DAT file, you need to know which application created it.
A look at the add/remove list in Windows Control Panel presents a long list of sometimes confusing entries. I’ll look at how to evaluate what’s there.
Sometimes the best approach to resolving an issue, be it a virus or simply software rot, is reformat and reinstall. We’ll review the steps.
Process Explorer is Task Manager on steroids. A free utility that completely replaces Task Manager, there’s no reason not to have and use procexp.
Windows includes screen capture by default, but if you use it often and rely on it alone, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Task manager can be disabled manually, but more commonly it’s disabled by a virus. It’s easy to re-enable once you’re virus-free.