Windows XP & Vista Maintenance & Troubleshooting

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How to Turn On Aero Glass after Windows Vista Disables It

From time to time, Vista concludes that it just can’t handle Aero Glass anymore. Sometimes Vista decides there's just not enough memory to handle it, or a program you run doesn't agree with Aero Glass. [more…]

How to Rebuild a Search Index in Windows Vista

Once in a very blue moon, Vista’s search index just stops working. There could be a number of reasons, but if it happens to you, it's reassuring to know that Windows Vista makes it easy to rebuild a search [more…]

How to Move the Windows Vista Search Index to a Faster Drive

Because the heart of the Windows Vista search engine is the index, it really pays off to keep the index on the fastest drive you have. So, if you get a newer, faster drive, you should move your search [more…]

How to Update Applications Software

If you don’t know how to perform software updates, you won’t benefit from application improvements, bug fixes, and new security defenses (including virus and malware attacks). Follow these instructions [more…]

What to Try First to Fix a Microsoft Windows Problem

If you’re in the habit of upgrading or fixing PCs, sooner or later you’ll encounter a problem with Windows. When you do, use the tips in the following list as your first line of defense: [more…]

How to Open a File that Won’t Open

You may occasionally try to open a file and find that it won’t open. If so, you probably see a dialog box instead. Before you go surfing around the dialog box, bear in mind a couple of things. [more…]

Troubleshoot Windows Vista Issues

Windows Vista has a very helpful utility for troubleshooting your PC. It is called the Problem Reports and Solutions tool. By activating this utility, Vista can help you locate potential problems before [more…]

How to Update Windows

The Windows operating system comes with the feature Windows Update. It uses the Internet to check for any available new files or patches. Go to the official Windows Update web page to bring the PC’s operating [more…]

Troubleshoot Issues with Windows Update

Windows Update is a handy feature, but it can create a problem or two of its own. What happens when you postpone an update? How do your reverse an update? If the update was automatic, how can you find [more…]

Search for Files in Windows

You made and saved a file in Windows. You thought you knew exactly where you saved it. But it isn’t there. If you’ve misplaced a file, Windows can help you find it. [more…]

Search for Files in Windows Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin isn’t normally searched by the Windows Search command. You may want to take a peek in the trash, er, Recycle Bin whenever the regular version of the Search command comes up empty. [more…]

How to Search for Files from the DOS Command Prompt

By opening a command prompt window, you can search for files that Windows truly doesn’t want you to know are there. It’s a little technical, but when you really, [more…]

What to Do When Windows Says a File Is Missing

Oftentimes, it’s not you who discovers that a file is gone. Sometimes, Windows notices that files are missing. The missing-file message — that you must troubleshoot — appears either when Windows starts [more…]

Troubleshoot the Blue Screen of Death

One problem that can appear on a Windows PC is so loathed that it has its own acronym: Blue Screen of Death, or BSOD. Fortunately, Mr. BSOD isn’t as common as he was in years past, but he’s still around [more…]

How to Silence the Sounds that Windows Makes

Windows plays a host of musical ditties as you go about your day. Sometimes, the sounds serve as important reminders or warnings. At other times, the sounds annoy the heck out of you. Disabling them can [more…]

How to Change Windows Taskbar

The Windows Taskbar is that strip of desktop real estate that (usually) claims the bottom row of your PC screen. But it doesn’t have to stay there. It can be moved, resized, or even hidden. And sometimes [more…]

See All Icons on the Quick Launch Bar

Windows Vista and Windows XP feature a Quick Launch bar on the taskbar. (In Windows 7, the Quick Launch bar is replaced by the ability to pin icons to the taskbar.) Some programs give you the option to [more…]

How to Change Notification Area Icons

Since the notification area (aka the system tray) first appeared it’s been a pain in the taskbar for some users. In Windows 7 and Vista, however, that pain can easily be controlled or eliminated. Sorry [more…]

How to Change the Read-Only Attribute on Files and Folders

Read-only is a file attribute, or a characteristic that the operating system assigns to a file. In this case, read-only means that the file can be only opened or read; you cannot delete, change, or rename [more…]

How to Add Items to the Search Index in Windows

The Windows search command doesn’t actually search your stuff. Instead, it searches an index of your stuff. That’s because it’s much quicker to search an index than to search everywhere. Consider a book [more…]

Troubleshoot Your Windows PC Using Safe Mode

Safe mode tells you one thing best: whether the problem you are trying to troubleshoot is with Windows. In Safe mode, only Windows itself is loaded: the basic parts of the operating system. Any other software [more…]

How to Understand and Use Windows Task Manager

The typical Windows PC is running about three dozen processes when it’s just sitting there. Every program that’s running is referred to as a task; hence, the term [more…]

Understand the Relationship between Windows Applications and Processes

A connection exists between the items on the Task Manager’s Applications tab and the items on the Processes tab. When you open an application, it launches a number of processes. The processes do all the [more…]

How to View All Windows Processes Using the Task Manager

Windows runs a lot of processes. Normally, the Task Manager window displays only the processes that relate to your account in Windows. To see the whole lot of them, including processes that Windows runs [more…]

How to View Services Using the Windows Task Manager

The Task Manager window in Windows 7 and Windows Vista features a Services tab, something that the Task Manager in Windows XP lacks. Of course, it doesn’t mean that Windows XP lacks services; it means [more…]


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