Windows XP & Vista Maintenance & Troubleshooting

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How to End a Program that is Not Responding

Several terms are used to describe the act of a program biting the dust: crash, hang, die, stuck and frozen. Task Manager uses Not Responding. Seeing the Not Responding text in the Status column is a surefire [more…]

How to End a Process with Windows Task Manager

Sometimes you’re directed to stop a process, or perhaps you’re motivated to end a process to troubleshoot problems with your computer. When those needs arise, follow these steps to stifle a process by [more…]

How to Stop or Disable a Service with Task Manager

On occasion, Windows may direct you to disable or end a service in the course of trying to troubleshoot a problem with a Windows application. During those times, refer to these steps for the proper procedure [more…]

Understand the Windows Process svchost.exe

A process in Windows named svchost.exeis often a source of anxiety and woe among PC troubleshooters. That’s probably because the single process svchost.exe [more…]

Understand the Windows Process rundll32.exe

A problem child in the Windows pantheon of processes is something called rundll32.exe. The rundll32.exe program exists to run programs held in DLL files. A DLL is a [more…]

How to Disable Start-Up Programs in Windows

To determine whether a program is causing a problem, you have to be a PC troubleshooting sleuth. Problems with device drivers or processes that load initially are often flagged by start-up error messages [more…]

Find Start-Up Programs for Your Account in Windows

Like many people, you may have configured certain programs to automatically start when you log in to Windows. These start-up items appear on the aptly named Startup menu, found on the All Programs menu [more…]

Troubleshoot Blocked Start-up Programs in Windows

Every once in a while you may see the Windows Has Blocked Some Startup Programs message? Try as you can to dismiss it, it doesn’t go away until you deal with the situation. [more…]

How to Get into Windows Safe Mode

Windows Safe mode is a good troubleshooting mode because only processes and services necessary to start Windows are launched. It isolates things like video customizations and network settings from the [more…]

How to Find Out If Your PC Has Enough Memory

The more programs running simultaneously on a computer, the slower it runs. The speed decrease should not be noticeable, especially when you switch applications. If it is, your PC may not have enough memory [more…]

How to Check Virtual Memory on Your Windows PC

Virtual memory is disk storage that’s used to supplement the actual memory (RAM) in your PC. When memory resources get low, chunks of memory are quickly written to disk. The memory that’s written is then [more…]

Spyware: The Number One Reason Computers Slow Down

If your computer is suddenly slow, you have a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. If it has slowed down over the past few weeks or days, it fits in the [more…]

Activate ReadyBoost to Speed up a Slow Windows PC

ReadyBoost speeds up computer performance. It does so by supplementing system memory and mass storage access with a portion of fast flash memory from a flash drive, such as a USB thumb drive. Windows 7 [more…]

Set the Number of CPUs to Speed up a Slow PC

Your PC may have a multi-core processor or multiple processors. Confirm that Windows is taking advantage of the extra processing power and, if not, fix it. This utility is available only in Windows 7 and [more…]

Troubleshoot a Slow PC in Windows 7

One way you can evaluate PC sluggishness in Windows 7 is to use the performance troubleshooter. This tool exists as an option for Windows 7 users only. It is not available in Vista or XP. It doesn’t always [more…]

How to Disable Unnecessary Services in Windows XP

A service is something a program does in Windows — specifically, a program that starts automatically whenever the computer starts. Most services are things that Windows does, and most of those services [more…]

How to Disable Unnecessary Services in Windows Vista

A service is something a program does in Windows — specifically, a program that starts automatically whenever the computer starts. Most services are things that Windows does, and most of those services [more…]

How to Disable Unnecessary Services in Windows 7

A service is something a program does in Windows — specifically, a program that starts automatically whenever the computer starts. Most services are things that Windows does, and most of those services [more…]

How to Set Your Windows Account for Administrator Access

If you tire of typing the administrator’s password, you can reset your account level to a higher one. Technically, you’re resetting the account level from Standard or Limited to Administrator. This can [more…]

How to Create a Strong Password

Embrace the password! Don’t try to avoid it. Instead, concentrate on creating and using a slew of good, strong passwords. Here are the three requirements your password must meet to make it nice and strong [more…]

How to Change Your Windows Account Password

It’s recommended that you change passwords at least once every three months. This is the best practice to ensure that your stuff on the computer is safe. To change your account password in Windows, adhere [more…]

How to Create and Use a Password Reset Disk in Windows

Windows passwords cannot be recovered. Honestly, forget it. If you lose your password, you’re screwed. Write down the password if you tend to forget it. Windows 7 and Windows Vista offer a tool where you [more…]

How to Disable User Account Control Secure Desktop mode

Windows 7 and Windows Vista ask if you want to Allow or Cancel almost every attempt to do something in Windows. It is called User Account Control (UAC) and is Microsoft’s attempt to ratchet up security [more…]

How to Change the User Account Control Beep

Windows 7 and Windows Vista ask if you want to Allow or Cancel almost every attempt to do something in Windows. It is called User Account Control (UAC) and is Microsoft’s attempt to ratchet up security [more…]

Windows User Account Basics for your PC

Today’s computers can accommodate multiple users by letting you create multiple User Accounts. The computer uses Windows User Accounts (and associated passwords) to know who you are. [more…]

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