PCs & Laptops

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How to Charge the Battery on Your Laptop

Charging your laptop battery is easy to do: Plug the laptop into a wall socket, and the battery begins to charge. Internally, the laptop switches from battery [more…]

The Basic PC Keyboard Layout

PC keyboards are anything but standard. Customized keyboards, with special buttons and features, seem to be the rule, not the exception. Still, the basic PC keyboard layout has 104 keys common to all PC [more…]

What to Do When Your Laptop’s AC Adapter Fails

If your laptop doesn’t power up, you may need to check your AC adapter. The adapter plugs into wall current at one end and the computer at the other; in between is a sealed box that converts 100 to 240 [more…]

How to Access the Remote Desktop from Your Laptop

Once your computer is configured to accept a remote desktop connection, you can use another computer on the network — say, your laptop — to access that computer and use it remotely. [more…]

How to Use Your Laptop’s Modem

You can access the Internet using your laptop’s internal modem. Modems come standard as part of your laptop, integrated right into the main circuitry board, the motherboard [more…]

Change Keyboard Settings on Your PC

Your keyboard is the primary input device for your PC. Knowing how to control the keyboard or change keyboard settings is critical to operating your computer. [more…]

The Basic Parts of a PC

Understanding the basic parts and components of your PC makes you more prepared to use it. The following figure shows a typical desktop computer system and its components. [more…]

What to Do When Your Laptop Battery Dies

Eventually, your laptop's battery will die. It's inevitable. Just as humans are subject to death and taxes, batteries are subject to death. (Fortunately, the government hasn't figured out how to plunder [more…]

Your PC Keyboard’s Modifier Keys

Four keys on your keyboard are modifier keys. A modifier key works in combination with other keys to do various interesting and unbelievable things. You can find these modifier keys somewhere on your keyboard [more…]

How to Monitor Your Laptop’s Battery in Windows Vista

You can keep an eye on how much battery life your laptop’s battery has by viewing the tiny battery icon on the system tray. The icon graphically shows how much power is left; the icon's color [more…]

USB Flash Drives for Your PC

The USB flash drive is a unique kind of PC storage toy. The keychain-size flash drive needs no batteries and has no moving parts! Instead, the USB flash drive uses the same method that digital cameras [more…]

How to Control the Display of Your Laptop

You can control the way Windows looks as well as how your laptop's monitor is configured. To do this, you need to visit the Personalization icon in the Windows Vista Control Panel or the Display icon in [more…]

Run Windows Media Player

Run Windows Media Player to play a song or listen to an album. To run Windows Media Player, choose it from the All Programs menu: Click the Start button and choose All Programs and then Windows Media Player [more…]

Enlarging Your Digital Image’s Canvas

You can increase the size of your digital image’s canvas (a virtual backdrop for your image). Increasing the canvas for your image lets you add to that image. How you adjust the canvas varies from program [more…]

Some Useful PC Keyboard Keys

Your computer keyboard is a virtual playground of buttons — some famous keys, some familiar keys, and some mysterious keys. Here's a list of some of the most important keyboard keys [more…]

RAM, ROM, and Flash Memory

So, what are RAM, ROM, and flash memory? All three are kinds of computer memory, but RAM, ROM, and flash memory interact each in their own way with the data that they store. Here’s a quick explanation [more…]

How to Clean Your PC Mouse and Keyboard

Your PCs mouse and keyboard get grimy — fast — because your keyboard and mouse are continually in use, and they get pawed by human hands. Never fear. You can keep your mouse and keyboard clean and working [more…]

How to Decide Whether to Upgrade Your CPU/Motherboard

Postpone a CPU/motherboard upgrade as long as possible. Upgrade your motherboard and CPU only after you exhaust the other possibilities. A major CPU/motherboard upgrade involves a some serious computer [more…]

How to Launch Windows on Your Laptop for the First Time

When you first turn on a brand-new laptop, Windows goes through some gyrations and prompts you to set up Windows on your computer. You're asked certain questions, such as which time zone you live in and [more…]

How to Install a Generic Drive in Your Laptop

You may be able to purchase a “bare” mobile hard disk drive from a computer parts supplier and install it in your laptop. A bare drive is sold as a simple spare part, without all the fancy packaging and [more…]

How to Set the Date and Time on Your PC

Your computer is secretly a timepiece, offering you the date and time. Windows itself displays the date and time, which you can set yourself, manually. To set the date and time on your PC: [more…]

How to Use Your Computer Mouse

The computer’s mouse controls a graphical mouse pointer or mouse cursor on the screen. When you move the mouse around by rolling it on your desk, the pointer on the screen moves in a similar manner. Roll [more…]

How to Use a USB Hub on Your Laptop

A USB hub is really nothing more than a gizmo with extra USB ports on it. You plug the hub into your laptop's USB port. Then you can plug anywhere from two to four to eight USB devices into the hub. [more…]

Laptop Battery Basics

When you’re setting up your laptop computer, the holiest piece of hardware is the battery. Either it came preinstalled (and may be nonremovable) inside the laptop or it must be installed separately. [more…]

The Different Types of PC Chipsets

The types of PC chipsets, the graphics processing unit (GPU) “brains” that power 3D video cards, out there don’t really have many differences. Although chipset makers want you to believe theirs are superior [more…]

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How to Add a Second Hard Drive to Your Computer (Video)

Adding a hard drive to your computer improves performance and increases memory. Installing a second internal hard drive is easy with these step-by-step video instructions. [more…]


How to Upgrade the Memory on Your Laptop (Video)

Upgrading your laptop computer's memory is a simple, do-it-yourself process. This video shows how to open your notebook and install more RAM to give your laptop a performance boost. [more…]

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