Setting Up a PC or Laptop

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Looking Inside a PC Console

You may want to see the components that make up your PC console, the PC’s guts. For a peek inside a PC (without having to dissect your own), look no further. A PC’s insides are shown in this figure, which [more…]

How to Change Your Laptop’s Power Button Functions in Windows XP

In Windows XP, you can control what your laptop does when you close the lid, or press the power or sleep button. You can access the Power button controls by following these steps: [more…]

How to Set Your PC’s Power Button Function

You can tell your PC’s power button exactly how you want it to act when you press it by specifying the button’s function. The power button’s possible functions vary. To change your PC power button's function [more…]

How to Connect Your Modem

Depending on what kind of modem you have, you connect it to your PC differently. An internal dialup modem needs only a connection to your phone line. If you have an external modem, you have to connect [more…]

The Back of Your Computer Console

The console’s backside is its busy side. On the back of a computer console, you find various connectors for the many other devices in your computer system: the console’s back also has a place to plug in [more…]

How to Connect Your Keyboard and Mouse to Your PC

Connecting your keyboard and mouse to your PC is a breeze. Before you connect your keyboard and mouse to your computer, you need to decide where to place both the keyboard and mouse in relation to the [more…]

The Laptop's BIOS Setup Program

All modern PCs, laptops included, have a special Startup or Setup program. This program is not a part of your computer's operating system (Windows). Instead, it's built in to the computer's circuitry, [more…]

How to Change Your Laptop’s Power Button Functions in Windows Vista

Windows Vista placed all your laptop’s power button and lid-closing functions in one handy spot. To get there, Choose Control Panel from the Start menu, and then click Power Options to display the Power [more…]

Your Computer’s Audio Connections

Computer audio involves both output and input connections. No matter how sophisticated your PC's sound system, audio connections — both input and output — are made by plugging things into the appropriate [more…]

How to Connect Your Monitor to Your PC

Before you connect your monitor to your PC, you need to decide where you want to position the monitor. Set the monitor atop your desk, generally back away from where you sit, to accommodate room for the [more…]

How to Open and Adjust the Laptop Screen

Believe it or not, the laptop must be in an open position for you to use it. Here's the catch: The lid has a catch, or possibly two! The catch is either a button that you push in or a little slider that [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…]

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…]

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 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…]

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…]

How to Use the CD/DVD Drive in Your Laptop

Today’s laptops offer two types of CD/DVD drives: the slot type and the tray type. With the slot type, the disc is inserted into a slot. At some point, the computer [more…]

Your Computer’s FireWire (IEEE 1394) Connections

On a PC, the IEEE port (called FireWire) is used primarily for connecting audio or video devices to the console. An external scanner or disk drive may also use the IEEE port. [more…]

How to Use Passwords on Your Laptop

Windows lets you slap a password on your account and then requires you to type that password before you can use Windows. Though this is optional, and seems kind of silly when you're the only one around [more…]

Your PC’s Setup Program

You might never need to run or access your PC’s Setup program, but it’s good to know how to get there, regardless. You use the Setup program, for example, when adding more memory to the computer, updating [more…]

How to Use the Real-Time Clock and Backup Batteries in Your Laptop

Most laptops have, in addition to the main battery, two other much smaller batteries buried deep within the box: the real-time clock battery and the backup battery. [more…]

How to Connect a USB Device to Your PC

USB devices plug into the USB port — any USB port. The USB cable may be attached directly to the gizmo, or you may have to use (or buy) a separate USB cable. Fortunately, the USB cable has unique ends [more…]

Proper Storage of Your Laptop

Laptop computers can go anywhere or be put anywhere. With a fully charged battery, your laptop has a home wherever you go! Beyond that, you can place your laptop anywhere you like: on the kitchen table [more…]

How to Turn On Your PC

You need to plug in your PC and devices before you can turn them on (obvious, right?). When all your computer components are plugged in and ready to go, turn on the computer: [more…]

Uninterruptible Power Supplies

An uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, is the best thing to have for hooking up your computer system to the wall socket. Basically, an uninterruptible power supply is a power strip combined with a battery [more…]

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