Upgrading & Expanding a PC

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How to Plug a USB Device into Your Laptop

USB devices are a snap to connect — literally. You don’t need to turn off the laptop, run a special program, or wave a magic wand. Just plug in the USB gadget and you're ready to roll. [more…]

How to Remove USB External Storage from Your Laptop

Just as there’s a proper way to shut down your laptop, there’s a proper way to remove any USB device or external storage drive that you have plugged in. Sure, you can just yank the USB drive out of the [more…]

How to Use USB-Powered Devices on Your Laptop

Quite a few USB doohickeys are self-powered. That is, they draw the electricity that they need from the laptop's USB port.

The downside to this is that it sucks up even more of the laptop's precious juice [more…]

How to Choose a Sound Card for Your PC

If you want to add a sound card to your computer, or upgrade the sound card that it already has, you have several options. A number of specialized PC sound cards are available for the discriminating audio [more…]

The Network and Sharing Center Window

The Network and Sharing Center window is the main location for nearly all networking operations. To display the Network and Sharing Center window from the Control Panel Home, select View Network Status [more…]

How to Remove a PC Card from Your Laptop

Although you can easily pull out a PC Card from the PC slot in your laptop, that’s not the best way to treat your laptop’s hardware. Instead, follow these steps: [more…]

How to Add Ports to Your PC

Consider adding ports to an older PC. Although adding or upgrading ports doesn’t speed up your computer, you can connect a wider range of external devices if you have additional ports — and those devices [more…]

What to Look for in a New Windows 7 PC

Windows 7 will run on most people’s existing computers, but if yours is particularly old or limited or if you just want the latest and greatest, you need to know what to look for in a new Windows 7 PC. [more…]

Upgrading a Netbook to Windows 7 Home Premium

Most netbooks can be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium Edition. To determine whether your netbook can handle Windows 7 Home Premium, you first need to evaluate your system hardware capabilities, then [more…]

How to Add a New Part to Your PC

Upgrading your PC may mean adding a new part to the PC’s motherboard. No need to be intimidated, just use the steps in the following list as a guide and you’ll come through your upgrade with flying colors [more…]

Important Tips for Upgrading and Fixing PCs

You want your PC to be all it can be, so you upgrade when you can and repair as necessary. When either fixing or upgrading, use the following tips to help keep you and your PC safe: [more…]

How to Remove a Computer’s Case

When you’re upgrading or fixing a computer, you may need to take off the computer case to take parts out or put in new parts. The following steps walk you through the process of removing the computer case [more…]

How to Add a New Part to Your Computer

You can often upgrade your computer so that it will last longer or do a new trick simply by adding or replacing a single part. Whatever part you want to add, follow these steps to insert it safely inside [more…]

Tips for Any Computer Upgrade or Repair

Whether you’re upgrading or fixing a computer, a few basics apply no matter what. The No. 1 thing is to turn off your computer before you start tinkering with its parts. Check out these tips for any computer [more…]

Upgrading & Fixing Computers Do-It-Yourself For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you’re planning to upgrade or fix your computer, this Cheat Sheet helps you remember the big stuff. It explains how to remove your computer’s case, for example, as well as essential tips for keeping [more…]

How to Add a Second Internal Drive to Your Computer

You can’t add a second internal drive to laptops or netbooks; they’re too small. A second internal hard drive is a perk reserved for desktop computers. Some can even hold three or four extra drives. [more…]

How to Install a Portable Hard Drive on Your Computer

If you need more space than your computer offers, you can get a portable hard drive. With a portable hard drive, you can plug it into your computer to access the data you’ve stored whenever you need. [more…]

How to Extend a Partition to Fill a Computer Drive

Windows stores information on drives, but before Windows can store any information on a drive, you need to put “shelves” on the drives, known as partitions. Although often a partition fills an entire drive [more…]

How to Buy Memory for Your Computer

When faced with the unpleasant task of buying the right type, speed, and size of memory for a computer, most people give up and take their computer to the shop. Do-it-yourselfers often turn to online memory [more…]

How to Update Your Computer’s Hard Drive

Upgrading a hard drive isn’t as difficult as it sounds. First, you discover what type of hard drive you need by peeking inside your computer. Armed with that knowledge, you decide how much you want to [more…]

How to Install a Sound Card in Your Computer

Some folks upgrade their computer sound card to get a higher-quality sound than what comes standard on most computer. Every computer sold in the past ten years comes with PCI slots for sound cards. Your [more…]

How to Install a Video Card in Your Computer

You can upgrade your computer’s video card easily — just install a new card in place of the old. Cards are particularly susceptible to static electricity, so tap your computer’s case to ground yourself [more…]

How to Set Jumpers for Your Computer’s IDE Drive

Hailing from days gone by, IDE drives on a computer take more cajoling than today’s SATA drives. SATA drives each have their own cable that connects to the computer’s motherboard. Yesterday’s IDE drives [more…]

How to Install an Internal CD/DVD Drive in Your Computer

Your computer or laptop needs one of two types of CD/DVD drives: SATA or IDE. The most foolproof way to see what type of drive your computer can take is to open it up and take a look at the drive or drives [more…]

How to Replace Your Desktop PC’s Power Supply

You can’t repair your desktop PC’s power supply, you can only replace it. Don’t ever open your computer’s power supply or try to fix it yourself. Remember — replace, don’t try to repair. The power supply [more…]

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