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How to Cure Common Windows 7 Problems

Part of the Windows 7 All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Here are the five most common problems that Windows 7 users face — from missing files and cursors to bad Internet connections — and how to fix each one:

  • Cursor doesn’t show or move. If no mouse cursor appears on the screen or the cursor doesn’t move no matter how much you move the mouse, shut down Windows 7, make sure that the mouse is plugged in, and restart the computer. If that doesn’t work, flip the mouse over and use your fingernail to scrape off built-up gunk, and wipe off the laser hatch with a Q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol. If the cursor still doesn’t move, get a new mouse. (Mice are cheap.)

  • Internet service is interrupted. If you suddenly can’t access your e-mail or get on the Web even though you could get to it yesterday and you haven’t changed a single thing, chill. Chances are good that nothing is wrong with Windows 7 but that your Internet service provider (the place your computer connects to) is having problems. Come back in a few hours. Don’t change your settings in Windows 7.

  • A file is lost on the computer. If you can’t find a file that was sitting around yesterday, chances are good that either it’s in the Recycle Bin or you dragged it somewhere weird. Double-click the Recycle Bin icon. If your file is there, double-click it and then click Restore. If your file isn’t there, click Start, type anything you can remember about the file into the Start Search box, and press Enter.

  • Hardware installation isn’t working. If you spend the money to buy an expensive piece of hardware — a new video card, a second hard drive, a fancy force-feedback mouse, or a different cable modem — spend a little more money and have the retailer install it. Life’s too short.

  • Computer user’s nerves are frazzled. If the stupid computer won’t work right, turn it off. Go read a book or watch a movie. Get some sleep. Come back when you’re not so tied up in knots. Few pursuits in the history of humanity are as frustrating as trying to get a recalcitrant computer to behave itself.

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Windows 7 All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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