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2,862 Tutorials

More Desktop PCs How-To

  • How-Tos: How to install a solid-state drive

    Plenty of software is designed to improve PC performance, but what if that speed boost leaves you hungry for more? A speed boost can be gained with the installation of a solid-state drive (SSD).

  • How-Tos: How to fix a broken USB port

    My Windows 7 desktop PC has four USB ports, all of which are in use. However, no peripherals are automatically visible in Explorer.

  • How-Tos: How to uninstall trial software

    My Vista laptop came with a 60-day trial of Microsoft Office. I'd like to remove this, since I've never used it and it takes up a lot of disk space. Is there any reason why I shouldn't? I don't have a Windows CD to restore the OS should I mess things up.

  • How-Tos: How to solve Windows 7 memory allocation problems

    When browsing the web on my brand-new laptop I get warnings that the memory is running low and that I should close some programs. On Startup a Performance Options window appears. This allocates processor resources to adjust performance for programs or background services. Having already set and applied my changes, I have to go through the same process every time I start up the machine.

  • How-Tos: How to tame a jumpy cursor

    Following bootup or waking the PC from standby, my cursor always highlights the top-left icon onscreen. For example, if I'm in Outlook Express, the cursor will always go to the top of the list.

  • How-Tos: How to unzip files without IE interfering

    When I click on a zip file to uncompress it, Internet Explorer launches multiple copies of itself. I have to switch off the PC using the power button to continue.

  • How-Tos: How to get the most out of Windows Services

    While optimising my PC I came across some fascinating bits of software called services. Can I safely disable any that don't sound useful to me, such as Routing and Remote Access?

  • How-Tos: How to create space on a full hard disk

    I reorganised some files on my Vista Home Basic PC and am now receiving a full-disk warning. The drive has two 67GB partitions. I moved 40GB of files to D, leaving 31GB on C. I unsuccessfully attempted to delete the Winsxs file, which hogs 12GB. I’ve also removed 3GB of programs. But every time I reboot, the capacity used on C is still 31GB.

  • How-Tos: How to use Windows' boot.ini file

    I upgraded my PC with a new CPU and hard drive, copying across the contents of the old drive with the help of a disk-copying utility. When I boot up I now see a screen asking which operating system (OS) I’d like to use, but I have only one installed.

  • How-Tos: How to fix everything: the ultimate guide to fixing technology

    PCs, printers, smartphones, cameras, networks - your stuff will inevitably stop working. Here's how to troubleshoot and fix your most common tech issues.

  • How-Tos: How to upgrade a laptop's processor

    I'd like to upgrade my HP laptop's 2.1GHz Intel T8100 dual-core processor so I can use it for games such as Grand Theft Auto IV. Is this feasible, and what are the possible pitfalls?

  • How-Tos: How to fix a corrupt user profile in Windows Vista

    QUESTION I'm unable to access the main user account on my Windows Vista Home Basic PC. Windows displays the message ‘Cannot load profile'.

  • How-Tos: How to switch user accounts in Windows XP SP3

    QUESTION After installing Windows XP Service Pack 3 on my PC, I'm unable to switch between user accounts without restarting the machine. The login window appears, but there's no text cursor with which to enter the password.

  • How-Tos: How to make Windows 7 boot up and shut down faster

    QUESTION I installed Windows 7 just eight weeks ago, but I'm already frustrated with its 50-second bootup and 82-second shutdown times. How can I improve these speeds? My two hard drives have a combined capacity of 1.5 terabytes (TB).

  • How-Tos: How to fix a faulty RAM upgrade

    QUESTION I bought two matching RAM modules for my father's Dell Dimension 4600 PC after checking they were the correct type and size. But after installing them in the 'Dimm 1' and 'Dimm 2' slots, the computer displays the dreaded blue screen of death. When I reinstall the old RAM, all is well again. What have I done wrong?

  • How-Tos: How to optimise your graphics card for gaming

    Tweaking the settings on your graphics card can do a lot to improve play during gaming. We've put together some guidelines for obtaining good image quality, as well as for finding the right blend of quality and performance, when tweaking the settings.

  • How-Tos: How to: Improve your posture & work environment

    Working at a PC for hours isn’t much fun. But it can also be physically painful; aches and pains may be your body’s way of telling you that you have a poor posture. If you don’t do something about it, these aches and pains could lead to more severe problems.

  • How-Tos: How to delete Registry data infections

    QUESTION I installed the free version of Malwarebytes Antimalware on my brand-new Vista PC. Every time I perform a quick scan it reports two Registry data infections. Super Antispyware Free, meanwhile, tells me the computer is infection-free. The files in question are ‘Hkey.Classes_Root\scrfile\shell\open\command\(default) (Broken.OpenCommand)' and ‘Hkey.Classes_Root\regfile\shell\open\command\(default) (Broken.OpenCommand)'. I've tried removing the files using Malwarebytes and rebooting the PC, but they quickly reappear.

  • How-Tos: How to delete temporary and unused files from your PC

    My Windows XP Home PC is running very slowly, even though I've doubled the RAM allocation to 2GB. All Microsoft updates and service packs are installed and I use Norton 360 to keep the computer clear of nasties. I've also tried defragging the hard drive, which the analysis tool said was 22 percent fragmented. After running the defrag tool built into Windows and Norton 360's Disk Optimiser, the hard drive is still 22 percent fragmented. Chkdsk doesn't shed any light on the matter. Can you help?

  • How-Tos: How to fix a laptop screen that won't stay on

    The screen on my Toshiba 1800 laptop keeps turning itself off. The only way to get it to come back on is by pushing the small button that tells the laptop when the lid is closed. This can happen 10 times in half an hour. The repair shop wants £70 to fix it - is it worth it?


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