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More Components How-To

  • How-Tos: Safely Remove USB Drives Just by Unplugging Them

    Most Windows users have become conditioned over time to never unplug a USB flash drive or hard drive without first clicking Safely Remove Hardware in the System Tray.

  • How-Tos: Struggling With Tablet Repair Complications

    I’m an American working for the U.S. government and assigned overseas in Italy. Around Thanksgiving, I bought an Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 tablet from Overstock.com and had it sent to my FPO mailing address. When the tablet’s screen died a while later, I opened two Asus support tickets: one on the Italian site and one on the U.S. site (since I purchased the tablet from an American vendor). Asus in Italy merely asked, “Did you buy the tablet in Italy?” I wrote back and explained the situation, but never got a reply. An Asus rep in the United States told me that they could fix the tablet, but would return it only to a family member or friend in the United States, since the company does not ship to AFO or FPO addresses. This would add eight to ten weeks to the total turnaround time for the repair. Can you help?

  • How-Tos: Add Dropbox, Google Drive, or SkyDrive to Windows' Send-To Menu

    Dragging and dropping isn't always the fastest way to handle file operations. Either you have to open and arrange two windows, or you have to navigate Explorer's folder tree, which many users find confusing.

  • How-Tos: An Easier Way to Add Files to Your Dropbox Account

    For a service with the word "drop" front and center in its name, Dropbox has always been notoriously, annoyingly unsupportive of dragging and dropping to its Web client.

  • How-Tos: Escape unwanted disk checks at startup

    Does your Windows PC tell you that it needs to check disks for consistency before it can boot? Our Helproom Editor can help.

  • How-Tos: Western Digital Puts 2TB of Storage in Palm of Your Hand for $250

    Who needs the cloud when you can have two terabytes of storage in the palm of your hand?

  • How-Tos: Overclock Your Graphics Card

    Many PC gamers eagerly await the release of next-generation graphics cards, hoping that the new hardware will boost frame rates and enhance eye candy in the latest games. However, while a graphics card upgrade is almost always a good way to increase game performance or improve image quality, new cards tend to be expensive--and they aren’t always necessary.

  • How-Tos: How to build a compact, energy-efficient PC

    We show you how to put together a space-saving, energy-efficient PC for home or office use - UPDATED: 23rd Feb 2012

  • How-Tos: My PC Doesn't See My Hard Drive

    When Wendell tries to boot his PC, an error message announces a disk read error. It's as if his hard drive--with three year's worth of work on it--doesn't exist.

  • How-Tos: Install an Old Laptop Hard Drive in Your Desktop

    Reader Fred wants to know if a laptop hard drive can be plugged into a desktop PC. "The pin out appears to be the same," he notes, "but there is no separate power-supply connector."

  • How-Tos: Troubleshoot your motherboard's network adaptor

    When a reader noticed that the LED on his PC motherboard's Realtek LAN adaptor was permanently on, our Helproom Expert diagnosed a software or driver issue, and showed how to troubleshoot your motherboard's network adaptor.

  • How-Tos: Automator workflow of the month: Clear the iPod photo cache

    Many Mac users discover that their Macs' storage space mysteriously declines over time. This can happen for obvious reasons, of course--you've downloaded a lot of files or created movie projects. But it can also happen because of the operating system's work behind the scenes.

  • How-Tos: How to fix a faulty laptop screen

    When your laptop screen breaks, here's how to understand the problem, then fix or replace the laptop screen.

  • How-Tos: How-To Setup Intel Smart Response SSD Caching Technology

    When Intel launched the Z68 Express Chipset for second generation Core family processors, one of the chipset's differentiating features was support for Smart Response Technology, or SRT, a solid state caching technology designed to enhance overall system performance and responsiveness. Smart Response Technology is not a feature specific to the Z68 Express chipset hardware, however. The technology is actually implemented fully in Intel's Rapid Storage Technology drivers and software (v10.5 or newer), but is only enabled on the Z68 Express or newer 6- and 7-Series Intel chipsets.

  • How-Tos: Help! My PC can't read memory cards

    Not all SD cards are created equal, and your PC may not be able to read certain capacity cards, but it is simple to fit an inexpensive memory card reader that will solve the problem.

  • How-Tos: Bugs & Fixes: Bridge over troubled modem

    In the beginning, I had a Comcast cable modem attached to my AirPort Extreme Base Station. All worked well. At least reasonably well. Most of the time.

  • How-Tos: How to Install a CPU Cooler

    You don't need an electrical engineering degree to properly install a cooler on your CPU. As is the case when installing many PC components, however, the procedure involves some subtleties that can have a measurable impact on the computer's performance.

  • How-Tos: New year's resolution: A backup plan

    You've heard the advice countless times, but it is oh so easy to ignore: You simply must back up your Mac. If you don't back up your files, it's a question of when--not if!--you'll lose something important or irreplacable. Instead of making a hard-to-keep New Year's resolution like losing weight or exercising more, this year resolve to do something that only takes a smidgen of willpower to get started and then mostly takes care of itself: Make--and manage--regular backups of your computer.

  • How-Tos: What to do when your PC won't boot

    You switch on your PC or laptop, and instead of booting up as normal, it simply emits a series of beeps. Our Helproom Expert explains what this means, and what to do about it.

  • How-Tos: How to recover data from a damaged hard drive

    Your hard drive overheats and then shuts down, leaving precious files and photos beyond your reach. How do you recover data from the damaged hard drive? Our Helproom Expert explains all.


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