Sort Your Internet Connection
Problem: I pay every month for an internet connection, but if my router isn't up-to-date, I may not be getting all the speed I'm due from my ISP
Fast fixes for Windows users
Fast Fix: Microsoft's Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool can tell you whether your router supports technologies for faster connections. (The tool won't give accurate results if you're behind a corporate firewall.) The test can interrupt running connections, so try it at a time when you aren't actively using the Internet.
If the results show that your system doesn't support many of the technologies listed, you might want to look into the possibility of purchasing a newer router or (if you are an XP user) upgrading to Vista. The Microsoft site just happens to include links to routers that have earned the Windows Vista logo.
Problem: Internet Explorer has become completely unusable for browsing the web
Fast Fix: If you've tried other repair measures and are ready to take a drastic step, reset all of IE's options to their original state. Your list of Favorites, your toolbar configurations, and other customised changes will be unaffected, and your browser add-ons will be only disabled, not deleted. However, IE temp files, cookies, browsing history, stored passwords, sites added to your trusted zones, and more settings will be obliterated or returned to their default values. If you don't mind any of that, open IE and choose Tools, Internet Options. Select the Advanced tab, and click the Reset button. Click Reset again to confirm your decision, and then click Close, and OK twice. Finally, restart your revitalized IE.
Automate Your Disk Checking
Problem: Plenty of programs can protect my data by checking my PC's disks for flaws and fixing problems. Unfortunately, I rarely take the time to use the tools
Fast Fix: Scheduling a task to handle this chore automatically at regular intervals takes only a few minutes. First, to check your disk manually, click Start, Run (or press Windows-R) to open the command line, type cmd.exe /c echo y|chkdsk c: /f /x, and press Enter. 'Cmd.exe' is the command processor, which opens a command-prompt window in Windows.
The '/c' switch tells the command prompt to run the commands that follow, including the all-important chkdsk utility, which examines your drive for errors. (Change '/c' to /k if you want the command-prompt window to remain open so you can see any screen messages that might appear.) In this example, we are checking the C: drive with the fix (/f) function and telling it to lock out the disk (/x) if necessary while the scan takes place. (Your drive letter and switches may differ; type chkdsk /? at a command prompt to see all your choices.) If you're checking the Windows drive, the command won't work while Windows is running but will schedule a check for the next time you restart your system. That's where the 'echo y|' portion comes in: it sends a "yes" answer to approve this option.