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30 quick fixes for Windows XP & Vista

Fast fixes for Windows users

To automate disk checking in XP, choose Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Scheduled Tasks. Double-click Add Scheduled Task to start the Scheduled Task Wizard, and click Next. In the Application list, select Command Prompt and click Next. If you don't see an entry for Command Prompt in the list, click Browse, find and select the file 'cmd.exe' in Windows' System32 folder, and click Open.

Choose a time interval (Monthly is a good choice) and click Next. Specify the time, day, and months, and click Next again. Enter the account name and password that you use for logging in, and click Next once more.

Check Open advanced properties for this task when I click Finish, and then click Finish. With the Task tab selected, edit the text in the Run box so that it reads: c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe /c echo y|chkdsk c: /f /x (your path and options may differ).

Click OK, and enter your account name and password again. Finally, click OK one more time (you may be asked to confirm your log-in ID and password once more).

To automate disk checking in Vista, choose Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Task Scheduler. Click Continue in the User Account Control prompt. In the Actions pane on the right, click Create Task. Use the appropriate boxes to type a name for the task and, if you want, a description. Check Run with highest privileges and any other settings you wish. Select the Triggers tab and click the New button.

Set the interval for checking your drive: For example, choose Monthly, Select all months in the Months drop-down menu, click On, and select First in the first drop-down to the right of the button and Monday in the second drop-down. Specify the time and other settings if you wish, and click OK. Select the Actions tab and click the New button. For 'Program/script', type cmd.exe. For 'Add arguments (optional)', type /c echo y|chkdsk c: /f /x (your options may differ). Click OK. Finally, click the Conditions and Settings tabs to see if either of those dialog boxes has any other circumstances you want to specify.

When you've completed these steps, click OK. If you need to edit the settings later, select Task Scheduler Library in the left pane of the Task Scheduler to see your tasks in the top centre pane. Either edit the settings in the bottom center pane, or double-click the task name to reopen the dialog box.

Manage Files From Your Right-Click Menu

Problem: My right mouse button has delete, cut, and copy commands, but to copy or move a file, I then have to open a new Explorer window (or lose my place in the current Explorer window) to use the Paste command that completes the operation. (Naturally, I can also drag and drop from the right pane to the left folder-tree pane)

Fast Fix: You can invoke a prompt that asks for the destination folder by adding 'Copy to Folder' and 'Move to Folder' commands to your right-click menu.

First, create a Registry backup by setting a new restore point in System Restore. With your Registry backup in place, launch Notepad, click the Format menu, and make sure 'Word Wrap' is unchecked. Type these three lines:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\
ContextMenuHandlers\{C2FBB630-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\
ContextMenuHandlers\{C2FBB631-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}]

The file should have only three lines.

Save the file to a convenient location such as the Desktop, and give it a name like CopyToMoveTo.reg (be sure to include the .reg extension) and exit Notepad. Now right-click the file and choose Merge. Confirm at any prompts you may receive.

The next time you right-click a file, you'll see two new commands: 'Copy to Folder' and 'Move to Folder'. Choose one of these commands to open a dialog box for selecting where your files should go.

Now you can delete the .reg file you created, or save it as a guide to which Registry keys to delete in case you decide later to remove these commands.

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Automate disk cleaning

Manage files from your right-click menu

Analyse your PC's security

Automate your backup

Patch your apps & OS

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Use dual operating systems

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