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PC & Devices

Know your Operating System

Use the event viewer to spot your PC troubles

Windows XP helps you figure out what could be wrong with your system using the Event Viewer. Some of the event logs come in handy when it comes to identifying the exact cause of a problem you may be facing, be it with Windows or a particular device.

  • Click on Start andgo to Control Panel.
  • Click on Category View in the left side of the Control Panel.
  • If you're in the Category View click on performance and maintenance and double-click on the administrative tools.
  • Double click on the Event Viewer icon. The event viewer tells you about errors in the application or the system itself.
  • Double click the Application in the event viewer window.
  • You will see the list of errors, warning and the list of general information. Double click on the latest error, it will give you the description of the type of error.
  • You will see that the information references a specific DLL file and you have a link to go online with to find out more.

With the events sorted out you should now be easily able to determine what might be wrong with your system.

The content in this segment is provided for use as an information guide only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of SupportMinds for any errors, omissions, or statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages may link. SupportMinds shall in no circumstances be liable for any loss of any kind whatsoever in consequence to the use of contents of this site.

Where is my missing disk space?

This is a problem which most of us encounter. Your hard disk which is supposed to be able to hold a certain amount of data shows very little free space available in spite of having stored very little data on it.

Often a substantial portion of the storage is taken up by the temporary files. This poses a problem when you work with an application that creates very large temporary files, such as an image-editing program. Also remember that deleting files and sending them to the Recycle Bin doesn't actually remove them from the disk. So using the Disk Cleanup tool periodically is a good idea to recover your storage space.

There are other factors like System Restore Points which also tend to eat into your disk space. By default, Windows XP creates a system restore point almost every 24 hours. The size of these restore points can easily be 2MB to 5MB or even larger.

Good storage housekeeping, along with understanding the actual available storage space your drive started with, will clear up most concerns about "missing" storage space.

Here’s a checklist on what you could do to find your disk space

1. Make hidden files visible.

To do this Go to my computer click on tools. Click on Folder options and select theView tab. Now select the Show hidden files and folders option.

2. De-fragment your hard disk

3. Run the Disk Cleanup wizard.

To do this Goto Programs ,select Accessories and click on System Tools and run the disk cleanup.

4. Scan for disk corruption. From Windows Explorer, right-click on the disk drive, select properties, select tools, and check for errors/scan disk. (Do not normally select recover damaged sectors.)

5. Empty the Recycle Bin.

TThe content in this segment is provided for use as an information guide only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of SupportMinds for any errors, omissions, or statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages may link. SupportMinds shall in no circumstances be liable for any loss of any kind whatsoever in consequence to the use of contents of this site.

How to use Windows troubleshooters?

Windows is very user-friendly when it comes to troubleshooting to diagnose and fix your PC problems. The Help and Support Center also gives you a list of troubleshooting topics you can choose from. This includes fixes for software problems, hardware problems and more.

  • Click on Start and go to Help and Support.
  • In the window that opens click on the Fixing a problem option
  • From the list on the left side of the window, choose the type of the problem you are having by clicking on it.
  • From the window on the right, click on the troubleshooter you want to start.

Troubleshooters work like wizards and will help you at each stage to choose what fixes your problem best. Click on the Next button at each page to continue. If the troubleshooter is unable to fix your problem, it will recommend where to go for more information.

The content in this segment is provided for use as an information guide only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of SupportMinds for any errors, omissions, or statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages may link. SupportMinds shall in no circumstances be liable for any loss of any kind whatsoever in consequence to the use of contents of this site.

How to boot selectively?

If you are facing problems when you start up your computer, it may be caused by some application. You can use selective boot up to isolate applications and identify which one is causing the problem.
You can boot either with no other programs or with only those you know you want. Here are the steps that will help you to do this.

  • Click on Start go to Run. Type in msconfig and click on OK.
  • Click on Selective Startup to make your changes.
  • Select the Services tab, click on Hide all Microsoft Services. You need to do this to be certain that you don’t do anything that will actually affect windows itself. Also don’t disable any other services that may be critical to your entire system
  • The list of processes which are not Microsoft related will now appear. Uncheck the options that you think might be in conflict with any installation. Click on Apply and OK. Make sure you don’t disable any anti-virus services.
  • Restart the computer .You must do this to implement the changes.

Now try to work on the problematic installations. Once the issue is resolved, return to msconfig and under the general tab select a Normal start-up.

The content in this segment is provided for use as an information guide only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of SupportMinds for any errors, omissions, or statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages may link. SupportMinds shall in no circumstances be liable for any loss of any kind whatsoever in consequence to the use of contents of this site.

How to Stop a service?

If you are facing any problem with a particular program or service that is showing an error and you want to stop that service, here’s how

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on the keyboard to open the Windows Task Manager
  • Click on End Task to shutdown the program that is not responding.
  • Click on the Processes tab. In the list of processes that appear select the process that is creating a problem and click on End Process.
  • To know the CPU usage for any task click on the Performance tab.

Note : Attempt to shut down a process or task which you know for sure is causing a problem .You don’t want to end a process that is critical to your entire system.

The content in this segment is provided for use as an information guide only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of SupportMinds for any errors, omissions, or statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages may link. SupportMinds shall in no circumstances be liable for any loss of any kind whatsoever in consequence to the use of contents of this site.

Get rid of unwanted Programs permanently

Often just deleting a program, doesn’t remove it completely from your hard drive. You need to uninstall the program to get it out of your system permanently. To do this make sure the program is not running and then:

  • Click on Start go to Control Panel.
  • Click on Add or Programs in the category view window.
  • All the programs installed in your computer will appear as a list.
  • Select the program that you need to uninstall and click on Change/Remove.
  • To free up disk space, browse through the program files and delete the program.

Sometimes you may even have to reboot your system to complete an uninstallation.

The content in this segment is provided for use as an information guide only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of SupportMinds for any errors, omissions, or statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages may link. SupportMinds shall in no circumstances be liable for any loss of any kind whatsoever in consequence to the use of contents of this site.

I want to reinstall Windows XP

Alert: Make sure you have a back-up of your data as reinstalling Windows would erase the data stored in your system. All applications have to be re-installed after XP has been re-installed. 

  • Start your computer with your Windows CD-ROM inserted.
  • When you see the 'Press any key to boot from CD' message, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.
  • If you don't see that message restart Windows, press the key you're prompted to enter for your PC Setup program, and change the boot order so your CD drive is first.
  • On the 'Welcome to Setup' screen press Enter to set up XP.
  • Press R to repair a Windows XP installation
  • Press F3 to exit setup.
  • On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
  • Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.
  • Follow the series of instructions that appear on the screen to reinstall Windows XP.
  • Once the installation is complete, your system will reboot Windows, and you'll be logged in.

Now that you have re-installed your XP it would be a good idea to run a quick Microsoft update on your system. Then make sure you reload your applications and any other software you need, so that you can have your PC up and ready for use.

The content in this segment is provided for use as an information guide only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of SupportMinds for any errors, omissions, or statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages may link. SupportMinds shall in no circumstances be liable for any loss of any kind whatsoever in consequence to the use of contents of this site.

Is my system current with the latest Windows updates?

Windows keeps offering updates regularly to improve the security and reliability of your computer. These changes will help your system operate more efficiently. To check if you have the latest updates for your current version of Windows:

  • Select the Start button and bring up the Programs menu.
  • Select the Windows Updates option.
  • Your web browser will now be launched and http://windowsupdates.microsoft.com page will be loaded.
  • You will now see the screen as below.
  • Click on the "View Installation History"
  • Your web browser will now display a list of Microsoft updates installed on your computer. It will also give you the date and time when the update was installed.
  • You can now keep track of what is installed from the Windows update.

If you are using Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000 Service Pack (SP3) or later, or Windows Millennium Edition (Me): Automatic Updates delivers updates to your computer automatically, so that's the easiest and most reliable way to make sure that you get new security updates as soon as they become available.

  The content in this segment is provided for use as an information guide only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of SupportMinds for any errors, omissions, or statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages may link. SupportMinds shall in no circumstances be liable for any loss of any kind whatsoever in consequence to the use of contents of this site.

How to display Icons on your Desktop

If you’ve just gone and got yourself a new computer or have just installed a new version of your Operating System, you will not see any icons on your desktop except probably the Recycle Bin or the My Computer icons.

Your start menu will show you all the programs installed on your system. Putting icons of programs and applications on your desktop makes it easy for you to access them. Here’s how you do it:

  • Click on Start. You will see a list of icons on the menu that opens up. Right-click on any icon you want displayed on your desktop.
  • Click on the Show on Desktop option.
  • The icon will now be displayed on your desktop. If at any point of time you don’t need these icons to show up on your desktop, go back to the start menu and right click on the icon. Select the Show on Desktop option again to remove it from the desktop.

    You can also create icons for the programs you use regularly like your Internet Explorer or your Outlook Express on your desktop.

  • Click on Start, go to All Programs. You will see the list of programs installed on your system.
  • Right-click on the program and select the Send to option.
  • In the menu that shows up select Desktop (create short cut) option.

You will now see the icon displayed on the desktop.

The content in this segment is provided for use as an information guide only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of SupportMinds for any errors, omissions, or statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages may link. SupportMinds shall in no circumstances be liable for any loss of any kind whatsoever in consequence to the use of contents of this site.  

How to use Windows Help

Microsoft Windows is one of the really user friendly Operating Systems. Anytime you get stuck with something and don’t know how to proceed, use the Windows Help Section to figure things out. Here’s how:

  • Click on Start and go to Help and support. You will now be able to use the Help and support center.
  • You can Pick a Topic from the list on the left pane if you see your question or category listed there.
  • You can navigate through the categories till you find the article you are looking for.
  • OR

  • You could search for answers - In the Search box that you see on your screen, type in your question or phrase, you want looked up.
  • You now see a list of topics displayed on the right pane, matching your search results. Select the topic you would like to read.
  • Once you are done reading, Click on the Close button to exit Windows help and support center.

The content in this segment is provided for use as an information guide only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of SupportMinds for any errors, omissions, or statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages may link. SupportMinds shall in no circumstances be liable for any loss of any kind whatsoever in consequence to the use of contents of this site.

Finding Files and Folders

Over a period of time, with all the data that we accumulate on our PCs, we all run into the problem of trying to locate where a particular file or folder is stored. Thanks to the Windows Explorer, it becomes easy for us to search and find those files. The built in search option in your explorer, enables you to find those files even if you remember only a part of the name you saved it under. To begin searching:

  • Click on Start and select Search. If you are already in your Windows Explorer, click on the Search option you see on your toolbar.
  • On the left pane you will see the different options available. Select the option based on how or what you want to search.
  • Type in the name of the document you want to search in whole or in part in the text box.
  • Select the option for the location you want searched.
  • You can also use the other advanced options available, if you have more specifics on the documents.
  • Select the Search option.

Your search results will be displayed on the right pane of your explorer.

The content in this segment is provided for use as an information guide only. No legal liability or other responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of SupportMinds for any errors, omissions, or statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages may link. SupportMinds shall in no circumstances be liable for any loss of any kind whatsoever in consequence to the use of contents of this site.