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PC & Devices

PC & Devices

Get the best out of your PC & other computer-connected electronic devices by getting the “How To” assistance you need. SupportMinds engineers can help you install and troubleshoot any problems, or errors that you have. Call us if you have a slow PC, when you want to install a new printer, or transfer files from your digital camera to the computer.

SupportMinds engineers will troubleshoot and resolve your concerns providing technical support through telephone and using our remote control tools. It's like having an IT expert at your side, except we save you the cost of an on-site visit.

PC Quick fixes

It Takes 5 minutes to get my regular desktop page

If you have too many programs listed on your startup items your desktop page might be taking a long time to load. It would be a good idea to clear up.

To get your desktop screen to load faster here are a few options you could try:

Option 1: Do away with the Prefetch folder.

The prefetch folder is used for speeding up your system. Windows is configured to prefetch application and program components so that when you load them it appears to be very quick. Prefetch when unattended can also slow down your system. This is because over time Windows will retain a copy of a portion of a program in the prefetch folder even if you use it only one time. Since you may not use the program again, this may impact the performance of your system by having portions of a program you do not use, loaded in your system's memory. Also systems with very low hardware resources such as memory and hard disk space will definitely be affected by an over-bloated prefetch folder.

  • Click on Start and click on My Computer. Double click on Local disk C.
  • Go to Windows. Select Prefetch. Select all and Delete.

Option 2:  

You can clear programs you don’t use regularly from your Startup, so that your desktop page loads faster. But make sure you don’t disable any Microsoft services. Here’s how:

  • Click on Start , go to Run and type msconfig in the Open box. Now click on OK .
  • On the System Configuration Utilities window click on the  Startup tab.
  • Now uncheck all the applications that you don’t want Windows to run on startup like your Yahoo Messenger.
  • On the Services tab, click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box, and then click Disable All .
  • Click OK , and then Restart your system.

It is a good practice to Clean up your system from time to time to ensure that your system does not slow down.

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

My PC hangs whenever I open a large file

Boot the computer in safe mode and then try to access the file. If this does not resolve the issue try to increase virtual memory. To do this, try the following steps:

  • right click on the My Computer icon and go to Properties.
  • Select the Advanced tab in the System Properties window.
  • Now click on Settings under Performance.
  • Select the Advanced tab and under Virtual Memory click on Change.
  • Select Custom size and change the initial size and maximum size and click OK.

For XP users the recommended initial size is 1024 and the  maximum size is 2048. For 98/NT/ME/2000 users the recommended initial size is 384 and the maximum size is 756.

If the problem doesn’t seem to be resolved another option you could try is to Increase your RAM.

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.

My system keeps starting in safe mode only

Safe mode is a special startup sequence during which only files and drivers required for Windows to operate get loaded. This mode comes in handy while troubleshooting any of the Windows components. Sometimes certain problematic drivers or services can cause Windows to start in safe mode. To restore your system back to normal mode here’s what you could do:

  • Click on Start Go to Run and type in msconfig.
  • In the System Configuration Utilities Window, click on the BOOT.INI tab.
  • In the window that opens, make sure that the /Safeboot box is unchecked.
  • Click on Apply.
  • Now click on the General tab.
  • Make sure that the Normal Startup has been enabled. Click on OK.

Restart your system now. It should startup in Normal mode.

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.

My monitor is blank. I don’t see anything on it

Sometimes, your PC which was working perfectly suddenly encounters problems like a blank monitor and you have no idea what to do. Here are a few troubleshooting tips to determine if it is a problem with your monitor or if something else in your system is causing your monitor to go blank.

  • Check if the monitor is plugged into a power outlet and is connected to the computer securely.
  • Unplug the monitor cable from the CPU and check if you get a message “No display check video cable” then the monitor is working fine.
  • Try to increase the contrast and brightness. To do that, press the brightness button at the right hand bottom panel of your monitor.
  • If the power light is on and nothing comes up on the screen when you boot your computer, it is possible you have a bad video card.
  • Check the AGP card on your computer.
  • Test your monitor with another computer to see if it works with another video card. If it does, try starting up your computer in safe mode by holding down the F8 key as the computer boots up. This should solve any screen resolution or color setting conflicts that may prevent your monitor from displaying an image.
  • If the monitor doesn’t work even when connected to another machine, the monitor has probably gone bad.
  • Try to check for any beep sounds from your CPU tower.

If you hear 2 short beeps and an error message appears on your screen, troubleshoot according to the error code.

If you hear a continuous beep then the problem might lie with either your power supply or CPU or keyboard and not with your monitor.

If you hear repeated short beeps then the problem might be with either your power supply or CPU or Display adapter or your Enhanced Graphics adapter.

Troubleshoot accordingly.

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.

My screen goes blank after few minutes

This happens usually when your PC has gone into hibernation mode. Hibernation mode is a power management option used by the PC to enable operations to resume quickly when the PC is turned back on. The hibernate option saves an image of your desktop with all open files and documents, and then it powers down your computer. Check your power management settings if hibernation has been enabled. Here’s how:

  • Right click on Desktop and go to Properties.
  • Select the Screensaver tab and click on the Power button.
  • display
  • Set the Power Scheme to always on and everything else to never.
  • Click on the Hibernate tab and disable Hibernation.
  • display
  • Click on Apply and then on OK.

This should fix the problem.

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.

Applications are taking a long time to open

sure you don’t have too many applications running at the same time, eating up your processor speed. Also run a virus scan and try to remove any spyware or virus that may be on your system.

If this doesn’t help and if it is one particular application that is taking too long to open then try to un/reinstall that application. To do this:

  • Go to Start click on control panel .Now select   Add or remove programs.
control panel

Case 1: To Uninstall an application:
      Select the application and click on uninstall.

Case 2: To reinstall an Application.
      If the application already exists on your system and shows up on the Add or remove programs list select it and click on Install or add.
      If the application is not listed in the Add or remove programs list then use the CD which came along with the application and install it again.

add or remove programs

This should take care of your application and you should now be able to open it without any problems.

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.

Windows XP stops responding at the Logon or Welcome Screen

The Operating System often hangs if you have too many applications loading on Startup. Sometimes a faulty peripheral device or a new application you installed could also be responsible for this. Here are some troubleshooting processes you can run yourself to check why your computer is hanging.

Case1: Check if any peripheral device such as a printer or a modem is interfering with the start up process.

  • Turn off the computer and unplug the power cord.
  • Disconnect all peripheral devices except the mouse, keyboard and monitor.
  • Hold the power button on the CPU/tower for about a minute and then plug the power cord back in.
  • Turn on your computer.

If Windows now starts up properly and you are able to log in, try to isolate the device that might be causing the problem by reconnecting the devices one at a time and restarting the computer each time until you identify the device causing the issue.

Case 2: Start your computer from the last restore point before this problem occurred. But remember any software installed after the restore point will no longer be available on your system and you will have to re-load them. To do this:

  • Turn on the computer and while it is booting press F8 key repeatedly until a menu appears.
  • Select Last known good configuration.
  • Press Enter to start Windows XP.

Now if you are able to log in and your system seems to be working fine then you can prevent non essential programs from launching when Windows starts up.
Software that starts up and launches with Windows may interfere with other programs that are trying to start at the same time.

  • Restart the computer and while it is booting press F8 key repeatedly until a menu appears.
  • Scroll using the Up Arrow or Down Arrow keys to select Safe Mode.
  • Press Enter to start Windows XP in Safe Mode.
  • Select StartRun, and type the following into the Open field: msconfig
  • Click OK. The System Configuration Utility window appears.
  • Click the Generaltab, and select Selective Startup.
  • system config
    • Select the Startup tab and remove the checkmarks from any task that does not contribute to the system and is unwanted. Never remove a checkmark if you do not know what the task does.
    • Click on Apply and then on OK to accept the changes, and restart the computer.

    This process helps to remove programs that start up when you boot the computer. These application icons are stored in the task bar on the bottom right hand corner of your desktop screen next to the system time. Keep only essential items such as the anti-virus and firewall systems in the task bar as far as possible. All other applications can be started from the Start – Programs menu.

    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.

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 and go 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 Updatesoption.
  • 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.

Gear up your PC for Maximum Performance

How to Free up space on the hard disk

Often you find that a substantial portion of your disk space is taken up by temporary and backup files. Windows offers a cleanup tool that you can use to search and delete unnecessary files. To run the Disk Cleanup tool:

  • Click on Start and select All Programs. Now go to Accessories and select System Tools.
  • Select the Disk Cleanup option. On the drop-down list, select the hard drive on which you want to free up space. Click the OK button.
  • After the Disk Cleanup has finished scanning your drive, it gives you a list of categories for files it has found. Next to each category, Windows shows you how much drive space files in that category take up. Select the categories you want to delete by selecting the check box next to them.
  • Categories that have already been checked are always safe to delete. If you are not sure, click on the category and click on the View Files option to figure out what are the files that are stored under that category.
  • Once you have selected all the categories of files to be deleted, click OK.

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. Also make sure to Empty the Recycle Bin.

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 Schedule a task to occur automatically

Windows XP enables you to set up a schedule of programs that can be run by Windows automatically. This is a feature that you could use to schedule routine tasks like your Disk Cleanup or Backing up your files. To set up your task scheduler:

  • Click on Start and go to Programs. Select Accessories and go to System tools.
  • Click on Scheduled Tasks. In the window that opens up, Double-click on Add Scheduled Task to start the Scheduled Task Wizard.
  • Click on Next on the Welcome Page to continue.
  • Click on the program you want to schedule .You can use the Browse option to find the program. Click on Next.
  • You can even change the name of the task by typing the new name in the text-box. Now enable the option relevant to the time-frame you want the task performed in. Click on Next.
  • You can choose to run the program according to your requirements i.e. daily, weekly or monthly .You must also key in the time or use the scroll buttons to specify the time of day to run the program .Also click on the boxes corresponding to the day or days you want to run the program. Click on the Next button.
  • In order to run your program, you must enter a username and password for your Task Scheduler. Now click on Next.
  • You can now schedule your new task by clicking on Finish.

Note: If you want your program to use any other settings other than the default, verify with the Help file for the program to see if it supports changing settings in a scheduled task.

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 Defragment your hard disk

Files deleted from your computer free up disk space. The new files being saved onto your hard disk will not always get stored in one place. Parts of the files get stored in different sections of the disk whichever are available. This is a process called Fragmentation, which Windows normally uses to store your information.

Too much fragmentation is not good too. It tends to slow down your drive as Windows takes longer to find the information it is looking for. To increase the speed of your drive access you must Defragment your drives periodically. Here’s how you can go about running your disk defragmenter:

  • Click on Start, select All Programs and go to Accessories.
  • Now select System Tools and go to Disk Defragmenter.
  • Select the drive you want to Defragment by clicking on it once
  • Click the Analyze button to have disk Defragmenter analyze the selected drive for the amount of fragmentation.
  • Once the analysis is completed click on the View Report button.
  • If the analysis reports prove that the drive needs to be defragmented, click on the Defragment button.

The process may take a while depending upon the size of your Hard disk and also on the amount of fragmentation in it. Setting up a schedule for defragmenting your hard disk periodically is a good practice.

  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 Get system information

To fix the problems you encounter with your computer, you need to have enough information about your system. The System Information tool in Windows helps you get to the technical information you require to troubleshoot.

  • Click on Start and go to Programs. Now click on Accessories and select System Tools. Now click on System Information.
  • The right side of the Help and Support Services windows that opens contains brief summary of the system.
  • Click on the + sign next to the Hardware Resources option in the left window. Click on any of the resources listed to get details on that resource.
  • In the list of hardware components you see on expanding the Components option, you can click on any one of them to get their details.

Many useful tools are available on the tools menu in the help and support services window. You could use these tools to diagnose many problems you face with your computer.

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 Clean up the System Tray

The System tray shows the set of icons you see on the bottom right of your task bar. These icons represent the programs that are loaded into your system’s memory on bootup. Closing down a System tray icon can free up memory. This in turn helps speed up your system’s performance.

  • To see all the icons of the programs in the system tray, click on the left arrow and expand the tray.
  • To locate a particular program move the mouse over each icon. This will enable you to see the program it represents.
  • Right click on the program to open the Option Panel.
  • Click the Quit or Close or Exit Option if it appears or open the program and look under Tools. Go to options for any option to disable the System tray.
  • Make sure that the icon is cleared from the System Tray.
  • To recheck, run the program again from the start menu and ensure that the icon is not automatically generated in the System Tray.

Note: System Tray icons can be temporarily disabled with this method. In order to clear them permanently from the System tray you will have to troubleshoot it in the startup routine of Windows.

  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 Clear temporary files

Every time you surf the internet, temporary files get created and stored on your system. Any information on sites you’ve visited gets stored as cookies on your system. These temporary files facilitate bringing up that site faster when you try accessing it the next time around. These temporary files get stored on your hard disk, so over a period of time, if you don’t clear them, they tend to occupy a large portion of your hard disk space and tend to slow down your system. Here’s how you go about clear your temporary files. 

  • Click on Start and go to Control Panel . Now double-click on Internet Options .
  • Select the General tab and select the Delete Files option under Temporary Internet Files.
  • In the Delete Files dialog box select the Delete all offline content check box, and then click OK .
  • OR

  • Click on Start and go to Run . Now type %temp% and hit OK.
  • Now select all the files and delete.

Remember deleting temporary files from your internet explorer doesn’t always get rid of the cookies. Read our segment on How to get rid of cookies in your Browser to know more about them.

  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 Compress Files and Folders

Find that your files and folders are occupying too much space on your hard disk, just compress them. The compression tool in Windows helps you compress files to free up disk space. 

  • Click on Start and click on the My Computer icon.
  • In the window that opens up right click the file or folder that you want to compress.
  • Click on Properties. The Properties window opens. In the General tab click theAdvanced button.
  • Advanced Attributes screen opens. Select the Compress contents to save disk space option and then click on the OK button.
  • Click the OK button on the General tabof the folder properties dialog box to close it.
  • A dialog box (Confirm Attribute Changes) appears that gives you two options 
  • Choose “Apply changes to this folder ,subfolders and files”  then click the OK button. Your folder or file will be compressed.

To decompress a file or folder, do the above steps and disable the Compress contents to save disk space option in the Advanced Attributes screen.

  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.

Printers

Local Printer Installation Guide

Once you’ve gone and got yourself that printer, it’s time to hook it up to your system. Make sure that the power cable and the cable connecting your printer to your PC are secured. Make sure that you have the drivers for that printer. Windows XP has built-in drivers for most printer models. In most cases once you connect your printer to your computer Windows will automatically detect the new printer and create an icon for it on your system. If it doesn’t, you will have to go and add the printer to your Printers and Faxes folder. Here’s how you go about installing your local printer:

  • Click on Start and double-click on the Printers and Faxes icon.
  • On the left pane under Printer Tasks click on the Add a Printer option.
  • A wizard starts up. Follow through with the wizard and click on Next.
  • In the page that opens up, select the Local Printer attached to this computer option and click on Next.
  • Specify the port to which your printer is connected. It is usually LPT1 or LPT2. Some new versions of printers use a USB port. Click on Next.
  • In the Install Printer Software screen, select the manufacturer and model number of your printer. If your printer doesn’t figure on the list, use the Have disk button, to install the software from your CD that came with the printer. Click on Next.
  • In the pages that follow, make sure that you specify a name for your printer and also if you want to set it as the default printer.
  • To enable multiple users on your network to access this printer, use the Share Name option. Click on Next
  • Click on Finish to complete the Installation.

You can now start taking printouts from your new printer.

  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 print a Document

Once you have your printer all configured and ready for use, it is time to start printing those documents. Most programs have a printer icon on the main toolbar itself, which you just have to click to get that printout. To print from the File menu:

  • Open the file you want to print. Click on the File option in the toolbar.
  • In the list of options that show up, select the Print Preview option to see the layout and general appearance of your document in the printout.
  • Once you are satisfied with the way things look, from the File menu select Print.
  • In the window that opens up, select the printer you want to print from.
  • If the file is really huge and you just want one or more pages from the entire set, you can select the pages you want printed and also the number of copies you want printed.
  • Once you have specified all the details, select the OK button to get your printout.
    If you have all the specifics taken care of and just want to get a printout, in the windows explorer itself, you can right click on your file and choose print. Or:
  • Click on Start and select Printers and Faxes.
  • Open Windows Explorer simultaneously and drag your file from the explorer window and drop it onto your printer in the Printer and Faxes window.
  • You will see your document printed in whatever default settings the program in which your document was created has.

  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.

Managing Documents in the Print Queue

Once you send that document out for printing, you notice that your document has landed in a print queue, and is waiting for its turn to be printed. You will see a printer icon in your system tray that depicts that your document is in line to be printed.

  If you have your printer hooked up to your computer, then you can go ahead and manage the print job. But on the other hand if you are using a network printer, shared by multiple users, you won’t have the liberty to do much unless you are the printer administrator. Here’s how you can manage your print queue:

  • Double-click the printer icon in your system tray.
  • A list of documents waiting to be printed along with the details of the owner, document size, etc. shows up.
  • You can pause or cancel the printing of any document in the queue. Right-click on the document and choose Pause or Cancel from the menu.
  • Once you’ve paused printing a document, you can resume printing it, by right-clicking it and selecting Restart.
  • If you want to move up the line, you can prioritize the order in which the documents are lined up. Double-click on the document and open the Properties box. Use the priority slider to set the printing priority for that document. The higher priority document gets printed first when compared to its lower priority counter-part. Click onOK.
  • If at any point you notice a problem with your printer and want to stop printing for a while till the problem gets fixed, go to the Printer menu and select Pause Printing. The documents in queue will show a status of Paused.
  • To resume printing, click on the Pause Printing option again.

    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.  

Changing Printer Settings

Now that you have your printer configured and working with the default settings by Windows, at any point of time if you want to change the settings, to make your printer print differently, here’s how:

  • Click on Start and go to Printers and Faxes.
  • In the window that opens, if you have more than one printer in your network, you can identify the default printer by the small check-mark against it.
  • To change your printing preferences, you can right-click on the printer icon and selectPrinting preferences/li>

You can even set a different printer as you default printer. Just right-click on the printer you want to set as default and select the Set as default printer option.

You now have a new printer configured 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. 

How do I set up my computer to use a network printer

One of the main reasons to set up a network is obviously to share resources like the printer across all the systems that you have. Now you can either connect the printer to one computer and share it across the network or get a network printer.

  A network printer is a printer that is directly connected to your network and not to any specific computer. This printer has its own IP address and can function independent of a computer. Before you go about configuring this printer, you need to know its name. If it is connected to a computer, you need to know that computer’s name and also the workgroup to which that computer or printer belongs.

  • Click on Start and go to Printers and Faxes . Click on the Add a printer option to launch the wizard.
  • Follow through with the wizard and enable the A network printer or a printer attached to another computer option. Click on Next.
  • In the Specify a printer page, use any of the three options listed based on how you want to specify your printer. You can either browse for the printer and select it or if you have the printer’s name go ahead and type it in the Name textbox.
  • You can choose to set this new printer as the default printer and Finish the installation.

  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 Back Up and Restore your system

How to use System Restore

Windows XP creates backups of important settings and information about your system at reguler intervals. If any new additions or installations in your system cause problems, you can use the System Restore tool to go back to the previous restore point and manually create a restore point.

  • Click on Start, go to All Programs and select Accessories. Now go to System Tools and click on System Restore
  • In the welcome window you see select the Create a restore point option andclick on Next.
  • Type the name of the restore point in the text-box which is below the Restore point description and then click on the Create button.
  • When Windows has successfully created the restore point, it displays the message. To return to Welcome to system restore screen click on the Home buttonelseyou can click on the Close button.

To return your system to a restore point, select the Restore my computer to an earlier time option on the Welcome to System restore page. The wizard which opens up will guide you through the process.

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 Back Up Your Files

Creating a back-up for your files is a good practice which comes in handy when you are facing problems with your computer. Windows XP has a program called Backup which helps you backup your files.  

  • Click on Start. Select All Programs and goto Accessories and select System Tools. Go to Backup .
  • In the Backup Wizard button click on the Next button in the welcome page.
  • Choose what you want to back up on your computer.
  • The explorer page of the Backup Wizard opens. In the left pane, select the folder you want to browse.
  • Click the boxes next to the files in the right pane, to indicate that you want to include those files in the backup. You can also select he entire folder.
  • When you have selected all the files you want to back up, click the Next button to go on.
  • Irrespective of the number of files you back up, the entire backup is saved as a single file with a .bkf extension.

  • Type the path for the drive and folder where you want to save the backup.
  • If you don't know the exact path, click the Browse button to locate it.
  • Click the Next button to go on.Click the Finish button to go on with the backup.
  • When the backup is complete, Windows lets you know that it was completed.
  • Click the Report button to view a detailed report on the backup.
  • Click Close to finish 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 Restore Files from a Backup

Windows has an easy process to restore your backup files.  

  • Click on the Start button and select All Programs. Go to Accessories and click on System Tools. Go to Backup.
  • Start the Restore Wizard. Click the Next button when you see the welcome page.
  • From the list of back up sessions, choose the backup session you want to restore by clicking the check box next to it.
  • If you want to know exactly what is in a session, right-click it and choose Catalog from the shortcut menu.
  • When you're done, click the Next button.
  • On the last page of the Restore Wizard, click on the Back button to go back and change the settings or click the Finish button to go on with the restore process.
  • Type the path and the name of the backup file you want to restore from or click the Browse button to locate the file and click on OK .
  • When the restore process is complete, Windows lets you know that it was completed successfully. Click the Report button to view a detailed report on the backup.
  • Click Close to finish.

  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.

Software

How do I download Adobe Reader

You can download your adobe reader software from the following link:https://get.adobe.com/reader/

Before you download you need to be sure if your system is ready for it. Here is a set of system requirements based on the Operating System you use:

For Windows
  • Microsoft Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows XP
  • 16MB of RAM
  • 20MB of available hard-disk space
  • Palm OS 3.5, 4.0, 4.1, or 5.0; Palm Desktop 4.0 or 4.01
  • 600KB of free space on Palm OS device
Linux - Red Hat 3.0
  • 32-bit Intel Pentium processor
  • Red Hat Linux AS 3.0 2.4.21, 4.0 2.6; Red Hat Linux ES 3.0 2.4.21, 4.0 2.6; Red Hat Linux WS 3.02.4.21, 4.0 2.6; Red Hat Linux Desktop; Red Hat Linux 9.0 2.4.20-6; SUSE Enterprise Server 9X 2.6; SUSE Professional 9.2 2.6.4; or Novell Linux Desktop (9.x) 2.6.4
  • 128MB of RAM (256MB recommended)
  • Up to 125MB of available hard-disk space
  • Mozilla 1.73 or 1.8, Netscape 7, or Firefox

On the other hand if you are using a Machintosh , here’s what you’ll need.

  • PowerPC processor
  • Mac OS X v.10.2
  • 16MB of RAM
  • 20MB of available hard-disk space
  • Palm OS 3.5, 4.0, 4.1, or 5.0; Palm Desktop 4.0
  • 600KB of free space on Palm OS device

If you have a Pocket PC version 2.0 running on Windows the system requirements would be:

  • Handheld: Pocket PC 2002 or Windows Mobile 2003 (Update 2)
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 (all versions) or Windows XP (Professional or Home Edition)
  • 64MB of RAM
  • 16MB of hard-disk space
  • Microsoft ActiveSync 3.5 or later

Now getting to the actual download part, here’s what you need to do:

  • Click on the Download button you see on the website listed in the link above.
  • Now click on the Save option you see in the window that pops up.
  • Now keep track of where the file is getting saved and under what name. You can specify the destination drive or folder you desire to save the application in.
  • Once the download process is complete, double-click on the program, it will self-extract and lead you through the simple setup process.

Your adobe reader will now be functional and you can access your pdf files using it.

  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 do I create a template

You can create a Template for any of the MSOffice files like Word documents, Excel sheets or even for your Power Point presentations. These templates are really useful in setting a common format across all pages in your file. You can use the standard templates that come with your software or download new ones from the web on the Templates on Microsoft Office Online website. If you want to go ahead and create your own template, here’s how: 

  • Create the document in the format that you want to set as a template.
  • Click on Save> In the Save As window that opens go to the templates folder. The usual path would be C:\Documents and settings\user name\Application data\Microsoft\Templates.
  • Or in the Save as type field, if you select Template, the templates folder for that MS Office application usually opens.
  • Now enter a name for the template in the file name box.
  • Click on the Save button.

  Your document now gets saved as a template which you can use to format other documents.

  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 do I change the color of the sheet tab

In Microsoft Excel, you can play around with the appearance of your excel sheets to make your work look creative and original. You can give a different color to each of your sheets in your document. To change the color of your sheet tab

  • In your excel document, right click on the sheet tab.
  • Select the Tab color option. In the Format tab color window select the color you want for your sheet tab.
  • Click on Ok.

  Your sheet tab will now show up in the color you’ve selected for it.

  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 do I install a new font

Any new font you come across, that’s not already part of your MS Office font list, needs to be installed into your system. Here’s how to do it:

  • Click on Start. Go to Control Panel. In the classic view, Double-click on the Fontsicon.
  • In the Fonts window that opens in the File menu, select the Install new font option.
  • In the new window, select the drive and double-click the folder where the new font is stored.
  • In the list of fonts listed, select the font you would like to add. Click on OK.

  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 print labels from Word

Word makes it easy for you to create and print those little labels you want. You can either print just one label or a set of labels all addressed exactly the same way.

  • Create your label content in MS Word
  • In the Tools menu, navigate to the Envelopes and Labels optionand click on it.
  • In the Envelopes and Labels window, click on the Labels tab.
  • In the labels window, click on the Options button. In the Label Options window, set the Tray to Automatically Select option.
  • If you are familiar with the whole set up, in the Tray, select the Manual feed option. Go ahead and select your label product and your label product number from the options listed.
  • Click on Ok.
  • Type the address that you want on the label in the Address box.
  • You can change the font by Right clicking on the selected text and selecting Font.
  • In the Print option, select whether you want a Full page of the same label or a Single Label.
  • Click on Print.

  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.

My Excel column headers are showing numbers instead of letters

You might be facing this problem due to formatting issues. You can get your excel sheet back to its default settings. Here’s how to go about it: 

  • In your excel spreadsheet, go to Tools.
  • Click on Options from the list. In the Options window that opens up, click on the General tab.
  • Under the settings make sure that the R1C1 reference style box is unchecked.
  • Click on OK

This should set your excel sheet back to its default style, displaying Letters in the Column tabs.

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.