Windows Tips and Tricks Category


Where to Get a Windows 8 Preview Product Key

With Microsoft's release of it's Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISOs, you are probably wondering where to find a Product Key so that you can take this new operating system for a spin. When I downloaded the official Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO and copied the ISO to a Flash Drive via UUI -> Install Windows 8 from a Flash Drive, I rebooted proceeding to run the Windows 8 installer, but didn't get far before being asked for a Product Key to continue.

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Extracting All Attachments From Email

How to Extract All Attachments from Email Messages; In this simple solution, I cover one way to easily extract all attachments from your Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail messages. For this process, we will be using a Free Email Attachment Extractor called UUDWIN, created by Mark Spankus. This tool might be used to batch extract attachments from email .eml, .pst, and, .msg files.

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Boot and Run DOS from a USB Flash Drive

How to Boot and Run DOS from a USB Flash Drive. In the following simple solution, I show you a simple way to Put DOS on a USB device using a nifty little tool created by Pete Batard, called Rufus. This tool resembles the HP USB Format Tool, includes the same features, and really makes it easy to Create a DOS Bootable USB Key.

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Firefox Status Addon Bar Missing

Firefox Status Bar Missing? According to Mozilla, starting with Firefox 4, The status bar has been positionally replaced by the Firefox Addon Bar, and many of the status bar features such as page loading status, and download status have been moved. However, if you had addons that used to appear in the status bar, you can still find them in the new addons bar, that displaces the old status bar. So if this bar is missing, maybe the real question should be, Where is my Firefox Addon Bar?
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Turn Numlock On or Off on a Laptop

How to turn Numlock on or off on a Laptop: Many Laptops including the HP Envy 17, do not feature a Numlock key. I found this out when my HP Envy 17 Numpad quit working after using an external keyboard. In the following simple solution, I'll show you one very easy way to Turn Num Lock On or Off, on the fly.

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Tweak to Optimize SSD Performance

In the following simple solution, I cover the process I use to Tweak an SSD "Solid State Drive" for Optimal Performance and Longetivity. There are a few tools out there that can manage a lot of the following settings  automatically. However, I feel it's also important to know how to make these changes yourself. Upon completion, you should end up with a slightly faster and longer living better "Optimized SSD".

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Use a Playstation PS3 Controller on a PC

In this simple solution, I cover how to use a Playstation PS3 Controller on your PC. A wireless PS3 Controller can be particularly useful as a mouse or joystick for gaming. I personally use my PS3 controller to play old emulator games occasionally run from my Computer. We will be utilizing the Windows PS3 Controller Drivers created by MotionInJoy in the following tutorial.

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How To Put Windows XP on a USB Flash Drive

In this simple solution I cover one way to Put Windows XP Install Disk on a USB Flash Drive. Installing Windows XP from a USB Flash Drive might be useful for example if you wish to Install Windows XP on a Netbook or Laptop that has no CD Drive. One of the simplest approaches would be via the use of the YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer tool.

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Open Task Manager on Remote Desktop Connection

In the following simple solution, I cover how to Open the Task Manager on a Remote Desktop Connection. As I am sure you already know, the local  keyboard combination Ctrl + Alt + Del does not work on a remote machine. However, the alternate solution is simplier than one might think.

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? Question Mark on Email Replies

How I fixed the ? inserted at the beginning of email replies. Recently, Windows Live Mail began inserting question marks at the beginning of every email I would reply to. As it turns out the beta version of Internet Explorer 9, installed a few days earlier was the culprit. Once Internet Explorer 9 beta was uninstalled, my email replies started working normally again.

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Partition a USB Flash Drive in Windows XP

One way to Partition a USB Flash Drive from Windows XP and mark it active "bootable". Windows detects Flash Drives as "Removable Disks" and flash drives are typically shipped formatted as a "Super Floppy" (USB-FDD without a partition table) . The Windows built in format utility cannot create a partition table on Removable Disks. Furthermore, the diskpart utility in Windows XP will not allow you to partition Removable Media, although diskpart does work for partitioning a Flash Drive from Windows Vista/7.

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Restore GRUB2 after installing Windows

How I Restored GRUB2 after a Windows 7 Install. GRUB2 (Grand Unified Bootloader)  is a universal bootloader used by Ubuntu and other Linux Distributions. If you have a Linux Distribution installed on a partition, and attempt to  install Windows alongside it, your GRUB bootloader will be overwritten by the Windows bootloader, and your computer will only boot into Windows.

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Erase Empty Space on Hard Drive

In this simple solution, I cover one method to Erase Empty Space on a Hard Drive. By default when you send items to the Recycle Bin, Delete Email, Clear Browsing History, Etc, the information that occupied that space on your Hard Drive can still be recovered until that space is overwritten several times with new data.
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How to Delete a Windows Service

How to Delete a Windows Service: In the following simple solution, I will show you how to remove a no longer active Windows Service. Typically installed by programs that utilize automatic functions, Windows Services essentially run executables in a non-interactive manner. In many cases, the uninstaller that ships with a program does not remove the Windows Service it installed. However, as long as the Service is stopped, removal is relatively simple.

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Convert Doc to PDF files using PDFCreator

In the following simple solution, I'll show you how to Convert Doc to PDF files using the Open Source PDFCreator. I stumbled upon this PDF Creator tool while I was doing some research for a client who was looking for an offline tool he could use to convert his document files into PDF (Portable Document Format) files. This tool seemed to do the trick and more. PDFCreator includes a PDF print driver which allows the user to print to a file from virtually any Windows application that supports printing. It can be used like a printer in Word, StarCalc or any other Windows program.

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Clear Cache Firefox

In the following Simple Solution, I'll show you an easy way to Clear Cache in Firefox. We will Add a Clear Cache Button to Firefox Web Browser by using an extension or addon called Clear Cache Button and then adding the button to our toolbar. This eliminates any additional steps (I.E. Ctrl + F5) that may be commonly used to Clear Firefox Cache and enables you to perform the task on demand via a single mouse click.

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Repair Windows Update

In the following simple solution, I'll show you how to attempt to Repair Windows Update or Automatic Updates automatically by using an innovative little tool called "Rizone's Internet Recovery Kit" created by Rizone Technologies. This tool can also be used in an attempt to repair SSL/HTTPS/Cryptography if your having troubles connecting to secured websites. I.E. Bank Account logins, PayPal etc.

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Windows Update Error 0X80070005

In the following simple solution, I'll show you how to fix the Windows Update Error 0X80070005 that is ever so often encountered after a Malware attack. The automated fix was created by Rizone Technologies and has worked wonderfully on the select few troubled computers I have had the opportunity to test it on.

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Reboot or Shutdown from Remote Desktop Connection

Reboot or Shutdown from Remote Desktop Connection: The following simple solution covers the process of rebooting a machine from a remote location or shutting down a remote computer. The process assumes your using Microsoft’s (RDC) or "Remote Desktop Connection". By default, Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Connection only enables a user to disconnect or log off. This solution will allow you to Shutdown or Reboot that remote PC.

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Reset Internet Explorer

In the following simple solution, I'll show you a quick and easy way to Reset Internet Explorer Settings back to the default. Restoring Internet Explorer as if you just performed a fresh installation of the web browser. Resetting Internet Explorer can be used to solve many problems such as errors like: "Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close" slow browsers, crashes and hanging and conflicting settings. The tool we are going to use is called Microsoft Fix it.

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Firefox Inline Spell Checker

Firefox includes a built in spell checker that can check for spelling errors. However, by default the spell checking feature only checks for multiline fields, which does no good if your typing a single line entry into a single line entry box. In the following simple solution, I'll cover the process of tweaking the firefox spelling checker to allow you to detect spelling errors and mistyped words as you type them in single line entry fields.

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The message could not be sent. There is not enough memory

If your encountering the Outlook Express error message stating: "The message could not be sent. There is not enough memory". Just know that your not alone. I recently needed to address this problem for a client who was simply trying to forward an email with attachments and images totaling over 20MB. As it turns out, somehow his Outbox.dbx became corrupted. In the following simple solution, I'll show you how we resolved the message could not be sent email problem.

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Clear Recent Documents

How to Clear Recent Documents in Windows XP. One essential step in removing traces of your personal browsing history on your PC is to Clear the Recent Documents Folder. Much like the Clear Recent Items List in Vista, the My Recent Documents Folder in XP displays your most recently accessed files or programs in an effort to make it easier to quickly access those programs or files from the start menu at a later point in time.

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How to Open a docx file

In the following simple solution, I'll show you how to open .docx files on a Mac, or on a PC that does not have Microsoft Office installed or has an older version of Office. .docx files are typically created by Microsoft Office Word. If you send a .docx file to someone who does not have Word on their computer, they might not have an application installed that can read the .docx file. It's also fairly common for Apple Mac users to have issues viewing .docx file.

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How to install Windows XP on a DV9000 Laptop

Windows XP on DV9000: In the following simple solution, I cover the process of installing Windows XP Pro on an HP DV9000 series Laptop (with Intel processors). We will be using nLite to create a remastered Windows XP Pro installation disk with integrated SATA drivers. You must also have a backup USB flash drive or hard drive handy to store essential system and network drivers that need to be installed to gain access to the internet for the remainder of the driver downloads. I've personally tested this tutorial by successfully installing Windows XP Pro to a HP DV9030US notebook.

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Remove Yahoo Toolbar from Firefox

In the following simple solution, I'll show you how to remove the Yahoo Toolbar from Firefox. The Yahoo Toolbar is often unknowingly installed with other software packages. There is nothing wrong with the Yahoo Toolbar, but if you don't use the tools that are offered, you might consider it to be taking up precous space in your browser.

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Setup cannot copy the file cmnicfg.xml

Setup cannot copy the file cmnicfg.xml: Typically, a user will receive this error during a Windows XP installation. The other day, a friend of mine decided to uninstall Windows Vista from his computer and reinstall Windows XP. He recently used nLite to create an unattended Windows XP Pro installation CD and proceeded to perform the install.

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Error 0x800CCC0B when sending email

The 0x800CCC0B error when trying to send email through outlook express is a common error that is often encountered on an attempt to send your first email from third party email services such as gmail (google mail) using outlook express. The POP account may appear to work fine and you are able to receive email without a problem. This is because the SMTP 0x800CCC0B error will only occur when sending email.

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HP Scanner – NO SCAN OPTIONS – Won't Scan

Are you receiving the No Scan Options error when trying to scan a document with your All in One HP Scanner? In the following simple solution, I'll show you how to resolve this HP scanning problem and get your scanner working once and for all. The No Scan Options error is typically displayed on the printer when trying to scan using the "Scan To" or "Start Scan" buttons.

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Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0: x86 (KB928416) fails to install

If your having problems with Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0: x86 (KB928416) failing to install via Windows Update, you can rest assured that your not alone. It is common to see Error code 0×643 for the KB928416 update problem in your update history. In the following simple solution, I will show you how to overcome this Windows update issue and finally get .NET Framework 3.0 properly installed.

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Auto Login to Windows

Want to automatically logon to Windows instead of having to click a user and enter your Windows login password? The following simple solution will enable you to login to Windows automatically and send you straight to your desktop (bypassing the welcome screen) without user interaction. I highly recommend this tutorial if your the only user who has access to your computer.

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How to Remove Antivirus 2009 Virus

Antivirus 2009 is known to be fake anti-spyware software that is mistakenly installed by visiting a misleading site that tries to convince you that your computer is infected. Upon installation, Antivirus 2009 claims to scan your PC, resulting in a list of fake infections that can only be removed from your computer once you purchase the software. Moreover, once Antivirus 2009 is on your system, it can hijack your browser by installing a browser helper object that displays fake messages via Internet Explorer.

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How to Remove Antivirus Security

Antivirus Security is a (fake) rogue anti-spyware program. Often contracted from popup advertisements on sites pretending to be online anti malware scanners, the visitor may encounter fake security alerts saying your computer is infected and you should download and install Antivirus Security to fix the problem. If the visitor decides to download and install the software, it will scan your computer, summarizing and listing all sorts of security risks that cannot be removed unless you proceed to purchase the program.

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How to Remove AntiMalware 2009

AntiMalware 2009 is known as a rogue (fake) anti spyware program. In most cases, AntiMalware 2009 is advertised via pop up ads that are displayed while visiting certain websites. The pop up ads state that your computer is infected and when you click on either button in the pop up, you are redirected to an anti malware scanner page. This scanner is fake and pretends to scan your computer. Once the scanner has finished, it will state that your computer is infected and suggest downloading AntiMalware 2009 to clean and repair your computer.

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How to remove the Safely Remove Hardware Icon

The following simple solution explains how to remove the Safely Remove Hardware Icon. This tutorial is specifically tailored to those who have installed SATA drives on a board that utilizes the nVidia nForce chipset and SATA drivers. Once the SATA drivers are installed, the icon appears, misleading the user into believing that the internally attached Hard Drives can be safely removed from the system.

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Disk Boot Failure, Insert System Disk and Press Enter

This is actually a fairly common boot error: "Disk Boot Failure, Insert System Disk And Press Enter". However, it can scare the heck out of you if your system was previously working fine and then suddenly won't boot. There are many reasons a person might encounter this error. In the following simple solution, I outline some of the basic problems to check for when troubleshooting this Windows boot problem.

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Outlook Express Compacting Error

Outlook Express Compacting Error: The folder is currently in use by outlook or another application. This error may be encountered while proceeding to close Outlook Express after checking your email. It is known to effect systems running Windows XP with Service Pack 3 installed. The email auto compact problem is thought to be a bug. In the following simple solution, I show you how to solve the problem.

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Find Windows Login Password

The following simple solution can be used to retrieve a Lost Windows login password. Helpful for those who have forgot Windows Login password and need to Reveal Windows Login Password. I can recall multiple instances when I have needed to Find Windows Login Password for an administrative account. Over time it's easy to forget what password we have set for the Windows admin account. The good news is that these passwords are easily recoverable by using a tool called Ophcrack.

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Windows Update keeps prompting to install KB936181

HELP! Windows Update keeps prompting to install Security Update for Microsoft XML Core Services 4.0 Service Pack 2 (KB936181). I've already installed the KB936181 update multiple times, but Windows Update keeps listing it as an available high priority update that needs to be installed. Furthermore, update KB936181 keeps reinstalling. What do I need to do to fix the KB936181 update Issue?

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How to dual boot Windows XP and Vista (With XP Preinstalled)

Looking to install Windows Vista on your PC, but don't want to get rid of Windows XP? In the following simple solution, I show you how to install Windows Vista alongside an existing installation of Windows XP. Once you have completed these instructions, you will be able to dual boot Windows XP and Vista. During system startup, you will be able to select to boot from either Windows XP or Windows Vista. In addition, both Windows XP and Windows Vista will be installed on the same hard drive, eliminating the need to install Windows Vista to a second hard drive.

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Blue Screen of Death Screensaver

The Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is one of the most feared screens in the Windows world. When encountered, the blue screen is usually a sign of failing system hardware or software incompatibility issues. However, did you know that there is a screensaver prank available directly from Microsoft that will allow you to play a trick on your friends, co-workers or classmates?

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Delete Internet Explorer Browsing History via command line

In the following tutorial, I'll show you how to quickly Delete Internet Explorer Browsing History via a command line. The cool part about deleting your browsing history via a command line, is that you can create simplex batch files to automate the entire process of clearing stored passwords, deleting cookies, deleting history and files stored by the Internet Explorer browser.

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How to Play AVI files in Windows Media Player

Help! I have audio but no video while playing an AVI file in Windows Media Player. In the following tutorial, I'll show you how to playback AVI files with Windows Media Player that were created using the XVID, DX50, DIVX, or mp4v video compression format. By default, Windows Media Player will playback the audio of these AVI files, but will not render the video. To fix this problem, we simply need to install the proper XVID codec and we will be on our way to watching those XVID encoded AVI movies on our PC.

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Freeze a clicking hard drive to recover data

Freeze your hard drive to recover data: Recovering data from a clicking hard drive can be a touch and go task. In most cases, a clicking hard drive signifies that the drive is stuck in seek mode and is a sign that your drive is failing. In most cases, if the clicking hard drive contains the operating system you boot from, you will lose the ability to boot from this device (it will just sit there clicking away) and the drive will appear to be dead. In which case, many people assume the drive is shot and data cannot be retrieved.

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How to totally uninstall Windows Messenger

How to uninstall Windows Messenger: There are four different Messenger applications available from Microsoft. "Windows Messenger", "MSN Messenger", "Windows Live Messenger" and the "Messenger Service". In the following tutorial, I'll show you how to remove any one of the them from your computer. Those who have installed MSN Messenger or Windows Live Messenger might want to remove the old Windows Messenger so as to keep the two from conflicting, so we will address this one first.

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Microsoft Messenger keeps logging me off

If your having issues with Microsoft Messenger logging you off constantly, your not alone. I have personally encountered this issue on many occasions. Knowing that I have a solid wired internet connection with plenty of bandwidth and my firewall and router were not blocking the Microsoft Messenger service, I knew the problem had to be with Messenger itself. As it turns out, there are some new key features in the upgraded MSN Live Messenger that help to hold a consistent connection.

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How to find the MAC address of a PC or device on the LAN

How to find the MAC address of a PC or device on the LAN: Have you ever needed to find the MAC address of a computer or device connected to your network? Finding the MAC address of a PC or or device on your LAN is easy if you know at least the IP address of the PC or device that is connected. There are many cases in which a user might need to determine the MAC address of a given network communication device.

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Microsoft Windows Updates fail to install

Microsoft Windows Update failure: Are you having problems getting your Microsoft Windows Updates downloaded, are the Updates repeatedly failing to install? Recently after having upgraded to Serice Pack 3 for Windows XP, we had experienced the same issue. It appeared that the updates would continually fail to install on this particular machine. We tried stopping the automatic updates service, deleted all of our temp files, log files etc, but nothing seemed to help. On any attempt to download updates, the process would halt and say it failed to install them. As it turns out, the fix was relatively simple. Here is what we did.

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BitDefender Real-time protection is unavailable

BitDefender Real-time protection is unavailable problem: BitDefender Total Security 2008 is one of the best antivirus solutions available. However, just like any antivirus software can have it's hiccups. Recently, I have encountered one such hiccup. One day upon logging in to my work PC, I had noticed that my BitDefender antivirus Real-time protection and Firewall was disabled and could not be turned back on. The check box was grayed out and the text next to it displayed "Real-time protection is unavailable". To make matters worse, I could not perform an update nor manually scan any files.

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WRT600N wireless dropouts on 5ghz band

Getting WRT600N wireless dropouts on 5ghz band? We recently upgraded from a WRT54GL router to a Linksys WRT600N Linksys Ultra RangePlus Dual-Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router to take advantage of the dual band 5ghz and 2.4ghz wireless N frequencies along with the gigabit wired network connection. Initially, we were disappointed to find that while working via the 5ghz band on our wireless workstations, we would get randomly dropped connections. This would typically occur when doing large downloads (receiving large packets). All of our workstations use Intel 4965AGN wireless cards and we never experienced a hiccup on 2.4ghz frequency with the old WRT54GL router.

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