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How to fix corrupted system files in windows XP and Vista


Got corruption? There are many ways system files can become corrupted. They can come from viruses, spyware and even legitimate 3rd party applications that write to system files. There are two ways that i usually go about fixing windows corruption. The first is System File Checker, a command line tool that scans all of windows protected files and replaces the files that are in need of being replaced. To use System File Checker, open up the run command. (This can be done by clicking the "Start" button and then click on run or can be accessed by pressing the "windows logo + r")



In the Run box type "sfc /scannow" without the quotation marks and press "OK". This will start the System File Checker immediately.





At this point you may be asked for your windows installation disk if it was unable to find the files it needs on the hard drive. Once finished it will automatically close.



If the first method was unsuccessful i usually use Checkdisk. I usually have more success with process. To run checkdisk, go back to the run command and type "chkdsk c: /r" without the quotation marks.



The next screen will be a command prompt. Type in the letter y and reboot to start checkdisk.




If you found this article usefull check out some other articles you may find usefull

How to disable Vistas nagging permission screens with Vista4expert
How to remove toolbars from Internet Explorer 7
How to use ccleaner to clean and optimize Windows xp and vista

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How to speedup SATA hard drives in Windows Vista

Did you know that you can increase the performance of your Sata hard drives in Windows Vista? But before we do, there are some warnings to this tweak that you should be aware of. This tweak increases the SATA hard drive performance by sending data directly to the hard drives cache where it stays until it is written to the hard drive. This can be a problem if your computer loses power, as this will cause all data still in the hard drives cache to be deleted before it gets a chance to write the data to the hard drive resulting in data loss. Because of this reason I only recommend that you use this tweak if your computer is on a battery backup system.

Ok lets get started. Click on th "Start" button and then click on "Control Panel". Under Control Panel look for and click on "Device Manager".

After opening up Device Manager click on Disk drives to expand all the drives on your computer and look for your SATA hard in the list of available drives.


The next step is to right click on the SATA drive that you would like to increase performance and click on "Properties".

Once the properties come up look for and click on the tab labeled "Policies".
The last step is to click on "Enable advanced performance" and then click "OK" to close the window out.
If you found this article usefull check out some other articles you may find usefull

How to disable Vistas nagging permission screens with Vista4expert
How to remove toolbars from Internet Explorer 7
How to use ccleaner to clean and optimize Windows xp and vista

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How to fix "Unmountable Boot Volume" in Windows XP

The Unmountable Boot volume blue screen is probably the most common blue screen error message that I see often. This is Windows way of telling you that it is having a problem booting up.

Solution:

The solution to this problem is to boot your computer with the Xp CD-ROM. (Each manufacturer has a different method of booting from the CD-ROM drive, please refer to your computer manufacturer documentation on how to boot from the CD-ROM drive)Once the computer has booted from the cd, let it run until you get to the "Welcome to Setup" screen.


From the "Welcome to Setup" screen press the "R" button on your keyboard, this will put us in the Recovery Console. The Recovery Console will now give us the choice of what operating system that we would like to load, you will be looking for drive c: and on most computers this will be choice 1.
The next step will ask you for your administrator password, Enter your administrator password at this time or leave it blank if your administrator account does not have a password and press the "Enter" button. You should now be left with a black screen with c:/ were you will type in "chkdsk c: /r" without the quotation marks and press the "Enter" key.
This will start the checkdisk process that can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple hours to complete.
After the operation has completed type "exit" to reboot the machine. (Don't forget to remove the Windows XP cd from the CD-ROM drive) This usually works for me about 90% of the time when the Unmountable Boot Volume blue screen was caused by a filesystem or BOOT.INI corruption.

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How to add a new user account in Windows XP

If you have more than one person using a computer you may want to setup a different user account to either limit their activities or for privacy reasons. Either way you can follow these steps to create a new user.

First click on the "Start" button and then click on "Control Panel". Under Control Panel look for the icon that is labeled "User Accounts" like the picture below.



Click on "User Accounts" and then click on "Create a new account".

After clicking on "Create a new account" you will be prompted to type in a name for the new user. (The user account can be named whatever you would like.)


The next screen that shows up will give you the option to choose either an administrator account or a limited account. An administrator account can make system wide changes including installing software, whereas a limited account user cannot always install software and only change files within their own account. After deciding which account, click on the "Create Account" button.


Your user account is now setup. To setup a password for the account, go back to user accounts in the Control Panel and click on the account that you just setup you will know have the option to setup a password. Click on "Create a Password" .


You will now type in the password in the first box and the second box. The third box is for your password hint. ( A word or phrase that will help you to remember your password in case you forget it) Once all three boxes are filled in click on "Create Password".


Your password will now be in effect everytime you login to Windows.

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How to remove Mcafee Software after Add/Remove programs fail to do so

Mcafee Software like Norton software has a tendency to get corrupted and causes failures when you try to uninstall Mcafee software from your computer. When normal removal procedures fail you will need to download the McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool which can be downloaded here.

This tool is pretty straight forward, all that is required is to download the software and run it from your computer. It will automatically uninstall Mcafee.
If you are using windows Vista you must right click on the download file (which will be MCPR.exe) and select Run as Administrator.

Once started the McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool will look like the picture below.


After the Mcafee removal tool has finished, you will need to reboot after receiving the message that cleanup was successful.


Once rebooted Mcafee will be removed.
If you have decided to remove Mcafee and you are looking for another anti-virus program, I encourage you to check out The best Anti Virus Protection you can download for free

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A list of useful run commands

Windows "Run" commands help save time and help us become more productive at home or the workplace. The first thing we must do is open the "Run " dialog box, this can be accomplished one of two ways:

The first method is to click on the "Start" button and then click on "Run".

The second method is to use the windows logo key + r and the "Run" dialog box will automatically open up.

Which ever method you choose you should end up with a "Run" dialog box like the picture below.




Run commands:    Function

compmgmt.msc    Opens Computer Management

cmd     Opens Command Prompt

devmgmt.msc     Opens Device Manager

diskmgmt.msc     Opens Disk Management

eventvwr.msc     Opens Event Viewer

gpedit.msc     Opens Group Policies (only in XP Pro and Media Center Edition)

lusrmgr.msc     Opens Local users and groups

msconfig     Opens System Configuration Utility

msinfo32     Opens System Information

perfmon.msc     Opens Performance Monitor

regedit     Opens Registry Editor

services.msc     Opens Services dialog box

sysedit     Opens System Configuration Editor

winver     Shows Windows version information




Run Commands to access various sections of the Control Panel:


appwiz.cpl    Opens Add/Remove Programs

timedate.cpl    Opens Date/Time Properties

desk.cpl    Opens Display Properties

fonts     Opens Fonts Folder

inetcpl.cpl     Opens Internet Properties

main.cpl     Opens Mouse Properties

sysdm.cpl     Opens System Properties

dxdiag     Opens DirectX Diagnostic Tool




Although this is not a complete list of all the "Run" commands , these are the ones that i use most on a daily basis. If you feel that i missed an important "Run" command leave a comment and let me know so that it can be added to the list.

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How to fix: Windows Xp will not update

Windows not updating can be a variety of problems and issues. Today i will discuss how to fix Windows Update by re-registering the Windows Update Dlls. This is the most common issue and fix that i see most often.


First click on the "Start" button and then click on "Run". You should end up with a run dialog like the picture below.
Then Copy or paste the following commands individually into the run command and press enter:

• regsvr32 atl.dll
• regsvr32 wuapi.dll
• regsvr32 wuaueng.dll
• regsvr32 wucltui.dll
• regsvr32 wups.dll
• regsvr32 wups2.dll
• regsvr32 wuweb.dll
• regsvr32 msxml.dll
• regsvr32 msxml2.dll
• regsvr32 msxml3.dll
• regsvr32 qmgrprxy.dll
• regsvr32 qmgr.dll

After pressing Enter there will be a dialog box letting you know that registering the dll succeeded


You should now be able to update windows after successfully re-registering the Windows Update Dlls.

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How to fix Task Manager: "Task Manager has been disabled by your administrator"

There are many computers that I see on a daily basis in which ctrl+alt+del will only give you a message that says "Task Manager has been disabled by your administrator" like the picture below.


A majority of those computers the Task Manager will have become disabled because of virus and or spyware applications that will disable the Task Manager once it has been installed on the computer. There are several ways this problem can be fixed.

The first solution will only work for Windows Xp Pro:


• Click Start button
• Then click on Run
• Type in "gpedit.msc" (without quotation marks) in the dialog box and click OK
• In the Group Policy settings window
• Select User Configuration
• Select Administrative Templates
• Select System
• Select Ctrl+Alt+Delete options
• Select Remove Task Manager
• Double-click the Remove Task Manager option

The second solution will work with Windows Xp Home:

• Click Start button
• Then click on Run
• Type in "regedit" (without quotation marks) in the dialog box and click OK
• Search or browse for HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ System
• Look for the registry key "DisableTaskMgr"
• Double click on the registry key. The registry key will either be a value of 1 (Disables Task Manager) or a value of 0 (Enables Task Manager)
• Change the registry key to 0 and close regedit
• Restart Windows

The third solution is the easiest:

•Copy and paste the following into notepad
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]
"DisableTaskMgr"=dword:00000000

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
and save as Enable_Task_Manager.reg
• Double click on the file you just made, you will be presented with a dialog box.


• Click on yes and reboot Windows Xp.


If your Task Manager has been disabled and you are the only administrator chances are that your computer is infected with viruses and spyware. I recommend the following Virus and spyware protection.
The best Anti-Spyware Protection you can download for free
The best Anti Virus Protection you can download for free

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How to use JkDefrag as a screensaver to defragment your hard drive

Today i am going to show you how to install Jkdefrag, a popular open source Defragmenter, to run as a screensaver. The JkDefrag screensaver allows you to set the screensaver in windows to the JkDefrag screensaver program so that you will be able to defragment your hard drive every time your screensaver comes on. This is a popular option because it allows you to defragment your hard drive while your computer is not in use, keeping it from becoming overly fragmented during everyday use.

The first step is to download JkDefrag. Download JkDefrag here.

Once you have download JkDefrag, unzip all the files and look for "JkDefragScreenSaver.exe" and "JkDefragScreenSaver.scr"


The next step is to take both files and either move or copy them into your windows folder (this is usualy "C:/Windows/" but can also be "C:/winnt/").

After both files have been placed in your windows folder, your next step is to tell windows to use JkDefrag as your normal screensaver. So click on the "Start" button and click "Run" and once the dialog box opens up type in "desk.cpl" without the quotation marks. this will bring up the "Display Properties" where we will click on the "Screensaver" tab.


The last step is to pick the JkDefrag Screensaver from the list of screensavers in the drop down box.

Then click on "Apply" and then "OK" to close out the "Display Properties" window. Your computer will now defragment every time your screensaver initiates.

Windows Tip: Its a good idea to clean out all the old junk files from your computer before you defragment your hard drive. I recommend Ccleaner for this job as it is the most efficient. Learn how to use ccleaner to clean and optimize Windows xp and vista.

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How to boot windows into Safe Mode

Windows Safe Mode helps when you may not be able to boot windows in normal mode. This helps us because Safe Mode only loads the essential components needed to boot up helping further to troubleshoot windows. If windows will boot in Safe Mode and not Normal Mode this will narrow our troubleshooting to a software or driver issue.
There are two ways that i recommend getting into Safe Mode:

The first method is to use the F8 key right after the bios post screen and right before windows starts to load. If done correctly you will be presented with the "Windows Advanced Options Menu".


Using the arrow keys, you want to highlight "Safe Mode" and press the enter key and windows will proceed to boot into Safe Mode.

The second method, which is probably the easiest for most users, is to use a free program called BootSafe.

You can download BootSafe here .


BootSafe is very easy to use with a nice easy to use interface. Using BootSafe to get windows into windows is as easy as clicking on Safe Mode and clicking "Reboot". BootSafe requires no installation and supports Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000 and XP. To get back to Normal Mode run BootSafe again and click on "Normal Restart" and then click "Reboot" your pc will reboot back to Normal Mode.

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How to remove toolbars from Internet Explorer 7

Have you ever wanted to remove that toolbar from internet explorer or ever had to many toolbars that took up half of a screen? Today i ran across a plague of toolbars :


As you can see having to many toolbars can be quite distracting when you can only see half of a page. So lets get rid of them by first clicking on "tools".


Then click on "Manage Add-ons" and then "Enable or Disable Add-ons" and then you should receive a dialog box like the one below.


From here you want to highlight the Add-on you want to remove and tick on the "Disable " under the "Settings" box on the bottom left hand corner of the dialog box. Then repeat as needed for each toolbar that you would like removed and then press "OK". You must restart Internet Explorer before any changes will be made. After Internet Explorer has been restarted you should have your full view back.

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How to remove Norton Software after add/remove programs will not uninstall

Five years ago Norton had many quality products, but over the years Norton software has caused many problems, has become increasingly bloated and has become one of the worst anti-virus products that you can put on your computer. A majority of computers that come in for virus removal are being protected with Norton and it doesn't end there, it has also been the cause for many other numerous problems that can be traced back to a corrupted Norton installation.
Once Norton has become corrupted it becomes harder to remove and the normal method of uninstalling using add/remove programs is unable to remove Norton. So how do you remove Norton? Because Norton has such a problem of corruption Norton has developed a special removal tool that makes it easy for anyone to remove Norton. The first step is to download the Norton removal tool that can be found here.
Once you have downloaded the Norton removal tool you want to run it and click on the "NEXT" button.



Then accept the license agreement and press "Next".



The next screen is a captcha screen where you will have to type in the letters that you see in the
text area and in this case it is hthh and then press "NEXT".



You will then be warned that it will take several minutes to perform program removal and then press "NEXT" again.

After several minutes have passed the operation will complete and you will be prompted to reboot windows in order to complete the process of uninstalling. Reboot windows and your finished.

After removing Norton consider installing a more dependable anti-virus or security suite.Here is my list of The best Anti Virus Protection you can download for free. Check it out.

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How to fix Internet explorer not displaying web pages properly

Is it Internet explorer not displaying web pages correctly? Have you already tried to change the fonts and reset everything back to default? Does every web page have a white background?
Does your Internet Explorer look all jumbled up and incorrect like the picture below?



If so then your problem lies with windows accessibility options and is easy to fix. Start by clicking on "Start" and then clicking on "Control Panel", once the Control Panel opens up click on "Accessibility options" and the accessibility options dialog box will open up and we want to click on the tab "display" and uncheck the box that is labeled "Use High Contrast" like the picture below.

From here click on "Apply" and then "OK" to close out the dialog box and Internet Explorer should return to its normal state as in the picture below.

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How to disable Vistas nagging permission screens with Vista4expert


Vista4experts is a small utility to that was designed to make it easier to change some of vistas settings all in one place. With Vista4experts you can disable the uac (user account control) , the security center notifications and even disable the sidebar from loading every time that vista starts up.
This is a very impressive piece of software and puts many vista options at your fingertips but the best option is that all the options are reversible and can be changed back to the original options with just a mouse click.
With an easy to use interface and the ability to disable all the nagging permission screens this program has something for everybody as long as you run vista.

Warning: Disabling the uac (user account control) will open up security vulnerabilities in vista.

Vista4experts can be downloaded Here.

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How to change Visual Effects in windows XP

Changing the Visual Effects in windows XP is easy and can be used to help speedup the overall performance in Windows XP. The less Visual Effects that you have enabled will help to speedup Windows and free up system resources.
To change the Visual Effects in Windows Xp , click on the "Start" button and then click on the "Control Panel" icon. When the control panel opens up click on the icon that is labeled "System" and the system dialog box should open up and you want to look for and click the tab that is labeled "Advanced".


After clicking on "Advanced" , under "Performance " click "Settings".


From here click "Custom" and you can now enable or disable different Visual Effects to suit your needs.


After you are finished selecting the perfect Visual Effects for your pc , all that is left is to click "Apply" and wait for windows to readjust the Visual Effects per your settings. Then click "OK" to close the dialog box.

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How to convert xp filesystem from Fat32 to NTFS

Converting from FAT32 to NTFS filesystem is easy to do using convert.exe already built into windows xp. But why choose NTFS? The NTFS filesystem offers better security with file encryption and the use of file permissions. NTFS also is more reliable and less susceptible to disk errors and also supports dynamic cluster remapping for bad sectors and prevent them from being used in the future.

Now that we have decided to convert our Fat32 filesystem to NTFS lets get started by opening a command prompt by going to Start button and then hitting run. you should end up with a screen that looks like this:
Type in "cmd" without the quotation marks and press ok. this will bring up the command prompt. From the command prompt type in "convert c: /fs:ntfs" and press enter.

You will then be prompted to type the volume label, which is the name of the hard drive and in this case the volume label is ACER.

Press The enter key. You will then be prompted with a message that asks if you want to force a dismount on this volume.

Press y and press enter. Since volume c will be in use you will be prompted to convert when your computer reboots.

Now reboot and upon reboot windows will take over and convert the filesystem from FAT32 to Ntfs.


Tip: Most Acer computers with windows xp installed still come from the factory with the Fat32 filesystem

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The best Anti-Spyware Protection you can download for free

There are many anti-spyware programs to choose from, some are free and some are not. This is a list of my favorite anti-spyware programs that you can download for free and provide the best overall spyware protection.

1. Superantispyware

Superantispyware is the best overall spyware protection with the greatest success at removing some of the nastiest spyware programs. One of the greatest benefits of using superantispyware is the built in repair features that allow you to repair xp from spyware damage.
With great spyware protection and consistent updates, Superantispyware outperforms most paid software and best of all its free.
Super antispyware can be downloaded Here.

2. Spybot Search and Destroy

Another great spyware removal is Spybot Search and Destroy. Spybot does not have all the features that superantispyware provide, but does provide excellent protection and sometimes catches spyware that Superantispyware misses.
Spybot can be downloadedHere.

3. Lavasoft Ad-aware 2007

Ad-Aware is another free spyware scanner that provides basic protection with constant updates and an easy to use interface. Although Ad-aware provides descent protection, it does not provide the level of protection that you can get from Superantispyware or Spybot Search and Destroy.
Ad-Aware can be downloaded Here.

4. Windows Defender

Windows defender is my least favorite spyware scanner and does not support windows 2000 but still worthy with its basic protection.
Windows defender can be downloaded Here.

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The best Anti Virus Protection you can download for free

When it comes to anti-virus protection there are many choices , and with so many free anti-virus programs out there i have compiled a list of my favorite free anti-virus programs.


1.AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 7.5

Avg is a complete anti virus solution that offers regular free updates , offers "real time protection" and even includes an e-mail scanner. The only drawback is that avg anti-virus has a somewhat tricky interface to navigate through.
Avg was also recently awarded PC Pro's Software of the Year award 2007 and is my top pick for free anti virus protection.
Avg can be downloaded HERE.

2.PC Tools AntiVirus Free Edition™ 4.0

Pc Tools is slowly becoming my favorite anti-virus protection, offering "real-time" protection , an e-mail scanner , regular automatic updates and a user friendly interface.

Pc Tools can be downloaded HERE

3.Avast! 4.7 Home Edition

Another great anti-virus scanner is Avast and is also a great anti-virus solution.Avast offers "real-time" protection and e-mail scanner. The only complaint is that avast requires you to register and then e-mails you a free license.

Avast can be downloaded HERE

4.BitDefender 10 Free Edition

Bitdefender is also a great free anti virus software. It is an "on-demand" virus scanner that doesn't offer "real-time" protection in their free edition and lacks features that you would find in other free anti virus programs. What bitdefender lacks in features it makes up in being a fast and reliable anti-virus scanner and is well worth the download if no other virus scanner can completely clean your pc.
Bitdefender can be downloaded HERE

5.Dr.Web CureIt!

Dr. Web is another "on-demand" virus scanner that doesn't offer "real-time" protection or an e-mail scanner. The major drawback with Dr. Web is that it is not a permanent solution, when it is time to update you will have to download the whole program again to receive the latest updates.
Despite all the features missing in their free release Dr. Web is portable and can be run from a flash drive and is very good at detecting and cleaning the latest virus threats.

Dr. Web can be downloaded HERE

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You recieve the Error 10-fc12-0017 while installing Vista

I recently received the error 10-fc12-0017 while installing windows vista on a Toshiba Satellite a135-s4427 about halfway through the entire process using your recovery discs. This error message will occur will even occur with a set of brand new recovery discs.

The Solution:

This is a hardware problem and is the result of a malfunctioning hard drive and replacing the hard drive will fix the problem and the recovery disks will complete without causing the 10-fc12-0017 error.

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How to use ccleaner to clean and optimize Windows xp and vista

Ccleaner is an excellent freeware application to remove unused files on your pc, clean your registry and clean your traces of online activity. Ccleaner can be downloaded for free at www.ccleaner.com .


The first step is to launch ccleaner:





Then you want to click on analyze and let it run (this may take awhile). When this step is finished you should have something that looks like this:




The last step is to click on run cleaner and you will be presented with a prompt:



Just click ok and let it remove all of your unused files.

But ccleaner does not stop there it also has a built in registry cleaner. Start by clicking on the registry tab on the left hand side and you should have something that looks like this :




Click on scan for issues and let it run until it reaches 100% and you end up with a screen with a list of all the problems that ccleaner has found:


Click on fix selected issues and let it run it will then ask you whether you want to back up the registry.


Click on yes or no whether you would like to backup the registry and then you end up with a screen that looks like this :

Then click on Fix All selected Issues, this will clean all the issues that it has found and will leave your operating system free of unused files and registry problems.

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