One of the never-ending, always-simmering debates between PC users is whether defragging modern hard drives provides any measurable benefits to PC performance.
Unfortunately, the answer is not an absolute yes or no but instead depends on how you defrag your system.
Even powerful, capable hardware can sometimes get bogged down, and few things are more irritating than a needlessly long boot.
There are many causes for slow PC start-ups, but some simple maintenance will usually set things right.
If you click on an icon to run a program and nothing happens, the program could be hosed — and that’s bad news.
But it might only be the iconized shortcut that’s messed up, and that’s a cinch to fix. This week’s first item illustrates both these possibilities.
Windows’ built-in disk-repair tool, chkdsk.exe, has come a long way over the years, but some disk problems are simply beyond its ability to remedy.
When Windows’ disk check is not up to the task, third-party repair tools may be your ticket back to a healthy hard drive.
What do you do when your graphic system malfunctions in such a way that you can’t see the screen to change modes or otherwise fix the problem?
Graphics systems are supposed to revert automatically to a known-good setting if the hardware can’t support a given resolution or refresh rate, but sometimes they don’t. Then what?
Sometimes when trouble strikes, you have to choose between a simple brute-force fix and a more-complex but also more-informative surgical repair.
Reinstalling software is inelegant but usually works; using Windows’ built-in tools can be quicker and less traumatic.
The sleep-state modes programmed into today’s PCs are rigidly defined, but the common names of these modes vary wildly from vendor to vendor.
With no standardized language, it can be difficult to know exactly what it means when your PC goes into standby mode. But here’s help.
Even world-class troubleshooting may not be enough to salvage software that just won’t work right on your system.
It’s a hard decision when you’ve paid good money for software, but sometimes the only rational decision is to toss the software into the bit bucket.
The Taskbars in XP, Vista, and Windows 7 have consistently misbehaved for a small but persistent number of users.
If you’re one of the unlucky few whose Taskbar won’t hide and unhide, or whose Taskbar mysteriously (and annoyingly) unhides itself from time to time, these tweaks may be just the ticket.
Window’s System Restore is a good, basic safety net for solving system problems, but what it doesn’t do will surprise you.
To use Windows’ system backup tool most effectively, you need to know its limitations — and have other recovery tools readily at hand.