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Reloading Windows
Author: Tim Taylor

You may want to reload windows for several reasons. Our caller had several files that always came up missing in his system. If the missing files are application specific - In other words, if the error only occurs when you open Microsoft Word, Excel or other program then you may want to just reinstall that application. Restart and test to see if you are getting the same error.

Our caller wanted to know if he had to delete his old copy of Windows XP before installing.

No. You can install Windows XP over Windows XP. Note: Windows XP also has a repair feature, but if you are missing files it probably won’t fix the problem.

Reinstalling Windows does not delete other programs or documents. The only time this would occur is if you reformatted the hard drive. It is always a good idea to back up your document and configurations before reinstalling. Make sure you have your install Key Code before you start installing. You’ll be rebooting off of the CD.

Don’t forget to back up your emails and contacts. Here is a great tip on how to save your documents, emails and internet settings:

Tip: There is a Utilities Tool that you can use to help back up your documents.

It is called Files and Settings Transfer Wizards. It will back up your documents, internet favorites and email.

You get to it by going to Accessories / System Tools / Files and Settings Transfer Wizards

It will create one file that you can now back up to an external drive or CD.

After you install XP you run the Files and Setting Transfer Wizard again and find the files from the external hard drive or off of the CD you created and you’ll have your settings back on your machine.

Our caller also asked: Is it good to periodically reinstall Windows? No. If your computer is running smoothly there is not need to.


Defragment Hard Drive
Author: Tim Taylor

If your computer is running slow, you may want to defragment your hard drive. What does this do?

During daily operations of a PC, the system will look for empty spaces on the hard drive to write data to. When it finds free space it starts to write data to that blank spot. If the space is too small to write all the data in one go, it will write some of the data in one area and when it runs out of space it writes the extra data to another area. This way no disk space is wasted.

A computer is smart enough to keep track of where all data is kept but over time it takes longer and longer for a computer to find that data as it has to move the heads that read the data across the hard drive to different places. Thus slowing down your system.

This is when it makes sense to defragment the hard drive. Depending on the size of the hard drive this can take hours, but it's worth doing.

If you find you run the defragmenter and it freezes be sure that your anti-virus program and other programs are turned off during the defragmentation process.

Windows 95 and later operating systems come with a built-in tool call Disk Defragmenter. You can find it under START/Programs/Accessories and then System Tools.


Domain Search and Purchase
Author: Tim Taylor

Do you want to start a web site and you need a domain name? or do you want to find out who owns a domain.

Here’s how to do both.

You can go to www.networksolutions.com and in the domain search box you can enter the name of the domain you would like to search. You can enter multiple names. Once you submit them you will see a window that gives you all of the available or unavailable domains and extensions.

You can also search who owns the domain, when it expires, who hosts the site and contact information. Click on the “who is” link from Network Solutions and enter the domain.

If the name you want is taken, but not being used you can also bid on that domain.

You can also search for available domains at www.godaddy.com.


Internet Police
Author: Tim Taylor

Google - The Internet Police?

If you are searching for something on the web through Google they are now checking the site to make sure it does not load suspicious software on to your computer. If it is - Google will let you know.

These sites are trying to get your login and passwords. Google is taking steps to protect your information. Here's how to protect yourself.  

Four things you should have on your computer if you are going to be on the internet:

  1. Good Anti-Virus Software
  2. Good Anti-Spyware / AdWare Software
  3. Good Firewall
  4. Good Head on your shoulders!

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