Problem Event Name: BlueScreen in Windows 7

Although far less common in Windows 7, the BOD (blue screen of death) still occurs and is one of the toughest problems to solve. The blue screen of death could be caused by hardware issues, recently installed software, bad drivers, missing files, viruses, and RAM chips, sound cars, or video cards that are not properly seated, insufficient disk space, hard drive errors, and more.

Checking for each of these possibilities would definitely take a lot of time, but here are several steps you can take in order to fix the issue.

If you can start Windows after the Blue Screen of Death:


1. Reboot your computer in Safe Mode and run full virus and malware scan, as well as registry scan.

2. Start Windows normally and check your hard drive for errors. Open Windows Explorer, right click on your hard drive, select Properties, open the Tools tab and under Error-checking, click the Check now… button. Be patient as this could take quite some time, especially if you select “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.”

check your hard drive for errors

3. Use System Restore to restore your computer to a previous state click the Start button, type “System restore,” choose a restore point, and run System Restore.

4. Open Control Panel by clicking the Start button and typing in Control Panel. Type “Memory” in the search box, then click “Diagnose your computer’s memory problems” under Administrative Tools.

check windows7 for memory problems

5. Try to update your drivers. If the Blue screen of death occurred soon after you have installed new hardware, then try updating the driver for that hardware by going to the manufacturer’s website.

6. Update your BIOS. You could also try using the default BIOS settings since misconfigured or overclocked BIOS could be the one causing the issue.

7. Turn off your computer and try resetting cables, video and sound cards, and memory chips. Often, the blue screen of death could is caused by faulty RAM. If you have more than one RAM modules, you can try starting your computer with one RAM chip only and then swapping them until you find out which one of them is faulty.

8. Apply all Windows updates.

9. Check your computer’s temperature often, overheating graphic card or CPU could cause the BOD.

10. Next time the BOD occurs, see if there is any information about the file that has caused it. Write down the code after the Stop message. The message could look something like Stop: 0x0000008E, write down this message and run a search on Google, you are likely to find a solution.

If you cannot start Windows after the Blue screen of death, try using your recovery disk or the Windows 7 DVD. If your Windows 7 came pre-installed, you can create a recovery disk on another computer, go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/create-a-system-repair-disc to learn how to create and use the system recovery disk.




How to Install Windows 8

With the release of Windows 8 almost upon us, Microsoft has been generous enough to offer PC users a free previews so that we can get a look at what to expect when the final version arrives in October 2012.

Windows 8 will run on any PC that is running, or is capable of running Windows 7, so if your computer meets the system requirements, you can give it a go.

System requirements

Windows 8 is available to download from the Microsoft Windows website in two versions: 64-bit (64x) and 32-bit (32x). Each version has slightly different requirements, these are as follows:

64-bit –

· 1GHz Processor

· 1GB RAM

· 16GB storage space

· DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

32-bit –

· 1GHz Processor

· 2GB RAM

· 20GB storage space

· DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

It is important that you select the correct version of the OS for your computer.

Installing

When it comes to the installation, you will generally have two options: installing directly on to your PC by using the upgrade installer, or creating a USB or disk installer with the Windows OS installer ISO image.

You must remember that this version of Windows 8 is not the completed version and you don’t want to be using it as your main computer operating system. With all of the hardware combinations available on the OS, installing this early version of Windows 8 as your main OS will leave your computer open to crashing.

It is possible to install Windows 8 without compromising your current OS. This can be done by installing it in a separate partition, or a virtual machine. Windows 8 installer will come with a multi-boot setup, creating a separate partition for you and saving you the hassle of doing so; this will be ideal if you are not an advanced Windows user. What a separate partition installation will do is give you the option of choosing which OS you want the computer to run on start up.

When you are ready to install you will need to head on over to the Microsoft website and click on one of the links to download. Once downloaded, Windows 8 will guide you through the process. First of all it will run the Upgrade Assistant, this will work through your system and create a report of what hardware works and what doesn’t. The Upgrade Assistant will then show the product key which is needed later in the process – you will need to make a note of this.

You will be able to choose one of two installation options: Upgrade, or Custom Install; you should choose the latter if you are looking to create a separate partition and multi-boot set up. Windows 8 will then install itself in your chosen location and give some pre-first run set up personalisation options, such as colour combinations and PC name. You will then need to sign-in to, or create a Windows Live account to access the Windows Store and SkyDrive.

Once this is complete, you will be ready to sample the delights of Windows 8 at your leisure, and there is enough available to keep you satisfied until the finished article is made available in October (2012).

Windows 8: What You Need to Know

Following on from the success of Windows 7 was always going to be a big task for Microsoft; thankfully, if the previews of Windows 8 are anything to go by, the world’s biggest operating system provider has risen to the challenge.

Window 8 is nothing really like the operating systems we have to come know from Windows over the past 25 years and is being hailed as the future of computing – an OS centred on touch screens.

Touch-based interface

The departure from the original Microsoft style of operating system to a new touch-based interface has been done to allow Windows 8 to work as smoothly on tablets as it does on PCs. But you shouldn’t worry about having to throw away your desktop or laptop for investment in a touch screen PC; Windows 8 will work just as well with the traditional mouse and keyboard. Microsoft has designed their new OS to suit a persons need at the specific moment in time, allowing users to switch between new Metro face and the classic Windows desktop as you require. This can be done on any device. The touch interface works brilliantly and users are able to customise their home screen with a range of colourful tiles. From the start menu, users are able to swipe upwards to reveal the tiles. Anyone that has used Windows Phone 7 will be very familiar with this concept and will be used to seeing the information tiles such as the time/date and the weather. Many tiles contain information, such as the email tile telling you how many unread messages you have, and the calendar displaying your upcoming events. The whole thing makes you feel at one with your computer.

Features

Windows 8 is pretty feature-heavy but does not shun traditional programs such as Office and Photoshop, which will still work in a traditional way but can be operated alongside new apps on the OS. Some of the notable features of Windows 8 include:

· New lock screen – Nothing really unexpected here, but a beautiful customisable picture and a handful of useful widgets make the lock screen spectacular. After swiping the lock screen, you are take advantage of the new “picture password” feature; using invisible gestures on a picture to get into Windows

· Windows Store – The app store looks very similar to the home screen with tile-based categories and lets you browse through, and download apps, both touchscreen and traditional. Many of the apps are free too!

· Cloud storage – Windows 8 embraces the new cloud computing era by letting you use your Microsoft account to sync all of your data. Photos, address book, SkyDrive data, and even files from third party apps can be synced to the cloud and accessed on any Windows 8 device.

· Task manager – Microsoft has finally decided to redesign the task manager in Windows 8, and it looks great. There are basic and advanced manger options for users to get their teeth into.

· Refresh your PC – This cool feature lets you carry out a clean install at the touch of a button. You can also set refresh points to refresh your computer back to how it was at a specific time.

With its release due imminently, Windows 8 looks sure to keep Microsoft at the top of the OS market for a few years to come.

Windows 7 System Requirements

Windows 7 has been widely regarded as the best operating system that Microsoft has ever produced, improving on the popular Windows XP and learning from the mistakes made in Windows Vista. As with any new operating system rollout, there are minimum system requirements required for a computer to be able to run Windows 7 successfully. These requirements will be important, especially if you are considering an upgrade from Windows XP which requires considerably less in the way of specs to run.

If you are currently running XP, your computer may not have the specs needed to run Windows 7 and you may need to system requirements to upgrade your PC accordingly before installing the new software. So what are these requirements?

Specs needed

Windows originally released a Beta version of Windows 7 back in 2008, and the final version of the OS changed very little in terms of what system requirements are needed. The minimum requirements are:

· 1 GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)

· 1 GB of RAM (32-bit); 2 GB of RAM (64-bit)

· 16 GB of available disk space (32-bit); 20 GB of available disk space (64-bit)

· DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

You should bear in mind that these are the minimum requirements and if you are planning on running the x64 build, you are likely to need much more than the minimum, especially in terms of RAM where 4GB will be better suited, and 2GB at least will probably be required.

Anyone making the jump from XP will require 2GB RAM and probably 15GB of available disk space in addition to the 16GB that is already required. Upgrading from Vista should not prove a problem and considering Windows 7 is three years newer, and performs a whole lot better than Vista; the system requirements are fairly modest. Here are the Windows Vista requirements to compare:

· 1 GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)

· 512 MB of RAM (for Home Basic); 1 GB of RAM for all other versions

· 15 GB of available disk space

· Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory (for Home Basic); 128 MB of graphics memory plus WDDM support for all other versions

If your computer meets the requirements needed, an upgrade to Windows 7 is recommended, and it is easily to install.

Installing Windows 7

The best way to install Windows 7 is to carry out a clean install, this is not hard to do, and all that is really required is to insert the DVD into your DVD-ROM drive. Before you do this though, you should make sure to download all of the necessary drivers and save them on CD-R, or USB drive.

Windows will guide you through the installation step-by-step, and once you have accepted the licence agreement you will be given two options: Upgrade or Custom (Advanced). A clean install will require the custom option and you will be asked where you would like to install Windows 7 (on your hard-drive is the answer). From here Windows will install itself on your computer and will reboot your system a few times. Once complete, you will need to set up a computer name and password, set the time and date, and select the computers location. From here Windows 7 will finalise the details and you are ready to go.

System Restore in Windows 7

When using your Windows 7 PC your experience for the most part will be an enjoyable one; however, there are occasions when something can go wrong, maybe with an app, a driver, or registry problem affecting your computer. Any such problem can make your computer unstable and stop it from functioning as you are used to. In these circumstances you may need to call upon the System Restore tool to save the day.

What is System Restore?

Most of the serious problems in Windows are caused by issues with the Windows Registry, DLL files and device drivers. System Restore is a tool that helps you restore your computers system files to a pre-determined earlier point in time.

System Restore will use what is known as “System Protection” to create and save regular restore points on your computer. These points will include key information about registry settings and other Windows systems. Using the System Restore tool will help you to take your computer back to another day when everything worked correctly and lets you undo any changes to your system without affecting any of your personal files, such as documents, emails, photos, and music.

Using System Restore

System Restore has been an integral feature of every Windows operating system and in Windows 7, using the tool has been made easier than ever. The System Restore method is a simple process and can be carried out by even beginner users of Windows 7 by following these simple steps:

1) Click Start and type system restore into the search box. From there, select the System Restore option from the list of answers; this will open the System Restore menu.

2) The System Restore wizard will provide you with a recommended restore point. It is always wise to choose this option; however, you may wish to click on “Choose a different restore point” which will provide you with a list of dates to choose from.

3) Once you have selected a restore point, Windows will give a notice telling you that a system restore cannot be stopped once started. Click on “Yes” if you wish to proceed. Windows will then start the restore and will reboot your computer once complete.

4) Your computer will be restored to the selected point in time and should be in full working order.

The benefits of System Restore are often overlooked and this tool is essential for maintaining the health of your computer. If something bad happens to your PC, you can almost always rely on System Restore to bail you out.

Windows 7 Media Center

Media Centre PCs are increasing in popularity with many people now hooking up computers to HD televisions, or watching, recording and pausing live TV right from their laptops. While there is a host of free media centres around that can be downloaded for free, few are able to match the popularity of Windows Media Center, mostly because of the fact that it is bundled with many new computers, and also because of the Windows name. With the release of Windows 7 Media Center, Microsoft promised something better than ever before, and they duly delivered.

New features

When designing the new Media Center for Windows 7, Microsoft listened to its users and added a host of new features suggested by fans. One outstanding feature is the ability to watch more than ever before. The new Media Center supports more global TV tuners and standards that it ever has done in the past, with digital and HD included. A range of popular audio and video formats have also been included, such as:

· 3GP

· AAC

· AVCHD

· MPEG-4

· WMV

· WMA

Also supported are AVI, Xvid, MOV, and DivX files.

Speed has also been improved. Previous Media Center releases were regarded as being sluggish when it came to navigating your way through massive music libraries and browsing through TV listings. Microsoft has introduced a new Turbo Scroll feature that is designed to speed everything up, giving users a more slick and smooth experience.

Slide shows are excellent for displaying photos in a unique way and showing them at parties and family reunions. Windows Media Center lets you make stunning photo slide shows set to your favourite music which you can also use as a screen saver.

A new HomeGroup feature has also been included, letting you enjoy recorded TV shows, videos and music, even when they have not been stored. The feature makes all media available to every Windows 7 PC in the household.

Compatibility

Windows Media Center has been made for use on all versions of Windows 7, these are: Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise.

Setting up

The set-up of Windows Media Center has also been made straight-forward, providing you with Express and Custom set-up options. If you are looking to get started with your entertainment hub quickly, the express option is the best; however, if you are looking to personalise your experience, Custom is the preferred option.

If you are looking to make the most of your computer, Windows 7 Media Center is the way forward.

Windows 7 Firewall

Being the most widely used operating system in the world means that Windows PCs are often subject to hackers and malicious software finding their way into your computer and ruining the user-experience, sometimes making a PC totally unusable.

Windows 7 firewall is Microsoft’s own computer protection software (there are many third-party alternatives) and contains an advanced user-interface that is designed for computer administrators. This can often mean that it is more difficult to use than third-party software which is designed for users, and settings can be more complicated.

What does a firewall do?

You should picture a firewall as being the front door of your PC; when you are logged on to the internet you will have various viruses and hackers trying to find a way into that front door and, like an unwanted house guest, once in, it is hard to get them out. Turning on the firewall is basically like slamming the front door in the face of the hackers and locking it shut.

Firewall controls how applications on your system access the internet and can block both incoming and outgoing traffic. Microsoft has designed Windows 7 firewall to run on the system by default and it requires very little in the way of user input. For the most part you won’t even know that firewall is running, only popping up to specify the location of your internet connection (home, work, public network) and prompting you when a program is acting as a server.

If a program is looking to receive incoming internet connections, firewall will automatically block it from doing so, and will display the program in a small box, asking you whether or not you want to allow it. Obviously, it is dangerous to allow anything that you are unfamiliar with.

The outbound traffic on Firewall requires no user confirmation, although it is possible to control outgoing traffic in the settings.

Controlling firewall

Windows 7 firewall may not be as user-friendly as some third-party software programs, but users are still able to control the settings from the Windows Control Panel.

To access the firewall settings you should take this path: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Firewall.

Here you will be fine tune the protection for each of your networks – Home, Work, and Public – and carry out other tasks such as turning off firewall and troubleshooting a network.

While it is possible to turn off the firewall, this is something that is not recommended and can put the security of your computer in jeopardy. You should only turn off Windows firewall if you have another firewall program enabled.

Internet Security

Most computer users will have internet security software running on their computer; this software will generally take charge of Windows firewall settings and any adjustments made will need to be made through the third party software.

Computer protection is essential and you should run anti-virus and anti-malware software alongside firewall to fully secure your PC.

Top Windows 7 Gadgets

With Microsoft paving the way for the new Windows 8 operating system, there has been a lack of support for some of the gadgets available in Windows 7. While there used to be a good range of great desktop gadgets for users that were interested in them, the list has diminished somewhat; however, there are still some pretty useful gadgets out there for Windows 7 users to enjoy and make the most of. Let’s take a look at some of the best:

Clipboard Manager

If you have certain text that you tend to type a lot, Clipboard Manager is very useful indeed. This gadget lets you store words and phrases that you use on a regular basis so that you can access and insert them whenever needed – no need to retype. Big words that are notoriously hard to spell such as “psychology” can be saved and used whenever – great for college and university papers.

System Monitor

This is one of the best gadgets on Windows 7 and provides you with key information on what your computer is doing. There is nothing fancy or flash going on with System Monitor, just simple, easy to read information about your system.

Mail Preview

If you have multiple email accounts (as so many of us do), and don’t already use a desktop email client, you are required to go online and check your various inboxes. Mail Preview is a handy gadget that notifies you of new email coming in and lets you set up numerous email accounts. The small gadget has been designed to look like a Windows Phone app, making it compact and very easy to read.

Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector

This is one of the best gadgets available for Windows 7 laptops, providing you with a wealth of info from a small radar in the corner of your screen. The gadget can be expanded to a full-screen size where you can receive in depth information about your Wi-Fi connection.

HTC Home

Android users will be very familiar with the HTC home gadget for Windows 7, as it is much the same as the Android clock and weather app on the home screen of HTC phones. This gadget is a great alternative to the basic clock provided in Windows 7 and provides the time in different clock styles as well as a five day weather summary.

WeatherBug

We are all fond of the weather, and WeatherBug is the perfect gadget for telling us the forecast. This gadget is a commonly used app on the iPhone, and provides you with more information about the weather than you probably ever need to know.

Sticky Notes

Post-it notes are a prominent feature on most office desks and Windows 7 has the perfect virtual companion to the paper on pen Post-it. Sticky Notes lets you write a note on the desktop and place right there on the screen as a reminder.

While there might not be as many gadgets as there once was, those listed above prove that there is still plenty to love about Windows 7.

Windows 8 Release Date

Windows 8 is arguably to biggest technology release of the year and is set to change the way we use our computers forever. The date of its release has been subject to many a rumour, but confirmation has finally arrived: Microsoft Windows 8 will be released on 26 October 2012.

Following a successful Beta launch, the announcement of the release date was revealed by president of Microsoft’s Windows division, Steven Sinofsky at the company’s annual sales meeting. An announcement of an October date had previously been announced by Windows chief marketing officer Tami Reller at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2012, Reller also stated that the RTM date would be “early August”.

RTM is industry speak meaning release to manufacturing, which is the date when the finished product gets the go ahead to be pressed on to disk. Windows head man Brandon LeBlanc also stated in an official blog post that the RTM phase is when “we’ll be turning on the commerce platform so that developers can start earning money for their apps,” adding, “Of course, right now with the Windows 8 Release Preview, all apps are still free for people to try.”

The much-anticipated operating system that is designed for use on both tablets and PCs brings us a whole new touch-based interface that can be switched to a more traditional desktop interface as the user requires. The release date of 26 October 2012 applies to all major territories and Windows 8 will be available to consumers in stores, or as a downloadable upgrade.

New Versions

Windows 8 will only be made available by Microsoft in three different versions, two for Intel-based PCs and one for ARM-based tablet PCs, such as the new Microsoft Surface models that are also coming to market soon. The two PC versions of the OS will be called Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, while the tablet version is called Windows 8 RT.

The Microsoft Surface is expected to be released soon after Windows 8 has hit the market.

Pricing

So now we know that Windows 8 will be with us before Christmas, and in perfect time for the holiday shopping period, but how much is it going to cost?

Windows 8 upgrades will be offered by Microsoft for $39.99, or about £25. This price is for customers with an existing product and is an introductory offer lasting until 31 January 2013, after which time the price will increase.

If your computer is running Windows 7, XP, or Vista, you will able to bag yourself a download of Windows 8 Pro at the knockdown price, and receive the all new Windows Media Center for free.

Windows 8 is to be made available in 231 different markets across the world and in 109 languages. Microsoft has promised that the upgrade process will be made as easy as possible with both downloaded and physical copies of the OS and an assistant wizard will provide users with a step-by-step guide to installation.

How to Install Windows 7

Installing a new operating system isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but thankfully with Windows 7 Microsoft has made the process a little less stressful. This guide will help you to install Windows 7 on your computer quickly and easily.

Checking system requirements

Before you proceed with any installation it is important to check your system requirements to ensure your computer is able to cope with the extra demands of Windows 7. You may also want to place all of your data (i.e. documents, pictures, much, video, etc.) in a separate partition, or on an external hard-drive, you can do this by using the new feature in Windows 7, Libraries.

64-bit or 32-bit

Once you have chosen your copy of Windows 7 (There is Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate), you will need to select whether to install the 64-bit, or the 32-bit option. The general rule of thumb here is: if you’re your computer has 3GB of RAM or more, you will want to go for the 64-bit option, otherwise stick with the 32-bit. Both discs will be in the box, so it is just a matter of selecting the right one.

Upgrade or Custom

If you are upgrading from a previous version of Windows, you will have the option of upgrading to Windows 7, if your computer does not have Windows, you will simply need to proceed with the install. Selecting the “Custom” option gives you a lot more freedom than “Upgrade” and has features such as letting you format and partition your hard-disk – this is known as a “clean” install.

When using the Custom installation, you should run Windows Easy Transfer; this will copy and restore any of your old files, such as documents, music and pictures, as well as settings. It will not restore any programs.

Stay connected to the internet

Part-way through the installation process, Windows will attempt to retrieve updates from Microsoft servers to allow it do this you will need to ensure your computer is connected to the internet.

Next steps

The DVD will usually boot automatically and display a “Windows is loading files…” message. After this is complete you will able to choose your language, time, currency and keyboard language. Following this, you need to hit the big “Install Now” button. This will take you to a licence agreement which you will need to accept to proceed. Next comes the choice of Upgrade or Custom; both types of installation will take 45-60 minutes, although the Custom option is a little quicker.

Over the course of the 45-60 minutes Windows 7 will carry out the installation; all you can really do here is wait, maybe make yourself a cup of tea or something. Once it has completed this step you will be asked to provide a username of 20 characters or less and a computer name of 15 characters maximum. You will also need to enter the product key, although your free trial means you have 30 days to do so. You will then need to select time-zone and security settings, after this is complete, Windows 7 will display a message: “Windows is preparing your desktop”.

And that’s it – you’re ready to go with Windows 7!

Features of Windows 7

Windows 7 has been one of Microsoft’s most popular operating system releases to date and has received universal praise for the way it has advanced from Windows XP and Vista. If you are still using either of the earlier operating systems, upgrading to Windows 7 is something you should really think about; the following features should explain why.

Speed

Windows XP was a fairly speedy operating system and showed just how good Windows can be when Microsoft gets it right. Sadly, all of that good work was undone by the sluggish nature of Windows Vista, which was not only slow, but unresponsive. Windows 7 brings back, and increases, the speed that was a feature of XP and has a sprightlier feel, putting users in full control of the desktop. Menus and applications are much faster, and boot up time is also much speedier.

Vista garnered a reputation for ensuring even the beefiest hardware looked a bit average. Windows 7, however, will run well on lower end hardware, making the transition from Window XP less painful.

Lower system requirements

Windows Vista made a hash of performing on well, even on the most powerful of computers, once again undoing the good work of XP. Windows 7 has been designed to run smoothly on even lower hardware specs and seems much more like a successor to XP. As long as your computer meets the minimum system requirements of Windows 7, you can expect to have a slick OS that is able to handle multi-tasking with aplomb.

Improved Start menu

The Windows 7 Start menu may look very similar to the one seen on Vista, but on further investigation you can see that it is much more powerful than its predecessor. Items are well grouped together, larger and more clearly visible. Multiple Windows Explorer or Document windows will be displayed in an over-lapping stack which will show thumbnails of each window when the mouse is hovered over the icon. You will also be able to close windows directly from the thumbnail, adding efficiency for the user.

Stacking

Stacking is a great feature which lets you drag a window over to the side of the desktop and it will automatically stick their, filling half of the screen. This makes it really easy to view documents side-by-side.

Aero-shake

Another standout feature in Windows 7 is ‘aero-shake’. If you have numerous windows open at one, but want to focus on one window in particular, aero-shake lets you grab it at the top and shake it with the mouse, minimising all other windows in the process.

Touch capability

If you have a touch-enabled PC, Windows 7 can help you maximise its potential, giving you a whole new way of interacting with your computer. You will be able to use the task bar to open apps, scroll up and down by swiping the screen, and rotate and zoom in on pictures by holding the screen. The novelty of this feature is likely to wear off with most users, but just knowing that you have it is enough.

windows 7 sleep mode

Understand the Windows 7 sleep mode

The sleep mode is a power saving state of your computer, which keeps all your documents, browser windows, and applications running, however, power is conserved by cutting it to all parts of the computer that are not needed.

How can I put my computer or laptop in sleep mode?

- most laptops go in sleep mode automatically as soon as you close the lid

- if you are running Windows 7, you can put your computer in sleep mode by pressing the Start button, then the triangle arrow next to Shut down, and selecting Sleep (see the image below)

sleep mode

- You can also press the Sleep button on your keyboard as long as your keyboard has one

How to get out of Windows 7 sleep mode:

- press a button on your keyboard

- click a mouse button

- move the mouse

- press the Wake Up key on your keyboard

- press the Power button on your computer

If the Sleep Shutdown option is not available, then either your video card does not support it, your computer administrator has changed some of the Windows settings, or sleep mode has been disabled in your computer’s BIOS.

How to turn off sleep mode in Windows 7

Open the Control Panel, click on Power Options, and then click Change when the computer sleeps (see the image below); under the put the computer to sleep, choose Never

power options

Why would you want to turn off sleep mode? Even though conserving power is a great idea, quite often you might not be able to get out of sleep mode and lose valuable data. In addition, if you computer goes in sleep mode automatically after a set period of time, you might not be able to access it remotely.

Windows dll error

Windows dll error

If you are trying to fix a Windows dll error, here are a number of suggestions that could help you out:

1. If the dll error is associated with a specific software program, see if an update is available, or try to uninstall and install the program again if that is possible, and finally contact the software vendor and request help.


2. You can run a complete check, using the SFC /SCANNOW Command. In order to do that run the command prompt (run it as administrator in Windows 7 and Vista) and then run one of the following commands:

sfc /scannow or sfc /verifyonly

The first command checks the integrity of your Windows files and attempts to fix the errors, while the second command only examines the integrity of the Windows files. Simply type the command in the command prompt and press Enter on your keyboard.


windows dll error


3. Run a complete virus and malware scan on your computer. Start by running a quick scan if it is supported by your antivirus application, then follow by complete scan. Additionally, scan your computer with Malware Bytes Anti-Malware as well and remove the found threats.


4. Register or re-register the dll. Use the regsvr32 command to register the corrupt dll file and fix the Windows dll error. Again, open the command prompt by running it as administrator, paste or type the regsvr32 command, followed by space and the dll name, and press the Enter key on your computer. If the dll is registered, you should see a message stating that the registration succeeded. If you receive an error message, make sure that you have started the command prompt as administrator or search on how to register dll files for your specific operating system.

How to hide the preview pane in windows 7



Windows Explorer comes with a preview pane, which you can easily hide or show by pressing ALT + P.

Alternatively, you can click on the little square icon, right next to the help (question mark) icon at the right-hand end of Windows Explorer to hide or show the preview pane in windows 7.


hide the preview pane

The third way to disable the preview pane in Windows 7 is to choose Organize -> Layout from the Windows Explorer menu and then tick or un-tick the Preview Pane.


show the preview pane




Smart Fortress how do I remove Smart Fortress



What is smart fortress?


Smart fortress or smart fortress 2012 is a rogue (fake) anti-virus program, which issues fake virus warnings and system messages.


How do I remove smart fortress?


Quick Fix

(does not work for everyone)


Start the task manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL and open the Processes tab.


Find a process [random_numbers_and_letters].exe (for example ht56TGRr54ff766.exe) and close it.


Download MalwareBites Anti-Malware Free, install it and update it. Then, run a quick scan, remove the infected files, and follow by full scan to make sure that there are no traces of Smart Fortress left.


Complete Fix


Depending on the version of Smart Fortress, it might block various websites and even prevent you from running legit .exe files. In that case, the quick fix will not work, so follow these steps:


1. Reboot your computer and start Windows in safe mode by repeatedly pressing the F8 key after you hear the first beep. The Windows Advanced Option menu will open, so choose “Safe mode with networking” and press Enter.


2. Logon as administrator and once in safe mode download the fix.exe program from one of the following locations:


http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/FixExec/32-bit/FixExec.exe


http://www.myantispyware.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/fixexe.zip


Install the program. If you cannot install the program on your computer for some reason, then you would have to save it on a flash drive. Now log off from the administrator account and login with your normal Windows account (the one that was infected with Smart Fortress). Run Fix.Exec.exe and wait until it finishes.


IMPORTANT – if you cannot access some or most web sites, then you need to change the Proxy settings in your browser as they have been modified by the rogue anti-virus. If you are using Internet Explorer, then open Internet Options -> Connections tab -> LAN Settings and make sure that “Use a proxy server for your LAN….” is un-checked.


3. Download MalwareBites Anti-Malware Free, install the program and update it. After that, run a quick scan, remove the infected files, then run a full scan (note, this could take quite some time, so be patient). At the end of the scan, click the Show Results button and remove all infected files.


4. Reboot your computer.



Mouse without borders

Mouse without borders – after Windows 7 and Security Essentials, the little Mouse without borders is the 3rd most awesome product that MS has released.

What is Mouse without borders? It is a little program, which allows you to use two computers with one mouse and keyboard; in fact, you can use one keyboard and mouse to control up to four different computers, as long as they are connected in a network.

What is even more exciting is that you can easily drag and drop files (only one file at a time) from one computer to another, so you no longer have to use flash drives just to copy a single file. In addition, if you want to drag more than one file at a time, simply zip all the files that you want to move, drag them across the screens and drop them. The little drawback here is that the files always land in a special MouseWithoutBorders folder, but then you can move them to a folder of your choice easily.

How to set up Mouse without borders:

Download the program to your main computer and run it – the program will generate a security code for you. After that, install the program on the second (third and fourth) computers and use the same security code. You can easily add or remove a computer from Mouse without borders – right click on the program’s icon, select settings, and then simply tick / un-tick the little checkbox next to the computer name.

Mouse without borders drawbacks – as awesome as the program is, it has its drawbacks. Often, the “connection” between the computer drops and you will need to either restart the program (which resolves most of the issues) or look for other solutions. Some users have reported that using the computer IPs instead of the computer names solves most of these issues as well. The other little drawback is the fact that you can only drag & drop a single file (if you try to drag two or more files nothing happens), and you cannot choose the destination folder of the copied file.

Conclusion – Mouse without borders is free and can easily replace a KVM switch, not to mention that is has added functionality. It is easy to install and use, and if you work on two, three, or four networked computers, it can greatly increase your productivity!

What is the Best Browser

What is the Best Browser? The Top 5 Browsers

If you are wondering about the answer to the question “What is the best browser?”, you may be confused by all of the options. In fact, if you ask others “What is the best browser?” you will find that they simply recommend the one they are currently using.

For example, if you ask someone with a low level of computer skills, they will say “Internet Explorer” in response to the question “What is the best browser?”, simply because they have never tried any of the others.

At the very least, if you want an honest answer to the question “What is the best browser?” you should make it a point to know the advantages and disadvantages of each one. From there, you can try out the ones that are most appealing to your situation in order to arrive at a personalized answer to the question.

what is the best browser


What is the Best Browser, Pros and Cons of Internet Explorer


As you may be aware, Internet Explorer comes pre-installed on any computer that has the Windows operating system. Therefore, even if you want to use another browser, you will most likely stay with this one simply because it is available. In addition, most people go on using Internet Explorer, simply because they do not know how to get rid of it.

Overall, you will find that Internet Explorer has very little in its favor. Among other things, it is extremely vulnerable to malicious code. It also runs slower than any other operating system, and frequently crashes. Most people find that they can only tolerate Internet Explorer for a short period of time before being forced to look for another browser.


What is the Best Browser, Pros and Cons of Firefox


It can be said that Firefox offers many improvements over Internet Explorer. This particular browser is built on the old Netscape platform, and offers fast, reliable performance. Even though Firefox is very popular, most hackers have hard time creating viruses that will work. In addition, if you are fortunate enough to have a computer with the Linux operating system installed, Firefox will be the main browser installed for your system.

For the most part, the disadvantages associated with Firefox are somewhat minimal. To begin, you will not be able to play .midi files. Others have also noticed that Adobe Flash player runs considerably slower than under Chrome or other browsers. Therefore, if you are interested in playing flash based games, or viewing flash based websites, Firefox may not be the best option for you.


What is the Best Browser, Pros and Cons of Chrome


There is no question that many people favor Chrome. As you may be aware, this browser was developed by Google. It is known for easy integration with all of the Google products. Many people that are looking for a peppy browser also comment that Chrome is much faster than any other browser on the market.

Even though Chrome has a lot of good features, it was created by a company that is very hungry for information about the kinds of things you may be looking at. As a result, you never really know when Google will look to install cookies or other tracking code on your computer. In fact, even if you have a firewall or other anti-malware software installed on your computer, Chrome may not run properly because your system is disabling the tracking cookies.


What is the Best Browser, Pros and Cons of Safari


Many people mistakenly believe that Safari can only run on a Mac operating system. That said, if you visit their site, you should be able to download a link that will enable you to use this browser with Windows. Today, the vast majority of people looking for a safe browser choose Safari over the others.

If you do not have a lot of time waiting for a browser to load, Safari is sure to be a nuisance. In addition, you will also notice that it takes a good bit of time for pages to load. If you have an older computer, or one without a lot of graphics functionality, you may find that Safari is more trouble than it is worth.


What is the Best Browser, Pros and Cons of Opera


As you may be aware, Opera is a fairly well integrated platform that can run on mobile phones as well as regular computers. If you often synchrnoize between multiple devices, or do not want to work with multiple platforms, Opera may be a good choice. Most people also find that Opera is much better than Internet Explorer when it comes to security, reliability, and speed.

Even though Opera is said to be very secure, it does not have a large following. Once this browser becomes more popular, it is not clear whether or not the developers will be able to prevent a wide range of security issues from coming up. At the very least, if you make use of Safari, Firefox, or Chrome, you can have peace of mind knowing that the developers already have a good track record when it comes to high volume security risks.

As you search for an answer to the question “What is the best browser?” you are sure to find that different people have different criteria. In particular, if you do not want to be stuck dealing with malicious software, Internet Explorer will never be the answer you get to “What is the best browser?”. In a similar way, you will find that fans of Firefox, Opera, and Safari all prefer these browsers based on speed or efficiency. If you are not sure what features matter most for you, it may be of some use to sit down and make a list of what you usually do online, as well as what you want to get from the browser. At that point, you may just find that the answer to the question “What is the best browser?” will truly revolve around your needs, as well as expectations.




Is Avast a virus

Is Avast a virus?

When choosing a good antivirus program, several factors matter and some of them are listed below:
- Detection score
- Successful threat elimination
- Level of interference with your normal workflow
- Amount of computer resources that the program uses
- Cost
- Usability
- Help and support

Avast scores 10 out of 10 on many of these points, but it is also a program that will CRIPPLE your workflow. If you are using your computer to browse tens or even hundreds of websites daily, if you are running numerous software programs, and if you are doing anything else besides opening your email once a week, then you should probably look somewhere else.

Avast is a program, which interrupts your workflow sometimes hundreds of times in a single day by blocking legit software programs that you are trying to use, blowing pop ups in your face, and even CLOSING YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION. Now, you would think that nobody in their right mind would create an antivirus that closes your Internet connection without a single warning, yet the creators of Avast thought that this would be perfectly fine.

The very first time I installed Avast Free on my computer, I started losing my connection at least two-three times per hour. I spent hours rebooting my modem, calling my ISP, installing firmware, searching for viruses and malware, and trying to figure out what the problem was. It turns out Avast cuts off your Internet connection as soon as it detects a virus or any other malicious threat – just like that! Wow! This is awesome, isn’t it? What better way to protect your computer from threats that disconnect it from the Internet?!?

Is Avast a virus? No, it is not, but it sure pops a lot of pop ups in your face. If you think that pop ups are cool, then you definitely need to get Avast. Unfortunately, the program starts with popping only one of them every thirty minutes or so, but do not despair, with time their number grows and they get bigger and better. Of course, there is the magic Silent / Gaming mode – all you need to do in order to get rid of the pop ups once and for all is turn the Silent / Gaming mode of Avast on, right? Not so fast! You can turn it on all you want, it turns itself off automatically 30 minutes later, and then you get hit with the pop ups again and again ….. and again.

is avast a virus

Is Avast a virus? Well, probably not, but it sure doesn’t like any other program that you are using. Every time you are trying to launch a perfectly harmless software, it gets blocked by Avast by default – nice! Well, you might think that all you need to do is open the program “normally” once and ask Avast to remember your selection and never bother you again. Good in theory, not so good when you are trying to run your program and nothing happens; it turns out that Avast really dislikes many of the programs that I use and locks them deep into its vault, and if you don’t know where to look, there goes another hour trying to figure out what went wrong.

In their desire to build the best and most secure antivirus program, the creators of Avast have created a monster, which would choke your Internet connection, kill all your programs, and even unplug your computer (not yet, but they are probably working on it) as soon as a threat, real or perceived, is spotted in a 1000-miles radius.

The Best Free Antivirus 2012

The Best Free Antivirus 2012—Top 5 Antivirus Programs To Choose From

What is the best free antivirus 2012? If this is the questions you’re after, we’re glad that you found our website.

Are you tired of spending hundreds of dollars each year on computer security suites that take hours on end to upgrade? If you own a computer that runs the Windows operating system, you will most likely be desperate to find the best free antivirus 2012 in order to gain some financial relief.

Unfortunately, hackers and other malicious code authors realize that vulnerabilities in the Windows OS also leave them plenty of room to create free antivirus solutions filled with their own malicious content. We thought it would be a good idea to create a list of the five best free antivirus 2012 programs so that you can avoid choosing something that will do harm to your computer.

AVG Free

Pros

This antivirus offers a basic level of protection against modern viruses and spyware. You can use AVG with Windows 7, XP, and Vista. Many people prefer AVG Free because this is one of the oldest and most reliable free anti-virus software programs available today. You can also easily upgrade to a full security suite that will provide a full firewall as well as other features.

Cons

As you may be aware, anti-virus programs are not yet advanced enough to detect malicious software without comparing snippets of potentially malicious programs to a database of known viruses. Even though some best free antivirus 2012 programs do have limited heuristic scanning abilities, AVG still needs to be updated with new definition codes on a regular basis. You will need to perform this task manually, on a daily basis, if you want to keep your computer safe from the latest threats.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Pros

If you don’t have time to manually update virus definition files, you are sure to appreciate the fact that Microsoft Security Essentials has an automated update service. It also offers a fairly robust series of tools to fight malware, rootkit attacks, and spyware. This program can be used with Windows XP, Vista, and 7. According to specs, it will run on systems that have a minimum of 500 ghz CPU (for XP systems) to 1 ghz CPU (for Vista and 7).

Cons

Even though this software offers automated updates, you may find they take up an enormous amount of computer resources. For example, if the automated system looks for updates each time you go online, you may not be able to do anything else with your computer, until that process completes. Needless to say, this will be very frustrating if you have a slow internet connection, or a computer that does not have at least triple the resources defined as the minimum required.

Avira Free

Pros

Avira Free is the ideal best free antivirus 2012 if you need to find out whether or not you have a virus or some other type of malicious code on your computer. This includes spyware, root kits, worms, and automated dialers. It can be used by anyone that has a computer running on Windows Vista, 7, or XP.

Cons

Unfortunately, the free version will not remove malicious code from your computer. You cannot use this software to detect phishing scams. In addition, even though the upgrade version has a heuristic scanner that test scripts in live settings, Avira Free does not have this capacity.

As you may be aware, a heuristic scanner does not need to compare code to a database of snippets from known malicious programs. Rather, it will force the code to execute in a location where it cannot actually cause damage in order to see what it does. You will also need to upgrade Avira Free if you want to protect email and download functions.

Comodo Antivirus

Pros

Comodo is easily one of the most robust best free antivirus 2012 scanners on the market. It comes with a guarantee that there is no such thing as malicious code that will escape undetected. The free version also comes with protection for IM, email, and downloads activities.

As with others on the best free antivirus 2012 list, it can be used with Windows OS versions XP through Vista. If you need to remove viruses, you can also take advantage of free online scans, as well as a 30 day free trial that will give you access to virus removal tools.

Cons

Unfortunately, if this software detects a virus, you will not be able to remove it with the free version. You will also need to purchase an upgrade if you want a firewall and live support for trouble shooting. Finally, the free version does not come with a guarantee that your computer will be completely free of viruses if you use this software.

Panda Cloud Antivirus

Pros

Panda is the only free antivirus in the league of best free antivirus 2012 programs that offers live virus detection protocols. This software will also update definition files automatically, as well as filter out malicious site and content. As an added bonus, Panda is also available in 20 different languages.

Cons

If you tend to swap USB drives from one computer to another, the free version of Panda will not detect viruses or other malicious content that get transferred in the process. Even though there is a live scanner, it does not make use of heuristic protocols. Although the manufacturer states that the program is very fast, and does not take up many resources, you may find that older computers will have a difficult time running other programs, while Panda is updating or comparing codes to virus definition files.

Conclusion

If you have ever lost information, or had to take your computer to a shop to get rid of a virus, you can easily understand why many people decide to abandon the Windows OS in favor of Linux.

That said, if you are not quite ready to experience all the best a non-Windows based computer has to offer, then you should at least give some thought to the best free antivirus 2012 programs. At the very least, if you choose from one of the five listed above, you will be able to protect your computer from most malicious programs without spending a fortune. As may be expected, you might have to try one or more best free antivirus 2012 programs before you can settle on one that will not place an undue resource burden on your computer.

UAC Windows 7

UAC Windows 7 refers to User Account Control and helps in preventing any unauthorized changes to the computer. The controls were introduced by Microsoft in Windows Vista operating system and were carried on to Windows 7 operating system. In case any changes are required to be made, UAC would first pop up a message and the computer administrator would need to give permission of the change. These changes are really important and can affect the security of computer in a big way. If you are notified by the UAC about any pending change required in the computer, it is very important that you first read carefully the message on the dialog box before approving the changes. Most of these are generally required for better working of computer; however, there can be a few malicious software which can utilize the entire thing in installing certain unwanted files or making changes in settings. You must be very careful before authenticating the installation.

The Levels of Notification

There are basically three levels of notification when it comes to UAC Windows 7. You can select any one of these by using a slider present in the UAC settings.

Always Notify

This is the most secure UAC Windows 7 setting and notifies you whenever programs or user make a change in the settings of the computer. The light of the monitor is dimmed and you would not be able to work on any other program. Only after your approval the changes would be made and you would be allowed to start working again.

Notification when programs make changes

This setting does not allow any program to make changes to the setting of the computer and administrator’s permission is required. However, a user who is not administrator can make the changes without any kind of notification or permission from the administrator.
Never Notify
In the never notify setting, all the changes in settings are allowed in case you are logged in as administrator. However, if you are logged in as any other user, you or the programs are not allowed to make any kind of changes and the related requests are denied automatically.

How to change the UAC Windows 7 settings?

The UAC Windows 7 settings in windows can be changed by accessing User Account Control Settings. For making the changes, go to system and security tab in the control panel. Click on the link mentioning ‘User Account Control Settings.’ Move the slider to the desired setting. You might need to restart the computer before settings to take effect.

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