PC Support: Most Popular Articles
Here's what to do when your computer won't turn on. Fix a desktop, laptop, or tablet that won't boot all the way, or even one that won't start at all.
Here's how to install Windows 8 or 8.1 from a USB device like a flash drive. You'll need to properly format the USB drive and then copy the Windows 8 files.
A list of 22 free key finder software programs, ranked and reviewed. Keyfinders find lost software product keys or serial numbers. Updated August, 2014.
Free data recovery software, aka free file recovery or undelete software, can help recover deleted files. Here are reviews of the best ones out there.
Windows password recovery tools are used to recover Windows log on passwords. Here are the 7 best free Windows password recovery and cracking tools.
Before you can install Windows 7 from a USB flash drive, you must properly format the drive and then copy the setup files to it. Here's how.
A tutorial on starting Windows 8 or 8.1 in Safe Mode. If you can start Windows 8 in Safe Mode you may be able to fix whatever startup problem you're having.
Help on what to do when your computer gets stuck or freezes (locked-up) during the installation or configuration of a Windows update.
Where and how to download and update DirectX. Updating DirectX 11, DirectX 10, or DirectX 9 is easy and could improve game performance in Windows.
Lost your Windows 8 product key? You may be able, under certain conditions, to extract your Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro product key from the registry.
Does your computer turn on but show just a black screen? If some things seem to be working properly, but there's no display, give this a try...
Here are several ways to access Advanced Startup Options, the recovery and repair menu in Windows 8 & 8.1 including System Restore, Safe Mode, and more.
A list of completely free, public DNS servers. This DNS server list was last updated in August 2014.
You can reset your Windows 7 password if you've forgotten it. Learn how to reset the password to your Windows 7 account, for free, without extra software.
Easy instructions on how to wipe a hard drive. A hard drive wipe will erase everything on the hard drive - something deleting and formatting can not do.
Most download Windows 7 to reinstall it, after losing a Windows 7 DVD or never receiving one. But from where? Is it legal? I have answers!
Easy to follow tutorial to help fix a Blue Screen of Death. A BSOD might be caused by hardware or software so proper troubleshooting is important.
Nearly two dozen Command Prompt tricks and other Command Prompt hacks to help you get the most out of the Command Prompt in Windows 7, 8, Vista, or XP.
Lost your Windows 7 product key? Here's how to find your Windows 7 product key using a free key finder program which will extract the key from the registry.
The 500 Internal Server Error (aka HTTP 500 error) is a generic error suggesting a problem with the website's server. Here's what you can do about it.
How to troubleshoot BOOTMGR is Missing and Couldn't Find BOOTMGR errors that sometimes appear during startup a Windows 8, 7, or Vista computer.
A complete tutorial on how to start Windows 7 in Safe Mode. Starting Windows 7 in Safe Mode can help diagnose and solve many serious problems.
Want to download Windows 8 or 8.1 instead of buying it on disc? Need to download Windows 8.1 or 8 to replace a DVD or ISO? What about for free? I have answers!
Try not to panic if you forgot your Windows 7 password. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to overcome a forgotten password.
Instructions on how to make your computer boot from a USB device, like a flash drive or a USB connected hard drive.
One easy way of backing up a disc is creating an ISO image of it. See these easy instructions for creating an ISO image file from a CD, DVD, or BD disc.
Access BIOS with these simple steps. Enter BIOS to make hardware configuration changes, set boot order, reset BIOS passwords and more.
Belarc Advisor v8.4 is one of the better free system information utilities. Here's my complete review of the latest version of Belarc Advisor for Windows.
Recuva is the very best free file recovery program available. I highly recommend you try Recuva before any other undelete program.
A list of the best freeware registry cleaners available today. Free registry cleaners remove duplicate or unwanted entries from the Windows Registry.
How to safely clean your flat screen monitor or TV. LCD, LED, and other flat screens require special care when cleaning to prevent permanent damage.
Ophcrack is simply the best free Windows password recovery software program available. See my full review of Ophcrack LiveCD v3.6.0.
A complete tutorial on how to reset a Windows 8 password, for free, without using password recovery software or other third-party software.
The 502 Bad Gateway error means that two different servers involved in loading a web page (or other task) are not able to communicate. Here's what to do...
The 403 Forbidden error means that whatever resource or webpage you were trying to access is forbidden from being accessed. Here are some things to try.
An EPUB file is an Open Publication Structure eBook file. Learn how to open an .EPUB file or convert an EPUB file to another file format.
The 503 Service Unavailable error means that the web site's server is not available, usually due to maintenance or server overloading.
No, you are not locked out of your computer forever if you forgot your Windows 8 password. Here are several things you can do to get back in.
Detailed tutorial on how to change the boot order in BIOS. A change to the boot sequence will change the order in which devices are booted from.
Detailed tutorial on how to format a hard drive in Windows 7. You must format a hard drive to use it in Windows 7.
A Windows 7 clean install tutorial with screenshots and full instructions. A clean install of Windows 7 is often the best way to reinstall Windows 7.
A list of the best free remote desktop programs, sometimes called free remote access or remote control software. Last updated August, 2014.
The 404 Not Found error, often called Error 404 or an HTTP 404 error, means that the webpage you were trying to load was not found. Here's what to do.
A guide on accessing Command Prompt in Windows 8 & 8.1. You'll need to open a Command Prompt window to execute most commands in Windows 8.
A complete list of the over 280 Command Prompt commands across Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP, including full descriptions of each CMD command.
An easy tutorial on making Windows 8 or 8.1 login automatically. Configuring Windows 8 to auto logon is easy but should only be done in secure environments.
An ISO file is a single file containing all the data from a CD, DVD, or BD. The ISO file (or ISO image) is a perfect representation of the entire disc.
A list of ways to find the Windows 7 administrator password. An admin password in Windows 7 is the one needed to access some advanced areas in Windows.
Xinput1_3.dll Not Found errors usually indicate a DirectX problem. Don't download xinput1_3.dll, fix the problem the right way.
Easy instructions on how to make Windows 7 login automatically! Configuring Windows 7 to auto login can substantially speed your PC's total boot time.
Not sure if you have a 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows 8? You need to know so you install the right drivers and software. Here's how to find out.
A list of free hard drive testing software programs. These hard drive test programs will do just that - test your hard drive for problems.
There are lots of reasons why a computer might not be getting any power. If you turn on your computer and it doesn't power on at all, give this a try...
The sfc scannow option is the most useful way to run System File Checker. Using sfc with the scannow option will scan and repair important Windows files.
Disk Management in Windows 7 can be accessed from the Computer Management utility. Follow these steps to open Disk Management in Windows 7.
In most cases, you'll need to burn an ISO file to a DVD before you can use it. Here are easy instructions for burning an ISO image to a CD, DVD, or BD disc.
A DAT file might be a video, email, or generic data file. Learn how to open a .DAT file or convert a DAT file to another file format.
A really frustrating problem is when Windows hangs or gets stuck while starting. If Windows starts to load but freezes without an error, give this a try...
Reviews of the best online backup services, updated August 2014. Online backup services back up your files to secure data centers over the Internet.
A step-by-step, screenshot based walkthrough of one of the most successful Windows 7 password reset procedures. No third-party software required!
Three ways to clear the CMOS memory on your motherboard. Clearing CMOS will reset your BIOS settings to their factory default levels.
Detailed instructions on how to make your computer boot from a CD, DVD, or BD disc. You may need to boot from a disc to install Windows, run live CDs, etc.
Here's how to force Windows to start in Safe Mode on the next reboot, assuming you can't do so in other ways like from Startup Settings or the F8 menu.
It's really simple to update Internet Explorer, which involves either downloading and installing the latest version, or using Windows Update. Here's how.
A hardware issue or short is a likely cause of these types of issues. If you turn on your computer and it promptly turns itself off, give this a try...
A complete list of Command Prompt commands in Windows 7. There are over 230 commands, referred to as CMD commands or DOS commands, in Windows 7.
Download the latest Windows 8 & 8.1 drivers for your hardware, updated July 31, 2014. Download Windows 8 sound, video, printer, and other drivers.
How to solve the Code 43 error in Device Manager. Code 43 errors appear when a device reports general problems to Windows.
A Windows 8 & 8.1 clean install tutorial with detailed instructions and screenshots. A clean install is the best way to install Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro.
Getting an ISO file onto a USB drive isn't as easy as copying the file. Here's a complete tutorial on how to burn an ISO to USB, like a flash drive.
Easy instructions on how to open Registry Editor, the program included in Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP that's used to make changes to the registry.
Looking for a free file format converter? Here's a list of 100% free file converter programs for video files, audio files, image files, and more.
List of the latest Windows 7 drivers, last updated July 31, 2014. Download Windows 7 audio drivers, sound drivers, printer drivers, and more.
A detailed tutorial on how to correct problems caused by Windows updates, including security updates pushed by Microsoft on Patch Tuesday.
The default gateway IP address is usually the IP address configured for your router. Learn how to find the default gateway in Windows 8, 7, Vista, or XP.
There are many reasons that you might see an NTLDR is Missing error message. Here's how to fix the NTLDR is Missing error and other NTLDR errors.
CCleaner is without a doubt the best free registry cleaner available. See my full review of CCleaner, a free program from Piriform.
Hearing beep codes when you turn on your computer? Beep codes are clues as to why your computer isn't working. Here's what to do.
A tutorial for completing a Windows 7 Startup Repair. Running a Startup Repair is a good first troubleshooting step if Windows 7 isn't starting properly.
List of BIOS access keys for major computer systems from Gateway, Toshiba, Dell, Sony, eMachines, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and more.
D3dx9_43.dll Not Found errors usually indicate a DirectX problem. Don't download d3dx9_43.dll, fix the problem the right way.
Here are several free data destruction software programs, sometimes called disk wipe software or hard drive eraser software. Last updated August, 2014.
A tutorial on opening Control Panel in Windows 8 & 8.1. Control Panel contains links to most of the tools used to configure various aspects of Windows 8.
Here are 5 ways to format C drive. To format C means to format the drive that the operating system is on, which is usually the C drive.
A step by step tutorial to install Windows 8 or 8.1 from a USB flash drive, complete with screenshots and details on each necessary step.
A list of the best free PDF password remover tools for Windows, plus free PDF password crackers and recovery programs for both user and owner passwords.
A RAR file is a Roshal Archive Compressed file. Learn how to open a .RAR file or convert a RAR file to another file format.
How to solve the This device cannot start. (Code 10) error in Device Manager. Code 10 errors are often due to driver issues.
The Advanced Boot Options menu is a menu of advanced Windows startup and troubleshooting modes, including Safe Mode.
Instructions on creating a Windows 7 System Repair Disc, a bootable disc that will give you access to Windows 7's System Recovery Options.
Easy instructions to completely erase a hard drive. To truly erase hard drive data forever, you may have to do more than format the drive or delete files.
A tutorial on how to partition a hard drive in Windows 7. You have to partition a hard drive before you can format, and eventually use, it in Windows 7.
A complete list of Windows STOP codes, often called Blue Screen error codes. STOP codes display on STOP error screens - the Blue Screens of Death (BSOD).
Where to download Microsoft Windows updates and service packs, updated August 2014. Download Windows 8.1 Update, Windows 7 SP1, Windows Vista SP2, & more.
A complete tutorial with screenshots on using Ophcrack LiveCD v3.4.0 (Ophcrack 3.4.0) to crack a Windows password.
A complete tutorial on rebuilding the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store in Windows 8, 7, or Vista. The bootrec command is used to rebuild the BCD.
A list of the best free memory test (RAM test) software. Test your memory with a RAM test program to find even tiny problems with your computer memory.
A TGZ file is a GZIP Compressed Tar Archive file. Learn how to open a .TGZ file or convert a TGZ file to another file format.
How to reset your Microsoft account password. This procedure may reset the password you use to login to Windows 8, Outlook.com, SkyDrive, Skype, and more.
A MOBI file is a Mobipocket eBook file. Learn how to open a .MOBI file or convert a MOBI file to another file format.
You'll need to update drivers in Windows 7 to fix hardware problems or enable new features. Follow these easy steps to update drivers in Windows 7.
Basic information about Microsoft Windows 7 including editions, service packs, release date, minimum and maximum hardware, and more.
The net use command is used to manage shared resources. Learn more about the net use command and see several net use command examples.
Command Prompt is a command line interpreter program available in Windows. Command Prompt is similar in appearance to MS-DOS.
If security isn't a concern, you can remove (delete) your Windows 7 password, allowing unrestricted access to your Windows 7 computer. Here's how.
A 504 Gateway Timeout error, also called an HTTP 504 error, means that one server didn't receive a response from another quickly enough so it timed out.
Darik's Boot And Nuke (DBAN) is a free data wipe program for completely erasing a hard drive. Here's my complete review of DBAN.
Here are several ways to keep your PC cool. If your computer gets too hot it can stop working and cause damage so keeping the temperature down is important.
A video converter converts one kind of video file to another. Here are several free video converter software programs and online video converters.
Links to detailed instructions on how to update drivers in Windows, specific to your particular version of Windows.
Offline NT Password & Registry Editor is a Windows password reset/remover tool that works nearly 100% of the time. See my complete review of ONTP&RE.
Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder v18.104.22.168 is one of the easiest, most effective and least expensive (it's free) key finder programs available.
Details on the updates included in the Patch Tuesday August 2014 release by Microsoft (August 12, 2014), plus what to do when they cause problems.
Hardware refers to the physical parts of a computer system. Some basic computer hardware includes the motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive, etc.
A complete tutorial on how to update drivers in Windows 8 or 8.1. You might update Windows 8 drivers to fix a hardware problem, enable a new feature, etc.
A complete tutorial on using System Restore in Windows 8. A System Restore can fix problems by undoing registry, driver, and other changes in Windows 8.
Detailed instructions on using System Restore in Windows 7 to undo recent driver, registry, and other important changes.
The Advanced Startup Options menu contains diagnostic & repair tools for Windows 8 like Command Prompt, System Restore, Startup Repair, and more.
Lost your Windows password? Here are several ways to find your lost Windows 8, 7, Vista, or XP password.
A tutorial on opening an elevated Command Prompt in Windows 8 or 8.1. Some commands in Windows 8 require an elevated Command Prompt to be executed.
DLL download sites sometimes provide easy fixes for DLL problems by allowing single DLL downloads but you should NEVER use them. Here's why...
A list of free Internet speed test sites, updated August 2014. An Internet speed test, or broadband speed test, tests your available bandwidth.
A screenshot-based tutorial on upgrading to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8. Updating to Windows 8.1 is free for all users of Windows 8. Here's how to do it...
How to fix the STOP 0x0000007B code (INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE) on a Blue Screen of Death. These are usually driver, virus, or hardware issues.
The shutdown command is used to shut down or restart remote computers. The shutdown command will also shut down, restart, hibernate, or log off your own PC.
List of BIOS access keys for motherboards from ASUS, MSI, abit, GIGABYTE, Intel, BIOSTAR, EVGA, and more.
A complete list of Command Prompt commands in Windows 8. Around 230 CMD commands exist in Windows 8, often incorrectly referred to as DOS commands.
A CBR file is a CDisplay RAR Archived Comic Book file. Learn how to open a .CBR file or convert a CBR file to another file format.
Disk Management in Windows 8 can be accessed via Computer Management. Follow these simple steps to open Disk Management in Windows 8 or 8.1.
The Startup Repair, Repair Install, and Refresh Your PC processes automatically replace damaged or missing Windows files. Here's how to do it.
The 400 Bad Request error means that the request you sent to the website server to view the page was incorrect somehow. Here are some things to try.
Instructions on how to find your lost Microsoft Office product key. An Office product key is required to install Microsoft Office 2010, Office 2007, etc.
Need to get a file back from the Recycle Bin? Restore Recycle Bin deleted files easily with these steps in Windows 8, 7, Vista, or XP.
A list of executable file extensions. Files with any of these file extensions might be able to execute a task automatically.
The only way to permanently fix DLL errors is by fixing the underlying cause of the issue, not by downloading DLL files. Here's how to do it.
Where to download the latest Microsoft Office service packs, updated August 2014. Download Office 2013 SP1, Office 2010 SP2, Office 2007 SP3, etc.
Tutorials on starting Windows in Safe Mode. These are specific walkthroughs for accessing Safe Mode in Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.
A Windows clean install is useful for fixing serious Windows problems. A clean install will erase everything from your computer. Here's how to do it.
The world is not over if you forgot your Windows Vista password. Here are several things to try, from sparking your memory to hacking your PC.
Don't like the Windows 8 Start screen? Make Windows 8 (Windows 8.1 and later) boot directly to the Desktop when your PC starts. Here's how to do it...
D3dcompiler_43.dll Not Found errors usually indicate a DirectX problem. Don't download d3dcompiler_43.dll, fix the problem the right way.
A PSD file is an Adobe Photoshop Document file. Learn how to open a .PSD file or convert a PSD file to another file format.
Find the Linksys WRT54G default password, default username, and default IP address here, plus more help with your Linksys WRT54G router.
You can test a power supply with a multimeter or you can use a power supply tester. Here are complete tutorials on both PSU testing methods.
There are several reasons a computer might freeze or produce errors during the POST. If you turn on your computer but it promptly hangs, give this a try...
Puran File Recovery is a free data recovery program. Scan any drive for deleted files and restore them instantly. Here's my review of Puran File Recovery.
A tutorial on how to repair Windows XP by completing a Repair Install. Repairing Windows XP this way will fix damaged files but will keep other data.
Find the IP addresses for your network hardware like routers, switches, and access points with these easy steps.
An operating system (OS) is software that manages software and hardware in a computer. Some operating systems include Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
Xlive.dll errors are often caused by a deleted or corrupted xlive.dll file. Don't download xlive.dll, fix the problem the right way with these steps.