Friday, October 28, 2011

How to create a Windows 7 Backup Image

Sure, you back up all your important data files, but a nice feature of Windows 7's built-in backup program is that it can create a complete system backup image, which will restore all your programs and settings too. Here's how to do it:
  1. Click Start and in the Search box, type Backup
  2. Click Backup and Restore in the list of programs shown
  3. In the left pane, click Create A System Image
  4. Select a location where you want to save the system image. It should not be on the same partition where Windows is installed
  5. Click Next
  6. Choose which drive to back up. To back up your operating system and program files, select the drive where Windows is installed, usually C:
  7. Click Start Backup
  8. After the backup finishes (which could take a while if you have lots of programs and/or data), click Create a System Repair Disk in the left pane
  9. Insert a blank DVD or CD and click Create Disk Now you can use the System Repair Disk and your system image to restore your computer.

Reinstall Windows 7 from downloadable ISOs

Did you know there are ISO files of the Windows 7 OS available free for download from Microsoft and Amazon? Of course, you need a valid product key. Read more: Click Here

Friday, October 07, 2011

How to network XP and Mac OS X

Here's the procedure you need to follow:

  1. Make sure you know the local IP addresses assigned to both the XP and Mac computers (for XP, go to Start | Run and type cmd, then type ipconfig. For OS X, go to Applications | Utilities | Terminal (run app) and type (for wired): ipconfig getifaddr en0 or (for wireless): ipconfig getifaddr en1
  2. Make sure the XP user account has a password set.
  3. Put the Mac in the same workgroup as the XP machine. On the Mac, go to Applications | Utilities | Directory Access and open Directory Access. Click the icon in the left bottom corner to make changes. Enter your password. Make sure SMB checkbox is checked. Click SMB and Configure, and enter the name of the Windows workgroup.
  4. Make sure you have a shared folder on the XP computer.
  5. On the Mac desktop, go to the Finder menu and click Go | Connect to Server.
  6. In the Server Address box, type in smb:///
  7. In the Workgroup/Domain box, type in the name of the XP PC.
  8. In the Username and Password boxes, type in the credentials for the account with which you're logged onto the XP computer. Click OK.
  9. This will mount the shared folder as a network drive on the Mac desktop and you can access its files.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tweaks to get the most out of your SSD in Windows 7

Solid state drives' performance can blow that of conventional hard drives out of the water, and as they get more affordable, they are becoming more and more ubiquitous - especially in the laptop market where portability matters. Windows 7 can help make the most out of a new SSD, but some tweaks may need to be applied to maximize its potential. Click Here

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Calendar gadget doesn't display correctly in Windows 7 SP1 with IE 9

If you have Internet Explorer 9 installed on your Windows 7 computer with Service Pack 1 applied, you might find that the Calendar desktop gadget doesn't display correctly. You get a blank calendar. This a known issue and unfortunately, there is no solution yet. Not terribly helpful, but at least you won't waste a bunch of time trying to fix it. See KB article 2584532 at: Click Here

How to turn a USB thumb drive into a Windows 7 installation disk

If you need to install Windows 7 on a computer that has no DVD drive and you don't have a network connection to install from a shared DVD drive on another computer, you can install the OS from a USB thumb drive. Make sure it has plenty of free space for the installation files (I used a clean 32 GB drive). You will need to wipe everything on the drive so be sure to back up any data you have there to a different location. Here are the steps to follow to prepare the USB drive.

1. Insert the USB drive into a computer that does have a DVD drive.
2. Click Start and in the search box, type cmd and press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to open the command prompt with administrative
3. At the command prompt, type diskpart
4. At the DISKPART> prompt, type list disk
5. Type select disk replacing with the number of the USB disk from the list of disks
6. Type clean
7. Type create partition primary 8. Type active
9. Type format fs=fat32 quick
10. Type assign
11. Type exit
12. Type exit
The above is not a typo. You need to type "exit" twice, once to exit the DISKPART utility and then again to close the command prompt.

Now you can insert the Windows 7 installation disc and copy all files to the USB drive. To use it to install Windows 7, insert it in the computer where you want to install the OS, make sure the BIOS is set to boot from the USB drive first, and boot up to begin the Windows setup process.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to turn your Windows 7 laptop into a wi-fi hotspot

Want to share your laptop's Internet connection with other wi-fi devices (for example, your iPad or Galaxy Tab, or friends' laptops)? Windows 7 supports a feature called Virtual Wi-fi (if your wireless adapter driver supports it - so you might need to update the driver to make it work. Some Intel, Broadcom and Realtek adapters support the feature). Here are the steps for setting it up:

1. Click Start and in the search box, type cmd
2. Right click the cmd.exe link and select "Run as Administrator."
3. In the command prompt window, type: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=MyNet key=MyPassword replacing "MyNet" with the name you want to use for your wireless network and "MyPassword" with a password that will have to be entered on other devices to connect to it.
4. Press Enter.
5. Still at the prompt, type netsh wlan start hostednetwork
6. Press Enter.
7. Click Start | Control Panel.
8. Click Network and Internet | Network Sharing Center.
9. Select "Change Adapter Settings."
10. Right click your Internet connection and click Properties.
11. Click the Sharing tab.
12. Check the box labeled "Allow other network users to connect ...".
13. Select your virtual wi-fi adapter. Now other wi-fi devices should see your network name appear in their lists and they can connect to it by entering the password.

Don't want to go through all that? You can take the lazy way out and use Virtual Router, a "donationware" software program that sets up the network for you. You'll find it here: Click Here

Monday, February 28, 2011

Windows 7 refusing to boot unless DVD is in the drive

Some people have problems where their computuer won't boot into Windows 7 unless the installation DVD is in the DVD drive. Try this:
1. Boot from the Windows 7 DVD.
2. Click Next and then click the "Repair your computer" link.
3. In the System Recovery Options menu, select "Command Prompt."
4. Type Bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
5. Press Enter.
6. Type ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
7. Press Enter.
8. Type Bootrec /rebuildbcd
9. Press Enter.
10. Close the command window and reboot the computer.

Note: Check your BIOS settings and ensure that the boot device is set to be the hard drive.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Online Anti-Virus Scanners

What do you do when your Anti-Virus has been trashed and the malware you are using constantly is redirecting you to different sites every time you try to re-download an anti-virus package? There are "free" online scanners that can be used in a "one off" fashion. I would normally recommend running these in Safe Mode W/Networking.

GFI's Vipre LIVE Checker
Mcafee's Stinger
Symantec's Free Virus Scan
Microsoft's Free OnLine Scanner
Panda's Free Online Scanner
Trend Micro's House Call Scanner
Bit Defender's Online Scanner
Eset's Online Scanner
F-Secure's Online Scanner

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Create a USB flash drive for Windows XP

If you're interested in making a bootable USB drive for troubleshooting or transferring applications from one PC to another, check out this detailed walk-through. Click Here