Issues not specific to a single version of Windows, otherwise tag appropriately

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821
votes
19answers
465k views

What are the Windows A: and B: drives used for?

In Windows you have a C: drive. Everything labeled beyond that is with the following letter. So your second drive is D:, your DVD is E: and if you put in a USB stick it becomes F: and the following ...
265
votes
17answers
219k views

How can I remove malicious spyware, malware, viruses or rootkits from my PC?

What should I do if my Windows computer seems to be infected with a virus or malware? What are the symptoms of an infection? What should I do after noticing an infection? What can I do to get rid of ...
260
votes
27answers
69k views

How to mess up a PC running Windows 7? [closed]

Ok, so for my PC class I have to find 3 hacks that would mess up the lab's PC. Me and my partner are going to mess up the PC and then another team will try to fix it. The system on it is Windows 7. ...
247
votes
10answers
199k views

Is there any 'sudo' command for Windows?

I always work on a non-administrator account on my Windows computer. Sometimes I need to install programs which requires administrator access. As I mostly use the Windows command prompt, is there a ...
220
votes
9answers
152k views

Menu select item stuck on screen after context or command menu has closed

Periodically when I select a menu command, the label or selected option gets "stuck" on screen and won't go away. I can close all open applications, including whichever one I was using when it got ...
220
votes
10answers
20k views

Why is Google so much faster than a hard-drive search?

When I search a file on my HD in Windows 7 or Windows XP it takes some minutes to finish the process. If I fill in a search term in Google, the answer is on my screen in milliseconds How is it ...
194
votes
13answers
596k views

How to search inside files on Windows 7?

In Windows XP we can search for files that contain a defined keyword (inside all files types). Windows 7 can look inside files for a keyword, but only for text files. (*.doc, *.txt, *.inf, ...), not ...
189
votes
19answers
65k views

How can I visualize the file system usage on Windows?

How can I visualize which folders and files are taking up all of the space on my hard drive? I'm getting some conflicting reports on the size of hard drive contents. Namely what is and isn't there ...
169
votes
14answers
3k views

How do you list all processes on the command line in Windows?

Is there a command equivalent to 'ps' on Unix that can list all processes on a Windows machine?
163
votes
10answers
31k views

How to copy text from Console2?

I just started using Console2 as an alternative to cmd.exe I can't figure out how to copy text from the console to the clipboard -- dragging over it with the mouse won't mark anything, and there is ...
150
votes
5answers
92k views

Notepad++ is unable to load langs.xml, why?

Whenever I open NotePad++ the following error message appears: --------------------------- Configurator --------------------------- Load langs.xml failed! --------------------------- ...
145
votes
14answers
271k views

How can I download an entire website?

How can I download all pages from a website? Any platform is fine.
144
votes
11answers
71k views

Create/rename a file/folder that begins with a dot in Windows?

Many programs needs folder names that starts with a dot, like .emacs.d, .gimp-2.2, .jedit etc. How do I create such a folder? When using the Windows Explorer in Windows 2000 (and other versions), I ...
136
votes
11answers
77k views

Why does 64-bit Windows need a separate “Program Files (x86)” folder?

I know that on a 64-bit version of Windows the "Program Files" folder is for 64-bit programs and the "Program Files (x86)" folder is for 32-bit programs, but why is this even necessary? By ...
134
votes
10answers
74k views

Why does the /winsxs folder grow so large, and can it be made smaller?

A Vista virtual machine I use only has a 10 GB virtual hard disk -- and I'm worried about it running out of space over time. I used TreeSize to check for the culprits.. And the primary culprit is ...
133
votes
1answer
64k views

“directory junction” vs “directory symbolic link”?

MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target /D Creates a directory symbolic link. Default is a file symbolic link. /H Creates a hard link instead of a symbolic link. /J ...
132
votes
5answers
284k views

How can I display the contents of an environment variable from the command prompt in Windows 7?

In Windows 7, when I start the Command prompt, is there any command to display the contents of an environment variable (such as the JAVA_HOME or PATH variables)? I have tried with echo $PATH, echo ...
131
votes
14answers
233k views

How to download files from command line in Windows, like Wget is doing?

How can I download something from the web directly without Internet Explorer or Firefox opening Acrobat Reader/Quicktime/MS Word/whatever? I'm using Windows, so a Windows version of Wget would ...
125
votes
18answers
253k views

What utility can move my Windows boot partition over to another hard drive? [closed]

Can anyone recommend a cheap/free utility that can do this without very much effort? My preference is that it would be really easy. Boot into Windows Pick drive to move Pick target drive It copies ...
122
votes
15answers
122k views

“This file came from another computer…” - how can I unblock all the files in a folder without having to unblock them individually?

Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista have this deal where zone information is preserved in downloaded files to NTFS partitions, such that it blocks certain files in certain applications until you ...
121
votes
7answers
128k views

Can I delete the the folder C:\ProgramData\Package Cache\?

There is a new folder full of installers located at C:\ProgramData\Package Cache\. I believe this is from visual studio 2012 RC. Does anyone know if I can delete these GB of data without ...
115
votes
16answers
185k views

How to compare the differences between two PDF files on Windows?

Do you know a good Windows software to compare PDF files side-by-side and show the modifications between the two? It would be great if you can post both free and not-free products.
111
votes
7answers
88k views

Native alternative to wget in Windows PowerShell?

I know I can download and install the aformentioned library (wget for Windows), but my question is this: In Windows PowerShell, is there a native alternative to wget? I need wget simply to retrieve ...
104
votes
8answers
137k views

How to read ext4 partitions on Windows?

Is there a way to read ext4 partitions from Windows? If so, what can I do?
104
votes
6answers
44k views

Preventing applications from stealing focus

Are there any solutions to prevent applications stealing focus from the active window? This is especially annoying when I'm starting an application, switch to do something else and the new ...
99
votes
10answers
224k views

How to stop jucheck from running? Java won't remember “Check for Updates Automatically” setting

I've installed Java on Windows Vista, and every day I get a Vista security warning asking me if I want to run "jucheck". Apparently this is the Java automatic updater. Well, I don't want it to run ...
98
votes
23answers
13k views

How can I make a Windows PC bullet-proof for home users? [closed]

I realize that virus-proof on a Windows PC is far fetched, but in the interest of keeping time spent as the "family-tech-support" to a minimum, I am looking for ideas to lock a computer down to the ...
98
votes
5answers
3k views

Why the heck does NTFS allow invisible executables?

You can hide any file inside of another file just by typing: type sol.exe > container.txt:sol.exe and to run the file hidden file just use: start c:\hide\container.txt:sol.exe But the crazy ...
92
votes
3answers
54k views

What Tiling Window Manager for Windows do you recommend? [closed]

What is the best tiling window manager for Windows? I'm looking for something like awesome. It would be nice if it removes the title bar and has "comfortable" shortcut keys (for me that's vi keys, ...
91
votes
14answers
195k views

How to move windows that open up offscreen?

I have a dual monitor setup, and I recently played around with the positioning settings, and some of my single window applications do the favour of preserving where they were last closed, and opening ...
91
votes
5answers
167k views

How to recursively delete directory from command line in windows?

What is the windows equivalent of rm -r [directory-name]?
90
votes
10answers
140k views

How can I identify what application is using a given file? [duplicate]

I'm trying to delete some folder but this error is preventing from doing it: Cannot delete [FileName]: It is being used by another person or program. Close any programs that might be using ...
89
votes
10answers
246k views

What can I do if I forgot my Windows 7 password?

I got a brand new Windows 7 machine, installed the operating system, created one account and forgot its password. What can I do? There is no external CD, the operating system is loaded from somewhere ...
88
votes
6answers
69k views

How to make SUBST mapping persistent across reboots?

Does Windows (XP or later) have a built-in way to create persitent drive mappings, like the ones SUBST creates? I found a 3rd party tool psubst. Is there a way to do it without 3rd party tools?
86
votes
2answers
75k views

How do I exit telnet?

I start telnet by telnet host port. How do I stop it in Windows? Shockingly, Ctrl+C doesn't work.
85
votes
12answers
57k views

Mass deleting files in Windows

I have a directory, that contains ~ 3 million files in certain subdirectories on a Windows 2008 server. Manually deleting the files via SHIFT+DEL on the root dir takes ages. Is there any other way to ...
85
votes
8answers
23k views

Is there a convenient way to edit PATH in Windows 7?

I do not understand why Windows 7 is still adopting this stuffy dialog box? I feel uncomfortable when editing and looking-up a path in this narrow text box. Is there a convenient way to edit PATH ...
84
votes
4answers
12k views

Why can't you uninstall multiple programs at once in Windows?

Why won't Windows allow you to uninstall or remove multiple programs at once? What is the reasoning behind this? Will it mess up an internal system? I am not looking for how to uninstall multiple ...
83
votes
4answers
36k views

Is there a tool that can determine the file type from containing data? [closed]

I sometimes get files from my clients that have the wrong file extension. For example, the name is image.jpg but the file is actually a TIFF image. In many cases I can clarify it by opening the file ...
82
votes
8answers
23k views

My colleague often shuts down my machine through the LAN - how do I prevent it?

This might sound weird. My colleague and I were working on a Windows machine. He frequently shuts it down through the LAN. He usually follows these steps: Access command prompt, enter shutdown -i. ...
81
votes
8answers
775k views

How can I check the temperature of my CPU in Windows?

Does Windows provide a means to check my CPU temperature natively? If not, are there any software tools which can reveal this information?
79
votes
0answers
40k views

Looking for MD5 utility that integrates to Windows [duplicate]

Is there any small utility that integrates with the Windows shell and computes md5 of files on demand? I'm too lazy to launch the command line.
78
votes
5answers
991k views

How do I locate the MAC address of my computer?

I am unable to locate the MAC address in a new computer with Windows 7. I've tried ipconfig /all in the console to which I got no items match your search. I also tried getmac. A screen flashed very ...
78
votes
8answers
38k views

Can I use my laptop as a second monitor?

Is it possible to make my laptop's screen act as a second monitor for my desktop computer?
77
votes
10answers
6k views

Securely erasing all data from a hard drive

I am about to sell my old desktop PC and I am cautious about some of my sensitive information being available to the purchaser, even after reformatting the hard-drive, using data recovery software. ...
76
votes
7answers
87k views

Disable “These files might be harmful to your computer” warning?

I keep getting this irritating warning when copying files over the network: These files might be harmful to your computer Your internet security settings suggest that one or more files may ...
75
votes
9answers
113k views

How to delete a file in Windows with a too long filename? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Tool for deleting directories with path/names too long for normal delete (How to delete a file with a path too long to be deleted) ...
75
votes
10answers
96k views

Quick way to tell if an installed application is 64-bit or 32-bit

I've got a third-party application (in this case Cognos Data Manager) installed on 64-bit Windows Server 2003. Is there a quick way to determine if an application has been built/compiled as a 64-bit ...
73
votes
8answers
7k views

How can a computer/OS tell what kind of RAM is in the machine?

How can Mac OS X tell what kind of RAM is in the machine? For example I was working on one that had DDR3 RAM @ 1600MHz and I thought it wasn't possible to know the RAM without physically opening the ...
73
votes
13answers
108k views

How to reboot/shutdown Windows 8 without the mouse?

Nowadays on Windows 7, if I have no mouse on my computer I just press Win Button+->+Enter: This makes my computer shutdown without needing to use a mouse. However, on Windows 8, I need the mouse to ...