For questions not specific to a single version of Microsoft Windows. Otherwise, use a more specific tag such as [windows-7] or [windows-10].

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108
votes
4answers
11k views

Why do damaged hard drives freeze the entire system?

Why does a hard drive which is known to have bad blocks (verified in HDTune and HDDScan), freezes down my entire system? It is not the OS drive; it is attached to another SATA port, and I'm trying to ...
107
votes
2answers
60k views

Unable to install fonts on Windows 10

I'm using Windows 10 x64 Pro and I'm unable to preview or install fonts. When I try to preview a font (double click or Right Click >> Preview), I get an error message that reads "The requested ...
106
votes
10answers
244k 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 ...
105
votes
12answers
84k 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 ...
105
votes
5answers
32k views

How do I disable Aero Shake in Windows 7?

I'm always accidentally minimizing most of my windows. This is really annoying. How do I disable Aero Shake?
104
votes
0answers
168k 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 ...
102
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 ...
100
votes
4answers
256k views

Why does virtualbox only have 32-bit option, no 64-bit option on Windows 7?

I have downloaded and installed the newest virtualbox 4.3.20 for my Windows 7 (64-bit OS), but when I want to install 64-bit Linux, the New->Create Virtual Machine only displays 32-bit option, no 64-...
99
votes
28answers
142k views

Windows equivalent of the Linux command 'touch'?

What do you use when you want to update the date-modified field of a file on Windows? commands accessible via C++, .NET, C#, or something native to Windows (Vista preferably) tools/applications ...
99
votes
2answers
218k views

Setting and getting windows environment variables from the command prompt?

This is a very basic question, but I can't find an answer. I want to set an environment variable from the command prompt and then be able to access it globally (for instance, I should see it by going ...
99
votes
9answers
69k 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?
98
votes
23answers
15k 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 ...
97
votes
8answers
38k views

Windows equivalent of whereis?

Is there an equivalent of the Unix whereis command in Windows? So that I could figure out where commands I can run actually is.
97
votes
9answers
352k views

Kill a process which says “Access denied”

I have a process that I can't kill with either Task Manager or Process Explorer - I get the error "Access denied". The process isn't a Windows executable. How can I kill it? Is there some tool I ...
95
votes
10answers
187k views

How can the font size be changed in Notepad++?

How can the font size be changed in Notepad++? I just downloaded and installed Notepad++ v5.4.5 (I have been using UltraEdit for the last 11.5 years) and can not find a menu command for changing the ...
92
votes
8answers
83k views

Is it safe to delete from C:\Windows\Installer?

I've been looking on an XP machine what is using all that diskspace, and it turns out C:\Windows\Installer is high up there on the list of directories that use the most diskspace. It seems to contain ...
91
votes
8answers
101k views

How can I add an item to the 'new' context menu?

When I right click anywhere I get an option to add a new file file a specified extension. I would like to add some custom files into this menu, so I can right click and create a new PHP file for ...
90
votes
9answers
262k views

How can I put the computer to sleep from Command Prompt/Run menu?

I know that almost everything on Windows, like opening any sort of application, can be done from the command prompt or from the Run menu. How can I put my computer to sleep or shut it down? What is ...
90
votes
11answers
127k 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 ...
90
votes
12answers
129k views

How can I make the Windows VPN route selective traffic (by destination network)?

I want to use a Windows VPN but only for a particular network, so that it doesn't take over my entire network connection. e.g., Instead of the VPN becoming the default route, make it only the route ...
89
votes
22answers
203k views

How can I mass rename files?

I've got a bunch of files named with a the pattern 99 - DescriptiveName.txt and I'd like to remove the number from the front so I just have DescriptiveName.txt. How can I do this? Can I do it from ...
89
votes
5answers
5k views

Windows Unable to Delete ._. File

I currently have a file on the root of my external hard drive simply named ._., which I am guessing was added to my hard drive after using it on my MacBook a while ago. I'm trying to delete this file ...
89
votes
10answers
7k 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. ...
89
votes
6answers
27k views

What are all the Windows 7/8/8.1 updates (KBs) I must skip to avoid Windows 10 upgrading -and nags-?

It's been a time I didn't follow the list of which Windows 7/8/8.1 KBs I must skip since I don't want the unfinished Windows 10 at all. Moreover, I will still consider Windows 10 unfinished (-> ...
89
votes
4answers
36k views

Git Bash Here in ConEmu

How do I create a right-click context menu entry to open Git Bash at a given folder within ConEmu? See Git Bash Here in Console2 for the equivalent question for Console2.
87
votes
4answers
139k views

How do you shutdown or restart a Windows computer over a Remote Desktop connection?

When I connect to my Windows 7 desktop computer via Remote Desktop (MSTSC.exe), the options under the Start Menu are "Log Off" (the default), "Lock", and "Disconnect". How do I restart (or shutdown)?
86
votes
8answers
27k 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. ...
86
votes
4answers
17k 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 ...
85
votes
5answers
1.0m 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 ...
85
votes
10answers
125k views

Combine/merge PDF files in Windows? [closed]

Is there a painless way to combine/merge PDF files in Windows? I understand that pdftk will do it on Linux.
85
votes
2answers
43k views

Why are there directories called Local, LocalLow, and Roaming under \Users\<username>?

I have a workstation running Win2008 that's logged in an AD domain and I have a dual boot with Ubuntu Linux. When running Linux, I'd like to be able to use the same Thunderbird profile I use under ...
84
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I remove a forkbomb from the Startup folder?

I have an older laptop running Windows Vista, from about 2005, and I was fooling around with it. In a moment of sheer stupidity, I created a Batch file and put the following code in it: %0|%0 I ran ...
83
votes
4answers
15k views

Why does “cd..” work in the Windows command line?

When typing cd.. without a space between cd and .. the Windows command prompt will happily switch to the parent folder. Is there an explanation for this behaviour? The command does not follow the ...
83
votes
9answers
105k views

Dual monitors on Windows - How do I set a different DPI or text size on each monitor?

My laptop is a 15" wide screen running at 1600x1050, and in addition to that I connect an external 19" LCD which runs at 1280x1024. The problem with this setup is that if I increase the text size to ...
81
votes
12answers
53k views

How to supress “Terminate batch job (Y/N)” confirmation?

In cmd, when we press Ctrl+C we get the target application terminated but if the target application is called from a batch file, we get this "Terminate batch job (Y/N)" confirmation. I can never ...
80
votes
9answers
11k views

How to open Windows CMD so that it starts in the current folder? [duplicate]

When I'm working in a folder in Windows Explorer, sometimes I have a need to run some CMD command in this folder. How do I open the command line from a current folder, so the console opens in the ...
80
votes
4answers
44k views

How to disable the screen orientation hotkeys in Windows (XP)?

I'm using Eclipse in Windows XP. One of my favorite shortcuts is CTRL+ALT+DOWN (or CTRL+ALT+UP) to duplicate a line. I just found that on this machine (XP ThinkPad, with NVIDIA graphics driver), ...
80
votes
9answers
255k views

Can you zip a file from the command prompt using ONLY Windows' built-in capability to zip files?

I have a batch file that outputs a text file. I thought it would be nice if I could zip it up too. This will be used in an uncontrolled environment, so I can't make assumptions about the presence of ...
80
votes
2answers
257k views

What is the $WINDOWS.~BT folder?

There is a folder named $WINDOWS.~BT on the root of my C:\ drive. It is a hidden folder and is 75 MB in size. What is its purpose? Is it safe to delete it?
79
votes
6answers
136k views

How can I open a command prompt in current folder with a keyboard shortcut?

How can I open a command prompt in current folder with a keyboard shortcut in Windows 7? Is there any way to implement this? I think Autohotkey could do this, but don't know how.
79
votes
12answers
54k views

Should I keep my swap file on an SSD drive?

I'm considering getting an SSD drive to run as the primary OS partition. As I understand, this should provide a substantial improvement in performance. My question is this: Should I leave the swap ...
79
votes
9answers
110k views

Windows 10 Search can't find ANY applications. Even calculator

I have problem with Windows 10 Enterprise N x64. When I press "Start" and start to type application name it never finds it. I can't even find applications like "Calculator", "Microsoft Word" or any ...
79
votes
0answers
41k 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
12answers
204k views

Can one take a partial screen shot in Windows 7?

One can take a screen shot of a part of the screen on a Mac with Cmd + Shift + 4. Is there a similar functionality in Windows 7?
78
votes
8answers
17k views

How do I create a GIF screencast in Windows?

I need a way to record my Windows desktop and save it as an animated GIF file. Here's an example: I need GIF animations so that they can run from a web page without requiring any plugins. I want ...
78
votes
9answers
201k views

How to run a batch file without launching a “command window”?

On Windows XP, can I run a batch (.bat or .cmd) file, via a shortcut, without a "black window"?
77
votes
2answers
86k views

How do I run multiple commands on one line in Powershell?

In cmd prompt, you can run two commands on one line like so: ipconfig /release & ipconfig /renew When I run this command in PowerShell, I get: Ampersand not allowed. The & operator is ...
76
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
76
votes
13answers
124k 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 ...
76
votes
12answers
41k views

Should I disable swap file if I have lots of RAM or should I move it to a virtual RAM drive?

Imagine I have tons of RAM. Let's say 64GB. That's a lot for even gaming PCs. Now the default location of a pagefile in Windows is on the main OS drive, be it HDD or SSD, which are faster in general, ...