344
votes
18answers
265k views

How can I remove malicious spyware, malware, adware, viruses, trojans 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 ...
100
votes
1answer
13k views

Windows 7 and Vista Activation FAQ: How do language, version, 64-bit or 32-bit, and source affect ability to install and transfer Windows licenses?

We get a lot of questions on Super User about Windows activation and licensing. This question is an attempt to answer the most common questions in one place with a canonical answer. When ...
232
votes
19answers
115k 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 ...
164
votes
4answers
267k views

Where can I download Windows 7 (legally from Microsoft)?

I just bought a serial for Windows 7 on-line from the Microsoft store (the most painful shopping experience EVER!). I selected that I wanted to download my version of Windows 7 after purchase. After ...
225
votes
4answers
303k views

What are PATH and other environment variables, and how can I set or use them?

Questions about setting environment variables the PATH are very common here, and in most cases the answers are very similar to each other. In the future it would be nice to have a good Q/A for ...
121
votes
13answers
257k views

What can I do if I forgot my Windows 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I recover lost/inacessible data from my storage device?

What steps can I take to try to recover lost or inaccessible data from any storage device? Answers: This applies to any main storage devices; eg. internal/external hard drive, USB stick, Flash ...
76
votes
8answers
26k views

Why does Windows only show about 3.5 GB of my 4 GB of RAM?

I recently upgraded my computer's RAM to 4 GB. My 32-bit Windows installation shows only 3574 MB of the memory. How can I make Windows use the full amount of RAM?
190
votes
19answers
39k views

32-bit vs. 64-bit systems

What are the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit systems? If you have used both of them, what kind of sharp differences have you experienced? Would it be a problem to use 32-bit programs on 64-...
110
votes
14answers
315k views

How can I read my hard drive's SMART status in Windows 7?

How can I read the S.M.A.R.T. state of my HDDs while using Windows 7, either automatically or manually?
211
votes
7answers
1.3m views

Windows 7 SP1 Windows Update stuck checking for updates

I installed Windows 7 fresh and installed SP1. Now, when I try to check manually for Windows Updates it just hangs on the Checking for updates screen. I tried running this tool but this did not fix ...
62
votes
7answers
28k views

How do I reset the Windows XP Administrator password?

I have forgotten the Administrator password of my Windows XP installation and locked out. Is there a way to reset it? I do have physical access to the PC.
208
votes
18answers
407k views

How can I download an entire website?

How can I download all pages from a website? Any platform is fine.
11
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I add VBA in MS Office?

I've seen posts showing answers which use VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code/macros, however, I've also noted additional comments afterwards about how to use the VBA (how to implement and ...
144
votes
18answers
318k 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 ...
152
votes
9answers
90k 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 ...
61
votes
16answers
166k views

How do I troubleshoot a Windows freeze or slowness?

A machine is described as being "really slow" or "freezing". How can I troubleshoot/resolve this issue? What should be the first steps to take?
64
votes
3answers
112k views

How can I reinstall Windows 7 if I lost my installation DVD? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where do I download Windows 7 (legally from Microsoft)? I have lost my Windows 7 installation DVD, but I do have the license key. How can I get a Windows 7 DVD? Can I ...
16
votes
8answers
36k views

What is the easiest method of checking SMART status for your hard drive?

I've seen programs in the past that were able to check the SMART status of a hard disk drive but it wasn't easy for me to find. Also, I think I had to boot into the CD in order to check on it. What is ...
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?
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. ...
15
votes
2answers
19k views

Can I safely charge my laptop with a non-standard, third-party charger?

I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop. My charger has stopped working. I have access to a Lenovo charger. Can I use this charger on my laptop?
140
votes
7answers
63k views

Is it better to use a laptop on battery or on AC power?

When I'm at home, is it better to use the laptop plugged into AC power, or with just the battery, for the overall battery life?
43
votes
10answers
120k views

How can I tell what RAM will fit my computer?

If I want to add more RAM to my computer, how can I buy something compatible? What kinds are there? How do I determine which kind my computer will accept and how much I can add?
62
votes
7answers
79k views

Install Windows 7 from USB flash drive

I have an ISO image of the Windows 7 installation DVD, but I can't burn it to CD or DVD. I have an empty flash drive with plenty of space. Is there any way I can put the ISO image on it and install ...
37
votes
5answers
22k views

Where can I download Windows 8 legally, from Microsoft?

I obtained a licence key for Windows 8 through DreamSpark. Is there a way to download a Windows 8 ISO image like you could for Windows 7? I am on a non-Windows machine, so I cannot use the Secure ...
11
votes
4answers
41k views

USB flash drive not working or is appearing as an empty disk drive, Disk Management reports “No Media” with 0 bytes size

I have a USB flash drive which is no longer recognized by my computer. Windows Disk Management and DiskPart report No Media with no storage space (0 bytes) on the drive and I cannot partition or ...
89
votes
22answers
202k 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 ...
167
votes
17answers
340k views

How do I place a bootable ISO on a USB drive?

What's the best way of placing a bootable ISO on a USB drive, such that the drive is bootable? ISOs such as a live Linux preview disk, Windows installation ISO, etc.
88
votes
7answers
160k views

How to shrink Windows 7 boot partition with unmovable files

I have just bought an HP laptop with Windows 7 (64 bit). It has a 500 GB HDD with three partitions: a small hidden system partition, a 12 GiB HP recovery partition, and a 450 GiB C:...
38
votes
14answers
90k views

How can I monitor all and any internet traffic from my home PC?

I would like to monitor all and any internet traffic from my home PC to see what programs installed on my home machine are accessing the internet. I thought I could use Fiddler for this but I noticed ...
55
votes
3answers
349k views

Why don’t I have the Get Windows 10 icon?

I want to get Windows 10, but I do not see this icon in the notification area (tray): How do I get the icon to get Windows 10?
32
votes
8answers
118k views

How can I remap a keyboard key?

One of my laptop's keys has fallen off. Is there any way I can remap another key to serve as that key? I'll 'sacrifice' the other key because I never use it.
89
votes
10answers
384k views

How can I repair the Windows 8 EFI Bootloader?

I installed Windows 7 and Windows 8 in EFI mode on a hard disk some days ago. Today, the bootloader got missing/corrupted. I currently have the Windows 8 installer on a flash drive and tried using ...
197
votes
6answers
107k views

Should laptops remain plugged in when their battery is 100% charged?

When your laptop's battery is 100% charged, should you leave it plugged in so any battery power doesn't get used, or will that cause overcharging, overheating, etc.? Should the laptop be unplugged ...
63
votes
3answers
94k views

Windows 10, 'System' process taking massive amounts of RAM

Since I upgraded to Windows 10, my system has been consuming RAM excessively I've been reading a bit and determined it's likely a driver leaking memory. So I got myself the Windows Driver Kit and ...
16
votes
0answers
6k views

How do I troubleshoot a Windows 7 freeze or slowness? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the first steps for diagnosing a slow machine? I have a new pc with windows 7 which freezes randomly. I hit every single key on the keyboard and it works again. Is ...
63
votes
8answers
14k views

Cross-platform file system

I would like my external drives to be readable and writable from Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. FAT32 works, but the 4 GB file size limit is a showstopper these days. Are there any alternatives?
53
votes
2answers
20k views

How can I determine which process owns a hotkey in Windows?

Given a hotkey, how can I find which program owns it?
450
votes
4answers
546k views

How can I get the same SSID for multiple access points?

I need to upgrade my existing wireless infrastructure and this time I want 2 access points to cover my house, since I get blind spots no matter what with a single AP. I have physical cabling to my ...
27
votes
9answers
128k views

How can I monitor internet usage in my network?

I need to know which computer is consuming my bandwidth. Is there a tool to do this?
124
votes
1answer
225k views

What is port forwarding and what is it used for?

There are a lot of questions on 'port forwarding' but there doesn't seem to be one that clearly states what it is and what it's used for. So: What is Port Forwarding? What is it used for, and why ...
116
votes
10answers
82k views

How do I set up SSH so I don't have to type my password?

How do I set up SSH so I don't have to type my password when connecting to a host?
197
votes
17answers
172k views

How to delete directories with path/names too long for normal delete

Windows seems to have a length limit on file names when trying to delete, though it won't prevent those files from being created. Our build process creates a number of temporary files (many build off ...
374
votes
14answers
536k views

How to disable the “Get Windows 10” icon shown in the notification area (tray)?

This icon showed up in my taskbar notification area today and I cannot seem to get rid of it: Clicking on it displays the following screen: So how do I disable or remove the "Get Windows 10" ...
55
votes
17answers
236k views

Run a batch file in a completely hidden way

I'm looking for some way to run a batch file (.bat) without anything visible to the user (no window, no taskbar name, .etc..). I don't want to use some program to do that, I'm looking for something ...
56
votes
9answers
43k views

Moving users folder on Windows Vista/7 to another partition

When I format the computer and reinstall Windows, my first step is move the My Documents folder to another partition. In Windows XP it wasn't enough because the desktop folder and another user folders ...
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 ...
74
votes
4answers
17k views

What is a Codec (e.g. DivX?), and how does it differ from a File Format (e.g. MPG)?

I'm so confused... what is the difference between an audio/video codec (which apparently is a shorthand for "encoder/decoder", kind of like how "modem" is really "modulator/demodulator") and an audio/...
58
votes
8answers
33k views

How do I delete a 'locked' file?

On Windows XP, when I try and delete a specific file it says: Cannot delete blah.blah: Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use. How can ...

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