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Questions tagged [windows]

For questions not specific to a single version of Microsoft Windows. Otherwise, use a more specific tag such as [windows-7], [windows-10] or [windows-11].

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469 votes
18 answers
328k 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 ...
311 votes
23 answers
189k 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 ...
176 votes
17 answers
292k 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 ...
flybywire's user avatar
  • 4,090
33 votes
3 answers
37k views

How to get rights of admin after I disabled all admin accounts in my computer

I accidentally disabled my admin account. After I login to another account I found I can not get admin rights, because all admin accounts on my computer are disabled. I clicked on 'run as ...
PaleNeutron's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
18k views

What is the most efficient, native way to image a Windows partition?

What is the most efficient, native way to image a Windows partition? Is the native method generally the best method for most users? How does the native method differ from conventional cloning? What ...
JW0914's user avatar
  • 8,265
562 votes
13 answers
3.3m 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 the tools in How do I reset ...
Mikey A. Leonetti's user avatar
231 votes
6 answers
692k views

Troubleshoot High CPU usage by the "System" process

I have noticed that from some time my system is freezing and its probably caused by the high CPU usage which is caused by the system process. All applications I'm running is the Skype, TeamSpeak and ...
Scott's user avatar
  • 2,423
93 votes
9 answers
38k 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?
ala's user avatar
  • 1,178
164 votes
16 answers
416k 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?
Adrian Grigore's user avatar
45 votes
5 answers
35k views

Windows Starter Edition, Home and Home Premium do not include gpedit, how do I install it?

I want to make some changes to Windows that require using the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc). Unfortunately the Group Policy Editor is not included with the Starter Edition, Home and Home Premium ...
DavidPostill's user avatar
  • 159k
181 votes
18 answers
438k 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 ...
182 votes
12 answers
124k 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 ...
Jeff Atwood's user avatar
  • 24.2k
75 votes
7 answers
75k 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.
Ashwin Nanjappa's user avatar
125 votes
9 answers
111k 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?
Edward Tanguay's user avatar
188 votes
20 answers
773k 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 ...
Moayad Mardini's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
6k views

What is the purpose of the DISM /RestoreHealth parameter and SFC?

What is the purpose of the DISM /RestoreHealth parameter and the SFC /ScanNow parameter? How do they correlate to one another? In what order should they be run? Why does the order sequence matter ...
JW0914's user avatar
  • 8,265
91 votes
9 answers
292k 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.
Pure.Krome's user avatar
  • 1,903
140 votes
25 answers
389k 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 ...
432 votes
25 answers
550k 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 ...
Herms's user avatar
  • 9,752
117 votes
4 answers
427k views

Windows 10 high memory usage (unknown reason)

A few days ago I updated my PC to Windows 10. However, after some use my PC started to slow down until it was impossible to use – it was due to high memory usage. After a restart, everything came back ...
Lukas's user avatar
  • 1,273
110 votes
11 answers
18k 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. ...
Josh Hunt's user avatar
  • 21.3k
152 votes
7 answers
89k views

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

Given a hotkey, how can I find which program owns it?
aldrinleal's user avatar
  • 1,623
79 votes
17 answers
211k 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?
87 votes
4 answers
155k 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 ...
Nayncore's user avatar
  • 1,048
140 votes
11 answers
162k 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 with 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 ...
user avatar
509 votes
19 answers
878k 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 ...
ukanth's user avatar
  • 10.7k
364 votes
11 answers
929k 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
7 answers
206k views

How does the Windows RENAME command interpret wildcards?

How does the Windows RENAME (REN) command interpret wildcards? The built in HELP facility is of no help - it doesn't address wildcards at all. The Microsoft technet XP online help isn't much better. ...
dbenham's user avatar
  • 11.5k
16 votes
0 answers
7k 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 ...
Jason Martin's user avatar
198 votes
13 answers
408k 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 ...
Legooolas's user avatar
  • 5,910
192 votes
13 answers
727k 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 ...
Lazer's user avatar
  • 17.8k
90 votes
37 answers
229k views

How to force Windows to rename a file with a special character?

I have a song that Windows can't play because there is a question mark in the name of the file. "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?.ogg" // as an example So I try to rename it and Windows complains ...
88 votes
4 answers
143k views

Windows using too much RAM, how to diagnose resource hog

I have 16GB of system RAM. On startup with no applications open except the task-manager Windows is using about 3gb of RAM. I looked in the processes tab, but nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. ...
Vader's user avatar
  • 1,703
14 votes
6 answers
42k views

Are the Command Prompt and MS-DOS the same thing?

I argued with my friend that the Command Prompt is just a GUI version of MS-DOS which works in the Windows forms environment. He totally disagrees with me. Who is right?
user978733's user avatar
458 votes
11 answers
1.8m views

How to rename the User folder in Windows 10?

After installing Windows 10 on my Surface Pro 3 it took my user name 'Jeremy' and created a user folder named C:\Users\jerem. I want to rename the folder C:\Users\Jeremy. The procedure for Windows 8 ...
GollyJer's user avatar
  • 7,370
303 votes
9 answers
1.3m views

Using cd command in Windows command line, can't navigate to D:\

This may be a silly question, and I think I have looked elsewhere to find the answer... Might be a path issue, but when I open the command line and type from the C:\>: cd D:\ I cannot get to the ...
nicorellius's user avatar
  • 6,735
61 votes
9 answers
46k 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 ...
Click Ok's user avatar
  • 3,915
348 votes
7 answers
1.4m 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-...
Nan Xiao's user avatar
  • 4,123
7 votes
2 answers
15k views

How to force the deletion of a locked file that has no locking handle on Windows?

When I try to delete the file, using the GUI it says The action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program And using the del /f /q command line it says Access is denied ...
J. Doe's user avatar
  • 73
90 votes
24 answers
133k views

Is there a text editor for very big files? [closed]

I have a very big text file (10 GB). Both Notepad and Notepad++ tell me that the file is too big for them to open. What editor can handle such a large file? It's a log file.
29 votes
5 answers
60k views

Installing Windows XP from USB pen drive

I want to install Windows XP on my desktop computer (only XP), but my CD drive is not working. I've only found installation tutorials on how to install it on the pen drive rather than from the pen ...
OrangeRind's user avatar
215 votes
7 answers
125k 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 ...
svandragt's user avatar
  • 3,333
394 votes
14 answers
552k 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&...
ProfessionalAmateur's user avatar
31 votes
6 answers
79k views

Starting scheduled task by detecting connection of USB device

I know it has been discussed that it is not possible to start an application from an usb drive upon connection due to limitations of autorun (or autoplay??) in Win 7. But it is possible to create a ...
gemisigo's user avatar
  • 478
1281 votes
16 answers
1.8m views

Find out which process is locking a file or folder in Windows

How can I find out which process is locking a file or folder in Windows? For instance, when trying to delete a folder, Windows reports this: The action can't be completed because the folder is ...
leeand00's user avatar
  • 22.7k
158 votes
6 answers
256k views

What is the difference between “Size” and “Size on disk?”

Looking at the properties for a Windows file I get two attributes, “Size” and “Size on disk,” and "Size on disk" is always larger. What do these two metrics mean?
Gavin Miller's user avatar
  • 2,416
43 votes
3 answers
97k views

How to diagnose slow booting or logon in Windows? [duplicate]

When I start my PC, it boots into Windows (Windows 7 32-bit) quite happily, I login and the main Windows screen appears. At that point, however, the system is extremely unresponsive for up to 5 ...
Paul Moore's user avatar
24 votes
2 answers
195k views

How would I use Takeown to take ownership of all folders on one drive?

I have a hard drive which I need to recover specific files from but all the folders in the K:\ drive are denying me access even though I took owner ship of the full drive I.E C:\Windows\System32>...
ThunderToes's user avatar
24 votes
4 answers
99k views

Prevent Windows 10 installer from using the preinstalled serial key without disabling UEFI

My laptop (a Lenovo Flex 2 15) came preinstalled with Windows 8 Standard (with the serial key preinstalled into the BIOS), and I've since installed an SSD (a Samsung Evo 840 120GB) & upgraded to ...
AStopher's user avatar
  • 2,363
18 votes
6 answers
6k views

Why is the effective hard drive size lower than the actual size?

I just got a new Lenovo Laptop which has been installed with Windows 7 and is supposed to have 250 GB hard disk. Windows 7 reports that the hard disk drive has two parts: 221 GB C: and 9.76 GB ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 17.3k

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