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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 ...
54 votes
9 answers
25k views

How do I recover lost/inaccessible 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 computer storage device, e.g. internal/external hard drives, USB sticks, flash ...
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 ...
55 votes
3 answers
104k views

What can I do if my USB flash drive is write-protected or read-only?

When I plug in my USB flash drive, it shows up on my computer as write-protected or read-only. I am unable to transfer data to it, nor can I modify or delete any files already stored on it. I also ...
bwDraco's user avatar
  • 46.2k
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
207 votes
7 answers
309k 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 ...
Luke's user avatar
  • 2,649
411 votes
5 answers
1.1m 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 this....
slhck's user avatar
  • 230k
127 votes
1 answer
20k views

Windows 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 reinstalling ...
nhinkle's user avatar
  • 37.5k
97 votes
17 answers
32k views

Stopping all automatic updates Windows 10

We've upgraded some machines to Windows 10 and realized there were some updates which updated as required. However, I realized there was no option available to stop the download similar to that on ...
Izzy's user avatar
  • 1,165
46 votes
5 answers
158k views

Where can I get a clean ISO of a specific build of Windows 10?

I need to repair my Windows 10 installation. Where can I get a clean ISO (with install.wim, no Install.ESD, so that I can run DISM against the WIM) of the specific Windows 10 build required for this? ...
magicandre1981's user avatar
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
26 votes
2 answers
16k 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 ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 25.4k
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
48 votes
4 answers
350k 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 ...
bwDraco's user avatar
  • 46.2k
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
229 votes
19 answers
60k 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-...
Mehper C. Palavuzlar's user avatar
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
470 votes
16 answers
1.2m views

How can I download an entire website?

How can I download all pages from a website? Any platform is fine.
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
663 votes
20 answers
393k views

How to *disable* automatic reboots in Windows 10?

Windows 10 lets you 'schedule' a reboot for later. I want to disable it. Evidently Windows scheduled itself for a reboot last night when I wasn't looking and just closed everything I had been working ...
mpen's user avatar
  • 12.2k
54 votes
5 answers
182k views

How do I stop Windows 10 from updating my graphics driver?

Every time Windows 10 runs updates (which I see no way to control), it updates my graphics driver. I like the old one because it is faster. So, I have to reinstall it. This is getting to be a pain. ...
Rohit Gupta's user avatar
  • 3,667
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
30 votes
7 answers
7k views

Is there a general term for the items in a directory?

I'm just curious if there's a standard computer term that encompasses everything in a directory, instead of always having to mention "files" and "(sub)directories/folders" ...
Mason's user avatar
  • 431
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
22 votes
4 answers
32k views

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

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?
user8418's user avatar
  • 301
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
61 votes
10 answers
255k 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?
Nathan Long's user avatar
  • 26.8k
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
23 votes
8 answers
55k 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 ...
Joe Phillips's user avatar
  • 1,420
169 votes
9 answers
448k views

How to delete a keyboard layout in Windows 10

I installed Windows 10 on a physically German keyboard, then installed a Window English software keyboard and bought some little stickers to make my keyboard look OK. However, Windows shows 2 ...
Mawg's user avatar
  • 4,457
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
21 votes
5 answers
67k views

How to reinstall Windows 10 on new hard disk

I've been using Windows 10 for a couple of month now (joined the Insider Preview). Now my hard drive started ticking so I've bought a new SSD and I want to move the windows installation to the new ...
Shimmy Weitzhandler's user avatar
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?
161 votes
7 answers
88k 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?
Moayad Mardini's user avatar
67 votes
3 answers
120k 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 download ...
MoG's user avatar
  • 1,276
132 votes
9 answers
529k 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 ...
Elmo's user avatar
  • 14.7k
125 votes
8 answers
220k 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:...
Alex Che's user avatar
  • 2,761
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
193 votes
23 answers
438k 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.
Justin White's user avatar
  • 2,119
95 votes
11 answers
30k 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?
Console's user avatar
  • 2,672
68 votes
7 answers
89k 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 ...
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