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465 votes
18 answers
318k 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 ...
53 votes
4 answers
19k 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 ...
304 votes
21 answers
164k 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 ...
51 votes
3 answers
71k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 44.9k
175 votes
17 answers
287k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 3,980
203 votes
7 answers
303k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,599
127 votes
1 answer
19k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 36.7k
395 votes
5 answers
952k 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....
user avatar
  • 212k
94 votes
16 answers
27k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,127
41 votes
5 answers
127k 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? ...
user avatar
31 votes
3 answers
31k 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 ...
user avatar
26 votes
2 answers
14k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 25.1k
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 ...
user avatar
93 votes
9 answers
36k 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?
user avatar
  • 1,180
195 votes
7 answers
544k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,063
45 votes
4 answers
313k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 44.9k
229 votes
19 answers
58k 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-...
user avatar
164 votes
16 answers
411k 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?
user avatar
422 votes
23 answers
1.0m views

How can I download an entire website?

How can I download all pages from a website? Any platform is fine.
42 votes
5 answers
31k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 144k
179 votes
18 answers
431k 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 ...
123 votes
9 answers
110k 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?
user avatar
178 votes
12 answers
120k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 23.5k
74 votes
7 answers
68k 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.
user avatar
633 votes
19 answers
378k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 11.4k
22 votes
4 answers
30k 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?
user avatar
  • 301
23 votes
8 answers
52k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,390
88 votes
9 answers
278k 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.
user avatar
  • 1,843
60 votes
10 answers
248k 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?
user avatar
  • 24.6k
421 votes
24 answers
494k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 8,864
111 votes
11 answers
13k 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. ...
user avatar
  • 21k
49 votes
5 answers
157k 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. ...
user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
7k 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? Why is the native method generally the best method for most users? How does the native method differ from conventional cloning? ...
user avatar
  • 5,924
175 votes
19 answers
680k 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 ...
user avatar
134 votes
23 answers
363k 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 ...
79 votes
17 answers
210k 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?
21 votes
4 answers
66k 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 ...
user avatar
114 votes
4 answers
385k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,243
162 votes
7 answers
86k 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?
user avatar
67 votes
3 answers
119k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,276
131 votes
10 answers
522k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 14.1k
123 votes
7 answers
215k 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:...
user avatar
  • 2,731
87 votes
4 answers
150k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,048
68 votes
7 answers
88k 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 ...
user avatar
191 votes
23 answers
432k 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.
user avatar
  • 2,099
135 votes
7 answers
66k views

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

Given a hotkey, how can I find which program owns it?
user avatar
  • 1,453
93 votes
11 answers
27k 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?
user avatar
  • 2,652
68 votes
11 answers
152k views

Free way to clone HDD to SSD? [closed]

Is there a free way to clone a full Windows 7 installation from HDD to SSD? (The free part is important, I know I can pay for Acronis True Image.) SSDs are usually much smaller than HDDs which ...
user avatar
44 votes
5 answers
25k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 3,222
62 votes
11 answers
207k views

Laptop power supplies, does current matter?

I have two laptops (same manufacture), with the same type of power connector. However, the power supplies/transformers are slightly different. The output on the first laptop's power supply is 15.6&...
user avatar
  • 1,546

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