How To Access Hidden Themes In Windows 7


Windows 7 offers a great set of themes you can use to customise the look and feel of your computer’s desktop. I’ll bet you didn’t know that there are actually quite a few hidden themes based on locations around the world. By default Windows only displays one of these localised themes based on the country which you are in. Continue reading “How To Access Hidden Themes In Windows 7”


My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM

Article first published as My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM on Technorati.

Does your computer frequently jam up? Do you seem to be getting a lot of blue screens? You may have faulty memory.

In this article I will try to explain how to diagnose your own faulty memory modules. The process is relatively simple, can save you money and can also be a valuable learning experience if you haven’t had much to do with computer repair before.

The first part of diagnosis is of course being able to recognise the symptoms, which include:

  • The computer freezing up to the point that there is no mouse or keyboard input possible at all.
  • A ‘blue screen of death’ followed by immediate shut down or restart.
  • A failure to boot often accompanied by a series of beeping noises.
  • Crashes during memory intensive tasks such as photo or video editing, gaming etc.
  • Crashes and restarts during Windows installation.

I had the misfortune of experiencing some of these symptoms a few weeks ago when my computer began to freeze during different tasks especially while listening to music on Winamp for a while or within about 5 or 10 minutes of playing World of Warcraft or OFP: Dragon Rising. Luckily for me the fix was easy, all I had to do was remove the side cover from my PC and apply a bit of pressure on each of the memory modules to ensure that they were seated in the DIMM slots correctly. If you don’t know what a memory module or DIMM slot looks like then click on the image above left.

If you suspect that you have faulting memory then ensuring that the modules are pushed properly into the slots would be the first thing that I would try as this is normally the problem 20% of the time. Make sure you check the conditions of any warranty you may have on your PC first as removing the side cover and tampering with components may void it. Continue reading “My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM”

Every Windows Key Shortcut You Will Ever Need

Windows Key shortcuts.

The sneaky Windows Key

Tips and shortcuts for easy and efficient PC use.

Following in the foot steps of my Window’s Run Commands article I have decided to give you even more handy tips to make your computing experience much easier and efficient. These shortcuts work in all versions of Windows up to Windows 7!

Below is a list of 12 shortcuts utilising the Windows key on your keyboard (pictured). The shortcuts I have written require you to hold down the Window’s key and press once the letters in the instructions.

Enjoy!

  1. Windows Key – Opens the Start menu.
  2. Windows Key + E – Opens up an Explorer Window.
  3. Windows Key + Da.k.a The Boss Key – Minimises all Windows and display the desktop, press D again to return all your Windows to normal. (Use this when you are doing dodgy things and the boss walks in the room 🙂 ).
  4. Windows Key + F – Opens the Find dialogue.
  5. Windows Key + L – Locks your PC.
  6. Windows Key + M – Minimises all open Windows.
  7. Windows Key + Shift + M – Returns minimised Windows to their previous state.
  8. Windows Key + R – Opens the Run command box. (Read ‘100 Handy Run Commands’ article).
  9. Windows Key + F1 – Displays the Windows Help menu.
  10. Windows Key + Pause/Break – Displays System Properties.
  11. Windows Key + Tab – Cycles through open Windows (Looks cooler than Alt + Tab in Windows 7).
  12. Windows Key + U – Displays the Utilities Manager.

Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

Peak Performance: 7 Easy Ways To Keep Your PC happy.

What do you do to ensure that your computer is regularly maintained and tuned-up for peak performance? Find out what you should be doing as part of a regular computer maintenance plan.

What do you do to ensure that your computer is regularly maintained and tuned-up for peak performance?

I found this question on Yahoo! Answers, it rated as one of the most popular IT questions on the site so I thought I would answer it myself.

As I work in the IT industry I quite often work with other people’s computers both through work and through personal contacts and I have seen some messy ones! Nine times out of ten when someone brings their computer in for repair the only description they will give you of their problem is that “their computer is slow”.

Some times these are near-brand new computers that they have somehow managed to bog down with browser toolbars, background processes and a taskbar that is 40 feet long with all kinds of weird and wonderful items in a few months.

Following these tips you can keep your computer running nicely for a long time.

First of all I am only explaining what I do personally so if you have any suggestions please let me know in comments or send me an e-mail!

Continue reading “Peak Performance: 7 Easy Ways To Keep Your PC happy.”