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If there’s a piece of equipment that works hard in your PC, it’s your hard disk drive (HDD.) HDDs operate at anywhere between 4200 and 15000 RPM (perhaps higher) while in use. In other words, these things spin anywhere between 70 and 250 times a second—sometimes for days on end! While the information in this guide mostly applies to both HDDs and Solid State Drives (SSD), SSDs have no moving parts so some of the information will not apply.

With high speeds and enormous data transfers on a daily basis hard drive file systems, used to store and access all your data, are prone to corruption and failure. Thankfully, all versions of Windows come with a nifty, free tool called “Check Disk” (chkdsk.) In this guide, we’ll show you how to use Check Disk and explain a little about common errors to which hard drives are prone.

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Start Windows in Safe Mode [How To] [Quick Tip]

Posted by Rich On December - 29 - 2011

Safe mode is a mode within Windows used for troubleshooting problems. In Safe Mode, Windows operates with limited functionality—only basic files and drivers are loaded to start Windows. Once in Safe Mode, you can more easily remove viruses, remove stubborn files, replace or modify Windows files etc.

There are a number of Windows Guides that ask you to start the computer in safe mode:

In this guide, we’ll show you a couple of ways to get into Safe Mode in Windows XP, Vista, 7, and Windows 8.

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In the previous guide, you learned about the Sysinternals tools. In this guide, you’ll learn how to launch Sysinternals tools from the web. This can save valuable time and give you the tools you need when you need them i.e. you’re at a friends house and they’re asking for help with their PC.

Launching Sysinternals tools from the command line/Run dialog is easy. First, you’ll need the list of names of the Sysinternals tools, which can be found here: live.sysinternals.com

Once you have the name of the tool,  launch the Run dialog (Winkey+R) and type the following:

 \\live.sysinternals.com\tools\toolname.exe

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We like using Sysinternals tools here at Windows Guides; these tools bring core Windows functions together and help you administer to your systems more easily.

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics:

  1. What are the Sysinternals tools?
  2. How to download and run these tools on your PC
  3. Where can I learn more about these tools?

Install Windows PowerShell 2.0 [Vista] 1.0 [XP] [How To]

Posted by Rich On October - 29 - 2011

If you’re using Windows Vista or XP, you’ll need to install Windows PowerShell. PowerShell 2.0 works with Vista and Server 2003/8; if you’re on XP, you’ll miss PowerShell 2.0 features and be stuck with version 1.0.

Note: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 come bundled with PowerShell so you don’t need to do anything.

If your PC is in a domain or workgroup where its use is prohibited, speak with your IT administrative staff.

Download PowerShell 2.0 (Vista, Server 2008/3)

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New to using the command prompt? Check out the Windows Command Prompt Beginner’s Guide

If you’ve ever asked a PC help question in a forum, it’s likely someone suggested you check for corrupted or out of version protected system files. To do this:

  1. Open a Command Prompt (Click Start, type cmd, and click cmd.exe.)
  2. Type sfc /scannow and press Enter

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