Microsoft Windows tips and tutorials


Extract several archives with multiple volumes at once

I recently downloaded 24 files that have been split into multiple rar files. Each of the 24 files began with x.rar and ended at x.r24 with x being a number between 1 and 24. I did not want to right-click all 24 files one by one and select Extract Here from the menu because this meant a lot of work. I had to stay at the computer all the time as well to initiate the next process.

Copy the text of all Windows error messages

What do you do when an Windows error message popups that you do not know ? Write it down so that you can research the error message on the Internet ? Keep the error message open and open a browser window to research it ? What if there was an easier method that allowed you to copy the full error text with just one well known shortcut ?


DIY: Easy CPU probe

We always try to lower our CPU usage as much as possible for a normal use. Still, there are situations like testing purposes when we may want our CPU to be 100% busy to test its behavior. This is usually tightly related to overclocking and probing the CPU cooling system capability along with it. Of course you can always use benchmarking applications to give your system some harsh time but it's not necessary when you know how to increase CPU load all the way up to 100% easily in a few seconds. Note that this has only been tested on single-core computers, it prolly won't work with multi-core CPUs.

rename recycle bin

Five Quick Windows Tips

Some Windows tips are that short that I can't write enough to justify an article for them which is why I have decided to collect five quick Windows tips that are still very useful and probably not know to anyone reading this article. At least I hope that some of them are new to you.

mouse cursors

Use Custom Cursors in Windows

The default cursor set that ships with Windows is not really friendly to the eye and it happens from time to time that I have to search for the cursor on the screen because it blends in nicely if the page has a similar background color.


Get rid of a huge programs list in the start menu

I was testing the software Tidy Start Menu which offers users a way to move start menu entries into several categories like Office, Games and Internet when it occurred to me that I did not need that program at all to do the same. The only advantage that I could see in using it was that I did not have to create the main folders in the startmenu by myself.

svchost process

Analyzing the svchost.exe processes

I more than once asked myself why I had so many svchost processes running when opening the task manager which displayed no additional information on the process. I needed another software that would help me analyze the svchost processes and determine if they were really needed or even malicious.

remove system folders from start menu

Remove System Folders from the Startmenu

Windows XP displays several system folders in the startmenu with no obvious way of removing them from it. System folders are for instance the MyDocuments, MyMusic and MyPics folders. They are displayed even if you do not use those folders at all and no files are located in them.

Microsoft windows malicious software removal tool

Prevent Malicious Software Removal Tool from phoning home

The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool is a security program provided by Microsoft that scans computer systems for dozens of common malicious applications. This tool was never meant to replace an existing virus scanner but it offers a quick and easy way to scan and remove popular worms and viruses quickly.

New DVD Burner not burning? Check this out!

A friend of mine bought a new Samsung DVD burner and installed it on his system. The DVD burner would read discs without problems but did not burn a single disk. He was so puzzled that he called me and we agreed that I would take a look at his system and see if I could find the problem why the burner was not burning DVDs and CDs.

Windows XP prompts to activate every time

We have all seen and read about problems with WGA before and it seems some users are currently encountering a new bug in Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 which prompts for activation every time the computer is started even if the operating system has been activated before.

microsoft word startup parameters

Microsoft Word Startup Parameters

Did you know that all editions of Microsoft Word support several startup parameters that can be helpful in more than one occasion? The easiest way to start Word with parameters would be to create a shortcut of the winword.exe, right-click the shortcut and select Properties from the menu and append the switches at the end of the Target line.

flash folders

Use Flashfolder to access Folders faster

The Open and Save file dialog in Windows is not really optimized and Microsoft somehow misses to improve that dialog with every release of a new Windows operating system. Saving different file types in different folders always means to click through your folder structure whenever the file type changes which puts a strain on the right (or left) trigger finger.

slipstream service pack 2

Building an USB Rescue Stick for Windows XP Part 2

This is the second part of the article that explains how to build an USB Rescue Stick for Windows XP. The first dealt with all the preparations while this one will deal with the creation of the bootable USB stick and the configuration of it.

Building an USB Rescue Stick for Windows XP Part 1

It is always a good idea to have a rescue disk or stick at hand in case you encounter difficulties in your operating system. This could start by not booting properly, Windows not starting up or errors in Windows that prevent that you from working normally with it. I'm going to explain how everyone who is running Windows XP Service Pack 2 can create a USB Rescue Stick and use that stick to rescue and repair the system.

CD or DVD Drive Slow? Change it from PIO to DMA Mode

When you burn a CD or DVD in Windows, your DVD burner usually uses the DMA (Direct Memory Access) mode. Basically, this allows you to transfer large chunks of data onto your […]

skype plugin manager

What is skypePM.exe doing?

Whenever you start Skype, which loads the process Skype.exe, another process named skypePM.exe is loaded. SkypePM.exe is the Plugin Manager of Skype that is always loaded during the start of Skype even if you are not using a single plugin in Skype. This is not really efficient considering that this process uses 15+ Megabytes of RAM for doing nothing at all.

windows xp automatic login

Auto logon into Windows

Auto logon should not be configured if more than one user is working with a computer or if the computer is part of a local area network. A PC that is only used by one user could be configured to automatically log that user in when he boots his computer. I have auto logon enabled in Windows XP and really enjoy the faster boot speed.