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Backup user profiles in Windows XP

There are circumstance when making a backup copy of user profiles in Windows  is prudent. For example, I like to back user profiles as a precaution if I am going to be doing any extensive repair on a computer. Other times, I will copy user profiles to transfer to a new computer or Windows installation.

A user profiles contains all of a user’s documents and files, desktop and program settings, favorites, and and a host of other information based on the user’s configuration.


You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of… Continue reading

Creating a System Repair CD in Windows 7

windows7_logoIf there is one thing that holds true for all operating systems, across all platforms, at some point in time, they crash.  Sadly, Windows is prone to crashing. Well, that’s more true for older versions of Windows than for newer versions. I’m using Windows 7 and I am really liking it. So far, it has not crashed on me. But being who I am, and in my profession, it’s only a matter of time. Fortunately, Windows 7, like Windows XP, has built-in tools to recover from disasters like the famous Blue Screen of Death, (Does that… Continue reading

Control up to four computers with Mouse without Borders

Have you ever wished you could control multiple computers with one keyboard and one mouse?  To do this, you could spend a lot of money and time installing a KVM switch, which also means that you have to run cables to each computer and connected them to the KVM switch. Or, you could use a free program from Microsoft Garage project called Mouse without Borders, and your existing wireless or wired network, and use your mouse and keyboard to seamlessly control and move files between up to four computers.


How Mouse without Borders Works:

First,… Continue reading

Score Ten Free E-Books from Microsoft Press

Microsoft Press is giving away ten free e-books on SQL Server 2008 and 2012, MS Office 365 and 2010, Deploying Windows 7, Visual Studio 2010, Programming Windows Phone 7, and Virtualization Solutions. Get ’em while they’re hot!

Introducing Microsoft Server 2012   (Download in PDF Format – 288 pages; 10.8 MB)  The final and complete version of Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012, by Ross Mistry  and Stacia Misner. 10 Chapters covering Introduction, Disaster-Recovery Enhancements, SQL Server 2012 Editions and Engine Enhancements, Data Administration, Performance and Scalability, , Security Enhancements, Programmability… Continue reading

Creating an e-mail signature in Outlook

An e-mail signature typically looks something like this:

James O’Brien

That’s a very simple and basic signature that takes about 10 to 20 seconds to type into my outgoing e-mails. But if I am sending and answering e-mails all day long, it can get tedious to type my signature with every e-mail. Most e-mail clients, Outlook included, provide a method of automatically inserting a signature in your outgoing email.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Select “Tools | Options…” from the menu in Outlook

Creating an Outlook Signature

2) Go to the “Mail Format” tab

Creating an Outlook Signature

3) Go to… Continue reading

Using the Clear Type Tuner in Windows

If you notice that the font on your monitor isn't exactly smooth or clear and easy to read on your laptop or LCD monitor, you can adjust the clarity of the font by using the Windows Clear Type Tuner.

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Windows To Go – A Bootable Windows 8 on a USB Stick



windodws8_logoWindows to Go is a feature of Windows 8 that allows users to run Windows 8 from a USB 2.0 or 3.0 thumb drive. Windows to Go is essentially targeted to enterprise customers or people who work from a shared computer, or a home or computers in remote locations.

IT professionals may find Windows To Go valuable as it will allow them to boot a copy of Windows 8 extremely fast and diagnostic any existing problems on the local PC installation.

Bootable Operating systems aren’t new and neither is a bootable Windows stick, but these… Continue reading

Microsoft Outlook 2010 – Accidently Deleted Distribution List

It seems that accidentally deleting a distribution list in Microsoft Outlook 2010 is a fairly common issue. The problem is that the Delete Group button is right next to the Save & Close button in the Contact Group pane. Fortunately, recovering a deleted distribution list is fairly easy.

Depending on whether you are using Outlook as a stand-alone e-mail client or using Outlook in conjunction with Microsoft Exchange Server, the process to recover accidentally deleted distribution lists is as follows:


Recovering a distribution List

  1. In the Navigation pane, click Deleted Items
  2. Find the distribution list that… Continue reading

Unfreeze programs in Windows 7

In previous versions of Microsoft Windows, when a program locked up, there was nothing you could do except the three-finger-salute (CTRL+ALT+DELETE), and hopefully terminate the offending program. That meant losing any unsaved data that you were working on. Worst case scenario was that you would have to restart Windows. With Windows 7, a new utility has been that added that may help users unfreeze a program or restart it without losing data. The utility is called the Resource Monitor. Continue reading

Add “Recover Deleted Files” option to Outlook Tools menu

Typically, when you delete an item from a folder in a mailbox, that item is first transferred to the Deleted Items folder of that mailbox. You can then remove the item from the Deleted Items folder. This provides a measure of protection in case you accidentally delete an item. After the items are removed from the Deleted Items folder, you can still recover them if Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 or Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server has been configured to retain deleted items.

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Creating a Windows 7 Password Recovery disk

windows7_logoIt is nearly impossible to recover a lost Windows 7 password. If, for whatever reason, you have forgotten your windows 7 password, you are going to be in pretty big trouble. Without that password, you are not going to be able to log into your profile and access your files or data.

Fortunately, Windows 7 provides a simple tool to help you recover your password by way of a password reset disk. The catch is that you must create the password recovery disk BEFORE you need it.

Creating the Password Recovery disk

You can use a floppy… Continue reading

Windows 8 for tablets hands-on preview (engadget.com)

I just finished reading engadget's new article "Windows 8 for tablets hands-on preview (video).  If you are considering a tablet PC, or if you are interested in learning more about the up-coming windows 8, you should read this article.

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Back up Windows Registry in Windows XP

The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that stores configuration settings and options on Microsoft Windows operating systems. It contains settings for low-level operating system components as well as the applications running on the platform: the kernel, device drivers, services, SAM, user interface and third-party applications all make use of the Registry. In other terms, you can think of the registry like the nerve system in a human body in all components of the human body are linked to the brain.

There are circumstances where modifications to the registry may be required, such as installing software or… Continue reading

Windows XP: Disabling the Indexing Service

The Indexing service can create an index of all the files and the content of many of those files in order to make finding things much faster. While Windows XP’s heart is in the right place, this sounds better than it is in practice. The Indexing service is more effective in its ability to slow down your computer than its ability to speed file searches.


Here’s how to disable the Indexing service:


Click Start and click the Run command.

In the Open text box, type services.msc and click OK.

In the right pane of the… Continue reading

Installing Windows Vista on a new or formatted hard drive


This guide is intended to provide an accurate and well-established procedure for installing Windows Vista on a new or freshly formatted hard drive. By following this procedure, any data on the hard drive you are installing Windows Vista on will be permanently erased. This guide does not cover hard drives configured in a RAID setup. For information on installing Windows Vista on a RAIDed hard drive configuration, Click Here.


This guide is intended for informational purposes only. By using this guide, you agree to accept full responsibility for any damage or loss of data… Continue reading

Resolve: No e-mail through VPN

Here’s an interesting issue I dealt with last week. The company I work for has a lot of employees that frequently work through vpn connections, through which they have access to network resources and the Exchange server. Last week, we started getting complaints that people were not able to send or receive e-mail when they were logged into their vpn’s.

We checked the typical settings, the exchange proxy, network settings, so forth. Nothing worked to resolve the issue. That is, until when we figured out that if we moved the vpn connection to the top of the… Continue reading

Creating a system Image DVD for Windows 7

windows7_logoIf you have ever experienced a computer crash, or a failure that ultimately ends up in you having to reinstall Windows and all your drivers and software, then you know what a living hell feels like. Even if you’re a seasoned pro, like me, you know that at the very least, you are going to be booked up 4 or 5 hours reinstalling everything, and probably twice that getting all of your settings and configurations back the way you like them. Of course, that’s assuming that you have a recent backup of your data. If not, your… Continue reading

Common Windows Run Line Commands

I have compiled a list of useful commonly used run-line commands for Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7. These commands are used from the Run line (Start/Run).  Using run-line commands is often a quicker way of accessing a program or a Windows service, instead of clicking through a series of screens and options to get where you want to go.

Function Command (Run from Start/Run) Description
Accessibility access.cpl Windows Accessibility Control Panel
Hardware Wizard hdwwiz.cpl Hardware Installation Wizard
Add/Remove Programs appwiz.cpl Adding or removing programs or Windows components
Administrative Tools certmgr.msc Windows Administrative… Continue reading

Recommended Website: Outlook Daily Tips

This is a great resource for average Outlook users and support technicians to find solutions to common Outlook problems, and also find great tips and solutions to help you use Outlook to your best advantage. I often refer to this website for Outlook issues, and I consider it a great resource.

About Outlook Daily Tips

Owned by Outlook MVP Diane Poremsky, President and CEO of CDOLive LLC, Outlook Tips website was founded in July 2003 to help users learn to use Outlook, one day at a time through the Outlook Tips mailing list providing tips to subscribers… Continue reading

History of the Microsoft Windows Desktop

I thought it would be fun to put together a historical collection of Microsoft’s operating system desktops; to give a perspective of just how far the PC desktop environment has evolved since Microsoft entered into the market and essentially took over the world’s share of the PC market. I am starting back when  Windows was in its infancy, to the early days of Microsoft DOS, and moving forward in time to the future to Microsoft’s Windows 8. Most of Microsoft’s operating systems have been a big success, and have changed the way the world… Continue reading

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