How do I run sfc /scannow to check system files ?
If sfc /scannow is used at the command prompt it will check on the Windows System Files.
It also checks the Dynamic Link Library ( .dll )
It can correct corrupt / missing / changed System Files.
This is useful for correcting problems with the system but be aware that any changes you have made to default system settings [ in Explorer.exe for instance ] will revert to the default settings.
How do I Run SFC /SCANNOW
For VISTA and Win7 the method is the same:
Start > Run ……..type in …..cmd …….DO NOT hit ENTER at this point
NOTE – XP is different. After typing cmd simply hit ENTER to get to the command prompt.
Now right click on ……cmd.exe ……that appears at the top of the panel on the left of your screen.
Click on Run as Administrator
Win 8 and 8.1 users would need to open the SEARCH option > type “cmd” > right click on “Command Prompt” and click on “Run as Administrator”
At the prompt type sfc /scannow NOTE – there is a space after “sfc”
[This is the same for all systems]
The scan will take a little while to complete.
If the scan did not fix all problem files then run it again.
It is possible to scan the system without making changes.
This option will just verify the files and will not correct any errors found.
If you want to do this type in – sfc /verifyonly > ENTER
How to see the sfc scan results.
To do this you will need to open an Elevated Command Prompt [ Run as Administrator ]
XP users just need to use the cmd > ENTER method.
The command below needs to be copied and pasted at the command prompt:
findstr /c:”[SR]” %windir%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log >”%userprofile%\Desktop\sfclog.txt
The normal Paste options ( CTRL + V ) may not work at the command prompt.
There is a small black icon in the top left corner of the screen:
Right click on the black icon > EDIT > PASTE
The text file will be created on your desktop.
The contents will look something like this:
2012-02-17 11:27:40, Info CSI 00000006 [SR] Verifying 100 (0x00000064) components
2012-02-17 11:27:40, Info CSI 00000007 [SR] Beginning Verify and Repair transaction
2012-02-17 11:27:46, Info CSI 00000009 [SR] Verify complete
2012-02-17 11:27:47, Info CSI 0000000a [SR] Verifying 100 (0x00000064) components
2012-02-17 11:27:47, Info CSI 0000000b [SR] Beginning Verify and Repair transaction
2012-02-17 11:27:55, Info CSI 0000000d [SR] Verify complete
2012-02-17 11:27:55, Info CSI 0000000e [SR] Verifying 100 (0x00000064) components
2012-02-17 11:27:55, Info CSI 0000000f [SR] Beginning Verify and Repair transaction
2012-02-17 11:27:58, Info CSI 00000011 [SR] Verify complete
2012-02-17 11:27:58, Info CSI 00000012 [SR] Verifying 100 (0x00000064) components
2012-02-17 11:27:58, Info CSI 00000013 [SR] Beginning Verify and Repair transactio
If you need more information on how to run sfc /scannow please ask on the Free PC Help website - click here
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Install Software computer without Disk Drive
Tutorial written by PlasticNev
How to install software to a computer without a disk drive……
How to install a disked program, driver or other software, including the operating system, on to a computer, netbook, or similar that has no disk drive, using a memory stick or flash drive.
In windows XP. (Vista and Windows7 is similar)
To do this we do need a computer that does have a disk drive either CD or CD/DVD drive fitted.
Start up that computer first with the netbook or similar also ready.
Next is to have a flash drive, pen drive, memory stick or whatever name it has, they are all the same thing for this purpose. Make sure there are no files already on it, store them if needed and delete, or better, reformat the flash drive.
The next thing is to plug the drive (memory stick) into the computer with a disk drive if not already done so, and make sure it is truly empty.
Once that has been done the next thing is to insert the software disk into the disk drive, the computer will recognise there is a disk and start to open the content, with some software a small window may open stating it is initialising installation, don’t worry about that it will go in a few seconds, this will be followed by a window telling you what the software is, and with the usual buttons to click if it were being installed, and will also have a cancel button. It is that button we need to click to close and stop the installation. It can be done at a later time if installation is required on that computer also.
We then need to click on the main “Start” button – bottom left, then click on “My Computer” or “Computer” if Win 7 or Win 8.
The disk drive should be there and also show the disk contents. Right click on the drive, do not double click, that will re start the attempt to install, right click only.
From the menu that opens, choose “Open”, do not choose play or run for the same reason as above.
The window should then show various files or folders all with different names, some software disks will have many folders and some, especially just driver software, may only have one folder.
Go to the “Edit” button top left and choose “Select all” All files and folders should then be highlighted.
In the left pane choose “Copy Selected Items”, a list should open, so scroll down to the flash drive, it should show as “Removable disk (G:)” the (G:) may be any other letter from “D” onwards depending on what other drives are installed.
Click on the Removable disk and then click “Copy”. Another small window should open showing the progress of the copy process, this may take some time depending on the size of the files and folders to be copied.
Once the copy is finished. Click the “Safely remove hardware which should be on the bottom right of your task bar, when it says it is safe to remove, unplug the flash drive from that computer, it is now ready to be plugged into your netbook or other disk driveless computer.
In some cases, the computer may recognise that it is an installation when the drive is plugged in, but that is rare, it usually opens a window with various choices. You need to choose “Open folder to view files”
In amongst those files, you may have noticed earlier there will be one that suggests it is the installer, that is the file to now double click. The installation should now start.
If you need more information on how to Install Software Computer without Disk Drive please ask on the Free PC Help site – click here
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Internet Explorer – Reset or Restore Advanced Settings
This tutorial was written by maynardvdm
How to Reset or Restore Adanced Settings in Internet Explorer.
You need to access Internet Options. Here’s how :
In your Internet Explorer Browser Click Tools and then click on Internet Options, like this:
[ In Win 8 type Internet Options into the Search Box then click on “Settings” ]
Then click on the “Advanced” tab – see below:
Then you can choose either Restore Advanced Settings or Reset depending on your situation.
Warning: Reset will delete all temporary files, disable all browser add-ons and reset all changed settings.
Restore Advanced Settings resets Internet Explorer options to their default settings
(as they were when you first installed Internet Explorer).
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Windows 8 Tips
– by KenB
If you are used to earlier versions of the Windows Operating System ( Vista / Win 7 ) you will find Win 8 a bit different.
Finding your way around can be a bit awkward and confusing at first.
Windows 8 has been designed to run on touch screen systems and has been adapted to run on standard desktop and laptop machines.
After you initially set up the system you will be requested to re-boot.
When you re-boot the system you will find that you come to the Lock Screen
To get past this you simply tap any key on the keyboard and you will then be prompted to use a conventional Login screen with your User Name and Password that you created on initially setting up the Operating System.
If you are likely to forget the password I suggest that you change it to one that you WILL remember as forums like this will not assist with by-passing passwords.
When you first boot the machine you will be faced with the Start Screen Apps.
If you want access to the Desktop; Control Panel and other options similar, but not the same, as previous Operating Systems simply…
hold down the Windows Key and press X.
This will open up the Quick Access Menu
You will see this:
The old Start Menu does not exist in Windows 8 using this method you get fast access to Device Manager; Disk Management; Elevated Command Prompt and much more.
How do I See all of the Apps at Once?
The Start Screen is full of Apps and this scrolls off screen.
You can use the mouse scroll wheel to scroll through them alternatively you can
Hold Down CTRL and use the Mouse Scroll Wheel to ZOOM IN / OUT
This works for all screens.
How do I Name the Apps Categories ?
You can drag and drop the Apps to arrange them to suit yourself.
You can create a new section if you wish by simply dragging the apps to the far right.
Once you have arranged your apps as you want you can name them.
Simply use CTRL + Mouse Scroll ( as above ) to shrink to view all.
Then right click on the block you want to name.
“Name Group” will pop up bottom left of screen – simply type in the name that you want.
How do I Find How Much RAM I Have?
Windows 8 makes use of Key Combinations – some of which you will find very useful.
In previous versions of Windows it was not as easy to discover details of RAM / Processor / Operating System
In Windows 8 for this information simply press theWindows Key + Pause.
You will see the details similar to the picture below:
How do I Find the “Run” Box?
In Windows 8 the “Run” box is not obvious as there is no “Start” option as the was in previous versions and is therefore hidden.
It is still there though.
To access it is simple – press Windows Key + R .
The “Run” box pops up and you can access Services etc from here as with previous systems.
How do I Find the “Services”?
To access “Services” all you need to do is open the Run box ( Tip 6 ) and type is services.msc
Hit ENTER – you will see the Services Screen below.
How do I Alter My Privacy Settings ?
If, like me, you don’t want your location, name etc passed around the net then you can make one or two changes on your system to help prevent this.
Your Privacy Settings is something you have control over.
To change these open the Search option, click on Settings and type in Privacy ……hit ENTER
How do I Open Wordpad ?
In previous versions of Windows Wordpad was accessed through Start > Accessories.
This is not an option with Win 8.
Wordpad is still available though. To access it simply open the search option and type in “Wordpad” > ENTER
You will see this: [ Notepad is accessed by the same method )
Quick Access to an Application
If there is an Application that you use regularly ( Control Panel for instance ) there is a way that you can make this easily accessible.
Use the Search Option and type in Control Panel.
Right click on the Control Panel box that appears to the left.
The options below appear:
Click on “Pin to Start”
( You can also select “Pin to Task Bar” if you wish and it will appear at the bottom of your screen )
Now hit the Windows Key.
Scroll to the right and “Control Panel” [ or your selected App ] will be there with your other Apps.
If you need further advice re: Win 8 please ask on the FpcH Website – click here
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Print Wireless without a Wireless Printer
How do I print wireless without a wireless printer
This tutorial assumes that you have a desktop machine attached by a cable to the printer.
It is also assumed that you have a wireless network via a router.
( this is a standard set up )
Your first job is to make sure that the appropriate printer drivers are installed on both machines.
The Desktop machine will, no doubt, have the corect drivers already.
If the laptop does not have the same Operating System as the desktop then you will need to visit the printer manufacturers website and download the drivers for your laptop.
Please be aware that if your Printer is an older one and your laptop has Windows 8 on it – you may be unlucky and there may not be drivers available.
Do not be tempted to use drivers that are not designed for your operating system.
On the Desktop go to Control Panel > Printers ……right click on the printer icon > Sharing > Share this Printer.
Give it a Name …………… and make a note of this.
[Let’s assume you call it Epson }
Find the Full Computer Name for the Desktop.
Start > Right click on “Computer” > Properties.
It should be here. Make a note of this ………..exactly as it is written including capitals.
[Let’s assume the full name is MyDesktopComputer ]
You will need this noted information next.
Print Wireless without a Wireless Printer continued …..
Now on the Laptop:
Start > Control Panel > Printers > Add a Printer …….[ this is in the toolbar at the top ]
Create a New Port …..this should be “Local Port”
You will be asked to type in the Port Name. This is important and you need the information from above.
The Port Name looks like this:
\\MyDesktopComputer\Epson ……. ( obviously put in your own names that you noted earlier )
You may be prompted to install the Printer Drivers. ( I know you have already done this )
You will be prompted for a Printer Name. This will be attached to the icon produced on the Laptop in “Printers”
You should then be able to print a test page.
Be aware that the machine connected to the printer will need to be turned on.
If you need more information on how to print Wireless without a Wireless Printer ask on the FreepcHelp site = click here
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Post IPconfig results ( Tutorial )
How to Post ipconfig results when requested – written by KenB
If you are having internet connection problems you may be asked to post the results of ipconfig /all.
To do this follow the instructions below:
Click on START in the bottom left of your screen
In the Run box type ……cmd ……right click on “cmd.exe” that appears top left of screen.
Now click on “Run as Administrator”
Win 8 users will need to open a Search Box by pointing to the top right corner.
Type in …. command prompt …. then click on “Run as Administrator” underneath.
A black box will open with a flashing prompt.
ipconfig /all [note : there is a space after ipconfig]
You will get a list.
In the top left corner there is a small square icon.
Click on this.
You will get a drop-down menu.
Put the curser on “Edit” then click on “Mark” when the next box appears.
Use this method if you want to select just part of the results or the whole result.
You could simply use “select all” if you wish.
Position the screen curser at the start of the text > hold down the left mouse button > drag the mouse down to mark all of the text.
The marked text will highlight white.
Now press ENTER.
Click the POST REPLY button below the last post in the thread.
Paste the copied text in by clicking on the space in the box and press CTRL + V
Click the SUBMIT button.
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Making a cloned hard drive using Macrium Reflect
As well as a system image which can be created and stored on an external hard drive for later or rescue use, a different approach is to clone your existing drive completely onto another different hard drive.
You would do this either as a fully exchangeable drive to be put to one side, so it can be swapped in at any time of major trouble such as a failed drive, or as could happen with the latest malware, and find all your files encrypted.
You can also make a clone from an existing small drive when it is getting too full, and put the clone on a larger hard drive for fitting in its place..
Please read through everything and please be sure you understand each stage of making a cloned hard drive before continuing.
You will need a spare hard drive either as big as the system one, or larger. and of the same type, either IDE or SATA.
One of these three, an adapter from IDE or SATA to USB, an enclosure for the spare drive to USB, or a hard drive docking station.
For now we will assume an enclosure with the spare drive fitted to it.
It is a good thing at this point to plug it in to the computer and allow Windows to see it and install drivers for it. Once that is done unless you are going to continue straight away, use the “Safe to remove” system to disconnect it from the computer.
OK, start up the computer and once fully booted up, (If it isn’t already) plug in the USB enclosure complete with the new drive in it. Autoplay may open a window for the new drive, if it does dismiss and close it as it isn’t needed. (Make sure no other device is plugged into any other USB ports or card slots, other than keyboard and mouse if they are USB.)
Next is to open the Macrium reflect program.
You should see this page open, if not click the “Disk Image” tab to open it.
Area “A” will be your existing drive, it may be slightly different from mine here as it depends on the number and sizes of partitions.
Area “B” should be your new drive in its enclosure, unlike mine it should show as empty. (Mine is a previous clone as I am showing my rescue drive)
It should also show the model number of the new drive, make a note of that in case you need to search for it.
Click on the Making a Cloned Hard Drive images to enlarge.
Click anywhere in area “A” to make sure that is selected, underneath it you should then see as in my picture as ringed “C” and click on “clone this disk.”
You should then see this next page open. check that there is a tick in all the boxes as you can see here, to be sure all will be copied as the clone.
Click on the “Select a disk to clone to”
Hopefully you should see something like this, if not you may get the system window open and you will need to search for the new drive, hence why I said to make a note of the new drive model number.
Otherwise Macrium normally knows which it is and shows this providing no other storage medium is plugged in to a USB port or memory card in a slot.
As shown click anywhere to select it and the next should be as here.
If there are any partitions, which in your case there should not be, click on the red crossed item “Delete existing partition” and in your case with no partitions it should then look like this.
Make sure there is a tick in the box for “copy selected partitions when I click next”, it usually is by default, but no harm to make sure.
If all is as above at this point, click the next button on the bottom right, and you should then see a list similar to mine which is listing the existing partitions to be cloned to the new drive in its enclosure.
Click the “Finish” button bottom right and it will then start to create the first stages of the clone, it may show a box asking to either format or over write the contents of the destination drive, accept it by clicking yes or whatever it says to mean yes, and it will carry on.
Depending on how much data is on your drive it will take some time, mine being fairly large does take a few hours, yours may be less than that.
Once the clone has been completed, and it does tell you, close everything concerned with Macrium, then have an explore of everything that is on the new drive to check it out.
If happy all is as it should be, use the safe to remove system to disconnect the external USB enclosure.
The next is a good thing to do to make sure the clone was fully successful.
Shut down and then remove the power plug and battery from the laptop or if a desktop disconnect the mains power at the wall.
Remove the now cloned drive from the enclosure, adapter, or docking station. If a laptop, you will have to remove the drive from it first and then install the clone drive.
If a desktop, you only need to remove the cover, then the plugs from the existing drive and temporarily connect the clone drive.
Replace the battery and power plug if a laptop, or reconnect mains power if a desktop.
If everything went correctly, the laptop or desktop should now boot up from the new drive.
If all is correct, it is maybe a good idea to check the full system at this point by running the System File Checker, or sfc /scannow as it is called, to verify the integrity of the operating system.
It may also correct any slight corruption if any has occurred during the cloning process.
This concludes the tutorial on making a cloned hard drive.
If you need more information on Making a Cloned Hard Drive please ask on the FreePChelp website – click here
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Written by maynardvdm
Here on Free PC Help we occasionaly use terms that may be unfamiliar to you, here is a description of acronyms and what they mean
BIOS – Basic Input Output System
BSOD – Blue Screen of Death
CD-ROM – Compact Disk – Read Only Memory
CMOS – Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor
CPU – Central Processing Unit
DDR SDRAM – Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory
DIMM – Dual In-line Memory Module
DOS – Disk Operating System
DRAM – Dynamic Random Access Memory
DVD – Digital Video Disk or Digital Versatile Disk
EMI – Electro-Magnetic Interference
EMP – Electro-Magnetic Pulse
ERD – Emergency Recovery Disk
EULA – End User License Agreement
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
FAT – File Allocation Table
FTP – File Transfer Protocol
FF – FireFox
GUI – Graphical User Interface
GPU – Graphics Processor Unit
HDD – Hard Disk Drive
LAN – Local Area Network
LCD – Liquid Crystal Display
LED – Light Emitting Diode
Mbps – Megabytes per second
MS – Microsoft
Mobo – Motherboard
MSN – Microsoft Network
NIC – Network Interface Card
NOS – Network Operating System
NTFS – New Technology File System
OS – Operating System
OE – Outlook Express
P2P – Peer To Peer
POST – Power On Self Test
POTS – Plain Old Telephone System
RAM – Random Access Memory
ROM – Read Only Memory
SVGA – Super VGA
USB – Universal Serial Bus
VGA – Video Graphics Adapter
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Find Windows Product Key – by KenB
The Product Key is a series of 25 letters and numbers that identify your specific Operating System.
They are usually written in 5 blocks of 5.
If your system is running OK the Product Code is seldom needed.
If, however, you need to do a re-install for instance, then you will need the Product Code during the process.
You cannot use somebody else’s Product Code.
The obvious place to look is on the sticker that is on the side of the tower ( if a desktop )
or on the underneath on the base if you have a laptop.
They look like this: ( these are for XP – but Vista and Win7 are similar )
Sometimes, especially with laptops, the Product Key becomes illegible due to constant wear.
On a home build there may not be a Sticker.
The Home Build installation disk should have come with a Product Key sticker ( not always used )
There are a number of ways of finding the Product Key.
PLEASE NOTE – your system must be operational.
Download Speccy from here:
After installing it – it will give you a comprehensive diagnostic of your system.
Under Operating System you will see something like this:
The Serial Number indicates the Product Key
Download Magic Jelly Bean from here:
You only need the free version.
When installing if you do not want to install the AVG products as well check the custom install ( see below )
After the installation the software will produce a window with your Product Key information ( see below )
There are other methods but one of the above should locate it for you
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The security certificate has expired -( by KenB )
This tutorial explains how to cope with the error message shown below:
If you are getting this error message when you try to connect to the internet or a specific website there could well be a simple solution.
It could be that your system is showing an incorrect Date or Time – or both.
You need to check the date and time that your machine is set to.
The time is shown in the bottom right corner.
If you need to adjust it right click on the icon > Adjust Date and Time
If you find that the date and time change again you probably need to change the CMOS battery on the motherboard.
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