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Unknown devices show up in the Windows Device Manager when Windows can’t identify a piece of hardware and provide a driver for it. An unknown device isn’t just unknown — it’s not functioning until you install the right driver.

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It’s happened to everybody at some point—you go to install a new application, and Windows tells you to reboot first. Or reboot after. Or it asks you to close out of every other application first. Why does it do that?

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Ask any PC tech person how to make your computer faster, and almost every one of them will tell you to defrag your PC. But do you really need to manually trigger a defrag these days?

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Being able to find your favorite applications using substrings makes your workload just a bit easier to deal with, but what do you do when this useful search feature stops working? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answer to solve a reader’s ‘broken’ search feature problem.

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Windows 8.x finally bundled an antivirus utility that used to be called Microsoft Security Essentials and rebranded it as Windows Defender. The only problem is that you can’t easily setup automatic scheduled scans anymore.

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BitLocker normally encrypts entire drives and partitions, but you can also create encrypted container files with tools built into Windows. Such encrypted VHD files can easily be moved between systems, backed up, and hidden when not in-use.

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Whether you want to use a new font in a Word or just change your operating system’s system font to give it a different look, you’ll first have to install the font on your operating system.

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Whether your device was stolen or simply lost, you can remotely track, lock, and wipe it. Don’t wait until you’ve lost your hardware to think about this — these features need to be enabled ahead of time.

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Windows can encrypt entire operating system drives and removable devices with its built-in BitLocker encryption. When TrueCrypt controversially closed up shop, they recommended their users transition away from TrueCrypt to BitLocker.

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Passwords can be reset or bypassed on every operating system. On Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, you can gain access to a computer’s unencrypted files after resetting the password — the password doesn’t actually prevent access to your files.

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Searching for a singular file or file type is one thing, but what do you do when you need to search for multiple file types at the same time? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post comes to the rescue for one reader’s file search dilemma.

about 5 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows 7 and 8 create a special “System Reserved” partition when you install them on a clean disk. Windows doesn’t assign a drive letter to these partitions, so you’ll only see them when you use Disk Management or similar utility.

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When working on a long document or a book in Word, it’s common to divide the document into sections or chapters. A common practice is to start each new section or chapter on an odd page. This is easily accomplished using sections in Word.

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Internet connection data caps are becoming more widespread in the US. Internet service providers may claim their data limits are good for “millions of emails,” but emails are small and HD videos on Netflix are much, much larger.

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If you use remote desktop, remote file access, or other server software, you may leave your computer on at home or work when you leave the house. This uses more power. Instead, you could simply remotely power on your PC whenever you need to use it.

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All mainstream desktop operating systems include powerful search features. They all offer the ability to create a “saved search,” which functions as a virtual folder. The saved search folder appears to contain the files that match your search.

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Each network interface on your computer or any other networked device has a unique MAC address. These MAC addresses are assigned in the factory, but you can change, or “spoof,” MAC addresses in software.

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System images are complete backups of everything on your PC’s hard drive or a single partition. They allow you to take a snapshot of your entire drive, system files and all.

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Homegroups and network file sharing make it easy to access your PCs file from another PC on the same local network, but accessing your PC’s files over the Internet takes a bit more setup.

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Medical conditions sometimes require us to tweak Windows in order to accommodate a particular physical limitation or need. With this in mind, today’s SuperUser Q&A post looks at options available for a reader’s visual monochrome needs.

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Hardware drivers are the software that allow your operating system to communicate with your hardware. Windows includes built-in drivers and automatically downloads new ones to make setup easier, but device manufacturers also provide their own driver packages.

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Share a folder with Windows’ built-in sharing options and you can access it on an Android device, iPad, or iPhone. This is a convenient way to stream videos from your PC or access other files wirelessly.

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Windows, Mac, and Linux can all get along together, sharing files with each other on a network. They can also share printers, allowing you to use a single wired printer for all the computers on your home network.

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Most browsers have had an active developer channel for quite some time, but Internet Explorer was not a member of that select group until this week. Microsoft’s browser has now joined the developer channel elite with builds available for Windows 7 SP1 and 8.1 systems!

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The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit is Microsoft’s best-kept security secret. It’s easy to install EMET and quickly secure many popular applications, but there’s a lot more you can do with EMET.

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