General PC tips

Ending frozen programs

1. When you are having problems closing a program, there is a way of doing it manually, press the CTRL+SHIFT+ESCAPE keys on the keyboard to bring up the Windows Task manager

2. If the program has crashed and is Not Responding it will be shown in Status of the Applications Tab, to end the program click on the program that you want to end (as highlighed in blue), then click End Task.
3. You may be asked to End Now or Cancel (as below), click End Now to close the program.
Also: If a program has crashed, you may be able to switch to a different program by pressing ALT+TAB on the keyboard.

Speed up your wake up using Hibernate (Windows XP)

Hibernate is similar to Shutdown, hibernate will save the entire RAM to one file on hard drive, when you come to switch on, it loads that one file quickly, instead of normally loading the hundreds of files for windows. This can make a HUGE difference to your waiting time.

Hold the Shift key down to change from Standby to Hibernate, you can press SHIFT plus H to hibernate.

How to enable Hibernate (when you don’t get the above option)

Go to the Start Menu, then the Control Panel, then choose Performance and Maintenance, then choose Power Options. The Power Options Properties window appears, click the Hibernate Tab, tick Enable Hibernate, then click OK.

Force a Shutdown

If you hold the on/off button down for 10 seconds, it will switch off any PC. But you should only use this method if you are unable to shutdown normally, as this can damage the hard disc or file system.

Your hard disc will not last forever! Backing up is cheap and simple.

I can help you make backing up very simple. With data storage being so cheap (£10 – £70), and free backup software that only takes 3 clicks of the mouse to activate, (once it’s been setup). You have no excuse when your hard disc dies and you loose ALL of your data. There are many things that cause a hard disc to die, including, power cuts, power surges, physical shock and if it’s over 3 years old. Your hard drive will not last for ever!

Power cuts & Computers

Sometimes a short power cut or brown-out’s can stop a PC switching on, something to do with the internal power supply, to remedy this, pull the power cable out of the back of the computer, and out of the mains socket, wait 5 minutes, plug it back in and there’s a good chance the pc will start.

Power cuts CAN ruin you hard disc.

I would strongly recommend that you have your computer on a Surge Protected mains adapter. After a powercut, the surge of electricity can fatally affect a computer, even if it’s switched off.

Defragmenting hard drives in XP

Right click on My Computer, choose Manage, then choose disk defragmenter near the bottom. Then click on analyze or defragment.