Monthly Archives: July 2015

7 Tasks Command Prompt Makes Fast and Simple

Command prompt is easier than you thought.

Command prompt is easier than you thought.

Make Your Life Easier, More Efficient and Effective with These Commands

Do not let command prompt intimidate you. It is more useful and simpler than you may think. There are times when running a specific command is faster to perform certain tasks. Most likely, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can accomplish using a couple of keystrokes.

Run Programs Easily

Running programs from command prompt is easy. First, create a folder with the name Shortcuts. You will use this folder to hold shortcuts allowing quick access to programs on your computer. After this folder is created, it needs to be added to the computers PATH environmental variable:

  • Select Properties after right clicking on My Computer
  • Select Advanced System Settings
  • Select Environment Variables on the Advanced tab
  • Below System Variables, edit the variable named PATH. On the end of variables value, add ;C:\Shortcuts 
  • Below System Variables, edit the variable named PATHEXT. On the end of variables value, add ;.LNK
  • Select OK

Next, create shortcuts for the programs you want to use placing them in the folder you created. Rename these shortcuts as a command with one word. When command prompt is now opened, these programs will run using these shortcut names.

Local Drives Renamed

A fast way for changing your computers drives names is by using label command like so:

  • label [drive:] [name]

For instance, if I want to change the name of the drive to “iqcomputerservice” I would enter this command:

  • label C: iqcomputerservice

Hard Drives Defragmented

Although not used as much as it used to be, defragmenting is still important for older systems. Solid state drives do not need defragmenting. Command for defrag is done as follows.

  • defrag [drive]

That’s it. You can have progressed printed out to the prompt with:

  • defrag [drive] /u

To add even more information, verbose switch can be toggled:

  • defrag [drive] /u /v

Health of Hard Drive Monitored

Command that checks the disk (chkdsk) scans the hard drive testing it for possible issues such as physical damage or corrupted data.

  • chkdsk [drive:]

To set it to fix and recover is simple:

  • chkdsk [drive:] /F /R

Eject Eternal Drives

For times when there is no other possible choices to open drives you can use disk partition command (diskpart command). When this prompt is ready, type list volume. Note each drives ###. Type select volume [###] having the drive you want opened entered here. Type remove all dismount and then exit. Be sure only drives that are removable are selected.

File Contents Searched

You can find files by what text is located in them by using findstr command. Here is an overview of the several ways it can be changed https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490907.aspx

File Associations Changed

Windows uses file formats to associate programs. To edit and view these file associations, assoc command is used.

View extension association:

assoc [.ext]

Clear extension association:

assoc [.ext]=

Set extension association to a different filetype:

assoc [.ext]=[filetype]

This is only scratching the surface of what can be done with command prompt. You can take control of just about every aspect that there is when you put your mind to it. Make sure you’re keeping up on your computer’s maintenance and get the most for what it provides you with.

Keyboard Shortcuts to Navigate Windows

 

Shortcuts can be found everywhere.

Shortcuts can be found everywhere.

Navigate Through Windows Using These Easy Shortcuts

Many computer geeks love keyboard shortcuts, and rightfully so. Without wasting time using a mouse they are able to make their way around Windows. Another reason why keyboard shortcuts are important is, if your mouse is malfunctioning. Here are a few keyboard shortcuts you may find useful.

Maximize Window

Using the up arrow and Windows key together will maximize a window.

Move Window

To move a window, you need to maximize it first. Have the window go into window mode by pressing spacebar and Alt together. Now move up to Restore and hit Enter. After in window mode, move the window pressing the spacebar and Alt at the same time, go to Move and hit Enter. Now you are able to move the window with the arrow keys.

Minimize Window

Use down arrow and Windows key at the same time.

Close a Window

Press at the same time the F4 and Ctrl keys to close a widow you currently have open.

Close Tab

In the majority of programs, pressing F4 and Ctrl together to close tabs.

Switching between Tabs

In the window selected, to move from left tab to right tab press Tab and Ctrl together.

To move from right tab to left tab, press Ctrl, Shift, and Tab together.

Move Between Applications and Open Windows

Hold down Alt then press the Tab key to move between applications and open windows. When done successfully, a box showing each program that is open on the computer will be displayed. Continue holding Alt while repeatedly clicking Tab to move from program to program. Let both of the keys go when the program you want is selected to change to it.

Open Program on Desktop

If there is an icon on your desktop of a program you would like to run, get to your desktop by hitting the Tab Key. The Tab key switches you between your desktop, Start Button, and every icon on your taskbar.

Most times, you have to hit the Tab key many times before getting to the icons on the desktop. When you have selected a desktop icon, use the arrow keys to move to between icons.

After you have selected the correct icon, hit Enter and the program will open.

Moving and Manipulating Through Text

When working with a documents text, there are different ways you can move throughout it without using a mouse.

Move the cursor in a document left, right, up, and down by use of the arrow keys.

Move your cursor in a document one word at a time by pressing right or left arrow key and Ctrl together.

Move from one paragraph to another by pushing up or down arrow key and Ctrl together.

Highlight text by using the Shift key.

These are just a few of the many keyboard shortcuts available. Once you start using them more regularly, you’re able to get a whole new outlook on what can be done right from one click of a button on your keyboard. Whether you have Windows 10, or a later version; be prepared for the shortcuts you could take.

4 Tasks to Automate Using Windows Task Scheduler

Know how to use the Windows scheduler and stay in control.

Know how to use the Windows scheduler and stay in control.

How many tasks in Window do you do over and over again? Task Scheduler allows you to have these tasks run automatically. There are more functions than just using it to open up programs at specific times. Such as sending emails, automatically deleting every file in one folder, and putting the system to sleep. Let’s look at how some of them work.

Basics of Task Scheduler’s How To

First, do a schedule tasks search and select your result. There are tasks already scheduled due to some programs or system functions needing to be ran at specific times.

Click Create Basic Task and another window will open. Now you must give the task a Description and Name. Now click Next. Now you see where you specify the interval you want this new task to begin. You can choose intervals such as Weekly or Daily, or choose to have the task run when your start up or log on your computer. After you choose, hit Next. If asked to enter further time specifications, do this then click Next.

Now this is where you choose to send email, show messages, or launch a program. Fill in all information required, and click Next > Finish. Now a task is scheduled.

Let’s look at when this can be helpful.

Program Launch When Logging On

Most likely, when you log on your computer you open up the same applications each time. Maybe chat client, email, or web browser. You can have these programs on automate.

First, follow the step already stated above. On the screen Trigger choose When I log on > Next. Now, on the screen Action select Start a program > Browse. Find and select the program wanted. Finally, select Next > Finish. Do this for each program you wish to run automatically.

Delete Every File in a Folder

Is there a folder you are always emptying? Possibly, the Download folder. You can have a task created to delete the folder contents at specific intervals.

First, open Notepad, then “copy and paste” the text that follows onto Notepad:

REM Remove files older than 7 days
forfiles /p “C:\Users\NAME\Downloads” /s /m *.* /c “cmd /c Del @path” /d -7

A couple things need to be edited within this. Alter the path for the folder to what folder you want emptied. This is everything from the C:\ to Downloads. If the folder you want emptied is Downloads, only change Name with the name of your account. The number 7 is for how many days pass before doing this action. You can change that. Next select File > Save As. Name this file anything you choose as long as .bat is at the end.

This is just a few examples, but there are many more. Anything is possible when it comes to scheduling, stopping or removing programs from your computer. Make sure you do the maintenance that is required to keep your computer running the best that it possibly can.

Finding and Replacing Drivers that are Outdated

Update those drivers and take back your computer.

Update those drivers and take back your computer.

Replace Those Old Drivers

You may have drivers that are outdated and require updating, but how would you know? Drivers are software that correspond with your computer’s hardware so it will work with the operating system. A sign that you might have a driver that needs updating is if you are experiencing system trouble, such as games crashing or printer does not work.

There are drivers available for your computers motherboard, audio, video card, and more. However, if everything in your system is working fine, you may be better off not updating at this time. If you do need to update, though, here are a few different methods for you to use.

Check Your Computers Drivers

Even though you have drivers that are installed in your system, you might not know what they exactly are or the version that is being used. To find this out, press Windows Key + R to open your run menu. After opened enter cmd, then OK. This opens the Command Prompt. Enter Driverquery and hit enter for a list of names and dates for drivers that are installed. However, keep in mind that the date is when the driver was published, not updated.  

Device Manager

You may see drivers for different devices through Device Manager, as well. After opening, you will see a list of display adaptors, disk drives, processor, among more. By right-clicking the name of the device and selecting Properties and go to the driver tab. There will be a date of publishing for the driver and the version number.

You can search for an update here by selecting Update Driver… You have the choice of searching manually or automatically for the update. Windows checks the database online for any newer drivers when you select Search automatically for updated driver software. Although, there is no guarantee the newest one will be found it usually does. If there are any found, follow the wizard to install for installation.

Automatic Updates

Windows is set automatically to update drivers, by default. Do a system search to find device installation settings. Here you will find different preferences for your automatic driver updates. If you do not want Windows Update to provide automatic updates, choose No, let me choose what to do. If you have has problems with drivers that are new being unstable, you may prefer to never have drivers updated automatically. However, it is recommended by Microsoft to use automatic updates.

Manual Updates

You can go to the manufacture of the device to update the outdated driver, also. Be sure you are at the correct website to ensure the driver is correct and safe.

If all is working like it should, it might be best to leave the drivers be. Remember, drivers should be downloaded only from sources that are reputable.

7 Ways to Improve Battery Life on Windows 8 Laptops

Improve battery life for more use of your laptop.

Improve battery life for more use of your laptop.

Improve Your Overall Battery Life With These Tips

Windows 8.1 has much of the same features for saving battery life that were found in earlier versions of Microsoft Windows. However, many are not found in the same places. Using these options will help your battery in your laptop or tablet last much longer.

1. Disabling Bluetooth

Most likely, your laptop or tablets Bluetooth support in Windows 8.1 is enabled by default. Leaving Bluetooth t=running can be a drain on your battery if not in use. If you are not using the Bluetooth, it is easily disabled. Access your charms and select Settings > Change PC settings. Go to PC and devices > Bluetooth and change it to off. You can easily enable it when you want to use Bluetooth.

2. Display Brightness Adjusted

The backlight of your screen uses a lot of power. Reducing the brightness of your display can save power. Although devices that have brightness sensors are automatically adjusted with Windows 8.1 you still have the option to set the brightness yourself.

Open your charms and choose Settings. Tap the brightness icon and adjust the slider to the brightness preferred.

3. Choosing a Power Plan

There are standard power plans in Windows 8.1 still. These are basically setting groups that can be changed at once. Example, Balanced is the default power plan, but you are able to change it to Power Saver to save power in your battery.

Additional options are exposed with power plans. By selecting this, you are capable of adjusting several power settings for controlling how your tablet or laptops power saving works. Unless you are familiar with the advanced setting, it is recommended you do not change them.

To find your power plans, open Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options. Now choose what power plan you prefer.

 4. Computer Sleep Time and Display Adjusted

Although, you might not want to go far into power plan options, you might want adjustments made with “put the computer to sleep” and “turn off the display” times. To save time on your battery, you want the display to shut off quickly when not in use.

Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Edit Plan Settings to adjust times.

5. Unplug Devices

Any device that is plugged into your laptop, is consuming power, such as USB mouse. This does not use much power, but other devices do.

6. Airplane Mode

Using Airplane mode disables Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other data connections. If you are not in need of them, use Airplane mode by opening Charms, Settings, Wi-Fi icon then turn it on.

7. Automatic App Updates Disabled

You can save a small amount of power by disabling this feature. Open Windows Store app. Open charms and go to Settings > App updates. And switch off.

Now you can surf the web, watch movies, do work or school right on your laptop without having to worry about draining the battery so fast. Make sure your computer is set to last for quite some time.

Remove Windows 10 Notifications

Turn off those pesky notifications.

Turn off those pesky notifications.

Rid Yourself of the Window 10 Upgrade Notification in Windows 7 and 8

We are reminded everywhere that Windows 10 is coming, your Facebook, Twitter, email, and of course, your computer desktop. This popup notification reminding us of Windows 10 is a marketing campaign that is aggressive. Although there is no virus with the get Windows 10 popup message, is it annoying. There is a way to rid yourself of this notification.

Reason Why Microsoft is Pushing Windows 10

Reasoning for pushing Windows 10 to existing customers is hopes of people abandoning Windows XP. Vista, 7 and 8/8.1. However, getting users off from XP has been difficult, before they can upgrade to Windows 10 they need to upgrade to 7 first.

Microsoft’s dream is to have Windows 10 on mobile Windows devices, Xbox One, and computers. Windows 10, is seen by many as Microsoft’s finial dice roll for desktop computing.

So, because of these reasons Microsoft want to be sure you are aware of an Upgrade to Windows 10. Thus, the pushy ad campaign.

Hide the Notification

Simplest way of managing the Get Windows 10 notification (GWX) is by hiding it. This is done by right clicking your system tray next to the clock, then select Customize notification icons. Look for GWX and switch the setting Behaviors to Hide icon and notification. Click OK, now the notification should be hidden.

To close the notification icon until you restart the PC, right click the task bar and choose Task Manager. Now find and select GWX.exe. Next, click on End Task.

To delete it until another update from Microsoft, open C:\Windows\System32\GWX or for a 64-bit system C:\Windows\SysWOW64\GWX. Delete the folder named GWX.

Delete the Windows Update

Because of the notification coming by Windows Update, it makes sense to uninstall the update. This is quite simple if you know the name. In this case the name is, KB3035583. First, open Command Prompt (Admin) and type in WUSA /UNINSTALL /KB:3035583. Follow the prompts on-screen, when finished type exit and Command Prompt will close.

Keep Windows Update Enabled 

That gives you two ways of removing the notification for Windows 10 upgrade. Both are pretty straightforward. You might be thinking of disabling Windows Update to avoid getting the notification. If you do this, useful updates will be ignored. Instead, set updates for Windows with the option of being able to review them prior to installation.

To accomplish this, open Settings > Change PC Settings > Update and recovery > Windows Update > Choose how updates are installed. Next, set Important updates to Download updates but let me choose whether to install them. 

Keep in mind, if you want Windows 10 upgrade, the simplest way is through Windows Update. Keep your eye out for this update and enjoy it when it comes to a computer near you!

Quick Preview of Microsoft Office 2016

Microsoft 2016 to launch soon!

Microsoft 2016 to launch soon!

Take a Quick look at Microsoft Office 2016 Preview 

Windows 10 continues grabbing attention as it nears the expected launch date of July 29th. However, they have another product that getting some of that attention, Microsoft Office 2016. There are new applications as well as the existing ones revamped to the way consumers want.

Let’s take a quick look at some of these apps that is expected to launch the end of fall 2015.

1: Sway

A new application being introduced is Sway. This basically is PowerPoints next generation alternative. One of the main differences between the two apps is PowerPoint has slides in the first and last spot with some in between. Sway is more organic and allows presentations to be more of a free-form.

Second main difference, Sway is designed to use content from the web. This includes, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, OneDrive, photos, etc.

2: Word 2016

Word 2016 will have two versions introduced. Desktop version rich with features and a touch-optimized, lightweight version. The version for the desktops is similar to prior versions, but there are some new features. One of them is co-authoring in real-time.

Perfect for users that are intimidated by an exhaustive set of features with the desktop version, the version that is touch-optimized has features most commonly used for people to do their job. Its interface is clean and ideal for use with small screens and touch screens.

3: Excel 2016

Excel will be released with two versions, as well. Users that are hard core with Excel will enjoy the desktop version. Some of the new capabilities in this version include, prevention features for data loss and business intelligence that is directly in Excel.

Touch-optimized version is lightweight with features that are used most. This version is similar to Windows Phone 8.1, but with more capabilities.

4: PowerPoint 2016

There is not much change with this version of PowerPoint. The change that is noticed the most with its interface is Tell Me bar. This is shared with all the applications in Office 2016, with an interface that is like Cortana. Users can to ask how a particular task is performed.

This version is touch-optimized and lightweight like Excel and Word.

5: OneNote 2016

When looking at OneNote 2016 it is hard to see what is new. This application has the same enhancements as the other Office applications. At this time there is no noticeable changes to be found.

However, the touch-optimized version of OneNote 2016 has more features than what was included in the Windows Phone 8.1 version. Additionally, the desktop version has more features that the version that is touch-optimized.

Preview Versions

A public Preview version is available for download, free. There is a Mac version to preview, also.

Windows users https://products.office.com/en-us/office-2016-preview

Mac users https://products.office.com/en-us/mac/mac-preview

Remember, you can always recover your files from Microsoft Office by using our guide that lets you know how.

Cross Platform and Free Files Sync Tools Available

Syncing your devices can provide more ease of use.

Syncing your devices can provide more ease of use.

Easily Access Your Files Anywhere, At Any Time

If you are like many people and would like to access your files from anywhere, tools for file syncing are a must. There are many of them available that are cross platform and for free. Here is a list of some of the most popular ones.

1. Dropbox

Dropbox is a file sync service that is simple to use. Your files are available from many devices in an interface that is consistent and clear. There are some limitations to this service. The amount of space for free accounts, is 2 GB. Every user is required to have their own account, and setting up shared folders is somewhat of a pain.

If you are using the tool for easy and quick access, it is extremely effective. Most people will be fine with using only 2 GB but if more is needed, people can purchase a subscription.

2. OneDrive

OneDrive offers plenty of free space and works excellent with Windows, iOS and Mac apps are available for download. This service is very simple to use, just drag files you want into the folder and rick-click, then click Sync. This makes the files available from the web page and OneDrive apps.

Documents are able to be edited straight from OneDrive using web versions of Excel, Word, and Powerpoint. This makes OneDrive an excellent choice if using for work or school.

3. Synkron

Synkron is great to use when you have a folder you want to share on different devices. An example, you may use your laptop as much as you do the desktop computer and want to have the same music on both. With an interface that is minimal, this process is simple to do. You have the choice of syncing folders regularly on a scheduled basis, as well.

4. DirSync Pro

DirSync Pro interface is not cluttered, and offers you scheduling and synchronization options. This tool is extremely easy, anybody will be able to figure out how to use it. Power users are attracted to this tool, as well. One of the great features, is not having to install the program. If necessary, this portable app can be ran from USB stick. This makes syncing on more than one device even easier. If you use a big amount of devices, the features without having to install the program brings it above other syncing tools. Almost every user will like this lightweight program.

This is just four of the great cross platform syncing tools available for free. There are many others available, but when installing (as with any program) be sure to read everything as to not download anything you do not want. There are many tips to making sure you’re the best computer owner out there.

How to Get Rid of Annoying Browser Toolbars

Browser bars are now a thing of the past.

Browser bars are now a thing of the past.

Browser Toolbars are Annoying, Remove Them For Good

Majority of people have been unpleasantly surprised from annoying toolbars, they did not realize were downloaded on their computer. For many years these toolbars have been showing up on people’s computers slowing them down, tracking your activity, and hijacking your searches. Options they have are mostly useless, due to most browsers already having them or by extensions. If you have downloaded one by mistake, or was not sure what it did and you want to get rid of it, check out how below.

Internet Explorer

These toolbars like to hijack the start page and make it the default search engine. To change this go to the right hand upper corner, click the gear icon. Go to, Internet Options and then General tab. Under Home Page you will see the new home page. Delete it, and set it back to what you want.

You will need to go to the control panel to remove it, it just resets itself again when only removed from the toolbar. Search your list of programs and uninstall the toolbar and any Updater programs there might be.

Next, return to Internet Options and select Programs tab and click on Manage Add-Ons. Chose Search Providers, and select the one you want as default. Select the remove button for the junk search provider listed. While the box is open, it is wise to check “Prevent programs from suggesting changes to my default search provider”.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome will give you warnings after starting it, when a toolbar is downloaded. Remove the extension now. However, it might already have made it into the system. Click the three lines in the upper right hand corner, then settings. Now, select Show advanced settings. On the bottom, click on Reset browser settings. You will see a box telling you what will be restored to confirm, now select Reset. Remember to look in control panel to remove it.

Firefox

Most times Firefox stops a toolbar before making any changes. If it did not, you can still rid yourself of it. Click on the three bar menu on top right hand corner or the browser. Next, Add-Ons, then to Extensions. Now, remove everything you see that is related to the toolbar. Go to the tab Plugins and select Never Activate on any toolbar.

Return to the three bar menu, and select Options. Now you will see the General tab giving you options for the homepage. Finally, change your default search provider by clicking on the icon in the search box then Manage Search Engines. Choose which one you prefer and remove the junk ones. As with the other toolbars, remove from control panel also.

No More Toolbars

Keep a watchful eye out when visiting sites and downloading software, for check boxes. It is advised that you run a scan for Malware after removal.

Once you’ve removed the toolbar, you never have to worry about how annoying it is when using the Internet explorer or other Internet program. Search and use it with ease, without pop ups or other annoying additives on the screen.