6 Magical Fixes For Windows 7

Whether you are a brand new user or a seasoned veteran, there are some basic procedures that every computer user must know. These few items will go a long way towards making you a happy Windows user.

1. Windows 7 is slow:

No matter what you do, it seems like every day your computer is getting slower. You’ve installed cleanup programs, antivirus, and all kinds of “Make Windows Faster” programs. What can you do?

Answer: STOP, don’t install any more programs. In fact I want you to disable all of the StartUp programs. Every time you install a program it sets itself up to start with Windows. Yes, all those programs are starting even though you aren’t using them. Some want to update, some want to be ready even though you don’t need them, and some are just being pushy.

Remember when your computer was new, and fast? It still can be.

There is no reason to have 50 or more programs starting with Windows. If you need them, start them, but you don’t need all 50 running at once just in case you use them. Click Start/ type “msconfig” in the search box and click Enter, or you can go to Start/All Programs/Accessories/Run/type “msconfig” without the quotes/click the StartUp tab/Uncheck all items/Click OK/reboot your system.

Next, I want you to uninstall all the programs that you do not use or need. If you don’t know what it is, you may want to do a Google search before uninstalling. Go to Start/Control Panel/Programs / Look at the list and uninstall programs that you are obviously not using.

If there is a program for adding funny faces to emails and you’re a not so funny guy, uninstall it.

If it’s free it will most likely always be free. If you’ve had your computer for more than a couple of years, you’ll be surprised at how many programs are installed that you have never used. Are there 3 tool bars installed on your system? Get rid of them, clean it up.

2. Windows won’t boot:

This is an important one. Whether it’s due to a Virus Infection, a program that was deleted rather than uninstalled, using a deep registry cleaner that removed too much or something that you haven’t identified, Windows not starting will scare the bejeebers out of you. All those photos, all those important documents may be lost. If you can’t boot into Windows, what can you do?

Answer: The Boot Options Screen. Turn the power off to your computer. Push the power button and while the computer is starting, repeatedly and continuously tap the F8 or the F5 key. Pretend you are tapping out your favorite song and don’t stop until you see the Boot Options Screen.

If this does not work don’t give up. Try one more time but this time tap the space bar, it should then give you the F Key for the Boot Options Screen. All computers have a boot options screen but some use different key strokes to access them.

My first choice is, “Last Known Good Configuration”. Choose this, cross your fingers and hope for the best. Once your computer is in Windows you can give some thought to what may have caused the issue. New software, mucking around when you don’t know what you’re doing, those sorts of things.

3. Windows is hanging:

Windows won’t close or open programs and I can’t get where I want to go. You must be careful with this one. Could be a program conflict or it could be something worse like a virus.

Answer: Let’s be optimistic and start with conflict. Go to your key board and hit Ctl/Alt/Del all at the same time. This will open the Task Manager. From here you can close each program, one at a time until you find the offending program. It could just be a temporary issue or it could be that there is a serious conflict with this program and the others on your system. Contact the program’s developer to see if they can give some insight and answers.

Redirect If you type one web address into your browser and you are sent to another, this is a serious problem and points to a redirect, Virus or trojan. Without delay, reboot your computer, use the Boot Options Screen to enter SafeMode With Networking and use at least 3 programs to scan and clean your system. This must be done in Safe Mode With Networking and I suggest three strong and diverse programs like PC Matic, SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes. They are available for FREE so just click the links.

4. Windows is Not Protected:

There are several things in Windows7 that are a real help, and there are some that are not-so-much. There are many good programs on the Windows list of antivirus products and there are many good products that are not listed.

Answer: Disable the Not Protected message. To do this, go to Start/Control Panel/Action Center/ and click on “Change Action Center Settings”. You can now uncheck the box for Antivirus. What you are disabling is strictly the message and not the protection offered by your antivirus product. Getting on the Microsoft list can take quite a bit of time and there is no reason to miss having the most up-to-date protection available. I disable all of these messages, but that’s just me. I don’t need their advice on my antivirus or to tell me when to update.

5. Nothing in Windows works:

Yesterday my computer was fine but today nothing works. I can’t get on the Internet and my programs won’t open. I can’t even get my email.

Answer: Windows System Restore is your friend. Go to Start and type Restore in to the search box. Click on System restore and then follow the prompts to restore your system to a previous time. You can always undo the changes made by Windows System Restore and you can choose multiple restore points if the first doesn’t work.

6. I can’t find my…..you name it:

Have you ever downloaded something and then you couldn’t find it? I know it happens more than anyone likes to admit. First of all Windows 7 has a great search feature. We just used it to find Windows System Restore.

Answer: But the one that I like best is called Everything. It’s a small and easy to use program that does just what the name says. It finds everything. If you are using a multi user system be aware that everything will find everything on the computer regardless of which user is logged in. It is not a program you want on a multi user system. Give it a try, I’ve been using it for a couple of years now.

It doesn’t take many tricks like these to give you the confidence you need to master Windows.

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74 thoughts on “6 Magical Fixes For Windows 7”

  1. A GREAT program to find and manage startups is WinPatrol. Check it out at winpatrol.com. There is a free version, but I sprung for the Plus version years ago…it has been a lifesaver.

  2. To S. Hogan,
    You didn’t cover what to do when Windows 7 hangs and Ctrl-Alt-Del is also hung (it does nothing). EVERYTHING on the PC is hung! Also, looking in the Windows Event Viewer (after doing a hard power-switch reboot) shows nothing happening just before it hangs, not even any informational messages. Also, running System File Checker (SFC) shows that all system files are fine. Then what do you do???

  3. I started with computers before there were “PC”s, and gradually worked up to systems level on a few of them. The current OSs available are mind-bogglingly completely incomprehensible. At least in my experience.

    The “Control+Alt+Delete” keystroke combination _used_ to bring up the login screen – until MS decided to mess with custom. It seems to me that it also used to stop the execution of a program. Most of those keyboard commands have been removed. I wonder why? (Not really!)

    What I’m trying to say is that there are a lot of us out in the “real world” that would just like the next version of whatever to work pretty much like the last one did, with some improvements. There’s no need to redesign the wheel when it already roll s freely.


  4. Darryl Bomkamp

    Chris, your talking out both sides of your mouth. 1st you call people morons for not knowing computers and in the same breath you say you "work the job and train people!" Why do you have to train people if they're already suppose to know it? It's quite obvious who the real idiot is. Take a look at all the post…when everybody else is wrong and your right, it time to reevaluate your position. Get a life Chris, seriously.

  5. Maybe I missed something (and this might’ve already been pointed out), but if you unchecked ALL items in msconfig’s startup list, wouldn’t this prevent your anti-virus from starting up with Windows? If so, this would render your anti-virus’s real-time protection inoperative.

    I’ve always loved unchecking things in msconfig, but I’m also selective about what I uncheck. Some things should start up with your computer…especially in laptops, where you need anti-shock drivers always running and such.

  6. I wonder how many of you “experts”, who think putting these tips are a waste of time were such “wizards” back in ’73 when I first started using computers, or for that matter the first 3 or 4 years you were using a “PC”? Just because you know how to do it now, doesn’t mean you were born with all of the PC knowledge that you have now! YOU must have just absorbed it all without anyone telling you a single thing. How about thinking about new people once in a while?

  7. Protip: Disable Windows System Restore. Use erunt
    This prog does NOT save umpteen gazillion backups that most you can never use, wasting disk space.

  8. I agree everyone should know how to work on there computer some of us have better things to do , there's many people who could use some of this info , some of us do these things and don't even bat an eye,.one more tip allways defrag a clean drive is a faster drive.

  9. This is excellent beginner’s advice and great REMINDERS. All of you who had some sh*t to say about it don’t remember their beginnings, it seems.

    That you (you all know who you are) had to make such negative responses only lets the world see what jerks you are!

    SGT/Tech 30 years (well seasoned I believe…)

    Guess what? …after 30 years at this, I still don’t know everything!

  10. One warning I think is in order, and that is being very, very careful stopping at start up anything from Microsoft unless you have “goggled” the app…Ditto the antivirus program and its parts unless you know for sure the app is icing on the Window Cake

  11. I agree that the tips are quite basic, however you smart-arses that dis this article and some of the less aware users, should perhaps learn a little humility and remember the time when they started computing.

      1. @Harry:
        I totally agree.
        What’s with the ” you should already know this” comment? Are the kids now a days just born computer literate? If your so friggin smart, why are you trolling on here and not out spreading your vast knowledge to all the idiots of the world? You could be rich I tell you, rich! Moron.

    1. Hey Super, I just want to let you know on a little windowss wizardry… if you can't find a file, just use the search tool! It's magical!

  12. He thinks because he is a desktop engineer that everyone else is stupid! Well I got news for you, I don't even work in the field and I know more than your dumb ass!

  13. How about simply typing the stuff you can’t find into the search box? Works almost every time for me.

    I’ve had very little trouble with Windows 7’s (64 bit premium)speed. Guess it only takes prior experience with Vista ‘the tortoise’ to help you appreciate a good OS. 🙂

  14. THIS is advice everyone should know from the XP release 9 years ago…if you didn't know these things you shouldn't be using a computer let alone trying to troubleshoot one…and the person who wrote this these are HARDLY "magical".

    1. Dave Holder nothing "dick" like telling it as it is. in 9 years any person can learn these simple things. its like checking the oil or putting air in your tires on your car, you need to do it but people are just too lazy.

    2. John Delidadakis well you can install all the programs you want but, they all do add start up items as this article says, but removing startup items is rather simple. a base win7 install depending on your hardware configuration will run 28-35 processes before you install all your junk. and people easily end up with 80-100 running without any actual programs visibly open, and think my computer is slow and old and can it. because they dont learn basic maintenance.

    3. Jason McGrew that is part of the problem using "magical" and such terms is why people consider computers so scarey and people are afraid to learn about them, they still think you have to be a "genius" like 15 years ago, which is not the case. all the tools and knowledge is at anyones finger tips. i can bring a non-tech into tech jobs and teach them how to do mid level tech work.

    4. Jason McGrew you obviously are not reading my posts if you think i am calling anyone stupid. but it is fact you do not know more then me buddy. i work the job train people and lead teams.

    5. Chris Super Telling it as it is? Not everyone has had a computer for "9 years". What about people who are new to Windows? People who are new to computers? People who have never been able to afford a computer before? It's not easy for everyone to pick up on all the ways to make a computer do what you want, and it's even harder when there isn't anyone there to help you. An article like this helps those who are alone or have never thought to ask for someone's help in person. Just because you do know how to make your computer run faster, it doesn't mean others don't benefit from an article like this.

    6. Chris Super. You are an asinine idiot who knows nothing about the real world. You need to get out from behind your keyboard and meet the real world. It's people like you who give REAL engineers a bad name. Grow up.

    7. Dave Holder everyone has a tech friend or family member these days, everyone has some form of internet and everyone knows how to use google. most people ignore everything wrong with their computer until its totaled because they didnt want to use and resources or time to get help. computers are not new technology anymore. are you going to call your mechanic a "dick" for telling you your car engine seized because you were too lazy to check your oil? because you just started driving a year ago and didnt learn to find out common information?

    8. Fernando Eric Lozada , name calling children give themselves a bad name. i have not insulted anybody, i am encouraging people to make an effort to learn simple basic things about computer maintenance so they dont get ripped off by geek squad or something similar. and i am only behind the keyboard at work i promise you. i know people hate the truth but it is simple. i guess not all parents teach their children that if you are going to spend a chunk of money on something, learn what you have to do to make it keep functioning.

    9. Chris is right though…. computers aren't new technology. There's no excuse for not knowing basic maintenance.

    10. Chris Super I agree with Dave Holder, you really are a stupid Dick Chris. Not everybody has the time or the nowhow to study how windows works an how to make it work. Windows should work without having to do all these things in the first place. This is not like changing oil in a car, it is much more complicated that that. And about stopping installing programs, not everyone knows that either you assholl John. The fact that it hurts your computer to install programs is an oximoron.

    11. Philippe Rochon Oxymoron is what im sure you meant to say.
      and i assure you it is not harder then changing oil on a car, it is much easier and does not take long to learn, its a few prompts you left click now. you haven't needed to know command line for a number of years now. people like you only THINK its more complicated. you would delete your comment if you only knew how easy the information is to obtain and execute. i got into this field 10 years ago with no degree or experience, not because im a genius, i just read a article everytime i messed up and learned about it, yes now i am educated in it so i could get better jobs, but point being i promise you no mystical powers or cram sessions are needed, and if you refuse to maintenance on your computer buy a Mac to save your self time and money.

    12. Chris Super Not everyone does have a family member who is into tech these days, there are lots of people who are alone. And as for your comment about Google, isn't it articles like this that help when people search Google? And no, I wouldn't call my mechanic a dick, but my mechanic would try and help me nicely wouldn't he.

    13. Dave Holder i help people very nicely and i dont just fix the problem i educate people on how to fix it and explain how it happened. even in IT, big companies dont keep dickheads around.

    14. Chris Super Gentlemen, there are new people using computers every day. Not all of them are the gigantic experts that some seem to be. Lay off, read the articles that are at your level and stop acting like children

    15. Dave Holder These instructions are outdated and misleading, CTRL SHIFT ESC is task manager, CTRL ALT DELETE is system security. Check the contents before you criticize, douche.

    16. Brad VanHorn Seriously guys what the duck.. Why are you people commenting out of rage? There's a reason Chris is subtle about all of this, he's pointing out the facts. and what are you others doing? trying to frame him for the shit that the article contains. If you can't rid of your pathetic human perspective what use are you? Who has more likes? The people that agree with Chriss can't be bothered to defend him against an raging elderly wave. Gees.. Keep your wits about you.

    17. Dave Holder I wonder why I never heard of McGuireWoods before… they must be important, having such expert desktop support engineers, that cannot understand that there are people with computerproblems… must be a hell of a service they are giving…

    18. Chris Super I think they are calling you a xxxx because you are a pompous arrogant xxxxxxx of a xxxx. How many times have you said "I'm not here to make friends. I have a job to do"? My guess would be a lot.

      Many people still consider computers magical boxes and have no idea what goes on inside them. That's why people tell them stuff that a DBA or a dick would scoff at.

      Get your xxxx together and stuff it in your pie hole.

  15. THIS is advice everyone should know from the XP release 9 years ago…if you didn't know these things you should be using a computer let alone trying to troubleshoot one…and the person who wrote this these are HARDLY "magical".

  16. As always Shogan,,, the title of "Top Banana" is Yours to continue wearing ;)…..(keep on doin what You do so well).

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