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Windows 7: Need advise on obtaining more computer know-how

22 Nov 2010   #21


Here's a link to a wealth of on-line Microsoft tutorials: Excel Course, Excel Training Courses - Office 2010 Quick Reference GuidesFree MS Office Training Manual Download This site seems to have exactly what you've asked for!

(Any thanks for this post should be directed to Golden
who made the original suggestion in his post here: Free MSOffice 2007 Training/Reference Manuals)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #22

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)

Since the technology constantly changes, you are chasing a moving target. There will always be new stuff to learn. The internet and forums such as SF are very helpful in that respect. I have been messing with computers for nearly 30 years and I have to read a lot and keep doing things by trial and error to keep up (and I certainly don't know everything). Much of what I learned over the years is obsolete knowledge today. For instance, I wonder how many readers of this forum recognize the following command and what it was used for? G=C800:5
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #23
Joan Archer

Windows 10 64bit/Windows 10 64bit/Windows 10 64bit

I'm another that learns through trial and error. I know with my first machine, Windows 98, it was the first time I'd even used a computer so I just clicked on everything to see what it was for. Within the first 6 months I'd had to reinstall the OS twice through a fault by the people who delivered and installed the machine.

I also had a few friends who were quite knowledgeable about computers, they were also Microsoft MVPs, so a quick phone call often helped and I then started out in the newsgroups before moving on to forums just to read and learn.

I'm still learning and will never know as much as some of our experts on here but that's the joy of being a member here you can learn while also helping out someone who knows even less than you and you will never be made to feel a fool no matter how small the help you give.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Nov 2010   #24
Microsoft MVP


Google repeat errors in Event Viewer>Custom View>Admin to find how others have resolved them, and to learn more about your machine. Check also the Performance log on Advanced Tools page accessed by rightclicking Computer>Properties, clicking WEI score link. Check for cued issues at top of Tools page, study the use of each of the tools listed, Generate a System Health Report and study it closely.

Type Problems in Start Search Box to see solutions to problems both reported and not - Win7 is interactive in this way.

Many tech enthusiasts find a clean-copy DVD of their OS version and reinstall using the OEM Product Key on the COA sticker on machine. Any installer can also have all versions unlocked using the ei.cfg removal tool. Windows 7 Universal Installation Disc - Create

Make your Recovery DIsks or save a Windows 7 backup image of the entire HD first so you have a path back to factory condition. Then wipe the HD of all code: SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

The installer is mostly driver-complete, with newer arriving quickly via optional Windows Updates. Any drivers then missing in Device Manager can be found on the Support Downloads webpage for your model computer or device. Clean Install Windows 7

Install updates and then programs slowly over time to gauge performance after each. Don't let any programs write themselves into msconfig>Startup as they become freeloaders on your RAM/CPU and can spy on you. I only allow AV and gadgets. Troubleshooting with MSCONFIG

Use a lightweight free AV like MS Security Essentials which works perfectly with Windows 7 Firewall.

When it is finished, clean and order the HD perfectly using state-of-the-art free CCleaner then Auslogics Disk and Registry defraggers monthly. CCleaner - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET
Auslogics Disk Defrag - Reviews and free Auslogics Disk Defrag downloads at
Auslogics Registry Defrag - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET

Then save a Windows 7 Backup image externally so you never have to reinstall again, just reimage the HD or replacement using DVD or Repair CD. Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #25

Windows 7 Pro

Another 2 cents worth.

You have been given a lot of good information here already. Learning by trial and error is the best reminder when something goes wrong.

With any Operating System over the years I have found having a good image restoring program is worth it's weight in gold.

I don't think there is any way to just sit down and learn it all at once. When I first got Windows 7, there was a whole new learning curve. When I wanted to know something I came to this forum and if possible found a tutorial that told me how to do what I wanted to do. If there was no tutorial, then then I asked in the forum. One thing I have found is that everyone here is willing to help if you willing to learn. I have had no advice that consider bad advice.

Be patience and you will be rewarded for your efforts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #26

windows 7 home premium 64-bit

Just wanted to thank everyone again for all the good stuff that has been posted in response to my original post. It has certainly given me, and I am sure others, plenty of information to start the journey of getting more enjoyment from our computer use. Today I am buying the 20th edition of Scott Mueller's book "Upgrading and Repairing Pc's", which comes with a four hour DVD on how to build a computer. (Maybe if I can see what's inside this black box, it will take away some of the mystery.) Yesterday I ordered "Windows 7 Secrets" by Paul Thurott and started to watch the video and computer class contributed by WHS. There is so much that has been contributed by so many - it was much more than I ever expected or could have hoped for. You have given this retired guy some things to keep him busy, although maybe not out of trouble, for a while. Thanks again, very much.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #27

7 Pro 64 Bit

I agree 100% you'll learn more by breaking things and learning how to fix them...and Google Search is your friend.

I've been to a few classes, mostly networking and security...but really what they did for me is fill a few gaps in.

Knowledge is best obtained through practice.

People ask me how/where I learned, and I told them the last 12-15 years of my life, there's no school or class you can apply for that willl teach you that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #28
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Brayton, it sure looks like you are on a steep learning curve. There will be a lot of questions on the way but we are here to help. Make a posting or send a PM and I am sure we can assist you. And don't let age get into your way. I started with PC's at the age of 70 (but I did have some prior general computer knowledge). Trial and error and the forums helped me.

Imaging is one of the first subjects you should aquaint yourself with because it is the way to bail yourself out of a tight spot. It is not uncommon that one crashes the system from time to time at the beginning. Reinstalling it from scratch is a real bore that can keep you busy for a couple of days, but restoring an image is a 20 minute affair. Here is a video tutorial I made on imaging (the easy way) Imaging with free Macrium But there are many other imaging options. Consult the corresponding threads on this forum. Just stay away from the Windows7 imaging for a while. It is rather complicated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #29
Darryl Licht

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by unifex View Post
I've got to say, I miss the good old days when computers came with User Manuals. I mean ... these days it looks like the computer companies think that consumers are not supposed to mess with anything, but rather treat their machines as black boxes that perform certain tasks. How did I learn anything? You'll be surprised, but all I did (in addition of trial and error) was I read the manual. My first computer was Commodore 128. It came with two very thick books, User Manual and Programmers Reference Manual. These contained all information about the machine, including memory maps and some chip blueprints and a complete reference for the assembly language.

Well, nowadays, the information is less easy to come by and I must say, the machines are way more complex. But still, you can find your way around. Of course the first thing to do now is to learn your way around the OS. So I would grab the Microsoft book - some of that available online for free - about Windows 7, it's similar to the good old manual. As to the adding hardware to your PC - at least my computers (mostly Sonys and Dells) still come with little manuals that describe in detail which screws to use for each purpose.
Unfortunately, today it is assumed that you know how to operate a PC so there is no printed manual included. However, most manufacturers websites have downloadable pdf manuals if you want or need one. Remember we are all trying to conserve natural resources and be "green". Personally, Id just throw it into the recycle bin as I have been a user for over 20 years! I dont need no stinking manuals! LOL!

I also honestly cannot believe you stated "Well, nowadays, the information is less easy to come by"! Its a very myopic statement! Have you tried the Internet? Back in the Commodore 64 days there were only Bulletin Boards, no Internet! You can find out just about anything these days with a little time and an Intenet connection
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #30

Windows 7 Enterprise

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by huffman View Post
With any Operating System over the years I have found having a good image restoring program is worth it's weight in gold.
How much does software weigh?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Darryl Licht View Post
I also honestly cannot believe you stated "Well, nowadays, the information is less easy to come by"! Its a very myopic statement! Have you tried the Internet? Back in the Commodore 64 days there were only Bulletin Boards, no Internet! You can find out just about anything these days with a little time and an Intenet connection
I both agree and disagree with this.
A lot of the time you can never find any answer you're looking for on the internet.
95% of the internet is porn.
The other 2% is videos of monkeys finger-wiping bums, sniffing it, and falling off a branch.
The remainder of the internet is duplicates of other sites and forums, but under the guise of another domain. Most of it doesnt help.
Back in the BBS days, the information was posted by geeks for geeks. Good times.

But. When you do finally find the good info that actually helps, it is the good info.
That is what is worth its weight in gold.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Need advise on obtaining more computer know-how

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