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

21 Nov 2010   #1

windows 7 home premium 64-bit
Need advise on obtaining more computer know-how

I'm just looking for some advise from some of the very qualified contributors to these forums. I have very limited experience using the computer but I am anxious to learn more, just for pleasure and not for any work related use. I've read through all the tutorial subjects and have started reading the 5-10% of them that I think I am comfortable with and can learn from. The rest seem well beyond my comfort zone. So how do you go about getting from point A to point B with all this computer know how. Event logs, partitions, BSOD, BIOS, dump files zip, exe file, save as an HTML file, etc. etc. is mostly greek to some of us using these forums. What is the best way to start the journey. Do you recommend classes, any good books or websites? Is this stuff you can pick up through trial and error, over time on your own, such as through these forums. Do you need advise individual instruction. A case in point is it cost me a couple hundred dollars for my computer guy to do a complete system restore a couple times before we figured out that the windows updates should be manually updated because automatic updates were causing crashes. Would appreciate any advise you can share.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2010   #2
Ivan the SoSo

windows 10 pro 64 bit

Upgrading and repairing pc's by scott mueller...I have the 12th edition very outdated now(up to one gig cpu's ) but I'm sure there are newer editions out now....cost me $60 in the mid/late 90's
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2010   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install

These tuts edited by our own Brink are priceless and the cost--free
Tutorials - Windows 7 Forums
Trust me save your money.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 7 Enterprise

I guess for most of us, the easiest way (is the hardest way too) is to run into a problem.
Then you research, ask questions, troubleshoot and basically try find a way to fix such problems.
There's an old quote that I really like: "Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I'll understand"
So we could tell you a million things under the sun, but you'll really only understand it once you've gone through it.
I still dont know how to read a BSOD or what that cryptic means, but I know a single long post beep means dodgy RAM, only because I've run into that more times than I care to remember.
95% of what I've learnt is self-taught. Mostly through trial and (numerous) error.

Another good thing about forums, is to troll through them. If something catches your eye or attention, you can post what you think about it. You'll either be told your wrong for this or that reason, or you'll be agreed with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7 Enterprise

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
These tuts edited by our own Brink are priceless and the cost--free
Tutorials - Windows 7 Forums
Trust me save your money.
People reply quick on here...

Yes, theres also plenty of free information everywhere when you know where to look.

I prefer to use such resources as references, rather than reading material.

Good luck with your quest for knowledge
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit

I learned by trial and error. I know how a lot of settings should be configured and how to fix a lot of errors because I have messed with so much stuff and caused so many problems on my computers that I had to fix on my own, I learned how a lot of stuff works. There are two resorces in addition to the tutorials here that will help you greatly: and I have learned a lot from both. Wikipedia is good for getting a general understanding of several topics and google is good for finding specific information (although quit a bit of searching is involved and how you word your searches will effect on your chances of finding the right information).

If you have/can find a secondary computer to experiment on, you can start playing around with it and google anything you come across that you do not understand. If you are going to experiment on you primary computer, back everything up regularly. If you do not have a secondary computer currently, places like GoodWill and sometimes yardsells, sell old computers for a low price. Another option is running an OS in a virual machine. I recently installed a program called VirtualBox and installed Windows 98 so that I could mess around with old legacy programs and games that will not work on newer versions of Windows. It turned out to be an adventure in and of itself to get 98 up and running. When using a VM, you are basically using a computer that does not actually exist, so if you screw it up too bad you can just delete the computer and start again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2010   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1

My $0.02 worth is that we learn from our mistakes rather than our success. One way to learn is to
put together a cheap machine and just keep playing with it. Doing different things where each time you
learn action and reaction. It always helps to have a couple of cheap hard drives to experiment with so that
you can just re-format and start over. I learned most everyting by this method.
Also, as someone else said "Google is your friend" Error codes and how to's are great to research.

One thing I do not recommend is when you google on something, I never pick the first couple of responses unless they are well known company sites. Otherwise you end up with websites that put themselves at the top of the google search list by seeding their sites via nefarious methods.
Also most of the PC rags do have some good tips and trick in them.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2010   #8

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit

You will run into many acronyms and abbreviations that won't mean much to you but you can find the answers very quickly by using webopedia find it here and create a shortcut.........
Webopedia: Online Computer Dictionary for Computer and Internet Terms and Definitions

answer is just a click away!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Regardless what you do, you will have to have patience. But it is like learning a foreign language. For a long time you think you are making no progress, and then one Monday morning you realize the you made a big leap forward.

I am teaching System concepts to the people of my local Florida computer club. They are mostly retired people - a lot of nice little old ladies. So I have to go easy on them.

I give you the link to the materials of 2 of my classes that might be helpful for you. The first one is also all recorded on Video (more than 3 hours worth) which you can watch and the second one contains some Videos - the videos I made myself, no canned stuff. Download the folders from the links, unzip them and have a look.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

If you have a decent computer and can run a virtual machine or two, they are great for learning on. Or, if you can scrape together some money and buy the parts to put together a machine...that is a great learning experience.

I'm an avid book learner myself. While I realize that you can find most everything online and in forums, it's sometimes nice to just go through a book where you have chapter after chapter of stuff...some of which you didn't even know how would you have ever found it in forums? When Windows 7 first came out, i got the Windows 7 Secrets book by Paul Thurrott and read 90% of it. Picked up quite a few things.

Don't discount "the dummies series" of you can often learn quite a bit from them and they are mostly easy reads.

In the end, it's just a lot of trial and error. I've been working with computers for well over 25 years and over 13 professionally.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Need advise on obtaining more computer know-how

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