PCstats has worked hard to provide guides that
detail every facet of modern computer use. Starting with the basics, PCstats
covers installing Windows XP and upgrading from Windows 98 to XP. Once you've got XP installed,
how about learning about some of its hidden features. Moving
on, we tackle some of the most asked computer questions like "how do I create MP3 files from my CDs?", "how do I burn CDs/DVDs
and what formats should I use?." We also put you on the right track towards
converting your home movies into video files, then turning
those video files into DVDs . Most important of all, how should you
protect your data? We have some good answers, and more than a few helpful
hints to put you on the right track.
A second area PCstats Beginners Guides focus on is
how to make your computing life easier. For example, spam email has become a
painful fact of life for most computer users, but it doesn't have to be such a
major irritation. Our beginner's guide to stopping spam gives you
several easy procedures which will quickly make spam email much less of an
obstacle to your use of email. Likewise, the proliferation of viruses and
spyware on the Internet threatens everybody. We give you a heads up on computer
safety in our guide to firewalls and Internet security, and cover the safe removal of intrusive adware and spyware programs too. Do your wrists and eyes ache from too much computer time? Check out
PCstats' ergonomics guide for some handy tips towards more comfortable computing.
Increasing your productivity within Windows XP is
also a topic covered in several of our guides. If you regularly work at home as
well as the office, you'll be interested in our guide to synchronizing files and folders so you'll always have the
latest versions of your files at hand with out confusion. Own one of those
handy-dandy USB key drives? take a look at our set of USB
drive projects; you can do a lot more with those things than you might
think! Another handy thing to learn is how to create batch files within Windows; these little
programs allow you to automate many of your most tedious
Tired of installing the latest Service Packs in
every new Windows XP system you create? Tired of installing Windows XP at all?
Check out this pair of guides, both of which are among the most popular articles
on our site: 'Slipstreaming: creating a Windows XP CD with Service Pack 2
included' guides you through the process of incorporating the latest Windows
XP Service Pack right into your operating system CD, while our guide to creating a fully unattended Windows XP installation CD gives
you everything you need to know about automating the Windows installation
process in one handy location.
If you'd like to be sure that you have the basics
of security and computer hygiene nailed down, but don't have the time or the
inclination to learn about these subjects, try our quick guides to securing your PC and getting rid of spyware, adware and browser hijackers.
If you want to know more about the guts of your
system, the hardware that keeps it going, PCstats has a series of articles just
the weekend hardware warrior. Take a look at our guide to assembling your own PC
for a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to building a home computer. Our annual
PC maintenance checklist helps ensure that your PC will stay in top shape for as
long as you own it. Sometimes it's good to go back to basics, and a good way to
start is with this guide to computer memory. It
explains how RAM works and why you might want more of it if your computer is
getting 'slow'. For PC speed freaks, we cover RAID hard drive setups
in detail, what they are, and how to set them up. If you are feeling ambitious,
how about a bit of video
card BIOS flashing?
Interested in what makes Windows XP tick? Then we
have some articles for you. Our guide to the
Windows XP registry will take you through this storehouse of XP
customization settings, while our comprehensive article on Windows XP's Safe Mode will equip you to use this powerful
recovery mode to your advantage. Check out our guide to the Windows XP services for information on what these
behind-the-scenes programs do and how to create your own. If you are
experiencing frustrating crashes or errors (and what Windows user hasn't at some
point or another?) our guide to understanding and resolving the
infamous BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) error should be interesting reading.
Finally, get to grips with the
Windows XP command prompt to increase your knowledge and control of the OS.
Upgrading and updating your PC is another
inevitable task that we try to make easier. Take a look at our guide to flashing your motherboard's BIOS for one example. If you've grown used to your Windows XP install and hate the
thought of reinstalling to accommodate a new computer system or hard drive, see
our guide to cloning windows XP for
another solution... Want to upgrade your system but don't know where to
begin? Check out our guide to the fundamentals of updating a PC article for a helping
hand. If all you want to do is upgrade your motherboard, we've got an article on handling
this complex operation too. No more service charges!
If you are tired of Windows altogether, or wary of
Microsoft's upcoming operating system validation requirement for downloading
patches, why not consider moving to Linux? Our first two guides to this
alternative OS cover getting familiar with the Linux KDE desktop and installing a Linux PC. Look for more great Linux guides
Networking is a very important area of computer
knowledge, especially as many homes now have more than one computer. Sharing an Internet connection among the computers in your household is a good start. If you're
curious, PCstats also has guides to home networking,
allowing you to share files between the systems in your home, and an article on
the benefits of wireless
networking. While wireless is extremely
easy to set up and use, it has some security concerns that every user should
know about. In our wireless security article we provide any user with the knowledge they need to secure their
wireless network from intruders. If you have a printer, why not share it over
your network so that anyone in your house can use it? Our printer sharing guide has the goods.
Once you have a broadband Internet connection,
there are a lot of interesting things you can do with Windows XP that are not
immediately obvious. For example, how about enabling remote access,
so you can work on your desktop from any Internet enabled computer in the world?
Or maybe you'd like to create your own FTP server,
allowing easy file transfers over the Internet? Perhaps you'd even like to learn
how to create your own weblog ('blog') a small
personal website. It's all here in PCstats collection of Beginners Guides.
Once you've got a blog or website going, how about setting up an RSS
feed so others can track your site easily. If you check out several
bookmarks every day, learning about RSS
readers could save you a lot of time.
Hardware failure is an unfortunate fact of life for
PC owners, and one of the things that keeps computer stores in business, your
business. Fortunately there are ways to detect problems before they happen, and
reduce the damage if your hardware should fail. Hard drives are one of the focal
areas for failure in modern computer systems, due to their mechanical nature.
They are also rather easy to erase, accidentally or maliciously. In one of our
most popular and acclaimed guides, PCstats Beginners Guides looks at ways to
restore your lost data in the event of just such a hard drive disaster. On the
same topic, our guides to diagnosing bad memory
and bad hard drives as well as interpreting your computer's 'beep' error codes will help you troubleshoot your PC at home.
Encryption and passwords are important facets of
modern computer use, especially where the Internet is concerned. These subjects
can be rather hard to understand for the average user, however. We've attempted
to set things straight in our guide to encryption and online privacy.
Locked yourself out of your computer or file by
forgetting a password? In twin guides, we examine the strengths and weaknesses
of Windows password
security and document password decryption giving you the knowledge you need to reclaim access. Knowing how to
break back into Windows, or a locked document or ZIP file isn't something you'll
need to know everyday, but when you're in a bind this information can be a life
saver. PCstats also examines how to 'harden' your laptop computer , so if
it is lost or stolen, your data will be safe.
For assorted tips and tweaks that can make your
Windows XP experience, cleaner, faster and uniquely yours, we present our most
popular set of PCstats Guides; 101
tips and tweaks for Windows XP, 99
Performance Tips for Windows XP and 104
Great Tech Tips for Windows XP. That's 304 useful tips, every one of them
tested. You are sure to find something you like in one of these
For some comic relief, as well as a serious look
into the kinds of problems and errors of judgement that may one day destroy your
precious computer, take a look at our extremely popular guide to the
most common ways to kill a PC. Why not visit our feedback page and
share your own stories once you're finished?