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Beginners Guides: 104 Tech Tips for Windows XP

Beginners Guides: 104 Tech Tips for Windows XP - PCSTATS
Abstract: From quick tips to WindowsXP, right through to cool tweak, toys and experiments, PCSTATS has go you covered with over a hundred new Tech Tips!
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Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS May 01 2007   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 24-25

24. Use VGA Mode to Troubleshoot Monitor Refresh Rate Problems

Have you ever accidentally set Window's resolution or refresh rate to a level that was not supported by your monitor, only to find that you could not change it back since the screen had become an unreadable mess? This annoyance remains one of Window's biggest hidden booby traps, especially for users with older monitor hardware.

Setting the refresh rate or resolution higher than your monitor can display will result in a garbled or blank screen, and a huge headache if you accidentally keep the settings. Fortunately Windows XP includes an easy way to reverse monitor resolution problems in the form of 'VGA mode.'

The VGA mode option on the Windows advanced options screen (accessed by pressing F8 repeatedly as your computer is just starting up) will start Windows normally but with a basic VGA video driver at 640x480 resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. Any VGA monitor can handle this, so you will be free to go back into display settings and change them to something your monitor can display properly.

To recap, if you can't see the screen in Windows XP due to refresh rate settings, reboot your system, pressing 'F8' repeatedly as the computer restarts. From the boot menu, choose 'enable VGA mode.' Once Windows starts up, go to the display settings and try a different resolution and refresh rate setting.

25. Make Your Files Available Offline

Windows XP contains an easy to use application called the 'briefcase' which can vastly simplify the process of bringing work home from the office. Obviously, when you are working on the same file in different locations, you have the issue of manually synchronizing the versions of the file so you do not end up with different copies in different places.

The briefcase can eliminate this problem by automatically synchronizing older copies of your files with the newer ones you have edited at home. To use it, create a new briefcase on the desktop by right clicking on an empty area and selecting 'new\briefcase.'

Now locate any files you wish to add to the briefcase and drag them onto the briefcase icon. This will create copies of these files in your briefcase. Drag and drop the briefcase to some kind of removable media like a floppy disk or USB memory key. You can also open a network share on another system and copy the briefcase over the network. Transport the briefcase to your home system and double click the icon to open it and work on files inside it.

Note that you should not move the files out of the briefcase onto your computer, as this will remove the link to the original file. Instead, open the files within the briefcase folder in order to edit them. If you are working on a floppy drive, you can drag and drop the briefcase onto the new computer's desktop to get better performance.

When you return to work, return the briefcase to the original computer and open it. Note that the 'status' of any files that you edited has been changed to 'needs updating.' Select 'update all items' from the 'briefcase tasks' section on the left.

A window will open illustrating the changes that will be made. Confirm the changes and click 'update' to carry out the operation. All the original files will be updated with the changes you made on your other system. Very simple, very useful. For more information on the briefcase and other offline files options in Windows XP, see PCstats article on file synchronization.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: 104 Tech Tips for Windows XP
 Pg 2.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 1-2
 Pg 3.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 3-6
 Pg 4.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 7-9
 Pg 5.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 10-11
 Pg 6.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 12-14
 Pg 7.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 15-17
 Pg 8.  WindowsXP Interface Tips 18-20
 Pg 9.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 21-23
 Pg 10.  — Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 24-25
 Pg 11.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 26-30
 Pg 12.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 31
 Pg 13.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 32-33
 Pg 14.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 34-36
 Pg 15.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 37-39
 Pg 16.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 40-41
 Pg 17.  Computer Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips 42-46
 Pg 18.  Computer Security Tips 47
 Pg 19.  Computer Security Tips 47 con't
 Pg 20.  Computer Security Tips 48-49
 Pg 21.  Computer Security Tips 50-51
 Pg 22.  Computer Security Tips 52
 Pg 23.  Computer Security Tips 53-54
 Pg 24.  WindowsXP Shortcut Tips 55-57
 Pg 25.  WindowsXP Shortcut Tips 58-63
 Pg 26.  Disk and Storage Management Tips 64
 Pg 27.  Disk and Storage Management Tips 65-67
 Pg 28.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 68-69
 Pg 29.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 70-71
 Pg 30.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 72-75
 Pg 31.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 76-78
 Pg 32.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 78 con't
 Pg 33.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 79-81
 Pg 34.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 82-85
 Pg 35.  Cool Tweaks, Toys and Experiments 86-90
 Pg 36.  Networking and Internet Tips 91-93
 Pg 37.  Networking and Internet Tips 94-97
 Pg 38.  Networking and Internet Tips 98-101
 Pg 39.  Networking and Internet Tips 102-104

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