Tech Tips


Short PC tips and tricks

Powerful Free Windows System Utility Autoruns Receives Major Update

The free Windows utility Autoruns from Sysinternals is familiar to many Gizmo’s readers but a new version 13.0 is just out and its developer calls it a major update. Any major update of this very useful application is worth noting so I am passing the news along. Autoruns is Gizmo's choice for Best Free Startup Manager.

According to developer Mark Russinovich:

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What Every PC User Should Know about Windows File Extensions- FAQ

File extensions are a very basic concept in understanding how Windows manages files. Experienced PC users may assume that it is something that everybody understands. Nonetheless, many PC users do not even know that file extensions exist and many others are confused by their function. The unfortunate decision by Microsoft to hide file extensions in the default settings for Windows has helped obscure the very important role that file extensions play in the way the Windows operating system deals with files.

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Use a New Command in Windows 8.1 to Find out how Your Disk Space is Being Used

If you would really like to find out the details of what is using space on your hard drive, Windows 8.1 has a new tool that will give you as much detail as you are likely to want. The command line in Windows 8.1 has added a powerful new space reporting function to the File System Utility command Fsutil. This feature is not available in older versions of Windows.

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How to Disable the New User Profile Menu in the Chrome Browser

Here’s a quick tip for users of the Chrome browser.

Google has recently added a menu to the upper right corner of Chrome that provides for management of profiles. It displays an avatar or picture and your profile name. If you are the only user of the browser, you might consider removing it. I got tired of seeing my picture and name sitting there and have disabled the menu. Here is the procedure:

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Easy Way to List the Details of All the Drivers on Your PC

Over the years some of the most frustrating computer problems that I have encountered have involved drivers. I’ve found that it is a good idea to have a list of all the drivers that are on a PC. Fortunately, there is a free utility called InstalledDriversList that makes this easy.

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12 of the Best Places on the Internet to Get Free Help with Computer Problems

Where do you go when you need help with a computer problem? One place to find answers is in one of the numerous technical forums on the Internet. These forums are community sites whose members help one another with technical problems. Some of these are major sites moderated by a group of experienced and knowledgeable experts and are excellent sources of free computer help. Here is a selection from the forums that I find most useful. Some are more specialized than others but all are useful places to know about.

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Get All the Details of the USB Devices Attached to Your PC with this Free Utility

It’s pretty common these days to have numerous USB devices on a PC. Sometimes you might want to get an overview of all those host controllers, hubs,  and various USB attachments that you have. One way to get a quick display of information about all the USB hardware and drivers is with the free small portable utility called USB Device Tree Viewer.

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Find Out All about Your PC with this Free Utility

System information utilities are very useful aids to maintaining a PC and one of the best known is SiSoftware Sandra. This software has been around a long time but is frequently updated.  SiSoftware sells commercial programs but a free edition for personal use is available with reduced features. A new free version called Sandra Lite 2015 has just been released so I decided to take a look at it.

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