Last update :- February 24th, 2012

Quick index:

Click on any images below for a larger picture.

Included here are various Windows tips and tricks that over time I've either developed myself or found on the internet that I find most useful during everyday computer use. Initially the topics discussed are general Windows 7/XP configuration, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Security but in time more topics may be added so check back. For the moment, the discussion will be via a number of screenshots but I may later add my own videos. In the meantime you can always search for alternatives online.

Note: Throughout these sections I may refer to "dragging" and what I mean here is to left-click on an item, hold the mouse button down and move the item to another area. When doing so, by default it will normally just move but you can copy or add it to the new location by holding down the CTRL key at the same time.

Windows

Included here are tips and tricks you may want to use to make using Windows 7/XP easier, more organized and less cluttered. These changes are of course optional and are relatively easy to implement. Most of the tips for Windows 7 users will also be applicable to Windows Vista users.

DISCLAIMER: It is assumed that users are familiar with the operating system they are using and comfortable with making the suggested changes. I will not be held responsible if changes you make cause a system failure and recommend you backup your important files and documents before making changes. In some cases (such as altering disk partitions) you may need to check with your machine's supplier if it is still under warranty.

Startups

If you've ever bought a pre-configured desktop or laptop from a system manufacturer such as Dell or HP, or installed a number of your own programs you'll no doubt have been confronted with a number of icons on your Taskbar or System Tray in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. In addition, run the Task Manager (CTRL+ALT+DEL) and you'll probably see a large number of processes running under the "Processes" tab. A lot of these are the result of "startup programs" that are configured run when the system boots and many can be disabled.

Each program uses a portion of the system memory and can both extend the time it takes for the system to boot and reduce system performance (due to memory it uses). For more information about Windows startup programs, including how to identify and disable them try the Pacman's Portal website which I authored and which includes a huge database of some 25K+ entries.

Services

On a similar note to startup programs, some system components and applications on Windows NT based operating systems (such as Windows 7/XP) also load via "services" and it's usually worth investigating these to see if any can be disabled. The easiest way to control these is via the built-in service management utility - available via Start → Control Panel → Administrative Tools → Services. Note - in the "Control Panel" Window, Windows 7 users will have to change the "View by" option to "Large (or Small) icons" and Windows XP users will have to switch to "Classic View" to see the Administrative Tools option.

Once open, you can right-click on a service name, select "Properties" and you'll be presented with the screen shown below - which lets you know what the "Service name" and "Display name" are and in some cases it will give you limited "Description" of it's purpose. You can choose to change the "Startup type" and also "Start" or "Stop" the service. If you want you can resize the Name, Description, Status, Startup Type and Log On As columns by moving the cursor on the line between each heading, left-click and drag it one way or the other.

Services

Services

Before stopping or disabling a service it is highly recommended you research it first on a search engine such as Google. Good starting points are as follows:

Disk Organization and Partitions

Another common situation presented to users who've bought a pre-configured desktop or laptop from a system manufacturer is a single hard disk with a single partition - especially on modern day systems with disks of 250MB or higher. Unless you do something different, when you then install software or create and save files these are stored in their default locations - often "C:\Program Files" for software and "C:\Users\<username>\Documents" (Win7/Vista) or "C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents" (WinXP).

Locations

The first problem here is everything is mixed together - games, applications and other software all in one location and all of your different documents in another. With a little thinking ahead and organization you can make you life easier in the long run. As a minimum you should therefore consider creating separate folder for the different programs and file types. For example, if I only had one hard disk with a single partition I'd be happy to allow applications to be installed in "C:\Program Files" but would maybe use "C:\Games" or "C:\Program Files\Games" for games. For documents I'd probably create folders in "C:\Users\<username>\Documents" (Win7/Vista) or "C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents" (WinXP) based upon, the subject, project or some other category - for example, "Financial", "Letters" or "Backups".

Partitions

If you have a decent sized hard disk a better option would be to have separate partitions. This means your hard disk is divided up into two or more distinctive sections - each with their own drive letter (i.e., C:\, D:\, etc.). For more detailed information on disk partitioning read the Wikipedia article - but the simplest analogy is an office filing cabinet. One hard disk with a single partition containing multiple folders, sub-folders and files is like a single-draw filing cabinet. Create two more partitions (D:\ and E:\) and you have a 3-drawer filing cabinet. Add another hard disk with multiple partitions and you have two filing cabinets.

From the Wikipedia article you can see that there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to using multiple partitions but in my opinion, the major advantages are:

Obviously, if you're going to create additional partitions, it would be advisable to do so before installing any software - so you can point to software to the new partition instead. It's also a good idea to defrag the drive first to optimize the file space. Additionally, if you don't already have any programs installed that rely on your current optical drive retaining it's drive letter (such as games detecting a CD being present), then you may also want to change the drive letter beforehand - so that the disk partitions are first.

Finally, plan ahead on the size of the partitions you think you'll need - allowing for additional programs, files and folders being added later. If you look at the Hard Disks section for my current system you'll see how I've organized them. In my case (at the time of writing), with all the current software and games I use installed I have at least 40% of disk space available on each partition. My Windows 7 64-bit partition (applications and utilities only) is 80GB and only 26GB is currently used - leaving plenty of overhead.

Adding a second hard disk (or an external disk) and using this to store data, downloads and backup files would also give you added security. If the main OS drive then physically fails you still have the files available should you need to restore them on the replacement.

Built-in tools

Thankfully, if you only have a single partition on a large disk with Windows 7 (and Vista) installed, the OS includes built-in functionality to shrink (or expand) the partition. The sequence and screenshots below show how to use the built-in tool to shrink the existing partition, change the optical drive letter and create additional partitions. These instructions assume you've changed the Control Panel "View by:" option from "Category" to "Large Icons" or "Small Icons".

  1. To start the utility select Start → Control Panel → Administrative Tools
  2. Select Computer Management → Storage → Disk Management(Local) and you'll be presented with a window similar to this
  3. Right-click on the partition and select "Shrink Volume" from the options available
  4. A new dialog box will then be displayed showing that Windows is calculating the space available
  5. Once finished, the amount of space of the available shrink is displayed - this shows you the minimum amount of space the Windows believes it needs to work efficiently
  6. You can then select the amount of space you want to be made available after shrinking the Windows partition - in this case (on my virtual machine) I chose 10GB (10240MB)
  7. Select "Shrink" and once completed the results will be displayed
  8. If you're going to change your optical drive letter - the best time to do so is now. Right-click on the optical drive and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths..."
  9. The current drive letter is then displayed so select "Change"
  10. Select the new drive letter you want to use for the optical drive. I prefer to use a high letter that's likely to be unaffected by adding other drives - internal or external
  11. A warning will be displayed
  12. The drive letter is now changed
  13. Right-click on the newly "Unallocated space" and select "New Simple Volume" to start adding a new partition
  14. This starts the "New Simple Volume Wizard"
  15. The first step in the wizard is to set the partition size - or "Specify Volume Size"
  16. For this exercise I'm creating multiple partitions so I'll only specify 2GB (2048MB) for test purposes
  17. Choose the default letter assigned for the new partition (or an alternative)
  18. In normal circumstances you should leave the file system as NTFS with a default allocation unit size. You can then choose a "Volume label" and whether to perform a quick format - normally I opt out of this
  19. The wizard is now complete and the partition will be formatted. You can then add more partitions
  20. Normally, new partitions are created as "Primary Partitions" but if you add more than 3 the additional ones will be added as "Logical Drives" in an "Extended Partition"
  21. The new partitions are now available to use
Current disk configuration Shrink partition Calculating space available
2. Current configuration 3. Shrink Volume 4. Calculating
Shrink space available Shrink space selected New space available
5. Shrink available 6. Shrink selected 7. New space available
Change drive letter Current drive letter New drive letter
8. Change drive letter 9. Current drive letter 10. New drive letter
Warning displayed Drive letter changed New Simple Volume
11. Warning displayed 12. Drive letter changed 13. New Simple Volume
New Simple Volume Wizard Specify Volume Size Change partition size
14. New Simple Volume Wizard 15. Specify Volume Size 16. Change partition size
Assign Drive Letter Format Partition Wizard complete
17. Assign Drive Letter 18. Format Partition 19. Wizard complete
Partitioning completed New drives added  
20. Partitioning completed 21. New drives added  
3rd party tools

The built-in functionality for Windows 7/Vista can be restrictive when it comes to the minimum size of it's partition and Windows XP includes no such tool. In that case you'll have to use a dedicated utility (or suite of tools). If you're looking for such a utility you may want to start with the list here. The only one of those I've tested and therefore recommend is the one included with Hard Disk Manager 11 Suite from Paragon Software - who also have a number of separate partition manager tools available. Based upon my experience of using Arconis True Image Home you may also want to try their Disk Director offering.

Alternatively, you may want to try one of the free offerings available but which ever you choose have a look for reviews online beforehand.

Cleaning - "CCleaner"

A typical user will spend a fair amount of time browsing the internet and in doing so will therefore typically accumulate a number of "cached" web pages where a browser stores the current version of a page for faster retrieval at a later date. The browser history and "cookies" will also be stored. There are a number of cleaning file and history cleaning utilities out there but I used and recommend CCleaner from Piriform Ltd - "the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure. Easy to use and a small, fast download."

I could include some screenshots of the various options available here but there are plenty available on the Piriform website along with an FAQ. Run it on a regular basis and in conjunction with Defraggler (below) it will help toward keeping your system running smoothly.

Defrag - "Defraggler"

Over a period of time, a typical user will browse the internet, install and remove software and create and deletes files. As the users does so the operating system will try it's best to manage the space available, re-using space where files have been deleted first before using new space, and it will normally try and locate each section of a file sequentially (or contiguously) in adjacent locations. Eventually, if left unchecked, on smaller hard drives or partitions you will end up with a situation where a single file is stored in multiple locations and it will therefore take longer to load. This process is described in more detail in the Wikipedia article on File System Fragmentation - with the corrective measures detailed in the corresponding article on Defragmentation.

Even with today's large hard drives it's still recognized as good practice to perform some kind of defragmentation on a regular basis to keep the hard drive and free space optimized. There are a number of options available, including the built-in defrag tool included with Windows, professional options such as PerfectDisk from RAXCO Software, Inc and O&O Defrag from O&O Software GmbH and free options such as UltraDefrag from the UltraDefrag Development Team and my own personal favourite which is Defraggler from Piriform Ltd. Performance is dependent upon the product and all offer some kind of scheduling option but I prefer to run Defraggler manually. Before doing so it's best to disable any screensaver you may have and run a cleaning utility like CCleaner (above).

When you install Defraggler it gives you the option of replace the system defrag utility - which I decided to do. Run Defraggler from the optional Desktop or Start Menu shortcut and first select "Analyze" to check the state of the selected drive. Then select "Defrag" and the optimization will take place. The screenshots below show the state of one of my Windows 7 virtual machines before and after defrag had occurred.

Defraggler - Analyzed Defraggler - Optimized
Analyzed Optimized

Page File

When Windows is installed, it automatically allocates a portion of the hard disk for use as a "page" file (pagefile.sys) - which is also referred to a "virtual memory". In simple terms, when the system then runs low on system memory (fast physical RAM) it moves the unused "pages" of memory to this file to retrieve later. For example, you may have a number of applications open with some minimized and then start using a memory intensive application such as video processing. In this case, if the system starts running low on system memory it is likely to move the memory used by the minimized applications to the page file. As this file is created when Windows is installed and clean it is allocated a single contiguous chunk of hard disk space.

In the past a number of users have recommended removing the page file if you have a large amount of RAM installed - but this not considered good practice. Adding to the system memory will certainly improve performance as Windows will not have to use the page file as much but if it doesn't exist then as the amount of system memory available is reduced you could find applications crashing and Windows becoming unstable.

The default location for the page file is normally the root partition (i.e. C:\) and the size is determined by the version of Windows. For Windows 7 this defaults to the amount of RAM installed (see this article and search for "Page file size equal to RAM") whereas for Windows XP it defaults to RAM x 1.5 (see this article). When created it's also a "System managed size" and the amount of the hard disk area allocated to the page file will fluctuate - normally will less being used.

If you have a limited amount of RAM (say 2GB on a modern PC) and start using a number of applications including memory intensive ones and, for example, Firefox with the memory leak unresolved this could lead to a potential problem. Windows may have to re-size the page file to accommodate this and therefore you would have a fragmented file in more than one location. For this reason I recommend one of two options - depending upon whether you have one or more hard disks installed.

Option 1 - single hard drive

Change from a "System managed size" to a "Custom size" with a fixed minimum and maximum on the same partition. In this case you could, for example, set the maximum to double the system RAM. You may only have 2GB RAM installed and plan on upgrading to 4GB later - in which case you could set the upper limit to 4GB. If you have the space available you may even want to consider changing the upper limit to 8GB to be on the safe side. In either case you are not likely to run low on system or virtual memory - as long as you don't go mad with the amount of applications running!

Option 2 - multiple drives

If you have one or more additional disks that are at least the same speed as the one with the OS on then it is better to move the page file to one of these - preferably in it's own partition. The downside of having the page file on the same disk as the OS is that system or application files and the page file cannot be accessed concurrently as this is impossible. Moving the page file onto another disc solves this and will give a slight performance boost. Using a dedicated partition also allows you to leave the page file with a "System managed size". In my case, at the time of writing I'm running Windows 7 64-bit and have 8GB system RAM with a system managed page file on a 10GB partition.

In an ideal world

The sequence and screenshots below show how to change the page file size and location.

  1. To set the page file, select Start → Control Panel → System
  2. For Windows 7 select "Advanced system settings" and for Windows XP select the "Advanced" tab
  3. On the "System Properties" window click on the "Settings" option under the "Performance" heading
  4. On the "Performance Options" window click on the "Change" option under the "Virtual Memory" heading
  5. The default page file settings are now displayed. In this case, on my Windows 7 virtual machine with 1GB RAM it's set to 1GB (1024MB)
  6. If you're going to change it first delete the existing one and reboot the system. After rebooting defrag the drive to optimize the file space
  7. If using Option 1 above, create a custom page file size - in this case 1-2GB (1024-2048MB) and reboot
  8. If using Option 2 above, move the page file to a dedicated partition on another disk and allow it to be system managed. Note: in this example it's just another partition on the same disk
System Properties Performance Options Default page file
3. System Properties 4. Performance Options 5. Default page file
Delete page file Custom size Page file moved
6. Delete page file 7. Custom size 8. Page file moved

Start Menu

Organizing

Click on Start → All Programs on Windows XP after installing a number of applications, utilities or games and you'll probably be confronted by a disorganized, mixed up set of folders and shortcuts. Do the same on Windows 7/Vista and they'll at least be sorted by name but that's about all. If you're like me and prefer things to be organized then the sequences and screenshots below will help.

Windows 7

  1. To make use of this tip you'll first have to allow hidden folders and files to be shown under Start → Computer. To do this first enable the "Menu bar" and then select Tools → Folder options... → View and enable "Show hidden files, folders and drives". Then you'll be able to see the hidden folders where the folders and shortcuts are located
  2. When a new program is installed (often to C:\Program Files), the Start Menu shortcuts may be visible to all users or just the current user. Indeed, during the installation process some will allow you to make a choice and the better ones will allow you to specify the folder where the shortcuts should be placed. They will be sorted by name and displayed under Start → All Programs
  3. If the shortcuts are available to all users they're located in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  4. If the shortcuts are only available to the current user they're located in C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  5. As I have a single user PC I prefer to keep all shortcuts in the same location and therefore create separate folders in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs based upon the type of program - i.e., Tools, Utilities, Emulators, Productivity, Web, etc. If I'm not given the option to choose the location for the shortcuts during program installation then I'll move them to the appropriate folder afterwards.
  6. I think you'll agree that this leads to a more organized Start Menu
  7. If you have a multi-user PC then you can create one folder for the common shortcuts (i.e., C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Tools) and another for user specific versions (i.e., C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\My Tools
Menu bar Start Menu - Default All users
1. Menu bar 2. Start Menu - default 3. All users
Current user Start Menu - organized  
4. Current user 6. Start Menu - organized  

Windows XP

  1. A disorganized Start Menu is even more of a problem with Windows XP - this is typical of what you'll see
  2. You could just simply right-click on the menu and select "Sort by Name"
  3. If the shortcuts are available to all users they're located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs
  4. If the shortcuts are only available to the current user they're located in C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Start Menu\Programs
  5. As I have a single user PC I prefer to keep all shortcuts in the same location and therefore create separate folders in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs based upon the type of program - i.e., Tools, Utilities, Emulators, Productivity, Web, etc. If I'm not given the option to choose the location for the shortcuts during program installation then I'll move them to the appropriate folder afterwards.
  6. I think you'll agree that this leads to a more organized Start Menu
  7. If you have a multi-user PC then you can create one folder for the common shortcuts (i.e., C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Tools) and another for user specific versions (i.e., C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Start Menu\Programs\My Tools
Start Menu - default Sort by Name Sorted
1. Start Menu - default 2. Sort by Name 3. Sorted
All users Current user Start Menu - organized
4. All users 5. Current user 6. Start Menu - organized

Creating Shortcuts

If a shortcut doesn't exist on either the Desktop or Start Menu for the program you want to use you'll have to create your own. Such and example would be a stand-alone program such as the Autoruns program manager - it doesn't have an installation routine and to run it you simply double-click on it. The sequence and screenshots below show how to do this.

Windows 7

  1. First of all, I don't know about you but I don't like the new "Libraries" button on the Windows 7 taskbar - represented by a folder with a blue base. When using XP I preferred to have shortcuts to "My Computer" and "My Documents" on the Quick Launch toolbar next to the Start button but this option doesn't exist. The "Libraries" button takes you to a different location
  2. To solve this it's easy to create a shortcut on the Desktop to "Computer" - the same as "My Computer". Left-click on the Desktop folder and once there you'll see "Computer" listed as a System Folder but there isn't a shortcut on the Desktop. Right-click on the "Computer" icon and select "Create shortcut"
  3. Right-click on the shortcut and select "Rename"
  4. You then have a new Desktop shortcut to (for me) a more meaningful location
  5. To create a shortcut for a program like Autoruns you'll first have to select Tools → Folder options... → View from the "Menu bar" and deselect "Hide extensions for known file types"
  6. You can then locate the executable file and create the shortcut. Once renamed you can then either move it to the Desktop or to a Start Menu folder (as above)
Menu bar Computer shortcut Rename shortcut
1. Libraries 2. Computer shortcut 3. Rename shortcut
New Computer shortcut View filetypes Program shortcut
4. New Computer shortcut 5. View file types 6. Program shortcut

Windows XP

  1. To create a shortcut for a program like Autoruns you'll first have to select Tools → Folder options... → View from the "Menu bar" and deselect "Hide extensions for known file types"
  2. You can then locate the executable file and create the shortcut. Once renamed you can then either move it to the Desktop or to a Start Menu folder (as above)
  3. Right-click on the shortcut and select "Rename"
View filetypes Program shortcut Rename shortcut
1. View file types 2. Program shortcut 3. Rename shortcut

Desktop Clutter

As you may have already noticed, I'm not one for clutter - and this includes desktop icons. You often see users with a nice personal photo, landscape, screen shot or other picture as their Desktop wallpaper - and then they spoil it by having randomly arranged shortcuts or sometimes they'll move the icons so they don't obscure part of the picture. For me, I still want quick access to all of my favourite programs without having to use the Start Menu and a clean Desktop when open applications have been minimized.

For Windows XP (see below) the OS had toolbar functionality built-in which was perfect for this - but it was dropped for Windows 7. For both, now I personally use and recommend RocketDock by Punk Labs. You could also try alternatives such as Fences by Stardock Corporation but I prefer RocketDock due to the autohide feature.

Windows 7 - RocketDock

  1. Once installed, under Dock Settings → General you can set RocketDock to run when Windows starts, select the position, transparency (Opacity under "Style"), etc. You can also delete the icons you don't need by dragging them onto the Desktop - where they'll disappear with a nice animation. Personally, I only leave the icons for "Computer", "Documents" and "Recycle Bin"
  2. With the RocketDock autohide option disabled (default) and the opacity of the dock higher than 0% (default 100%) you'll find it easy to add a new shortcut. You can either drag an existing shortcut from the desktop or Start Menu onto the dock - the original will be left in place - or drag an executable direct on to the dock (MSASCui.exe in this example)
  3. The new shortcut will then be added to the dock - but will retain the filename
  4. You can right-click on the icon, select "Icon Settings..." and change the "Name" under properties
  5. Finally you can right-click on an icon and select "Autohide" to hide the dock
  6. Now you want to hide the Desktop icons so right-click anywhere on the desktop and deselect "Show desktop icons"
  7. Finally, a nice clean desktop
Add an application Application added Change icon settings
2. Add an application 3. Application added 4. Change icon settings
Autohide Show Desktop icons No Desktop icons
5. Autohide 6. Show Desktop icons 7. No Desktop icons

Windows XP

For Windows XP you can use RocketDock - but the functionality is built-in. You're probably already aware of the "Quick Launch" toolbar that sits alongside the Windows "Start" button and typically contains shortcuts for "Show Desktop", "My Computer" and "Launch Internet Explorer Browser". Well, if you right-click anywhere on the taskbar you'll see "Toolbars" listed at the top with "Quick Launch" one of the default ones available.

  1. If you want a add another toolbar from those already available, you'll first have to ensure "Lock the Taskbar" is deselected. Then, for example, you can select the "Desktop" option and a new toolbar will appear to the left of the System Tray icons
  2. You can the detach this toolbar from the Taskbar by dragging it anywhere onto the Desktop. By default it's configured with small icons and text shown
  3. Change this to large icons and now text shown and you'll see this
  4. If you then drag this new toolbar to the top edge of the screen or either side it will automatically "dock" itself there. You can then opt to hide the title and "Auto-Hide" it
  5. As well as the default toolbars available you can create you own via the "New Toolbar..." option. In this example I've already created a folder called "Toolbar" in "My Documents" and copied a few shortcuts to it
  6. Add a new toolbar as before, selecting the "New Toolbar..." option and point it to your custom toolbar folder
  7. You can then drag the new toolbar onto the desktop and either dock it on another screen edge - or along with an existing one. In this case it's the default option - side by side
  8. Here the toolbars are above and below. You may have to experiment to get this arrangement and can move the toolbars around or undock them by dragging the line of dots to the left of the toolbar
  9. Finally, a nice clean desktop
Desktop toolbar Detached toolbar No text
1. Desktop toolbar 2. Detached toolbar 3. No text
Docked toolbar Custom toolbar folder Custom toolbar
4. Toolbar docked 5. Custom toolbar folder 6. Custom toolbar
Toolbars side/side Toolbars above/below No Desktop icons
4. Toolbars side by side 5. Toolbars above/below 6. No Desktop icons

"Send To"

Normally, when a file is created Windows will select the default application it uses to open the file with and suggest alternatives if you right-click on the file and choose "Open with". For example, a file called "info.txt" would normally open with Notepad and suggest WordPad as an alternative under "Open with". However when you right-click on a file you may also have noticed and used the "Send to" option which allow you to quickly send the file to another location, E-mail recipient, etc. You can also add shortcuts here so that you can, for example, send a picture to Photoshop rather than open it with Windows Photo Viewer. This trick can also help with unrecognized file types - when, for example, you know you can open it with Notepad but Windows can't offer an alternative under "Open with".

  1. Here's a typical example, you try and open a file and Windows doesn't recognize it
  2. You know you can open it with Notepad, so you can copy the Notepad shortcut to the "Send to" folder. For Windows 7/Vista this is C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo and for XP it's C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Startups\SendTo. The location is normally hidden so you'll have to enable "Show hidden files, folders and drives" - see the Start Menu tips above
  3. Now, right-click on the file, select "Send to" and you can send it to Notepad to open it
  4. In some cases with some file types and application this may not work but I find it very useful and gives me more options
Unknown filetype Add shortcut "Send to" option
1. Unknown file type 2. Add shortcut 3. "Send to" option

Backups

Like many of us so-called "geeks", I'm often called to help out when friends and family have done something wrong with their computer - either getting infected with a virus or changing settings. The biggest frustration here is many of them don't have what I consider to be an essential piece of software - a comprehensive backup utility. This is one application that has saved me on odd occasions in the past by allowing me to revert to a recent copy of Windows after some kind of failure or problem. Without a decent backup you often have to work around the problem rather than a known good clean working state.

My recommendations below or in order of preference, least desirable first to best option last.

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