The Windows Start Menu

The Start Menu has been a standard feature in Microsoft Windows ever since Windows 95. It has changed and evolved over the years but the essential idea has remained the same: it is the central place where you can find all of the programs installed on your computer. Use the buttons below to navigate through…

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File Systems

Once a partition/volume has been created, it then needs to be formatted with a File System. A File System organises and allows for the retrieval of the data stored on the disk.  This mechanism is similar to how office file systems operate. Files are stored in folders and then indexed so that they can be…

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Desktop and My Documents

The Windows desktop provides a convenient location for storing files and folders. The desktop can contain shortcuts to applications and documents that you access frequently. This lesson is based on Windows XP, but if you understand this you will understand how the desktop works in all the other versions of Windows too! Use the buttons…

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Introduction To Windows

Operating Systems The most important piece of software on any computer is the operating system. The operating system gives the framework upon which all other services and applications run. The majority of home users use a Windows based machine. Most of today’s applications and games are designed to run solely on Microsoft systems. Microsoft Windows…

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Introduction To Hardware

The interior of a computer looks very complicated at first glance. When the case is removed there is a mass of bits, cables and components that can intimidate the uninitiated. This lesson will seek to dispense some of the mist that may surround the hardware of a computer. Use the buttons below to navigate through…

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Antivirus Software

A virus scanner is possibly the most important piece of software that is installed on your computer. Protection from viruses is only as good as the last update. Out of date virus protection may as well not be on the computer; sometimes up to 100 new virus a month are released into the wild (term…

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Temporary Internet Files and Cookies

Temporary Internet Files: for every website that is visited whilst browsing the internet, files and pictures are stored on your computer. They are stored as cached copies so the website can be displayed quicker if revisited. These files can occupy up to 10% of the total hard drive space. Deleting these files on a regular…

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Scan Disk

Scandisk is used to check the integrity of the file system, also to scan the physical hard disk for bad sectors. These bad sectors can lead to data loss or corruption and are one of the first signs of a failing hard disk. When bad sectors are encountered scandisk will attempt to repair these sectors…

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Recycle Bin

When a file is deleted from the hard drive it is placed by default in the recycle bin, only when the recycle bin is emptied is the file actually removed from the hard drive and the disk space can be used again. Whilst in the recycle bin deleted items can still be recovered, in case…

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Files and Folders

Files are organized on your computer in folders. If it helps, think of your computer as a filing cabinet. There may be drawers that group information or paperwork, e.g. one drawer for household items, another for personal items and so on. Inside the drawers there are dividers for sub groups such as gas, electricity, insurance…

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