Happy Computer 1.1 (XP)                            Download Happy Computer 1 ( PDF)    Download Happy Computer 2 ( PDF)

Things to keep computer running properly


1.        Have an anti virus running and up-to-date

Norton (http://www.norton.com )

and McAfee (http://www.mcafee.com/us/ ) are the top two but you pay. A free one is found at AVG (http://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php)

*Update weekly or set to auto update *


2.        Remove extra system tray programs - These can be found by the clock.  Generally, these are programs that are loaded up when windows boots up.  The idea behind these was so that when you click on, say RealPlayer, it will load faster, and check for updates.  This uses up system resources and slows your computer down.  Most can be eliminated by double clicking on the icon to open the program and search through the menus (usually under Options) and deselecting “show on system tray” or “start when windows boots up”.  You should be able to right click the icon and select close, but it will reappear the next time you boot up.  Also under Start>All Programs>Startup anything in this folder will run at startup.  I keep it empty, but if I want to run it I’ll just find it and run it.


3.        Use a Spy ware eliminator – A good, free program is Ad-Aware which can be found at (http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/).  Websites like to put files on your computer to track and dig for data.  Ad-aware will help find these and eliminate them.

*Update weekly*


4.        Clean out Internet Explorer (IE) – You can get too many cookies (which are usually good files placed on your computer by website).  If you have a lot, IE will search through them all to find if you have one pertaining to the website you are on.  The more you have the longer it takes.  To empty them in IE go to Tools>Internet Options>click Delete Cookies.  You can do the same with Delete File right next to the Delete Cookies button.  Anything deleted when you click these buttons will come back the next time you visit that website.    *Do monthly*


5.     Clean and Defrag Windows – You can do a Disk Cleanup by clicking Start>All Programs>Accessories >System Tools>Disk Cleanup.  This will empty out files that windows does not need any more.  Also under System Tools you can click Disk Defragmenter.  If you think of your hard drive as your house and program as a puzzle, over time and use, the pieces of the puzzle get spread all over the house; in turn making it take longer to access these pieces.  The defragmenter finds all the pieces and creates/puts the puzzle in one locates (on your hard drive) for quick easy access. *Do monthly*


6.        Install Windows updates – The updates (also called patches or fixes) are to correct errors or to remove vulnerabilities on your computer.  On Microsoft’s webpage you can check for updates: (http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/en/default.asp ).  You can also go to Start>All Programs>click Windows Update.  To verify if your PC is checking for updates go to Start>Control Panel>System>click Automatic Updates and see what your settings are at.


Hoy Keys to make life easier (“+” hit at same time, “,” release previous key(s) and hit next key)

Ctrl+C       Copy             

Ctrl+X       Cut                 

Ctrl+V       Paste             

Ctrl+S       Save              

F1               Help (in almost any program)

Alt+F4       Closes Active window (good for closing popups)

Alt+Prnt Scrn – this will capture  a picture of the active window but you need to paste in Paint.


+Pause       Opens System Properties

+E               Open Windows Explorer

, U, U           Shut down Windows

, U, R          Restarts Windows

, U, S           Puts Windows in Standby (Retain what is running but shut down to minimal energy usage state)
















Happy Computer 2.1 (XP)

Things to keep your computer running properly


1 KB means 1 kilobyte (very small file size)

1000 KB = 1 MB (megabyte) ~ floppy holds 1.44 MB

1000 MB = 1 GB (gigabyte) ~ CD holds 640-700 MB

                                                ~ DVD holds 4.7 GB per side

Hard drives these days (2004) range from 20-100 GB

·   Always plug a PC into a surge protector.

·   Don’t touch a flat screen or laptop screens; they can easily get damaged, clean with a cleaner designed for screens.

·   If the PC wants to correct a problem or scan for a virus, let it, don’t cancel it, you can wait the few seconds for it to run.  It’s better to do that than to have corrupt files or a virus on your hard drive.

·   If you have DSL or cable internet, allow programs to check for updates for your programs.  It’ll benefit you.

·   Use a firewall, if possible.  Zone Alarm has a free one and Windows XP comes with one: Start> Control Panel> Network Connections> right click Local Area Connections> select Properties> Advanced tab> check the Internet Connection Firewall.  If you use dial up, odds are someone won’t try to hack the PC because the connection is too slow.  If the firewall causes problems or if you’re using dial up, then turn off the firewall.

·   A regular music CD is written in audio format (au). You can “rip” them into a format called MP3 which is a smaller file of that song (3 min song ~ 3MB).  This can be stored and played right from your hard drive or MP3 player.  MusicMatch and WinAmp are good programs for ripping MP3s.

·   Digital cameras can take great pictures but at a cost of file size.  The better the quality the larger the file. On a 4.0 mega pixel camera this is what you can expect:

Set at                      Size (inches)      File size

1280 x 960              18 x 13                314 KB

640 x 480                4 x 3                    64 KB

You can use a photo editor like Microsoft Photo Editor to resize the pictures once you download them to your PC.  Some cameras take pictures that are over 1 MB each.  These are too big to email.  A photo should be about 100 KB to send in an email.

·   When burning CDs, realized that a CD-R (Recordable) can be burned only once, but will work in any CD player.  A CD-RW (ReWriteable) can be written and erased many times, but only newer CD players can read this.  Check to see what type your CD player uses before you buy the recordable CDs.

·   Newer PCs come with combo drives that burn DVD-R and CD-RW.  Remember, if it has a “-R” then it can only be written on it once, even on DVD.  Soon DVDs will be rewritable but those are not available as of 7/24/04.

·   If you disconnect power to your PC (aka turn off power suppressor or unplug) make sure Windows shut down all the way.  You don’t want to interrupt it while it’s shutting down or starting up.

·   Yes, you should disconnect you PC from the wall outlet during a lightening storm. Why risk it?

·   To figure out which file system you have on your hard drive - either NTFS or FAT32, double click the My Computer icon on the desktop and right click on your C drive and choose Properties. Look for the "File system" entry. It'll either say NTFS or FAT32.

·   The fastest and cheapest way to speed up your computer is to buy more memory (that is RAM memory not Hard Drive memory; in computer talk you don’t usually call the hard drive “memory”).

·   You don’t have to keep all or any icons on you desktop.  They are only shortcuts (which will lead you to the actual location of the file or program).  If you don’t want to delete them, you can make a folder on your desktop called “unused” and drop and drop the icon into it.

·   You can change your Desktop picture by opening any picture file (usually JPEGs or GIFs) in Internet Explorer and right click and select ‘Set as Background’.


Hot Keys to make life easier (“+”= hit at same time, “,” = release previous key(s) and hit next key)

F1               Help in almost any screen

F2               Rename

Ctrl+C       Copy              Ctrl+V       Paste

Ctrl+X       Cut                  Ctrl+S       Save

Ctrl+F        Find                Ctrl+H       Replace

Ctrl+Z       Undo              Ctrl+P       Print

Alt+F4       Closes Active window (good for closing internet popup windows)

Ctrl+Enter        In the Internet Explorer address bar, this will add the “http://www.” to the front and “.com” to the end.  Try clearing out the address bar and typing just “google” (no quotes) then Ctrl+Enter

 + Pause    Opens System Properties

 + E             Open Windows Explorer

, U, U           Shut down Windows

Alt+Prnt Scrn – this will capture a picture of the active window but you need to paste it in Paint


Problem with Windows? First, try the system recovery disk if your PC came with one.  If that doesn’t work, try to reinstall Windows XP.  And if that doesn’t work, you need to save everything you want to keep onto an external source (CD, Zip disk, Jump Drive), reformat the hard drive, reinstall XP, and reinstall all your programs.


Reinstall Windows XP

Reboot your computer with the Windows XP setup CD in the CD and/or DVD drive and let it boot into the Windows Setup screen. Let it load all the drivers. If you wiped the hard drive clean then choose option 1 and start the clean installation.  If you still have XP on your PC then you want to reinstall the system files, type “R”.  Follow the directions.  When it is done, remove CD and reboot the computer.


Reformat Windows XP

**First, remember that reformatting a hard disk deletes all of the data that is on it, so make sure that you back up your data before you reformat the disk. That data is unrecoverable afterwards. It's gone forever!!!!. **

** You need to go into your BIOS to change the boot sequence to do this making your CD-ROM drive your primary boot device (you can usually get to it by clicking Esc or Del right when you start up you PC).**


Since this is a quick reference sheet, it’s hard to keep how to reformat brief.  The best option is to go to http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sg_clean.asp and print out that page because it has pictures with it too.


OPTION 1: If you purchased your computer from a major manufacturer (Dell, HP, etc.) they should have shipped a CD that will do almost everything for you. If you find it, just stick it in the CDROM and reboot, then follow the instructions it gives you.


(This method came from http://www.cyberwalker.net/ )


*Note- if asked, always us NTFS instead of FAT32

1) Boot your system from your Windows XP CD.

2) On the Installation Menu, choose "Install Windows XP".

3) On the next screen choose "New Installation (Advanced)". (Warning: This option will wipe out all the data on your hard drive and put a fresh copy of Windows XP on the system).

4) Let the software do the rest. Done


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