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PCs: The Missing Manual by David A. Karp, Andy Rathbone

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Chapter 16. Fixing Common Problems

Sometimes the simplest fixes help set straight a PC that’s in the dumps. Before spending too much time troubleshooting, try restarting your PC (Start → Turn Off Computer → Restart). Occasionally that little kick in the pants is all your PC needs to clear its head. But when that nudge doesn’t work, the fixes in this chapter will help you through the most common PC problems, including retrieving mistakenly deleted files, zapping frozen programs off the screen, and helping you log back into your Windows user account when you’ve lost your password. On the hardware side, this chapter walks you through tracking down and installing a new driver, a fairly reliable cure for the majority of your PC’s hardware problems.

Undeleting Deleted Files

When you delete a file, Windows XP doesn’t toss it into the fire pit immediately. Instead, Windows places the deleted files on a long conveyor belt called the Recycle Bin. The larger your hard drive, the more time you have to retrieve your deleted files before they fall off the edge. Most deleted files stay alive for weeks—even months—after you press the Del (Delete) key.

To retrieve a deleted file, double-click your Desktop’s Recycle Bin icon, right-click the file you want, and then choose Restore. Windows XP immediately undeletes the file, placing it back where it was before you trashed it. If you deleted a file from your Desktop, for instance, the Recycle Bin puts it right back on your Desktop.

Tip

To immediately delete ...

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