Articles about Know Your PC

Automate login and bypass the lock screen in Windows 10

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Like Windows 8.x, Windows 10 has been designed with security in mind and requires you to log in before you can start using it. That’s fine, and sensible, but if you’re the only person using your PC, and you’re confident that no one will be able to use it without your permission, or break in to your home and steal it, you might want to skip this stage.

The process of doing so is the same as in Windows 8, and is very simple without the need for registry hacks or complicated trickery.

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Kingston HyperX announces world's fastest 128GB DDR4 memory kit

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As someone who grew up in the 80's and 90's, I was a huge fan of the sitcom "Home Improvement". If you aren't familiar, the premise was that the father / TV host, played by Tim Allen, would often hurt himself and cause damage in an attempt to get "more power". Yes, he was always trying to squeeze additional power from machines, much like computer enthusiasts and gamers do nowadays.

Unlike the sitcom, however, more power with computers does not have to result in injury, but it does often cause damage to one's wallet. Today, Kingston HyperX announces the world's fastest 128GB DDR4 Memory Kit. Not yet available to consumers, the RAM is insanely fast and will likely be very expensive when it hits the market.

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How to create a bootable Windows 10, Windows 8.x or Windows 7 USB flash drive

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If you want to install Windows from scratch, you have two choices -- you can install the OS from a CD/DVD or from a USB flash drive. The latter is the better option, especially as optical drives are becoming something of a rarity these days.

The process of creating a bootable USB flash drive for Windows 7, 8.1 or 10, is quick and easy. Here’s how to do it.

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X2 announces ISOLATIC 6020 -- a sexy and affordable full-tower ATX PC case

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When building a computer, there are areas where you should try to save money, and others where you shouldn't. A budget power supply? Probably a bad idea. Generic no-name RAM? Just say no. A case? Bingo. When looking to save money, the case, for the most part, will not affect performance or stability. You can find an inexpensive ugly or cheaply-made case with decent cooling.

Today, X2 announces a full-tower PC case that is not only affordable, but sexy as hell too. Seriously, the design is very futuristic, giving a premium look at a fairly budget price.

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How to make Project Spartan the default browser in Windows 10

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The latest Windows 10 release, Build 10049, comes with Microsoft’s new browser, Project Spartan. The software giant describes the new app as being built for the modern web, with a design that’s "streamlined and puts the focus on the page, not the browser". My colleague Mark Wilson, has a different view, describing it as "fat, chunky, and devoid of style and features".

While you can launch Project Spartan directly from the Start menu, Internet Explorer remains the default web browser in the new build. You can easily change this behavior though.

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You can now download Windows 7 ISOs directly from Microsoft -- here's how

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Can’t find your Windows 7 disc but need it to do a fresh install or run a copy of Windows in a virtualized environment? The obvious solution is to download a copy of the operating system in ISO format.

Oddly though, Microsoft has avoided offering Windows 7 ISOs for download -- the only solution previously was to grab a copy from Digital River, Microsoft’s official content delivery partner for Windows 7. That’s all changed now though, as a new Microsoft Software Recovery center lets you download Windows 7 directly from the software giant itself.

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How to breathe new life into an old PC [Beginner’s guide]

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With today’s rapid pace of technological change and consumer-centric culture it’s easy to throw out your laptop or PC as soon as a shinier, flashier model comes along. The problem is: there’s always a faster, more up-to-date version waiting just around the corner.

However, you can save the environment, and your bank balance, from taking any extra strain by following these tips to get some extra life out of an older computer.

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Get Cortana working in Windows 10 in the UK, and other non-US countries

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One of the biggest new features in the latest build of Windows 10 is Cortana. Microsoft is bringing its virtual assistant to the desktop, and if you install Build 9926 you can see what she’s capable of right now. Well, you can if you’re in the US at least.

If you live outside of America, in the UK for example, if you summon Cortana you’ll be told she’s "not available to help in your region", which is a bit rubbish. Fortunately, there are ways around this silly restriction.

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Unlock Windows 10's hidden secrets

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Microsoft released Build 9926 of the Windows 10 Technical Preview on Friday, and so far we’re liking what we see. There are a few issues with it, naturally, but it’s definitely a giant leap in the right direction (for the most part anyway).

There are several hidden features available, but not activated, in this new build, which are well worth exploring and so we’ve put together this handy guide explaining how to get them all working.

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How to install Windows 10 Insider Preview on Oracle VirtualBox

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Microsoft has just released the Technical Preview of Windows 10. It’s a very early build, so you wouldn’t be advised to run it as your main operating system, and while you could set it to dual boot, running it in a virtualized environment is probably a better idea.

The process is very simple -- all you need is a copy of Oracle VM VirtualBox and the Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO.

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Free up space in Windows 10 with the new Disk Cleanup System Compression feature

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Windows 10 Technical Preview is very much an early work in progress. Microsoft is releasing new builds on a fairly regular basis (although the next one isn’t expected until the New Year), and implementing changes based on user feedback. Personally I’m liking what I’m seeing so far.

Although Microsoft discusses the major new features and changes in each build, there’s still some hidden functionality that you may not be aware of. Case in point is the little known System Compression option tucked away in Disk Cleanup.

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Transfer notes from an iPhone to a Windows PC

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We all use notes on our phones these days, whether a genuine note-taking, or simply setting reminders for ourselves or storing important reference numbers. But how can you transfer your notes from your iPhone to a Windows PC?

Luckily there are two main ways to import notes from an iPhone, whether without using outlook or without iTunes.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook writes to employees after Q4 2014 earnings call

Apple CEO Tim Cook writes to employees after Q4 2014 earnings call

Still in buoyant mood after the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple Watch, and iPad Air 2 -- even the Mac mini -- Apple gave its Q4 2014 earnings call yesterday. CEO Tim Cook announced that the company generated $42.1 billion in revenue in the quarter and a net profit of $8.5 billion, up from $37.5 billion and $7.5 billion for the same period last year. Referring to the "biggest iPhone launch ever", Cook explained that Apple is due to enter the holiday season with its "strongest product lineup ever".

He explained that 60 percent of the quarter's revenue came from international sales, and sales have gone up in just about every area of the company with the exception of iPad and iPod sales. The iPhone remains the biggest seller (some 39.272 million units, up 16.2 percent), and Mac sales are also strong (5.52 million units, up 20.7 percent).

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Windows 10: How to quickly switch between the Start menu and Start screen

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The main highlight in the Windows 10 Technical Preview is unquestionably the new Start menu. It is the perfect blend of the old and the new, mixing the Windows 7 Start menu with Windows 8's tiled Start screen.

If, however, you’re a Windows 8.x user who has become accustomed to working in the Start screen, you may not want to take the 'backward step' of returning to a Start menu. (My colleague Mark Wilson certainly feels your pain). The good news is Windows 10 lets you choose between the Start menu and Start screen, although switching backwards and forwards between the two modes is rather cumbersome. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution.

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How to use virtual desktops in Windows 10

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While most people will be talking about the return of the Start menu in the next version of Microsoft’s operating system -- and with good reason -- it’s not the only big change in Windows 10.

Windows 8 proved to be something of a productivity killer for many people, but Microsoft is once again catering to the needs of power users, and has finally introduced a feature that has been offered in Linux for many years -- the virtual desktop.

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