Practice Installing Windows Using a Simulator

Windows IconFor most computer techs, installing Windows seems pretty straight forward. That’s because, if you are like me, then you have probably done it a thousand times. However, for those just getting into IT, this may not be the case. If you have no experience with installing Windows then you can now familiarize yourself with this process by using the free Windows XP Setup Simulator.

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Create a Batch File to Easily Refresh Network Settings

Program IconIf you are an emerging computer tech and you haven’t already become accustom to using the ipconfig command, you soon will.  This command is most commonly used at the DOS prompt to see a computer’s current IP configuration.  Using this command with three different switches also allows you to refresh a computer’s network settings which can be very useful when troubleshooting network issues.  In the following tutorial, I would like to show you how you can create a batch file that will run this command along with its switches to quickly refresh a computer’s network settings.

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How to Find Drivers for Unknown Devices in Device Manager

Unknown Device IconYesterday I reinstalled Windows on a laptop for one of our users at work. When the installation was complete, I popped in the driver CD to begin the process of installing the drivers that Windows didn’t install. For some reason the CD only contained two of the eight drivers that I needed. Normally, tracking down the right driver can be a huge annoyance, especially when your devices are showing up with generic names like PCI Device, Video Controller, System Device, or Unknown Device. But with the help of a little utility, I was able to find all of the drivers that I needed saving me lots of time and frustration.

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How to Manually Download and Install Windows Updates

Updates Icon Recently I was faced with a situation where I had an automatic update that wouldn’t install. To try and troubleshoot this issue, I needed a way to download the update so I could install it manually. Since Microsoft doesn’t offer such an option, I had to look elsewhere for help. Luckily, there is a program that was created to do just this.

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How to Create a Windows Offline Update CD

CD Icon Creating an offline update CD is a great way to update a Windows computer without having to connect it to the Internet and risk the chance of it being compromised. It is also a great way to update a computer that either has no Internet connection or is still connected to the Internet through dial-up. Since Microsoft offers no easy way of doing this other than ordering one of their update CD, I would like to show you how to create one yourself.

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How to Find and Change a Windows Vista, XP, and 2003 Product Key

Keys Icon I was recently faced with a situation where someone had used a "leaked" product key when setting up some Windows machines that I now manage. Not only did the computers start receiving very annoying error messages every time they started up, but they were also unable to receive Windows updates. To fix this, I was able to use a very simple utility to change all of the keys quickly without having to reload Windows or edit the registry. In the following tutorial I would like to show you how to do the same.

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How to Copy Windows Drivers from One Computer to Another

Hardware Icon In the following tutorial I would like to show you how to backup Windows drivers so you can copy them over to another computer or restore them back onto the existing computer. This can save you lots of time, especially after a reload. You can also use this same process to backup Windows drivers so you can add them to your Windows unattended installation CDs.

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How to Create a Windows Vista Unattended Installation CD

CD Icon The other day I showed you how to create a Windows XP unattended installation CD using a program called nLite. Today I would like to show you how to create an unattended installation CD for Windows Vista using a program called vLite. This unattended installation CD works the same way as the one for Windows XP and allows you to automate the whole process of installing Windows, drivers, updates, as well as configuring Windows just the way you like it.

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