When your computer reboots itself over and over again

Joanne Corrigan Doyle’s six-month-old laptop reboots every few minutes. “Is there anything I can change…to fix this?”

Yes and maybe. There’s a setting you can change that will give you at least a hint of the problem. But the hard part starts after you get that hint.

So let’s get you to a point where your crashes contain some useful information.

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Your PC boots, gets to the Windows desktop, then freezes. Now what?

Cara Carlson can boot her computer just fine…until she gets to the Windows desktop. Then it freezes and won’t respond to keyboard or mouse.

A lot of programs and drivers load into Windows when you boot. One of them apparently doesn’t play well with others. The trick is to discover and then eliminate the problem program.

But how can you do that if Windows freezes before you can do anything with it?

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PCs

What to do when your laptop's touchpad stops working

When your laptop’s touchpad stops responding to your fingers, you’ve got a problem. Have you ever tried to use a Windows PC without a mouse, touchpad, or other pointing device? It’s all but impossible. 

If the problem just started, reboot your computer and see if that fixes it. Yes, I know that’s painfully obvious, but it’s standard operating procedure and in the heat of the moment it’s easy to overlook the obvious.

If that doesn’t work, try these solutions.

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62

Convert text to image, and image to text

Arcticsid asked about turning text into a .jpg. I’ll also explain converting an image back into text.

Double-click any word in this paragraph. Your browser will select the word, and then you’ll be able to copy and paste it into your word processor or email program. But try double-clicking a word in the picture above (or in any of the other pictures in this article). It doesn’t work. In the digital world, there’s a big difference between real text and an image that looks like text—even if it’s not always obvious to the user. Fortunately, there are ways to turn either one into the other.

Let’s start with turning text into a bitmapped image like a .jpg or .png.

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8

What's in the hidden Windows AppData Folder, and how to find it if you need it

Frank Hammond asked PCWorld how to access the AppData folder and copy files from it.

The Application Data—or AppData—folder contains data created by programs. Almost every program you install creates its own folder in AppData and stores information there. At least in theory, users don’t have to worry about these files.

But in reality, you probably do. For instance, Firefox and Thunderbird profiles reside inside AppData and can be transferred from there between PCs. If you’re using an older version of Outlook, that program’s data is probably in AppData as well.

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23

If you forgot your Windows admin password, try this

Okay, so you forgot your password for logging in to Windows. All is not lost. You can still log in to Windows—even if there is no other administrative account on the PC.

From a security point of view, this is actually scary news. But there are legitimate reasons to use the tricks below, and none of them will let a criminal log in without your knowledge (the password is changed, not revealed) or gain access to encrypted data. (You do encrypt your sensitive files, right?)

I’ve provided instructions here for Windows 7 and 10. Windows 8 users should have no trouble following the Windows 10 instructions. 

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18

How to get out of Windows Safe Mode

You boot into Safe Mode to fix things. So it’s not right when Safe Mode ends up being the thing that needs fixing. If your Windows computer insists on booting into Safe Mode, you’ll have to figure out what’s causing the problem.

What made you go into Safe Mode in the first place? I assume you did it intentionally, but how? If you did it through the System Configuration tool, that’s your problem.

Press Win + R, type msconfig, and press Enter.

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