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Upgrading and Fixing Computers: Do-it-Yourself For Dummies®

Book Description

An illustrated, step-by-step guide to repairs and upgrades

Whether you want to prepare your computer for Windows 7, avoid investing in a new one, or just "go green", this fully illustrated guide has what you need. You'll learn how to add printers and new keyboards, boost your PC's performance and increase memory, improve power consumption, rev up your multimedia capacity, and much more. Step-by-step instructions are accompanied by photos that show you exactly what you should see at every stage.

  • Learn to perform basic upgrades and prepare your PC for high-speed Internet connections, network connections, and added security, all with fully illustrated instructions

  • Find out how to expand memory, enhance speed, and update your computer's power supply

  • Prepare an old computer for Windows 7 and beef up your capacity for multimedia

  • Upgrading & Fixing Computers Do-It-Yourself For Dummies is a show-and-tell course in making your PC happy, healthy, and green.

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
    2. About the Author
    3. Author's Acknowledgments
    4. Publisher's Acknowledgments
    5. Introduction
      1. About This Book
      2. Where to Start
      3. Read These Parts
      4. Don't Read These Parts
      5. How This Book Is Organized
        1. Part I: Getting Ready to Upgrade
        2. Part II: Making Your Computer Work Better
        3. Part III: Teaching an Old Computer New Tricks
        4. Part IV: Communications
        5. Part V: Introducing Parts to Windows
        6. Part VI: The Part of Tens
      6. Icons Used in This Book
      7. Where to Go from Here
    6. I. Getting Ready to Upgrade
      1. 1. Start Here First
        1. 1.1. Determining When to Upgrade
        2. 1.2. Determining When You Shouldn't Upgrade
        3. 1.3. Upgrade Do's and Don'ts
          1. 1.3.1. Do upgrade one thing at a time
          2. 1.3.2. Do make a restore point before every upgrade
          3. 1.3.3. Do watch out for static electricity
          4. 1.3.4. Do hang on to your old boxes, manuals, warranties, and receipts
          5. 1.3.5. Don't force parts together
          6. 1.3.6. Don't bend cards
          7. 1.3.7. Don't rush yourself
          8. 1.3.8. Don't open up monitors or power supplies
        4. 1.4. Do Your Prep Work
          1. 1.4.1. Turn on Windows Update
          2. 1.4.2. Making sure System Restore is working
          3. 1.4.3. Identifying your Windows version, CPU, and amount of memory
          4. 1.4.4. Identifying parts inside your computer
      2. 2. Assembling Your Tools
        1. 2.1. The First Tools to Grab
        2. 2.2. Turning Household Items into Tools
        3. 2.3. Magnetized Screwdrivers and Dust Blowers
        4. 2.4. Monitoring Your Computer's Power Draw
        5. 2.5. Dealing with a Lost Manual
    7. II. Making Your Computer Work Better
      1. 3. Keyboards, Mice, Game Controllers, and Monitors
        1. 3.1. Updating Your Keyboard
          1. 3.1.1. Buying a keyboard that's compatible with your computer
          2. 3.1.2. Deciding what features are worth your money
        2. 3.2. Making Way for a New Mouse
          1. 3.2.1. Buying a mouse that's compatible with your computer
          2. 3.2.2. Deciding what features are worth your money
        3. 3.3. Upgrading Game Controllers
        4. 3.4. Replacing a Monitor
          1. 3.4.1. Buying a monitor that's compatible with your PC
          2. 3.4.2. Deciding what features are worth your money
        5. 3.5. Installing a Keyboard
        6. 3.6. Installing or Replacing a Mouse
        7. 3.7. Installing or Replacing a Game Controller
        8. 3.8. Connecting a Monitor to a PC or Laptop
        9. 3.9. Connecting a TV to a PC or Laptop
        10. 3.10. Attaching a Second Monitor to a PC or Laptop
        11. 3.11. Adjusting Your Monitor's Settings
      2. 4. Printers and Scanners
        1. 4.1. Updating Your Printer
        2. 4.2. Fixing Common Printer Problems
        3. 4.3. Updating Your Scanner
        4. 4.4. Installing or Replacing a Printer's Ink Cartridge
        5. 4.5. Installing a Printer
        6. 4.6. Keeping Words from Running off the Page
        7. 4.7. Installing a Scanner
        8. 4.8. Scanning with Windows 7 Software
      3. 5. Adding More Memory
        1. 5.1. Deciphering Memory Advertisements and Packaging
        2. 5.2. Buying the Memory Your Computer Needs
        3. 5.3. Installing Memory in Your Computer or Laptop
        4. 5.4. Diagnosing Failing Memory
      4. 6. Adding or Replacing a Hard Drive
        1. 6.1. Upgrading a Hard Drive
          1. 6.1.1. Buying a compatible drive
          2. 6.1.2. Deciding what features are worth your money
          3. 6.1.3. Choosing how to add more storage space
        2. 6.2. Installing a Portable Hard Drive
        3. 6.3. Backing Up Your Windows Drive with a System Image
        4. 6.4. Identifying Your PC's Drive Type
        5. 6.5. Upgrading or Replacing Your Windows Drive
        6. 6.6. Reinstalling Windows from a System Image
        7. 6.7. Adding a Second Internal Drive
        8. 6.8. Partitioning and Formatting a Second Internal Drive
        9. 6.9. Defragmenting a Hard Drive
        10. 6.10. Checking for Disk Errors
        11. 6.11. Extending a Partition to Fill a Drive
        12. 6.12. Setting an IDE Drive's Jumpers
      5. 7. Adding a DVD Drive
        1. 7.1. Choosing a Compatible DVD Drive
        2. 7.2. Identifying Your Computer's CD/DVD Drive Type
        3. 7.3. Installing an External CD/DVD Drive
        4. 7.4. Installing an Internal CD/DVD Drive
      6. 8. Fine-Tuning Your Computer's Sound
        1. 8.1. Choosing a Compatible Sound Card
        2. 8.2. Installing a Sound Card
        3. 8.3. Plugging the Right Sound Cable into the Right Jack
        4. 8.4. Installing a Sound Box
        5. 8.5. Connecting Your PC's Sound to Your Home Stereo
        6. 8.6. Routing Sound Through an HDMI Cable
      7. 9. Beefing Up Your Computer's Video Card
        1. 9.1. Buying the Right Video Card
          1. 9.1.1. Finding a compatible video slot
          2. 9.1.2. Finding a compatible video port
          3. 9.1.3. Deciding what features are worth your money
        2. 9.2. Installing a Video Card
      8. 10. Replacing the Power Supply or Laptop Battery
        1. 10.1. Choosing a Compatible Power Supply
        2. 10.2. Deciding How Much to Spend
        3. 10.3. Setting Up an Uninterruptible Power Supply
        4. 10.4. Replacing Your Desktop PC's Power Supply
        5. 10.5. Replacing the Battery on Your Netbook or Laptop
    8. III. Teaching an Old Computer New Tricks
      1. 11. Creating a Home Theater with Windows 7's Media Center
        1. 11.1. Buying a TV Tuner
        2. 11.2. Identifying the Cables and Connectors on Your Computer's Television Tuner and Your TV
        3. 11.3. Installing a USB TV Tuner
        4. 11.4. Finding Your PC's PCI-Express 1x and PCI Slots
        5. 11.5. Installing an Internal TV Tuner
        6. 11.6. Connecting Your TV Signal to Your Computer
        7. 11.7. Connecting Your Computer's High-Quality Sound to Your Home Theater
      2. 12. Upgrading a Computer for Editing Movies
        1. 12.1. Transferring Movies and Photos from a Camera or Camcorder to a Computer
        2. 12.2. Upgrading a Computer for Video Editing
      3. 13. Repurposing an Old Computer
        1. 13.1. Adding a Second Monitor to Your New Computer
        2. 13.2. Creating a Portable Hard Drive from Your Old Hard Drive
        3. 13.3. Removing the Old Hard Drive and Adding It to Your Main Computer
        4. 13.4. Turning Your Old Computer into a Backup Unit
        5. 13.5. Cleansing Your Old Computer's Personal Information Before Passing It On
    9. IV. Communications
      1. 14. Adding or Replacing a Modem
        1. 14.1. Choosing a Compatible Modem
          1. 14.1.1. Dialup or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service)
          2. 14.1.2. Cable modems
          3. 14.1.3. DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
        2. 14.2. Installing an External Dialup Modem
        3. 14.3. Installing an Internal Dialup Modem
        4. 14.4. Helping Windows 7 Set Up a Dialup Modem
        5. 14.5. Installing a Broadband (Cable or DSL) Modem
      2. 15. Linking Computers with a Network
        1. 15.1. Choosing the Right Networking Equipment
        2. 15.2. Buying the Right Parts for Your Network
        3. 15.3. Installing Wired or Wireless Network Adapters
        4. 15.4. Connecting Your Router to Your Wired Computers and Modem
        5. 15.5. Setting Up a Wireless Router
        6. 15.6. Setting Up Windows 7 Computers to Connect to a Wireless Network
        7. 15.7. Connecting to and Sharing Files with Older Computers on Your Network
      3. 16. Filtering Out Evil with Firewalls
        1. 16.1. Turning On (Or Off) Windows 7 Firewall
        2. 16.2. Allowing or Stopping a Program from Poking Through Windows 7 Firewall
        3. 16.3. Manually Changing Windows 7 Firewall Settings
    10. V. Introducing Parts to Windows
      1. 17. Hiring the Right Driver for Windows
        1. 17.1. Choosing a Compatible Driver
        2. 17.2. Discovering Whether You're Running a 32-Bit or 64-Bit Version of Windows
        3. 17.3. Automatically Installing a New Driver
        4. 17.4. Running a Driver's Installation Program
        5. 17.5. Installing Drivers That Refuse to Install
        6. 17.6. Finding a New Driver
        7. 17.7. Updating an Old Driver
        8. 17.8. Rolling Back to an Earlier Driver
      2. 18. Installing or Upgrading to Windows 7
        1. 18.1. Understanding Windows 7's Hardware Requirements
        2. 18.2. Choosing between 32-Bit and 64-Bit Windows 7
        3. 18.3. Running Windows 7's Upgrade Advisor
        4. 18.4. Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7
        5. 18.5. Installing Windows 7 over Windows XP or onto an Empty Hard Drive
        6. 18.6. Upgrading to a Better Version of Windows 7 on a Netbook
      3. 19. Troubleshooting and Fixing Windows 7
        1. 19.1. Installing and Running Microsoft Security Essentials Antivirus Software
        2. 19.2. Running Older Programs Well in Windows 7
        3. 19.3. Installing Windows XP Mode to Run Incompatible Windows XP Programs
        4. 19.4. Freeing up Disk Space with Disk Cleanup
        5. 19.5. Making a Windows 7 System Repair Disc
        6. 19.6. Troubleshooting Problems and Boosting Your Computer's Performance
      4. 20. Moving from the Old Computer to the New Computer
        1. 20.1. Choosing How to Transfer Your Files
        2. 20.2. Picking and Choosing the Files, Folders, and Accounts to Transfer
        3. 20.3. Collecting the Files from Your Old Windows XP Computer
        4. 20.4. Placing the Files and Settings on Your New Windows 7 Computer
    11. VI. The Part of Tens
      1. 21. Ten Ways to Find Help Online
        1. 21.1. Finding Help through Search Engines
          1. 21.1.1. Searching Google for specific information
          2. 21.1.2. Mastering the art of pinpoint Google searching
          3. 21.1.3. Searching within a specific Web site
        2. 21.2. Checking the Manufacturer's Support Web Site
          1. 21.2.1. Microsoft's Support site
          2. 21.2.2. Serial number and service tag Web sites
          3. 21.2.3. Manufacturer's Web sites in other countries
        3. 21.3. Community Support Web Sites
          1. 21.3.1. Tom's Hardware Guide
          2. 21.3.2. Wikipedia
          3. 21.3.3. Acronym Finder
          4. 21.3.4. NewEgg
          5. 21.3.5. Amazon
      2. 22. Ten Cheap Fixes to Try First
        1. 22.1. Plug It In
        2. 22.2. Turn Off the Part, Wait 30 Seconds, and Turn It On
        3. 22.3. Install a New Driver
        4. 22.4. Google the Error Message
        5. 22.5. Find and Remove Malware
        6. 22.6. Avoid Viruses by Not Opening Unexpected Attachments
        7. 22.7. Run System Restore
        8. 22.8. Check for Overheating
        9. 22.9. Install a New Power Supply
        10. 22.10. Run Check Disk
    12. A. The Rathbone Reference of Fine Ports
      1. A.1. USB (Universal Serial Bus)
      2. A.2. FireWire (Also IEEE 1394 or Sony i.LINK)
      3. A.3. E-SATA
      4. A.4. HDMI
      5. A.5. Standard VGA Video Port
      6. A.6. Flat-Panel LCD Video Port (DVI)
      7. A.7. Ethernet (RJ-45)
      8. A.8. Telephone (RJ-11)
      9. A.9. Stereo Sound
      10. A.10. Coaxial Cable
      11. A.11. RCA (Composite)
      12. A.12. Optical/Toslink
      13. A.13. The Legacy Devices
        1. A.13.1. PS/2 mouse and keyboard
        2. A.13.2. Serial connectors
        3. A.13.3. Parallel (printer) connectors