Since a few of these points deal with not being able to switch your computer on, you may want to print out the first page of this.
I can't switch my computer on, instead it comes up with a message about a non-system disk. What should I do?
Take the floppy disk out. Windows always complains when you leave a disk in the drive when you switch the computer on.
When I turned my computer on today, I got a message saying I hadn't shut down, and some of my disks might have errors on them. Is this important?
If you do not shut down your computer by clicking on "Start" then "Shut Down..." there is a small chance that a file on your hard disk might be corrupted. The next time you switch your computer on, a program called ScanDisk will run to make sure everything is OK. If this worries you, let it run, but it takes a while and usually is not necessary.
When I turned my computer on today, I got a message about something called "safe mode". Windows seemed to load OK but looks strange. What do I do?
If Windows thinks it has encountered a problem with your hardware, it will run in safe mode. Generally, there is no problem and you can return to normal windows by restarting ("Start", "Shut Down...", "Restart", "OK"). If the problem continues, it would probably be best to phone your technical support helpline.
What can I delete from my computer?
Generally, anything not in "c:\windows", "c:\program files" can be deleted
without causing major problems, although there may be other program files in
their own folders. Any file ending ".exe" or ".dll" is a program and may not
be safe to delete. Whenever you try to delete a program, you get an error
warning. See Explorer Help for more information.
What does the Recycle Bin do?
The Recycle Bin temporarily stores files you told Windows to delete. They
are not deleted immediately, so if you accidentally delete something you did
not mean to, it is not the end of the world. Do not rely on this feature,
however - it is better practice to only delete files you are sure you don't
How do I avoid viruses?
People have complained that Windows is full of loopholes which allow viruses
to spread easily. They can however be avoided if you follow a few common
Be very careful of attachments in e-mails. Many modern viruses
disguise themselves as the sort of e-mail you would expect from a friend or
work colleague, containing an apparently harmless attachment. Check to see
if the filename matches any listed below. If it does, you are allowed to
reject it and ask the sender what it is about. You can't be too
Practically every file has an "extension", usually a three-letter code
after a dot. This defines what type of file it is. Some types of file can
contain programs which might be dangerous. These are: .exe .dll .com .bat
.vbs .doc. The most irritating is .doc - Word documents - because these
are exactly the sort of files you would expect as a genuine attachment. To
provide some protection, in Word, click on "Tools",
"Options....", click on General, and see if "Macro virus protection"
How do I get rid of that paper clip in Word?
If the "Office Assistant" is irritating you, click on "Help" then "Hide the Office Assistant". It will then disappear.
The grey bit at the bottom of the screen has disappeared. How do I get it back?
The taskbar has probably been hidden by a window moving in front of it. Press the Windows key on the keyboard (the one with the symbol on it). This will show the Start menu, and will also show the taskbar. If this doesn't work, move your mouse pointer to the bottom of the screen, and see if it changes to a double headed arrow: If so, click and drag upwards a small amount until the grey bar reappears.
The grey bit at the bottom of the screen has moved to the top or the side. How do I get it back to the bottom?
Click somewhere on the grey bar and drag the mouse to the bottom of the screen. If this does not work, click on a different part of the bar.
The grey bit at the bottom of the screen is much bigger than it used to be. How do I get it back to the normal?
Move your mouse pointer to the top of the bar, and the pointer will change to a double headed arrow: Drag the mouse down until the taskbar is the normal size.
One of my folders has disappeared but I don't think I deleted it. Can I get it back?
This problem usually has a highly unexpected cause. What you have probably done is accidentally dragged the folder into another folder when you meant to double-click on it. Use Explorer to have a look around the folders near the one that disappeared, and you should find it. If you did in fact delete it, you should be able to find it in the Recycle Bin.
The clock's wrong!
Occasionally, the clock at the bottom right of the screen simply stops. I have noticed this problem myself on numerous occasions, but cannot see a reason for it. Double-click on the clock, check to see that the time is now correct (change it if it is not) and then click "OK". The clock should now display the correct time.
One or more of the icons on my Desktop has changed for no reason. How do I change it back?
This is not a very important problem, but can be irritating. If it annoys you, click on "Start", "Settings", "Folder Options". Click on "File Types", double-click on a file type (it doesn't matter which), then click "OK" twice. The icons should return to normal.
Word keeps on changing my text after I type it, and I don't want it to (e.g. changing the first letter of a line to a capital).
Click on "Tools", then "Autocorrect..." and change the thing that is annoying you.
What is the difference between "AutoFormat" and "AutoFormat As You Type" in Word?
"AutoFormat As You Type" makes changes to the formatting while you are typing the text. With "AutoFormat" you have to ask it to make the changes, which it does all in one go.
Why have you written "[SAMPLE]" on some of the images?
So people don't get confused and think the windows are real.
Why do you sometimes underline individual letters in your help guide?
If you look at a window's menus, you will find that most of them have a single letter underlined, and I have tried to copy this as much as possibly in my guide. Hold down the Ctrl key and press the letter, and you will see the menu opens. Items on the menu also have one letter underlined. When the menu is open, pressing that key has the same effect as clicking on the menu item.
What does "..." at the end of a menu item mean?
The dots mean that clicking on that item will cause a new window to appear, usually allowing you to make some sort of changes. Clicking on these menu items usually has no immediate effect, but clicking "OK" on the new window that appears will.