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Welcome to the Reddit Techsupport Wiki
We are currently editing over 20 articles, and 33 files.

This wiki was created in order to organize some of the vast knowledge that is available on /r/techsupport.

Please help us grow by adding topics that may help users. This wiki will contain more of a general overview of the subjects listed, as Wikipedia has more detailed information for those that want it.


For immediate assistance, you can check out the chat

ContentsEdit

Anti-Virus Bootable and Recovery CD List (most are free)Edit

Anti-Virus Uninstallers List (removal tools)Edit

It is important that any previously installed antivirus software is uninstalled from your system before installing your new security product. Typical uninstallation* using the Windows removal tool (Add/Remove Programs) is often insufficient.


Back-up, Restore, and Data RecoveryEdit

FAQEdit

Find Your System SpecsEdit

Find your computer information. Steps for Windows, OS X, and Ubuntu.

Format and Partition DisksEdit

Many people use the terms, 'format' and 'partition' when talking about hard drives. Here, we will examine those terms and define their usage and differences.

Format - In simplest terms, to format a disk means to prepare the disks to write a new file system. In most cases, this also means to destroy any data that resides on the disk. Most of the time, however, the data isn't actually erased. Instead, the file system is told to mark the sectors containing data as empty, meaning that they can be overwritten. This means that if a disk is accidentally formatted, data can be recovered so long as it's not overwritten. Even if it is overwritten, it can be recovered in many instances, though it isn't cheap.

Partition - To partition a disk splits it up into multiple logical storage units, each able to contain a different file system. An operating system will generally see a partitioned disk as separate physical disks. Partitioning allows a user to have multiple operating systems on a single hard drive, thus facilitating a multi-boot capability.

Gadget IssuesEdit

General InformationEdit

VGA to DVI/HDMI Edit

VGA cannot be easily converted to DVI since VGA is an analog signal and DVI is a digital signal. You would require an active converter to do this. A quick Amazon search leads to a $130 converter. DVI-to-VGA adaptors are different than VGA-to-DVI adapters because  DVI-I outputs digital signal as well as an analog one. The adapter connects the four analog pins on the DVI-I side to their proper location on the VGA side. These can be bought for under $10.
HDMI-to-DVI adapters are readily available, as they both utilize the same digital signals. Thus, as in the case of DVI-to-VGA adapters, the adapters are simple electrical adapters. 

Hardware Removal and InstallationEdit

Routine MaintenanceEdit

The things you should do on a regular basis in order to keep your system in tip-top shape.
Clean junk files from your hard drive using CCleaner:  http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
Keep your hard drive defragmented using SmartDefrag 2: http://www.iobit.com/iobitsmartdefrag.html

NetworkingEdit

Overheating and CoolingEdit

  • Avoid smoking around your computer if possible. Cigarette residue will build on the fans and heatsink over time, reducing cooling performance. It's also annoying for the person troubleshooting.
  • Clean the inside of your computer every few months, dust buildup decreases cooling performance by clugging the heatsink and fans. Disregard for this will eventually cause the computer to overheat. For more information, consult this link.
  • When building your computer, try to adjust your cables so they aren't too close to fans. Use non-conductive (plastic) tie-wraps if necessary. A misplaced shake could push a cable in the fan, blocking it and causing overheating, as well as noise.
  • If a fan becomes noisy, check to see if something is not blocking the fan. If not, you may consider changing the fan, they are usually not really expensive.
  • There are many ways to keep track of the temperature inside your computer and its components. Some CMOS have a feature to monitor them and there are software around that can check the temperature of components, like GPU-Z and CPU-Z, CoreTemp and many others. Not all hardware have temperature sensors, but most modern parts do.

Operating SystemsEdit

Peripherals HelpEdit

Recommended Software and WebsitesEdit

Recomended Reading Edit

RediquetteEdit

Safety and SecurityEdit

  • Be cautious about downloading anything that may seem suspicious. (ie. files ending in .exe or with double endings .mp3.exe) It is best to get these files from trusted sites, such as vendor websites or manufacturer websites directly.
  • Only visit trusted sites and uses secure sites with HTTPS addresses for purchasing.
  • Unfamiliar sites should be viewed with caution.
    • Any malware inducing site may infect a machine with a virus at any click.
    • Avoid clicking on anything that links directly to an IP address
  • Scan foreign files with an Anti-virus before opening. Many antivirus suites will do this automatically upon detecting a download.
  • Do not alter or otherwise edit system files without advance instructions or knowledge. Never take a registry edit from an unknown source.
  • Avoid uneccessary toolbars. Toolbars add bloat to system resoucres, some tool bars can be exploited resulting with your computer hacked, majoirty of toolbars are actually spyware allowing your browsing histroy to be tracked and sometime resulting in pop-ups.
    • When installing software, take the time to read through the setup process and uncheck anything that you don't need to install, including toolbars, home page changes, search engine changes, etc.
  • Avoid downloading content that appears to be smaller in size than expected (ex: a 2 hour movie of 10MB). It might be malware in disguise, or just a big waste of time.

Troubleshooting 101 (incl BSOD resolution)Edit

BlueScreenView - Displays the information about all crashes in one table.
osronline.com/page.cfm?name=analyze - Upload your minidumps, it's a quick !analyze -v which often gives enough info to fix the problem.
WhoCrashed - Analyzes your minidumps and displays more easily understood information.

Tools of the TradeEdit

HittingSmoke's all-in-one bootable USB thumb drive

Virus and Malware Detection and Removal Edit

Virus/Spyware/Malware infections bury themselves deep into your operating system to prevent removal. You should be aware that because of this, there is always a chance that removing malware could cause your machine to become un-responsive, fail to boot into windows or even lose data. In light of this, the first step of any malware removal is to make sure you have a current backup of your important files. Once you have done this, you may use the procedure below to try to remove your malware infection. This procedure was intended to be a "safe" removal process that does not use any extreme measures, but yet is very effective against malware infections. This does NOT negate the fact that you should backup before continuing.

  1. Seriously, backup your important files. :)
  2. Boot into Safe Mode With Networking
    Boot-up
    • Restart your computer and tap the F8 key about once every 1/2 second until you see the Advanced Boot Menu as seen on the right.
    • Use your arrow keys to select "Safe Mode With Networking" and press enter
    • You will a series of .SYS file loading and then your computer will boot with a low resolution and Safe Mode in all corners, don't worry this is normal.
  3. Please download and then install/update/run the following programs in this order. If you are asked to reboot your computer, please reboot back into safe mode with networking until your removal procedure is completed. If you are given a log file save it somewhere you will know to find it later.
  4. Check your Proxy Settings
    • Go to your control panel and open Internet Options. If you do not see Internet Options, please change the "View By" option to Category in the upper right hand of the screen.
    • Go to Connections, then lan settings
    • Un-Check "Use a proxy server for your LAN"
  5. If you are still having a problem, post your log files from step 3 into PasteBin, and include links to them along with you submission to /r/techsupport

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