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Advanced Vista Tutorials

Windows Vista Tutorials
How do I start a program? The Start button, active program buttons, icons for quick access to programs, and the notification area are located on the taskbar. Brink Aug 27, Category: How to Setup Login Verification in Twitter. Brink May 26, Category: The System Restore tool is a powerful feature that can be used to keep your computer operating properly.

Welcome to our free Microsoft Windows Vista tutorial!

Windows Vista Tutorial

The other, and more secure, method is called whitelisting, which blocks every application from running by default, except for those you explicitly allow. If you are a system administrator, IT professional, or a power user it is common to find yourself using the command prompt to perform administrative tasks in Windows. Whether it be copying files, accessing the Registry, searching for files, or modifying disk partitions, command-line tools can be faster and more powerful than their graphical alternatives.

This tutorial will walk you through creating a command-line toolkit that contains useful programs and utilities that can make administering and using your computer easier and more efficient. The tutorial will also walk you through configuring your PATH environment variable so that these tools are available whenever you need them without having to specify the complete path to your toolkit folder. At the end of the tutorial we have listed a variety of command-line programs that are included with Windows or are by 3rd party developers that you can use as part of your command-line toolkit.

A basic task that all Windows users should know how to do is to change their password. If your computer becomes compromised or you are concerned that someone may know your password, you should immediately change it in Windows. Whenever you create a new account in Windows, you should create a password reset disk that allows you to reset your Windows account password if you forget it.

If you have a lot of users and do not wish to create a reset disk for each one, then you should at least create one for the administrator account on that computer. You can then use that administrator account to change any other user's password. In order to create a password reset disk you need either a floppy disk or a USB drive. As most computers are no longer sold with floppy drives, you may want to pick up a cheap flash drive to use for this purpose.

As the password reset disk file only uses 2KB of space, you can use any size flash drive or an existing one if you wish. Last, but not least, a password reset disk only works on local accounts and will not help you reset passwords for accounts on a Windows domain. If you have forgotten your Windows password and have previously created a Windows Password Reset Disk, you can use this disk to change your password to a new one. This will allow you to login to Windows again using the new password.

When Windows is installed on your computer it can be installed as a bit version or a bit version. For most people, whether they use a bit or a bit version of Windows does not make a difference. It is, though, important to know whether you are running a bit or bit version of Windows when performing certain tasks on your computer. For example, if you install new hardware or update existing hardware drivers, then you need to know what version of Windows you are using so you can download the appropriate driver.

This tutorial will explain how you can determine if you are running a bit or a bit version of Windows. This will bring you to a screen, as shown in Figure 2, that contains a listing of all the available restore points that you can restore to. List of available restore points. You should select the restore point that you would like to restore and press the Next button to start the restore process.

Vista will display a Window showing your selected restore point and asking you to confirm that this is the one you would like to restore. Confirm the selected restore point. If you would like to select a different restore point press the Back button. Otherwise you can press the Cancel button to exit System Restore or the Finish button to begin the restore process. If you selected Finish, Vista will display a second prompt asking you to confirm that you would like to continue the restore.

If you are sure you want to do the restore, then press the Yes button. Vista will now log you off of the computer and start the System Restore process as shown in Figure 5 below. Restoring a restore point. When the restore has been completed, you computer will be restarted and when Vista boots back up it will be restored to its previous state.

When you log in to Vista for the first time after the restore, you will see a message showing that the restore was successful. System restore was successful. If there are any problems with your computer due to the last restore, you can revert back to your previous settings by going back into the System Restore Utility and selecting the Undo System Restore option and pressing the Next button.

Undo the last System Restore. Manually Creating Restore Points. As said previously, it is also possible to create manual restore points as needed. Popular reasons to create manual restore points are when you have your computer set up perfectly and would like to save the state in the case of problems in the future. To create a manual restore point you need to follow these steps:. You will now be at the System Protection tab in the System control panel.

This tab allows you to enable and disable System Restore as well as make new manual restore points. To create the manual restore point you should click on the Create button. When you press this button a prompt will appear asking you to provide a title for this manual restore point. Enter title for manual restore point. Type in a title for the manual restore point and press the Create button. Vista will now create a manual restore point, and when completed, display a notice saying that it was created successfully.

Manual restore point was created. Now that you have completed making the manual restore point you can close the System window. It is advised that you do not turn off System Restore unless you have specific need to do so. By disabling system restore you will delete all stored restore points and shadow copies of documents on your computer. By default System Restore is enabled on Windows Vista computers so you will only need to enable it if you have previously disabled it.

To enable System Restore do the following:. There are two safe ways to delete restore points stored on your computer. These ways are described below:. Turn off System Restore - When you turn off System Restore, all previously created restore points will be deleted.

System Restore runs out of storage space - If System Restore runs out of allocated space it will delete the older restore point in order to create free space in which to create the new restore point. System Restore and Shadow Copy.

Shadow Copy is a feature integrated into System Restore that makes copies of your documents when a restore point is created. You can then use these shadow copies to restore these files at a later date if they have been accidentally deleted or altered in some way.

To use Shadow Copy to restore a particular file to a previous state you would right-click on the file and select the Restore previous versions option as shown in Figure 8 below. This will bring up a new screen showing the previous versions of the file that are available to restore as shown in Figure 9 below.

List of previous versions. The interesting this about this feature is it does not work only on files. You can also use this feature to restore folders, and all of its contents, that were deleted. To restore a previous version of a folder you would do the following. When restoring folders, if you only wish to restore a particular file in the folder Shadow Copy, you should select the Open option to open the Shadow Copy folder and then copy the particular Shadow Copy files out of it that you need.

As you can see Shadow Copy is a powerful way to keep your data safe and to have backups available in the case of accidental deletions or irreversible changes.

The System Restore tool is a powerful feature that can be used to keep your computer operating properly. Now when you run into a problem that cannot be resolved normally, you can use System Restore to restore your computer to a previous known working state.

Even more powerful is the ability to use system restore from the Windows Recovery Environment when you can't properly boot up into Windows.

This allows you a second chance to get your computer operating as it should without having to do a time consuming and possibly expensive reinstall. More information about Vista System Restore can be found here: As always if you have any comments, questions or suggestions about this tutorial please do not hesitate to tell us in the Windows Vista Help Forums.

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