There seem to be a lot of problems with people's computers lately, so I figured I'd give some basic advice for simple problems, plus I'm really bored at work. This will be in format #problem-how to fix: 1. Viruses - unless your AV software is really good, reformatting is the only way to truely rid yourself of a virus. They can copy themselves to crucial files such as WIN32 or your registry. 2. popups- reformat...sensing a trend? The truth is, once you get a pop-up from spyware, your system probably has been infected with more than simple spyware. Imesh, kazaa, kazaa lite, all these programs have hidden surprises in one form or another. 3. adware - Reformat. programs such as GAIN, gator, and all its likenesses are terrible viruses masked as harmless ad support. If you install GAIN on your computer, it's not coming off...period. Go ahead, run adaware, that will just nuke your registry and delete some very important files. want proof? look at the amount of system processes running before you install GAIN. Then, install GAIN, and see that about 5 new processes are running. Bad stuff. AV software, adaware, spybot, popup blockers, nothing will fix your computer. Some programs may mask the effects, such as a firewall with popup stoppers, but you have to realize that the entire time your firewall blocking the programs, they are still trying to connect, hogging up serious amounts of processing power. They try to connect, are denied, and try again. It's software, it doesn't tire out and give up. 4. Computers randomly freezing, resetting - cool down CPU. CPU's freeze because they get so hot that they skip a task and hang. Obviously, it might be another problem, but this is the easiest to fix, and is almost always overlooked. 5. Stupid programs that start up with windows - click start, programs, startup...remove the icons you don't want to start up with windows. On older comptures with windows 98, open up the run box, type msconfig, go to startup. 6. dumb programs by the clock that you don't want there - probably can be solved the same way as #5, but if not, usually you can right click them, and go into preferences or options and uncheck a box that says launch on startup or something similar. 7. Open multiple links in new windows on internet explorer - hold shift, click a link, presto. 8. video game looks bad, won't work, runs slow - make sure you have updated video drivers, updated directx drivers, enough memory. There's more to this but that will solve a lot of problems. 9. Windows starts up really slow all of a sudden- some programs that start up with windows are slowing down the process. 10. change your homepage - just because you have a dell computer doesn't mean you have to make dell.com your homepage. Open internet explorer, click tools, click internet options, type the new address in the homepage line, click ok. 11. search function in internet sucks - make your homepage a search page such as google. 12. I changed a setting in bios, now it doesn't work - reset your bios, find the jumper by the onboard battery, remove it and place it on the middle peg and the peg is wasn't on before for about a minute, then put it back how it originally was. 13. I want a cd drive that I don't have - buy one, open your case, put it in a free space, screw it in, plug in power, plug in an ide cable (the cable on your other drive should have another connection that isn't being used) and it's good to go. Yes it really is that easy. Or, if you have 2 drives already, remove the one that you want less. So that's about it, computers really aren't all that crazy if you study them a bit. If you have some quick fixes to simple stuff that I missed feel free to point it out.