How to tell if you are running 32 or 64 bit Windows

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I get this all the time. Here is what you most likely need to know. If you are running Windows XP, it is almost certain that you don’t have 64bit windows installed. With Windows Vista or 7, you can check with a few simple clicks.

Right click on the Computer icon. It should be on your desktop or in the Start Menu. Then left click on Properties. It will open the System window, which will have, as the screenshot above shows, information about your computer, including how much RAM you have and whether you are running 32 or 64-bit Windows.

It is important to note that you may have 32-bit Windows installed on a computer that can handle a 64-bit operating system, but to determine that you may need to run a special program like CPUZ or WCPUID. But almost anything manufactured in the last 5 years ought to do 64-bit computing, with the biggest exception being Intel’s Atom Processor, found mostly in Netbooks.

How to fully exit and close apps in Windows 8 (VIDEO)


I’ve had lots of time to tinker with the various pre-release and preview versions of Windows 8. I find it to be quite snappy and good at managing system resources. But, I’m still concious of the fact that no operating system can do a truly unlimited amount of tasks. Microsoft (much like Google did with Android) insists that modern memory management doesn’t need to be babysat the way older operating systems did, but I’m a creature of habit! Occasionally you want to close completely out of one of the “Metro” Apps. So here is the quick and easy “how-to close an app” in Windows 8.

Let’s say I have Hydro Thunder open. If I press the Windows Key on my keyboard, it will “exit” the application – but all it really does is forces it to the background. If I re-open the app, it will resume right where I had left off, meaning that it’s constantly taking up at least some system resources. If you really want to completely exit the application, all the way out, your best option is to drag it down.

  1. Put the mouse pointer (or your finger) at the very top edge of the screen. You’ll see the mouse pointer become a “hand” rather than the normal arrow.
  2. Left click and hold, while you drag down toward the bottom of the screen.
  3. At this point, you can choose to snap-aligh it to the left or right side of the screen if you wish, or:
  4. Continue to drag off of the bottom of the screen, and release the left click.

Here is a how-to video:

How to use NTPassword to reset your lost or forgotten Windows password

NTPassword is a free tool, available for download, which will help you reset a forgotten password for a computer. For example, if you have lost your Administrator password on your computer at home, etc… if this is your “work” computer, or if you computer is joined to a network “domain,” then I would advise letting your IT people handle this. Otherwise, for most home users, this could be helpful.

Although NTPassword doesn’t work in every case (for example, some SCSI and even SATA configurations can confuse it and prevent it from booting), I cannot deny that it has made me look like a super hero on more than one occasion. It is an extremely useful tool, and although I have mentioned it before, I haven’t explained how it works. So why don’t I show you? Continue reading “How to use NTPassword to reset your lost or forgotten Windows password”

How to check your hard drive for errors in Windows 7

Sometimes you might get a little worried that the data on your hard drive are getting corrupted. Occasionally, you might be compelled to run a “chkdsk” or “Check Disk” process (or, in Windows 9x terms, a scan disk!). The process is fairly simple. Here is how you do it in Windows 7, and the steps are nearly identical for Windows XP.

  1. Open up Computer (or My Computer) either from the Desktop or the Start Menu.
  2. Right Click on the drive you want to scan.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Click the Tools tab.
  5. Click the Check now… button.
  6. Check both boxes (if you want to scan the drive itself for defects, rather than just search for corrupt files).
  7. Click Start.
  8. Click Schedule Disk Check.
  9. Click OK, then Reboot!

During the startup process, the screen will have a 10 second count down that you can interrupt if you need to – but after the count down completes the scan process will start. It takes, on average, about an hour. The screen should say that it is on Phase 1 of 5 if you are doing the full surface scan.