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Windows 7 hints and tips

Add the Quick Launch toolbar

There are many differences between Vista and Windows 7 and one of them is the new taskbar. It works in a different way and it doesn't have a Quick Launch toolbar like in previous versions of Windows.

The Quick Launch toolbar hasn't been completely removed though and it is still there. It is hidden though, so if you want to use it you will have to manually add it to the taskbar yourself.

Right click an empty part of the taskbar and select Toolbars, New Toolbar. Navigate to C:\Users \YourName \AppData \Roaming \Microsoft \Internet Explorer and select Quick Launch.

It is added to the right-hand side of the taskbar. Click the double headed arrow to display the pop-up Quick Launch menu.

Check the PC's memory

The computer's memory is one of the most reliable components, but it can and does occasionally develop faults. The likelihood of a fault is the greatest when you upgrade the memory and add more or replace it completely. Then incompatibility, poorly seated memory modules and chips zapped with static can all cause strange faults in Windows or the software you use.

Sometimes it is obvious that something is wrong with the memory and the PC simply won't boot up, but it is also possible to have a situation where the the memory works and Windows starts up, but it is unreliable and then intermittent faults crop up when you are running software.

If Windows is unreliable and you are getting strange errors you should thoroughly check the computer's memory. This doesn't mean that you have to take apart the case and inspect the chips on the memory modules on the motherboard and you just need to run a memory testing and diagnostic tool. One is provided in Windows 7 (at least in the Ultimate edition that's available as a beta).

Click Start and select Maintenance on the menu, then Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool to start the utility. It can't check the PC's memory when Windows is running because the operating system needs a large chunk of it in order to work, so you are asked if you want to run it the next time you start up Windows. Select the option to do this and then restart Windows.

Before Windows begins to load a Dos-like program runs and thoroughly checks the computer's memory chips. When the two-stage test has been completed Windows will start normally. When the desktop appears a pop-up balloon message just above the Action Center icon reports the result of the memory test.

Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool

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