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Upgrading and Repairing Microsoft Windows (Upgrading & Repairing)by Brian Knittel
Welcome to Upgrading and Repairing Microsoft Windows, Second Edition. This is the book for people who want to know more about how to use and support Microsoft Windows than most other books dare to detail. While covering all versions in many respects, this book devotes most coverage to Windows Vista and XP. Whether you want to install, manage, or troubleshoot the Windows operating system, this book goes far deeper than just the basics. Whether you support a large network of Windows machines, a few Windows PCs in a small office/home office environment, or just a single at-home system, this book can quickly turn you into an advanced Windows power user.
Is This Book for You?
Upgrading and Repairing Microsoft Windows, Second Edition is designed for people who want a thorough understanding of Windows and how it works without wasting time and pages on endless handholding through basic, everyday tasks. Each section fully explains management and troubleshooting issues related to Windows, including user management, networking, and security issues. Over the course of this book you'll develop a feel for what goes on behind the stylish graphical user interface so you can rely on your own judgment and observations and not some table of canned troubleshooting steps.
Upgrading and Repairing Microsoft Windows, Second Edition is written for people who will install, configure, maintain, and repair systems they use personally or in a corporate environment. To accomplish these tasks, you need a level of knowledge much higher than that of an average system user. You must know exactly which tool to use for a task and how to use the tool correctly. This book can help you achieve this level of knowledge.
Chapter 1, "Windows Version History," examines the very beginnings of PC operating systems from DOS all the way through Windows XP and Vista, including the latest Service Packs. Microsoft operating systems have had quite a wild ride over the years and it's amazing to see how the operating system we all use almost every day has become what it is.
Chapter 2, "Windows Boot (Startup)," details the Windows startup process, including what takes place between power-up and the appearance of the Welcome screen. In addition, it includes detailed information about Windows services, which are processes that run in the background to provide support for Windows networking, searching, authentication, and management.
Chapter 3, "Installing Windows," explains procedures and issues regarding the preparation and installation of Windows. It includes detailed steps for baseline installations for single desktops as well as in a more complex networked environment.
Chapter 4, "Upgrading Windows," discusses how to upgrade Windows to a new version. You look at paths for upgrading existing systems to either Windows XP or Vista. Also shown are methods for migrating user settings and documents to new Windows computers.
Chapter 5, "Tweaking and Tuning Windows," shows you how to configure Windows for peak performance and usability, using the Windows configuration dialogs and special-purpose tools such as TweakUI and the Registry Editor. In addition, we'll give you a checklist you can use to identify and fix the most common Windows performance bottlenecks.
Chapter 6, "Networking Windows," tells you how to configure Windows to run a reliable and secure network at home or at the office. Whether you have two computers or two hundred, a network can immediately pay for itself—many times over—by letting you share printers, giving you access to files from any computer, and letting you share a single Internet connection among several computers.
Chapter 7, "Protecting and Securing Windows," covers the steps you can take to ensure your Windows PC is well protected from outside intrusion. Have you lost your administrator account password? Would you like some help protecting your computer from spyware and viruses? We'll help you learn how to recover lost passwords, use firewalls to block intruders, and protect your computer from viruses, spyware, and trojans. Learn how to take an active approach to security and harden your existing security to stop attacks before they start.
In Chapter 8, "Managing Windows," we cover the most important Windows management functions: adding and managing user accounts, hardware, device drivers, and hard disks. In addition, Chapter 8 gets down and dirty with Windows Backup, showing you how make essential backups of your precious data and how to restore those backups should the data on your hard drive be lost or corrupted.
In Chapter 9, "Windows Commands and Scripting," we cover Windows scripting essentials and the oft-forgotten-but-highly-useful world of the command prompt. The command prompt environment not only runs old MS-DOS programs, but also gives you access to a large number of efficient, concise, and powerful Windows management and operating tools. The chapter covers the general principles of command-line programs, configuration settings, and several important commands, as well as scripting and batch file procedures that you can use to automate complex jobs.
Chapter 10, "Windows File Systems," covers file systems. If you're currently running FAT32 drives and deciding whether to switch to NTFS, or if you just want to know everything there is to know about the file system, this is the place to look.
Chapter 11, "Windows Data Recovery," covers data recovery procedures. If you can't access your drive because of a corrupted master boot record (MBR) or volume boot record (VBR), you'll find information you can use to recover these sectors and regain access to your valuable data.
Chapter 12, "Windows Troubleshooting," looks at some of the more common problems encountered with Windows. Troubleshooting software is one part skill, one part craft, and one part knowing where to look for information. In this chapter, you'll look at how to identify Windows problems, and what tools and methods you should use to solve them. This chapter includes an extensive look at how to deal with a system that cannot stably boot, and how to use both the System Restore feature and the arcane but powerful XP Recovery Console and Vista Recovery Environment when you can't even log in to your user account.
This edition of Upgrading and Repairing Windows also includes online content that can be found at http://www.informit.com/title/9780789736956.
Appendix A, "Windows Tool Reference," describes several useful categories of Windows management, maintenance, configuration, monitoring, and data processing tools that you may not be familiar with. Most of them are not installed by Windows Setup but instead are hidden away in obscure folders on your Windows Setup CD-ROM. Several more are available from Microsoft via free download over the Internet, and some others must be purchased. In any case, we think you should know about all of them.
Appendix B, "Windows Command Reference," lists all the executable programs provided with Windows 9x/Me, NT/2000, and the various versions of XP and Vista, including application programs, services, system components, built-in commands, Control Panel applets, MMC Management snap-ins, and screen savers. You can browse this listing to find useful programs you might not be familiar with, or to help identify the many obscure programs that are run automatically by Windows.
Appendix C, "Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance," shows you how to set up the Windows Remote Desktop feature so that you can access your computer from anywhere in the world. It also includes information on third-party remote connection tools that offer alternatives to using Remote Desktop.
Getting the Most from This Book
Upgrading and Repairing Microsoft Windows, Second Edition is not a book that you read through once and never touch again. In fact, this is not a book that needs to be read straight through at all, although any Windows user will learn a great deal from doing just that.
This book is, in fact, a detailed and valuable reference that should be kept next to your PC (and your copy of the latest edition of Upgrading and Repairing PCs) at all times. The information shoehorned into every line of every page of this tome will help you put Windows to work the way it was meant to and keep it running for the long term.
Scott's Website— http://www.upgradingandrepairingpcs.com
Don't miss my book website at http://www.upgradingandrepairingpcs.com! Here, you'll find a cache of helpful material to go along with the book you're holding. I've loaded this site with tons of material, from video clips to monthly book updates. I use this spot to keep you updated throughout the year on major changes in both the PC hardware industry and the evolution of Windows. Each month, I write new articles covering new technologies released after this book was printed. These articles are archived so you can refer to them anytime.
You'll also find exclusive video clips available nowhere else!
I also use this site to tell you about some of the other fantastic Upgrading and Repairing PCs products, including
If you have technical questions, use my forum at http://forum.scottmueller.com. You can read the forum to see existing questions and answers, or sign up to post a question yourself.
Laptops have become the largest growing segment of PCs, and my new book Upgrading and Repairing Laptops, 3rd Edition covers these systems in great detail and is due out in spring 2008. Be sure to check the upgradingandrepairingpcs.com website for more information on all my latest books, videos, articles, and more!
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