Microsoft Knowledge Base
The Microsoft Knowledge Base contains a wealth of information about all Microsoft products and technologies. Containing more than 250,000 articles, this prime resource is regularly updated, expanded, and refined to help to make sure that you have access to the very latest information.

UltraTech® Knowledgebase
Since 1998, an A-to-Z repository of authoritative computing information and FAQs focusing primarily on the setup, networking, security, and troubleshooting of Windows operating systems. Searchable.

Western Digital Knowledge Base

A superlative searchable how-to resource on the installation and setup of hard drives, including extensive FAQs. This is the best info to be had from any drive manufacturer.

TechSpot - Windows XP Services Tweak Guide

An illustrated guide to the management of Windows XP services.

BlackViper.com - Windows XP Service Configurations
Another lucid and trustworthy source of information on Windows XP services and recommendations for the settings thereof.

Info, help, resources, and community on residential and small business broadband (DSL, cable, etc.) connections. Speed tests, tweaking tips, reviews, consumer reports, forums. Also known as DSLReports.com.

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A free online dictionary of words, phrases and abbreviations related to computer and Internet technology. Provides easy-to-understand definitions in plain language, avoiding the use of heavy jargon whenever possible, improving accessibility to a wide range of users.

Cyber Tech Help™
Using a 10,000+ membership as a help desk collective, Cyber Tech Help™ offers free computer help and support for all Windows, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems, computer hardware, PC networking, computer software, web and graphic design, Internet/browsers/e-mail, computer viruses and Trojans, and game issues.

System Backup: Acronis True Image

OK, so you know you need to back up your computer. Various vendors have loads of software out there that hopefully makes easier the job of recovering from a hard drive failure or other system disaster. Well, forget all those programs. Forget about burning discs of important files and trying to figure out which files are the important ones. And forget about old-fashioned clones. The smart way to backup your system is by complete disk imaging.

Acronis True ImageThe one utility you need is Acronis True Image. It makes a complete, exact, sector-by-sector copy of your hard drive as a single-file disk image archive. Various options are available, such as complete, differential, or incremental imaging; various compression levels; automatic, scheduled backups; and image browsing. The next time a software install goes bad and trashes your system, just mount an image archive and pull back over the files that got corrupted. If necessary, boot to the rescue media and restore your entire hard drive from the image of your choice. Within minutes you’re back to where you were before the disaster, as if it never happened.

Windows System Restore at times can be useful, indeed, but it doesn’t restore everything. It can’t perform an absolutely complete undo. It isn’t intended that it do so. But TI can, as well as individual files. Do yourself a big favor, and get some full replacement cost insurance in the form of Acronis True Image, and a second internal hard drive to hold your images. The first time you need to restore your system and have Acronis right there at the ready, and it saves your hide, you’ll know this is the way to go in system backup and recovery and wonder how you ever got along without it.

Caveat: Some users report difficulties imaging to and/or restoring from external hard drives and networks. But in our experience, good, consistent, reliable, expected results will be had with internal hard drives. Nothing is foolproof, but this is the closest approximation we’ve found. We run full disk image backups monthly and differential image backups nightly. Acronis has saved us more times than we care to count.


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