Beginners Corner Tips and Tricks

by Carl A. Von Papp

The Beginners Corner

    This section concerns itself with computer users who are beginners. The articles listed here should help beginners with understanding some basic concepts:

    This portion of my site covers some basic concepts

The articles listed here should help beginners.

How your Hard Drive, CD/DVD, & Thumb/Flash Drives are accessed

  • Drives are assigned letters of the alphabet.
  • Since there are 26 letters in the alphabet, you can have a maximum of 26 drives assigned to your computer.
  • A COLON (:) is placed after each drive letter to denote that this letter represents a drive.
  • The letter A: represents the 3-˝ inch floppy drive & is not used in today’s computers.
  • The letter B: represents the 5.2-inch floppy drive in older computers and is not used in today’s computers.
  • The letter C: represents the Hard Drive
  • The letter D: represents the CD/DVD drive.
  • If you install an external hard drive or a Thumb/Flash drive, Windows assigns the next available letters. So now the letter E: could be assigned to the external hard drive and the letter F: could be assigned to the Thumb/Flash drive.

Note: The COLON is very important. Without the colon Windows assumes that the letter C is just a letter of the alphabet, but if a colon is placed after the letter, Windows assumes that the letter C: represents a drive.

Using the Mouse in Windows:

When working in the Windows environment, you have a choice to use a mouse or the keyboard. Keyboard moves are useful whenever your hands are already on the keyboard, but mouse skills allow you to select graphics elements and to move quickly to the various parts of the window. To effectively use the mouse, you’ll have to master these five basic moves:

  1. Point As you roll the mouse over your mouse pad, you’ll notice that the mouse “pointer” (or “cursor”) takes on different shapes. These shapes indicate the type of tool (or activity) the mouse can activate when clicked. “Pointing”, therefore, is simply the activity of moving your mouse on the mouse pad and viewing the moving pointer on the computer screen (“monitor”).
  2. Click Clicking is the action where you quickly depress the left mouse button (right button if functions are reversed for left-handed users). You click the button to “select” whatever you are pointing to with your mouse pointer. Nothing happens with the mouse unless you “click” on something--the computer doesn’t really care where you are pointing.
  3. Double-click Double-clicking is the action where you quickly depress the left mouse button twice without lifting your finger off of the button. To either click or double-click, you must hold the mouse securely with the thumb and at least one other finger. You use the double-click to either run a program or execute a command. If your double-clicking isn’t working, increase the speed of the clicks or change the double-click in the mouse control dialog box in the Control Panel.
  4. Drag (and Drop) To “drag”, hold the left mouse button down and move the mouse on the mouse pad; to “drop”, lift your finger off of the mouse button. Dragging is used to move or re-size items or to highlight text. To “drag” an item, point to it to where the mouse pointer takes an arrow shape. Hold down the mouse button and move the item to the desired location, then “drop” it. To “re-size” an item, point to the border of the item until the pointer changes to a double-ended arrow, then move the mouse until the item is the desired size and “drop” it. To “highlight” text, point the mouse pointer as an “editing tool” (or “I-beam”) to the left of where you want to start the selection, hold the mouse button down and “drag” it across the desired text, then “drop” it at the end of the selection
  5. .
  6. Right click Point to the “item” or “object” you want to learn more about or to use and quickly click on the right (or secondary) mouse button. This will bring up a shortcut menu related to that item or object. Also included in most shortcut menus is the Properties item that, when selected, will bring up special properties features of the item selected. In addition, the right click feature can be used in drag-and-drop functions to bring up the shortcut menu to Move, Copy or Create Shortcut Here when moving icons.

Using the Windows 8 Explorer to select files
  • Open the Windows Explorer
  • Select View on the Ribbon
  • Select Details in the Layout group
  • And then Item Check Boxes in the Show/Hide group
  • Now when you want to select multiple items in a list just place your mouse pointer in front of the text listing. A check box appears. Now all you have to do is put a check in the box. If you want to select all items in a list just put a check into the box in front of the Name field at the top of the list.


Microsoft Security Essentials to Control the Firewall, Anti-Virus, & Anti Malware

A free program from Microsoft called Microsoft Security Essentials is all you need to protect you from Identity theft and your computer from harm. This program runs in the background to protect your computer and updates itself to keep up to date with the latest definitions. You will have to setup up a time that you want the program to scan your computer for problems. You may download this program at

To use the above programs you will have to remove any Internet security files installed on your computer as you can’t have more than one of these program installed.

How to delete any security Internet files or any Applications from your Hard Drive

  • Click onto the Start Button
  • Select Control Panel
  • Under Programs select Uninstall a Program
  • Click onto the application you want to delete and select Uninstall

How to Delete your Cookies and Other Things

  • Click onto the Internet Explorer at the lower left of the Taskbar
  • At the top of the screen and in a blank area to the right of the Address Bar Right Click to bring up the Shortcut Menu
  • Select the Command Bar
  • In the Command Bar select the Tools command
  • Select Internet Options located at the bottom of the menu
  • Under Browser History select the Delete command
  • For a more secure Internet experience select all check boxes
  • But if you are only concerned about cookies then only check the Cookies check box
  • At the bottom of the dialog box, select the Delete command

Note: Delete your Cookies after each time that you quit the Internet

Using the InPrivate Command in the Internet Explorer

  • Bring up the Internet Explorer at the left of the Taskbar
  • Previously (to delete your cookies) you have created the Command Bar
  • On the Command Bar Select the “Safety command”
  • Select “InPrivate Browsing”
  • You can switch back to normal browsing by simply closing the Internet Explorer
  • You can also launch the Internet Explorer in the InPrivate mode by selecting the InPrivate command from the Internet Explorer sub menu

The Best Method to Run the Windows 7-8 Disk Cleanup, Error Checking, & Defragment Applications

These three utilities are very important and will improve the operation of your computer. These utilities will run on Windows XP, 7 and 8.

Run these utilities in the order listed once a week.

To Run the Disk Cleanup Application

  • Click the Start button
  • Click My Computer
  • Right click the Local Fixed Hard Drive (C:\)
  • Click the Properties command
  • Select the Disk Cleanup command at the lower right
  • Place a Check Mark in all Check Boxes except the Recycle Bin
  • Click the OK Command

To Run the Error Checking Application

  • Select the Tools Tab Located at the top of the Dialog Box
  • Select the Check Now command
  • To Schedule Error Checking to run the next time you boot up your computer make sure a Check Mark is placed in the Automatically Fix File System Errors Check Box
  • Once a month run the Scan For and Attempt Recovery of Bad Sectors
  • Click Start

To Run the Defragment Application

  • Select the Defragment Now command
  • Select the C:\ drive
  • Select the Defragment disk command
  • When finished select the Close command

To run the Defragment application on a schedule

  • Click the Turn on schedule command
  • Put a check mark in the Run on a schedule command
  • Select the Frequency, Day, and Time that you want to run the defragmenter
  • Select what disks that you want to defragment
  • Click OK

Links to more basic articles

It's OK to be Paranoid when it comes to the Internet!

What to do if your system is stuck!

How to select multiple files or folders!

The Microsoft Usability Studies Test!

Take the Windows Explorer test!

How to Navigate the Desktop!

What are those File Extensions?!

Is there any privacy on the Internet? --NO!!

Windows 7 Shortcut Keys!

PC Noises that could mean trouble!

Secure your Computer!

How to Maintain your Computers Performance!

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