[Help & Support] Common and Frequently Asked Problems (FAQ) with Solutions

If you have a question, please ask it in your comment!

Before posting about your problem, we advise you to go through following FAQ list:

This topic contains solutions for some common and frequently asked computer problems. You just need to follow the instructions and it'll help you in troubleshooting your problem.

All Windows problems covered in this topic:

1. Task Manager, Registry Editor or Tools -> Folder Options have been disabled by Administrator.
2. Search window opens when you double-click on drives or folders.
3. "Cannot find copy.exe" error message appears when you double-click on drives.
4. Folders open in a new window.
5. A sub-folder with the same name is created automatically under parent folder.
6. My Documents or My Computer window opens automatically at Windows startup.
7. "NTLDR missing" error message at system startup.
8. "Hal.dll is corrupt or missing" error message at system startup.
9. "Windows\System32\config\system file missing or corrupt" error message at system startup.
10. Not able to boot into Windows 2000, XP or Server 2003 after installing Windows 98.
11. Fix Windows XP boot loader related problems such as adding or removing OS entries.
12. ScanDisk automatically starts at Windows startup.
13. "CMOS checksum error. Defaults loaded" error message at system startup.
14. Cannot see message content in chat window of Yahoo! Messenger.
15. "Stand By" option is greyed out (disabled) in shutdown dialog box.
16. Windows login screen has changed to classic logon box.
17. A strange and suspicious process "ctfmon.exe" is running in background.
18. How to recover lost Mozilla Firefox web browser bookmarks?
19. How to fix corrupted icons and restore default icons in Windows?
20. How to make Desktop icons text background transparent?
21. How to get missing common tasks (left-side details pane) back in Windows XP Explorer?
22. "Copy To" or "Move To" dialog box opens when you right-click on Start button and select open option.
23. Cannot apply "Show hidden files and folders" option in "Tools -> Folder Options".
24. Accidentally deleted "mspaint.exe", "notepad.exe" or any other system file, how to get it back?
25. Thumbnails view is not working in Windows Explorer.
26. Search companion window opens blank in Windows XP Search.
27. "Windows Update cannot search for updates. Error code 0x80248015" error message in Windows Update.
28. How to reset, recover or change Administrator password in Windows?
29. How to reset, remove or bypass BIOS or CMOS password?
30. EXE files always open with Notepad or any other application.
31. How to fix annoying folder view type problem in Windows Vista and later OS?
32. How to fix bold, italic or blurry font problem in Windows?
33. Optical drives (CD/DVD) are not showing in Windows Explorer.
34. Suddenly the hibernate option disappeared in Windows Vista.
35. Task Manager is not showing titlebar and window borders.

Following are solutions to troubleshoot and fix all above mentioned PC problems:

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Q. 1. In my Windows Task Manager, Registry Editor or Tools -> Folder Options have been disabled. I'm getting warning message that "It has been disabled by Administrator". How can I enable it again?

Sol: Please visit following articles:

How to Fix "Task Manager has been Disabled by Your Administrator"?

How to Enable Tools -> Folder Options and Registry Editor in Windows

If any other Windows component like RUN, Desktop Properties, System Properties, etc has been disabled, then you can check following link:

Ultimate List of All Kinds of User Restrictions for Windows

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Q. 2. Whenever I double-click on any drive or folder in My Computer, a Search window opens.

Sol: Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to following keys one by one:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell

In right-side pane, delete the "Default" key. If it doesn't work then delete the key "find" under both above mentioned keys.

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Q. 3. Whenever I double-click on any drive in My Computer, "Open with" dialog box opens OR I get following error message:

Cannot find copy.exe. Make sure you have typed the name correctly and then try again.

Sol: Enable "Show hidden files" option in "Tools -> Folder Options" and then search for "Autorun.inf" file in all drives and if you get them in root of any drive (e.g. in C:\, D:\, etc), delete them.

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Q. 4. Whenever I double-click on any folder in My Computer, it opens in a new window even I have selected the option "Always open folders in same window" in "Tools -> Folder Options".

Sol: Download following zip file, extract it and then run .REG file:

Download Link

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Q. 5. Whenever I open a folder, another folder with the same name is created under it.

Sol: Your system is infected by a variant of Indonesian virus called Brontok/Rontokbro. It creates a sub-folder in a folder with same name. Please follow the instructions given in following topic:

[Virus Removal] Is Your Computer Infected with Virus, Spyware, Adware or Trojan?

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Q. 6. Whenever I start my computer, My Documents or My Computer window opens automatically at Windows startup.

Sol: Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

In right-side pane, change value of "Userinit" to:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe,

NOTE: If you have installed Windows in any other drive, then replace C:\ with correct drive label in above text string.

Now go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\Advanced

In right-side pane, change value of "PersistBrowsers" to 0

Now log off Windows and it should solve the problem.

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Q. 7. When I start my computer, I get error message:

NTLDR is missing

OR

Boot: Couldn't find NTLDR

Sol: Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into Windows installation and enter Administrator password. Now run following commands at Command Prompt:

copy X:\i386\ntldr C:\
copy X:\i386\ntdetect.com C:\

Here "X" is your CD drive letter, change it according to your system.

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Q. 8. When I start my computer, I get error message:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll.

Please re-install a copy of the above file.

Sol: Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into Windows installation and enter Administrator password. Now run following commands at Command Prompt:

Attrib -H -R -S C:\Boot.ini
Del C:\Boot.ini
BootCfg /Rebuild
Fixboot

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Q. 9. When I start my computer, I get error message:

"Windows\System32\config\system" file missing or corrupt.

Sol: Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into Windows installation and enter Administrator password. Now run following commands at Command Prompt:

copy C:\Windows\Repair\system C:\Windows\System32\Config

If it doesn't work, then again boot into "Recovery Console" and run following commands:

fixmbr
bootcfg /scan
bootcfg /rebuild
fixboot

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Q. 10. I have Windows 2000, XP or Server 2003 installed in my system and yesterday I installed Windows 98 over it, after that I'm not able to boot into Windows 2000, XP or Server 2003. I'm not getting option to select the OS at startup.

Sol: Windows 98 has overwritten the boot loader. Boot using Windows Setup CD and enter into "Recovery Console" by pressing "R". Now Log into Windows installation and enter Administrator password. Now give following commands at Command Prompt:

fixmbr
bootcfg /scan
bootcfg /rebuild
fixboot

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Q. 11. When I start my system, I'm getting 2 entries for Windows XP in the boot loader. How can I remove the duplicate entry?

OR

How can I change the default OS in Windows boot loader?

OR

How can I change the OS entry labels in Windows boot loader?

OR

How can I change the boot loader time? Its set to 30 seconds and I want to change it.

Sol: There are several way. You can follow any of following:

A. Type "sysdm.cpl" in RUN dialog box and press <Enter>. Now go to "Advanced" tab and click on "Settings" button in "Startup & Recovery" section. Now click on "Edit" button and then you can edit the boot loader time, labels, etc.

B. Type "msconfig" in RUN dialog box and go to "Boot.ini" tab and then you can change the desired thing. If you want to remove the corrupt/non-working entries, then click on "Check all boot paths" button.

C. Enable "Show hidden files/folders" and disable "Hide protected system files" options in "Tools -> Folder Options". Now open C:\ drive and remove the READ-ONLY attribute of "BOOT.INI" file from its Properties. Now open this file and then you can make your desired changes.

For detailed information, you can visit following tutorial:

How to Add "Safe Mode" Option to Windows Boot Loader?

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Q. 12. Whenever I start my computer, ScanDisk starts automatically even I proper shut down the PC.

Sol: Please do as following:

A. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager

In right-side pane, change the value of BootExecute to:

autocheck autochk *

B. If the above trick doesn't help then give following commands in Command Prompt:

chkntfs /x drive_letter

for example, if ScanDisk runs automatically for C: and D: drives, then give following commands one by one:

chkntfs /x C:
chkntfs /x D:

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Q. 13. When I start my computer, I get following error message:

CMOS checksum error, defaults loaded.

Sol: Open your computer cabinet and look for a small coin-sized battery attached in motherboard. Replace it with a new one.

For detailed information, check out point 1 in following tutorial:

How to Reset / Remove / Bypass Forgotten BIOS or CMOS Password?

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Q. 14. In Yahoo! Messenger, whenever I send a message or I receive a message, I can't see the content in chat window. The chat window is blank.

Sol: Please download Windows Script using following links:

If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, it already comes with Windows Script pre-installed. You just need to provide following command in RUN or Command Prompt:

regsvr32 vbscript.dll

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Q. 15. I reinstalled my Windows and now "Stand By" option is greyed out (disabled) in shutdown dialog box and I can't use it.

Sol: Install VGA driver or your graphics card driver using your motherboard CD and the option will be enabled. If you don't have the motherboard CD, you can go to the manufacturer website and download the required drivers.

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Q. 16. My Windows Login Screen has changed to "Classic Logon Box". I want the new Welcome Screen back.

Sol: Please visit following article:

Enable / Disable Welcome Screen, Log Off and Shut Down Dialog Box in Windows XP

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Q. 17. A strange process "ctfmon.exe" always runs in background and if I click on "End Process" button, it restarts automatically.

Sol: Please visit following article:

How to Remove Suspicious CTFMON.EXE Process Running in Background in Windows?

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Q. 18. I just noticed that all my Mozilla Firefox web browser Bookmarks have gone. The bookmarks list is empty. How can I get them back?

Sol: Type "%appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles" in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now click on "xxxx.default" folder (where xxxx will be random numbers and characters). Now open "bookmarkbackups" folder and you'll get your bookmarks there. Now you can import them in Mozilla Firefox again.

Also check following tutorial:

Best Method to Backup Mozilla Firefox Bookmarks Without Using Any Extension

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Q. 19. My Windows is showing some wrong icons of files. How can I reset the corrupted icons and restore default icons?

Sol: You can use any of following methods:

A. Download TweakUI from here and then click on "Repair Icons" in "Repair" section.

B. Open My Computer and go to:

C:\Documents and Settings\User_Name\Local Settings\Application Data

Replace C:\ with your system drive and "user_Name" with your username.

There will be a HIDDEN file "iconcache.db", delete it and restart your system.

PS: In newer Windows versions, the file iconcache.db will be present in %userprofile%\AppData\local folder.

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Q. 20. I'm using Windows XP and my Desktop icons are showing an ugly background rectangle behind their text labels. How can I make the text transparent again?

Sol: Type "sysdm.cpl" in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to "Advanced" tab, click on "Setting" button in "Performance" section and enable the option "Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop".

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Q. 21. I'm using Windows XP and suddenly the Common tasks stopped showing in left-side pane of Windows Explorer.

Sol: Open "Tools -> Folder Options" and enable the option "Show Common Tasks in folders".

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Q. 22. Whenever I right-click on Start button and select "Open" option, a "Copy To" or "Move To" dialog box opens.

Sol: The solution given in following tutorial will fix this problem:

[Solution] "Play All" Option Opens "Copy Items" and "Move Items" Dialog Box

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Q. 23. I can't see Hidden files and folders in my computer. Even if I enable the option "Show hidden files and folders" in "Tools -> Folder Options", it automatically gets disabled.

Sol: Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden

Under this key, you'll see 2 more keys "NOHIDDEN" and "SHOWALL". Make sure that the values of "CheckedValue" and "DefaultValue" in right-side pane are "2" and "2" for "NOHIDDEN" and "1" and "2" for "SHOWALL" respectively. If its not so, then change them and you'll be able to enable/disable these options in "Folder Options".

You can also toggle Hide and unhide settings using registry by going to following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\Advanced

In right-side pane, change value of "Hidden" to:

1 - To show hidden files
2 - To not show hidden files

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Q. 24. I accidentally deleted "mspaint.exe", "notepad.exe" or any other system file, how can I get it back?

Sol: You can use any of following methods:

A. Go to "C:\Windows\System32\DLLCache" folder and look for the file, if its there, copy it to "C:\Windows\System32\" folder.

B. Insert your Windows Setup CD and go to "I386" folder. Now you can extract desired DLL, EXE or any other file using built-in expand command or 7-Zip as mentioned in following tutorials:

How to Include Your Edited System Files in Windows Setup ISO?

How to Extract / Copy System Files from Windows Setup?

Now you can copy the file to "C:\Windows\System32" folder.

C. You can also use built-in SFC command to restore all default system files. Just run following command in Command Prompt:

sfc /SCANNOW

It'll automatically restore all missing or corrupted system files. You can check out method 4 here for details.

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Q. 25. Whenever I set "Thumbnails" view in Windows Explorer, the files are not shown as thumbnails.

Sol: Please visit following article:

[FIX] Windows Explorer Doesn't Show Thumbnail Previews in Windows Vista and 7

Windows XP users can also try following commands in RUN dialog box:

regsvr32 shdocvw.dll
regsvr32 thumbvw.dll
regsvr32 shimgvw.dll

Restart your computer and your problem will be solved.

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Q. 26. Whenever I open Windows Search in Windows XP, the Search companion window opens blank.

Sol 1: Open RUN dialog box and provide following commands one by one:

regsvr32 /i %windir%\srchasst\srchui.dll
regsvr32 %windir%\system32\jscript.dll

Restart your computer and your problem will be solved.

Sol 2: Type %systemroot%\inf command in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open a new window. Look for a file "Srchasst.inf". Right-click on it and select "Install" option.

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Q. 27. Whenever I try to install updates using Windows Update or try to update MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) or Windows Defender programs, I get following error message:

Windows Update cannot search for updates.
Error number: 0x80248015

Sol: Most of the times this problem occurs when the system date and time is not correct. So make sure the date/time and time zone is set correctly in your Windows.

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Q. 28. I have forgotten my Administrator account password in Windows. How can I reset, recover or change the password?

Sol: Please check following article:

How to Reset / Recover / Change Forgotten Administrator Password in Windows?

--------------------------------------------------

Q. 29. I don't know the BIOS or CMOS password of my computer system. How to reset, remove or bypass BIOS or CMOS password?

Sol: Please check following article:

How to Reset / Remove / Bypass Forgotten BIOS or CMOS Password?

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Q. 30. In my computer suddenly all EXE files started opening with Notepad or any other program. Or when I try to open an EXE file, an "Open with" dialog box is shown to choose the program. How to fix this problem?

Sol: Please check following article:

[Solution] EXE Files Always Open with Notepad or Other Applications

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Q. 31. Whenever I copy a new file in a folder, Windows Vista or later automatically changes folder view type. It doesn't remember my customized view type for any folder. How to fix this annoying folder view type problem in Windows Vista and later OS?

Sol: Please check following article:

How to Fix Annoying Folder View Type Problem in Windows Vista and Later?

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Q. 32. Fonts in window titlebar and other areas look bold and italic. Or the fonts on screen are blurry and very hard to read. How to fix bold, italic or blurry font problem in Windows?

Sol: Please check following articles:

[Fix] Bold and Italic Font Problem in Windows

[Fix] Bold, Blurry or Hard to Read Font Problem in Windows 8.1

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Q. 33. My optical drives such as CD/DVD drive are not showing in My Computer window. How to show them?

Sol: Please check following article:

[FIX] Optical Drives (CD/DVD) Icon Not Showing in My Computer Window

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Q. 34. The hibernate option in my Windows Vista is no longer available. How can I get it back?

Sol: Please check following article:

How to Re-enable Missing Hibernate Option in Windows Vista?

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Q. 35. In my Windows whenever I open Task Manager, it doesn't show window borders, titlebar and caption buttons. How to reset it to default settings?

Sol: Please check following article:

[Fix] No Border in Task Manager Window, How to Get Menubar and Titlebar Back?

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If your problem was not listed above, check out our exclusive "Troubleshooting" section which should definitely contain a working solution for your problem.

PS: Comments in this topic are deleted on regular basis to reduce database overhead. So don't think too much if your comment gets deleted.





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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1, Windows Vista, Windows XP


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