Microsoft Help Blog

Microsoft Help and Support Blog

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Windows Live Photo Gallery Problems

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    imageHave you been having problems with Windows Live Photo Gallery?  Problems previewing photos?  Issues with the slide show?  Unable to use the album download function?  Does the application freeze?  Do you get choppy images transitions when viewing images using the slide show screen saver?

    A new automated FixIt solution from Microsoft automatically diagnoses the problems mentioned above, as well as others, and the automatically fixes them for you!

    Windows photo and slideshow problems

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 (download)

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    Touch Pack screen shot

    The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 is now available for download from the Microsoft Download Center.

    The Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a collection of games and programs that you interact with using your fingers. To use these games and programs, you need either a laptop with a screen that supports multitouch or a desktop PC connected to a touchscreen that supports multitouch (including all-in-one PCs with touchscreens). To find this capability, look for a laptop, all-in-one PC, or touchscreen with the Windows 7 logo that says it supports Windows Touch.

    Read more about the Microsoft Touch Pack in What’s the Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7? For more information about touch features in Windows 7, check out What's new for computers with touchscreens?

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    What is Windows Update?

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    If you are not familiar with the benefits of Windows Update, or are curious about the different levels of automation with which you can keep you PC running smooth with the latest updates, check out this new page from our Windows Online team which provides an easy to read summary of how and why to use automatic updates…

    Windows Update Screen Shot

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    End of support notice for old Windows versions

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    image On July 13th, 2010, all versions of Windows 2000 and Windows XP SP2 and below will also reach the end of support. We recommend those of you still on Windows XP SP2 and below to install the latest service pack available via the Microsoft Update website – Windows XP Service Pack 3 – or look at moving to Windows 7. Folks still on Windows 2000 will need to look at moving to a more current version of Windows, such as Windows 7.

    If you are unsure of the version of operating system and service pack installed on a system, please click here for further information.

    For more information on the end of support for these Windows releases you can visit this page.

    Keeping your PC up to date and as safe as possible is something that people need to think about beyond just being on the latest service pack. We want to remind everyone of the benefits of keeping Windows Update turned on. Through Windows Update, not only are you provided with the latest security updates and service packs for Windows at no cost, but also the latest updates to products such as Internet Explorer 8 and Microsoft Security Essentials.

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Longer laptop battery life

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    image Nowadays people expect to be able to access the internet from an increasing number of mobile locations.  Whether it is flying on an airplane, relaxing in the local park or working over lunch at the pub, a common question our customers ask is how to conserve battery power so that they can use their laptops for longer.  We have several resources which will help you use Windows settings smartly to maximise the time your laptop will stay running…

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Free Windows PC Problem Diagnostics and Repair

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    Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services will scan your PC to detect possible causes and then automatically fix them for you!  They have recently been upgrade to provide additional support for further versions of Windows.  For selected solutions, Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services will now run on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7!

    If you would like to see an example of how easy it is to diagnose and fix your problem, try muting your sound in Windows and running the audio troubleshooter

    Automatically fix sound problems 1

    Automatically fix sound problems 2

    Automatically fix sound problems 3

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    An important choice to make: your browser

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    This is a blog post aimed at our European customers only…

    An important choice to make: your browser

    If you have a European installation of Windows, you may have recently seen the browser choice screen which prompts you to make a choice about the web browser you are using. This is now a requirement from the European Commission, who arrived at a resolution with Microsoft on a number of long standing competition law issues. This blog post provides more information on the agreement reached.

    If you would like information about the browser choice screen, the options available to you and other related information, please see the ‘What is the browser choice update?’ page.

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) Upgrade

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    Picture of the About Windows window showing Windows 7 Ultimate editionLast year, Microsoft gave it’s customers the fantastic opportunity of testing the new version of Windows 7 by making the Beta Release Candidate version available publically.  If you are still running the RC version, you need to upgrade to a full release version of the operating system as soon as possible!

    On 1st June 2010, the Release Candidate version of Windows will expire, which will cause your PC to restart every 2 hours and prevent Windows from saving your work during shutdown.

    Our Windows Online team have published a useful explanation of how to tell if you are running a release candidate version of Windows, and what next steps you need to take…

    What should I do if I'm running the Release Candidate (RC) version of Windows 7?

    May some of your friends and family be using the Release Candidate?  If so, please share this blog post with them…

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Making a bootable CD or DVD

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    In the event of a serious error on your hard disk or PC which may prevent Windows from loading, it is a good idea to have a bootable Windows Operating CD or DVD available so that you can boot your system and troubleshoot the error. 

    This can be done using either your original Windows installation discs, or media provided by your computer manufacturer for system recovery.  However, if you do not have either of these you can create a system repair disc from within any installation of Windows Vista SP1 or Windows 7 which you can keep on your shelf to use in an emergency.

    This great video from our Windows Online site explains how to create the disc in Windows 7...

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-IN/windows7/Create-a-system-repair-disc

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Black screen on startup of Windows 7

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    Have you ever experienced a black screen when trying to load Windows?  Problems with video card hardware are a common cause for these types of issues.  The lack of information when a black screen error occurs can make it difficult to troubleshoot, so our Windows Online site has created a new troubleshooting page which provides some great troubleshooting steps to help you resolve a black screen error in Windows 7…

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/why-is-my-screen-black-when-i-start-windows-7

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    The upgrade was not successful (reboot loop)

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    image We recently noticed an issue which was being reporting in our Microsoft Answers forum when upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7.  After attempting the installation, some customers are seeing an error message saying…

    The upgrade was not successful.

    Your previous version of windows is being restored.

    Do not restart your computer during this time.

    …however the computer does not restore the previous version of the operating system, but instead generates the same error message and puts the user in to a restart loop.

    Our monitoring of the online community issues has allowed us to quickly identify a potential problem which may be causing this issue, and provide a workaround solution…

    How to fix the reboot loop problem when upgrading to Windows 7

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    System Restore in Windows XP, Vista and 7

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    image

    Don’t Panic! Sometimes things goes wrong... 

    Newly installed software may break previously installed applications, you may accidentally break a system setting or something else may happen which causes your Windows installation to function incorrectly. 

    The fantastic system restore functionality in Windows XP, Vista and 7 allows you to restore your system files and settings to an earlier point in time, therefore effectively undoing any problems which have been caused.

    These pages provide information on how to use the system restore functionality in…

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Trying to download Outlook Express on Vista or Windows 7?

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    Outlook Express was a great email client which can bundled with previous versions of Windows.  Whilst it is still available in Windows XP and older versions, Outlook Express has been superseded by Microsoft’s new mail client – Windows Live Mail.

    http://download.live.com/wlmail

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    Windows Live Mail can be installed on Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008.

    For a great summary of how Windows Live Mail improves on the experience of Outlook Express, see So Long Outlook Express.

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Video freezing in Windows Vista?

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    image Are you experiencing problems with video in Internet Explorer, Media Player or other Windows Applications?

    A new Microsoft Fix It package will scan your PC for common problems related to video, warn you about related problems and then offer to automatically fix them for you!

    http://support.microsoft.com/gp/video_freezes_or_crashes

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Desktop shortcut icons not working

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    Desktop icons not workingIt is sometimes possible for desktop shortcuts to stop working if they have not been used in a long time, or if the file/application they are linking to has been moved or deleted.

    A new Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting package can diagnose common problems which may be affecting your desktop icons, along with other common system maintenance issues (including freeing up disk space and Windows Update errors) and automatically fix them for you!

    Fix desktop icons which are not working

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Reinstall Windows

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    image

    A new page over on our Windows Online website provides valuable information for when you need to reinstall windows.  Whether you need to upgrade to the latest edition, perform a clean install over an operating system which has become corrupt, install a clean build on to a new PC, or uninstall your current version of Windows and install an older version, the page provides relevant links for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

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    Install, reinstall, or uninstall Windows

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Windows power scheme settings for longer laptop battery life

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    Are you having problems with the battery life on your laptop?  Do you know if you have Windows optimally configured to provide the best power consumption?

    There are a number of different options which you can set including the sleep timer, screen saver, display brightness, power plan, wireless adapter settings and the minimum processor state which all contribute to a longer battery life when configured correctly.

    Microsoft have released an Automated Troubleshooting Services Fix It package which automatically detects these settings for you in Windows Vista and sets them to optimum values to conserve your laptop battery life.  Click the link below to find out more…

    Power scheme settings for longer laptop battery life in Windows Vista

    If you are running Windows 7, there is also a great page over on the Windows Online website which provides information on configuring your power settings manually…

    Conserving Windows 7 battery power

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  • Microsoft Help Blog

    Windows 7 activation error – invalid product key

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    image Are you having problems installing Windows 7 due to an invalid product key?

    Microsoft have published two articles describing issues which you may be experiencing…

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