I have used the following convention in this document. For example, if I want you to on start, then control panel, I use the convention Start --> Control Panel
Regedit is a very useful tool, if you know what you're doing. If not it is the fast track to a non-functioning computer. The good news is that the worst case scenario is having to reinstall windows. The bad news is that you will almost certainly lose all of your data unless you back up your data regularly.
Deleting files randomly can also disable your computer. Unless you know exactly which files you need to get rid of, just don't do it. If you do you may find yourself in malfunctioning computer limbo. The good news is that there are ways to get rid of unwanted files. Disk Cleanup gets rid of temp files and "junk" files. If you really don't want a program on your computer any more, the removal process is more than just deleting files. Check the listing for the program you want to remove in "Programs" to see if there is an uninstall application. If not, you can go to Start --> Control Panel --> Programs and Features (in Windows Vista or 7) or Start --> Control Panel --> Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP and earlier).
Everyone hates unexpected dialog boxes and wants to get rid of them quickly in order to continue what you are doing. However, automatically clicking on Cancel may not bring the results you want. Many adware popups are worded where pressing cancel will actually install the unwanted software, often without showing the user any further prompts. This is less likely on Vista and Windows 7, but it can happen. For instance, you may see a prompt that says, "Are you sure you don't want to install this program? Press Cancel to continue installation or Continue to end this process." If you didn't read the dialog box you might presume that pressing Cancel would prevent the installation, but it is exactly the opposite. One warning sign is that, once you have clicked cancel on one dialog box and another, seemingly identical one appears with slightly different wording.
Downloading from sites you don't know are safe is like having sex with total strangers. You don't want to do it. If you simply must get that picture of the latest heartthrob and the only place you can get it is from an unknown site, make sure you create a restore point before starting the download. You can create a restore point by going to Start --> All Programs --> Accessories --> System Tools --> System Restore. From there you can click on Open System Protection and create a restore point. This way, if the file you download or program you install causes problems you may be able to undo the problem.
Easily my biggest pet peeve is people who don't turn off their computers properly. Never, ever, EVER just hit the switch on your surge protector or unplug the computer wihtout shutting it down correctly. Shutting your computer down incorrectly can cause corrupted files which may make your computer slow down or simply not start up correctly. Older systems' hard drives must be "parked" before shutdown so that the drive heads didn't hit the disk and damage it. Windows shutdown performs a similar function. If Windows isn't given the opportunity to perform this function, you may damage your drive.
Obviously this list does not cover every scenario that can cause problems with your computer.
select one here...