* Know what you are doing with the Registry. The Registry is a largely incomprehensible place. Be careful when you are changing or deleting things in the Registry. In fact, you should create a backup of the Registry before you do any big changes, or simply export a data key when you are getting ready to make more minor changes. (A data key is geekspeak for a branch in the Registry.) Windows does not have a Recycle Bin for the Registry , if you delete something by mistake, you will be glad you made a copy ahead of time.

* If a new icon shows up on your desktop one day, don’t double-click it. If you don’t know why it’s there, someone (or some program) has possibly deposited it there. If you don’t know what it does, why double-click it and run it? A safer course of action is to right-click the icon, choose Properties, and then examine what programs the icon runs.

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