By default Windows computers participate in file-sharing of local networks - it recognizes other devices in that network such as other computers and printers and shares all data in the folders set to do so.
If you want to turn this feature off at all or partly you can do so through the Control Panel. Open it from the Start menu and head to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change advanced sharing settings.
Here you find two drop-down-menus where you can decide over public- as well as home-network specifics:
Save changes afterwards!
Windows hides certain files and folders by default to prevent the unexperienced users from messing with them. In some situations however it is necessary to view them, e.g. to backup some data from the hidden App Data folder.
So to make hidden files visible, open the Control Center and head to Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options. Open the View tab and under Advanced Settings check the Show hidden files, folders and drives checkbox. Confirm with Apply or OK and every hidden file and folder will be visible as transparent item in the explorer from now on.
With preferences you make concerning single files and folders it's easy to lose track of which files you have currently set as whatever you needed them to be. This is especially important for shared files and folders since you don't always want them to be shared with everyone.
Good thing there is a list with all shared files hidden on your system - to get to it search for Computer Management in the Start menu.
On the left pane of the CM window, browse for Computer Management (Local) > System Tools > Shared Folders > Shared:
You'll get a list of items here that are shared by your computer with path and description given.
When something crashes on Windows you will often see a dialog showing that Windows is checking for a solution of the problems. Frankly, Windows has never found a solution for my crashes itself and it made more sense to abort the search and go for it myself.
If you are feeling the same way you might want to turn the dialog off completely. To do that, left click the little flag icon on your task-bar once:
Select Open Action Center and head to Change Action Center settings on the left side pane, then scroll down and click Problem reporting settings where you have the option to select Never check for solutions. Confirm with OK and you should be good to go.
All of us know the situation where everything crashes around us (on the monitor) and you don't know what caused it. A nice way to track the problem on Windows is to use the event viewer - a program that lists all the events and information that are logged while the computer is powered.
To get to it, press Windows Key + R to open a Run prompt and enter eventvwr into it.
The window that opens offers you a nicely sorted overview over everything that happened - browse the left pane for the categories and click on an event in the middle pane to get information about it below:
PrtScr is the key that is used on Windows keyboard to make screenshots - this key however is specific to Windows keyboards and does not exist on Mac keyboards. So if you attach one of those to a PC you will face a problem whenever you want to make screen shots.
Now a possible solution is given with the F13-F15 keys of the Mac keyboard which are sometimes mapped as different keys on a Windows computer. It is possible that one of those acts as the PrtScr key on your machine (most likely F13) - try and press them all and then pasting a screenshot into Paint to see if Windows has mapped one of them!
After some critical problems that might appear in Windows it can happen that its own explorer crashes - the Windows explorer is the process that generates the windows and the taskbar, so if it's canceled, those will no longer be visible.
The workaround in this case is pretty simple. Call the task manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del and clicking the appropriate option (on Windows XP, it starts up right ahead). On the task manager, go to the Applications tab. On the bottom of the window click on New Task...:
A Run prompt opens that you can use to start programs and processes - type in explorer here and confirm. The taskbar and all stuff belonging to it should now start up again.
To retrieve the MAC-address of a networking device on a Windows machine you can enter one of two commands into the command line tool. To open a command line search for cmd in the main menu. After wards enter either
The line called Physical Address indicates your MAC address.
Every service you install is usually run on system startup. Sometimes these services do so without asking you before and sometimes they might even be malicious or just too heavy in resources. To select specific services that shall not be started by boot, open msconfig by calling a Run prompt through the main menu and entering msconfig.
Switch to the Services tab and uncheck any services you don't want to start anymore, afterwards click Apply and restart your machine.
On a normal Windows boot the operating system loads all the programs and services that are configured to run on system startup. If your machine is haunted by a worm though it might be helpful to boot it with only the basic Windows services running - that is called a Diagnostic boot.
To get going, open a Run prompt by searching for run in the main menu. Enter msconfig. The following window should pop up:
Selective startup should be the one that's ticked. Check Diagnostic startup instead and confirm by clicking OK. To undo the changes, just repeat the steps and check the item that was selected in the beginning.