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Ideas to save money and time using personal computers. Includes tips and advice on software, internet usage, troubleshooting, spam, viruses, buying, upgrading, repair and more.

Internet Tips (119)Tips (86)Software (85)Troubleshooting (70)Printers (32)Maintenance (21)Repair (19)Buying (15)Smartphones and Tablets (10)Viruses (7)Upgrading (5)Spam (1)
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Lost Install CD for Memorex CD/DVD Writer?I have a new Memorex External Slim CD/DVD writer, but I've lost the installation CD. Is there a way to download something from the internet?


cable modem

Having Internet Without a Computer?This is a page about having internet without a computer. You don't necessarily need a computer to access the internet with other devices, such as a Kindle.


Color Inkjet Printer

Saving Money on a PrinterThere is a plethora of home printers on the market. Do your research to determine the best one for your needs. Is it an inkjet or a laser type? Then also research the cost of ink. The sale of ink is where many manufactures make their profits. This is a page about saving money on a printer.


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Copy And Paste Text To Print InformationMaybe I'm doing something wrong, but printing things I see online out, like recipes on Thrifty Fun, is always a hassle. I know how to highlight the selection I want printed, but, pretty often, a lot more gets printed, wasting paper and that expensive ink.


A pair of hands using a laptop computer.

Locating Someone for FreeThere are so many online resources for reconnecting with an old acquaintance or family member. This is a page about locating someone for free.


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Advertising on Craig's List?How do I advertise on Craig's list?


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Slingo Express?How can I get Slingo Express? Back in 1995, I had the original Slingo. Not the deluxe or any of the others. I just want to know how to get the Slingo that was on AOL.



Computer Won't Start in Cold Weather?This is a page about when a computer won't start in cold weather. Computers generally like cold, dry environments, so determining the reason your computer won't boot during cold weather can be a challenge.


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Printing on Contact Paper?Can contact paper with backing still attached be run through an ordinary ink jet printer?


Refilling your ink cartridges at home.

Refilling Printer Ink CartridgesSome consumers like to save money on printer cartridges by refilling their own. If you have access to the ink then the process is usually quite simple. This is a page about refilling printer ink cartridges.


A senior man using a computer.

Teaching Seniors to Use a ComputerThis is a page about teaching seniors to use a computer. As we age learning a new skill can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. Teaching older people to use a computer may often require different tactics than when working with children or students.


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Printing From an External Hard Drive?How do I print from an external hard drive?



Yahoo Mail

Troubleshooting Problems with Yahoo...This is a page about problems with Yahoo mail. If your email account is not working properly, it can interrupt your communications. There can be problems with signing in and loading the email program or even having your account discontinued.


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Using Extended Characters on My Keyboard?I am looking for a little help with my keyboard. My question is, my keyboard has blue symbols on some of the keys. For example on the zero there is the ) when you press shift, but there is also a blue sign for the fraction 1/4.


A printer printing out a color page.

Using Waterproof Printer InkMost inkjet printers use ink that smears when it gets wet. However, some manufactures make inks that are water resistant. Printers are This is a page about waterproof printer ink.


Woman Fixing a Printer That Won't Print

Fixing a Printer That Won't Print?This is a page about fixing a printer that won't print. There are several reasons that a printer does not print your document or web page.


An inkjet photo printer.

Printed Photos Have a Blue Tint?If your inkjet prints are coming out with a blue tint, you may be out of yellow or magenta ink. Running out of one of the colors on your printer can make the printed photos have a blue tint.


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Computer Toolbar is Black?Why is my toolbar black? I turned on my computer today and I can't see anything on my toolbar, it is black. Everything I have tried hasn't worked. Any suggestions? Thanks.


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Review of Dollar Tree Inkjet Refills?Yesterday at the "Dollar Tree" I saw refills for inkjets. Has anyone tried these? Are they any good?


A woman working on a desktop computer.

Older Versions of Corel Software?Many people prefer to use an old and familiar software instead of more modern versions. This generally requires an older computer as well. This is a page about finding older versions of Corel Print House.


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Free Printable Letterland Characters?Does anyone know where I can get free Letterland characters that are printable?


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Which Brand of Laptop Should I Buy?Give me suggestions: Which brand of laptop should I buy for myself and how will that be good for me?


A collection of printer ink cartridges.

Storing Printer InkI don't print from my printer everyday therefore my ink seems to be drying up before I even have a chance to use it. Is there a way that I can preserve it or can I wrap it? I don't know I'm at a loss. I even had a printer and computer at home for a very long time and I'm feel like I'm new at this again. Thank you for any answer


A girl using an iPad

Speeding Up an Old iPad?When you need to speed up an old iPad, it's important to take it slow. There are a number of helpful videos and free software to help you create more space.


A button online for likes or dislikes.

Online Group Activities and InformationMany types of groups are organized online, sometimes with worldwide members. Our readers offer advice for finding, running or encouraging engagement in online groups.


A collection of inkjet printer cartridges.

Can't Print Black With Missing Color Cartridge?Sometimes all you need is a quick print but your inkjet printer is out of a specific color. Depending on your printer, you may have to have all cartridges installed and filled, even for only black and white prints.


Replacing Your Laptop Hard Drive - locate the hard drive, here the panel has been removed

Replacing Your Laptop's Hard DriveYou can save money by replacing a laptop computer's harddrive yourself, with these step by step instructions. If your computer is still under warranty, replacing parts may void it so use caution when repairing newer computers.



Organizing and Storing Laptop Cables - slide the cable into the paper towel tube

Organizing and Storing Laptop CablesLaptop computer cables can create more clutter on your desk or other workspace. Also, when packed in a computer bag you want to make sure that they are rolled properly to prevent damage. Try the suggestion below to easily organize and store your laptop cables.


A smartphone receiving emailed newsletters.

Receiving ThriftyFun publishes a variety of daily and weekly newsletters. Tips for subscribing and managing your choices, as well as answers to problems related to receiving your newsletters can be found on this page. If you don't see it here contact us.


Email being shown on a smartphone.

Email Tips and TricksYour email account can end up filled with mail, that you just don't want or need. Just a few tips and tricks can help you manage your account to avoid spam, and keep it containing important communications.


A person working on a laptop computer in the dark.

Website Tips and TricksWhether you are trying to create a simple business website, learn how to use search engines, or save money on your internet bill this page offers some useful advice. Check out these website tips and tricks.


A computer mouse being used.

Computer Mouse Pad AlternativesWhen you need a mouse pad for your computer, you should consider an alternative. There are many things that you can use or even refashion for your mouse pad surface.


A person reading a Kindle in their lap.

Kindle Tips and TricksSave money and time with tips and tricks for using and maintaining your Kindle device for reading ebooks.


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Computer Locked on the Windows Screen?My computer is locked up on the Windows screen. My son tried making himself the administrator and forgot the password to get past the Windows screen. Is there anything I can do to get past the Windows screen and set a new password?


Displaying a computer tablet screen on a television.

Projecting a Computer onto a Television ScreenA HDMI cable will work to connect a tv to a computer. One end goes on the port on the TV and the other end goes on the port on the computer. This is a page about projecting a computer onto a television screen.


A woman using a laptop computer.

Using Your Computer as a DictonaryThere are a number of free software programs available to learn new words, and increase your vocabulary. This is a page about using your computer as a dictionary.


Black laptop keyboard

Clean Laptop Keys With an Interdental BrushHere is a non-dental use for those little brushes designed to clean between your teeth. They can be used to carefully clean around the edges of laptop keys. This is a page about clean laptop keys with an interdental brush.


Cellphone on a blue painted wood table.

Background Ideas for Your Cell PhoneCellphones are so easy to personalize with any favorite photo. This is a page about background ideas for your cell phone.


A SD card for storing data.

Securing Your SD Card DataSD cards are very commonly used in many cameras and other portable electronic devices. Oftentimes this information is important and you want to make sure you keep the files secure. This is a page about securing your sd card data.


Woman Taking Computer Class

How to Find Free Computer ClassesNow that your have your new computer it is often helpful to take a class to familiarize yourself with the new hardware. Likewise, classes on the operating systems and software are a good idea. Some retailers such as Apple stores offer classes, likewise community centers, senior centers, and community colleges are other possible providers. This is a page about how to find free computer classes.


Man Typing at Computer

Sending Text Messages From Your ComputerThere are ways to text from your computer by using the phone number at the appropriate cell phone web address. There may be a charge to the reciever of the text. This is a page about sending text messages from your computer.



Blocking a caller on an iPhone.

Blocking Unwanted Calls on an iPhoneWhen you don't want to be contacted by unfamilar phone numbers, you can research the number online before blocking it. This is a page about blocking unwanted calls on an iphone.


UPS Back-up Battery

Using a UPS to Protect Your Computer from Power SurgesA UPS, also known as an Uninterruptible Power Supply, can prevent power surges from damaging your computer. This is a page about using a UPS to protect your computer.



Locating Printer ManualsBuying used printers can save you money. But they may come without the user's manual. A quick trip the the manufacturer's website often allows you to download the manual. This is a page about locating printer manuals.


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Problems Opening an Email Link?I am unable to open a link mailed in an email. The link is in black, is this problem part of settings?


A webcam on a computer covered up by a Post-It note.

Cover Webcam with Post-ItThere are reports where webcams can be hacked and you could be spied on, recorded or even the hacker has the ability to view your keyboard strokes for your passwords and personal information.


A soda bottle and rubber band being used as a phone stand.

Soda Bottle Rubber Band Phone StandWrap elastic around one side of your phone, loop it over the bottle and attach it to the other side of the phone. Then you can do things on it or watch something.


Woman Submitting her Pet to ThriftyFun

Submitting a Pet to ThriftyFunThriftyFun has been publishing our members' pet photos online since 2004. Over those years, we have seen puppies, cats and more exotic pet grow up, grow old and then memorialized with a series of photos. To share your own pet, click on "Share a Post" to start.


Man Working at Computer

How to Clean Up the Hard Drive on a PC?To help your computer run efficiently, you need to remove all the files you don't need, and do routine maintenance. This is a page about cleaning up the hard drive on a pc.


A computer screen showing how to use Window's Quick Launch options.

Using Windows Quick LaunchSave time on your computer by using the quick launch feature to open the Windows folders you commonly use. This is a page about using windows quick launch.


A smartphone with wi-fi connection next to a laptop computer.

Using Wi-Fi Instead of Cellular DataSometimes settings on your phone can cause you to use more cellular data than necessary. Try these tricks to save money on your smartphone bill's data plan.


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Tips for Buying a Tablet?Any tips on buying a tablet?


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Printing on 3x5 Index Cards?The minimum size my machine will print on is 4x6 (according to the manual) and how the paper feed is configured. Is there any way to make it print on 3x5 cards?


Handholding Wrist of mouse hand

Wrist Support Ideas For Using a MouseIf you use a mouse many hour a day it can be easy to develop wrist pain. Putting a cushion of some sort under your wrist while using the mouse may have relieve the pain you are experiencing. This is a page about wrist support ideas for using a mouse.


Computer screen showing settings for adjusting your mouse.

Cut Your Mouse Clicks In HalfCreating shortcuts to items you often use on your computer can be a great timesaver. This is a page about cut your mouse clicks in half.


A screen from a Windows computer showing instructions for making a shortcut.

Turn Computer Off With Desktop ShortcutThis tip is written for PC (Windows) users. Here is the quick and easy way to create a shortcut on your desktop to turn off your computer.


A person using a laptop computer.

Keeping Your Laptop CoolIf your laptop gets too warm you can buy a special cooling pad or get creative and make something yourself to help dissipate the heat. This is a page about keeping your laptop cool.


A tablet with recipe software showing on the screen.

Cookbook Software and TemplatesWhether organizing your own recipes or working on a fundraiser cookbook project, there are a number of options for finding a template to use for the recipes. This is a page about cookbook software and templates.


A man working on a laptop computer.

Alphabetizing in Excel?Excel software includes a sort tool that can help you organize your files alphabetically. This is a page about alphabetizing in Excel.


A family using a laptop computer on a couch.

Organizing a Shared Family ComputerSetting up a computer so that everyone can find their own files and games, as well as adding parental controls makes a family computer a workable option. This is a page about organizing a shared family computer.


A photo of a gift bag with snowmen.

Gift Bag as Wallpaper on PhoneI had an especially beautiful and crafty-looking gift bag this last year so I took a photo of it. It is my phone's background wallpaper and I am also using it as an inspiration for future crafts.


A woman looking at a small computer screen.

Adjusting Your Computer Screen SizeThis is a page about adjusting your computer screen size. Whether you are having trouble seeing small text or need to fit more on the screen, it can be very helpful to know how to adjust the screen size on your computer monitor.


Avoiding In-App Purchases on Phones and Tablets

Avoiding In-App Purchases on Phones and TabletsThis is a page about avoiding in-app purchases on phones and tablets. The cost of in-app purchases on your photo or tablet can creep up on you. They are particularly a problem in games, where they seem necessary process or movement to a new level.


screen shot of Unchecky in action

Unchecky for Managing Software DownloadsI have a lot of free software on my computers, and I do mean a lot. I have found that free software is usually just as good, and often better than paid for and original software as part of an operating system.


Product Review Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Product Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HDI bought my original Kindle when they first came out and loved it. I used it often on my bus rides to the VA Hospital which was 90 minutes going, 90 minutes returning not to mention the wait to be seen for my appointments.


Young woman at a dorm room desk using a laptop

Buying a Laptop for a College StudentThis is a page about buying a laptop for a college student. Defining your computer needs is the first step before buying a laptop.


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Change Computer Date to Extend your "Free Trial" SubscriptionsIf your free trial is about up and you would still like to keep it with out making a permanent purchase option just yet all you need to do is go under your computer settings that manage the time and date and push the date back for however long you would like to extend your free trial.



Converting Email Files?This is a page about converting email files. Email files are text documents that can easily be opened or copied and pasted into just about any other type of document or format.


Transferring Data to a New Computer

Transferring Data to a New ComputerThis is a page about transferring data to a new computer. When you get a new computer, you will probably need to transfer data from your old machine to the new one.


Woman using a PC.

Troubleshooting Problems with...This is a page about troubleshooting problems with computer files. When computer data and known files are hard to find or inaccessible, it can be very frustrating. It's important to have the right software to open your files.


computer keyboard with Facebook buttons

Creating A Facebook Support Group?This is a page about creating a Facebook support group. Make a page on this social media website so you can connect with others who understand your issues.


a woman using powerpoint

Using Microsoft PowerPoint?This is a page about using Microsoft PowerPoint. Whether you are developing a presentation for school or office, PowerPoint is likely the program you will use.


woman using computer

Using Microsoft Office ProgramsThis is a page about using Microsoft Office programs. Microsoft Office consists of a suite of programs useful in an office setting and at home.



Starting a BlogThis is a page about starting a blog. When you have information, photos or commentary that you would like to share with others, a weblog may be the best way to communicate it.



Using GmailThis is a page about using Gmail. Keeping your email online with a service like Gmail, can be helpful for many people who have more than one email address.


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Problems with Email View?My old emails from 2013-2012 are showing up, but NOT the 2014 current ones. What's happening?


AOL Email

Troubleshooting Problems With AOL...This is a page about troubleshooting problems with AOL email. Not all email programs work without any issues. Sometimes we may need help.


Burning CD

Burning CDs?This is a page about burning CDs. Burning a CD may seem daunting, but it is not. Choose the software you want to use and get started.



Blog Name Ideas?This is a page about blog name ideas. Choosing a catchy name that expresses your personality and subject can be a real challenge.


Computer Sleep Mode Button

Getting Computer Out of Sleep Mode?This is a page about getting computer out of sleep mode. It can be amazingly frustrating when you are unable to get your computer to exit sleep mode.


Happy Man Using PC Laptop

Keeping Your PC HappyThis is a page about keeping your PC happy. You can keep your PC happy and running smoothly by following a daily and weekly schedule of activities to maintenance its files and software.


Woman using a PC.

Using Microsoft Outlook?This is a page about using Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft Outlook is a software package that can help keep your email, contacts, and schedule organized.


newsletter graphic

Finding Printable Newsletter Templates?This is a page about finding printable newsletter templates. Locating the proper format for a newsletter can make it much easier to put together.


Laptop with Screensaver Running

Computer Screensavers or WallpaperThis is a page about computer screensavers or wallpaper. Endless possibilities of images can fill up the blank screen of your computer. Wallpaper and screensavers are primarily used for entertainment and security.



Using ThriftyFunThis is a page about using ThriftyFun. Beginning in 1997 ThriftyFun members have been sharing inexpensive solutions to everyday problems and ideas for crafting, creative recycling, gardening, frugal living, recipes and more.


Computer Browser

Troubleshooting Computer SoftwareThis is a page about troubleshooting computer software. On occasion, your computer's browser software can begin behaving in ways that are frustrating. You may need to troubleshoot the problem in order to return to normal internet functionality.


Woman Using Laptop

Fixing Broken Laptop KeyboardThis is a page about fixing broken laptop keyboard. There are ways to fix your laptop's panel of keys without a repairman or buying a new one.


A photoshopped head that is all mouth.

Using Photoshop or Photo SoftwareOnce you have taken a digital photograph, there are many ways that you can change it by using Photoshop or another photo imaging software.


Fax by Email

Receiving Faxes by Email?This is a page about receiving faxes by email. There are now options to receiving a fax that don't depend on owning your own fax machine.



Running Anti-Spyware on Your ComputerThis is a page about running anti-spyware on your computer. Finding the best software to keep your computer safe from being robbed of private information and personal activity is very important.



iPhone Tips and TricksThis is a page about iPhone tips and tricks. Although easy to use, to get the most out of your iPhone it helps to learn all about its many features.


A person using a keyboard and a mouse on a computer.

Desktop Computer Tips and TricksThis is a page about desktop computer tips and tricks. You can improve your computing experience, saving time and effort, by learning a few new tips and tricks, such as short cuts.


Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

Troubleshooting a Wireless Keyboard?This is a page about troubleshooting a wireless keyboard. Wireless keyboards can be a fantastic addition to your home office hardware. Unfortunately, when issues arise it can drive you insane.


Junk Mail or Email Spam

Preventing Junk Mail or Email SpamThis page is about preventing junk mail or email spam. There are ways to protect your email address from the frustration of unsolicited junk email, and sometimes you just need to start over.


Woman looking at Her Computer Screen

Computer Screen Not Refreshing?This page is about computer screen not refreshing. When nothing you do helps get your computer working properly, it can be very frustrating.


Girl Downloading Music

Tips for Downloading Music?This page contains tips for downloading music. You don't have to wait or leave home to find and buy your favorite music files on the internet.


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Web Pages Load Slowly with Google Chrome?I had a slow computer and a computer repair person installed Google Chrome because he said it was faster than Firefox and IE. It takes me forever to get to any web page.


Baby wearing bib and sucking on her fingers.

Making a Photo Slideshow With Songs?My daughter has just celebrated her first year birthday and I have taken some precious photos of her to record this special memory. I want to make an animated photo slideshow video with music using these photos.


charging electronics

Extending the Life of Cellphone and Computer...This is a page about extending the life of cellphone and computer batteries. Many of us rely on our phones and computers to be mobile at all times. However, that requires your device to be charged and stay charged as long as you need to use it.


Learning to use a laptop computer.

Learning to Use a Computer?This page is about learning to use a computer. There are books, software and online educational sites where you can learn many things about computers.


A man teaching a computer class.

Teaching a Computer Class?This is a page about teaching a computer class. Teaching a computer class for an organization or your community can be very rewarding. Like any other class, your preparation will include defining the topics to be covered, dependent on the focus and scope of the class.


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A smartphone against a window.

Using Smartphone and Tablets To Save MoneyRecently I've been researching ways to save money shopping online, in stores, and how to find the best rebate offers available. One of the best ways that I love to earn a little extra cash is with my smartphone and tablet. Here are some great tips for you to save money, find rebates, and get cash back when you shop for food.


Illustration of Binary Data

Possible Cause for July 2012 Internet ProblemsIf someone you know is having problems connecting to the Internet starting on about July 9, 2012 then they might be affected by a DNS changer malware which the FBI has been investigating.


Free Stuff OnlineInternet bills have become an almost essential cost today, and great service plans can be found. While your plan might be at the lowest price available, you can still get more for your money. Try to make the most out of internet service by finding all the free stuff offered online.


A frustrated man at a laptop

Warning: Anti-Virus Pop Up AdvertisementsRecently we've received several reports of visitors seeing anti-virus messages pop-up while browsing ThriftyFun. We monitor the site for viruses and other problems and we don't believe that these pop-up advertisements are coming from one of our advertisers or from the site itself.


Removing CD from Laptop

Removing CD Stuck in MacbookI got a CD stuck in my Macbook and couldn't get it to eject. I tried several methods get it out. Tweezers were too thick to go in the slot and grip around the end of the disc. Restarting it with the mouse button held down didn't work.


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Spam Attack to HotmailTo those of you who are coming here to unsubscribe from a spam email you received, it is not from us and you don't need to unsubscribe. Someone "janelle25" is sending email saying "hi Come Join Me" with some of today's recipe newsletter text. It is NOT from us.


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Speeding Up an Old iPad?I am old, but hoping I can get my iPad functioning properly. I have close to 8000 emails on it, and stuff I haven't finished with. But I need to know what to do to clean it up so I can use it some more, I tried to trash the emails, but they don't really go away. It is getting slow, like me, but I keep it like a good friend. Any help in that direction?


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Problems with Screen Resolution?My screen resolution is set to 1280x1024. Currently it's only a black screen that says "Need to set screen resolution to 1280 x 1024@60Hz@", but I can't do that because I cannot access settings in Windows to change the resolution.


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Phone Does Not Ring Using a Magic Jack Go Device?I have a new Magic Jack Go for my landline phone I have my number ported to it and it is ready to use. My problem is I can make outgoing calls, but when I get a incoming call, the phone does not ring. The caller gets a message that I am not available.


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Which Brand of Laptop Should I Buy for Myself?Give me suggestions: Which brand of laptop should I buy for myself and how will that be good for me?


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Sharing Photos on Facebook?I entered my cat Teddy, in the pet contest on this site. How do I post all his pictures and his story on Facebook? Obviously, I am new to Facebook!


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Cleaning Up the Hard Drive on a PC?I have 64 bit touch screen PC made by MSI, Micro Star International. It has Windows 7 Home Premium OA. My problem is that the C drive is filled to capacity. The PC was given to me by a friend.


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