Free Help On The Net


Want to test your mettle by fixing your computer yourself? Here are some free sites to get you started. Read a few tutorials or peek at the forums to see if others are having similar problems. But remember, there can be more than one answer, and a little trial and error is standard operating procedure.

Microsoft's Support
Knowledge Base

When Windows misbehaves or you are stumped on how to use a Microsoft application feature, your first stop should be Microsoft's Knowledge Base. Search using keywords or error messages: Most of the help is great step-by-step advice, but don't expect to find the answer you need every time.


Jerold Schulman offers thousands of no-nonsense tips about the Windows NT, 2000 and XP platforms. Search by keyword or check out Today's Tips and Recent Tips. Detailed instructions help tweak Windows solve problems. The home page (http://jsiinc.com) includes a link to Microsoft's excellent Windows XP Expert Zone Community.

Inside Outlook Express

We have featured this venerable site before and continue to recommend it. You'll find news, including bug fixes, update reports, and frequently reported problems. For discussion groups, the site steers you to MSnews, which is Microsoft's public news server.

Slipstick Systems

If Microsoft Outlook is your favorite e-mail program, turn to Slipstick for help. Beginners are welcome, and the site is rich with update information, tips on customization, and articles on how to manage your mail. Like Inside Outlook Express, Slipstick sends you to MSnews for discussion groups.


You might assume that Ziff Davis's ExtremeTech is too technical, but don't be intimidated. The site offers plenty of straightforward information and advice from experts, hardware and software reviews, how-to articles, and busy discussion forums. Often just browsing questions by topic is enough to find information you need. It helps to know the configuration of your system, because if you post here, members will ask.

PC Magazine

We hate to toot our own horn, but we find our searchable Solutions and User to User sections fantastically useful.


TechRepublic is an information and help site for IT professionals and power users. It offers downloads, including printable keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft applications, articles from popular computer authors, and tips for networking professionals. You'll also find discussion forums with useful advice, links to blogs, and white papers.

Tech Support Guy

Mike the Tech Support Guy started this site as an antidote to overpriced technical support. His volunteers include everyday people who love computers and contribute often. The site is very simple to use, but you'll find some irrelevant information. Read the rules, search the forums, and register to post messages. With almost 200,000 members, Tech Support Guy is sure to have a hint or two.


WhatIs.com is part of the SearchTechTarget universe, a database search portal for IT professionals. Its growing encyclopedia is the place to visit if a geek-speak is getting you down. Search by keyword or category, or alphabetically.

PC Mechanic

PC Mechanic promises plain-English information, with tutorials on tasks from installing a new device to building an entire computer. The site offers online content, for-fee downloads, a CD for off-line work and troubleshooting, an e-mail newsletter, and help forums.


TweakTown is all about hardware. It covers overclocking, BIOS turning, multimedia, and even mobile phones. If you're looking for advice on how to cool your screaming motherboard or for information on graphics card incompatibilities, this is a good site to check out.


No matter your expertise in computer problems, you will need this up-to-date information on how to rescue your hijacked computer. Sign up for the newsletter and don't forget to visit forums for security warnings, general information, reports on privacy invasion, and what to do after you remove spyware.Digg my article

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    3 comments to "Free Help On The Net"

    Michael said...
    February 25, 2008 at 10:51 PM

    Good list of sites. Thanks.

    Michael said...
    February 25, 2008 at 10:52 PM

    forgot to drop my url:


    DJYano said...
    February 26, 2008 at 6:32 PM

    Hi Michael,

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