When Windows 10 takes up too much disk space, try this

Roelof Die Hoenderboer was having issues running Windows 10 on his 16GB SSD. 

Windows 10 works best with more disk space. While it’s not optimal to run Windows 10 from a 16GB or even 32GB SSD, the OS has some tricks up its sleeve that allow it to run on devices with skimpy storage space, such as tablets. It’s not that painful once you take the proper steps. 

Live small and prosper

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How to create a Windows 10 recovery USB drive

You never know when you’ll need a Windows recovery drive in order to restore your system to a pristine state, so the time to make one is now—and it’s very easy to do. 

A recovery drive is similar to the media you’d receive if you bought a prebuilt system. Back in the day, PCs would ship with a CD or DVD that included an image of the system as it left the factory. If your PC’s OS went sideways, you could easily restore it to the way things were on day one (though you’d lose all of your subsequently created data and applications, obviously). Nowadays manufacturers usually just put an image of the system as it left the factory on a hidden partition of your main drive.

A Windows recovery disk builds on this idea. In addition to letting you reinstall Windows, it includes several troubleshooting tools, which can be lifesavers if your system won’t boot.

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External drive died? Your data may still be easy to recover

Tawffic Abdul Wahab 's external hard drive stopped showing up on his system. Not a great thing to have happen. However, unlike with an internal hard drive, he's not necessarily looking at an expensive recovery bill.

Note: The following is for external drives that are out of warranty and/or without a recovery contract. Use those if they apply, though warranties generally don't include recovery. If you need the data, you might want to try these tricks anyway.

[Have a tech question? Send your query to answer@pcworld.com.]

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The free GifCam makes capturing animated GIFs a snap

Ever wanted to simply show someone how to do something in Windows rather than describe it? As the Answer Line author, I certainly have. Animated GIFs created by GifCam, a very small, portable utility by Bahrani Apps are now my preferred way to do that.  Not only will it create animated GIFs of anything the transpires on your screen, it can also save them as universally-supported AVI movies.

[Have a tech question? Send your query to answer@pcworld.com.]

Small and cleverly designed

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How to use MAME emulator to cure computer game nostalgia

Every once in a while, we get a question about those old games that were once the bleeding edge of entertainment in arcades and bars. Invariably from someone who played them and misses them—not from the current generation of cell-phone gaming addicts.

But even if you’re the latter, you might want to see how your parents amused themselves in the days when Pong, Asteroids, and Galaxian were the height of gaming technology. You can easily do so right on your PC. Adventurous programmers have long sharpened their skills by writing emulators for a vast array of computers, game machines, and gaming consoles. For the last decade or so, however, the big project has been MAME.

Note: While this article touts MAME's arcade and console emulation, it’s also intended to emulate just about anything that’s ever computed: various computers, calculators, and even chess machines.

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How to reclaim file permissions and ownership in Windows

It doesn’t happen often, but either by malware attack or networking snafu (sometimes when computers are removed from a domain), you can lose permissions and ownership of your files.

file ownership1 Microsoft

Windows' file or folder properties has a Security tab that few users ever visit.

Here's another scenario: You might want to access files from another user of your PC who’s left the company, but you can’t open them due to lack of ownership.

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