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WINDOWS TIPS     BY: GURU  ( Dave Smith )




A zip can be a drive or a disk, but a .zip file means only one thing.  It is program compressed for download on the Internet.  A .zip file combines several related files into one compressed archive file that is easier to download.  To open a .zip file you need to unarchive or uncompress it.


WinZip is the most common unzipper program.  WinZip will add a file association for .zip files.  You know this has happened when a WinZip icon appears when you download a .zip file from the Internet.  Double click the icon and the .zip file is open.


Here is also another program called PowerArchiver that works like WinZip and is totally free. GO TO ( )


If the installation process didn’t create an automatic WinZip file association, you can create your own.


1)     Double click to open file.

2)     Open the dialog box.

3)     Select WinZip.

4)     Check the box that says “always open this type of file with this program.”

5)     Click OK.


Once you download a file, click on “extract” in WinZip.  This automatically decompresses

the program so you can begin the installation process.


How Install Works


What’s an installer


Almost every program comes with an installer.  The installer is a program that unpacks all the programs and files that make your software work.  Those programs and files are usually packed away in compressed files to save space and help prevent copying.  The installer also tells your operating system that the software is installed and where to find it.


Where do I find it?


Some installer spring to life as soon as you put a CD-ROM in the drive.  If you have autorun set up, which you probably do unless you turned it off after you bought the computer, that will happen.  If you turned autorun off or you’re installing from floppy disks, you’ll have to find the installer program yourself.  It’s almost always called install.exe OR setup .exe.














How does an installer work?

Once the installer is running, it looks in the directory of the install disk and uncompresses the files one by one.  After it unpacks them it moves then onto your hard drive OR wherever you told the installer to put them. Don’t always let the installer put the program were it want’s. You can change the drive and folder name to what you want it to be for easy finding later.


In olden days the installer just saved time by copying files over.  Now it not only copies them but also tells your computer special information about them.  Windows users may have heard of the registry.  The installer tells the registry all kinds of special information to help you new software run smoothly.


The installer also cleans up after the install and will often give you a chance to read important information or register your new software.


How do I uninstall


As the work of the installer became more involved so did the work of uninstalling the software.  Back in the early days of computing, you could delete a whole directory and be done with the program. 


If you do that now, you get rid of the program but leave a whole mess of traces behind.  Incons appear in your start menu, shortcuts languish intended in desktops and folders, associated files wait unbidden to launch with a program that no longer exists.


This tragedy occurs because when you delete the files, the registry still thinks the program exists.  Other parts of your computer such as folder and start menus have the same errant thought.


Today almost all decent programs deliver an uninstaller with the installer.  The uninstaller works in reverse, deleting all the files, taking the information out of the registry, and generally cleaning up all traces of the installed programs.


If you have the uninstaller it’s always better to use it.  If you can’t find or don’t have an uninstaller, don’t fret.  Windows 95 and up, as well as third-party programs, provide ways to uninstall any program.  Windows theoretically tracks all installs and provides a way to remove them in your control panel.  The function is called Add/Remove.


Third-party programs such as Norton Utilities also claim to track all installs and clean up if you want to uninstall them.  None of these options work great, but they’re better than deleting the programs by hand.