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Solutions: Ways to minimize Adobe files without rebooting

Over the past month I've noticed whenever I download material in Adobe format, I can no longer find the "X" or "minimize" icons on my screen. Invariably, I have to unplug my computer and remove the battery so I can reboot. Suggestions?

I have no idea what's going on with your Adobe documents, but you should still be able to click the "Show Desktop" icon (next to the Start button) to automatically minimize all open windows. From there you can right-click the window on the task bar and select close. You can also do a Ctrl-Alt-Del and take a number of options from there. Certainly a little easier than shutting down and removing the battery. You may want to try uninstalling Adobe Reader from Control Panel/Add Remove programs and then download and install the latest version from the Adobe Web site.

I have a new Toshiba laptop with an Intel Duo chip and Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit. I can upgrade free to Windows 7 Home Premium, but it's 32 bit. What's the difference between 64 and 32 bit? Should I keep the 64-bit OS or go to the 32-bit?

All packaged retail editions of Windows 7 (except for Home Basic) include both 32- and 64-bit software, so you'll have no problem taking advantage of your 64-bit laptop capabilities. Very simply, 64-bit Windows can address larger amounts of memory (the 32-bit limit is 3 GB). If you run a lot of programs at once and switch back and forth between them often, a 64-bit PC with large amounts of memory (4 GB or more) will give you better response.

Note: After I published an answer a few weeks back with several ways to open Windows File Explorer, several readers wrote in to remind me of the most obvious method which I neglected to include: simultaneously press the Windows key (the one with the "Windows flag") and then the E key. Thanks to all that wrote in.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Ways to minimize Adobe files without rebooting

10/18/09 [Last modified: Sunday, October 18, 2009 4:30am]
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