I see you recommend Security Essentials. Do I need firewall protection also? I have Windows 7 and use wireless networks, often in airports or cyber cafes.
A very good firewall is already included as part of Windows 7 and it is automatically turned on. Go to Control Panel, System and Security, Action Center and click Security to check your status.
I have an HP desktop running Vista. I am having trouble seeing files. When I am looking for a file that I know I have I can find it with the search function but not when looking through my folders with Microsoft Explorer. Please tell me how to set the security so that all files and folders can be seen.
It could be that the file/folder is hidden. Try this: Open any Explorer window and click Organize from the menubar. Click Folder and search options. Click the View tab. Under Advanced settings find the Hidden files and folders option and click to select Show hidden files, folders or drives. While you're there, uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types if it is already checked.
Why that is set to the default I'll never understand. All it does is add to the confusion for the average PC user.
I continually receive the message "Low disk space on HP recovery." I delete documents, but it makes no difference. I have many photos and video clips on my computer in addition to many word documents. Is there a way I can get added space for my computer or make more space without having to get rid of things I want to save?
That message is referring to your Recovery partition (D: drive), not your main C: drive. That Recovery drive is very useful when and if you have trouble booting or experience other catastrophic issues and is meant to be the size it is. I understand these error messages are annoying, but it sounds like you are just fine with your overall space. There is a way to turn off the error message, but it involves using the Registry editor. It's not difficult but is best done after getting a full understanding of the safeguards needed before editing the Registry. I answered a similar question recently on how to do this (tinyurl.com/SPTJT).
I am running Windows XP Professional Version 5.1 with Service Pack 3. When I try to shut down my computer, I have to select Shutdown twice before it will complete the process; same for Restart. Stand By and Hibernate work the first time. This started happening a few months ago.
Obviously something changed on the computer that is now interfering with a normal shutdown. You can try backing out any software changes you made recently or going back to an older System Restore point. A better recommendation would be to go to Control Panel, Administrative Tools and check the System Event viewer. Look for anything that shows "Shut down" in the error log. That should give you a little more information specific to your PC that may help you solve the issue.
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.