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Solutions: Firewall setting or virus/malware may be blocking port

I have not been able to send mail using my Outlook Express. I contacted the ISP and my settings are supposedly correct, but I keep getting the error message(s) "socket error 10013 error ox800cccoe." They tried walking me through command prompt actions to no avail.

Socket error 10013 is a message that a port is blocked/unreachable and may be emanating from your firewall program. Check the "Allowed Programs" within your firewall administration program and make sure Outlook Express is listed (for Windows Firewall, this would be the Exceptions tab). This could also be indicative of a virus/malware.

I have a 3-year-old Toshiba Laptop running XP. When I copy and paste files from folder to folder in Windows Explorer, the process is extremely slow. Also, when I try to defrag my computer by activating it by way of (Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragment), I get the following message: "MMC cannot open the file C:\Windows\System32\dfg.msc. This may be because the file does not exist, is not an MMC console, or was created by a later version of MMC. This may also be because you do not have sufficient access rights to the file." I can activate the tool by going this path: Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management and clicking Defragment). It will analyze and defrag by this path only.

One possible common thread between these two problems may be damaged disk areas and/or corrupted files. Check the System Event logs for any disk error. Click Start, Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, then Administrative Tools, then double-click Computer Management. In this case, these errors usually get worse. The Error check tool (right-click the C drive, Properties, Tools) can mark off these bad sectors and take them out of use. However, if disk errors continue, make sure you have some current backups and prepare to replace the drive at some point. The MMC error could be a result of corrupted files. You can attempt to remedy that particular issue with steps found at

I have iTunes on my Vista computer, and when I try to open it from either the shortcuts or the actual program file, I get the error message: "This action is only valid for products that are currently installed." When I go to the music folder and click on a song, iTunes opens right up.

Try this: Download and install the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility from (scroll half way down the page to find the link). Run the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility, remove and Itunes and/or Quiktime programs and then reinstall iTunes.

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

Solutions: Firewall setting or virus/malware may be blocking port 03/28/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 26, 2010 11:36pm]
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