Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Solutions: Glitches, email make computer user suspicious

Recently, I got an email that appeared to be from myself. The email was spam, with a link to a site selling drugs from Canada. I opened the "Properties" box, and my email address was listed under "Received from." I then went to the "Message Source" box, and there were a number of email addresses listed, none of which I recognized. I also have noticed that my computer has begun to run slowly, and the Windows "busy" icon seems to be on very often. I can't help but wonder whether someone hasn't hijacked my computer, and it is busy sending out spam. Windows Defender reports that there is "No unwanted or harmful software detected."

If "Message Source" does not show your email address, you are most likely just being spoofed. This is not uncommon. If by "Windows Defender" you mean Windows Defender Offline, which runs after booting to a custom CD you've made, then I would say that is a good result. To check what is using your CPU cycles during those busy periods, click Start and type "resource" and then click on the Resource Monitor link when it appears. Resource Monitor is a much more detailed version of the familiar Task Manager. Click the CPU tab.

The processes will automatically be sorted from top down by CPU. If you don't recognize a process by its name or description, right-click it and select "Search online." This should indicate what that process is and whether it belongs on your system. Things that can be expected to run periodically on your system are processes such as your antivirus and Windows Update, to name a few.

After a power outage, when I boot my computer, Desktop will not come up. I can start it in safe mode/Internet and it works. How can I correct this?

Always try the easiest solutions first. Try going back to a previous System Restore point. Click Start, type "system restore" and then click the System Restore link at the top. If that doesn't solve the issue, try running the System File Checker as follows: Click Start, type "Command" and then right-click the Command Prompt link and chose Run as Administrator. At the prompt, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.

If still unsuccessful, try using the Windows 7 Recovery Console. If you have a Windows 7 DVD or if you've made a Windows 7 Repair disk, put it in the DVD tray and reboot. If your PC did not come with a DVD, then the recovery tools are most likely included in a separate disk partition.

Check your PC vendor's website for instructions on running its recovery options. Go to for a tutorial with pictures on running the Windows 7 Recovery Console.

For Windows 7 users who haven't already made a Window 7 Repair disk, now is a good time: Click Start, type "backup and restore" and click the link at the top of the menu (or Control Panel\System and Security\Backup and Restore). Click the "Create a system repair disc" link and follow the instructions.

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

Solutions: Glitches, email make computer user suspicious 02/01/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 1, 2013 8:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

  3. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum


    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  5. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar


    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.