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Solutions: How to get rid of unwanted files

I have an Acer Extensa 562oz laptop running Windows Vista. I have several files that I cannot delete. Some are files that I downloaded. I have moved all these files to a new folder on the "D" drive. The system is working perfectly, but I would like to recover this disc space. I have gone into DOS as an administrator but I could not delete any of the files. The commands "del" or "rd" do not seem to work. How can I delete these files?

There are usually two things that will keep you from deleting a file: It's in use or you don't have ownership. Of course if it is in use you need to stop the program that has it open. If it is Windows itself, boot to a Command prompt (as it seems you have done). If it's an ownership issue, right-click the file(s), select Properties and then the Security tab. Click the Advanced tab, then the Owner tab in the Advanced Security Settings window. If the owner is something other than your current logged in user you will see your user id in the "Change owner to" box. Select your ID and then click OK as well as any confirmations that follow.

I am so tired of receiving unwanted email. Most have an unsubscribe link. I know using that tells them they have a "real" person. However in frustration, their unsubscribe links mostly do not work. I send them to "blocked" in Outlook. When I say blocked, I mean blocked, but they just go into my junk folder, which means I still have to review and delete them.

Make sure you are taking advantage of all Junk mail filters available within your email client (in your case, Outlook). You can also create your own rules based on sending user/domain and/or email content. Many email clients such as Gmail, Hotmail, Windows Live Mail and Outlook also employ an option that only allows people in your contact list to send you email. This is the most aggressive approach. You can Google "allow only email contacts" without the quotes to return a list of links with instructions on how to do this (select the ones that reference your particular email client). I usually go with the defaults. It puts most of them in my Junk folder and a simple right-click, "Empty Junk email folder" permanently deletes them in one shot without having to open/select them one at a time. I use Microsoft Live Mail, but most email clients will have something similar.

I have Windows 7 Home Edition, with Earthlink as my Internet provider and Norton Virus Protection. Each night when I turn off the computer I receive a message "two updates being installed". It is always the same two: KB2676562 and KB2679255. Any suggestions?

For any Windows Update issue you can click Start, type Troubleshoot and then click the Troubleshooting link. Under system and security, click Fix problems with Windows Update. Click the advanced link to have it automatically reset any incomplete Windows Update settings and click next. If this doesn't fix the problem, try booting into Safe Mode with Network and try downloading and manually installing those updates from www.microsoft.com/downloads (search for each KB download). Make sure you turn Norton off before doing any of the troubleshooting.

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

Solutions: How to get rid of unwanted files 07/08/12 [Last modified: Sunday, July 8, 2012 7:16pm]
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