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Solutions: Should computer get hot when watching videos?

I'm running Windows 7 on my HP Notebook. The computer runs fine and is cool until I view a video. Then the computer gets quite hot. Do I have any reason to be concerned, and if so what can I do about it?

What you're seeing is normal as long if it is not a prolonged period beyond the running of the video. That particular action can be CPU-intensive, which is why the fan kicks in. Go into Internet Explorer, Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab. Under Accelerated Graphics make sure that "Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering" is not checked. That would be the default setting already if your video/system board has a separate GPU (graphics processor unit, like a CPU just for graphics). Almost all modern PC's come with one. Also, check HP's support website and make sure that you have the latest video drivers.

I have a Dell Latitude E6220 running Windows 7. In the last few weeks, my wireless has cut in and out frequently. The signal from the router seems okay, I just lose Internet access. My provider recently more or less forced me to use a router they provide. When I look at the available networks, there appear to be a dozen or so similar routers in my condo building. Is it possible that all those identical routers are clogging things up? One online article said it might be a good idea to change the channel my router uses. How do I do that?

Yes, that is a possibility. Most routers default to the same channel (channel 6) and chances are most of the people around you are using the same settings. The channel further delineates the spectrum range of the wireless frequency on which your particular router communicates with your PC. You may want to first check with your provider support to see if they offer an optimizer type program that will automatically test your wireless response on several different channels.

You can log on to your router using your browser at address http://192.168.1.1. Use the user and password labeled on your router (unless you've changed it). Click on the "Wireless" section of the router's administration page and then look for a link to change basic wireless settings. There you can change the channel, reboot the router and then use the wireless speed tester from your provider's support site. Repeat this process until you can determine if any of the other settings helps. Also, some of the older cordless phones operate on the 2.4 GHz frequency, which can also interfere with your wireless router. If this is the case, look into changing to a newer 5.8 GHz phone.

Recently, my printer has been mysteriously leaving out a number of lines in documents. I don't think the problem is in my trusty, run-forever, built-like-a-tank HP LaserJet 4 Plus. Could it be from my soon-no-longer-supported Outlook or my ancient Dell Inspiron 1300?

It could be any of those things as well as any point in between. The old HP's are great, but nothing lasts forever. First try a different USB cable. It's also possible that if you're printing from within Word, a recent Office update could be the problem. Check for updates for both Office and your HP printer drivers.

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: Should computer get hot when watching videos? 06/13/14 [Last modified: Friday, June 13, 2014 8:37pm]

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