Monday, January 22, 2018
News Roundup

Solutions: To recover desktop, change screen resolution

I have Windows XP. My desktop background went all white, but the icons are still there. The note says, "ACTIVE DESKTOP RECOVERY."

When I click "restore my active computer" it says "error in the script, line 65 Char. 1 error object doesn't support this action code O," I have no idea how to fix this.

That is a known error and can be corrected with a registry edit, but this solution is much simpler: Right click anywhere on your desktop, click Settings and then change your screen resolution. Click OK and the problem should be solved. At that point, change your settings back to the previous resolution.

If I download Microsoft Security Essentials (as I have done and installed), do I also need to download the malware-removal software from Microsoft? Or does Microsoft Essentials find malware and remove it automatically? Is there anything else I should download and install from Microsoft to make a "complete" security package, if you will?

There is a bit of overlap between Security Essentials and any of the "run as needed" malware detectors such as Microsoft's Malware Removal Tool and Malwarebytes' Antimalware program, but they run on different levels. Much like the Windows Defender Offline Beta that I wrote about in the Jan. 13 column (http://tinyurl.com/TBTJT) that runs as an alternate boot source. I always recommend using the least intrusive approach and progressing from there when you suspect you may have a virus.

The viruses/malware change frequently, and it is good to have a few lines of defense ready. Of course, the best solution is to have the latest Windows/Internet Explorer update, make sure UAC (User Account Control) is turned on and, most importantly, use extreme vigilance when browsing and downloading any item.

I am concerned: Do I really need to allow Java on my Windows 7 system? Can I safely remove the Java software that is on the system now? It's on my hard drive. I frequently get the popup "AOS upgrade fixer is ready to update."

It is not absolutely necessary for browsing, but you may lose some functionality on various websites. It can be disabled by going to Tools, Internet options, Security. Click the Custom Level button and then scroll down until you see the "Active Scripting" settings. My recommendation is to use the default Medium-High setting.

The update notice is an annoyance, but you can turn that behavior off from the Java control panel (click Start, type Java Control Panel and then click the link, or directly at Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features). Open Java, click the Update tab and then uncheck the "Check for updates automatically" option. Just make sure that when you do download a Java update, it is signed by Sun Microsystems.

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

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