Solutions: Trouble accessing Google Earth

I've used Google Earth for 10 years trouble-free. Yesterday, a message popped up saying: "Upon investigation we find that your particular graphics card does not support Google Earth in 'Open GL mode.' You are likely to encounter severe problems with Google Earth if you proceed. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we would like to switch you to 'Direct X mode.' Do you want to follow this recommendation?" No matter which mode I select, Google Earth opens, loads everything but shows only labels, borders and my little pins for locations. None of the terrain details show. I tried downloading "Direct X" from the Web, but it didn't help.

Try updating your video adapter. Go to Device Manager, find and double-click your display adapter, click the "Driver" tab, then "Update Driver." If still no luck, repeat, but this time choose "Uninstall" and right-click the top of the Device Manager tree (your computer name) and select "Scan" for changes. This should reload the current drivers and perhaps fix the problem. Also, try the recommendations at http://support.google.com/earth/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=176180.

For reasons unknown, I started getting an error message every time I try to open Outlook. It says, "Outlook failed to open properly" and that opening it in "Safe Mode" will enable me to correct the problem. Now it will run only in "Safe Mode," and I have to reset my options every time. I tried "Detect & Repair" and uninstalled/reinstalled Outlook and Office, but it did not help. Any idea how to fix this?

First, make sure you have the latest Office/Outlook updates (Windows Update). Try disabling any add-ins one at a time to see whether that solves the problem (Tools, Trust Center, Add-ins). There was also a known issue with an older version of Outlook (2007) that was caused by Windows Search. Disabling it solved the issue: Go to Control Panel/Admin Tools/Services, find "Windows Search" and disable it.

Every time I open a Microsoft Word document, it shows a split, with a small page on the left side. If the document has one page, one shows up. If it has multiple pages, then all of the pages show up vertically on the left side of the page. When I click on the "Window" tab on the top of the page, and click on "Remove Split," it does remove it, but it reappears constantly, whether I have minimized the page for a minute, saved it and reopened it, or started a new page.

I thought you were first describing the "Thumbnails" view option, and for that you just need to unclick that option under the "View" menu. For the "split window," grab one edge with your mouse and drag it all the way over to make one window. Maybe that will be more permanent.

You can also reset your Word settings to the original defaults. This involves deleting files and registry settings. Microsoft has made it easy with an automated command file at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822005. The manual instructions are also there for those who wish to do this themselves for Windows versions prior to Windows 7.

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: Trouble accessing Google Earth 04/19/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 19, 2013 8:27pm]

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