Saturday, January 20, 2018
News Roundup

Solutions: 'Upgrade' wiped out Acer laptop

I have an Acer laptop, Model No. ZD1 with Windows Vista Home Premium. I've had it for several years and it worked beautifully up until it flashed to download what I thought was Microsoft Service pack 2. After the download it totally wiped my computer out. When I turn it on, all I get is the Acer logo. It did not come with a recovery disk, and I think the disk is somehow internal. I have tried several options that I read about online to do a recovery to bring it back to a factory install, but I really do not know what I am doing.

Powering on and continuously pressing the F10 button (or alt-F10) should bring up the Acer eRecovery system. It may have options that allow you to back up your data to an external drive and then restore factory settings. You may also want to contact Acer support to see if there is an option to purchase the factory recovery disk. I had to do this for an out-of-warranty HP laptop. The cost was only $15.

I have a Dell XPS 600 desktop computer and it runs on Windows XP. When I'm gaming online, the game screen will sometimes minimize without prompting, which is annoying. Please tell me there is an easy fix.

If this only happens while playing the game, I'd guess that it is driver related. Make sure you're getting back clean antivirus screens and then go to the support website for your video adaptor. Check that you have the latest driver updates. If not, download and install. Many cards also have their own BIOS flashes. Check your versions and update as needed.

How do you do a partial delete of URL history in Windows 7 and IE9? My 2011 version has a button to clear all URLs, but not some. All the alleged solutions on the Internet do not apply. They say press this and click that, but my Windows 7 and IE9 don't have those options. The list of URLs rapidly fills up with unnecessary URLs, which can't be edited out without erasing everything in the list. Can you help?

Sure. Click start, Run, type REGEDIT and click OK. Navigate to this key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs]. On the right side of the Regedit screen you will see the list of URLs. Right-click the URLs you want to delete and select Delete. Repeat this for each URL you want to erase. Restart Internet Explorer and they should now be gone. I'm sure there is some freeware utility somewhere that does this, but why clutter up your system with unnecessary software? Simpler is always better. Whenever you modify the registry it is a good idea to set a system restore point and know how to get back to that point if needed.

I have Norton antivirus and a friend said I should use Microsoft Security Essential because it is free and just as good. I wonder if it is just as good.

Norton Antivirus is a great product, and I'm a big proponent of "if it's not broke, don't fix it" when it comes to making changes on your PC. However, if you want to save your money the next time the subscription comes due, you will not be losing anything by switching to Security Essentials. It is just as good, integrates with the operating system and runs with minimal resources.

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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U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

WASHINGTON — The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunctio...
Updated: 7 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 19

Friday’s scoreboardBoys soccerIndian Rocks Christian 2, Lakewood 1Lennard 3, Spoto 0Girls soccerPCAC Championship: Largo 3, Osceola 1Lennard 8, Spoto 0
Updated: 8 hours ago

Four people linked to Tampa carjacking captured hours later

TAMPA — It took officers just 27 minutes Friday night to capture four people who they said stole a car from its owner.The incident started outside the Ybor Coffee Shop at 5:45 a.m. A group approached the driver as he sat in his 2010 Toyota Corolla. T...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

The state has opened an investigation into CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, days after the Tampa Bay Times asked about whether the two regional job centers were inflating the number of people they had helped get hired. The agencies, ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Florida National Guard soldier killed, five injured in Sebring crash

SEBRING — A soldier with the Florida National Guard was killed and five others were hospitalized after a multi-vehicle crash on Friday, officials said.The crash took place at about 1 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Hammock Road.The soldiers ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Two New Port Richey men accused of stealing $11,000 in cellphone merchandise

Two New Port Richey men accused of stealing $11,000 in cellphone merchandise

NEW PORT RICHEY — Two New Port Richey men face charges after Pasco County deputies say they stole about $11,000 worth of cellphones and cellphone equipment at a Metro PCS store on State Road 54.Robert Jackson and Ronald Hartshorn were arrested Wednes...
Updated: 10 hours ago
U.S. Attorney: Tampa woman uses soul food restaurant as part of scheme to steals thousands

U.S. Attorney: Tampa woman uses soul food restaurant as part of scheme to steals thousands

TAMPA — The owner of a soul and seafood restaurant is facing more than 10 years in federal prison for filing dozens of false tax returns and stealing thousands of dollars, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.Natalie Rene Panko, 57, owner of Ladie...
Updated: 11 hours ago
That noise you hear from MacDill is low-flying A-10 Warthogs in training

That noise you hear from MacDill is low-flying A-10 Warthogs in training

TAMPA — If you hear loud noises coming from MacDill Air Force Base over the next few days, don’t be alarmed.It’s the sound of flying hogs.A squadron of A-10C Warthogs, beloved by troops in the field for their ability to swoop low and slow and tear ap...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Autopsy: drugs found in MLB star Roy Halladay’s system after plane crash

Autopsy: drugs found in MLB star Roy Halladay’s system after plane crash

When former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay died in a plane crash in November, he had amphetamines, morphine and the sleep aid zolpidem in his system, according to an autopsy report.Halladay, 40, died from blunt force trauma with drowning ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
USF leaders move to calm fears over consolidation plan

USF leaders move to calm fears over consolidation plan

ST. PETERSBURG — Holding a piece of computer paper and a microphone, the leader of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg began a Friday afternoon forum by repeating the USF administration’s new mantra.He reassured the crowd before him that t...
Updated: 11 hours ago