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Solutions: When a laptop won't shut down

I have an Acer Aspire laptop running Windows 7 Home edition. First, it will not shut down. If you click "Shut down," it closes and restarts. The only way to shut it down is to remove the battery. The settings on the control panel appear to be correct. The other issue is the finger mouse pad works when it first boots up, but as soon as an application is started, the finger mouse pad is disabled.

This is consistent with what happens when a device driver fails to shut down properly and crashes during shutdown. You may be able to get a clue by checking the Windows System logs using the Event Viewer (click Start, type Event Viewer and click the link at the top). Make sure you have the latest Windows updates as well as Acer device-specific updates (check its support forum). If you are still under warranty, have them help you solve it.

I was told that if I do not accept Microsoft Windows 7 that one day they will block my Windows XP, so I cannot get on the Internet. Fact or fiction?

Fiction. What you're probably hearing is the planned "end of support" lifecycle. From Microsoft's website: "This refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. This is the time to make sure you have the latest available service pack installed." For Windows XP that's April 8, 2014. It won't affect Internet connections.

I created some CDs on Windows 98. I now have Windows XP and my CDs are "read only." I cannot delete the documents or make changes.

If they're CDs, they are not rewritable. Copy them to your drive, make changes and write them to a new CD/DVD if needed. CDs 15 years old may no longer be reliable.

My computer email is Windows Live Mail and Windows 7 64 Bit is my operating system. I get many junk emails. Some land in my inbox even though I previously labeled them on the blocked senders list. My second computer uses Windows XP and Outlook Express and it does not receive anywhere near the junk mail messages and has no junk email folder. I am using Microsoft Security Essentials on both computers. It appears that Windows XP does a much better job of filtering junk mail than my Windows 7 system. Is this so or am I missing something?

I'm sure Windows Live Mail and Outlook Express are using different filtering methodologies. It's interesting that Outlook Express seems to be doing a better job as I'm sure it doesn't receive the same amount of attention as Windows Live Mail. Make sure you have the filtering set properly in Live Mail. Click the little "Live Mail" image in the upper left corner, click Options, then Safety Options and then the Options tab. Make sure the level is set to High. Junk email filters are almost always updated at every Windows Update, so make sure your PC is set to automatically download the latest updates (Control Panel \ System and Security \ Windows Update).

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: When a laptop won't shut down 08/12/12 [Last modified: Sunday, August 12, 2012 9:27pm]
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