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Solutions: XXXX

I run Windows XP with AVG free virus protection. Lately I have gotten a message on my desktop for "AVG 2012 Summer Update". I think this is a scam, but I am unable to verify if it is from AVG or not.

AVG 2012 Summer Update appears to be a legitimate part of AVG. It includes a tracking protection feature and an advisor that issues a warning if your device attempts to connect to a vulnerable public Wi-Fi that it has not used before. You can find more details at the AVG support/forums website.

I have a new computer with Windows 7. Every so often my PC will freeze up. I have to turn my PC off then turn it back on and it is fine then. Any idea as what causes this? My PC is a desktop.

Obviously this is not expected behavior. So regardless of this particular problem, be prepared to contact the PC manufacturer with support and warranty issues.

Try booting into Safe Mode and see if you experience the same issue. If not then it may indicate corrupted drivers, in which case reinstalling the video drivers may solve the issue. But I don't think that's what's going on here. I have seen this happen when PCs overheat. Check that the exhaust fan has room to breathe.

You may also want to check the system event logs to see if any failures were being logged at the time leading up to the freezing. Click Start, type Event and then click the Event Viewer link at the top. Click Windows logs, then System, then scroll to find events in the appropriate time frame. Pay attention to any Warning and/or Error type entries. This can also be caused by a number of faulty hardware items or any number of issues on the system board. In this case contacting the manufacturer support is the recommended course of action.

I have tried to back up my Dell Inspiron 1525, Windows 7 machine many times. It always seems to be working, but I'll come back later to find that the backup failed. I have used Acronis, GoodSync, Reflect, and Windows and have received, more or less, the same error: "Backup failed, I/O Error." I can backup individual files and folders and the computer works fine in all other respects.

Try checking the System and application error logs using the Event Viewer (click Start, type "Event Viewer" and then click the link at the top, click Windows Logs) and see if you can find any messages that may give more specific information. Also check your power options (click Start, type "Power Options", click the Power Options link under Control Panel). Click your selected plan and then click the Advanced Settings. Find and expand the Hard Disk setting and then change the "Plugged In" amount to a value of at least several hours. I would also make sure of your hard drives integrity: Right-click the C drive, choose Properties, then the Tools tab, click the Check Now button. This will schedule a disk check on the next reboot.

Send questions to personal tech@tampabay.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: XXXX 07/22/12 [Last modified: Sunday, July 22, 2012 7:22pm]
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