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Solutions: Be sure Windows update is installed

Note to readers: Microsoft released the Windows 8.1 Update on April 8. This is not to be confused with Windows 8.1, which was an upgrade to the original Windows 8 release and which was made available last year. With me? I know, it's confusing. The important thing is that as of May 13, Microsoft will not be releasing security updates for Windows 8.1 unless you have installed the Windows 8.1 Update. To make sure it is installed, press the Windows key and type "windows update" (without the quotes) and then click the Windows Update link that appears at the top of the Search list. Click Review Update History, scroll down to about April 8 and make sure you see Windows 8.1 Update for x64-based Systems (KB2919355). If not, click the back arrow and then click the "Important Updates" link to the right. It should be listed. Click the check box to select it, click Install and let Windows Update do its thing.

I am helping to organize a family reunion for later this year. This would be an ideal time for family members to share old family photos, especially one-of-a-kind prints. What suggestions do you have for making this happen?

There are many ways to do this, including using one of the many social media applications, such as Facebook, but I would stay away from those for a number of reasons. The safest and simplest solution would be for someone to open a free account at Snapfish.com (sponsored by HP). Share the login and password with the rest of the extended family and have everyone upload his or her photos. Snapfish can also create specialized Photo Books with your selected photos for a reasonable price. I've actually done this, and it turned out very nice. This may not be the most tech-savy solution, but I always opt for simplicity over everything else.

Within the past week, my Acer laptop, purchased in June 2013, has unexpectedly shut down. I had to restart it with the power cord and confirmed the battery was fully charged. It occurred again several times over a week, each time requiring use of the power cord to restart it. I contacted the folks at Best Buy Geek Squad, and they recommended returning it for service and said I would receive one new battery. I am not convinced that is the problem, especially since the device seems to be functioning okay for the past couple of days. I invested serious dollars in this purchase and planned to use it for many years.

By all means, bring it in and get your new battery while it is still under warranty. It's very possible that the battery could be defective, or there could be faulty contacts on either end of the connection. I don't suspect an operating system or a Windows 8/UEFI BIOS issue here.

Correction: Last week we published an answer in error in response to an iTunes error message and a possible fix. I recommended what I thought was a Microsoft site, but it wasn't. I apologize for the error. My old eyes read it as a Microsoft domain, and it is obviously not.

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: Be sure Windows update is installed 04/25/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 25, 2014 6:41pm]
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