Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)


Solutions: You don't have to be frightened by a loud e-mail alert

As I read the news, or my e-mail, there is a noise of a door opening, then when you least expect it, it slams shut. A very loud noise, if I happen to have my sound turned up. It is heart-stopping. It's as though you received a Halloween e-mail, meant to frighten you after lulling you to a "soft" scene, then a loud "BOO!" Very annoying and frightening. Being frightened is not fun no matter your age. Can you please tell me how to get it removed, once and for all?

It sounds to me that there is a particular sound scheme in place that connects this "scary sound" to a particular system event. Let's change your sound scheme back to the Windows default, and if that doesn't change it, we'll change it to not use a sound scheme.

Click start, Control Panel and then click "Change system sounds." Depending on which version of Windows you have, the navigation may be a little different. Click the "Sounds" tab. Under Sound Scheme, select Windows Default.

If it is already set to Windows Default, or you change it and you still hear the scary sound, change the scheme to "No sounds."

When I start my computer I get a message to load a program called "Photo Gallery." I don't have this program and I started getting it after I downloaded a picture sent from a mobile phone. How can I get rid of this message? I have looked everywhere in my computer and cannot find the program.

It is probably referring to Windows Live Photo Gallery, which you can find at, but I'm not sure why you would be prompted at startup.

Maybe you loaded the Windows Live Essentials package and something wasn't completed. If that's the case, then go to the URL above and download Photo Gallery on its own. If you'd rather just remove the Windows start message, click Start, Run, type MSCONFIG and click OK. Go to the startup tab for a list of programs that run each time Windows starts. Check the listed programs and uncheck anything that looks like it may be related to the Photo Gallery program. If you uncheck the wrong program (the message persists), you can just go back in and recheck it and try another.

I hope you will solve a problem that started a few weeks ago. Whenever I click on a link in my e-mails (Outlook Express or Microsoft Outlook 2007), an error message pops up: "This operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator." I am running Windows XP SP3 and have Office 2007 and I am the administrator.

This is a known issue caused by a missing/corrupted registry key that occurs during various Internet Explorer or Outlook upgrades. Go to for the fix. You can implement the fix manually, or use the automated "Fix It" button at that page.

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

Solutions: You don't have to be frightened by a loud e-mail alert 04/28/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 7, 2011 9:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Andy Serkis' directing debut 'Breathe' is not so inspiring


    After such a revolutionary acting career, Andy Serkis should be expected to make an equally inventive directing debut. Breathe is anything but that.

    Clare Foy and Andrew Garfield star in Breathe as Robin and Diana Cavendish, an English polio victim and his devoted wife, who pioneered disability rights and wheelchairs with ventilators. [Imaginarium]
  2. Federal judge blocks Trump's third travel ban

    A federal judge on Tuesday largely blocked the Trump administration from implementing the latest version of the president's controversial travel ban, setting up yet another legal showdown on the extent of the executive branch's powers when it comes to setting immigration policy.

    Protesters waved signs and chanted during a demonstration against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban outside a federal courthouse in Seattle in May. The third version of Trump's proposal was blocked by a federal judge Tuesday. [AP photo]
  3. The #BrooklynCow delighted Twitter for one glorious afternoon


    In the long tradition of social media delighting in news reports of a non-native animal running loose in an urban setting, Twitter, for a few blissful hours this afternoon, turned its collective …

    A bull was on the loose in Brooklyn for a little while on Tuesday afternoon.
  4. Pinellas, Hillsborough to join forces


    What is this, a crossover episode?

    Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins did make an appearance at the Pinellas County School Board workshop Tuesday in a first public move to establish an official partnerships between the two districts.

    Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins (center) and Pinellas school superintendent Mike Grego discuss a new partnership between the two districts at a Pinellas County School Board workshop Tuesday in Largo.
  5. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues


    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]