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. Review: Ladee Hubbard's 'The Talented Ribkins' finds heroes in Florida


    Not every superhero hails from the Marvel or DC universes.

  2. For local officials, a charter school story with a surprise ending


    The opening day enrollment for Pasco County's newest charter school set off alarm bells in the school district's administrative offices.

    A page from the Pasco MYcroSchool website contains photos from its first day. The new school was projected to have 250 students this year. But when only 14 showed up initially, Pasco school officials questioned whether the school should receive its total allotment of funds from the state. [Pasco MYcroSchool]
  3. Rays morning after: There (really) are still reasons to be optimistic


    There are plenty of reasons to be pessimistic about the Rays' chances to get out of their extended skid and make the playoffs, including veteran 3B Evan Longoria's acknowledgement after Thursday's game that the pressures of …

  4. Can a Democrat win Florida's gubernatorial nomination without knocking Donald Trump?


    ...."I may not respect the occupant of the office, but I respect the office," (Philip) Levine said. "Right now he's the pilot, and I'm on the plane like everybody else. I don't wish the pilot failure. I want a smooth and safe landing."

    Philip Levine will announce his plans in October, and it looks likely he runs
  5. Forecast: Rain, heat prevails for Tampa Bay through weekend as tropics gear up


    The summertime pattern of mid- to late-day showers and scorching temperatures will persist across Tampa Bay on Friday and throughout the weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]