05/17/13 Personal Tech
When I sign onto Windows 7, it takes about a minute for my laptop to be Internet ready and five to seven minutes before loading a Web page. I tried AVG, Norton and Malwarebytes. I have warnings that the laptop is using high amounts of memory, but it never tells me what is using these resources. It says I have 3.2 GB of RAM free to use, but I see at times it fluctuates from 10 percent to 90 percent memory being used. What can I try to fix this issue?...
05/10/13 Personal Tech
I have an Acer 5620z laptop running Windows Vista. In the front of the laptop are three audio jacks and a slot for a camera card. None of these are working. I have tried to activate them using Device Manager, but they do not show up. How can I activate these devices?
The audio headphone/microphone jacks are going to be controlled by your sound card and the SD reader would normally show under Disk drives within Device Manager. Even though your laptop is out of warranty, you should check to see if there is a BIOS update for your particular model on the Acer board support website. If there is, it will have the instructions on how to do the update (flash the BIOS). If that doesn't solve your problem, try this: There could be "ghost" devices (devices that were at one time installed/connected then removed) that don't show in Device Manager and they may be causing conflicts preventing these devices from showing. Open a command prompt (Start, Run, Cmd) and type: set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1 and press Enter. This creates an environment variable. ...
04/26/13 Personal Tech
Is it possible for a person to have tons of spam mails sent to someone else's email account? I just deleted 719 emails from more companies/organizations from unsubscribe than I ever knew existed. I am buying a new laptop and will get professional help to set it up, but I've always liked Yahoo, and if I close the current account, can I open a new one and be free of this nuisance?
People can certainly give your email address to anyone or any organization. That doesn't mean they have control of your account; they just know your email address. But by all means, close out those old accounts and create new ones when you move to the new PC....
04/19/13 Personal Tech
I've used Google Earth for 10 years trouble-free. Yesterday, a message popped up saying: "Upon investigation we find that your particular graphics card does not support Google Earth in 'Open GL mode.' You are likely to encounter severe problems with Google Earth if you proceed. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we would like to switch you to 'Direct X mode.' Do you want to follow this recommendation?" No matter which mode I select, Google Earth opens, loads everything but shows only labels, borders and my little pins for locations. None of the terrain details show. I tried downloading "Direct X" from the Web, but it didn't help. ...
04/12/13 Personal Tech
Recently, I changed to Windows 8 and found Windows 8 Mail to be dreadful. So I looked for a way to make Vista's Windows Mail work on Windows 8. Everything went smoothly until I tried running WinMail.exe, but it would not run. Is there any way that I can get Windows Mail to work on Windows 8?
Nobody is happy with Windows 8 Mail. I recommend leaving Windows Mail behind. Windows Live Mail 2012 works on Windows 8 and can be downloaded as part of the Microsoft Live Essentials 2012 package (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-live/essentials-home). ...
04/05/13 Personal Tech
You wrote in your column that Windows 8 has a very robust antivirus built in. After I bought a new Windows 8 Lenovo laptop, I followed the instructions to set it up and went online to check my emails. The computer wouldn't respond. I called the help line in India, but they wanted to charge me money to help solve my problem. I took it to Office Depot (where I had bought it). They told me it had 16 viruses on it. I told them that I thought all new computers came with an antivirus for 30 days. They said no, but I could clean it and install McAfee for $135. I had it installed, but why did this happen if Windows 8 has a built-in antivirus?...
03/29/13 Personal Tech
On my laptop with 64 bit Windows 7 and IE 9, sometimes when I go to a Web page, while the Web page opens there will also be an additional blank page also open. This is annoying.
Most of the possible solutions for this problem involve registry fixes, but I didn't see anything that is sure to fix this exact problem, so we'll skip the registry edits. The best thing to do is to run the Internet Explorer reset. This will restore the Internet Explorer settings to their original state. You can do this by clicking "Tools," "Internet Options," the "Advanced" tab and then the "Reset" button. Close and reopen Internet Explorer. Go to "Tools" and "Manage Add-ons." You can re-enable any add-ons that were disabled in the reset. Do this only for the ones you need and do this one add-on at a time, testing your general browsing functionality before enabling any others....
03/22/13 Personal Tech
I have a 6-year-old Toshiba Satellite computer with Windows XP Service Pack 3 that has worked like a gem. The only problem is that it is filling with registry files that are taking up a lot of gigabytes. I found this to be a problem for others in the past and it is related, I think, in the Windows Installer folder or thereabouts. There was a computer utility cleanup program provided by Microsoft, but Microsoft discontinued offering it. Do you have any suggestions?...
03/08/13 Personal Tech
When friends send me pictures in their emails, they will not open. Also, I often get an email with an attachment with the extension followed by an .eml suffix, which is identical to the icons I see when I can't open attached pictures in email. I have no trouble receiving pictures with the .jpg extension.
Most likely your email client had a security update that disabled access to certain picture types and other attachments such as .eml (separate email files). I checked the header of the .eml attachment you sent to me, saving it as a .txt and opening it with Notepad (not my email client). This is part of what I saw: "Note: To protect against computer viruses, email programs may prevent sending or receiving certain types of file attachments." That was a message from your email client, trying to protect you from opening something that may contain a virus or malware. You should be able to turn this option off. You may want to only selectively turn this off for email sources you trust....
02/22/13 Personal Tech
How long should it take to run Malwarebytes? It took nearly seven hours to scan 817,575. Should it take this long? I talk to people who have much more on their computers (pictures, etc.) and they say it does not take this long at all.
That is certainly a long time. It may have something to do with what else is running concurrently in the background on your PC. Try rebooting and choose the "Safe mode with Networking" (press F8 as it starts the reboot). You may also want to check the system logs for any sort of disk errors using the Event viewer. Go to Control Panel\System and Security\Administrative Tools\Computer Management (or for Windows 7, click start and type Event and click the link on top). Expand Event Viewer, Windows Logs, System. Look for any disk related errors (red with an !)....
02/15/13 Personal Tech
I cannot get Adobe Flash Player installed and running on my PC. I have Windows 7, and a 64-bit computer. The file needed to activate it is an ENC file and my computer says it cannot open it. I can find many programs that say they will fix it for a price. Are there free fixes available? Can you point me in the right direction?
Something doesn't sound right, but whatever you do, don't ever follow any of those links that say they can "fix" your problem for a price. There shouldn't be any file required to "activate" Adobe Flash. Make sure you are getting clean scans from both your antivirus program as well as something like MalwareBytes antimalware (www.tinyurl.com/2fwj868) or Windows Offline Defender (http://tinyurl.com/TBT01). Once you are past this stage, go to Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features. Find and uninstall any version of Adobe Flash that may be listed. Go to www.adobe.com/downloads and click the "Get Adobe Flash Player" link button on the right and follow the instructions. That's all it should take and is the only way you should install/update Flash player — directly from the Adobe site. Many viruses or malware will try to trick you into clicking a link under the guise of upgrading Flash Player. If you don't pay close attention, you can get fooled....
02/08/13 Personal Tech
How can I recover data from a hard drive in an old computer? I connected it via external cable to another computer and it is recognized, but access is limited to music and photos.
Try this: Open My Computer, right-click on the old drive and select Properties. Click the Security tab and then the Advanced button. Click the Owner tab. Under the "Change Owner To" section, select your user ID and click OK. Click Continue if prompted with the UAC dialog....
02/01/13 Personal Tech
Recently, I got an email that appeared to be from myself. The email was spam, with a link to a site selling drugs from Canada. I opened the "Properties" box, and my email address was listed under "Received from." I then went to the "Message Source" box, and there were a number of email addresses listed, none of which I recognized. I also have noticed that my computer has begun to run slowly, and the Windows "busy" icon seems to be on very often. I can't help but wonder whether someone hasn't hijacked my computer, and it is busy sending out spam. Windows Defender reports that there is "No unwanted or harmful software detected."...
01/25/13 Personal Tech
I purchased an HP Officejet pro 8600 all-in-one printer from Office Depot. The software that came with the printer indicated that it has the capability to edit a scanned document and it does indeed have an option to "scan as an editable text." It scans to the computer okay, but when you save the document and then open it, the formatting is all messed up — misaligned and such. You can edit the document, but it would take forever to put it in the proper format. The tech at Office Depot told me that the HP 8600 Premium comes with separate software (Readiris) that takes care of this formatting issue. He tested a scanned document and the format was okay and he was able to edit the text. The HP tech took control of my computer and had the same problem I had. ...
01/18/13 Personal Tech
I have a new Lenovo desktop with Windows 7. When receiving photos in email, they are in the normal format, top to bottom with titles accompanying each photo. When I forward them, they go as a slide show, with small images across the top of the screen and no titles. How can I send them in the normal format?
You didn't specify which application you're using as your email client, but it sounds as if it may be Windows Live mail. If it is, try this: After you click Forward but before sending, click the Format menu and select the "attachment" option (it is represented by a paperclip icon)....