Recent Comments


Comment by moses allen on Can You Trust ScanGuard? (May 25, 2017 07:31 AM)
DOCTOR ALAHO YOU ARE GOD SENT TO HELP PEOPLE LIFE, I PRAY YOU WILL NOT DIE BEFORE YOUR TIME. This is real take it serious, who will believe that a her...
Comment by Joe on Geekly Update - 24 May 2017 (May 24, 2017 10:38 PM)
I fly the 737 for a living, so I watched the video embedded in the linked CNBC story with some considerable interest. As I suspected before I hit pla...
Comment by Valli on Replace Your Landline With MagicJack? (May 24, 2017 09:59 PM)
Over the years I have had three MJs because they would die for some reason and rather than waiting for Customer Service to send a replacement, I would...
Comment by Elizabeth on The New Google Voice: Love or Hate? (May 24, 2017 08:33 PM)
You have it right Gary in SE Wisconsin why would Google want to improve Voice when it was so simple to use the way it was especially for us Seniors ho...
Comment by SysOp404 on Geekly Update - 24 May 2017 (May 24, 2017 07:44 PM)
You can likely guess the thoughts of those of us taking cautionary stances on the latest land-based, self-driving vehicles that are always in the news...
Comment by Nezzar on Geekly Update - 24 May 2017 (May 24, 2017 05:10 PM)
gg pence: Thanks much for your excellent comments. They give all of us something to think about if this idiotic idea is ever attempted. ...
Comment by richierich on Geekly Update - 24 May 2017 (May 24, 2017 04:44 PM)
Great point gg. typos included...
Comment by A on Disqus: Bad for Public Discourse? (May 24, 2017 04:25 PM)
I also just read the comment above mine, and I have a question for @David Hodges. Say you were at a cocktail party, having a wide range of interestin...
Comment by David on 5-Point Tuneup For Hacker Defenses (May 24, 2017 03:58 PM)
Phil, VLC is a good viewer, and I haven't heard anything unsafe about it....
Comment by A on Disqus: Bad for Public Discourse? (May 24, 2017 03:48 PM)
Great article, thank you! I had been generally suspicious of Disqus previously, and your detailed article confirmed it. The current 'conventional wis...

Quickies Articles

 

Two Printers, One Computer

I have a laser printer and an inkjet printer. How do I connect them both to one computer (by cable)?

...

Registry Problem

I had a problem with Windows XP. A friend entered the registry and did something to it. Now every time I turn the computer on I get a notice saying that Windows Installer is preparing to install. I can't now open pps or ppt attachments. I don't know how to fix the problem and I don't want to reformat my computer. Any suggestions?

...

Garbage From Printer

When I start up my computer, the printer starts printing out a bunch of almost-blank garbage pages, containing hearts, smilies and lots of other gibberish. I don't know why it does this, and don't know how to stop it. Can you help?

...

Itunes Music Skipping

I have trouble with iTunes songs 'skipping.' At first I thought it was because of my speakers, but one of my friends mentioned that she has the same problem. Is this due to low RAM or because iTunes takes so much RAM? I started to use WinAmp again because it doesn't have such a long lag time as iTunes and doesn't do the weird skipping thing.

...

Emailing Photos

Emailing a group of 4 or 5 JPG photos from the 'My Pictures' folder is no problem. But Emailing a group of 50 seems to clog the system for ever and nothing actually sends. The pictures are taken with my digital camera, saved as JPG images, and I'm using MS Digital Images Suite 10 for the photos. How can I fix this please?

...

Start Menu Missing Items

All of a sudden, the Run and Search options are missing from the Windows XP Start Menu. What caused this, and how can I get them back?

...

Wasting Bandwidth?

A friend asked about downloading a file from a website and going to bed while the file downloads. If the download finishes and I'm still on that site without actively doing anything for hours, does this waste that site's bandwidth or ability to handle more users?

...

Background Checks

I note there are several sites that one may 'check out' someone. Is there any way one may find out if he/she has been 'checked out'? Your tips help this old Senior stay up to date!

...

Red Fist Appears


When on some websites, if I click on a link a red fist icon appears next to my pointer and I am not redirected to that link. What is this red fist, and how can I access those links?

...

Sending Scheduled Emails

I want to send friends my weekly sermon, but I'll be on sabbatical for the next few months. I've written most of them out already and I'm wondering if there's a cheap or free way to send these out on a scheduled basis. Any help is most welcome.

...

Invalid System Disk

What does Invalid System Disk mean? I keep getting that message after I turn my Gateway notebook computer on. When I first bought it I tried to install Windows 95 on it and could not get past the second floppy disk. Could the disks be bad since they have been sitting in the garage for the last 9 or 10 years? Do I need to install DOS first?

...

System Hangs

My system with a P4 processor and 1 Gig of RAM hangs quite often. I run Task Manager and it shows 100% of CPU use each time it hangs. This usually happens when opening or downloading PPS files. I'm running Kaspersky anti-virus and firewall.

...

Too Many Emails?

Does having too many emails in my inbox cause my computer to freeze up?

...

Access local IP address without dialing up

I'm trying to set up a small network (3 PC's, 1 network printer, 1 NAS device) using static IP addresses. I have succeeded in configuring all of the devices, but when I try to connect to, say, the NAS's configuration screen (browser interface), the PC's dialup adapter (currently using dialup at each PC for internet access) insists on connecting to the ISP before it will load the local page. How can I disable the dialup connection for local addresses?

...

Dialup Window Pops Up

Lately, my dialup window keeps popping up unexpectedly and it's getting agravating, especially when I'm typing an email or playing a game. Is there something I can do to correct this?. I have looked at everything connected to it and see nothing that says, Dummy, change this! Please help. Thank You.

...

Windows Update Problem

Recently I have had problems with the Windows Update site. I keep getting the following message: [Error number: 0x80070005] The website has encountered a problem and cannot display the page you are trying to view. I have followed all the obvious solution trails without success. I can download updates manually and apply them but this is a bit time consuming and puts the onus on me to ensure I am up to date with all patches ... i'd much rather have it running automatically. Have you any ideas that may help.

...

Firefox and Roboform

I recently upgraded Firefox to 1.0.6 and downloaded the latest extension for the Roboform tool bar 6.4.0. Now I get error messages saying I don't have the latest extension for Roboform and specifies the one I installed. The toolbar doesn't show any buttons, just a blank. How do I correct this?

...

Firefox Plugin Problem

A few months ago my FireFox autodownloaded a plugin called Zoomin. They then advised me that they had done this by a popup which instructed me to click here to continue. When I clicked, the thing hacked my homepages (11 of them)and forced theirs on me. I was hacked by FireFox! I now have problems with my system(s) hanging, and can't even successfully shut down when it takes over the system. This is even when FF is not running. Short of a complete re-install, is there anything I can do?

...

Thunderbird Startup Folder

This is more of an annoyance than a true problem. I've been using Thunderbird since the pre-1.0 days, with Inbox being the default folder when the program starts. However, about a month ago Tbird decided that it would start at the top level folder (e.g., richard@myisp.com) instead. I click on Inbox, and everything is fine until the next time I open the program. I could not find anything in Settings or Tools/Options that would alter this. There's probably a simple fix, but I don't know where. Any ideas?

...

Standby Mode

I have a Dell 4300. For years when I put it into Standy or Sleep mode, both fans powered down. Since this computer is known for it's noise, this was particularly useful. Lately, however, though the computer goes into sleep mode, the fans continue to operate. Besides being noisy, it's also a waste of energy. I've upgraded my BIOS, run virus checks, etc. etc. Any ideas on why things changed?

...

Backup Eudora Spam Filters

I am creating 10-20 new spam filters in Eudora each day. But I am afraid that I will lose them in the event of a computer crash. It would take a tremendous amount of time to recreate them. How do I back them up so that I can easily re-enable them in the event of a crash?

...

Friend Claims You Sent a Virus

A friend told me twice she received an e-mail from me and it says it has a virus, but I didn't send any e-mail to her. Does this mean that I have a virus, or does it come from somebody else? I have McAfee virus protection...

...

Firefox Consumes the CPU

No matter what I do, including extensive research on Firefox site and the Internet, I still get CPU usage of 99% with Firefox, and it won't go away. It stops my system until I shut it down with ctl-alt-delete. Sometimes, it shows 0% usage and then won't even load. I'm pretty good with this stuff, and this still stumps me. (XP2 1G RAM, all up to date, trust me...)

...

Settings Don't Stay Set

When I set a specific printer as the default, the setting is not retained. Next time I turn on the computer, there is a different (or no) printer designated as the default. Several other settings are behaving similarly, I set my Logitech mouse to not display an icon in the task window, but the icon is back on the next reboot. I have tried creating a new user profile, but the same thing happens. I'm using WinXP Pro (SP2) with all the lastest critical updates.

...

Linux Installation

In setting up some space on which to install linux, AND not have to move all my partitions around, I have been wondering IF buying a USB external drive would be the way to go. The external drives are being advertised primarily as backup and storage adjuncts. Could I download a linux system on an external drive and would the drive accept such an installation?

...

Thunderbird Setup

I recently migrated from Netscape Messenger to Thunderbird. The migration worked perfectly, and I could send and receive mails with Thunderbird immediately after installation. But I have two questions.
Thunderbird put my mail folders on the C: drive, while I would like to have them stored on the Network drive. Can I move them? Also, when I send out a mail with Thunderbird, the mail gets delivered but I can't find it in the Sent Mail Folder!

...

Clear the Address Bar

How can I clear the entries stored in the Address Bar? Tools/Internet Options/Clear History won't do it. There are still entries there that pop up whenever I begin typing in an address. I would like to remove those.

...

Firefox and Plugins

I'm running Firefox and I wish to install Adobe Acrobat reader 6.0. When I run the installer, a window pops up and says I need to install Windows Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, then aborts the install. I have no intention of installing Explorer so how do I get Acrobat to install?

...

Windows Cannot Open This File

I got a message from Ad-Aware saying that a program was trying to access my registry. I refused it entry; what a mistake that was! Now everytime I click on a program on my desktop or in My Programs I receive a pop-up menu stating: Windows cannot open this file.
I can't get to my virus scanner, registry checker, Zone Alarm... nothing! I can't do a System Restore, can't go to Internet Options, Add/Remove Programs, or My Computer. I've even tried Safe Mode but I keep getting the same error message. Help?

...

Thumbnail Display Problem

Suddenly Explorer can no longer display thumbnails. Except for .bmp files all I get is black line box with the blue E -- NOT a thumbnail of the .jpg or .gif file. Short of FORMAT what can I change to fix this annoyance?

...

Thunderbird is Slow

I started using Mozilla Thunderbird early this year. About a month ago it started acting up. When I open the program it will take from five to fifteen minutes before it will start to download any messages. Once open, it works fine. I have deleted all sent messages and emptied the trash. I'm using WINXP with SP2 and running Norton AV. I run Spybot S&D and Lavasoft Adaware weekly I also update NAV weekly and run scans. Defrag and scandisc weekly as well. Any ideas?

...

Restoring from Backup

I have used PowerQuest DataKeeper 5.0 for backups for some time. A year ago my hard drive crashed. I attempted to restore some files with DK but was not successful. I have DK backup copies of these files on an external HDD, but I cannot get DK to restore these files. I double click on the file, DK does open, but the files are not listed in the restore window. Symantec says 'support was discontinued' for DataKeeper.

...

Only One Letter in Title Bar

Both my IE title bar and Windows Explorer title bar display only one letter. For example the present site that I am typing this at shows the letter A and that's all. It should probably say Ask Bob Rankin This has been this way since before SP2 which I was hoping would correct the problem, but didn't.

...

Can't Backup to CD

When I attempt to backup a file using the Windows XP backup utility I get the following error message: The backup file name could not be used. H:\10aug.bkf Please ensure it is a valid path, and that you have sufficient access. I can use the program to backup a file to a floppy, and then drag and drop the .bkf file to the CD, but the program won't backup to the CD.

...

Program Loading Order

Windows XP seems to rearrang the program loading order at every boot. My problem is that I often find that my computer is connected to the Internet provider before anitvirus, antispyware, and system monitoring programs have loaded. Is there any way that I can force Internet connection to be the last startup action? This is not a theoretical problem, I have found ProcessGuard to have intercepted an attempt to turn off antivirus modules by using services.exe.

...

Magnify the Screen

Bob, is it possible to change the size of the icons in the Quick Launch bar? I know someone who is not seeing so well and I want to make the icons larger. Is it also possible to make the whole taskbar (including the system tray and time) larger?

...

Spyware Removal

Norton AV just found adware and told me to go the adware site to get uninstall directions. I downloaded the instructions to a floppy, had NAV scan the floppy and it reported that the adware is on the floppy. Is it simply picking up the adware in the uninstall directions, or is the outfit going to give me more grief if I use the disk?

...

Can't Share Laptop on Network

I can't get my laptop to share properly on my home network even though I have both the C: drive and the My Documents folder on the laptop and my main PC set for sharing. From my main PC, I can access another PC on the network from My Network Places with no problem. I can see both the laptop C: drive and its My Documents folder from My Network Places. I can access the laptop's My Documents folder just fine, but when I try the laptop's C: drive I get a not accessible message. From the laptop I can't even see any other computers on the network in My Network Places. But if I use a shortcut to the actual computer address (in the format \\computername\c) I can access the C drive of that computer. Any ideas what's going on and how I can fix this?

...

Mozilla Interferes With McAfee

I switched to the mozilla browser as you suggested, but I am not able to download updates any more. For example, I have McAfee Antivirus software, and when it needs to be updated, I get a message saying that Mozilla has cancelled my update. How do I fix this?

...

Can't Delete from CD-RW

Whenever I try to delete a file (or folder) from my CD-RW disk, I get an error message saying the file cannot be deleted because it is read-only. Changing the attribute doesn't help because the read only designation is automatically restored. Is there some way around this? I've been told you can't delete an individual file, you must erase the entire disk. Is that true?

...

New Emails in Trash Folder

I have an e-mail notifier and it says Hey you've got mail. Lately some emails have not been showing up in my Inbox, but sometimes I find an unread message in either Deleted Items or Drafts folder. Can you help with this one?

...

Virus Ruins Hard Drive?

The Geek Squad claims that my computer has a virus that has ruined the hard drive and that it should be replaced. I just can not see software ruining a hard drive, the machine still functions. Can this be true?

...

What Exactly is BS?

Long-time Tourbus reader Earl sent in this gem:

Hello Bob, I just love what you're doing, for yourself and others... always solving, evolving, and so calming... you are a plain and simple wizard... Just as an aside, I once used the term BS in a sixth grade classroom. Of course, one student had the gumption to ask me what did BS mean...
...

Can't Save a File

After the last big security patch on my XP system, I find that I can no longer save files with any name other than the name the file has when I open it. For example, if I open a blank Excel spreadsheet, do my work and then want to save it as whatever.xls, Excel gives me an error message that the folder is not accessible. I can only save the file with the default name of book1.xls -- then I must go into the folder and change the file name manually. Do you have any ideas how I can fix this?

...

Spyware Tools Conflicting?

I've heeded your advice on keeping up to date with security patches, update my antivirus, run Spybot S&D, and Ad-Aware every week. I just added the Micorsoft Spyware Beta program, and now Spybot reports two security risks. Two registry settings (AntivirusDisableNotify and AntivirusOverride) had been changed in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center.
Do you think this is truly a problem or just a disagreement between the two products?

...

New Computer is SLOW

A good friend just bought a new eMachines system. But already it's slower than the 8 year old Gateway he got rid of! If they can't work out the wrinkles they're returning the whole thing. Can you give me a suggestion as to whether he should continue with his frustrations?

...

Cannot Download

Lately I have not been able to download any freeware. In the past I have downloaded Zonelabs Firewall, Spybot etc. Now when I press 'Click here to download' all I get is 'You are not authorized to view this page.' Can you help me download again?

...

Deleting Files That Are in Use

I have some files on my computer that I want to get rid of but they just won't delete. I have tried deleting them in safe mode & still no joy. Every time I try to delete them it says they are being used by another program or process. How can I delete these files?

...

Screen Flicker

My screen flickers - messages jump up and down. I checked with the AOL techs and they told me to increase my art capacity (or something like that) so I did. That corrected the problem. Then I signed on to a newsletter service and I was required to permit cookies and the fluttering began again. What is causing this?

...



.
.
Copyright © - by - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy