The Top Twenty

Category: Reference

Every night a friendly robot looks through the Ask Bob logs to see which articles were the most popular over the past week. Here are the current Top Twenty, ranked by readership volume. If you missed any of these, take a few minutes to read and comment!

Top 20


  1. Computer Problem? Test and Fix it Yourself

    Has your computer been acting strangely? If you've already ruled out viruses and gremlins, a more likely reason is an error caused by a hardware component that's flaky, damaged, or overheated. Here are some tips and tools to help you diagnose and fix those annoying or intermittent computer problems that just seem to pop up for no apparent reason...




  2. Your Hard Drive Will Crash in 3, 2, 1...

    A concerned AskBob reader says: 'Sometimes I hear a click-click sound from my hard drive, but it's only occasionally. Does this mean my hard drive is going to crash soon? Are there any tests I can run to check the health of my hard drive?' Read on to learn the tell-tale signs of impending hard drive doom, some things you can do NOW to protect your data, and what to do if it's too late.

  3. 10 Free Windows Troubleshooting Tools

    A computer operating system is a complex beast. If things go wrong with Windows, it can be difficult to track down the source of the glitch. But you can put away the screwdriver, sledgehammer (and chainsaw!) because there are plenty of free troubleshooters you can use to fix most problems. Read on for my recommended list of free Windows problem solvers...

  4. Saving Your Digital Bacon

    Have you ever accidentally deleted a file? Do you sometimes wish you could go back in time (a week, a month or a year) to see an older version of a document or spreadsheet? Wouldn't it be great if your computer automatically created backups to help in both of these scenarios? Your wish could be granted, if you turn on this little-known feature of your operating system. Read on...

  5. How (AND WHY) to Clean Computer Clutter

    Computers and cars have one thing in common: both tend to accumulate junk in hard-to-reach places. Cleaning out your car can be a messy, sweaty job with plenty of opportunities for back injuries. Cleaning out a PC is a more civilized affair. Here are some free tools to clean up your hard drive, improve system performance, and make sure your backups run smoothly. Ready to jettison the detritus? Read on...

  6. Review: PC Matic Gets a Zero!

    After years of hearing from AskBob readers about PC Matic, I finally decided it was time to give the popular antivirus and PC optimizer software a test drive. So 18 months ago, I did just that, and published my PC Matic review. At the time, I was impressed enough to ditch my current security software, and entrust my home and office computers to PC Matic. A year and a half later, I'm giving PC Matic a ZERO. But wait... that's actually a GOOD thing! Read on for my updated review and recommendation...

  7. What Happens to Your Digital Assets When You Die?

    Benjamin Franklin famously said that nothing is certain except death and taxes. Sooner or later, we'll all kick the bucket, cash in our chips, or shed the mortal coil. Sure, you may have a will, but what happens to your digital assets – your data and online accounts? That's where digital estate planning comes into play. Think of it as having a backup plan to give those left behind, so they can access your data. Here’s what you need to know, and one VERY important thing you should add to your will. Read on...

  8. 10 Things That Cause Computer Crashes

    Have you ever experienced the dreaded Blue Screen of Death? Does your computer lock up, freeze, crash, or display cryptic error messages?. This sort of problem can be very difficult to diagnose, because many things can cause a computer to crash (and even burn!). Before you blame those mischievous gremlins, here are ten common causes of computer crashes and some tips on how to deal with them...

  9. Yes, You Can Get Free Satellite TV

    An AskBob reader asks: “Can I really get satellite TV for free? I've heard about free satellite TV channels one can receive with a free-to-air satellite receiver and dish. Is this true? If so, what satellite channels can I get, what equipment do I need, and is it legal?” The short answer is YES, you can. Read on to learn about free satellite TV options...

  10. [HOWTO] Tame Your Overflowing Email Inbox

    Is your inbox overflowing? Are important messages getting lost in the shuffle? Are you spending too much time managing your email? If so, it's likely you're not using filters to direct the flow of incoming emails. Learn how to automatically file messages in folders, forward them to someone else, or dump them straight into the trash. Oh, and if your Spam folder is gobbling up messages that don't belong there, I'll also show you how to solve that problem too...

  11. Here’s How to Boost Your WiFi Signal

    A frustrated AskBob reader says: 'How can I boost or extend the wifi signal in my home? I finally got high-speed internet with a wireless router, but the wifi signal is very weak in some rooms. What tweaks, tricks or gadgets do you recommend to boost wireless signal strength and distance?' I've got some, read on!

  12. Who is Bob Rankin?

    Every so often, people ask about my background, and how I got started with computers and the Internet. I've published bits and pieces of my bio before, but never a detailed account of my professional life. So here it is, with a few interesting personal asides...

  13. Your Electrons Needed (and a favor...)

    I love my job. Every day, I help people use computers and the Internet, answering their questions and pointing them to resources that will save them time, trouble, or money. I especially love it when readers become friends and people tell me that they're using what they've learned here to help others. It's very satisfying, but there is one favor I'd like to ask of you. Please read on...

  14. The Curious Case of the Accidental Spammer

    An anxious AskBob reader says: “Several of my email friends are complaining that I’m sending them spam emails. I’ve looked in my Sent folder and nothing odd shows up there. How can this be happening? Am I spamming in my sleep? Is it possible that someone has hacked into my email account, or is there another explanation?” Read on for the most likely answers to this mystery...

  15. Geekly Update - 07 February 2024

    Is your toothbrush secretly plotting against you? Can robots be forgiven for their mistakes? What's the best plce to watch the upcoming solar eclipse? And how can you view the best part of the 2024 Super Bowl before the game even starts? Get answers in today's Geekly Update... it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!

  16. Cheap Flights - Find the Lowest Airfares Online

    Now that air travel is back in full swing, demand for flights is high. So finding the cheapest airfare for your business or pleasure trip takes a bit of cunning. It also helps to use specialized online search tools. But sometimes getting the cheapest flights has more to do with timing than tools. Here's what you need to know (TODAY) before booking your next flight, in order to get the lowest fares possible. I also have some nifty online tools for flyers. Read on...

  17. Try These 40+ Free Research Tools

    Depending on what you're looking for, the Web can be a gold mine, a cesspool, or both. So how can you find answers to your questions, and the helpful, authoritative information you need? Check out my list of more than 40 of the best free online reference and research tools.

  18. Try These Tips to Boost Your WiFi Signal

    A frustrated reader asks: 'How can I boost the wifi signal in my home? I finally got high-speed internet with a wireless router, but the wifi signal is weak in some parts of the house. What tweaks, tricks or gadgets do you recommend to boost wireless signal strength and distance?' I've got some, read on!

  19. Geekly Update - 01 February 2024

    Will ultrasonic holograms control your dreams in the near future? Are we winning the war against robocalls? And how can you watch Super Bowl 58 without cable? Get answers in today's Geekly Update... it's jam-packed with the latest tech news. This issue is guaranteed to make you 146% smarter -- you'll see why. Read, think, and, comment!



 
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This article was posted by on 4 Mar 2009


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The Top Twenty
Next Article:
My New Phone is an iPod Touch

Most recent comments on "The Top Twenty"

(See all 78 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Sandy Lumsden
01 Apr 2016

why oh why does windows behave the way it does, I seriously considered using a Linux operating System but Microsoft even make that difficult, so I will continue using windows 10 until I can afford an Apple Mac.One thing I am sure of I will not be using Windows for ever,for I am fed-up with programs not working.


Posted by:

Yvonne Mathis
02 Apr 2016

Wrote once before and since I am not computer savy, I was saying Linksys was tryin to hi jack router. Now A friend says modem, Linksys has removed my isp and entered their own code and now are controlling my computer,has removed my security which is Norton, who by the way cleaned my computer and said all was good, after that, noticed the Icon disappeeared and then reappeared, but is not functioning, I am redirected to sites other than the one I try to get to. I am elder female, other than a pricey computer service, can you help?


Posted by:

John
11 Apr 2016

I need virus clen my drive


Posted by:

Peggy
04 Jun 2016

Greetings
My internet speed is slow and if I have my grandchildren streaming a movie, it constantly buffering and my PC too.
I have a dual web-band and a range extender 3 yrs. old and Verizon router is over 5 yrs. old
Base on your expertise, what step should I take.
Greatly appreciate your help


Posted by:

Calvin
06 Jun 2016

can you go back and read articles further back than the last 20, if so how?


Posted by:

Ken Fisher
21 Jul 2016

Upgraded my Win 7.1 Dell computer to Win 10 last December. Two weeks ago, it downgraded itself by dropping the Start Button and screen, the info button on the left and Cortana. It has not corrected with updates. Pressing the Start produces a critical error and a restart.


Posted by:

Pay
08 Aug 2016

Bob, My Microsoft Publisher software gas disappeared from my computer sometime since I downloaded Windows 10.

Also, the names of my directories have been eliminated. I used to have one called Pat and Ray Computer and it no longer exists. There were two directories called mydocuments, one inside the other directory that I can no longer find.

I did a backup of 7 before I installed 10 (thanks for you publication!) HELP!!!


Posted by:

Jd hackhowsar
15 Jun 2017

Hi Mr Bob

We have 600 plus pages for years as a tech support user club for European industrial machines at eeuc98.net in html now https posted.

After the https all picture links quit working.

Also with google nobody can find us any more. Since the page content applies often to the same subject, the keywords are the same.

Reading googles requirements it would be a lot of volunteer work to vamp it all up.
We started in the 80s out with DOS 6 based Clarks bulletin boaerd sw.

Having a good site content search function is imporatant.
We used since the 80s macromedia robohelp and dreamweaver sw, now all Acrobat.

Thanks for your wisdom.
Lots of virtual hugs.

Johann


Posted by:

Mr.Pic
29 Jun 2017

In using Outlook 2003 I need to know how to increase text size as now the inbox shows about 31 one line emails info, I would like about 15 with larger more readable text. The new Dell computer has Windows 10 and I have just started using it. Appreciate any help provided.


Posted by:

Alexander Harkes
25 Sep 2017

When using my printer and trying to send a copy of a photo or send a email it says i do not have a connection and everything is working ok. the mail recipient will not work also how can i change the mail recipient from fax recipient.


Posted by:

stanley westell
23 Jun 2018

I wondered if you had a topic regarding India's people constant attack upon the US?
I recently have been receiving all kinds of so-called free gift cards $1000 gift card Walmart, Nike gift cards, I recently have received several different grant scams from India and they even tried to use US sounding names and received a phone call claiming it was the IRS preparing to open a file if I didn't call them then there is a computer tech support company that claims they are Microsoft and tell you your personal information that risk and if you don't call them they'll stop your computer from working there are several of those I will admit being on Social Security disability that I was extremely hopeful and I had filed for grants and unfortunately before I caught on. Already swindled me out of $200 their goal was to swindle me out of $1000 so knowing that the IRS never calls they only send mail and I started asking the questions will qualify me for these grants where did you get this information clearly they are attaching themselves or spying on websites or setting up these free card giveaways to get information I was just wondering if you had set up a page on warning the elderly which is clearly their target I think the most important thing is think first asked questions on how you qualified how they got the information and so forth and before you know it they hang up the one thing I have seen is that their phone calls are being rerouted through the US and there clearly well-versed insome of the information needed regarding grants the address of the grant building in Washington DC and basic info for their scam I saved many of the phone numbers and names used but you know they're all fake or they're using untraceable SIMM cards well I was just wondering if you had a page that would help protect people against India's ongoing attack upon the US? you need not reply it was just a suggestion or if you have created this page thank you.


Posted by:

Andy Baldwin
21 Sep 2019

Dear Bob,

I am a technical IDIOT!

But, somehow this ADD brain of mine can understand what you have to say. Can you help me understand what this particular tool does?

Also, can you tell me if you cover computer issues pretty much from A to Z? If so do you cover different kinds of email like Reagan.com?

I ask because I got hacked with 'free' email and there are things I can't seem to understand sometimes with private email.

I simply want to thank you for being there helping very low tech guys like me!

Warmest Regards,

Andy Baldwin


Posted by:

Bonnie R
02 Oct 2019

The links in my emails on my phone will not open


Posted by:

Daniel Swist
26 Nov 2019

I got hacked about a month ago. Changed password, etc. But now all my incoming email(YAHOO) goes to my "Archive" folder and has to be manually transferred to my INBOX. Called ATT several times , but the idiot agents (in India) can't help me. I tried to call ATT in the US, but never got connected. Someone on a blog told me to go to Settings- Filters and remove filters/ add filters. But that doesn't work. Any suggestions?
Thanks.


Posted by:

Harold
17 Apr 2020

very very GOOD Bob and thanks for all those great possibilities


Posted by:

Phil Biggins
23 Apr 2020

How to fix printing problems for windows 10 ,only wants to save an not print.


Posted by:

Gary
25 Apr 2020

Your top 20 is great, Thanks
Gary


Posted by:

Edward E.Weeter
21 Jul 2020

Bob,
I have been a reader for many years, but due to long-term health issues, my reading time and comprehension have slipped. Now my wife wants a divorce and most of my investment profits I am 74, a Type 1 Diabetic for 60+ years with many other health issues!. She is 71 and in her second round of cancer. We have I married daughter who caters mainly to her wishes and live about 5+ hours from us. My problems utherwise are my AOL.COM account (blocked for over 9 months. Any idea who in gov’t I can contact? Thanks for everything! She has blocked my use of many things also!pp


Posted by:

WJ Stewart
15 Dec 2021

How can I make my 2 year old laptop faster? I have to wait almost 10 minutes for it to start up so I can use it


Posted by:

WD Nelson
30 Mar 2022

I signed up for IDrive last week!! Only 5TB Can I still get the discount you are offering?
WD


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Article information: AskBobRankin -- The Top Twenty (Posted: 4 Mar 2009)
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