[AI] Q and A
ilovecold at gmail.com
Fri Apr 30 06:47:55 EDT 2010
DIGITAL CAMERAS - CONNECTION PROBLEMS
Q. Usually when I plug my digital camera in to the computer, a window pops
identifying that I've connected a device by USB. It asks what I would like
do with the images on the card. I can then choose to copy them to a folder,
Windows XP takes me through a very simple copying routine. However, this no
longer happens. What can I do? George Smith
A. First, make sure that your computer software is up to date - there might
be some Windows updates that will sort out the problem. To run a manual
select Start > Control Panel > Windows update and follow the instructions.
If this doesn't resolve the problem, log in first then plug the camera into
the computer. Double-click on My Computer. Your camera will be listed as
removable storage. Right-click on it to see full details. If it appears in
list, then the computer has successfully connected to it, but it hasn't
carried out the Autoplay action (what the PC does when it detects new
Next, restart the computer without the camera connected. Once you are
at the Desktop,try reconnecting it to a different USB port. If Autoplay
doesn't work correctly, Microsoft offers a free repair tool called the
Autoplay Repair Wizard, which you can download (http://tinyurl.com/yodbk7).
LAPTOPS - BATTERY VERSUS MAINS
Q. I've just bought a new Dell laptop and I wonder if it's all right to
leave it connected to the mains while I'm using it. Do I risk damaging the
laptop or battery by doing this? Stella Dixon
A. You can use the laptop at home and can keep it plugged into the mains
the time. This won't damage the laptop in any way - and it will also mean
that the battery is always fully charged when you want to use it without
plugging it in. Although the capacity of a modern laptop battery will
eventually decrease as time goes by, this happens quite slowly, and it's a
less severe than it used to be in old laptop batteries.
EMAIL PROGRAMS - DUPLICATE FOLDERS
Q. I recently changed computers and I imported my Outlook Express emails
my old computer to the new one running Windows Mail. As a result I now have
Inboxes, two Sent boxes and two or more other local boxes. As I need to
regular access to both the old and new folders, is there some way of merging
boxes so that I have just one of each of these? John Simons
A. Open the imported folders (the ones with your old emails in) one by one
do the following: Press Ctrl-A (this selects all the messages in the
Next right-click on the messages and choose Send to from the Menu, and
the folder you want to move the contents to. Once the emails have moved to
new folders (double check they are really there first) you can then delete
duplicate folder by selecting it and hitting the delete key on the keyboard.
Repeat the process on all the duplicate folders. h
DIGITAL MUSIC - ITUNES ERROR
After not using iTunes for six months I now get an error message informing
that the iTunes library is locked, on a locked disk, or I do not have write
permission for this file. I now can't access iTunes. What is causing this
and how can I access it again? Sheilah Fitzgerald
A. First, don't worry: your music is still there. However, there's a
problem with the setup that means iTunes is unable to access it. To fix it,
first browse to the folder where iTunes stores its files - typically, you'll
find this in My Documents > My Music > iTunes. From here, select both
Music Library and iTunes Music Library.xml and then press Ctrl-C on your
computer's keyboard to copy them. Right-click on your computer's Desktop,
and paste a copy here.
Now go back to the iTunes folder and delete these two files. All that will
left in this folder is the iTunes Music folder.
Start iTunes - it'll open, but with nothing in the library. Exit iTunes.
You'll notice that it's created new iTunes 4 Music Library and iTunes Music
Library.xml files in your iTunes directory. Delete these new files,and copy
files you created on your Desktop back into this folder. Now, when you
iTunes, you should be able to access all your music again.
MICROSOFT OFFICE - CAPITALS ON EVERY LINE
Q. When I get to the end of a line and press Enter to get to a new line,
computer automatically starts the line with a capital letter and it wastes a
of time to amend them.Why does it do this and how can I disable it? Hans
A. When you manually press Enter to get to a new line you are actually
Word that you wantto create a new paragraph. Word therefore assumes that
beginning of a paragraph is the beginning of a sentence, so makes the first
letter a capital.
In general, you can just keep typing and let Word sort out when your text
appear on a new line. But, if you need a new line but not a new paragraph,
can use what's called a line break instead -hold down the Shift key when you
You can also disable the function using the Autocorrect facility: select
Autocorrect Options and untick the Capitalise first letter of Sentences box.
This will stop Word automatically adding capital letters anywhere that it
is the beginning of a sentence.
OUTLOOK EXPRESS - MISSING TOOLBARS
Q. I use Outlook Express for checking email. However, I've lost the tool
that ran across the top of the window, so I can no longer see the buttons
Create, Reply, Delete etc. I can still read emails, but I can't do anything
else with them. Can you help to restore this please? David Thomas
A. You have removed the standard toolbar. It's rather easy to switch this
off by accident -but fortunately it's just as easy to turn it back on.
Right-click on some blank space in the toolbar area (near the File, Edit and
View menus). A drop-downlist will appear showing the toolbars you have
available. Choose Standard - this will bring backthe missing buttons for
and you will then have all the function restored.
PC MAINTENANCE - DRIVER UPDATE PROBLEM
Q. I'm running Windows Vista Home Premium. After an update from Microsoft
received the following message: The Catalyst Control Centre isn't supported
the driver version of your enabled graphics adapter - please update your ATI
adapter using the Displays Manager. How can I update the adapter? Jean
A. The Catalyst Control Centre is provided by ATI (the brand of graphics
in your PC). It's an optional bit of software and, so long as your graphics
card is working OK there's no need to install this software. Hence, you
uninstall it to remove the error from appearing. To do this, go to Start >
Control panel > Programs and features and uninstall the Catalyst Control
This is an additional program to the device driver - just highlight it and
You could also download the latest version of the Catalyst Control Centre,
with the latest graphics card drivers, from the manufacturer's web page. Go
to www.amd.com and follow the download links for your specific ATI graphics
DVD COMPATIBILITY - DVD-RW DISC PROBLEMS
Q. My computer will not recognise DVD-RW discs. However, DVD+R discs work
What's the problem? Anthony Stirling
A. The + and - DVD discs are distinct standards, and not all DVD drives are
capable of playing both sorts. You can use small analytical programs (such
the one you can find at discinfo.rpc1.org) to find out which formats your
If you need to use DVD-RW discs for a particular purpose, you could consider
getting an external DVD drive - these are easy to set up, as they connect to
your computer's USB port.
SCREENSAVERS - ERROR MESSAGE ON SCREEN
Q. Every time I switch on my PC, or leave it unattended for a few minutes,
pop up appears saying 'Could not find the file flash.OCX'. It also displays
an error message on the Task Bar. How can I resolve it? Louise Badcock
A. This is due to the screensaver you're using. Some of these use
Macromedia's Flash player to generate their display - but the newer versions
of this have a different file name. This means your screensaver can't find
the right file. The simple solution is to switch to a different
such as one of the built-in Windows ones. Right-click on the Desktop to
the menu that'll allow you to customise your Desktop's appearance and choose
a new screensaver. h
COMPUTER HARDWARE - THE SOUND OF SILENCE
Q. I have installed a new sound card and used the Windows Device Manager to
delete any references to the old card, but I still have no sound. Windows
to have detected the card (it's shown as the default sound device), and I've
checked all the cables, but I still can't get sound from my speakers. What
can I do? Scott Longster
A. You'll need to do a bit of troubleshooting. Try plugging a pair of
headphones directly into the soundcard - this'll remove any chance that the
speakers are faulty. If you can hear sound through them, then turn your
attention to the speakers - is there a problem with their power supply, for
You may be having problems with the driver. Microsoft offers advice on
out device driver problems at
able to download the latest drivers for your soundcard from the
Q. Why press Y to delete?
In Word and some other applications when I highlight a word, then press
to remove it, I am asked to press Y if I want to delete it. It will not
unless I press Y - why won't it just delete? Stephen Colbourne
A. Welcome to the world of WordPerfect as viewed by Microsoft. This is one
the many unusual results of having Help for WordPerfect users or Navigation
WordPerfect users selected - this activates a series of options designed to
make it easierto migrate to Word from WordPerfect, which was once a more
word processor than Microsoft's Word.
To correct the problem, Select Tools > Options from the menu, then click on
General tab. Untick the Help for WordPerfect users box and you should
back on track.
FromHoward Smith, Ipswich
TAKE A SCREEN GRAB FROM YOUR COMPUTER
As an alternative to the screen-grabbing tip shown in the May issue of
Computing, Windows Vista users can use the Snipping Tool, which offers more
Click Start then All Programs and then Accessories.
It gives you several options: capturing the whole screen, a window, a
or whatever shape you choose to draw.
Each issue, our Helpdesk visits a reader who needs hands-on help with a PC
Janet Farmer had been using paid-for internet security software to protect
PC. When her subscription ran out she was concerned about the security of
She decided to install AVG Free anti-virus but was concerned she'd be
her unsecured computer at risk so she asked us for help.We found that
PC wasn't connecting to the internet. After checking all likely local
- cables, the settings in the router, whether the computer was able to
to the router - we contacted Janet's internet service provider (ISP) and
discovered Janet had cancelled her account. Fortunately, we had a copy of
AVG installation file on a USB drive. We removed Janet's paid-for security
software and installed AVG Free ready for when Jane reconnected her internet
1. Download the installation file for your new security program while the
one is still in place protecting you. Save it somewhere easily accessible
your hard drive such as your computer's Desktop, for example.
2. Disconnect your computer from the internet (by right-clicking on
option in your System Tray) before uninstalling your old security software.
This will help prevent threats arriving while you're unprotected.
3. Install your new software and reconnect your internet connection. The
software will need to check for updates, to make sure you're protected from
all the latest threats. AVG should prompt you to do this. If not,
the AVG icon.
IF YOU HAVE COVERS MISSING FROM ALBUMS IN ITUNES YOU CAN ADD THESE YOURSELF.
To do this, open iTunes, select your music library and click the album tab.
Click on the first song on the album, press and hold down the shift key and
click the last song.
Next, go to www.amazon.co.uk. Search for the album. Right-click the cover
image and select Copy.
Back in iTunes, right-click the selected album and select Get info. With
Info tab selected, click in the Artwork box, click Paste > OK.
COMPUTER HARDWARE - FLASH DRIVE FAULT
I have a 1GB flash drive which used to work fine - I could save files,
and videos on it and access and view them later on. I've now deleted those
files, but the drive still seems to behave as if the files were still there,
says there's no more space for storing new data. Is there anything I can
or is the drive faulty? Tom Nisbet
It's always possible that the drive has developed a fault - though they're
generally very reliable, flash drives will occasionally go wrong. However,
before you replace the drive, you can try reformatting it - this will remove
all data from it and return it to a completely blank state. To do this,
the flash drive into your computer and double-click on My Computer. Then
right-click on the drive letter that corresponds to your flash drive (making
sure that you have the right one), and select Format. Follow the
to complete the formatting. Try saving some new files to your drive.
OFFICE - MYSTERIOUS WORD SYMBOLS
I use Word 2000 and for some reason I now get a symbol at the end of each
sentence (it looks a little like a musical quaver) and a dot between each
Can you tell me why this is happening and how to remove it? Julie Dennison
These are paragraph marks and other formatting marks that are usually
It can be useful to turn these on when formatting a document, but it's easy
do this accidentally, and it does make your document look a little strange.
However, it's easy to fix. You need to click on the Show/Hide button to
them off. This is the button marked with the 'quaver' (or paragraph) symbol
you mention, and it's found in the Standard toolbar at the top of the Word
screen. Note that these symbols don't appear when you print out a document.
COMPUTER HARDWARE - CHANGING MICE
I need to install a new mouse, as my current one only has one working
What do I need to do to remove the old one and add a new one? Arlene Orr
You don't need to uninstall your current mouse from the computer in order
a new one to work. Simply unplug it, and plug the new one in, and it should
work straight away. With USB mice, you don't need to shut down the PC, and
you can even connect more than one mouse at the same time. However, some
do come with special software written by the manufacturers to take advantage
any advanced features. It's probably a good idea to remove any software
came with your old mouse.
PROGRAM MAINTENANCE - OUTLOOK EXPRESS OPTIONS
How can I add or change columns in my deleted mail folder in Outlook
First, you need to open the folder and right-click anywhere on the title bar
(the area at the top containing From and Subject etc). Next, choose
Current View Option -> Fields - this will list the current Fields that
you're displaying. You can add more by scrolling down the list, selecting
them and clicking on Add. You can then re-order the columns by clicking and
dragging each column to where you want it displayed.
PROGRAM MAINTENANCE - WEBMAIL PROBLEMS
I access my email via webmail. However, when I now click on the link to
my mail I get a message saying 'Oops - this link appears broken'.
What's happening? Geoffrey Watt
This is a message provided by the Google toolbar when it thinks you're
to access a site. This could be for several reasons - for instance, a
with the link, or with your internet connection. However, if you're able to
access other web pages then that means your internet connection is working.
clearing the internet cache in your browser - this deletes old data that may
be causing problems. In Internet Explorer, click on Tools then Internet
Options. Select Delete for all options - temporary internet files, cookies,
Program maintenance - Start up errors
When I start up my computer I receive an error message, saying that
called AML has stopped working. The only option I'm offered is to close the
program. My computer seems to work fine, but this interruption is annoying
slows down the start up process. Godfrey Everson-Davis
The program that's causing you problems is the Vaio Launcher program that
includes withits Vaio computers. Though this is pre-installed by Sony your
computer will work fine without it. You can remove it via the Control
click on Programs and Features and look for Vaio AV Mode Launcher in the
and choose Remove. This will stop the error message from appearing.
Caroline Wickham-Jones Orkney
Make sure your wireless is turned on at the switch before you try to connect
your laptop to a wireless network
When you're trying to get a new laptop to connect to your wireless network,
don't forget that many of them have a physical switch on the outside to turn
on wireless connectivity.
Make sure this is set to the 'on' position before you look for available
networks. It's easy to forget this sort of old-fashioned solution!
Each issue, our Helpdesk visits a reader who needs hands-on help with a PC
Paul Evans had just bought a new laptop, and wanted to connect to his BT
broadband connection wirelessly. He wasn't sure what equipment he needed.
sent our experts to check things out.
Paul's router had ethernet sockets, making it straightforward to access the
internet by connecting the laptop via a cable.It's handy to be able to do
this, but it does mean you don't have the freedom that wireless offers.
When we looked more closely at Paul's router we discovered it was an older
model that didn't support a wireless network. You can upgrade your service
and receive a newer BT Home Hub free of charge, says BT. Or, you can buy
for ukp44. He could buy his own wireless router, such as our Best Buy, the
Linksys WAG160N (ukp59). Paul decided on the latter option and has since
managed to set up his home wireless network.
Connect a new computer to your router:
Try connecting via an ethernet cable first - most routers and computers will
support this, and it's quick and easy to do.
Check whether your router supports wireless networking. If it does, you
be able to connect a laptop to the internet wirelessly.
You may need to upgrade your router if you don't already have wireless
capability. You can choose whether to contact your internet service
see whether they can offer you an upgrade, or buy your own new router.
PROGRAM MAINTENANCE - UNWANTED DOWNLOAD
I've downloaded and installed a program called Registry Mechanic that I no
longer wish to use. However, it starts up whenever I switch on the
how can I uninstall it? George Daniell
You'll need to stop the program from running before you can delete it.
Right-click on the program's icon in the system tray and choose exit. If
doesn't work press ctrl + shift + esc to call up the Windows Task Manager.
Choose the Processes tab and look for the name that corresponds to your
Click on it, and choose End Process, and choose Yes. You'll now be able to
uninstall the software in the normal way, via the Control Panel. Take care
using this method, though: stopping the wrong process can have unpredictable
effects on your computer (though rebooting will usually sort things out).
NETWORKING - XP AND VISTA
I recently bought a Dell laptop (with Windows Vista installed). I also have
older desktop PC (with Windows XP Home) connected via ethernet to my router.
want to network both machines using homeplugs - can I do this despite the
that they have different operating systems, or do I need to upgrade both
machines to Windows 7, for example? Jerry Moore
There should be no problems networking XP and Vista machines together. The
method of configuring the computers will depend on what exactly you want to
on your network (for example do you want to share files, share a printer, or
play multiplayer games). Either - or both - machines can use a homeplug to
carry the data across the network. Simply connect the ethernet cable from
back of the computer to the homeplug, and then connect another homeplug,
similar cable, to the router.
INTERNET - INTERNET EXPLORER ERRORS
When I'm browsing the web using Internet Explorer I repeatedly get an error
message saying that it's not functioning. However, if I dismiss the error,
can keep browsing without any problems. How can I stop this happening?
It sounds as though there's a conflict with your internet settings. Try
resetting them back to their defaults. This will remove any internet
you may have saved, so back these up first. To back up your favourites,
through yourC drive, and open Documents and Settings, thenthe folder that
your username. You'll see a filewith a gold star icon - this contains your
favourites. Copy this to your Desktop. Next, open the Control Panel and
Internet Options. Under the Advanced tab press the Reset button. This will
reset your internet settings, and remove your favourites - restore them by
copying them from the desktop back to their original location.
SOFTWARE - UNINSTALLATION PROBLEMS
I have a program called 'Deal Assistant'on my PC. I've tried uninstalling
it without success. What can I do? Michael Edwards
It appears that Deal Assistant may be spyware which has installed itself on
computer. Dedicated anti-virus software might not be ableto remove this.
you have an anti-spyware program on your computer, please run a manual scan
remove it. If not, then you can download the following free anti-spyware
programs which will remove the program on your behalf.
Windows Security Essentials: www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials, which
performed well in our recent test of security software (January 2010 issue)
Spybot Search & Destroy: www.safer-networking.org
SOFTWARE - DIGITAL VIDEO-EDITING
Can you recommend a free movie-editing program I can use to edit the THM
video files from my digital camera? Martin Haigh
The THM file isn't actually the video itself - rather it's a
'thumbnail' file that contains a small still image to enable you to
recognise the video clip. However, Windows does contain a movie editing
that may meet your needs. Windows Movie Maker (pictured, below) lacks some
the advanced features that you find in the full-price products, but it's
impressively easy to get to grips with.
It's included in Windows XP and later versions.You can find out more on
Microsoft's site at www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/moviemaker
NETWORKING - CONNECTING A LAPTOP
I have a new Acer laptop, running Windows Vista, and I would like to connect
to my wireless router. I already have another laptop connected, along with
desktop - how do I connect this third computer? Dennis Cox
On the new laptop, simply select your wireless network from the list. Click
the small wireless network icon in the bottom right hand corner(in the
tray) This will open up the wireless configuration options, and let you see
which networks are available. Select your network, and then click connect -
you'll need to enter a password if thereis wireless security encryption set
the router(we recommend that your network is secure). If you're using a BT
router it may well have the network name and wireless password printed on
Save yourself some valuable browsing time with our tip
When you're browsing the web with Internet Explorer, you can use the
key on your keyboard to go back a page. And pressing the space bar will
down a page - and shift+space will scroll up.
This is a time-saving device that means you don't have to use your mouse to
click the back arrow on your browser - especially useful if you are on a
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