[AI] Q And A

Sanjay ilovecold at gmail.com
Thu Jul 22 07:06:08 EDT 2010


POWER OUT

Q.  I recently moved my five-year-old HP PC into a different room, during
which
time the power was off for 2hrs.  The machine now refuses to boot up.  The
only
sign of life is a flashing power LED on the case.  How can I fix this?
Peter

A.  It sounds as though the power supply unit (PSU) has developed a fault
and
may need to be replaced.  Your PC is unlikely to still be under warranty, so
you
should look for a new PSU at an online retailer or local PC shop.  Visit
HP's
support page for power LED issues at tinyurl.com/ydebveq.

MORE HASTE, LESS SPEED

Q.  I installed RegTool on my PC.  Startup and running speeds were greatly
improved and I was initially impressed.  Fast-forward a few months and
RegTool
is pestering me to update it at every startup.  Kaspersky blocks the
download,
stating that it carries a known virus.  What should I do?  Robert Ford

A.  The bad news, Robert, is that RegTool has been widely reported as a fake
Registry-optimisation application.  The good news is that Kaspersky is doing
its
job.

Now we have to get your system cleaned up.  First, grab a copy of our old
stalwart CCleaner ( ccleaner.com).  This is a reputable system and Registry
cleaning utility.

Run CCleaner and have it delete all your temporary files - particularly the
temporary internet files.  Now go to Start, Search, type msconfig and press
Enter.  Click the Startup tab and deselect any programs labelled RegTool or
those you don't recognise (you can turn them back on if you later find you
need
them).

Next, go to Start, right-click Computer, Properties, Advanced, System
Settings,
then System Protection.  Click System Restore and, in the next window, tick
the
box next to 'Turn off system protection'.  This will turn off System Restore
and
prevent you later rolling back the machine to find yourself in the same
RegTool
situation.

Now uninstall RegTool from Start, Control Panel, Programs and Features.
Reboot.

Run CCleaner's Registry-cleaning utility to check for any files that have
been
left behind.  Also launch Kaspersky and get it to run a full system scan.

Finally, turn System Restore back on and create a new restore point.  You
should
now be free of RegTool and any installation files it has left behind.

LEFT SPEECHLESS

Q.  I'm keen to back up as much data as I can on my Windows 7 PC in case the
hard drive dies.  I've found ways to save copies of my emails, calendar
data,
cookies, document files and so on, but I'm stuck when it comes to backing up
my
speech-recognition files.  How can I do this?  John Bagnall

A.  Speech-recognition profiles can be backed up using the free Microsoft
Speech
Profile Manager tool ( tinyurl.com/qcrls).  Download the program and unzip
it to
a safe location.  Double-click SpProfileMgr.exe to launch the utility,
highlight
the profile you want to back up and click Export.

MONEY MATTERS

Q I'm still using Microsoft Money 2005, but would like to transfer my
accounts
to a more substantial package.  The trouble is, I can't find any programs
compatible with the .mbx file extension.

Sage, Accountz, TAS, Mamut, MYOB and Quicken haven't been able to help.
Microsoft Accounting states that you can import Money, yet Mamut (which now
maintains this product) says otherwise.  R Johnson

A.  Frustratingly, Microsoft has discontinued the UK versions of its
accounting
packages.  With the market being joined by larger, more affordable products,
the
company may have decided that catering for the pound simply isn't as
cost-effective as producing a euro version that could be used by customers
in
more than a dozen countries.

Fortunately, Microsoft Money can export files in the Quicken (.qif) format
(head
to tinyurl.com/ycgt2jz for instructions).  Packages compatible with Quicken
are
far easier to find, including Accountz, Sage and MYOB.

You may have to perform a few tweaks to the export file before importing it
to
another program, but there is plenty of advice on how to do so at the
various
accounting packages' help sites.

DELETED IDENTITY

Q.  A little while ago I deleted my user account and created a new one.  I
wrongly assumed that I'd still be able to access the files on the deleted
account.  Are they lost forever?  Rob Mason

A.  When you delete a user profile you're invited to also delete their files
and
folders.  If you can't remember agreeing to this, look in C:\users (where C
is
your main drive) for a folder containing documents from the old profile.  If
it's not there, it's been deleted.

All hope is not lost, however, and you may find that a free file-recovery
utility such as Recuva ( recuva.com) can turn up your missing files.  Use
the
'Deep scan' option if the files have been missing for a while, but this will
take some time to complete.

OUT OF TUNE

Q.  My three-month-old Acer Z5610 all-in-one PC runs Windows 7.  I recently
tried to install iTunes, but AppleMobileDevice refuses to play ball.  Acer
blames Apple; Apple blames Acer.  With my brand-new PC unable to run such a
common application, I'm seriously considering returning it under the Sale of
Goods Act.  David Jackson

A.  The onus here is on Apple, not Acer, David.  It's Apple's software
that's
failing to install, and Acer has no liability for fixing other company's
problems.  That said - and I have few details to go on - I suspect the
problem
may have arisen from you upgrading from one version of Windows 7 to another.
The following tips may help you find a fix.

Uninstall iTunes and any Apple software currently installed on your system.
Reboot.

Delete any Apple folders in Program Files.  Check in the Program Files (x86)
folder too if you are running Windows 7 64bit.

Download and install CCleaner from ccleaner.com.  Run both the file and
Registry
cleaning applications.  Reboot the PC again.

Next, head to apple.com/itunes and download the correct version of iTunes -
you'll find separate downloads for x64 and x86 systems.

If this doesn't fix the problem, please contact helproom at pcadvisor.co.uk and
include the exact nature of the error messages you are receiving.  We'll
then be
able to dig into the matter a little further.

STAGE FRIGHT

Q.  The screen on my Toshiba 1800 laptop keeps turning itself off.  The only
way
to get it to come back on is by pushing the small button that tells the
laptop
when the lid is closed.  This can happen 10 times in half an hour.  The
repair
shop wants ukp70 to fix it - is it worth it?  Frederick Webster

A.  This is down to one of two things, Frederick.  It's possible that the
power
settings have been adjusted so that the screen turns off after a very short
period of system idle.

Go to Start, Control Panel, Power Settings to check whether this is the
case.

The second - and probably most plausible - option is that your ageing laptop
has
developed a fault with the screen latch or other component connected to the
display.

A ribbon cable may be loose, for example.  Given the initial inspection and
possible repair cost, you may be better off instead looking for a new
laptop.

RESISTING COOKIES

Q.  Can you tell me how to permanently delete cookies from my PC?  A day
after I
think I've done it, they're always back again.  Carol

A.  Cookies will always be left on your system unless you specifically tell
your
internet browser not to store them.  Although you've successfully deleted
the
old files, you'll collect more every time you browse the web.

In Internet Explorer 8.0 you should go to Tools, Internet Options, Privacy,
Advanced.  Tick the box next to 'Override automatic cookie handling', then
choose Block under 'First-party Cookies' and 'Third-party Cookies'.  Also
tick
the box next to 'Always allow session cookies' - these are necessary for
some
sites and services, such as online banking and shopping sites, to operate,
so
they will still be left on your computer.  Click ok to save the changes.

Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Apple Safari and other web browsers
will
all have similar cookie-handling options for you to investigate.

INDIGESTIBLE CHUNKS

Q.  My Windows XP Home PC is running very slowly, even though I've doubled
the
RAM allocation to 2GB.  All Microsoft updates and service packs are
installed
and I use Norton 360 to keep the computer clear of nasties.

I've also tried defragging the hard drive, which the analysis tool said was
22
percent fragmented.  After running the defrag tool built into Windows and
Norton
360's Disk Optimiser, the hard drive is still 22 percent fragmented.

Chkdsk doesn't shed any light on the matter. Can you help? Roger Papworth

A.  The fragmentation report you included with your email shows some large
files
in your My Videos folder, one of which is 9GB and takes up almost 11 percent
of
your hard drive's capacity.  Video can't be defragmented.

The report also shows that your page file size wasn't increased when you
added
the extra RAM.  The page file won't usually be defragmented as it's 'in
use'.
Using the following steps, however, you'll be able to delete any temporary
and
unused files that are taking up unnecessary disk space.

Download and install our old favourite, CCleaner ( ccleaner.com).  Run the
cleaner utility.  Also delete old Windows Update files by right-clicking My
Computer, then choosing Manage, Services.  Right-click Automatic Updates and
select Stop.  Navigate to your Windows folder and delete the
SoftwareDistribution folder.  This folder will be recreated when your PC
reboots.

If possible, transfer the contents of your My Videos folder to another
machine
or an external hard drive.

Turn off the page file: right-click My Computer, then click Properties,
Advanced, Performance, Settings, Advanced, Virtual Memory.  Select Change,
followed by 'No paging file'.  Click Set, ok, press ok again and reboot.

When the computer restarts, run the Windows Disk Defragmenter.  You should
now
see a lower percentage of fragmentation, although you may need to run the
utility several times.  Turn the page file back on and set it to 'System
managed
size' to ensure Windows is using the correct amount.

MAVERICK MALWARE

Q.  I installed the free version of Malwarebytes Antimalware on my brand-new
Vista PC.  Every time I perform a quick scan it reports two Registry data
infections.  Super Antispyware Free, meanwhile, tells me the computer is
infection-free.

The files in question are 'Hkey.  Classes_Root\scrfile\shell\open\
command\(default) (Broken.  OpenCommand)' and 'Hkey.Classes_
Root\regfile\shell\open\command\ (default) (Broken.OpenCommand)'.

I've tried removing the files using Malwarebytes and rebooting the PC, but
they
quickly reappear.  Ken Reid

a.  The Registry keys you've listed are indeed related to strands of
malware.
And it's not uncommon for such things to be recreated following a system
reboot.

To permanently delete the files, first try using a different antimalware
program.  You'll need to uninstall your current arsenal before trying other
apps, however.

Microsoft's free Security Essentials suite (
microsoft.com/Security_Essentials)
is a solid choice.  Download and install the program, then let it update
itself.
Following this, run a full system scan to make sure the previous security
software you were using didn't miss anything.

Once any infections have been removed, consult your system's startup
configuration.  Go to Start, Search, type msconfig and press Enter.  Click
the
Startup tab in the System Configuration utility that appears and look for
any
entries that look out of place there.  In particular, check for programs you
haven't installed and deselect them.  This will stop them starting up when
Windows loads.

Reboot Windows and run a full system scan to check your computer is now
clean.

It's also worth running CCleaner (ccleaner.com).  This incredibly useful
free
app can check the nooks and crannies in which malware may be hiding.

Turn off System Restore to remove any old restore points that were created
when
the malware was on your machine.  Be sure to immediately switch System
Restore
back on again and run through its wizard to create a new restore point.
We've
outlined the steps necessary for completing this process above.

UNABLE TO UPDATE

Q.  My laptop, which runs Windows 7 64bit, frequently fails to install
Windows
Update files.  What should I do?  Ralph Strandmann

A.  It sounds as though you've got corrupt Windows Update files, Ralph.
Given
that the good files have already been applied, it's safe to delete all the
update files stored on your PC.  You should then be able to successfully
download and update those that previously failed.

Right-click My Computer and select Manage.  Expand 'Services and
Applications',
then choose Services.  Right-click Automatic Updates and choose Stop.

Next, navigate to the Windows System folder (C:\Windows, where C is your
main
drive) and delete the SoftwareDistribution folder located there.

Reboot the PC, then run Windows Update to download and install any new or
missing updates.

This should fix the problem.  If the problem continues, deselect the update
in
Windows Update and Windows won't attempt to install it again.

A DIMM VIEW

Q.  I bought two matching RAM modules for my father's Dell Dimension 4600 PC
after checking they were the correct type and size.  But after installing
them
in the 'Dimm 1' and 'Dimm 2' slots, the computer displays the dreaded blue
screen of death.  When I reinstall the old RAM, all is well again.  What
have I
done wrong?  Phil Moore

A.  You've bought the correct RAM for your Dimension 4600.  The RAM in this
system works in dual-channel mode, meaning you can fit a matching pair of
RAM
modules in either 'Dimm 1' and 'Dimm 2' or 'Dimm 3' and 'Dimm 4' if you're
adding more of the same type of RAM modules.

However, it's possible that you have purchased a faulty stick of RAM.  An
easy
way to check is to install one 1GB module in the Dimm 1 slot and power up
your
PC.  If it works, this stick is fine.  Do the same for the other Dimm you
bought.

If both modules work fine on their own, you may need to download and install
the
latest Bios from the Dell support site.  The last update was released in
September 2004, however, so it's likely that this has already been
installed.
Having done this, try installing both modules again.

If the problem persists, revert to the PC's original RAM configuration and
download one of the many memory-checking utilities available at
tinyurl.com/2lqo2.  Use it to check the individual modules for faults.

If a fault is discovered, contact the supplier for a replacement.

Remember to earth yourself against a radiator or other metal object before
handling and installing any component in your computer.

YOUTUBE YEARNING

Q.  I was interested to read Missing YouTube (March 2010 issue, page 104),
in
which A Cutler had upgraded to Windows 7 64bit and could no longer view
YouTube
content.  I am about to take delivery of a new Windows 7 64bit PC.  I too
want
to watch YouTube.  Does your advice mean I need to opt for the 32bit version
of
the operating system instead?  Carole Ellis

A.  Don't panic, Carole, you'll be able to watch YouTube video on your new
PC
just fine.

The chances are your computer will arrive without Flash installed, but
should
you visit a Flash-based website such as YouTube, you'll be invited to
install
it.  If you're using Internet Explorer, go to adobe.com and click the 'Get
Adobe
Flash Player' link.  The wizard will then talk you though the very simple
steps
of downloading and installing Flash.

You'll need to repeat this process in Firefox if you also intend to use that
web
browser, since Firefox and Internet Explorer use different versions of the
plug-in.

For more tips on YouTube and what you can do with web video, see How to:
Video
in this issue.

NOTHING TO SEE

Q.  My monitor has developed a fault after installing Serif DrawPlus 7.0
from
your February 2010 cover DVD on my Windows XP machine.  The display will
work
(if only for a short spell) if I turn it off and back on again.  Jack

It sounds like you have a problem with your monitor or graphics card drivers
rather than with the program you're trying to run, Jack.

First, check the cable connections both in the back of the monitor and the
computer.  A loose connection is the most likely issue.

Next, check your graphics card drivers are current and update them if
necessary.
Go to My Computer, choose View System Information and click the Hardware
tab.
Click Device Manager and, in the following window, check that the monitor
and
graphics card (VGA adaptor) are working properly.

If your screen still doesn't work, restart your computer in Safe mode (press
F8
at bootup and select Safe mode from the startup options).  If the software
still
gives you problems, uninstall it.


Technical telepathy: 09969636745
Saints are not always saints; sinners are not always sinners.






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