Frequently Asked Questions

Note that the more recent/current FAQ's are at the bottom of the listing.  The content is has been restructured (Feb 2018) for consistent formatting, to review some content, and to simplify future additions.  The responses to the initial 6 general questions about the club were corrected as necessary for accuracy.  Responses to a few June 2014 questions and even some earlier were revised in a few cases where the original response was known to be misleading or no longer true (search for "revised").  Other old questions and responses may not apply to current hardware or software versions.    Last Modified:    ( 19-Aug-2019 13:54:01 EDT)

(General questions about BVCC start at number 1)

(The Questions and Answers from the June 2014 Q&A session start at number 324)

(The Questions and Answers from the February 2018 Q&A session start at number 390)

Except for the first six generic questiions, the following questions have been compiled from our semi-annual Question & Answer meetings.  Members submit questions to a panel and the panel answer as best they can.  Caution: the Bella Vista Computer Club assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein and will accept no liability for its application.

  1. To search the FAQ's, use the search feature of the web browser you are using.  On a desktop or laptop this is typically Ctrl+F (hold down the Control (Ctrl) key and press the letter F).

  2. Enter a key word such as anti-virus in the Find dialog box and click on the Find next button. 

  3. The first instance of the word will be highlighted in the questions.  Read the question to determine if it asks what you want to learn.  If so, click on the question and you will be taken to the answer.
    Click your browser's Back button to return to where you left off in the questions. 

  4. If the question is not appropriate, click the Find next button again for the next instance of the word.

Table of Contents (Click on the question to go to the answer)

  1. How do I join the computer club?

  2. How much are dues?

  3. Where can I find help with software or my computer?

  4. Why doesn't the club offer more training sessions ?

  5. What is the purpose of the club ?

  6. When does the club meet ?

  7. Is virus protection necessary and can it be downloaded from the Internet?

  8. How do I uninstall McAfee Virus Scan if the Windows Uninstall command can't be found?

  9. What do anti-virus programs do if they detect a virus?

  10. Would running two anti-virus software programs at the same time give you more protection?

  11. I am having problems renewing my Norton Anti-virus program.   Any suggestions on how to accomplish this?

  12. What is the address for the free Anti-virus download?

  13. Review the procedures for doing a backup.

  14. How can I clear web addresses from the browser history?

  15. How can I add locations to my Favorites folder?

  16. Is it necessary to delete Internet cookies?

  17. How can I print out a list of my bookmarks in Netscape?

  18. Is there any difference between downloading to a desktop computer or to a notebook?

  19. Sometimes I will download a page from a web site that has a picture box with a small X in the upper corner.   What does that mean?

  20. I use MSN-Explorer7.0 as my Internet service provider and would like to put an e-mail icon on my desktop.

  21. How can one print a listing of Internet Explorer's Favorites?

  22. I want to upgrade from Netscape 4.7 to 6.0.   Is it better to purchase or download from the Internet?

  23. What are the alternatives to 'Easy CD Creator'?

  24. I recently installed a CD burner.   The software that came with it (Nero) only backs up the hard drive, sector by sector.   I understand that there may be software available which will allow me to selectively backup files or groups of files, much like the Iomega Zip Drive. If that is correct, what are the titles or companies and can it be downloaded?

  25. How do I copy a CD disk?

  26. Is it possible to add photos to an already existing photo CD?   I am currently saving my digital photos on a CD and have been unable to add photos to it.   I am using a RW-CD.

  27. Are ink jet cartridge refill kits any good?

  28. Am I wasting electricity if I leave my computer on all day?

  29. What are the pros and cons of refilling your own ink jet print cartridges?

  30. If you change the mouse on your PC, must you uninstall the current one and then install the new one?

  31. How many processors can the latest computer have?

  32. Does the panel recommend downloading Critical Updates for software I have on my computer?

  33. How do we regain the small icons that used to appear next to the Start button?

  34. How do I delete a shortcut from the desktop?

  35. What is WinZip?

  36. Some e-mail I receive is displayed as gibberish and I get an error message that says something about a MIME format error.

  37. What is the .eml extension?

  38. Sometimes when I try to open an e-mail attachment (it has the .bin extension) I am asked to select a program that will open that attachment.   What program should I select?

  39. Why does my e-mail spell checker sometime gray out?

  40. Why do names appear in my Outlook Express address book that I haven't placed there?

  41. Why when I type in an address in my e-mail program, a series of similar names will appear and I am asked to choose the correct address?

  42. What is a signature file?   I get a warning that 'The signature file specified does not exist. 

  43. When do anti-virus programs check e-mail files?

  44. If I want to forward an e-mail that has been forwarded several times, how do I get rid of previous recipients and all the garbage it has picked up with these forwards?

  45. Is there anyway to tell, when you are in your e-mail, if you have a virus?

  46. What is the best way to limit access to your e-mail?   Is there a web page you can go to for protection?

  47. How do I delete unwanted e-mail without opening it?

  48. Where are the margins set in e-mail?

  49. How do you setup Outlook Express for e-mail?   It asks for Host SMTP and Account POP3.

  50. When I tried to delete an e-mail, a window comes up and says: 'This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down'.   How can I delete this e-mail?

  51. I cannot open any attachments forwarded in Outlook Express.   This memo comes up: 'OE removed access to the following unsafe attachments in your mail.'   What should I do?

  52. How do I see the address book (Contacts) that used to appear at the bottom left of Outlook Express?

  53. How do you transfer a photo received in an e-mail to a photo editing program such as Photoshop Elements?

  54. How do you setup a 'Signature' in Outlook Express?

  55. Is there any person or persons willing to work one on one for a fee?

  56. What kind of protection do I need, if any, if I have a cable modem?

  57. What are the broadband options in Bella Vista?

  58. When I setup my Internet Service Provider, I was asked to choose between Netscape and Outlook Express.   I choose Netscape but would now like to change to Outlook.   How do I do that?

  59. Can I use both Cox-internet and AOL?   Are there any advantages/disadvantages?

  60. What does SQL server client message mean?   I get a pop up screen upon computer start up.   When I close the box, the computer continues to boot up and works fine afterwards.

  61. When attempting to install the Windows XP upgrade from Win98, Microsoft advises several of my hardware and software programs will not work with Windows XP.  It suggests that vendor downloads should be obtained and the original drivers removed.   Assuming that they are removed and placed in the Recycle Bin, is it necessary to remove them from this area prior to continuing the XP installation?

  62. It takes to long for my computer to boot up.   I think it is because I have to many programs loading at startup.  How do I determine the ESSENTIAL programs that should load when I boot my computer?  

  63. How can fonts be deleted from Windows?   I only use 5 different programs have loaded fonts (Lotus, StarOffice, etc.).

  64. Is there anything that can be done about Windows ME crashing/freezing up?

  65. The cursor arrow starts to flicker whenever I move it over a control button or icon.  How can I fix it?

  66. We experience power outages on a frequent basis.  What should we do?

  67. My downloads seem to be very slow.   Is there anything I can do?

  68. How do you get rid of a virus if you get one?

  69. What do I do to remove a virus that was detected and placed in Quarantine?   With the virus in quarantine is there any danger to my system?

  70. How do you get rid of 'Gator', etc.?   I've tried and tried but even when deleted it shows up again upon restart.

  71. How do I stop the printer from printing the footer of a web page?

  72. How critical is it to download the critical updates?

  73. What does it mean when the directions say, 'Click twice'? (Quicken)

  74. We are sometimes getting this message: 'unable to access hard drive. Press any key to try again. Operating system not found on any devices.'   What does this mean?

  75. When you see an error message, can you print that out?

  76. Using Avery 4143 Mailing Labels on a dot matrix printer, with a 72-address database. When printed everything prints out as expected except that the data for labels 23 and 24 is missing and has been replaced with the data from labels 25 and 26.   All other databases print correctly.

  77. When I get an e-mail with text, pictures and music, if I copy and paste or forward the e-mail, the pictures are not included.   What can I do?

  78. How do I set a font and type size to be the default in my e-mail?

  79. If I change font and/or type size, it will often change back when I hit the Enter key.   Why?   How can I make it keep my settings?

  80. I can't open a lot of attachments to e-mails from people what I previously had been able to open.   What happened?

  81. I am experiencing random failures when on the Internet with Internet Explorer.   Explorer says it cannot find the page.   This usually occurs after the computer has been sitting idle for several hours.  

  82. My Norton Security firewall seems to lock me out of certain web sites:

  83. I have a number of old 'LP' albums that I would like to put on CD's.  I have the turntable and the amplifier but no CD burner which I know I'll need.  How do I go about getting these albums from the amplifier to the computer and onto the CD?  Will I have to add software and/or hardware?  How many songs can I get on a CD?

  84. When using WordPad to type a document that has two pages, after you view it, is there any way to get back to the first page before you print it?

  85. Can I hook-up my telephone connection and Cox modem in tandem?

  86. Which of the new spyware programs would you recommend for ease of installation and operation?

  87. I am considering installing a CD-burner on my Windows 98SE computer.   Would this device be useful for backing up my computer as well as to store picture files?

  88. Are the new ISP offerings such as Earthlink and Aristotle (Ark) as fast and convenient as Cox cable standard hook up?

  89. I have many photos and genealogy records on my Windows 98 computer with no CD burner.   How can I transfer all of these to my new computer with XP and CD burning capabilities?

  90. When we start the defrag process, it goes to 10% and then starts over again.   The graph shows 'drive has changed' and starts at 0% again.

  91. How can one escape from a solid computer lock-up?

  92. Can one install both Eudora and Outlook Express and then use one or the other?

  93. How do you get rid of pop-up ads?

  94. How do I make a copy of a music CD that I bought in a store?

  95. How do you format a CD-RW disk for Microsoft Money back-up using Windows XP?

  96. How does DSL compare to Cox as far as speed?

  97. When I turn on my browser (Yahoo home page) it comes up in a minimized screen and I have to maximize it.

  98. What are the best greeting card programs?   Do they have a label maker?

  99. When trying to delete files permanently from Norton Protected trash can, the following message appears: 'Restarting due to disk write'.

  100. How can I clean out my "My Computer" and not loose important files?

  101. Does turning off my PC when I do not use it shorten its life?

  102. What is the difference between "stand-by" and "hibernation"?

  103. When performing Disk Cleanup - are there certain files one should NOT remove?

  104. What are Offline Web pages?

  105. What are the Downloaded Program Files - Shockwave?

  106. How do I make backup files?

  107. Do you recommend that I completely unplug my P.C. when leaving on a three week trip?

  108. My e-mail newsletter is being stopped even though I am still subscribed to it.  What happened?

  109. How do you just print 1 or 2 labels from MS Works Version 7 and still be able to use the rest of the label sheet at another time?

  110. How does one determine which Cookies are bad and should be deleted?

  111. I have Norton set to scan e-mail.  After scanning it reported "no threats detected".  Shortly thereafter Norton found the worm W32 Beagle.

  112. Would a wireless telephone jack be the cause of very slow Internet connection speed?

  113. Will a 12 year old IBM printer work with Windows XP?

  114. Which is better, DSL or Cable Internet?

  115. What is the difference between CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW?

  116. What can we do to reduce the amount of spam?

  117. What is your opinion of the browser 'Firefox' and the e-mail program 'Thunderbird'?

  118. What is the procedure for using the Internet for over seas contact?

  119. Which is better an internal CD burner or an external one for my Dell?

  120. What brand of CD burner do you suggest?

  121. Are free programs like AVG anti-virus, AdAware and SpyBot malware removers safe to use?

  122. I keep getting a message from the new free AVG that the Internal Virus database is not up to date.

  123. When trying to go to a link from a website, I often get the message 'Error on page' and the page will not open.

  124. I have Windows Media Player set as the default but HP Music comes up when I place a music CD in the drive.  I don't want to use HP Music.  How can stop this?

  125. Defrag will not complete the process. It starts over and over again.  What can I do?

  126. On occasion, when writing a MS Word document I inadvertently hit some key that switches my typing to type over causing my typing to replace typed letters rather than inserting.  What am I doing wrong?

  127. How does the Mail Merge function work?

  128. How do you network two computers in the home?

  129. When I run Norton AntiVirus it finds five adware files.  When Norton tries to delete those files I get a 'Delete failed' error message.  What can I do?

  130. I have AOL which comes with antivirus protection.  Do I still need another antivirus program?

  131. I have a trial version of Norton.  Should I uninstall it before downloading one of the free antivirus programs?

  132. My new Compaq has a program that allows me to create a set of System Recovery CD's/DVD's.  These disks will reinstall the original software that you have on your computer.  Do I use CD-R disks to make these recovery CD's?

  133. When I download something in e-mail, a message pops up saying 'Outlook Express is not currently your default mail client.  Do you want to make it your default mail client' Yes or No.  Should I check Yes?

  134. When I enter a website, sometimes the website says 'This works better using Internet Explorer or Netscape and you are currently in '(another browser). How do I default to Internet Explorer?

  135. How important is it to have a Firewall?

  136. My computer has slowed down considerably.  What is the problem?

  137. How can I make a wireless computer more secure especially on the road at wi-fi hot spots?

  138. Can I add more pictures to a CD-R after I have burned some digital pictures to it?

  139. Is USB hardware or software dependent?

  140. How does one determine whether a USB slot is USB 1 or 2?<

  141. What is the best way to transfer files from an old computer to a new computer?

  142. What would cause some e-mail to be flagged to the sender as 'Not Accepted'?

  143. Why do I keep getting an error message when trying to install XP Service Pack 2?

  144. How do you print only a small amount of copy from a web page or e-mail?

  145. How do you send e-mails so that the address line reads: 'TO: Undisclosed Recipients'?

  146. How do you resize a large photograph for sending via e-mail?

  147. I've been having dialup problems and my ISP said that my firewall settings were too strong.  What is the problem?

  148. How can personal and sensitive information be removed from a computer I intend to donate?

  149. Is Cox the only high-speed Internet connection available in the village?

  150. If a new, replacement hard drive is installed; will it have all the Windows XP programs on it?

  151. How does one go about finding out if is virus warning received in an e-mail is actually true?

  152. I use Excel 97 to open and display four spreadsheets at a time.  Is there a way to configure Excel to remember the placement and size of the display so it will open in that configuration?

  153. Can there be two anti-virus and two anti-spyware programs running at the same time?

  154. How do I associate a file with a program?  When opening an e-mail attachment, I sometimes get the message: 'this file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action.  Create an association in the Folders Options control panel'.

  155. Is it safe for me to keep a record of personal information like Social Security cards, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers in a Microsoft Word document on my computer?

  156. How can I check to see whom an e-mail is from without opening it?

  157. I get three different error messages every 5 to 10 minutes relating to Weather Bug, Vsmon, and Explorer.  I close the messages and the computer works okay for another 5 to 10 minutes.  What is wrong?

  158. What do you know about the 'Google Pack'?  Are they software that will eventually ask for money to keep running?

  159. How can I save a PowerPoint presentation that I receive as an attachment?

  160. How do I lock in font size and kind in Outlook Express?

  161. How do you send or forward messages so they show 'undisclosed recipients'?

  162. How do I set a slide show as a screen saver?

  163. What is the best, step-by-step, process to copy a photo or document and then send it, via email, to someone?

  164. Is FireFox a better browser than Internet Explorer in terms of ease of use?

  165. How does Win-Zip work?

  166. What is the purpose of zipped files?

  167. What is the procedure to open a zipped file?

  168. How does one put a number of pictures into a sipped file and forward it?

  169. When a red X appears with a statement that there is no program associated with that file, how can one find out what type of program is missing and whether there is a free viewer for that program?

  170. I have a shortcut for Notepad on my desktop that no longer connects to the program.

  171. We lost the Yahoo toolbar and can't reinstall it.  We have tried uninstalling and reinstalling but it is still not visible.  The Tool bar is locked.

  172.   Is it possible to permanently position windows in a different place than where they open on the monitor screen?

  173. How do I get the scroll bar to show when I bring up a window?

  174. How do I delete groups of info from the 'sent items' in Outlook Express between certain dates without highlighting each one and then deleting?

  175.   How can you highlight several items on the desktop to delete them without the computer making copies of them?

  176. How do you make a scan and store it on the hard drive and then attach it to an email?

  177.   I sometimes have problems when opening my desktop while various programs are being downloaded.  On occasion my pc will freeze up at that point and I have to reboot.  Sometimes I will get the following error messages:
    'Spool 32 has caused an error in Spool 32.EXE'
    FM 3032 has caused an error in MFC 42.DLL'

  178. How do you clear the hard drive?

  179.   What is the combined cost for TV and Internet service between Cox and Direct TV?

  180.   How do you get video's to play on new's home pages all at one time instead of 10-15 seconds at a time?

  181. When will Microsoft stop supporting Windows 98?

  182. Internet Explorer 7 locks up when connecting to the Internet. I have a computer that is wirelessly connected to the Internet. Outlook Express connects and downloads my email. The computer doesn't lock up, just IE 7. I've uninstalled and reinstalled IE7 and it still doesn't work. The computer is clean as far as Spyware is concerned. Where should I begin looking for a solution?

  183. How can one determine the elevation relative to sea level of a selected location on a Goggle Map?

  184. When clicking on an underscored web link in a received email, I am no longer taken to the web page. I can cut and paste the link into my browser and the desired page will be opened. What is the problem?

  185. I have Norton AV that will expire in two months. I understand that if you uninstall the program it will leave traces on your hard drive. How can it be completely uninstalled?

  186. I have an external hard drive for backup in addition to my regular hard drive. In case my main hard drive crashes, are the back-up files easily recovered or would it crash also?

  187. I was reading a page on a web site and decide to print it out for my files. Nothing happened after I clicked on the printer icon. A few more clicks gave me the same response. After checking a few more sites, I shut down the computer. Upon restarting the computer, the printer started printing out multiple copies of the page I had requested earlier. Why did this happen?

  188. How can I stop the printer from printing if I change my mind?

  189. How can I tell how many pages will be printed when I visit a web page

  190. Is there a set of guidelines that will tell me if I should allow updates to my computer?

  191. Are any of the "Cox Security" offerings worthwhile additions to Norton Internet Security and Spy Sweeper on a computer running Window XP?

  192. In my email in box (Yahoo), just below the tool bar is a yellow background bar with the following in it: "This website wants to run the following add-on "TODO <file description from 'TODO' <company name (unverified publisher). If you trust the website and the add-on and want to allow it to run click here ". There is an X at the end of the bar which when I click on it, the bar disappears, but comes back after a few seconds. How can I get rid of it?

  193. I have a borrowed copy of Nero that I tried to install on a new Vista computer. Vista recognized it as an unregistered copy and took me to a web site where I could buy Nero. What should I do?

  194. How can I change the background of the Outlook Express toolbar and the font?

  195. How can I change the font on the toolbar of Microsoft Works word processor?

  196. Why, when AVG 8.0 has been downloaded, does the program (AVG 7.5) still indicate that an update is available for download?

  197. Why can I burn a CD and not a DVD when my computer shows a drive for CD/DVD?

  198. How can I send more than one picture at a time at a reduced size?

  199. How do you connect to the Internet with a wireless Vista laptop when away?

  200. How can I get my e-mail when away from home?

  201. How do you 'block' a sender when using Windows Mail with Vista?

  202. How can I change all of the formatting options at one time when using Word 2007?

  203. How do I open an e-mail attachment when I get a message saying I do not have a program associated with that attachment?

  204. Why, when I play a video that was forwarded to me, does the voice on the video come through as an echo?

  205. If I open a photo in Adobe Photoshop Elements, does that remove the photo from My Pictures?

  206. How do you get rid of files?

  207. How can a computer be upgraded to increase speed?

  208. How do you install Avast antivirus?

  209. Is Avast recommended over the Cox Security System which provides McAfee antivirus?

  210. Is it necessary to uninstall Norton or any other antivirus program prior to installing a different one?

  211. Is there a free program or suite that will replace Microsoft Office?

  212. Is there an easy way to print a web page that is being displayed on the monitor?

  213. What is the problem when I use my dial-up connection to check my e-mail and I sometimes get a message saying my MSN Hotmail could not be retrieve?

  214. How do I make labels?

  215. Why can't I connect to an Internet link provided in an e-mail?

  216. My Vista Home Basic is running out of memory.  How can I fix that?

  217. When trying to transfer a file to a memory stick (flash drive) I get the message: 'Cannot copy (name of file).  The directory or file cannot be created.'

  218. Why won't my computer connect to the Internet upon startup?  I have to wait for the computer to boot up, then I have to disconnect the router, wait 10 seconds and reconnect.  At that point the computer connects to the Internet.

  219. What is USB?

  220. What is a memory stick?

  221. Why does a movie DVD play on some computers and not on others?

  222. What am I doing in my picture program to cause a duplication of pictures, even when I'm trying to delete?

  223. How can I eliminate spam e-mails?

  224. How can I delete items in my XP Favorites more than one at a time?

  225. If I use yahoo password on other sites (such as banking, PayPal, ect.) and change my Yahoo password, will I have to change the password on the other sites as well?

  226. How can I open the latest version of Word documents if I have an earlier version? 

  227. Can I upgrade my XP machine to Windows 7 without upgrading first to Vista?

  228. Should I install the Internet Explorer 8 upgrade?

  229. Where is the most economical place to buy printer ink?

  230. What is the difference between a 'flash drive' and an 'external hard drive'?

  231. What is the best anti-virus software to use?

  232. How do I remove AOL now that I am no longer using it?

  233. How can I e-mail what I've typed in WordPerfect?

  234. How can I reduce the size of photo so they can be easily e-mailed?

  235. How can I backup my entire computer on to an external hard drive so that I can restore the programs and files in the event I had to replace the hard drive due to a crash?

  236. I cannot access my g-mail from the desktop but can from my Favorites.  What do you suggest?

  237. I've received an e-mail in my spam folder dated 1-18-38.  Why?

  238. Can I install Windows 7 on an XP computer?

  239. If I install Windows 7, will I lose my Outlook Express contacts and other data?

  240. Is there any way to keep my private information from appearing in 'lookup' programs on the Internet?

  241. Why does Windows Mail take 2 -3 minutes to open the first message?  I sometimes get a 'Not Responding' error message but it eventually opens.

  242. How can I rename those photos by date taken so I can view them in that order?

  243. Why, when I shut off my computer, does the monitor show white, red and green screens until I shut off the monitor?

  244. Do Spybot Search & Destroy and Malwarebytes need to be registered and renewed each year?

  245. What is ask.com?

  246. Does Malwarebytes compare favorably with Webroot Spy Sweeper?

  247. When I turn on my computer or re-boot a window pops up with an error message that Tray App cannot be found.  How can I get rid of this?

  248. If Vista is working fine on my computer is there any advantage to upgrading to Windows 7?

  249. I have installed AVG-Free.  Is there any advantage to buying the AVG Internet Security Suite?

  250. Windows 7 is installed on my computer.  Recently it is taking a long time to close the Internet Explorer window.  Why and what can I do to correct this?

  251. Is there any way to use fonts in Windows 7 without having to install each font?

  252. What are the advantages and disadvantages of downloading a program or buying it on CD?

  253. Why did I receive bounced messages (such as from 'Mailer-XXX.mail.com) when I did not send an e-mail to that address? 

  254. What e-mail program do you recommend for Windows 7?

  255. When will Microsoft stop updating XP?

  256. What is a good alternative to the free version of Avast?

  257. What do you think of Microsoft Security Essentials?

  258. What is the best resolution to use for a 24' monitor?

  259. What is the best way to uninstall Norton?

  260. How useful is a netbook for saving photos while on vacation?  Would a notebook be better?

  261. What do you think the problem is with a fairly new (6 month old) notebook computer that tells us that the battery is low even though the charging cable is plugged in?

  262. How do I tell my e-mail program to display the folders (in box, out box, sent items, etc.)?
  263. How can I get my Wi-Fi Vista laptop to print to the printer connected to my XP desktop computer?

  264. What can you tell me about internet phone services like Vonage and MagicJack?

  265. How do I add music to a photo album created with Microsoft Photo Story?

  266. How do I read Hotmail messages in Outlook Express or Windows Live Messenger?

  267. Can a photo in Picasa be moved to another folder or web site?

  268. How can I recover my lost contact list?

  269. What is LimeWire?

  270. How do I get rid of UniBlue Register Booster?

  271. I plan on installing and using TurboTax for the first time.   Do you have any tips or things to be aware of?

  272. My laptop has three USB ports that nothing seems to work on - not the mouse or printer.  What do you suggest?

  273. Will Office 2010 work on an older XP computer?

  274. How do I get rid of a warning, by Avast, about a potentially unsafe application (iPodService.exe)

  275. What do you think about a password manager program?

  276. How can I remove the owners name from a computer's hard drive that I intend to give as a donation?

  277. How can I stop or block junk mail and spam?

  278. Would turning on the Internet Explorer Smart Screen Filter block spam?

  279. How can I turn off 'Data Safe Storage' on my new Dell Desktop running Windows 7?

  280. Can Google Phone be connected to one computer on broadband and another connected via dial up

  281. What is the easiest way to connect my laptop, running Windows 7 to my desktop also running Windows 7?

  282. How does an e-mail I send go to the intended receiver?

  283. What is the InPrivate Browsing setting in IE 9?

  284. How do I move my collection of iTunes from my old XP computer to the new Windows 7 computer?

  285. How do I get the ribbon to display in Word 2007?  I now have to click on the Home button to see the Ribbon.

  286. Does Word have templates available for use like Works had?

  287. Is there any way to protect my e-mail address from being spoofed?

  288. Should I change my e-mail password regularly?

  289. Which laptop is best?

  290. How do I remove the red X box on incoming e-mails?

  291. How do I remove favorites or bookmarks a bunch at a time?

  292. What would cause my Windows Backup to fail?

  293. What is the best way to establish a remote desktop connection?

  294. Why are some file types not supported when backing up to an external hard drive?

  295. Why will Windows 7 not boot normally but will boot into Safe mode?

  296. How can I e-mail just one worksheet from a spreadsheet?

  297. How can I set the default in Word to single space?

  298. What is the difference between 3G and 4G.

  299. What is Android?

  300. Can I transfer my pictures folder from my XP desktop to my laptop?

  301. If my old computer dies before I buy a new one, will the files I have backed up on my external hard drive be retrievable from that external drive to the new computer?

  302. Are the new all in one touch screen computers (monitor includes computer components) such as the WOW computer reliable?

  303. Are the small form desktop computers reliable?

  304. What is cloud computing?

  305. What is C-net mail attachment downloader?

  306. What is the difference between Cox internet and AT&T DSL

  307. How do I delete e-mail messages in Windows Live Mail?

  308. How do I see the back-up files on my external hard drive?

  309. What is the difference between DirectX and Open GL?

  310. How can I down size photos to be sent via e-mail?

  311. What is the safest way to prevent data stored, on a computer that I am discarding, from being accessed?

  312. How can I center a photo in an e-mail message and in a text document?

  313. Are there security holes in Java and Flash?

  314. What do you think of the Windows 8 operating system?

  315. What does the extension .docx mean and how does one open it?

  316. How do I start the 'Local Printer Spooler Service'?  I get this error when trying to print using Windows 8.

  317. Should I upgrade to the paid version of Avast? After installing a new router I got a warning about a hole in the firewall.

  318. Does my smart phone need anti-virus protection?

  319. How do I delete older podcast from my computer?  I cannot play a podcast beyond the first one listed.

  320. I would like to write a book or articles.  Is there a web service that will help me with proofreading?

  321. Are there good programs to clean the registry?

  322. How can I secure an old computer that I may donate or trash?

  323. I have heard that Adobe Reader is a potential security threat.  Are there other programs that I could use to read PDF files?

  324. What do you recommend for security software?

  325. What site is best (safest) for downloading free software?

  326. Do I need a program to download programs and updates?

  327. Why, when I do a Google search, I do not get directed to the site I click on.

  328. When trying to delete addresses in my e-mail program, they show up as 'Unknown'. How do I get rid of those addresses?

  329. How can I keep a window expanded to the size I want?

  330. I am giving my computer to a friend and I would like to securely wipe my hard drive clean. What software is best for this?

  331. My operating system is Windows 7. I have created numerious folders called 'Dictionary' and have them numbered 1 through 37. When I created a new Dictionary folder and numbered it 38, it did not sort behind number 37 but in front of folder number 1. What is preventing this from sorting correctly?

  332. I have a DVD that will not play on my computer using the program Roxio but it will play on the DVD player connected to the TV. What should I do to get the DVD to play on my Computer?

  333. Why am I getting pop up screens in Internet Explorer asking to allow Microsoft to correct or close the program?

  334. Do I need an anti-virus for my Mac?

  335. Can I use a hard drive wiper to securely remove files from my hard drive?

  336. Should I defrag my solid state hard drive (SSD)?

  337. Can I use an external monitor in place of the built-in monitor on a laptop?

  338. What can I do with my old computer?

  339. Should I run the Java update my computer keeps asking me to run?

  340. How will Windows 10 be different from Windows 8.1?

  341. Will I be asked for a Windows product activation key if I use a system image disk to restore the Windows 8.1 operating system?

  342. Should I reformat the hard drive before using a system image disk to restore the Windows 8.1 operating system?

  343. Do you recommend that the average computer user log on to a non-administrative account or guest account for normal day-to-day computer usage?

  344. What anti-virus program are you currently recommending, both paid and free?

  345. Since computer manufactures are not putting a Windows product activation label on laptop computers, what do you do if you reformat the hard drive and reload the operating system using a Windows installation disk?

  346. Why does my right side scroll bar only show if the window is maximized?

  347. The file 'thumb.db' shows up on my desktop.  Can it be deleted?

  348. Why will my computer not power up?  No splash screen - nothing.

  349. I bought an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) disk.  Can I use this disk to reinstall the operating system on computers that have valid product keys?

  350. We bought a used Kindle that still has the books that the previous owner had purchased.  Will these books disappear when we register the device with my Amazon account

  351. My computer is hooked to an external battery supply.  It has starting to ding while I am using the computer.  Is that an indication that the battery is going bad?

  352. Recently, when I read or respond to an e-mail, ads have begun to appear on the screen.  What is my problem?

  353. How can I print out photos that appear on Facebook?

  354. How do I printout my Contact list?

  355. What would be the cause of my wireless mouse eating batteries?

  356. Where can I buy a laptop battery?

  357. How should I condition my laptop and or phone batteries?

  358. What is a good software program to tag, sort and group like photos?  Does it have face a recognition feature?

  359. Will Media Player be a part of Windows 10?

  360. Will Gadgets be a part of Windows 10?

  361. How do I get an internet service provider in this area?

  362. What features of Windows 10 do you not like when compared with Windows 7 and 8.1?

  363. Should I use my rescue disk to take my Windows 7 computer back to factory settings before installing Windows 10?

  364. Will Windows 10 impact an Android tablet?

  365. Can I change the color of the displayed page in Word?

  366. Should I have called Microsoft when I received a pop-up while surfing the Internet stating that the computer had been hacked and I should call Microsoft at ###.###.####?

  367. How do I install my Cox account in Windows Live Mail?

  368. Why can't I forward an e-mail from my Yahoo or Windows 8.1 Outlook program?

  369. Does every computer have a unique IP address?

  370. Should I download and install professional upgrades to my HP printer?

  371. Should I install Windows 10 as soon as it is available or wait until later in the year after potential bugs have been identified and fixed?

  372. How can I find instructions to switch from Direct TV to cable?

  373. What can you tell us about a message from Microsoft concern an update that would crash the Live Mail email program?

  374. If a person does not have Microsoft Office, is there a free program that will read and write in the Office format?

  375. Why would a computer user use Outlook.com as an email program?

  376. What is the best solution to get past the sign-in requirements on the lock screen of Windows 8.1 and 10?

  377. Can Yahoo introduce Malware to your computer?

  378. Can information be retrieved from an old hard drive that has been removed from an old computer?

  379. Do I have to clean out my email inbox before installing Windows 10?

  380. What problems am I likely to run into now that I am ready to install Windows 10?

  381. How do I hook-up Roku SE?

  382. How do I open my Microsoft Office documents on a Mac Air computer?

  383. How do I forward pictures from an email I have received using Outlook Mail.

  384. Windows Live Mail is not responding on my Windows 7 computer.  I've tried reinstalling it from my downloads folder and it still will not work.

  385. When I sign in to Cox web mail on my iPad, I can see an attachments link to an attachments.  When I sign on to Cox web mail through my PC, those attachment links are not there.

  386. Should I click on the link included in an email from a friend but with no other message?

  387. How can I encrypt data on a USB Flash Drive?

  388. How can I delete a PDF file that will not delete?

  389. Is Avast safe to run on Windows 10?

  390. How do I build a dictionary of frequently used words (i.e. Bentonville) which are not included in the Windows 10 "More Options" square?

  391. How do I send pictures from my Apple I-pad without going onto Facebook?  I take pictures, look at them on "Camera", click, get a tone on my i-Pad indicating they have been sent, then later on find a notice of 15 Unsent pictures.  I'd like to correct this.

  392. How to put zip bar code on an envelope/label?

  393. I have seen conflicting opinions about whether an add-on anti-virus product is still needed with Windows 10 after the version 1709 Creator’s update, or if Windows Defender has reached a level of quality that eliminates the need for Avira, AVG, Avast, or other add-on anti-virus applications.  What are your views about this?

  394. I just paid for and installed an add-on A/V program x or an add-on “security suite”.  What should I do?

  395. Can I run Windows Defender AND an add-on A/V program?

  396. My printer is saying there are updates available. Should I install them?

  397. I received a message/email that there is a BIOS update for my computer.  Should I install it?

  398. If I find there is an update for my router firmware, should I update that?

  399. Should the average computer user be doing anything to protect against the media-reported “meltdown” and “spectre” security exposures that potentially affect most Intel-based computers?

  400. I Recently upgraded a Windows 10 laptop to a SSD by cloning from the hard drive and found out later that one application requiring Internet activation was adversely affected.  Is there any way to boot Windows 10 from a de-installed hard drive short of re-installing it on the original disk interface in the original machine?


General Questions


How do I join the computer club?

Come to one of our monthly membership meetings, or sign up for a computer course and join the Club at the first class, or sign up at a Help Clinic.

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How much are dues?

Annual membership is $20.00 for single membership and $10.00 for each additional family member.  Dues are renewed on the anniversary date of the initial membership.

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Where can I find help with software or my computer?

There are a number of ways you can get help.

  • The Club provides training sessions to members.  Course descriptions can be found on the training sessions page of the web site.  The calendar lists the training sessions offered that month.  Two- and three-hour Training sessions run on a single day.  Classes running four hours or longer are split into multiple parts and spread over several days.  Training classes are free to members.  Cost for training sessions for non members is published as part of the class description on the web site.  Membership dues, non-member class fees, donations, and grant funds from the Bella Vista Recycle Center are used to defray the costs of maintaining our Training Center.  Instructors are club member volunteers who donate their time for the class.

  • Members may bring their desktop, laptop, or mobile devices into a Help Clinic on either the first Saturday of the month or the 3rd Wednesday of the month.  Times of the Help Clinics are published in the Bits & Bytes newsletter and in the monthly calendar.  The Help Clinics are staffed by some of our more technically savvy members who volunteer their time.

  • You may want to scroll through the Frequently Asked Questions section to see if someone has already asked your question and has received an answer.

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Why doesn't the club offer more training sessions?

We are willing to offer a course if five or more members are interested and there is someone in the Club willing to develop and teach the course.  Contact any of the officers (see the Club Officers page for their e-mail address and telephone numbers).  You can also send suggestions to the Education Committee.  We are looking for suggestions that would fit in a two- to six-hour format.

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What is the purpose of the club?

The Bella Vista Computer is organized for charitable and educational purposes.  These include providing the residents of Bella Vista, Arkansas, and the surrounding area, an opportunity to gain knowledge of computer hardware, software and systems and to participate in educational and training programs designed to put that knowledge to practical use. 

  Monthly meetings are held where topics of interest to members are discussed and demonstrated.  In addition to monthly meetings, classes are offered in Basic Computer Usage, and usage of specific applications.  Twice-monthly Help Clinics are also held to assist members resolve problems with their computers or applications on their computer.

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When does the club meet?

The Club meets at 7 pm on the second Monday of the month in Community Room A (Rm 1001) at the Highlands Crossing Center.  The Highlands Crossing Center is located just South of the intersection of highways 279 and 340 in Bella Vista.

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How do I uninstall McAfee Virus Scan if the Windows Uninstall command can't be found?

(have no idea if still accurate) McAfee's anti-virus program is called VShield.  It sounds like there was an incomplete uninstall.  Reinstall McAfee's VShield and then uninstall it again using the Add or Remove Programs option in the Control Panel.

If that doesn't work, go to McAfee's web page.  Look for instructions on uninstalling their software.  You may have to contact technical support directly.  Another option is to go to www.symantec.com and check with their technical support.

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What do anti-virus programs do if they detect a virus?

If a virus is detected, a screen will pop up asking you what you want to do with that virus.  In most cases, OK the default option.

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Would running two anti-virus software programs at the same time give you more protection?

No it would not.  In fact, they could conflict with each other

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I am having problems renewing my Norton Anti-virus program.   Any suggestions on how to accomplish this?

Yes - don't renew.  Connect to the Internet and download one of the free antivirus programs. Three good choices are Avast, AntiVir, and AVG. Uninstall Norton before you install the free program.

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What is the address for the free Anti-virus download?

Avast, a free antivirus program that many in the computer club use can be found at www.avast.com/

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Review the procedures for doing a backup.

The easiest, most cost efficient way to back up your computer is to use a CD burner and copy your data files to a CD.  There is little point in backing up your entire computer.  You have disks for the operating system and software programs. The only data you need to back up is that which you have created, like letters, photos, spreadsheets, databases, and any e-mail you might have saved.  If you save all of your original data files in one location, such as My Documents, then it is simply a matter of copying that folder to a CD.  If your data files are spread throughout the hard drive, then making a copy of them becomes a problem as you may forget where you have stored some of the files.

You would probably want to copy the programs you have download from the Internet as well.

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Browsers (AOL, Internet Explorer, MSN, Netscape)


How can I clear web addresses from the browser history?

Going to the Edit menu and choosing Preferences can clear the Navigator history.  In the preference dialog box, click on Navigator/History. There will be a Clear history button.  There is also a Clear Location bar history button.

On the menu bar in Internet Explorer, click Tools and select Internet Options. Click the Delete button in the Browsing history section and you can delete information from any or all of the five areas.

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How can I add locations to my Favorites folder?

In Internet Explorer you have two options. While on the web page, click the Add to Favorites button and then click Add to Favorites. You can also right click on the web page and select Add to Favorites.

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Is it necessary to delete Internet cookies?

It's part of good computer maintenance to delete the cookies from time to time. They serve the useful purpose of remembering your preferences and passwords when you go to different web sites.  They don't take up much room, so do little harm.  If you delete them, you will be asked for the password you created the first time you visited the site and by now probably have forgotten.

Cookies are in the cookies folder located in your account. C:\Documents and Settings\ (your account)\Cookies.

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How can I print out a list of my bookmarks in Netscape?

From the Netscape browser, click on the bookmarks button and choose Edit/Manage Bookmarks.  In the Bookmarks editor, go to the File menu and choose Export Bookmarks.  Bookmarks.html is the default name but you can name it anything you like.  You can also save the file to any location although the default location is C:/program files/navigator/navigator # (4, 5, or 6 depending on your version).

You can now open the file in Netscape and print it from there.  This however will only show the title of the bookmark link.  If you want to see the actual address, you will have to open the file in a program that can read html.  Programs like MS Word, FrontPage, or other html editor.  You will have to search through html code to find the address.

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Is there any difference between downloading to a desktop computer or to a notebook?

No

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Sometimes I will download a page from a web site that has a picture box with a small X in the upper corner.  What does that mean?

Either the picture is missing or you don't have the correct software program loaded on your computer to display that graphic.  Sometimes clicking the refresh button will cause the graphic to appear.

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I use MSN-Explorer7.0 as my Internet service provider and would like to put an e-mail icon on my desktop.

This is a mini-browser that is part of the MSN dial-up network and not a separate program.  You might try using the Help feature in that browser and search for e-mail shortcuts.

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How can one print a listing of Internet Explorer's Favorites?

Not easily.  You can print a screen capture of the titles but not the actual Internet addresses so that would not be very useful.  To do a screen capture, open Favorites, hold down the Alt key and press the Print Screen key located in the upper right corner of your keyboard.  This places an image of the screen in memory.  Now, paste the image in a photo editing program or a word processor such as Windows WordPad.  Print the screen capture from the photo editing or word processing program.

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I want to upgrade from Netscape 4.7 to 6.0.   Is it better to purchase or download from the Internet?

It is better to download, however do not use Netscape 6.0.  Version 9.0 is the latest version.

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CD


What are the alternatives to 'Easy CD Creator'?

Nero 8.0 from www.nero.com

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I recently installed a CD burner.   The software that came with it (Nero) only backs up the hard drive, sector by sector.   I understand that there may be software available which will allow me to selectively backup files or groups of files, much like the Iomega Zip Drive. If that is correct, what are the titles or companies and can it be downloaded?

Your mistake is in using the Backup option.  Nero should be able to copy files/folders to a CD-R or CD-RW disk (provided you have a CD Writer). Explore other options in your software.  It may be that you will have to update to a newer version of Nero.  Version 8.0 is now available from www.nero.com.

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How do I copy a CD disk?

 Depends on your CD burning software.   Look for option titles such as 'Copy CD' or 'CD to CD'.

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Is it possible to add photos to an already existing photo CD?   I am currently saving my digital photos on a CD and have been unable to add photos to it.   I am using a RW-CD.

If you close the CD after writing the photos to it, you will not be able to add more, even if there is room.  You do not have to close the CD until it is full. Closing the CD makes the CD readable on other computers, though newer software can write CDs that are readable on most other readers, even if the CD is not closed.

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Are ink jet cartridge refill kits any good?

No. They can be messy, may void your printer warranty, will probably not produce the same quality print as ink made for your printer, and may plug the print head. Lexmark and HP (?) are the two printers that have the print head built in to the ink cartridge. Refilling them may be safer than other printer cartridges but is still not a recommended task.

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Am I wasting electricity if I leave my computer on all day?

Yes, but don't turn the computer on and off numerous times during the day. It's recommended you leave your computer on all day and shut it down when you are getting ready to retire for the night.  Some people leave their computer on all the time and while this is OK (servers and other business computers run 24/7) you will need to inspect your computer more frequently for dust and pet hair accumulation.

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What are the pros and cons of refilling your own ink jet print cartridges?

It is a cost saving method but can be very messy and might void your printer warrantee.   The color of your prints might change since the refill ink will not be made to the same color standard as the manufacturers brand.

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If you change the mouse on your PC, must you uninstall the current one and then install the new one?

If you installed software that comes with the old mouse, you can uninstall that software. On newer computers you don't need to install anything, just connect the mouse to the computer and the operating system will configure the mouse so it will work.

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How many processors can the latest computer have?

The number of processors depends upon the motherboard.  Most multiprocessor motherboards can use two and some boards can utilize four processors.  It should be pointed out that one process has more than enough power to do any task that any club member could ask of it.
(Revised Feb 2018)
When the original response was written, every microprocessor module contained a single processor, so you could view a motherboard and see how many processor modules could be plugged into the motherboard and visually count the processors.  It is still the case that the average user would be very unlikely to need a system with more than one processor module, but it is now common for that one processor module to actually contain two or even more distinct processors.

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Does the panel recommend downloading Critical Updates for software I have on my computer?

Yes.   Critical updates are software patches that will fix faulty parts of the program or operating system or to close security holes that hackers may use to invade your computer.

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I use MSN-Explorer7.0 as my Internet service provider and would like to put an e-mail icon on my desktop.

This is a mini-browser that is part of the MSN dial-up network and not a separate program.   You might try using the Help feature in that browser and search for e-mail shortcuts.

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How do we regain the small icons that used to appear next to the Start button?

Right-click the taskbar (the bar located on the bottom of the monitor). Place the mouse pointer on Toolbars and then click Quick Launch. The taskbar has four sections. The Start button on the far left, the Quick Launch taskbar to the right of the Start button, the center or main area of the bar, and the Notification area on the far right side.
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How do I delete a shortcut from the desktop?

Right click on the shortcut and choose the Delete option from the shortcut menu. Just make sure the icon you want to delete has the small black arrow in the bottom left corner to indicate that it is a shortcut.

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What is WinZip?

It is software that will compress a file or folder of files to their smallest size for easy transport via floppy disk or e-mail.  Zipped file must be unzipped when received in order to be used.  Any file can be zipped.

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Some e-mail I receive is displayed as gibberish and I get an error message that says something about a MIME format error.

Your e-mail program cannot understand that (MIME) format.  Ask the sender to send in a different format or up grade your e-mail software.

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What is the .eml extension?

The file extension .eml is used for an Outlook Express saved e-mail message and is often used for Outlook Express stationery.

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Sometimes when I try to open an e-mail attachment (it has the .bin extension) I am asked to select a program that will open that attachment.   What program should I select?

The computer is asking which program to use to open that particular file.   The chances are good that you don't have the proper program installed and so will not be able to open that file.   The .bin extension is for a Macintosh file.   It takes special software to read Mac files on a PC.   Your best course of action is to delete the file and request the sender to send it again, in a format your computer can read.

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Why does my e-mail spell checker sometime gray out?

That portion of the word processing program is corrupted.   Uninstall and then reinstall the word processor (Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs).   You may also want to go to the web site for that word processor and check for any upgrades.  Download and install those upgrades.

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Why do names appear in my Outlook Express address book that I haven't placed there?

Outlook Express has a feature that will automatically place names in the address book when you reply to an e-mail.  To turn this feature off, on the menu bar, click Tools and select Options.  Click on the Send tab and remove the check mark in the check box to the left of, 'Automatically put people I reply to in my address book'.

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Why when I type in an address in my e-mail program, a series of similar names will appear and I am asked to choose the correct address?

It sounds like only first names were placed in the address book.  If there are two Bobs, the address book will ask which Bob do you want the e-mail to go to?

You can check for double entries by opening the Outlook Express address book.  On the menu bar, click on View, click Sort By, and sort by First Name.

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What is a signature file?  I get a warning that 'The signature file specified does not exist.  

A Signature File is a custom signature that can be created and added to the end of e-mail messages.  A signature file can be created in Outlook Express by clicking Tools on the menu bar and selecting Options.  In the Options dialog box, choose the Signatures tab.  Click the New button.  You can enter text such as your name and address, a file that contains your scanned signature, or anything else you may choose.  To have your signature automatically added to your e-mails, place a check mark in front of, 'Add signatures to all outgoing messages'.

Your problem is that the computer is set up to add a signature, but a signature does not exist.  Either create a new signature (see above) or remove the check mark next to, 'Add signatures to all outgoing messages'.

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When do anti-virus programs check e-mail files?

If set up properly, your anti-virus program will check both incoming and outgoing e-mail.  Open your anti-virus program to check the settings.

For Norton, double click on the Norton icon in the Task bar. Click on Options.  On the left hand side there will be Choices and Settings will be on the right hand side. Choose E-mail protection. There must be a check by your e-Mail program.

For AVG, double click on the AVG icon in the notification area and make sure the e-mail scanner is fully functional.

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If I want to forward an e-mail that has been forwarded several times, how do I get rid of previous recipients and all the garbage it has picked up with these forwards?

Highlight the message of the e-mail by clicking at the beginning of the message, hold down the shift key and click at the end of the message.  Copy the highlighted message (Edit/Copy or right-click and choose Copy). Open your word processing program and paste the e-mail into the word processor.  Use the Find/Replace tools to find the > and replace it with nothing.  Tell it to Replace All.  Delete all of the names and e-mail addresses. Now copy the cleaned up e-mail and paste it into a new e-mail message.  Address the e-mail, add a subject, and send it.

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Is there anyway to tell, when you are in your e-mail, if you have a virus?

No. I would be suspicious of a possible virus if the computer started exhibiting unusual behavior.

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What is the best way to limit access to your e-mail?   Is there a web page you can go to for protection?

Most Internet Service Providers (such as Arkansas.Net, Earthlink, and Cox) allow you to access your e-mail from their home page.  By logging in to your e-mail account through the ISP's web page, your e-mail stays on the server where only you can access it.

If you are using Outlook or Outlook Express, you can set up an 'Identity' that is password protected.  Go to the File menu move to Identities and select Add New Identity.  When you set up the new identity, you will have the option to require a password.  Downloading your e-mail through the identity will prevent it from being read by anyone that does not know the password.

Two very important things about e-mail.  One: never give out your e-mail password. Two: keep your virus protection up to date.

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How do I delete unwanted e-mail without opening it?

On the menu bar, click View, and select Layout.  Remove the check mark form the check box to the left of, 'Show Preview Pane'. When you return to the Inbox you will only see the message headers.  To read the e-mail, double click the header and the e-mail will open in a new window.

Single clicking an e-mail header will allow you to highlight the header and then delete it without opening the e-mail message.

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Where are the margins set in e-mail?

There is no option for setting margins in Outlook Express.  If you are using a different e-mail program, explore your tool bar for to see if your program has the ability to set margins.

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How do you setup Outlook Express for e-mail?   It asks for Host SMTP and Account POP3.

On the menu bar, click Tools and select Accounts.  Click the Mail tab and then click the Add button. Fill in the requested information on each of the tabs.  When you get to the Servers tab you will need specific information for the Incoming and Outgoing boxes. This is information that you must get from your ISP.  You may already have the documentation from when you signed up for the service or you may be able to obtain it from your ISP's web site.  Different ISP's use different terminology.

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When I tried to delete an e-mail, a window comes up and says: 'This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down'.   How can I delete this e-mail?

To delete an Outlook Express e-mail message that cannot be deleted in the normal fashion, right-click on the In-box and choose Properties.  Record the location of the In-box folder.  It will look something like C:\Documents and Settings\(your account)\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\etc.

Close Outlook Express and navigate to the location you recorded. You are looking for the folder 'inbox.dbx'. Click on the folder to highlight it and delete it.  When you next open Outlook Express the In-box will be recreated without the damaged e-mail you were trying to delete.

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I cannot open any attachments forwarded in Outlook Express.   This memo comes up: 'OE removed access to the following unsafe attachments in your mail.'   What should I do?

Either you are receiving e-mail attachments with viruses or the attached file has a file extension that Outlook Express is programmed to block.  Assuming the latter, click the Forward button to open the e-mail in a new window and you can then see the attachment in the Attach: box. On the menu bar, click File and then click Save Attachments. Save the attachment to My Documents. Go to My Documents, right-click the file and select Properties. Near the bottom of the General tab, click the Unblock button and click OK.

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How do I see the address book (Contacts) that used to appear at the bottom left of Outlook Express?

On the menu bar, click View and select Layout.  Place a check mark in the check box to the left of Contacts and click the OK button.

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How do you transfer a photo received in an e-mail to a photo editing program such as Photoshop Elements?

Right-click the photo and click Save Picture As. Save the photo in My Pictures. Open your photo editing program. On the menu bar, click File and select Open. Navigate to the photo you want to edit, click on it to highlight, and click the Open button.

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How do you setup a 'Signature' in Outlook Express?

In Outlook Express, go to the menu bar and click Tools and select Options. Click the Signatures tab.  Click the New button and create your personal signature.  You are limited to text, however you could us a drawing program and create a signature or you could scan your signature and use that.

In that Signature dialog box is the option to 'Add signatures to all outgoing messages'.  Should you want to use one of several different signatures, create each new signature but uncheck the 'Add signatures to all outgoing messages' box.  You can select the signature to be use by going to the menu bar, clicking Insert and selecting Signature.  If you have more than one signature, you will be asked to choose the signature to be applied to the message.

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Is there any person or persons willing to work one-on-one for a fee?

(Revised Feb 2018)
The club does not currently advertise anyone that will do that service.  In special cases, some of the volunteers who work at the Help Clinics may be willing to do house calls.  Some of the Help Clinic personnel are also willing to provide remote assistance over the Internet using the TeamViewer remote desktop utility.

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Internet Service Providers


What kind of protection do I need, if any, if I have a cable modem?

With a cable modem, the computer is connected at all times to the Internet.  The panel believes you should have an antivirus program that you update every time you turn on the computer. Windows XP has a built in firewall that should be on. You should have several spyware detection and removal programs.

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Can I update to the new version of AOL without loosing my address book and favorites?

The new versions of AOL should update previous versions without replacing you old address book or favorites.  The AOL home page tells how to backup important files in case something goes wrong.

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What are the broadband options in Bella Vista?

TCox Internet using your TV cable and AT&T Yahoo! using your telephone line.

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When I setup my Internet Service Provider, I was asked to choose between Netscape and Outlook Express.   I choose Netscape but would now like to change to Outlook.   How do I do that?

If you are using Internet Explorer, go to Tools on the menu bar and select Internet Options.  Click on the Programs tab and in the E-mail line, click on the black triangle and choose Outlook Express.

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Can I use both Cox-internet and AOL?   Are there any advantages/disadvantages?

Yes you can.   AOL will charge $14.95 to continue its service without the ISP component (Cox-Internet is providing that).   The reason for doing so is as a backup if Cox goes down and to retain the AOL address book.

The disadvantage is $14.95 extra a month.

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Operating System


What does SQL server client message mean?   I get a pop up screen upon computer start up.   When I close the box, the computer continues to boot up and works fine afterwards.

Look in the Start/Programs/Startup folder for any financial programs that maybe trying to create a connection to a financial institutions server.   SQL, Structured Query Language, is a database query language that was adopted as an industry standard in 1986.

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When attempting to install the Windows XP upgrade from Win98, Microsoft advises several of my hardware and software programs will not work with Windows XP.   It suggests that vendor downloads should be obtained and the original drivers removed.   Assuming that they are removed and placed in the Recycle Bin, is it necessary to remove them from this area prior to continuing the XP installation?

No, they do not need to be removed from the Recycle bin before loading the new drivers.

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It takes to long for my computer to boot up.   I think it is because I have to many programs loading at startup.   How do I determine the ESSENTIAL programs that should load when I boot my computer?  

Download and install the free version of WinPatrol. The program has an excellent section that allows you to control Startup Programs.

To stop programs from loading automatically, delete them from the Start/Programs/Startup folder.  This will not delete the program(s) and they can be started manually by clicking on the program icon or shortcut.

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How can fonts be deleted from Windows?   I only use 5 different programs have loaded fonts (Lotus, StarOffice, etc.).

Make sure you know what you're doing and do not remove operating system fonts or fonts that are used by any of the programs you have installed on the computer.

Click Start, Control Panel, Appearance and Themes, and in the left panel, Fonts. Right-click the font you want to delete, select Delete and click OK.

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Is there anything that can be done about Windows ME crashing/freezing up?

Yes.  Upgrade to Windows XP.

Run a through scan of your hard drive (Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Scandisk.  In the Scandisk dialog box, check Thorough and Automatically fix errors.  Following Scandisk, run Disk Defragmenter.

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The cursor arrow starts to flicker whenever I move it over a control button or icon.  How can I fix it?

We don't know.

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We experience power outages on a frequent basis.  What should we do?

Buy a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply).  This is a battery that sits between the wall outlet and your computer.  Should power fail, the battery will take over, giving you time to shut down your computer. Most also provide surge protection.

Power surges are another thing club members should be concerned with.  You should protect your computer with a surge protector. They are not expensive when compared to the cost of your computer and data. The higher the joule rating, the better the protection. Good state of the art surge protectors will provide surge protection for your phone line or cable connection. An electrical power surge can destroy your computer through the phone line or TV cable that is connected to your modem.

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My downloads seem to be very slow.   Is there anything I can do?

Download speed is a factor of your ISP, the server you are downloading from as well as any other servers between your computer and the download computer, and the condition of your computer.  If it's just downloads from some sites that are slow then it's probably due to the site or the number of other people signed on to that server.  The more people signed on to a server the slower the download speed.  Try downloading at a time when others may not be using the server or chose a download site (if available) that is in a different time zone.

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Virus


How do you get rid of a virus if you get one?

The antivirus program will detect the virus (if you have been updating your virus definitions) and prompt you for action.  The best method is to do what the antivirus program suggests, just OK the recommended action.

If you have not been updating the virus definitions, update the definitions and the program, (if an update is available) then run a complete system scan.

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What do I do to remove a virus that was detected and placed in Quarantine?   With the virus in quarantine is there any danger to my system?

Depending on your anti-virus program, locate that quarantine folder and single click on the infected file, then press the delete key.

There is no danger in keeping the infected file in your quarantine folder.

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How do you get rid of 'Gator', etc.?   I've tried and tried but even when deleted it shows up again upon restart.

Download and install 'Ad-Aware' by Lavasoft.  Ad-Aware will scan your computer for spyware.  Gator is a form of spyware that keeps tract of your Internet activity and reports it back to the 'mother ship' so they can display  ads based on sites you have visited.

When you run Ad-Aware, it will identify any spyware installed on your computer and present you with a list.  Select everything on the list and have the program remove it.  You don't have to worry about disabling something on your computer as Ad-Aware makes a backup file that you can use to restore items if necessary.

Another option is to add Gator to the restricted sites list found in Internet Explorer. On the menu bar, click Tools and select Internet Options. On the Security tab, click the Restricted sites icon to highlight and click the Sites button. Type the Gator website address in the top box and click the Add button. This will prevent your computer from accessing the Gator website

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How do I stop the printer from printing the footer of a web page?

To remove it permanently from Internet Explorer, on the menu bar, click File, select Page Setup, and remove the information in the Footer text box.

To selectively not print the header and footer, do a Print Preview (on the menu bar, click File and select Print Preview). In the Print Preview window, click the button on the toolbar that, when you hold your mouse pointer on it, displays 'Turn headers and footers on or off'.

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How critical is it to download the critical updates?

Very!!  These updates correct flaws that have been found in the operating system, Internet software, and programs on your computer that allows someone to get into your computer.

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What does it mean when the directions say, 'Click twice'? (Quicken)

Double-click on the item. That's two rapid clicks of the left mouse button.

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We are sometimes getting this message: 'unable to access hard drive. Press any key to try again. Operating system not found on any devices.'   What does this mean?

A bad hard drive controller or a bad hard drive could cause this message. Back up your critical data to floppy or CD and then take the computer to a repair shop as soon as possible, before the drive fails completely.

This question was good in that you provided information regarding the nature of the error message.

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When you see an error message, can you print that out?

If the error message comes up before Windows is fully loaded - no.  If it comes up when Windows is operational, then you can press the Print Screen (Prt Scr) key.  This places a copy of the information on the monitor (called screen capture) in memory.  Next open a word processor program like WordPad and select the Paste operation.  You can now print the message.

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Using Avery 4143 Mailing Labels on a dot matrix printer, with a 72-address database. When printed everything prints out as expected except that the data for labels 23 and 24 is missing and has been replaced with the data from labels 25 and 26.   All other databases print correctly.

There is probably a problem with the database or mail merge file.  Export the database file, as a text comma delimited file, and import it to a new database document.  Also create a new mail merge document.

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When I get an e-mail with text, pictures and music, if I copy and paste or forward the e-mail, the pictures are not included.   What can I do?

Check your Outlook Express settings.  On the menu bar, click Tools, select Options, and click the Send tab.  In the Mail Sending Format section, HTML should be selected.  Click the HTML Settings button and make sure there is a check mark in the check box next to, 'Send pictures with massages'. Click the OK button.

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How do I set a font and type size to be the default in my e-mail?

In Outlook Express, click Tools on the menu bar and select Options. Click the Compose tab and then click the Font Settings button for Mail:. Select the Font:, Font style:, and Size:, then click the OK button.

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If I change font and/or type size, it will often change back when I hit the Enter key.   Why?   How can I make it keep my settings?

Make your temporary font setting change before you type anything in the new e-mail message or word processor.

If you have already started typing just continue typing your message. When you're finished typing, select (highlight) all of the text (the keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + A) and make your font style and font size change.

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I can't open a lot of attachments to e-mails from people what I previously had been able to open.   What happened?

If Outlook Express denies you access to an attachment, your Security settings have been changed (possibly from installing the Internet Explorer service pack).  Open Outlook Express. On the menu bar, click Tools and select Options. Click the Security tab and remove the check mark from the check box next to, 'Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus'.  If you would rather not change this setting, you can work around it by doing the following. When you receive an e-mail with an attachment you can not access, click the Forward button. The e-mail message will open in a new window and you should be able to open the attachment.

If you choose to disable the Outlook Express security feature, you open your computer to a virus attack.  To avoid this you must have an antivirus program installed and you must update the virus definitions every time you start your computer.

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I am experiencing random failures when on the Internet with Internet Explorer.   Explorer says it cannot find the page.   This usually occurs after the computer has been sitting idle for several hours.   It will clear up upon reboot. (There was considerable discussion on this question.   The final consensus follows:)

Your computer appears to have the Klez virus.  You will need to go to the Symantec web site to obtain software that will remove this virus.

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My Norton Security firewall seems to lock me out of certain web sites: AccuWeather, the local ABC and CBS web sites but not other commercial sites.   After freezing me out of these certain sites, I am blocked from the Internet complete until I reboot.

The Norton firewall seems to be problematic.  Try uninstalling it and then re-installing.

If you are on a dial up Internet account, there is no need for a firewall.  Only those on Cox cable or DSL which remains connected to the internet as long as the computer is on will need a firewall.

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I have a number of old 'LP' albums that I would like to put on CD's.   I have the turntable and the amplifier but no CD burner which I know I'll need.  How do I go about getting these albums from the amplifier to the computer and onto the CD?   Will I have to add software and/or hardware?   How many songs can I get on a CD?

You may need a specialized audio card with stereo input capability and an audio transfer program.  A large hard drive to hold the audio files is also necessary.  If you have a lot of LPs to convert, it may be more efficient to have a company that specializes in that do if for you.

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When using WordPad to type a document that has two pages, after you view it, is there any way to get back to the first page before you print it?

Hold down the Control (Ctrl) key and press the Home key (not the one in the numeric keypad).  That will take you to the top of the document.

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Can I hook-up my telephone connection and Cox modem in tandem?

Yes - create two accounts

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Which of the new spyware programs would you recommend for ease of installation and operation?

Ad-Aware by Lavasoft (http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/ ) and Spybot -  Search and Destroy by Safer-Networking (www.safer-networking.org/). Both are free and easy to use.

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I am considering installing a CD-burner on my Windows 98SE computer.   Would this device be useful for backing up my computer as well as to store picture files?

The CD-burner will write any kind of file to a CD-R disk.   One suggestion to make backing up your data file easier is to always save them in My Documents.   If all your personal files are stored there it is much easier to write the My Documents folder to the CD-R than it is to search your hard drive for files stored elsewhere.

You don't need to backup the entire hard drive since you have the original systems disk and program disks, all you need to backup are the files you have created such as spread sheets, word processing document, and pictures.

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Are the new ISP offerings such as Earthlink and Aristotle (Ark) as fast and convenient as Cox cable standard hook up?

No.   SBC Yahoo DSL is approaching Cox cable for speed and convenience but none of the dial up ISP can match cable.   Besides speed, the convenience of having instant access to the Internet or e-mail cannot be beat.

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I have many photos and genealogy records on my Windows 98 computer with no CD burner.   How can I transfer all of these to my new computer with XP and CD burning capabilities?

If you have a USB port on your Windows 98 computer the easiest and most flexible way would be to buy a USB flash drive.  They are also known as a thumb drive or pen drive.  They come in various sizes up to 16 GB.  The larger are the more expensive.  Most flash drives are now USB 2 but would work in the USB 1 port you are likely to have on your Windows 98 computer.  The flash drive will be recognized as a separate hard drive on your Windows XP machine but will have to be installed on your Windows 98 computer.  Once installed you simply drag files to be transferred from your C: drive to the new flash drive, probably indicated as the E: drive.  When it's full, unplug it from the Windows 98 machine and plug it in the Windows XP computer and reverse the process.  Be sure to scan your computers for viruses first.

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When we start the defrag process, it goes to 10% and then starts over again.   The graph shows 'drive has changed' and starts at 0% again.

One or more programs are running in the background while you are trying to defrag.  To avoid this problem and to speed up the process, start your computer in the Safe Mode.  You do this by pressing the F8 function key as you computer is starting up but before Windows begins to load.  A menu will appear with several start-up options.  Highlight 'Safe Mode' and press the Enter key.

Save Mode only load the bare minimum drivers to allow Windows to operate.  You won't be able to print, get on the internet and perhaps use your mouse if it is a USB mouse.

Restarting the computer after defrag is finished will start the computer in the normal mode.

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How can one escape from a solid computer lock-up?

Older computers have a reset button that can be pressed to restart the computer and recover from a lock-up.  Newer computers no longer have a reset button.  To restart you have to turn off the computer by holding the power button on the computer case in for five or ten seconds. Wait about thirty seconds before pressing the power button on the front of the computer to restart.

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Can one install both Eudora and Outlook Express and then use one or the other?

Yes, they can both be installed and used to access the same e-mail account.   You would want to configure one of the e-mail accounts to leave the e-mails on the server and the other one, the e-mail program you will use most often, to delete the e-mails from the server after they are downloaded to your computer.

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How do you get rid of pop-up ads?

The latest version of Internet Explorer has a built-in Pop-up stopper. Make sure it is turned on.

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How do I make a copy of a music CD that I bought in a store?

Some music CD's are copy protected to prevent a copy from being made. If the CD is not copy protected, use your CD burning program it make a copy.

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How do you format a CD-RW disk for Microsoft Money back-up using Windows XP?

First of all I would advise against using a RW disk.   The RW's are rated at 4x unless you have a High Speed RW burner.   They are rated at 4 - 12X or a Ultra High Speed RW burner that are rated between 16 and 24x.   Compare this to a regular CD-R burner that has can record as high as 52X.   Yes the RW's can be reformatted and re-used but they cost more than CD-R's and are much slower.

How you format a CD-RW depends on your burner software.  Formatting is usually used to make the computer think the CD-RW is another hard drive.  This means that you can drag and drop files to the formatted CD-RW as well as use the Save as command to write to the RW.   This does simplify the operation some what however due to the speed and cost factors discussed above I would recommend that you use your burner program to copy the Microsoft Money files to your CD-R.

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How does DSL compare to Cox as far as speed?

Almost as fast at Cox High Speed.  A one Mb file will download to cable in 7 seconds, DSL in 32 seconds and a dial-up connected at 28.8 will take 277 seconds.

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When I turn on my browser (Yahoo home page) it comes up in a minimized screen and I have to maximize it.  

Hold the Shift key when you click on the Maximize button and the browser will remember that setting the next time it is opened.

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What are the best greeting card programs?   Do they have a label maker?

Different people have different idea about what is best.   Research the different programs both at the store and on the Internet and determine which is best for YOU. Hallmark creates cards only.   PrintMaster will produce labels as well as a number of other useful things as well as cards.

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When trying to delete files permanently from Norton Protected trash can, the following message appears: 'Restarting due to disk write'.

Try running Norton Disk Doctor.

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How can I clean out my "My Computer" and not loose important files?

Click on the Start button, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and choose Disk Cleanup.  Disk Cleanup will search the hard drive for data that can be delete.  Check the files carefully to be sure you really want to delete them.

Internet Explorer also has a method to clear unwanted files.  Launch Internet Explorer.  On the menu bar, click Tools and then select Internet Options.  IE Version 7 has a Browsing history section that will allow you to delete temporary files, history, cookies, saved passwords, and web form information.

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Does turning off my PC when I do not use it shorten its life?

Under normal conditions, leaving your PC on all day will stress the components less than turning it on and off repeatedly throughout the day.  Exceptions would be during electrical storms, if there is pet hair due to cats and dogs, if there is a heavy smoker in the same room as the computer. 

If you have a cable modem or DSL, you are on the Internet whenever the computer is on.  We recommend that you install a Firewall and or a router to make that computer invisible to Internet Hackers.  If you don't have one, turn off the computer when it is not in use.

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What is the difference between "stand-by" and "hibernation"?

While the computer is on standby, information in computer memory is not saved on your hard disk. If there is an interruption in power, information in memory is lost.

When you put your computer into hibernation, everything in computer memory is saved on your hard disk, and your computer is switched off. When you turn the computer back on, all programs and documents that were open when you turned the computer off are restored on the desktop.

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When performing Disk Cleanup - are there certain files one should NOT remove?

Disk Cleanup will not remove any system files.  As you click on the name of the different types of files that can be deleted, Windows tells you what type of files they are and if it is safe to remove them.

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What are Offline Web pages?

Offline web pages are web pages that have been saved to the hard drive.  It is useful if someone is trying to show a web site and only has a dialup modem.  Saving the pages to the hard drive will speed up the presentation.

In your case you can remove offline web pages.

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What are the Downloaded Program Files - Shockwave?

Shockwave is a program that web designers use to create animations and special effects for web pages.  In order to run those pages, a Shockwave viewer must be loaded on your computer to run those pages.  You gave permission to download Shockwave the first time you entered and tried to view one of those pages.  This is a perfectly save program to have.

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How do I make backup files?

This depends greatly on what you are trying to back up.  Some programs like Quicken make backup files automatically while others like Quick Books will make a backup as an option.  In either case, go to the Help menu in those programs to determine how to do a backup.

If you are trying to backup your computer, then you need some means to write files to an offline storage device.  With a newer computer, the most common device is a CD burner.  It is not necessary to backup your entire hard drive.  You should have CD's of all the programs loaded on your computer.  Since you have those program disks you do not have to back them up.  That leaves only the information you have created.  It simplifies matters greatly if you have made it a practice of saving everything you created in sub folders within the My Documents folder.  By doing this, all you have to do is burn My Documents to a CD.

To back up to CD, see the May 2003 Meeting Presentation on Burning CD's here

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Do you recommend that I completely unplug my P.C. when leaving on a three week trip?

Yes.  Completely disconnect both monitor and computer from the electrical socket.  Also disconnect your modem (phone or cable) from the wall socket.

A reminder here for those of you who use surge protectors.  They are only good for one time.  Should your computer experience a surge of electricity while you are gone, you will be protected - the first time.  If a second surge come through after that, your computer may be toast.

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My e-mail newsletter is being stopped even though I am still subscribed to it.  What happened?

You ISP (Internet Service Provider - Cox, Juno, Arkansas.net, etc.) may have installed a spam blocker in an effort to reduce the amount of spam passing through to their customers.  This spam blocker may see your e-mail newsletter as spam and is blocking it.  Call your ISP and discuss the problem with them.

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How do you just print 1 or 2 labels from MS Works Version 7 and still be able to use the rest of the label sheet at another time?

We did a presentation on this.  Click on here to view the presentation.  It describes how to create labels in MS Word and Works 4.5.  The presentation should give you an idea of how to go about it in Works 7.

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How does one determine which Cookies are bad and should be deleted?

Software such as Ad-Aware will remove the bad cookies.  See our March 2004 presentation on Spyware vs. Adware. For more information and a link to download Ad-Aware go to here .

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I have Norton set to scan e-mail.  After scanning it reported "no threats detected".  Shortly thereafter Norton found the worm W32 Beagle.

It sounds as though you have not been keeping Norton up to date with the Live Update option.  If Norton does not have the latest virus definitions loaded, it cannot protect your computer from new viruses.  That seems to be the case in this situation. 

Go to http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/tools.list.html to find the virus and down load the virus removal tool.  Follow the direction on the site.

If you can't go to the internet, try uninstalling Norton then reinstalling it.  Once it is reinstalled, run Live update to get the latest definitions and then scan your computer to remove the virus.

As a word of warning, do not open any attachments that have an .exe or .pif ending.  Delete these as they often are the carriers of virus.

Also know that Symantec, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal or your bank will not send you an e-mail, especially one that ask for personal information such as social security number, pin number or the security code on your credit card.

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Would a wireless telephone jack be the cause of very slow Internet connection speed?

Yes

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Will a 12 year old IBM printer work with Windows XP?

Check on the printer manufactures web site for an updated driver for your model printer.

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Which is better, DSL or Cable Internet?

They are both good.  If you are switching from dial-up DSL may be less expensive since it is new in the area. 

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What is the difference between CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW?

DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disk, CD stands for Compact Disk.  The R in both cases means that the disk is recordable provided you have the correct hardware, i.e. a DVD writer or a CD writer (called a burner).  The + and - are competing DVD recording formats.  The newest DVD recorders can read or write using either format. The RW means that the disk can be reformatted and used again and again.  The speed that a device can write (burn) a rewritable disk is limited by the device and the media.  RW disks can be written at various speeds but are slower than CD's.

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What can we do to reduce the amount of spam?

Get a second e-mail address from Yahoo or Hotmail and use that when a web site asks for an e-mail address.  Give out your primary e-mail address only to trusted friends and businesses.  DO NOT unsubscribe to spam.  That only lets the spammer know that your address is for real.  An anti-spam program is available from http://www.qurb.com/ that is highly rated by PC Magazine.

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What is your opinion of the browser 'Firefox' and the e-mail program 'Thunderbird'?

Because they are not as widely used as Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, they are more secure.  Keeping Internet Explorer and Outlook Express up to date will avoid problems.

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What is the procedure for using the Internet for over seas contact?

The Internet is worldwide.  Entering the address of the person you want to contact is the same as for e-mailing to one in the States.  If you are looking for a particular web site, do a Google search remembering to include the name of the country.

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Which is better an internal CD burner or an external one for my Dell?

Internal is best because the internal device uses the computers power supply and is therefore less expensive.  Getting data to the drive is also faster with internal devices.  Dell has information on how to install a CD-burner on their web site.

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What brand of CD burner do you suggest?

Any name brand device will do just fine.

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Are free programs like AVG anti-virus, AdAware and SpyBot malware removers save to use?

Yes.  The key to their successful use is to update them before running.  The update tells the program what the latest viruses and spyware to look for.

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I keep getting a message from the new free AVG that the Internal Virus database is not up to date.

Double-click on the AVG icon in the notification area and select, Check for Updates. Depending on how you are connecting to the Internet, you might have to make that connection first and then tell AVG to update itself.

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When trying to go to a link from a website, I often get the message 'Error on page' and the page will not open.

Either the page is poorly written or you are using an old version of Internet Explorer.  To check your version, open Internet Explorer and click on the Help menu and select the About Internet Explorer option.  The latest version is 7.  If you need to update go to the Tools menu and select the Windows Update option.

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I have Windows Media Player set as the default but HP Music comes up when I place a music CD in the drive.  I don't want to use HP Music.  How can stop this?

Open the Control Panel (Start, Control Panel in XP).  Choose Add or Remove Programs.  Click on the HP Music program and click on the Remove button.  Do this for any program you do not use. 

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 Defrag will not complete the process. It starts over and over again.  What can I do?

Defrag will begin again when in encounters a spot on the disk from which a program is currently running.  To avoid running any more than the minimum programs necessary to run Windows, start the computer in Safe Mode.  You do this by restarting the computer, pressing the function key F8 repeatedly until a menu appears in which you can select the Safe Mode option.  Once in Safe Mode your screen will look funny - don't worry it will be okay upon a restart.  It is a good idea to do basic system maintenance before running Defrag by empting the Recycle bin, Temporary Internet files, cookies, and history. You can also run Disk Cleanup. This will speed up the defrag process as well as clean out old stuff.

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On occasion, when writing a MS Word document I inadvertently hit some key that switches my typing to type over causing my typing to replace typed letters rather than inserting.  What am I doing wrong?

You are accidentally pressing the Insert key.  That key toggles between the insert and overwrite or overtype mode.  It is located just to the right of the Enter key and just above the Delete key.  A position that makes it easy to hit accidentally.

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How does the Mail Merge function work?

It merges the data in a database such as Excel with variable form fields in a form letter created in Word.  When the Mail Merge function is called upon, it will take data such as First Name, Last Name from the database and insert it into the form letter to personalize it.  The form letter can be setup to include what ever is available in the database.

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How do you network two computers in the home?

Home networking kits are available.  Linksys Network Starter Kit: 2 network cards,  5 port hub with AC power adapter, 2 network cables, driver disk, and user guide.

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When I run Norton Anti-Virus it finds five adware files.  When Norton tries to delete those files I get a 'Delete failed' error message.  What can I do?

Norton is not good at removing adware or spyware.  Download Ad-Aware from http://www.download.com/Ad-Aware-SE-Personal-Edition/3000-8022_4-10045910.html?part=dl-ad-aware&subj=dl&tag=top5 . Install, update and run it to get rid of the adware.  Another good program that plays well with Ad-Aware is Spybot.  It can be downloaded from http://www.download.com/Spybot-Search-Destroy/3000-8022-10122137.html?part=dl-spybot&subj=dl&tag=but.

In both cases, install the program, check for updates to the program, and then run the program.

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I have AOL which comes with antivirus protection.  Do I still need another antivirus program?

Yes since AOL's program only runs while you are connected to AOL.  A resident program protects your computer from virus that may get on your computer from other sources besides the Internet and e-mail.

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I have a trial version of Norton.  Should I uninstall it before downloading one of the free antivirus programs?

No but you should uninstall Norton prior to installing the new antivirus program.  Make sure you do a computer restart after uninstalling Norton and before installing the new program.

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My new Compaq has a program that allows me to create a set of System Recovery CD's/DVD's.  These disks will reinstall the original software that you have on your computer.  Do I use CD-R disks to make these recovery CD's?

Yes, but don't make the recovery disks until you have installed any extra programs you may want to install.  The recovery program will require a lot of CD-R disks so have a supply on hand. If your computer has a DVD burner use DVD's. You will probably need just two.

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When I download something in e-mail, a message pops ;up saying 'Outlook Express is not currently your default mail client.  Do you want to make it your default mail client' Yes or No.  Should I check Yes?

If you want to use Outlook Express and not Outlook then say yes, but before you do so there is a small box in that window.  If you check that box, Outlook Express will not ask again.

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When I enter a website, sometimes the website says 'This works better using Internet Explorer or Netscape and you are currently in _____ '(another browser). How do I default to Internet Explorer?

AOL, MSN, Compuserve, Juno, Wal-Mart Connect, and some other ISP launch their own browsers when you sign-on to the Internet.  You don't have to use their browser.  You can minimize that browser and then launch Internet Explorer and visit the website that gave you that message.

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How important is it to have a Firewall?

The firewall that comes with Windows XP,  Service Pack 2 is adequate. Make sure it is turned on.

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My computer has slowed down considerably.  What is the problem?

The most common cause of is spyware.  Download Ad-Aware from http://www.download.com/Ad-Aware-SE-Personal-Edition/3000-8022_4-10045910.html?part=dl-ad-aware&subj=dl&tag=top5 . Install, update and run it to get rid of the adware.  Another good program that plays well with Ad-Aware is Spybot.  It can be downloaded from http://www.download.com/Spybot-Search-Destroy/3000-8022-10122137.html?part=dl-spybot&subj=dl&tag=but.

In both cases, install the program, check for updates to the program, and then run the program.  This will remove the spyware that is slowing down your computer.

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How can I make a wireless computer more secure especially on the road at wi-fi hot spots?

Install a firewall such as ZoneAlarm.  This will prevent others from hacking into your computer. 

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Can I add more pictures to a CD-R after I have burned some digital pictures to it?

That depends on whether or not you closed the CD after burning the first set of photo.  If you do then you will not be able to add more pictures even though there may be room.

If you do not close the CD but only closed the session, then you will be able to add more until the CD is full.  Closing the CD or only the session is usually an option in most CD burning software.

Read your Help information that came with the CD burning software to determine how your software is set.

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Is USB hardware or software dependent?

It is both.  The operating system must recognize USB hardware and that hardware must be installed as a card or part of the motherboard.

Windows 98, Second Edition will recognize a USB card however you will have to install a driver for it.

Windows ME, 2000 and XP will recognize a USB card without installing a driver.

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How does one determine whether a USB slot is USB 1 or 2?

When a USB 2 device like a pen drive is connected to a USB 1 slot, XP will flash a small note at the lower right of the monitor telling you that the device would work better if connected to a USB 2 slot.

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What is the best way to transfer files from an old computer to a new computer?

Programs or Hardware - Transferring programs from an old Win 98 or ME computer to a new XP machine is not recommended.  Install those programs from the CD that came with the program.  You may have to visit the program's site to download XP drivers for that program or hardware.

Files - If you have kept all of your files in the My Documents folder, then it is a simple matter to copy them, via a USB pen/flash/jump/thumb drive (various manufacturers call them by different names) from the old computer to the new one.  The pen drive will show up under My Computer as a separate drive letter.  If the files are saved throughout your old hard drive, then you must first find the files then copy them via the pen drive.

There are programs available that will make this transfer for you.  IntelliMover is one such program.  It must be installed on both machines and a USB cable connects the computers.  Once installed, you select the files to be transferred.  This is an expensive way to make the transfer.  Using a USB pen drive is more cost effective and you can use the pen drive for offline storage or to transport files.

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What would cause some e-mail to be flagged to the sender as 'Not Accepted'?

If the sender is sending you many e-mails at once, their ISP may think it is spam and reject it. Your mailbox may be full.  If you have your e-mail program set to leave a copy of the message on the server or you have several very large files come in before you check and download your e-mail, you may have gone over you allotted mailbox space thus causing additional messages to be rejected.

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Why do I keep getting an error message when trying to install XP Service Pack 2?

Update and run both your antivirus and anti spyware programs before trying to install Service Pack 2. Your computer should be infection free before you start the installation.

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How do you print only a small amount of copy from a web page or e-mail?

Highlight the text you want to print.  On the menu bar, click File and select Print.  When the Print dialog box comes up, in the Print Range section choose the 'Selection' option.  Depending on the program and/or printer, just clicking on the Print icon may direct your printer to print the entire document. 

Another method is to highlight the text you want, copy the highlighted text, open a word processing program like Word Pad (Start, All Programs, Accessories, Word Pad) and paste the copied text.  Using this procedure will allow you to edit the text before printing.

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How do you send e-mails so that the address line reads: 'TO: Undisclosed Recipients'?

When addressing the e-mail message, leave the TO: address box blank.  Open your   address book and select the people you want to e-mail.  Place everyone in the Bcc: (Blind Carbon Copy) box.  Your message will be sent to all the people you selected but their names and e-mail addresses will not be visible.

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How do you resize a large photograph for sending via e-mail?

Use the photo editor, either the one that came with your camera or a third party one like Adobe Photoshop Elements.  Open the photo in the photo editor.  Select the resize option and resize the photo to no more than 800 pixels wide.  Save it in the .jpg format and you are ready to insert or attach it to an e-mail.

Windows XP has a wizard that will resize a photo for you. Right click on the photo, move to Send to and choose the Mail recipient option.  The Send Pictures via E-mail dialog box will appear. Click on the Show more options area at the lower left and you will be shown three size options.  The Small option will create a 640 x 480 picture that will fit nicely in an e-mail.  It will also reduce the file size so the e-mail will upload and download faster.

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I've been having dialup problems and my ISP said that my firewall settings were too strong.  What is the problem?

First check to see if you have both the XP firewall and your third party firewall running.  You should only have one and we suggest the third-party ones such as Zone Alarm or Sygate.  Both are free.

If that is not the problem, then temporally turn off your firewall and see if your dialup will work.  If the dialup still does not work, then the problem is with the ISP.

If your dialup works, then uninstall and reinstall the firewall or try a different firewall provider.

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How can personal and sensitive information be removed from a computer I intend to donate?

The hard drive can be reformatted and that will erase the data from all but the most talented hacker. Very specialized software can restore almost any data.  The only way to be 100% sure is to remove the hard drive and smash it with a large hammer. For most of us, reformatting the hard drive and donating the computer to a reputable source such as the Bella Vista Compute Club or other local non-profit organization is more than adequate.Click your browsers Back button to return to where you left off in the questions

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Is Cox the only high-speed Internet connection available in the village?

No, SBC Yahoo DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is also available in some locations in the village.  Call SBC to see if DSL is available in your neighborhood.  DSL is new to the villages and they are expanding service as fast as they can.

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 If a new, replacement hard drive is installed; will it have all the Windows XP programs on it?

 If the computer is still under warranty and the manufacturer supplies the replacement hard drive, then the answer depends on the manufacture.  If it is a Dell, the replacement will come with the operating system and all the software that you purchased from Dell.  HP will likely send a clean hard drive and will provide telephone assistance for using the restore disks that came with the computer or that you created to load the operating system and other software on the new hard drive.

 If the computer is out of warrantee, then you or a technician will have to replace the drive and install the operating system and any additional software.  You will have to supply the operating system and software disks.

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 How does one go about finding out if is virus warning received in an e-mail is actually true?

 You should always make it a practice of checking the veracity of any warning you receive via e-mail before passing it on.  There are several sites that you can use to check if the warning is true or a hoax.

http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org/

http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/hoax.html

http://www.truthorfiction.com/search.htm

http://www.snopes.com/

If you don't find it on the first site you try, check with some of the others.  They all don't track the same hoaxes.

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I use Excel 97 to open and display four spreadsheets at a time.  Is there a way to configure Excel to remember the placement and size of the display so it will open in that  configuration?

&Yes and no. No - if you are using four separate spreadsheets, you are asking Excel to read your mind to know that you want these four separate documents opened in a specific manner.

 Yes - (this works in Excel 2000.  I don't know about Excel 97) create one spreadsheet workbook (a new Excel file is a workbook that contains three spreadsheets.  New spreadsheets can be added as needed) and copy each of the separate spreadsheets you are now using, one each to a separate sheet.  Save that document.

 Click on Sheet 1 (lower left of the window).  Size and position the window.  Click on New Window option under the Window menu.  Click on Sheet 2 and size and position that window.  Continue the process until separate windows are made and positioned for each sheet.  Save the file.  The next time you open the file, the four separate sheets will remain as you had positioned them upon closing the document.

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Can there be two anti-virus and two anti-spyware programs running at the same time?

Only one antivirus program on your computer.

 Ad-Aware, Spybot, Spy Sweeper and Windows Defender (XP only) can all be installed and used to detect and remove spyware.  Spy Sweeper, Windows Defender, and Spybot (if you downloaded and turned on TeaTimer) run in the background and monitor system configuration changes.  It has been suggested that you have the system monitoring function turned on in only one of these programs. Ad-Aware and Spybot (without TeaTimer) do not run until you open them and tell them to run.

How well these programs work is more a question of system memory.  The more programs you have running in the background the less system resources you have available for the other programs you want to run.  512 MB of memory is sufficient to do all but the most processor/memory intensive tasks such as video editing.

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  How do I associate a file with a program?  When opening an e-mail attachment, I sometimes get the message: 'this file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action.  Create an association in the Folders Options control panel'.

 That message most often means that you do not have the program that created that attachment installed on your computer, so of course the file cannot be opened.

 Occasionally you computer will forget that it can open a particular file and you have to remind it how to do so.  Right-click the attachment and save the attachment to the desktop or other folder.  Go to the desktop or folder and right-click on the file, select Open With, and select Choose Program.  Review the list of programs and click on the program you think might open the attachment.  Note: DO NOT place a check mark in the check box to the left of, 'Always use the selected program to open this kind of file'.  Do not check this box until you are sure the file will open with the program you have selected.

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Is it safe for me to keep a record of personal information like Social Security cards, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers in a Microsoft Word document on my computer?

 Generally speaking the members of the BV Computer Club have little to fear of someone breaking into your computer and stealing passwords and such.  If there are a number of people who use your Windows XP computer and you want to protect sensitive info, password protect your account and then set up separate accounts for each of the other user.  That way they will not have access to your documents.

 Another way is to place a password on the document with the sensitive info.  In Word, use Save As  On the Tools menu in the Save As dialog box, click General Options.

In the Password to open box, type a password and then click OK.

In the Reenter password to open box, type the password again, and then click OK.

Click Save.

Now just make sure you don't forget the password you used.  Of course you could always write the password on a sticky note and paste it on your monitor but that just might be defeating the purpose of securing personal information.

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How can I check to see whom an e-mail is from without opening it?

First of all you need to make sure the Preview Pane is turned off. Right-click the message header and select Properties. Clicking the Details tab will show you the information you want but it may be easier to read if you click on the Message Source button.  This will open the message in an expandable window which might make reading the info a little easier.

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I get three different error messages every 5 to 10 minutes relating to Weather Bug, Vsmon, and Explorer.  I close the messages and the computer works okay for another 5 to 10 minutes.  What is wrong?

Vsmon is related to McAfee and may mean an incomplete uninstall of McAfee. 

Get rid of WeatherBug.

Update you antivirus program and run a complete system scan.  Install, update and run antispyware software such as Ad-Aware and Spybot.  Since you are running a computer with Windows Millennium, it just may be the operating system software.  Windows Millennium was the least stable of Microsoft's operating systems.

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What do you know about the 'Google Pack'?  Are they software that will eventually ask for money to keep running?

The Google Pack is designed for Windows XP and includes a variety of programs that are all free. There are thirteen programs included in the pack. You may pick which of the thirteen programs you want to download and install by clicking on the 'Download Google Pack' button.  The pack can be found at http://pack.google.com/.

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How can I save a PowerPoint presentation that I receive as an attachment?

Right click on the attachment and use the Save as option to save the file to My Documents.  You can rename the presentation at this time as well.

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How do I lock in font size and kind in Outlook Express?

For Reading Mail:  In Outlook Express, click on the Tools menu and select the Options option.  In the Options dialog box, click the Read tab.  Toward the bottom is the Fonts button.  Click on that and you will find settings for changing the font and size of the text on some incoming mail.

For Sending Mail: Click on the Tools menu and select the Options option.  Click the Compose tab and click on the Font Setting for the Mail.  Select the font and size you want to use when sending mail.

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How do you send or forward messages so they show 'undisclosed recipients'?

Open a new mail message and click on To: to bring up the Select Recipients box. Select the people you want to receive the e-mail and click on the Bcc: button.  The people who receive the email will not know to whom the email was sent.  This avoids the long list of recipients but also means that you might forward the email on to someone who has already received the message.

One way to avoid that is to send copies to people who know each other (such as family) without using the Bcc:  Since they already know each other and the number is limited, showing their address is not a problem.

Using Bcc: when sending to a bunch of people who do not know each other hides their address and is not likely to result in multiple copies of the same item.

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How do I set a slide show as a screen saver?

Right click on the desktop and select Properties.  Click on the Screen Saver tab.  Click  the down-pointing arrow on the right side of the Screen Saver drop-down list box and select the My Pictures Slide Show option.  The default setting will show every picture in the My Pictures folder.  You can click on the Browse button to set the path to the specific folder you want to use.

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What is the best, step-by-step, process to copy a photo or document and then send it, via email, to someone?

Assuming you have the document stored in My Documents and the picture(s) you want to send are stored in My Pictures (within My Documents), start by opening your email program.  Create a new email message, address the email message, and then look for a symbol that looks like a paper clip.  That is the universal icon for attaching a document/photo to the email message.  Click on that icon and a window will open.  The part of the window that says, 'Look in' is where you direct the program to the place you have filed the document or photo.  If it is a document you probably filed it in My Documents.  If a photo, look in My Photos.  If you have stored the photos anywhere else, direct the computer to look in that folder.

When you have located the correct folder, click on the document and/or photo(s) you want to attach to the email.  After selecting the documents/photos you want to attack, click the 'Attach' button.  That will take you back to the email message you have created.  You can now click on the 'Send' button.

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 Is FireFox a better browser than Internet Explorer in terms of ease of use?

FireFox is more secure and faster than Internet Explorer and you may find it easier to use, but that is a personal preference.  It has tab browsing which creates a tab for each page you have visited.  The associated email program is called 'Thunderbird'. You can download FireFox from http://www.firefox.com/ and Thunderbird from http://www.mozilla.com/thunderbird/

You can install FireFox, give it a try and then decide for yourself since installing FireFox does not uninstall Internet Explorer.

Another good browser substitute for Internet Explorer is Opera found at http://www.opera.com/

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How does Win-Zip work?

WinZip is a compression program that looks for common words or letter combinations and substitutes single character codes for those words or letter combinations.  This process significantly reduces the size of large files.  It does the same thing for pictures, substituting single character codes for common colors. 

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 What is the purpose of zipped files?

WinZip is a compression program making large files smaller and for decompressing zipped filed for viewing after being downloaded.  WinZip is a stand-a-lone program now in version 11.  It is shareware and sells for $29.00.  Windows XP has a built-in compression program therefore a third party program is not necessary.

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 What is the procedure to open a zipped file?

In Windows XP, right-click the zipped file or folder and select Extract All.  This will start the 'Welcome to the Compressed (zipped) Folder Extraction Wizard'.  Use the wizard to uncompress (unzip) the file or folder to the location of your choice.

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 How does one put a number of pictures into a sipped file and forward it?

Windows XP - Highlight the pictures you want to compress.  Right-click on the highlighted files, move to Send To and select Compressed (zipped) Folder.  This will create a zipped folder that you can attach to an e-mail.

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When a red X appears with a statement that there is no program associated with that file, how can one find out what type of program is missing and whether there is a free viewer for that program?

You need to make sure your computer displays file extensions. The file extension will tell you what type file it is or what program was used to create the file. You can then use the Internet to search for a free viewer.  To view file extensions open a folder, click on the Tools then click on Folder Options.  In Folder Options, click on the View tab. Look for and uncheck the option "Hide extensions for known file types".

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I have a shortcut for Notepad on my desktop that no longer connects to the program.

Right-click the shortcut and select Delete. Find Notepad and create a new shortcut on the desktop.

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 We lost the Yahoo toolbar and can't reinstall it.  We have tried uninstalling and reinstalling but it is still not visible.  The Tool bar is locked.

In Internet Explorer, on the menu bar, click View and move to Toolbars. If the Yahoo toolbar is installed it will appear on the submenu, and for it to be displayed there must be a check mark to the left of the entry.  If there is a check mark to the left of the Yahoo entry, then click on Lock the Toolbars to remove the check mark and unlock the toolbar. With the toolbar unlocked, you should be able to find the Yahoo toolbar. It will probably be hiding off the right side of the toolbar. When you find it, drag it back in to position and relock the toolbars.

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 Is it possible to permanently position windows in a different place than where they open on the monitor screen?

Yes.  As long as the window is not maximized to it's largest size you can size the window to the desired size by clicking on a corner or edge and drag the window to the desired size.  You can then grab the window by the blue title bar and move it to the desired location.  When the window is closed and then reopened, it will stay in the size and position you last left it.

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How do I get the scroll bar to show when I bring up a window?

The scroll bar will show automatically whenever a window is smaller than the content of that window.  If there is no scroll bar showing, then there is nothing else to view in that window.

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How do I delete groups of info from the 'sent items' in Outlook Express between certain dates without highlighting each one and then deleting?

In Outlook Express, click the Sent Items icon.   Click the word Sent at the top of the Sent column. This will sort the sent items by date.  You can reverse the sort order by clicking in the Sent area again.  To delete all sent messages between two dates, left click on the first message to be deleted, scroll down to the last message to be deleted, hold the Shift key down and click on the last massage.  All of the messages between the two clicks will highlight.  Click on the Delete button (Red X) or press the Delete key on the keyboard.

If there are some messages within the highlighted area that you decide you don't want to delete, hold down the Ctrl key and click on those individual messages to deselect them before pressing the Delete key.

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 How can you highlight several items on the desktop to delete them without the computer making copies of them?

The computer is making a copy of the items you are trying to delete because you're moving the mouse as you click on an item to highlight. As you hold the Ctrl key down and click on an item to highlight, make sure you do not move the mouse. If you move the mouse just a fraction, the computer will instantly make a copy of everything you have already highlighted.

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 How do you make a scan and store it on the hard drive and then attach it to an email?

Some scanning software will allow you to select where you want to send a scanned image.  E-mail is usually one of those options. Your scanner itself might have a button for scanning to e-mail, in which case simply press that button on the scanner.

 If neither of these options are available (not all scanning software is alike) you will have to scan the image and save it to the hard drive (in My Pictures).  After scanning, go to the folder where you saved the image (My Pictures). Right-click on the image, move to Send To and select Mail Recipient.  A Send Pictures via E-Mail dialog box will appear.  Choose the option to 'Make all my pictures smaller' and accept the default size of 640 x 480. If you want to select a larger size, click 'Show more options'. Select the size you want the picture to be when it is attached to your e-mail.  Click the OK button. This option will only change the size of the pictures that are attached to an e-mail message and will not change the size of the pictures stored on the hard drive.

 Once you have clicked on the OK button, a new Outlook Express e-mail message will open with the picture(s) attached.  Address the message, add a subject, enter your message in the main body of the e-mail, and click the Send button.

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 I sometimes have problems when opening my desktop while various programs are being downloaded.  On occasion my pc will freeze up at that point and I have to reboot.  Sometimes I will get the following error messages:
'Spool 32 has caused an error in Spool 32.EXE'
FM 3032 has caused an error in MFC 42.DLL'

Further questioning of the writer of this question revealed that his computer used to be protected by McAfee.  The uninstall feature of McAfee sometimes leaves pieces of itself behind.  To delete these you may need to call in a computer technician.

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 How do you clear the hard drive?

This answer assumes that you mean how does one erase the contents of the hard drive in preparation to donating the drive and computer to someone else.  Generally speaking, deleting the partition and reformatting the hard drive will be sufficient.   However, if you want to be very sure that absolutely none of the data that was stored on  that drive can be accessed by some very knowledgeable expert, then the only option is to remove and physically destroy the drive.

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 What is the combined cost for TV and Internet service between Cox and Direct TV?

The disadvantage of satellite Internet is that service may be disrupted when it rains.  Costs are changing all the time, as is the level of service.  You should sit down with representatives of each of the high-speed Internet providers and do an item-by-item cost as well as a total cost comparison.

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 How do you get video's to play on new's home pages all at one time instead of 10-15 seconds at a time?

This problem may be the result of the server not providing the feed fast enough, or your internet service provider is not passing on the packets of information fast enough, or you computer/software/internet connection is not fast enough to provide an uninterrupted feed of the packets that make up the video. 

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 When will Microsoft stop supporting Windows 98?

They terminated support in July 2006. 

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Internet Explorer 7 locks up when connecting to the Internet. I have a computer that is wirelessly connected to the Internet. Outlook Express connects and downloads my email. The computer doesn't lock up, just IE 7. I've uninstalled and reinstalled IE7 and it still doesn't work. The computer is clean as far as Spyware is concerned. Where should I begin looking for a solution?

Uninstall IE 7 and reinstall IE 6. In IE 6, go to Tools, Manage Plug-ins. Disable All the browser plug-ins. Re-install.

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How can one determine the elevation relative to sea level of a selected location on a Goggle Map?

You can't in Goggle Maps, as it does not show elevation. You will need specialized software for this feature.

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When clicking on an underscored web link in a received email, I am no longer taken to the web page. I can cut and paste the link into my browser and the desired page will be opened. What is the problem?

Start by clearing the cache. On the toolbar in Internet Explorer, click Tools and then click Internet Options. In the Browsing history section, click the Delete button. Now, click the Delete all button (at the bottom), place a  check mark in the check box next to, 'Also delete files and settings stored by add-ons.' and click the Yes button. When the computer finishes clearing all of the areas, click the OK button.

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I have Norton AV that will expire in two months. I understand that if you uninstall the program it will leave traces on your hard drive. How can it be completely uninstalled?

Do a Goggle search for "Norton Removal Tool". Run this tool after you do a normal uninstall of Norton. This will work for all versions of Norton except 2007.

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I have an external hard drive for backup in addition to my regular hard drive. In case my main hard drive crashes, are the back-up files easily recovered or would it crash also?

If your main hard drive crashes, it generally will not affect the external hard drive. Recovering files from My Documents is easy, simply click and drag after the main hard drive has been replaced and the operating system has been installed.
Recovering e-mail is not so easy. There is backup software available; some external hard drives come with software that will back up your entire hard drive. A free program that can be used to backup your entire hard drive is, Cobain (http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/downloads/2159398/cobian-backup)

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I was reading a page on a web site and decide to print it out for my files. Nothing happened after I clicked on the printer icon. A few more clicks gave me the same response. After checking a few more sites, I shut down the computer. Upon restarting the computer, the printer started printing out multiple copies of the page I had requested earlier. Why did this happen?

Was there a picture or pictures on the page? Yes. Printers generally have very little memory of their own. They rely on the computers memory. Pictures take some time to convert to the form the printer can use. The time delay was the result of this processing of the pictures as well as the web page. Clicking on the printer icon again only add an additional printing request that the computer/printer must process. It does not speed up the print process but will result in multiple copies of the page(s) being printed.

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How can I stop the printer from printing if I change my mind?

When you initiate a print command, you will see a printer icon appear in the notification area. Double click the icon to open the printer queue. There will be a listing of the documents to be printed and the progress of the first document on the list. You can right-click any of the documents and select Cancel, or click Printer on the menu bar and select Cancel All Documents. You can also access this feature in the Control Panel.  Click Printers and Other Hardware, Printers and Faxes, double click your printer, click Printer on the menu bar and select Cancel All Documents. The printer will continue to print until the memory is empty.

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How can I tell how many pages will be printed when I visit a web page?

In Internet Explorer 7, click on the black triangle next to the printer icon. Click Print Preview to view how the page will look when printed and see the number of pages. On the toolbar, click the Print Document icon. When the Print dialog box appears use the Print Range area to select 'All' (print all pages) or Pages: to specify the pages you want to print. You can specify a single page or a group of consecutive pages (for example 2-5).

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Is there a set of guidelines that will tell me if I should allow updates to my computer?

Only allow updates to programs and add-ons you have installed on the computer. Some examples are your antivirus program, Windows Update, a photo editing program, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Flash Player, and Java.

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Are any of the "Cox Security" offerings worthwhile additions to Norton Internet Security and Spy Sweeper on a computer running Window XP?

If you keep Norton and Windows XP up to date, you are covered. What you don't want to do is to run two different security programs at the same time - choose one or the other.

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In my email in box (Yahoo), just below the tool bar is a yellow background bar with the following in it: "This website wants to run the following add-on "TODO <file description from 'TODO' <company name (unverified publisher). If you trust the website and the add-on and want to allow it to run click here ". There is an X at the end of the bar which when I click on it, the bar disappears, but comes back after a few seconds. How can I get rid of it?

It sounds like the web site is trying to do a banner feed and it got stuck. To fix it, you will need to clear the browser cache. On the toolbar in Internet Explorer, click Tools and select Internet Options.  The Browsing History section, click the Delete button and delete the 'Temporary Internet Files', or the information in all five areas by clicking the Delete all button.  If you click the Delete all button you can 'Also delete files and settings stored by add-ons'. If the box continues to appear, there is a possibility that it is an attempt to down load malware. Do not click allow. Your browser is actually trying to protect you.

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I have a borrowed copy of Nero that I tried to install on a new Vista computer. Vista recognized it as an unregistered copy and took me to a web site where I could buy Nero. What should I do?

 Buy the new copy, install and then register it.

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How can I change the background of the Outlook Express toolbar and the font?

You cannot just change the toolbar color in Outlook Express.  You can change the Windows color scheme for all the toolbars and title bars.  In Vista, right-click a clear area of the desktop, select Personalize, then click Windows Color and Appearance.  There are several Color schemes you can try.  If none of those are satisfactory, click on the Advanced button.  Choose the Item: to be customized.  We'll use Active Title Bar as the example. You can change the Size: and Color of the bar.  You can change the Font: type, Size: and Color:.  As you make changes you can preview the change in the window at the top of the dialog box. After making the desires changes, click the Apply button.
A word of warning: Open several of the programs you regularly use. Observe how the changes will appear in each of your favorite programs.  If you're satisfied, then and only then, click the OK button. Some of the changes you can make in this area will automatically turn off the Aero feature of Vista.
In XP, right-click a clear area of the desktop, select Properties, and click the Appearance tab.  Look at the available Color scheme: and Font size: options first.  If none of those are satisfactory, click the Advanced button.  Choose the Item: to be customized. We'll use Active Title Bar as the example. You can change the Size: and Color of the bar.  You can change the Font: type, Size: and Color:.  As you make changes you can preview the change in the window at the top of the dialog box. After making the desires changes, click the Apply button.
A word of warning: Open several of the programs you regularly use. Observe how the changes will appear in each of your favorite programs.  If you're satisfied, then and only then, click the OK button.

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How can I change the font on the toolbar of Microsoft Works word processor?

You can't. See above to make overall changes in font type, color and size.

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Why, when AVG 8.0 has been downloaded, does the program (AVG 7.5) still indicate that an update is available for download?

It sounds like AVG 8.0 was not installed or did not install properly. Downloading AVG 8.0 does not install the program and replace AVG 7.5. If you selected the Run option to download the new version, it's possible that the installation failed at some point. Go to the Control Panel and check Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Uninstall a program (Windows Vista) and look for AVG 8. If it's on the list of programs, click on it to highlight and uninstall the program. Restart the computer, then start the download and instillation process again. Unless instructed to do otherwise, we recommend that you choose Save  (rather than Run) when downloading programs. It's important that you remember where you instruct the computer to save the program. After the download is complete, go to folder in which the downloaded program was saved and start the installation process.  You do this by double-clicking the program's executable file (program name.exe) and following the on screen instructions.

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Why can I burn a CD and not a DVD when my computer shows a drive for CD/DVD?

Your optical drive is not a DVD burner. It can read and write CD's but can only read a DVD.

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How can I send more than one picture at a time at a reduced size?

This is a feature that is built into both XP and Vista.  The following instructions are for Windows XP. Go to the folder containing the pictures you want to e-mail.  You can select more than one photo by clicking on one of the photos you want to send, then hold down the Ctrl key and click on each of the remaining photos to be sent.  On the left side of the window click on the option, 'E-mail the selected Items'. A Send Pictures via E-Mail dialog box will appear with two options: choose 'Make all my pictures smaller'. Click the OK button.
For Vista, go to the folder containing the pictures you want to e-mail.  You can select more than one photo by clicking on one of the photos you want to send, then hold down the Ctrl key and click on each of the remaining photos to be sent.  Above the pictures is a button, 'E-mail'.  When you click that button a dialog box appears where you can select a size for the pictures you are sending.  Choose the 'Small: 800 x 600' or 'Smaller: 640 x 480' options. Click the Attach button.
Both XP and Vista - after clicking the Ok or Attach button, the photos will be resized and attached to an e-mail message. Address the e-mail, write your message, and click the Send button.

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How do you connect to the Internet with a wireless Vista laptop when away?

Right-click the wireless connection icon at the notification area (lower right corner of the window by the time) and choose the Connect to a network option.  The dialog box that appears will show all of the wireless networks available.  Click on the one you're sure is safe.  If at a motel with wireless compatibilities, ask the desk which network to use.  If at a friend's or relative's home, ask which one is their network.  You will need a pass phrase or key to sign on to a secure network.
Connecting to a network that describes itself as 'Free' or 'Public' might place your compute at a higher risk of intrusion by someone on the network.

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How can I get my e-mail when away from home?

Most Internet Service Providers such as Cox have 'Web Mail'.  You access web mail at Cox through your browser at http://webmail.central.cox.net.  Enter your username and password.  Anything you delete from the webmail site will be gone.  Messages that you have read will appear on your home computer when you return.  Replies to messages will not be downloaded to your home computer unless you saved a copy of the reply.

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How do you 'block' a sender when using Windows Mail with Vista?

Right-click the message you want to block. On the shortcut menu, go to the Junk E-mail entry and select 'Add Sender to Blocked Senders List'.  You could also choose the 'Add Sender's Domain to Blocked Senders List'.  Be careful of this option.  Make sure that no one in you address book has that domain (Internet Service Provider).

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How can I change all of the formatting options at one time when using Word 2007?

The new formatting layout for Office 2007 is called a Ribbon and attempts to group similar commands under tabs.  It is not possible to reset the Ribbon to look like older versions of Word.
A Note: Word 2007 defaults to the .docx format which is unreadable by earlier versions of Word.  There is a compatibility pack that will allow earlier versions of Word to read the .docx format.  (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=941b3470-3ae9-4aee-8f43-c6bb74cd1466&displaylang=en)
As an alternative, you can change the default save format to the old .doc format through the Options settings.

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How do I open an e-mail attachment when I get a message saying I do not have a program associated with that attachment?

That message means you don't have the same program installed on your computer that was used to create the attachment.  Some programs, such as PowerPoint, have a free viewer that, when installed, will allow you to open the attachment but not edit it.

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Why, when I play a video that was forwarded to me, does the voice on the video come through as an echo?

You are playing the video before it has completely downloaded to your computer.  Wait a few minutes for the video to completely download before playing, and you should avoid this problem.

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If I open a photo in Adobe Photoshop Elements, does that remove the photo from My Pictures?

No.  Photoshop Elements and other editing programs act like a table of contents or index in a book.  They only point to the place where the photo resides.  Opening a photo to edit it does not remove that photo from its original location.  The new version of Elements has a sub program called the Organizer.  The Organizer allows you to arrange your photos in Albums and add tags to the photo.  The Organizer does not physically move the photo but only records where it is located.

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How do you get rid of files?

Single-click on the file to highlight and tap the Delete key on the keyboard.

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How can a computer be upgraded to increase speed?

Buy and install additional memory.  For XP 512 MB to 1 GB will show the most improvement.  For Vista, consider 1 GB of RAM a minimum with 2 GB being a much better option.  Install even more memory if you are editing large photos or video.  Make sure you determine to type and amount of memory your computer can accept. Another option would be to add a video card with onboard memory. None of this will help to increase Internet speed as that is determined by the type of Internet connection you have,  dial-up being the slowest.  Even a fast Internet service account is limited by the speed of the connecting servers.  Rarely will you have a direct Internet connection between your Internet provider and the web site you are attempting to access.  It is more common to have multiple servers between your provider and the web site. In this situation your speed can be no faster than the slowest server.

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How do you install Avast antivirus?

Go to the following web site, http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html, and download Avast! 4 Home.  Take note of where the computer wants to save the program file or better yet, tell the computer to save it to a 'Download' folder on the hard drive.  If you have XP you will need to create this folder. Windows Vista already has a Downloads folder. When the download is complete, double-click the downloaded program file to begin the install process.  Read each page carefully (true for all program installs) and install only the parts you want installed.  Once the program is installed it will ask for a registration key.  Click on the registration link to go back to the web site and fill out the registration form.  While Avast is free, it does require registration each 13 or 14 months.  You will be able to use Avast in the demo mode for 60 days without registering.
Once you receive the registration key, via e-mail, copy and paste that key into Avast.  The easiest way to do that is to right-click on the Avast icon in the notification area (by the time) and select About Avast.  When the window opens, click on the License Key button and paste the key into the area provided.

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Is Avast recommended over the Cox Security System which provides McAfee antivirus?

Yes!  The panel does not recommend any Internet security suites.  Pick the best individual programs such as Avast for antivirus and SpyBot Search & Destroy for spyware detection and removal.  Some of the other software to avoid (they are resource hogs and will slow your computer) include Kodak Easy Share, Trend Micro's Pc-cillin and any of the Internet Explorer toolbars such as Yahoo, Google, etc.

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Is it necessary to uninstall Norton or any other antivirus program prior to installing a different one?

Yes - run only one antivirus program, otherwise they conflict with each other.  You can run multiple spyware detection and removal programs such as SpyBot - Search & Destroy and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware.  Norton and McAfee do not uninstall completely.  You will need to download and run the Norton Removal Tool or the McAfee Removal Tool.  You do not have to uninstall Norton or McAfee before running this tool, it will perform the complete uninstall for you in one operation.

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Is there a free program or suite that will replace Microsoft Office?

Yes- go to OpenOffice.org and download the latest version.  This is a suite of programs that includes a word processor, spread sheet, and presentation program.  Each of these programs can read and write the equivalent MS Office files.  There is an option to save files created in Open Office in the .docx, .xlsx and .pptx.  These are the latest MS Office file formats.  You can also choose the earlier versions of those formats.

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Is there an easy way to print a web page that is being displayed on the monitor?

You can capture web pages, one at a time, using the operating system.  Start by tapping the Print Screen key.  Open Paint, then on the menu bar, click Edit and select Paste.  On the menu bar, click File and select Page Setup.  Change the orientation to Landscape.  In the Scaling section, select the option button to the left of Fit to: and place a one (1) in each of the boxes.  On the menu bar, click File and select Print Preview.  If the preview looks OK, print or save the image.  Screen capture programs are more functional and allow you to do multiple captures, capture a particular portion of the page, then print and/or paste the captures into another program.  You can find screen capture programs on the Internet.  Go to Downloads.com and do a search for screen capture.  There are several free programs listed. 

Windows Vista includes a screen capture tool called the 'snipping tool'.  It can be found in the Accessories folder of Vista.

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What is the problem when I use my dial-up connection to check my e-mail and I sometimes get a message saying my MSN Hotmail could not be retrieve?

The message being downloaded is probably large and the server is timing out.  This is a common problem with a dial-up connection.  A faster internet connection is the only answer.

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How do I make labels?

There is a presentation on the clubs web site bvcompputerclub.org.  Once you have entered the site, scroll down on the left side to Meeting Presentations.  On the meeting presentations page, look for the presentation titled Mailing Labels - Nov. 08

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Why can't I connect to an Internet link provided in an e-mail?

Your pop-up blocker may be blocking that link.  Here's an alternative method you can use. Copy the link and paste it into the address bar of your browser (Internet Explorer) and tap the Enter key.

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My Vista Home Basic is running out of memory.  How can I fix that?

It might be that you only have the minimal amount of memory installed in your computer that Vista needs.  Home Basic should have a minimum of 1 GB of physical memory.  This is a relatively inexpensive do-it-yourself upgrade.

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When trying to transfer a file to a memory stick (flash drive) I get the message: 'Cannot copy (name of file).  The directory or file cannot be created.'

The file is in use (opened) and the operating system will not allow an open file to be copied.

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Why won't my computer connect to the Internet upon startup?  I have to wait for the computer to boot up, then I have to disconnect the router, wait 10 seconds and reconnect.  At that point the computer connects to the Internet.

Before going to that extreme, try double-clicking on the double computer monitor icon in the notification area (by the time).  If you don't have that icon, get with someone who can walk you through adding it to the notification area.  That will call up the Local Area Connection dialog box.  Click on the Support tab at the top of the box, then click the Repair button.  If that doesn't fix the problem then reset your router to the factory default by pressing in and holding the router reset button for 10 seconds.  Be advised, you will have to reenter any settings you made to the router.  It would be a good idea to cycle through the router settings first, copying down the settings, before pressing the reset button.  If resetting the router does not fix the problem, you might need a new router or Ethernet card.  On most computers the Ethernet hardware is located on the computer's motherboard.  You can buy a PCI Ethernet card and install it in an open PCI slot on the motherboard.  This will involve opening the case on the computer.  Now you can plug the Cat 5 Ethernet cable in the PCI card to connect to the Internet.

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What is USB?

USB stands for Universal Serial Buss.  This is a universal standard for connecting external devices to your computer.  There are two versions. USB 2.0 is the latest version and operates faster that the original USB.  The USB connection will also supply power to such low power devices as flash drives.  Other USB devices, such as printers, scanners and external hard drives will require their own power supply.  XP and Vista can usually install the proper drivers for USB devices.

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What is a memory stick?

A memory stick is a storage device usually used in digital cameras.  They come in different types and capacities.  Many of the newer computers have slots built in to the front of the computer that allow you to read the various types of memory sticks.

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Why does a movie DVD play on some computers and not on others?

To look at any kind of DVD disc your computer must have a DVD-ROM or DVD±R optical drive.  In order for a movie to be written to a DVD it must first run through a program know as a codec that transforms the movie to a digital format suitable for recording on the DVD disc.  Not all movie programs use the same codec.  If there is an incompatibility of codec, then it will not play.  Updating the movie making software and updating the movie playing software may solve this problem.  Go to the web site of the programs and download the latest drivers for your operating system.  DVD discs are manufactured using two different processes, DVD+R and DVD-R.  Older DVD drives could not read both types of discs.

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What am I doing in my picture program to cause a duplication of pictures, even when I'm trying to delete?

When using the Ctrl key to highlight photos for whatever reason (move, copy, or delete), you need to go slow and be very meticulous.  If you move to mouse as you click to highlight a photo, the operating system will immediately make a copy of that photo and all the other photos that are highlighted.

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How can I eliminate spam e-mails?

     Many of the web based e-mail programs (such as Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) use spam filtering programs. These programs do a pretty good job, but no program is 100% accurate.  They will miss a few and occasionally tag a good e-mail message as spam. If you are using Internet Explorer and think you need a spam detection program, go to downloads.com and do a search for anti-spam programs.  Download and install the one that seems to meet your requirements. By using download.com you can be assured that the program is spyware free.
     Everyone should have multiple e-mail addresses.  Use your main e-mail address for friends and family.  Get a second e-mail address from your Internet service provider, hotmail, yahoo, or gmail. Use that e-mail address for all those situations where you need to provide an e-mail address. When that address starts to attract spam, cancel it and create a new one. The best way to reduce the amount of spam you receive - never, never open a piece of spam.

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How can I delete items in my XP Favorites more than one at a time?

     On the desktop, double-click My Documents. In the left panel, click Favorites. Hold down the Ctrl key and in the right-panel, click the entries you want to delete. Tap the Delete key on the keyboard and send the selected entries to the Recycle bin.
     For Windows Vista - On the desktop, double-click your personal folder and then use the same procedure as outlined above.
     If you are using Firefox as your browser, you may do the multiple select processes directly from Organize Bookmarks.

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If I use yahoo password on other sites (such as banking, PayPal, ect.) and change my Yahoo password, will I have to change the password on the other sites as well?

    No - The password you use on an Internet site is unique to that site.  In other words it doesn't check other web site to see if that password is being used.  While it is not advisable, you could use the same password for all sites.  On web sites where you are exchanging sensitive personal information you should use a unique and strong password. A strong password is one with ten to twelve characters that is a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

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How can I open the latest version of Word documents if I have an earlier version? 

     If you have a Word version older than Office 2007, do a Google search on 'word compatibility pack'. You should see a link to Microsoft where you can download and install a program that will configure older versions of Word to read and write in the new version format (.docx).
     If you do not have Word on your computer, do a Google search on 'word viewer'.  Follow the link to Microsoft where you can download and install a viewer that will allow you to read, print and copy documents created in the new Word format.

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Can I upgrade my XP machine to Windows 7 without upgrading first to Vista?

     Yes, but you will have to do a 'clean' install.  This procedure will erase everything on the hard drive before installing Windows 7. Before you purchase Windows 7, download and run the 'Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor' that is available on the Microsoft web site. Just to list a few of the requirements: 1 gigahertz 32 bit processor, 1 gigabyte RAM, and 16 GB available hard disk space.

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Should I install the Internet Explorer 8 upgrade?

     Not on older XP machines.  It will slow down your Internet browsing speeds.  It seems to work fine on newer, Vista machines.

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Where is the most economical place to buy printer ink?

     The Ink and Toner Exchange in Rogers is one source.  Sam's Club has good prices for the more common printers and Castle Ink.com is reported to have very good prices.

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What is the difference between a 'flash drive' and an 'external hard drive'?

     Flash drives are small and easily portable.  External hard drives are larger and usually less expensive for the amount of storage.  Both plug into your computers USB port.  Neither are 100% reliable so it's recommended that your back up important data on a CD, DVD, or more than one device.

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What is the best anti-virus software to use?

     Avast and AVG are both free and quite reliable.

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How do I remove AOL now that I am no longer using it?

     For XP, go to the Control Panel and use Add/Remove Programs to remove all instances of AOL.  Click on the program and then click on the Change/Remove button.  For Vista, go to the Control Panel, under Programs click 'Uninstall a program'.  Right click on the program and select Uninstall.

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How can I e-mail what I've typed in WordPerfect?

     From the open WordPerfect document, select the text you want to send. Click on the first word, hold down the Shift key, scroll down to the end of the area you want to e-mail and click again.  The text you want to e-mail will be highlighted.  On the menu bar, click Edit and select Copy.  Open your e-mail program and bring up a new e-mail message.  Click in the body of the message where you want the text to go.  The cursor will blink on and off. On the menu bar, click Edit and select Paste.  Finish the message and send it on its way.

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How can I reduce the size of photo so they can be easily e-mailed?

     If you are using Outlook, Outlook Express, or Thunderbird, you can use the resizing capability that is part of Windows XP and Windows Vista.
     For Windows XP - Go to the folder where the pictures you want to e-mail are located. Click the first photo, hold down the Ctrl key and very carefully click the rest of the photos you want to e-mail, then   release the Ctrl key. Right-click on one of the selected photos.  On the shortcut menu, go to Send to and select Mail Recipient.  A window will open with the option to 'Make all my pictures smaller' or 'Keep the original sizes'.  If it is not already selected, choose 'Make all my pictures smaller' and click the OK button.  Your e-mail program will open with the resized photos attached to a new e-mail message.  Address the message, add any text you want and send it off.
     In Vista you do much the same.  Go to the folder where the pictures you want to e-mail are located. Click the first photo, hold down the Ctrl key and very carefully click the rest of the photos you want to e-mail, then release the Ctrl key. On the toolbar, click the E-mail button. That will open an Attach Files dialog box and allow you to choose the pixel size for the photos you are e-mailing.  The two sizes that are most appropriate for e-mail are 800 X 600 and 640 X 480. Those of you on Yahoo, AOL or other web mail clients will have to use a resizing program to first resize the photos, save them to a folder on the hard drive, and then attach them to your e-mail message.  Download.com has several image resizing programs to choose from.  Visit their site, do a search for 'image resizer' and see what they have to offer.  Download and install the one that best meets your needs.

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 How can I backup my entire computer on to an external hard drive so that I can restore the programs and files in the event I had to replace the hard drive due to a crash?

     Go to Download.com and do a search for 'drive image'.  There are several programs available.  Pick the one that best suits your needs, download and install it.  You will need an external hard drive that is larger than your computers hard drive.

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I cannot access my g-mail from the desktop but can from my Favorites.  What do you suggest?

     That is a feature of the Google Desktop.  Use the Control Panel to uninstall Google Desktop and then reinstall it.

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I've received an e-mail in my spam folder dated 1-18-38.  Why?

     That is a great question!   Our best guess is that the sending computers date is set way wrong.

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Can I install Windows 7 on an XP computer?

     You should first download and run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/searchlp.aspx?CMXID=2120.39925FD8-4BE9-4190-9821-F33E26DBC8B4&WT.srch=1&category=Windows_7_Downloads).  The upgrade advisor will evaluate your computer and let you know if it's possible. The program will also look at the hardware attached to the computer (make sure it's on) and the programs loaded on the computer. If there are any problems in these areas, the program will offer suggestions.
     When you purchase Windows 7 there will be two discs in the package, one for the 32-bit version and one for the 64-bit version of the program. The Upgrade Advisor will have informed you if there are any restrictions as to which version you can use. Back up all personal data including contact list and favorites by exporting them in PST format (one of the export options in Outlook Express) before installing the new operating system.  No matter which version (32-bit or 64-bit) you choose, you will have to do a clean install. During a clean install all of your programs, files, and settings will be removed. After the installation is complete you will have to install your programs using the program disc, copy your files back to the hard drive, and readjust all of the settings.

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If I install Windows 7, will I lose my Outlook Express contacts and other data?

     If you do an upgrade you should not lose any of you programs, files, or settings. However, you would be wise to first export your Contacts in PST format.  Backup you personal date (My documents) on separate media (external hard drive, CD's, DVD's).

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Is there any way to keep my private information from appearing in 'lookup' programs on the Internet?

     Not really as that data was gathered from the digital edition of the telephone white pages.  You may try to request the removal of your personal data.  Some providers will honor the request, others will not.

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Why does Windows Mail take 2 -3 minutes to open the first message?  I sometimes get a 'Not Responding' error message but it eventually opens.

     This often happens if you have a hotmail account as well as the e-mail account that comes with Cox.  Make sure the Cox account is marked as the default account by opening the e-mail program, on the menu bar click Tools and select Accounts.  Single click on the Cox listing to highlight, and then click the Set as Default button.

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How can I rename those photos by date taken so I can view them in that order?

     You will probably have to do this manually although some image editing programs have the capability of performing batch functions.  You may be able to record a batch program by applying the actions you want the batch program to perform to a sample program.  Once the batch program is recorded you can run it on the folder containing the photos you want to rename.  NOTE: If you are going to renumber the photos, start with the number 1,001 and number accordingly.  Otherwise, the numbering will get messed up when you go from single digits to multiple digits. 

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Why, when I shut off my computer, does the monitor show white, red and green screens until I shut off the monitor?

     That's just the way some monitor manufacturers designed the monitor.  That is telling you that the monitor is not receiving a signal from the computer (because you shut it off) but that the monitor is still powered up.

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Do Spybot Search & Destroy and Malwarebytes need to be registered and renewed each year?

     No.  You didn't have to register the programs so there is nothing to be renewed.

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What is ask.com?

     It is a search engine similar to Google.com.

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Does Malwarebytes compare favorably with Webroot Spy Sweeper?

     Yes, just like apples and oranges compare.  Malwarebytes looks for and removes computer worms, Trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware, crimeware and other malicious and unwanted software.  Malwarebytes only runs when you tell it to.  Spy Sweeper concentrates on detecting and removing spyware and is running in the background and protecting your computer whenever your computer is on.

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When I turn on my computer or re-boot a window pops up with an error message that Tray App cannot be found.  How can I get rid of this?

     It sounds like the installer is broken.  Download and run the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301)

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If Vista is working fine on my computer is there any advantage to upgrading to Windows 7?

     'If it's not broken - don't fix it!'

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I have installed AVG-Free.  Is there any advantage to buying the AVG Internet Security Suite?

     The panel prefers to install and use single purpose programs to protect computers rather than suites of programs.  The single purpose programs do a better job of protecting/cleaning your computer than the suite programs do.  NOTE: While XP, Vista, and Windows 7 each have a firewall program, the best way to protect your computer is to install a router between the modem and computer.  Routers have a built-in firewall and other features that do a better job of protecting the computer that most software firewalls.

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Windows 7 is installed on my computer.  Recently it is taking a long time to close the Internet Explorer window.  Why and what can I do to correct this?

     Download, install, and run Malwarebytes.  If that does not correct the problem, reset Internet Explorer's settings to their default condition.  To do this, open Internet Explorer, on the menu bar click Tools and select Internet Options, click the Advanced tab and click the Reset button. If that doesn't work, try downloading, installing, and running CCleaner.

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Is there any way to use fonts in Windows 7 without having to install each font?

     Not that we know of.  A font load of 500 or more fonts can cause your computer to slow considerably when using programs that use fonts such as word processors, card making, or graphic design.  Your best bet is to download and install a font management program.  We have no recommendations.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of downloading a program or buying it on CD?

     Downloading give you immediate access rather than waiting for the CD to arrive in the mail, however it does provide for a hard copy install disk should your computer fail and you have to reinstall.  The best of both worlds would be to download the program and then copy the installation file to a CD or DVD disk.

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Why did I receive bounced messages (such as from 'Mailer-XXX.mail.com) when I did not send an e-mail to that address? 

     From your description it sounds like your e-mail address has been 'spoofed'.  That means that someone has gotten your e-mail address, not necessarily from your computer, and forged that address on a series of e-mails, some of which went to defunct addresses and generated the notice that the message was undeliverable.

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What e-mail program do you recommend for Windows 7?

For business use, we recommend Outlook 2007 with its integrated calendar, contacts and e-mail features.
For home use, we recommend Windows Live Mail, or Thunderbird.

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When will Microsoft stop updating XP?

Microsoft will stop providing security updates and critical fixes on April 8, 2014.

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What is a good alternative to the free version of Avast?

AVG Free.  Paid versions of anti-virus software that are very good are Bit Defender and Trend Micro.
Whatever is used you should also install, and run on a monthly basis, Spybot Search and Destroy and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware.

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What do you think of Microsoft Security Essentials?

It hasn't been out long enough to analyze.

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What is the best resolution to use for a 24' monitor?

For a 24' LCD monitor, the native resolution (the resolution the monitor was designed for) is either 1920 x 1200 or 1920 x 1080.  Google your monitor model or read the manual to determine the proper resolution.

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What is the best way to uninstall Norton?

First, Google 'Norton Removal Tool', then download and save the tool to the hard drive.  Next, uninstall Norton via the control panel (Add or Remove Programs for XP or Uninstall a program for Vista and Windows 7).  Finally, run the Norton Removal Tool to cleanup what the uninstall program missed.  McAfee also has a removal tool and should be used when uninstalling McAfee.  Most of the commercial anti-virus programs have removal tools as well.

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How useful is a netbook for saving photos while on vacation?  Would a notebook be better?

A netbook would serve that function very well in addition to providing Internet access in a small, compact footprint.  By copying the photos from the camera's memory card to a netbook or notebook you will probably need just one or two memory cards.  Another advantage to transferring the photos to a computer is that you can review and edit the photos using a program that is more functional than the one available on your camera.  If you are just looking for a way to take a lot of photos while away from home, you can buy a lot of memory cards for the price of a netbook.  For instance, you could buy fifteen 8 GB memory cards with the capability of storing around 75,000 photos for the same price as a netbook computer.

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What do you think the problem is with a fairly new (6 month old) notebook computer that tells us that the battery is low even though the charging cable is plugged in?

The AC charger has failed, the socket is broken, or the mother board needs replacing.  If the computer is still under warrantee, contact the manufacturer and make arrangements to send it back for repair.  Otherwise take it into a computer repair business.

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How do I tell my e-mail program to display the folders (in box, out box, sent items, etc.)?

On the menu bar, click View and select Layout. Place a check mark in the check box to the left of Folder List.

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How can I get my Wi-Fi Vista laptop to print to the printer connected to my XP desktop computer?

If the printer is network ready, you could set up a wireless connection.  If you establish a wireless connection you can leave the printer connected to the desktop computer. If the printer is not network ready you will have to connect to the printer by accessing the desktop computer over a home network where both the Vista laptop and the XP desktop have the same workgroup name.  To check the workgroup name hold down the Windows key and tap the Pause/Break key.  If you need to change the workgroup name on the laptop, click Change Settings, then click the Change button.  Change the Workgroup: name to the same name as noted on the XP desktop computer. Reboot the laptop.  Open the Control Panel on the XP desktop computer and click on the Printer and Other Hardware, then click Printers and Faxes. Right click on the printer and select Properties, click the Sharing tab, then select the option button to the left of Share this Printer. On the laptop, open the Control Panel, under Hardware & Sound click Printer. Click on Add printer and choose Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.  The computer will search for available printers on the network so make sure the desktop computer and printer is on.  Click on the printer you want to install on the laptop. Click Next. Then click on Install driver, then Continue. Once the printer driver is installed it is best to print a test page just to make sure.  Okay and close out of any open dialog boxes. To access the printer from the Vista laptop the XP desktop computer must be on.

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What can you tell me about internet phone services like Vonage and MagicJack?

Vonage, Skype, MagicJack, Packet8 and others provide phone service utilizing your high speed Internet account and a protocol called Voice over IP (VoIP).  Skype and MagicJack access the Internet through your computer.  That means that the computer must be on in order to make and receive phone calls.  Skype is a free program you install on the computer that allows you to make free local, long distance, and video calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world.  Skype calls to landlines in the United States, Canada, and some foreign countries are 2¢ per minute.  MagicJack is a device that plugs into any USB port on your computer, and then you plug a standard telephone into MagicJack.  The upfront cost is $39.95 + S&H and includes the first year of service.  After the first year the cost for local and long distance calls within the United States and Canada is $19.95 per year.  Calls to foreign countries start at 2¢ per minute and vary from country to country. Vonage and Packet8 utilize a device that accesses the Internet through your router.  The advantage here is that your computer is not part of the system and does not have to be on.  Vonage and Packet8 offer various service plans for local, long distance, and international service.  The Vonage Lite plan is $9.99 per month.  The Packet8 Freedom Unlimited plan is $24.99 per month.  With all of these VoIP services there could be some quality issues since the voice and video (if you use that option) can be affected by the quality of your Internet connection and the quality of the Internet route your call takes.

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How do I add music to a photo album created with Microsoft Photo Story?

      Click on this link for step by step instructions http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/photostory/tips/firststory.mspx#EHH

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How do I read Hotmail messages in Outlook Express or Windows Live Messenger?

     You cannot add a Hotmail account to Outlook Express or Windows Live Messenger.  If you want to use Hotmail you have two choices.  Go to www.msn.com, log in, and work Hotmail online, or install Windows Live Mail on your computer and use that program to work your Hotmail.

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Can a photo in Picasa be moved to another folder or web site?

     First of all Picasa does not hold your photos.  Picasa is a photo editor that searches your computer and makes a catalog of the location of all your photos.  Most likely your photos are in your My Pictures folder or other folders you have created for them.  You can copy/move them to another folder just as you would copy/move any file from one folder to another.  Copying to a web site depends upon the web site.  Without knowing the web site, the following is an educated guess as to the procedure.  Sign-on to the web site; locate the area for uploading photos, there is probably a Browse button to click on.  That will open a dialog box similar to what you see when you save a file or photo to your computer.  Navigate to the photos you want to upload, click on them to highlight, and upload.

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How can I recover my lost contact list?

     We assume you are talking about the contacts list you can display in the lower left corner of Outlook Express.  If that's the case, open you e-mail program, on the menu bar click View and select Layout.  Place a check mark in the check box to the left of Contact.  Your contact should now be displayed in the lower left corner of the window.

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What is LimeWire?

      Limewire is malware.  Go to the control panel, Add/remove programs (XP) or Uninstall a program (Vista and Windows 7) and remove it.  Run Malwarebytes.  Malwarebytes can be downloaded from Downloads.com (http://download.cnet.com/windows/)

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How do I get rid of UniBlue Register Booster?

     Remove it by running Malwarebytes.  Malwarebytes can be downloaded from Downloads.com (http://download.cnet.com/windows/)

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I plan on installing and using TurboTax for the first time.   Do you have any tips or things to be aware of?

      TurboTax will ask you if you want to look for updates.  You should always let it check for updates before starting your taxes and each time you go back to continue working on them.  The program will give you two options for completing your taxes; select categories and topics to fill in information or use the EasyGuide to have the program walk you through to entire process step-by-step. When you are all done with your taxes there is an option to save them as a PDF file, chose that option even if you have already printed a copy. You can also print a copy of your taxes and all of the supporting documents for your records.

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My laptop has three USB ports that nothing seems to work on - not the mouse or printer.  What do you suggest?

     First check to see if they are disabled.  Hold down the Windows key and tap the Pause/Break key. In the upper left corner of that window click Device Manager.  Scroll down to the Universal Serial Bus controllers to see if any of them are disabled.  If so, enable them.

If that doesn't work, check for Spyware/Malware by running Malwarebytes and Spybot Search and Destroy.

A mouse, a keyboard, and a USB flash drive are plug-and play, when you plug them into a USB port they should work.  If you can't get any of these to work you will probably need to have a computer technician check your computer.

If a printer does not work there could be an installation problem.  Uninstalling and installing the printer is usually the easiest way to correct this problem.

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Will Office 2010 work on an older XP computer?

     That depends on just what hardware you XP computer has. Click on this link for the hardware requirements for Office 2010. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624351.aspx

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How do I get rid of a warning, by Avast, about a potentially unsafe application (iPodService.exe)?

     Uninstall iTunes if you are not using it.

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What do you think about a password manager program?

Not good.  Keep a listing on paper, in a spread sheet or a word processor document (Word or Word Pad).

(Revised Feb 2018)
I don't know the original context of this question, but in 2018 this is a totally incorrect response.  You should be using unique passwords for different on-line accounts, and the only way to conveniently keep track of them is with a password manager of some kind that stores the passwords securely encrypted.  LastPass and KeePass V2 are two that come to mind.  An un-encrypted, machine-readable version in a spreadsheet or word processor document is a terrible idea -- should your computer be compromised by malware, all your accounts could be compromised.  A printed copy, including your password manager password, would be good to keep in your bank safety box in the event of your death, but not just lying around somewhere.

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How can I remove the owners name from a computer's hard drive that I intend to give as a donation?

      We recommend that you remove the hard drive and destroy it.  Buy a new hard drive and use the restore disk that either came with the computer or that you have made, if it is a newer computer, to restore the new hard drive to the settings that came with the computer when it was new.  You should then do a windows update to update the operating system.

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How can I stop or block junk mail and spam?

     The short answer is you can't anymore than you can stop junk mail from entering your home mail box.

You can filter those messages by clicking on them and either blocking them or indicating that they are spam or junk mail.  If this becomes too big a hassle, you can change your e-mail address, giving it out only to family and close friends.  Since some web sites require you to enter your e-mail address, you can create a free e-mail address at Google.com, yahoo.com, hotmail.com, etc.  Use that e-mail address for those web sites requiring you to enter your e-mail address.

A software program that may help is called Spam Bully.  It is a $30.00 program that will reduce the amount of spam you receive but there is no way to eliminate all spam.

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Would turning on the Internet Explorer Smart Screen Filter block spam?

     No.  The Smart Screen Filter helps detect phishing websites and protect you from downloading or installing malware (malicious software).

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How can I turn off 'Data Safe Storage' on my new Dell Desktop running Windows 7?

     Go to the Control Panel, choose Uninstall Programs.  Right click on the Data Safe Storage program and choose the uninstall option.

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 Can Google Phone be connected to one computer on broadband and another connected via dial up?

     Perhaps but the result will be very unsatisfactory as the dial up connection has limited bandwidth resulting in broken and slow responses.

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What is the easiest way to connect my laptop, running Windows 7 to my desktop also running Windows 7?

     Windows 7 makes this very easy.  On the Desktop, go to the Control Panel/Network and Internet/Homegroup.  Print or copy down the pass Password.   It is case sensitive.

On the Laptop, go to the Control Panel/Network and Internet and click Choose Homegroup and sharing options.  Click on Join now.  Follow the Wizard and enter the password when requested.  Do this for each Windows 7 computer.

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How does an e-mail I send go to the intended receiver?

      When you click on the send button, the message is sent to your Internet Service provider, Cox.net for example.  The Cox server only looks at the part of the address following the @ sign, yahoo.com for example.  If yahoo.com exists, then cox.net will send the message to that to the yahoo.com server.  The message may travel through several servers before arriving at the yahoo.com server.  When the message arrives at the yahoo.com server, it looks at the first part of the address.  If the yahoo.com server recognizes that name, it then sends to message on to that person's computer.

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What is the InPrivate Browsing setting in IE 9?

     Clicking on that setting (Ctrl P) will open a new window that will not record a history of where you go on the internet or accept cookies.  Privacy only extends to your computer and does not stop the server from keeping track of the web sites you have visited.  Federal law requires that Internet service providers keep such records that can be supplied, under a court order, to federal officials.

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How do I move my collection of iTunes from my old XP computer to the new Windows 7 computer?

    On the XP computer. Go to the iTunes folder in the My Music folder.  Right click on that folder to learn the size of it.  Buy a flash drive that will hold that amount of data or an external hard drive and copy the folder to that drive.

On the Win 7 computer install iTunes, authorize the program and then copy the contents of the iTunes folder from the external drive to the new computer.  When you install iTunes it will create an iTunes folder that will be accessible from the Libraries menu.

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How do I get the ribbon to display in Word 2007?  I now have to click on the Home button to see the Ribbon.

     Right click on the Tool bar and uncheck the Minimize the Ribbon.

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Does Word have templates available for use like Works had?

     Yes, there are a number pre-installed with Word.  Click on the Office Button on the upper left and select the New option.  A listing of templates will appear, some of which are pre-installed and others are available from Microsoft.

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Is there any way to protect my e-mail address from being spoofed?

Not a 100% method but using a password that is hard to hack is the best way to make spoofing much harder for the spoofer.  Substituting odd characters for letters in your password is helpful.  For example using the character '!' for an 'l', '0' for an 'o', '@' for an 'a', '1' for an 'i', and '3' for an 'e'.

Another helpful hint is to use a root password such as 'mu!3r1d3r' for your external password requirements and use that as the root for the password for your Facebook account i.e. 'facemu!3r1d3r' or bankmu!2r1d3r' for your banking password.

(Revised Feb 2018)
The above is not a correct response to the question. The above remarks on password practices are to prevent someone from hacking into your email account, and using that to view your email or send email using your actual email account.  "Spoofing" is forging your email address in the From header of an email that is sent from another person's email account, and is trivial for spammers to do knowing no more than your email address - they don't need your password or access to your actual email account.  If someone receives e-mail that claims (in the From address) to be from you that you didn't send, it is more likely that some spammer just found your e-mail address in some public place or in someone else's stolen contact list or email folders.  They don't need to hijack your own email account to do this. 

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Should I change my e-mail password regularly?

     Yes, some business accounts require a change in password every 90 days.
(Revised Feb 2018)
The current view is that it is far more important to use sufficiently long passwords, to use unique passwords for each different account, and to manage your passwords securely (see Password Manager) than to change passwords as frequently as every 90 days.  E-mail accounts should generally be of much less concern than an account that provides access to sensitive health, financial, or corporate data (and if you need to send such sensitive information by email, consider email clients that support PGP-encrypted email).  Using longer passwords based on some phrase you can remember is better than a shorter password with special characters that you have to keep written down to use.  Some businesses that have required frequent password changes have found it does little to enhance security, because it results in more employees writing passwords down in some easy-to-find location or using simple patterns to come up with a new password.  The one time you should always update your password is when a web site or company with whom you have an account is reported as having a security breach. 

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Which laptop is best?

     This is becoming a moot point as computer manufacturers consolidate.  The result is that they now all use mostly standard parts.  You are better off looking for the features you like best.  Some things to consider are:

  • A Dual core processor will give you a longer usable life than a single core processor.  The same is true for tri and quad core processors.

  • Memory is inexpensive, if all else meets your specifications, don't let a small amount of RAM affect your decision. You can buy memory upgrades that you can install yourself or have a technician install in a matter of minutes. The cost will be less that if you buy the memory upgrade when you buy the computer.

  • Hard Disk speed of 7200 rpm is a must.  The processor and memory are limited to how fast the hard drive can read and write data.  Hard disk capacity is important if you download a lot of music, videos and/or photos.  For most users spending additional money on a high capacity drive is not necessary.

  • Processor type and speed is also important. cpubenchmark.net will show you a graphical comparison of the different processor types and speed and rank them by best value.

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How do I remove the red X box on incoming e-mails?

When you insert a picture with the text of an email and check Send Pictures with Message, the picture shows in the message you are composing and the recipient will see the picture (assuming it's a .jpg).

When you insert a picture with the text of an email and do not check Send Pictures with Message, the picture shows in the message you are composing but the recipient will not see the picture. They will get the box with the red X.

The other place to find this setting is in the opening window for Outlook Express (XP) and Windows Mail (Vista) - Tools on the menu bar, Options..., Send tab, HTML Settings... button.

If you check the HTML Settings in Windows Live Mail there is no entry for Send pictures with messages, so it looks like this problem is unique to Outlook Express and Windows Mail. 

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How do I remove favorites or bookmarks a bunch at a time?

From the Start button, click on the Run option and enter Favorites. You can do a multiple select by clicking on the first item to delete, hold down the Shift key and click on the last item to be deleted.  Press the delete key on your keyboard.

If items to be deleted are not contiguous, click on the first item, hold the Ctrl key down and click on each other item to be deleted.  You can combine the two methods by first using the Shift key method and then holding down the Ctrl key and deselect each item you do not want to delete. 

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What would cause my Windows Backup to fail?

Your computer is probably going to sleep before the backup is finished.  Increase the delay time before your computer goes into sleep mode. 

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What is the best way to establish a remote desktop connection?

The Windows remote desktop connection feature does not work well, especially between computers using different operating systems like XP and Windows 7.

A free alternative is JoinMe.com.  This program is easy to setup and easy to use.  Click on the JoinMe.com link to find out more. 

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Why are some file types not supported when backing up to an external hard drive?

File types such as .db, .exe, or those having hidden attributes are not data files but are files used by the operating system.   Those will not be copied. 

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Why will Windows 7 not boot normally but will boot into Safe mode?

There are several things you might try. 

First boot into safe mode with networking.  Then download MalwareBytes and Spybot Search and Destroy.  Install and run those programs from Safe Mode.

If you added a Sandisk flash drive, it may have installed U3 and your computer now thinks it needs to boot from a flash drive.  You can download a removal tool for that device by clicking here.

If neither of those work or are applicable, do a system restore to a time when your system was operating correctly.  System restore is found in the Accessories/System Tools folder.  You cannot do a System Restore from Safe Mode.

Lastly, if you have multiple USB devices connected to your system, disconnect them all and reconnect one device at a time with a system restart in between connections. 

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How can I e-mail just one worksheet from a spreadsheet?

Copy that single worksheet into a new spreadsheet and e-mail that. 

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How can I set the default in Word to single space?

From the Home ribbon, click on the arrow to the right of Paragraph.  Change the spacing to single space, and then click on the Default button at the bottom of that window. 

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What is the difference between 3G and 4G.

4G is a faster data download speed for smart phones.  At this time (Jan. 2012) AT&T is still at the 3G level. 

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What is Android?

That is the name of the operating system for some of the smart phones on the market. 

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Can I transfer my pictures folder from my XP desktop to my laptop?

You can use a flash drive (8 Gb) to copy your photos and other data to another computer.  You can right click on the My Pictures folder, select the properties option to determine the size of the folder.  If it is less than the capacity of your flash drive, copy that photo to the flash drive.  If your My Pictures folder is larger, you will have to copy the contents in two or more stages, deleting the files from the flash drive after have you have copied them to your laptop. 

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If my old computer dies before I buy a new one, will the files I have backed up on my external hard drive be retrievable from that external drive to the new computer?

Yes, you will be able to connect the external hard drive to your new computer and select the files you want to copy or restore to you new computer. 

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Are the new all in one touch screen computers (monitor includes computer components) such as the WOW computer reliable?

At this time they are prone to overheating with components failing just after the warrantee expires.  There is no room for up grading the computer as components are packet in so tightly together.  Unlike a desktop unit, if one portion of the computer fails, everything must be replaced i.e. if the monitor fails, the whole computer is dead.  They are very hard to work on with fragile connections.

Users soon get tired of pointing and touching the screen to initialize functions.  The mouse is much less tiresome. 

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Are the small form desktop computers reliable?

They seem to have underpowered power supplies that are not generic and must be replaced with the same power supply.  Since they are underpowered, components cannot be upgraded such as with an advanced graphics board or other devices that are powered from the computer power supply.

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What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing, in its simplest form is Web Mail.  Such providers as Yahoo Mail, Google Mail, and Hot Mail have the e-mail program, contacts and message storage on their servers.  You access those features from your computer's browser.   Beyond that, Cloud Computing is a subscription service that can be as simple as using an offsite server to store your documents, music and photos or as complex as using programs stored on the offsite server.  The advantage of Cloud computing is that your documents are available from any computer.  In the more complex model of Software as a Service, the user has the advantage of the most up-to-date software while only paying for the time they are using that software. The disadvantage is that you are renting that storage space and application software.  There are also questions of security of the data stored offsite.  Both the Google Cloud and the Apple iCloud offer free storage up to a certain amount.  For Google the first Tetra Byte is free.  Each GB of storage beyond that cost 12 cents per GB.  iCloud is free for the first 5 GB.  An extra 10 GB of storage cost $20.00 per year.

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What is C-net mail attachment downloader?

It is a standalone program that will access your e-mail account and download any attached files.  You can specify what type of file gets stored in what folders.  It can run in the background.  It is useful if you receive a lot of attachments and don't want them buried within your e-mail program.

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What is the difference between Cox internet and AT&T DSL?

Cox Internet runs over your cable TV connection so you must have Cox cable TV installed.  AT&T DSL comes over your telephone line so you must have a land line.  Both services have differing levels of connectivity speed.  ATT DSL is the slowest with 768 Kbps download and 384 Kbps upload.  It cost $30.00 a month and includes 150 GB of data usage.  Anything over that is $10.00 per 50 GB.  Cox has three levels of service.  Essentials cost $37.99 for 3 Mbps download and 763 Kbps upload.  Preferred cost $53.99 for 18 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload.  Premier cost $64.99 for 28 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload.

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How do I delete e-mail messages in Windows Live Mail?

From the Windows Live Mail program, with the Home tab selected, you single click on the message you want to delete and then click on the red X (delete) at the top of the window.

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How do I see the back-up files on my external hard drive?

This depends upon the program you used for the backup.  Assuming you are using the backup program that comes with Windows 7, you would open that program; click on the Restore my files button.  The Restore files window will appear.  You have a choice of restoring folders or files.  Click on the appropriate button; say you want to restore a folder.  Click on the Browse for folders button, then double click on the Backup folder.  Click on the folder to be restored or double click through folders to find the sub-folder to be restored then click on the Add Folder button.  You can repeat the process to add additional folders.  When you have selected the files or folders, click on the next button.

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What is the difference between DirectX and Open GL?

Microsoft DirectX is a group of technologies designed to make Windows-based computers a platform for running and displaying multimedia elements such as full-color graphics, video, 3D animation, and rich audio. DirectX includes security and performance updates, along with many new features across all technologies, which can be accessed by applications using the DirectX APIs.  OpenGL is similar but specializes in 3D graphics.

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How can I down size photos to be sent via e-mail?

The how to depends upon the type of e-mail program you are using.  If you are using a computer base program like Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail, all you have to do is to go to your pictures folder, select the photo or photos you want to send, click on the e-mail button toward the top of the window.  A Picture Size window will open where you can specify the size of the photo(s) to be attached to your e-mail.  Medium or small is the suggested size for most e-mail. The photos will automatically be resized and attached to your e-mail message.  Address the message and add a subject and body text and you are ready to click on the send button.  Your original photographs will not be change in size.  For web mail programs such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail, you will have to open the photos in a photo editing program and manually resize the image to be sent via e-mail.  Rather than permanently change the size of the original, first make a copy of the photo and use Save as to rename it.  Perhaps adding the word 'small' or 'email' to the name.  Now resize the image to about 800 x 600 pixels.  This is the photo you will attach to your e-mail message.

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What is the safest way to prevent data stored, on a computer that I am discarding, from being accessed?

Remove the hard drive and take a power drill and drill a hole through the drive. 

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How can I center a photo in an e-mail message and in a text document?

How to depends upon the e-mail program or the word processing program.  In general, insert the photo and while it is still selected (you can see a box around it), click on the center text icon, if that option is available.  If there is no center option you can click to the left of the photo and add space until the photo appears centered.  I probably will not remain exactly centered when viewed on another computer but should be close.

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Are there security holes in Java and Flash?

Yes there are simply because these programs are available on all operating systems and therefore are likely targets for hackers.  Many web sites are moving away from these programs so our suggestion is to uninstall both programs.  If you visit a website that requires either of the programs, the site will inform you that you need the program to access the functionality of that site.  You will have to make the determination if you care enough to install the required program.  If you do, the site will direct you to a web site where you can download and install the program.

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What do you think of the Windows 8 operating system?

The operating system is quite different from Windows 7; therefore there is a steep learning curve as the program is not very intuitive.  It is somewhat awkward to use with a mouse as it was designed to be used with a touch screen tablet.  That being said, there is a tile, that when clicked on takes you to a desktop interface that is similar to Windows 7.

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What does the extension .docx mean and how does one open it?

Microsoft Office Word (version 2007 and above) is the primary software program used to open DOCX files and edit DOCX files.  Down load the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint File Formats (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=3) to open, edit, and save documents, workbooks, and presentations that were created in the newer versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. 
If you are running Windows XP, you must have Service Pack 3 installed before installing the Office Compatibility Pack.

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How do I start the 'Local Printer Spooler Service'?  I get this error when trying to print using Windows 8.

First, uninstall the printer (you may have to uninstall all the associated programs that came with the printer)  then go to the printer manufacturers web site and download the latest print drivers for your printer.  Install those drivers and you should be printing again.

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Should I upgrade to the paid version of Avast? After installing a new router I got a warning about a hole in the firewall.

You don't have to upgrade to the paid version of Avast unless you want the added cleaning ability that the paid version provides.  By installing the router, you have created another firewall that protects your computer.  We recommend that you do not connect directly to your internet service provider's modem but instead install a router between the modem and the computer.  Routers are inexpensive and provide added protection.

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Does my smart phone need anti-virus protection?

At this time (Jan. 2013) there are 17 known iPhone viruses.  A drop in the ocean compared to computer viruses.  As smart phones become more prevalent and become more compute like, hackers will begin to write viruses and spyware for them.  Avast, AVG, Norton and McAfee all have mobile version of their anti-virus software.  While you may not need it now, you will certainly need it in the future.

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How do I delete older podcast from my computer?  I cannot play a podcast beyond the first one listed.

Make sure you subscription is up to date.  Most pod cast sites, while free, require you to register.  Make sure your registration is up to date.  If you are downloading to an Apple device, use iTunes to remove older pod cast.  Stitcher (http://stitcher.com/) is a good source for free pod cast.

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I would like to write a book or articles.  Is there a web service that will help me with proofreading?

Yes.  It is caller PaperRater (http://www.paperrater.com/).  It will spell check your article, check for grammar errors and offer suggestions for corrections.  It also checks for Plagiarism.

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Are there good programs to clean the registry?

Yes.  CCleaner and System Mechanic are highly rated.  They both can be downloaded from CNET. Downloads.com (http://download.cnet.com/windows/).

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How can I secure an old computer that I may donate or trash?

The only fool proof way is to remove the computer hard drive and drill several holes through it.

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I have heard that Adobe Reader is a potential security threat.  Are there other programs that I could use to read PDF files?

Yes.  Foxit Reader and a number of other free PDF readers are available from CNET. Downloads.com (http://download.cnet.com/windows/)

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June 2014 Q & A


What do you recommend for security software?

For home use (in no particular order): AVG AntiVirus Free, Avast! Free AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, SUPERAntiSpyware, Emsisoft Anti-Malware, Spybot - Search & Destroy, and ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall. Unlike an antivirus program, you may have any number of malware detection and removal programs on your computer. We like Avast because it checks for and installs updates throughout the day and it has an option that you can set for a full scan right at computer startup. That is called a boot scan.

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What site is best (safest) for downloading free software?

download.cnet.com, filehippo.com or from the site of the producer of the software.

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Do I need a program to download programs and updates?

No, the operating system takes care of downloading operating system software and device drivers. You can download other software, via your browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, ect.) from download sites such as download.cnet.com or filehippo.com. You do not need to install a separate driver update program.

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Why, when I do a Google search, I do not get directed to the site I click on.

You most likely are infected by malware. Download, install, and run one or more of the malware detection and removal programs such as: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, SUPERAntiSpyware, Emsisoft Anti-Malware, or Spybot -Search & Destroy.
To answer the question we need to know what email program the person was using. The answer is not correct for Windows Live Mail or Outlook. I suspect they were using Windows Live Mail and people from another program like Skype were transferred into the Contacts folder in the email program. When this happened these entries cannot be deleted.

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When trying to delete addresses in my e-mail program, they show up as 'Unknown'. How do I get rid of those addresses?

Windows 7 has a Contact folder that contains your contacts. This is the same folder that many e-mail programs use. If you delete contacts from this folder, that will solve your problem. Click on the Start button, click on your personal folder (it probably has your name on it), double click on the Contacts folder. You can now click on any of the contacts and delete that contact.

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How can I keep a window expanded to the size I want?

Windows will usually remember the last size of the window you opened. If you want the window to always open full screen you have two choices. Drag the corners of the window until it completely fills the screen. Do not use the maximize button to enlarge the window.
Hold down the Ctrl key, and while holding it down use the mouse to click File and then Exit on the menu bar. NOTE: Do not use the "X" in the upper right corner to close the window.
If it still opens to a smaller size repeat the above but this time us the "Shift" key instead of the "Ctrl" key.

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I am giving my computer to a friend and I would like to securely wipe my hard drive clean. What software is best for this?

There is no way to wipe a hard drive completely clean. If you have security issues, remove the hard drive and destroy it. If you do not need to be 100% secure, then CCleaner has a Drive Wiper option that will clean the hard drive so that a casual computer user will not be able to view the information that was stored on the hard drive. A better software program is DBAN. That will begin wiping the hard drive when the computer first boots up. Again, the only way to be 100% sure that the information that was stored on the hard drive cannot be retrieved is to destroy the hard drive.
Remember also that once the hard drive is wiped, you will have to reinstall the operating system, drivers, and all the programs. It may be less expensive and time consuming to have your friend buy a new, inexpensive computer.
A way to wipe only the areas where your deleted files used to be is with cipher.  Cipher is a subroutine that is built into the windows operating system.  It will overwrite all the free space on a hard drive, insuring any files you've deleted stay dead. Launch a command prompt and type cipher /w:X where X is the letter of the drive or partition you want to wipe. Be patient—the process can take a long time if you have a lot of free space.

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My operating system is Windows 7. I have created numerous folders called 'Dictionary' and have them numbered 1 through 37. When I created a new Dictionary folder and numbered it 38, it did not sort behind number 37 but in front of folder number 1. What is preventing this from sorting correctly?

You may be sorting the folders by date rather than by name. Open your Documents folder and sort by name. Click on the word Name found above the listing of folders. If that does not work, then look carefully at the name of Dictionary 38 and see if there is any difference between the way that name is displayed and the other folders. Check to see if you didn't add a space before the D in the folder name or that the name is different in any other way beside the number. That would include a space between the word dictionary and the number 38. Check for two spaces. Those are the types of things you should be looking for.

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I have a DVD that will not play on my computer using the program Roxio but it will play on the DVD player connected to the TV. What should I do to get the DVD to play on my Computer?

Roxio is a program designed to burn DVD's not play them. The Windows Media Player or Windows Media Center should automatically begin to play the DVD when you put it into your computer if you have elected to make either of these the default media player. Another option is to download and install the VLC Player from http://www.videolan.org/vlc/. That will become your default player for DVD's.

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Why am I getting pop up screens in Internet Explorer asking to allow Microsoft to correct or close the program?

You may have a computer infected with malware. Download, install and run one or more of the following anti-malware programs to correct the problem: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, SUPERAnti -Spyware, Emsisoft Anti-Malware, or Spybot - Search & Destroy. You may also try to reset Internet Explorer to its default settings by clicking on Tools from the menu bar or the gear icon at the upper right and selecting Internet Options. Click the Advanced tab, and then click on the Reset button at the bottom of the window.

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Do I need an anti-virus for my Mac?

Yes. Both Avast and AVG have Mac versions available from their web site. Remember to install only one anti-virus program.

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Can I use a hard drive wiper to securely remove files from my hard drive?

While the most secure protection is to destroy the hard drive, there are hard drive wipers that will provide protection from casual inspection of your hard drive. More to come from Don Hood

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Should I defrag my solid state hard drive (SSD)?

No. If you did defragment your Solid State Disk you did not harm it. It is just that this process is not needed and that defragmentation causes lots of write processes which mean that the drive will reach its write limits sooner and die.

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Can I use an external monitor in place of the built-in monitor on a laptop?

Yes. Check your external monitor and laptop to see what type connections are available. Those connections may be one of the following: VGA, DVI, or HDMI. Graphic adapters are available if you need to switch from one type to another.

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What can I do with my old computer?

If the computer is fewer than 5 years old, consider donating it to a charity organization. Remove any personal information first. If it is older than 5 years, then take it to the local recycle center. http://www.bcswd.com/content/electronic-waste

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Should I run the Java update my computer keeps asking me to run?

Yes, many of the pages you may visit on the Internet, require Java to display properly.

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How will Windows 10 be different from Windows 8.1?

The older, Windows start menu will return with a smaller version of the Windows 8.1 Start menu (the tile) attached alongside.  It will come with a new version of Internet Explorer that will have a new name.  The operating system should be available  sometime during the third quarter of this year. For one year after the release Windows 10, it will be a free upgrade for anyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.  There will probably be an upgrade advisor available from Microsoft to determine if your computer can handle Windows 10 and what software will be affected.

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Will I be asked for a Windows product activation key if I use a system image disk to restore the Windows 8.1 operating system?

Not unless you have replaced the hard drive or mother board.  Manufacturers are now imbedding the product key on the motherboard.  The system image disk will find that product key and install properly.

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Should I reformat the hard drive before using a system image disk to restore the Windows 8.1 operating system?

Reformatting is not necessary.

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Do you recommend that the average computer user log on to a non-administrative account or guest account for normal day-to-day computer usage?

Signing in as a guest or non-administrative user would be an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorized changes to your computer.  Signing in as an administrator would be necessary in order to make changes to your computer.  It is a matter of preference.

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What anti-virus program are you currently recommending, both paid and free?

Paid anti-virus: Kaspersky, Trend Micro and Emsisoft Anti-Malware
Free: Avast, AVG, Windows Defender.

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Since computer manufactures are not putting a Windows product activation label on laptop computers, what do you do if you reformat the hard drive and reload the operating system using a Windows installation disk?

If the computer is a Windows 8.1 computer, that product key is imbedded on the motherboard and the installation disk will find it.  If it is a Windows 7 laptop, remove the battery and see if the product key is in the battery compartment.

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Why does my right side scroll bar only show if the window is maximized?

Check your magnification setting. On some computers, a setting above 125% will cause that problem.  The keystroke combination Ctrl + 0 will reset the view to 100% in Internet Explorer.  Ctrl + - (the minus symbol) will reduce the magnification. You may have to repeat Ctrl + - several times to reduce it to 100%.

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The file 'thumb.db' shows up on my desktop.  Can it be deleted?

This is a system file that shows up if you have gone into Folder Options and removed the check mark from the check box to the left of 'Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)'.  You can delete the file but it will return if you have photos on your desktop.

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Why will my computer not power up?  No splash screen - nothing.

Try shutting down the computer, pulling the power cord out of the socket, then press the power button several times.  Plug the power cord back in and see if your computer will power up.
The problem could be a bad power supply.  If you bring the computer to one of the Club's Open House Help Clinics, we can check out the power supply and may even have a replacement for you.
You can also open the sides of the computer and inspect the motherboard.  If you see any areas that look like spilled, dried cola, that will indicate you have one or more bad capacitors and will need a new motherboard.

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I bought an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) disk.  Can I use this disk to reinstall the operating system on computers that have valid product keys?

Yes as long as you have the product key for that computer.

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We bought a used Kindle that still has the books that the previous owner had purchased.  Will these books disappear when we register the device with my Amazon account?

Yes, they will disappear when you register the Kindle with your Amazon account.

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My computer is hooked to an external battery supply.  It has starting to ding while I am using the computer.  Is that an indication that the battery is going bad?

Yes, the battery is telling you it is time to be replaced.  These batteries have a useful life of three to five years. If the battery is consumer replaceable, you can probably purchase a new one at Battery Outfitters.

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Recently, when I read or respond to an e-mail, ads have begun to appear on the screen.  What is my problem?

Your computer is infected with a virus or malware.  Bring it into the Computer Club and we will help you clean it up.

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How can I print out photos that appear on Facebook?

CVS has an app that will allow you to send Facebook photos, via the app, to the CVS Photo store.  You can also do this through a Wal-Mart account or through Walgreens.  Note that not all photos will have the required resolution to make a satisfactory print.

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How do I printout my Contact list?

The process of printing out your Contact list varies with e-mail programs.  Bring your computer to one of our Open House Help Clinics and we will help you create a file you can print out when you get back home.

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What would be the cause of my wireless mouse eating batteries?

Your mouse is going bad.

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Where can I buy a laptop battery?

You have several choices: From the manufacturer of you laptop, from the internet or from a local source such as Battery Outfitters.

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How should I condition my laptop and or phone batteries?

Let the battery run all the way down before recharging.  Do not leave the laptop connected to external power for extended periods.  That practice will shorten you battery life.

   (Revised Feb 2018)
This was true when all batteries were NiCad batteries.  But if your device has a lithium battery as is now more typical, they do not have "charge memory" like NiCd batteries.  Partial charging of lithium batteries is normal, and any unnecessary deep discharge is not only not therapeutic for a lithium battery but also uses up part of the battery's life.

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What is a good software program to tag, sort and group like photos?  Does it have face a recognition feature?

There is such software but it is very expensive.  Take a look at Picasa (click here for more information).  It's a free program from Google and might do what your want to do.

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Will Media Player be a part of Windows 10?

Yes.

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Will Gadgets be a part of Windows 10?

No.  There are third party apps that will add gadgets to your desktop with some of the more popular gadgets such as CPU Usage, Clock, Calendar, Weather and Large Notes.  Do a Google search on "Windows 10 Gadgets".

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How do I get an internet service provider in this area?

Cox or AT&T U-verse are the local Internet Service providers though U-verse is not yet available in all areas. Call them and they can let you know if their service is available at your address.

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What features of Windows 10 do you not like when compared with Windows 7 and 8.1?

Windows 10 seems stable and combines the best features of both Windows 7 and 8.1.  It also seems to run faster on older PC's.

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Should I use my rescue disk to take my Windows 7 computer back to factory settings before installing Windows 10?

That is not necessary.  You may want to re-consider using an older PC for Windows 10.  The amount of memory on the old PC may not be sufficient to run Windows 10 efficiently.  You will also be dealing with hardware that is old and may be reaching the end of its useful life.  You can check the status of your hard drive by downloading and installing the Data LifeGuard Diagnostics from Western Digital by clicking here.  This program will analyze any hard drive.

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Will Windows 10 impact an Android tablet?

No.

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Can I change the color of the displayed page in Word?

Yes. Click on the Page Layout tab.  Click on the Page Color option and choose the color of the page.

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Should I have called Microsoft when I received a pop-up while surfing the Internet stating that the computer had been hacked and I should call Microsoft at ###.###.####?

No.  There is no way that any web site you visit will be able to determine the status of your computer without you first downloading and installing some software.  Clicking on a pop-up or calling the phone number provided are only means to take advantage of you or accessing your bank account.
You may be infected with malware.  Run MalwareBytes to check.

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How do I install my Cox account in Windows Live Mail?

Click here to view instructions for setting up a Cox account on your computer.  Read the page and select the Windows Live Mail instructions.

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Why can't I forward an e-mail from my Yahoo or Windows 8.1 Outlook program?

Yahoo:  Open the email message you want to forward.  Click on the Forward button or press the letter 'F'.  Address the message and add any comments. Click on Send.
Windows 8.1 email program: Open the message you want to forward. Click on the button in the top right corner displaying an envelope and curved arrow, then select Forward from the dropdown menu. Address the message, add a comment and click Send.

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Does every computer have a unique IP address?

(Revised Feb 2018)
  If your computer is directly connected to a modem, your Internet Service Provider will assign an IP address to your computer that is unique across the entire Internet, but which can change from time to time (unless you pay extra for a fixed IP address).  If you instead have a router connected to your ISP modem, that unique address is assigned instead to the router and only your router is directly visible to the outside Internet. 

  Your computer and other devices connected through that router are assigned a local IP address by your router that is in a special range of IP addresses reserved for local-use only and which is only unique from other devices currently on your own Local Area Network.  If you power off a device for over a day, it might be assigned a different local IP address by the router, but there are ways to configure your router to keep a device's local IP address fixed.  Devices on your Local Area Network can directly communicate with other devices on the same LAN using the LAN-unique IP address of each device; but to communicate with the outside Internet, all traffic must pass through your router, which hides your local IP addresses from the Internet.

(Old version)
Yes. If your computer is connected to a modem, the Internet Service Provider will assign an IP address that can change from time to time. If your computer is connected to a router, the router will assign an IP address that normally does not change.

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Should I download and install professional upgrades to my HP printer?

If it is not broken, leave it alone.

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Should I install Windows 10 as soon as it is available or wait until later in the year after potential bugs have been identified and fixed?

This software has been well tested through a large number of beta testers.  You should have no fear of installing Windows 10 as soon as it is available.  If you are comfortable with your existing operating system, there is no hurry to install Windows 10.  You will have one year from July 29, 2015 to receive your free copy of Windows 10.

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How can I find instructions to switch from Direct TV to cable?

Call Cox or AT&T U-verse and they will be happy to enroll you as a customer if their service is available at your address. They will come to your home and set up the system for you.

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What can you tell us about a message from Microsoft concern an update that would crash the Live Mail email program?

Microsoft is trying to encourage users to switch from Live Mail to the Windows 10 Mail application.  The update only affected people using Live Mail on Windows 10. Microsoft later issued a new update that only applied to Windows 7 and 8.1 users.

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If a person does not have Microsoft Office, is there a free program that will read and write in the Office format?

LibreOffice is a good program and is free from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-fresh

The defaults are set to format in the Libre format.  That can be changed by going to Tools/Options/Load Save/General/Document Type. Change the document to Word 2007/2010 to save in the .docx format or Word 2003 to save in the .doc format.

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Why would a computer user use Outlook.com as an email program?

Outlook.com is another web based email program like Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo.
The advantage of a web based email client is that you can access it from any computer as long as you remember your username and password.

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What is the best solution to get past the sign in requirements on the lock screen of Windows 8.1 and 10?

The lock screen sign in is a safety feature to insure only authorized users can use the computer.  Using your email address as the sign-in makes it possible to change your password, should you forget what it was, from another computer. 
Since some email addresses are long, Windows 10 has the option to use a four digit numeric as the password.  This is called a 'Pin'. Once you create a Pin, all you have to do, to sign into your computer, is to enter the four digits.  Much easier and quicker.

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Can Yahoo introduce Malware to your computer?

Any web page that has ads on the page, can introduce Malware, if you click on those ads.  Some of the ads are legitimate; some have been hacked onto the page.  It is best not to click on any ads shown on any web page.

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Can information be retrieved from an old hard drive that has been removed from an old computer?

The three in one hard drive connector (http://www.amazon.com/PPA-Drive-Adapter-3-In-1-Connector/dp/B000V7TZLC) will do the trick.  If you want to continue using the hard drive as external storage, you can buy a shell the will hold the drive.  It includes a power supply and USB connection.

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Do I have to clean out my email inbox before installing Windows 10?

No, but the more stuff you have on your computer, including the inbox, the longer it will take to install Windows 10.  If you are running an odd email program, you should run the Microsoft compatibility checker.  Click on this link to find out how to run the checker. http://www.zdnet.com/article/will-your-pc-run-windows-10-use-this-well-hidden-compatibility-checker-to-find-out/

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What problems am I likely to run into now that I am ready to install Windows 10?

Run the Windows 10 compatibility checker.

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How do I hook-up Roku SE?

There are various versions of Roku. Click on the following link for instructions.
https://support.roku.com/hc/en-us/articles/208754448-How-do-I-identify-and-set-up-my-Roku-player-

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How do I open my Microsoft Office documents on a Mac Air computer?

If you do not have the Mac version of MS Office, LibreOffice has a free Mac compatible version that you can download and install on your Mac. https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-fresh/?type=mac-x86_64&version=5.0&lang=en-US

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How do I forward pictures from an email I have received using Outlook Mail.

Check the following settings in Outlook Mail:
Send Tab->Mail Sending Format->HTML->Make sure in encoding it says Quoted Printable and a check mark next to Send Pictures With Messages.
Security Tab->Select IE security zone->check mark Internet Zone, more functional. Check mark next to: Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened.
Read Tab->If you use the Preview Pane put a check mark next to Automatically
download message when viewing in Preview Pane.

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Windows Live Mail is not responding on my Windows 7 computer.  I've tried reinstalling it from my downloads folder and it still will not work.

Uninstall the program and restart your computer.  Go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/essentials.
You don't have to install all of the Essential programs, just check Windows Live Mail for download. This will give you the most up-to-date version of Live Mail.

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When I sign in to Cox web mail on my iPad, I can see an attachments link to an attachments.  When I sign on to Cox web mail through my PC, those attachment links are not there.

That is a head scratcher.  You are signing in using the Classic WebMail. Try signing in with the Enhanced WebMail option and see if the attachment links are available.

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Should I click on the link included in an email from a friend but with no other message?

No.  That is a sure way to become infected.

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How can I encrypt data on a USB Flash Drive?

Some Flash drives like SanDisk include inscription software.  The most secure is a Flash Drive called 'Iron Key' from http://www.ironprotector.com/Personal-250.asp.  These drives are much more expensive.

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How can I delete a PDF file that will not delete?

Come to one of our Help Clinics. This kind of a problem requires us to take a look at your computer and see what else may be going on.

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Is Avast safe to run on Windows 10?

Yes, on most computers.  On some computers, Avast interferes with Cortana to the point that it will not work and the Safely Remove Hardware icon will not tell you that it is safe to remove a flash drive. Avira does not cause this problem.
You should uninstall any security software before installing Window 10.

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February 2018 Q & A


How do I build a dictionary of frequently used words (e.g. Bentonville) which are not included in the Windows 10 "More Options" square?

(original question context: web mail) Short answer for web mail, the web site itself does not provide any way to permanently add words to the web site dictionary, so if there is an option to explicitly request "Check Spelling" on the web site, you will have to tell it to ignore the same correct word for each tmessage that includes it (but see further details below).

    If you are accessing email with an email client application like Thunderbird, any spell checking is done by your email client on your local computer, and adding a word to its dictionary on your local computer involves right-click on a flagged word and select "Add to Dictionary".

    With web mail, the answer is more complicated because it can depend on what browser you are using.  For example, the Firefox browser will do dynamic, as-you-type spell checking (errors are flagged by wavy red underscore), and again adding a word to the dictionary for that specific computer only requires right-click on a flagged word and selecting "Add to dictionary".  Other browsers could have similar support, but Firefox is the only one I have recently tested.  If the only browser you have availzble on a particular platform doesn't directly support spell checking, then there is no way to add dictionary words when using web mail.

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How do I send pictures from my Apple I-pad without going onto Facebook?  I take pictures, look at them on "Camera", click, get a tone on my i-Pad indicating they have been sent, then later on find a notice of 15 Unsent pictures.  I'd like to correct this.

May be a problem with the way email is configured.  Insufficient info to resolve.  Another possibility is that you are sending the pictures to a non-smart phone that is not able to receive pictures.

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How to put zip bar code on an envelope/label?

Using MS Word support for producing a zip barcode for an envelope has given poor results in the past.  Getting the formatting right was always a problem.  If you need to do frequent mass mailings with zip barcodes, you will get much better results by looking for a Dymo label printer specifically designed for that purpose, probably available somewhere in the $50 - $100 range.  Also note only generate a zip barcode for the destination address labels.  Should you include one for the return address, the mail is likely to be routed back to you.

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I have seen conflicting opinions about whether an add-on anti-virus product is still needed with Windows 10 after the version 1709 Creator’s update, or if Windows Defender has reached a level of quality that eliminates the need for Avira, AVG, Avast, or other add-on anti-virus applications.  What are your views about this?

The latest Windows Defender is based on a newer AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology, which should improve odds of catching new viruses.  This version of Windows Defender at Windows 10 level 1709 will supposedly be retrofitted into Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 via updates. [but unclear how to verify whether this has been done.]  With improvements in Windows Defender plus the increasing importance of Windows updates, the advice on add-on anti-virus applications has changed.  Although virus technology could change in the future, Justin indicated he currently does not recommend installing 3rd party anti-virus programs for the following reasons:

  • The detection rate by the add-on third-party anti-virus programs for new viruses is not that great, perhaps as low as 30-40%.  Detection is primarily based on code “signatures” – but there are “services” available for a modest fee to virus writers that allow them to easily change their virus signature to bypass current “signature” lists.
  • Third-party anti-virus programs can sometimes interfere with automatic Windows updates, which may may lead to serious security flaws in your system that an undetected virus can exploit.
  • Third-party antivirus programs can consume significant resources for little benefit.
  • It can give a false sense of security – some users become “careless” about observing safe browsing and email practices if they are convinced their A/V program will always protect them.
Note: This should not be taken as meaning you don’t need some A/V program active – Windows Defender or some other, is always a must.  There are thousands of old viruses floating around the Internet, on infected computers, old emails, old newsgroup postings, web sites, etc.  With rare exceptions, you are much more likely to encounter an “old” virus than a brand new one.

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I just paid for and installed an add-on A/V program x or an add-on “security suite”.  What should I do?

If it is on Windows 10 with current updates, keep it until the subscription expires, then don’t renew and de-install.  De-installation of the 3rd-party product should re-enable Windows Defender.

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Can I run Windows Defender AND an add-on A/V program?

No.  Windows Defender is an A/V program and you can only run one A/V program at a time.  Installing another A/V program will disable Windows Defender.  Note: MalwareBytes free version does not do real-time A/V detection, so it does not disable Windows Defender.  MalwareBytes Premium, which does real-time A/V detection does qualify as an A/V program and will disable Windows Defender.

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My printer is saying there are updates available. Should I install them?

If it is software updates for Windows applications that interface with the printer, probably yes.  If these are updates to the printer firmware (typically done from the printer display itself, requiring Internet connectivity for the printer), if you are not having printer problems the fix claims to address, there may not be any good reason to install.

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I received a message/email that there is a BIOS update for my computer.  Should I install it?

Generally NO.  A problem encountered during a BIOS update (like a power outage), or making a mistake in the update procedure, may make your computer impossible to boot and turn it into an expensive doorstop.  It is better that this only be done by a qualified technician and only in the rare case where the update is required to fix a problem that is affecting your ability to use the computer.

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If I find there is an update for my router firmware, should I update that?

If it is your router, yes.  Firmware updates may fix security exposures, and since your router is normally connected directly to your Internet provider’s modem, your router could be exposed to an attack from the Internet.  Routers usually have a web-server interface allowing you a simple way to check for and install firmware updates using your web browser.  If the router belongs to your Internet service provider, they should be the only one with the ability to logon to the router as an administrator, and your ISP would have to install any updates to the router firmware.

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Should the average computer user be doing anything to protect against the media-reported “meltdown” and “spectre” security exposures that potentially affect most Intel-based computers?

This is probably more of a concern for those who run multi-user server platforms, not for those that operate their own single-user personal computer.
[Both of these exposures allow a program running under the control of one user to infer the contents of memory locations that should be restricted from view because they belong to another user or should only be viewed by the Operating System.  Both require either human complicity or a security flaw that allows malware to be installed.  On a computer that only supports one user at a time, all the sensitive data associated with the user is directly readable by the user, so much simpler malware can be used to steal data.]

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I Recently upgraded a Windows 10 laptop to a SSD by cloning from the hard drive and found out later that one application requiring Internet activation was adversely affected.  Is there any way to boot Windows 10 from a de-installed hard drive short of re-installing it on the original disk interface in the original machine?

Probablly not.  Even if the hardware BIOS supports booting from devices other than the primary drive, Windows 10 disallows booting from a USB drive.  Many newer computers use UEFI booting conventions with secure boot enabled.  Secure boot is especially picky about the booting process, which could explain why trying to boot the old primary drive as a secondary SATA drive could also fail.

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