Friday, February 28, 2014

No Internet

Answer Man

My computer has been in and out of the shop. It seems that something is always wrong. Are any computers truly hopeless?

Computer companies, just like car companies, occasionally produce lemons. If the defect is on a mother board, it is rarely worthwhile to replace it because the cost of a MB is a major part of the entire computer cost. Unfortunately, the consumer rarely is aware of problems until after the computer is purchased.

I think that if a repairs amount to 25% or more of a new computer replacement cost, I'd just buy a new computer.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Virus Removal

Answer Man

A message pops up on my computer stating that I have a virus. I know better than to click on the message which will probably put a virus on the computer. I can still navigate around the computer, but the message keeps popping up. Is there an easy way to remove it?

Restoring your computer to an earlier point is probably the easiest method. In all versions up to Windows 8, click Start, All Programs, Backup and Restore Center, Use System Restore to fix problems and Undo changes to Windows. Pick a restore date and follow directions to restore your computer to an earlier point. In Windows 8, go to the shut down menu, Click Change PC Settings, and then Update and Recovery.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Make laptop like desktop

Answer Man

I just got a laptop, but I don't like the touchpad, the keyboard or the size of the screen. Is there anything I can do about it short of buying a new desktop?

You can add an external keyboard, mouse and monitor for much less than the cost of a new computer.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Windows 8.1

Answer Man

I have a computer with Windows 8. I understand that Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade for those that have 8. How do I get 8.1?

The easiest way is to click on the Store tile on the start screen of Windows 8. Click on the 8.1 icon and you will be on your way.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wipe Drive

Answer Man

I have an old computer with lots of personal information on the hard drive. I have been told that I should remove the drive and smash it with a big hammer. Is there any way to make certain no one gets to my data and that I can still save the hard drive?

There are many programs on the market that will securely erase hard drives. If you do the job correctly, however, you will also remove the operating system. A new operating system can be installed. Try this link to view a long list of data erasing programs. Several are free.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Multiple browsers

Answer Man

I know people who have Internet Explorer and Chrome and Firefox on their computers. Why would you need more than one browser.

Each browser could be set up to open to a different start page. One might open Bing, one Yahoo, one Google. It might also prove handy to have more than one browser if an Internet service is experiencing down time. In that case you could still get to the Internet by using a different browser.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Touchpad and Mouse

Answer Man

I hate my laptop touchpad. If I add a mouse, do I have to disable the touchpad?

No. You can have both devices active and use whichever you like.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Make printed document an attachment

Answer man

I have a printed document I want to send to someone as an attachment. How can I accomplish that task?

Scan the document. If your printer doesn't have a scanning program, search your computer for Windows Fax and Scan. Note where the scanning program saves the document. It may be in Scans, or My Scans or somewhere else in Documents. When you create your e-mail attachment, you will have to tell the program the location of the document. That's it.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

ORCC Board Meeting Minutes

Oak Run Computer Club – Executive Board Minutes
February 14, 2014

President, Alan Marcus called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Ron Kenyon, Elliott Bogart, Linda Tingley, Bill Balch, Lawrence Bauer and Alan Marcus.

Alan read the minutes of the last meeting. There were no corrections or additions. He also read the Treasurer's report. The balance at the last board meeting was $1814.13.

E-mail sign-up Forms will be distributed at the next general meeting so that we can increase the number of our e-mail mailings.

Elliott Bogart suggested that the club look into the possibility of selling “The Secret Guide to Computers”. It's a book that the club sold several years ago. The web site is We will see what the current prices for the book are and whether the sale is feasible.

The February general meeting will feature Richard Bambridge who will compare tablet computers.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Alan Marcus, Acting Secretary

Simple back-up

Answer Man

Most of the back-up methods I have heard about seem too difficult. Can you suggest an easy way to back-up.

The easiest method would be to connect an external drive and then just drag files over to that drive. If you want to perform incremental back-ups, you need something a little more sophisticated. I like Karen's Replicator. Navigate to the site and then click on Replicator. You will need to click Edit and set up the location of the file or folders you want to backup, and will have to show the location of the back-up drive.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

USB Ports not working

Answer Man

Suddenly, my USB ports quit working. I tried all of them, front and back. Is my computer toast?

Try this. Unplug the power from the computer. Wait at least one minute. Plug the power back in. My bet is that all will be working again.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

PC is hopeless

Answer Man

My computer has been in and out of the shop. It seems that something is always wrong. Are any computers truly hopeless?

Computer companies, just like car companies, occasionally produce lemons. If the defect is on a mother board, it is rarely worthwhile to replace it because the cost of a MB is a major part of the entire computer cost. Unfortunately, the consumer rarely is aware of problems until after the computer is purchased.

I think that if a repairs amount to 25% or more of a new computer replacement cost, I'd just buy a new computer.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Icon descriptions vanished

Answer Man

I can see the names of about half the icons on my desktop. The other half are gone. Can you tell me why?

I'm willing to bet that the desktop background picture has some light areas (such as a clear sky) and some dark areas. The default icon font color is white, and white lettering doesn't show up well against a light background. Change the desktop picture to one that has more dark areas, and I'll bet that you will suddenly see the lettering.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Thumbnails Gone

Answer Man

I went to look at my pictures and I see they are all replaced by some kind of generic picture. I tried every way I could think of to get the little thumbnail pictures back, but have had no success.

Try the following: Open up the folder with the pictures and click on the View tab. Click Options. Click Change folder and search options. Click View Tab. Un-check the box that says Always show icons, never thumbnails, and check the box that says Display file icon on thumbnails.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Windows 8 back-up

Answer Man

Where is the back-up program in Windows 8?

When you are on the Start Screen, type File History. Then click on File History in the list below. Connect your back-up drive and click Turn On. Your files will be incrementally copied to the back-up drive.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Answer Man

Many new computers are coming without DVD drives. How can a user install programs?

The programs can be downloaded and installed or can be installed from a flash drive. You can download a program from Microsoft that will copy an install program to USB. One such program is called Windows 7 DVD to USB.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Time to replace my computer?

Answer Man

How old should a computer be before you consider replacing it with a new one?

That depends upon several factors. If your computer was purchased with at least 1 GB of RAM and has enough disk space for your needs, and you only search the Internet and check e-mail, it may be fine for many years. If you are a serious gamer or video editor, you will need a new computer immediately. Most moderate users will want to trade when their computers have become unbearably slow (usually an indication that there is too little RAM. I have 3 computers. The newest is 4 years old. They all work fine for my needs.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Print won't work with Windows 8

Answer Man

My old laser printer won't work with Windows 8. Is the printer good for anything?

One of our members found that his old printer would work when connected to a Linux Mint machine. If you have an old computer, you could install Mint and connect the printer to it. Then you could share the printer across your network so it would work with your Windows 8 machine.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Flash drive format

Answer Man

I have been using a flash drive for some time. The last time I inserted it in the USB port, the drive appeared with no files. I thought I'd format the drive but when I clicked format a message appeared saying that the drive could not be formatted. Is my drive dead?

Probably not. Try this. Click Start. Type CMD in the search box Find CMD again up above the search box. Right click on CMD and select Run as Administrator. Type Diskpart. Type List Disk. Select the disk that is your flash drive. If your drive is #2, you would type Select Disk 2. Type Clean. Type Create Partition Primary. Type Format fs=fat32quick. Type Exit. Your flash drive should be ready to accept new files.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Program outdated

Answer Man

Several programs that I used with Windows XP don't work in Windows 7 or Windows 8. Is there anything I can do to get around the problem?

If the programs have drivers available, you can download the drivers and the programs should work. If drivers are not available, your only solution is to locate similar programs that work with the later operating systems.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Yahoo Password

Answer Man

Should Yahoo be asking for my password? I already have an account.

Yahoo periodically asks you to enter your password for security purposes, and, recently, many account were compromised. Yahoo had those with compromised accounts change their passwords.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Eliminate password

Answer Man

Is there some way to configure the computer so I don't have to sign in?

Press the Windows key on the keyboard + R. Type control userpasswords2 in the open box and press Enter. Un-check Users must enter a user name and password. Click Apply. Enter your user name and password. Click OK twice.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Watering Hole Attacks

Answer Man

I recently heard about watering hole attacks. What are they?

They are nasty viruses that you acquire by clicking on a link that looks legitimate. Many Yahoo users, who clicked on Yahoo advertisements got a taste of such attacks when hackers infected Yahoo's legitimate ads awhile back. Here's a screen shot of a watering hole virus. Don't click on any link like this. Instead, go to the source (such as Microsoft) to see if there truly is an update. Then download the update from the source.

Alt Text

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Answer Man

I have been hearing about some kind of malware called cryptolocker.  What is it and how does the computer become infected?

The cryptolocker virus normally gets into your computer through fake e-mails. The e-mails are designed to look like delivery notices from UPS, Fedex, DHL or other delivery services. Most users will wonder what is being delivered and therefore open that e-mail. By doing so, they permit hackers to put malicious code in the computer. All of the files become locked. The hacker generally asks for anything from $100 to $2000 to unlock the files. To avoid the problems, don't open suspicious mail and make certain that all of your important files are backed up to a removable drive (external hard drive, DVD or flash drive).

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Send a web page

Answer Man

There was a great page on the Internet that I saved in my favorites. I want to send it as an attachment to a friend but don't know how to send it. Can you help?

You wouldn't send a favorite as an attachment. You send a link to the page you brought up. Here's the procedure: Open the page you want to send to your friend. Hi-light the address of the page that shows up near the top of the screen. You can hi-light by holding down the left mouse button and moving your mouse across the address. Press the CTRL and C keys on the keyboard at the same time. That will copy the address into the clipboard (you won't see it). Start your e-mail. In the body of the e-mail left click and then press CTRL and V to paste the address line in the e-mail. Send the e-mail. When your friend receives the e-mail he just clicks on the link to be taken to the web page in question.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Still using XP?

If you are still using Windows XP on your machine, you may be asking for trouble. Microsoft will end support for the operating system in April. Here is what Kim Komando (nationally syndicated computer expert) had to say about XP:

Simply put, use Windows XP after April 8 and anything you have in the operating system is very vulnerable to malware, viruses, hackers and scammers. Because any security flaws that hackers find won't be fixed, your computer will be a sitting duck.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Answer Man

Where did the Computer Club obtain the member badges? I'm in another club and would like to get some.

The badges were designed using a program called Avery Design Pro Go to the web site and then do a search for Avery Design Pro. The program is free. There is a little bit of a learning curve to use it, but the essentials are: design the badge, create a database of names, preview and print.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Get rid of duplicate files

Answer Man

I copied some files from a back-up and now have hundreds of duplicate photos. Is there an easy way to rid my system of the duplicates?

Download Duplicate file finder from:

It will find all your duplicates and let you delete them.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Buying online

Answer Man

I never bought anything online. Is there some way to ensure that I'm not getting stung by making a poor purchase on the web?

I often look at online reviews. Usually, the most glowing reviews are listed first, so I sort the reviews to see the worst ones first. Then, I look to see if a complaint is repeated many times. Recently, I looked at a 23" monitor that was on sale for a very low price. Several reviews said that the colors were too vivid and that there was no satisfactory way to rectify the problem. That was enough for me to pass on the purchase.

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