Monday, August 31, 2015

Two hard drives

Answer Man

My desktop computer is two years old. It has two hard drives. One drive has quit. Can I just take out the malfunctioning drive?

You can remove that drive, but if the other drive does not contain the operating system, the computer will not boot (start up). You need to have a copy of the operating system on disk or on a flash drive.

Insert the disk or flash drive and re-boot the computer. When the computer starts to boot, you will see a command flash on the screen. It will say something like, Press ESC to enter boot sequence. Press the proper key and follow the directions on the screen to have the DVD drive or flash drive boot first. Save the setting, and exit. The computer will re-boot and will begin to install the operating system on the remaining drive.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Windows 10 install via update

Answer Man

I tried to update my Windows 7 computer to Windows 10 by reserving a copy from the little icon on the taskbar. The computer ran for hours and never did install 10. What gives?

You are not the first person to tell me that. One member of our club let her computer run for a week, but 10 would not install. I suggest that users use the media creation tool rather than the upgrade process.

I know that I have mentioned the media creation tool in several posts, but I think that you will find that the tool is very easy to use, and everyone I know who has used the tool has had success in installing Windows 10.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Burning ISO files to flash

Answer Man

You have often mentioned a DVD/flash drive burner that you like. Would you repeat the name?

I think you are referring to burnaware.

While I still like that program, here is another ISO burner that I now prefer. It's called Rufus Rufus is very easy to use, and you can burn ISOs representing all of the popular operating systems.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Media creation tool

Answer Man

During the last club meeting, you mentioned a tool a person could use to download Windows 10. Would you please let me know where I can find the tool.

Here's the link. Be certain you choose the correct version. Most Windows 7 machines are 64 bit machines. XP and Vista are 32 bit machines.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Is there a way to reset my password for Windows?

Answer Man

I forgot my Windows login password. Is there any way to gain access to the computer?

Perhaps the easiest way is to use another computer to reset the password. Navigate to:
Click on Reset your password and follow the directions.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I lied about my age and can't recover my password

Answer Man

I installed Windows 10 and established a Microsoft account. I don't like telling my age, so I wrote that I was born in 1990 (I'm 82 yrs. old). I lost the password to the account. When I try to recover the password, they ask when I was born. What year do I put in?

You will have to tell another lie and tell them you were born in 1990 since that is the year in the Microsoft database. Remember what Walter Scott said, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive".

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Media creation tool

Answer Man

I have Windows 7, and had reserved Windows 10. When I tried to upgrade to Windows 10, the computer ran overnight and still couldn't install 10. Am I doing something wrong?

Unfortunately, your computer must need tons of updates to get to the point where 10 can install. I suggest that you instead navigate to:

Download the media creation tool (you probably need the 64 bit version), and follow the install instructions. The entire process may take 4 or more hours.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Microsoft account password

Answer Man

Microsoft forces the user to sign in with a Microsoft account when using Cortana, and a minimum 8 character sign is mandatory. Can't I sign in with a simpler password?

You can login with a local account in which you can use a shorter password or no password, but you will not be able to use Cortana and may be restricted from using the Microsoft store.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

What is Sway?

Answer Man

I have heard people talking about a free Windows 10 app called Sway. What is it, and what do you do with the program?

Sway is a type of presentation program that is similar to Powerpoint and Libreoffice Impress. The program is very easy to use, and has a lot of capabilities. To get Sway, click on the Windows Store icon and do a search for Sway. Click to download the program. The download is quick. After Sway is downloaded, it will appear in the list of apps on the left of your screen.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Windows 10 opinion

Answer Man

Now that Windows 10 has been out for awhile, is it time to upgrade?

If you haven't upgraded yet, I would do so. I have the new operating system running on 5 computers. I had no problem with the upgrade, and I think the operating system is better than all previous Microsoft operating systems.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Computer reverts to login screen

Answer Man

I have been trying to download Windows 10, but every so often the computer reverts to the lock screen and I have to enter my password each time, and that stops the download. What's wrong?

There could be many causes, but I suggest that you go the control panel and then to appearance and personalization. Click screen saver. If there's a check in the box that says "on resume display login screen" uncheck it. If that doesn't fix the problem, change the power settings to the never setting.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Create a recovery drive

Answer Man

I installed Windows 10, but now I am concerned. What do I do if the system crashes? I don't have Windows 10 disks. Am I out of luck?

The secret is to create a recovery drive. The best way to do it is to use a flash drive. The drive must be 8 GB or larger. Fortunately, such drives are cheap. I just saw 16 GB drives on sale for $4.99 each.

Insert a blank drive in a USB port. Type 'recovery drive' in the Windows 10 search box or ask Cortana, "Hey Cortana, open recovery drive". Then, just follow the directions on the screen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Search bar missing

Answer Man

I upgraded to Windows 10 and now I can't find the search box. Can you tell me where to find it?

You should see a small white circle on the taskbar. When you click on the circle, the search box will open. If you right click on the taskbar and click properties, you will see a screen that includes a check box for "use small taskbar buttons". If you uncheck that box, the search box will appear without you having to click the Cortana circle.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Windows 10 won't install

Answer Man

I tried to install Windows 10 on my Windows 8.1 machine by using the media creation tool that I downloaded from Microsoft. The install went almost all the way through, but the screen turned black and the computer froze. When I restarted the computer it reverted back to Windows 8.1. What am I doing wrong?

If your Windows 8.1 computer doesn't have all the latest updates, Windows 10 will have problems during the install. Type Windows Update on the start screen and then click update. After all the updates install, you should be able to use the media creation tool to correctly install 10.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Belarc Advisor giving wrong information

Answer Man

I updated my Windows 8.1 computer to Windows 10. I ran Belarc Advisor to find the new product code for Windows, but it showed the previous product code. What's happening?

For some reason, Belarc doesn't seem to update to the new version, and you are seeing the old product code. Uninstall Belarc and download the new version. It will show Windows 10 and the new product code.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Reopen closed tabs in Chrome

Answer Man

I use the Google Chrome Browser. I often have several tabs open at the same time. Sometimes I forget to close an individual tab and close them all at once. When I do that, is there any way to open those closed tabs?

There sure is. Right click on any tab and click Reopen closed tab.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Costco free technical support

Answer Man

I heard that Costco has free technical support for TVs, computers and more items. Do you know if that is true?

It's true, they do have such a service but it isn't quite free. After all, a basic membership in Costco is currently $55. However, if you are already a member, it's a terrific deal, and even if you have to join, it's a very good deal. Where can you get year long technical support for $55?

The service is called Costco Concierge Services. You can contact the service by calling 866-861-0450.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Board Minutes For August

Oak Run Computer Club – Executive Board Minutes
August 14, 2015

Alan Marcus, President, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM. Members in attendance: Richard Bambridge, Laurence Bauer, Bill Cahill, Ron Kenyon, Bob Leiner, Alan Marcus, Bob Norton, and Carol Norton.

Secretary’s report read by Carol Norton. No corrections or additions necessary.

Bob Norton gave the treasurer’s report. The current balance is $2,079.90.

Bill Cahill was introduced to the ORCC members. Bill will be assisting with tasks at the monthly general meeting.

Discussion ensued regarding adding more time to the Virgin Hotspot that the club purchased to eliminate the need of members having to bring in their modems for Internet access. It was decided to continue the use of minutes available with Ron Kenyon to bring in his modem as backup.

There was brief discussion regarding implementing an exploratory committee for obtaining a slate of officers for next year.

Upcoming Presentations:
August 19 – Freedom Library presentation

September 16 – Anthony, from Abba Computers will be given a list of topics including data recovery and the 10 most common issues ABBA sees and what users can do to minimize them

October 21 – Windows 10 by Don Zenn, Manager of Staples

November 18 – (Tentative) Smartphones by the Geek Squad

December 16 – Holiday party
Meeting adjourned at 9:40AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Carol H. Norton, Secretary

Does the choice of CPU make much difference?

Answer Man

I am about to purchase a new computer, but I find the choice of processors very confusing. How do I know that what I am getting is worthwhile?

I suggest that you look at the following chart. You will see that you have indeed chosen a complex subject. I suggest that you choose a processor from the chart that has good performance at an acceptable price.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How can I unclutter my desktop?

Answer Man

I use Windows 8.1. My computer desktop shows dozens of icons. Sometimes I have difficulty finding what I want. Can you suggest a better way to get organized?

I would right click on each program icon and select Pin to Start. That will create start menu tiles. The tiles can be dragged into a location of your choice and can be labelled by groups (such as games, browsers, utilities). Then right click on each desktop icon and click on delete. Your desktop will be almost void of icons and you will be able to view the tile groups in alphabetical order on the start menu.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Windows 10 updates

Answer Man

I have heard that updates in Windows 10 are mandatory, and that there is no way to turn them off. Can that possibly be true?

I'm afraid it is. I guess Microsoft wants to leave nothing to chance. Many reviewers think Microsoft is making a mistake because if an update is faulty, it may crash your computer. Some think that the company will reverse their stance on this issue. We'll have to wait and see.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Use a flash drive for back-up

Answer Man

I know that I should make regular back-ups, but I don't want to spend a lot of money for an external hard drive. Flash drives are inexpensive. Can you tell me how to back up to a flash drive?

You are correct. Flash drives have come way down in price. I just purchased a pair of 32GB USB-3 drives for $19. To use one, insert it into a USB port. A pop-up may appear on the screen, and you can click where it says open files. The drive should show no files. Then, you can copy and paste files or photos into the blank space. If the pop-up doesn't appear, navigate to Computer or This PC (on newer machines), and find the flash drive. The listing might have the name of the drive, such as Lexar or Sandisk. Click on that listing to see the blank space where you can copy and paste. Look up directions for copying and pasting in the labels section of this blog.

Monday, August 10, 2015

How safe is buying things on the Internet?

Answer Man

I have never purchased anything on the Internet, but lots of my friends buy on the Internet and save lots of money. What is your opinion on buying things that way?

You're wise to be leery, but, if you use common sense, you should be reasonably safe. I have bought and sold thousands of dollars worth of merchandise without any difficulty. I sold an expensive RV on e-bay, purchased home lighting, cabinet handles, a tuxedo, a TV, artwork, computer parts and supplies and much more, and have never encountered a problem. The secret is to choose reputable sites, I'd be leery of sites that have no physical address or phone contact information listed. Read the fine print to see if items are listed "as is". If so, stay away.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Will browsers conflict with each other?

Answer Man

I have been using the Internet Explorer browser to access the Internet. A friend said that he has IE but also uses the Chrome browser. Won't having more than one browser cause problems?

Browsers do not interfere with each other, and you can have as many as you like on your computer. The computer on which I am writing this answer has IE, Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi and Mozilla Firefox. Why so many? Each browser can be set to open with a different start page. One can open Yahoo mail. One can open Google. Another can open with my banking home page, etc.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Can I keep using Windows XP

Answer Man

I know that Microsoft ended support for Windows XP back in April of 2014, but I understand the US Navy is still using XP. Why can't I use it?

You can, but you may be asking for big trouble. You see the Navy has a special agreement with Microsoft whereby Microsoft is supplying security software to the Navy. Individuals don't have such an agreement and therefore are wide open to viruses and malware. If you don't want to pay for a new operating system, I suggest you install Linux Mint in your old XP machine.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Tips when paying with PayPal

Answer Man

I am thinking of selling an item on eBay. I understand that the easiest way to have someone pay me is to set up a PayPal account. Have you any tips on using PayPal to ship the item?

Well, PayPal doesn't really ship the item, but they will print the shipping label for you, print a packing slip and schedule a USPS pickup of the item. Thus, you don't have to go to the Post Office to mail the item. All you need to know is the dimensions of the package and the weight in order to print the label.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Microsoft Issues First Hefty Windows 10 Update

Yesterday Microsoft delivered the first large-sized update for Windows 10,
a "servicing update" that weighed in at around a third of a gigabyte.

The update, labeled KB3081424 in Microsoft's identifying scheme, has been pushed not only to Windows Insiders -- those who opted in to the firm's preview program -- but also to everyone who has upgraded to the new OS since its launch last week.

KB3081424 was billed as a non-security update: In other words, it did not include patches for vulnerabilities. "This update includes ... changes to enhance the functionality of Windows 10 through new features and improvements," the supporting support document read, using Microsoft's boilerplate for its bug-fix and feature-change updates.

The update was the largest post-launch by far. According to its manifest, the 64-bit version ran approximately 325MB, while the 32-bit version tipped the virtual scale at around 160MB.

Because the update was a cumulative roll-up, meaning it contained repeats of individual fixes or smaller collections issued previously, not everyone will have to download the full package. "If you have installed previous updates, only the new fixes that are contained in this package will be downloaded and installed to your computer," Microsoft said.

Other than that terse commentary and a long list of files to be overwritten or added by the update, the document included no other information about the update's contents. That's become standard practice at Redmond, which has made updates a series of increasingly-mysterious black boxes.

Some have started to complain. (continued)

Read the rest of the story > HERE.


What to look for in a laser printer

Answer Man

I want to purchase a laser printer, but I don't know what specifications are important. Can you help me out?

A basic laser printer can be purchased during a sale for just under $65. If you don't need a scanner, wireless capability and an automatic document feeder, the sale printer should be fine. I think that one of the most important features is the capacity of the input tray. Some printers will hold half a ream of paper. If the tray holds much less, you will spend lots of time re-loading paper. Most inexpensive printers have difficulty printing envelopes (you have to feed the envelopes in the back and thus have to pull the printer forward to feed in the envelopes). If you don't need wireless and the document feeder, go with an inexpensive laser.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Windows 10 FAQ

You can also view the FAQ web page using this link:

Please wait a moment for the embedded web page to load.

Drag the scroll bar down to see all questions.

How do I use my TV as a monitor?

Answer Man

I have a 70" TV and would like to use it as my laptop computer monitor. Is that possible?

It is. The easiest way is to connect the computer's HDMI port to an open HDMI port on the TV. Then you much change the Input source on the TV to PC. Then, whatever is on the computer will appear on the TV. If your computer is older, you can connect to the TV with a VGA cable and a separate audio cable. Remember to switch the Input back to where it was if you wish to watch TV.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Avoid making genealogical notes

Answer Man programs are too expensive for me, so I often go to Freedom Library to use Ancestry. The big difficulty I encounter is trying to write down all the info I find in the time allotted on the computer. A friend said there is a way to send the info to my home computer. Is that correct?

Indeed it is. The results of various searches can be sent to your home computer. If you don't see the link on the Ancestry site, contact the reference librarian for help. I have used the service many times. It is fantastic.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Replacement for XP

Answer Man

I know that the XP operating system is no longer supported, but my old XP machine works well, and I don't want to get rid of it. Is there a free operating system that would work well in my old machine?

I am a great fan of Linux Mint. The program should be easy to use for anyone coming from a Window's environment. The latest version is 17.2. I would try that first. If it won't run in your machine, try Mint 13, and if that won't run try Mint 10. All of these are available at:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Where can I get a good scanner program?

Answer Man

My computer crashed and I can't find the scanner program disks to reload the scanning program into my computer. Can you suggest an alternative program that I can get for free?

Most Windows operating systems include the program "Windows fax and scan". Turn on your printer. Then navigate to the computer search box and type 'Windows fax and scan' then press Enter. The program should start. The directions are easy to follow.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Are toner refills any good?

Answer Man

I have a laser printer. The large capacity toner cartridges cost $65. I see many refill sites selling the cartridges for much less. Are such cartridges any good, and can I save much by using them?

I have been using a laser printer for many years. I pay $14 for a cartridge that will print 2700 pages. The cartridges have never malfunctioned.

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