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NOTE: EACH QUESTION IS FORMATTED LIKE THIS:

Question

Symptoms of problem (where applicable)

Answer to question

Steps to perform answer (where applicable)
        NOTE: Windows® logo shows which version the steps apply to. There may be different steps for different versions of Windows®. General questions don't have logo.

Internet and email

  1. My file attachments in my emails no longer show up and I get a message stating that they have been removed. What do I do?
  2. I'm concerned with keeping my information protected while on the internet. What threats should I worry about and what can I do to protect myself?
  3. I've heard of viruses but what is Malware? Ad ware? Spy ware?
  4. Why does my computer try to dial the internet when I turn it on? How can I stop it?
  5. How do I backup my Outlook Express email? Outlook express address book?
  6. How do I backup my favorites menu in Internet Explorer?
  7. How can I stop the pop-up windows that appear when I'm on the internet?

CD Burning

  1. I just got a CD burner, what is the difference between CD-R and CD-RW discs?
  2. When making a CD on a CD burner, is there a way to leave it open so you can add more data to the CD later, or do I have to close the CD each time?

General Computer Questions

  1. I have too many program files running on my computer when it boots up. How do I disable those files safely?
  2. My computer is running slower lately, what can I do to speed it up?
    I have a new USB printer (scanner, camera, etc.) that Windows® does not see, what can I do?
  3. Why do I have windows popping up when I'm not on the internet?
  4. Should I shut down my computer when not using it or leave it on all the time?

General Windows® Usage Questions

  1. How do I uninstall programs on my computer that are not being used?
  2. What maintenance things should I do to keep my pc in tip top shape?
  3. I have a piece of software/hardware that will not work right after installing, what can I do?

 

I have too many program files running on my computer when it boots up. How do I disable those files safely?

Symptoms: Slow pc performance. Slow boot up.

Answer: Disable startup programs that you do not use. Startup programs appear in the systray (the box with the clock), as well as run in the background sight unseen.

Win Logo In Windows®, startup files can be disabled safety using the system configuration utility. Click here for instructions.

My computer is running slower lately, what can I do to speed it up?

A. There are multiple reasons for a computer running slow. First check the system resources to see if you need more hard drive space or more RAM. Second, shut down any programs that run all of the time in the background, that you don't need. Third, perform normal computer maintenance. There are more possibilities for the cause of a slow computer, but these are the most common.

Win Logo Check system properties for your amount of RAM. Windows® 98 and ME should have at least 64MB. Windows® 2000, XP Home, and XP Pro should have at least 128MB. 256MB should suffice as a maximum for the average computer user. Click here for instructions on looking this up.


I have a new USB printer (scanner, camera, etc.) that Windows® does not see, what can I do?

A. If you don't think Windows® "sees" the device, unplug the USB cable, confirm that the device will power on, then reconnect the cable. As you connect the USB cable listen to Windows® and watch the screen. You are looking for some kind of reaction, a sound, a new window, or a "new hardware found message". This will tell you if you even have a physical connection to the computer that the software can use.

Most manufacturers prefer to install the devices software first before connecting the device. If you have connected your device before installing the software and it is not working, disconnect the device, uninstall the software, restart your computer, install the software, then connect your device.

Your last option, before contacting technical support for your product, is to confirm that the USB driver loaded. Every USB device has a device driver and a printer driver (a driver is a translator between the software and your device). Your USB drivers are usually listed in the device manager of your operating system. Look for your device there to see if the drivers loaded or not. If you have an "unknown device" it is likely that it is the USB device's USB driver.

Checking Device Manager

Win Logo  Right click on My Computer, choose properties, click the device manager tab.

Click start (in XP only). Right click on My Computer, choose properties. Click the hardware tab. Click the device manager button.

Installing the unknown device

In Device Manager, right click on the unknown device and choose properties. Insert you product's CD into the computer. On the driver tab of the device properties, choose reinstall driver. Go through this wizard, depending on the version of Windows® it may find the files automatically or you may have to point it at the CD drive. The device should be installed correctly once this wizard completes successfully.

What maintenance things should I do to keep my pc in tip top shape?

A. For all Windows® computers, BH PC recommends performing scan disk, disk defragmenter, Windows® update, and antivirus updates regularly.

Win Logo  Click here for steps.

My file attachments in my emails no longer show up and I get a message stating that they have been removed. What do I do?

S: Outlook attachments won't open

Error: OE removed access to these unsafe files
or
Attachments appear grayed out when you try to select them.

A: The most recent versions of Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express contain a feature intended to give you the option of selecting NOT to allow attachments to be opened that could potentially be a virus. This feature is enabled by default in recent updates. These settings make your attachments "disappear". If you are running up to date antivirus software then you should be protected from such file attachments.

Win Logo   In MS Outlook Express

1. Open Outlook Express and select Tools (top) and then Options.

2. On the next screen, click the Security Tab and removing the check mark in the box next to "Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus".

3. Click Apply and OK.

Win LogoIn MS Outlook

The solution is not as easy. The easiest and safest way is to buy the shareware fix here. It is widely used.

A second alternative is to reinstall Outlook. This solution will only work with Outlook 2000, and Outlook 2002 (XP).

The third alternative is to edit your registry. If you don't understand, then don't do it. This solution can be found by searching www.google.com for "outlook attachment".

I just got a CD burner, what is the difference between CD-R and CD-RW discs?

A. CD-R discs a once write discs. The area on the disc can only be burned to once. It can not be erased and re-written. CD-R discs are compatible with CD players and should be used to store music or to make exact copies of existing CDs.

CD-RW discs are re-writ able discs. They can be burn hundreds of times. If a CD-RW has data on a portion of the disc you must erase the disc to re-write to it again, just like a floppy disc. CD-RW discs are NOT compatible with CD players. Primarily CD-RW discs are used for data backup or for temporary file storage in place of a floppy disc.

When making a CD on a CD burner, is there a way to leave it open so you can add more data to the CD later, or do I have to close the CD each time?

A. The basic answer is yes, you can make a CD in such a way that you can add more data to it later. You may have heard people refer to CD-RW discs as multi session CDs. Well, you can still burn multiple sessions to CD-Rs; you just can't erase them later. With most CD burns, you have the choice to finalize the CD or close the session. You want to choose to close the session. This will make a table of contents on the CD so that you can read it on a PC, but it will leave the CD open to adding another session later. I suggest that you read your instructions on your CD burner software on creating a multi session CD, as you sometimes need to check a certain option to import a previous session. Otherwise, when your computer makes the new table of contents for the new session it will not include a reference for your previous session and table of contents. I will warn you that some older CD- ROM drives have trouble with multi session CDs, but that number shrinks more and more each day.

How do I uninstall programs on my computer that are not being used?

A. First, look for an uninstall program for the application. This is usually found in the application's folder found in the programs list in the start button menu. Click here for an example.
     If that option is not available open add/remove programs, found in your control panel. Find the application in this list, choose it, and click add/remove.
NOTE: DURING THE UNINSTALL PROCESS IF YOU ARE PROMPTED TO REMOVE SHARED FILES, CHOOSE NO TO ALL.

Win LogoClick here for visual instructions.

 

I'm concerned with keeping my information protected while on the internet. What threats should I worry about and what can I do to protect myself?

A: Viruses, Hackers, Malware (Spy ware and Ad Ware)

Viruses: Install, update, and scan your computer with an Antivirus program. BH PC recommends and sells Norton Antivirus®. See the downloads section for more information.

Hackers: Definition: People who gain access to your computer through one of 65,000 virtual ports on your computer while you are on the internet, with the intention of conroling your computer or accessing the files stored on it.
     Protect yourself using a firewall on your internet connection. For most homes a software firewall is adequate. Firewalls are always recommended but dial up users are practically protected without one since their "identity" changes everytime they dial up their provider. For DSL and cable users a firewall should be mandatory. Firewalls block incoming traffic that you don't See the downloads section for more information.

Malware: See here.

I've heard of viruses but what is Malware? Ad ware? Spy ware?

S: Windows popping up, without your input, that refer you to websites and other advertising...products, porn, etc.

A: Malware is the generic term for Spy Ware and Ad Ware. Spy ware & Ad ware are files that are installed on your computer that secretly gathering your personal information, passwords, document information, etc. and relay it to advertisers, third parties or other interested parties without your authorization or knowledge.
     Spy ware & Ad ware uses your Internet connection in the background (the so-called 'backchannel') without your knowledge or explicit permission.
      Spy ware & Ad ware allow companies to monitor your Internet browsing patterns and even allow companies to SPAM you with those annoying "pop up" ads and emails.

Install, update, and use a Spy ware/Ad ware protection program. I use two such programs. Click here for more information. They function like Antivirus programs, update the definitions, scan the computer, remove the threat.

Why does my computer try to dial the internet when I turn it on? How can I stop it?

A: The computer is dialing out because a running application is asking for internet access. Often this is an application that interfaces with the internet often, such as a digital accounting program or spy ware/ad ware.
     To stop it you need to change a setting in the application, or disable the application. You can disable your start up programs one by one and restart the computer to find the application that is doing the dial up request. Once found you can uninstall it or leave the start up option unchecked. Click here for instructions on disabling start up programs.

To workaround the auto dial up, do this:

Click Start and then click on the Control Panel.
Change the Control Panel to Classic View, option on the left side of the window.
Open the Network Connections applet in the Control Panel.
In the Network Connections window, click on the Advanced menu and click the Dial-up Preferences command.
In the Dial-up Preferences dialog box, click on the Auto dial tab. Remove the checkmark from your current location (typically listed as "My Location").
Click OK.
Restart your computer after making the changes.

How do I backup my Outlook Express email? Outlook express address book?

A: Outlook Express folder files have an extension of .dbx. Do a search on *.dbx and backup all of the folders that these files are found in. The address book ends in .wab. Perform the same steps as for the email files.

How do I backup my favorites menu in Internet Explorer?

A: Search for the Favorites folder and back it up.

How can I stop the pop-up windows that appear when I'm on the internet?

A: You will need a third party program to perform that function. See our downloads section for recommendations.