How to avoid Adobe Flash Player in Google Chrome

December 23rd, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in Google, software | No Comments »

I was just listening to your computer advice on 2UE’s Trevor Long show and was wondering if you can help with this problem.  I need to download Adobe Flashplayer to read ecards etc but am unable to do so as message comes up saying – You already have Google Chrome installed.  I’m unable to view some content with Google Chrome.  Can you tell me how to install Flashplayer?

The problem is that Adobe tries to install Google Chrome as part of its setup process, as you’ll see from some of the comments on the Adobe site this is not popular with users.

You can over come this by running carefully through the Adobe install wizard and when you encounter the box asking if you want to install Google Chrome, take the tick off the box.

Google chrome as part of the Adobe flash installation

It shouldn’t be necessary to install Flash in Chrome as the program is built into the browser, so it may be worth making sure which plug-in you have running. Google have instructions on how to find and disable chrome plug ins.

Changing Google search settings to another country

December 14th, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in Google, Web | No Comments »

Google have changed their search settings and now I don’t see most Australian pages. How do I fix this problem?

Google’s latest changes have altered the default way the search function works and most people are finding they are getting international results rather than country specific results.

To fix this, run a Google search and when the results appear, click search tools in the bar above the results as shown below and then click The web, which will change the country settings to show pages from your own country.

If you want this change to stick, you may have to log onto Google and make the change before you make your changes.

n be easily changed

System thread exception not handled

November 4th, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware, Windows 8 | No Comments »

I’ve upgraded my computer to Windows 8 and now when the system starts I’m getting a blue screen with the message “System thread exception not handled”. Can I fix this or should I go back to Windows 7?

The system thread exception not handled error in Windows is almost always because of a device driver playing games. In this case something in your computer has software that is not compatible with Windows 8 so it needs to be updated.

Fixing it depends upon whether your can upgrade the driver to a version that works with Windows 8. Of course you first have to figure out what is causing the problem.

In the first instance, try starting the computer with all peripherals unplugged – no external drives, printers, scanners or cameras – of course you’ll still need a keyboard and mouse plugged in.

Should the system still have a Blue Screen Of Death, or BSOD, then you’ll need to start the computer in Safe Mode, if start in safe mode hasn’t been enabled on your version of Windows 8 you’ll have to call a support person or go back to Windows 7.

Once in Safe Mode, you’ll need to navigate to Device Manager through the Settings link on the Charms bar (swipe the right hand side of the screen or move your mouse over to right of the screen). From there you’ll be able to track to Hardware and Sound and then Device Manager.

When you’re in device manager, delete and item with an exclamation mark, for the video change the display adapter settings to Microsoft Basic Display adapter.

Restart your computer and see what still works. You’ll almost certainly be prompted to re-install several drivers and you may need a computer with an Internet connection to download the required software.

When looking for Windows 8 drivers you’ll find many vendors won’t have released them yet. In which case the latest Windows 7 drivers should do the job.

In some cases the System thread exception not handled might require a BIOS update from the computer manufacturer, you should contact them before doing this.

Overall Windows 8 is a very good and stable operating system however upgrading any computer can be fraught with risks and frustrations. Generally if your computer is working fine on Windows 7 then leave it alone.

Laptop turns off after five minutes

August 2nd, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in Buying a computer, Hardware | No Comments »

My laptop turns itself off after five minutes when unplugged from the mains. Is the charger broken or is the battery worn out?

It’s probably the battery as the computer is running for five minutes so it’s getting enough charge to start but little else.

You can check this by looking at the battery icon on the computer, if it shows a lightning bolt across it then the battery is charging.

If it’s not, then you may be able to purchase a replacement charger for under thirty dollars.

Should it be the battery that has failed then its unlikely it can be replaced for a reasonable price, so you have to accept this computer will be have to plugged in until you decide to replace it.

My Hotmail account can’t be accessed

July 11th, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in security | No Comments »

At the time of log in my Hotmail account one message prompting me that “Someone may have used your account to send out a lot of junk messages (or something else that violates the Windows Live Terms of Service). We’re here to help you get your account back”. What do you need to do?

We’ll walk you through a few steps to verify that you own the account, then have you change your password in case someone else has been accessing your account. It should only take a few minutes and then you’ll be unblocked and on your way. Then I follow the first step and it shows that they have send a code to my yahoo id but there is no such code received in my yahoo id. How can i get access to my hotmail account now ?

You’ll need to follow Microsoft’s instructions on recovering your accounts. Unfortunately if you’ve been totally hacked, you’ll find the reply emails and SMS settings won’t work.

Note:It is worth checking your Yahoo! mail spam folder just in case the Hotmail reset message is going there.

If that has happened, Microsoft do have a step in their wizard for a follow up, but many people find they wait a long time for assistance.

The best thing to do if you can’t get any email or text message reset details is to write off the Hotmail account and set up a new one, either with – the successor to Hotmail – or with GMail or Yahoo! Mail.

When you do set up a new account, make sure you let everyone know your account has been changed and they should disregard any messages from that account. You may also want to change the passwords on any other services where you’ve used the same login details.

Checking for the DNS Changer Trojan

July 8th, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in security, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP | 2 Comments »

On Monday, thousands of computers around the world will be cut off the web as the servers behind the DNS Changer Trojan Horse are shut down.

What is the DNS Changer Trojan?

The DNS Changer did exactly what the name says – it changed a computer’s Domain Name Service (DNS) settings so that all web traffic went through servers belonging to the virus writers.

Eventually the writers were caught and the computers were seized, in order to avoid disruption the servers were left running but they will be shut down on Monday.

On Monday, those computers still infected won’t be able to surf the net until the problem is fixed.

How Do I Know I’m infected?

As part of the Shutdown, the DNS Changer working group was set up. On their site they have a  detection tool website that will tell you if your computer is infected.

How can I fix the problem?

The easiest fix is with the Microsoft Malware Scanner which will check your computer for the DNS Changer virus along with other malware. If the scanner detects a problem it will remove the virus. IT Queries also have instructions on Removing A Trojan.

To prevent further infections, it’s necessary to install an up to date anti virus. A good free one is the Microsoft Security essentials tool.

The DNS Changer Trojan was very effective malware and it illustrates why computer users need to be careful of where they go on the mean streets of the Internet.

Strange calls about Windows problems from Microsoft Technical Support

June 28th, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in security, Windows XP | No Comments »

I have Windows XP installed, including “Defender” and Trend Micro 2012 internet security.

I am getting frequent phone calls from the “Windows Technical Support” offering me online help to fix the “very many security issues on my PC” by remotely accessing my computer and for a fee guaranteeing to keep it clean of all malware, spyware,etc etc.

Are they for real or have I been scammed by talking to them and running their “scan” which showed “1000′s of problems”. Meanwhile my com[puter seems to be running normally. Grateful for your advice. Many thanks, Tom

Hi Tom,

Unfortunately these calls are scams. If you’ve been taken in by one, contract your credit card provider to have any charges reversed and change all your important passwords and other logins.

It would also be a good idea to follow our Removing a Trojan instructions to make sure nothing untoward has been installed on your system.

You may also want to remove Trend Micro and install the free Windows Security Essentials on your system.

Moving data to Windows 7 from XP

June 11th, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in Buying a computer, Windows 7, Windows XP | No Comments »

I have Windows XP, Outlook for emails and buying a new PC with Windows 7. Have you instructions to save emails address’s in outlook to transfer to new PC with Windows 7 and Outlook…?

Probably the easiest way to do this is to use the Easy Transfer Wizard for Windows 7. This copies all the user setting from Windows XP into Windows 7.

You’ll have to download the Easy Transfer Wizard software from Microsoft and install it on your Windows XP machine. Then connect a USB hard drive – buy a new one if you haven’t already one for backup – and run the wizard. Tell it to save the files to the external USB drive.

Once the Easy Transfer Wizard is complete, connect the external drive to the new Windows 7 computer and run the Transfer Wizard. Microsoft have instructions how to run the Wizard on Windows 7.

Remember you’ll need a copy of Microsoft Office on your new computer so you can run those Outlook files. Make sure you’ve installed Outlook and run all the Windows 7 and Microsoft Office updates before running the file transfer wizard.

How to free up space on a Presario

March 22nd, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware | No Comments »

I have a problem with an error message telling me that I am running out of space on Presario (D). The message keeps appearing several times in the one sitting no matter what I do. Can you tell me how I can solve this very, very irritating problem. I am using Vista.

A full hard drive on your computer can be very irritating. There’s a few things you can do to free up space which we’ve covered in the Speeding Up A Computer post.

The CCleaner tool is really good for tidying up the hard drive so we’d recommend running that. Just make sure you’ve backed up any data first.

You may find your hard drive is simply full and there’s not much more you can do with the existing one.

It is possible to upgrade to a bigger drive but given the cost of computers and the labour involved in moving data to the new disk often make it cheaper to buy a new system so it’s worthwhile checking your options.

What memory should I use?

January 31st, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware | No Comments »

I wish to upgrade the RAM in my Dell Dimension 3000 from 2x512MB to 2x1GB.  The current ram is DDR400.  I have used the memory scanner and it recommends DDR333. Which one should I use?

While the Crucial website tool is useful, it’s best to keep all your computer’s memory slots consistent. Sometimes motherboards don’t like mixing different types.

In your case, you’re looking at swapping out all the memory and given Dell installed DDR400 memory to start with, it’s probably safer to stick with it.

Play it safe and go with the DDR400.