How do I stop my computer screensaver starting too quickly?

November 25th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

My computer goes back to screensaver as soon as hand off mouse within 5 seconds and need at least 1 hour before it goes back. Where do I change this setting please?

The screensaver times are controlled by the display feature settings in Windows. Go to the Control Panel, select Display and you can change the time out settings there.

On some laptops there may be differing power schemes depending on whether the system is plugged in or running on batteries, these profiles may have to be changed in the Power settings.

If you are using an Apple Mac the screensaver settings are found in the Desktop and Screensaver preferences where you can change the times to suit your needs.

wiping data from a Mac computer

September 12th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, security No Comments »

I’m getting rid of an old Apple Mac system, how do I make sure no-one can read my private information on it?

The most valuable thing on a computer is the data, so it’s important to wipe any system before disposing of it.

If you have an OS X or OS 9 system disk, you can completely wipe and “zero” the disk to make it extremely difficult for someone to recover any data from the old computer. Apple have detailed instructions on this at their How To Zero All Data On A Disk page.

Warning! Before following Apple’s instructions, make sure you have backed up all important and valuable data.

Removing MacKeeper alerts

September 12th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, security, software No Comments »

Warnings keep popping up on my computer screen saying my system may need cleaning up. How do I get rid of these messages?

These messages are known as  malware – software designed for malicious reasons – which has been the bane of Windows computer users for years and unfortunately this curse has spread to the world of Apple computers with MacKeeper, and other variants like MacProtector and MacSecurity, appearing on people’s Macs.

In almost every case, these warnings are a scam and the programs don’t actually do anything once you’ve purchased them. So we’d recommend getting rid of the messages.

Removing Mackeeper is relatively easy and Apple has released a security patch to fix it on OSX systems. Details and download are available at the Apple Support website.

How do I transfer email contacts to my iPad or iPhone

August 8th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, email, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

How do I import contacts from Mozilla Thunderbird email program into my iPad?

The process for importing contacts from any email or contact management program into an iPad, iPhone or iPod is a three step process.

First, export the  contacts from the older program into a Comma Separated Values file, in Thunderbird click Tools, Export and choose to save the exported file into a location you’ll remember. Make sure to choose the File Type as Comma Separated Value (CSV)

Then, open iTunes and select Info. In Windows tick Sync Contacts and choose Windows Address Book. On Apple systems choose Info and tick Sync Contacts.

For Apple Systems, open the Address Book application and select File, then Import and import the CSV file.

On Windows Systems open the Windows Address Book by clicking Start then Run and typing either wab (Windows XP and earlier) or clicking the Windows Orb and typing Address Book into the find box.

Once in the Windows Address Book, click File, then Import and select Other Address Book, then choose Text file (Comma Separated Values) and import the CSV file you previously saved.

Having imported the contacts, synch the iPad, iPhone or iPad and the contacts should be imported.

The iPad forums and Apple’s support website have more detailed information on how to transfer data between the applications and devices.

Strange error message when I open an Internet site

December 17th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, Internet, Internet Explorer, Spyware, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

Everytime I open an internet site I get a box with the following dialogue:

Line 11
Char 56
Error Object does not support this properly or method
Code  0
URL   http/
sourceid = navclient&ie=UTF


I use a Toshiba Satellite laptop and have Windows 7.

The problem is in the start page of your web browser. For some reason it’s trying to open a Google search page, although the part of the link that reads navclient indicates it may have something to do with Norton Antivirus.
Changing the browser start page is relatively easy, here’s the instructions for changing the three most popular browsers;
Internet Explorer
In Microsoft IE, open the browser, click the Tools menu, choose Internet Options and under the General tab you’ll find a box named Home Page. Delete anything in that box, click OK and Apply.
Mozilla Firefox
For Firefox, click the Tools menu, select Options and in the General section click the Restore to Default button. Click OK and Apply.
Google Chrome
Unlike the other two browsers, Chrome doesn’t have a menu bar so click the wrench (spanner) icon in the top right hand corner. Select Options and in the Basics tab click the Open the home page radio button in the On Startup section. Click Close.
That should clear the problem however it could be a Norton Anti Virus setting is causing this, if you are no longer using the program we’d recommend removing Norton as we discuss in Norton Antivirus will not uninstall.
Page hijacking, which is what this problem is sometimes called, is also a common problem when you have a malware, or virus, infection. We’d also recommend checking your computer for Trojans.

iPod has been detected but cannot be identified properly

December 16th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple 2 Comments »

When I connect my iPod the error message I receive is “an iPod has been detected but cannot be identified properly, please disconnect and re connect it”

The first thing to try is to reset your iPod. Open Settings, then General and scroll to the bottom of the list and select Reset.

In the Reset screen select Reset All Settings, confirm you want to reset and then restart the iPod.

If this doesn’t work, it could be another device connected to the computer that is hogging all the power. Try disconnecting all USB devices except for the iPod, restart the computer and see if it works once you restart.

How do I turn on the Find My iPhone service?

December 2nd, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, mobile phone No Comments »

I read that Apple have a free service to track your iPhone if it gets stolen. How do I get this on my phone?

The Find My iPhone service is part of Apple’s Mobile Me suite and it is free if you have an iPad or an iPhone 4.

You can turn on the built in service by opening the iPhone’s settings, slide down to Mail, Contacts, Calendars then select Add Account

In the Add Account screen select MobileMe and enter your Apple ID and password. If you have an account with the iTunes Store use that ID and password, otherwise create a new account.

Once in the Mobile Me screen, you may be asked to verify your account once and then you’ll be able to turn the Mobile Me account on by sliding across to On the Find My iPhone settings.

Finally you may be asked if you grant Find My iPhone permission to show the phone’s location on a map, select Allow and the iPhone is now being tracked.

How do I set an iPhone access code?

December 1st, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, mobile phone, security No Comments »

I have an iPhone and I want to set a lock on it so only I can use it. How do I set this up?

Apple call this the passcode and to set it up you need to go into Settings, General and Passcode Lock

Once in the Passcode Lock settings your can turn the feature on and set your code as well as choose how long the phone should wait before locking itself again.

Some of the advanced features on the iPhone passcode lock include telling the phone to wipe your data after ten unsuccessful access attempts (not recommended if you have kids) and to set up a complex passcode consisting of a proper password rather than a four digit number.

The latter isn’t a bad idea but can be cumbersome if you want to use the phone in a hurry.

All of these features also work on the iPad and iPod too.

Removing Smart Engine

November 2nd, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, Internet, Spyware, Virus, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

An anti-virus program called Smart Engine has been installed on my pc

I have sent 3 e-mails to them find how to remove it – the 3rd answer gave a link to an uninstall file however Windows Defender says the file is infectected with the Win32/FileVimes trojan & will not allow me to download the full file – smart Engine advised me to turn off Windows Defender to allow the uninstall file to be installed – this does not sound like a good idea to me

Can you please give me any advise on how to remove this program?

It’s not worth calling Smart Engine an anti-virus. It’s actually a scam that claims you’re infected with all manner of viruses and asks you to pay them to remove the non-existent malware. If anything, it’s more likely to be adding viruses than removing them.

The best way to deal with this program is to download Malware Bytes and follow the instructions in our Removing a Trojan post. This will clean it off.

Before doing it, it’s worthwhile backing up important data just in case something serious goes wrong.

How do I free up space on a USB drive?

October 16th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

I use an 8GB Lexar USB drive to transfer downloaded shows from my Mac Mini to my HDD.

The problem is that when the USB is inserted in the computer and I delete some or all items from it, the info shows that the number of bytes available does not alter and I am unable to add any items.

I have deleted all the downloads from the USB, so it should be blank, but it does not acknowledge this and reports that “the item cannot be copied because their is not enough free space”. I have just copied an item of 366.6MB and the Info says there is 25.5MB available, and 7.98GB used in disk. It is the only item on the disc.

Are you able to tell me how to clear the previous content from the USB?

You should be able to clear this by emptying the Trash Bin on a Mac or the Recycle Bin on a Windows System.

On a Windows computer, right click the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop and select Empty Recycle Bin. It should then clear all your deleted files off all drives.

It’s a similar process for the Mac, either right click on the Taskbar’s Trash Bin icon and select Empty Trash or click on the desktop, then select the Finder menu and click Empty Trash.

If neither of those work, then you may have to follow our reformatting a USB drive instructions.