I cannot install Windows XP Service Pack 3

September 13th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Windows XP No Comments »

I have a Compaq Presario SR1000 Sr1420AN about 7 years old with Windows XP.I have tried to load Service pack 3 on several occassions but it corrupts & I have to go back to a restore point.Could you please advise if you are aware of why this is happening?

There’s a number of reasons this could be happening, the three most likely are some running software – such as an anti-virus – blocking the installation, a damaged hard drive or insufficient free space on the disk.

Freeing up space on your drive is the easiest to solve problem by following our Cleaning Your Computer instructions. This will also get rid of anything in the temporary files that may be blocking the installation.

Next is checking your hard drive for problems, we cover this in our Checking A Disk For Errors post. If you do find there are serious problems with your hard drive, you may have to replace it.

Finally, it may be an antivirus or other program blocking the service pack’s installation. If you use the Windows MSCONFIG tool, you can turn off everything that starts with the computer. Take a note though of what you do turn off.

How to stop Windows Automatic Updates from happening without permission

September 12th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in security, software, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

My Windows computer keeps installing updates that take a lot of time to install which can be irritating when I’m at a client’s site. How can I stop this from happening?

Updating your computer, whether you have a Windows or Mac computer, is very important as new security bugs are found all the time. Unfortunately Microsoft’s automatic update function can be intrusive.

It isn’t a good idea to totally disable the Windows Update service as those updates and patches are important, but you can change the settings so they are downloaded but not installed until you choose to do so.

Microsoft’s Knowledge Base describes how to change the Windows Update Settings, we recommend the download updates but let me choose when to install themoption.

Windows Live Mail Junk folders not working

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

Since upgrading to Windows Live Essentials 2011, no spam is going into my Junk Mail folder. How can I stop the rubbish appearing in my inbox.

One of the delights of having a decent junk mail filter is you never see the dozens of pointless emails that arrive in your inbox each day. So when an update damages your spam filter it’s a real irritation.

The repair for this is actually quite straightforward, go to the Control Panel and select Programs in Windows 7 or Vista or Add/Remove Programs in Windows XP , click on Live Mail Essentials 2011 and select Uninstall/Change.

In the wizard that then starts select Repair all Windows Live Essentials Programs, the repair may take some hours and require a working Internet connection.

Once it’s finished, you’ll be asked to reboot the computer and the problem should be fixed after the restart.

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.

How to change a drive letter in Windows 7

July 5th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

I have a external Seagate hard disk, I use this external hard disc with my sony laptop with Windows 7, a few days back i hide one folder in my external hard disc with free hide folder software, and that time my external hard disc notification is (I:).

Now I try to unhide the folder with same software but i can coz my external hard disc notification now showing is (J:),so the sofware shows that the folder name or path not find coz (I:) does not appear. please help me how I change the my external hard disc notification (J:) to (I:).

Changing drive letters is a nuisance on Windows Systems which often causes these sort of problems.

The easiest solution is to unplug any devices that have changed the hard drive letters, this includes other external drives, mobile phones, thumb drives or any other device with storage.

If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to change your drive letters manually. We covered this in a previous post, Changing a Drive Letter, which covers the instructions for Windows NT, XP and Vista.

For Windows 7, the instructions are similar and to get to the Administrative Tools panel you click on the Start Button, select Control Panel and the Administrative Tools.

You may have to change the letter of whatever device is hogging the I: drive and then change the J: to I:. The drive will have to be plugged in for this to work properly.

These instructions should help you change the drive letter on a Windows 7 computer.


YouTube is not playing on my computer

June 3rd, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in software, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

When I try to play YouTube clips, I often get a blank screen. Why can’t I play these videos on my computer?

This is usually due to problems with the Adobe Flash software on the computer.

To fix it, first uninstall all the versions of Adobe Flash on the computer. Then run a computer cleanup on the system.

Once the clean up is finished, reboot your computer then reinstall Adobe Flash Player.

Another reboot and you should have fixed the problem.

I can’t see images in Internet Explorer

May 15th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Internet Explorer, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

When I surf the web using Internet Explorer, I can’t see any images and just get an empty box with a red X in it. How do I see my images?

You can turn images on in Internet Explorer by clicking the Options menu in Internet Explorer then choose the Advanced Tab and make sure the Show Pictures check box is ticked. Click Okay and you should find that resolves the problem.

If it doesn’t you may have a security program interfering or there may be an other setting you need to change, Microsoft go into some detail on this in their Pictures are not displayed on Web sites in Internet Explorer Knowledge Base post.

Should I use two anti-virus programs?

May 6th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in A/V, security, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP 1 Comment »

Hi can you help me regarding internet security? I have McAfee security and also Microsoft Security Essentials? Do I need both and if not which one is best?

You don’t need two Internet security programs, one will be fine and having two or more security programs running on your system runs the risk of them interfering with each other.

On balance, we’d recommend the Microsoft program simply because it uses a lot less of your computer’s resources than McAfee’s Internet security and anti-virus programs. The computer security companies also have the habit of stinging you with expensive upgrades every year or so.

We have a list of the free internet security programs available on our Four Free Anti-Virus Programs post. All of these software packages are fine for home use.

Should I keep Internet Explorer 8

February 25th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Internet Explorer, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

I decided to Uninstall Internet Explorer 8 from my computer and change to Firefox and Opera for my web browsers.  However, when going to uninstall IE8 it told me that I risk corrupting all the programs that I had loaded since installing IE8. Should I ignore the warning or simply leave IE8 unused on the computer? Thanks.

The warning is a bit over the top however, technically speaking, damaging some files or settings is a possibility (although that’s an indictment on Microsoft’s installation routines and Windows’ general susceptibility to mischief by rogue programs).

Internet Explorer 8 is probably the best of all the IE versions and Internet Explorer is critical to running a lot of basic Windows processes.

On balance, unless there’s something important on your computer that insists on running on an earlier Internet Explorer version, it’s best to leave IE8 on your system. We’ve listed the main four alternatives to IE previously and think all of them do a good job.

Defrag is reducing my hard drive space

January 22nd, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware, Windows 7, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP 1 Comment »

I’m defragmenting my hard disc and I’m noticing a strange situation here! before defragging my free space was 110Gb and now when its 31% defragged the free space is 92GB and its decreasing continuously.. any ideas about what I should do now??

Mechanical hard drives store data in blocks, which are like parking spaces in a car park. When Windows saves data onto a drive it “parks” the new information in the first available space and often will break up files bigger than a single block (which are most files) across different parts of the disk. This slows down the system when you want to open or save a file.

The Windows defrag program rearranges the data on your hard drive so all the bits in each file are parked next to each other, making the process a lot more efficient.

Because defrag has to shuffle the stored data on the hard drive, you’ll see the amount of free space available grow and shrink as it goes about figuring where the best place to put data is. It’s the same as when you reorganise a cupboard or workroom.

So don’t worry about it unless you find there is substantially less free space at the end of the process. If that does happen, check your drive for bad blocks or give your drive a clean up.