Speeding up a Windows 7 computer.

January 9th, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in Windows 7 | No Comments »

I have had an ongoing problem with Windows 7 (64 bit) not shutting down or taking more than a minute to shut down. The screen simply stays on the shutting down screen with the circular icon going around.

I have updated my drivers, scanned my computer for malware and viruses using Malware Bytes and Trend Micro Titanium 2012. I have also performed a clean up of the system using CC Cleaner. I have also performed a system tune up with Trend Micro Titanium 2012.

I have searched for various solutions predominantly the MS website – knowledge base, solutions etc. One solution I found was to do a clean boot.

When I typed in misconfi.exe & misconfig – no such file was found. Is this the source of my problem and how do I fix it?

The program is MSConfig or the MS Configuration tool. You can see what’s slowing the machine down there.

Website Tech Republic has a detailed description on how to use the MS Config tool in Windows 7. It’s worthwhile looking at the non-Microsoft programs starting up with the system and working from there.

Can downloading Adobe Reader attract spam?

January 5th, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, security, spam | 1 Comment »

I’m an infrequent, inexperienced and incompetent computer user.

First PC late 2006; first 2-3 years of use, no problem with spam –  received almost nothing at all. Against better judgement, downloaded a free office WP package. Some time after started to receive quite a lot of spam. Eventually I connected it to the ‘free’ download, figured out how to remove software and  spam ceased.

After several years of ignoring invitations to download the latest Adobe update, decided should take advantage of all my computer has to offer and hit the ‘download now’ button for Adobe.  Now I receive masses of spam (several a day) offering ‘to enlarge my penis’, continuing for several weeks; this has recently changed to offerings of ‘bonus wins’ – none of which I open or delete.

Do I have to remove Adobe to get this to stop?

Cheers for the New Year.

Thanks for the new year greeting.

Unfortunately removing Adobe isn’t going to fix the spam problem. What’s happened is your email address has somehow found its way onto the spammer list, possibly through the free software you downloaded.

All you can really do about this sort of spam now is to make sure you have a good spam filter on your email program. If you’re using a web based service like Gmail or Yahoo! Mail they should deal with it automatically. Programs like Microsoft Outlook need the feature turned on.

If you let us know which email program you’re using in the comments section below, we can give you the instructions on enabling the spam checker for your service.

Updating Adobe is really important as they have had a lot of security problems in recent  times, so don’t hesitate with installing any legitimate upgrades.

fwcore.sys problem stops my windows computer from starting

December 4th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in software, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP | No Comments »

I keep getting an error message fwcore.sys driver_irql_not_less_or_equal I think the problem is with the on board sound card.

The fwcore.sys driver is part of the eAcceleration StopWall firewall product which is a program we wouldn’t recommend.

Removing it could be a problem. If you can, start the computer in Safe Mode and follow our instructions for removing a program to uninstall anything associated with eAcceleration.

If you are able to uninstall it, we’d also recommend running a check to remove any viruses or trojan horses.

Should you be unable to run the system in Safe Mode, you could try to use Window’s Last Known Good Configuration feature then remove the eAcceleration program.

Failing that, you may need to call your local IT support company who should be able to disable fwcore or restore the system to an earlier date.

Will Lotus Smart Suite run on Windows 7?

December 3rd, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Office, Windows 7, Windows Vista | No Comments »

I recently purchased a new computer with Windows 7 operating system installed. I have since installed Office Professional 2007 and now enquire if I am able to install Lotus Smart Suite 9.5 or is this a lost cause?

If you are running the 32 bit version of Windows7 then it should be no problem as IBM’s Support Site describes in their post Information about SmartSuite and Organizer working on Microsoft Windows 7

When you insert the Smart Suite disk, you may have to run setup.exe directly from the disk rather than run the installation program automatically.

To do this, open the CD in My Computer and find the setup.exe file and double click on it.

You may find some of the Smart Suite functions won’t work, but most of the program’s features should be fine.

Pictures don’t show on webpages and computer games

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

Hi, My inquiry is why don’t the graphics come up on my computer? I suspect I may have a virus ( or other bug).

Computer doesn’t load Yahoo Mail with graphics or hotmail with graphics(u know pretty butterfly etc) and on Facebook some of my friends pictures cannot be seen only the tiny red cross icon.

Also now pages of games I play won’t load. I have been using Trendmicro and yesterday did a Malwarebytes scan which initially seemes to improve, but today things are worse.

I tried using IE ( this is the worst) and Firefox  to see if that made a difference. Very frustrating.

This sounds like your system’s preferred program for showing images has changed. To fix this, you’ll need to select the right program as we describe in our Wrong Program Opens My Pictures post.

It could also be that your hard drive is full and Windows can’t store the images in the cache. You can free up disk space by following our Cleaning Up Your Computer instructions.

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.

Windows XP system won’t start

November 17th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Hardware, Windows 7, Windows XP | No Comments »

My superseded XP PC tower will no longer fire up. When I switch it on all I get is an intermittent beep. Someone suggested that my RAM is kaput. Any comments? Alternatively is it possible to load my new Windows7 PC with XP as well as I have programs that will not run on Win7?

The Intermittent beep is what’s called a POST (Power On Self Test) error. When you turn the computer on it runs through a set of tests before trying to load up the operating system, in your case XP.

Because the computer has found an error before the video system started, it has to use beeps to communicate what the problem is and your motherboard manual should tell you what the POST error codes mean.

Often an error like this is due to something like the RAM modules or one of the expansion cards working itself loose so it’s worthwhile getting the local computer tech to have a look or – if you’re confident – pop the box yourself and make sure all the cards are firmly seated in their sockets. Remember to ground yourself first.

It is possible to run most XP programs on Windows 7, a service for this is Windows Virtual PC.

A spam email has been sent from my email account

November 10th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, security | No Comments »

An email was sent from my yahoo email account to all in my address book. The email advertised Viagra. I use Norton Security on my XP OS. I have run it since the “attack”. How do I know if it is gone now? What else should I do?

Spammers can get into your account through a number of ways and if your computer is up to date with security patches and anti virus protection then it’s unlikely your computer was hacked to carry out this spam campaign.

What has probably happened is your Yahoo! mail account has been hijacked, which could have happened from any computer.

Your first step is to change your Yahoo! passwords then those of any accounts that use the same password. You may also want to take the opportunity to download a copy of your online address book.

On your own computer, visit the Microsoft Update website to make sure you have the latest Windows security patches installed and the Symantec Security Centre for the latest security definitions.

It might also be a good idea to send out a message to your friends, relatives and colleagues to tell them you’re not really in the business of selling viagra or other pills.

How do we fix Outlook Express checking spelling in French

November 5th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, Office, Outlook Express, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP | No Comments »

Can you please help me with the safest way to revert the Outlook Express spelling checker to English as it can’t be changed from French!

This is a problem that came along with Microsoft Office 2007 which changed the various spell checking and document proofing functions in Windows, Outlook Express itself doesn’t come with a spell checker.

As you can see from other sites’ posts – such as Jay Lee’s Chron site and Joe Duck’s Travel Blog this has caused a lot of angst for many computer users.

You can easily fix this by downloading the free Spell Checker For OE program we describe in our Outlook Express Doesn’t Have A Spell Checker post.

There are a number of registry fixes as well that can resolve this or you can reinstall the older versions of Office proofing tools but overall the simplest solution is to add the free program.


Outlook Express doesn’t have a spell checker

November 5th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, Outlook Express, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP | No Comments »

I can’t check spelling when writing an email in Outlook Express

Outlook Express, the free email program that came with Windows 98 through to XP, doesn’t come with a spell checker built in. Instead it uses the Microsoft Office spell checker.

If you don’t have Microsoft Office installed then you can use the free Spell Checker for OE to add this function to your computer.

This problem can also happen when Office 2007 is installed on a Windows XP system as the newer program disables older spellcheckers.