Putting Music On A Motorola Razr V3xx 

by on November 30, 2007

Q: I am unable to download music to my Motorola Razr V3xx and I have made multiple attempts. Napster site does not recognize phone. I have tried to drag and drop to card reader music will transfer but phone states file not supported. I am utilizing a 1gb microSD card. I have read all the tutorials and tried Windows Media Player as well as Yahoo Music. I have researched Forums from AT&T and Motorola as well as doing an extensive on line search and still no luck.

A: The first thing I want to point out is that the Moto Razr V3xx is very unique in that you actually do not need to use a card reader to transfer your music or other files to the microSD card. This is nice because you do not need to take the card out and put it into an external card reader.

To transfer directly to your microSD card over the USB connection you to need go to Settings -> Connection -> USB Settings and change it from Default Connection to Memory Card. Now not all Moto Razr V3’s support this from what I can tell only the V3xx supports this so that is nice.

Now to your real problem, trying to get the music that you transfer onto your phone to actually play. We also spent a few hours doing some research and only 1 site made reference to the V3xx supporting Napster and Yahoo music services. No other sites at all make reference to this and in particular Motorola’s site, Napsters site, and Yahoo make no reference, which makes us think it does not support them.

What Motorola’s site does say is that the V3xx supports MP3 files and AAC files and that the phone does not support bit rates of higher than 128 kbps for MP3 files so you will want to make sure you are not trying to play files that are encoded in higher quality.

The bad news is that Napster and Yahoo music files are WMA files and since Motorola’s site says nothing about this phone supporting WMA files our guess is that the phone does not support those files so you wont be able to use them.

So what can you do exactly from here? Well that is some what a loaded question because you need to do whatever you need to do to get AAC files, so using iTunes to convert CD’s to AAC files or to MP3 files. You can buy MP3s from walmart.com or from Amazon.com but you will need to make sure that the bit rates are 128 kpbs and the problem is a lot of the ones on Amazon.com are 256 kbps so you would have to convert them to 128 kpbs which is outside the scope of this answer but iTunes and other pieces of software should allow you to easily convert.

So to quickly sum this up the V3xx has a great feature that allows you to upload your files to it without using a card reader. This is certainly a great feature of the phone. The phone supports AAC files and MP3 files that have a bit rate of and lower. The phone does not support WMA files so this means you cannot use Yahoo or Napster.

 
 

Sony Vaio Problems With Norton Antivirus 

by on November 29, 2007

Q: I just spent ages with the Sony help desk trying to work out why no downloaded programs would run on my Sony Vaio notebook. It seems that uninstalling Norton Antivirus has left some kind of residual that can only be removed by a complete system retrieval and downloading the “remove Norton” program from Symantec. Suppose you go into a gas station, learn that your car can no longer function because the previous fuel had a bug that necessitates you draining the system and debugging it before it will take another brand of gas. Wouldn’t that make you just a tiny bit irritable? Is it even legal? Can I fix this myself or do I have to follow the Sony advice?

A: I think that your fuel analogy is brilliant! And yes… it would make me very irritable. Sony is probably giving you good advice. This is ironic considering that Sony’s music devision tried to install rootkits (a kind of spyware) on customers’ computers. Norton has a bad reputation with many geeks for having an unfriendly user interface. It is difficult if not impossible to modify or deactivate certain features in Norton software. I have also encountered versions of Norton software that do not install and/or uninstall completely. You might try using the Norton Removal Tool before resorting to a complete system retrieval. Click on the preceding link to select the appropriate Removal Tool for your Norton Software. If the tool fails, you may need to reinstall your operating system. There are two techniques described below for reinstalling your operating system. Backup any important data from your computer before attempting either of them.

I believe that a system retrieval is the same as a system restore. Usually, a system restore utility is included with a new computer as a set of CD-ROMs. But it is becoming increasingly common to see these system restore utilities built into the computer itself. Computer companies prefer if a customer uses a system restore utility because it prevents that customer from installing Microsoft Windows on an unauthorized computer. The bad thing about most system restore utilities is that they install unwanted software onto your computer. Such unwanted software is known by geeks as crapware because it often prevents a computer from running properly. Sometimes crapware: slows a computer’s performance, is out-of-date, is incompatible with a system, and/or prevents other programs from working correctly. CNET has posted an informative article called PC makers walk fine line with ‘crapware’ that is worth reading. Many geeks consider software from Norton to be crapware.

If possible, ask Sony to send you an operating system disk. An operating system disk is different than a system restore utility because only Windows is reinstalled. Then you will not have to worry about uninstalling any Norton or any other unwanted software from your computer. However, you should still use antivirus and firewall software on a Windows-based computer. I recommend Avast! 4 Home Edition and ZoneAlarm respectively.

Regarding the legality of Norton software, you may wish to contact a group such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Such organizations work to prevent unjust actions by technology companies.

 
 

Contra Virus 2.0 Removal 

by on November 29, 2007

Q: I have a problem and need your help. By mistake, I downloaded a program and now I can’t get rid of it. It is called ContraVirus 2.0. I have done everything I can to remove it, but it replicates itself and so is still there. My Windows One Care tells me that it is removing it, but does not do the job. Windows One care calls it: program/win32/contravirus. Can you help?

A: Hi Mark. I understand your frustration. ContraVirus 2.0 is a possible rouge anti-spyware program that installs itself on your system through web security holes or trojans. Contra Virus will launch itself upon Windows startup and may cause things such as slowness and excessive pop-up windows. Contra Virus works by showing you false security alerts and notify you about non-existent malware or spyware on your system that can only be removed by downloading the “full” version of Contra Virus for $39.95. All together annoying stuff.

You can remove Contra Virus from your computer manually, but it is much faster and easier to use a trusted spyware removal program to do the job for you; removing all of the bits and pieces of Contra Virus can be darn near impossible. My favorite spyware removal program is Spybot, but there are several good, free or inexpensive programs that will do the trick for you. One great place to find such programs is Download.com, which is brought to you by CNet, one of the most trusted names in technology.

Once you download Spybot or your chosen alternative, you will be amazed at the crud the program finds on your computer. Let Spybot do its thing, remove everything that it tells you to, and you should be good to go. But wait; most programs like Contra Virus are written for Internet Explorer. So, if this is what you are using, download Firefox or Netscape and use it instead of Internet Explorer whenever you can. Firefox and Netscape are far less prone to security flaws making things like trojans and malware less likely to end up on your machine.

And of course update your anti-virus software. Be it Norton, McAfee, or another program, use something. The Web is a dangerous place these days, as you have seen with your recent run in. Also, since you currently subscribe to Windows One Care, I would contact their customer support to see if they can help you and at the very least let them know that their product, which you are paying for, did not do the job for you.

I hope this information helps! Good luck!

 
 

Desktop Icons And Taskbar Disappear 

by on November 28, 2007

Q: I have a computer with Windows XP Pro SP2 and when I turned on my computer the desktop icons and taskbar came up as usual. However, after about 30 seconds the desktop items and the taskbar disappear. They came back after a couple of seconds and then went away again. This continued for a few minutes until the desktop icons and the taskbar were just gone for good. I have done heaps of virus scans with Kaspersky and spyware scans with Spybot but nothing has worked. Can you help me?

A: The problems that you have mentioned all relate to a program within Windows called explorer.exe. Do not worry, explorer.exe is supposed to be part of Windows. It manages many different parts of the user interface in Windows. As long as your antivirus and anti-spyware programs are up-to-date, you can probably believe the results of your security scans. Most often, explorer.exe fails because Windows cannot find where it is physically located on your hard drive. There are some maintenance routines built into Windows XP that should help Windows to find the location of explore.exe and other files too.

The first of these is called defragmentation. This tool helps your computer to make a map of the files on its hard drive so that Windows can find them more easily. You can access this feature by going: My Computer => right click on your hard drive => Properties => Tools. The second maintenance feature, Error-checking, is also located in the Tools tab. Please select both checkboxes in the Error-checking window. The next time you restart your computer, your hard drive will be scanned for errors and repaired. Repeat these routines for all of the hard drives in your computer. For you future reference, neither Linux nor Mac computers currently require the use of such maintenance programs.

I am 99.9% sure that the tools described above will fix your problem. If not, consider creating backups of your important data and reinstalling Windows. Good Luck!

*NOTE: A reader of AskAGeek.com, Tejas, has submitted a solution that might help others so here it is.

After you log on to your computer and your icons/taskbar disappear do Ctr + Alt + Del and then click File -> New Task and when prompted type in regedit.exe. A new window will open up and you will need to go to the folder that says HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows NT -> Current Version -> just click on winlogon once, do not expand it.

Then you will need to locate Shell on the right hand side. Right click on Shell and change its value to explorer.exe if it isn’t already. Mine was already explorer.exe but I retyped it and entered it and it works now.

As Robert said originally, the reason this happens is the computer is having a hard time finding explorer.exe so changing this value, even if it looks correct, can help because sometimes there are hidden characters in typing that you cannot see.

Again best of luck and thank you Tejas for the extra help.

 
 

Viewing Browser History 

by on November 28, 2007

Q: Is it possible to see the browser history of a computer that used my home network?

A: To view the browser history for a particular computer you must have access to the computer by either physically sitting at it or by using software that lets you remotely access the computer, like Remote Desktop Connection on Windows. If you have access to the machine then there are a couple of different ways of doing this on your computer, and there are a few third-party applications you can download as well. We will discuss them from easiest to hardest.
The easiest way to view the browser history for almost every browser out there is to locate the address bar (the section of your screen that tells you the address for the website you are on) and click the down arrow located to the right of the address. When you do this, you will notice that the address bar drops down and shows you all of the sites that have been visited during the time between the current session and the last time the browser history was cleared. The downside of this method is that it only shows the main sites visited. For example, if I were to visit the CNN website and then click on a link to a particular story, CNN’s main site would show up in my browsing history, but not the site for the individual story. So, this method gives a quick, broad overview of websites visited, but does not account for individual pages within a site.

Another way to view browser history (this varies from browser to browser but is basically the same for most) is to open the browser’s history in the sidebar. To do this in Firefox click the History tab at the top of the browser window. Here you will see a list of all of the sites visited, including pages within a site as in the individual news story on CNN’s site as mentioned above. Scroll to the bottom of the window and select Show in Sidebar. Here you will see a list of all of the websites visited, separated into folders by day, week, and month; a handy way to locate a particular site, particularly in instances where you remember when you looked at a site, just not the site’s address.

There are many third-party applications designed to let you view your Internet History. BHV – Browser History Viewer, IEHistoryView, and Enhanced History Manager for Firefox allow you to have more control over and information about the browsing history on your computer. Although these add-ons give you a bit of additional information, I would stick with the methods used above to view my browser’s history.

The methods above should allow you to see the browser history for the computer that used your home network. However, if someone has already deleted the History from the browser, then you won’t be able to view it through ordinary methods.

Good luck, and I hope this information helps!

 
 

Finding Lost Pictures in Windows XP 

by on November 27, 2007

Q: I am running Windows XP and have lost a picture file. Please help!

A: I am sorry that you cannot find your picture file. Luckily, Windows XP has a feature specifically designed for occasions such as this. To access the search feature, select Start, Search, For Files or Folders…. The Search Results screen opens.

In the What do you want to search for? section of the screen, select Pictures, music, or video.

Check the checkbox next to Pictures and Photos in the Search for all files of a certain type, or search by type and name section of the screen. Enter the name of your missing picture in the All or part of the file name field. If you do not know the name of your picture, leave the field blank. Click the Search button.

The computer will perform its search, and list the search results in the Search Results section of the screen. The Search Results section will also display the location of the files found in the search. Browse to this location to open your file, or simply double click the file in the search results.

I hope this information helps! Good luck!

 
 

Handheld Or Smart Phone With Internet Browsing Ability 

by on November 27, 2007

Q: Is there a handheld/smart phone out there that you can enter information into fields of a web page. I am constantly filling out forms and am looking for a device that will get me away from my desktop.

A: There are actually a lot of options out there for you that will let you get away from your desktop to be able to use the web and fill out forms on the web. The biggest problem is that it seems like there are new items added every week so it depends on what you are looking for.

Lets start with WiFi enabled handhelds first because they are going to be able to allow you to access the internet with faster speeds than a smart phone would. The obvious downside to these devices are that if you are not near a WiFi connection then you cannot do your work so you will have to decide if that is okay with you or not. The upside to them besides being a lot faster than using a phone network to get on the web is that there is no monthly fee since you will use your existing WiFi or a WiFi hot spot.

The first device I want to look at is the iPod Touch. Currently starting at $299.00 the iPod Touch has built in WiFi, which will allow you to get on the internet using your WiFi connection. The iPod Touch has a build in safari web browser that should work on just about any web page or web form you would like to use. It also has a mail program too that will allow you to check your e-mail. We are going to ignore the ability to play music and movies since we are more worried about doing work.

The second handheld WiFi device is something most people probably wont expect. It is the Nintendo DS Lite for $129.99 with the Nintendo DS Browser for about $30.00 for a total of $159.99. This might not be the perfect solution for everyone but it might be for some. Anyone with children probably has a Nintendo DS Lite so it might be a good first try for only $30.00. The major downside to the Nintendo DS Lite is that it only supports some secure WiFi networks not all of them. The major downside to the Nintendo DS Lite is that it only supports WEP encrypted networks so if you have another type of encryption you will not be able to use it.

Along the same lines I also have to say that the Sony PSP currently $129.99 also has a web browser that you can buy for it too so it is an option but I do not like it as much. The reason the DS Lite is on the list is because it uses a stylist to make it easier to type. The Sony PSP requires you to use the game controls to go select each letter and that can be very time consuming.

That rounds up my choices for handhelds with WiFi ability that will allow anyone to browse the web and get some work done. There are others out there and I would love to hear what others suggest.

Now lets move onto Smart Phone options. The first thing you need to know about smart phones are that most of them are tied to a certain service provider so depending on who you are stuck with will determine what phone you can use. Unless, of course, you are willing to break your agreement and pay the penalty and move to a new service provider.

The first smart phone I would suggest is the iPhone and I do so for many reasons, from it being one of the hottest products of the season, because I tend to like anything Apple, and because we selected the iPod Touch previously. The iPhone is really the same device as the iPod Touch except that it is also a phone, which allows you to use the AT&T network to do work even when you do not have a WiFi connect. You should know that the AT&T data network is like using a dial up modem 5 years ago so it will take time for pages to load but you can still certainly do what you need to do when you are on the go and don’t have a WiFi connection.

The next options have issues in that most of them do not currently support WiFi. The reason I say this is in issue is if you are in a spot where there is WiFi then using WiFi over the telephone company’s data network will be at least 100 times faster and that is always nice when trying to get work done.

So from here my next suggestion would be a Blackberry. Almost anyone that has to be contacted via the internet anytime of the day or night uses a Blackberry. They are certain great for email and they do do web browsing. The problem here though is that their web browsers are not standard like the one on the iPhone. The iPhone uses the same web browser that all Apple computers use so you can expect the majority of web sites to work with it. The Blackberry on the other hand will have fewer sites that work with it so you will want to test out the sites you use specifically before committing to it.

Over the next few months we will see many competitors to the iPhone that will use WiFi and the telephone companies data network so certainly keep your eyes open if it is not something you need to buy today. Hopefully our readers will post some comments about what their favorite device is for doing work away from their computer too in order to help us get a longer list.

You will want to check out CNet.com’s review site related to Smart Phones too in order to get a full run down of all the options right now.

I hope everyone has found this helpful and I hope that our readers post comments to help make this even better because everyone would like to be able to get up and move around instead of sitting in one spot all day while doing work especially as the holidays come around and we try to balance our work life with our family life.

 
 

Word And WordPerfect Documents Not Saving 

by on November 26, 2007

Q: Any changes that I make to Word or WordPerfect documents are not saving. Why is this?

A: Hello there. I am sorry that you are having trouble saving changes to Word and WordPerfect files. Word and WordPerfect are very different programs and operate in different ways so we will tackle saving for each program separately.

Microsoft Word

Manually Saving
There are a few ways that you can save changes to your documents in Microsoft Word. The most common way is to make the changes to your document, and click the Save icon on the Standard toolbar (it looks like a disc) or to select File, Save. Once you select Save, the Save dialog will open.

Once the screen opens, name your document, select the location in which to save it, and click the Save button. This will save your document with all of its changes to the location you selected above.

If you want to save changes to your document but maintain the original document, you will use Save As rather than Save. To use Save As, select File, Save As. The Save As dialog box will open. From here, just as when saving the document initially, name your document, select the location in which to save your new document, and click the Save button. Your document will be saved with all of your changes as a new document, while your original document will be saved as well. This is a great method for keeping track of changes made to a document, or for using a document as a sort of template.

Automatically Saving
Aside from manually saving documents in Microsoft Word, you will probably want to set Word to automatically save your documents while you are working on them. This will allow you to recover your documents should Word fail before you are able to save your documents. To set Word to automatically save your documents select Word, Preferences. Once in Preferences, select Save from the list of topics on the left.

Find Save AutoRecover info every: in the Preferences screen. If the AutoRecover checkbox is not checked, select it. Use the up and down arrows to set the save interval for your program. Once you have made the appropriate changes, click the OK button.

The above steps should help you save your files manually and configure Word to create an AutoRecovery file that you can find on your computer should you accidentally close Word prior to saving your document.

Recovering Auto Save Files
On your hard drive, locate your Documents folder. Next, select Microsoft User Data. Here you will find Auto Recovery files of all of your files. Select the appropriate file.

WordPerfect
Saving a document in WordPerfect is similar to saving a document in Microsoft Word.

Manually Saving
To manually save a document in WordPerfect, click the Save icon on the Standard toolbar, or select File, Save.

The Save dialog will open. Here, name your document and select the appropriate location in which to save your file. Once you are finished, click Save.

As in Microsoft Word, you can also use the Save As command. If you want to save changes to your document but maintain the original document, you will use Save As rather than Save. To use Save As, select File, Save As. The Save As dialog box will open. From here, just as when saving the document initially, name your document, select the location in which to save your new document, and click the Save button. Your document will be saved with all of your changes as a new document, while your original document will be saved as well. This is a great method for keeping track of changes made to a document, or for using a document as a sort of template.

Automatically Saving
Like Microsoft Word, WordPerfect has the ability to automatically save your documents while you are working on them. To access WordPerfect’s AutoSave feature, select Tools/Settings (Edit/Preferences in WordPerfect 7 or earlier). Double click Files. If the checkbox next to Timed Document Recovery… is unchecked, select it. Set the appropriate save interval. Once the settings are as you want, select Apply, and OK.

Recovering AutoSave Files
To recover the Auto Save files, select Tools/Settings (Edit/Preferences in WordPerfect 7 or earlier). Double click Files. Your documents will be in the Backup Folder.

I hope this information helps you save your documents. Always remember to click Save as soon as you begin a new document; this will save you from many headaches in the future.

 
 

Microsoft Office 2007 Working With Microsoft Vista 

by on November 26, 2007

Q: Will the Microsoft Office 2007 Student and Home Edition work with the basic Windows Vista upgrade?

A: According to Microsoft’s 2007 Microsoft Office system suites page, Office 2007 Home and Student Edition includes Word, Excel,
PowerPoint, and OneNote, all essential programs for any home or student user. The programs work in the following capacities:

Microsoft Word
The standard word processing application enabling users to create and share documents ranging from simple letters to brochures and web pages.

Microsoft Excel
Spreadsheet program allowing users to organize, calculate and manage data. Use Excel to record information ranging from addresses to home business profits.

Microsoft PowerPoint
The slideshow creation staple. Use PowerPoint to create presentations filled with animations, graphics, and sounds for school reports or family photos.

Microsoft OneNote
OneNote is probably the least known application in the Office 2007 Student and Home Edition. That said it is a powerful note taking and note-sharing program. Record your notes and share with others in electronic notebooks.

Visit Microsoft’s 2007 Microsoft Office release system requirements page to check the system requirements for Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Edition. According to the page, you will need the following features:

Computer and Processor
– 500MHz or higher

Memory
– 256 MB RAM or higher

Hard Disk
– 1.5 GB

Drive
– CD or DVD

Display
– 1024×768 or higher resolution

Operating System
– Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1, or newer operating system

Since Windows Vista falls into the “newer operating system” category, it should work fine with Microsoft Office 2007 Student and Home Edition. Also, in the System Requirements section of the Office 2007 Office System Frequently Asked Questions page, the question, “Does the Microsoft Office system require Windows Vista to run?” is answered in the following way: “No. The Microsoft Office System is designed to run on both Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later and Windows Vista.” There is also other great information in the FAQ section, so I would definitely check out the page. Upgrading to Windows Vista should not be a problem when running Microsoft Office 2007 Student and Home Edition.

I hope this information helps, and good luck!

 
 

Downloading Videos To A Zune 

by on November 25, 2007

Q: I have a Zune MP3 player. How do I download videos?

A: You should visit Microsoft’s How to update to the current Zune device software version webpage to make sure that your Zune has the latest firmware. Firmware tells your Zune’s software and hardware how to interact. Without the latest firmware from Microsoft, you will not be able to play certain types of video files. Wikipedia has a very informative page about the Zune that discusses video formats, among other things. The process of getting videos for your

Now you are ready to download videos to your Zune. Microsoft provides a couple of ways to download video content to your Zune. You can do this using the Zune Marketplace and the desktop software that connects your computer to your Zune. As I understand the service, video podcasts will be free. But most other videos will cost money. Microsoft also offers a service called soapbox on msn, which is similar in many ways to YouTube. The soapbox service features videos made by “everyday people” like you and me.

If you would rather transfer other video files to your Zune, you should read the Microsoft article entitled How to convert video files to a file type that is supported by the Zune software and the Zune device for more information. Basically, you will need to convert the video files into a format that the Zune can understand. Currently, Zune players support WMV, MPEG-4 and H.264 video files. Microsoft recommends using Windows Movie Maker or Windows Media Encoder for the task of converting videos. If neither of those programs will work with your collection of video files, or if you want to rip DVDs to your Zune, search softpedia.com for the appropriate software.

It is worth noting that something strange happened to me while researching this answer. I was at the official Zune website. And then I got a popup from another website claiming that my Windows Vista computer was infected with spyware, which it was not. The official Zune website was the only page open in my web browser when I got this warning. Perhaps the Zune website has been hacked… In any event, make sure that you have current antivirus and firewall software installed on your computer before going online.

Good luck!