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Adding RAM To An Acer Aspire Computer 

by on March 29, 2008

Q: I have an Acer Aspire T160 with 512 MB RAM currently made up of 2 256 MB modules. I was planning on adding just 1 GB RAM and I am wondering if that is okay.

A: For some computers you do need to add modules in pairs but for your computer you do not. However, adding two modules versus 1 module will increase your performance but it is not necessary. The affect on the performance of the machine also depends on what types of programs you are running. Since you have the one module all ready I would install it and see if it performs as you would like and if not you can consider buying another.


Parallel To USB Printer Cable 

by on March 28, 2008

Q: I have a very old CPU Unit and it does not have a USB port but it does have parallel port. The new printers do not have a parallel port though they only have USB ports. Is there a cable that has a parallel port that can connect to a USB printer?

A: Yes they do make a cable that would connect from the parallel port of your computer on one end and then connect to the USB port on your printer on the other end. I am sure that you would be able to find one by visiting your local Best Buy, Circuit City, RadioShack store, or online at Amazon.com. You will want to ask for a Parallel to USB printer cable.


Using Hidden Partitions On Windows XP 

by on March 27, 2008

Q: How do I enable and use a hidden partition on Windows XP?

A: In order to see and use the hidden partition you will need to do the following:

1. Select Start > Control Panel.

2. Choose Folder Options.

3. Click View > Advanced Settings.

Verify that “Show hidden files and folders” is checked.

Verify that “Hide Protected Operating system files” unchecked.

You should now be able to open My Computer and see the previously hidden partition therefore also allowing you access.


Connection Problems With Broadband ISP Road Runner 

by on March 26, 2008

Q: I am running Windows XP Media Edition and connect to the internet using Road Runner. Recently I added their wireless networking feature to connect with my laptop as well as my desktop, which is wired. About a month ago, I started seeing IE6 Refuse to recognize the connection after about 30 min of inactivity. The only way to get it to recognize the connection is to log-off, and log back on. Throughout this time, the laptop can connect without issue. After running a full suite of virus and spyware checks, now IE won’t work at all. I can log on with Netscape, but after 30 min of inactivity, it flakes out as well. Any thoughts?

A: There are a couple things that I would try. The first is to run a free program called HijackThis.

If this does not help I would try shutting down both machines and rebooting your cable modem and router making sure to leave them off for 30 seconds so that they reset properly and then bring them back up and start your computers.

If neither of these options work for you it might be time to ask Road Runner technical support to help but first please provide answers to the following and we will see if we can help you resolve it first.

Did this just start happening when you added the wireless network?

What brand and model of modem and router are you using?

What type of network card is installed on the desktop machine?

Sounds as if there is a setting in one of the pieces of equipment that might be causing the problem.


Picture Filename Not Showing Below Icon 

by on March 24, 2008

Q: I am helping a friend clean up her picture files on her Windows XP computer and so far it is looking good. We do have an issue though where when we are looking at the folders the names of the folders no longer appear below the folder. If we mouse over the folder we can see the name but that is the only way we can see it. How can we make the names of the folders appear below the folders again?

A: More than likely you are viewing these pictures in the thumbnail view. To fix this select a different view from thumbnail (see directions below on how to change your view). Then press the Shift key while clicking Thumbnails and that should make the file names reappear.

The steps below should assist you in changing the view of a folder in Windows XP:

1. Open the folder containing the files that you want to change the view for.

2. Select View from the toolbar and when that menu expands you will see the options to view that folder such as, thumbnails, tiles, icons, list, and details.

You just need to select another view and it will apply the setting to the files in that folder.


How To Retrieve Deleted AOL Email and IMs 

by on March 20, 2008

Q: My friend used my AOL and AIM for a number of indecent activities, including sending personal photos. I’d like to find out exactly what they did by recovering deleted AOL email and AIM messages, received files, etc. Is there a free way to do so or maybe some software you recommend to purchase? I’ve got a PC operating on Windows XP.

A: You would have to purchase a program to restore your old emails. AOL only keeps your email messages on their server for 24 hours. I would recommend a program called Recover My Email because you can download and run the scan and it will give you a list of deleted email before you purchase so that you would be assured it had found what you were looking for before purchasing the program. I wasn’t able to find a reputable and functional free program to do this.

As far as the Instant Messaging there is no way to recover those. When the conversation is closed those messages are gone. However, I would recommend at this point that you add a program to your computer that runs in the background (so that the person does not know it is there) and it will record the instant messaging conversations for you. I was able to find a free program that does this called Record Instant Messages. I tried it out and it works well.


Is There A Time Machine Equivalent For Windows XP 

by on March 19, 2008

Q: I have a Windows XP SP2 machine and I am wondering if there is any Time Machine software for Windows equivalent to Time Machine in Mac OS X Leopard. Free software would be best but not necessary.

A: I researched Time Machine for Macs and the best I could find for the PC is a program called SyncBackSE. It does cost but you can download a fully functioning trial to see if it does what you would like. It appears that there are very few options to match the Time Machine equivalent. You have to go in and setup your profile and then it will automatically backup your files.


Slow Computer Even After Spyware And Virus Scans 

by on March 19, 2008

Q: I have a Dell e1505 and I have had some trouble recently with viruses spyware and other unwanted programs on my computer. I have McAfee virus scan, Spybot, and Ad-aware se and ran each program multiple times. Each time I run them they come up with new problems and remove them, but my computer still runs incredibly slow and has random erratic behavior(pop-up adds and installation programs). I was wondering if there is anything I can do myself.

A: I would recommend a pop-up blocker if you don’t already have one. On other thing I would recommend is that you install a HijackThis to get a better look at what software is running on your computer that might be doing bad things. I had similar problems and this seemed to take care of it.

Regarding the slowness of the machine. I would make sure you are also defragmenting your hard drive and running the disk clean up utility. Another good idea is to delete your temporary internet files. I hope that one of these steps helps resolve your issues. You can get more information about these steps at our Windows XP Computer Running Slow article.


Change Your Resolution On Windows XP 

by on March 18, 2008

Q: I have a Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop running Windows XP and I am having a problem where the screen is wide and has enlarged everything. How do we resize the screen?

A: I am assuming that you are wanting to adjust the screen resolution because the icons and wording on the desktop are large. In order to do this you will need to perform the following steps:

1. Right click on an empty area on your desktop and select Properties.

2. Select the Settings tab.

3. In the bottom left corner you will see the screen resolution slider bar. To make your desktop icons and screen smaller you want to move the screen resolution bar to the right.

4. When you have selected your preferred size click Apply and Ok.

5. You will be prompted to make sure that you want to resize and click Yes.


Transfer Pictures To Thumb Drive 

by on March 15, 2008

Q: How do I transfer pictures from my computer to a thumb drive so I can send them to my mother-in-law’s digital picture frame?

A: This should be a relatively simple process for you. What I would recommend is that you attach your thumb drive to your computer’s USB port. Double click on the My Computer icon on your desktop. When that opens you should see a drive that would be labeled Removable media. Double click on that icon.

I don’t know where your pictures are located but if you open your file where the pictures are you can just click, drag, and drop the picture files onto your thumb drive.