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    Frequently Ask Questions about Computers

    Asked Jul 4, 2008, 03:11 PM — 6 Answers
    Please see below for information, and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, from our Computer Experts;

    JBeaucaire - Software Expert
    Scleros - Hardware Expert
    seahwk83 - Internet & Windows Expert

    Feel free to post on the board: Just click the "Ask About Computers" button at the top of the page.

    Last edited by Curlyben; Jan 15, 2009 at 03:40 AM.
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    6 Answers
    JBeaucaire's Avatar
    JBeaucaire Posts: 5,410, Reputation: 995
    Software Expert
     
    #2

    Jul 8, 2008, 10:07 AM


    Basics for Repairing Outlook Express most common problems:
    1. Restart the computer (solves way more problems than it should)
    2. Delete your Temporary Internet Files
      1. In Internet Explorer, click Internet Options on the Tools menu
      2. In the Temporary Internet files panel, click Delete files
      3. In the pop-up alert window, select the Remove all offline files check box, and then click OK

      If you do not select the check box, the temporary files used by Outlook Express will not be removed.
    3. Empty your deleted items folder
      1. Right click on Deleted Items
      2. Choose Empty Deleted Items Folder
    4. Compact your mail folders
      1. In Outlook Express, click FILE > Work Offline so that no new messages will be arriving
      2. In the Folder List, click on Outlook Express so that no e-mail or news folder is open
      3. Close the Folder List by clicking the X in the upper right-hand corner of the list panel; Alternatively you can click Layout on the View menu, and then clear the Folder List check box
      4. Select FILE > FOLDER > COMPACT ALL FOLDERS; Do not use your computer until the process is complete, which might take several minutes

      If an error occurs, close Outlook Express, re-open it, and begin the process again from the top. If the same error occurs again, close Outlook Express, restart your computer (or log off and then log on again), open Outlook Express and then begin the whole process again.
    5. Reregister Outlook Express
      1. Click START > RUN
      2. In the Open box, type msimn /reg, and then click OK (Note that you will not see anything happen.)
      3. In Internet Explorer click TOOLS > OPTIONS
      4. Click the Programs tab and select Outlook Express as the default e-mail client and as the default news client. You can change those later if you wish.
    6. Reregister libraries - Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) are files that contain functions that may be shared by other programs, such as recognizing hyperlinks, displaying rich content, and so forth. These specific DLLs are used by Outlook Express, and can cause glitches in the visual display if they are damaged. Reregistering a DLL using regsvr32 is similar to reinstalling those functions and thus makes sure they are installed and working correctly.
      1. Click START > RUN
      2. In the Open box, type regsvr32 urlmon.dll, and then click OK
      3. Repeat step 1 for each of the following commands:
        regsvr32 mshtml.dll
        regsvr32 shdocvw.dll
        regsvr32 browseui.dll
        regsvr32 msjava.dll
    7. Create a new Identity - This will create a new message store folder as well as all new registry keys. This should not be necessary unless our previous efforts have failed to correct the problems.
      1. Export your e-mail and news accounts in Outlook Express so that you can import them into a new Identity.
        • In OE, click on TOOLS > ACCOUNTS
        • Click the Mail tab and select the default account.
        • Click the Export button and select a location for the exported file. Make sure the extension remains “iaf” (for Internet account file).
        • Repeat the steps above for all your email accounts.
        • Click the News tab and repeat the steps above for all news accounts.
        • After all mail and news accounts have been exported, click Close
      2. Select FILE > IDENTITIES > Add New Identity
      3. Type in a name for the new Identity, and then click OK
      4. Click Yes to switch to the new Identity
      5. Click Cancel to close the New Account wizard. If you are prompted to import settings or messages, select “Do not import at this time” or Cancel.
      6. Click TOOLS > ACCOUNTS
      7. Click the Import button and select the first *.iaf file you created when "exporting" your email accounts. Repeat until all accounts have been imported.
      8. Import the mail messages from your old Identity
        • Select FILE > IMPORT > MESSAGES
        • Select Microsoft Outlook Express 6 from the list of programs, and then click Next
        • Select the name of the Identity to import, and then click OK
    8. Reinstall or repair Outlook Express - By now you have repaired the most common causes of funny glitches in Outlook Express. If the strange behavior is still happening, it is time to reinstall or repair the basic Outlook Express program files themselves. Because both Internet Explorer and Outlook Express are integrated into Windows itself, doing so is a little more complicated than for most programs. Microsoft has therefore prepared a detailed guide to reinstall or repair both Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. Be sure to read the article carefully and follow only the steps for your version of Windows and Service Packs.
    Helpful
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 16,901, Reputation: 1761
    Admin & Wine Expert
     
    #3

    Jul 11, 2008, 03:55 AM
    CB's Computer Maintenance tips

    So time for some system maintenance.
    Now this will seem like a long list, but it's all quite straightforward.

    You're going to be clearing out junk, scanning for viruses and spyware, patching and defragmenting. Now I can see you looking in horror at what I have just typed, but don't panic we're here to help. Once we are done your system will run better than it ever has, WITHOUT spending any money. Now bear in mind I will be recommending that you download aload of tools, don't worry they are perfectly safe, but they help to make the job easier.

    So first things first, lets get rid of all the crap.


    1/ Clean out junk/rubbish files:

    - CCleaner

    Download CCleaner ( Download CCleaner 2.09.600 - FileHippo.com )
    Install it and run it, there's a nice How to here: CCleaner - 1. After Installation

    You basically want to start at the top and run the Cleaner with everything selected, clean the registry (do this option multiple times until it comes back clean) and then we need to look at the programs that start when the computer is booted.
    1. In the Tools tab select Start Up
    2. Now make the box FULL screen and take a screen shot
      • For a Screen Shot press the ALT and Prnt Screen buttons
      • Open Word (or any other imaging program)
      • RIGHT click and select PASTE
      • You now have a picture of the CCleaner window in a word doc
    3. Attach your screen shot/doc to your thread and we'll advise what you can disable and what you MUST keep on start up


    - Inbuilt Windows Disc cleaner

    So once you have used CCleaner to remove crap it's time to use the windows Disc cleaner.
    1. Open My Computer
    2. RIGHT click C: Drive and select PROPERTIES
    3. Click the Disc Cleanup button
    4. WAIT a bit
    5. Put a check mark on everything EXCEPT Compress Old Files
    6. Click OK
    7. WAIT again
    8. Job done.

    So that wasn't too difficult now, was it?


    2/ System Scan

    - Anti Virus

    Now let's make sure your system is free of nasties.
    I hope you have anti-virus protection installed! If not, AVG is a good one and it's free! ( Download Grisoft AVG Free Antivirus ) Alos worth a look us Antivir ( http://www.softpedia.com/progDownloa...load-6527.html )

    So this is pretty easy"
    • Open My Computer
    • RIGHT-click on a drive and select scan for viruses (verbiage may a little different based on each AV software you may have installed)
    • WAIT ages
    • Delete everything it finds
    • Setup you AV software to run this same scan on it's own, perhaps in the middle of the night while you sleep


    - Spyware

    As for spyware you'll need another tool called Spybot Search & Destroy ( FileForum | Download Spybot Search and Destroy ) ( Also worth a look is Malwarebytes ( http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebyte...=dl&tag=button )
    Here's how to use it: The home of Spybot-SD!

    When you run this software, it's simply a case of saying YES to everything and deleting anything it finds. Again this will take ages.


    3/ Patching with Windows Update

    Patching is very straightforward as it's just a case of going to Microsoft's update site: Microsoft Windows Update
    If you want things nice and easy select Express, BUT be warned doing this WILL automatically update your IE to version 7.

    Selecting Custom allows you to install only the updates you want.
    Personally I use Custom and uncheck anything to do with IE7.


    4/ File System Defragmentation

    Last, but by no means least, is a defrag.

    Over time hard drives get slower as Windows throws files wherever it likes.
    A defrag is a simply reorganization of the filing system that is on your hard drive.
    Yet again here's a great free tool that makes this process reallllly easy: Defraggler - Defragment your files!

    Here's the how to: Defraggler - Defragment your files!


    5/ Coffee Time

    Right after all that's done (and it WILL take ages), your system will be running better than it has for a long time.

    Now it's good practice to get into a routine when using these tools.
    I use CCleaner weekly and do the others monthly.
    Yes it all takes time, but you can fire them up and have coffee

    ** Please note there are OTHER ways to do this, but these instructions are trying to be as simple and painless as possible. **
    Helpful (1)
    JBeaucaire's Avatar
    JBeaucaire Posts: 5,410, Reputation: 995
    Software Expert
     
    #4

    Jul 15, 2008, 05:01 AM


    Two Ways to Import older Outlook PST files into your newer Outlook Program:

    1. OPEN PST directly from within Outlook2003
      • Click on FILE > OPEN > OUTLOOK DATA FILE
      • Navigate to the old PST and select it
      • Click OK
      • The old PST is now open in the left Folder List as a main menu of its own
      • Drag and drop the old emails and contact from the old PST into the new one that should've already been open
      • Close the old PST when you're done copying
        • Right-click on the old PST folder you opened in the left Folder List
        • Select CLOSE "Personal Folders" from the context menu ( the "personal folder" may have a different name, you know which one it is )
        • You now have your old emails in your new PST which is required because the old PST still had the 2BG file limitation. The new PSTs are in Unicode format and allow up to 20GB
    2. Do an "import" directly into your new PST/Outllok 2003
      • Click on FILE > IMPORT
      • Select IMPORT FROM ANOTHER PROGRAM OR FILE then NEXT
      • Select PERSONAL FOLDER FILE then NEXT
      • BROWSE to locate your PST and OPEN it
      • Under Option select your preferred handling of duplicates
      • Click NEXT
      • Confirm which folder you want to import and check off INCLUDE SUBFOLDERS
      • Select FINISH and your data should get imported
    Helpful
    seahwk83's Avatar
    seahwk83 Posts: 3,276, Reputation: 212
    Ultra Member
     
    #5

    Sep 3, 2008, 01:12 PM
    Here are a Few Tips on Getting Windows to 'run' a Little Quicker

    Things to help "Speed" up PC

    -Disable Indexing - Got to windows Explorer and right click on each drive you may have and click properties and take check mark out of Allow Indexing and Apply to all Folders and Sub-Folders

    Disable Visual Effects to Speed Up Windows XP
    Disable Visual Effects to Speed Up Windows XP - Team Tutorials

    Disable Visual Effects to Speed Up Windows Vista
    Computer, select "Properties" then chose "Advanced System Settings", and, on the "Advanced" tab, click the "Settings" button under the "Performance" section. Go to the "Visual Effects" tab; there you can choose options to enable or disable certain visual effects, very similar to the User Interface of Windows XP.
    Significant performance gains in this build have been seen when using the "Adjust for best performance" option, although the benefit of the snappy new interface will be partially lost.

    Note: Disabling certain Visual Effects will also disable Aero Glass effects

    Disable Unneeded Services

    XP
    Hacking Windows XP: Speed Up Your Boot - Disabling Unneeded Services - OS, Software & Networking by ExtremeTech

    XP SP3
    Windows XP x86 (32-bit) Service Pack 3 Service Configurations by Black Viper

    Vista
    Hacking Windows Vista: Speeding Up the System Boot - Disabling unneeded services - OS, Software & Networking by ExtremeTech

    Reduce the Number of Fonts installed

    Every font that is installed in Windows has to load when Windows starts. The more fonts you have installed, the slower Windows loads. Although you can safely have around 1000 fonts loaded in Windows, I like to keep my font list closer to 300-500 or fewer if possible. There are certain fonts that are definitely required by Windows, so be careful in removing any fonts from your computer unless you know they are not needed. Fonts such as Verdana,Arial,Trebuchet, Tahoma, Tahoma, Times New Roman, MS Sans Serif, and Courier New should be left on your system. Follow the directions below to remove extra fonts from Windows XP.

    1 - Open My Computer
    2 - Double-click on Drive C
    3 - Click on File, New Folder and title it Fonts Backup
    4 - Double-click on the Windows folder to open it
    5 - Double-click on the Fonts folder
    6 - Highlight the fonts you wish to remove, click on Edit and choose COPY
    7 - Navigate back to the C:\Fonts Backup folder and PASTE these fonts into your backup folder
    8 - Return to the Fonts Folder and right-click on any fonts you previously copied to the backup folder, then choose Delete.

    If you accidentally removed a font, simply reverse the procedure by copying and pasting the font back into the Windows\Fonts folder.

    Disable the Windows Boot Logo
    Many sites recommend disabling the animated Windows boot logo to help speed up the time it takes to boot. Although it may decrease the time by a couple seconds, the anxiety caused by facing a blank screen and wondering if Windows has stalled or froze during bootup outweighs the second or two you may save. Although if you wish to disable the Windows boot logo, follow these steps:

    1) Click on Start, Run and type MSCONFIG and press Enter
    2) Click on the BOOT.INI tab
    3) Click the NOGUIBOOT checkbox and click OK
    4) Reboot the computer

    Free up disk space
    By freeing disk space, you can improve the performance of your computer. The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disk. The utility identifies files that you can safely delete, and then enables you to choose whether you want to delete some or all of the identified files.

    Use Disk Cleanup to:

    -Remove temporary Internet files.
    -Remove downloaded program files (such as Microsoft ActiveX controls and Java applets).
    -Empty the Recycle Bin.
    -Remove Windows temporary files.
    -Remove optional Windows components that you don't use.
    -Remove installed programs that you no longer use.
    Tip: Typically, temporary Internet files take the most amount of space because the browser caches each page you visit for faster access later.

    To Use Disk Cleanup

    1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup. If several drives are available, you might be prompted to specify which drive you want to clean.

    2. In the Disk Cleanup for dialog box, scroll through the content of the Files to delete list

    3. Clear the check boxes for files that you don't want to delete, and then click OK.

    4. When prompted to confirm that you want to delete the specified files, click Yes.

    After a few minutes, the process completes and the Disk Cleanup dialog box closes, leaving your computer cleaner and performing better

    Run a Registry Cleaner/Optimizer

    CCleaner (Freeware)
    Download CCleaner 2.11.636 - FileHippo.com
    On the right hand side, click download latest version

    Defragment Your Drive Monthly/Bi-Monthly, User Option

    Add More Memory (RAM)
    Helpful
    JBeaucaire's Avatar
    JBeaucaire Posts: 5,410, Reputation: 995
    Software Expert
     
    #6

    Sep 14, 2008, 05:59 AM


    Links in Outlook Express Do Not Open a Browser

    First, remember that links only work in emails received. Clicking on links in emails you are creating does not work yet, and this is by design. After you send the email, you will be able to open and click the links and they will work.

    Do each of the following ONE AT A TIME, then restart Outlook Express and see if links in a received HTML email finally start working.

    Tip #1 - Reset DLL Registrations
    • Quit all programs that are running
    • Click Start -> Run
    • Type regsvr32 urlmon.dll and then click OK
    • When you receive the "DllRegisterServer in urlmon.dll succeeded" message, click OK
    • Repeat, substituting each of these additional DLLs:
      Shdocvw.dll
      Msjava.dll
      Actxprxy.dll
      Oleaut32.dll
      Mshtml.dll
      Browseui.dll
      Shell32.dll (Windows XP and Windows 2000 only)


    Tip #2 - Reset Internet Explorer
    • Start Internet Explorer
    • Click Tools -> Internet Options -> Programs Tab
    • Click Reset Web Settings
    • Make sure to also uncheck "reset my home page" check box
    • Finally, go to the Advanced tab and click Restore Defaults
    • Close Internet Explorer
    • Restart Outlook Express and click a link in an HTML email

    Note: If you had customized any IE settings, you will have to make your changes again after this reset.

    Tip #3 - Repair Internet Explorer
    • Go to Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs and choose Internet Explorer
    • Select Remove Program
    • You will be offered the option to Repair Internet Explorer
    • Select Repair
    • Reboot the machine when the routine is finished.
    • Open Outlook Express and click a link in an HTML email


    Tip #4 - Set Internet Explorer as Default Browser
    • Click Start ->Settings -> Control Panel
    • Double-click the Internet or Internet Options icon
    • Click Programs
    • Make sure that the Internet Explorer should check to see if it is the default check box is selected, click Apply
    • Click OK
    • Open Internet Explorer
    • When the following prompt appears:
      "Internet Explorer is not currently your default browser. Do you wish to make it the default?"
      ...cllick Yes


    Tip #5 - IEFix Utility
    • Download IEFix.zip
    • Open the zip file and run the utility inside
    • It is a general purpose repair utility for Internet Explorer which repairs Internet Explorer by registering it's core DLL files. Additionally if it detects Windows 2000/XP as the Operating System, it runs SFC to restore missing or corrupt Windows system files.

      Requires Microsoft VB6 runtimes for Windows 98/ME systems, if you don't have them, download here:
      Microsoft Download Center


    Tip #6 - File Associations
    • Click Start ->My Computer
      [l*]Select Tools -> Folder Options -> File types
    • Locate (NONE) URL:File Transfer Protocol in the Registered File Types listing
    • Click Advanced
    • Click open and then click Edit
    • Make sure your browser is listed in the Application used to perform action section...for instance:
      "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"
      -or
      "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -requestPending -osint -url "%1"
    • Click OK -> OK
    • Click on (NONE) URL: Gopher Protocol
    • Click on Advanced, then click open, then click Edit
    • Make sure your browser is listed in the Application used to perform action section...for instance:
      "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -nohome
    • Click OK -> OK
    • Click on (NONE) URL: HyperText Transfer Protocol
    • Click on Advanced, then click open, then click Edit
    • Make sure your browser is listed in the Application used to perform action section...for instance:
      "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -requestPending -osint -url "%1"
      - or
      "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"
    • Click OK -> OK
    • Click on (NONE) URL: HyperText Transfer Protocol
    • Click on Advanced, then click open, then click Edit
    • Make sure your browser is listed in the Application used to perform action section...for instance:
      "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -requestPending -osint -url "%1"
      - or
      "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"
    • Click OK -> OK -> Apply -> Close

    At this point if your Outlook Express links still don't work, go back into the File Type settings in Tip #6 and uncheck the Use DDE box in the Edit section where you set the browser.

    Tip #7 - Update your Internet Explorer via Microsoft Windows Update
    Helpful
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 16,901, Reputation: 1761
    Admin & Wine Expert
     
    #7

    Apr 26, 2010, 07:30 AM
    Ten free apps to install on every new PC ? reghardware
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