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Aunty Virus - free computer help and advice

  • Aunty Virus 22nd November

    Barry from San Luis asks:
    I recently bought an Asus laptop with Windows 10 from Carrefour and although I’ve managed to convert it to display in English I cannot seem to get the @ key to work, it seems to be in the wrong place!
    Aunty Says:
    Bit fiddly this one Barry but if you take your time you should be OK. The @ key or ‘at sign’ is in a different place on UK, US and Spanish keyboards and you most likely have the UK keyboard driver loaded instead of the Spanish one. Click the start button and type “language”. This will bring up the Control Panel language page where you can click on “options” “add an "Input Method” and choose Spanish International from the list. To be sure Windows doesn’t switch back to the wrong layout you should delete any US or UK entries under the “input device” heading. Don’t forget you will need to hold down the ‘Alt GR’ key and press the ‘2’ key to get the @ key.

    Simon via email asks:
    I downloaded Malwarebytes Free from the official website but after it installed it came up in Spanish instead of English so how do I change it?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Simon. After starting Malwarebytes click on the “Configuracion” cog icon then  “Configuracion General” in the left hand list and you will see a drop down list titled ‘idioma’ which is where the language can be changed. Some programs/apps (such as Skype) have the change language options under ‘herramientas” or “opciones.

    Jane via email asks:
    Dear Aunty, I have a USB 4G Dongle with a SIM card that I plug into my laptop and use the internet with. This last week Firefox has been painfully slow but it is fine at my local cafe where they have free WiFi. Should they be different speeds?
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Jane. First check that you haven’t exceeded your monthly quota as most providers will restrict your speed to a crawl. If you’re still within your quota then this could be the signal strength of your providers mobile service in the area where you are trying to connect. You can think of this as if it were a mobile phone as they both use the same coverage and as we sometimes have to do with our mobile phone, try moving your laptop to different areas and you may well see the signal strength improve.

    Gary from Catral asks:
    I have Windows 8.1 and I use the paid version of MacAfee but is it wise to also have Malwarebytes and Windows Defender or are they the same type of app?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Gary. Malwarebytes will detect a lot more spyware than MacAfee so yes you should download and install the free Malwarebytes. Windows Defender is very similar to MacAfee and they will probably battle each other so no point in enabling Defender.

    Well that’s all for another week, email me your questions to and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 15th November

    David via email asks:
    When my internet starts it always goes to Yahoo web search, I don't know why as I have never wanted this to be my home page. In Firefox options/homepage I can change the homepage but it reverts back to Yahoo when I restart the computer. Please help me get rid of this irritating interloper. I am using a Toshiba laptop running Windows Vista home premium using the Firefox browser.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi David. First have a look to see if there are any Yahoo related toolbars or add-ons installed in Firefox as these can often cause this kind of problem. Also look for and uninstall any IObit or Yahoo programs via control panel- As a last resort try uninstalling Firefox and reinstall a fresh new copy from the Mozilla website. You only have around 6 months before Microsoft officially discontinue any updates or support for Vista so you should plan for at least a Windows 7 upgrade.

    Rita from Santa Pola asks:
    I moved to Spain 2 years ago and before that I was with BT for 20 years and had an email address @btinternet but a few weeks ago it stopped working on my phone and my computer. I contacted British Telecom who told me I was no longer a customer and that my email address had been cancelled. I am seriously upset but is there anything I can do to retrieve my emails and contact list?
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Rita. I think BT teamed up with Yahoo a while back and they were offering ex customers the option to sign-up to their premium email service which allowed folk to keep hold of their email address even after they finished with BT. I have never liked company specific email addresses for this reason and  there seems to be a purge at the moment with a lot of Sky and Telefonica (Movistar) customers losing access to their email service. Go for an independent email provider such as Google’s Gmail.

    Mark via email asks:
    Hello, I have a problem that nobody seemingly has a solution to so I will explain it as best I can. I have an Acer laptop running Windows 8.1 Pro and about one month ago it started to continually search for (and fail) to find any updates at all. During this time the computer is running continuously at 100% and as a result the laptop is very slow. Today the laptop has been at 100% of CPU power for over 6 hours  and still searching for updates and I can't keep using the laptop. Any ideas or thoughts you might have will be very much appreciated.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Mark. Windows updates are causing so many serious problems at the moment and the list of possible fixes will probably fill this whole paper. I can only suggest doing what I had to do with my Windows 7 machine which was to disable the Windows Update service. Press the Windows/Start key and type services.msc. Right click on the Windows Update service and choose “properties” and change the “Startup type” to “disabled” and restart your laptop. I have done this as a temporary fix until Microsoft sort out these annoying bugs. Let me know how you get on.

    That’s all for another week, email me your problems to and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 8th November

    Ray from Campoamor asks:
    Hi Aunty. What is an easy way to translate a webpage from Spanish to English? I seem to remember once having an option of language near the top of the screen. I don't understand the screen options of Chrome and Firefox. I use Windows 10.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Ray. In Google Chrome you can easily add the little translate button that used to appear in the top right corner. Search for webstore in Google and click on the Chrome Web Store link, if it comes up in Spanish then you can change the language using the cog icon in the top right. Type "translate" into the search box and choose the Google Translate extension and you should now see the small blue icon in the top right corner of Chrome. You can sometimes see a translate option of you right click on a blank area of the webpage you want to translate.

    Martin via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. I‘m treating myself to a new laptop for Christmas and I want to transfer all of my documents and photos from my old PC computer before I give it to my nephew. How do I do this so that no one can get my personal information or photos etc. from my old tower?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Martin. Transferring your photos & docs from one computer to the other is pretty easy but it will depend on how well organised your files and folders are, and how much stuff you have. You can buy a 64GB USB flash memory stick for under €20 and use this to copy/paste everything from one machine to the other. On your old computer, right click on a folder and from the menu that pops up choose ‘copy’ and then right click on the USB stick and choose ‘paste’. The USB stick should appear after plugging it in as a new drive in My Computer or File Manager. Once you have double checked that you have everything from your old computer the only way to be 100% safe is to destroy the old hard disk drive as it isn’t too difficult to retrieve data even after Windows has been reinstalled. Give it a good smack with a hammer.

    Bernard via email asks:
    Dear Aunty, I am having major problems with my Dell tower PC as it randomly and at no particular time, will simply shut down and I have to restart it again with the on/off button. Can you help me in any way to solve the problem? Keep up the great work.
    Aunty says:
    Hello Bernard. Normally when a computer repeatedly and randomly shuts down it is caused by overheating or a hardware fault. Blowing any fluff from the air vents at the back and around the sides may allow cool air to flow which can often improve things. As your problem is random then maybe also check you don’t have a loose connection where the power is plugged in. Keep me posted.

    Well that’s all for this week, email me your problems to and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 1st November

    Lou from Torrevieja asks:
    Hi Aunty. What is the best way to put some photos onto a DVD so I can send them to my family in Norway? I am using Windows 10 but I can’t see any app for making DVD discs. I used to have Nero on my old Vista PC which was really easy to use, is it safe to download one of the free apps to do this?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Lou. Windows 10 can quite happily make DVDs without the need to download any additional apps. I normally create a new temporary folder by right clicking somewhere on the desktop and then copy & paste all of the photos that I want to put on the DVD into this folder, I find that this makes the whole process a lot easier. Put a blank DVD into the disc drive and open the new folder you created (double click on it) and you should then see a new window and a “share” tab at the top. Click on this tab and you will see a “burn to disc” option which will start the process.

    Dennis via email asks:
    I was recently called by a Microsoft technical support officer who said that my computer had been sending out hundreds of error messages and that they were calling from Microsoft in Alicante and persuaded me to go through a load of checks on my system.  After half an hour they told me that they could fix my computer but I needed to pay 90 Euros and at this point I suspected it was some kind of scam and I told them so. I didn’t give them any personal details but I’m worried they managed to trawl through my computer and may now have things like banking information. Is this possible and what should I do? Why did they target me and how could they have got my home number?
    Aunty Says:
    This is definitely a scam Dennis, Microsoft will never call customers about computer problems. These people could easily have uploaded any of your personal details and there isn’t much you can do about it. Certainly change any important passwords including email and online banking and contact your bank to alert them to look for any unusual behaviour. Nearly everyone has a Windows computer with some kind of problem so these robbers can pick random numbers and safely assume that they will get a result.

    Helen via email asks:
    Hi Aunty, I have used Firefox for probably 10 years but I recently had major problems so I downloaded Google chrome which is definitely faster. However now I don’t seem to have any favourites and can’t seem to find a way of showing them like they were in Firefox. I have worked out how to add them each time I’m on a website by clicking the star icon in the top right corner but can I move them across from Firefox (I have hundreds) or will I have to add them all one by one?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Helen. You can do this from the settings icon (three little dots in the top right corner) and choose “Bookmarks” then “Import Bookmarks and Settings” and you should be good to go.

    That’ll do for this week, email me your questions to and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 25th November 2014

    Brian via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. I use Word and I print a lot of song lyrics from my computer but 99% of what I print is always b&w and I was told I could economize and speed up printing by removing the colour cartridge, but when I do I get an error message “insert cartridge” and I can only print the document after I have put the colour one back in.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Brian. You won’t be able to remove the colour cartridges without causing these sorts of error messages from the printer. You can however tell your printer to print in ‘grey scale’ or black and white and also change to ‘fast/draft’ mode. The easiest way to do this from Word is by holding down the ‘Ctrl’ key and pressing ‘P’ just as you are ready to print.  Click the ‘properties’ button and this should display various printing options. All printers and programs are a little different, but the principles are the same.
    Mark via email asks:
    Dear Aunty. I have bought a new computer recently with windows 8 and my old one used to open my bank statement .xls files from my HSBC bank automatically into a spreadsheet program. Now when I download the same files and click ‘open’ it brings up Microsoft Office XL but then tells me my trial period has expired and I need to go online and purchase a copy! I cannot remember exactly how it worked before but I think it was Office but was a free program you had recommended.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Mark. What you probably had was the wonderful free Open Office from which does pretty much everything Microsoft Office does. You should also remove the trial version of MS Office via control panel’ ‘uninstall a program’
    Anne via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. I stupidly bought an app called PC Opimizer Pro as I believed it was going to speed up and clean my Toshiba laptop which was running very slowly. Since I installed it I can hardly open any of my programs and the internet has slowed down to a crawl. I also get adverts popping up every few minutes. I have Windows 7 and I bought it because I have a lot of registry problems and I have since been told by friends that I should not download these programmes to my computer. Would you please advise me how to get rid of it and what is a good alternative programme?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Anne. PC Optimizer Pro masquerades as one of these “cure all” apps that offer to sort out all of your PC problems for you, but instead seems to make things worse and will end up costing you more when you have to take you laptop to an engineer to have Windows reinstalled. Your one is particularly suspect as it seems to have some fairly nasty hidden spyware that will cause exactly the kind of problems you are having. I don’t believe any of these tune-up programs are worth the risk and would suggest having your computer serviced by a reputable engineer once every 6 months. You may be lucky and successfully remove it via ‘control panel’ and ‘uninstall a program’ and then do a full scan with an updated Malwarebytes.
    That’s all for this week folks, email me your questions to and I will see what I can do.
  • Aunty Virus 18th November

    Lesley via email asks:
    Something called Cryptolocker keeps popping up on my laptop from McAfee as a trojan but when I choose the quarantine option McAfee closes and Chrome opens with a different box with Delta Search and a load of adverts appear. I have followed some instructions on Google but I cannot get rid of it. Please help me!
    Aunty Says:
    Oh dear Lesley. I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news but the Cryptolocker virus is a nasty ‘rootkit’ type virus, which on its own is bad news enough, but it looks like you also have the infamous ‘qv60’ virus which is a horrible bit of work that hijacks your internet browser and can be really difficult to remove. Thankfully the Cryptolocker virus doesn’t crop up much these days but the qv06 spyware is certainly doing the rounds. I think an updated Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware may well get rid of both of these so give them a go and please let me know how you get on.
    Mark via email asks:
    Hi Aunty, I have windows 7 on a Sony laptop and when I started my computer this morning the bar at the bottom with my start button and a few useful icons seems to have moved from the bottom of the screen to the left hand side. I remember on XP you could move this bar by dragging it around but I've tried everything and can't seem to find a way of moving it back to the bottom where I’m used to it being.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi  Mark. The first thing to do is make sure that the ‘lock the taskbar’ option is unticked by right clicking on the task bar and choose ‘properties’ and untick the ‘lock the taskbar’ option and this should allow you to drag the bar back to where you want it, let me know how you get on.
    Liam via email asks:
    Hi again Aunty. I have a new Lenovo laptop with Windows 8 (which I hate) and I want to transfer my apps, programs, photos and docs from my old and beloved Win7 PC. I will then like to pass it on to my niece for Christmas but without her seeing my old docs or accessing any of my personal and private information, not that I suspect she will do anything untoward but better safe than sorry. Is there a correct way of doing this and if I took it into a shop then how much should I expect to pay? Thanks for your help over the years.
    Aunty Says:
    Always my pleasure to help Liam. Transferring documents etc isn’t too difficult but it will vary depending on how much there is and how well organised you´ve been when saving them onto your hard disk. I would recommend purchasing a large USB stick, you can pick up a 32GB ScanDisk one for around €20, and use it to simply copy & paste everything via the USB stick onto your new laptop. This is also an ideal time to have a good old sort and clear out of old or duplicated stuff and to properly name and file your documents and photos. Transferring programs/applications from one computer to another is a completely different ball game as they cannot be copied but will have to be re-installed from the original download or setup discs etc. You can re-download most of the popular free programs from trustworthy sites such as but be vigilant of any extras you may get tricked into installing. Once you are happy you have everything from your old computer you will need to properly wipe the hard disks of the old one with a fresh install of Windows. This can be a tricky and fairly long winded so maybe give Phil a call on 687 362 844 and get some advice on the best way forward.
  • Aunty Virus 11th November

    Eddie via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. I was wondering if it's better to leave my new laptop on like I used to do with my computer, or should I close it down even if it is only for a couple of hours?
    Aunty Says:
    I don’t think it makes much difference these days Eddie. Most laptops will go into hibernation after a short period of inactivity and the internal components are so well made that the days of wear and tear from repeatedly heating up and cooling down are long gone. The practice of occasionally running down and fully charging a laptop’s battery is still relevant and properly shutting down once in a while will make sure any Windows updates get installed.
    John via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. I have had my HP laptop upgraded to Windows 7 and I wish to download the software drivers for my built in webcam, but I can’t find them on the Dell website. I am told by a semi reliable source that I can get the free software from the Dell site so I would really appreciate it if you can sort this out for me.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi John. Webcams are built into a lot of laptops and you have been advised correctly to download the latest drivers from the Dell website. Unfortunately if it is an older laptop that was designed for XP you may find the driver does not exist. You must enter the exact model of your laptop which you should find on a sticker underneath and if you do not see a Win7 driver then the Vista one may work. If all else fails you can buy a clip on webcam specifically designed for laptops from Media Markt or from Amazon.
    Ali via email asks:
    I am having problems stopping a website from popping up whenever I go on the Internet, it keeps appearing whatever I am doing and I have to close Chrome to get rid of it (I have attached a picture of my screen) I have also noticed my internet has slowed down and sometimes my computer freezes even if I am just reading the news on a website.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Ali. Looking at the picture of the link you sent me it looks like you have some very nasty spyware, or possibly a root-kit virus on your computer. Make sure you have an updated copy of MalwareBytes and then do a full scan of your computer. Also check your favourite antivirus program is up to date and do a full scan with that. The new generation of spyware and root-kit virus are extremely clever and they often stop your antispyware and antivirus programs from working which can often make them almost impossible to remove, so see how you get on and if you run into any problems then give Phil at eNET Computers a call on 687 362 844 as they deal with this kind of thing on a regular basis.
    That’s it for another week. Email me with your problems at and I will see what I can do.
  • Aunty Virus 4th November

    Lesley via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. I remember a long time back you mentioned an online second hand book website that delivered to Spain. I used Amazon a few times but I rarely find the older second hand books that I collect and cannot for the life of me remember the name. Hope you can help as it was cheap and fast.
    Aunty Says:
    I imagine it was Lesley and they will deliver to Spain for £2 per book, which is bearable if you’re hunting really hard to find books.
    Jon from Elche asks:
    Hi Aunty. Do you have any experience of internet via satellite?  I have a Movistar landline with ADSL but it is classed as "rural" which I think is Spanish for very slow & unreliable.  My contract says up to 10 Mb but it rarely exceeds 1Mb. I am thinking of cancelling my landline & ADSL contract, and installing satellite provision - Avanti, Tooway, or similar.  They all promise much faster speeds but are quite expensive to install and their monthly fees are quite high.  If I knew they were reliable and quick I would be tempted, but unfortunately I do not know anyone who uses them.  I would be grateful for any advice you can offer.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Jon. I can’t offer you any specific advice but generally the satellite systems work OK, certainly better than 1Mb. I would suggest maybe speaking to your neighbours to see what they are using, and if any readers would like to email me with their internet-over-satellite experiences I will be more than happy to forward you any details. It may also be worth looking at the 4G mobile coverage where you are as the likes of Vodafone are offering very fast ADSL using a special router with a SIM card, and the nearer you are to towns and cities the better the service is becoming.
    Eric via email asks:
    Hello Aunty, I find I cannot remember the multitude of passwords which have built up in my life.  I am tempted by password manager sites but worry that if I don't like the site I will not be able to revert to my old passwords.  Help and advice please.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Eric. There are so many different social media sites, online banks and customer accounts there’s little wonder we suffer from this, and it is more important than ever to maintain security. I personally don’t trust any of these password management systems mainly because they are the Golden Chalice for hackers, but also because they may disappear one day. What I did recently was to sit down with a large cup of coffee and login to my Skype, facebook and banking websites etc. and I change all of my passwords to something very easy to remember, but very difficult to guess. I used a memorable 8 letter word but I replaced one of the letters with a number and put a non alpha-numeric character (such as a question- mark or dollar sign) at the end. If I ever need to change a password I will simply change the number. No need to write this kind of password down but practice it a few times so you remember the system you used.


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