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  • Aunty Virus 28th March 2017

    John from Albir asks:
    Hi Aunty you did can article about a Windows 7 update problem a few weeks ago and you suggested switching off Automatic Updates till Microsoft sorted out the problem. Can you please advise if Microsoft have resolved the problem and how to reset the Auto updates? I changed the startup type to disabled as you advised.

    Aunty Says:
    Hello John. It looks like Microsoft have finally fixed this annoying bug so go to Control Panel and “System and Security” and under the Windows Update section click on “Turn automatic updating on or off”. I usually opt for the “Check for updates but let me choose” option and make sure that the “Give me recommended updates” box is unticked.

    John from Benidorm asks:
    Hi Aunty. I have Windows 7 and have used Windows Live Mail as my email app for years and I have now heard a warning that it will stop working on 30th June. My email address is @
    telefonica.net and my options seem very difficult. Is the Mozilla (Thunderbird) app a reliable option? I also have a Windows 10 laptop and have tried the preinstalled Mail app but am not impressed.  I have also tried Yahoo and Gmail.  I tend to prefer Gmail, but does that mean I have to change my email address, advising all my contacts? Can I use my existing @telefonica address with any email program? I am totally confused so can you suggest a simple solution.  I depend totally on email for all my personal and financial communications.
    Aunty Says:
    This is a confusing subject John and it’s not been made any clearer thanks to Microsoft using so many different disguises for their email services & apps (Hotmail, Outlook, MSN, Live Mail etc etc) so for simplicity & security reasons I have long championed using Google’s Gmail service and only via the Gmail website. Using an email app/program such as your Windows Live Mail (or Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird & the new Win10 Mail) requires installing and setting things up locally on your computer, whereas accessing your email via the web (webmail) there is no need to download or configure anything. I would also strongly suggest changing from your Telefonica address as you would lose this should you cancel your Movistar contract or if they decide to shut down their legacy services. A change of email would involve emailing all of your contacts with your new email address but there is a simple way of importing your old address book into Gmail. Let me know if you decide to do this and I will forward you a “how to” guide.

    Doromy via email asks:
    Hola Aunty. I´m having a really bad time! My Windows button isn´t working and nor is the "Search the web & Windows" box. When I try to close down I have to use a right click then shut down, then I get the message "Task Host Window is stopping background tasks" but nothing is open.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Doromy. First make sure you have scanned your computer with Malwarebytes and your favorite antivirus program. I have seen this error caused by numerous different things so if it continues let me know.

    Well that’s all for another, please email me your questions toauntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus March 21st 2017

    Petervia email asks:
    Hello Aunty, I have a
    HP DV7 laptop that I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows10 which has worked fine except that when I connect to my TVusing theHDMI lead, thelaptop screen shrinks to halfthe normal sizeand the TVpictureismissing a large part on the left side. Also the sound only comes from the laptopspeakersand notthroughmyTV.I know it’s not the laptop as everythingwasworking before I upgraded from Windows 7. It is an official Windows 10 which I bought from Amazon UK.
     
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Peter.Thisis most likely to do with the driver software for your graphics card.Go to thehp.co.ukwebsite and thesupport” and “Software and Drivers” section where you can enter the model of your laptop and download the latest Windows 10 drivers for your graphics card. Once installed connect everything up and run the “wizard” that should auto detect everything and help set things up. Sometimes it helps to switch everything off, connect all the cables and just switch the TV on and set it to the HDMI channel. When you start your laptop it should auto detect that you have your TV connected and configure everything for you.

    June via email asks:
    Hi Aunty, I have an all-in-one desktop with a touch screen but the screen is constantly covered in fingerprints and I was told they are delicate and there are some “must nots” when it comes to keeping them clean. What is the best thing for doing this?
    Aunty Says;
    Hello June. Touch screens are not particularly delicate as they have been designed and tested to handle all sorts of poking with sticky and greasy fingers. I use the cheap microfiber cloths from Mercadona which I slightly dampen with a mix of bottled water and a couple of drops of white vinegar.  You can also add a few drops surgical alcohol onto the cloth to help sterilize the screen as you can never be sure where those fingers have been.

    William from Algorfa  asks;
    Hi Aunty. I somehow installed an app called TurboYourPC as it reported I had 300 errors and it would fix them. At the time my laptop was running painfully slowly so I thought what the hell. Since I installed it I cannot open any of my apps and when I can get on the internet it is so slow and I get adverts popping up every minute, I want to throw the thing in the bin. Any advice on how to get rid of it?
    Aunty Says;
    Hello William. This is one of many apps that offer to sort out computer problems but invariably make things worse by loading loads of junk and advertising malware onto your computer. TurboYourPC is particularly sneaky and it seems to have a pretty nasty payload that will cause exactly these kind of problems. You may be lucky and successfully remove it via “programs and features” and then do a full scan with an updated Malwarebytes and your chosen antivirus program.

    That’s all for another week, email you questions to auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 14th March 2017

    Bernard from Dolores asks:
    With my old Windows XP tower computer I used to regularly create a restore point which I could go back to when things got messed up but I cannot for the life of me find how to do it on my new Windows 10 laptop. I hope this isn’t a feature that Microsoft have dropped like they seem to have done with the games I used to enjoy which have disappeared.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Bernard. You can easily get to the system restore page you are looking for by typing “create a restore point” into the search bar next to the start icon. If the search bar isn’t there just click on the start button and start typing. You can install all of our old favourites (Solitaire, Minesweepr and Mahjong etc) into Windows 10 (or Win8) using the handy little install program I have emailed you, why on Earth Microsoft dropped them I do not know so any of you that would like them back, email me for the installer.

    Mary via email asks:
    I have a HP colour LaserJet 1500 printer which I inherited years ago when my uncle’s UK business closed down. It has worked perfectly with my Dell laptop with Windows XP but I had to upgrade to an Acer laptop with Windows 10 (because I was told XP has been stopped) and I cannot get it to work as according to HP there are no drivers for Windows 10. Do you know of any possible way to get it working as I love it and I also have a big box of toner cartridges that cost a small fortune and it seems a shame to bin it?
    Aunty Says:
    It doesn’t look too hopeful Mary. I had a good rummage on the HP website and it seems they didn’t release the driver software for any version of Windows after Vista. Maybe keep your XP laptop just for printing until your ink/toner has run out and then invest in a new one.

    William from Algorfa  asks;
    Hi Aunty. I somehow installed an app called TurboYourPC  as it reported I had 300 errors and it would fix them. At the time my laptop was running painfully slowly so I thought what the hell. Since I installed it I cannot open any of my apps and when I can get on the internet it is so slow and I get adverts popping up every minute, I want to throw the thing in the bin. Any advice on how to get rid of it?
    Aunty Says;
    Hello William. This is one of many apps that offer to sort out computer problems but invariably make things worse by loading loads of junk and advertising malware onto your computer. TurboYourPC is particularly sneaky and it seems to have a pretty nasty payload that will cause exactly these kind of problems. You may be lucky and successfully remove it via “programs and features” and then do a full scan with an updated Malwarebytes and your chosen antivirus program.

    That’s all for this week folks, email me your questions to auntyvirus@coastrider.net and I will see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 7th March 2017

    David and Beverley via email ask:

    Hi Aunty. Thanks for all the helpful advice published in your column. We have an Outlook email account (previously Hotmail and still has the hotmail.com address) and until recently we had to login by entering both our email address and our password. We prefer it that way as we believe it is more secure but recently we’ve not needed enter our login details as Outlook has saved our name and password, and try as I might, I cannot find a way of reverting back to how it was. No amount of searching Outlook help or Google searches has revealed the answer. Can you throw any light on the problem please?
    Aunty Says:
    The exact procedure will really depend on how you are accessing you email and what versions of things you are using, but I’ll try and give you some idea of where to look. If you access your email via an app on your computer, such as Windows Live Mail or Outlook, then look for a security section somewhere under the “tools” menu or the settings icon and from there look for something like “email account settings” and a tick box which will be something like “
    Always prompt for logon credentials” or “remember passwords”.  HoweverIf you are using the web to get to your email then it will be your browser (Google Chrome, Firefox. IE or Edge etc) that will be storing your login details and again this will be different for each browser. If you email me some more details of how you are accessing your emails I can give you some more specific instructions.

    Alan via email asks:
    Dear Aunty. I have been having problems with websites opening unsolicited pages and it is usually when I have just started up Google Chrome and go to various websites that I use. Once the first webpage is opened and I click on the down arrow to scroll down, quite often another website will appear and it starts redirecting me to sites which offers to check for malware, which I never pursue. I have done full scans with Windows security twice but it does not find any problems. Is this a problem related to cookies or is it to do with Google Chrome? I have used Firefox browser sometimes and not had the problem. Any ideas on what I can check for?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Alan. It sounds like you have some nasty infections and you will first need to do a full scan with Malwarebytes and see what it finds. This may well clean your system but if not then try the Chrome Cleanup Tool (type it into Google search) and follow the Chrome reset options.

    Joan via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. I have a Samsung tablet and I’m continually getting an error message “there is insufficient storage to install this app” but as far as I know I haven’t asked to install anything. I only have a few photos and I don’t use the tablet for much other than Facebook, a bit of chatting with Skype and browsing the web.
    Aunty says:
    This app could be anything Joan and quite likely an update for one of your existing apps or an Android system update. A bit of housekeeping to remove any unused apps plus clearing out some cache will fix this but it can be very fiddly. There are a couple of free apps that you can download that will save you hours of time but as you have no space you will need to free up a small amount of storage to allow the cleanup app download. Go to “settings” and “App Manager” and look down the list for any apps that you no longer use and click on “Clear Data” and “Clear Cache”. Do this for a couple of apps and hopefully you will clear enough space to install the free Clean Master app from the Play Store. If you don’t already have an SD memory card then invest €15 in a 32GB card and use the Clean Master app to help move photos and apps from your tablet’s internal memory onto the SD card.

    Well that’s all for another week. Email me your questions to auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I will see if I can get you sorted.

  • Aunty Virus 29th March

    Graham via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. Is there a way to stop the sunlight reflecting on my laptop? I've seen stick-on screen filters for sale but I'm a bit wary sticking anything on my screen until I know a bit more about it. I also have a Samsung Galaxy tablet which seems to be much better outside.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Graham. There are a couple of things you can try before buying anything. When laptops are used outside they are pretty much certainly running on battery and will likely have the screen automatically dimmed to save power. In ‘control panel’ ‘power options’ you will be able to change these settings. There should also be a +/- brightness key on the keyboard so look for some symbol on one of the F keys along the top, but as all laptops are different maybe ask Google. Obviously positioning yourself out of the sun and under some shade will help and I know you can buy special laptop shades for around €40 which will do a good job, but I would rather make one from an old cardboard box and put the €40 to better use. I certainly wouldn’t recommend sticking any kind of filter on a laptop screen.

    Stan via email asks:
    Dear Aunty, how do you get rid of the BING and MSN search thing off my computer? I’ve no idea how it got there and how can I stop this kind of thing from taking over my computer?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Stan. Bing is Microsoft’s own search engine page and they are pushing it again in an attempt at reclaiming some ground from Google and Yahoo. MSN is also owned by Microsoft, and is a sort of “homepage” with a bit of news and links etc. Both are harmless but can be annoying if they’ve taken over your Google or Yahoo homepage. I’m guessing you have recently installed or updated Skype Stan? Skype is also owned by Microsoft and during the install there are two tick boxes that you need to untick to stop these two from taking over. To get your browser (Chrome Firefox etc) back to normal you need to go to the “tools” or “settings icon” and change your startup and homepage settings back to google.co.uk or yahoo.co.uk.

    Mandy from Cabo Roig asks:
    Dear Aunty. I travel frequently from Ireland to Spain so I bought a small Acer Netbook because it is small and light weight however I now realise that it doesn’t have a DVD drive so is it easy enough to download information from the internet and onto a memory stick as I am nervous in case I infect my computer?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Mandy. It is actually easier to download stuff onto a memory stick than to “burn” it onto a DVD as the USB stick simply appears as an extra drive letter under ‘My Computer’ rather than having to go through the often troublesome process of burning the downloaded information to CD/DVD. As far as safety is concerned it really depends on what you are downloading as infected files can just as easily get onto your computer via a CD/DVD as a USB stick. Make sure your antivirus program is up to date and you should be fine.

     

    Any questions you can email me at auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I’ll see you all next week.

  • Aunty Virus 21st March

    Len from San Pedro asks:
    I would like to backup everything from my computer in case of any problem doing the Windows 10 upgrade and I know you often advise us to do this anyway but I’m not really sure how to do it! I have loads of photos and documents but my videos and music I’m not too bothered about.
    Aunty Says:
    Probably the easiest way Len is to simply copy them all onto a USB memory stick, and you can pick up a huge 32GB one for under €15 which will hold 1000’s of photos and documents. When you plug the USB stick in it will appear as the next available drive letter in “Computer” (from the Start button).  I simply use the built in copy and paste function which you can get to by right clicking and “copy” on the folder on your computer and then right click and “paste” onto the USB drive.

    Ron from El Mojon asks:
    Hi Aunty. I use Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and sometimes also Google Chrome browsers and I am trying to consolidate all of my bookmarks/favourites into just one basic file in Firefox which I can then export/import to the other browsers. Could you advise the full directory path and description to where the favourites and bookmarks are stored in the 3 different browsers?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Ron. Without knowing which version of Windows you are running I can’t point you to the exact path where bookmarks are stored. However all three browsers have an option to export and import bookmarks/favourites from each other so probably the best method would be to set your Firefox bookmarks how you want them and then use the import function from IE and Chrome.

    Susan via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. I bought a Toshiba laptop from Carrefour before Christmas and it was great for the first few months but it slowly started getting slower and slower until it actually packed up completely. When I took it back they pretty much refused to help as I hadn’t been back within 2 weeks with the guarantee (which I am now told breaks all EU laws) but luckily I had bought it with my Barclaycard and I was able to threaten them with Barclaycard’s refund service. They ended up taking my laptop off me and said one of their engineers would look at it and I would have to come back next week. I picked it up 2 weeks later but when I switched it on none of my stuff was on there and after a closer look I realised it wasn’t my original laptop so all of my photos, emails and bank login details were gone!! Carrefour then told me that mine had been returned to the manufacturer in China and recommended I contact my banks and cancel any credit cards etc (which I have done) but the worst thing was all of my photos have gone. Is there anything at all that I can do?
    Aunty Says:
    Sorry to hear this Susan but this is the big problem when buying a computer from a supermarket. They have a basic replacement policy and virtually no system in place to backup or secure any of your personal details. There is so much of our private information stored on computers these days that it pays to use a proper computer shop that can at least advise you on clearing the machine and backing up your valuable stuff should a serious fault occur.

     

    That’s it for this week, email me at auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I’ll see what I can do.

  • Aunty Virus 14th March

    Neville via email asks:
    I have downloaded Firefox so that I may stop the `pop up' ads. Being 78 I'm struggling to proceed, please advise.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Neville. Firefox by itself probably won’t stop those annoying pop-up adverts, what you need is the additional plug-in for Firefox called “adblock”.  You can download it from www.adblockplus.org for free but they do ask for a voluntary donation which you can opt out of. You should also scan your computer with the free Malwarebytes as pop-up ads are also a sign of a possible spyware infection.

    Pat via email asks:
    Hi aunty. I recently upgraded to windows 10 and find that my printer doesn't work. I have a z640 series colour Lexmark inkjet. I have looked to download drivers but my printer isn't listed in windows 10, is there an alternative or is it now obsolete?
    Thank you in anticipation.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Pat. Try the Widows 7 drivers as these will often install and work fine with Windows 10.

    Lesley via email asks:
    I have just bought a new laptop from the UK with Windows 10 which has the Microsoft Home Student Office 2016 app installed but annoyingly this turned out to only be a trial and is now saying that it will expire in 10 days. When I look at the buying option it is asking for $149 which I can’t really afford. I really only use Word but I use it all day and every day and have tried the free Open Office but it seems far more complicated to use. Is there any other simple alternative (free or cheap) program I can download?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Lesley. Maybe try Google Docs or Libre Office which are both free and work as really good substitutes for most of the Microsoft Office programs, maybe also download some of the many free user manuals/tutorials. Windows does come with a perfectly usable word processor called Wordpad, which you can find by typing wordpad into the search box by the start button.

    Jan from Aguas Nuevas asks:
    Hi Aunty. I am still using Windows XP on an old laptop and I sometimes get sent emails with a .MOV attachment from my friend. When I click on them I get a message saying ".MOV not recognized by Windows Media Player". What should I do?
    Aunty Says:
    Any files that have the .mov extension are designed for Apple’s Quicktime media player app and there are a few things you can do to view them. My preferred option is to download the brilliant VLC player from www.download.com which I use and pretty much plays every type of video or music file. I don’t think Quicktime is supported on Windows 8 or 10, but as you are still on XP then you could download Quicktime for Windows from www.apple.com and let it set itself as your default media player.

     

    Any questions then email me at auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com See you all next week.

  • Aunty Virus 7th March

    Janice via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. I do a lot of typing with Word and I print a lot everyday (a set of cartridges a week) but as it is always black & white, and most of it just for checking, can I save on ink by disabling or removing the colour cartridge?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Janice. You won’t be able to remove the colour cartridges without causing error messages from the printer. You can however tell your printer to print only in black and white or ‘grey scale’ 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’ and 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. A lot of printers will still use some colour ink even if you are only printing B/W text so maybe consider buying a €50 monochrome laser printer?

     

    Terry via email asks:
    I often see your readers asking for advice regarding Win10. I changed from Windows Vista last year and found my printer would not work. My computer shop told me he had a long list of people voicing their misgivings and wanting to return to Windows 7. He has earned a small fortune converting them back to how they were, but I see that from June we may have no option but to change and it's likely to cost €130. Have you any advice or comments to make?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Terry. The actual end date/price for the free Win10 offer doesn’t seem to be cast in stone anymore, and many insider sources think it will be extended way beyond July, but one thing we do know is that Win7 will be supported until 2020, so whatever happens don’t be scare panicked into the Win10 upgrade. I personally only know of a few incidents where some older computers & printers have needed a bit of tweaking to get Win10 100% working, but if properly installed with a little planning (and that is very much the key issue) Win10 is great. I found it much faster, easier to use and more stable than Win8, and I think overall it just edges it over Win7. If you don’t get on with Win10 then it is literally one click (within a month from the upgrade) and you’re back to your old Win7 setup exactly how it was before the upgrade. It’s interesting to note that Microsoft have foolishly set themselves a goal of 1,000,000,000 Win10 users by 2017, so I suspect this “upgrade frenzy” has been carefully planned to help meet that target. Watch this space for any confirmed dates or prices.

     

    Nick from Torrevieja asks:
    Hello there Aunty. I have 3 questions about Windows 10 that I am sure you will be able to answer. What is the minimum amount of RAM needed for it to run satisfactorily? Is it straightforward and 'user friendly' when operated without a touch-sensitive screen? Will the various games programs I have downloaded with Windows 7 (for the grandchildren, of course...) still work? Thanking you in anticipation.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Nick. I would suggest a minimum of 2GB of memory, but I have seen Win10 working on one of those little net-book type laptops with only 1GB RAM. It is very user friendly and delightfully similar to Win7 but thankfully nothing like Win8. All your Win7 games will work fine.


    Any questions then email me at auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com. See you all next week.

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