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Aunty Virus - free computer help and advice

  • Aunty Virus 26th July

    Ben via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. I had a countdown timer that popped up on my laptop telling me I only had 8 days and 4 hours to get my free Windows 10 upgrade, so the question is, should I stick with Windows 7 that I love and has never given me any problems, or should I go for the upgrade to Windows 10 which I’m a bit wary about?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Ben. Firstly Win7 is safe and will be supported up until January 14th 2020, so if you do choose to opt out of the free upgrade you will be OK for a good while. Win8 seems to be having more and more problems so in my opinion if any of you are running Win8 then do take advantage of the free upgrade. As of mid July there are still around 50% of us still using Win7, compared to just 10% using Win8, so I imagine Microsoft will focus more resources keeping it’s Win7 users happy. I took advantage of the Win7 to Win10 upgrade and I’m very impressed.

    Lisa via email asks:
    Hello Aunty. In the last couple of days I have regularly been getting a message 'Policia Atencion' coming up (screen snapshot attached) and I can only get rid of it temporarily using Task Manager and then each time it appears it is from a different website. Any ideas on what is it and how on earth do I get rid of it?
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Lisa. This is a nasty virus that has been doing the rounds since 2010 and has morphed into different forms. Originally it appeared to be from the FBI and warned the victim that “illegal copyright or porn activity has been detected on your computer, but if you pay $200 you would get off with just a warning” The virus writers then adapted it to include the Metropolitan Police, and recently Interpol, and I have recently seen it showing up on a few Android devices. It is very authentic looking and pretty much stops you doing anything until you pay the fee. It is a really tricky virus to remove completely so maybe give it a go with your favourite antivirus program and Malwarebytes. If this fails then let me know and we can try a few other things.

    Terry via email asks:
    Hi there. I was running Windows 7 and I upgraded to 10 but prior to, and since the upgrade, I often get the error “cannot connect to DNS server”. My connection is showing reasonable signal strength but I'm also told I'm not connected. I have Advance System Care installed along with I0bit Malware Fighter. Could you please help?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi there Terry. The first thing I would suggest is to uninstall both those dodgy IObit apps and install Malwarebytes and do a full system scan. Also enable the built in Windows Defender antivirus app and do a full system scan with that as well. I think that will solve the problem but if not then there are a few simple tweaks in the “Network and Sharing Centre” but we can look into that if need be.

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

  • Aunty Virus 19th July

    Ian via email asks:
    Hi Aunty. I have a UK laptop with Windows 7 and I have just returned back to Spain and I am being pestered to sign up for the free Windows 10 upgrade and I'm tempted because of the magic word, FREE! What sort of problems can I expect and will it be in English or is it better sticking with Windows 7? Hope you can help.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello Ian. Yes it is totally free (if you have a genuine install of Win7 or 8) and it will detect and upgrade in your current language. So far I have heard pretty much all good things about Win10 so I would go for it before the free upgrade offer runs out at the end of this month (July 2016). If you have any very old programs/apps then you may find they need reinstalling and also make sure you have a backup of any photos or documents just in case.

    Sandra via email asks:
    I have a new Toshiba laptop running Windows 10 which came with the Microsoft Student & Office app pre-installed. Unfortunately this turned out to be just a trial version and is now warning me that it will expire in 4 days. I use Word every day and have tried the free Open Office but it doesn’t seem to work the same. Is there any other program I can use?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Sandra. There is a great free Word type app that come pre-bundled with Windows called “Wordpad” so click on the start button and type Wordpad and it should show in the list. If you need more functionality then maybe try Google Docs or Libre Office which are both free and work as really good substitutes for Microsoft apps. I’m surprised that you didn’t find Open Office suitable (I am writing this with it) as it pretty much does everything that the Microsoft Office suite can do.

    Louise via email asks:
    Dear Aunty, You have been kind enough to help me in the past and I am now having so much trouble with my laptop because randomly and at no particular time it 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:
    Normally Louise when a computer consistently shuts down it is caused by overheating, and this generally gets worse as it heats up. Blowing any fluff from the air vents underneath and around the sides, and also propping the laptop up slightly so cool air can flow underneath will often improve things. As your problem is random and I guess happens regardless of how long you have been using it then maybe check you don’t have a loose connection where the power charger 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 6th July

    David Cook from El Albir asks:
    Dear Aunty. I've seen advice to install all available Windows 7 updates before installing the free upgrade to Windows 10 but my Windows 7 PC freezes/hangs for ever when it’s searching for updates. The last updates were installed on 28/29 Jan 2016. I restored it back to the last restore point of March 2016, but it still hangs.  Should I go for the upgrade anyway?  I wanted to try Windows 10 and see what programs do not work before upgrading (or not) my Windows 8.1 PC, which I love and is up to date.
    Aunty Says:
    Hello David. Go for the Windows 10 upgrade as your version of Win7 should be sufficiently up to date, and of course you can roll-back to your original Win7 within a month of the upgrade. It does concern me that your Win7 updates are failing as this hints that you may have a virus or corrupted system files but I’m quietly confident that the Win10 upgrade will fix, or at least highlight any such problems.

    John from Benidorm asks:
    Good Morning Aunty. Can you offer some guidance on how to handle the “downloads” folder.   Mine fills up with numerous files over the years, most of them difficult to identify and apparently useless. I feel like simply deleting them all, but it seems I will need to do this one by one?
    Aunty Says:
    Hi John. You can cut/paste any files you want to keep by using the right mouse or laptop touchpad button, here’s how. Once you have opened your downloads folder, right click on a file and choose “cut” then right click on a folder in the left windows (Picture, Documents or Music) and choose “paste”. Once you’re happy you have moved any valuable files you can simply highlight the entire remaining & unwanted contents of your downloads folder by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing “a” and then right click and “delete”. Depending on which version of Windows you have you will also be able to access these copy, cut and paste functions from the menu or “Organize” button. Do practice this as these are important housekeeping tasks that we should all keep on top of.

    Couchpod via email asks:
    I am thinking of uninstalling AVG free from my computer as it is slowing it down on startup. I can't seem to disable the update on startup. I have CCleaner, Malwarebytes and Spywareblaster (free). Is that enough to keep it safe, and am I wrong to blame AVG? It seems worse since I updated it recently. I have version 16.
    Aunty Says:
    Hi Couchpod. AVG used to be my favourite free antivirus program but it does seem to have gone the same way as a lot of the old guards and over bloated itself with unnecessary, and often detrimental add-on features. I think you will still need an antivirus program alongside the two anti spyware programs so activate the built in Windows Defender (Win 8 and 10) previously known as Microsoft Security Essentials.

    Email your questions to and I will see you all next week



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