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Aunty Virus - free computer help and advice

  • 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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