Ken from Rojales asks: I’ve been told I should defrag my hard disk drive but I’m not completely sure how to do it or what exactly it means. Can you shed some light on this for me? Aunty Says: Of course Ken. Defragging your hard disk basically tidies up your data (pictures, programs and documents etc) into neat blocks that Windows can find easier and quicker. Defragging is fairly easy but it can take time to complete so I suggest you choose a time when you don’t need to use your computer. Start by clicking on ‘My Computer’ and right click on the icon for the C: (or D:) drive. Select ‘properties’ and click on the ‘tools’ tab and ‘defrag now’. You should do this once every couple of months or more frequently if you are a heavy user.
Les via email asks: Dear Aunty. Last week a hacker got into my Gmail and you being in my address book would have been sent it, I'm sorry. I've taken the usual precaution of changing my password, is there anything else I could or should do to prevent, or at least minimise the risk in future? Aunty Says: Hi Les. If you believe the hacker actually logged into your Gmail account then you need to consider the possibility that they have seen all your sent, received and deleted emails. If you’ve ever passed any bank or credit card details via email I would seriously keep a close eye on your finance accounts. You can certainly minimise the risk of this happening again by making sure you use a complicated password that includes letters, numbers and some unusual characters, such as the percent and dollar sign. Never use the same password for websites and forums (such as ebay, Amazon and Facebook) as these are favourites for hackers, and of course keep all your antivirus and antispyware security scanners up to date.
Elizabeth via email asks: Hi Aunty, I wonder if you can help me. For months now I have been plagued by an update on my XP Vaio Laptop. This is downloaded but always fails to install and it has got to the stage where I have now turned off Automatic Updates. The update in question is the Microsoft.NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 Security Update. Any help you can give me would be much appreciated. Aunty Says: This is probably the most common of the problematic Windows updates and can be a bit tricky to fix. Switch off the Automatic Updates via ‘control panel’ ‘security center’ and uninstall any entries of the .Net Framework from ‘Add and Remove Programs’ also within ‘control panel’ Go to the ‘How do I?’ page on www.enetcomputers.net where there is a link to download the version 1.1, 2.0 or 3.5. I would first try the 3.5 install as it is what’s known as a ‘cumulative update’ and therefore includes the all the previous versions. This way of installing will allow you to manually download and install individual updates without using Automatic Updates. This normally solves the problem but let me know how you get on.
Bill via email asks:Hi Aunty can you help me please? I recently bought a new Epson printer a few days ago but when I tried to install the software the following message appeared" Windows needs to install driver software for your device, click locate and install driver software (recommended)."
I did this and another message appeared, "Windows encountered a problem installing driver software for your device" and this means I can only use the printer manually as the printer cannot communicate with my laptop. Please can you help me? Aunty Says: It sounds like you may have plugged your printer into your laptop before running the install program from the CD you would have got with the printer. Windows sometimes gets a bit confused when it detects a new USB device has been plugged in so it’s far safer to install the driver software from the manufacturers’ CD or website before you plug it in.
Graham via email asks: With regard to the email from Les about his HP printer and non genuine cartridges, I have had the same problem. Go to HP Solutions; Settings; Print Settings; Printer Toolbox; Device Services; Clean. The printer cleaned the heads and it printed fine afterwards. Hope this helps. Aunty Says: Thanks for that Graham I will pass the info on.
Tony via email asks: Hi Aunty, how can I test the speed of my ADSL connection? The reason I ask is that I have recently paid for an increase of my line speed to 6Mb, and although they took no time in billing me the extra €8, I am convinced my line speed is no faster. In fact I could swear it is slower these last few weeks. Aunty Virus Says: Try www.speedtest.net and you can even email the results straight to your ISP.
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