Support PCs Q&A Index
Welcome to the Support PCs Q&A Database. This fully searchable archive contains questions I've answered over the past six years for a number of magazines, including PC Answers, Microsoft Windows Vista Magazine and Microsoft Windows XP Magazine (both UK and Australian editions).

I've built up a collection of around 1,000 questions and it's still growing. Over time I aim to add all of these to the database, so keep checking back. You can browse the list below - click a category header to filter the results, and click a question title to read the answer. If you're looking for more specific advice, use the Google custom search box above, which enables you to search the full site quickly and easily.

Nick Peers.

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Connect laptop to TV - Hardware
Q I would like to connect my laptop to my TV so I can use it as a DVD player, but I have no idea what cable I need, or even if I can use my laptop for this! Please help me!

NTKERN.VXD error - Hardware
Q Iím trying to use an old IBM PC Web cam in Windows ME, but when I install the driver that came with it, it refuses to work. I check the cameraís entry in Device Manager and it throws up the following error message: ďThe NTKERN.VXD device loader(s) for this device could not load the device driver.  (Code 2)Ē Can you help?

Disable Function Lock key - Hardware
Q Why does my Microsoft keyboard always insist on switching the Function Key lock on every time I start my PC? Iíve looked everywhere for a setting to switch it off by default, but I canít find one. Can you help?

Power-conscious question - Hardware
Q What is the best way to leave a PC? Is it on a screen saver, standby, hibernate or shut down? I seem to suffer fewer crashes when it's left on screen saver!

PC keeps freezing - Hardware
Q I'm using a Japanese NEC laptop Ė model LC700J/64H Ė thatís four years old. Itís a Pentium III 700MHz with 128MB RAM running Windows Millennium. Iíve customised the start-up programs and anti-virus to use the minimal resources, but it still freezes at times and really doesnít like summer.
The RAM is tiny by todayís standards, and although Iím not running the resource-hungry XP I was wondering if the freezing might be reduced and performance improved by upgrading the RAM. Would the PC run better and be less stressed with more RAM?

Starforce protection problem - Software

I bought Silent Hunter for my Windows XP which has the Starforce protection system. When I try to run it, I get an error message telling me that it canít find the CD. Iíve been in touch with both Ubisoft and Starforce and they tell me that it is because my CD-RW and DVD-RW drives are not showing up in my dxdiag file or msinfo - but they donít know why. I have flashed my BIOS and got the latest drivers for my drives, but to no avail. I have also tried altering the boot preferences and jumpers. All my other software works. Writing and reading to both drives is spot on. Please help!

Dealing with web bugs - Internet & Security

I was wondering why Norton Internet Security does not block web bugs. In fact, as far as I know none of the major security suites do this. There is a free tool called Bugnosis that seems to detect them without difficulty, but it canít do anything about removing them. What can I do about them?

Temp file problem - Software

I used a batch file written by a programmer to delete unnecessary temp files as a precaution against viruses and malware, including all *.tmp, *.pf, *.dmp and *.chk files, plus the contents of Windows\Temp, Windows\Installer, Temp and other folders.
In the process I lost my default icons for Windows utilities and some other programs, including Office 2000. Iíve since been able to restore the icons for Office and a number of programs by pointing the icon setting to the program's exe file. Is this okay or should I try to reinstall the necessary temp files?

Can't install the Recovery Console - Windows
Q Iíve found the Recovery Console so useful for troubleshooting purposes that I attempted to install it on my new PCís hard drive from my Windows XP CD. I had no problems doing so last year on my old PC, but this time round Iím receiving error messages that tell me that itís an older version of Windows and so wonít install. The only possible culprit I can think of is Service Pack 2, which wasnít on that other PC when I originally installed the Recovery Console to it.

Sorting the Outlook 2000 bar - Internet & Security

I use Outlook 2000 and have a number of folders, where I store my incoming emails. I've placed each of the names of the folders as a short cut on the Outlook bar shortcut. These appear to be set up in a random fashion. Is there any way that I can sort the short cut bar, for example in alphabetic sequence??

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