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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Camera data recovery - Hardware

Is it possible to recover photographs from a camera that works without a data card?

Is my deleted data really gone? - Windows

It’s been brought to my attention that when I delete files, either by holding [Shift] as I delete them or by regularly emptying the Recycle Bin, then the files aren’t actually physically wiped from my computer. Is this true, and – if so – what can I do about it?

Why do I need Windows Media Player? - Internet & Security

I already have Windows Media Player on my laptop because I can see the icon, I have Media Direct and it plays all of music, DVDs and so on. However, when I try to watch a webcast from the BBC or my institute I get the following error message: “We are sorry but you don't appear to have any compatible plug-ins. Please install Windows Media Player or similar player.”
Dell is very reticent at answering my emails - I've been trying on and off since January, but all its suggested is that I download Windows Media Player from Microsoft!

No Aero effect - Windows

I have a Dell 9200 duo PC with a NVIDIA 756MB 8800GTX card and Windows Vista Home Premium with a 19-inch widescreen monitor, but I can’t get the alleged “gorgeous Aero glass interface” on my PC. I appear to have it set up properly and I’ve tried disabling and then re-enabling the transparency box, but there was no difference on the screen. Is there something I don’t know or haven’t done?

Wanted: new screensaver - Windows

I find that using my own photos as a screen saver in Windows XP is more interesting than in Windows Vista due to the variety of changes from photo to photo, which I believe is called “Transition”. Is there any way I can get similar effects in Windows Vista?

Can I downgrade? - Windows

This is a follow up to your answer to an earlier reinstall question in issue 18 (see <a href="qa_details.php?search_fd0=69" target="_blank">here</a>). I purchased a new laptop in January with Windows Vista Home Premium (OEM) installed, which came with no installation disc. The product key label is attached to the laptop.
I’ve since installed a retail copy of Windows Vista Ultimate over the top of the OEM Home Premium version.  This was achieved without incident and works well.  If I wish to revert to the original Home Premium and use the Retail Ultimate Installation disc on another computer is it simply a matter of reactivating Windows on the laptop using the Home Premium key?

Invisible drive - Hardware

I’ve just purchased and installed a second hard drive, which is a similar model (Western Digital) to the one supplied in my new PC. When I powered up after installation the expected messages about new hardware being found and software being loaded appeared, but while Device Manager lists the drive as present and working correctly, there’s no sign of it in Computer. Where is my new drive? How can I access it? I want to transfer all my work files to it, keeping C drive for the software files.

Can I store settings and files on another drive? - Windows

I understand I can move key settings and files from my main hard drive to another partition for data security purposes. How do I instruct Windows Vista to look in a different location for key settings?

Missing messages - Internet & Security

Why do messages keep disappearing from my Windows Mail inbox after I've read them and closed Windows Mail?

Wot no DVD playback? - Windows

I bought my son a laptop, but it won't play back DVD movies. What's the problem?

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