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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Carbonite shutdown problem - Software

After reading your feature on page 56 of issue 13 (“Back up your files to the Internet”), I downloaded and installed Carbonite on my laptop. After installing the program my computer wouldn’t shut down or restart – it got stuck either logging off or shutting down, and would stay there for hours.
After messing about and getting nowhere (nothing in Event Viewer for instance), I reluctantly uninstalled the program and everything went back to normal. Did anyone at the magazine test this? Is so, did they find a way around the problem? Right now I’m more concerned about the fact that my personal documents have been uploaded to a server and there's no way to delete them now I've uninstalled, or is there? Does anyone know if my work is kept private - or even better - if the server overwrites the files after a period of time?

Can't delete emails - Internet & Security

I’m using Windows Mail and my Internet Service Provider is Virgin Media (formerly Telewest). When I click on certain mail messages to delete in the usual way I get a message telling me the message can’t be displayed and that an unknown error has occurred. Below this another message pops up, saying: “Windows Mail encountered an unexpected problem while displaying this message. Check your computer for low memory or low disk space and try again.” Can you help?

Old document won't open - Software

I have a computer with Windows Vista Home Premium and Microsoft Works 8 installed, but I cannot open any WPS (Works Text Document) files that I transferred via CD from my old computer, which had Windows 98 and Works 3.1 installed. I can open the WDB (Works Database) files. I’m told that Works cannot open the file – it may be in use by another application, the file format might not be supported by any of the installation converters or the file might be corrupt. Can you help me access these files at all?

Removing old email accounts - Internet & Security

I’ve changed my Internet provider from Tiscali to BT, and have written to Tiscali to inform it to cancel all my connections as I wish to cancel my direct debit. My problem is that I am still getting all the junk mail addressed to Tiscali forwarded to my new address. Can I stop it and how?

Send mail from your old email address - Internet & Security

I recently switched broadband provider, but while I can still receive emails from my old account, I can't reply to them or send new ones. What can I do?

How to resize images - Software

I’m running Windows Vista Home Premium and I post a lot of photos to a woodturning web site that has size restrictions in place (1024x800 pixels and 150KB per image). I was able to open my photo in a program that allowed me to do this as well as edit the picture, but I recently crashed and lost this facility, and I do not know where I got the program from.  I've tried Arcsoft Photo Impessions 5, Ashampoo Photo Commander 5,  Irfanview  and Picasa 2, but it was not one of these. I was told there is a similar facility in Windows Vista but I've not found it.  Any information on this or any other suitable program would be appreciated

Can't see screen - Windows

I recently tried to increase my screen resolution as I found my desktop cramped. Unfortunately I was confronted by a blank screen, and no amount of key pressing fixed it. I powered off my PC, and can start Windows, but as soon as it reaches the log-on screen everything goes blank again. How can I undo this?

Lost System Restore in dual-boot configuration - Windows

Since installing Windows XP alongside my existing Vista system in a dual-boot configuration I've discovered that my Vista Restore points keep vanishing. What's going on, and how do I fix this?

Can't read .DOC files - Software

Why am I unable to read .doc files in Windows Vista Home Basic? They kept coming out as “gobbledegook”.

USB flash drive autostart problem - Hardware

Whenever I plug in my USB flash drive it automatically starts a particular program. How can I stop this from happening?

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