Frequently Asked Questions - Software Common Questions and Answers

FAQs - Software Common Questions and Answers
Here you will find questions and answers to common software topics.
What should I backup on my computer?
You should backup any important files that you don’t want to lose such as pictures and documents as well as stuff that may not be as important but hard to replace such as music/MP3 files. If you use any financial software like QuickBooks or Quicken then you should backup your data file as well. Basically you should backup anything that you don’t have stored somewhere else or that can’t be easily replaced. Don’t worry about backing up software because in almost all cases it has to be installed from the installation media and can’t just be copied from a backup to your computer. Check out our tutorial on how to backup your computer.

TAGS: backup
How do I transfer all my files and programs to my new computer?

If you know where you keep all your important files then it should be pretty easy to transfer them to your new computer. You should browse through all your folders to make sure you don’t miss anything that you may have put somewhere and forgotten.

If you want to make sure you didn’t miss anything than you can search your computer for certain types of files that you commonly save. For example you can search for *.docx to find any files that end with .docx which is the file extension for Word documents.

Once you know where all your files are you can determine the best way to back them up to transfer them to your new computer. You can do things such as burn them to a CD or DVD, copy them to a flash drive or external hard drive or even copy them over the network if your old and new computers are on a network. You should first decide where you want to put them on your new computer before copying them over to it.

As for programs you will most likely have to reinstall them from the installation media. Most Windows programs can’t be copied over from one computer to another without being reinstalled. There are a few exceptions though. It’s a good idea to make sure you have the original installation CDs for any software you want to have on your new computer. It’s also a good idea to make sure the version of your software will work with your new computer’s version of Windows.

Another thing you should copy is your favorites/bookmarks from your web browser. Internet Explorer has a built in import/export feature as do other browsers that allows you to save your favorites to a file and then import them on your new computer. You may also have some files on your desktop that you will want to copy over to your new computer.

You should also keep in mind that you will have to obtain drivers for items such as printers etc. to work with your new version of Windows so you may want to get those beforehand and make sure the device is supported.

How do save a picture from a website?
he easiest way to save a picture off a web page is to right click the picture and choose Save Picture As and then browse to the location where you want to save the picture to. The right click option may be a little different depending on which web browser you are using. For example for Firefox and Google Chrome you would right click the picture and choose Save Image As.

How do I restore my last browsing session in Internet Explorer?
Internet Explorer doesn’t restore your last browsing automatically like most other browsers do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get your last session back when opening IE again. All you need to do is go to the tools menu and click on Reopen last browsing session and you will have all your tabs reopened to where they were at when you closed IE last time.

How do I import my Internet Explorer favorites into Firefox?
Importing your Internet Explorer favorites into Firefox is a very easy process and should be pretty much the same no matter what version of Firefox you are using. From within Firefox click on the Bookmarks menu and then click on Show All Bookmarks. This will open your Firefox Bookmarks Library. Next click on Import and Backup and then you can choose import data from another browser or from an HTML file. If you have exported your IE favorites to an HTML file or if you have an exported HTML file from another computer you can choose the import from HTML file option. If you want to import your favorites from IE running on the same computer you can choose import data from another browser. Then click Next and then Finish and you should have your IE favorites as bookmarks in Firefox in a sub folder called From Internet Explorer. If you want to put your IE favorites with your current Firefox bookmarks then you can drag the items from the From Internet Explorer folder into your Bookmarks Menu.

I want to record my own voice and record onto a CD that I can play on a CD player. What do I need to have and how do I do it?

All you would need is to have a microphone attached to your computer. You should have a microphone jack on the sound card on the back of your computer where the speakers plug in. Just look for the icon of a microphone. It will be a small jack just like the one used by the speakers.

There are software programs you can use to record your voice and edit it but you can also use the built in Windows voice recorder to do the same thing although it’s pretty basic. Just click on Start and search for voice recorder to open it. Then just press the record button and talk into the microphone and press stop when you are done. Then you can save the recording to your hard drive.

To get the recording on to CD you will need some sort of CD burning software such as Roxio that will convert the .wav files from Sound Recorder to CD audio format. Roxio Record Now should allow you to record and burn your audio voice files.

You can also check out Audacity for great free sound recording software.

Often, when I print a copy of something from a web site, the printing cuts off at the right margin cutting off words. Is there someway that I can remedy this problem?
Web pages are designed to be seen rather than printed. They will be formatted to fit the screen so it will look its best on your monitor. You will notice that your monitor is wider than it is tall unlike a sheet of paper. If the author of the page didn't take into account that people will want to print the page, there is not much you will be able to do. You may have noticed on some pages there is a button to print the page. This will give you a differently formatted version of the page for printing. You can try the shrink to fit option in the page setup and see if that helps you out.

I have a question about Data Mining Techniques or Data Mining Algorithms, can you help me? I want an explanation about just one with an example?

Data mining is the process of automatically searching large volumes of data for patterns that match your criteria and then extracting that data from large databases. Think of it as an automated technique used to find relationships in large databases between 2 or more variables. The Data Mining Algorithms are the techniques or mathematical formulas used to get the results from the data. Here is a quote from Microsoft:

"Central to the data mining process, data mining algorithms determine how the cases for a data mining model are analyzed. Data mining model algorithms provide the decision - making capabilities needed to classify, segment, associate and analyze data for the processing of data mining columns that provide predictive, variance, or probability information about the case set... Many data mining algorithms are goal-oriented; given a case set, a data-mining algorithm will predict something about the case, usually an attribute of the case itself. Most algorithms require a training set of cases where the attributes to be predicted are already known, at which point the algorithm constructs a data mining model capable of predicting these attributes for cases in which the attributes are unknown".

TAGS: data mining
I downloaded some pictures to my DVD-RW drive, and now the drive seems to be stuck. When I turn on my computer now, I get a bubble stating that I have files ready to be written to CD. I click on it and I get a message please insert CD into drive.
What is most likely happening is that your computer had an error when writing the files to a CD. If you open My Computer or Windows Explorer you should be able to go to your E drive and see the temporary files waiting to be burned. Windows remembers the files from when you originally tried to burn them to a CD even if you reboot. You should be able to click on your DVD drive and delete the temporary files by highlighting them and deleting them or going to File and then picking Delete Temporary Files.

TAGS: DVD-RW
My C drive does not have enough free space. Is there a way I can transfer some of the programs I have on C drive to another drive?

You can transfer any program you like onto a different drive as long as its attached to your computer and retains the same drive letter constantly. If its an external drive for example if you remove it and it changes letters the next time you attach it then the program will no longer work. It is recommended that you use an internal drive for your programs.

Most of the time it will involve reinstalling the program on the new drive but there are some cases where you can copy the program's folder over to a different drive and update your icons/shortcuts. Just be sure to remove the old copy of the program via add/remove programs rather than deleting the program's folder.

We also recommend using a free program called CCleanerto clean out temp files and get some space back on your C drive.

Can I boot a copy of Linux from an external hard drive?

To boot from a USB hard drive your computer's BIOS must support that feature. Go into your systems BIOS and find the section for boot devices or boot order and see if you have the boot from USB option. Then you would have to install Linux on the external drive and make it bootable.

If not and you want to be able to play around with Linux you can run a version called Knoppix. It lets you boot from the Knoppix CD and run Linux on your system without actually installing it on your hard drive. When you are done you can boot right back into Windows. The only downside is that any changes you make are lost since its not saved once you shut down.

You can also install Ubuntu Linux on your Windows computer and have it dual boot to either OS and if you want to get rid of Linux its easy to uninstall.

Downloaded PDF files won't appear on screen for printing. All I get is a small box with a circle, square, and triangle in it.

Are you downloading these PDF files first and then trying to open them or are you opening them within your web browser? If you are downloading them first make sure that Acrobat Reader is the program trying to open the files and that they are not File Associations with another program.

If you are trying to open them from a web page in your browser you may have a problem with your Acrobat Reader plug-in for Internet Explorer. You may want to update or reinstall Acrobat Reader to see if that helps. Or you can try downloading the PDF file first and then opening them without using your web browser. You can do this by right clicking the link for the PDF file and then picking Save target as and choosing a location on your computer to save the file. Then double click the downloaded file to open it.

When I type regedit in run I get a message that says regedit is not a valid Win32 application.

Your regedit.exe file may have become corrupt or altered by some sort of virus or spyware. I would first try the usual virus and spyware scans.

If that doesn't help you can get a backup copy of regedit.exe from your C:\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache folder and overwrite the one in your C:\WINDOWS folder.

Another option is to delete the contents of your prefetch folder to get rid of any faulty version of regedit that is loaded when the computer starts. The prefetch folder is used to help speed up the loading of programs by loading programs it thinks you might need. It is located at C:\WINDOWS\prefetch. It is ok to delete the contents of this folder just don't delete the folder itself.

Another thing to try from the run menu is to type regedit.exe rather than just regedit. Sometimes this will make it work.

When I click a link in a web page to send an email I get a message that says could not perform this operation because the default mail client is not properly installed. What does this mean? What do I do to correct it?

When you click on an email link your web browser tries to open your default email program to send the email.

Depending on your version of Windows what you can do is to go into the Internet Explorer settings by clicking on Tools and then Internet Options. Then go to the Programs tab and see if your email program is listed under the email section. If your email program isn't listed there or you use webmail like Yaooo or AOL then it may be a bit more difficult to set this up. Depending on what you use for email will determine how hard it is to have IE use it for its default. In newer versions of Windows you can change your default email client from Default Programs in Control Panel.

A way around this is to highlight the email address from the link on the web page and then right click it and pick copy. Then paste it into your email program and send it from there.

How do you insert pictures inside of an email, not an attachment but directly into the email itself?

The process to insert pictures into your email will depend on what email client/program you are using. You need to first make sure that your email setting is to compose in HTML rather than just plain text. HTML lets you change the text formatting and add images etc. If you can use bold and change your text colors then you are set to use HTML already.

For most programs you can copy the picture from a document or website and then paste it into the body of the message just as if you were pasting an image into a Word document. If you want to add a picture from a file such as a picture that you have on your computer look for an option to insert an image. The name of this feature will vary depending on your program but most of the time will be called insert. It could also be called import. Then you browse to where your picture is located and select it and it will be inserted into the email where you have the cursor positioned.

I have scanned my letterhead into my PC and it saved as a jpeg. How or what can I purchase to be able to save it as a template that I can insert in a letter and send via email?
If you scanned just the logo part of the letterhead rather than the whole sheet you can import that image file into a program such as Word or any other word processor. In Word for example you would go to the Insert menu and then pick Picture and then choose From File and browse to where you have your jpg saved. Then it will place it in the document. From there you would double click the image which will bring up the Format Picture options and then go to the Layout tab. Then pick In front of text so it won’t make the image in line with the text. This allows you to move the image freely and resize it.

TAGS: scan
I get email attachments which end .pps. I assume is PowerPoint. Every time I try to open it, it goes to Windows Media Player and will not open it. How do I fix that?

It seems that .pps files somehow got associated with Windows Media Player. I would try to open PowerPoint and then go to File and Open and then browse to the file and try and open it that way. You will have to save the file from your email somewhere first. If that works then you can re-associate .pps files with PowerPoint. To do that you can right click the file and choose Open With. Then pick choose program even if PowerPoint is in the list. Then it will show you a list of available programs to open it with. If PowerPoint is in that list you can choose it and check the box that says Always use the selected program to open this kind of file. If its not there then you can click on browse and find the PowerPoint executable which should be C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\POWERPNT.EXE for PowerPoint 2016 for example. Then it should open .pps files with PowerPoint from that point on.

Can a page from Wikipedia be downloaded to a disk? If so, can I get instructions please?

You can save a web page a couple of different ways. First you can simply highlight all the text and graphics on the page by pressing Ctrl-A on the keyboard or going to the Edit menu and choosing Select All. Then you can paste it into a program such as Word and save it to your disk. Keep in mind that the formatting most likely will not be exactly the same as it was on the web page.

Another way to save the page is to go to the File menu and choose Save As. Then you can pick Web Archive, single file to save the text and images to one file. Or you can choose Web Page, complete which will save the text as an htm document and the images in a separate folder. Keep in mind that you will need to keep the htm document and the image folder together to be able to have the images show on the page when you open the htm file.

TAGS: save webpage
I installed iTunes on my Windows computer. When I try to open my iTunes I get this message: I iTunes.exe has been set to run in compatibility mode for an older version of Windows. For the best results, turn off compatibility mode before you open it. Is there any way you can figure this out?
To turn off a href="/support-categories/windows/358-compatability-mode" target="blank">compatibility mode for iTunes you need to find the executable for the file that runs iTunes (most likely itunes.exe). The easiest way to do this is to right click on your iTunes icon and choose Properties. Then look in the Target section to find the location of the .exe file that runes iTunes. You can click on the Open File Location button to take you right to the folder where the executable is located. Next you would right click the file and choose Properties and go to the Compatibility tab and uncheck the box that says Run this program in compatibility mode for.

When I am using my PC I notice that at 11:00 every night there is a program that is running in the background. I haven't set up anything to run at that time, is there a way to tell what it is? Also, I keep getting a yellow warning bar that states the website is warning about "cross-scripting" - what is that for?

I would check a couple of places to see if you can narrow down where the program is running and what it is. First you can check your Task Scheduler to see if something got setup to run at 11:00. The easiest way to find Task Scheduler is to just do a search for it from the Start menu. If there is a task there you should be able to find out information such as what the program is and where it is running from.

Cross site scripting is a type of vulnerability that can be found in web applications which can enable attackers to inject client side scripts into web pages. This vulnerability can be used by attackers to bypass access controls such as the same origin policy. Cross-site scripting is a very common practice. Its impact may range from a annoyance to a serious security risk. Depending on what program is informing you about this cross scripting will determine if its something to worry about or not.

You can also use the System Configuration Utility (MSconfig) to see if something is set to load when you boot your computer. You can disable any suspicious programs from here.

I would also run some spyware scans to make sure you don't have any infections on your computer. There are plenty of free and effective programs that you can download and install to do thorough scans. Its best to use more than one program to make sure nothing gets missed.

After booting up, the desktop shows a message that reads, "Your last browsing session closed unexpectedly. Would you like to restore your last session or go to your home page?" I tried both options without success. I use IE. I would like to permanently delete this message. How do I do that?

It sounds like something is setting your browser to run when Windows starts. I would begin by checking your startup items using MSconfig and look for anything that could be opening IE or that you don't want running at startup and uncheck it.

You can also change some IE settings to try and prevent this from happening in the future. From IE click on Tools, Internet Options and then the Advanced tab. Under the Browsing section make sure the boxes that say Automatically recover from page layout errors with Compatibility View and Enable Automatic Crash Recovery are unchecked. This is more of a workaround and you may want to try and uninstall/reinstall Internet Explorer to see if it fixes your problem.

I get a message that says GoogleUpdate.exe could not be recognized and it is about to access the Service Control Manager. I could not access the Service Control Manager. What should I do?

The Service Control Manager (services.exe) is responsible for starting, stopping and interacting with Windows service processes. You can try to get to your services by clicking on Start, Run and typing services.msc in the box and clicking Ok. Then look for the Google Updater and see if it is there and if it’s set to automatic to start with your computer. There may be a problem with the service and you can disable it to prevent getting the error message.

The Google Updater checks for updates for various Google programs and is not essential for the operation of your computer. Reinstalling a program such as Google Earth or the Google Toolbar may reinstall the updater as well and fix the problem.

You can also use the Windows System Configuration Utility (MSconfig) to disable the Google Updater as another option. It may be under the Startup or Services tab.

When I open a Microsoft word document it is hard to close. It says the global template has changed and do I want to save it under the same name.
The Word global template message can be from having the prompt before saving Normal template setting turned on in your Word options. To change this for Word go to your options and find the Advanced section. Under the Save section find where it says Prompt before saving Normal template and make sure the box is not checked and click OK. If that doesn't work then you can try to restore your Word settings to the factory defaults by editing the registry if you feel comfortable doing so. Here is a link with instructions and a video telling you how to do so.

Is it possible to recover a file from a formatted hard disk drive (HDD) because I accidentally formatted it and I lost some important files.

It is possible but not without some special software or tools. If the drive wasn't formatted and you simply deleted a file and emptied the recycle bin you would be able to get it back with a program like Recuva unless you waited too long and it was overwritten.

Since the drive is formatted it would take some expensive software or a professional to get that file back. They use special equipment that can get data off of formatted and even physically damaged drives. The problem is that it can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to do so depending on the state of the drive. So to answer your question it won't be a simple procedure to get your file back.

I need to split a zip file that I am creating into 2 different files so I can put them on 2 CDs. The zip file is 900MB otherwise and it wont fit on a 700MB CD.

WinZip is the standard for compressing files and combining multiple files into one file. It is used by millions of people to create and open zip files and is very easy to use.

One of the nice features of WinZip is its ability to split your zip file into smaller files. So you have your 900 MB Zip file and it won't fit on your 700 MB CD. You can have WinZip split the file into two separate zip files that you can burn on to two CDs and then combine back into one zip file later on. This can also come in handy when emailing large zip files that are too big and go over your email attachment size limit.

To do this all you need to do is open your zip file with WinZip and then go to Actions and then Split. From here you can name your zip file and tell it what size you want to break it down to. You can select one of the pre set sizes or choose your own custom size. The size will determine how many zip files you will be creating out of your original zip file. Choose a size that's small enough to satisfy your requirements but not too small that you have more zip files than you need.

You can then choose where to have the zip files created and then they will be there after the process is complete.

TAGS: winzip, zip files

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