05-12-2003 RTC/word attach
Question: My computer loses time when it is left on. The clock freezes. The computer is not responsive and needs to be rebooted. What could be wrong? Mike B, Chelmsford
Answer: Your computer actually has 2 clocks. One clock is called the RTC (real time clock). It keeps track of time when your computer is turned off. The RTC is powered by a small battery inside your computer. If you start to notice that your computer's time is a few minutes behind when you turn it on in the morning, you should consider changing the RTC battery.
04-28-2003 slow computer
Question: My system is suddenly running very slow. A report that used to take 2 minutes to generate is now taking 30 minutes. What could be wrong? Debbie G., Dracut
This particular problem was caused by a runaway process or program. The program was stealing all the available CPU utilization and not allowing anything else to execute on the computer. Here's a few things to consider when your system seems to be running slow. Is there a process or program hogging all the CPU utilization?
04-21-2003 safe mode/broadband
Question: I was attempting to do an error scan on my hard drive but a message appeared that the error scan started ten times. I started my system in safe mode but the error scan did not complete. Is something wrong? Mildred R, Stoneham
When you start your system in safe mode, the system is started with minimal drivers. Safe mode is intended to be a way to start your system and recover it if you loaded a something that isn't well behaved. Safe mode is especially useful if you attempt to set your screen options to a value that the monitor can't display.
04-14-2003 boot problems?
Question: My system doesn't boot. The monitor power light is yellow and the screen doesn't display anything. What could be wrong? Denah T., Methuen
Answer: This problem was caused by a stuck power switch but it is a good lead into a basic PC troubleshooting checklist. There are a lot of things that you can do to isolate and diagnose a boot up problem on your PC.
04-07-2003 home network
Question: Can I connect another computer to my broadband connection? Connie C. Lowell
Answer: Yes, you can connect more than one computer to your broadband connection. You should understand a few networking concepts before deciding how you want to add your second computer to your Comcast connection. These concepts can also be applied to Verizon DSL connections.
Question: Is there an alternative to Microsoft Windows software for my PC? Do I have to run Microsoft Windows on my PC to make it more than a paperweight?
Answer: Most PCs are running Microsoft Windows but there is an operating system that has been gaining interest over the last few years. About ten years ago, a college student named Linus Torvalds developed an operating system called Linux at the University of Helsinki.
03-24-2003 system maintenance
Question: What can I do to keep my computer trouble free and running efficiently?
Answer: There are a few simple things that a user can do the keep their system in tip top shape. One of the most important utilities to use on your computer is a virus scanner. When a customer tells me that their computer is not acting correctly, one of the first things that I ask about is their virus scanner. Do you have a virus scanner and is it up to date?
03-17-2003 virus recovery
Question: I think that my machine has a virus but the virus scanner won't install successfully. What can I do?
Answer: The first thing to do is to back up your data but there is a good chance that the backup media will contain the virus. Sometimes the virus goofs things up so badly that you can't backup your data. You have to make a choice. Is there anything that you can't afford to lose? Are you willing to experiment to try and recover your system?
backup strategy Question: What is a good backup strategy?
Answer: You only need to backup things that you can't easily replace. A backup can be as simple as copying files to a floppy disk or you can use the backup utility that is an optional MS Windows program. There are also other 3rd party backup utilities available on the web at your local software store.