Question:I received email that warned me about a virus and instructed me to remove some files from my computer. The email states that the files are part of a virus that is not detected by virus scanners. Should I follow the directions to remove the virus? Jackie H., Westford
Answer:You need to be careful when you receive an email that notifies you to take an action to remove a virus. There are many virus notifications that are hoaxes. The notice will instruct you to remove files or do some other action. After you perform the action, your computer will not operate properly and you will think that the virus damaged your computer.
Always confirm that the virus notice is real. You can find information about viruses and virus hoaxes on the Internet. Two websites, www.norton.com, and www.mcafee.com,
are very helpful when confirming virus information. It also doesn't hurt to ask your computer savvy friends or a computer service professional about any virus notices that you receive.
Question:How do I make a boot floppy for my windows 98 system? Bill D., Tewksbury
Answer:A boot diskette can help you to troubleshoot a hard drive startup problem but it will not boot full windows. Windows 95, 98, and ME allow you to boot your system from a floppy disk to a command line prompt. This will allow you to troubleshoot and repair some hard drive problems. Windows NT, 2000, and XP do not normally allow you to boot from a single floppy but there are some floppy diskette utilities available on the Internet.
The following instructions apply to making a Windows 95, 98, or ME boot diskette. Go to the Control panel, click on Add/Remove Programs. Click on the Startup Disk tab. Insert the floppy disk in the drive and follow the directions. You may need to have your Windows operating system installation CDROM available to complete making the boot diskette. If you purchased a computer with the operating system already installed, the installation files are usually on your hard drive. When you attempt to make the boot diskette, the system should be able to find the required files.
Question:When I attempt to shutdown my system, my system takes forever to shutdown. What could be wrong? Anonymous
Answer:Try this test. Start your system in SAFE mode. SAFE mode is a reduced functionality version of windows but it offers you the chance to gain control of your system. You can enter SAFE mode by rebooting your system and tapping the F8 key after the BIOS messages appear on the screen. A boot menu will appear on the screen. Pick the option to boot in SAFE mode.
Don't be concerned if your screen doesn't look normal. SAFE mode loads a generic video driver. Your icons may look larger and the colors won't be the same as when you boot normally.
Try to shut down the system. If the system shuts down normally, it's a good indication that you have a bad driver being loaded when the system is started normally.
Question:My friend "who knows a lot about computers" added a new CDROM to my computer. Now, it doesn't boot. What could be wrong? Anonymous phone call
Answer:Here's a checklist of things to consider when you add or change your CDROM in your computer.
REMOVE THE POWER CORD FROM THE BACK OF THE COMPUTER
BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO OPEN THE COMPUTER! The computer doesn't normally have any voltages that can electrocute you, but you can get a nasty burn if you short something.
There are harmful voltages inside of the power supply. There is no reason to open it. The power supply is the square metal box inside the computer where the power cord is attached.
You should use a wrist strap to discharge any static build up especially in the winter when the air is dry. The wrist strap should be attached to the metal chassis of the computer. If you don't have a wrist strap ALWAYS touch the chassis to discharge any static that you might have acquired before you touch any parts inside of the computer.
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.
The RTC also stores configuration data. If the battery gets too low, you could lose
your configuration data and your computer may not boot properly.
The other clock, the system clock, reads the RTC to obtain the time when you turn on your computer. The system clock time is usually displayed in the lower right hand
corner of your screen. Think of how you set the clocks in your house when you lose power. When the power is restored, you check your watch for the time to set your wall clocks. The RTC is like your watch in this example.
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