Free Help

Q. My computer doesn't start up! I get the message "Missing command interpreter". What could be wrong?

It could be any number of things. The first thing to check is the floppy drive and the CD-ROM. A Floppy Disk or a CD-ROM left in the drive can cause this problem. It could also be a CMOS problem. If you are familiar with the CMOS settings, check to make sure they are OK. After that, you may have a disk problem.

Q. My computer is VERY slow. What could be the problem?

Most likely you have a Virus or Spyware problem. Try running Ad-Aware and Spybot, and run a few online virus scans.

Also, a failing Hard Drive can cause your computer to be slow. One of the symptoms of a failing Hard Drive is a clicking sound coming from the computer. If your hard drive is failing, you may soon lose some, or all of your info. Immediately back up anything important!

Q. My computer is acting funny. What could cause that?

Any number of things!. One of the first things to do is check for viruses. Also, if you installed some hardware or software immediately before you had problems, this may be the source of your problems. You could have some corrupted system files. You may also have a hardware problem.

Q. My computer doesn't keep the time. What could cause this?

Odds are your CMOS battery needs replacing. If you feel comfortable poking around inside your computer, you can most likely change this yourself.

Q. My mouse is hard to control, jumps around, or freezes at spots.

Sounds like you might need to clean your mouse! If you're handy, a mouse is easy to clean with a Q-tip and some alcohol. Also, the new optical mice don't need cleaning nearly as often.

Q. I'd like to upgrade my computer myself. Is there anything I should know?

While many upgrades are relatively easy to do, there are things to consider. First, you should do the research and make sure that your upgrade is compatible with your computer. Second, you, or ANYONE who pokes around inside your computer should use Antistatic procedures. Computers are VERY sensitive to static electricity. A static discharge that you might not even feel could damage or destroy components in your computer. Often the damage may not even show until 6 months or a year later.

Q. I use my Printer a lot, and my Inkjet Printer cartridges are getting expensive to replace. Can I refill them?

Yes. While the procedure varies by brand and model, many cartridges can be refilled with a refill kit and ink, available from many sources. However, it is very important NOT to use a 'universal' refill kit. Not only do the methods of refilling vary, but the type of ink also varies by brand and model. It is also important to use good quality ink, as poor quality ink can clog the print head.

Q. Whenever I try to connect to the Internet, I get an error message - "No Dialtone", or "Unable to Connect to Modem". What could cause this?

First, make sure your computer's modem is connected to a working phone line. To be sure, plug a telephone into the line and verify the phone line works.
There may also be a driver or software issue. A call to your Modem manufacturer or Internet provider may help.
It is also likely you may need a new modem. A nearby Lightning strike can very easily damage the modem.

Q. I have a few computers at home. Do I really need a separate printer and Internet connection for each computer?

No! You sound like a perfect candidate for a home network. A Network will connect all your computers together and let you share files, printers, and even an Internet connection. In the old days, networks were complicated and expensive to set up. With the new wireless network devices, not only do you not need to pay to wire your house with ugly network cables, you can move computers to other rooms and still be connected. If you have a laptop, you may be able to surf the web from any room in your house, or even outside! The range of a good Wireless Network is about the same as a cordless telephone.

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