Computer Tech Helps

By David J. Stewart | Updated July 2016

Make Sure Your Computer Has Anti-Virus, Malware And Firewall Protection

You need all 3 and they are each different. Your firewall is not going to help you if you let a hacker program in; such as, a Trojan Virus, Spyware, Sniffer or whatever. If you get infected by one of these programs and it tries to get out, the windows firewall is not going to help. That is where a good two-way firewall comes in handy. There are a few online for free, but most try to sell you things with pop-ups (which you can disable in the settings for most programs). Search the web to find out how. From researching the web I've learned that paid is not always better than non-paid. You have to read the online comparisons and contrasts between the different software programs. The main thing is to have all three security features. Most Windows systems already have a firewall. I'm no expert on this stuff. This one article on Wikipedia shows how complex firewall technology gets, and all the different aspects and types. I'm not letting my guests know that you need all 3 security features.

I can't honestly say which programs work better than others, but there is MUCH helpful information online, even video's on YouTube showing which programs allegedly fail or succeed more than others to stop viruses and malware. Evidently none are perfect. I like Microsoft Security Essentials, which is a free anti-virus program that you can download; and I also like Comodo anti-virus, which is free and includes a two-way firewall if you select it during installation.

GeekBuddy comes with it as an add-on from Comodo, but is worthless IMHO and I uninstalled it. The techs were trying to brush me off, wasted 30-minutes of my time, and only then was I told that I had to pay or else they wouldn't help me. I wrote a complaint letter to New Jersey to their corporate headquarters with a copy of the 3 wasted sessions. I'm one of those few people out of 100 that will actually take the time to write a company with an issue about how their employees treat others. I thought it was important.

I haven't tried Zone Alarm firewall, but I hear they're good. A paid only version that is not as popular in America, but is in Russia is Kasperky. They sell three different versions, the highest for $79 includes a firewall, malware protection and an anti-virus all-in-one. I've heard that it's very good. For about $99 a year they offer licensing for 3 computers. Albeit, with the economy falling out every little bit of expenses becomes overwhelming and impossible.

Windows firewall is fine if your maintain updated anti-virus and malware programs on your system, and are careful not to download or run shady programs. The word “free” and viruses are synonymous. Free music files and peer-to-peer file sharing are almost guaranteed to have viruses. Searching for free software that's usually not free is guaranteed to have viruses. Stay away from garbage websites and you shouldn't have any problems. Even the best protection software in the world cannot totally protect any system from threats, so always back-up important personal data off system in multiple places, by multiple means and daily if you value your data (DVD's, Blue-Ray, Flash-drives, USB hardrives, et cetera).

When loading free software, there's always going to be minor hassles. Microsoft Security Essentials included a browser add-on called BingBar, which I quickly uninstalled from Control Panel/Programs. If you like BingBar, then keep it. It links to FaceBook and other social networking websites that I never join nor visit, so I don't need it (and it takes up space in my browser). I'm using Comodo anti-virus on my laptop, Windows firewall (included with Windows, just make sure it's enabled... again, search the web to find out how), and Malware Bytes. I also have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, which doesn't conflict on my system. I'm using Microsoft's firewall simply because it's their operating system, so who better knows the software.

If a worm, virus or spyware gets past Windows, you're doomed because it's only a one-way firewall blocking incoming threats. Having a two-way firewall is your last line of defense. Because if your Anti-virus software does not catch it, then your firewall must stop it. If you want protection from Keyloggers, Trojans, and other malware that may try and send information out or a worm. Then the windows firewall is not enough protection. If you have enough protection and don't think your computer will get infected then Windows is good enough.

Hackers are sneaky and may rename a file to trick you. For example:  they may name a file as “sunset.jpg” (which appears as a photo file). Since file extensions are normally hidden on every computer, it could really be an .exe file, but you were deceived thinking it was a jpg photo. The hacker included “.jpg” in the file name, which appears to look like the extension, but it's not. If you were to specify in Windows file view to show file extensions, then what you would actually see is “sunset.jpg.exe.” The characters “.jpg” are part of the file name and not the file's extension. It is indeed an application file that appears as a photo. You can easily tell if you've been tricked, because when you go to open the file it will give you a “run” option (which photos don't do).
 

The Importance Of Backing-Up Data In Multiple Places, Externally, Disconnected

First, I'm going to give you the best technical advice you'll ever hear. Read? Here goes: "Have multiple copies of your personal data on separate hardware, in separate locations, using different means and maintain two copies of your personal data at all times." I'm telling you what, it's no fun losing terabytes of data. I've had drive-after-drive fail, freeze, get corrupted, crash, sectors go bad, worm virus attacks, and sometimes for no apparent reason, et cetera.

Here's what most user don't understand. Hackers aren't out there breaking into your computer through your firewall. It is possible but very hard. So Windows Firewall is all you need for inbound protection. The most common way your computer is infected is that you go online and let a virus program run by permission (i.e., an application file, designated by the .exe file extension, which stands for executable file). Anyone with even some basic computer science (programming) skills can write a program. I've written a couple C++ programs myself in the past, but never pursued the interest further. One program gave you a location in the parts room if you entered a part number. I made it for at work. A virus is simply a program written to do malicious things on someone's computer.

Learn from my computer mistakes:

  1. DATA NOT SAFE IN LOGICAL PARTITIONS - I have made the common mistake of thinking that my data was safe because I partitioned my hardrive into two logical drives (like C and E) on one physical hardrive (D is usually the CD player, so that drive letter is already designated). I figured if the C drive where the operating system gets corrupted, then my data will be safe on the E partition and I can reformat C without affecting E. Well, I learned the hard way when my hardrive physically froze-up and stopped functioning. Even the most expensive active partition recovery software can't retrieve data from a damaged drive physically that won't turn anymore. I lost all my data.
     

  2. DATA NOT SAFE ON MULTIPLE INTERNAL PHYSICAL DRIVES - So then I asked questions and was recommended to have separate physical hardrives. I bought 3 other SATA internal drives and regularly backed-up my data to multiple drives within the system. I figured nothing will ever cause me to lose all my data again like I did before. Guess what? A worm virus infected my primary system somehow (I still don't know where it came from) and worked its way through all my drives, destroying most of the data, unallocating all of the drives. I lost over a terabyte in data, especially music videos. I was disheartened, how could 4 hardrives be wiped out all at once? THANKFULLY, I had also backed-up critical data to a 2 GB external USB drive and a 64 GB flash-card thumb-drive. So I saved much of my data.
     

  3. DATA NOT SAFE ON USB EXTERNAL DRIVES - The nightmare is not over. You can probably guess next that my external USB drive also went bad as well. Thankfully it wasn't the 2 TB drive with the data aforementioned. Albeit, I did have a 1 TB external plug-in USB drive fail. One day I plugged it in and it said it couldn't be read. I tried everything, but the data was lost. I brought the drive into a computer repair store and they said it was damaged somehow beyond repair. The drive was full of data and one of the techs said it's not a good idea to fill-up any drive to the max; but rather, leave about 10% space free for the drive to breathe. I've never heard anything like that, but all I know is my drive got corrupted somehow. So even if you unplug the USB external drive after backing-up your important data, the drive itself may go bad, and I've had at least 2 such drives fail on me, losing everything (one was only a month old)!!!
     

  4. DATA NOT SAFE WITH THE BEST SECURITY PROTECTION SOFTWARE - So then I thought that I'll load all the anti-virus, malware detection and firewall security and computer protection software I can obtain. Well, I read a lot of information on the internet about which is the best anti-virus, and whether paid is any better than free. In the end I discovered that even the best software CANNOT fully protect your data. A good hacker can get through if they really want. When you load security to the max, your computer asks you every time you click or go to open anything if it's ok with you, and do you trust this, that and thus. It's frustrating, time consuming and utterly ridiculous; simply because you won't always know who or what to trust, and you can't work in a hostile environment of paranoia.

    My experiences with all the protection software has been unpleasant to say the least. Whether you pay or go free, you're still going to get bombarded with advertisements, unsolicited programs installed (like browser Bing Bar and GeekBuddy garbage that's useless), pop-ups (especially with free), and the different software companies (vendors) fight amongst each other at your expense on your computer. They all want your money! The different software companies search your system and attack each other, identifying other companies as a threat to your system, or malware. As a consumer, we're stuck in the middle. So don't be fooled into thinking that your data is safe just because you've loaded 3 or 4 reputable anti-virus, firewall, malware or other programs onto your system, because your data is NOT safe. In fact, I've had anti-virus programs corrupt my system registry and crash my system, losing everything. When you load anti-virus and malware programs, you're giving them complete control over your computer, which can be bad if the software is incompatible with your computer's hardware profile or operating system.
     

So How Can I Protect My Data?

It's frustrating not knowing half the time how these aforementioned things happened, because then you can't prevent data loss from happening again if you don't know what caused it in the first place. And that's the big point I'm making here about backing-up important data that you don't want to lose. So I'm going to say it again, because it's the only safe way to protect your data...

"Have multiple copies of your personal data on separate hardware, in separate locations, using different means and maintain two copies of your personal data at all times."

There's no other way. If you're lazy about backing-up data, you will likely regret it at some point. So to protect your data you're going to have to manually back-up your data as often as you make changes that you don't want to lose. You can set-up a daily back-ups with Cobian, WD SmartWare, Windows Backup (if it works, mine doesn't work when scheduled), or a host of other available programs; but don't rely upon that. If your data is too important to lose (and mine certainly is), then you need to back it up to several places. I uses external USB hardrives. I also use external USB flash thumb-drives. I use DVD's when I can, but my largest website is too big and won't fit. NEVER trust any backup source, NEVER. Nothing is perfectly safe. NEVER trust a drive simply because it's new. New can fail just as fast as old. It's not just the cheap crap from China or Taiwan that's risky... all technology is risky. So make multiple back-ups to different places, using various methods and have separate locations. A tornado could hit your home, or a fire, and you'd lose ALL. Perhaps keep a thumb-drive in your car (if you wouldn't mind it being stolen), or in a safety-deposit-box at the bank. Also upload the files online if possible to a website for safe-keeping, but never trust a reverse download to retrieve your data, because the hosting company's servers can fail very easily. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!!!

If you're like most people, you've been accumulating digital photos of the family, the zoo, trips, et cetera, for the past decade. You could lose it in a second. One worm virus is all it would require. Honestly, I'd rather have 25 back-ups too many, then be missing one too little. Think about that. Also, never trust your data to drives plugged into your computer, because a worm virus attacks and infects everything plugged-in. make sure to unplug some drives after backing-up your data. Place one USB external drive in a plastic bag (to protect it from moisture) and hide it in back of the house. Desiccant bags commonly come with musical instruments, or you can buy them. Toss a bag into the plastic bag with your back-up drive. All this information may seem extreme, but if you're ever lost terabytes of data like I have, then you'll understand my extreme measures to preserve the data. I have over a dozen drives, external and internal, dedicated to preserving my terabytes of data. I also have a hardrive enclosure that allows me to plug-in any IDE or SATA hardrive into a USB port. I never intended on having so many drives, but after a half-dozen computer crashes over the years I've accumulated them. A simple 128 GB thumb-drive (no bigger than your thumb), could be a life-saver. Your data is your life's work!
 

MP3, WAV and MIDI's

You can copy MIDI files (or any files) out of your "temporary internet" folder if you'd like to have them for yourself.  The temporary internet folder can be accessed from your browser by going to "tools/internet options/settings/view files." Simply copy and paste the song(s) to a folder on your desktop or wherever you'd like to save them. 

Many people don't know what "MIDI" is. "MIDI" is simply an acronym for "Musical Instrument Digital Interface." You see, computers can't make music, they can only process data (information). MIDI files contain NO music, only stored data. Your sound card converts that data into electric signals which your speaking then turn into sound (music). MIDI files always end in ".mid"  

WAV files on the other hand actually store recorded music, much like a vinyl record stores music. WAV files always end in ".wav" and are extremely large. In comparison, a ".wav" file will average up to 50 MB of disk space PER SONG; whereas, a ".mid" file averages under 20 Kb in size per file. In other words, it would take 2,500 MIDI files to equal just ONE WAV file. Wow! You can see why ".wav" files are no good for the internet. You won't find too many on my site... there just too big. When you buy a music CD, those are WAV files. That's why you can only get 20 or so songs on one CD. A CDR only holds about 700 MB. 

With the new boomboxes that play MP3 files, you can fit about 1,000 songs on a standard 4.7 GB DVD. Albeit, I like using the older CDR which fits about 25 to 28 songs on a disk. I've had problems with the boom-boxes I've bought being able to read compressed MP3 files (and that's what an MP3 is... a compressed sound file). I've learned that by not exceeding 128 kbps quality on my MP3's, that they read easier. If you try to play 320 kbps MP3's in a boombox, you're going to likely have problems. The song either won't load or will start skipping like the CD is defective. It's not the CD, it's the large 320 kbps MP3 file.

The latest and greatest file format is the MP3 files (".mp3"). An MP3 is a compressed file (something like a ZIP file). You can convert a large 50 MB WAV files into a MUCH smaller 2 to 4 MB MP3 file. You can fit about 200 MP3 songs on one standard size CD... not bad at all. I have a few MP3 songs on this site. MP3 files are great! An MP3 can be converted to a WAV file or visa versa; however, MIDI files cannot. As with the WAV files, MP3's are actual recorded music. Therefore, MP3 songs will generally be very high quality. MIDI songs can sound very nice, but not with most music. MIDI sounds more realistic with piano or classical music because the strings and woodwind instruments are easily imitated by a good sound card. Thus MIDI's sound great for the old hymns of the faith.

Sound files are a lot of fun!!! You can go into your "setting/control panel/sounds" section of your computer and change all the different sounds on your computer to whatever you want. If there's a sound that annoys you, CHANGE IT! 

I just thought a word on this subject would be of interest to some folks who may have been curious.

By the way, when you're done, I recommend “Blogger” for your YouTube design. I think you'll like it too. It's “Creator” by default. If you changed it to “Network” to edit your featured Videos, you'll need to change it back or leave it, depending on what you like.
 

YouTube Stuff... How to Remove An Added “Featured Channel”

Is the new YouTube design hard to use or what? What a pain in the exterior! I added some videos to the “Featured Channels” on my YouTube channel. Afterwards I decided to remove them but couldn't. I searched Google and StartPage search engines for “How to change featured channels in YouTube?” All I got was a bunch of junk and off topic comments, or a YouTube video telling me how to change my main featured video. But that wasn't the question. I know how to change the main featured video on my YouTube channel. I didn't know how to remove someone else's channel that I had first chosen to link to and promote, but afterwards changed my mind. I tried and tried, but couldn't find any way to remove them. I searched through the help section on YouTube and nothing came up for “featured channels.”

So after much headaches, here's how I finally was able to remove them. You need to click on “Edit Channel” at the upper right-hand corner. Then click on “Featured Tab.” Then click on the design for “Network” and click “Done Editing.”

Now click on “My Channel” at the upper right-hand dropdown menu. On your home page, make sure to click on “Featured” (not “Feed” or “Videos”). Scroll down to the bottom and you'll see your “Featured Channels.” Click on the “Edit” button and you'll see some circled “X” bottoms to the right, which if you click on will remove that particular video. That's how you do it.

For some reason in the default “Creator” design under “Edit Channel/Featured Tab,” there's no way of removing a “Featured Channel” once you promote it. I really like the old YouTube design MUCH better. I thought it was much better for many reason, including because it allowed the user to be much more creative (using background photos, colors, wallpaper, et cetera. And it was certainly much easier to use. Oh, well, I'm not complaining. I like YouTube, I just wish it was more user-friendly. I'd like to thank YouTube for allowing people to share their lives with others through videos. Just like everything else, it can be used for good or evil and is a double-edge sword. I choose to use YouTube for good and God.
 

How To Enable Or Disable The Language Bar & Use Microsoft Speech Recognition

I get frustrated when I go to Microsoft's website to try and find out how to use programs and features. The system never actually tells you how to do something. I think Microsoft needs to add a section for absolutely beginners... A HOW TO on everything. For example: Microsoft tells you everything about their Language Bar except how to get and use it. I spun my circles for an hour trying to find how to get the language bar. Finally, after my frustration, I found the answer and now I'm going to make your life easier.

By the way, BEWARE of all the websites that tell you to go mess with stuff in your computer's registry. That's the fastest way to mess up your computer. There's some very mean people online who will ruin your computer just to get their kicks. The stuff that I'll telling you isn't anything like that... just simple menu choices.

To Get “Language Tool” Bar Onto Your Desktop
(I'm using Windows Professional XP (2002) with Service Pack 3, but the process should be similar for later operating system. You need at least SP3, freely downloadable from Microsoft if you have valid install KEY.)

  1. Go to “START,” then “Settings,” and “Control Panel.” Now select “Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options.” Look for and click on “Regional and Language Options.” Click on “Languages” and then “Details,” then “Advanced.”

    Put a check mark into the last advanced box. This should bring up your Language Bar from now on. You may have to reboot your computer, I did. 
     

  2. The Language Bar appears all the time on your desktop. You can click the upper left-hand corner and drag it anywhere you want. When you click on “Microphone,” you'll see two options appear fro either “Dictation” and “Verbal Command.” If you want to speak into your microphone have it type out as text, then speak or select Dictation. If you want to open a new page, et cetera, then speak or click on Verbal Command.
     

  3. To Remove and disable the Language Bar, follow the same procedure in reverse and uncheck the advanced box. There's plenty of information under “Help” (search for 'speech recognition') and on the internet about using the Language Bar and speech recognition as well. Once you get it going and train the software to recognize your voice more, it works really great. Then you go back and edit the paragraphs. It saves much time typing.
     

  4. Note that you can say “dot” or “period” to add one. Say “new line” to move down to the next paragraph. Saying “comma, colon or semi-colon” will add one to your text.
     

  5. Turn off the microphone when not in use to preserve the integrity of your speech recognition training. And don't let anyone else use your microphone/speech recognition software or they throw it off. It's been trained for your voice. You can create and save separate voice files for multiple users if you'd like. Now that you know HOW TO get the Language Bar (or get rid of it), you're all set. God bless!
     

How To De-format Text When You Copy/Paste It Into A Webpage

Have you ever copied some text from another website and pasted into your own webpage, but you got a bunch of unwanted scripts, links back to the source website, pop-up advertisements, and other junk? An easy way to de-format your text and get rid of everything except the text is to copy/paste into a simple Text file. Then copy the text out of the text file and paste it into your webpage. I use this trick almost every day.

Many web builders design their website so that if you copy anything, they'll secretly put a bunch of links on your webpage back to theirs. By copying text into a text file, you rid all the extra unwanted baggage.
 

Searching the Internet for Free Music is Asking for Viruses

The word “free” is synonymous with Trojan Viruses that invite hundreds of other viruses to your computer. Be VERY careful about typing in the word “free” in a search engine, or God forbid, “crack codes.” A much better way to get the music you like is to search for it on YouTube and then record it locally on your computer. YouTube has all the top songs and genres of the past 50 years and then some. If you can hear it, you can record it!

You can record any song that you can hear on your computer with MIXCRAFT (I just use the basic version of MixCraft). The great thing about buying MixCraft is that once you purchase it, it's yours FOR LIFE. You can download it 10 or 15 years from now again if you need to. You only have to buy it once! If you lose your registration ID and CODE, just e-mail the company and they'll search for your order. That's awesome!!! I recommend the pro version if you do a lot with music.

With the MixCraft software, anything that you can hear on your computer can be recorded... If not, run a 1/8" stereo jumper cable between your audio OUT port (blue) and your microphone IN port (pink) on back of your computer. Make sure these audio ports are enabled in your "Control Panel" "Sounds and Audio Devices" folder and the volume turned up.

Most software programs are very reasonably priced and you should always buy your own software. Also, make sure you are running the latest free AVG Anti-virus software. I've been using AVG for years. I hate Norton Anti-virus. After my year ran out they harassed me continually. I contacted their tech support and they said there was nothing they could do... renew or be harassed! I uninstalled it and will never use Norton again. I purchased my version to fully enable the software, but the free version is very good too.
 

How To Obtain An MP3 From An M3U Playlist or File

Download the M3U file and then open the file with either Notepad or WordPad. You do this by right mouse-clicking on the M3U file and select “Open with,” then choose the program you'd like to open your file with.

You'll likely see an MP3 address when you open the M3U. If you paste the MP3 address into Microsoft Word or FrontPage, then you can right mouse-click on the file to download the MP3.
 

NTLDR is Missing

I improperly shutdown Windows XP Professional (32 bit) recently. I had switched the monitor cable to another computer to test it. I just got lazy and figured it shuts down improperly anyway from time-to-time when the power goes out, and it always restarts OK, so what the heck, right! Well, I was sorry I did that, because when I went to restart it later, it wouldn't boot, giving me the error message “NTLDR is Missing.” I know a little bit about computers, so I went online for all the fixes.

The first thing I tried was copying the needed files from the Installation CD in the DVD drive, to the main directory of the C:\ drive. When you run the Installation CD, it will give you the option to repair the system, by pressing “R.” This option will take you to a command prompt. (You can find full instructions online.) This trick usually will solve your problem. I think the commands to type at the C:\ prompt are “copy X:\i386\ntldr C:\” and “copy X:\i386\ntdetect.com C:\” (“X” is the letter of your CD player). Note the empty spaces between some of the variables in each command. If you're not sure, go into BIOS and count your drives listed. The CD player is always the last one. Since I have three internal hard-drives (C, D, E), that makes my DVD player letter “F”. Yours will no doubt be different, probably “D” if you only have one hard-drive.

OK, the above DIDN'T work for me this time. I wasn't so fortunate. I shared it with you because it worked for me last time. Windows XP doesn't like sudden power losses, so try to avoid doing it! I took my system to a computer shop and they found that my power supply went bad. WHOA! They said the SATA power supply cable to the hardrive went bad. That's what they said. So if you cannot fix your “NTLDR is Missing”, it could be A FAULTY POWER SUPPLY.

Another trick I've learned is to unplug ALL your USB external drives, and then also your internal hardrives, EXCEPT the main drive of course (otherwise how could your computer start without an operating system). Make sure you don't unplug the main hardrive by accident. If you do, it just won't start. So keep this in mind if you have multiple hardrives. It's easy to get confused. On mine it's easy to know, because only my main drive is an Solid State Drive (SSD). SSD have no moving parts. I really like mine. It's 250 GB and cost about $250 at the time I bought it (but it lasts much longer than conventional spinning hardrives. I got tired of losing all my data). I've had numerous encounters with defective conventional hardrives, both external and internal, that brought my whole system down. Through the process of elimination, that is, by unplugging ALL your hardrives, you can find out if one of those drives went bad, or none of them. If one or more drives go bad, it will cause the “NTLDR is Missing” error.

Or it could be a bad connection at your hardrive on either the data or power cables, so unplug and replug the cables to your hardrives. You can easily test the integrity of the power supply cable to your main drive, by swapping the power supply cable to the hardrive with another, unless of course something else is wrong inside the power supply (which affects the other cables too). Remember to unplug all your drives except the C: drive (main drive), and swap the power supply cable with another drive to test it. By doing these little tests, you can often isolate and identify the problem. These will all cause the “NTLDR is Missing” error.

Most people assume the software has been corrupted, but I have found more than often it is a physically bad hardrive, defective power supply or shabby cable connection (from corrosive buildup, a power surge or humidity). Everything I just mentioned can be tested in less than 15 minutes. I hope that helps. God bless!
 

Oh, Be Careful Little Hands Where You Go, And Little Eyes What You See

Did you know that on any standard consumer computer law enforcement, government and hackers can easily monitor your system without your permission (or you even knowing it) and watch everything you do, as if they were sitting in your chair. They can place cookies on your system to spy on you and monitor everywhere you go online. Yes they can, and do! They can open your CD bay, infect your system, copy your files, do just about anything they want. Never do anything, write anything or go anywhere on your computer hooked up to the internet that you wouldn't want the world to see. Having good security software helps block out most hackers, but your privacy is never completely safe online.

New World Order Big Brother: How To Disable Windows 10 Spying (Microsoft even logs all your keystrokes).

I have nothing to hide on my computer from anyone, and that's the way every Christian ought to live, that is, head-and-shoulders above the wicked world. I formed a cross with folders on my desktop, to remind me when going online that I am a Christian, and to be careful what I go and what I type. The cross shows up well against my solid black background. I could care less if anyone looks over my shoulder. I just don't want anyone maliciously wiping out my data which can happen, so back it up often and disconnected from your system in case you get a worm virus that infects all the drives.
 

Modifying Microsoft “CUSTOM.DIC” Dictionary File is Easy

Microsoft programs have a built-in Spelling and Grammar dictionary, which you can modify by going to "TOOLS" in Microsoft Word, then "OPTIONS." This also updates the dictionary for FrontPage. There's only one dictionary and it is edited from Microsoft Word. Click on the "Spelling and Grammar" tab, and then "Custom Dictionaries" at the bottom.

First, go to the drop down menu in "MY COMPUTER" or "WINDOWS EXPLORER" and select Tools/Folder Options/View. Place a check in the box to show hidden files, otherwise you'll never find the CUSTOM.DIC file because it's a hidden file.

Second, go to "Documents and Settings" and now you should see the folder for "Application Data/Microsoft/Proof/CUSTOM.DIC ... This is where to copy/paste your old CUSTOM.DIC file to update your Microsoft dictionary. FrontPage uses this same dictionary, as mentioned. On Windows 7 you'll find the CUSTOM.DIC file under USER/APPLICATION DATA/MICROSOFT/PROOF in MY COMPUTER.

The other option is to just copy/paste the contents from one CUSTOM.DIC file into the other CUSTOM.DIC file and then save it.

You can type words directly into the "CUSTOM.DIC" file, or continue to add them to the dictionary from within FrontPage or other Microsoft programs by right clicking and then choose "Add to Dictionary" when a red line appears under an unrecognized word.

Those red lines can get annoying after awhile and you hate to have to constantly click on thousands of words all over again when your hardrive crashes and you've got your new system up and running. You don't want to disable your spell checker. I certainly wouldn't. There's nothing worse than an article that contains tons of typos. It shows a lack of concern for proper grammar and spelling. Microsoft's built-in dictionary is a blessing, helping users to type accurate letters without typos. Albeit, if you're like me, then you don't want to click all over again on ten thousand previous words which you've added to your dictionary over the years. By doing what I just mentioned you can save yourself this headache.

Also, I'd recommend right now that you go to "Documents and Settings/Application Data/Microsoft/Proof/CUSTOM.DIC and copy this file onto another hardrive of floppy or USB or CD to back it up just in case your main drive fails.
 

Save Your Data in Multiple Places or Risk Losing it Forever

Which brings me to another important point. I previously lost all my data years ago. So I thought I'd get slick and partition my new hardrive into two separate logical drives (on one physical drive). So I created a C and D partition. I had only one physical hardrive, but I divided it using BIOS into two logical hardrives. This way I could load my operating system onto drive C, and then put all my important data onto drive D. I thought that was slick. If my operating system became corrupted for some reason, then I could simply format drive C without affecting drive D and I'd be SAFE, right? WRONG!!!

My hardrive physically seized up a couple years later. It was an unexpected nightmare. By physically freezing up, I lost BOTH the C and D logical drives (because they're both on the same physical drive). What an idiot I felt like.

So now I store my data on a completely separate physical drive. I use a 500 GB hardrive for my operating system and programs. But I store all my important data onto a separate 1 TB hardrive. All my internal hardrives are SATA now (serial). Serial is a faster method of transferring data, as contrasted to parallel IDE method years ago.

But now what if the 1TB drive fails? I'd still have my operating system, but I'd lose all my important data if my 1 TB drive fails. So what I did was buy an external USB 2 TB drive. I back-up all my data onto the external USB drive.

But, wait a minute, I've had some bad experiences with external USB drives, especially the self-powered ones that use the USB port for power. I love Chinese people, but some of the lousiest products come from China. It's not the fault of the Chinese people. It's the fault of greedy companies that only pay for inferior quality products to boost profits. Chinese companies will built anything you're willing to pay for, and they are capable of superb craftsmanship and quality. The problem is covetousness and greed of people today who run the companies. Corporate fascism is a monster of our times.

Having said that, I prefer the FANTOM brand of external USB hardrive. They're plug and play ready. Just plug it into 115 volts and connect to your USB port and you're ready to transfer data. What I like most about my FANTOM drive is that is runs cool. I've had some external units that you couldn't even touch because it was so hot while operating. Mine is called a FANTOM GREEN DRIVE and it holds 2 TB of data.

Also, I learned the hard way never to place two internal hardrive right next to each other, because they'll cook each other. Think about it. Even if they run at 120 degrees (and they do get too hot to touch), after months of operation all the internal components are roasted and toasted (and you can smell it if you stick your nose by the drive). So I keep my drives at least a drive bay apart.

And make sure to keep the covers on your case to ensure good air-flow. By removing the covers, the air-flow stops. Make sure that your fans are working.

Save your data in multiple places!!! The only sure and safe way to protect your data is to NEVER trust a hardrive. It matters not if it's internal or external. I always buy 7200 RPM, which is considerably faster than the 5900 RPM hardrives. My drive has a 32 MB cache, which is the size of the data buffer. It all helps speed things along. EVERY hardrive has a life expectancy and will ultimately FAIL. It's just a matter of time. CD's and DVD's will go bad. You must regularly back-up important data. Some people like to store important data on the internet. If a tornado wipes out your home or a fire, your files are safe on an internet server.

If you lose your website, you can download the entire website with TELE PORT PRO, a great program that allows you to download entire websites, even recreating a duplicate file structure on your local drive.

Also, what I mentioned earlier about partitioning hardrives... by creating more than one logical hardrive it SLOWS down the data transfer process. It's best not to partition any hardrive.

If your hardrive physically seizes, you can send it to a clean lab to have the data retrieved, but it is costly. There are several data retrieval companies online. A 1 TB drive will cost you over $1,000 to have the data retrieved, but it is possible. A "clean room" is completely dust free, using special ventilation filters and lab technicians wear special clothing. Since hardrives rotate at 7200 RPM (about 120 times per second), even a single spec of dust could cause a major problem... KABOOM! It's much better to plan ahead and simply SAVE YOUR DATA.

You can purchase a 64 GB flash-drive (the size of your thumb) to store data. I have one and it amazes me. I stored 9 1/2-years worth of hard work (all my websites) on this flash-drive (and it's still only half filled). Incredible... several hundred MP3 sermons, dozens of videos, over 100,000 HTML files (including thousands of photos), et cetera. The drawback is that it's very slow while transferring data. Unlike a moving hardrive that has an arm scanning over a rotating disk, a thumb-drive has no moving parts inside. Data is simply stored onto a flash memory chip. It's truly amazing. God is awesome!
 

Webpage FileZilla Updates On Other Computers, But Not On My Own Computer

I had a weird problem tonight. I went to upload some webpage changes using FileZilla, as I've done tens-of-thousands of times. One particular webpage wouldn't update. All my other websites and webpages updated fine. It was just one particular page that wouldn't update on my computer. I contacted the hosting company's tech support and they said the webpage appeared fine on their computers, showing the updates. But for some reason, my two different computers refused to show the updated webpage. Since the problem affected BOTH on my computer systems, logic told me that there was nothing wrong with my computers. I had deleted the entire browsing history (cache) of both computers, but that DIDN'T help. The solution was simple. I just made some additional changes to the webpage and uploaded them. For some unknown reason, something got stuck. My best guess is a glitch on the server.
 

Those Annoying Internet Blocks and Messages

Anytime you reload your operating system or buy a new computer, you're going to have to eliminate all the annoying security blocks that will prevent you from enjoying the internet. If you are receiving annoying messages when surfing the internet, which block Active X controls and continually ask you if you you want to view the information that was received, then you need to go into "TOOLS, INTERNET OPTIONS"
 

Stylish Quotation Marks, Long Dash and Copyright Symbols

Here they are, just copy and paste. I'd recommend creating a text file on your desktop as I did, and paste these symbols in there for future use. To create a text file simply right-mouse-click and then select, "NEW/TEXT DOCUMENT."

“  ”



©


 

I'm Using Windows 7 and My USB 'Bluetooth' Connects just fine, but there's no Sound At All. Why?

Right to the solution: You need to go to 'CONTROL PANEL,' then scroll down to 'SOUND,' and then select the VIA speakers instead of the hands-free headset as the 'DEFAULT' Bluetooth device. The reason why the Bluetooth device hasn't been working is because you didn't have it selected as the DEFAULT audio device for Bluetooth. If you have some music or sound already playing, it will instantly play though your Bluetooth radio when you select it as the DEFAULT device. You're good to go my friend! Enjoy your Bluetooth wireless blessings! God is good!

I bought the ASUS Bluetooth 4.0, USB Adapter, BT-400, for no particular reason. I just wanted Bluetooth. Bluetooth allows you to play your computer wirelessly through a radio across the room, SKYPE or outside on the patio or porch. It's nice when I want to listen to preaching outside in the humidity, without subjecting my laptop computer to the harsh weather and risk prematurely damaging it. Bluetooth is also nice if I want to play my ukulele, slack key or guitar along with rhythm tracks playing on my computer 30-feet-away.

Notes about Windows Media Player (my favorite): I set up playlists using Microsoft Windows Media Player, which are really nice audio tools to have available. By the way, Windows Media Player will 'Rip' your CD and DVD music as MP3's from the disk drive if you specify so in the options drop-down-menu in the program. By default, WMP Rips all songs as Windows Media Audio (WMA files). I prefer MP3's myself, which are also designed by Microsoft, but as compressed files (about 10-to-1). For music is usually rip or burn them at 196 kbps (CD quality). 320 kbps is the best quality, and considerably larger in size. I burn all preaching MP3's at 32 kbps, which are much smaller.

The USB Bluetooth product that I bought is only good up to 30-feet (and they mean 30!). It cost $35 at the local computer store.
 

Why Does My USB Hardrive Click, But Cannot Be Read By My Computer?

USB drives don't have enough power oftentimes to run correctly. It's kind of like a weak or corroded battery in your car, which causes the starter to click instead of turn the engine over. Likewise, if your USB port is weak or you don't have a solid connection, your hardrive will click and not appear in my computer. To fix the problem, remove the hardrive from the housing. Unplug the interior hardrive from it's outer adapter. It's usually just a couple Phillip's screws, and then plug the hardrive into your desktop computer. I unplugged my DVD player and used that data connection for the external USB drive (which I'm now connecting as an internal drive). This is just a temporary fix to retrieve your data, then throw that USB piece of junk away!!!

When buying an external USB drive, avoid the tiny male USB mini (or micro) 5-pin connectors (which all the cheaper drives use). They're crap! You get what you pay for! Look for the USB 3.0 Micro B high-speed connectors. The larger connections are much better, like My Passport or WD Elements. Beware of Apple's micro connection garbage.

In your desktop (remove the cover), there should be an extra power supply plug for your drive. By plugging the external drive into your computer instead of the USB port, you'll get more power and it should work just fine. Many people have thrown away a perfectly good hardrive thinking it went bad, all because it just needed a little more power.
 

How to Avoid Clicking “No” Hundreds of Times When Copy/Paste in Windows XP

I'm not sure why Windows' software developers did the following, but it is annoying to me. When I copy/paste a bunch of files (let's say hundreds) from one folder into another folder, a message pops up that asks if I want to replace existing files: “yes to all,” “no” or “cancel.” Well, if you want to replace all the files, then there's no problem, just click “Yes to all.” But if you don't want to replace older existing files, it can be a nuisance having to continually choose “No.” So I learned a nifty trick.

How to Specify “No to all” when copying in Windows XP

When copying files, if you don't want to click “no” hundreds of times (since there is no “NO TO ALL” option available, then press “SHIFT” and hold it down while clicking “no.”

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ALSO: On every webpage you can search it by going up to your drop down menu: “EDIT/FIND

END

Please note: This article is NOT copyrighted and may be shared or reproduced freely elsewhere, as is true of my entire website ministry.


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