Frequently Asked Questions
- Does it matter how I shut down my PC?
- Are there any keyboard shortcuts to help me use my computer better?
- Do I really need a surge suppressor?
- How much physical maintenance does my computer need?
- How do I install new software?
- How do I know when or if an upgrade is necessary?
- Should I do backups?
- How do I do a backup?
- Should I upgrade the CDROM/DVD drive on my computer?
- I recently connected a new inkjet printer to my computer and now my documents are printing face up and the first page always ends up at the bottom of the pile. Did I do something wrong when I installed the printer driver?
- Occasionally I experience problems with my monitor; the picture is too dim, too bright, not centered, too small, etc. How can I correct these problems?
- How do you change the appearance of the mouse pointer on the screen? I have seen other people using various animated cursors and would like to change mine too.
- How can I delete or rename files?
- How do I change the drive letter of my CDROM?
- What is a computer virus?
- How do I keep from getting a computer virus?
Does it matter
how I shut down my PC?
The only time that you should ever turn off the power switch is
when you see the "It is now safe to turn off your
computer" message or if your computer "locks up."
To properly shut down your computer, click on the Start button and
select "Shut Down." This will give you the option to
restart or shut down your computer. The computer will close any
open programs that you are using and ask you to save any unsaved
data before it shuts down. You will also want to restart your
computer if you get error messages such as "invalid page
fault" or "program error in module xyz" to clear
the memory and reset the computer. The second time to turn off the
power switch is when the computer stops responding to keyboard or
mouse commands. You may lose data in open applications if you have
to do this so be sure to save your data frequently.
any keyboard shortcuts to help me use my computer better?
Print current page – Ctrl & P
Ctrl & V
Ctrl & X
Select all –
Ctrl & A
Ctrl & C
Close current window – Alt & F4
Do I really
need a surge suppressor?
You paid serious money for your computer system. Don’t expect a
£4.95 power strip to protect your investment. A good UPS power
supply or surge suppressor will help protect your computer from
physical maintainance does my computer need?
Make sure that your computer is not wearing a coat of dust. Using
a can of filtered compressed air, take your machine outside and
blast away. Remove the four screws holding the lid on, and clean
all heat sinks, clean out your power supply fan, and make sure you
have good ventilation around your computer. Replace the four
screws and plug everything back in, and you’re in business.
How do I
install new software?
Before you install new software in Windows 95/98, Windows Millennium Edition,
Windows 2000 or Windows XP, take the software manufacturer’s
recommendation seriously. Close all other programs. To do so, hit
Ctrl + Alt + Del which will bring up a list of programs running on
your machine. End all running tasks except for explorer, systray,
and any critical programs. This helps avoid later software
problems. Then, follow directions and everything should go just
How do I know
when or if an upgrade is necessary?
A good rule of thumb here is to ask yourself: Is my computer doing
EVERYTHING I want it to do, as quickly as I want? Keep your
computer upgrades balanced. Upgrading just your CPU may not give
you the performance gains you expected. You see, a computer is
only as fast as it’s slowest part. If you have a £1500 computer
with a £29 video card, your computer has to make up for the slow
card. A high performance video card takes the load off of the CPU
and increases performance substantially.
Should I do
The answer here is undoubtedly and without hesitation… YES! You
must pretend that your computer is going to fail tomorrow. While
computers are getting more reliable all the time, let’s face it,
mechanical failure of the computer is imminent. It may occur 10
months from now while it’s still under warranty, or after 10 years
of wear and tear, but it will happen eventually. A good backup is
How do I do a
It is important to backup the data on your hard drive in case of
file corruption or hardware failure. The importance of the data on
your hard drive should specify how often you perform the back up
procedure. If your information is not that critical, once every
month may be fine to guard against system corruption. If the data
is critical or you make considerable daily changes, you should
back up every day. Backups are done a variety of different ways.
There are a number of different devices you can use to back up a
hard drive, whether it be on your computer or network server. The
answer to this question depends heavily upon your own unique
situation. Please contact us and explain your needs, and we’ll give
you our recommendation.
upgrade the CDROM on my computer?
Although upgrading to a faster cd drive can improve cd
performance, it doesn’t follow that a 32X drive will run twice as
fast as a 16X. Other conditions like access time, interface and
buffer size limit performance. A 32X CD drive may only be about 20
percent faster than a 16X drive when running CD-ROM applications.
connected a new inkjet printer to my computer and now my documents
are printing face up and the first page always ends up at the
bottom of the pile. Did I do something wrong when I installed the
You didn’t cause this situation. Many ink jet printers only print
documents face up. So, when you print a long document, page one
winds up on the bottom of the stack, and the last page of the
document winds up on top. To change this, when you open the print
dialogue box within the application, look for an option to print
in reverse order. In WordPerfect, you will find the option on the
Print tab. In Microsoft Word, this change is available from the
Options button. With this option checked, page one will always
come out on the top of the stack.
I experience problems with my monitor; the picture is too dim, too
bright, not centered, too small, etc. How can I correct these
Adjusting the controls on your monitor should solve these types of
problems, although some of the cheaper monitors do not have the
ability to adjust things like size and centering. A better monitor
will also remember your setting for each graphic mode, so you will
only have to set the controls once. If your monitor forces you to
adjust the controls every time the graphic mode changes it’s
probably time to reconsider the price of that bargain monitor.
How do you
change the appearance of the mouse pointer on the screen? I have
seen other people using various animated cursors and would like to
change mine too.
You can download a variety of Anicursors (animated cursors) from
the Internet. Make sure the cursor files are in the
\WINDOWS\CURSORS directory, and then choose Control Panel from the
Start menu’s Settings submenu. Double-click Mouse in the Control
Panel dialog box and then click the Pointers tab, followed by the
Browse button. When the Browse dialog box appears, choose Animated
Cursors (*.ani) from the Files of type dropdown menu. The Browse
dialog box will now display only Anicursors. Double-click any
cursor you want to try out and then click OK to see the cursor
come to life!
How can I
delete or rename files?
You can manage your files while working within any Windows
application. Right mouse click on any file name you see in the
"Save As" or "Open" dialog box and you will
then get a list of options. The options include variations for
opening, viewing, printing, deleting and renaming files.
How do I
change the drive letter of my CDROM?
Click on Start / Settings / click on Control Panel / double click
on System / click on the tab Device Manager / click the
"+" by CD-ROM / highlight the CD-ROM driver listed under
CD-ROM / click on properties / click on the settings tab, were it
says start drive letter put the letter that you want the drive to
be for example Q do the same for end drive letter, click on ok,
and close out of all open windows. If you get a prompt to restart
the computer say "Yes" to restart the computer. If you
do not get the prompt then click Start / Shutdown / choose Restart
the computer then click on "Yes".
What is a
A computer virus is a malicious computer program that infects the
computer memory or hard disk. Some are comical and will simply
change the display on your monitor while most are designed to do
damage to the data on the computer. Boot sector viruses are
especially damaging since they rewrite the information needed to
start up and access your computer’s hard disk. Trojan horses are
destructive programs disguised as something harmless like a game.
Worms are programs written to replicate themselves until the
computer’s memory or hard drive is completely used up at which
time the computer crashes and becomes inoperable.
How do I
keep from getting a computer virus?
If you buy no other piece of software for your computer, buy a
virus protection program. Some common programs are Norton
AntiVirus and McAfee ViruScan. Don’t share floppies or other files
without first checking the files or disks with a virus protection
program. This includes downloaded files from the Internet – know
the source of the file before you download and activate the virus
protection plug-in for your browser.