Thursday, September 27, 2012

How to Install Microsoft Security Essentials

Ok. Here we go. This is the best real-time antivirus scanner around. AVast! comes in second, but MSE is lightweight and knows Windows better than any other antivirus sytem.

First things first. Uninstall your "old" scanner. I don't know which one you had so I'll just use Norton as an example.

Click on the start button (the windows logo located at the bottom left of your screen on the task bar).
In the search bar, type 'programs and features' then click on the programs and features icon.

in the programs and features windows, find Norton (or whatever antivirus you already have installed), single click on it, then click uninstall (it's located between organize and change)
Follow the uninstall process.
Reboot if necessary.
Now, click on the following link
select your version of windows 7 (most likely 64 bit)

click on download.
Save the file.
Then run the file.
Take the defaults.
If all goes well, you'll soon be protected from malware by MSE. Yay you!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Try Everything Before You Quit - How to Reset Internet Explorer

No, this isn't a good philosophy for life, but it is a good philosophy for technology repair.

A client told me she was bringing in her mother's PC for me to fix. Her mom has as her homepage in Internet Explorer 8. Apparently, ATT at Yahoo! has changed the look and feel of their homepage (new code and stuff). Since that change, my client's mom can't access the page. She has the site set as her homepage in IE 8. When she starts IE 8, the infinity circle runs for 5+ minutes (she let it run without closing it out and she said only a tiny picture had loaded after 15 minutes). Well, my client brought in the PC for me to check out. I asked her if she had opened a new tab in IE 8 to try and access another site. She said, "No, I didn't try that." So, that was the first thing I did after booting into Windows.

I was able to open google and do a google search (I searched pizza if you're wondering). I was also able to open Yahoo!. From that, I knew IE 8 wasn't hijacked by a browser hijacker or something else. During the opening of other sites, was still trying to load. I closed the tab, then I installed Firefox, ran it, and was able to access just fine in Firefox. My assumption that IE 8 was "just old" and that's new homepage was too "advanced" for IE 8 was beginning to be a reality for me.

I told my client that Firefox loaded site just fine and that IE 9 probably would too. I asked her if she wanted me to update IE 8 to 9. She gave me the green light because she thought IE 9 would at least be more familiar to her mom than Firefox and I thought that was probably true. So, I installed IE 9. Guess what? IE 9 had trouble loading the new homepage too. What? Honestly, I was stumped. Another thought came to mind though. Perhaps IE was broken in some way? Maybe a reset would fix this issue? So that's what I did. I ran the IE reset. Guess what? loaded just fine, even the same speed as Firefox. I don't know what specifically the problem was between IE and's new homepage, but I do know running the IE reset fixed the issue. I wonder if the IE reset in IE 8 would have fixed the issue for 8? That question ties in the title post that you should try everything before you quit on the technology you're working on. I should have tried the IE reset before upgrading to IE 9.

Want to know how to run the IE reset? These steps work for IE 7, 8, and 9.

In IE, go to Tools > Options

The Options windows opens. Click on Advanced. You should see a Reset button in the lower right portion of the window under a heading that reads, "Reset Internet Explorer Settings." Click on the Reset button.

In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings Dialog box, click on the Reset button.

After a little bit, IE will be return to the default state. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dropbox says not enough space, but there is plenty of space

So you have 30 MB left in Dropbox storage. You try to store a 20 MB file in the Dropbox folder in your (windows) explorer and get a message like: Can't sync of space in your Dropbox Oh no! What do you do? Two solutions that may solve your problem.

This may sound like a stupid question, but do you have enough space on your physical drive? Since Dropbox acts as a folder on your physical drive there has to be enough space on that drive as well for it to sync and for it to be stored in your Dropbox folder. 

Have you cleared the Dropbox cache? This is the path in Windows Explorer (assuming you're using Windows 7) %HOMEPATH%\Dropbox\.dropbox.cache type that line in the location bar in Windows Explorer and it should take you to the dropbox cache folder. I think the cache folder is deleted automatically every 3 days, but if you just recently deleted a lot of files this could be taking up valuable space in your dropbox folder.

I hope one of these helps.