We fix readers’ computing problems
APC and its readers can be one giant helpdesk. If you have a technical problem, chances are one of us can solve it.
OFFICE APPS TROUBLE WITH MAIL CONFIGURATION
I’m trying to use Mail in Windows 10 and cannot make the server alterations required to send mail through another account. Where can I find them, please? Colin Travis Sadly, it isn’t possible to configure an email account in Mail to send messages through a different mail server, so instead, we pointed Colin towards eM Client, which is available at www.emclient.com. To do this, go through the eM Client setup wizard to configure your account and you should find that it will fail the sending mail test. At this point, you may be prompted to enter your outgoing account credentials, but if not, click the Menu button and choose ‘Tools > Accounts’. The next step is select your account and then switch to the SMTP tab to input the details of your outgoing server. Here, choose ‘Use these credentials’ before inputting your new email account’s username and password. You’ll now be able to send your emails. Rob Mead-Green
MAC EXTERNAL DRIVE TROUBLE
When my iMac crashed today, its logs were full of “Failed to composite image for descriptor” error messages prior to forcing its shutdown. I also saw some repeated errors from the kernel about a “disk1s2: I/O error”. I’ve only recently upgraded to El Capitan: does this indicate an incompatibility with it? Mark Syder The upgrade process may have brought on your problem, but the more critical and worrying of those error messages are those relating to disk1s2, which is likely to be an external hard drive. Input/output errors like this are normally the result of a serious issue with a drive, possibly even complete drive failure or a defective electrical connection. Ensure both ends of the drive’s connecting cable are fully inserted into its ports, and that the cable is a good one. Check the drive using Disk Utility first, and perform any necessary repairs. If that reports a SMART status error or other hardware failure that can’t be fixed, eject the drive and shut it down immediately. Several utilities, such as the excellent DriveDx, can provide you with more details about SMART warnings, errors and other faults, but once your drive has failed, there is little point in holding a post mortem. If the drive hasn’t died, it might still be recoverable. When you have a replacement, you might be able to salvage the old drive’s contents and copy them over to your new one. Unfortunately, sudden drive failures can still be the cause of crashes, although OS X is getting more resilient to such hardware issues. Howard Oakley
WINDOWS WINDOWS KEEPS CHECKING DRIVE ON STARTUP
I have been spring-cleaning by running the Chkdsk tool on my hard drive, and now it’s continually running it at startup. How do I prevent this? Hannah Eastwell
Windows’ Chkdsk disk utility scans hard drives for errors.
SMART status checkers, such as DriveDx, are useful before failure; after, try repairing in Disk Utility.