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WIN­DOWS HELP HARD­WARE FIXES SOFT­WARE SO­LU­TIONS IN­TER­NET TIPS

Windows 7 Help & Advice - - SUPPORT -

Se­cu­rity PRO­TECT NETWORK WITH OPEN DNS

QI un­der­stand that I can use DNS set­tings to se­cure my com­put­ers at the network level. How do I do this? Craig Jarvis you can both im­prove se­cu­rity and per­for­mance across your en­tire network. For it to ap­ply to ev­ery de­vice on your network, log on to your router through your web browser and go hunt­ing for its DNS set­tings – these may be on their own tab, on the main screen or un­der the DHCP set­tings.

For ba­sic OpenDNS, set the pri­mary DNS to 208.67.222.222 and the se­condary DNS to 208.67.220.220 re­spec­tively. This should de­liver no­tice­ably faster re­sponse times when ac­cess­ing web pages. Some pro­tec­tion is built-in, but if you’re happy to ap­ply a network-wide porno­graphic fil­ter, set the router’s DNS set­tings to 208.67.222.123 and 208.67.220.123 in­stead. Now all adult con­tent will be blocked au­to­mat­i­cally from all con­nected de­vices.

If that’s a step too far, leave the ba­sic OpenDNS set­tings in place and sign up for OpenDNS Home Free at https://signup.opendns. com/home­free/ – once done, you can log in and set up cus­tom fil­ters util­is­ing over 50 dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories. Set up your home network, then choose a ba­sic fil­ter­ing level: High, Mod­er­ate, Low, None and Cus­tom are all avail­able. Work through the var­i­ous op­tions for pro­tect­ing your network from mal­ware and bot­nets to phish­ing.

Fi­nally, if your pub­lic IP ad­dress changes over time, tick Dy­namic IP Up­date un­der Ad­vanced Set­tings and down­load the Dy­namic IP Up­dater client on a PC that’s on 24-7, so changes are au­to­mat­i­cally

“In­ter­net ac­cel­er­a­tor tools at­tempt to tweak var­i­ous sys­tem set­tings to fine-tune network and In­ter­net per­for­mance”

for­warded on to your ac­count; oth­er­wise you’ll need to log in when­ever the IP changes to con­tinue be­ing sup­ported.

In­ter­net BEST IN­TER­NET AC­CEL­ER­A­TOR

QI would like to speed up my broad­band con­nec­tion. What’s the best free In­ter­net ac­cel­er­a­tor tool for Win­dows 7? Peter Clax­ton Rob’s so­lu­tion In­ter­net ac­cel­er­a­tor tools ba­si­cally at­tempt to tweak var­i­ous sys­tem set­tings to fine-tune network and In­ter­net per­for­mance. They won’t have any ef­fect on your phys­i­cal con­nec­tion, but you may find they have a mi­nor per­for­mance ben­e­fit (it’s un­likely you’ll see ma­jor im­prove­ments, how­ever). We could only find one free tool – In­ter­net Ac­cel­er­a­tor, which you can down­load from www.point­stone. com (look un­der Soft­ware > Free­bies). Al­though In­ter­net Ac­cel­er­a­tor will run on Win­dows 10, it’s not been de­signed for it; we rec­om­mend try­ing it on older ver­sions of Win­dows, and take a Sys­tem Re­store point or drive im­age first, just in case it makes things worse and the Re­store De­faults op­tion doesn’t work.

Win­dows UP­DATE CRIP­PLED MY USER AC­COUNT

QMy main – and only ad­min­is­tra­tor – user ac­count has lost key func­tion­al­ity after a Win­dows fea­ture up­date: no Start menu, search fa­cil­ity, li­brary files or drive ac­cess. I’ve tried var­i­ous so­lu­tions, and even per­formed a re­fresh in­stall, but it hasn’t fixed the prob­lem. Strangely, my wife’s non-ad­min­is­tra­tor ac­count is un­af­fected. Please can you help? Kevin Rid­dick Nick P’s so­lu­tion Kevin had man­aged to cre­ate an­other user ac­count, but it was a standard user, with no ap­par­ent means for el­e­vat­ing to ad­min­is­tra­tor. Thank­fully, this can be done by tem­po­rar­ily en­abling the sys­tem Ad­min­is­tra­tor ac­count. First, while logged into your

CLONE AND COM­PACT VIR­TUAL HARDDISKS

QI’m run­ning out of space on my Vir­tu­alBox par­ti­tion, where I keep mul­ti­ple vir­tual ma­chines. Can I re­claim drive space with­out hav­ing to move them? Craig Hurst Rob’s so­lu­tion There are two dif­fer­ent tech­niques we’ll look at – start by brows­ing to https://fo­rums.vir­tu­albox.org/ view­topic.php?t=22422 where you can down­load and ex­tract the por­ta­ble CloneVDI tool. Then fol­low the steps out­lined here… non-ad­min­is­tra­tor ac­count, right-click the Start but­ton and choose ‘Com­mand Prompt (ad­min)’ or ‘Win­dows Pow­er­shell (ad­min)’. En­ter the pass­word for your cor­rupt ad­min­is­tra­tor ac­count, then type the fol­low­ing com­mand: net user Ad­min­is­tra­tor /ac­tive:yes

Close the com­mand prompt win­dow, then log out. You should see a new Ad­min­is­tra­tor ac­count ap­pear, select this to log in (it’s not pass­word-pro­tected). Now go to Start > Set­tings > Ac­counts > ‘Fam­ily & other peo­ple’. Select your new ac­count and click ‘Change ac­count type’. Select Ad­min­is­tra­tor and click OK.

Log out of the Ad­min­is­tra­tor ac­count and back into your new ac­count – click Start > Set­tings > Ac­counts > Your Info to ver­ify the ac­count is now an ad­min­is­tra­tor one. You can now open an­other Com­mand Prompt (ad­min) win­dow and type: net user Ad­min­is­tra­tor /ac­tive:no

Once you’ve trans­ferred any files or set­tings across from your old user ac­count to your new one, you can then delete the old ac­count.

Data re­cov­ery RE­COVER DATA FROM A USB FLASH DRIVE

QMy flash drive got knocked out of my lap­top at work and now I get a mes­sage that it needs for­mat­ting on which­ever com­puter I plug it into. Can you rec­om­mend some de­cent re­cov­ery soft­ware that I can use please? Fred Pearce Cat’s so­lu­tion As­sum­ing the drive hasn’t been dam­aged, you may have luck re­cov­er­ing the files us­ing DMDE (www.dmde.com), which we fea­tured in last is­sue’s lead fea­ture. Choose the Phys­i­cal Disk op­tion and DMDE will scan for lost or cor­rupt par­ti­tions – hope­fully it’ll be im­me­di­ately vis­i­ble, en­abling you to select and mount it, then copy the files off in­tact.

If this fails, you may need to take a risk and try a quick for­mat when prompted by Win­dows. Once com­plete, DMDE or even Re­cuva (www.pir­i­form.com) should be able to de­tect any re­cov­er­able data. As al­ways with data re­cov­ery, avoid writ­ing any files to the drive un­til you’ve re­cov­ered what you need.

Mi­crosoft Of­fice UP­DATE A SLIDESHOW ’S LOOK AND FEEL

QI want to up­date a slideshow’s look and feel with­out hav­ing to re­work it all from scratch. What’s the best way to go about this? Han­nah Gille­spie Rob’s so­lu­tion If your slideshow’s ex­ist­ing lay­out is based on tem­plates cre­ated in­side a slide master, then sim­ply switch to the View tab on the rib­bon and click Slide Master. You’ll see all the slide tem­plate slides,

“The act of plug­ging the PC’s Eth­er­net ca­ble into a new router may have trig­gered the prob­lem”

com­plete with avail­able lay­outs for each slide. Edit­ing these – in­clud­ing up­dat­ing fonts and styles – will au­to­mat­i­cally up­date any of main slides in your pre­sen­ta­tion based on the lay­out in ques­tion. You’ll then need to go through the slideshow to see how the changes af­fect your slides – you may still need to tweak in­di­vid­ual slides.

If slides aren’t af­fected by these changes, sim­ply right-click one and pick the clos­est pos­si­ble match from the Lay­outs sub-menu, then tweak ac­cord­ingly.

Hard­ware FLAKY ETH­ER­NET CON­NEC­TION

QSince up­grad­ing to fi­bre broad­band my PC’s Eth­er­net con­nec­tion has kept drop­ping out. I have a Wi-Fi adap­tor, which works fine with it, and none of my other Eth­er­net-con­nected de­vices have any prob­lems. What’s the cure? Tom West Mayank’s so­lu­tion This could be ei­ther a driver prob­lem or a hard­ware glitch. Tom tried a dif­fer­ent Eth­er­net ca­ble as well as router port, all to no avail, plus ver­i­fied he had the lat­est driv­ers in­stalled. The up­grade to fi­bre ap­pears to have been co­in­ci­den­tal, al­though the act of plug­ging the PC’s Eth­er­net ca­ble into a new router may have trig­gered or ex­ac­er­bated an un­der­ly­ing is­sue. Tom re­vealed that his Eth­er­net port – which was part of his PC’s moth­er­board – did wig­gle when touched, which sug­gests a loose con­nec­tion caused by a dry sol­der joint.

Tom wasn’t con­fi­dent with a sol­der­ing iron, but he had a spare in­ter­nal PCI-Ex­press slot, so we di­rected him to­wards the TP-Link TG-3468 PCIe Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net card (http://bit.ly/2hTDmZQ), which is avail­able for around £8.50 on­line. In­stalling and us­ing this re­solved Tom’s con­nec­tion prob­lem.

Win­dows SYS­TEM RE­STORE PROB­LEM

QI’m stymied with re­gards to up­grad­ing to Win­dows 10. My Win­dows 7 Ul­ti­mate PC re­fuses to carry out a Sys­tem Re­store, which I re­gard as vi­tal when up­grad­ing. The fault is 0x80070005, which ap­pears to be a com­mon one, but with no sim­ple fix. Can you ad­vise? John Elling­house Nick O’s so­lu­tion Sys­tem Re­store isn’t needed dur­ing an up­grade – it’s not re­quired should you sub­se­quently want to roll back your sys­tem to the pre­vi­ous ver­sion. A more ef­fec­tive fall­back would be to take a sys­tem im­age us­ing Macrium Re­flect Free (www.macrium.com/re­flect­free) or the built-in Win­dows Backup and Re­store tool – then if any­thing bad does hap­pen, you will be able to re­store Win­dows 7 ef­fort­lessly.

There’s lit­tle point in try­ing to fix Sys­tem Re­store ahead of the up­grade – a bet­ter bet is to wait un­til Win­dows 10 is in place and see whether it’s mag­i­cally fixed by the up­date. Sys­tem Re­store will be switched off by de­fault – switch it back on by typ­ing ‘Sys­tem re­store’ into the Search box and click­ing ‘Cre­ate a Re­store point’. If the prob­lem per­sists, get back in con­tact and we’ll con­tinue to ex­am­ine the prob­lem.

Mayank’s so­lu­tion OpenDNS (www. opendns.com) of­fers sev­eral ways in which

Pro­tect your home network Tighten se­cu­rity at the router level with OpenDNS.

El­e­vate ac­cess Use a sys­tem Ad­min ac­count to up­grade a Standard User.

Web booster Fine-tune your PC’s network per­for­mance with the In­ter­net Ac­cel­er­a­tor tool.

Quick re­fresh Make changes to your master slides to up­date your pre­sen­ta­tion.

Network fi x On­board Eth­er­net port play­ing up? Sim­ply swap it for a PCIe card.

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