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Computer Repair++ m. 07831 373 871 (01494 564251) Website: Or for business Help Notes ver 3.04. Move to next page – ‘page down’ key Move back – ‘page up’ key ('esc' to close with PowerPoint viewer). Introduction.

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Help notes ver 3 04

Computer Repair++

m. 07831 373 871 (01494 564251)


Or for business

Help Notes ver 3.04

Move to next page – ‘page down’ key

Move back – ‘page up’ key

('esc' to close with PowerPoint viewer)

Help notes ver 3 04


My business is here to help make computing and other technical / electronic things work as well as possible for you in your home or business.

We live in a world that is ever more technical – but hidden within this new world are some marvellous abilities and interesting new ways of getting things done. The changes in TV/radio/music/phone systems means that they have now also become ‘technical’ and I can advise and help with these also.

The large manufacturers, unfortunately, often present their products in a way that helps their marketing and sales but not you. One of my quests is to try to circumvent this dilemma so you can get the best of the new technologies in the easiest way.

When I do any work for you I always try to introduce ‘best practice’. Many people wish to continue to do things the way they always have – sometimes this is possible but sometimes it is not (or it is inadvisable). I will always try to explain the options so that you can make an informed decision.

Part of my work is setting up new ways of doing things and training on these new ways. I have found that creating a ‘visual’ document (like this) that can be referred to is a useful way for people to remember the new ways of working.

I prefer to work directly with people rather than over the phone. Phone communication can be very frustrating for both of us when trying to overcome issues, so if something is not working (after turning all off then on again!) please call me and I can arrange a visit.

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These help notes

Protection for Web Sites – use password (password99) to change settings if already installed


Backup to CD/DVD

Checks background programs

Shortcut to All System files

Screen/Picture capture


2 Web Browsers

Office Programs

Shortcut to My Documents – All you saved documents/pics/spreadsheets/music are in here (including any email files)

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Shutdown operation

To Shut Down click start

click turn off (then turn off again)‏

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‘One Click’ Menu Bar

Easy - Just use a single right mouse click to start programs in the bottom menu bar

Note: You may add other icons to this bottom menu bar by dragging from the desktop

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My Newsletter - Insight

Windows 8

And why you will not want it

– Please see the Newsletter icon on the desktop.

I can help get over this problem – please call me if you know anyone who’s about to buy a new system.

Plus many other issues – with recommendations

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Windows ‘Help’ +

Windows standard help service is turned off. This is because it gives unhelpful and confusing messages. It also uses memory unnecessarily.

It can be turned on (control panel/administrative tools/.. .Then select and make the help service to automatic start).

Also note that windows updates on XP machines are usually turned off – this is because they have caused significant harm, especially on older equipment.

You can update the Chrome and explorer browsers – but beware while this may improve their ‘safety’ any update can cause instabilities.

The antivirus should automatically update every day.

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Updating & Upgrading Advice

  • Updates are not straight forward:-

  • They may be essential to allow particular new programmes to install.

  • They may be useful to improve the protection from hacking or malware.

  • They may cause you system to fail completely or partially.

  • It is for you to decide whether or not you wish to update your operating system. Be aware that if it fails (even on a new system) it is likely that a full re-install is required – this is expensive and takes time. On some devices like iphones, failure during upgrading to a new version can make the device useless with no way of repairing.

  • Antivirus updates are almost essential (as the antivirus cannot do its job properly otherwise - these should be automatic).

  • Browsers (use Chrome preferably) should be kept up to date. This improves the security within the browser from the internet as this is the most likely place for an attack.

  • For XP, I advise that updates are turned off to reduce the potential damage from updates (little is being changed now anyway).

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Main Issues & Advice

Important help please read first

Simple Advice– Do not download or install ANYTHING unless you have to – please see later

Internet Issues– If you internet / emails stop working it will almost certainly NOT be your new or re-installed computer. Turn off then on again your Router / Modem and your computer and try again. You computer has been fully tested on the internet and is very extremely to have a problem with the internet or emails. DO NOT run your CD from your supplier (even if they ask you to – its your computer not theirs and it WILL damage it!! (See later for full advice).

Printers– When you re-install or change it use the custom installation and just install the driver (see later).

Other software – such as adobe reader– You do NOT need to download or install adobe products. There is already installed a better reader. Adobe products will slow down you system and cause other issues. There is a copy of Itunes and Skype in the Utilities folder (on the C: drive) if you need them. You do not need to load camera software – it is likely to cause problems. (See later for downloading if you must do so)

Antivirus (Avast)– Do NOT upgrade the installed antivirus to the ‘Full Version’ you will need to pay for it and it is not as good as the free version (it has caused problems in the past).

Browsers – The best to use is Google Chrome. This currently provides the best protection. I do not recommend Firefox or Internet Explorer (if you do need to use another use Internet Explorer ver 8.)

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Backup Advice

Three ways, ideally use all 3 as they offer different type of security for files/pics/music. Each does a different job, with all 3 properly configured all your data should be protected.

1) Use Burnaware-free for an easy to use backup to DVD writer - use write once DVD's cheap..... takes a bit of time - but is the best security for your data as it is not electronic or magnetic, is shake proof, drop-proof, water-proof so fairly bullet proof - take off-site and your data is as safe as you can get.  Test the DVD after burning!

2) Use Syncback - fairly easy to use automatic/manual backup - writes any folder to any location chosen (including network, or external drive).  This does a full backup first time, then only changed files subsequently.  Provides a log and writes files without zipping them or any silly format, so backup files can be accessed as normal files at any time.  Runs a schedule for auto backup, or can just be manually run at any time.  Handles multiple backups - so you can backup to more than one device and choose different folders for backup - no need to backup stuff that's irrelevant (or that cause issues such as trying to copy the whole user profile).  Don't forget that ANY electronic or magnetic media is prone to failure!

(Both of these programmes are in the Utilities folder in the main C: drive.)

3) Use Dropbox, Skydrive or idrive or similar as an on line backup. This is slow (as upload speed is slow unless you have fibre). It is useful as an auto backup for recently used files and you can access them from anywhere on most devices. Do not depend on it completely, you may lose your account or it may get cancelled or corrupted. You can use syncback to copy key working folders into a special ‘upload’ folder to make sure that specific ongoing work only is copied and not all your pictures and music etc as these will be too large.

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Security Issues

Passwords – Don’t use the same or similar password for sensitive login’s (bank etc) as any other general password (such as a sign in for broadband). Be aware that ISP’s and any other online business may have access to your passwords and they may get hacked and lose them, and criminals know that many people use the same password for everything.

Email -Create at least two email accounts (such as Gmail). Keep one acct just for family/friends. Use another account for any internet logins or online shopping etc. (This will help prevent spam and misuse of your main email).

Banking - If you choose to do online banking, make sure that your bank does not ask you to TYPE your passwords (they should use a drop down box). This is important as even with top level antivirus etc you cannot be sure that your keystrokes are not being captured and sent to criminals (Key-logging).

You should ask you bank to issue you with a Card Reader that creates a one time code from your pin to ascertain that you are the correct account holder.

Antivirus and Downloading - Be aware that whatever antivirus/antispy system you use that none of give a better protection than about 85% to 90%. If you download any file make absolutely certain that it is from the correct site – most scams pretend to be different sites – they look the same but are forged sites to catch you out.

Phone Scams – There is a very common scam by people ringing up from ‘Windows’ or ‘Microsoft’. They say that they noticed that you are having computer problems – Just say “please write to me” and put the phone down.

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Internet Issues

Connection Problems & ISP’s (Internet Service Providers)

1) Turn your router / modem & computer off then on again – does this solve the problem?

2) Make sure all tel points (including to Sky box) have filters

3) Most ISP won’t disclose that there is a problem their end – so when they say everything is fine – don’t believe them – it will often start working again in a few hours.

4) Try another computer on the same router (eg borrow a laptop) – does this work?

5) If you have a persistent connection problem then you will probably need to move away from your current supplier – most are useless and will not fix the problem (as they need to pay BT to fix the outside line).

6) All the ISP’s that you are well known are not worth dealing with – they WILL eventually cause you a big problem, the WORST are SKY, AOL, Orange, Vodafone, TalkTalk, Pipex, Tiscali - most are now owned by Carphone Warehouse and all have equally poor call centres.

Do not change settings on you computer – these ISP’s seem to like ‘breaking’ you computer by giving you wrong instructions - it’s almost certainly NOT your computer (unless you have a virus, then you will not get connected whatever you do). I can come and ‘test’ the line to find where the fault is – internal or external – I can usually fix if internal, but if it is external (in the road or at the exchange) your ISP must get BT Open Reach to do it.

7) The best (and cheapest!) is PlusNet – they use UK call centres and so far have always fixed all problems.

8) To move away from your current supplier you must obtain from them a ‘MAC’ code. They will be difficult when you ask for this as they know you are moving to another provider, you must persist.

9) Don’t sign-up to a ‘new’ level of service as they will start you on a new contract – you will then be held into this for a year or more.

10) Contact PlusNet on:- (if you sign up with them – please mention my ref JPH99 as they give me a small discount!) Plus Net also do the usual phone lines and calls – these also include 0845 numbers!

Tel: 0114 296 5198 sales = option1 or try Sales Line: 0800 694 0016

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Browsers – Use Chrome

Chrome is the fastest and safest Browser

(if you have any difficulty with any web site try another browser)

To make a quick link for a web page you have found, click this star icon (this will put a link/icon into the top bar of the Browser)

Your old Favourites are within the IE Browser

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Google Chrome

Click on Gmail to enter email

(or set up a new acct – this the BEST free email)

Goes straight to Maps – you do not need to load Google Earth to get all of the mapping available –including ‘street view’

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Gmail (email from Google)

Dropdown Box – selects between email & contacts:-

Within settings you may add your OLD email address (eg bt, yahoo etc). (This requires verification, so you need to know your old password and collect a verification email)

Both your new (gmail) and old emails will then appear within gmail inbox)

You may also import your old contacts (export them first in your old email systems save them as a csv file)

Click once on message to read

Compose new email icon

‘Labels’ can be used to group emails, you may add your own labels and colour them

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Gmail (email from Google)

Click send when finished

Bcc – this means Blind Carbon copy

It is useful when sending a round robin email to a lot of people – they will not be able to see each others email addresses (which is better for their security)

Click to select address from contacts (note that you may need to select all contacts after this)

Or just start typing – it may remember it from last time

You may add your own signature to appear at the bottom of your emails

To attach a file or picture jus click on this icon and navigate to the place where the file or picture is stored.

If you filing system is ‘tidy’ then you should be able to find the file you want easily

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Gmail (email from Google)


There are MANY settings that can be changed (select from drop down on top right)

The settings include importing another email address, creating ‘Labels’, setting up a signature and changing the way the screen looks.

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Gmail (email from Google)

Create then Apply a Label

Create a coloured label:

On the left side of the page, click More at the bottom of your labels list. (If you don't see "More," grab the gray dividing line with your cursor and drag it down to show more labels.)

Click Create new label.

Type the name of your new label and click Create, then LEFT click to apply a colour to it

Applying a Label:-

Easiest Way to apply - click and drag a label from the left side, and drop it on the message.

Select a label to see all the emails in that group

Note that all emails stay listed in the ‘In Box’ but they are grouped into these labels

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Gmail (email from Google)

Searching Email:-

Just use the top search box and click

This searches just emails (or contacts if contacts selected)

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K9 Web Protection

Ideal as Child Protection helper - If this is not already installed, the link takes you to the installation program – you must register with your email address to get a free licence (don’t use you main email – see emails later)

Click on icon to change the allowable web site settings

Click setup and enter the password99 (the whole word)

You may then change the settings to allow the type of internet sites you wish to access – click save when finished

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To Backup on to CD or DVD

This is the safest way to keep your pictures, documents and other files on your computer safe (pen drives and separate hard drives are much less robust)

Select to copy on to eitherCD or DVD

If you want a music cd to play IN YOUR CD PLAYER click the music icon

Next click Add Files text to show the files to be selected, then drag the folders/files you want to copy into the white space on the left.

(close the add files box after files added)

This shows how much space will be used on the CD or DVD

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Backup continued….

Click Burn Icon to finish

Test your new cd or dvd after burning – make sure you can use one or more files on it

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Using Snagit (easy screen / picture capture / crop)

Press “ctrl+shift+P” together to start the capture process

Then use the mouse left button - hold & drag - to select the AREA you wish to capture (then just release the mouse button).

You can select a part of any web site, picture or anything you can see on the screen

Once copied you can save or copy to another program (eg word or PowerPoint)

(you may change the options and save as a reduced file size/quality file – great for emailing pictures!)

Use File/‘save as’ if you want to save as a jpg picture file (select jpg)

(you may also change the look of the picture by using the colour and effect tabs and controls – this is useful for ‘balancing’ pictures)

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Camera & Pictures

You don’t (usually) need to run the camera cd disk (and add a lot of unnecessary software)

Just plug in your camera to a USB port

Windows should pop up a screen to let you use the built in camera wizard

Once you have copied your pictures into your My Pictures folder, you may view/print them using the built in viewer.

You may also delete the camera’s images from the camera using ‘file explorer’ – easy and quick.

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TV + Radio + Music + Photos

There is a new world here. Some of these new ways are much better than others!

For instance – the ‘old’ SKY box is now effectively redundant. Unless you want to watch (and pay for) special Sky programs (like Sky sports) there is a much better way and its ‘free’.

New devices let you record all programmes including HD & radio. (Most BBC and ITV channels are now in HD). These also may be linked to your internet for ‘Iplayer’ so you can watch missed programmes on your normal TV. If your location is causing difficulty with the new digital signals, you can probably use satellite very simply and with no ongoing costs.

Music can be kept on your PC or laptop and ‘streamed’ to different rooms in your house. Your Ipad / Iphone / Laptop can be connected directly to your HiFi system to provide your music. Tablets etc can be used for iplayer and music, or as a photo frame.

Your PC or Laptop or Ipad etc can be used as an internet phone using Skype (although there are potential issues here).

Photos can be displayed on to your TV from your Laptop for easy viewing.

I can provide advice on all of these things and help you set them up – just remember that it is best to start in the right place – as some systems do not work well together.

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More on Software, Printers & Peripherals

Simple Advice– As already mentioned - Do not install ANYTHING unless you have to – and if you have to - research the issues on the internet first to see if other people have had problems. For XP don’t update the operating system (eg to SP3) – this has caused issues . Any changes will not improve it and may make it fail.

Itunes & Skype are not installed as standard (as they take a lot of resources and memory). There is a copy in the Utilities folder (C:\Utilities). They both run on start-up and will slow down your system.

PrintersThese are prone to problems, unfortunately they are made just to sell you expensive ink. When they go wrong (as often they do) they are not repairable.

The installation often includes a great deal (of unwanted) software. I have seen many computers go wrong or fail completely after installing the driver and software. Much better to just install the driver only if possible (use the custom installation). Some manufacturers force you to install the unwanted software (especially HP). I recommend you change the printer to a Canon which nearly always have an installation for the driver only, and they seem to work a little better. Kodak Printers – these have an appallingly bad installation, they add so much software that runs in the background you computer will run at about half speed!

Other Peripherals & SoftwareThese can also have the same issues of unwanted/useless software. The classic is the camera software – you just don't need to run the disk, the software is already built into windows. If you do install it then windows will NOT work as it did before and the camera software will confuse you when you use the USB ports.

Be very aware that many manufacturers do not produce good software – after installing you may find problems and slowness due to their poor quality software that simply does not work properly. Even well know manufacturers have installation software that can cause many problems.

Never run you IPS’s (broadband provider) CD – it is unnecessary and is very likely to cause problems.

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Filing System – Views, Thumbnails

Choose the view you need – eg Thumbnails for pictures

Double Click on picture to open it to view full size

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Filing System – expanding folders

To Expand folder – click + sign

….Get additional folders within the header folder

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Filing System – new folders

Right click on folder where new folder is to go (ie inbox)‏

Select ‘New Folder’ option

Add folder name

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Mouse operations

Middle - “Scroll”

Right – “Information” - eg

Left - “ACTION”

Left - “ACTION”

Example –

Drag & Drop

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Mouse operations

Drag & Drop

Right Click on email to move


Hold right button down & move mouse (drag)‏



Position ‘cursor’ over folder to add the email to this folder


‘Drop’ by releasing mouse button

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Mouse operations

Copy & Paste

Position cursor at start of text



Drag mouse across text to highlight


‘right click, to get list of options – select copy by left click


‘right click, to get list of options – select paste by left click (where you want to paste it to (eg Word)‏

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Right click options

Right click – options depend upon what you click on

EXAMPLE 1 - Adding a contact ‘easily’ to your address book

EXAMPLE 2 – deleting a message

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Windows – Maximising or making window smaller

Maximises OR

Makes smaller



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Windows – Sizing

Hold down LEFT mouse button – ‘pull’ the window to the SIZE you want it

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Windows – Positioning

On the blue top part of window - Hold down LEFT mouse button….

To MOVE the whole Window……

Hold down & ‘MOVE’ the window to the Position you want it … then let the button go!

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Internet Screen Zoom

For Internet pages – you can enlarge or reduce them using the scroll on the mouse

Hold Down the 'Ctrl' key while scrolling with the middle scroll wheel to zoom in and out

Middle - “Scroll”

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Desktop Screen Type Size

Right click on desktop (any clear area) & click ‘properties’

Select ‘Appearance’ option

Choose Type Size (click on drop down box), then ‘OK’

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Internet Explorer Type Size

Left click on ‘View’ menu at top

Select ‘Text Size’ options

Choose Type Size (from drop down box) – that’s it.

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Outlook – Sending Emails

Select the name from contacts by clicking ‘To..’

Click OK

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Outlook – Sending Attachments

Click on Paper clip …

Scroll down to find the file you want to insert

Click ‘insert’ when you have highlighted the file