Ask Rick 007, 08/12/08
I recently had
problems installing a scanner and I was advised to re-format my hard drive. I
had everything backed up so I went ahead. Since doing this I have several faults.
I have lost all sound, the option to hibernate or standby is greyed out
and I cannot use System Restore. I have tried re-loading the Windows XP
disc but to no avail.
I have downloaded
trial versions of two diagnostic programs and they report two missing drivers
and various other faults. However, you have to pay for the programs
in order to fix the problems so can you tell me whether or not it would it
be worthwhile or can you suggest another solution?
Anyone who suggests
that you reformat the hard drive to fix a relatively trivial fault on an
otherwise functional PC is either lazy or incompetent or both since the vast
majority of computer maladies can be solved without recourse to such drastic
All of your problems
stem from the fact that your PC is missing a set of drivers. These are the
small programs and data files that tell Windows how to communicate with your
PC’s hardware components. They should be on a driver or utility disc, which is
supplied with every PC, though sometimes they’re included on a ‘rescue’ or
‘Installation’ disc. The idea is that once Windows has finished installing you
pop in this disc and the drivers are automatically installed. If you haven’t
got the disc you will have to download the driver files from the PC or
motherboard manufacturer's website, however, you need to know the exact make
and model and this will be in the manual that came with the machine, or printed
on the actual motherboard.
I am using Windows XP and get an odd message as I turn
off at the end of the session. There is the End Program box, and a message:
‘ccAP this program is not responding’ and two Options, to Cancel or End
Now. End Now says that latest files
will not be saved. If I ignore this there is a pause and the same message
appears. Continuing to ignore this the PC eventually closes down
John Bax, by email
CCAp or Common Client Application is a component is several
Norton/Symantec products and for no good reason it sometimes freezes and stops
Windows from shutting down. You can safely click the End Now button but I’m not
aware of any fix that will stop it from happening. All I can suggest is to
check the Symantec website for any updates for your product, otherwise try
uninstalling then reloading the whole program, or switch to another
A Date with Outlook
I use Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 in Windows XP and
following a recent hard drive problem I lost my Calendar appointments. I now
have an external hard drive permanently connected to a USB port and I wish to
back-up my Calendar data on a daily basis. What is the simplest method?
Bruce Awford, by email
Everything you need is built into Windows but first you have
to locate your personal storage table or .pst file, which is where Outlook
stores, amongst other things, your Calendar, Inbox, Tasks, Sent Items, Outbox,
Deleted Items, and other user-created folders. Over the years it has moved
around but in Windows XP you can usually find it in C:\Documents and
Settings\<yourname>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook. If
it’s not there use Search on the Start menu to find it. There may be more than
one .pst file but you can find the one you want to backup by making a calendar
entry and checking the date and time the file was modified.
Once you’ve found it you can proceed to the next step, which
is to run the Windows XP Backup utility. This is pre-installed in XP Pro but if
you are using XP Home you’ll have to load it from the installation disc.
Details of how to do that, along with a simple to follow guide to using the
utility can be found in Boot Camp 376 (http://tinyurl.com/6q8box).
Basically all you have to do is select the source file or
folders (and you may want to include your other data files in the backup),
select the destination drive, give the backup a name then set a scheduled time
for the backup to take place.
I have a few nice family photographs that were taken before
I had a digital camera so I never had them on my computer. Is it possible for
me to transfer 7 x 5 inch colour prints to my PC? If I can do this will there
be any reduction in quality? Would I need to set up a new file or could they be
put into My Pictures with my digital photos.
P D Ford, via email
Yes to everything but you will need is a gizmo called a
flatbed scanner. Prices start at around £40 and they plug into one of your PC’s
USB sockets. Even budget models can do fair job of digitising prints, though
you may have to experiment with the settings, in particular the resolution,
which determines how much detail is captured. However, don’t be tempted to use
the highest settings, apart from taking longer to process the software that
comes with the scanner usually ‘interpolates’ – basically makes up – the fine
detail it cannot actually see.
Once the image has been scanned you will be asked where you
want to store it on your computer and by default most models choose the My
Pictures folder. Most scanners can also be used as simple photocopiers and they
usually come with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software that converts
printed documents into text files that can be read on your word processor.
© R. Maybury 2008 1811