Ask Rick 048, 04/05/09 & Houston 130, 30/05/09
On the Right Tracks
I have completed the
laborious task of digitising all my vinyl LP’s into mp3 files. Windows Media
Player doesn’t automatically capture the track names, music category, etc., as
it would when ripping a CD and so I have carried this out manually. Is there
any way of backing up this categorisation to avoid losing it all if the system
fails? I have the mp3 files themselves backed up.
Roger Cliffe, by
The album, artist and
track info that you entered when you created the recording should be embedded
in the mp3 file and it stays with it when you copy the file to another
location. You can easily verify this by playing it on an mp3 player or another
media player on your computer and the stored data will show up on the player's
I have an HP Pavilion DV9657 and when I switch it on there is a
red cross through the monitor screen icon. When I click on it, it says wireless
networks are available. If I double click I get the message ‘Windows cannot
connect to Netgear’. If I then click on ‘Connect to a different network’ the
same message appears. Click again and same thing happens but if I repeat this
process 5-8 times, it suddenly decides to connect. Connection is then perfect
until next time the laptop is switched on. My wife's laptop connects perfectly
every time so it is all rather frustrating.
John Phaff, by email
This is a known issue with Windows Vista and some older,
pre-Vista, routers. It’s due to something called a Broadcast Flag, which is how
Windows tells the router it’s ready and waiting to communicate. Of course, you
could just get a newer router but there is a fix. It involves a simple change
to a Registry setting and it’s not at all difficult but if you are a wary
novice I would leave it to someone with a bit more experience. You’ll find a
step by step guide to the procedure, which should only take a couple of
minutes, on the Microsoft website in Knowledgebase article 928233 http://tinyurl.com/3b7zn8
Wasting Ink with Picasa
I have downloaded and installed Picasa 3 and find that the program
is excellent. However, try as I may I cannot print 6x4 (15x10cm) photos. I
select the photo, crop it to what I want and click on the 10x15 icon on
the Print Layout page. I am presented with the photo but with an
enormous white background, which I am thinking is the 6x4 photo on an A4 paper.
If I click on Full Page I do get the photo covering the full sheet. When I load
6x4 photo paper into the printer I get an error message telling me that the
paper loaded isn't the correct size. I have been on Picasas' web site but
cannot find the answer. It's costing me a fortune in ink and paper trying to
solve the problem. Where am I going wrong?
Unless you tell it otherwise when you select the 10 x 15cm option
Picasa naturally assumes that you want to make best use of an A4 sheet of paper
and print two images, side by side, which explains the large white border when
you only print one image. If you want to print on 10 x 15cm photo papers then
you have to tell both Picasa, and your printer. You’ll find that option on the
print Preview page, click Printer Setup (on the left side) and this opens your
printer’s Properties page where you’ll be able to set the correct paper size.
Once that’s done select the Full Page option on the Preview page.
Scanner Lacks Class
I recently purchased a filmstrip scanner but when I tried to
install it onto my XP system, I got the message ‘Class installer has denied the
request to install or upgrade this device’ and the scanner failed to install.
Have you any advice on how to get over this problem?
Colin Hughes, by email
It is important that you are logged in as an Administrator when
installing devices like scanners, printers and scanners. If you were, then it
may be due to a known glitch in XP SP2. There is a simple workaround, which
often works, and that’s to first install a couple of XP’s standard scanner and
camera drivers, which seems to grease the wheels, as it were.
Open Control Panel on the Start menu and go to Scanners and
Cameras. Click Add Device then go through the procedure of adding a camera; I
suggest the Agfa ePhoto 1280 because it’s at the top of the list. Leave
everything on its default settings and just keep clicking Next and OK. When
that’s done Add the Xerox Network Scanner, which is at the bottom of the list.
Afterwards reboot the PC and try to install your scanner. If it’s successful
you can go back to Control Panel and Scanners and Cameras and delete the Agfa
and Xerox entries by right-clicking on the drop down device list that appears.
Hard Disk Worries
I have become concerned about the consequences of a possible hard
disc failure. While we have our
personal files backed-up onto flash memory sticks, I cannot find our DVDs for
Windows XP and Microsoft Office Professional.
I may have thrown them out by mistake and kept my old Windows 95 CDs
during a domestic clear out. Is it
possible to copy our hard drive to an external hard drive, or do we have to pay
out for new software if the worst happens?
M. Lander, by email
First off, don’t trust your backups to flash memory, USB sticks
and memory cards are fine for moving files from one place to another but they
are nowhere near reliable enough for long-term storage.
Unfortunately you cannot copy the contents of your hard drive to
another, at least not easily, or while Windows is running, but you can, ‘clone’
your hard drive. This copies essential system and boot files that are normally
hidden from view or inaccessible, but you will need some specialist software,
such as Acronis True Image, Paragon Drive Backup and Norton Ghost. They are all
safe and easy to use; shop around and you can find them selling online for
© R. Maybury 2009 1404