Houston We Have a Problem 09



Houston We Have A Problem 062, 18/07/09


Snap Decision

I thought I was copying images from my Olympus digital camera picture card to my PC using the program that came with it, only to find out that the card is now totally empty. Is it possible to transfer these images back to the card and still have a copy on my computer and how would I do this?

Lesley Langslow. By email


At this distance it’s difficult to say what has happened to your pictures but if they have been saved on your computer then you can copy them back to the memory card by Copying and Pasting them from the folder on the PC where they are stored back to the memory card using Windows Explorer. However, they may need to be inside a folder for them to be viewable on the camera’s display screen, so check how images are organised on another card that has some photos on it. If you accidentally deleted the images then things get a little more complicated – more on that in a moment.


There are several ways to find out if they are on your PC, if you can remember the date when it happened you might be able to track them down using the Search function, which has a date filter. Alternatively install our old friend Picasa (http://tinyurl.com/yuxms7) the free image managing and editing program, which immediately after installation automatically catalogues every image on your computer.


If there’s no trace of the pictures on your PC then check to see if the memory card has its own Recycle Bin (most do not, however), in which case you should be able to put them back by right-clicking on the file entries and selecting Restore. Otherwise, if you haven’t used the card you might be able to get some or all of them back using a free utility called Smart Recovery; you’ll find a link to the download at: http://tinyurl.com/6nwp9z



Redacting in Word

Is there any redacting function in Word? The only workaround I can think of is to screengrab the document using PrintScreen or Captus, as an image file, then copy into Paint or PS, and redact with a black rectangle.

I need to send my accounts to the taxman!

Steve Sanford, by email


Just use the Highlight function on the Toolbar, but use the drop-down menu to change the colour from yellow to black. Also make sure you switch off Track Changes, otherwise they may be able to un-redact your documents...



Temporary Solution

My Acer Travelmate laptop has an annoying habit of saving downloads to a ‘Temp’ directory, which doesn't show up when a search is instigated. A colleague has noted a similar problem.  Is there a simple way of locating this hidden area in the memory, and preferably some means to prevent further disappearances of vital materials?

Alastair Grierson, Rickford, Essex


Normally when you click on a link to download a file you will be prompted to Run or Save it, if you choose Run it will be downloaded to the temp folder and the file automatically opened or executed, which is okay as long as there are no interruptions in the download. If you select Save – usually the best option – the folder where it will be stored in is usually Desktop, Downloads or My Documents but you can change the location by clicking the Browse button and manually select a folder. Windows should remember this setting the next time you download a file but you can also change the default in Internet Explorer. However, this involves editing the Registry so proceed with caution unless you know exactly what you are doing.


Create a new folder on your hard drive and call it something memorable like ‘Downloads’. Open Regedit from Run or Search on the Start menu and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer. Look for a key called Download Directory in the right hand pane. If it’s not there create it by right-clicking into the pane and select New > String Value. Rename it Download Directory, press enter then right-click on the new key select Modify and enter the path of your download folder (e.g. C:\Downloads). Exit Regedit and restart IE. Incidentally, it’s a lot easier in Firefox, just got to Tools > Options > Main and under Downloads specify the folder you want to use.



Seeing Double

I have an external monitor, which I can attach to my laptop. However, since upgrading to Windows Vista I get a picture on my laptop as well as on the monitor. When I was running XP I only had a picture on the monitor. Is there anything I can do to so that I don't have the picture on the laptop?


Also, when opening Control Panel and double clicking on Programs and Features I get a list of programs installed but nothing on their usage as I used to have with XP. As my laptop is running particularly slow, I want to remove some programs that I never use or use infrequently but I cannot tell from the information available which ones they are.

John Harris, by email


The external monitor functions on a laptop are normally handled by the laptop’s video driver software. On many machines there’s a Function or ‘F’ key option that toggles the video output between the laptop screen and an external monitor or both, so check the user manual. Otherwise check Vista Display Settings (right-click desktop select Personalize > Display Settings and click the Advanced Settings button and check the tabs for display options.


The usage log you are looking for in Programs and Features can be found by right-clicking the Name/Size title bar, select More then check the ‘Last Used on’ and ‘Used’ boxes, however, don’t be too surprised if there’s no appreciable improvement in performance. A sluggish computer is usually due to clutter and too many Start-up items, which requires a more thorough clean-up, have a look at this recent Boot Camp article: http://tinyurl.com/p9pf7d




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