Ask Rick Maybury 2014



Ask Rick 333 01/11/14


Taming The Tab

My problem relates to the transfer (or not in my case) of data from my Acer laptop to a new Samsung Galaxy Tab. I have tried via Samsung and various Internet Forums to find help but without success. All the info relates to either Samsung to Samsung equipment or Galaxy Tab to PC but not the reverse. Maybe I am missing a trick somewhere but you might have thought with the Google Android OS that transferring pictures from my PC should be a doddle.

Mike Say, by email


It should be as simple as copying and pasting files to a USB flash drive, and most of the time it is, but a fair number of users fall at the first hurdle and find that their Samsung tablet is not recognised by their PC. Sometimes it is just the cable, so the first thing to do is try another one, but if that does not work then it is probably a driver problem. There plenty of complicated and exotic solutions on the web but the quick fix is to install Samsung’s Kies sync utility (free from, which includes the essential drivers. It is a bit clunky and gets mixed reviews but you do not have to use it, in fact you can uninstall it straight away as the drivers you need, will remain on the computer. After a restart connect the tablet to the PC; Windows should now acknowledge its existence and it appears as an external drive in Windows Explorer, displaying the contents of both the tablet’s internal memory and a Micro SD card, if one is inserted. You can now copy and paste your files, and usually the best place to put them is in one of the Download folders (Internal memory or SD card), which most apps can access. Otherwise copy your files to a relevantly named folder: DCIM or Pictures for images, Movies, Music, Documents and so on.


To Boldly Go

I had Windows 7 Pro installed on my computer by an expert, who I have used for many years. Emails are coming through BT Yahoo Mail, but we have discovered a strange problem that, so far, he cannot solve. When composing emails, clicking on Bold, Italics, Underline and Emoticons, has no effect.  All of the other icons, i.e. Font, Size, Text Colour, Highlight Colour and the various Alignment icons, work perfectly.

John Buggins, by email


Internet Explorer can have difficulty coping with some web page elements, particularly after an update, or if the site in question has been revamped. It can normally be fixed by going to IE’s Tools menu, click on Compatibility View Settings; in the Add this Website box type, click Add then reload the page.



XP Revival

I am running an old PC with XP, purely as a backup machine, however the hard drive is full and ideally I would like to take the computer back to its factory condition; I know that I would lose all of the data currently stored on the drive. The problem is XP won't allow me to format the disk, can this be overridden?

Lionel Goulder, Birmingham


Windows has a self-defence mechanism that stops users formatting the primary drive, whilst it is running. Before we get to the workaround, as you know XP is no longer supported, and although you can still download security updates issued prior to April 2014, there will be no more. It will also become increasingly difficult to find drivers for peripherals, programs written for XP will not be updated and you won’t be able to install newer versions. This would be a good opportunity to give it a new lease of life either by installing Linux, or if it is less than 5 or 6 years old, it should be capable of running Windows 7.


If you want to format the drive and reinstall XP you will either to have to boot the PC from the Windows installation disc that came with it; this option is on the Repair menu that appears when you put the CD in the drive and restart the computer. If Windows was pre-installed it should have a Recovery Partition, containing all of the files necessary to restore the computer to its factory condition. The combination of keys needed to begin the restoration process will be in the user manual, or in the support section of the manufacturer’s web site.




I have several video sequences recorded in AVCHD format on the SD card in my Panasonic TZ20 camera. I would like to transfer these to DVD to enable viewing on an ordinary player. Are there computer programs available that can do this or any commercial organisations that could do it for me?

J K Crilly, Durham City


There are plenty of companies that will happily take your money to edit your footage and create a DVD, but where is the fun in that? Why not have a go at doing it yourself? There is no shortage DVD editing and authoring programs but if you have a Windows 7 PC, or access to one, then it need not cost you a penny. It is also surprisingly easy and with a little patience you can get really professional looking results. This simple no-cost method uses Microsoft Windows Live Movie Maker (free from, to edit your movie. Use a card reader to import clips from the memory card into Movie Maker, and yes, it supports AVCHD files. You can then change the length of clips, add special effects, a soundtrack and so and when you are happy with it, save it as a project file on your hard drive. Finally, click Save Movie > Burn DVD to open Windows DVD Maker, so you can add a menu and formats the files ready to be written to the disc. DVD Maker is also free and included in the Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise versions of W7. If you need help there is a tutorial at



© R. Maybury 2014 1310

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