Ask Rick Maybury 2014



Ask Rick 340 20/12/14


Unhappy Update 

A few months ago I bought an iPad and have managed to learn how to use it quite well with the help of my husband. However, Apple advises that there is a software update conversion available.  When I try to download it advises a time of 6 hours and to plug it into the mains, which I do, but it turns itself off after a period of approximately 1-2 hours with the message ‘error occurred’. I am stuck; can you give me with any pointers?

Pat Hill, by email


As the size of iOS updates grows so the risk of corruption, due to server, broadband or power interruptions, however brief, increases dramatically. The best way to avoid it happening is to download it first, on to your PC or Mac then complete the installation through iTunes. Make sure that you are using the latest version of iTunes then backup your iPad. When that has completed, and with your iPad still connected to the computer, select it on the Devices menu, click the Summary tab, click the Check for Update button, then click Download and Update and the process should begin automatically.


If your iPad will not turn on you may be able to get it back to its pre-update condition, without loosing any files or data, with a simple Reset. All you have to do is hold down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for at least 10 seconds or until the Apple logo appears. If the update crashed the system the only option is to Restore the device to its factory settings, which will result in the loss of data but hopefully you will be able to get most of it back from your most recent backup. There is a simple to follow tutorial on the Apple website at:



Absent Apps

I have a problem finding the ITV Player app on the Google Play Store website. I was wondering if it was available on the Play Store and how, if I can download it to my tablet?

A Corbey, by email


It is there but some apps will not be displayed in the Play Store if they are not compatible with your device, which usually means that it is using an old or unlicensed version of Android. In some cases an app’s Application Package file (apk) can be ‘side-loaded’ (i.e. obtained from outside of Google Play), from a trusted or verified source, however it is unlikely that it would work in this instance and it can be risky, as apks and download programs from unofficial websites have been found to be infected or carry malicious payloads.



Long Life Laptop

My husband has a Toshiba Satellite laptop, running Windows XP. It must be 5 or more years old but he only uses it to listen to music on Spotify or YouTube, trawl ebay, browse shopping sites and receive emails; answering them is my job on my computer!  The laptop needs a new battery, but given that no updates are available for XP now and with the news that Windows 10 is in the wings, we were wondering how much longer this old unit will be able to communicate with the outside world? A battery is not a lot of money now but considering a new laptop can be had for about £300 or less I am wondering which way to jump? 

Jane Combes, by email


There is no need to worry about the laptop’s Internet and email functions becoming unusable, at least not in the foreseeable future, and providing that it has been well looked after there is no reason why it will not last for another 5 years. There are several things you can do to help prolong its life, though, and a new battery is a good place to start; shop around online as there are now plenty of cheaper alternatives to the manufacturers own brand replacements. Overheating is one of the biggest threats to a laptop’s well being and this occurs as dirt dust and pet hairs clog the cooling fan and airways. You would be surprised what comes out of the ventilation slots following a few good blasts from an Air Duster (can of compressed gas). Statistically the chances of a serious hardware fault increases with age, so make sure that irreplaceable files are regularly backed up. Windows is probably getting a bit sluggish, especially if has been well used, and this would be a good opportunity to re-install Windows, either XP, or shop around for a cheap copy of Windows 7. Alternatively, start afresh with Linux. It is free, gives older machines a new lease of life and as an added bonus it is more secure, stable and future-proof, compared with XP. I suggest a version or ‘distribution’ called Zorin (free from, which looks and works a lot like Windows and there is an easy to follow guide on getting started with Linux at:



Loose Login

I have not used my Windows 7 computer for some weeks and, unfortunately, I have forgotten the password and I am therefore locked out of my programs. Is there any way of getting over this problem and back into my computer?

Kenneth Porter, by email


Whilst the Windows logon password provides basic security it is no secret that it can be cracked or reset to the default ‘null’ value with relative ease. The Internet is awash with advice and most methods involve the use of a Linux-based reset or hacking tool that boots the computer, to gain access to protected and encrypted system files. However, if you know your way around Windows and have a Windows 7 installation or Repair disc there is a fairly straightforward DIY procedure and there are some easy to follow instructions here: This site also has links to a number of password cracking programs. When you get back into Windows make sure that the first thing you do is create a Password Reset Disc from User Accounts in Control Panel. 



© R. Maybury 2014 0112

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