There are some computer issues we see repeatedly when repairing computers for our clients. Some are quite common, as in files that will not open, others are a bit more challenging. An insider’s trick is to use Google to find and correct the cause of these issues.
Below are some of the more common issues we see and possible corrections.
If you receive an attachment in an e-mail and try to open the attachment, you get a message saying, “Windows cannot open this file. File: My-file.pdf does not have a program associated with it” or something to this effect. The problem is that you do not have the correct program to open this file. From having over 30 years in the computer field, I know that a .pdf file needs Adobe Acrobat Reader to open but you may not.
What to do? Go to www.google.com and type in the search box, “what free program opens a .pdf file,” then press “Enter.” You will find a number of Web sites that may allow you to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader so you can view the file.
The procedure to follow is:
• If you received the file in an e-mail, go back to the e-mail and look at the attachment. Generally you can see what the file type is from the attachment (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.).
• Go to Google and find the appropriate program to open the file. Please keep in mind that you may need to check out a few Web sites to find the program but, eventually, you will find it.
For Office 2007 and newly created files type in Word (.docx), Excel (.xlsx) and PowerPoint (.pptx). If you have an older version of Office and you get one of these files, you cannot open it. Again, go to Google and search for a free program to open these files or you can download the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. This is a free download that will enable any version of Office that contains Word, Excel and PowerPoint to open the newer files after if converts them.
BSOD is called the Blue Screen Of Death. This screen may appear at any time during the life of your computer and for a variety of reasons ranging from a bad driver to a hardware failure. In many cases, this can be corrected without too much trouble, but unless you are an experienced computer user it may be a challenge to correct by yourself. For those adventurous individuals;
• Restart the computer and tap and release “F8” to get into “Safe Mode.” Once in Safe Mode, go to “Start-Run,” type in MSCONFIG and press “Enter.” Click the Startup tab and when that opens uncheck all the boxes and click “Apply” and “OK.” Reboot and see if that fixes the issue. If so, repeat the process and one by one, recheck the boxes until you get the error message again and leave that one unchecked.
• If the first method did not work, write down the first part of the BSOD, “STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x00000000, 0xF73120AE, 0xC0000008, 0xC0000000) and find another computer to go to Google and type in the error message and see what comes up. Again, you may need to go to a number of Web sites to find a correction that will work for your issue but persevere. It will pay off.
Blue screens can be difficult to correct so in some cases, you may be better off calling a computer services company.
Mike Smothers is president of Smothers Computer Services and lives in Ahwatukee Foothills. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (480) 753-7667.