Q and A: Say 'no thanks' to Explorer work-around
QUESTION: I'm having problems with Internet Explorer 8 on my Windows 7 PC, even though I'm current with all software updates. If I click on a link within a Web page, I get an error message and no connection. But if I copy the link and paste it in...
QUESTION: I'm having problems with Internet Explorer 8 on my Windows 7 PC, even though I'm current with all software updates. If I click on a link within a Web page, I get an error message and no connection. But if I copy the link and paste it into the IE 8 address window, it works. There seem to be many people in online forums with this problem, but I can't find a Microsoft solution. Any suggestions, other than changing Web browsers?
--Al Ritchie, Minneapolis
ANSWER: Microsoft acknowledges that "some website features do not work" with Internet Explorer 8 because the websites were designed to work with previous versions of the program. But it offers a work-around called "compatibility view" that involves changing the program's settings for one or more websites. See http://www.tinyurl.com/6gpubm .
It's ridiculous that people should have to use work-arounds for basic Web browsing. I suggest you replace Internet Explorer 8 with another browser, such as Mozilla Firefox (find it at http://www.tinyurl.com/w22sw ) or Google Chrome ( http://www.tinyurl.com/d53v4x ).
Note: Don't uninstall IE 8 before downloading an alternate browser. Unlike previous versions of Windows, which reverted to IE 7 if the IE 8 upgrade was uninstalled, Windows 7 comes with IE 8 pre-installed rather than as an upgrade. If you uninstall it before getting a substitute, you'll have no browser at all.
Q: I took videos of my grandchildren with my HP Photosmart M425 camera, but they won't play on my HP PC (Windows Vista, 64-bit) using Windows Media Player, RealPlayer or DivX player. How can I make my HP camera compatible with my HP PC?
--Joe Umphrey, Maple Grove, Minn.
A: Try downloading the "codec" (coder-decoder) software for your camera at http://www.tinyurl.com/4wz3y7v , or downloading current software drivers at http://www.tinyurl.com/4pgbq86 . Or just download Apple's free QuickTime video player at http://www.tinyurl.com/8vts .
Q: The cooling fan on my wife's desktop PC, a Compaq Presario SR2170NX, seems to run far more often than is necessary, sometimes nonstop. Any suggestions?
--Gary Liebmann, St. Paul, Minn.
A: I bet there's dust buildup inside your four-year-old PC that makes it harder for the fan to expel the computer-generated heat. Buy a can of compressed air, open up the PC case and blow out the accumulated dust. Just don't get too close to the main circuit board with the powerful air blast. For details on opening the PC's case, see "Step 3: Open the access panel" at http://www.tinyurl.com/4tn7gop .
If that doesn't work, you can buy a replacement fan for $25 at http://www.tinyurl.com/4d4kfgo .