PC Doctor January 4, 2012

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Dear PC Doctor,

My computer mouse doesn't seem to be working that well anymore. The cursor jumps all over the screen even when I'm barely moving my mouse on the mousepad. Is my mouse broken? Should I just buy a new one? My mouse has a little red light on the underside of it.


Dear Frederick,

As one of the most important pieces of hardware that's always used with a computer, a working mouse is a must! Before purchasing a replacement mouse, I would suggest that you try cleaning the optical sensor on the bottom of your mouse. It's really easy and non-obtrusive, so put away that screwdriver.

First, unplug the mouse from your computer when it is off.  It's always a good idea to unplug hardware from your computer before working on it. In the center of the underside of your mouse, you should see a small piece of clear plastic where a red light normally emits when your computer it turned on (since your mouse isn't plugged in, it won't light up now).  Grab a q-tip or a small tissue and wet it with window cleaner or some rubbing alcohol. Gently, clean the clear plastic to remove any dirt, dust or hair that might be messing up the mouse's light sensor. Before you plug your mouse in after cleaning it, take a close look to make sure there isn't any debris still remaining. Plug it in, and you should be ready to go!

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor,

I have a lot of bookmarks in my Firefox browser. I don't want to accidentally lose anything if something happens to my computer. Is there any way I can save and backup my bookmarks?


Dear Tony,

Backing up your bookmarks is a great idea. I'm sure that you probably have as many as I do— even though I don't use them all on a daily basis, there's no way I'd like to lose my years of internet bookmarking!

Fortunately, it's very easy to back up bookmarks in any browser. My browser of choice, Google Chrome, is integrated with my Google account (if you have a Gmail account, it's also this) and everything is backed up by Google. If I ever have a computer crash or fail on me, I can just log into Google on Chrome and ta-da! My bookmarks are back 100%. It's really nice too, to be able access my bookmarks anywhere I go. I just need Google Chrome. I'm not trying to get you to switch over to Chrome from Firefox, but I'd really recommend it.

In Firefox, click Bookmarks Menu, and select Organize Bookmarks. This will open up your Bookmark Library. You should see all of your Bookmarks. Click “Import and Backup” followed by clicking “Export HTML”. Here you will be given an option to save the Bookmarks as an HTML file. Save it wherever you wish:  a thumb drive, burn it to a CD, or even upload it to file-storing site. (Check out Dropbox.com).  For Internet Explorer - go to File and choose “Import and Export”. Click “Next”.  Under “Choose an action to perform,” select “Export Favorites”.  Choose the favorites you desire to back up, “Click Next”. You will then be given an option to save the Favorites as an HTML file. (Note: IE refers to Bookmarks as Favorites.) For Safari, click on File, then “Export Bookmarks”. Save the html file to your desired location!

            PC Doctor

Until next time… happy computing!