PC Doctor November 10, 2010

Have your computer questions answered here! Search the PC Doctor archive or submit a question of your own at info@athollibrary.org

Dear PC Doctor:

            Someone told me to get an external hard drive to back up my computer.  Why do I need another hard drive, doesn’t my computer come with one already?  As you might be able to tell, I am new user – a retired person with some time now to learn about the computer.


Dear Jack:      

            First let me congratulate you on your retirement!  I will answer your question here, but I would like to tell you about a new service being offered at the library that might interest you to get you started learning about the computer.  We have a one on one computer helper, Jackie Hamilton, through a Senior Service America grant, who is here Monday through Friday from 10-2.  She will walk you through a beginner’s course or assist you with learning how to use the computer by appointment.  Check it out if you think you might be interested.

            Now on to your question!  The external hard drive is like a CD, DVD or USB thumb drive for backing up your data except the advantage is that it has much more space and can hold much more data.  So if you have lots of documents or photos on your computer, you can buy an external hard drive and be able to back everything up instead of feeding it CDs or DVDs.  It’s just a lot cleaner and neater.  Right now you might not have enough to back up as you are just starting so perhaps a CD or DVD will suffice as a backup.  As the computer begins to ask for more and more CDs or DVDs, you will see what I mean about having a single source to backup.  Then that might be the time to head to the store and get an external hard drive.  They have come down in price so it is very affordable.

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor:

            My computer date and time keep changing.  I don’t know what the problem is.  I go to the task bar and change it to the right time but soon enough it’s changed.  What is wrong?          


Dear Kurt:

            It sounds like you have a bad battery.  You will need to open up the case and replace it.  To do this, make sure you unplug your CPU.  Ground yourself by touching something metal and then remove the screws holding the cover on.  Slide the cover off and look for the motherboard (the main large board of circuits inside).  On that board you will see a battery much like one you would find in your watch.  It’s about the size of a dime or nickel and has a plus sign on the top.  Head to the store to pick up a new one. 

            Simply remove the old battery and install the new one.  Put the cover back on, plug in the computer and turn it on.  Most computers will recognize the new battery but some will ask you to answer some basic questions in the BIOS.  Do so, save and reboot.  Then double click on the date and time in the lower right hand corner of your screen, change it to the right date and time and you should be all set.

            PC Doctor

Cool site this week – check out www.seatguru.com. If you like to travel (or even if you don’t), this site will allow you to see which is a good or bad seat on a plane.  The left hand column lets you chose the airline you will be flying and from that, the model of the plane.  Moving your cursor around the seats on the plane opens up a box that tells you whether the seat has extra leg room, noisy or under seat storage space among other interesting tidbits. 

Until next time… happy computing!