PC Doctor September 29, 2011

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Dear PC Doctor,

My computer falls asleep way too fast. If I'm away from my computer for less than five minutes my screensaver turns on and the computer gets locked. I want my computer to get locked when I'm away for a while but it just annoys me to study for a bit, not touching the computer for only a minute and then having to log in.


Dear Jack,

I know how that is! The public computers at my school are like that too. There’s a good reason in this case, since you don't want just anyone accessing your information if you happen to accidentally leave your session logged in.

However, on your personal computer it makes sense to be able to change settings so your computer functions the way you want it to! Click the Start Orb and go to Control Panel. From there, click on the System and Security selection. Next, click on the text that says “Change when the computer sleeps” under the heading of Power Options. You'll come across two options. Decide when you want the display to turn off and when the actual computer goes to sleep. When you're sure of your selections, click on “Save changes” and close out any windows that are left open.

If that does not fix your problem, be sure your screensaver isn't triggering the login screen. Right click anywhere on your desktop. From the menu that appears click on “Personalize”. In the right bottom side of the screen click on “Screen Saver”.  There's a little tickbox next to the text “On resume, display logon screen”. If it's currently checked, be sure to uncheck it. Click Apply and close out the window and any other windows open.

Tip: If you're ever leaving your computer unoccupied for even just a few minutes take a second to employ this great keyboard shortcut. Hold down the Windows logo button (right next to either ALT key at the bottom of your keyboard) and press the letter “L” at the same time. Locked! Now only someone who knows your password will be able to log into your computer.

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor,

Sometimes I get a weird page when I'm online. It says “ERROR 404” and then a bunch of other stuff I don't remember. I can never understand what it means. I try refreshing the page but it doesn't change so I just have to give up. Can you explain to me what's going on?


Dear Lisa,

The internet is an ever changing place. It's like a big construction zone in real life. If a road is blocked because it's being worked on, signs are put up to let drivers know of the problem. There are a series of error codes that are like “roadsigns” to the Internet.  The 404 message tends to pop up often because it's a pretty common problem. Most of the time, someone's goofed up their site when you see a 404 error. Maybe you clicked a link on a site sending you to another part of the website when you received the error. There's a chance that the owner of the site made a mistake and took down part of their site without removing the link. Thus, the link sends to you to a part of the website that doesn't exist. There's also a chance that the owner is working on the problem so the error code might only be temporary. If so, the site should be back up soon. If you can find the owner's email address, you can send a quick message letting the owner know that a part of their site isn't working properly. Hope that clears things up for you!

            PC Doctor

Until next time... happy computing!