Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Moving to

It has been about a year since I added a post to this blog.  The reason for this is that I have been working on a new and improved method of sharing educational ideas, tools, tech tips, and resources.  I have created a new site at  I will be updating and posting to this site from now on.  Please come and explore the new site an let me know what you think.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Windows 7: Secondary Hard Drive Shows Up in Bios, but does not show up in My Computer

I recently installed a second SATA hard drive on a client's computer.  I have done this a thousand times but for some reason, the computer would detect the hard drive, but not allow it to be displayed in the "Computer" section of Windows 7.  After a little Googling, I came across a YouTube video that helped fix the issue, and it only took seconds.  Please be careful following other advice out their.  Many of the sites I came across mentioned formatting the hard drive.  This would have been fine except that I needed the secondary hard drive to not be formatted because it contained the client's old information.

1.  Go to "computer management."  You can get there by right clicking on "Computer" and then selecting the "Manage" option.

2.  Click on "Disk Management."  You should now see a list of all the hard drives that are connected.  Find the drive that currently isn't displaying.  You might find the error "The disk is offline because it has a signature collision with another disk that is online."  That is the drive you want to fix.  

3. Right click on it and and select the "Online" option.  That should be it. 

Below is the Youtube video that put me in the right place.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Windows: Have you ever felt like your Windows machine took too long to boot up?

Have you ever felt like your Windows machine took too long to boot up?  How about feeling like your memory was already eaten up before you had a chance to open your first program?  The reason for this could be that you have multiple programs trying to get loaded into your system's memory before ever even having a chance to get booted up.  A Windows machine should never, in my opinion, take longer than 90 seconds to boot up and then open up your internet home page.  Get a timer out and time your machines boot up as soon as you push the start button.  When you first get into Windows, click on your browser icon.  Once your homepage is fully loaded stop the timer.  If it took more than 90 seconds that is too long.  Try getting rid of start up processes.  Below is a tutorial on how this is done.

Speeding up my Startup Tutorial

1. Go to your "search" and search for the program "msconfig".  If you are using Windows XP try going to "Start" and then "Run" and type "msconfig" into the run bar.

2.  You should get a new Windows dialogue box.  Click on the "Startup" tab.  In Windows 7 or 8 you will then need to click the "Open Task Manager" link.  In Windows XP you are ready for step 3.

3.  You will now see a bunch of different programs that load their processes into your system's memory during the loading of Windows.  On Windows XP just uncheck the boxes of programs you are for sure not wanting to load during startup.  On Windows 7 and 8 just click on the program and select then click the  "disable" option found at the bottom of the right hand corner.

Once you are all done you will need to restart your machine.  NOTE of CAUTION: I try to stay away from disabling things that are from Windows and anything that mentions hardware like sound and video.  Also know that because the program is not in your memory, it will take slightly longer to open the first time you do, but since I don't use say Adobe Reader every day, I always have it disabled and then when I need it, it will take just a little longer to open.

Now to verify that your boot time has improved, complete another time test.  I hope this help.  There are many reasons a computer boots slowly though, this is just a simple trick to try to improve the speed.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Virus/adware removal: Higher Aurum Ads

Even pros get stupid adware and viruses.  I was trying to download software for my son and woke up this morning with new ads on every page that I googled.  To see if you have the "Higher Aurum Ads" adware, look at one of the ads displaying.  Somewhere, usually at the bottom or the left hand side of an ad, see if it is labeled with "Higher Aurum Ads."  Other indications were that I would get a popup box to the left and a permanent ad at the bottom of every page.  Also, where Google normally has their High Paid ads on a Google search, I found those replaced with the "Higher Aurum Ads."  Below is a tutorial on how to remove it and samples of the ads.

Samples of the Higher Aurum Ads.

Removal of the Higher Aurum Ads instructions

1.  The nice thing about this adware is that it is very simple to remove.  First go to your "Add and Remove Programs" or "Uninstall a Program" feature of your control panel.  If you have Windows 8, just do a search for Uninstall a Program.  Once you are in your "Add and Remove Programs," locate the "Higher Aurum" file.  It will have other numbers next to it that just indicates the version.

2.  After you have selected the program you want to uninstall, just click the "Uninstall" button at the top.

3.  You will now be taken through the uninstall process.  Just click the "Next," "Uninstall," and "Finish" buttons.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Windows 8.1: Disable Bing search

If you want to keep Bing from being the search engine that searches you PC, just follow the instructions below.

1.  Hover your mouse over the top right corner of your screen so that you can trigger the settings bar.  Click the "Settings" gear icon.

2.  Now click the "Change PC Settings" option all the way at the bottom.

3.  Click on the "Search and apps" option. 

4.  Now find the "Use Bing to search online" option.  Take the slider and slide it to the left until the "On" turns to "Off."

That's all it takes to disable the Bing search.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Google Spreadsheets: How do I wrap text in a Google Spreadsheet

In many spreadsheet programs you just right click on selected cells and format the column to wrap text.  In Google spreadsheets however you don't have to right click and format your cells.  Google has made it very easy to wrap text using a toolbar button.  Below is a quick tutorial on how to wrap text in Google spreadsheets.

1.  Highlight the cells in which text wrapping will occur.

2.  Locate the "Wrap text" icon/button on the Google Spreadsheet toolbar.

Your text should now start wrapping.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Windows Vista: Black screen appears after Windows Vista welcome logon.

Well this problem took me quite awhile to figure out.  I had a client bring her machine in with a bunch of spyware and malware issues.  I cleaned those up right away, installed Microsoft Security Essentials.  One of the options in Microsoft Security Essentials was to make sure the Windows Firewall was turned on.  After reading blogs and tech sites for about 2 hours, I thought I might go back and just disable the Firewall and MS Security Essentials.  That was the key.  For whatever reason when the Firewall services were starting automatically I would get about a 90 second delay after logging in.  I would just see a black screen with a working mouse, but no desktop.

I don't know if this solution will help anybody but this Windows Vista machine, but here is a tutorial on delaying the Windows Firewall start up.

1.  Click your start button and type in the search area "services."

2.  Open your "services" program.

3.  Scroll until you find "Windows Firewalls."  Double click on it.

4.  Verify that this is your issue by changing the Automatic to "Manual."

5.  Restart your machine and see if this solves your issue with a long black screen delay after the welcome screen.

After all the research I have concluded that there are probably many reasons why you get a black screen after logging in.  So far this is a method that worked for this particular machine.  HP Pavillion a6313w