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Since the 1980s, I've worked with computers, watched them grow, shrink, change and improve. I've worked with a lot of users and solved a lot of problems in that time too, so I thought this would be a good place to share some of the random things I've found and solved. If you have some odd problem, email me. If I can figure it out I'll post the answer here.

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Location: Mansfield, Texas, United States

I am a veteran computer geek, but I prefer the term 'Hired Gun', since that gives the (misleading) impression that I know what I'm talking about. I have worked on all sizes of system as an engineer, developer, technical support and operations, and at all levels from Operator to CIO.
I have some certifications, but what they are depends on what Microsoft is calling them this week.

If you have a question, and don't mind the answer being posted, email me here, removing the spam stopper.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving problems

My Great Aunt-in-law waited until after dinner to spring her computer problem on me. As a side note, I'd like to add that this lady is in her seventies, married, and spends her free time playing Dungeon Siege and Neverwinter Nights. I checked through the stack of games that she had conquered and they read like a top 50 of the 21st centuries greatest PC games. I mean she is a serious computer user and had already gone through the standard things to solve her problem which was this:

On one of the login IDs on her computer, there was no toolbar, and no way to access it. Not with the Winkey button, ctrl-esc, changing the screen size, F11 or any of the usual suspects.

Solving computer problems is a half and half again process. Is it Hardware or Software? Software, because its on one ID and not the others. Is it a Feature or Malicious? A feature because she has virus software which is current, operating, and McAfee.

System restore is one option, but a little more drastic than most people realize. So it came down to Googling different permutations of Toolbar disappeared Windows XP

Which, fortunately turned up this awesome, simple solution:

I downloaded it, viewed it to make sure that it wasn't something nasty, then ran it.

As if by magic, the toolbar appeared. This problem was about 30 minutes to solve. The one I will tell you tomorrow was a lot lot scarier...


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