Dennis Faas

Fri
14
Apr
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Explained: New Motherboard, CPU. Do I need a new license / reinstall Windows?

Infopackets Reader Steve F. writes: " Dear Dennis, I will be upgrading my computer to the new AMD Ryzen 1700 CPU (which has 8 cores and 16 threads!) at a fraction of the price of Intel CPUs. I have searched online but I can't seem to find the answer ... - can you please tell me: after I install the new motherboard and CPU, can I continue to use my existing Windows installation or do I need to install Windows again? Also is my Windows 10 license still valid or do I need to purchase Windows 10 for my new motherboard and CPU? " My response: I have been asked this question a lot recently and the ... (view more)

Mon
10
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Can't Convert Image to VHD: 'The vhd file could not be created or written to'

Infopackets Reader Steve P. writes: " Dear Dennis, I am trying to convert my Macrium Reflect disk image backup into a virtual machine by using the 'Macrium ImgtoVHD' utility. The problem is that ImgtoVHD aborts every time, telling me ' The vhd file ... could not be created or written to '. The backup I'm trying to convert is from an old machine which died and I really need to get this working so I can export data from a program. Can you please help? " My response: I have had this problem before and the solution (in a nutshell) is to create a blank virtual machine, then restore the backup onto the ... (view more)

Fri
07
Apr
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How to Fix: Malwarebytes 'Unable to connect to service' Error

Infopackets Reader Rachel P. writes: " Dear Dennis, As per your recommendation, I have installed Malwarebytes Antimalware Free on my system and I do a full system scan every 30 days or so. Today I tried to launch Malwarebytes Antimalware Free ... ("MBAM") and it gives me an error, stating that it is 'Unable to start' and 'Unable to connect to service' , with an option to click 'OK' and nothing else. I don't know how to fix this. Can you please help? " My response: I have run across this issue a few times with my clients, but resolving it is not always the same. I asked Rachel if she would like me ... (view more)

Mon
03
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Snap-in 'Pop up' Appears while Dragging Window (Dell, MSI)

Infopackets Reader 'Paolo' writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a very strange problem. Whenever I drag my browser window on my Dell laptop, I see 2 blue rectangles popping up near the top of the screen (pic). At first I thought this was a Windows 10 ... feature but I have searched Google for the 'dell 2 blue rectangles popup' problem but I cannot seem to find a solution. I have no idea how to shut this feature off but it is very, very annoying. Can you please help? " My response: I have never had this problem before, so I asked Paolo if he would like me to connect to his system to have a closer look ... (view more)

Fri
31
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Top 15 Ways to Keep Your PC Secure in 2017 (and Beyond)

Infopackets Reader 'Rebecca' writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently purchased a tablet with Windows 10 and I have Windows Defender running. My question is whether I need to install any other protection to stop people (hackers) from being able to steal my ... bank details, etc. My dad was recently a victim of this but I don't know how to protect myself. How can I keep my PC secure in 2017? Thank you in advance! " My response: I have been asked this question no less than 100 times in the last 16 years I've been writing articles online - but the truth of the matter is that the answer changes slightly as ... (view more)

Mon
27
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Device I/O Error (and Recover Data)

Infopackets Reader Phoebe A. writes: " Dear Dennis, Today I tried to free up some space on my C drive by moving files over to my external hard drive, but Windows gave me an error message, stating that 'Error during copy: the request could not be ... performed because of an I/O device error'. I've also tried using 'TeraCopy' to copy files over, but it keeps freezing on the same files. Can you help? " My response: If you receive an error that says "the request could not be performed because of an I/O device error" when trying to copy or move a file, that usually (but not always) indicates bad ... (view more)

Fri
24
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: When to Encrypt your Hard Drive, and When not to

Infopackets Reader Scott writes: " Dear Dennis, I'm thinking of turning on disk encryption for my Windows 10 computer. I've never done this before. Is there anything to be concerned about or to be aware of? " My response: This is a good question. ... The truth of the matter is that if you encrypt your entire C drive using Windows BitLocker or a third party utility, it's going to slow your system down quite a bit. The reason for this is because every single file written to the drive must be encrypted, and then decrypted when read - including your operating system files. Constantly encrypting and ... (view more)

Mon
20
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Do I need a Third Party Firewall?

Continuing on with last week's article, David L. writes: " Thanks for your help in identifying the culprit that was causing random Blue Screens of Death ( BAD_POOL_CALLER ) on both mine and my wife's system. Question: I have been using ZoneAlarm for ... many years and it has been good to me. If I decide to stick with the Windows Firewall per your recommendation - what happens if hackers find an exploit in the Windows Firewall that allows them into my system? Yes, ZoneAlarm has caused my Blue Screens of Death (BSOD) and it costs money upfront (versus the Windows Firewall which is free) - but why ... (view more)

Fri
17
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: BAD_POOL_CALLER Blue Screen of Death

Infopackets Reader David L. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a VERY perplexing problem! My wife and I are trying to publish a book online a website (CreateSpace.com) - unfortunately, both her system and my system are crashing with blue screens of death ... (BSOD) error: BAD_POOL_CALLER. I am using Mozilla Firefox on my machine, and she is using Edge. I've called Microsoft and talked to their support for over 4 hours but they were unable to help - and in fact, my system is operating even worse than before! You've done work for me in the past and I need to have you connect to my system and tell me ... (view more)

Mon
13
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Can't Delete 'C:\System Recovery' Folder

Infopackets Reader Barry P. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have an HP computer running Windows 10 (previously upgraded from Windows 8), and it's running very slow. I'd like to reinstall Windows - but before I do that, I want to back everything up onto ... external hard drive. I want to keep the backup as small as possible - as such, I noticed that I have a 'C:\System Recovery' folder with 'C:\System Recovery\Repair' and 'C:\System Recovery\Repair\Backup' subfolders. The 'C:\System Recovery' folder is taking up 40GB of data and I'd like to know if it's safe to delete. I have another machine here and I ... (view more)

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