Ask Rick 003 (24/11/08)
Recently I had to do a System Recovery on
my Windows XP computer and now, when I try to restart from hibernation mode I
get a message that says: 'The system
could not be restarted due to a read failure'. It goes on to say that I have to
‘delete restoration data’, what does it mean and can you help?
Jim Duncan, by email
This is a known bug
with XP hibernation mode and normally it goes away when you follow the prompts
and delete the corrupt restoration file. However, occasionally the message just
keeps appearing, which can be very annoying.
There are a couple of
things to try. The first one is the Windows System File Checker (SFC), which
scans for and if necessary, replaces damaged system files. Go to Run on the
start menu and type ‘sfc /scannow’ and click OK. Windows maintains a protected
library of critical system files, however, if any of these are damaged you may
be asked to insert your installation disc. The other, slightly more drastic
option is to carry out a Repair Install, which basically means reloading
Windows from your installation disc. In theory you won’t lose any data or your
programs and it’s usually pretty safe but before trying this procedure you
should backup all of your irreplaceable data. You’ll find a step-by-step guide
in Boot Camp 336 (http://tinyurl.com/5seaqg).
I have found a payment on my credit card
marked as 'Microsoft Hotmail 1 866 672 4551’. This is a yearly subscription and is described as being from
Luxembourg. As far as I know I do not
use Hotmail and have no account that I know of with them.
Have you any idea what this could be? I
have tried ringing the phone number but it is not recognised. Obviously I want
to cancel the subscription if it is for something I am not using but I do not
know how to find a contact number. I have been on the Hotmail/MSN site but a
password is required.
Sue Hamilton, by email
That is odd. That
subscription payment is for Hotmail Plus, an extended Hotmail service with,
amongst other things, online storage space and the facility to send large
attachments. Someone must have used your credit your card details to set up the
subscription so if you are absolutely certain that it wasn’t you or someone
that you know then you should contact your credit card company immediately, and
check all of your recent bills for any other unauthorised transactions.
Your credit card
company will cancel the subscription but you need to contact Microsoft as well,
however, they don’t make it easy. The phone number you have is for US
subscribers, which is why it wasn’t working. The correct contact
number for Microsoft in the UK is 0870 60 10 100, and make sure that you tell
them this is a security problem.
For the record, if you
have your Hotmail account details one of these two web addresses will get you
to the cancellation page:
Until very recently I
enjoyed a steady 2.3 Mb/s broadband speed then, for no reason, it dropped to
416 Kb/s and there it has stayed. I say for no reason because my equipment,
peripherals and configuration have not changed.
BT’s speed checker states
that I can benefit from up to 4Mb/s but the fact remains I have reverted to
almost dial-up speeds. Neither my ISP nor BT can explain this speed reduction
and the only advice I have been given is to downgrade my contract from 2 Mb/s
to, presumably, dial-up. Can you suggest a reason
for this speed reduction and a way around it?
Michael Weston, by email
Sudden and apparently
permanent changes in download speeds can be due to a fault on the line or the
equipment at the exchange end, a problem with your modem or a change in the
Contention Ratio. This last one is basically a measure of how many other people
you are sharing your connection with and the ISP sets it.
It’s worth getting BT to test
the line, you can use the automated system at: http://tinyurl.com/5b57y6.
However, this isn’t always conclusive and if you have noticed a change in the
quality of voice calls, an increase in hiss, crackles etc, then ask them to do
a manual check.
If the telephone
line and your internal wiring gets a clean bill of health then you can
eliminate any other possible causes at your end by connecting a second PC to
the line, and if that makes no difference, try a known good ADSL modem/router
handy. They’re not that expensive nowadays – you can pick one up online for
less than £25 – and it’s always handy to have a spare. Nowadays they are very
easy to set up, all you need to do is enter your broadband username and
password into the browser configuration menu. If that also checks out then you
are just going to have to persist with your ISP. Threatening to take your
business elsewhere may help to concentrate their minds…
have recently had a problem with writing e-mails. I can fill in the address bar
but I am unable to access the text box to write a message. I can still receive
messages and also send the blank page. This problem seems to have started since
the recent change in Windows Mail. I am finding this very frustrating, any
suggestions as to why this has happened
Buckby, by email
looked high and low and I cannot find any reference to a fault of this nature,
which makes me wonder if it’s something really simple. Could the New Message
text box have been inadvertently squashed or resized? I can’t think of any
other mechanism that would make the text part of the window disappear and it’s
the only way I can replicate the layout that you describe. If so all you have
to do is click and drag down the lower edge of the message box, or right-click
on the title bar and select Maximize.
© R. Maybury 2008 0411