Readers Questions Part 15

It’s that time once again when I take the trouble of answering several questions that have been mailed to me recently.Please note that I cannot reply to individual queries as there is simply not enough hours in the day but will try and feature as many of your questions as I can in this article to help you and others that may be having similar issues.

I enjoy your articles in the Herald and even understand some of them!From this last statement you will gather that I am not very IT literate but am trying to catch up.One thing that I find very disturbing is that I keep getting messages coming up on my screen that the computer contains all sorts of gremlins, is likely to crash and as a result it tells me to download various programs such as a registry repair program from To date I have merely ignored them, fearing that they may be some scam to get into my computer and nothing seems to have gone haywire with the machine yet.

Should I continue to ignore these messages or am I in dire peril? Are they from Microsoft? How do I know what is legit?

Peter Fryett, via e-mail.

This is a classic example of an advertisement using scaremongering techniques in order to get you to their site; conventional pop-up adverts are now simply ignored by users so if the advertisers can make you think that your computer is telling you that you are in trouble and should head to their website immediately to correct these issues then they’ve done their job.I did check out the website address you gave and it appears to be for a ‘free’ program that checks the registry (a large file containing various settings and parameters for Windows) for errors but if it finds any then you have to purchase the full version in order to clear them – As there are always a few insignificant discrepancies in the registry it will find something and then you’ll have just shelled out money for no good reason.

If these pop-ups are appearing on a regular basis it is likely that you have inadvertently installed a piece of adware which is displaying these adverts periodically.In order to remove these annoying applications Windows XP users should visit and download Microsoft Anti-Spyware or alternatively users of any Windows Operating System can head to - Both applications are free and have been covered in previous Click articles.

Regarding your last question as to how you can decide what messages are legitimate, the basic rule of thumb is that system error messages will not pop-up randomly in Internet Explorer Windows and they will never tell you to visit specific websites to resolve your problem.

I run Windows 98 and whilst I used to use the ISP Tiscali for my Internet access, I have recently changed over to FlexiSurf.My Internet is still working fine but when I go to create an e-mail it attempts to send from my Tiscali account which has now been cancelled.This results in problems not only in sending e-mails but every time I try to retrieve e-mails I get an error message stating that my account is not recognized.Any help you could give would be appreciated.

Andy Winnchild (Ms), via e-mail

This is a simple one to resolve; basically what has happened is that your new ISP has been installed in addition to your old Tiscali account resulting in your e-mail program not only continuing to use Tiscali as your sending account but also it is attempting to download from both your new and old ISP whenever you select to retrieve new messages.As your old account is now cancelled this results in a whole host of error messages as your computer attempts to log into an invalid account.

Thankfully the solution is extremely quick and painless.Assuming you are using Outlook or Outlook Express as your e-mail client all you have to do is load up the application then click on ‘Tools’ and then ‘Accounts’, select your old Tiscali e-mail account and hit ‘Remove’.Then just click ‘Close’ and you’ll be returned to the main screen of your e-mail program where you will now be free of your old ISP bugging you every ten minutes!

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.