TribLIVE

| Business


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Q&A: How can I tell if my computer is dying?

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

Daily Photo Galleries

Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Question: I'm seeing a growing number of software glitches on my computer. Does that mean it's time for a new one?

Answer: It depends. If the glitches are coming from a single program, then it's probably just that program. Re-install it or find a replacement. If freezes, crashes and corrupt data are happening in several programs, it could be hardware-related. Use a program like CrystalDiskInfo to check for hard drive trouble. A program like SpeedFan can tell you if your computer is overheating, or if the voltages are way off. Both can indicate hardware failure is on the way.

Stop Google tracking

Q: A friend said that Google is keeping a complete history of my searches. Is that true?

A: Yes, that's true. To see your search history, start by going to Google Web history and sign in with a Google account. You can clear your history. Then click the gear icon and select Settings. Next to where it says “Web history is on” click the Turn Off button. If you want to stop targeted ads altogether, visit the Google Ads Settings page and select the opt-out setting. Essential tweak

Q: I upgraded to Windows 8.1, but it still works the same as 8. I was hoping it would work more like 7. Am I missing something?

A: Windows 8.1 did introduce some features you'll like, but they're not turned on by default. From the Start screen, go to the desktop. Right-click on the Taskbar at the bottom and select Properties. Go to the Navigation tab and check the “When I sign in or close all apps on the screen, go to the desktop instead of Start” option. Now the computer will boot to the Desktop. That will make it feel more like the Windows you know. I would also select “Show my desktop background on Start.” This syncs your Desktop and Start screen backgrounds.

Price check apps

Q: I use my smartphone for price comparisons while I'm shopping, but looking up items online takes forever. Is there an easier way?

A: You bet! Price check apps let you scan a barcode to bring up price information to compare major retailers or online shops. Try Pic2shop, Red Laser and PriceGrabber. Apps like Smoopa reward you for finding and sharing deals.

E-mail Kim Komando at techcomments@usatoday.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Signs point to gauge, an easy fix
  2. Stock market closes 2nd best week of 2014
  3. Pennsylvania jobless rate drops to 5.1 percent
  4. First Niagara to cut 200 jobs; Pittsburgh impact unclear
  5. 8 Western Pennsylvania hospitals penalized over infections
  6. CR-V popular, fuel-efficient
  7. Beacons track shoppers’ smartphones amid retailers’ aisles
  8. Western Pa. utility workers OK contract with FirstEnergy
  9. Nonprofit hospitals in Western Pa. feel pain in finances despite Affordable Care Act
  10. Ford expands air bag recall across U.S.
  11. Upscale Verano takes part in Buick’s success
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.