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What is the Computer Club Help Center?

The Help Center is a service provided by Sun City residents to members of the Computer Club. The volunteers of the Help Center offer assistance with computer “problems”.

What is a computer problem?

The help center volunteers, attempt to provide assistance for many computer devices. There are volunteers that are willing to help with cell phones, tablets, PC's, Apple products, printers and network equipment. Assistance with phones or tablets is typically a sofware or “operator” issue. Assistance with PC's or Apple's can involve software, hardware, networking or the “operator”. It is probable that one of the Help Center volunteers can help resolve or define the problem. If a problem is not resolved, we hope to define solutions that can be provided by local commercial services.

How to get help

The Help Center provides help in the Computer Club Annex or in your home. Bringing your device to the Help Center is preferred? Why? The Help Center typically has multiple volunteers. Volunteers are able to consult with other volunteers in the Help Center. Networking and printer problems frequently require a home visit. For home support it is necessary to come to the Help Center to register the support request.

What you should bring to the Help Center

If your problem is with a portable device (laptop, tablet, phone) or an all-in-one, bring the device and its power supply. For a desktop PC, the Help Center can provide a power cord, monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Satisfaction is not guaranteed, but....

The goal of the volunteers is to provide assistance that resolves your problem or leads to the eventual solution. Most of the time, the volunteers are successful. When we are not, please remember: The Help Center is staffed by Sun City volunteers who are sharing their time and knowledge with the intent of helping a neighbor.


test74.192.182.251, 2020/09/02 18:41

An Excel workbook residing on one of our home network computers, when opened on the other, is flagged as Read Only, even though it is not stored as Read Only on the computer where it resides. Both computers are Windows 10 using MS Office 365. Is there a fix for this problem?

test74.192.152.58, 2020/09/02 00:00

As to : Is there a fix for this problem? Yes. The security for the “shared folder or file” is probably set to “Read Only”, which is the default behavior. Solution… On the machine that contains the file/folder, in “File Explorer”, right click on the folder or folder that is being shared and select properties→sharing→Advanced Sharing. In the “Advanced Sharing” window select “Permissions” and select the “Change” or “Full Control” option, and be sure to select “Apply” before exiting the “Advanced Sharing” window.

test47.220.53.92, 2020/08/30 19:52

I was wondering if anyone does any assistance in fixing a VCR problem. Probably it is at least over 10 years old, but I cannot find the manual to see if it had an answer to my problem.

The VCR had a VCR tape “stuck” in it for years now & we obviously have not been using it. WE do have some VCRs though & would like to have a working VCR. We actually finally got the tape out, but now it will not even load another VCR tape into the machine. Nothing seems broken, but then, I probably would not know if there was. So, my question is if anyone from the computer club could help me with this. Tried on You Tube-nothing really helped. Thanks.. Debra

test47.220.53.92, 2020/08/30 19:51

I was wondering if anyone does any assistance in fixing a VCR problem. Probably it is at least over 10 years old, but I cannot find the manual to see if it had an answer to my problem.

The VCR had a VCR tape “stuck” in it for years now & we obviously have not been using it. WE do have some VCRs though & would like to have a working VCR. We actually finally got the tape out, but now it will not even load another VCR tape into the machine. Nothing seems broken, but then, I probably would not know if there was. So, my question is if anyone from the computer club could help me with this. Tried on You Tube-nothing really helped. Thanks.. Debra

test47.221.151.155, 2020/08/16 17:46

I have 110 slides I would like to convert to JPEG - on thumb drives? for our children. Does anyone have the converter to do this - and can I arrange for you to convert these? I have a Sandisk Ultra 4 GB - can this be used?

test74.192.152.58, 2020/08/16 00:00

The computer club has the equipment for the conversion. Reference:The computer club at and the Media Conversion section. If you are a club member you can “sign up” and use the equipment during lab hours.

test47.221.165.157, 2020/08/06 20:26

I have an HP laptop. I wanted to use it today & I unplugged it & it wasn't charged. I plugged it in and logged on. It said the battery was 100%, I unplugged the charger & the screen went dark. I plugged it in again & it didn't come on. I pressed the on/off & it started up again. I logged on, again 100%. I unplugged, same. I then reset the battery & same. I think it's the plug between the charger & the PC or maybe the battery just isn't taking the charge? I dunno. What should I do now? Just run on AC or buy a new battery?

test74.192.152.58, 2020/08/06 21:35

The symptoms you describe imply the battery is done. However there are still some questions. How old is the computer. How old is the battery. If you want the laptop to work, with only the battery as a power source, the first suggestion is: Identify the battery type/model and then do some internet price shopping for a new battery. Amazon is often a good source for battery replacements as is the original vendor of the PC/laptop. You may find a non-trivial price delta between the PC manufactures battery and alternate sources. If you suspect some other reason for the symptoms you describe, you might try measuring the “voltage” of the battery, when it is out of the computer.

test47.221.136.244, 2020/07/19 19:25

One of my Word 2019 Folders has mysteriously disappeard and it is not in the recycle bin. Is there a way to locate and restore the Folder?

debj, 2020/07/19 19:51

Have you tried searching for the folder or for the items in the folder?

test74.192.152.58, 2020/07/19 22:15

If you can not find the folder with a “search” of the hard drive, there is a program called “TestDisk” that may help you recover lost data. Use the search feature in “File Explorer” and start the search at “C:\” Use the search feature on this wiki to search for “testdisk”. Here is the wiki page that mentions testdisk “” Before using testdisk, use gsmartcontrol to confirm/deny the hard drive is not having “problems”.

test104.219.139.193, 2020/07/14 22:23

Following directions, I cannot see how to sign up for August classes via Zoom.

   "          "      "   "     "   "  "   "   "   "  lab in advance to reopening.
test47.221.151.178, 2020/07/14 02:04

I'm sure I have a simple problem, but it seems when Microsoft comes out with a new update and I try to take care of it I get myself in a lot of trouble. The most recent one has me making choices as to my printer type, synching my computer, etc. I wonder if someone could just call me and help me to walk through what I need to do. My phone number is 512-863-0805

phillip, 2020/07/14 23:07

I left a voice message.

phillip, 2020/06/01 21:29

Many possible contributors to the symptoms you describe. Assuming you are a member of the Computer Club, one of the Help Center volunteers is likely to give you a call.

test174.244.80.187, 2020/06/01 21:05

I use an ASUS laptop. It is slow starting up. I’m not sure if this is caused by my internet speed, age of computer or something else. Also I have trouble with email. I use Outlook to access email. Email is very slow and needs to be cleaned up. I need to delete spam, trash, sent mail but don’t know how to do this. Please advise.

jenkinson, 2020/05/29 16:46

indeed, all manner of possible causes. If you power cycle the laptop Power off - wait 10-15 seconds - Power on while the Acer screen appears press and hold the F8 function key If you then can select the Safe Mode your disk may be ok If you get Advance boot Options and you don't see your laptop's system disk that disk may have died

test74.196.230.38, 2020/05/29 13:02

My Acer laptop cannot start. When I try to turn it on the ‘Acer screen‘ comes up and it starts buffering. Does not advance past this. Can you advise?

phillip, 2020/05/29 16:37

All kinds of possibilities, including the latest Windows update. I will give you a call.

phillip, 2020/05/25 00:54

As to Zoom requirements: I hope provides a detailed answer. My assumption is you need a computer with video camera, microphone and screen. Zoom appears to function on smart phones, tablets and PC's. If you are buying a PC/tower, then you may need to acquire a USB video camera. Logitech has good options and I believe Logitech also includes a microphone in the camera. As to a tower with wifi? Two factors that impact my attitude. The distance from the PC to the router and costs. These days I am assuming the cost of integrated wifi is low. If your computer is close to your router (typically in the same room or desk), I prefer an ethernet(cat 5 or 6) cable connection. Why? Wifi exposes network activity to “snooping”. If Wifi is not necessary, I avoid wifi. None of my desktop computers are configured with wifi.

test47.221.147.3, 2020/05/24 13:24

Two questions: 1. What equipment do I need for using zoom? 2. Buying a tower computer do you recommend get it with WIFI?Bold Text

test74.192.170.106, 2020/05/22 00:34

FYI For those that have an issue trying to uninstall a printer that is offline and re-installing the same with no success, try running a scan of your registery (with Ccleaner). I found this worked for me recently with much success.

test74.192.162.204, 2020/04/30 15:01

Does the club have any type of software i.e. lightscribe that can be used to print dvd? If not, do you have any recommendations that wold be compatible with MacBook Air?

test74.192.160.107, 2020/04/21 04:26

Thanks. If we open up could the help center work with me on this?

phillip, 2020/04/21 07:52

Yes. It is a common request/process provided by the Help Center.

jenkinson, 2020/04/20 22:35

Microsoft used to provide a utility to do this. Easy Transfer If you've updated from a previous Windows version , use Search to see if that utility survived the updates Something to consider - you want/need more than just your files and the files of any other users - you want to preserve your IDentity. User profiles, SSIDs, and other things Might thus consider PCmover from Laplink (pay for utility) or contact someone local for help. you'd probably bring both machines to that service and pick it up afterwards. If you do the service - CHANGE your passwords all passwords before bringing the machines in. sanitize via sanitary wipes. copying your files gets you most of the way. using a utility or service gets you further.

good question. i hope it spawns other member's experiences.

test74.192.160.107, 2020/04/20 20:16

I just purchased a new HP I have a very old Dell which is up to date but a real antique. How can I transfer all my files to the new HP. How can I set it up–it has Windows 10 without having a Microsoft account? Any advice on discounts for word, PP, Excel packages. Thanks in advance

phillip, 2020/04/20 21:48, 2020/04/21 01:20

As to: “How can I set it up–it has Windows 10 without having a Microsoft account?”. Do NOT connect the computer to the internet until AFTER you have gone through all the SETUP process. Windows initialization will allow you to create a “Local Account” if you are not connected to the internet. As to: “How can I transfer all my files to the new HP”. “All my files” can have different meanings. If you mean “just your data”, then you have choices. If you expect “programs and data”, that is a bigger problem. If its just “data”, then after you get the new machine running you can “copy your data” from Old to New using your local network, assuming you have both machines attached to the network. Knowing “how much data” is there can be helpful in making a decision about “how”. Use as a tool to understand how much data you have. Most likely your data is in c:\Users\“Your account Name”. Other possibilities…. Remove the hard drive from the old computer and attach it to the new computer or copy you data to a “thumb drive” and use the thumb drive as a source for putting the data in your new computer. The right answer is, “it depends”. As to: “Any advice on discounts for word, PP, Excel packages. ” Install LibreOffice from It is free.

test74.192.160.107, 2020/04/21 04:22

Thanks. Assuming there are no dumb questions. What is a local account?

phillip, 2020/04/21 08:12

Doing an internet search for “Local account vs Microsoft Account” produces a lot of results. Here is one result. Another good question is “Local account vs Administrator account”. My preference is to set up a machine with two accounts. One named “MyName” (Local Account and NOT administrator), the other named “AdminMyName” (Local Account AND administrator). Then use the account named “MyName” as the account for everything you do with the computer. Why? Using an account that does not have Administrative privileges is “safer”. If/when Windows 10 needs administrative privileges, it will prompt you for the password for the account named “AdminMyName”.

jenkinson, 2020/04/21 15:46, 2020/04/21 20:30

A local account is local to the machine A Microsoft account is held AT Microsoft to be more informative the Microsoft account allows you to “share” the account among your Microsoft devices and products BUT the account is in the form of and requires an email address. If someone has already registered your desired email/Microsoft account name you'll have to choose another until you don't collide with someone else. AND if you choose a Suddenlink account then drop Suddenlink service you'll have to request another account. If your connection to the Internet is down you can use cached credentials to login for a period of time. A local account is more difficult to setup, but avoids most of the above issues.

to the point of an account with Administrator rights and privileges you can check a specific Cyber Security SIG News Blog post Windows Administrator Account revisit Or browse the News Blog The article details the process with screen shots and more detail. Using an account without Administrator rights or privilege is probably the best method of lessening the threat of malware.

test67.44.224.216, 2020/04/17 14:23

Thanks, Phillip for advice given re: update that changed my desktop and eliminated some icons. I have been able to deal with it successfully with your encouragement. Still missing the safe removal of devices that forces me to go to settings-devices-etc. but that is a small, but annoying thing. Interestingly, when I had a signal interrupt the other day, my old desktop with all the icons came back briefly. The mysteries of computers. Thanks, again, for your help. Carol Hopper

test47.221.168.172, 2020/04/14 21:15

Trying to power flush Epson ET-2550. When I follow instructions, get to the point to where it says to choose Utility option which is not showing on the screen. Any ideas?

Printer is dropping/skipping some lines.

Did better when I printed from Photo app.

phillip, 2020/04/14 22:21

Sorry, no personal experience with flushing an Epson. However, I went to and searched for and discovered a bunch of videos about Epson ET-2550. My present suggestion…. Invest some time looking at the videos on youtube.

test47.221.164.154, 2020/04/08 17:07

We have been happy with our 5 year old MacBook Air, but it needs replacing. We use it for word processing, internet browsing and sometimes purchasing, occasional videos, and lots of photo and video storage (but much is on the cloud) and music storage. Just wondering if the 2020 MacBook Air is the right path. Will it give me recognizable upgrades in storage, processing speed, and visual clarity? Do I even need to consider upgrading to the MacBook Pro?

phillip, 2020/04/14 22:34

My concerns. You identified what you do with the MacBook air but it is not clear what it does not do or why it needs replacing. Maybe you just need another MacBook Air not the Pro. Keeping both may be helpful? I suspect some time at will expose the differences between what you have and the 2020 models. The value of the technical features may not be important to how you use your Mac. Given your present MacBook Air is 5 years old, it may not have a Solid State Drive (SSD). Any computer, Mac or PC, can demonstrate significantly faster boot and program load behavior with an SSD.

test74.196.231.55, 2020/04/02 16:52

I looking at buying a cable modem. What's the best way to get recommendations and help?

phillip, 2020/04/05 16:48, 2020/04/05 16:57

Hmmm??? Best way to get recommendations? Start with a web search for “Best Cable Modem” or “Cable Modem Comparison”. This appears to be a decent review:,review-2832.html I found it with a search for “Cable Modem Comparison” My attitude… Netgear and Arris/Motorola offer a broad range of products. Products are available at Walmart, Best Buy and Office Depot. Product differentiators will include “maximum cable speed” and “integrated wifi/router”. My attitude: A cable modem that allows up to 400 mbs (megabits per second) is more than adequate. A separate wifi/router is my preference. Why? I have had the same cable modem for “years” and my wifi/router has been replaced/upgraded a couple of times. However, wifi/router tech has been good, capable and stable for several years. It should not hurt to ask Suddenlink what they recommend for a customer provided cable modem.

test74.192.147.102, 2020/03/11 19:29

The Outlook Address Book has disappeared from my email address book. How can I get it back?

phillip, 2020/03/12 04:36

As to the Outlook Address Book… My first guess (I do not use Outlook): There is an option “somewhere” in Outlook that can enable or disable the “visibility” of the Address Book. If that does not prove to be the case, then come to the Help Center, with your computer, on Friday morning (9 to noon) and one of the volunteers can help resolve the problem.

test47.220.176.209, 2020/02/28 16:39

I need help installing a router and a modem. Can the club help me with this? In addition, I am having difficulty with my Quicken program.

Susan Lorms

phillip, 2020/02/28 22:37

Susan, The Help Center does provide support for router and modem concerns. The assumption is the house already has the appropriate “in house wiring”. Wiring being any “in wall” coax or phone wires. As to Quicken. Quicken is a big subject, so we can talk about it when you submit a request for help with the modem and router. You can submit a request for help at the “Help Center” on Tuesday (12 to 3) and/or Friday (9 to 12).

test74.192.136.7, 2020/02/28 15:18

I just purchased a new IPAD. As I have always been a PC user, I was wondering if you have a class to help beginners with the IPAD? Thank you.

phillip, 2020/02/28 22:29

Here is a link to the Compute Club web page about Education classes.

test173.219.75.70, 2020/02/18 16:31

I need to add more memory to speed up my computer, it only has 4 megabits of RAM. If I buy it can someone there help me install it? If not where do you recommend I take it.Bold Text

phillip, 2020/02/18 16:53

Bring your computer to the Computer Club Help Center. It is open from 12 to 3 today. As to slow performance. It is not common for the root cause of poor performance to be “not enough memory”. The Help Center will help you determine the most likely cause or causes of poor performance. Often we resolve performance problems with system maintenance and adjustments. The most significant contributor to bad performance is “disk drives”. However, every computer and user can be different. The Help Center is a free service to Computer Club members.

test74.192.160.99, 2020/01/20 05:15

On a Windows 10 Home desktop, external HDDs & flash drives are not detected by the File Explorer or the Disk Management programs. The external HDDs & flash drives work fine on different PCs. I've uninstalled all the USB controller drivers. Didn't fix it. I've tried several other Google recommended fixes. None fixed it. Any ideas other than clean install?

phillip, 2020/01/20 10:37

Thoughts… Something is corrupted.. Do SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes report any issues? Is the registry “clean”? CCleaner can help with “noise” in the registry. “SFC /scannow” may detect and correct the issue. SFC (System File Check) is a command link tool. Start cmd as Administrator the do “SFC /scannow”. SFC an also be invoked from Hirens. SFC is not fast. Be patient. Next swing/try… In Settings/Update/Recovery, if there is a recovery point available, recover to “before” the problem started or “Restore and retain data”. “Restore and Retain” requires installation media, thumb drive or DVD “should” work. Other thoughts… I have observed that some BIOS's can disable/enable USB. Are USB devices detected in the BIOS? Can you configure and boot from a thumb drive in a USB port? You may need to disable UEFI (Secure boot) and enable Legacy boot. If you boot from a USB port with Hirens or Linux do the USB ports work?

test74.192.160.99, 2020/01/20 17:55

Thanks, Phillip. I'll try these.

test47.221.137.250, 2020/01/17 14:18

Are virus prevention products worth the money? If so, would you recommend what you think best?

phillip, 2020/01/17 23:13

Today my opinion is: Not on my budget. My budget includes time and money. Why? My experience… Anti-virus stuff inflicts overhead on my devices. The FREE versions of Anti-virus tools have “worked for me”. As to Windows PC and my MacBook pro, I am using free or whatever comes with the system. Windows Defender has been OK for me for several years. Frequent updates, including anti-virus, are part of Microsoft overhead. However… The set of internet places I surf are probably less likely to be sources of malware and I have not seen a hint of an infected email attachment for years. Gmail may have something to do with that observation. As to PCs we see in the Help Center. We frequently uninstall AntiVirus tools, and leave the machine with Windows Defender installed and enabled. Our experience… It works. Its Free. Why do we uninstall other tools. Most of the time it is because there are multiple antivirus tools installed on a machine. Typically those tools do not cooperate and the result is often “slow boot” and “slow pc”. However, again, we do use a couple of tools to “disinfect” a machine. The free versions of Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware have proven to be helpful when something “strange” is going on. When we use these tools we do not configure them to be part of system boot/startup. Anti-virus is one part of security. There are other essential thoughts, items 2 and 6 in the following link are often overlooked.:

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computerclub/helpcenter/start.txt · Last modified: 2020/09/02 19:03 by phillip