Why do I need to unplug and plug in my USB device to keep it working?

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I have a year and a half old Dell XPS Desktop running Windows 7 (which is kept updated) that has no PS2 ports. I have a monitor with a built-in USB hub (where the hub has its own power supply). I also have a PS2 keyboard and PS2 trackball, both of which I love and want very much to keep using. When I got this new Dell, I got a PS2-to-USB “Y”-adapter and plugged it into the monitor’s USB hub. Everything worked well for over a year – except that maybe once a week or two, they stopped responding with the computer wake up and I had to unplug and replug the USB plug.

This would solve the problem for another week or two. About a month ago, this issue suddenly became not just a daily problem, but even needed doing every five to ten minutes or so. The power supply to the monitor’s USB hub seems to be fine and the other USB functions seem to work fine as well. I’ve re-routed my PS2 USB cord directly to the computer’s USB port and this solved the five-to-ten minute problem, but I still need to unplug and replug the USB plug every day when I wake the computer up. And yes, I reboot regularly, which has had no effect or improvement on the issue. What do you think?

The problem that you’re experiencing is not uncommon. You tried a couple of things that I would normally recommend, but I can think of a few more that might help you in this scenario.

Read moreWhy do I need to unplug and plug in my USB device to keep it working?

Will buying a new modem/router increase my internet speed?

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I run a laptop with Vista SP2, Home Premium, with IE 9 on a wireless home network. I contract with my ISP for a DSL throughput of 1.2 to 1.5 megabits per second. We live in a rural area and that’s the fastest service available. Recently, using various speed tests, my speed has been falling below 1.2 megabits for considerable periods of time.

Monitoring my modem/router, the connect speed that it displays varies: 640/640, 1024/640, 1596/800. In addressing my slow speeds, my ISP insists that my three-year old modem/router needs replacement. I’m willing to do it if that will correct the problem, but my thinking is there’s nothing wrong with my existing modem/router. Aren’t the connection speeds that it displays a result of the line configuration settings originating with my ISP? Am I going to the expense of buying a newer modem/router they recommend only to end up with the situation unchanged?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to confirm what is happening. It could be the router, the line configuration, or other things like wire deterioration (which actually happened to me).

Let’s begin by looking at a few things.

Read moreWill buying a new modem/router increase my internet speed?

Why is my partially recovered document still not readable?

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Hi, Leo. I have a sticky situation here. My daughter accidentally overwrote a written document and lost 60 pages of her story. We’ve tried recovery tools, such as Recuva and Undelete. She may have recovered some of it, but she’s unable to open it. It’s a Word Perfect 12 document and when we try to open it, it says it’s an “unsupported format.” We cannot understand how it was saved or recovered in a different format. Just to let you know we have it still. I’ve tried emailing it as an attachment to different people who are better at computers and no one so far has been able to open it.

Your situation is actually not that uncommon.

These days, file formats are complex and the programs that read them are often unforgiving when there’s something wrong with the file.

When only portions of a file are recovered, some of the information that the application relies on to open and interpret the file is so badly damaged that the application can’t  even recognize the file to open it.

Typically, that happens when the first few pieces of the file are missing. But it actually can happen if any piece of the file is missing, out of order, or just otherwise unrecoverable.

Read moreWhy is my partially recovered document still not readable?

Is It Safe to Delete Log Files?

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Do I need to keep all of the log files created by Windows Update or any other install/uninstall or system-generated procedure? Will they ever be needed again? I see a lot of them in the Windows folder and as far as I can tell, they’re just text files taking up space.

In general, it’s safe to delete log files, but let’s talk about why we have them first.

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Does Windows 8 Have XP Mode?

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XP mode in Windows 8 doesn’t work. I tried it anyway. Microsoft only offered the Windows 7 XP mode. I have some old DOS games that either returned an error or crashed. I don’t know if it’s because I now have a 64-bit processor.

The problems that you’re experiencing could be happening for any number of reasons, but I suspect that those games are just fundamentally incompatible with Windows 8 and 64 bits.

Sure, XP mode isn’t available on Windows 8, but you can do something almost exactly like it.

Read moreDoes Windows 8 Have XP Mode?