Why Am I Getting “Open Block” Errors from My Photo Program?

//
My operating system is Windows Vista. The problem software is Picasa. I’ve used it for a long time without problems. Now, I’m getting several error messages when I open it. They all begin with “”CBlockFile::Open Block err=10″” They are as follows (various list of filenames that are associated with this error). I’ve taken off the software and I’ve reapplied it several times. I’ve had many conversations with Picasa; they’ve tried to help me but with no success. Any suggestions?

I could be wrong, but I suspect your hard disk either has or is developing a problem.

In this case, make sure you’re backed up! You don’t want to lose those pictures!

Read moreWhy Am I Getting “Open Block” Errors from My Photo Program?

Is It Safe to Delete Log Files?

//
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.

Read moreIs It Safe to Delete Log Files?

Scheduling CCleaner

It’s no secret that crap (pardon the language) piles up on our computers over time. Temporary files that don’t get cleaned up properly, assorted caches, histories, and backups of files that we might never need all seem to accumulate and can even negatively impact performance.

I use the word “crap” here specifically, because that’s what that initial “C” in CCleaner originally represented – “Crap Cleaner.”

Regardless of the political correctness of its name, then or now, CCleaner is a useful tool in managing the accumulation of “stuff” on your computer that might be doing nothing more than wasting space.

In the past, we’ve focused on running CCleaner as needed to clean things up when we think of it or encounter a problem.

The beauty of computers is that they’re very good at doing things automatically. That includes not only creating crap, but cleaning it up as well.

Read moreScheduling CCleaner

Does an unstable system imply a hardware problem?

//
I have a PC that does… well, weird things. My Adobe Flash suddenly doesn’t work on some major sites, yet it’s OK on others like YouTube. Adobe Flash is suddenly not displayed on Add/Remove listings. I also lose parts of some other PC components so that their features don’t work properly. Now, this usually starts after I carefully uninstall some “accidentally” downloaded toolbar or some other program I have “added/removed” in my Windows. Now, technicians say there is no problem with the computer. Can there be a flaw in the motherboard or something making this happen? It’s like the uninstall that I do appears to gut some of my other programs, especially Adobe Flash.

Motherboard and other hardware issues are typically more consistent. You would see the same issue over and over again. Or the issue would be more severe, like your computer would just stop working or crash completely on a regular basis.

While it’s still possible, I don’t believe there’s a problem with your motherboard. What you’re describing sounds more like software rot.

Read moreDoes an unstable system imply a hardware problem?

Using Windows Disk Cleanup

Over time, it’s not uncommon for files to accumulate on your system – unused files, old ones, or files you no longer need. There are many reasons for this, but most are pretty valid when you get down to the details.

Fortunately, you don’t need to get into the details to clean things up. Windows includes a disk-cleanup utility that’s helpful for cleaning this type of thing right up.

Let’s walk through the steps of using Windows Disk Cleanup.

Read moreUsing Windows Disk Cleanup

Why Might an Update Take a Large Amount of Space?

//
My laptop runs Windows 7. And I’ve got a 500 GB hard drive. I recently updated my Internet Explorer from IE9 to IE10. Now earlier, I wrote down the amount of space that was available or actually used on my hard drive. After I installed IE10, I looked at it again. And it took a full 1 GB more than before.  Is it really possible that this update has cost me 1 GB of space? Is it really possible that this update was that big?

Well, yes and no. There’s a lot more to updating than just updating. I know that sounds a little wishy-washy and I’ll try and explain what that means.

When Windows updates something important, especially something as important as Internet Explorer, things get complicated very quickly.

Read moreWhy Might an Update Take a Large Amount of Space?

Should I Use Windows File Compression?

//

I was wondering if I should run the Disk Cleanup utility and select the Compress Old Files option to use Windows File Compression. It is currently taking up 14372KB of space. Should I compress old files?

While you’re only asking about the Disk Cleanup utility, I’m going to talk about Windows File Compression in more general terms. Using file compression to save space is nothing new, even when it’s native in the file system used by Windows. Whether or not it makes sense to use isn’t necessarily a slam dunk.

In fact, without knowing more, I get to use all three of my favorite answers:

Yes.

No.

It depends.

After you’ve finishing beating your head against the computer, read on, and I’ll explain why I say all three. We’ll also discover that later versions of Windows itself  have made a not-too-subtle suggestion as well.

Read moreShould I Use Windows File Compression?