Monday, February 27, 2012

How to Download Pictures from a Digital Camera to a Computer

There are a couple ways to do this depending on the camera and wither you have a card reader. If you have a card reader, I recommend using that rather than plugging the camera into the computer. Also if you have been reading this blog for a while, you can probably guess there is one way I do not recommend doing it. That is using the CD that came with the camera and if you have a card reader you definitely should not need the CD that came with your camera. These directions are essentially the same for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 – with some different steps. If you need some phone editing software, I suggest checking out Windows Live Photo Gallery: http://explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials-photo-gallery-get-started.

First plug the camera into the computer, of if you have a card reader, put the camera’s card into the card reader. It may take a few moments for the computer to recognize the device or card and show the auto play options. If you do not see the auto play, follow the directions below for accessing the device through My Computer.

clip_image001

On the Auto Play screen select Import Pictures and Videos.

clip_image002

If desired add a tag for the pictures. Also, if you need additional options such as where the pictures are going, click the Import Settings. Click Import when done.

clip_image003

Now that your pictures are imported where are they? Unless you changed the location the pictures will be located in My Pictures, which you can access from the Start Menu by click on Pictures or you can also access it from your personal folder on the desktop. The pictures will be in a folder with the import date plus the tag.

 

What do you do if you do not see the auto play options? You device will be visible (or should be) in My Computer, which you can access from Start > Computer.

clip_image004

In My Computer you should see a device with your camera’s name.  Just to note if you do not see your device listed here, then there is no way the auto play options are going work either.  Also most cameras need to be turned on order for then to connect to the computer and if it is the first time it may take a few moments for the computer to recognize the camera..  Still do not see your device?  Try rebooting the computer.  There are other troubleshooting options but I am not going to cover them in this post.

clip_image006

Double click on the device, open the Internal Storage – your camera may or may not have this.

clip_image008

You should see a folder named DCIM, open this folder, then you should see another folder usually with the cameras name, open that folder, and you should find your pictures. In my case the pictures are under: Cannon PowerShot SD1000 >> Removable storage >> DCIM >> 102CANON. At this point you can select the pictures and copy and paste them into the location of your choice. Hint: use Ctrl + A to select all the images!

clip_image010

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How to Remove Findgala or Gala Directory

This annoying redirect happens when you attempt to perform a search.  Gala attempts to look like Google.  For me this only happens when I search from the address bar, using the Bing bar works just fine.  My default search engine is Bing.  I also had performed an anti-virus scan which came back negative; so no virus was causing this problem – though more than likely it happened when I had my last virus on the system.

findgala-gala-redirect

To remove this annoyance, I recommend you perform a virus scan with your anti-virus software.  I personally recommend using MBAM in this instance: http://www.malwarebytes.org/.

Next perform a scan with Norton’s Power Eraser: http://security.symantec.com/nbrt/npe.aspx.  Remove anything that is found – you should find an issue with your HOSTS file, if not follow the directions here for checking your hosts file: http://www.computer-skills.info/2011/03/cleaning-aftermath-of-virus-part-2.html.

Next Perform a scan with Kaspersky TDSSKiller: http://support.kaspersky.com/faq/?qid=208283363, direct download link: http://support.kaspersky.com/downloads/utils/tdsskiller.zip.  Remove anything that is found.

The reason for scanning with all these programs is the fact this most likely you did not get on your system without some sort of virus or malicious programs help.  After performing all these scans you will probably notice that findgala still is not fixed.

To remove findgala go to Internet Explorer (Internet Explorer 9) and go to Settings (this is little gear (cog) icon on the right side and click on Manage Add-ons.  In IE 7 and 8 click the little drop down next to the search box and click Manage Search Providers.

managing-addons-in-internet-explorer-9

managing-search-providers-in-internet-explorer-8

This will open Manage Add-ons, go to the Search Providers link on the left side.  This will show you all your search engine providers.  In my case I only have 1 – Bing.  This may appear to be correct, you probably will not see any findgala or gala directory search provider; however, if you note the address of Bing’s search, you will see that it actually is findgala.  I am unable to remove Bing because it is the only one, so I am going to replace it with a new instance of Bing.  Just to note here you not allowed to remove your default search provider.

managing-search-engine-providers-internet-explorer

At the bottom of the Manage Add-ons, click the link to Find More Search Providers or you can follow this link directly: http://www.iegallery.com/en/addons/?feature=searchproviders.  Find your search engine provider on the list and click on it, I have listed a couple of direct links below for common search engine providers.

internet-explorer-search-engine-providers

Click the Add to Internet Explorer button.

adding-a-search-engine-provider

You will be prompted with a warning that the search provider already exists, just click replace.  Also change any of the options you desire.

replacing-already-installed-search-engine-provider

Close everything and reopen your browser.  Your search should now be back to normal.

As a final step do a scan with CCleaner: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner.  Run both the Cleaner and the Registry cleaner.

Internet Explorer Redirecting to Weird Websites?

This annoying problem is usually caused by viruses or spyware on your system.  Even after you have preformed a virus scan and removed a virus the problem can continue and is usually caused by a bad entry(s) in the Windows HOSTS file.

A bad entry can cause problems with your internet browser redirecting to suspicious websites when you click on a link on a legitimate site.  For example you perform a search for something on Google and instead of Google's search results loading you see a different search site or worse yet it takes you to a virus loaded website.  This is especially true for sites that host fake anti-virus programs.  This can happen on any website, including this one.  For example on this site you want to contact us, so you click on the Contact Us link at the top and instead of being taken to a contact page your redirect to an entirely different website.  If you have experienced any of these problems with your browser redirecting to websites than your host file needs to be fixed.

To fix the hosts file you can fix it manually by following the directions here: http://www.computer-skills.info/2011/03/cleaning-aftermath-of-virus-part-2.html.

Also, you can use Norton’s Power Eraser to fix the hosts file.  You can download and run Norton’s Power Eraser at: http://security.symantec.com/nbrt/npe.aspx.  Just to note that it may not detect and fix all entries.

Configuring and Setting up a Router

If you have ever purchased a router, probably the first thing you saw when taking it out of the box is a larger warning that says to Run the CD First! I am going to disagree with that and tell you ignore that warning! The CD may make is slightly easier to set up your router, but at the cost of crapping up your computer with unnecessary software and utilities that take up space and slow your computer down! Instead of using the CD, I recommend using the routers built in web interface, some of which come with wizards just like what is on the CD. Just to note the only time I would recommend using the CD is if you have a router/modem combo unit; the CD will provide you with the necessary setup options for the Modem part of the router. When you are done though, you can and should uninstall the software.

To begin configuring your router, the first thing you are going to need to know is the IP address or the routers name so you can access the configuration. For Linksys routers the IP address is 192.168.1.1 another common IP address is 192.168.0.1. The manual or quick start guide should tell you what the IP address of the router is as well as any additional settings you may need to access the router. Once you have the IP address, type it into the address bar of your web browser (any of them should work – though Internet Explorer is recommended for best capability).

clip_image002

Once you have your IP address entered or the routers name, press Go or Enter and you should receive a Password Prompt. Again you will need to consult your routers documentation for what the username and password should be. Once you have entered them, you should be taken to the routers configuration page. For Linksys Routers the default password is admin, leave the username field blank. Just to note as well some routers will take you to a status page rather than the login page, if this is the case, just look for a login or configuration option.

clip_image004

Once logged in, you should be taken to the configuration page. From here you can make all the necessary changes. For the most part, the only options you are really going to need to change are the Wireless settings and the password for accessing the router. I will cover configuring the router in another post.

clip_image006

Friday, February 24, 2012

How to Properly Connect Two Routers Together

I have seen some weird solutions for connecting multiple routers together in order to make them work. If you have ever tried to connect two routers together, you have probably found out that just connecting them together does not make them work! The correct way is going to depend on what you want to accomplish, but for the most part, the best solution going to be to change the IP address on the second router and turn off the DHCP server.

Why can you not connect two routers together? The main reason is the fact that most home routers are configured as gateways rather than as an actual router. A gateway router is simply a router that connects you to the Internet, and provides all the devices on your network with IP addresses and the necessary information to get to the Internet. So, when you hook up a second router they are both going to try to do the same job, and the second router that is not directly connected to the Internet will not be able to do the job because it does not have the necessary information from your ISP to get online. To add to the troubles the routers may both have the same IP address and may be both handing out IP addresses in the same range, which will cause conflicts between devices and possibly bring your entire network down. Now, there are some exceptions to this, I have seen some routers that can be directly connected together without needing to have any changes made; however, do not count on this, especially if you have routers of the same brand.

Why would you want to connect two routers together? There may be many reasons, but I will discuss 2 of my reasons for using two routers.

  • Before I changed ISP's, the reason I used two routers was the fact that my main router that was connected to the Internet was in the basement. My main router was a wireless Linksys WRT350, which unfortunately did not have enough signal strength to reach upstairs. So, rather than purchasing a Wi-Fi extender or something along those lines, I ran Category 6 cable upstairs and setup a second router, just for Wi-Fi, as an added benefit it allowed me to connect my Blu-ray player and my Xbox since the second router had available ports. My second router was a Linksys WRT610.
  • Now that I have changed ISPs, I still use two routers; my main router is a DSL modem/router combo that is provided by my ISP. This router has wireless capabilities, but my ISP charges an additional monthly fee if you turn the wireless on. Rather than paying the monthly fee, I simply use my second router, which since it was already configured previously I did not have to make any changes. Nor do I have to worry about how my router provided by my ISP is configured.
  • In addition you can use the second router as a range extender for your current wireless network. Or you can set it up as a completely separate wireless network, such as for guests.
  • You can use the second router to provide additional ports; most home routers have 3-4 ports in addition to the WAN port for Internet.

To set this up, first you will need two routers - obviously right? I personally recommend sticking with the same brand; I also recommend Linksys products, because I know they work, I have seen one Netgear router that does not allow you to change the necessary settings. One of the routers will be your main router that will connect to the Internet. You should not have to configure anything on your main router, other than to note what its IP address is and what the range of IP addresses it hands out is. If you are using a Linksys router the default IP address for the router will be 192.168.1.1 and the range of IP addresses that Linksys hands out starts at 192.168.1.100; just note, newer Linksys routers start off at 192.168.1.2, if that is the case you will need to change the starting IP address to 192.168.1.3.

To setup the second router, do not connect it to your network instead connect it directly to a computer that is not on the network. Connecting the router to the network or any computer that is connected to network will cause problems when you try to access the router to configure it. When I configure a router I usually use my laptop to connect directly to the router, and I also turn the wireless on my laptop off so the only thing I am connected to is the second router.

The first thing to change on your second router will be its IP address, I recommend setting it one higher than your main routers IP address. So, for Linksys this would be 192.168.1.2. Just to note here, to be aware of, what is the IP address range the main Router hands out? You do not want to set your second routers IP address to an IP address that your main router hands out.

clip_image002[1]

Once you have the IP addresses set, the next step is to turn off the DHCP server on your secondary router. For Linksys routers this option is right next to the IP address setting. This will allow any device that connects through your second router to get its IP address and Internet information from your main router.  Once you are done changing settings, make sure you save the settings!

For physically connecting the routers, just use any of the normal LAN ports on the back of your router, do not use the WAN/Internet port – except on the main router of course to connect to the internet!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Uninstalling a Program–Computer Cleanup

To keep your computer “clean” and running at peak performance, you should uninstall any programs you no longer use or need!  I recommend periodically checking the list of programs on your computer for programs you can remove.  In this example, I am going to uninstall Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which I had used to remove a virus, but no longer need.

To uninstall a program go to Start, then Control Panel.

start-menu-control-panel

In the Control Panel, go to Uninstall a Program, should be left hand column at the bottom.

Control Panel

This will display a list of all the programs installed on your computer.  Scroll through the list and find the program you wish to uninstall.  Click on the program you want to uninstall and an Uninstall button will appear above the list.  Sometimes depending on the program you may also get options for Changing the installation or Repairing the installation in additional to Uninstalling.

Control Panel Uninstall Program

Some uninstallers have fancy options and multiple screens to go through before uninstallation actually happens; Malwarebytes on the other hand has a very simple uninstaller (Yes or No?).

malwarebytes-anti-malware-uninstaller

When the uninstaller is done it wants to restart.  Depending on the program, you may or may not need to restart the computer.  I highly recommend you restart your computer if required!

malwarebytes-anti-malware-uninstall-restart

Once restarted, the installation is done and you can continue uninstalling additional programs if necessary.