The Number One Rule of Computing

The Number One Rule of Computing: Back it up! (imho)

target audience: home user

If you are reading this blog, then you probably live in a world full of data. Data that you depend on, for work, finances, travel, entertainment, and more. Without this data you day-to-day life would be turned on end. And yet, this data along with the technology that reads it can be fickle and fragile. I think most everyone has at some point tasted the bitterness of failure from forgetting to save a document. Many people have hung their heads in defeat as critical hardware went to an early grave. And a few people have even suffered theft, fire, or floods. Murphy can visit in many forms, so it is critical that we back-up all of our important data. It is not my intent to discuss specific products, or deliver a complete how-to (look for future articles) but rather to explain several varieties of back-up. Read on to find out the basics of back-up solutions for the home PC.

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Can’t install Office 2010?

Recently I attempted installing Office 2010 on an Windows 7 box. However, on this particular system the installation failed with the warning that:

Setup is unable to proceed due to the following error(s):
Microsoft Office 2010 does not support upgrading from a prerelease version of Microsoft Office 2010. You must first install any prerelease versions of Microsoft Office 2010 products and associated technologies. Correct the issue(s) listed above and re-run setup.

Clearly the owner had been Beta testing Office 2010. So, I uninstalled the Beta and then tried to re-install the release version… and I received the same error. “No problem,” I thought, firing up The Control Panel. I found one program of the Office Suite that was still there. I uninstalled it and tried once again to install the release version. Same error. (Maybe I should have used good ol’ Revo Uninstaller. .) So what was I to do? Dive into the registry searching for all references to the Beta? No thank you!

Tip: select "Save" instead of "Run"

Microsoft KB to the Rescue

Microsoft Knowledge Base to the rescue: . Microsoft has actually made a tool to solve this exact problem. (Office buggy? no way!) You’ll note that the on screen instructions say to choose “Run” when you click on the tool. I found, however, that I had to save the .msi first in order for it to work. Once it did run successfully, I tried again to install the release version of Office Professional 2010. Bingo! installed without a hitch. One more satisfied customer.

-Remember, your computer should work for you. Enjoy.

P.S. If you want to beta-test software you should look into virtualization, or building a spare computer that doesn’t fulfill a critical role.

Fix Winsock and TCP/IP in Windows 7

Yesterday after disinfecting a customer’s Windows 7 PC, it could not connect to a network. I found that I had to reset Winsock and TCP/IP. There are some great programs that will do this for you on XP, but what about Windows 7? The solution I used was pretty simple:

  • In the start menu click in the search box and type “cmd” (without the quotes of course). You will see an item named cmd.exe.
  • Right click it and choose “Run as Administrator.”

Run as Administrator

  • If UAC pops up go ahead and allow this program.
  • A window will open that displays the command prompt. We will enter two commands.
CLI magic

The Command Prompt

  • First type “netsh winsock reset catalog” and hit enter.
  • Next type in “netsh int ip reset reset.log hit” and hit enter.

That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!