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Issue #212: August 14, 2011

Q: I have Windows 7, IE9 and yahoo.com for internet thru Cox.  For weeks I have been unable to bring some sites up because of unable to open Flash Drive.  Looking at Control Panel add remove programs Flash Drive 10 shows installed.  I can run all programs using Google Chrome.

– David S.
Fort Walton Beach, Fla

A: Wow, David – we should have been playing “Stump the Geek” because your e-mail had me a little confused at first.  I performed several Internet searches for a piece of software named “Flash Drive” before I realized you are actually talking about the Adobe Flash Player.  The term flash drive is a generic term that refers to the now ubiquitous thumb-sized plug-in solid state memory devices that are based around flash ram technology.  This is a completely different topic than Adobe Flash Player, which is a software plug-in for web browsers that allows you to view certain animations, movies, and games.  In the interest of learning (after all, that’s what this column is all about) I also want you to check your terminology on a couple of other things.  First of all, you don’t “have yahoo.com for internet”.  Yahoo! (the exclamation point is part of its name) is a web portal and search engine that also includes many other services.  It is basically a website.  It’s not something you can have, but rather is a service that exists on the worldwide web.  Your Internet provider appears to be Cox Communications, and while you may be using Yahoo! as your home page, it’s not compulsory – you can use any site you like.  You say you “can run all programs using Google Chrome” but I think what you really mean is you can access all web sites (including the sites that won’t display for you under IE9) using Google Chrome.  As an aside to my readers who don’t know about Google Chrome, it is a web browser (akin to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer) developed by Google.  It’s been around since 2008, and is currently the 3rd most widely used browser in the world.  David, the reason Chrome works for you and IE9 doesn’t is because Chrome has Flash support built right in, while for IE9 it is, as I said above a plug-in.  My diagnosis of your problem is that the plug-in has somehow become, well, “unplugged” for lack of a better word.  Even though it’s still installed on your computer, IE9 is unable to access it properly.  Your best course of action is to completely uninstall it via the Control Panel, reboot your computer, then visit Adobe’s website to install the latest release, which as of this writing should be version 10.3.  I’m betting this will fix you right up!

Q: I am not able to access “Outlook Express” in order to bring it into any of the computers that I have.  I had it before I changed to the new computers using Windows 7, and now I can find it on the internet, but it appears that the folks at the Windows factory have done something to it that will not allow me to download it to use as an E-Mail  program as I once could.

– Norman C.
Crestview, Fla

A: It’s okay, Norman, you can say it:  “Thanks, Bill!”  I’m afraid there’s no joyous news for fans of Outlook Express who also happen to be Windows 7 users.  There is no support for OE in Win7.  Microsoft fervently wishes you to migrate to Windows Live Mail, which should already be installed on your computer.  You can find excellent step-by-step instructions on how to move your OE e-mail to Windows 7 at tinyurl.com/2ahcq7z


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