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Issue #349: March 30, 2014

Q: I have used Cox for email since they first started in 2000, with really no problems. On one particular day I could no longer send email, but could receive email correctly using Thunderbird. I then started to use Outlook, and could send email for just over a week. Tried all of the settings, they were correct. I use Norton 360, and had a problem with it, and I spent 3 hours with Norton to get it fixed, so don’t think there are viruses in my computer, but who knows. The computer is running slow, but that could be because it is old.  It is an HP M9280F with 4 gig memory, dual hard drives, and all of the bells and whistles. HP diagnostics program doesn’t find any hardware problems, so it must be Windows.  I have a wireless network in the house, and my wife’s email, also Cox, works. The Ipad also works, so it is something in my computer.

– A.F.
Niceville, Florida

A: Despite your statement that you “tried all the settings”, I’m going to point you right back there, because the only thing that I can think of that would result in the scenario you’ve described is that the server and port settings in the e-mail client on the non-working computer do not match the settings required by the e-mail provider.  When something suddenly goes from working to not working, it must be because something changed.  It’s possible that what changed isn’t even on your side.  Perhaps Cox recently took down a legacy e-mail server that was being used by this computer which you described as “ancient”.  Go back and double- and triple-check your settings, because you missed something.  You can either use one of your working systems for comparison (I suggest the iPad, since it’s easiest to get to the mail settings), or you can visit for information on the setting up Cox e-mail.  One thing to remember: the settings for sending mail are going to be different for the settings for receiving mail.  Don’t mix them up, or use the same settings for both.  Also make sure your password is set correctly.

Q: I have an HP Pavilion Notebook (25 months old) with Windows 7. This notebook has the Simple Pass feature whereby once a finger is enrolled all I have to do to open my email accts or any other website that requires a password, is to swipe the enrolled finger across a lit-up bar below the keyboard. I love this feature as it saves a lot of hassle having to enter passwords. However, three times recently when a Windows update has been installed the Simple Pass stops working. The only way to get it working again is to do a System Restore and restore to the time of the update. Once that is removed it works again. How can I get Windows updates without having this problem? And how can I permanently get those specific updates that cause this problem from downloading onto my computer? My warranty with HP has run out, so any questions I have for them now will cost me.

– Denise T.
Destin, Florida

A: You discovered “one” of the ways to get it working again, Denise, but not the “only” way.  I had a similar problem on my HP laptop after an update.  I didn’t realize how much I had come to rely on that fingerprint scanner until the banner stopped popping up.

The expiration of your warranty with HP means you no longer get to talk to a human being for free, but your still have access to the online support area on  Go there and click on “Support” then “Download drivers”.  You’ll need the actual model number of your laptop (i.e. – not just “HP Pavillion” because that is an entire line of products, not a model).  In the support area for your laptop you should find an update for SimplePass that will set things a’right again with your fingerprint reader.

Is it just me, or does it seem to anyone else that Microsoft might work a little closer with major vendors so that when an update quite literally breaks one of the vendor’s products, and a software solution is readily available, that the software solution could be automatically installed rather than forcing every single owner to go looking for the solution on his or her own?

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