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Issue #71: November 30, 2008

Q: I have a Gateway laptop that’s only about a year old that I’d like to give to my son for Christmas.  Before I give it to him, I’d like to remove all my personal files and customizations from it.  Is there an easy way to do that? 

– Angela S.
Holt, FL

A: There sure is, Angela.  In fact, you can not only remove your personalization, but you can restore the system to the same condition it was in when it came from the factory.  Your laptop either came with System Recovery CDs, or there is a partition on the hard drive that’s assigned its own unique drive letter (probably D:).  If you have CDs, the restoration process should be as simple as putting the right disc in the computer, turning it on, and following the prompts.  If the recovery solution is on a hard drive partition, you should receive a prompt to “Hit F11 for System Restore” each time you boot the computer.  For complete information, and more technical details you should contact Gateway directly.  May I also say that in these tough economic times, what you’re doing is a great way to provide a much-desired gift to someone while keeping the expense down.  Good job! 

Q: I’m operating Windows XP and recently received the notice on the screen that there was an update to be installed.  I proceeded to download and install it, and since then each time I reboot I get two messages—“AirGCFG.exe  Entry point not found”, and “WZCSLDR2.exe  Entry point not found”.

– Herb G.
Destin, FL

A: Both of these messages are related to your wireless network adapter, Herb.  If it makes you feel any better, lots of people have similar problems after loading Service Pack 3.  From the first message, I can tell that you have a D-Link brand adapter.  Windows very likely has built-in support for this adapter, so you should be able to uninstall the D-Link software, and make the problem go away.  If you want to keep D-Link’s custom drivers, you’ll need to contact them for an update that’s compatible with WinXP SP3. 

TIP OF THE WEEK: Hi-Tech Decorating: One item that has been on the fringe for the last few years is LED Christmas lights.  These lights use only a TENTH of the electricity of incandescent lights, meaning you can put lots more lights on a socket without worrying about overloading it.  They also put off very little heat, making them far safer around flammable items, or where children or pets might touch them.  LEDs also last practically forever, because they don’t have a filament to burn out, or a glass bulb to break.  The prices of LED Christmas lights have come down dramatically this year, and the selection and availability has skyrocketed.  All the big box stores are carrying large quantities of LED decorations this year, and while they are still more expensive than conventional lights, they will eventually pay for themselves with the energy savings alone.  This makes them a great “green” alternative!  Happy decorating!

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