Q. I’ve got a PDF file with text in it that I want to change but I can’t edit it. What’s confusing me is that the file has no security on it. I can highlight text, and I can copy and paste it to another file, but I can’t edit or delete it. Any ideas?
A. If that is a PDF that was generated by another application, such as Microsoft Word, what’s in the file is actually an image and can’t be edited using text tools. The owner of the file would have to make the changes and regenerate the PDF file.
Q. For the past several weeks, I have been unable to stay signed in to Hotmail; the same is true for a number of other sites. I click stay “signed in or remember me” and if I close my browser, I have to start all over with any site that requires a sign in and password. It is as if I never signed in before. Help!
A. The most likely cause of this is that your Web browser has been configured to prevent cookies from being stored.
Q. Over the past few months, when I turn the computer on it sometimes does not produce a series of beeps. The monitor displays the “no signal” message, and then the screen stays black. The mouse does not work, control-alt-delete does not work.
The wire connections from the computer to the monitor are working. I end up having to turn the computer on and off again. Sometimes it takes just a second try, sometimes it takes more. Sometimes I try a few times before it starts booting up. Then after booting up, this message appears: “Overclocking failed, please enter set-up to reconfigure your system.”
My computer geek son tried to reconfigure, but the problem still continued intermittently. Now a new problem has cropped up. When I’m on the Internet, all of a sudden the computer goes “beep,” then the screen flashes lines of numbers and letters (too fast to distinguish), goes black and then starts rebooting up again. Eventually a message displays, “the system has recovered from a serious error.”
What’s going on? Is it trying to die? Time for a new system?
A. If it wasn’t for that message you’re getting, I’d think it might just be a bad power supply. And power supplies are cheap enough, I’d try replacing that before giving up on the computer. But the error message indicates something is seriously wrong either with your hardware or with how your computer’s BIOS is interacting with the hardware.
The first thing I’d urge is that you back up any important data you might have on that computer.
The second thing I’d try – both because it’s the easiest and cheapest thing – is to reset the BIOS. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how to do this because the steps depend on the specific BIOS your computer has.
Generally, when your computer is posting, you’ll see a message such as “To enter BIOS setup hit the F7 key.” When you get in to the BIOS setup program look for a menu option that lets you reset the BIOS.
Even better, if your son is a computer geek, get him to reset the BIOS.
If that doesn’t clear up the problem, yes, I’d suspect you’ve got some serious hardware problems. You might take it to a shop for diagnosis, but that can get expensive, especially since there’s no obvious culprit. The problem could be in the CMOS, any of the support chips, or in the circuitry.
— Linda S