Welcome to another segment of Ask a Windows Expert, where we dissect our readers’ questions that arrive at our inbox and publish concise answers every week on this site! If there’s anything that bothers you or arouses your curiosity, and you’d like to ask a question about it, let us know and send it to our inbox. There will be an answer by the next Wednesday as long as the question is related to Windows or the hardware that runs it. If you’d like to submit a question to us, click the “Ask Our Experts Now!” button on the right-hand side of the site! Now, let’s get to our submissions so far.
Q: How do I get a TACACS+ and RADIUS server working within Windows Server 2003?
A: While this is more advanced than the stuff I usually answer, I’ll try to give you a shove in the right direction without elaborating too much.
The Terminal Access Controller Access-Control System (TACACS+) is a network security protocol for authentication and accounting, and is distributed freely from the developer’s website. You can find TACACS+ for Windows Server 2003 over here. You must provide a bit of information first so that the website can give you the proper version that you need to run. Configuring it is a whole other ballgame. This completely depends on what you want to do with it and what you’re setting it up for. There are RADIUS servers that are able to enter a “TACACS” mode, meaning that the two protocols are similar.
As for RADIUS, you can configure IAS in Windows Server 2003 to act as a RADIUS server. Read this guide to configuring Windows Server 2003 to use the protocol.
Q: How do I get my work email forwarded to my Gmail account?
A: It all depends on whether the company’s software lets you forward emails. Many companies use Outlook or some kind of webmail application. Both of these can support email forwarding. Outlook most certainly allows this. Here is a guide from Microsoft to configuring Outlook to do this.
Q: My laptop became completely unusable after about two minutes of booting. I don’t want to reinstall my operating system. I can still boot perfectly into safe mode. How do I take care of this?
A: This sounds like you have too much clutter on your computer. A computer with lots of applications that open at startup can experience exhaustion from moving memory into the page file of your hard drive instead of the physical memory installed within your computer. This causes the incredible lag and lack of usability. For this, I’d prescribe CCleaner and running your disk defragmenter on your computer. Start by downloading and installing CCleaner, running it, and getting rid of any junk that’s on your computer.
After this, run the disk defragmenter that’s found in the “Accessories” folder of your programs menu. You might find it in “System Tools.”
The disk defragmenter assists you by de-cluttering your hard drive’s contents and placing them in an organized matter within the physical platters. This kind of defragmentation process greatly improves the speed of the drive.
If you continue to have problems, you might need to run an anti-virus solution that will help you hunt down infections on your computer that might be slowing it down. Come to the comments section if you continue having issues after this.
Q: I just did a clean install of Windows 7 on my computer and the sound isn’t working anymore. What happened?
A: You probably forgot to install the sound drivers on your computer. Have you checked the Device Manager? This kind of event happens when a sound device doesn’t have its drivers, especially when it worked with a previous installation of the same operating system.
Otherwise, if your sound is still not working, or you’ve found the sound device in Device Manager without any indication that the driver isn’t installed, then you should have a look at “Sounds.” You can access “Sounds” by right-clicking the speaker icon in the right-hand side of the taskbar and clicking “Sounds.” Check that everything works adequately.
If everything pans out just fine, but you’re still having no sound (and you’re absolutely sure that the volume isn’t set to “mute”), then you should consider the possibility that there is a physical issue such as a damaged speaker jack or damaged speakers.
Q: How can I share files with other computers within my local network?
A: First of all, you must ensure that all of your computers are connected to the same router. This puts them all within the same subnet. There are two ways to share information with other computers. You have the Workgroup method and the HomeGroup method.
The first method – the Workgroup method – involves joining all computers on the same workgroup. This gives them a unique place in the network to interact. By default, your operating system might put all of your computers in the MSHome workgroup. If you’d like to change the name, just right-click “Computer” in your Start menu and click “Properties.” Click “Advanced system settings” on this part of the window:
Once inside, click the “Computer Name” tab and click “Change.” The rest is self-explanatory. Do this to every computer in your network. Restart each computer after you’re done. To share a folder, right-click on it and click “Properties.” Once inside, click the “Sharing” tab and click “Advanced Sharing.” Click the checkbox next to “Share this folder” and click “Permissions.”
Allow the permissions you’d like other computers to have. “Full Control” will let them copy files onto the folder and read files present there. After you’re done with this, right-click the folder again and click “Share with.” Click “Specific people.” In the new window, type “Everyone” in the textbox and click “Add.” If you want the computers to have the ability to copy files to the folder, then click on the new item you just added and click “Read/Write.” That’s it!
I mentioned earlier a second option, called the HomeGroup method. To get the best information on this, you can read Microsoft’s guide on this. If you have another question on this, just come to the comments section and someone will help you as soon as possible.
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