Welcome to another segment of Ask a Windows Expert, where we gather your questions about Windows and the hardware running it from our inbox and answer them all in our weekly digest. If you feel like applications are too confusing, got a curiosity about something Windows-based, or have problems with the operating system, why not join Ask a Windows Expert? It’s free support, after all! To zip a question to us, click on the “Ask Our Experts Now!” button on the right side of this page and we’ll likely answer it in the next week’s segment! Now, let’s get to the questions we’ve had so far.
Q: How do I back up my email address book? I tried using WinDataReflector.
A: While WinDataReflector is a good application for backing up information on your computer, I often advise against using third-party software to back up something if you already have the possibility to do it within the very application you use for email.
It would be nice if you told us what kind of email software you use, and whether it’s web-based or desktop. That would help you get a clearer answer to your question. If you use Outlook, have a look at this tutorial for backing up your contacts.
Q: I’m writing a .NET application that connects to a Sybase database via ODBC. What drivers do I need to make this happen?
A: You can check out this page which has a decent ODBC driver usable with Sybase ASE 12.5, 15, and Express. Of course, if you use another version of Sybase, we’ll have to link you to something else.
Q: If I do a fresh install of Windows, how much percentage of CPU will the processes use, and what processes does it run?
A: Well, this depends on what version of Windows you install. A fresh copy of Windows 7, for example, will run a number of services and processes that are essential to Aero, Windows Explorer, and other things like Internet connectivity. You really should not trouble yourself too much with this. If you have a computer with a dual-core processor, you should worry more about how much memory (RAM) a fresh install would use.
Usually, I’d recommend for you to have at least 4 GB of DDR3 RAM on your computer to run Windows 7 in 64-bit mode, along with at least an Intel Celeron Dual Core CPU. The “Core” series (i.e. i3, i5, and i7) are much more suggestible for running the operating system fluidly, depending on what you plan to do with it. I can’t give you a straight answer on CPU percentage as some computers might have near-zero levels and others will run Windows with a minimum of 10% of CPU power.
Here’s what my laptop, a Dell Latitude D630 with 2 GB of DDR2 RAM and an Intel Core2Duo processor, uses when running Windows on an “almost” fresh installation:
As you can see, with an x86 (32-bit) variation of Windows, it doesn’t use that much altogether. You’ll notice 1 GB of RAM usage and 0% nominal CPU usage.
Q: Whenever I log in, I see my password entered already. How can I configure my computer not to show the password? This happens even after I changed it.
A: First of all, it’s not clear whether you’re talking about your operating system’s login or your login to a certain website. This kind of thing happens more frequently when you or someone who uses your computer tells the browser (intentionally or by accident) to remember a password. To remove stored passwords, you’ll have to go into the settings of the browser you use.
Here’s one tutorial for Firefox and here’s one for Google Chrome. It would be helpful if you were more specific about which browser you use. If I didn’t address your particular browser, leave a comment below this article.
As far as Windows login is concerned, I haven’t seen something like this happen before. If you’re seeing your password already entered in the Windows login screen, I think you should scan the computer for any malware. Most likely, it’s a malware-related problem.
Q: What do I do if I get an error message from Windows Live Movie Maker saying that UXCore.dll is missing from my computer?
A: UXCore is an essential component of the Windows Live suite offered by Microsoft. If the program cannot find it, perhaps you have a faulty installation. Try uninstalling the application and reinstalling it again. This kind of thing happens to some people and there’s a sufficient amount of material on it.
Q: I can’t install Windows because my BIOS doesn’t see the DVD drive, but I see it in “Computer.”
A: This often happens with external DVD drives. Try an internally installed one. If you already have an internally installed DVD drive, try switching over to another one. Sometimes, the BIOS isn’t aware because of the way the DVD drive communicates with the computer. The BIOS requests information from every piece of hardware from your computer. If, at that time, a piece of hardware doesn’t respond, it’s not included.
Q: Every time I try to access my “D” volume on the computer, it tells me that I need to format it. How can I solve this problem?
A: I think that your “D” drive is a recovery partition that came with the PC. Sometimes, computer manufacturers lock up these drives, making them inaccessible unless you’re going to recover your computer for some reason or another. Does your partitioning schema look like this?
Basically, any partition that has less than 20 GB that came with your computer could be a recovery partition.
There’s also another possibility that the volume exists, but wasn’t formatted. You still need to write a file system onto it because all you managed to do so far was create the volume. If you’d like to do that, search “Computer Management” in your Start menu and find “Disk Management.” There, you’ll have all the tools you need to complete this phase.
Got Any Other Questions?
We’re always happy to get more inquiries from our readers. Click the “Ask Our Experts Now!” button on the right side of this page to contact us with a question. Make sure it’s relevant to Windows or the hardware that runs it. Have a great day!