Welcome back to another segment of “Ask a Windows Expert,” where you ask the questions and we get a Windows techie to answer your inquiries! This is our 12th week running, and it’s been an epic three months, with questions filling our inbox every day. If you would like to submit your own question, just click on the “Ask Our Experts Now!” button on the right-hand side of any page of this website and, if your question is understandable and related, we light the midnight oil until we have an answer for you! Now, let’s get started with some of this week’s questions.
Q: Every time I insert a CD or DVD in my drive, I see a file named “desktop.ini.” Am I infected with a virus?
A: Don’t worry about the “desktop.ini” file. If you have enabled the viewing of hidden files and folders, then you’ll see this file in your DVD drive. The “desktop.ini” file is made to to establish what kind of icon to display for the drive itself. It links the DVD drive to a certain resource every time you open the “My Computer” or “Computer” window. Don’t believe me? Check out my results when I search for “desktop.ini” in my computer:
Q: I tried the advice from this article, regarding video compression, but I’m getting horrible resolutions once I see the uploaded video on the website’s media player. What can I do to correct this?
A: First of all, the advice on the article is good enough. The article suggests a method that changes the algorithm with which the video is rendered, lowering the frame rate and resolution effectively so as not to sacrifice too much quality. I don’t think that the article shows you a method that will result in a bad resolution. With all that said, I need to know what video service you use, since there are two possibilities:
- The video service requires action from you to specify not to compress the video you upload, or
- The video service simply isn’t competent.
If the latter is true, you should try something like YouTube or Vimeo for uploading your files. If you’re concerned about privacy, you can always make the video private or unlisted, so that it won’t be accessible to the general public.
Q: Is there any way to send text from a web page to OneNote?
A: Sure! Today, we are seeing an insurgence of applications for almost every single task humanly possible. If there isn’t one, there’s probably going to be one next month. As the saying goes: If you can think it, there’s an app for that. You can find a list of browser extensions for OneNote here. Come back if you have any problems using them, and we’ll discuss this with you in the comments section!
Q: How do I remove write protection from a pen/USB drive?
A: Write protection isn’t something native to a USB drive. This must be operating system-based. Try opening the USB drive on another computer or a brand new computer. You should be able to access your files there. If you still experience write protection on another computer, you should scan the USB drive for viruses. Usually, malware does this when it wants to infect multiple computers that host the USB drive. Make sure you don’t plug the USB drive into any more computers after that. There are a ton of issues that could arise if you go around infecting computers with your media.
If you experienced write protection only on one computer, and the USB drive worked fine on the others, then you’ll have to disable USB write protection on the computer’s registry. Open your Start menu and type “regedit,” then press “Enter.” Using the left pane of the registry editor window that comes up, navigate to
On the right-side of the window, change the value of “WriteProtect” to “0.” This will remove the policy that affects your USB drive on your computer.
Q: Can I set up an LG E900 phone as a WiFi hotspot?
A: Because of limitations in the phone’s hardware, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to pull this off. I’m sorry. There seems to be no viable way to do this. The phone is meant to be a WiFi client.
Q: After finishing an update, my computer restarted and the screen became blurry. I tried updating video drivers, and this didn’t solve the problem. Got any suggestions?
A: Sure! Do you know the native resolution of your monitor? This typically happens when you’re not using any proportion of the native resolution, particularly in wide-screen monitors. The update might have screwed up your resolution and given you a 4:3 resolution or something that doesn’t correspond to the monitor’s aspect ratio. If you have a widescreen monitor, chances are your aspect ratio is 16:9.
Once you figure out your monitor’s native resolution, configure Windows’ display resolution to that number.
Monitors that are tuned to run on particular resolutions aren’t often friendly to other resolutions because of the way in which they display pixels. The data entering through the display cable tells them to run something on a part of the grid that isn’t noted on the screen, making the image appear blurred. If you continue having problems, hit the comments section!
Q: I have a child who built his own computer and I’d like to know whether I can control the amount of time he spends on the Web. How can I do this without an administrator account?
A: Unfortunately, it’s not really possible to install such a solution without an administrative account on the computer. Without administrative privileges, the program will only be able to affect the current user account. You could try discussing with your young one directly and attempting to come up with a proactive and diplomatic middle ground. There’s nothing else you can really do except buy a router with such a function or cut the power to the computer after a certain amount of time.
The best solution to forcibly enforce parental controls is to buy a router with these capabilities like the iBoss Home Parental Control router. The product can be bought here. This router works with up to three computers. If you would like something with a bit more muscle, try doing some shopping on family-friendly computer equipment stores.
That’s a Wrap!
If you have any further questions, submit them through the above-mentioned button. If you have questions about the answers given here, hit us up in the comments section and we’ll come up with an answer as quickly as we can.