Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Cure for Windows Update Error 66A

Shutting down for the night, I noticed that my 64-bit Vista machine had “Updates ready to install” for the 3rd night in a row.. which is a pretty good clue that at least one Update was failing to install.

So, I clicked on the Start button > All Programs > Windows Update > “View update history“.

Sure enough, in the “Status” column, I saw a “failed”.. on an Update named “Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (KB2160841)” (also applies to KB2446708).

So to find out what the problem was, I right-clicked > “View details”. What I am looking for is the “error code”.

I saw that the code in this case is 66A. Clicking “Get help with this error” led to several ‘solution’ suggestions – too many. So I will tell you the one that works for me.

Step 1) Click Start > Control Panel > Programs and features.

Step 2) Scroll down until you find Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile, and click on it, once, to “select” it (turn it blue), then click the Uninstall/Change menu button (above list).

Step 3) A new window will open. Make sure the “Repair” radio button is selected, and press “next”. The automatic repair may take a few minutes to complete.

Step 4) Return to Windows Update (as per Step 1) and make sure that only the “Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (KB2160841) is checked, and click “Retry” or “Install Updates”. Now the Update should succeed. If it doesn’t, get the “standalone” installer by clicking here and choose either 32 (x86) or 64 bit (x64) to match your system.

If that fails, I suggest calling Microsoft’s support number for free tech support (as this qualifies as a security issue) 1-866-PC-SAFETY.
(That’s right. Free. Microsoft provides free support for any safety/security related problem.)

* Orig post: 4/17/11

Free offer: Folks, I just noticed that on buy.com, you can get a free 6 months of CA’s (Computer Associates) antivirus + anti-spyware.. if you need some protection. Click here for details.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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July 18, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, security, tech, troubleshooting, Vista, Windows, Windows 7, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Fix Firefox “Initialize” Error

A reader asks how to cure a “could not initialize” error in Mozilla’s Firefox.

Q: Hey guys,

Recently I let Firefox update itself and now it has errors. It says it cannot open the security component and that I should check to make sure my disk is not full. My computer is new and has almost nothing on it yet, so I don’t see how this could be. Is there a way I can go back to my old Firefox. I do not want to use Internet Explorer as my son has told me it isn’t safe. Thanks!

A: Dear Reader,

Sorry to say there is no “guys”, there is only me. Without looking at your machine, mind you, I suspect two things: one, that the errors reads..

“Could not initialize the application’s security component. The most likely cause is problems with files in your application’s profile directory. Please check that this directory has no read/write restrictions and your hard drive is not full or close to full. It is recommended that you exit the application and fix the problem. If you continue to use this browser session, you might see incorrect application behavior when accessing certain security features.”

and, two, that a file necessary for Firefox to function correctly has become “corrupted”, and needs to be repaired/replaced.

1) Open Firefox  (use Firefox’s “Safe mode” if you have to) and from the menu bar, click on “Help” and then on “Troubleshooting Information

FF_help

2) Click on the “Open Containing Folder” button, and then scroll down until you can see the file cert8.

FF_help2

3) Right-click on the cert8 file, and click on “Properties”. Make sure the checkbox for “Read only” is not checked. If it is, uncheck it and click “OK”.

This should solve the problem, but if it doesn’t, or the checkbox was already unchecked, delete the cert8 file, and restart Firefox. When Firefox starts up again, it will automatically create a new, ‘correct’ cert8 file for you.

Firefox should now be working good as new, and.. that was not too tricky, was it?

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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February 4, 2011 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, Firefox, how to, Internet, PC, performance, software, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Troubleshooting Web Mail: JavaScript "Not Installed".

JavaScript Makes The Web Go ‘Round

I received a call for help with an e-mail problem. My client was getting errors when trying to access their webmail (online e-mail, such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail). Which had them quite upset, naturally, but was really no problem at all, and was quite easily fixed with a few clicks of the mouse.

My caller’s errors all referred to JavaScript – which is (short version) a programming language used extensively on the Internet; mostly to make Web pages dynamic and interactive with the viewer. Many websites rely on JavaScript to function, and Gmail and Hotmail do too.

My caller’s computer was suddenly saying that JavaScript was “not installed”, but in reality, all that had happened was it had been somehow inadvertently “disabled” (aka “turned off”), and needed to be switched on again.

Tip of the day: To fix this type of error, enable (or, re-enable) JavaScript in your Web browser.
1) Open Internet Explorer and in the upper right find the gray gear icon “Tools” menu. Click it, and then click on “Internet Options

2) Now a new window will open. Click on the “Security” tab (top), as shown below.
IESec_Opts

3) Click the “Custom level…” button.

4) Use the slider to scroll down the list of options until you come to “Active scripting“, as shown below.
IESec_Opts_Scrpt

5) Click on the “Enable” (or “Prompt“, if you want to be able to choose when to allow JavaScript, and have the ability to deny it) ‘radio’ button, and then click on OK, twice.

6) Close Internet Explorer and then re-launch (aka “Open”) it again.

Now JavaScript (should be) is enabled and functioning and you can surf the Web and access Webmail as you had before. Problem solved!

[note: if you found that JavaScript was already enabled, please see Internet Explorer Runtime Error!!*. I have several other how to’s on repairing your browser as well, should you need further guidance. Enter “error”, or “repair” in my Search box.]


*** A Chance To Win A Valuable Prize! ***


The folks at SYNCING.NET have generously donated six Professional Edition licenses to me, to award to my readers. SYNCING.NET is a Business Class program which enables users to sync their Microsoft Outlook data on multiple computers.

To enter the drawing, please see: Software License Giveaway: SYNCING.NET
Enter my current giveaway and (possibly) win a license!

Today’s free download: Trillian Astra
More than three years in the making, Trillian is back with a slight name change and a slew of new features. The chat client now supports Google, MySpace IM, Skype, and Facebook, as well as AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, and IRC. It  has both POP3 and IMAP e-mail checking.
Trillian now has deep hooks into Facebook and Twitter. It will automatically shorten URLs in your tweets, as well as allow direct messages, re-tweets, and replies. Twitter Trends can show up in your contact list, and you can get tweets to appear in Tooltip form. Facebook features include news feed integration, Facebook Inbox checking, and synchronized message updating in addition to Facebook IM.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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May 18, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, how to, IE 7, ie 8, software, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Error: JavaScript Not Installed

JavaScript Makes The Web Go Round

I received a call for help with an e-mail problem. The caller was getting errors when trying to access their webmail (online e-mail, such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail). Which had them quite upset, naturally, but was really no problem at all, and was quite easily fixed with a few clicks of the mouse.

My caller’s errors all referred to JavaScript – which is (short version) a programming language used extensively on the Internet; mostly to make Web pages dynamic and interactive with the viewer. Many websites rely on JavaScript to function, and Gmail and Hotmail do too.

My caller’s computer was suddenly saying that JavaScript was “not installed”, but in reality, all that had happened was it had been somehow inadvertently “disabled” (aka “turned off”), and needed to be switched on again.

Tip of the day: enable (or, re-enable) JavaScript in your Web browser.
1) Open Internet Explorer and in the upper right find the gray gear icon “Tools” menu. Click it, and then click on “Internet Options

2) Now a new window will open. Click on the “Security” tab (top), as shown below.
IESec_Opts

3) Click the “Custom level…” button.

4) Use the slider to scroll down the list of options until you come to “Active scripting“, as shown below.
IESec_Opts_Scrpt

5) Click on the “Enable” ‘radio’ button, and then click on OK, twice.

6) Close Internet Explorer and then re-launch (aka “Open”) it again.

Now JavaScript (should be) is enabled and functioning and you can surf the Web and access Webmail as you had before. Problem solved!

[note: if you found that JavaScript was already enabled, please see Internet Explorer Runtime Error!!*. I have several other how to’s on repairing your browser as well, should you need further guidance. Enter “error”, or “repair” in my Search box.]

Today’s free link: Technology We’ll Miss When It’s Gone
As tech speeds inexorably forward, many gadgets and services will be left in heaps on the roadside. Problem is, we’ll truly miss some of them.” (This is a rather astute op-ed.. and a fun read.)

Today’s free download: Trillian Astra
More than three years in the making, Trillian is back with a slight name change and a slew of new features. The chat client now supports Google, MySpace IM, Skype, and Facebook, as well as AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, and IRC. It  has both POP3 and IMAP e-mail checking.
Trillian now has deep hooks into Facebook and Twitter. It will automatically shorten URLs in your tweets, as well as allow direct messages, re-tweets, and replies. Twitter Trends can show up in your contact list, and you can get tweets to appear in Tooltip form. Facebook features include news feed integration, Facebook Inbox checking, and synchronized message updating in addition to Facebook IM.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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Technology We’ll Miss When It’s Gone

As tech speeds inexorably forward, many gadgets and services will be left in heaps on the roadside. Problem is, we’ll truly miss some of them.

January 30, 2010 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, e-mail, how to, IE 7, ie 8, Internet, Microsoft, software, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Internet/E-mail Troubleshooting – JavaScript

JavaScript Makes The Web Go Round

This weekend I received a call for help with an e-mail problem. The person was getting errors when trying to access their webmail (online e-mail, such as Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail). Which had them quite upset naturally, but was really no problem at all, and was quite easily fixed with a few clicks of the mouse.

My caller’s errors all referred to JavaScript – which is (short version) a programming language used extensively on the Internet; mostly to make Web pages dynamic and interactive with the viewer. Many websites rely on JavaScript to function, and Gmail and Hotmail do too.

My caller’s computer was saying that JavaScript was “not installed”, but in reality, all that had happened was it had been somehow inadvertently “disabled” (aka “turned off”), and needed to be switched on again.

Tip of the day: enable (or, re-enable) JavaScript in your Web browser.
1) Open Internet Explorer and in the upper right find the gray gear icon “Tools” menu. Click it, and then click on “Internet Options

2) Now a new window will open. Click on the “Security” tab (top), as shown below.
IESec_Opts

3) Click the “Custom level…” button.

4) Use the slider to scroll down the list of options until you come to “Active scripting“, as shown below.
IESec_Opts_Scrpt

5) Click on the “Enable” ‘radio’ button, and then click on OK, twice.

6) Close Internet Explorer and then re-launch (aka “Open”) it again.

Now JavaScript (should be) is enabled and functioning and you can surf the Web and access Webmail as you had before. Problem solved!

Today’s free download: Trillian Astra
More than three years in the making, Trillian is back with a slight name change and a slew of new features. The chat client now supports Google, MySpace IM, Skype, and Facebook, as well as AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, and IRC. It  has both POP3 and IMAP e-mail checking.
Trillian now has deep hooks into Facebook and Twitter. It will automatically shorten URLs in your tweets, as well as allow direct messages, re-tweets, and replies. Twitter Trends can show up in your contact list, and you can get tweets to appear in tooltip form. Facebook features include news feed integration, Facebook Inbox checking, and synchronized message updating in addition to Facebook IM.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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October 5, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, how to, IE 7, Internet, PC, software, tech, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Boot Error– "Unexpected Interrupt In Protected Mode"

If you turn on your computer and Windows fails to load to your Desktop, but instead displays the following error message, Unexpected Interrupt In Protected Mode, there are a couple of things that might be happening. Here are some troubleshooting steps which you can try to get your machine up and running again.

First, try rebooting your machine. If that doesn’t “cure” it, keep reading.

Causes: causes for this particular error message may be hardware-related: a failed or failing motherboard, or failing (or over-heating) CPU, or it may be related to a corrupted BIOS. Since the hardware issues most likely will require replacement parts and/or a trip to the shop, lets first tackle the BIOS possibility.

What is a “BIOS”? Your computer’s BIOS is a very basic set of instructions that tells your machine where to look for a keyboard and mouse and an operating system. It runs when your machine is first powered on. To make changes in the BIOS, you’re going to interrupt the boot process before Windows loads, so you need to use a keyboard that is plugged into the PS/2 port on the back of the machine, and not a wireless one. 

1) Reboot your machine, and get ready to act quickly. Very early you will see a little bit of text that says, “hit F2* to enter setup.” (*Different manufacturers use different keys– F2 is the most common, but it may be the Esc key, Del, or F10. Refer to your computer builder’s website if you cannot determine which key to press.) Rapidly hit the suggested key several times, and enter “Setup” — this is your BIOS control panel.

2) Look to the bottom of the screen for Setup’s menu choices. Now look for the Function Key choice that will reset the BIOS to its default configuration. This is frequently the F5 key, but it may be F6.. In the screenshot above, look to the lower right: for this BIOS, it is F5 we want. “Setup Defaults”.

3) Save and Exit the Setup utility, and reboot. (In the sample BIOS, that’s the F10 key. But you may have to hit Esc, an then answer “Yes” to the Save? question. It varies.)

If resetting the BIOS to its defaults does not restore Windows functionality, I recommend you take your machine in to a qualified tech who can determine the hardware issues.
If it did restore it, you want to ask yourself what caused the BIOS corruption? Usually the answer is a recently installed program, or malware– be sure to run an antivirus scan.

Today’s free link: from Uniblue. Scan, backup, and Update your PC’s drivers. Folks– I have only just now used this new tool. I learned of it from Bill Mullins, who is as reliable a source as I have ever run across. To read his review, click here. This is a 30-day free trial, which normally would disqualify it from being posted here, but I am impressed enough to make this one-time exception.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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August 29, 2008 Posted by | advice, BIOS, computers, how to, PC, troubleshooting, Windows | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

View PowerPoint presentations without Office

I was reminded of this “quick tip” topic while I was doing research for an upcoming Tech–for Everyone article, and the information I wanted to read was contained in a PowerPoint slideshow (aka “presentation”) archive, available online.. a “.ppt” file.

Normally, this is no problem: you click on the “view” hyperlink; are asked if you want to “Open” or “Save” the file (since all I wanted to do was read it, I chose “open”). Here is where I was reminded that the machine I was surfing on was new and did not have Office installed — “Windows cannot open this file:”

You may have seen a window like this in your computer career…

error.JPG(My article on what to do to resolve this can be read here.)

Fortunately, a quick visit to the Microsoft Download Center is all that’s required to enable my machine to view PowerPoint Presentations (and cool slides of airshows).

Tip of the day/Today’s free link: If you are not using the Microsoft Office suite of programs, download and install the free PowerPoint Viewer 2007.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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June 30, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, PC, tech, troubleshooting, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments