Coly Computer Help

Internet Problems

If you need to re-enter your internet details: click here to see how to do this.

Cannot access a website: I often receive calls for help because people cannot access a particular website. I usually find that they have entered the address into a search engine's Search field instead of internet Explorer's Address field.

No internet access on a new computer? If you use dial-up for your internet/emails (i.e. you are not on broadband) and you cannot access the internet, you may have forgotten to order a modem with your new computer. Dial up modems are no longer fitted as standard, they are an optional extra.
When the modem is not installed, people try putting the phone line into the network socket which of course does not work.
The modem socket hole is 1cm wide and inside it you will see 2 or 4 brass contacts. The word Line will be stamped alongside the modem socket. The network socket is wider and has 8 brass contacts inside. Stamped alongside the network socket you will see 3 little rectangles linked together. If you forgot to order a modem you will need to have one fitted, the component cost is between £7 and £12. Alternatively, you could buy an external dial-up modem which plugs into a USB port.

If you have upgraded to Internet Explorer version 7 or 8 and the internet pages now look bold and blurry, Internet Explorer has re-set itself to show Clear Type. This is ideal for TFT screens (Thin Flat screens) but does not work on CRT screens (bulky like a television ). Conversely, if the text on your TFT screen looks blurred you need to set it to Clear type as follows:-
For TFT screens:
Click Start-->Control Panel. Then double click the Display icon. Click the tab labelled Appearance. Click Effects .
Select Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts.
Make sure that Clear Type is ticked.

For CRT screens: Using the above method, make sure that Clear Typ e is NOT ticked. Then set Internet Explorer so that it uses the same un-blurred text as Windows; in Internet Explorer , click Tools on the top menu, click Internet Options then the Advanced tab. Scroll down to Mutimedia.
Un-tick the box next to Always use Clear Type for HTML. Click OK .

Internet Explorer version 8 is excellent. The gold padlock for secure sites (such as your on-line bank) does not appear on the bottom status bar. Microsoft has relocated the padlock to the right of the Address field (where it should have been in the first place).

Your recent web address list has vanished when you click the little down-arrow to the right of the Address field. These addresses are known as MRUs (Most Recently Used). Your anti-spyware has spotted these during a scan and flagged them as non-critical items. If you asked the anti-spyware to remove them they will vanish from your Address field. To stop them vanishing, next time you scan for spies, do not opt to remove non-critical items such as MRUs.

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Adrian West  © 2007 computer help, problems solved

A West web design  click here for an example

Can't get on line to use the email/Internet? Check your 1571 answer phone, you may have a call waiting. Dial 1571 on your telephone, listen to all your answer phone messages and save any important ones. Now your modem should connect successfully.

No Dial Tone: nine times out of ten this is due to a faulty connection between the modem and the telephone wall socket. If the modem is connected to a telephone extension, then the extension wire may be the problem, sometimes it is a loose wire inside the wall socket. 

The Page cannot be Displayed. If you see this instead of the internet page you were expecting, don't assume that the problem is yours. If the computer connects to the internet but refuses to show pages, the problem is not at your end. If you typed the internet address correctly then the problem is the fault of the ISP. It is temporarily out of action. Don't fiddle with your settings.

If you wait for an hour or two (or even day) the ISP usually sorts out the problem. If after a day or so you are still not able to load internet pages, you will need to complain to the ISP. One sure test is to ask a friend or technician to add his/her internet access details to your computer and then try accessing pages. If this is successful, tell the ISP's help line and ask for the fault to be corrected at their end. Don't forget to delete the friend's account from your computer.

Sometimes the ISP is down for a while due to a massive spam attack, or because some urgent ISP maintenance is needed.

The dreaded BT Landing page. If you are on dial-up pay-as-you-go and BT is your ISP (Internet Service Provider), you will sometimes be confronted with an Intelligent Landing Page instead of your home page. This means that BT have messed up your settings at the BT end. You will then be instructed to follow certain steps to correct BT’s problem. In my experience, these steps never work, and anyway I think that BT has a colossal cheek asking you to fix errors which BT created. If you complain to BT by email you will receive a five page diatribe describing how kind BT is in allowing you to put its system right.

Whatever you do, don’t start altering the settings on your computer. If you wait, sometimes for an hour or even a day or two, the fault at BT will correct itself. When that irritating Landing Page appears I always have another pay-as-you-go ISP to fall back on. One advantage of dial-up is that you can have several ISPs and several email addresses. Because of this Landing Page, all but one of my clients who used BT asked me to change their ISP from BT to a better ISP. When these clients eventually switched to broadband they naturally went with the new ISP.

No dial-up panel appears when you start up Internet Explorer. Click File, if Work off line is ticked, click Work Offline to remove the tick. Then click the Go button on the right of Internet Explorer's Address field.

Your Home Page has mysteriously changed: or it is a blank white page. This usually means your browser has been hijacked by a spy program. These dodgy pages sometimes pretend to be anti-virus or anti-spy home pages. The new home page will contain dangerous links and if you click the links you could download viruses and Trojans. To solve a Hijack problem click here.


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