Back to Courier Columns Page

ACCESSING THE INTERNET
by Ray Carlson


Q: Recently, my computer would not connect to the Internet. In a previous column, you suggested going to Google and seeing if anyone resolved a similar problem. What can I do if I cannot connect to the Internet? I use Windows 7.

A: The simplest answer is to use the "Help and Support" information installed as part of your operating system. Click on the Start button and then on that topic. Next, select "Browse Help Topics" and you will see Networking and Internet as two of the choices listed. Those topics will offer ideas about connecting, but Microsoft realizes that those answers might be too general and/or confusing. As an alternative, they have developed "Microsoft Fix-It Portable." This program can be downloaded to your computer and will check a variety of settings and details. The program focuses on your actual computer and generates a list of problems without you having to understand what is happening.

If you have more than one computer, you can download the program to a USB drive and use it with whichever computer is giving difficulty. From the USB drive, click on Launch Fix-it.exe, and you will get a list of topics that can be checked. Click the title of the troubleshooter that is closest to your problem. The software will check to see what might be wrong and offer to fix the problem if it involves a setting that needs to be changed or something that needs to be updated. You will be told about any problems it locates and asked if you want the program to make any recommended changes. One negative is that it only looks at issues with Microsoft programs or system problems. For example, in checking on Internet connections, it checks Internet Explorer but not other browsers like Google Chrome or Firefox. It is also limited in size and won't check as much as Microsoft’s online Solution Center, but it can be a rapid way to locate and fix common problems.

Published: Courier 10/21/12 - Page 3C