Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Most computers come now with SD flash drives readers so that you can plug in your camera SD drives directly to the computer and transfer your pictures.

Somehow all of a sudden these readers do not show at all in your Windows Explorer under "Computer",  the end result being, you are not able to see the content of your SD drives.

Do not ask me why this happens, I really do not know. Windows will many times perform in strange ways that are difficult to understand.

A friend of mine called me last Sunday for help: "George I cannot check my camera's SD chip in my new computer SD reader. I've tried everything to no result".

I happen to know some little secrets about Windows strange surprises such as this one, because I have helped other people with the same problem. How do i know this? well it is simple to explain, I do a lot of investigation on the internet , forums etc. when I don't know the answer to a problem; I keep doing it until I find the answer.

If you have a problem with your SD reader such as the above do the following:

Click "Start", go to Control Panel and select the "Appearance and Personalization" title.

Now select "Folder Options" sub title.

On the "Folder Options" box click the "View" tab.

Scroll down until you see the option " Hide empty drives in the computer folder".

Uncheck the small square box on the left of this option.

Click "apply" and then "OK".

And voila ! now your SD reader is back in business.

George Freire

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Of course, most of you have heard or used, (with or without success), Windows "System Restore". This application has been available since Windows XP. If properly used it can solve a lot of creepy problems that can happen to your computer, caused by programs updates, viruses, bad programs installations etc. etc.

All of a sudden you try to boot your computer and nothing happens, blue screen, black screen or even worse... If you know how to use "System Restore" properly you might be able to solve most of these problems, however, sometimes it is exasperating to get it right.

Before I tell you the best way to get this application to work right, just consider that it can be used two ways: if you are able to boot your computer, fine and OK but if you cannot, you still can use it in "Safe Mode". I assume you all know how to boot in "Safe Mode", but if not, it is very easy: "restart the computer and immediately tap...tap F8. The computer will go into several gyrations and when finished will give different choices to open. Choose "Safe Mode" and wait until it boots completely.

How does it work? Your computer will automatically create "restore points" whenever a new program is downloaded and installed, when programs are updated and many other situations.

When you use "System Restore", your computer virtually goes back to the restore point you select, (a date and time prior to the moment your troubles started), and should be back to business as usual. This sounds simple enough, however problems can just pop up and you get a message such as "your computer cannot be restored to your selected restore point".

Now here is the easy way to get to "System Restore" either on regular boot or "Safe Mode" boot:

1- Click "Start/Control Panel/System Security and on the top  right search box, type "system". A new box will open. The first title in that box is "System". Under "System" go down until you see "Restore system files and settings from a restore point".

2- A "System Restore" box will open. Read the instructions and click "next" on bottom right.

3- A new box opens with a top title " Restore your computer to the state it was before the selected event" Under that there will be a chart showing at least one restore point, with date and time and description of the restore point. Below the chart, on the bottom left, there is a square box with the title "Show more store points".

4- Check that box and immediately the chart fills up with several restore points that have been created in the past several weeks or even months.

5- Make sure that you select a restore point with date and time prior to the moment you started having problems. I normally select a date and time in the previous day. Click "Next" and the computer will start the restoring operation. It will restart and stop etc. just let it go until the whole process is finished.

6- The computer will be restored to the point you have selected and any traces of whatever programs or updates installed after the selected restore point that caused your headaches will vanish.

"System Restore" does not affect any of your documents, pictures or any other personal data; however, recently installed programs and drivers will be uninstalled.This process is reversible, in case it does not work right.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to post  comment.

I hope this will be of help to some of you.

George Freire