Stories by Chris Byers

How to fix speech recognition in Windows 7

QUESTION Speech recognition will no longer load on my Windows 7 PC. Unless I first switch off User Account Control, I get the error message: 'C:\Windows\Speech\Common\sapisvr.exe. A referral was returned from the server'. According to my online resea...

Convert DVDs to play on a WDTV box

QUESTION: I need some advice about video conversion. Using DivX, a WDTV Live drive and a large hard drive, I've copied my entire DVD collection to disk. I've been reading about the H.264 format, however, which apparently retains the same quality at a...

Connect a graphics card to your PC's PSU

QUESTION: I bought an ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics card, but my motherboard doesn't recognise it. When I plug the monitor cable into the graphics card, the screen goes blank; when I put the monitor cable back into the onboard graphics card slot, the s...

How to find lost iTunes files

Question: When I got my PC back after being repaired, everything that was on it before was still there, except iTunes. I'm worried I'll lose the playlists on my 30GB Apple iPod classic if I plug it into my PC after reinstalling iTunes.

Initialise your PC's microphone

QUESTION: My Windows 7 PC plays audio through headphones but is unable to pick up sound from them. I've got a Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi card and a Logitech USB phone/microphone. The drivers are up to date.

How to restore an iPhone

QUESTION I've bought a number of apps for my Apple iPhone via iTunes and the App Store. To avoid draining the battery by downloading apps directly to the handset, I'd like to connect my iPhone to my Windows XP PC using USB and transfer them over. How...

How to get more from a quad-core PC

QUESTION: My Windows 7 Home Premium computer has a quad-core processor and 4GB of RAM. I've not found any advantage to using four cores. How can I use the processor more effectively and allocate different processes to the individual cores?

Run multiple security software products

QUESTION: I've been told that I shouldn't have more than one antivirus program running on my PC. Can I use both McAfee and Microsoft Anti-Spyware (or another spyware application), for example? I want to be extra safe online, and I know that security ...

Install Microsoft Fix it Center

QUESTION: I get an error message when trying to install Microsoft Fix It Center on my Windows XP Service Pack 3 PC. It reads: 'Detail: The remote name could not be resolved: go.microsoft.com'.

How to choose who sees your photos on Facebook

QUESTION: I signed up for a Facebook account and uploaded some photos to my profile. I was soon contacted out of the blue by someone I didn't want to hear from and who I didn't know could see my photos and profile. I've been told that I should stop u...

How to use your TV as a monitor

Question: I often use my TV as a second monitor for giving presentations. My Windows 7 laptop normally operates at a 1920x1080 resolution, but changes to 1360x768 when I connect the TV.

Fix Backup & Restore when it won't start

QUESTION: When I try to start the Backup & Restore utility on my new hard drive I get the error message: 'The backup application could not start due to an internal error -- Server execution failed (0x800800005)'. Thomas Milne

Find drivers for your hard drive

QUESTION: I backed up my Windows XP PC to a portable hard drive. This drive appears in Device Manager and Disk Management, but not in My Computer. My Creative sound system failed at the same time. The Hardware Wizard was unable to locate new drivers ...

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PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

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