Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly

Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly
Issue #915
Volume 18 Number 25
April 23, 2021

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly Issue #915. Thank you very much for subscribing and for being a part of our Cloudeight family. We appreciate your friendship and support very much!  Please share our newsletters and our Website with your friends and family.

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Ann has a hard drive and it may have failed
I have been using a Seagate external drive for backups for some time now, never experienced any difficulty until I purchased the new computer with Windows 10 installed. Now the computer is not recognizing the external drive. Disk management shows a 0 not allocated.

I have tried finding help on the web but so complicated I hope you can assist me. I have contacted Seagate, but they have decided that the drive may be damaged, but I can't figure how that could possibly have happened. It was just a matter of plugging it into the new computer. I have tried numerous USB ports on the PC. The drive must be alive, it is sending out a shrill sound like a busy phone sound and the green light is on. This is a very expensive piece of hardware not to be able to use, hope you can assist. Look forward to a reply. Ann

Our answer
Hi Ann. I agree with Seagate - when you said the drive "must be alive, it is sending out a shrill sound like a busy phone sound..." tells me that the drive has failed. External drives don't make any sound at all - at least none I've ever had.

When a hard drive fails, sometimes you get no warning. If you were using it and it was formatted, and it was good, it would show up in Disk Management with space used and space unused.

At one time external drives were very expensive, but they've become much more reasonable. You can buy a good 2TB external hard drive for around $60. See this Seagate 2 TB external hard drive for about $60.

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Suzanne wants a Gmail shortcut on her desktop & she wants Cloudie also
A few newsletters back you told us how to put an icon for Gmail and Cloudie the dragon on the desktop. Now I cannot find those instructions. Can you help me? Thank you for your help and keep up the good work.

Our answer
Hi Suzanne. We haven't featured either of these in my recent memory. But I'll try to help you to do both.

You can put the Cloudie icon on your desktop by creating a shortcut to any of our Cloudeight pages.

1. Right-click on your desktop

2. Click "New" > "Shortcut"

3. Under "Type the location of the item" type the URL to any of our pages. For example:  (our Tips & Tricks site) or (our Start page).

Then, click "Next".

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Under "Type a name for this shortcut" you can use whatever you like that will help you recognize it, for instance, Cloudeight Tips & Tricks or Cloudeight Start Page. Then click "Finish".

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And when you're done, you'll have a shortcut with Cloudie on your desktop.

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Now, let's do the Gmail Shortcut

Here's the correct way to create a Gmail shortcut on your taskbar.

If after you create a shortcut to Gmail on your taskbar, you still feel you need a desktop shortcut to Gmail, do this:

1.  Right-click on the Gmail taskbar shortcut you created by following the instructions in our tutorial.

2.  Right-click on "Gmail" in the menu that appears, then click "Pin to Start".

3.  Open your Start menu, find Gmail, and right-click on it. Click on "More" then choose "Open File Location"

4.  Right-click the Gmail shortcut and choose "Send to > Desktop (Create shortcut)".

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We hope this helps you, Suzanne.

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Jean can't open certain common file types
Help! I cannot open files with the following extensions: rtf, txt, eml, doc. I can open pdf, jpg. This is the first occasion of this. Your help would be greatly appreciated. I have a lot of files. I don't want to lose them.

Our answer
Hi Jean. Not being able to open certain file types does not mean you're about to lose those files. It means you don't have a program associated with these file types. Most likely you installed something that took over those file associations and then you uninstalled that program.

In File Explorer, you can right-click on any file and choose "Open with" and browse to a program that can open that file type. For example:

RTF files are Rich Text files - you can open them with WordPad or MS Word or almost any word processor you have installed.

TXT files are Text files and by default open with Notepad.

EML files are email files - if you don't have an email program like OE Classic, Thunderbird, or another email program installed you won't be able to open these. You'll need to install a program that can open EML files.

DOC is the old Microsoft Word document extension. (Newer Word documents have the DOCX extension.). You can open doc files with Word, Open Office, Libre Office, or even WordPad.

An easier way to do this is set file associations in Settings > Apps > Default apps and click on "Choose default apps by file type". Everything there is in alphabetical order.

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Euan has problems with the Google Calendar
I have all of my family's birthdays recorded into my Google calendar. However, when their times arrive, they are never entered in to my Gmail inbox to say that it is their day. It always says, "You have no events scheduled today......". How can I get the birthday names to appear on their conversation days to remind me that it is? Many, many thanks. Euan.

Our answer
Hi Euan. Have you followed all the tips from Google on how to get notifications from the Google Calendar?

See this Google help page.

We hope this helps get things working again for you.

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Cheri has plenty of printer problems
Hi TC & EB. Since receiving an update in Dec or Jan I am having trouble with my HP Printer. After completing a printing job that item stays in queue where it shows it is deleting. So, I go on to something else to print but it is just added on to waiting to print. The older item is still there showing that it is being deleted. This stays this way until I stop Printer Spool, go to Windows System 32, find Spool, then open Printers and there the older items along with the waiting item to print. I have to delete all these and go back to Printer Spool to restart. I have to do this after printing job in order to print something else.

I made sure printer is up to date which it says it is with all correct drivers installed. This printer is set to use over WiFi for all my devices to use to print. Same thing happens when using any of these devices. Went to HP for a solution. Suggested to make a shortcut to close, clean and then restart printer spool. Does not clear the spool in Windows 32. Any ideas for.

Our answer
Hi Cheri. I'm not a printer expert. All I know about printers is what I've learned over 20 years of using them. But one thing I found that always works with any brand of printer and almost all printer problems is completely removing the printer and installing it just like you would it if were a new printer.

First turn the printer off then (unplug it from its power source). Then, remove it from the computer using "Settings" > "Devices" > "Printers & scanners" by clicking on the printer and then click "Remove device". Restart your computer. Reinstall the printer exactly like you did when you first got it. If you don't have the installation software - no problem. Since you have an HP printer you can download the installation software package from HP's software and driver pages.

We hope this helps, Cheri.

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Sheryl wants to create a Windows 10 system restore point
Hi. My question is how to I make a system restore point? I've tried to follow the directions I've found online, and they do not work for me. Can you help?

Our answer
Hi Sheryl. To start with, type CREATE in taskbar search and you'll see the option to create a Restore Point.

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Be sure to see our "Complete guide to System Restore". Our guide shows you how to turn on System Restore, how much space to allow for restore points, and how to use restore points to restore your computer to an earlier time.

We hope this helps you, Sheryl.

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Mike wants to upgrade a Windows XP computer to Windows 10
Are you familiar with Windows 10 Upgrade Companion from Zinstall? Apparently, it lets you upgrade from XP to Win 10 without losing files or having to re-install all your programs? Do you think that's true?

Our answer
Hi Mike. There is no free upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 10. Microsoft allows only free upgrades to Windows 10 from Windows 7 SP2 and Windows 8.1 as the Windows product keys from those versions of Windows are used to license Windows 10 seamlessly. The same does not apply to Vista or XP.

If you want to be honest and stay legitimate, you'd have to buy a Windows 10 license. A legitimate Windows 10 license costs around $100.

In my opinion, it would be foolhardy to even attempt to upgrade a Windows XP computer to Windows 10. Putting a new operating system on an underpowered computer with hardware that's more than 15 years old just doesn't make much sense to me. And some programs that ran on Windows XP will not run on Windows 10.

If you really want to use an old XP computer and use it safely, the best idea is put a free Linux distro on it. Linux has many Windows-like distros that would make an old Windows XP computer usable and safer. Linux has distros that can run on old, outdated hardware and old underpowered computers. Read this article.

Zinstall makes a lot of promises... like moving software from older computers to newer computers seamlessly. That's false on its face because some old software simply doesn't run on Windows 10.

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Diane wants to change her backup program
Regarding Ashampoo Backup: I purchased it some time ago when you recommended this product. If I want to use Windows 10 File History, what should I do? Do I uninstall Ashampoo and then clear off my external hard drive to use it for the Windows 10 File History?

I love all your tips and fixes ... I've been a customer/fan since 2006! Wow, time sure does fly. Thank you, Diane.

Our answer
Hi Diane. Thanks for your nice comments and your long-time support.

I would suggest that you uninstall Ashampoo and then format the external drive that held the Ashampoo backups. Once you've done that use the instructions on this page to set up File History. Unless you have some good reasons not to, I suggest you just set it up with its default settings.

If you have any more questions, or need more help, just let us know. And again, thanks so much for your longtime friendship, and support.

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium -Tips & Tricks

One Quick Tip to Make Windows 10 Easier to Use
Windows 10 (all versions)

What is the quickest way to access the following items in Windows 10: Apps & Features, Mobility Center, Power Options, Event Viewer, System, Device Manager, Network Connections, Disk Management, and Computer Management?  

Which of the following would you say is the fastest way to get to any (or all) of the above?

A. Settings
B. Control Panel
C. Start Menu
D. Hidden Start Menu
E. None of these

Who said D? You’re right! The hidden start menu, also known as the right-click Start menu or the Power users’ menu is the fastest way to access Device Manager, Power options, Event Viewer, Disk Management, etc. You can access this menu by right-clicking the Windows start menu or, if you’re a keyboard shortcut fan like us, you can open this menu by holding down the Windows key and tapping X.

Cloudeight Windows tips & tricks

Oh yes. And if you're wondering why my right-click menu shows Command Prompt and Command Prompt (Admin), but yours shows Windows PowerShell? I changed mine because I use Command Prompt a lot more than Windows PowerShell. If you do too, you can change yours from PowerShell to Command Prompt just as easy as flipping a switch. Right-click a blank area of the taskbar, click on “Taskbar settings” and flip the switch under “Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the start button or press Windows Key+X.

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 The Function Keys
Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 all versions

Cloudeight Windows tips & tricks

They're called Function Keys -- most of us just call them the "F" keys. They're usually at the top of your keyboard, and for the most part, they go unused. That's too bad because they can be very useful. Here are some functions we find useful that can be done with a tap on an "F" key.

The F1 key when using a program will open its help file.

Select and highlight a file or folder and press F2 key to quickly rename that file or folder. You can also use the F2 keyboard shortcut to rename multiple files in batch mode. Just select multiple files using your mouse and press F2 to rename the selected files.

F3 will launch a search bar when using a web browser like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.

Pressing the F4 key toggles and highlights the address bar of Windows Explorer (File Explorer) when Windows Explorer (File Explorer) is open.

Quickly refresh to view updated contents of a folder or items on the Windows desktop by pressing F5 key. F5 will also refresh a Web page while using your favorite Web browser.

To view more of a Web page without the clutter of menu bars, toolbars, etc., press the F11 while visiting a Web site. To go back to your normal browser window, just press the F11 key again.

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How to Change Your Mouse Pointer Size and Color
Windows 10 (all supported versions)

A not-so-well-known feature of Windows 10 lets you customize your mouse pointer size and color. You can make the mouse pointer very small or very large – or any size in between by using a size slider. And for the first time, you can make your mouse pointer any color you want.

Cloudeight Windows 10 tips and tricks

In the Ease of Access > Mouse pointer settings page, you’ll find a slider that lets you make your mouse pointer as big or as small as you like.  And you’ll find an option that allows you to change your mouse pointer color.

Once you click on the “color wheel” option (see above) Windows will display seven color boxes showing you pointer colors you can choose. But if you don’t like any of those colors, just click the plus sign + next to “Pick a custom pointer color” and choose any color you like.

All you need to do to get the “Mouse pointer” settings page is…

Press the Windows Key + U to open the Ease of Access Center. In Ease of Access click on “Mouse pointer” in the menu on the left.

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Want more tips, tricks, and information?

We have thousands of Windows tips, tricks, and more on our InfoAve web site.

Subscribe to our free InfoAve Daily newsletter.

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If you purchased or renewed Reg Organizer through Cloudeight within the last 12 months, you're entitled to a free version upgrade to Reg Organizer 8.60.

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Reg Organizer - A Swiss Army Knife of Windows Tools - Works Great on Windows 10!

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium -Tips & Tricks

 Pine Tools – An Amazing Collection of Useful Online Tools

Pine Tools - A Cloudeight Website Pick

This Cloudeight website pick is a treasure chest of online tools – a toolbox extraordinaire. There are so many tools on the Pine Tools site, we’re not even going to try to list them all.

To give you some idea of the kinds of online tools you’ll find in this virtual treasure chest of online tools you’ll find on the Pine Tools website, we submit the following for your perusal:


Area calculator
Percentage calculator
Single rule of three direct
Single rule of three inverse…


Color picker, tools for modifying or generating colors

Lighten color
Darken color
Change color saturation
Greyscale/desaturate a color
Invert a color…


Work with lists and texts, sort, randomize, reverse

Reverse list
List randomizer
Sort list
Add text to each line
Remove extra whitespaces…


Work with numbers, generate, filter, sort

Generate a list of numbers
Filter numbers
Sort numbers
Minimum and maximum of a list
Average of a list…


Measure time, calculate distance between dates, chronometers

Date/time difference
Add to a date
Subtract from a date


Resize images, crop, optimize, and more

Invert colors
Flip image
Darken image
Lighten image
Change brightness…


Generate random numbers, randomize lists, common distributions

Random number generator
Coin flipper
Dice roller
Gaussian random number generator
Password generator


Tools for programming and web development

Syntax highlighter
CSS Inliner
JSON formatter
CSS beautifier
HTML beautifier


Convert, compress, join or split

Split files
Join files
Base64 encode
Base64 decode
Random file generator…

What more can we say? If looking at the partial list of online tools above does not make your fingers twitch to click and visit Pine Tools, there’s not more we can do.

Cloudeight Site Pick - Pine Tools

If you’re looking for one place to find dozens and dozens of useful online tools that can help you do just about anything, visit this Cloudeight Site Pick – Pine Tools. It really is an amazing site!

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium - Essays , Rants, etc.

Words from Acpressions

Twenty-one years ago, we introduced Cloudeight Acpressions. It became part of our Cloudeight family. At that time Cloudeight Stationery was the most popular email stationery site on the web and it was growing fast.

Back then, Darcy and I spent most of our time creating stationery, screen savers, and other fun things. One of the last things we added to our Cloudeight Stationery family of websites was Acpressions – the name being a play on the word “Expressions”.

Our Acpressions website featured hundreds of sharable thoughts, expressions, and poems that we combined with Java applets and images. Our Acpressions were unique and quickly became a popular part of Cloudeight.

But nothing ever stays the same. Our Acpressions were rendered useless when browsers stopped supporting Java applets – and wouldn’t you know we built nearly the entire Acpressions site on Java applets. When browsers stopped supporting Java applets, we sadly decided to close our Acpressions website.

The other day I was going through the backup copy we have of Acpressions, and while I could not view the Acpressions I was still able to view some of the poems and thoughts we wrote. And today, instead of our usual essay, we’d like to share some of the verses, thoughts, and poems that we shared with the world all those years ago.

We hope you enjoy this journey back in time – and the Words of Acpressions...

You can read the rest here. 

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Cloudeight InfoAve Premium - Back to Basics

Why do you have both Program Files and Program Files(X86) directories on your computer?

Windows 64-bit operating systems have two program file directories:

Program Files and Program Files(X86)

Programs that install to Program Files, by default are 64-bit programs; programs which install to Program Files(X86) by default, are 32-bit programs.

As a general rule, everything you see installed to Program Files is 64-bit software. All programs you find installed in the Program Files(X86) directory, are 32-bit programs. Windows 64-bit operating systems have 32-bit emulation, called WOW64. This emulator allows Windows 64-bit operating systems to run most 32-bit software without a problem.

So, now you know if you have two Program Files directories you have 64-bit Windows; if you have only one Program Files directory you have 32-bit Windows.

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OE Classic & Cloudeight
Our newest Cloudeight Endorsed Email Program - Very Similar to Windows Mail & Outlook Express. Stationery works great!

Read more about OE Classic here!

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OE Classic Email program. The email program that is most like Outlook Express. We can even set it up for you. Get more details here.

Reg Organizer: Reg Organizer is the Swiss Army Knife of Windows tools. It's far more than just a registry optimizer and cleaner... it's a Windows all-in-one toolkit. Reg Organizer helps you keep your computer in tip-top shape and helps you solve annoying Windows problems. Reg Organizer works great with Windows 10! Get more information about Reg Organizer (and get our special discount prices) here.

SeniorPass - One year of Cloudeight Direct Computer Care - unlimited sessions! Get more information here.

Windows 10 Customization: Make Windows 10 look and work the way you want it to. Learn more.


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We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly. Thanks so much for your support and for being an InfoAve Weekly subscriber.

Have a great weekend... be safe!

Your friends at Cloudeight,

Darcy and TC
Cloudeight InfoAve Weekly - Issue #915
Volume 18 Number 25
April 23, 2021 

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