PCgoblin's Blog

Fixing everyday PC problems on my PC

Fed up using IP addresses on your network?

With several PCs on my local network, I was fed up accessing these by their IP addresses, such as To fix this, edit the HOSTS files on your computer. In this you add each IP address and the name you want to use. In detail:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type %systemroot% \system32\drivers\etc, and then click OK. Note If you are using 64 bit version of Windows, type %systemroot%\SysWOW64\drivers\etc.
  2. Copy the hosts file to hosts.bak.
  3. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Notepad, and then click Run as administrator If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow or Yes.
  4. Open file %systemroot% \system32\drivers\etc\hosts or %systemroot%\SysWOW64\drivers\etc as appropriate.
  5. Follow the procedure described in the the file, add a line for each computer. For example:   pc2
  6. Save the file.

This should now work.


July 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Change Outlook 2010 map provider to Google Maps

Outlook has a useful feature to display a map of the location of a contact.

But it automatically uses Bing, though I prefer Google Maps.

Searching the web suggests I could use Google Maps with a simple registry entry change to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Options\General.

This key did not exist for me so I used regedit to create it.

Then right click and choose New, String Value. Enter “MapScriptURL” for the name of string value. Double click on the new MapScriptURL key to open it and for Google maps, I entered “http://maps.google.com/?q=, , , , “.

This worked without even having to restart Outlook. I opened a contact and click the Map It button. Google Maps appeared just as I wanted.

Am told that this works also for Outlook 2000 and 2002 (by changing the version number in the registry key), but not with Outlook 2003 or 2007. I cannot confirm this as I have not tried this for these versions.

Registry Key for Outlook 2010 Map Provider

Registry Key for Outlook 2010 Map Provider

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Fixing “Navigation to the webpage was canceled” in downloaded .CHM help file

File properties for “This file came from another computer”

When I ran a .CHM help file I had just downloaded from the Internet, I was frustrated to see no help text but instead “Navigation to the webpage was canceled”. I remember having this problem when trying to run the help file on a non-local drive – which Microsoft deliberately do not allow – but this time I was correctly running it from the C: drive, definitely local.

Looking at the file properties, shows a security warning at the bottom “This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer”, with a button labelled “Unblock”. Clicking this and then applying or saving the changes, fixes the problem. The help then works normally.

This behaviour arises from Alternate Data Streams, introduced with  NTFS. See a discussion on unblocking this inconvenient feature.

To save you unblocking files individually, you can download a utility streams.exe from Microsoft to unblock files and directories, even recursively. Download streams.exe, with an explanation of Alternate Data Streams.

Streams will examine the files and directories (note that directories can also have alternate data streams) you specify and inform you of the name and sizes of any named streams it encounters within those files.

January 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Fix “Invalid media or Track 0 bad – disk unusable” on USB drive

Wanting to save a file away from my network  disks, I dug up an old USB drive. Unfortunately when I tried saving to it, I got the message Invalid media or Track 0 bad – disk unusable.

About to give up, I searched for a solution on the web – and found it! All I needed to do was to move the write protect tab on the USB key. So small, I had forgotten about it.

Saved me binning the USB drive!

January 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Fixed “Cannot find Acrobat External Window Handler”

Just my luck today to have problems opening Acrobat PDF files when browsing. I would click on the link to the file, then get the message “Cannot find Acrobat External Window Handler”. Then a pause and the file would open.

But I wanted the files to open smoothly like they usually do. Every interruption is a nuisance, and like all Internet users, I view many PDF files a day.

The solution was easy:

  • Close my browser, IE 8
  • Run Adobe Reader (my version is 9.1.3)
  • Take option Repair Adobe Reader Installation on the Help menu.

September 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment