Q: My son’s iPhone 5 had trouble charging its battery using two different power cords. After it wouldn’t fully charge several times, he took it to a Verizon Wireless dealer who said the phone was “pretty much gone” because of a flawed connection between the phone and the charger.

As a result, my son lost years of contact information and messages that he thought were backed up by Apple’s iCloud online service (the backups weren’t made because of the iPhone flaw.)

My son had bought insurance on the phone, but Verizon Wireless said the insurance wasn’t applicable to the lost data situation. So what’s the point of having insurance? Is there any way to retrieve the iPhone’s data so it can be transferred to a new phone?

Catherine Carty, Osceola, Wis.


A: We’re all responsible for backing up our own data, because no seller of smartphones or computers insures the information stored on them. Your son’s iPhone insurance only entitles him to a replacement phone. You can read about the iPhone insurance plans sold by Verizon Wireless at tinyurl.com/q9sbrwp.

If the old iPhone won’t retain any electrical charge, there is no way to access the data on it. But, if it will retain at least a small charge, try connecting it by USB cable to a PC with a current version of iTunes. To back up the iPhone’s data, including contacts and text messages, see tinyurl.com/oa6pw6f. Then use iTunes to “restore” the backed-up data to a new iPhone (see tinyurl.com/ldw5zab).

In the future, your son should back up his iPhone to both iCloud and the computer to make sure he doesn’t lose any valuable information.


Q: Every time I close my Windows 7 PC, I get a message that says there is a “long running script” that needs to be closed. What causes this, and how do I get rid of it?

Serafin Maskill, San Angelo, Texas


A: Error messages about a “long running script” probably result from the way the Internet Explorer browser interacts with Web pages. Sometimes the error message is triggered because the website you are viewing contains programming flaws. In other cases, the error message results because your PC has software that blocks pop-up messages from ­opening, and the website you’re viewing interprets that action as a software problem.

(If the error message is caused by pop-up ads, the question is where those ads are coming from — a website or your PC. Just in case you have some malicious software on your PC that generates pop-ups, run the free Malwarebytes security program at tinyurl.com/keb4npd to get rid of it.)

To turn off the error message, open Internet Explorer, click on Tools (the gear icon), choose Internet options and click on the “advanced” tab. In the resulting list, check the box next to “disable script debugging” and uncheck the box beside “display a notification about every script error.” Alternatively, try using another Web browser that may handle script code differently.


E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@ gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 650 3rd Av. S., Suite 1300, ­Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.