Q: I can't send e-mail messages from my Microsoft Windows Live Mail program anymore, and my computer support people can't figure out how to fix it. As an alternative, they set up a Google Gmail account for me. But I can't use my Windows Live Mail contacts on Gmail except for a few e-mail addresses I managed to transfer between the two. What should I do?

Paul Ehrhard, Hastings, Minn.

A: Many people have trouble with Windows Live Mail because of its complexity. I suggest that you switch to using Gmail exclusively instead of trying to use the two e-mail systems together.

Why? Windows Live Mail and Gmail represent two different ways of handling e-mail. Windows Live Mail is "client software," a PC program that stores your e-mail and contacts on your hard drive. Gmail is "Webmail," meaning that it stores everything online.

But the two can work together. Windows Live Mail can act as a central receiving point for messages from several different e-mail accounts and providers, including Gmail. The trouble is that Windows Live Mail and Gmail have only limited interaction. As a result, you can't use your entire Windows Live Mail contact list to send e-mails through Gmail.

The solution is to switch from Windows Live Mail to Gmail and take all your e-mail contacts with you. First "export" your Windows Live Mail contacts to your PC as a ".CSV" (comma-separated values) file. Then log on to Gmail at Gmail.com (not via Windows Live Mail) and upload the .CSV file. For detailed instructions, see tinyurl.com/py7pts3.

Note: When you get to "Step 2: Importing Contacts Into Gmail," you may need to perform an interim step not listed in the directions. If, when you click on Gmail's "Contacts," you get a vertical rather than a horizontal menu, click "More," then "Import." You'll be given the choice "Go to old contacts." Click on that, then resume following the directions by clicking "More."

Q: I'm having problems with my Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, a laptop that converts to a tablet PC. The battery will only charge up to 60 percent of capacity. And I can't output video to an external computer screen, even though I've reinstalled the video driver software as suggested. What should I do?

Jim Plantan, Bloomington

A: It sounds as if your battery is wearing out and needs to be replaced (see tinyurl.com/o5a8hpt). Because your video output problem wasn't solved by reloading the video driver, I suspect the cause is a hardware failure. Unfortunately, the Yoga's video hardware is built into its main circuit board, so you'd need to replace that (see tinyurl.com/njm96sb).

I doubt it's worth spending approximately $300 on parts (plus labor) to fix a nearly three-year-old computer that originally sold for about $1,100. You could buy a new PC or a used Yoga similar to yours (about $700, see tinyurl.com/nzqp6wk).

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.