Q I have a DSL modem connected to a wireless router, but my Internet connection conks out at frequent intervals. Qwest says I should shut off the modem and the PC for 15 seconds and try again, but the problem happens too often for that. Any ideas?


A Try this: Leave your PC on, but reboot both your modem and wireless router at the same time by pulling the power plug on the back of each device. Wait a few seconds, then plug in the modem first, then the router. This allows the devices to resynchronize. Once the modem reestablishes its network connection, everything should work.

Q I've recently received spam e-mails that have my e-mail address as the sender. I clicked on one, because I do sometimes send e-mails to myself.

When I found it was spam, I tried unsuccessfully to "unsubscribe" from receiving more. Now I just delete e-mails that appear to be from me, which is inconvenient.

I don't want to change my e-mail address. What should I do?


A There isn't an easy solution. But you can outsmart the people who send spam under your name (a technique called "spoofing"). When you send yourself an e-mail, put a key word or phrase in the subject line that identifies it as something you sent to yourself.

To be safe, keep deleting spam e-mails without opening them. Don't bother trying to "unsubscribe" to spam e-mail; it just signals the sender that he or she has reached a working e-mail address with a recipient who might open questionable e-mail. As a result, you'll get more spam, not less.

Q System Restore has quit working on my Dell computer using Windows XP. Suggestions?



A Here are some ways to fix System Restore, which returns PC settings to an earlier date to get rid of unwanted software changes.

1) Make sure System Restore is on. Go to Start, then Control Panel, and click the System icon. Choose the System Restore tab; make sure the box next to "Turn Off System Restore" isn't checked.

2) The System Volume Information folder used by System Restore may be damaged. To fix it, see support.microsoft.com/ kb/841568.

3) A Windows XP update called Windows XP Service Pack 1 disables System Restore on some PCs. Download a software patch to correct that at www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=6f01db93-78c1-4b50-851a-3ac744ce91da&displaylang=en.

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@ gmail.com, or write Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488-0002. Include a full name, city and phone number.