Share story

Q: I have two reel-to-reel videos from 1994, one of my daughter winning the junior quarter horse world championship in Texas. The other has my son being one of the runners in the 4 x 400 track-and-field event that helped his school (Punahou, in Hawaii) win the state track-and-field championship.

I want to have these transferred to DVD format, as they are precious. The tapes are old and haven’t been played since early 2000. Having been stored until recently in Hawaii, it appears that there are small spots of mildew on the tape. I took them to Costco, and they were returned to me with a note that said “will not copy, foreign substance on tape.” This is a common thing that happens to photos in Hawaii.

I am hoping that you have a solution of whom I can contact that will be able to copy them.

— Dianne Feeney, Seattle

A: While I can’t recommend a specific service, you can find a service bureau that will not only transfer those videos to DVD, but also clean up mold or mildew. The degree of success will depend, of course, on how much damage the mold or mildew may have caused, but generally cleaning works pretty well.

Expect to pay about 10 cents per foot for the transfer and about 2 cents per foot for cleaning. Most service bureaus also have a minimum charge, which is generally about $20.

Q: All of a sudden, one of the email accounts on my cellphone won’t send messages. The email just sits in the Outbox and I can’t even delete it. Any suggestions?

— K. Mitchell

A: You can almost certainly delete that email if you take your phone off the network so that the phone is no longer trying to send it. Just kick the phone into airplane mode, and that should do the trick.

As for why the email won’t send, I recently had the same problem. Turns out that after some software update, the login information for my email account disappeared. So whenever I’d try to send from that account it was unsuccessful.

Unfortunately, I never received an error message telling me why. In any case, I suggest checking the server configuration and login information for that account.

Q: I am running Windows XP and using Outlook Express as my email client.

I used to be able to click on a YouTube link and it would automatically come up in Internet Explorer 8. All of a sudden the response is to cause Outlook Express to hang, requiring me to bring up Windows Task Manager to shut it down. I can still do a copy/paste from Outlook Express to Internet Explorer without problems.

Any ideas on what went wrong and how to fix it? — Bob Lang

A: I can’t be sure it will work, but the first thing I’d try is Microsoft’s Fixit tool, available at

Q: My Outlook randomly closes and sometimes reopens. All I get is a message that an error has occurred and it is closing down. Then it sometimes says it is searching the problem and, when it does, it generally fixes it. Other times it just closes down and I have to restart it.

Can you help me solve this problem?

— David C. Wigglesworth, Kirkland

A: A common cause of this is a known problem with an ActiveX add-in. Try going to the Tools menu and clicking Options. Next, click on the Other tab, then on Advanced Options. In the dialog that appears, select Add-in Manager. Finally, clear the box next to XPrint Add-in.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, I’d suggest creating a new profile.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by email to or, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at