Q: I recently attempted to upload photos to Costco. Everything worked fine until I got to the copyright pop-up. When I accepted it, the pop-up closed, then opened. When I again accepted, the upload page opened and I was able to select photos, but when I attempted to upload them, nothing happened. I tried numerous things including uninstalling my anti-virus programs, etc. with no luck. In desperation, I restarted my computer in Safe Mode (with network) and was then able to upload photos. Can you think of any setting that might be causing this?

— Richard Finger

A: What Safe Mode does is boot Windows with only a very limited set of system files and device drivers. Actually, there are two versions of Safe Mode, one with network drivers and one without. You say that you launched the version with network drivers, which explains why you were able to upload the photos.

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So what does it mean if your inability to upload disappears when you boot in Safe Mode? It means that some system file, program or device driver that is blocked from loading by Safe Mode is causing your problem. Now all you have to do is figure out which one of those things is preventing your uploads …

I’d start by uninstalling any programs and devices that you no longer use, then reboot the computer and see if the problem is still there.

Next, make sure that all the remaining programs and drivers are up to date.


Then load Device Manager from the Control Panel. Right-click on each device in the list and click on “Scan for Hardware Changes.” Device Manager will check each device driver for conflicts and changes. If there are any conflicts, you’ll be able to click on “Troubleshoot” to have the system further check the problem.

If the problem remains, disconnect any remaining devices. If the problem goes away after rebooting, add the devices back in one by one until the problem recurs.

If none of these steps expose the culprit, I’m afraid you face the chore of starting from scratch — reinstalling Windows and then adding programs and devices back in until the problem recurs. I do hope you find the culprit before it gets to that point.

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Q: I purchased an HP Z4 desktop a few months ago. Instead of installing my ancient Microsoft software, I signed up for Microsoft 365. It looked on the surface to be preferable. For some reason, the search box is missing from Outlook. I have checked the net for solutions. Some mention ways to recover the search box, others state it is a bug of some kind. The only function remotely related is “Search People,” which seems restricted to the address book. I can no longer search out a word or name and instantly have a dated queue pop up with all emails associated with or containing that subject. This is extremely exasperating in that it seems a glaring omission of a very useful feature that was always in Outlook before. Is there a cure or workaround for this?

— Jeff Howard, Redmond

A: Actually, I also use Office 365, including Outlook. And the search field is in a different location than it used to be. It’s now in the blue bar at the top of the window when you’re viewing a mail folder.

If you don’t see the search field there, here’s how you should be able to get it back. In Outlook, click on File in the menu bar, then click on Options. In the window that pops open, click on “Customize Ribbon.” Next, you’ll see two panels. On the left-hand panel select “Choose commands from” and then select “Tool Tabs.” Next move to the right-hand panel and make sure it’s set to “Main Tabs.” Next, go back to the left-hand panel and highlight the Search option. Finally, click on the “Add” button that is between the two panels.

Save the changes and you should be back in business.