Q: I have an Acer Aspire 3 laptop with Windows 10. I specifically bought a model with a number pad, since that is what I like to use. My Number Lock doesn’t stay on; every time I boot up, I have to remember to hit the NumLock key. I tried a couple of fixes I found online. Neither has worked. I still have to do NumLock each time. Not critical, but annoying. Any ideas?

— Joan McArtney, Bellevue

A: Acer offers two methods get the NumLock key to “stick.” First, you can turn off the “fast startup” feature. To do so click on Power Plan in the Control Panel, then select “Choose what the power buttons do” on the left panel. Finally, uncheck “Turn on fast startup.”

The second method involves editing the Windows registry. Press the Windows key and the “R” key, then type in “regedit.” Once the editor launches, make a backup of the registry before editing. Then find the “HKEY_USERS\Default\Control Panel\Keyboard” entry. Next, right click on “InitialKeyboardIndicators” and then click on “modify” and change the value to 2.

Q: I read your Q&A article about browser problems: “Two things to try if your browser fails.” I wanted to relay a problem I am having with Firefox, specifically when working my way through The Seattle Times online. After viewing a number of links to read articles, eventually the download speed slows to a crawl making the wait time several minutes per page, if I am willing to wait that long. The cure is to close Firefox and reopen it. Also, I haven’t been tempted to switch to Chrome or Explorer. Like your question asker, I don’t want to have to work my way through a new browser’s idiosyncrasy.

— Jack Herndon, Seattle

Related Tech Q&As

Read more from Patrick Marshall here >>

A: This is an issue for which I can’t offer a specific answer. It’s what I call the browser “twilight zone.”

The fact is some sites work better on certain browser than on others. While web authoring tools help developers to test websites using all the major browsers, most websites are frequently updated with new scripts and ensuring they are all compatible with all the browsers is difficult.


As a result, I have three different browsers installed on my main computer. While I, like you, favor Firefox as my primary browser, if I run into trouble on a website I try Chrome or Explorer. I’ve found that none of the browsers escapes difficulties with some websites.

More Tech Tips and Reviews