Q: It’s hard to diagnose technical problems when one is not present at the problem site. That’s the case here. The situation is that one or two Zoom attendees can get a terrible echo.
Since I don’t hear any echo as attendee (not as host), it seems like it must be specific to the other’s equipment. I look on the attendees list on Zoom, and I can see that their mics are muted. But they say that the echo is unbearable. I thought it might be a separate webcam that added another mic in the mix, but they said they do not have a separate webcam.
I asked them to check how many mics are listed on their Windows system, although I think they only have the laptop mic active. I also asked them to bring headphones next week to see if that helps. Still awaiting answers on these issues.
Until then, any idea what might be causing this problem?
— Dean Shibayama
A: According to Zoom, there are three common causes of such echoes:
- A participant has both the computer and telephone audio active.
- Participants have computer or telephone speakers that are too close to each other.
- Multiple computers with active audio are in the same conference room.
The culprit can also be speakers that are too loud, a bad microphone or a defective device.
The problem is it may not be clear which attendee is causing the problem. To deal with this, have the host mute all attendees and then unmute them one at a time until the echo recurs.
Q: If someone sends me an attachment in an email, when I try to print it, it won’t print. If I download it, it goes someplace and I can’t find it. It tells me it went to where I store my pictures but I can’t find it. Help.
— Bob Rothwell
A: By default, if you save an attached image it will go into your Pictures folder, which you’ll find under “This PC” in File Explorer. But as a rule, when I save attachments I change the download folder to a folder I created named, yes, Downloads.
There’s no option to print an attachment until you download it to your computer.
Q: I recently upgraded to a new Comcast XFi1 router, an elegant white cube. The main Comcast DVR box received all the channels. However, the other remote converter boxes that receive HD signals to other TVs throughout the house were missing several channels.
After working with Comcast on the phone, they opted to send a repair person to the house. Within 10 minutes, the repair person diagnosed it as an old connection point/transmitter hidden with all the cables behind the wall. He installed a new transmitter connection and all the boxes worked fine.
The new XFi1 router needs to have compatible upgraded connections for it to work properly. My house was set up for cable more than 15 years ago. I wonder if this may be the case with the Chromecast sticks a reader from last week’s Q&A was having a problem with?
— Mike Dwyer
A: Yes, that may indeed be the case and it’s a good thing for people to know about. Any connected device that is streaming internet content could be impacted by old or defective hardware in the internet service provider’s delivery system. So if the end-user troubleshooting recommended by Google doesn’t solve the problem I wouldn’t hesitate to ask my internet provider to send someone to do some troubleshooting.