Patrick Marshall answers your personal technology questions each week.
Q: Since a recent Windows 10 update, the Microsoft Word Starter which was installed on my PC at the factory will not open. I get a message saying to “repair the program through the Control Panel.” On attempting to do this, the repair will not operate, with a message saying “there is no internet connection” when the internet connection is working fine. Any suggestions on how to fix this?
— John Cooper
A: If Windows thinks you don’t have an internet connection when you actually do, you need to “remind” Windows about your network adapter. To do so, press the Windows key and the X key. Next select Device Manager from the menu that pops up. Find the Network Adapters entry and then expand it to locate your network adapter. Right-click on the adapter then select Disable. Wait at least 10 minutes and then Enable the adapter again.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, you’ll want to uninstall the adapter and restart your computer. Unless something is amiss with the hardware, Windows 10 will detect the “new” hardware and install drivers for it.
Q: I have a Dell desktop running Windows 10 that will not sleep when connected to the internet. When I press the sleep button the screen goes dark, the computer doesn’t react to mouse or keyboard, but the power light stays on. I have to shut down the computer with the power button and restart it. If I disconnect from the router the computer sleeps every time. Any thoughts?
Related Tech Q&AsRead more from Patrick Marshall here >>
— Peter Yates
A: So your only indication that the computer hasn’t gone into sleep mode is that the power light on the computer stays on? I can’t tell without a hands-on look, but it may be that the computer is actually in sleep mode.
If the computer actually is being prevented from going into sleep mode, I’d check the configuration of the network adapter being used. Specifically, after locating the adapter using Device Manager (see above), right-click on it, then select Properties. First, click on the Advanced tab and then see if “wake on pattern match” is enabled. If it is, disable it and see if the problem goes away.
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Q: In your March 10 column you advised a reader how to get rid of those annoying “stop script” messages. I had the same issue. I changed browsers (on advice) from IE to Firefox. Problem solved.
However. I am not too PC smart and at times, I have no clue what you are referring to on some of the terms you mention. So, finally I decided to ask.
What does “disable all extensions” refer to? What IS an ‘extension’? What does “debugging a script” mean?
— Maxine Davies, Lynnwood
A: Extensions are add-ons — such as ad-blockers and password managers — that you can download and install in the browser. In Firefox you can search for add-ons by clicking on the menu icon in the upper-right corner and then selecting “Add-ons.” Be aware, though, that add-ons are often the cause of browsing problems. I’m not suggesting not to use add-ons. (I use many myself.) I’m suggesting, as I did in the column you refer to, that if you are having browser problems the first thing to do is disable any add-ons you’ve recently installed to see if they are the problem.
Script debuggers examine the code in misbehaving scripts — which are small programs that run when you visit a website — in an attempt to determine the cause of a problem.