Q: I bought an HP Pavilion computer from my boss when he retired. It’s running Windows 10. I created my own user profile and that worked fine. However, I recently purchased a new Seagate external hard drive and during installation, it prompted a request for an administrator password to allow the program to make changes to the computer. I don’t know what his password was and unfortunately, my former boss passed away last month. Is there a workaround? Or am I stuck not being able to download new software?

Kevin Howard

A: Fortunately, there is a workaround.

You can download and install a free program called Passfab 4WinKey. That program will lead you through creating a boot disk either on CD or a USB drive. Then boot the computer using that drive. 4WinKey offers instructions for interrupting your computer’s bootup sequence so that you can specify the boot disk you just created as the place to boot from.

Finally, you’ll be able to create a new administrator password.

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You’ll find 4WinKey here: https://www.passfab.com/windows-10/windows-10-forgot-admin-password.html


I tried the program and it worked as advertised.

Q: I use Windows 10 and Live Mail on an approximately 7- to 8-year-old Toshiba Satellite laptop. Also, I’m not a tech whiz. With one contact in particular, and occasionally with others, I receive a notice in Live Mail informing me that an email I sent is not deliverable even though it shows up in my “sent” file. Follow-up by other means verifies that my message was not received. I’ve confirmed the proper contact address, but still have the problem. It seems this happens more often when the intended receiver uses their phone for email. Any suggestions?

Dave Savage, Lopez Island

A: There are two primary causes of emails being blocked. First, your email may have been tagged as spam and rejected by the recipient’s email server. This often happens to non-spam emails if they happen to have content that reads as spam or contains links to locations that have been tagged as spam-related. You can check those emails for free by running a test at GlockApps, which you’ll find at https://glockapps.com.

The second primary cause of blocked emails is your email service’s server being blocked by the recipient’s server. If your know the recipient’s email service you can contact them directly to find out if you’re being blocked and how to get unblocked.

Q: During a Microsoft Teams meeting, my microphone disappeared. While it had been active, suddenly I received a message that my microphone could not be found. I assumed it was a Teams problem until I had the same issue on Zoom. I tried multiple solutions but could not find the internal microphone either in the Device Manager or via Sound and Hardware in the Control Panel. I am not a veteran computer user, so I don’t even know if this is a hardware or software problem. I do not know what my next steps should be.

Karen Johnsen

A: If you’re not finding the microphone listed in Device Manager the first thing to try is to launch the Sound utility in the Control Panel. Click on the Recording tab. Next right-click below the list of devices and make sure there’s a check next to “Show Disabled Devices.” If your microphone appears, enable it.

If the microphone doesn’t appear or if the problem recurs you’ll want to reinstall the drivers for the microphone.