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Ask HTG: Rebooting Too Frequently, Moving Microsoft Office, Tethering to a WiMax Laptop

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Once a week we dip into our reader mailbag to answer your tech questions. This week we take a look at how you can avoid frequent reboots, moving MS Office, and how to share your laptop’s internet connection.

Why Do I Have to Reboot so Often?

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Dear How-To Geek,
I feel like I have to reboot my Windows PC all the time, either because I’ve installed new software or because Windows is always updating. This wouldn’t be a huge deal, but my computer takes a while to reboot. Anything I can do to avoid the hassle?

Sincerely,

Sick of Rebooting in Reno

Dear Sick of Rebooting,

The simple answer is that you don’t necessarily need to reboot every time an application asks you to. Most of the time it’ll work just fine. If you don’t notice anything out of sort there’s a good chance you can postpone the reboot. Check out our treatment of the topic here for a full run down on why installation files are so insistent on rebooting your system and why you can almost always ignore them.

Moving Office to a New PC2011-05-16_154153

Dear How-To Geek,

Hi! A while ago I installed Microsoft Office 2010 on my Netbook, however that was the last PC i had a license for (it was Microsoft Office Home & Student and thus licensed for up to three PCs). What I would like to know is is there anyway I can “deregister” the product (as in withdraw the right for that computer – thus getting my product key back) so that I can install it on a different PC legally?

Sincerely,

Office Swapping in San Diego

Dear Office Swapping,

There is no explicit click-this-button deactivation for the Office products. Uninstall the product from the device that no longer needs it, then install it on the new machine. Plug in the activation code on the new machine and, if you’re lucky, things will go smoothly and you won’t need to make any phone calls. If things don’t go smoothly, just call Microsoft Activation at 1-800-936-5700 and explain the situation. They’ll help you with any activation issues you have.

Sharing Internet via Ad Hoc Networking

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Dear How-To Geek,
I have a laptop that has 4G WiMAX, but I want to know, do you know if there is a way for me to tether this to another computer because I would really like to tether my connection?
Sincerely,
Tetherer in California

Dear Tetherer,

What you’re looking for isn’t as much tethering as it is creating an Ad Hoc network. What you want is for your laptop to function as a router of sorts and all your other devices to connect to it. Assuming all your other devices have Wi-Fi it’s a straight forward fix. To set up an Ad Hoc network for Windows check out our detailed guide here. You can also read up up on configuring a Linux-based Ad Hoc network here and a Mac OS X one here.


Have a pressing tech question? Shoot us an email at tips@howtogeek.com and we’ll do our best to help you dig up an answer.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/16/11

Comments (18)

  1. owen

    also for the tethering guy if your using windows 7 you can download a program called connectify

    http://www.connectify.me/

    hope you enjoy it and find as much use as me

  2. Tetherer in California

    Hi, I got the ad hoc network set up, but I want to know if I have to stay connected to it for it to work because I can’t connect to it when WiMax is on, because WiFi is turned off when when WiMax is turned on.

  3. Blisk

    If the activation key won’t work, activating by phone almost always will. My Office 2010 Professional Plus key can suit five computers (more than how many use it), but when I reinstall, the number of computers “using” it goes up. When I activate by phone, the computer asks how many have it installed, I usually say two or so. After the hassle of typing in the long codes, it’s activated perfectly.

  4. Fahd

    Or you could switch to Open Office. For non-heavy duty stuff it works pretty good

  5. Paul

    Or LibreOffice.

  6. Michael M. T. Henderson

    About frequent rebooting:if I leave my computer on all night, it goes into Sleep mode, which is fine. But for the last week, when I wake it up, nothing will run, even though I’d closed all applications before bedtime. I get error messages about there not being enough memory to run even the simplest programs, and I must reboot, which takes 10 minutes. I’m running an HP desktop with 4gb of RAM and plenty of disk space.

  7. Ron Rak

    I have to reboot often also… because my PC slows down so much… and then when I reboot it gets back to normal. Why?

  8. Glenn

    I have a situation similar to Ron’s. If I leave my computer alone for a couple of hours, when I get back on I need to reboot in order to get a response from it… otherwise, I wait while it goes ’round in “circles”.

  9. Ray

    I have to reboot almost every day and a half to two days when I am running windows. If I run Ubuntu (it is a dual boot system) I generally do not have to reboot.

  10. Karl K

    You can prevent your computer from constantly nagging you to “Reboot….reboot….reboot” by typing this short command in the “Run” box (Click START>>Run)

    net stop wuauserv

    then hit “ENTER”

    Then, when it’s convenient to YOU (not the computer), you can close down whatever you’re doing and THEN re-boot your computer! Works in all versions of Windows (XP, Vista, and 7)

  11. saikia81

    if you have trouble with the computer going very slow after leaving it alone for a time:
    I had the same thing for some time… I fixed it by turning off the option that your taskbar autohides…
    because of some reason after a lot of time the computer would take all my resources….

    hope this helpes,
    saikia81

  12. Ron Rak

    saikia81 … What Option are you turning off?

  13. Ron Rak

    saikia81 … my Taskkbar isn’t set to auto hide… it is always up.

  14. Anonymous

    There IS a “hack” for moving Microsoft Office products and doing what “Office Swapping in San Diego” wants to do. Yes, Microsoft does NOT make this easy or painless since registry editing is necessary and they don’t even publish a technique by which someone can follow. But it is possible! Just why no one here can share the info/process is a little concerning. (Did the big bad stupid lawyers scare you or something?)

    I have to say that the answer “Office Swapping in San Diego” received might as well have come out of the help desk script pages that the noobs at Microsoft are trained to use. That answer was WORTHLESS!

  15. Carrie

    I have a Windows 7 PC and I do reboot it every couple of days just for the hell of it. I have my system setup in a way that it cleans itself up often and so I never have a problem with a slow computer. My XP machine on the other hand was a beast and was always slow.

  16. Don

    When moving MS Office from one machine to another, if you first uninstall it on the old machine when you install on the new machine you will not have any problems with keys or activation. When reinstalling on the same machine you don’t have to bother. I’ve been doing this with two copies of MS Standard 2007 (for 3 computers) for as long as I have had it and have moved and reinstalled several times and never had a glitch.

  17. cko

    @Glenn, I would turned off Sleep, setting it to never, Go to Control Panel/Power Options-Custom Plan. You will have two options, Turn off Display and Sleep. Set time you want to wait until display turns off after inactivity. I set it to 5 hours because it seems to think I am inactive when watching a movie. The other setting is sleep mode (Put the computer to sleep) select Never at the bottom of the list. Note: there may be more settings on some computers.

    On rebooting, it is true, it resets the computer and it runs faster. I really push my computer to th limits and I too find it helps to reboot. I think it is even better if you set it to use chkdsk, and if you have a program that can defragment system files on reboot. Do a file clean-up & defragment your files before you reboot if you can. After installing a program, most give the option of booting later, click later so you can boot your way. Having the filecheck and It takes a little longer to reboot, but on todays computer with multiple processors it is negligible.

  18. Suman Madal

    Dear HOW 2 GEEK,
    I have 64 bit windows seven so I am unable to use bluesoliel 6. Can u Help me? please

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