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?

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?


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 PC

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?


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 1-888-652-2342 and explain the situation. They’ll help you with any activation issues you have.

Sharing Internet via Ad Hoc Networking

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?
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.

Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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