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Originally published Friday, January 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

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Change your port for smooth mailing

A reader can receive email, but she can't send them. What's going on?

Special to The Seattle Times

Plugging In

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Q: I am using Outlook 2007 and find that when I am traveling and using other people's Wi-Fi, I can receive email from my Comcast account just fine. But I am unable to send email from my computer. My phone works fine for both purposes, but it is curious I can't send mail. I have friends with the same problem when they visit me. What do you think?

— Mary Puntenney

A: By default, Outlook sends email through Port 25. Many Internet service providers, however, block Port 25 because spammers also make extensive use of it. The solution is to try a different port. Go to Account Settings and click on the More Settings button. In the dialogue that pops up, select the Advanced tab. Then change the Outgoing (SMTP) port from 25 to 2525. If that doesn't work, try setting it to 587.

Q: I accidentally deleted a bunch of files on my Lexar jump drive. The drive is password-protected and maybe the files are encrypted; I'm not sure. I used recovery software and now have on my hard drive three different .lxv files — 251,000 KB, 870,000 KB and 956,000 KB in size. I think all my stuff is there, but the problem is that I can't open them to retrieve my files.

I can't find anything online about these types of files, at least that enables me to open them. I've tried moving them back onto the Lexar, but still with no luck. Can you help?

— Kathy Schmitt

A: Yes, I believe your data is still there. LXV files are encrypted files created by Lexar JumpDrives. So the trick is to get the encryption software on the JumpDrive to do the decrypting.

And to do that you need to be logged in with the appropriate password.

If you're having trouble, check this Web page: And if you still have trouble, I'd contact Lexar tech support.

It may be that you inadvertently affected the configuration of the drive or the encryption software.

Q: I have a friend who has a computer virus that, when she uses Google, it redirects her to some lame place instead of taking her to what she asked for. I think she said it was called Google Redirect. She doesn't know where she got it or how, and it is costing her money to get it cleaned off.

Do you have any information on how I can check to see if I could have been infected? Do you know if there is an upcoming fix?

— Lois Van Andre

A: The main thing is to make sure you've got up-to-date anti-virus software running. Then just keep your eyes out for any abnormal behavior.

Google Redirect is a particularly nasty virus that redirects users to unwanted websites. It may not be obvious to the user that this is happening.

But if you notice you're getting strange results, you'll want to look into it.

One thing that makes Google Redirect nasty is it is a rootkit virus that may not be detected by standard anti-virus software. You may want to try Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware program, or contact your anti-virus software maker to see if it has a rootkit scanner. Symantec, for example, has a free download of Norton Power Eraser, which should detect the infection.

Q: I am running Windows XP. Recently, the screen saying "preparing to install" has come up without warning. Also I cannot access Excel 2007 as it says, "Installer cannot open the program, you may be in safe mode or another program is installing." I have gone to but have not found any relief to this problem. I am not sure if I should uninstall Windows Office and reinstall because I may not be able to because of the installer not working.

— John Corrigan

A: My guess would be that either something has been corrupted in the Windows registry or an installation procedure was interrupted. Since it would seem that Excel is somehow involved, I agree that reinstalling Office would be worth a go. First, of course, reboot your computer to ensure you're not running in safe mode.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by email to or, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at


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