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Originally published Friday, February 7, 2014 at 5:56 PM

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Among new job’s challenges: computer’s default controls

A worker desperate for a full-screen view and a larger font size gets help from Patrick Marshall, who also writes about what may be an iTunes-related problem and a glitz in using HDMI ports to link two computers.

Special to The Seattle Times

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Q: I just inherited an office job with a Windows XP system. I can’t seem to find how to get a larger font size on the default screen. The former user used a small font for everything.

Another problem is having to click on the full screen symbol when I open something to get the full screen. Sometimes it will come on full size, but my email screen never does.

— Wallace Bartlow

A: The first problem is easy to solve. Just go to the Control Panel and select the Display utility. Next, click on the Appearance tab and then select a new font size.

As for your second question, check each application to see if it has an option for remembering its window size when closing. If not, you’re out of luck.

Q: We just started getting the error message msvcr80.dll popping up when we login to our Dell Laptop PC running Windows 7. Do you have any solution to getting rid of the error message?

— Carl Tipton

A: Actually, MSVCR8.DLL is a Windows service file. DLL stands for “Dynamic Link Library,” and DLL files contain instructions that other programs can call upon to do certain things.

I’m guessing the error message actually refers to a missing or corrupt MSVCR8.DLL.

The most common cause of this problem is an improper or corrupt installation of iTunes. To fix things, go to the Control Panel and open the Programs and Features utility. Uninstall the following programs in the following order: iTunes, Apple Software Update, Apple Mobile Device Support, Bonjour, Apple Application Support, iCloud and MobileMe. And don’t worry if some of those programs are not present.

Next, reinstall iTunes.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, there is a longer list of things to try that you can find detailed at

Q: I recently bought an Acer 5600U all-in-one system that is very lovely. One of the main features I was looking for was the ability for the system to receive external input. I work from home a few days a month and want to be able to connect my work laptop, an Asus Zenbook, to the Acer all-in-one. Since the Acer has an HDMI-in port, this should be a supported scenario.

I tried connecting the Asus (using the micro-HDMI port) to the Acer HDMI-in port, but there was no response from the Acer. In the monitor settings of the Asus, I confirmed that it was set to detect an external monitor and it actually did see the Acer as an external monitor. There is a source button on the side of the Acer to choose input, and when I selected the monitor option, it showed the HDMI-in option grayed out.

I actually shipped the Acer back to Acer support, and, you guessed it, it sent it back saying it had tested the HDMI in and found nothing wrong with it.

So taking the Acer support people at their word (I’m suspecting they took it out of my box, packed the system in another box and just sent it back), what could I be missing? Are there different types of HDMI ports and cables, and maybe the ones I’m using are just not compatible with the Acer?

— Carrie Doring

A: Yes, the Acer 5600U is designed with both input and output HDMI ports for exactly the purpose you’re trying to put it to. You can add a second monitor using the HDMI-out port and you can use the Acer as a monitor for another device using the HDMI-in port.

To do the latter, with the Acer turned on, press the On Screen Display (OSD) button located below the Power button. Next you’ll see a list of available input. Select HDMI in and press the OSD button to set this as your source. You should be in business.

If not, you have a good deal of company. Scanning the Internet for others having the same problem, I encountered quite a bit of chat about the issue.

One suggestion emerged: Once you have your computer connected via HDMI to the Acer, turn off the Acer computer. Please let me know if it works.

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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