Toshiba Laptop

It’s been a very busy week since we got back from Punta Cana.  One more wedding photo here for you with a watercolor filter on it.


Something that has been bugging me for almost a year now on my Toshiba Satellite A305 laptop is that my DVD drive will not read or play video files for some reason.  It used to when I first bought the computer but then it stopped.  It plays DVDs and I can use it as a CD drive for downloads, back ups, music, etc, but it will not play video files nor will it autoplay some photoshop CDs I got in the back of some photography magazines while in England last fall.  Chris’s has the same laptop as I do, except about 8 months newer and hers is a 64 bit Vista system instead of my 32 bit Vista system.  Video and the photoshop CDs play fine on her machine.  My DVD icon is different than hers too.  Mine has a little red apple on it.  Wonder if it thinks it is on a Mac system?
Anyway, I have searched high and low on the internet, spoken with Toshiba support and no one has been able to solve this problem so far.  I even went so far as to have a new DVD drive installed by a local computer repair shop and I could still not read the DVDs.  The tech figured perhaps a piece of software I previously installed may have corrupted my windows registry.  That meant making double sure all my data was properly backed up before using my Toshiba system recovery CDs to revert my laptop to factory settings.   It took about 4 hours to do but my laptop is singing like a bird and now reads  & plays DVDs and CDs properly.  Of course I then had to spend the best part of two days reinstalling all my software and downloading two million windows updates!  My DVD icon no longer has a red apple on it either.  I’m thinking iTunes may have buggered things up.
The only negative in all this was that I could not find my Microsoft Outlook 2007 disk set.  Microsoft used to have a thing called Digital Locker which was an online storage file showing all my purchased software with serial numbers just in the event a reinstallation was required at some point.  Turns out Microsoft discontinued that feature in August 2009 and no longer keeps a copy of that data.  Pretty sure I never received anything about that decision.  I’ve used various forms of Outlook for years and like having all my email accounts available in one piece of software.   My only option was to bite the bullet and download Outlook 2010.  Well it turns out that Microsoft does not offer Outlook 2010 as a standalone program.  One has to BUY a complete copy of Office!  Almost $300!!  So I’ve got a trial version of Office running until the end of Sept.  Hoping to make up my mind by then whether it is worth the expense or not. 


  1. Sharon Del Rosario July 26, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    I'm also using Gmail, and I use a free email client from Mozilla, called Thunderbird. And I use Mozilla's free browser, Firefox, instead of Internet Explorer.

    And, if you need any other functions that MS Office provides, like word processing, slide presentations, spreadsheets, etc., try the free Open Office suite from Sun Microsystems. Be sure to go directly to to download it, as there are other sites that try to sell it to you. You can Google it to read reviews of the software. After being a user of MS Office for many years in my working life, now that I pay for my own software, I love Open Office!

  2. Rick and Paulette July 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    Like you, I was a confirmed MS Outlook user for years. Then, when switching computers, I tried Gmail and have never looked back. It's free, has every feature of Outlook, and more, is web based so you don't have to be connected to your own ISP.

    Best of all, Gmail allows you to import all of your other pop email right into your Gmail inbox. You can also set it to reply using your new gmail account or use the address of the originating email.

    After using Gmail for a year now, I'm sold on it and will never spend a nickle for a new email client.