Question: I’m getting sluggish response time from my PC’s wireless keyboard. I wonder if that’s because my PC has 204 computing processes running at once. What should I do? — M.B., Bloomington, Minn.

Answer: It’s possible that your PC is slowing as a result of too much software running.

But having 204 processes running simultaneously is not excessive, so you should consider other possible causes.

Here’s a list of things to check:

  • See if the wireless keyboard needs new batteries.
  • Make sure the wireless keyboard is within a foot of the computer.
  • Check if the keyboard’s wireless link is affected by electronic interference. There should be no gadgets, such as speakers, between the PC and the keyboard. Try unplugging other USB devices from your PC to see if they are causing interference.
  • Make sure that a Windows feature called “filter keys” is turned off. That program, designed for people with physical impairments, causes the PC to ignore keystrokes that might have been unintended. (See “Disable filter keys” at tinyurl.com/y4tttl5k).

If those things don’t help, look at broader PC issues (see tinyurl.com/y3syp79w), such as:

  • Check for malware by running an antivirus program scan and by running the free version of the Malwarebytes security program (see tinyurl.com/jsdacdk).
  • Use the Windows Task Manager to find out which program or computer process is using the most PC computing power or memory. If it’s something you don’t need, turn it off.
  • Update programs and software drivers (drivers link to PC components such as the keyboard).
  • Make sure your hard drive has a sufficient amount of space for daily PC operations (if your hard drive is close to 90% full, you need to delete some software or files.)
  • Check your PC’s power options. If you use a “power saver” plan, it could slow down the PC.
  • Turn off animations within programs, which often do little except make a program look cool.

Question: I run my business using three Microsoft Access databases that I developed years ago.

Until now, I’ve been able to copy databases from my office PC and move them to my home PC.

But now the office database files won’t work on my home computer, and I get the error message “Missing: Utility. MDA”.

What should I do? — J.H., Tucson, Ariz.

Answer: It’s a compatibility issue between different versions of Access, Microsoft’s database management program.

You probably have, or had, an older version at your office and a newer one at home.

Here’s why that’s a problem: The MDA file was previously used to add capabilities to Access, such as new ways to query, or search, a database.

But the MDA file was removed from the program after Access 2003.

So, if you move a database created using Access 2003 (or a prior Access version) to a newer version of Access, you will be warned that the MDA file is missing.

Fortunately, you don’t need the MDA file anymore. The same functionality was built into Access 2007 and its successors.

As a result, you can fix the problem by turning off the error message on your home PC’s Access program (see tinyurl.com/yxu49f69).

Alexander covers technology for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Readers can write to him at Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minn. 55488-0002.

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