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    Have Questions? Get Answers.

    Tips on posting on the forums.

    1. Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery instead of ‘I have a question.
    2. Knowledgeable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title.
      I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.
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    exclamation-point.pngPost straightforward questions and then post background information.
    • Question A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?
      • Adding Background information in your post will help members understand what information you are looking for so they can assist you in finding it.
    Rephrase the question: I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine, but the claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?
    • Question B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?
      • See how the details below give us a better understanding of what you’re claiming.
    Rephrase the question: I was involved in a traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?
    This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial of your claim?”
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  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

I am an IT Pro with over 30 years experience


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  • Community Owner

I am an IT Pro with over 30 years experience. I can give you advice on mot computer related issues.  If you have forgot a password have hard drive problems etc. Try Hiren’s BootCD PE. Hiren’s BootCD PE

This Software will get you passed a lost password and fix most problems.

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Thanks for that.  I have not personally tried this..it likely will work.  

I used to use Knoppix (a version of Linux) that boots without loading an operating system on the disk and lets you read stuff in plain text.  The problem is that not all computers now a days have CD/DVD drives.  Im sure this knoppix could be loaded to a thumb (jump) drive also.  Many or most Linux versions run on the cd/dvd drive without loading the operating system.  

If I was locked out of a computer, I insert a Knoppix cd/dvd, copy the applicable user files, then reload the operating system with another Linux, probably Linux Mint.  

While this does take some time, it saves time in the long run because Linux just does not get the hackers like "hacker magnet" Windows does.  You can read about, and download one of a hundred or so Free Linux operating systems here. https://distrowatch.com/

    In a nutshell, Linux is an operating system written by Linus Torvalds and other open source software people.  Open source means its free to the public, no license like Windows is required.  

    In cell phones, you probably have used Linux based Android operating system. (unless you either dont use smart phones or use Apple, instead)  In fact, in cell phone technology, most places no longer offer windows phones, the choices are Android or Apple.    There are good (no, great) reasons why Android and Apple are Superior to Windows OS phones.  However, there is a group of "windows phone lovers", who may dispute that.  However, a windows phone likely costs more because you have to pay for the windows operating system, while you dont with Android.  

     I started out as a Windows user, then switched to Linux, and now Im all Apple.  Apple computers last longer, have better service (many towns have Apple stores), but often cost more up front.  However, its easy to pay as much or more for a windows laptop as an Apple.  

     Its been my experience Apple computers last about 10 years.  Windows is about 5.  Yes you can get longer out of either of these, and sometimes less, also.  Often Windows "will stop supporting" their older Windows operating systems after about 5 years or so.  

     This mostly means you cant get updates, so hackers have a ball with Windows users with very old operating systems.  

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Many many years ago I had an Apple I Mac 3 that lasted only 3 years and failed on the day after warranty expired. Ever since then I have used only windows pcs and laptops and been quite happy.  I still have two older than 10 year windows laptops that still work just great with windows 7, and 8.1, plus two windows 10.  I still use the apple Safari web browser on my windows machine to read old CAVC court cases that I saved on my defunct Apple I Mac. 

I have found that there is so much more software programs that work for free or cheap on my windows machines and so far no virus, malware or trojans on the windows laptops. Cheers and goodwill to all.

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You have a lot of company (being a Windows fan).  But, many of those, like myself, switched to Apple or Linux.  

    My apple stopped working, after the warranty.  I took it to an apple store.  

    They reloaded the Mac (apple software), and I walked out of the store with a working Apple laptop.  Cost?  $0.00

    I asked them (Apple reps) about that.  They said it was a software problem, and the software warranty does not expire in 3 years.  Try that with a Windows Box.  

     Very often, when a computer fails, its a software issue, not always hardware.  

      Apple people are "rarely" convinced to "switch to Windows".  However, many ex Windows users, like myself, are happy with Apple.  I have never seen a Apple user switch to Windows, "except" for a few limited people trying to run some software unavailable on a Mac.  

       The Apple/Windows debate will never be settled..there will always be fans of both.  That is ok.  This is America.  We fought for those freedoms.  

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Apple lover of all things. Elegant simplicity, for myself switch to Mac was huge stress reliever. The simplicity, the it just works, just grand in my book. But as I am sure you can tell I am teetering on the edge of being a member of the Cult of Mac LOL. It really has made doing my work much easier, but I don't need any programs that don't have a MAC version. Now a days it's even more common to find a MAC version for software. I hear PC's are better for gaming, but I don't game. Which every you choose I wish you well with it. No judgement here.


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Like apple lovers I do love my simple to use Windows laptops although no snob appeal with plain jane windows PCs.  I also love my very functional dodge ram 1500s, 2500s but they are no BMWs or Cadillac's or diesel monster 3500s  that is fine with me. 

A win is a win my any means. 


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I agree with Tbird.   My stress is much less with Apple.   


 1.  No worry about "the new" Windows, and whether or not Microsoft will support my "old" Windows.  They want you to buy a new one every 3 years.  

Notice:  Windows 98. (1998)

              Windows ME.(2000)

               Windows XP.  2003.  Of course, then its on To Windows, 7, 8, 9, 10, ........

     Each time, Windows expects us to buy the new operating system, at a cost of hundreds$$$.  

      Instead, you buy an Apple, and get upgraded software..free..for life.  

2.  Windows stops supporting "old" operating systems, so they become Virus magnets..and help Virii spread because many people cant afford hundreds for new software, so they keep using the old stuff, which hackers exploit.  

3.  Quality.  I have never had a "blue screen of death" on a Mac.  And I have owned macs since 2014, beginning a trasition away from Windows.  

4.  Better security.  I never have had a virus on my Macs ever.  

5.  Last longer.  

     You often see Windows users switching to Mac, but I have never seen a Mac user switching back to Windows.  

 6.  Nowadays, A quality computer (mac) often costs no more than windows.  

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Well I have at least 4 laptops with Win 10 (2) , 8.1 or 8, and win 7.

My old 15 year old Acer Vista I upgraded to 10 just for fun and it works just fine  as do my other new and elderly laptops.  I have had none of the problem issues with any of those you alluded to so do not assume every windows user has those problems you described.  Happy windows user since 2003.  MY upgrades to each windows new system has been free of charge to me with no glitches, etc. 

It is not important to me that other folks think their apple is superior to windows  but they are so insistent due to s appeal. So there you have it.   Sorry to disappoint. 

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  • Community Owner

Sorry I didn't check this till now. The system hadn't been notifying me of post I have fixed it. 

I have worked with MAC's for sometime. My only problem with them is I have to down think with them. What I mean is I have to think in user terms a lot simpler. 

Tbird is beating me into submission about getting a MAC.


I wash I was better at writing Linux. You can do so much with it now a days. 

I was trended as a MCSE in 1996. (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) That was in the NT 3.51, Wiin 95, and Win NT days. 


If you need more laptops I have been cleaning out the garage. I have Totes X 4 with a bunch of of them in there. Ranging form Win 95's through Win 10's. I mostly keep them for parts. some of them still work. I have thought about putting both Linux and Crome book on some of them when I get some time.

I don't know if any of you know this but there is a way to put Win 11 on about any PC and make it ignore the hardware compatibility list. If any of you are interested I can post a link hear. 



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Yes, I like Linux and Mac.  In 1998, I was certified as a Microsoft Certified Professional.   The MCP, for those who dont know is the MCSE "light" version.  MCP contains maybe 20 to 30 percent of what is in the MCSE.  So, Rattler obviously has much more Windows experience/knowledge.  

And, Im still learning Mac.  I have slowed way, way down as Im over 70 years old and, for example, "Phone technologies has passed me by".  

When I have trouble doing something on my Iphone, I find someone aged 7 to 15, who shows me immediately how to do something I struggled 2 days with.  

Im convinced that, before a child is allowed to go to high school, they have to have mastered phone technologies, which includes, of course "text" lingo..

While I helped many people with computers, many people dont even have a computer anymore..they use the phone and they are fantastic with it.  

I got a new Sienna Van last December.  I just figured out 2 days ago, "why" I was inconsistently able to get "maps" on my dash.  It turns out the software is just plain slow, so you plug it in, and it mostly works in about 2 minutes.  Of course, there are problems with phone cords, also, and, even when I use Iphone brand cords (not generic) they still work SOME of the time.  New cords are much more reliable, but cell phones and I dislike each other.  

For one thing, it seems no matter which cell phone I have, even an Iphone 13 costing nearly a grand, you guessed it...I cant hear the phone calls about 50-70 percent of the time.  Oh, I can hear some of it, but only if I put it on speaker, and if there is no background noise..and if I have a good cell phone signal..and my tinnitus is not ringing, and my hearing aids are not clogged, and the batteries are charged.  In short, I have to practically "win the lottery" to be able to hear a phone conversation.  Oh, I forgot.  The caller needs to have a deep voice, foreign accents are impossible, and so are children, including grandchildren.  I could understand my pastor...he had a deep bold voice.  A high pitched woman's or child's voice was mostly a no go.  Naturally, of course, the cell signal in my home is inconsistent and often says "call failed".  

This happens whether I have Verizon, (and give verizon 1/3 of my income for phone service), ATT (20 percent), or mint phones, which is only 15 bucks a month if you pay a year in advance.  Plus, of course, $900 per month in customary fees and taxes, one time fees, recurring fees, and fees for paying additional fees.  

Jim Gaffigan, the comedian was talking about Cable TV.  His friend called and he said he had cancelled Cable.  Jim replied, "Now why would you cancel Cable?  Now, you are gonna have to figure out what to do with the additional $1200 per month you save on cable tv.  

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Those pre-execution environment discs worked great on older operating systems where the boot drive was not encrypted. Any idea if they work on the newer systems with TPM?

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The Win 11 USB's to install Win 11 on about anything takes a few file hacks. I loaded it on a Laptop that it should have never ran on. 

I will see if I can find the Links to the instructions on how to do it.   

broncovet  I get it I am only 5 years behind you.  Learning Mac is a life long thing.

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Comparisons between "THE BIG 3":

1.  LINUX.  LINUS TORVALD'S donated this software he orignally wrote to the world.  Its called "android" on cell phones.  Cost?  zero.  Can be difficult to use, early versions did not have a GUI

(Graphic user interface, known as "point and click").  This means you had to type in commands.  Linux still has a "command line", and so does Windows.  "Command Line", where you type in commands is often used for advanced users, and when "there is no icon" to do that.  It means you can do much more using the command line, and are not limited by the functions of the "Icon" writer.  Linux, and Android, are known as "open source" software, where anyone can view and modify the software at their own discretion.  

Many, many many computer software programmers, all over the world, modify the open source software, or even write new programs that run on it.  One example is "Open Office".  Open office has many similarities to Microsoft Office, except for ONE difference.  Microsoft Office can cost hundreds of dollars while Open Office is free.  

With a few possible exceptions, Linux is not "pre installed" on a computer you buy.  THe user loads it on the computer.  Incredibly, Linux runs "on the CD", so you can try it out, before you install it on the hard drive.  Of course the CD version is slower, because CD's are slower than hard drives.  Linux can often be ran on Windows or even Apple computers by "booting from the CD" (or booting from a jump drive), and you can try out linux and not disturb Windows operating system.  There are huge advantages to this, one of them is you can repair a computer that "wont boot" (perhaps because of a hard drive which has failed).  

2.  Windows.   Most of us know windows.  Its proprietary software, where only Microsoft employees can view or modify the source code.  It has more user's than Apple or Linux.  Many people believe that is do to ONE indisputable fact.  "Microsoft" is the best at marketing and advertising.  Have you ever seen a Linux commercial?  I haven't either.  You probably wont either.   It comes "pre installed" on almost all computers you buy except those made by APPLE.  In a contest between "who is the best in the world at marketing", Windows wins, then Apple, then Linux is dead last.  Interesting, however, Apple is a much larger company than Microsoft.  Apple was the first company to reach a market cap of $1 Trillion (1000 billion).  Currently, Apple is the largest company in the world at 2.45 Trillion, Mircosoft is 2.04 trillion, and Google (Alphabet) is 1.24 Trillion.  

3.  Apple.  Most of us are familiar with this company, the largest in the world, by market cap.  Apple makes hardware and software, while Microsoft makes mostly software, but Microsoft does have "Surface", as well as gaming devices.  I may have explained, since Apple sells both hardware and software in one computer, I took an old apple which would not boot to an Apple store, where they reloaded the operating system at no cost to me, even when it was out of warranty.  Im unaware of "Microsoft stores", but Windows are sold often in places like Best Buy, Walmart, as well as computer specialty stores.  Many stores offer both Windows and Apple.  

Apple is generally the most expensive of the 3.  At least a portion of this is Apple generally does not offer "low end products", such as Windows computers which have "intel Celeron" processors.  Celeron processors are the "low end".  Since a lot of the cost of a computer is in the processor, complete computers can be sold for $200 or less sometimes.  They are often sold as "children's" computers.  Businesses, or professionals rarely use low end computers, which tend to be less reliable, slow, and generally low graphics quality and have few special features, such as a finger print login.  

Its my opinion that my Mac's (Apple) last longer than Windows.  ONE reason:  Windows discontinues updates on older operating systems, and that means that they are vulnerable to hackers.  Apple may stop supporting very old systems, too, but not after 3 or 4 years, Apple computers can continue to run and be productive for 10 or more years.  

An example is cell phones.  My son has an Iphone 6..he continues to use it.  I have an Iphone 12, and I bought my wife an Iphone 13 last year.  The newest versions are Iphone 14.  

Windows entered, then exited the cell phone market.  The windows phones were a joke.  Android phones has overtaken Windows.  Companies like Samsung modify the android software and sell phones with their software.  So, Samsung phones are different than LG, or the others, in software and hardware.  

An Iphone 5, 6, 8 or even 10 or more years old often continues working.  While Android phones can still work, they are far behind in technology and most fail well before 10 years.  Typically android phones are replaced in 3 years or less.  

This suits my wife..she hates to learn a new phone, and she has to do that far less often with Apple, because they last "about twice as long" as Android.  That is my opinion, of course, but it is an opinion shared by millions.  


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I remember the command line Linux. (uh I hated it and Windows command line) I started out doing MS-DOS and you kind of had to do command Line.  I think I agree with everything you said above. 

Heras a good Windows story. I would pick up side gigs. One of them was an attorney who was running a program called Needles. It was a law  management software. The version he had ran on a very old Windows 3.51 server. (The version I trained on) When everyone was forced to upgrade to Win 10 it would not see the Win 3.51 server but would work with a Win 2000 server if you edited the registry. I was looking for an up graded peace of software  that was in 3.51 but a lower version.  Well Microsoft said there is no way you can make 3.51 work with Win 10.  So I took the registry hack and edited the line that looked at that program and changed it to look for the older version. (It had to do with the local network  not the Wan.) Bingo it started working like it would on the Win 2000 version. The system worked until he retired 5 years latter. 

The moral of the story is NEVER beleave what Microsoft tells you. There is always a hack. 

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I think you left out one thing about Mac, vs Windows. originally, Mac processor architecture were totally different from Windows OS architecture. One works better with running some types of software and machines than the other. Hence why the MAC software could not be flat out ran on a windows machine. Without code changes, and Vice Versa. Each is great in their own way.

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