Q: It is difficult to diagnose technical problems when you are not present at the site of the problem. This is the case here. The situation is that one or two Zoom participants can have a terrible echo.
Since I don’t hear any echoes as a participant (not as a host), it seems like it must be specific to the other’s gear. I look at the list of participants on Zoom and see that their microphones are muted. But they say the echo is unbearable. I thought it might be a separate webcam which added another mic into the mix, but they said they didn’t have a separate webcam.
I asked them to check how many mics are listed on their Windows system, even though I think they only have the active laptop mic. I also asked them to bring headphones next week to see if that helps. Still waiting for answers on these questions.
Until then, do you have any idea what could be causing this problem?
— Dean Shibayama
A: According to Zoom, there are three common causes of such echoes:
- A participant has both computer and phone audio active.
- Participants have computer or phone speakers too close together.
- Several computers with active audio are in the same conference room.
The culprit could also be overpowered speakers, a bad microphone, or a faulty device.
The problem is that it may not be clear which participant is causing the problem. To resolve this issue, ask the host to mute all participants, then unmute them one at a time until the echo occurs again.
Q: If someone sends me an attachment in an email, when I try to print it, it doesn’t print. If I download it, it goes somewhere and I can’t find it. He tells me he went to where I store my photos but I can’t find him. To help.
— Bob Rothwell
A: By default, if you save an image attachment, it will go to your Pictures folder, which you’ll find under “This PC” in File Explorer. But typically when I save attachments, I replace the downloads folder with a folder I created named, yes, Downloads.
It is not possible to print an attachment until you have downloaded it to your computer.
Q: I recently upgraded to a new Comcast XFi1 router, a sleek white cube. The main Comcast DVR box received all channels. However, other remote converter boxes that receive HD signals to other TVs throughout the house were missing several channels.
After working with Comcast over the phone, they elected to send a repairman to the house. Within 10 minutes the repairman diagnosed that it was an old hidden connection/transmitter point with all the wires behind the wall. He installed a new transmitter connection and all boxes worked fine.
The new XFi1 router must have compatible upgraded connections to work properly. My house was set up for cable over 15 years ago. I wonder if this might be the case with the Chromecast sticks that a reader of last week’s Q&A had a problem with?
— mike dwyer
A: Yes, that may indeed be the case and it’s a good thing people know about it. Any connected device that streams Internet content may be affected by old or faulty hardware in the ISP’s streaming system. So if Google’s recommended end-user troubleshooting doesn’t fix the problem, I wouldn’t hesitate to ask my ISP to send someone to do some troubleshooting.