QUESTION I can no longer log into Windows on my XP laptop. It accepts the password, flashes up the wallpaper screen, then immediately logs me out. If it comes to it, will I be able to sync the tracks on my Apple iPhone to an Apple iTunes account on a new machine? Bill Wass

HELPROOM ANSWER This problem usually occurs if there is something wrong with the Windows system files. The simplest solution is to wipe the system and reinstall Windows, but you’ll need to rescue your files first.

The best way to do this is by slotting your hard drive into a 2.5in drive enclosure (with a PATA or SATA connection, depending on the age of your laptop), then plugging this into another PC to get the files off.

You can then refit the drive and reinstall Windows. An iTunes account can be authorised on up to five devices, but you can’t backwardly initiate synchronisation in the manner you require. Plenty of third-party tools can get around this – a web search on ‘downloading songs from iPod’ will provide you with a wealth of resources and links.

See also: How to fix everything: the ultimate guide to fixing technology

Get free tech support 24 hours a day at PC Advisor's Helproom Forum