# Frequently Asked Computer Questions

Here are common problems people ask me about. The more common ones are towards to top.

If something here helps you, please let me know.

## Get help on computers at InfoRocket by talking with someone over the phone.

### I'm not responsible for anything that might happen to your system by following my suggestions.

What do I use to open this file? What file format is this?

Slow system performance? Make sure it's in 32 bit mode.

Make your your system is running in 32 bit mode. Right click My Computer and go

to Properties, then go to Performance. If it says MS-DOS compatibility mode,

then some device is not using a 32 bit driver and that's slowing things down.

Free Diagnostics - Test your system

Need a device driver?

Read AOL mail from Outlook or another email program.

Use eNetBot

Formatting a hard drive.

Backup any data you wish to save before doing this. I'm NOT responsible for anything that may happen to your system while doing this.

If this is a drive that you already have used, you will need to backup any

programs or data you want to restore after formatting, since formatting will

wipe the drive clean.

Make a 95/98 Startup Disk.

Goto Start,Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Startup Disk.

98 installs a CD ROM driver, test the startup disk to see that you can access

you drive.

95 does not add the CD ROM driver. You will need to add that yourself.

It will not copy your autoexec.bat or config.sys files to that disk, you will

need to copy them and your cd driver for dos and then edit the configuration files so that

they refer to the cd rom driver on the floppy. Copy startdos.bat from c:\windows , since that

already contains the line to call your dos cd driver. Config.sys  should have some cd sys

device driver line. Leave that line in and copy the cd  driver line from startdos.bat to

autoexec.bat. Test the floppy by booting from  it and seeing if you can access your cd drive.

However some of the  drivers will be refering to stuff on your c: drive and you will need to

copy those files and edit the config.sys and autoexec.bat files so you refer to

them on the floppy.

After you format your drive you will need to reinstall your operating system.

Most likely your computer came with an restore disk. In that case you

wouldn't need to make a boot disk, but it's a good idea to have that anyway in

emergency situations. Running the restore disk should restore all the

programs that were there when you got your system.

If you are going to work from scratch, then you'll need to reinstall 95 (if

you got the upgrade version, you can rename any file on the harddrive that is

larger than 1k to win386.exe to fool 95 into thinking you are upgrading).

Then reinstall all your drivers. Then you are ready to restore any files you

backed up. You will need to reinstall any applications that were erased,

since they had registry entries and other data files in the windows area.

For 98, run the install and provide your 95 disk as proof of upgrade.

To format your drive boot from the bootdisk and do:

format c:

It might ask for the volume (label) name if the drive has it. Type c:\label

to get it's label. Then redo the format command to format the drive.

After you format you may need to place DOS on it. Do:

sys c:\

I'm not responsible for anything that might happen to your system

by following my suggestions.

Floppy Disk Makes Noise When Opening Programs

You likely have a shortcut in your documents area pointing to the floppy drive.

Remove it or all the shortcuts, by going to:

c:\windows\recent\

Device is not working

Go to Control Panel, System, Device Manager. Check to see no items have a

yellow ! . If so then go to that device and choose Properties, it might

explain the error. Sometimes choosing Refresh fixes things. If not, choose Remove and then

Refresh.

Erase Location History In Netscape or Internet Explorer

Netscape:

You can clear it in Edit, Prefereneces, Navigator. Then you can Clear
Location Bar. It's the bottom choice.

Internet Explorer:

View, Options, Navigation, Clear History. It's the bottom choice.

Callwaiting

Devices that hooks to your modem to detect call waiting tones.

CD music not working

Test the cd rom by plugging in headphones to it and playing the cd. If that

works, check your cd audio volume in the mixer. Double click the speaker icon

in the taskbar. Check the cd volume and make sure it's not low or muted. If

it's proper, you likely did not hook the cable from the cd to your sound card.

Also some systems don't work with something in line in.

Check that the cd rom is listed correctly in

Device Manager. You can go there by right clicking on the My Computer icon then

going to Properties. If the cd rom is not listed, then it's driver is not

loading. If it has a yellow "!" near it, then it has a conflict. You can try

removing it from the list, then restarting. It should find it again and

hopefully set it up correctly. If not, you can go into it's properties in

device manager and see if you can change it's settings under resources. Refer

to your instructions for info on that.

Otherwise you can manually add it via Add New Hardware in Control Panel. Tell

95 not to search for new devices.

IRQ

You can check your IRQs by going to Control Panel, System, Device Manager. Then

choosing Computer (the top item) and choosing Properties.

Mcafee and hard drive busying when system is idle

Have have likely installed Mcafee's Anitivirus with Screen Scan enabled. It

will scan the drive for viruses when the screen saver is on. Go to the

properties of your display in Control panel (or right click a blank area of the

desktop and choose Properties). Then go to Screen Scan and do disable. I'm

doing this from memory (I now use Nortons Antivirus).

Mic problem

Go to the sound mixer. Right click on the speaker icon in the taskbar

and choose volume controls. If you don't see the mic settings, go to Options,

Properties and check on the mic. Then you can edit if the mic is enabled and

volume etc.

If you don't have the speaker icon on the taskbar, it's found in

Accessories\Multimedia\Volume Control.

Partitioning drives - Partitionmagic

It's best to get a program called Partition Magic to manage drives with data already on

them. Partition Magic can change partition info easily and without the need to

backup/restore the data. It modifies it on the fly. It's usually best to have a

backup, should something go wrong.

Mouse & keyboard lockup - Powermanagement

Also try disabling Advanced Power Management in Device Manager under

System Devices.

Removing uninstall options.

Caution using regedit, it can cause bad things to happen if you touch the wrong things. So do so only if you know what you are doing. There is no undo option, so changes are permanent. regedit is accessed from the run line.

I'm not responsible for anything that might happen to your system by following my suggestions.

In regedit go to:

My Computer\

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\

SOFTWARE\

Microsoft\

Windows\

CurrentVersion\

Uninstall

Now you can remove the entries not needed. Deleting is permanent. However, you can edit the value to have a ; in front of it to be ignored. Hightlight the name and choose Edit Modify. Example:

c:\windows\something
should become
;c:\windows\something

Share Drives or Printers Over The Internet

Setup a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
http://www.wown.com/j_helmig/vpn.htm

Share Internet Connection

Or buy a router so you don't need to have 2 machines on at once.

Software loading at startup, but you don't know why?

Caution using regedit, it can cause bad things to happen if you touch the wrong things. So do so only if you know what you are doing. There is no undo option, so changes are permanent. regedit is accessed from the run line.

I'm not responsible for anything that might happen to your system by following my suggestions.

In regedit go to:

My Computer\

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\

SOFTWARE\

Microsoft\

Windows\

CurrentVersion\

Run

Also check in.

RunServices

and

RunOnce

Now you can remove the entries not needed. Deleting is permanent. However, you can edit the value to have a ; in front of it to be ignored. Hightlight the name and choose Edit Modify. Example:

c:\windows\something
should become
;c:\windows\something

How to get into Safemode - Use this if some device does not work and normal mode does not work.

Press F5 when it says Starting Windows 95. It will take much longer

than when you start normally and it might even appear that the system is

hanging with an hour glasss, but that is normal.

When done in safe mode, don't shut down the computer. Restart it.

Some times shuting down in safe mode causes problems. If

you shut down by mistake and see that it takes longer to start

95 after that. Go back to safe mode and restart.

This has happened before on other systems. You still should have the start menu

there, but only as a tinny little gey bar. If you press the Windows button

on the keyboard (or Ctrl-Esc for non 95 keyboards) the taskbar should appear.

What has happened is that the taskbar's size is set to the smallest it can be.

What you should do it drag the mouse very slowly towards the side of the

screen that has the taskbar (usually the bottom of the screen) and the mouse

will turn from a pointer to a double ended arrow. Now click and hold the

mouse button and drag the mouse up (or out) until the taskbar is the right

size.

vcache - For better memory management

Check in system.ini and look for vcache. If it is not there, add these lines. If it's there, edit it so it looks like this.

[vcache]

MinFileCache=4096

MaxFileCache=4096

Close & minimize messed up

Your marlett.ttf font file must be messed up. That stores the fonts. You can

try and extract it from the cab file in 95. Get a copy from someone if you don't know how to

extract it. It's a hidden system file in c:\windows\fonts.

DMI error when starting the computer

I got this from a newsgroup:

Computer crashes after "Verifying DMA Pool" message

The message verifying DMA pool data is a DOS check of your IRQ

settings and your DMA channels. It sounds like you have a device conflict. A device conflict occurs when two different hardware components or cards try to use the same interrupt (IRQ) or the same channel (DMA). If you have  installed any new items on your computer lately, I would suspect that device as causing the problem. To check for device and IRQ conflicts in DOS, type "msd" at a DOS prompt. Review the IRQ section to see which devices have been assigned interrupts and which have not. In Win95/Win98 go in to Start/Settings/Control Panel/System/Device Manager and look for any yellow exclamation marks or red Xs (open all the device directories so you can  see individual items). These indicate a device that is not working properly. You may need to go to safe mode to make some changes.

NO ROM BASIC, SYSTEM HALTED

I got this from a newsgroup:

This should get a prize for the PC compatible's most obscure error message. It usually means you haven't made the primary partition bootable or, in Microsoft-speak, 'Active'. Use FDISK to fix this. Don't fret, you won't have to repartition or reformat anything unless you have no primary partition at all.

The earliest true-blue PCs had a BASIC interpreter built in, just like many other home computers those days. Even today, the Master Boot Record (MBR) code on your harddisk jumps to the BASIC ROM if it doesn't find any active partitions. Needless to say, there's no such thing as a BASIC ROM in today's compatibles, and this action ends in the above error message.

Windows 98 System Files Damaged

Run the System File Checker. It's in programs/accessories/system tools/System File Checker. That looks at 98's system files and sees if there is a problem with them.

Viruses

If you see "Kagou-Anti-Kro$oft says not today!" you have the Wscript.KakWorm. That link explains how to remove it. General virus info, as well as removals for popular viruses can be found here. Various fixes can be found here. Free Antivirus Software - Download some free software from Computer Associates Free DOS scanner Get a free firewall - from Alarm Zone More Antivirus Info Yet even more info AMD systems and IE cause JPG problems Problems with files in c:\windows\web\ Run this command: regsvr32 webvw.dll It will rebuild the files. How to make a bootdisk in Windows Goto Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Startup Disk. 98 will give you a cd driver. 95 will not copy your autoexec.bat or config.sys files to that disk, you will need to copy them and your cd driver for dos and then edit the configuration files so that they refer to the cd rom driver on the floppy. Copy dosstart.bat from c:\windows to your floppy and rename it autoexec.bat , since that already contains the line to call your dos cd driver. Edit the line that says mscdex.exe so that there is no path statement. Also remove any extra statements like the mouse. Config.sys should have some cd sys device driver line. Copy that to the floppy and remove all the extra devicehigh=stuff. Test the floppy by booting from it and seeing if you can access your cd drive. Buliding a computer These sites deal with building a computer: Direct x not working Try the latest Direct X. DOS mode stuck Check if you have any config.wos and autoexec.wos files on your system. Copy your exisiting autoexec.bat and config.sys files (for a backup) and rename the other files to the correct name. It might appear that when the program was reset to work in DOS mode it never came out of DOS mode properly and the system was set to be in dos mode. If that doesn't work, press F8 at the "Starting Windows 95" and choose Normal. Or for Windows 98, hold down the Ctrl key at bootup until a menu appears. Extract files You can get info on how to extract a file from here: Floppy in 98 not working Try renaming the file HSFLOP.PDR in windows\system\iosubsys folder. I've heard this can help windows 98 access a floppy drive when it works in DOS. Lotus Notes RIP I got this from Domino Powertips : If you're like most users of Lotus Notes on one of the Windows platforms, there have probably been occasions when you've been working away on your computer when all of a sudden one or more applications stops working and Windows tells you that a NOTES.RIP file is being created. This might even have happened without Notes running at the time. This tip will tell you what has happened and how to prevent it from happening again. Every Windows computer has a built in debugging application called Dr. Watson. When Windows is installed, Dr. Watson is made the default debugger -- and it is supposed to intercept a failing program and capture debug information. When you or your Notes administrator installed Lotus Notes, the default Dr. Watson debugger was replaced with a program from Lotus called QNC.EXE, which almost everyone pronounces as "Quincy". When Notes (or most other applications) fails, QNC intervenes and tries to save as much information as possible about what went wrong into a text file. The NOTES.RIP file (yes, it does stand for "Rest In Peace") contains this debugging information to allow developers to try and figure out what failed. Even if Lotus Notes isn't running when a program crashes, QNC makes it look like Notes is in some way related to the error. A further problem is the QNC itself can cause problems with other applications. Even if QNC isn't causing problems, it doesn't let you see what the real problem is without analyzing the .RIP file. The best thing to do is permanently disable QNC. To do this you should pop up a DOS window and change to the directory where Notes was installed. Once in that directory (usually C:\NOTES), type the following command "QNC -U" (without the quotes) and press enter. That's it! You'll receive a message informing you that Quincy has been uninstalled as the default application debugger". From now you should have fewer program crashes and if you do you won't get a NOTES.RIP file. Modem diagnose Also check in the modem in Control Panel. Go to Diagnose, select the modem, More Info Null modem and copying files to a new computer Windows applications set themselves up in a way that you need to reinstall them on the other computer. As for DOS programs, or data files you can use a null modem and link the 2 system up using your serial or parallel ports. Windows 95 has Direct Cable Connect to allow 2 pcs to connect via a serial or parallal port cable called a Null Modem. The cable is cheap around$10 or less

and the program is part of 95. The Help file has info on it. Go Start, Help and

then search for Direct Cable Connect.

You can tranfer your data easily to your new computer. However some

registrations on shareware deal with a special key file that is hidden

somewhere on your hard drive and you might no be able to run the registered

version on your other computer. This is done for some sort of copy protection.

As for store programs and data files you can transfer them using either a Null

modem. A null modem is basically a cable that connects to your serial or printer

port on both systems. From there you can set 95 up as a network and then copy

the files over to your new system.

95 has Direct Cable Connection. If it's not installed go to Add/Remove programs

from Control Panel. Click Windows Setup, select Communications. Then choose

Components list and choose Details. Select Direct Cable Connection. Then you

need to setup on both computers the network protocol. One system is the host and

the other is the guest. They will be under:

For host:

Start/Programs/Accessories/Direct Cable Connection

For guest:

Start/Programs/Accessories/Direct Computer Connection

The best way to do this is with a Null Modem. That is a cable that connects to

either the serial or parallel ports on both machines.

For info on how to use them look here:

Basically you need what is called a null modem, you already have the software,

if DOS was 6.x or latter. A null modem is a double ended cable that goes into

your parallel port or serial port on both computers. If you didn't have DOS 6.x

you can get the software from it, from:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/download/olddos.exe Then you can make a 95

bootdisk and run these programs on your old computer.

Then when the programs are running each computer will have it's own hard drive

letter. So you can say, xcopy c:\whatever_dir d:\whatever_dir /a /e /i /h /k /-y

This copies all the files in the subdirectories of the dir, all attributes, etc.

etc. It basically duplicates the dir on the new computer. You could say xcopy

c:\ d:\ with the other command lines, but don't do this, because it will copy

over the whole harddirve, unless you want it to. The /-y (note the minus sign) tells it to it to

prompt before overwriting files that exist.

Printscreen

Here is how to print in Windows 95. Press the Print Screen if you want to

capture the whole desktop. If you want just one window, make that window

active then hold the Alt key while pressing Print Screen. This will take a

picture of the screen and place it in the clipboard. Now go to any image

editing program, such as Paint (located in Programs\Accessories\Paint) and

paste the image there. Now you can print it out.

The programs your seller is talking about will automatically capture and print

by just pressing Print Screen.

Recording quality

Check your recording settings. They should be set to a low quality. Depending

on your recording program, you'll need to check the settings.

If you are using the Sound Record from 95, go to Edit, Audio Properties. Set it

to radio or telephone quality. CD Quality is too much space. You can also

customize the quality for those value. In other programs, you set the khz of

the quality. The lower the number the less space.

Startup group

To remove the file from the startup group, right click the Start button and choose Open, then

go into the program's group and go to the start up group and choos the file

and then press delete. Now it's in the recycle bin and will not load on start

up.

Step by step - find startup problems

Try pressing F8 when it says Starting Windows 95 and choose Set by Set confirmation. Then run the autoexec.bat and config.sys files and see where the system is failing.

Compressing Drives

I use FreeSpace by Mijenix.

It can compress files or folders and run them compressed. It doesn not compress the drive. It works much like a zip file, because it creates a special file in the folder that contains the files. When you go to that directory the program reads this file and generates the file listing. It's totally automatic, and is very good. For example, it compressed Office 95 on my system by 56%. From 67.5 MB down to 29.6 MB. A savings of 37.9 MB.

Setup a webcam:

This place lets you stream your camera to your visitors. Go here

Get Tweak UI to make some adjusts to Windows. Fix things, hide things, and do some diagnostics.