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Welcome to AskAW! This section of our web site lets you submit questions about any problems/queries that you may have about Windows. Be it from a little icon that annoys you to hardware freezing your PC, we will try and help you out. You can submit your questions by e-mailing us at askaw@activewin.com.  You can browse through previous questions over at our Archive Page.  Who knows what you might find.

Here are the answered questions for 02-09-2001


 

Question

Submitted by Chrisitian

Hi guys! Activewin.com rules!! Now that that is out of the way, can I get a distict comparison between Windows95, Windows98/SE, and Windows 2000 please? 

Solution 1 Answered by Stefan Assmann

Windows 95 is obsolete according to Microsoft, so let's focus on the difference between the Windows 9x line and the Windows 2000 line:
Windows 2000 is the succesor to Windows NT and as such has a different codebase, meaning:
- it's MUCH more stable
- you can use an alternate file system (NTFS) that supports super large hard disks without having to partition it into heaps of drive letters. It also supports FAT & FAT32.
- the NTFS file system supports security AND compression
- Windows 2000 works with a logon system, meaning you have to logon to it in order to be able to use it. Because of this, you can also use Windows 2000 with different users on one computer with eac user having his or her own settings (this can be done in Windows 9x too, but not as sophisticated)
- Windows 2000 is available in several different versions, depending on your needs. Professional is for the home user and small company, server & advanced server for large companies, datacenter server for specialty companies (like nuclear power plants)
- Windows 2000 requires more of your hardware, especially in the memory area. 128MB is no luxury.
- Windows 2000 is great in networking of all kinds.
Regards

Solution 2 Answered by Ashton Smith

Windows 95
-------------
Windows 95 is the first real GUI OS that Microsoft ever made. The previous version, Windows 3.11, was just an operating environment. Windows 95 is based on the DOS kernel and adds a user friendly and well-polished GUI. Windows 95 is really aimed for the home user, security was not a big concern in the design of this operating system. Windows 95 is the first Microsoft OS that supports Plug and Play hardware, meaning that the OS can detect and setup the hardware without much user intervention. The hardware requirements on Windows 95 are not very demanding. This version of Windows is no longer sold or supported by Microsoft. 

Windows 98/98SE
-------------------
Basically a better version of Windows 95. It includes fixes to the OS includes patches and feature enhancements. Windows 98/98SE has Internet Explorer fully integrated into the OS. It includes some new tools and wizards to make the OS more user friendly. It looks and feels like Windows 95 with a few improvements. The hardware requirements for Windows 98/98SE are a little more demanding than 95, but not really a big deal in today's computing world.

Windows ME (Millenium Edition)
----------------------------------
The last incarnation of the Windows 9x product line. Once again, just a polished version of Windows 98SE. It includes Internet Explorer 5.0. It also includes new tools like the system restore function that helps a person "rollback" their computer if something goes wrong with a software install. Microsoft says that this version is for home use, and tries to highlight some of the multimedia programs that are included. This is the first version of the Windows 9x product line that doesn't let you boot into DOS mode. A lot of the backwards compatibility DOS stuff has been removed from this operating system. The hardware requirements of Windows ME are very similar to Windows 98SE.

Windows NT 4.0
------------------
Looks like Windows 95/98 on the outside, but it is totally different inside. The focus of this product line is security and stability. The NT product family doesn't offer full backwards compatibility to the DOS world of old. Windows NT doesn't support Plug and Play hardware, and doesn't support more than DirectX version 3 (a graphics package that some games require). It really isn't a good home OS. Windows NT has very strict hardware requirements and won't run on older hardware.

Windows 2000
----------------
Kind of like a combination of the features of the Windows 9x/ME product line with the benefits and security of the NT product line. It does support Plug and Play as well as the most recent version of DirectX. These factors make it a good operating system for the home user. It does have strict hardware requirements, so will mostly run on the newest of computers. Windows ME and 2000 look very similar. The focus of the NT/2000 product line is really the business world and any home user concerned about security. Windows 2000 does best on newer computers with lots of RAM (128MB recommended).

Windows Codename Whistler (scheduled to ship before the end of the year) (possibly named Windows XP)
------------------------------
This version is meant to be the merging of the Windows 9x/ME product lines with the NT/2000 product lines. It will offer backwards compatibility modes for older software but will include the security and stability of the NT/2000 product line. This version will also ship in some form on the upcoming Microsoft XBox gaming console.

Windows CE
--------------
A GUI version of Windows that has been made for handheld computers (similar in concept to the Palm OS). It provides users of handheld computers with a familiar looking operating system. At the core, it is nothing like the 9x/ME or NT/2000 product lines.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Mad Mike

You guys have any idea how to change an IRQ in win98se or ME. I am trying to reinstall a NIC adapter in WIN/ME and it wants to assign it to 11 which is being used by my USB and my scanner. I have 9 and 10 available but I can't overide it in device manager. Any ideas? Thanx 

Solution 1 Answered by Stefan Assmann

Doesn't your NIC have a diagnostics program (in DOS) or some sort of BIOS access routine where you can change it? If it's a 3Com model, look on www.3com.com  for this.

 
 

Question

Submitted by tahasha

Hi, my name is Tahasha. I had a question. I was deleting a program called BonziBuddy. When I deleted it, I guess I accidentally deleted a file. And now when I start up the computer it gives me a windows message saying file not found, the file name is  .DDL MSVBVM60.DDL  Is there any way to get the file back? I already tried the recycle bin and it was not there. Thank you for your time. sincerely

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

If this program has an uninstall feature (where under Add/Remove Programs, it shows up as an added program when installed), you could reinstall the program, then uninstall and watch to see if you are prompted to delete it. Also, if you're running Win98, go to System Info and under tools, there is the system file checker which might pick up this file as missing and reinstall it.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Unknown

Hello, I have installed windows 2000 on my PC and am having trouble getting the sound to work. All the other devices (modem, network card, video, work fine). The audio driver installs fine and even when I run an audio file with Media Player, it actually plays; its just that no sound comes out. Further, when I bring up the volume control menu from the bottom right hand corner of the screen, the "Volume Control" section and the "Speaker Balance" section are shadowed, i.e. the mute/unmute option box cannot be checked or unchecked. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with my speakers because i actually have a dual-boot system going, with the other OS being Windows 98. thanks. 

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

Uh...which sound card do you have in your system? 

 
 

Question

Submitted by Cindy

I am in a network environment with a proxy server connection. My question is this: At some point one of our users has opened an e-mail that changed the Internet Explorer Home Page to SKYNET. Of course there is nothing there because the proxy server can't find it. I have tried changing back to msn for the home page, but when you reboot the cpu, SKYNET comes back up. I realize this has to be in a batch file....but I can't find it. Any ideas? 

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

If you have access to the network drive where your info is stored, check under profiles to see what is set. Oft times, even though you may change something on your workstation, your prior profile remains as is stored on the network.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Kathy

I've been reading through your questions and answers about Fat32 vs NTFS. I just bought a Dell Inspiron 500E with WIN2K. Can you explain to a seasoned, though non technical, user exactly what the difference is between FAT32 and NTFS and how it may effect typical usage. Thanks Alot 

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

There are a couple of differences between FAT32 and NTFS:
1. NTFS has a default cluster size of 4KB on drives larger than 2GB where as FAT32 is 64KB between 2-4GB. FAT32 has a max cluster size of 256 on volumes over 8GB. This means that NTFS is more efficient at using disk space.
2. There are security features built into NTFS (more related to a client/server environment) that FAT32 doesn't have.
As far as which to use on a standalone system, if you're not going to set up as a home network, you may see some disk speed increase with NTFS. It also seems that NTFS is less vulerable to damage from viruses than FAT32.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Dave

To whom it may concern: I am a student at a junior college here in Abilene, Tx. I was told that you could put your desktop icons (such as My Computer, Recycle Bin etc...) on the Start Bar if you were using IE 4 or higher. Is this true and could anyone please e-mail me on how to do it and if it can be done. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Again

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

Right click on which ever icon and drag it to the task bar to create a shortcut.

 
 

Question

Submitted by brandon

Hi, I was installing Win2000 on a friends computer, I ran into some compatibility issues, so i decide to format and go back to ME. When I formated it reported the disk as being 15 megs, rather than the 7 gigs I know it is. I can not get into the BIOS, but I do have all the Bootable CDs that came with it, what do I do now? Thanks for your time.

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

You'll need to get a hold of a bootable floppy that has FDISK on it (e-mail me if you need it and I can do a ZIP file. First, when you boot, select to go to the A prompt and type FDISK. One of the selections is to view the partitions. If there's more than one partition, you may want to delete it. You'll then have to select create DOS partition before reformatting under FAT 32.

Solution 2 Answered by Mean Drake

The rest of it has been converted to NTFS partition that WinME does not recognise.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Robin

There are programs that are listed on the add/remove programs menu, yet when I go to remove them I get an "unable to locate uninstall file". I must have accidently deleted only part of the file previously. That was before I knew to remove programs using add/remove programs option. How can I get the remnants of these files off my computer? 

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

If you still have the program(s) install them, then uninstall via Add/Remove Programs 

Solution 2 Answered by Mean Drake

And if you don't have the installation files you can at best delete the program folder. Not the best option for uninstallation but under the circumstances. And the entry in the Add/Remove programs can be removed in the registr so it doesn't bug you.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Dana

Activewin: I am running Windows ME and have a dialup connection. I usually have ZoneAlarm - Release 2.1.44, PCCillian 6.072, And Alert Bookmarks Professional 7.01 Build23 loaded. My Problem is I keep checking Always dial my default Connection (under tool ->internet-option ->connection tab) and something keeps changing it to never dial a connection. Any Ideas on how to keep my choice? 

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

Strange. Try doing the same from the control panel with all browser windows closed.

   
 

Question

Submitted by Paul

I am currently in the middle of a programming course, the course requires me to download exercises from the internet, which I have had various problems with. I have found out from my course supplier that I must uninstall IE v5.5 and then install v5 for the material to work, only there is no mention of the IE v5.5 on the Install/Remove program located in the control panel. Please could you give me some idea of hoe to uninstall the program. 

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

If you are running WinMe you cannot uninstall it.
Also what was the version of your IE before the IE 5.5. That may also prevent the uninstall to an older version.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Deb

I have Windows 98 SE when I went to change my desktop theme and tried to preview a screen saver the screen went blank and then I got the following message.
A required .dll file,C,windows system MSVCRT 40 DLL was not found
This message has now started to pop up occasionally when I am surfing the internet as well.
We also had a similiar type of message coming up when our anti-virus scan was updating. We uninstalled the anti-virus protection and reinstalled it. This seems to have fixed that problem.Do you think they are related? Is there a fix for the first problem noted above. 

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

MSVCRT is Microsoft Visual C runtime library.
The file is a part of the windows operating system and if missing can be extracted from the cab files. Anyway now that you have a file back Good Luck.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Chris

Hi guys, When I put my computer in sleep mode it obeys and promptly goes to sleep. However, after it wakes, the system freezes for about 1 second out of four. I lterally mean it stops responding - the cursor freezes - all computing stops. I could be copying a file and the opertaion will stop for that second. Another example I was running a movie and every three or so seconds the system froze and after a second continued execution. This bug is infuriating me, I've spent several weeks trying to fix it, to no avail. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. Thanks 

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

WinME has this problem with standby modes on some computers. A BIOS update might help. But if things are not too bad you might leave it and see if service packs get released to correct htese.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Unknown

How do I triple click the mouse? I'm not kidding, I'm serious. My friends keep laughing at me when I ask this but they never answer my question. Hoping you can help! Thanks! 

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

Click and with .01 seconds double click...
Kidding...Theres no such thing as a triple click.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Kelly 

This question is in regard to home internet connections: A few months ago, I experienced a problem with Road Runner (cable modem), IE 5.5, and Windows 98, in which web pages failed to download completely. Usually, the text would display, but all or some of the graphics would not. This problem occurred suddenly, after months of problem-free use. After 4 calls to the ISP tech support, we realized that the ISP was going to be of no help. For Christmas, we bought a new HP Pavilion for my mother-in-law, and she is experiencing the same problem with a 56K modem, Windows ME, and IE 5.5. Her ISP has been equally ineffectual at solving the problem. No one seems to know how to correct this, and I'm sure that we are not the only ones who have experienced this. Any ideas? Thanks Kelly 

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

Tools>Internet Options>Advanced Tab> Multimedia see if some some settings have been disabled.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Unknown

I have audio files in .cda format that are of my voice over demo that I want to email to my dad. However, when I do, he cannot play it from the hard drive since the cd player with windows 95 seems to go to the CD player, and does not directly play from the hard drive. I tried it myself with the same result. Any ideas?

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

Rip them to mp3 format
Easier to email too that way.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Don

I have all my personal data placed in various folders on a logical drive, D: for data. This makes backing up data extremely simple. I would like to include the Outlook Express address book in a folder called Addresses on that drive and have that address book automatically referenced when I compose an e-mail. How do I do that? Many thanks

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

You can control where your mail is stored but I don't think you can control where OE stores the address book.
for backup purposes, you can periodically Export address book to a .wab file on D:
If you loose your contacts you can then import from this file.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Unknown

Hello, enlighted people: I have Windows Millenium Edition. I had Directx version 7. I downloaded Directx version 8, and I keep getting messages that it is not meant to run under WinMe, and it won't work. I looked around for uninstallers, but I'm not sure they will do. I've also thought of re-installing Version 8, in case I downloaded the wrong version. I'm just a home-user and I'd fully indebted if you'd help me out. Thanks in advance for your time.

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

I don't think there should be a problem with WinME and DirectX 8.
I suggest reading the MS site documentation on Directx 8

Solution 2 Answered by Ashton Smith

The version of Windows ME is located at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/release.asp?ReleaseID=25685 . You probably also want to do a Windows Update while you are connected to the Internet. DirectX 8 should be a component on that screen as well.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Beth

Dear folks: I have a bit of an icon problem here. I downloaded a prehistoric desktop theme, and then removed the theme all together some months later. However, since that download, the icons for that theme remain on my desktop. I have gone into the "regedit" and found no matching icons to delete. I have searched my computer for the .ico files to remove them. These darn dinosaurs will not go away. I have a windows 98 lite system, and I'm am thinking of removing the 98 lite to perhaps alleviate this problem. The reason my thoughts turn this way is because other icons from other 98 PLUS! themes remain on my desktop as well. Now, keep in mind, it doesn't matter which desktop theme I choose to display, these dinosaurs remain. In addition, these dinosaurs are icons in my start menu as well. the "find" is a stegosaurus icon, the "settings" is a pteronadon, the "program files" is a T-Rex. When I go into Windows Explorer, the unopened files show up at dormant meteors. When I open the files, they show up at shooting meteors. Under Windows Explorer, the Recycle bin shows up at a bone. However, on my desktop, it's the typical garbage can. Could you folks help me with removing these pesky little buggers? I don't want to remove the spaces for all my icons, just those darned dinosaurs. Any clues would be helpful.\ Sincerely

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

Can't you manually reassign different icons for the same?
Also try deleting the shelliconcache file from DOS before you boot to windows. Keep a backup of it in a different folder though in case you have problems. The file is in the Windows folder. Move it somewhere else and then boot into windows.
You can use tweakUI and use the repair icons option on the repair tab.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Leonel

i have a laptop which has winme installed on it, and i also have a desktop computer which has win2000, both of them have ethernet cards installed, and i want to make a connection between them , how???? , if you know where i should read that would be graet just tell me, and remember that im a rookie with this matter.

Solution 1 Answered by Ashton Smith

The easiest and cheapest way would be to buy a cross connect cable to hook the machines together. This will allow you to hook the machines together without having to buy a hub or a switch. Of course, this is assuming that the machines are somewhat close together.
Then, you need to setup and install a simple protocol to provide network connectivity. You can use TCP/IP, but it does require some setup. If you are just doing simple file and printer sharing you can use NetBEUI without any problems.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Unknown

I have heard that there is a hidden log in the harddrive that keeps a history of everything you've ever done. If this is true, how would I delete it? I don't feel comfortable knowing that all of my history and all the stuff I've typed is on a single file. Thanks! 

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

Theres no Single file. Though most of it is in the registry.

Solution 2 Answered by Ashton Smith

The file that keeps it is called index.dat. You can search for it on your hard drive, you should have an index.dat for each user that you have setup on the machine. You cannot delete it while Windows is running so you have to boot into DOS mode or from a boot disk in order to delete the file.
Clearing your temporary files and cache doesn't delete the contents of this file.
There are some third party programs that will clear the contents of the index.dat file for you.
The Autocomplete stuff (username, passwords, and form information) is stored in the registry.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Unknown

Hi, I have a problem, my widows 2000 reboots every time i try to access my stiffy drive. do you know of a way to fix this?

Solution 1 Answered by Ashton Smith

I am not exactly sure what a stiffy drive is, but you will want to make sure that you have the Windows 2000 SP 1 installed, and that you are using the most current drivers for your drive.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Brian

Hello, Could you PLEASE help a real novice figure something out? My question actually appears in your FAQ section for Internet Explorer 5, as below: Q--I've cleared out my history folder but AutoComplete still shows up some websites. How do I stop it? A--Click on Tools | Internet Options | Content | Auto Complete and take it from there. I went to Autocomplete, I cleared the history folder, but still have some websites appearing. How do I fix it? I don't think I understand your answer. Should I reinstall Explorer, and how? Thank you very much! 

Solution 1 Answered by Ashton Smith

The Autocomplete stuff is stored in the registry, to clear it do the following (assuming your are using IE 5.5 with SP1):
Go to Tools, and then Internet Options
Go to the Content Tab, and then click on AutoComplete
Click on Clear Forms and Clear Passwords to clear the AutoComplete history

 
 

Question

Submitted by Chas 

Hi I have recently started using AOL which is causing be all sorts of problems when my programs attempt automatic scheduled downloads e.g. Money 2001, whilst some of the programs are able to dial into AOL none are able to automatically disconnect after the download is completed. I understand that AOL uses its own dialling system and that this is the root cause of the problem. I know that AOL disconnects if there is no activity for 15 mins but this is a long time to waste after the download has been completed - is there any way that the program can disconnect immediately it has finished the download? Thanks

Solution 1 Answered by Ashton Smith

You got it on the nose, the AOL program is controlling the connection. Normally the program doing the updating would just disconnect the Windows dialup connection. But in this case, the program doesn't know what kind of connection it is, and therefore doesn't know how to disconnect it.
I would install AOL 6.0 (it fixes a lot of problems, and looks a lot better).
I would also configure all of your programs to do a manual update so that you can control what is happening with connections on your machine.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Patrick

Hello: I am running Windows 2000 on my HP Kayak PII-300. I can boot the machine with a boot floppy in the a: drive, but when I try to boot without the floppy disk and error comes up saying "NTLDR is missing, Hit any key to restart." I would like to be able to boot without the floppy disk in the drive all the time. If it's simply copying the file from another machine and pasting it on mine, where to I paste the file? Help would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Solution 1 Answered by Ashton Smith

You can copy this file from another machine that is running the same version of Windows with the same support pack. The file should just go in the root of your drive that is your boot drive. If you look at another machine that is working correctly, you will see where it is located.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Richard

Active X controller error keeps coming up randomly on my Windows 98 PC. Can someone please help. Thank you

Solution 1 Answered by Brian Lyttle

Richard, You didnt provide a lot of information about this ActiveX control, or what you did to cause it to pop up. One reason for errors, is often security settings - in Internet Explorer or Windows 2000/NT. The IE security settings in Options vary from computer-computer, try changing these. If your system is running 2000/NT and is well locked down you may have problems installing the likes of the Flash plug-in for IE, or even running this plug-in on Flash based sites. You should consult your administrator to solve this, if you cannot increase your own system priveleges.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Unknown

Is it possible to change security features in win 2000 on a machine that has been ghosted to prevent this if I can log in as an administrator? 

Solution 1 Answered by Brian Lyttle

You should run the Windows 2000 tool "sysprep.exe" on a Windows 2000 box, before ghosting it. This releases the security ID. This utility is on the Windows 2000 CD.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Yitz

Hi, I would like to ask you, I have been working with an Access97 (VBA code) database using DDE to connect to another piece of software (SoftLogix) on the same computer. However since I upgraded to Windows 2000 my DDE connections dont work. I get the following error message "microsoft access cant find the specified application and topic because it cant open the dde channel" Can you help? Thanks

Solution 1 Answered by Brian Lyttle

Yitz,I think that Microsoft have made some changes to the operation of DDE under Windows 2000. I suggest that you at least check up the Windows Platform SDK. Can you perhaps use something like ADO to get the data you require? or use an intermediate application/layer.

 
 

Question

Submitted by Unknown

I have an MSI computer with an Abit KT7 Pro2-A motherboard, AC'97 onboard sound card, 128 MB SDRAM, an 18.6 GB hard drive, a 3dfx Voodoo3 3000 PCI video card, and an AMD Duron 750 processor. The system came with Windows Me, but I formatted the HD and started to install Windows 2000. Halfway through the hardware detection process, I got a blue screen which said:
*** Hardware Malfunction ***
Contact your system vendor for support.
The system has halted
I've tried installing the HPT370 IDE drivers by pressing F6 at the beginning of Windows 2000 setup, but that didn't work. I also contacted MSI and Abit and so far, MSI hasn't responded and Abit hasn't helped much. Do you know if my motherboard or other hardware supports Windows 2000, or what the problem is? Thanks! Just to clarify... I have all the latest BIOS updates and any other updates there might be, so don't tell me I should try upgrading my BIOS or software or anything. Thanks

Solution 1 Answered by Brian Lyttle

You seem to have exhausted many routes, but have you tried installing without some devices installed. Try disabling your onboard sound for a start, and proceed from here. You should be able to narrow down a device which is causing problems. Perhaps try and borrow some hardware from a friend if you have exhausted these routes to solving your problem.
I also suggest that you install using a slip-streamed Windows CD. This is Windows + any service packs. You can find out more at http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/sp1_slipstream.asp
 

 
 

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