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Welcome to a relatively new feature here at ActiveWin. This lets you, the visitors 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

Here are the questions posted on: 07-30-00

Question: I am using Windows 98 and my colors on the desktop and everywhere else look distorted "fussy" different than the standard win colors.  It's this dark green and maroon colors.  I've defrag. and ran the scan disk and it found no errors.  I can not fix it by changing the colors on the setting menu.  Any ideas????  thank you.

Solution 1: What is your screen resolution and the colour depth (256 clours, 16 bit or 24 bit?). What is your display card and is it properly installed with the latest drivers? - Mean

Submitted By: Marianne

Question: Hi..After downloading IE 5.01a few months ago, I get an error sign every time I open IE.
IE caused an invalid page fault in module Kernel 32.DLL at 015f : bff7c743.
Can you advise?
Thank you...

Solution 1: Two possibilities. IE files corrupteed or kernel32.dll itself corrupted. Former is more likely.Go to control panel/Add remove programmes/Microsoft Internet explorer 5/Repair internet explorer. - Mean

Solution 2: Upgrading to IE 5.5 might resolve this issue.  I'd give it a shot.  Otherwise, uninstall IE completely and do a fresh install of 5.5 - Adam Sowalsky

Submitted By:

Question: I upgraded to Windows 2000 from Windows 98.  All went very well and I have had very few problems.  However, recently I installed Internet Explorer 5.5 and experienced major problems.  My system seemed to slow to halt, web pages did not display correctly, and other files and folders did not function either.  Microsoft claimed it was because I upgraded from Windows 98.  The only way I solved the problem was to uninstall Internet Explorer 5.5 and return to 5.01.  Does anyone know what the problem could be?   
Solution 1:
There are some issues regarding installing IE 5.5 in win2000.
See for instance. - Mean

Submitted By: Scott

Question: Hello, I am windows programmer working in Delphi and C++, I work with a company that have stupid users.
My boss ask me to remove Settings and Run.. form Start Menu, I found some samples help to disable Start Button
and to hide also this button but what I really looking for "when my application is running this options removed from Start menu"
Really I need your help :)

Solution 1: These are registry settings. Many tweaking tools allow you to do this, like Winboost and Tweaki. But that way you won't know what changes were made. You can use a registry monitor and run these tools to see what keys correspond to these. Then you can easily alter these keys programatically at runtime. - Mean

Submitted By: Bader

Question: Hello.  I am getting really annoyed by this thing that Windows keep on doing.  Every time I boot or restart my computer, a dialog appears asking me to identify myself to Windows.  When I entered my name and left the password box blank, it shouldn't ask me to do that again the next time, according to the tip displayed in the dialog.  But the next time I boot/restarted my computer, the dialog reappeared.  So I decided to go to Window's Help files and it said that if I don't enter anything and click on cancel, the dialog won't appear again.  I tried it, but it failed.  And it also annoys me when they do not allow me to save my password for dial-up networking if I don't identify myself to Windows.  And also, I checked out Control Panel and it is clearly set for all users.  So, can you help me solve this problem?  (I'm running Windows 98 Original on my computer.)

Solution 1: To stop your computer from asking you for a username/password everytime you start it, right click the "Network Neighborhood" icon on your desktop and click on "Properties."  Then, under Primary Network Logon, choose Windows Logon.  It should do the trick. - Chris

Solution 2: The password has been entered once in the past I feel.First check in control panel if you have created multiple users. If not then follow the advise below. In windows explorer, move the pwl file that corresponds to your username to another directory. Reboot your computer. You will be asked for username and password. Enter username if reqd, keep password blank and click OK. - Mean

Submitted By: Simon

Question: Recently my grandchildren were here. They inserted a MSN CD and started to run it. I caught them and canceled it. However not before it had changed the location of my IE cache. Now, every time I boot up windows, my PC dials up my internet connection whether I wish to or not. Also when I start my browser, IE or Netscape, I no longer receive the Bellsouth or Netscape or Windows icon which shows me active online. I only get the MSN Butterfly. How do I correct this situation? I have deleted the MSN from "Progams". No help. Would it help if I upgraded to 5.5 and if I did so would this also upgrade Microsoft Outlook or affect it in any way. The butterfly shows up even in Outlook. HELP! Thanks in advance.

Solution 1: Okay, first off, as silly as this idea may seem, try to uninstall MSN through the Control Panel -- Add/Remove Programs.  If an uninstall MSN option does not exist, you'll have to do some serious uninstalling.
Note that I did not say reinstalling.  The best way to eliminate MSN is to remove anything that it overwrited.  Completely remove IE.  You said Microsoft Outlook, but I am assuming you mean Outlook Express.  Removing IE will remove OE, but if it also contaminated Microsoft Outlook (a component of Microsoft Office), you are best to reinstall that as well.
As for hooking back up to BellSouth, if the connection does not appear available in Dial-up Network (via My Computer), then you will need to contact tech-support at BellSouth for proper configuration of your connection.  However, you managed to post a message on this board, so you have access to the 'net.  Check out BellSouth's webpage for config information as well.
Good luck.
-Adam Sowalsky

Submitted By: Shirley Weinstein

Question: Hi, I am seeing a problem where the MS USB Sidewinder Precision wheel constantly steers left, which means you are constantly correcting it. (this is a major burden if you are going fast - as you often loose control).

I first noticed it in TOCA2.- I thought that in game controller setup, everything works well but I took a closer look. If you test the wheel (in the Test tab of the wheel's Properties in control panel) then it does tend to steer left ! If you change directions a few times and pull left and let the wheel go (so it automatically should center), then it drifts left - suggesting it is not centered - in fact if you nudge the wheel, then it will center eventually. This means that you fight with the wheel when you are in a game that has straight stretches - like some tracks on racing games.
I can also get it occasionally to steer right using a similar test !!

There seems to be a problem with the center position - the wheel doesn't know when it is centered - I would expect the wheel to be driving straight if it is centered.

Solution 1: Gidday! A most intreiguing question...yep, the Sidewinder Precision Racing Wheel is calibrated digitally, and given the symptoms you have reported, the error you are encountering is probably located in hardware. Try and download the *latest* version of DirectX (7.0a), and see if that corrects the problem (there were a few tweaks to DirectInput in version 7.0a). If this does not work, then your problem is most certainly isolated to hardware, and you should exchange your Sidewinder Wheel. - Ekapshi

Submitted By: Nick

Question: Why doesn't my print screen key work? It hasn't in a long time. My system is Pent II, 233mghtz, 96mgs ram, Win98SE, 4gig ? Any ideas? Appreciate your input.
Solution 1: Gidday! You haven't provided enough information, so i'm going to have to explore a few possibilities. Okay, firstly, boot into a normal windows desktop, then press your "Print Screen" button. Now, open up Windows Paint (Start/Programs/Accessories/Paint), and click "Edit/Paste". Now, if an image of your desktop is pasted into Paint, your Print Screen key *does* work. If an image is not pasted into Paint, then there must be a physical problem with your keyboard, in which case, I recommend you get a new one (if you need the Print Screen key _that_ much). That's my 2 yen. - Ekapshi.

Submitted By: Wayne

Question: Hi, I would appreciate any help or direction you can give me.
I was running Windows 2000 and had a problem with adding my UMAX S-12 scanner.  It made my operating system in-operable and I had to reload Windows 2000. Prior to the re-load my Epson Stylus 600 was working fine.
However, I did not have the printer cable connected when I re-loaded Windows 2000.  When I went back to add the printer it would not find the printer as a new plug and play device.  I tried to install it manually and it went through the motions except it came up with a message to do with a "digital signal" and would not install the printer.  It seemed to be looking for a eprsca.dll driver.  I went to the Epson site and Windows sites to see if I could find any info regarding this error (Error 10) or the driver.  No luck in either case. I did try a new printer cable but same problem.
Any suggestions ? Thanks for any help you can give me.

Solution 1: This may seem like a very simplistic answer, but is your SCSI chain properly terminated?
Other than that, I'm baffled! -Adam Sowalsky

Submitted By: John Sidlowich

Question: Hi there, I am using Windows2000 Professional. My computer is a part of a big network in my office. I have got a small problem hope you can help me out. In windows98, there was an application called Net Monitor using which you could see who was accessing what shared files on your computer. But I am not able to locate the same thing in Win2K. Pl. help me out.

Solution 1: As with most things in w2k, alot of the services are now in the management console, and network monitoring is no exception.  Right-click on My Computer, and choose manage.  When the "Computer Management" console appeares, click the + next to "Shared Folders (under System Tools, which is under Computer Management (local)) and click on Open Files.  That should be what you are looking for. -Adam Sowalsky

Submitted By: Manu Khanna

Question: Ever since I installed the final version of IE5.5 over IE5.1 sp1 I cannot get proper printouts of web, email, help files. Print preview shows document perfectly, but the printer is printing a single column of what look like stunted and thick letter "l's" on the extreme left of the page after the headings. These characters in groups of 3-5 usually (but could be a full page long) are between paragraphs of what should be printed. I'm using an Epson compatible 9pin dot matrix printer with W98. Have had no problems printing with previous versions of IE/OE. The printouts for Word docs are fine, as are "paused" documents dating from before IE5.5 install. Had previously installed all recommended and critical updates. Can someone help??

Solution 1: The only thing I can think of is to reinstall your printer driver.  Good luck. -Adam Sowalsky

Submitted By: Gilda

Question: Aloha, No matter what we do, or where in Windows we are, right-clicking on an icon for properties, or launching an item from the MS Office 2000 shortcut bar, the system will attempt to read from the A: drive. The NAV is disabled, and the user created a bunch of desktop shortcuts to various programs but none of them are pointing to the A: drive from what I could see. I have searched the registry for A: and A:\ but haven't found anything out of the MRU list. I have run out of ideas. Reformat would work!

Solution 1: I had the same problem with a Win95 OSR2 machine, so I shut up the drive by sticking a disk in it.  After a while, it didn't access the drive anymore.  Go figure. -Adam Sowalsky

Solution 2: Maybe regclean might help. Or a similar programme from third party. -Mean

Submitted By: Brian D. Hughes

Question: Hi, What can you tell me about the hidden IE files "index.dat" found in the Temporary Internet files folder and the History folder. The seem to do several things: 1. Keep getting bigger and bigger. 2. Can't easily be deleted (I have thru DOS). and 3. Seem to track certain web pages. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!

Solution 1: Keeps track of the way pages are cached and the cookies. Separate files of this name exist in the respective folders. -Mean

Submitted By: James Gallagher

Question: I'm currently running IE4 SP2. When I try upgrading to IE5 from CD or even from the MS update page I get the message "A previous installation never completed. Restart your computer and run setup again." I've tried that, and the fixes from the MS Site -- renaming the wininit.ini file and restarting, emptying the temp directories -- and I still get the same message. I've even been in the registry looking for 'pending' actions that might be stuck there, but there are none. Cleaning the registry hasn't helped either. Any ideas what I should try next? Thanks

Solution 1: The only thing that crosses my mind is running wininit.exe at a command prompt (press F8 at startup, boot into Command-prompt only mode). Good luck. -Adam Sowalsky

Submitted By: Mary

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