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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  You can browse through previous questions over at our Archive Page.  Who knows what you might find.

Here are the answered questions for 08-31-2001


Question 45

Submitted by Alan

I was sorting out some files to which I deleted completely removing some software to get more space on my C drive as I wanted to do a load of photos from my camera. It was about a week ago I done this and it was not until the other night I right click my mouse to get Active Desktop so I could click onto the propeties when I clicked onto properties nothing opened up,so I clicked onto Active Desktop that never opened. Then I went to menu clicked on Help then a Sign came up %systemroot%help\windows.chm so I thought I would be clever put the Windows98 in and rerun it hoping it would put back what was missing it started to go through it run it got to second stage then froze I repeated this about 5 times with no luck. So if you can help me I wouild be Grateful.

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

It sounds like you deleted some key files that Win98 uses to run. There is one thing you can try, before doing a complete reinstall. Go to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, then System Information. Under System Information, there is a menu choice to check system files. Make sure your Win98 CD is in there and run that. Hopefully, this will see what files are missing/corrupt, etc and replace them. If this works, great. If not, you may be looking at a complete reinstall. Don't forget to back up all of your data/work first.


Question 44

Submitted by Dave

Hello, Every time I create a playlist with Adaptec easy cd creator 4, and start to record the playlist onto a cd, the screen freezes (or locks-up) and i have to manually shutdown the computer. Therefore leaving me with a half-finished cd, which is useless, and just gets thrown in the bin. How do i over come this problem? This problem does not occur when doing a direct cd copy, only when I create my own playlist and try to record it to a blank cd. I have tried re-installing the software already, and also tried pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del, and this does not work either! (operating system: Win ME, Adaptec easy cd creator 4, and a TEAC cd-w54 CDROM drive) Thankyou.

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

Couple of thoughts.  You may be running into a buffer underrun problem.  First, make sure you have all of the updates.  Next, don't run anything in the background while you're creating a CD.  You may want to upgrade to EZCD 5 as that has a check box to prevent buffer underruns.


Question 39

Submitted by Ram

hi, i'm trying to replace my installation of Windows 2000 PRO with an install of Windows ME. the problem I am facing is that the file structure of my HDs are NTFS -- I will not be able to access my NTFS logical drives after I replace the OS. Is there a way out of this problem? For example, could I convert my NTFS drives to FAT32? Is there a 3rd party application that can do the trick? Thanks

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

If you're going from Win2000 to WinMe, in order to convert from NTFS to FAT32, you'll need to run FDISK (located on the WinMe start-up floppy).  Run that, delete the NTFS partition and recreate it to FAT32.  When you start the install for WinMe, it will reformat the hard drive for FAT32

Solution 2 Answered by Mean Drake

Fdisk will loose your data. I think partition magic can do what you want. Unfortuantely you may loose the data that identifies the win98 partion as bootable....Might...I do not know whether the latest version (7.0) will do it without a hitch.   I checked...It will


Question 36

Submitted by Larry

every once in a while when i click on the icons on my desktop and on my tool bar they don't respond. i have 128mb of ram and a fast cpu what could be the problem.

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

It could be a lot of things.  Are you running any antivirus software?  Under Power management, is the disk set to turn itself off?  Need a few more details/info on your system to have a better understanding of what might be causing this.


Question 34

Submitted by Gerry

I would like to remove all users on my computer and start again as I am getting errors on my Lan (Network Locking up) So both Machines need a reboot, I am running Win 98SE on both machines Many Thanks

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

First, delete all of the Users under the Users icon.  Also, scan for the password file (*.pwl) and delete all of those.  Reboot and start anew.


Question 25

Submitted by Pat

I'm confused - can I/how do I run dos games in Windows ME? Thank You

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

Same way as under Win95/98.  Assuming it's a CD game, put the CD in, and then open up Windows Explorer.  Click on the CD drive icon and find the install file (usually install.exe or setup.exe).  Run that and enjoy!


Question 6

Submitted by Harcourt

I have a new computer running a 1ghz athlon processor.  Over the last two days I have been receiving a "Boot disk error" when I turn on the computer.  Turning off the power and rebooting once or twice allows the computer to boot up. Any idea what is causing this problem and how I can fix it. I am running Windows 98 SE.

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

Could be several things.  First thought is that the battery on the motherboard may need replacing.  Second is that the boot sector has become corrupt (which could mean a reformat/reinstall).  Third is a virus.


Question 1

Submitted by ?

well i have just visited your web site & i like it very much there is very good information on various things i have some doubt can we install win98 on one partition & win2000 on the other if yes how to format & partition which fat system should we have?

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

Good question. What you're referring to is dual boot. With Win98 and Win2000 its actually easy (well...sort of). Make sure that your computer can boot from a CD (this is enabled in the BIOS). First, install Win98 and all of the drivers, etc. After that is set up, put in the Win2000 disk and reboot. You'll see a DOS script asking if you want to boot from the CD. Press enter. Follow the on screen prompts and there will be a choice to install Win2000 in a separate directory and to dual boot. If you get stuck, there are several books available (and info on MS site) for this.

Solution 2 Answered by Mean Drake

A nice way of doing it without booting from the CD is to just pop in your Win 2K CD in the Win98 system while it is running and if autorun is on, you will get a message asking if you want to install windows 2000. Say yes. Then you will be asked if you want to upgrade or put in a fresh install. Click on Freah install. Further on in the setup, there will be a advanced options that and there check the box for "I want to select the install partition during setup'
Of course all this works if you:
1. Format and partition your disk/s first.
2. Install Windows 98/98SE on the primary drive (C:)
As for the file system...keeping everything FAT32 is OK as Win98 and Win2K read FAT32. You CAN however make a partition as NTFS and install Win2K on that partition. You will not be able to access this partition from Win98 though.


Question 3

Submitted by Roger

Hi i have a question about the ATI All in Wonder Radeon card.  Currently i have a Prophet 4500 (Kyro II chipset) and i'm off to college next year, so i wanted to get a TV tuner for my system.  I currently have a Hauppauge WinTV Go, which works fine, but the picture quality really sucks.  I saw the All in wonder and it looks pretty nice, plus the DVD playback is really nice.  So i was wondering if it would be possible to install the PCI version of the all in wonder in my system at the same time as my Prophet 4500, which i would use for gaming.  I would switch between the two by going into my BIOS (i have an Abit  and changing which vid card would be my primary card.  I have a Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 900u, which has a normal VGA connector and BNC connectors, so i can hook up two video cards to it, and switch between the two with a press of a button.  The only concern i have is having two sets of video drivers in my system at the same time.  Would that conflict?  well thank you for your time.

Solution 1 Answered by Charles Putnam

Depending upon your OS, this "theoredically" should work.  However, the Radeon isn't half bad for gaming.  You might want to just use it and avoid any potential headaches with two video cards.


Question 41

Submitted by Scott

When I select Disk Defragmenter, I'm prompted which drive I want to defragment, The C drive is default, I select it. The typical dialog box appears, the one where on top, it says, Defragmenting Drive C. But the scale never increases and it always says '0% Complete.' So I never know whether it really is doing any defragmenting or not. Nor do I know if it will ever finish. I've never let it go for hours but the few times that I have let it run for a significant period of time, it always says the same, '0% Complete.' When I click on show details, it says, 'Checking drive for errors....0% Complete. When I select Stop, it asks, 'are you sure? Windows has not finished defragmenting drive C. I click on exit and it stops. Thank you

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

I would recommend you use a third party Defragmenter.


Question 35

Submitted by Gary

Hi; How can I edit my USER.DAT (c:\Windows\Profiles\User)? I've tried text editors (note pad) but the text is surrounded by nonsensical characters which I don't want to touch because I don't know what they mean. Is there some software specifically for this? I am using Windows 98. Also, how do I set Netscape to request if I want to log off the internet when I terminate a Netsacpe session? I'm using Netscape 4.7.Thanks In Advance

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

You don't need to edit it...It is a registry file and should not be touched that way.


Question 32

Submitted by Ming

II have a new PC with windows2000 and it will not let me edit or delete index in the windows/cookies directory. Help, please. I'm not a master at DOS but I do want control of my personal data.

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

get a third party cookie manager.
Or once in a while when you want to delete index.dat...Boot to DOS with a bootable floppy.


Question 31

Submitted by ?

i just search for help and i saw your web site and a lot of people ask help about the computer. I have a question for you to help me because i saw my friend's computer can put his name in the taskbar that next to the clock. And i want to put that too, how can i do that? Thank you. 

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

Some windows tweaking software will let you do it for you. IIRC Some one year back I had seen a copy of Winboost on a friends PC and he was able to do it with WinBoost. But it does disturb the time calculations in some programs like Excel. Of course as I said I am stretching my memory a bit.


Question 30

Submitted by Alex

Dear sirs, I have 2 hard drives, 20gig w/ WinME and very recently installed on a 40gig Win2000. Researching your site and others, I found out I may be able to dual boot. My question, I need and want to keep the WInMe on the 20gig. Should I install the 20 gig on the primary and install the 40gig on the secondary, re-format the 40 gig and re-install Win2000 through the CD boot for a fresh install on the 40gig ? If can do, could I choose NTSF file system for the second hard drive without a problem ( not same partition/drive ) ? What would be an ideal partition size and amount ? When Win2000 installed, I should be able to choose the OS at the start screen ?

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

Yes on all counts. However convert the second disk to NTFS only if you are sure you will not want access to it from Win ME and if you need the extra security of NTFS.
As for size of partitions...Well with 40 MB you have enough to play about with. I usually recommend a Bare minimum of 2 MB on the partition with the Win2k OS installed though the more you can the better...Its up to you.


Question 29

Submitted by Dave

When my computer starts it always displays my C:\Norton Subdirectory on the desktop. How do I stop this annoying habit ?? Thank you.

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

Run the msconfig utility and disable the item responsible for this.


Question 26

Submitted by Keith

I have tried everyway I can think of to copy a graphics(jpg)folder from hard disc to cd rom(cdrw) but get 'disc or folder is write protected' error message every time.No indication on disc or folder settings on how to set or release protection on either.I dont know what I am doing wrong(win98se,finepix photo folder).from

Solution 1

Answered by Mean Drake

What software are you running for the CD-RW

Question 23

Submitted by ?

Dear sir, i have recently bought all new components for my pc, inc motherboard, processor, and memory, unfortunately it cost me more than i was bargaining for which left me short to replace my hard drive, at the moment it is only a 2 gig and is very full. i want to format it and start a fresh but unfortunately dont know where to begin, is there any sites that will give me a step by step instructions on what to do, from making a reboot, to getting back onto the net, thankyou and look forward to hearing from you.

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake
Its simple...Just mail me your PC specs and the OS you want to install and I'll mail you the details.

Question 33

Submitted by Bob

Have Windows 98 SE, the shutting down blue window freezes only option is to shut off the power. Upon reboot ScanDisk doesn't come up just breezes through. I scanDisk "thorough" and defragged - no problems . . did an SFC in run . . no problems.In visiting the numerous Microsoft URL's to research . . many windows just go blank under the headers, even their survey system came up with "no longer have the page you seek . . they prompted me . . something strange going on there? Thanks

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

This is a problem that Win98SE has on some older systems. MS has issued a patche for it though it does not work on all systems. You can download it from there.


Question 13

Submitted by ?

For over a week I have been getting this error message: Wuauclt has caused an error in WUV31S.DLL Wuauclt will now close. If you continue to experience problems try restarting your computer. If you can help please keep it as simple as possible. I am a senor citizen and I just purchased my computer in April. The error message appears about every 5 minutes and appears no matter what I am doing at that time. WinMe came installed on my machine.

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

WUV31S.DLL  is the file Windows uses during Windows update from te MS site. What is happening is the computer is trying to look for updates automatically. I would suggest to disable automatic windowsupdate and do it manually only when you feel like.


Question 11

Submitted by ?

I've tried everything I know but when I close my browser in does not ask to disconnect,any ideas,Thanks

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

Internet explorer>Tools>Options>Connections tab>Settings>Dial up settings>Advanced.


Question 10

Submitted by Elease

i have an old server and want to set up windows me on it, but it is currently (unsusccessfully mind you) nt. i have tried to use a boot disk and would like to possible reformat the hard drive so that i can then istall windows me. is there anyway to get rid of nt?

Solution 1 Answered by Mean Drake

I presume you refer to NT 4.
The file system thus is NTFS and not compatible with WinME. You will need to convert the File system to FAT32.
For this you will need to take a backup of all data before you proceed. Then you can use fdisk from your boot disk to set up and format the different partitions.


Question 48

Submitted by Sue

After clearing my computer of theSircam virus, my scanner was not working.  I reinstalled it and when started the message"this application uses CTL3D32.DLL which is not the corect version.  This version of CTL3D32DLL is designed only for Windows NT systems"  I have Windows 98.  The scanner had worked before on Windows 98.  This same message comes up when PC is turned on and when starting Norton anti-virus software also.  Then the message "you have tried an illegal..." comes up.  Will reinstalling Windows 98 clear this problem?  Thanks.

Solution 1 Answered by Marc Strickland

You should be able to solve this issue without re-installing windows. Click here to go to a web site that has excellent information as well as the file you need to download.


Question 47

Submitted by Jeff

I am running windows 98 2nd edition and my disk defragmenter has suddenly stopped working. It opens when clicked but will not defrag my C ran perfectly until about a month ago. Any ideas on fixes or downloads that might help?

Solution 1 Answered by Marc Strickland

Have you ran "scandisk" yet? If not run it first then try to defrag. If you still have a problem you may need to re-install your windows program.


Question 46

Submitted by ?

Hi. I've got a problem with ".avi" files. When I make an animation with 3D Smax (R3) and when I save it in a ".avi" file, I cannot run that, because there is an error. The error is "The file format is invalid". Now here's my question what should I do for run that? Thanks a lot.

Solution 1 Answered by Marc Strickland

Here is a discussion that might help you out. Click Here to get there!


Question 50

Submitted by Charin

Hi, I recently installed Windows2000 and Office2000 on a new machine (no previous OS). I imported my archive.pst file into Outlook 2000. Outlook works fine and all my contacts, emails etc are there. What I cannot do is find my 'working' pst file so that I can back it up on a daily basis. I have tried to search for *.pst but did'nt find one anywhere. I only log onto this machine as the Administrator and accepted all the default locations that w2k and Office2k offered during installation. Any help as to the location of the working pst file would be greatly appreciated.

Solution 1 Answered by Marc Strickland

Go to your control panel and click the mail icon. You should be able to find the location of your files there.


Question 43

Submitted by Bob

I tried out IE6, then went back to IE5.5 Each time I clicked on a multimedi alink such as an mp3 it aske dif I wanted to play it in the browser or launch the external player. I accidentally made "in browser" my permanent choice "Don't ask me again checked". How do I reset this? Thanks

Solution 1 Answered by Marc Strickland

Got to Windows Explorer > Tool > Folder Options > File Types - and change the file association.


Question 38

Submitted by Alan On this page you state:Q--How can I create my own desktop items? A--Creating a Desktop Component is just like creating a HTML document-Visit our advice page for the correct Desktop Component install code. Where is your advice page? Can you send me a lin to information about coding active desktop items?  I would like to learn how to create either an active desktop item that users can instal from a hyperlink on a web page. Essentially I want to create an active desktop item from a hyperlink. Ist his possible? Also, where can I go to learn how to make or download ActiveX controls (and am I naming this correctly): I would like to create an add-on for Internet Explorer that will will be like an embedded application. I want to be able to toggle the window on and off. Do I need the Internet Explorer SDK for this? Thank you in advance

Solution 1 Answered by Marc Strickland

On a personal level, speaking only for myself, do not use active desktop. It is a waste of time and windows resources.


Question 27

Submitted by Matthew

I am running Windows 2000 SP2 with Internet Explorer 5.5. I am unable to delete my internet history by going to the Tools tab, Internet Options and clicking the Clear History button. The only way to clear the history is by going to my C Drive, Documents and Settings, Administrator, Local Settings and then to History. Furthermore, by right clicking the Today folder and selecting delete, this does no clear the history either. I must open the Today file and highlight all history and select delete. Only then is my history completely deleted. Any suggestions?

Solution 1 Answered by Marc Strickland

Re-install or upgrade your internet explorer. I am running 6.0 and it is sweet!


Question 24

Submitted by John

Hello, I am running a Dell Latitude laptop...266 mhz, 128 mb RAM with Windows ME. When I am using a browser on the web (Internet Explorer 5.5), suddenly my machine will reboot itself. any advice?

Solution 1 Answered by Marc Strickland

Sounds to me like you should re-install Internet Explorer or upgrade to 6.0. If this does not work try re-installing Windows over itself.


Question 2

Submitted by Eric

I ordered the Windows XP Preview software last spring. It has been available for more than six weeks now and Microsoft will not send it to me. I have since received two automated email responses from Microsoft that no order was found and I needed to reorder. I have re-ordered this twice now, received automated confirmations, then nothing more. There seems to be no humanly possible way to talk to a person at Microsoft about the problem. Emailing the address is no help either. Sometimes I receive a canned response thanking me for my comments. Most times I receive nothing at all. Can anyone out there help me get through to these people? Given their level on non-response, this has now become a bit of a religious issue with me.

Solution 1 Answered by Marc Strickland

I am afraid you must deal with Microsoft on your own. We do not work for them. Good Luck!


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