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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 questions for: 11-20-1999

How can I make a screen saver from an .jpg image - or is special software
Hal Erwin in Albuquerque, NM

gidday mate!
Yes, special software is needed is needed to create screen savers from images. Fortunately, the special software is easy to use! If you explorer here , you'll find special software you'll need.
Ekapshi ;o) -

Ask AW Question:
Does anyone know where I can get any Microsoft t-shirts?!?!? I've been look all over for them! I tried the Microsoft Logo Store (at, but that doesn't have any :-(
Thanks in advance :-)
Paul - Microsoft Zealot

The MS Logo Store has IE T-shirts. Try:
Option #2 would be to get a customized t from or from someother local dealer... Granted, it won't be official, but it'll work..
- John Collins

With the days ticking away before my new computer arrives I want to be able to take the auto complete feature in Internet Explorer 5 over to my new one.
When completing address forms online I now have the ability for the drop forms to suggest the completed entry.
where would the file be kept that stores this information, and is it possible just to transfer the file across.
One problem I may encounter is that the old computer will be gone 1 day before the new one arrives, so any kept files must be saved onto 3.5 disks to be transferred.
Any help would be appreciated.
With kind regards Stephen Banner.

I am pretty sure Auto Complete info is stored in many different text files located in your Internet Explorer cache directory. - Mike Pelletier

I am running Win 98, IE-5 on an IBM Aptiva 580 (Pentium III, 450 mhz.) In the past two days I have not been able to drag icons or files in explorer or the main screen. Have I changed some setting without realizing? Pls help!

it is possible you have 'auto-arrange' turned on. To turn it off, right-click anywhere on the 'main screen' (also called the desktop), and expand the 'Arrange Icons' menu by moving your mouse over it. Then make sure that the 'Auto Arrange' Label is NOT checked. (if it is, just click on it to turn it off). - John Collins

I need your help, and I need it now!
Recently, I found that I had a virus- from last year- called
Happy99. I installed Norton Anti virus software to get rid of it, and
it won't because it says it can't do anything at all- I guess a
winsock.dll or something or another is missing. So I was told to
reinstall my Windows 98 and that it should get rid of the virus.
Well, I made the mistake of installing an Windows 98 Update,
instead, and I just don't know what has happened to my computer. It
still works and all, but something is going on. Oh, and I still can't
get rid of or quarantine this virus!
On my computer desktop, I noticed that each shortcut figure has a
little arrow next to it now, that was never there! And also, all the
things in the task bar are cut into short versions, so that it says
Clipbo~1 (instead of Clipboard.) Can you tell me once and for all how I
can take this all out and start again? It's driving me craazee! Thank
you so much for your help!

First, the little arrow on the shortcuts should have been there since your Win9x installation. They are shown by default, but I don't know why you never had them.
If I were you, I would backup all the *essential* data (your backup may be infected so don't save everything you have), boot from a clean bootdisk and then reformat the hole HD. I don't know what files Happy99 attacks, but when you got a virus, it's better to erase everything. - Guillaume Hebert

Okay, Happy99.worm modifies wsock32.dll to send itself as an attachment when you send an e-mail or post to usenet. To get rid of the virus:
1. Delete ska.exe and ska.dll in C:\Windows\System
2. Replace wsock32.dll with wsock32.ska, both found in C:\Windows\System
The virus almost certainly had nothing to do with the other problems. To remove the arrows on your shortcuts, should they bother you, use Tweak UI which can be found on the Win98 CD-ROM, I don't recall where.
Make sure you still have long filenames enabled: Start - Settings - Conrtrol Panel - System - Performance - File System - Troubleshooting
There should be no check in the box that says disable long name preservation for old programs.
Hope that helped a little. - DUNNO

I read the steps to install the Liveware 3.0 but I don't know how to change the setup.ex_ to an actual setup file
Mike Hart

Did you got your files from sblive or some official site? You should have at least one .exe file (not .ex_). If you don't have any, well you got a corrupted file, or you don't have all the files. If you download the full package from ( -28.8mb [pretty big though]), it will have setup.exe in the package - Guillaume Hebert

Is there a way to make a whole bunch of files to be read-only?

Yes - If all the files are in the same directory, you can select them in Explorer or anything else, go in the properties and check Read-only. But if you have files in many folders, simply go in dos and type "attrib <mask> +r /s" without the quotes. <mask> can be like *.mp3 for all your mp3 files, or file0*.* for all the files beginning with file0 no matter what their extension are. The +r stands for "add read-only" and "/s" means " include all subdirectories". If you need more help, you can do "attrib /?" and it will list all the options and explain them. - Guillaume Hebert

One of Windows 98 great feature is the swap file size, but it also a pain in the neck for the system, since it has to reconfigure the size each time it start, now I found a lot of methods to lock down the file size, and improve the startup time and system performance, and I found my own solution with Norton utilities. What I want to know is how to correctly determine and count the swap file size according to the memory and partition size, I mean the exact way that windows uses, manually configure the automation. Thanks.
BW ~
Don't think how to learn,
Learn how to think.

You should sest the size of the swap file to 128mb for the maximum and the minimum.
Note: The amount of RAM plus the size of the virtual memory file is the maximum amount of RAM you can use at once. Win386.swp is the filename used for the swap file. The file is quite large don’t delete it. -
Guillaume Hebert

It really depends on the amount of RAM you have and what programs you run. If you only ever use your computer for ICQ then you won't need nearly as much as if you use some more intense programs.
For my purposes (lots of games and graphics editing), having the swap file + RAM = 256 MB is perfect. It won't hurt you to make it bigger, it'll just eat up more space. Experiment for yourself, at your own risk of course. If you make it too small you might not be able to load Windows, so here's how you solve that, should it occur:
At the DOS Prompt:
1. edit system.ini
2. Under [386enh] remove the following lines:
3. Save your changes
4. Restart your computer.
I suggest you write that down before you go about changing your swap file. - Ferris Bueller

Using the option "Optimize programs so they start faster" ,
in the Disk Defragmenter, should you close all the programs
that run in the system tray, (NortonAV - Scheduler etc.)
Programs that run on start-up of Windows, before
defragmenting the hard drive, or doesn't it matter?

When you run Disk Defragmenter or any system utility for that matter, it's a good idea to close down all running programs so that those files are not in use. Windows can't move files that are in use, and also when any of these programs access the hard drive, it will cause the disk optimization to restart. Hope this helps, - Dave Hampson

I would say that you do not have to necessarily have to close all programs, but it's a good idea to do so. Everytime a program will have to write to the HD, the defragmentation process will restart. - Guillaume Hebert

I am having trouble clearing the History Folder on 5.0. I have Windows 98.

There are two ways to clear your History folder:
1. Click on Tools, then Internet Options. Right on that first screen is a Clear History button. Click on that.

If that doesn't work:
2. Close out of IE completely. Click on Start, Programs, MS-DOS Prompt.
3. Type DELTREE HISTORY and hit <ENTER>.
4. Agree to removing folder History and all it's subdirectories.
5. That's it, it's gonzo.
6. If it won't let you deltree from within Windows, you might have to restart in MS-DOS mode, then CD Windows<ENTER> then start with step 3.
Hope this helps. -
Dave Hampson

To whom it may concern. I am having a problem with opening some email that I recieve. When i try to open it a message tells me that the application is not there. How can I fix this problem. I use outlook express and I really would like to read my email. Can you please help me? Is there something that I need to install or download in able to view my mail? Thanks for your help. Jacqueline

Try re-installing Outlook Express, if you can, I would recommend you purchase Outlook 2000 and just switch over, I think it is so much better than Outlook Express and it works better than Outlook Express. - Mike Pelletier

I have recently installed a DVD drive in my PC. I was keen to check that it was
functioning correctly, and borrowed a DVD movie (MPEG2 format I understand).
However it would not play, even with the latest version of Microsoft's Windows
Media player installed, and I have not been able to find any other freeware /
shareware MPEG2 decoder / player software which I can install to run it.
I know that, for optimum performance, I should install a hardware MPEG2 card,
but as I have no long term intention of playing DVD movies, can anyone advise me
how I can confirm the DVD player is functioning correctly.
As I am new to this particular part of the PC game, I would also appreciate any
simple, concise snippets of advice about DVD, MPEG2 etc. on PC's.

DVD Movies don't usually run in MPEG 2 format (Some game DVD's use that, but not movies). The best thing for you to do is to purchase a DVD player such as XingDVD ( so you can run DVD movies. Depending on the power of your PC and your graphics card it is very unlikely that if you have a PII 400 or above that you would need to purchase a seperate DVD Decoder card. - Byron Hinson

Someone asked you about the startup delay in Win98 SE. When I start my
computer and all the programs have loaded, the hourglass comes up for about 5
to 10 seconds. What is meant by TSRQuery and is there any way to keep it from
happening. It gets frustrating. The original Win98 never does this, even with
all the updates installed. Thanks

One of our readers has mentioned that he used Mijenix Powerdesk and hence load a "toolbar" at startup. Windows did not like loading the toolbar AND Systray.exe simultaneously. Since I don't need that yellow speaker to control my audio (I use the SoundBlaster Live! control panel instead), I disabled it from loading using the MSCONFIG thingy located in Accessories/System Info. This cured all probs.Systray.exe may be the culprit for others as well. - Byron Hinson

I inaugurate your new section. So here's my pb, Acrobat 4.0 isn't compliant
at all with Office 2000, it's a known adobe bug. But when Adobe will release
a patch for this annoying problem ??
Also why Microsoft ( and when eventually ) hasn't released a new SideWinder
Software Controller 4 for all its SideWinder devices, not only for the
gamepad pro and the dualstrike ?
Julien JAY

We don't know about the patch date, but Microsoft has decided to dedicate SideWinder Controller Software 4 only to new USB devices that are being released now and in the near future (Force Feedback Joystick USB for example). There has been no news as to whether a new release of the controller software for older devices...but as usual, keep a check on our front page for any news on that. - Byron Hinson

I have two questions, and I am hoping that either you can answer them or someone will see them on your site, I am having trouble getting my zip drive installed un Windows2000, it detected it but it doesn't work, and it also detected my SoundBlaster Live, but I can't install the software that takes advantage of the card, I'll take any help I can get at the moment
Mike Hart

Hi Mike,
our problem with your zip drive is probably that the drivers are not yet compatible with Win2000, I check to see if there were any 2000 drivers but found this note at the bottom of the drivers page

"Iomega currently does not offer software support for some operating systems, such as Linux, and for operating systems in Beta testing cycles, such as Windows® 2000.<!-- /CONTENT SECTION 4 --> "

As for your SoundBlaster Live!, I have had the same problem and I have not gotten the surround sound to work in win2000. Though I didn't try LiveWare 3.0. You might want to check out to see if they have any updated software. - Mike Pelletier

How do i activate active desktop in Win NT?

Active Desktop is installed with IE4.x. That's the only way to get it as far as I know. If you installed IE5 directly, without installing IE4, you are pretty well stuck with no Active Desktop. You could try uninstalling IE5 and get a copy of IE4 to install, but I would not recommend that. Uninstalling IE5 is an iffy proposition.Hope this helps. -
Dave Hampson

After using my computer for about 6 months, I've had problems with Windows, and had to reinstall it. But, I didn't want to do a complete wipe of my hard drive, and when I tried to do a windows uninstall, it said it had no uninstall record. So, I resorted to copying the options directory out of the windows directory, did a tree delete to the windows directory, then preceded to reinstall Windows through the copied options directory (with setup.exe and the .cab files, etc.). Anyways, after it got done and got completely installed, it ran through the routine checks, found all the hardware, and did updated system settings. Then rebooted. When it came back up, it'd do a very short updating system settings (about 5 seconds or so), then that window would close, and the system would freeze before loading anything else (all you see is the aqua-green background on screen for the window desktop). Alt-Ctrl-Del wouldn't reboot it, and the mouse won't move. But, after awhile (about 30 seconds to a minute), it reboots, does the short system update, freezes, and repeats.
Anyways, if you have any idea on how I could fix this without a formatting of the hard-drive, it would be much appreciated (I have alot of work that is not backed up on it.) If this is not enough detail, just respond with whatever questions need to be answered, and thanks in advance.
Kevin Armstrong

I would suggest booting into Safe Mode, and see if it finishes setting itself up there. To do this:
Hit the F8 key when booting up to get the Startup Menu. Choose Safe Mode, Hit Enter.
If it boots completely into Safe mode, then reboot into regular mode. Hope this helps. -
Dave Hampson

I have a question pertaining to Internet Explorer 5. Everytime you start IE and open a webpage in a new window, it defaults to a strange size and must be manually adjusted. Once you fix the window size, every new window after it will default to the adjusted size. The problem is when you close IE down completely. Next time you start it up, the same problem arises. I know I am not the only person with this problem, so perhaps you have a solution...

Gantry Zettler

Try this:
1. Right click on the shortcut for IE that you use to open it. (This won't work with the one that IE puts on your desktop)
2. Click Properties.
3. If you are in the Properties for a shortcut to IE, you will see an option that says Run: and in the drop down list, it says Normal Window.
4. Change that to Maximize.
5. Click Ok.
Give that a try. If you open IE from the Icon that it puts on your desktop, going to Properties will take you to the Internet Options. To get around that, Right click on that icon and click Create Shortcut. Then use the shortcut to open IE, and follow the steps above to get it to open maximized. Hope this helps.-
Dave Hampson

i have win98 , my lpt1 port is gone and when i install new hardware it does not pick it can i recover that port


Generally, if Windows won't detect the port, then something has gone wrong physically with the port. However, you can try adding the port manually.
1. Open Add New Hardware.
2. Let Windows98 search for devices.
3. When it doesn't find any, it should give you the option to select it from a list.
4. Choose Ports(COM and LPT)
5. Choose Printer Port or ECP Printer Port depending on your hardware.
6. Click Next.
7. It will then ask you the address of your Printer Port. If you don't know this, then you are kinda stuck. You can get this information out of your system BIOS setup, but I wouldn't recommend going in there unless you know what you are doing. You can goof things up in a big fashion if you change things in there. :)
8. Once you pick the I/O address, click Next, and it should reinstall it.
9. If it doesn't work, you might want to go in to the BIOS Setup with someone that knows what's going on in there to see if somehow the printer port got disabled. BE SURE THAT YOU DON'T MAKE ANY CHANGES IN THERE UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope this helps.-
Dave Hampson

I am getting an error box when I boot-up,right before my desktop finishes coming up. the box has this in it.
ERROR STARTING PROGRAM- then it has the yellow warning sign- then, A REQUIRED .DLL FILE WAS NOT FOUND --- C:\windows\System\msvcrt40.dll
It has an OK button. I click on it,and the box goes away and everything seems to operate properly.
This started happening after I deleted Encarta 97. I reinstalled it from the Encarta CD but it still is appearing
Thank You,

That file that it is looking for is used by almost ANY Microsoft program out there, and also many non-MS programs. It would be a good idea to get it back. Here's the easy way to get it back:
1. Click on Start, Find, Files or Folders
2. In the Named box, type msvcrt40.dll
3. In the Look In box, make sure it says C:
4. Click Find Now.
5. Hopefully, it comes up with one or two copies, stored somewhere on your system.
6. Right click on the newest one (Check the date listed there) and choose Copy.
7. Open Windows Explorer.
8. Open the Windows folder on your main hard drive.
9. Open the System folder under Windows.
10. Right click somewhere in the list of files and choose Paste, which should put a copy of that file back in the Windows\System folder.
11. Reboot your system.
If you can't find another copy of it on your hard drive, then repeat the steps above, but search on any CD-ROMs that you might have. Usually this file will be uncompressed, so it will be easy to find.
I do find it strange that Reinstalling Encarta didn't put the file back on your system, but maybe you can find the file on that CD if it's not on your system.
This brings up an excellent point though. When you remove a program, sometimes it asks you if you want to removed Shared Files. Generally, that's not a good idea, as you found out. :) Hope this helps.
- Dave Hampson

In the course of me buying a new computer I want to be able to transfer my settings for Internet explorer and (If you can also answer this one) the settings for word 97 under Microsoft Office 97.
The user settings are kept within a few files but haven't yet seen where these are kept, any light you could shed unto this would be of great help.
If you have any further suggestions as to migrating from one computer to another I would be tremendously grateful.
Stephen Banner

Unfortunately, most of the "settings" are kept in the registry. There are ways to extract this information, but I would not recommend doing so unless you've made a LOT of changes to the settings of the respective programs. Messing around in the registry can cause all kinds of problems.

If you want to save your Favorites in IE, that's easy though.
1. Open Windows Explorer
2. Open the Windows folder under C:\ (Or whatever drive Windows is on)
3. You will see a Favorites folder. Copy that to a floppy disk. Unless you have have a TON of favorites, it will fit fine on a floppy.
4. On the new machine, copy the Contents of that folder on the Floppy to the Favorites folder under Windows.

If you want to save any Word docs that you have on your machine:
1. Click on Start, Find, Files or Folders.
2. In the Named box, type *.doc.
3. In the Look In box, make sure it says C:
4. Click Find Now.
5. There are all of your Word Docs (And some that might have come with other programs)
6. Those won't necessarily fit on a floppy, but if you have a Zip drive, you can put them on one or a few zip disks. I hope this helps.
.- Dave Hampson

I upgraded to IE5 and can't bookmark anything. I click the button for Favorites and nothing happens. If I delete IE5 and revert back to IE4, my Favorites reappear. What's wrong?

One very useful tool present in IE5 that's not in IE4 is the Repair tool. We find that it fixes most problems in IE5.
1. Click on Start, Settings, Control Panel.
2. Open Add/Remove Programs.
3. Click on Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 and Internet Tools.
4. Click the Add/Remove Button.
5. Put a dot next to Repair IE5 and click OK.
6. It will do it's thing, then may restart your machine.
Hope this helps..
- Dave Hampson

I was wondering if you knew why the C:\ folder keeps opening everytime I start Windows 98. I've set up users and this problem only occurs when signing onto my profile. Any ideas? Thanks!


If a folder is open when you shut down Windows, it will be opened when you restart Windows. Make sure when you Shut Down, that no folders are open. Also, make sure that the C:\ folder doesn't have a shortcut in your StartUp folder in Start, Programs, StartUp. The StartUp group is part of your profile.
Hope this helps.
- Dave Hampson

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