BOOT CAMP ARCHIVE 2000

  

 

BOOT CAMP 105

TOP TRAUMAS part 1

 

Find a pair of scissors because you may want to cut out and keep the next two editions of Boot Camp. They are a direct result of the thousands of e-mails, letters and faxes sent in to our sister column Faqs! Facts! Fax!  Every week we receive numerous requests from readers to repeat a particular tip or solution. Unfortunately limited space and time means we can only oblige with a fraction of these often-desperate pleas for help. As a result we've sifted through our files and compiled solutions for the ten most common problems and answers to questions from users of Windows 95 and 98, and popular applications like Microsoft Word. So, without more ado, here's the first batch of tecno traumas.

 

1. DEFRAG AND SCANDISK

As you know the filing system on your PC's hard disc becomes disorganised over time. To keep your PC working smoothly it's a good idea to regularly run the Scandisk and Defrag utilities (Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools, or right click your hard disc icon in My Computer and select the Tools tab). Before you start either of them it's important to close all applications and programs. However, a lot of users find that Scandisk and Defrag 'hang' after they've processed only around 10% of the drive. That's usually because a program is still operating in the background that changes the contents of the drive, forcing the utility to start over again. The usual culprits are screen savers and virus checks, so disable them before you begin. If Scandisk or Defrag still hangs press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to open the Close Program dialogue box and use End Task to shut the programs down one by one (all except Explorer and System Tray). If that doesn't work restart the PC in Safe Mode (press F8 after switch on, and choose Safe Mode from the menu that appears), then run the utilities again. As a last resort try the heavy-duty version of Scandisk in DOS. Restart the PC in DOS mode (not a DOS window) and at the C:/ > prompt type 'scandisk.exe'. It's more thorough than the Windows version and be warned the option to carry out a Surface Scan can take an hour or more on larger disc drives.

 

2.      OFFICE ASSISTANT IN WORD

Mr Paperclip who pops up – often without warning in Word and Office – proffering unwanted advice is a deeply unpopular facility and quite difficult to get rid of, using the recommended menu options. Here's a simple way to rid your PC of him once and for all. Open Windows Explorer then Program Files > Microsoft Office > Office and right click on the folder called Actors. Rename it Dead_Actors and Mr Paperclip will be no more.

 

3. SHORTCUT ARROWS

This is a perennial favourite, or rather a nuisance that bothers a lot of users of Windows 95 and 98. It concerns the tiny arrows superimposed on shortcut icons on the desktop. Quite why they're so annoying to so many readers is a mystery but there are several ways of removing them. The simplest method is to reduce the size of desktop icons. Right click on the desktop to bring up the Display Properties, select the Appearance tab, highlight Icon on the Item drop-down menu and reduce the size from the default of 35 to 30 or less.

 

A more elegant solution is to install a little program called Tweak UI, which is part of the Microsoft PowerToys suite of utilities. It's worth installing in any case because it has a good assortment of features for customising Windows, including zapping those pesky arrows. Tweak UI is included on the Windows 98 CD-ROM (first edition) in the Tools > Reskit > PowerToys folder (full instructions are in the Readme file) or a version for Windows 95 can be downloaded from the Microsoft web site.

 

4. WNETGETUSER RETURNED

When opening Outlook Express you may be confronted with an error message saying WnetGetUser Returned, followed by a lot of gobbledegook. Clicking OK usually gets rid of it and the program runs normally but it can be very annoying. This usually happens when the PC hasn't been given a 'name'. The cure is simple, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Network, select the Identification tab and in the name field type 'default' or any other name up to 15 characters but no spaces. If the Identification tab is missing click the Add button, double click Client for Microsoft Networks and OK. Restart the PC, return to Network in Control Panel and the tab should now be there.

 

5. NETWORK PASSWORD BOX

If your PC continually prompts you for a Network Password when you boot up open Network in Control Panel then highlight Primary Network Logon and restart your PC. If that doesn't work try this. Open Find on the Start menu and in the Named field type in '*.pwl' and click Find Now. Rename any files that appear with the suffix '.old' and restart the PC. If the box reappears enter a username (your initials will do) but leave the Password field blank, press Enter and restart the PC.

 

Next week  –  Slow shutdown, keyboard shortcuts, print screen and much more

 

JARGON FILTER

DEFRAG

Defragging a PC's hard disc drive tidies up the filing system, speeding up data access and making programs run more smoothly

DOS

Disc Operating System, a program that runs independently of Windows responsible for controlling disc drives, organising data and memory resources.

SCANDISK

A Windows utility that checks the integrity of data stored on a hard disc drive, identifies problems, and where possible, puts them right

 

TOP TIP

If you've had your PC for more than a year or so the desktop is probably starting to get a bit crowded. Of course you can always remove icons and shortcuts you rarely use but if you're the sort of person who hates to part with anything, here's a simple way of packing even more icons onto your desktop, by reducing the space between them. If you can find an empty area on the desktop click into it and the Display Properties window should appear. Select the Appearance tab and under Item highlight Icon Spacing (horizontal). Change the value from the default setting to 30 and click Apply. Now do the same with Icon Spacing (vertical). You may need to experiment with different values and watch out for large overlapping Icon labels. If that becomes a problem edit the text by clicking slowly into the label box three times or reduce the size of the actual icon – the option is on the same drop down menu as Icon Spacing. 

Search PCTopTips 


Web

PCTopTips

Boot Camp Index

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

 

Top Tips Index

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Internet & Email

Microsoft Word

Folders & Files

Desktop Mouse & Keyboard

Crash Bang Wallop!

Privacy & Security

Imaging Scanning & Printing

Power, Safety & Comfort

Tools & Utilities

Sound Advice

Display & screen

Fun & Games

Windows 95/98/SE/ME

 

 

 

 

 

 Copyright 2006-2009 PCTOPTIPS UK.

All information on this web site is provided as-is without warranty of any kind. Neither PCTOPTIPS nor its employees nor contributors are responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, direct or consequential, resulting from your choosing to use any of the information contained herein.