Houston We Have a Problem… 024 03/03/07


Moving to a new PC

I have just purchased a new computer to replace my aging Windows 98 PC. I need to use Microsoft Office, can I install my present version (Office 2000) on my new machine or do I need to buy the new XP version? Also, I need to transfer Excel and Word files and Outlook contacts to the new system. Could you please suggest a way of copying the data that does not use a floppy disk drive?
Ron Reeve, by email


There are no problems running Office 2000 on your new computer and for the record both Windows XP and the new Vista operating system are backwards compatible with most Windows applications produced within the past eight to ten years. The few that will not work can often be installed using the ‘Program Compatibility Wizard, which you will find in XP by going to Start > Programs > Accessories. This automatically makes any adjustments to Windows to allow these programs to run.


The quickest and simplest way to copy moderate volumes of date (up to a couple of gigabytes at a time) from one PC to another is to use a USB ‘Pen’ drive. For larger files I suggest removing the hard drive from the old PC and temporarily ‘slaving’ it to the drive in your new computer so you can copy the files directly from one drive to the other. It’s not difficult and the necessary power and data cables are either already there, or easy to obtain, but if you do not feel comfortable tinkering with your PC’s innards then your friendly local PC guru should be able to set it up for you.



Windows Defender Failed to Initialize

I'm using Windows XP and recently updated Internet Explorer. As a result a warning message pops up relating to Windows Defender, with the message ‘Application failed to initialize 0 x 800106ba’. By clicking OK the program loads and runs as normal but how can I make the error message go away?

Chris Matkin, by email


For once this has nothing to do with the Internet Explorer 7 upgrade but since it started appearing at around the same time it’s not unreasonable to suppose they are connected. It is Microsoft’s fault, though, and the error message roughly translates as ‘your copy of Defender was a trial program, it has now expired and you need to update to the latest version’.  Why they couldn’t just say that remains a mystery but to fix the problem open your web browser, go to the Windows Defender download page (http://tinyurl.com/47cus), click on the orange ‘Download it Here’ button and follow the instructions.



Where has My Outlook Express Icon Gone?

Since installing Internet Explorer version 7, there appears to be no icon for access to Outlook Express. How do I get it back?

R. Glass, by email


I hadn’t realised how many people use what I always thought was a fairly obscure facility. My guess is Microsoft dropped the OE icon for purely cosmetic reasons, to give IE7 a cleaner, leaner look, but you can easily put it back. Right-click on the Toolbar, select ‘Customize Command Bar’ then ‘Add or Remove Commands’. In the right hand ‘Available Toolbar Buttons’ window select the ‘Read Mail’ icon, click the Add button and the icon should appear on the toolbar and while you are at it you can use this facility to add or remove any other icons that you want to see, or disappear.



Sending Pictures as Attachments

I sent an email and attached a photo from my "My Pictures" folder.  When I scrolled down to the end of the letter, the photo appeared giant-sized, and took ages to transmit.  Is there a way I can set my computer to send ‘regular size’, photo attachments?

Geraldine Clarke


In the My Pictures Picture Task pane click  ‘Email this Picture’ (under File and Folder Tasks) and this gives you the option to reduce the size of the image file. Better yet, download and install the excellent Picasa picture viewing and editing program and you can tidy up your photos before you send them (remove redeye, crop the mage, jiggle colour, brightness and contrast and so on) and then send them using the built-in email facility. Picasa is completely free and you will find the link to the download at: http://picasa.google.com/



Are My Emails Being Received?

In the past I have used office computers, which told me when my emails had been received, and the message opened. I am regrettably, computer illiterate, and cannot find a way of doing this. Could you tell me please where I can obtain the program that activates this facility?
Sheila and Gywnn Fisher Jones, by email


Outlook Express and many popular email ‘clients’ support this feature, however, in order for it to work it must be enabled in the recipients email program, and many users prefer to have it switched off. To request and acknowledge Receipts in Outlook Express go to Tools > Options > Receipts and set the options accordingly.




© R. Maybury 2007 2201



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