Question:  I just got a new computer with Windows ME and I can't find the backup program, where is it?

Answer: For some reason, Microsoft neglected to include the MS Backup program on the Windows components list of item to add/remove. Fortunately, it can be found on the ME and XP disks in a directory called add-ons in ME and in the valueadd\msft folder. Go there and run msbexp.exe )in (in ME) and run Ntbackup.msi in XP  and it will install the backup program. I like this program because it is simple to use, it compresses the data, and it will span media if needed.

Question: How can I search for multiple files in Windows Explorer?

Answer: You can use a wild card character, for instance *.exe finds all exe files, test.* finds all files called test and with any extension, test*.exe finds all files starting with the word test and an extension of exe. If you want to search for multiple files separate the different names with a semi-colon, test.*;temp.*.

Question: How do I get a USB device to work on my computer?

Answer: Read the instructions. As silly as this may sound, that's the problem I always have, I do things and when they don't work I look at the instructions to find out what I did wrong. Most USB devices require that you load the software before you hook the device up to the computer. When you plug a device into the port, the computer senses it is there and looks for the info on how to configure it. If it doesn't find it, it gets confused and if you install the software after the device is plugged in, the computer can't seem to get it's act together. This is not true with all USB devices, but for most, you have to follow the proper sequence.

Question: How can I determine what version of Windows my computer has?

Answer: Go to the Start button, click on Settings, then Control Panel. Double click on the System icon. The information is on the General tab.  You ca  also right click on Mt Computer in Windows Explorer, then left click on Properties.

Release

Version

File Dates

Windows 95 retail,
OEM

4.00.950

7/11/95

Windows 95 retail
SP1

4.00.950A

7/11/95-12/31/95

OEM Service
Release 2

4.00.1111* (4.00.950B)

8/24/96

OEM Service
Release 2.1

4.03.1212-1214* (4.00.950B)

8/24/96-8/27/97

OEM Service
Release 2.5

4.03.1214* (4.00.950C)

8/24/96-11/18/97

Windows 98 retail,
OEM

4.10.1998

5/11/98

Windows 98 Second Edition

4.10.2222A

4/23/99

Windows Me

4.90.3000

 

Question: How can I tell what Windows updates have been installed on my computer?

Answer: There are two ways to find out. On your computer, go to the Start button, then click on (depending on your version of Windows) Find or Search. In the Named box, type wulog.txt wuhistv3.log, then click Find now. Your version of Windows determines which of the two files it will find. Double click on the file and in the Open with window, select Notepad. The other method is to go to the Windows update site, click on Product Updates and then you can click on Show Installed Updates and Installation History which will tell you more. Update since this FAQ was originally made: In Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, when you go to the Add/Remove item in Control Panel, just click on the View installed updates item under Tasks in the left pane.

Question: What is the little sliding tab on a floppy disk for?

Answer: When you look at the back side of a floppy disk, the right side has a square hole punched all the way through the disk and the left side has a hole with a slider that moves back and forth, either exposing the hole or covering it up. This is called the write protect tab. It is used to keep from being able to write data to the disk. You may have a file on the disk you want someone to be able to access but not change or you may want to make sure if you give the disk to someone to review a file, if they should happen to have a virus on their computer, the virus can not infect the floppy if it is write protected.

Question: How do I change the desktop colors and fonts?

Answer: Right click on an empty area of the desktop and left click on Properties. Click on the Appearance tab. You can click on the different areas and components to select different colors and the fonts used with the text. You can also select a different color scheme or change the colors yourself. Be sure to save your scheme!

Question: How can I delete the items on the Documents menu?

Answer: Right click on an empty area on the task bar. Left click on Properties. Click on the Advanced tab and clear the menu items.

Question: How can I format a floppy disk in Windows Explorer?

Answer: Find the 3-1/2" Floppy Disk (A:) icon in the left pane. Right click on the icon and select Format, then make sure the setting are what you want, then click Start.

Question: How do I password protect my computer?

Answer: There are two ways to do this. The first, and only secure way is to put a password in the computer setup program. Reboot the computer and watch the screen carefully. It should say something like "Press F1 to enter setup", Hit Delete to start setup program", or something like this. Once you determine how to get into the setup program, go in and set a power on password. This is the only way to set a password which is fairly secure. This method can be overcome by removing the system battery and restarting the computer. The second method is to set a Windows password. This method does nothing to protect people from being able to use you computer or see your files. All this password does is keep someone from being able to use your saved passwords, such as the dial-up password for connecting to your ISP. If your computer doesn't ask for a password when Windows starts up, you do have a password. Actually it is nothing so the computer goes ahead and starts up. To change the password, go to Start button, Settings, Control Panel, and double click the Passwords icon. Click the Change Windows Password button. The old password is nothing so hit Tab, type in a new password, hit Tab again and again type in the new password.

Question: What's the right mouse button there for?

Answer: The right mouse button is a convenience feature, mostly for Windows. Depending on what program you are in and what you are doing, the right mouse button attempts to figure out what menu items you might be looking for and will bring up a short menu which will probably have what you are looking for.  For example, let's say you are working in your word processor and you want to copy a word to the clipboard to paste into another program.  Highlight the word, move the cursor over the word and click the right mouse button. Now you can select copy from the menu.  This saves going to the edit menu and then selecting copy. Always remember, desktop icons require two left clicks to start the program, menu items require one left click, and, after right clicking on something to bring up a menu, left click once to select that item.

Question: Why do I get a lot of errors when programs start up?

Answer: Sometimes this is very simple. People tend to think the computer should be faster than it is. If you are impatient for a program to start and then you click on the icon again, sometimes you will get an error if two sessions of the program try to run at the same time. Also, I see a lot of people who are double clicking on the icons on the task bar. These icons only require one click to start the programs.

Please Note: All information provided in The Help Desk web site is in easy to understand terms, in my opinion only, and may not necessarily be the only accepted answers or advice.  I will not be responsible for any problems caused from anyone making any configuration or hardware changes to their computer system resulting from information obtained from this web site.  Please contact me prior to using any content from this web site.