Question:  What is the System Information program?

Answer: System information has been around since Windows 98. This program is very helpful for determining what the computer has as far as hardware, drivers, system resources, registered software, and a variety of other stuff which the average user doesn't use but a tech can find useful for solving problems. In addition this is where you can go to replace corrupt Windows system files, possibly damaged from a virus or other oops related happenings and also you can shut off startup programs for troubleshooting problems. This is one of the handiest utilities Microsoft has included which techs find very helpful. It can be found on All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, then click on System Information.

Question: What is power management?

Answer: Again, power management has been around for a long time. In the past it hasn't worked very well, and now is no exception. My advice, turn all power management features off. Between hardware and software compatibility problems with power management, it's not worth wasting time trying to use it. The idea is great, if your computer is inactive for a set period of time, the monitor, hard drive, etc. shut down and when you decide to use the computer again, they "wake up" and you can start using the computer faster than starting it back up from scratch. The problem, most of the time it doesn't work or it makes the computer lock up. This is common with all computers and most of the manufacturers recommend turning the features off. To access the power management settings, right-click on the desktop and left click on the Properties item. Click on the Screen Saver tab then click on the Settings button in the bottom right corner. If not set that way already, change all the settings to Never and save the settings. You'll have less problems over all if you do this.

Question: While using Windows Explorer, I accidentally moved a folder, how can I undo it?

Answer: It is very easy when moving the mouse around to accidentally click the mouse while going from one area to another. Sometimes this will either delete a folder or file or move it to another location. Don't panic, before you do anything else, go to the Edit menu and click on Undo. It will then give you the option to undo whatever you did. I personally have this happen quite often, usually when I'm in a hurry.

Question: Is there an easy way to see the graphics files on my hard drive?

Answer: When you are using Windows Explorer in Windows 2000, ME, or later, you can go to the View menu and check Thumbnails. This will give a visual thumbnail of the files in the directory. This feature is also found in Windows 95, 98, and 98 SE, but it's hidden. To enable thumbnail view, right-click a folder icon and choose Properties. Select the General tab, check Enable thumbnail view, and click OK. Now double-click the folder to open it. You should see a Thumbnails command on the View menu where none existed before. Note: For Windows 95, this tip requires Internet Explorer 4's Desktop Update.

Question: Why does my computer hang up sometimes when shutting down?

Answer: If you are using Windows 98 Second Edition or Windows XP, both of these programs have patches available to help correct the hang at shut down. See the Microsoft Windows Update site for your version of Windows and download the patch there.

Question: America On Line is not working right with my Windows XP computer.

Answer: Most computer manufacturers are installing AOL version 6 on their new computers. Unfortunately, version 6 is not compatible with Windows XP. They recommend upgrading to version 7, but in some cases, version 7 slows computers down. Best to consult with AOL for proper fix.  NOTE:  The later versions of AOL seem to have solved this problem.

Question: Is there an easy way to search for several different files at once?

Answer: When in the search window, type the first file name, put a space, then the next file name, etc. The search will then look for all the files at once. If you don't remember the exact file name, use wildcards. For instance if you know the file name had the word today in it (todays to do list.doc) you can type in today* (this * means to include anything at all from this point to the period) .* (this * means any file extension, if you know it's a word document then use the doc to eliminate getting other types of files).

Question: Can I create a shortcut to a certain point in a document?

Answer: If you want to create a shortcut on the desktop, or anywhere else, simply highlight some text in the application, or a cell in a spreadsheet, copy it, go to the desktop and paste a shortcut there, and viola, when you double click on the shortcut, it will open the document and go to the highlighted point.

Question: Why doesn't my antivirus program work properly with Windows XP?

Answer: Antivirus and many other software programs need to be XP compatible. Many programs do not work correctly unless you update to an XP version or download patches to make the program work with XP, so, make sure to check the manufacturer's web site for compatibility issues and download any required patches.

Question: I'm upgrading to XP, why won't my CD-RW software work?

Answer: It's ironic that Microsoft partnered with Roxio, who makes the DriectCD and Easy CD Creator software to produce the software bundled with Windows XP. There are a lot of claims that the software in Windows leaves a lot to be desired. The bizzare part of this scenario is that Roxio software, all versions prior to version 5, are all incompatible with Windows XP. Go figure. This software is packaged with the majority of re-writeable drives purchased or installed as OEM devices. Your only option is to purchase the new software. Here again, you need to check compatibility issues for all your hardware and software before you try to upgrade. Even some of the things which are supposedly compatible, the real world experiences are less than satisfactory.

Question: How do I get rid of the annoying MSN Messenger icon in the system tray?

Answer: Windows XP has MSN Messenger installed by default and even if you don't use it, the icon is cluttering up the system tray. To remove it, start Notepad and open /winnt/inf/sysoc.inf. Search for the word hide, remove it and save the file. Now you can go to Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel, go to Windows components, and the Windows Messenger program will be in the list of programs to remove.

Question: Is there a way to speed up Windows Explorer in XP?

Answer: Windows Explorer will treat ZIP files as folders which slows down an older computer when it reads the directory structure. To speed things up, go to a command prompt and type 'regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll to cause it to show ZIP files as files. If you change your mind later and want to undo this action, simply go to the command prompt and type regsvr32 zipfldr.dll to get things back to the default settings.

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.