Lost icon starts wrong program

Help Line

September 20, 1999|By James Coates | James Coates,Chicago Tribune

When I boot up my computer, instead of stopping at my familiar desktop, it ends up in Microsoft Works. I wonder if installing Norton Anti-Virus caused this.

Almost certainly your problem set in when a shortcut icon for Microsoft Works got deposited in your Windows 98 Startup folder.

Right-click on the Start icon at the bottom of your screen and choose Explore. The window that comes up includes a folder called Programs, which has a listing for just about every piece of software in your machine, as well as a subfolder called Startup, which holds icons for software that your computer will automatically execute when you boot up.

Open that Startup folder and you'll find a shortcut icon for Works. Remove it, if you like.

I am running Windows 98. There are many icons on the lower right-hand side of the desktop on the taskbar. It seems that every time I add a piece of software to my computer it installs one of its icons. How do I remove them?

The system tray you want to clean up holds icons for programs that are partially loaded and waiting to run, while the Startup folder causes programs to run when the computer boots up. Both can become a bother.

To remove items from the tray on the lower right-hand side of the screen, click on Start and then Run and type in msconfig. This will bring up a menu with an on/off check box for every item in that tray as well as other software that must run on startup.

Make certain that you check only items visible in the tray.

When I sign on to my ISP a small icon displaying two interlinked computers moves down to the toolbar at the bottom right side of my screen. As Web pages load, these two computers flash lights, but often the loading will stop midway through the process and the upper light stops lighting up.

The rest of the computer works normally. The only way to restore the browser is to close it, sign off from the ISP and sign on again.

That bottom part of the icon of the two linked computers shows each burst of data originating on your PC and the upper part of the icon shows every responding burst of data from your Internet service provider.

Your ISP connection is letting you down, which is why it fixes itself when you terminate your connection and redial.

Check with the ISP to find a better phone number for access to it. If this fails, try other ISPs.

I use Microsoft Explorer personal folders to store e-mails as .pst files for record-keeping. If I change to another e-mail provider, is there some other application that can read these .pst files?

Do not try to use those .pst files as a way to move stuff from Outlook to other software.

Microsoft's .pst format covers not only e-mail entries but also contacts, to-do items, calendars and even PowerPoint slides; no other software is likely to ever read it all.

When you dump Outlook, spend time first using the software's superb Export functions to move your data into comma-delimited or tab-delimited text files that can be imported into competing applications.

I have a question about how to increase the memory in our PowerPC (Mac) 7100/66, which has 24 megs of RAM. It often crashes if we open multiple windows in Netscape Navigator. The newer applications are so large that we sometimes cannot open more than one at a time.

Is installing more memory chips the best way to get at least one or two years more years of use?

You could instead try a software fix used by an estimated 1 million Mac users: RAM Doubler by Connectix.

The software costs $50 and will make most software, Netscape included, assume that you have 48 megs of RAM.

RAM Doubler works with little impact on processing speed, which is a big deal given the old 66-megahertz machine you own. I'll bet this is all you're going to need to tide you over.

Send e-mail at jcoates@tribune.com.

Pub Date: 09/20/99

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