Mouse a pest to Web surfer

Help Line

September 27, 1999|By James Coates | James Coates,Chicago Tribune

When my husband is on the Web using Netscape, once in a while the cursor turns into a triangle with dot below it. Then its speed is increased, but he can't do anything with it except look at the Web page. The computer must be restarted to get rid of the pesky little thing. Can you tell us why this is happening so he can avoid it?

The object of your frustration is a feature called Intellimouse. Your husband apparently is clicking the little wheel at the front of your newfangled mouse between the left clicker and the right clicker.

That wheel is called the automatic scrolling wheel, and once you click it, the cursor changes to that dot-plus-triangle. Click the wheel a second time and it will stop.

I tried to follow your advice about running the program "msconfig" from the Start/Run line and found that my computer doesn't have such a file. Could I be doing something wrong? I am running Windows 95 on a 166-megahertz Compaq Presario.

Apologies to the Win 95 users who were let down by my advice to use the msconfig program, which, I failed to mention, is available only in Windows 98.

Msconfig works by bringing up a list with checkmarks, allowing a user to stop automatically running many of the programs that otherwise are triggered when Windows boots up. Unfortunately, it wasn't included in Windows 95.

While browsing the Web and scrolling a page, the page freezes up and my pointer disappears.

I have contacted Microsoft and Juno (my Internet service provider) about this problem and have tried all their solutions: deleting my temporary Internet files, deleting the history files, and running ScanDisk. All other programs work perfectly. How can this problem be corrected?

Since your mouse setup never snags while scrolling in other software, there must be something corrupted in the software your browser uses to perform the rapid repaints of the screen that makes it look like text is scrolling.

You'll need to log on to the Microsoft Web site at www.microsoft.com, download Internet Explorer and reinstall it over your current flawed version.

I am using a 15-inch HP Pavilion monitor on a Compaq 5204 with Windows 98. Frequently the computer automatically adjusts the desktop settings, reducing the number of pixels, which significantly enlarges everything on my desktop. When I try to change the settings in display properties, I can't move the slide bar to adjust the pixel sizes until I restart the computer.

I'll bet that when you got your hands on that monitor and plugged it into your Compaq, you didn't change the display drivers and that quirky bug is the result.

To change drivers, click on the My Computer icon, then select the folder called Control Panel. In the display you get next, choose Add/Hardware and then Display.

This will give you a list of monitors to choose from and you should find yours listed. If not, there is a generic heading for all VGA monitors that will certainly work better than the drivers for a Compaq monitor you seem to be using to run a Hewlett-Packard product.

When I turn on the computer, after the desktop comes up, the Program Explorer page comes on, with all its icons. I always back out of it before continuing. My computer analyst son has tried to stop it from appearing, but hasn't had any success. It doesn't hinder my work -- I can work right over it -- but I'm wondering why it comes up every time, and how to stop it.

A gremlin seems to have moved an icon for the Windows Explorer into your Startup folder, hobbling your computer when you boot up by replacing the desktop display with the subprogram used to maintain files called explorer.exe.

A fix is as easy as removing the explorer.exe from your Startup folder, which can be found by using the Explorer.exe software itself. Right-click on the Start button at the bottom of your Desktop and choose Explore from the menu that comes up.

In Explorer, select the folder called Programs in the window on the right and then scroll down to Startup. Open that and you will find an icon for Explore.exe. Drag that to the Windows folder on the display on the left and your problem will disappear.

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