I have an HP Pavilion with a sleep function that goes into a coma instead of a standby mode, forcing me to shut down and repower it to unfreeze it. I believe you mentioned in one of your articles not too long ago how to override this function.
It doesn't make me many friends at the federal Environmental Protection Agency, but I plead guilty as charged to advising folks how to shut off the EPA's praiseworthy but sometimes flawed Energy Star program to save electricity by having Windows go to sleep after no keys are tapped for a specified length of time.
All too often this power-saver conflicts with some other process running in the background and, as you so eloquently put it, machines lapse into comas rather than catnaps.
To disable Energy Star, right-click with the mouse pointer on the desktop and choose Properties from the pop-up menu that appears.
Choose Screen Saver on the next menu and you will find the Settings panel where you can disable the Standby mode.
I installed Norton Utilities on my HP Pavilion and then heard from my computer repairman that Norton has been known to "foul up hard drives."
Do these programs work, or are they more trouble than they are worth?
You are exactly on the money when you question whether Norton Utilities are more trouble than they are worth.
I have a tall stack of mail from readers whose machines started acting up after various Norton routines attempted to fix something or other and created additional problems instead of fixes.
This overrated software that so many nervous computer owners cling to can get badly confused when attempting to fix what it decides are problems.
The software, for example, can get confused over whether a drive is set for the FAT 16 or the FAT 32 system with disastrous results.
It also badly gums up the Recycle feature in Windows 98 with a system to restore deleted files that is, indeed, more trouble than it is worth.
I have Windows 95 and cannot copy a program larger than 1.4 megabytes to 3.5-inch floppy disks. Under MS-DOS you could begin copying large programs and when the first disk was full it would tell you to put in another disk and finish copying.
Windows will not even start copying too-large files to a floppy. Is there a way to copy large programs to multiple 1.4 megabyte disks?
You need a program called WinZip (www.winzip.com), the most popular single shareware program on Earth.
This program is designed to save space by creating compressed archives of files on one's hard drive and has the added feature of spreading files larger than the 1.4 MB floppy disk maximum over multiple floppies.
You drag icons for stuff you want stored on a series of floppies into the WinZip program's window and the software prompts you each time it needs a new floppy.
Afterward you simply use WinZip to restore the stuff from the stack of floppies.
Send e-mail to jcoates@ tribune.com.