Use operating system command to delete unwanted files in Word

Help Line

March 13, 2000|By James Coates | James Coates,Chicago Tribune

I have letters in Microsoft Word that I can't delete. When I try to clear out a file, I get a red circle with an X in the middle and this message: "Cannot delete ... Access denied. Make sure the disk is not full or write protected and the file is not currently in use." How can I dump those letters?

Instead of using the delete commands in Word, go to the folder where the letters are stored and nuke them with the operating system's delete commands.

Shut down Word and click on the "Start" menu. Choose "Find Files/Folders," where you can enter the file name of each letter. When the letters come up in that window, right-click on each and pick the "Delete" option.

You wrote about how to disable those pesky dial-up sounds with Windows 98. At the time, I didn't have Windows 98, so I didn't cut out the column. My husband gave me a new computer with Windows 98 on Valentine's Day, and I'd like to get rid of those sounds.

Click on the My Computer icon, then on the Control Panel icon. Finally, click on the icon that pops up marked "Modems." You will get a control box with "Properties" on it. Click that and you'll find a slider bar for modem sounds, which you can slide to a blissful Off position.

A relative installing games on our IBM computer running Windows 98 downloaded them to the Program Accessories folder. Now I can't find Calculator, Scan Disk or Disk Defragmenter in Accessories. I uninstalled the games, and the Accessories folder disappeared.

A restore is fairly easy. Open the My Computer icon on your desktop, open the Control Panel folder and select "Add/Remove Programs." A window with tabs at the top will open, and you need to pick the Windows System tab. This will give you a display of all the modules that make up Windows, with a box checked for every one you have installed. Remove the checks from every box but Accessories and click the OK button.

If the operating system setup files were included on your hard drive -- as they usually are -- the Accessories folder will be restored. If you have a CD-ROM for Windows, you will need to click the Have Disk button that appears.

I have an old IBM laptop model that accepts only floppy disks. I want to upgrade it so it will be able to use software on CD-ROMS.

A computer store should have devices that use your printer port to connect CD-ROM readers. I am partial to CD-ROM readers from DeKalb-based Micro Solutions (www.micro-solutions.com). This Illinois company pioneered the technology of using the parallel ports normally confined to running printers to connect other peripherals to PCs, including CD, CD writer and external hard drives.

Is there a way to transfer 8 mm video from camcorder to PC and eventually record it on CD-ROM?

Hands-down easiest is the new $1,300 Apple DV iMac with iMovie software that lets owners of digital camcorders turn tapes into movies using FireWire connections built into the newest cameras.

Far cheaper are Windows movie systems including the $150 WinTV by Hauppauge Inc. and Matrox Corp's $400 G400-TV system. Both digitize home videos and store them on the hard drive. They include superb movie editing software from Avid Inc.

You also will need a CD recording device, but most people prefer to record their movies to videotape. iMacs allow users of digital camcorders to move finished films back onto the camcorders to create master tapes. The Matrox product allows video-out and video-in. The WinTV product does not offer video-out, so users need to buy another device for that.

I had to reformat my C drive and reinstall Windows 95. I'm finally back in operation, but my computer does not recognize my SyQuest SyJet removable-cartridge drive. And that's where I stored my goodies before I overhauled my C drive.

The green indicator light for the SyJet Drive is always on, and I have tried running the SyQuest installation floppy, but I can't access my stuff. I know SyQuest has gone belly up, so could you perhaps direct me to someone who has picked up some of the pieces of this business?

We share the problem of uncounted thousands of people who bought those slick SyQuest drives as the result of a massive advertising campaign by SyQuest in 1998.

The promotion cost so much that the company went under, leaving a warehouse full of unsold drives and a fairly large base of customers holding the bag. A new company, SYQT Inc., exploits the situation by offering technical support and selling drives left over from SyQuest's inventory. That SyJet you own costs $300, which is a steep penalty to pay for the data you have on those SyJet disks.

Check www.syqt.com, or write to SYQT Inc., 15551 A Union Ave., Los Gatos, CA 95032.

Send e-mail to jcoates@tribune.com.

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