Bad setting complicates 98 rebooting

Help Line

April 17, 2000|By James Coates | James Coates,Chicago Tribune

I just installed Windows 98 and Windows shuts down fine, but on rebooting I am forced to get back via the ScanDisk route. Is there a fix for this?

A component of Windows 98 called the Scheduled Tasks Agent has been set to run ScanDisk every time you turn on your PC. ScanDisk checks the physical surface of the hard drive and the way each bit of data is stored to ensure that everything is OK.

The culprit is a bad setting you can change. Click on Start, then Programs and Accessories and System Tools. Open the icon called Scheduled Tasks and look for the one named ScanDisk. When you open that icon you will find an option to turn off the schedule that runs the program each time the computer starts.

I read your column about how people who decide to try Windows computers can move their files created on a Macintosh onto a PC but will lose the formatting. I was a Mac user who moved to a Windows machine and solved the compatibility problem by buying two boxes of the AppleWorks software, one for the Macintosh and one for Windows. This lets me move word processing, database, spreadsheet and picture files between my Mac and my PC. That program is the best-kept secret in the computer industry.

You were the first among a number of people who chided me in a nice way for not suggesting the software to solve the problem. AppleWorks is just superb, and I have written rave reviews about the new 6.0 version that just shipped. It can be bought at for $79. You have to buy AppleWorks for Windows as well.

Also available is Conversions Plus from DataViz ($100) at It converts files nicely between the two platforms.

At work, I use a standard 28.8 kbps modem connection for Web access and e-mail. At home, I'm on a cable modem. I'd like to set up a LapLink or pcAnywhere-type hookup so I can send files between the two machines.

E-mail doesn't work very well because of the large number of files I have to send. No one seems to know how to establish this hookup. Any thoughts?

A great many Web services have sprung up to solve your quandary over moving files from work to home and back again.

I favor, which lets users store up to 20 megabytes on the company's server machines for free, and then starts charging $10 per 50 MB. You log on from either your high-speed cable modem at home or your 28.8K clunker at work and the software lets you select large numbers of files for uploading.

The great thing here is that with all your files on a Web server you can treat that server as though it were a huge hard drive you can use to just access those files you need each day rather than worrying about total backups each day.

Other ways to do this are to sign up for the superb Yahoo! Briefcase service at or to take advantage of the FTP (file transfer protocol) services that Internet service providers (including America Online) offer their customers for storing files online.

While Microsoft cut QBasic from Windows 98 in its typical installation, you can find it on the Windows 98 installation CD. Stick in the CD and select Browse.

When the window opens, double-click the Tools folder. In the new window you will find a folder called Oldmsdos. If you open this folder you'll find qbasic.exe and qbasic.hlp.

If you drag these two files into c: windows command folder, you will have QBasic.

Thank you. I've received a few messages from readers about how Microsoft sneaked a copy of QBasic programming language into Windows 98 after deciding to drop it from the advertised contents.

Send e-mail to jcoates@tribune. com.

Pub Date: 04/17/00

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