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© St. Petersburg Times, published January 24, 2000

System Policies may block log-on box removal

Q. I have not been able to get rid of the log-on box on Windows 95. I followed the steps in your Jan. 10 column until I got to the "Finally, click back on the Change Passwords tab, click the Change Windows Password button . . . " I can't find a Change Passwords tab. My Passwords Profile window only has one tab -- User Profiles. Am I missing a step?

A. A few other readers also had the same experience as you -- no Change Windows Password tab available. The only way this can happen is if System Policies are in effect on the PC. System Policies is not part of the normal installation options for Windows and needs to be explicitly installed after the initial installation of Windows itself. Even then, it takes specific actions to restrict access to the Change Windows Password tab. My guess is whoever sold you the computer set these options up or maybe cloned your system from another that had this in effect. This is how you can disable it:

  • Click Start, Run, enter "poledit" (without the quotation marks)
  • If you receive a "Cannot Find" error, you will need to install the Policy Editor. To install the System Policy Editor, open the Control Panel and click the Add/Remove Programs icon. When the Add/Remove Programs Properties sheet appears, select the Windows Setup tab. Next, click the Have Disk button and insert your Windows 95/98 CD. Windows will ask for the location of the file. The System Policy Editor is located in your Windows 95/98 CD's \Tools\Reskit\Netadmin\Poledit directory. Enter (or browse to) this path and click OK. When you do, Windows will give you a choice of which options to install. Select the System Policy Editor option and click Install to continue. Windows will install the System Policy Editor.
  • Once this is complete, Click Start, Run, enter "poledit" (without the quotation marks)
  • On the menu bar click File, Open Registry.
  • You will see two icons, Local User and Local Computer.
  • Double-click the Local User icon. It will bring up the "Local User Properties" window.
  • Double-click Control Panel, Passwords, and then single-click "Restrict Passwords Control Panel." This will have a check mark.
  • Click the check mark to remove it.
  • Close the "Local User Properties" window.
  • On the menubar, click File, Save.
  • Exit the System Policy Editor.
  • You should have access to the Change Windows Password tab in the Control Panel Passwords applet.

Explorer's index file

Q. In my temporary Internet file, I have an index file that keeps growing and is more than 2.5 megabytes. I tried to delete the file but it will not let me, saying it's write protected. How can I delete the contents?

A. If you're talking about the index.dat file, this is used by Internet Explorer to store cache index information. Its size is controlled in part by the settings under the Internet Explorer menubar option of Tools, Internet Options, Temporary File Settings.

Straightening out Scheduler

Q. My Windows 98 Scheduler stopped functioning, with no icon and the program not working.

A. Select Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Scheduled Tasks, and then Advanced, Start Using Scheduled Tasks.

If you have done this to no avail, try running the Registry Checker: Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Information. Click Tools on the menu bar and select Registry Checker.

Finally, if that doesn't work, using the same System Information you used to run Registry Checker (or just Start, Run, type MSINFO32 and hit return), click Tools and select System File Checker. This will examine your system for damaged, missing or corrupt files.

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