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By JOHN TORRO

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 7, 2000


Deleting desktop icons but not programs

Q. I thought I could delete certain icons from the desktop by right-clicking and hitting Delete without losing the program or its contents. I found this to be wrong. How do I delete icons and have the contents remain in my Program menu?

A. You need to make sure that you are deleting shortcuts as opposed to programs or folders. You can see if an icon is a shortcut by right-clicking the icon and choosing Properties. You should see a tab labeled Shortcut. Deleting a shortcut icon does not delete a physical file. But if the icon you delete from your desktop is pointed to by another shortcut within your \Windows\Start Menu\Programs, then deleting the icon also would remove the shortcut from your Program menu. Again, as long as what you are deleting is a shortcut, no programs are lost.

Restarting auto start

Q. I lost my CD-ROM's ability to auto start when I put a CD in the drive. How do I get it back?

A. The function you are referring to is called Auto Insert Notification. To check that Auto Insert Notification is turned on, do the following:

1. Click Start, Settings, Control Panel and then double-click System.

2. On the Device Manager tab, double-click CD-ROM and then double-click the CD-ROM driver entry.

3. On the Settings tab, click the Auto Insert Notification check box if it is not checked.

4. Click OK or Close until you return to Control Panel. When you are prompted to restart your computer, click Yes.

Running from a disk

Q. My PC shows 70 percent to 75 percent free space. Norton full system, Zip, task scheduler and other items show on the task bar and load at startup. We were told that they are using RAM and slowing down the system. Is this true? Also, when installing games and other software, is it best to work from a disk instead of doing a complete install?

A. Anything that loads and stays resident at startup (even if it doesn't show in the task bar) uses resources. And although most of the time it is not an amount that would affect performance noticeably, it is possible that with enough of these applications loaded, and depending on the amount of RAM you have, you could see a slight performance hit. I like to keep the applications that start up at boot time to a minimum. Windows 98 makes it easy to find out what programs are loaded at startup: Run the System Information tool (Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Information, or Start, Run, type MSINFO32 and press enter). Select Tools, System Configuration Utility. From here you can selectively turn off the different areas within Windows from which programs run at startup. You'll see a tab for each area: Config.sys, Autoexec.bat, System.ini, Win.ini (expand the Windows option and check the Load and Run lines) and Start-up (this contains the programs that start from within the registry).

Regarding your second question, even though CD devices are becoming very fast, they are not close to the speed of your hard drive. Installing programs on your hard disk would allow the application to run faster. However, keep in mind that not all applications require the extra efficiency you get from a disk drive and the results you get from different applications will vary. You'll also need to balance this with the need for keeping enough free disk space available on your hard drive to allow for Windows swap efficiency.

Attachment conflict

Q. When I send an e-mail with an attachment, the program shuts down with this message: "MSIMN caused an invalid page fault in module KERNEL32.DLL at 015f:bff7a379." I tried the answer you ran for another problem with e-mail Happy '99 and it told me I had no files like that. I don't want to run my Restart Disk because I don't want to lose what I have in my computer.

A. This is a known problem for people who have installed either the Popoff or ONTrack programs (applications that keep those annoying pop-up ads from happening when browsing the Internet). If this is the case, remove PopOff or ONTrack using the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel. InterCan Tech no longer offers these programs (probably because of problems similar to yours).

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