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Default drivers need to be replaced

By JOHN TORRO

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 12, 2001


Q. I reinstalled Windows 98 SE onto a reformatted hard drive using the same installation disk and the same hardware configuration as the first installation and came up with two problems. One, in Control Panel, Display, Settings, when I change the resolution from 640x480 to 800x600 and change the colors from 16 to 256, nothing changes and the original settings always reappear. Windows reports that all drivers are the best available. The equipment and drivers worked fine in the original installation. Two, when the Windows logo screen appears, it is interrupted by this message: "VSNDSYS.386 Initialization Error! VSNDSYS.386 was unable to locate the Windows Sound System hardware." After pressing Enter, things seem to proceed normally. Once again, Windows reports all drivers are up-to-date.

A. Obviously something has changed since the original working configuration, and now for some reason Windows is not able to identify the exact make/model in order to load the proper drivers for your video and sound cards. It sounds as if the default Windows drivers are being used. Get the latest device drivers for your video and sound cards from their vendors' Web sites.

Getting video to CD

Q. Is there a way to put my 8mm or VHS home videos on a CD using my computer, or do I have to send them somewhere?

A. What you need is a video capture card, which is hardware that you install in your PC that can handle analog input such as your 8mm and VHS tapes, and software that will record and compress the output to disk or CD. There is a range of options. Most of the capture cards come packaged with the necessary software, such as the DV500 from Pinnacle (www.pinnaclesys.com). Check out its Web site and local computer superstores to check your options.

Opening 'Open with'

Q. When opening a strange file from the Internet, I get the "Open with" window, which asks me to click the program I want to use to open the file. If I guess wrong and do not uncheck the "Always use this program to open this file," I do not get another chance. If I guess wrong, how do I get the "Open with" window back to try again?

A. To force the "Open with" dialog to open, click the file once to select it. Then, while holding the Shift key, right-click the file and choose "Open with."

Changing a default font

Q. When I click on Compose Message in version 4 of Outlook Express, Font Setting comes up in Small Fonts. I want to change the default setting to the original or to choose a font. How do I do this?

A. I could not find a default font setting for Outlook Express, version 4. If you click View and select the Formatting tool bar, you will have easy access to the font/formatting options. Outlook Express 5 has the default settings available under Tools, Options, Compose tab, Font Settings.

Restoring My Documents shortcut

Q. I purchased a notebook computer with Windows 2000 Professional. In creating desktop shortcuts for my favorite applications, I deleted the My Documents icon from the desktop. How can I get it back?

A. Navigate through Windows Explorer to C:\Documents and Settings\ (where is the folder matching the user name with which you log on to Windows 2000 Pro. Within that folder, right-click the My Documents folder, and select Copy. Return to the Desktop, right-click an empty spot and select Paste Shortcut.

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