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© St. Petersburg Times, published April 24, 2000

Streamlining startup on your PC

Q. How do I eliminate programs from startup so it doesn't slow the computer?

A. It's a good idea to streamline what is automatically loaded at startup for a number of reasons, the main one being to speed up your computer. Windows 98 makes this easy to control: 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 Startup (this contains the programs that start from within the registry).

Windows 95 does not include the System Configuration Utility. Instead, you'll need to manually look at the places a program can initiate at startup. The first and most obvious is the Startup folder (Start/Programs/Startup). To remove programs launched from the Startup directory, right-click on the Start button, select Open, double-click Programs, then the Startup folder. I recommend moving to another folder (instead of deleting) any shortcuts found here that you no longer wish to load at startup. The next place to look is in the Win.ini file. Look for the application on either the LOAD= or the RUN= lines. Remove the reference to the application name, save the file and reboot. The last place to look is in the System Registry. Before editing the Registry file, make a backup copy (run RegEdit, then Registry, Export Registry File . . . ). The following registry key contains the applications that run at startup: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Run. Click the application to select it and then from the menu bar, Edit/Delete. Exit RegEdit and reboot.

Deleting a Win98 user

Q. How do you delete a user in Windows 98?

A. From Control Panel, double-click Users. Select the user to delete and click the Delete button.

Proper protocols

Q. I installed Road Runner cable modem service. I get the following message when I boot up: "Microsoft Networking, an error has occurred while loading protocol #0, error 254."

A. This error occurs only when the IPX/SPX protocol is enabled. It's a protocol that is used for Novell networks and is not necessary for Road Runner. It sounds as if it was installed by mistake. The easiest way to fix this is to remove the protocol. Right-click Network Neighborhood, select Properties. Click the IPS/SPX protocol entry and click the Remove button.

Deleting search history

Q. When I enter search data in Internet Explorer, a drop down list with previous search entries appears. How can I delete these previous entries?

A. On the Tools menu in Internet Explorer, click Internet Options. Click the Content tab. In the Personal information area, click AutoComplete. Click the Clear Forms button to erase previous search entries. If you want to turn this feature off, uncheck the Forms entry in the "Use Auto Complete for" option box.

Moving from old to new PC

Q. I am going to retire my old PC. What is the best way to transfer my existing files to a new PC? How do I remove existing files from the old PC?

A. There are several ways to do this. One, of course, is to use a floppy disk to transfer files you want to keep, although this becomes increasingly impractical as file sizes increase. Another option is to use a tape drive or a Zip disk. You also can create a network link between the two PCs using an Ethernet card or the Direct Cable Connection, which uses a parallel cable to simulate a network connection between the two systems. For information on how to set this up, check the Help in Windows for Direct Cable Connection or LapLink.

If you're comfortable with opening your computer's case, you can take your old hard drive and connect it as a slave drive (or Secondary Master) to your new hard drive. You may need to set jumper pins on one or both drives to make this work (check the disk documentation or the disk vendor's Web site for specifics). Once this is done, the slave drive becomes drive D. You can then copy any files from D to your C drive. The best way to erase the old information is to boot to a Windows 9x Startup floppy, run FDisk to delete the primary partition, re-create it and then format the drive. Utilities to do this will be on the Startup floppy.

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