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Other programs can conflict with defrag


© St. Petersburg Times, published July 24, 2000

Q. When I defragment my C drive, the graph goes only to 10 percent before I get a message that says the drive's content changed. How can I correct this problem?

Q. When defragmenting, drive C gets to about 1 percent, then starts over.

A. You need to make sure no other programs, such as antivirus programs and screen savers, are running. The best way to do this is with a clean boot. If you're using Windows 98, start the System Configuration Utility with the Run command. To do that, click Start, click Run, type msconfig.exe and then click OK. On the General tab, click Selective Startup and then click to clear the following check boxes:

  • Process Config.sys File.
  • Process Autoexec.bat File.
  • Process Winstart.bat File (if available).
  • Process System.ini File.
  • Process Win.ini File.
  • Load Startup Group Items.

Click OK and restart your computer when you are prompted. After your computer restarts, run the Disk Defragmenter tool. After Disk Defragmenter finishes, type msconfig.exe as you did before and then reselect the check boxes.

For Windows 95 users it may be easier just to boot into Safe Mode (hold the F8 key, select Safe Mode) and then run defrag.

Cleaning up temp files

Q. I like to clean out temp files, cookies, etc. to keep the computer running as smoothly as possible. I have two files in the windows/temp folder that refuse to delete or move. Messages appear that they are being shared by a program running in the background. Is there any way to at least move these files so I can "select all" of the temp files and delete them as a group?

A. The best method for deleting temporary files is through the Internet Explorer. From the menu bar choose Tools, Internet Options. From the general tab you can delete the existing temporary files. Clicking the Settings button will give you more options on how and where these are accumulated.

Print spool error

Q. I get a "Spool 32" error and have to shut down the computer when I print. Is there a solution to this?

A. The first step in troubleshooting a printer problem is to make sure you have the latest version of the printer drivers. These can be found at the printer manufacturer's Web site. Always uninstall the existing driver before installing the newer version. If you have the latest driver, try changing the spooling format from Enhanced Metafile, or EMF, to "raw," and attempt to print directly to the printer instead of spooling the print job. Follow these steps:

  • 1. Click Start, point to Settings and click Printers.
  • 2. Right-click the printer you are using and click Properties.
  • 3. On the Details tab, click Spool Settings.
  • 4. Click "Print directly to the printer."
  • 5. In the Spool Data Format box, click "Raw."
  • 6. Click OK, click OK again and then close the Printers window.

If you still have problems, there may be a terminate-and-stay-resident, or TSR, or other program that prevents Spool32.exe from running when Windows 95/98 starts. To work around this, create a shortcut to the windows\system\spool32.exe file in the Startup folder. (Replace windows with the name of the folder in which Windows 95/98 is installed.)

Slowing fast shutdown

Q. I installed a Windows 98 Second Edition upgrade. There is a small detail that drives me nuts. Before when I shut down, "Windows98 is closing down" appeared, followed by "It is safe now to shut down your computer." The second part of the shutdown message no longer appears and when I start up the next time, there's no warning about having improperly shut down the computer.

A. Troubleshooting shutdown problems in Windows 98 can get very involved. These problems are usually caused by incompatible, damaged or conflicting device drivers, damaged exit sound files, virus protection programs, or incorrectly configured or damaged hardware. My first recommendation would be to disable the Windows 98 Fast Shutdown feature. This will allow the device drivers to fully uninitialize.

To disable fast shutdown, follow these steps:

  • 1. Click Start, Programs, Accessories, System tools and click System Information.
  • 2. On the Tools menu, click System Configuration Utility.
  • 3. On the General tab, click Advanced.
  • 4. Click the Disable Fast Shutdown check box to select it, click OK and then click OK again.
  • 5. Click Yes when you are prompted to restart your computer.

If shutdown is still a problem, download the Windows 98 Second Edition Shutdown Supplement at The shutdown supplement contains an updated Troubleshooter for Startup and Shutdown issues that also may help you fix this problem. Once the shutdown supplement is installed, the Fast Shutdown option is no longer available in the System Configuration Utility (Msconfig.exe). Search for article Q202633 at for extensive troubleshooting steps.

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