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Device driver may be start-up problem

By JOHN TORRO

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 25, 1999


Q. When I start my computer, I get a message that system.ini is missing or possibly was deleted, and to install the application from where it was deleted. How do I restore the file?

A. Are you sure the error message is not specifying a particular file that may be referenced in system.ini? This is usually the case with this type of error and is usually the result when a Windows device driver (with a .386 extension) referenced in the System.ini file is missing or damaged. If the missing file is named in the error message and has a .386 extension, disable the line referring to this device driver in the system.ini file by placing a semicolon (;) at the beginning of the line. After rebooting, your problem should be gone.

McAfee-display conflict

Q. When I use the Find function in Windows, the screen goes black. Or I'll highlight the subjects when they appear and the screen goes black, my PC crashes or I receive a fatal exception message (0028: C000CACG in VxD VMM (01) + 0000 BABG).

A. This is a known problem if your video adapter uses the Tseng Labs ET6000 chipset and you are using McAfee VirusScan95. When it detects a virus (or thinks it does), McAfee switches to MS-DOS mode. The video adapter drivers for the Tseng Labs ET6000 chip set do not handle this change correctly. To fix this problem, upgrade to Release 6, version 4.03.4800 or later of the Tseng Labs ET6000 video adapter driver for Windows 95. An updated version of this driver can be found at www.jaton.com/usa/home.htm. Select the Video-58P driver for the Tseng Labs ET6000 chip set.

Deleting old mail

Q. When I get my e-mail through Netscape 3.0 on my Windows 95 computer, I'm asked if I want to compress my mail files. I have no interest in saving old e-mail, but I could not find a way to delete the old files.

A. In Netscape Communicator, click File on the menu bar, then Empty the Trash. This will permanently delete the contents of your Trash folder.

Tracking a start-up problem

Q. When I start my computer, I get this message: "Error starting program, a required DLL file EXCELLACCESS.DLL was not found." When I click the OK button, everything seems all right. I installed Windows 98, second edition, over Windows 98, which was installed over Windows 95. My computer locks up more now, and Ctrl-Alt-Delete won't help.

A. I couldn't find anything related to that specific file reference. Fortunately, Windows 98 makes it relatively easy to trace start-up problems. 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 start-up. 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). Try disabling one at a time until you find the area where the offending program is starting. This should give you a clue as to what is making this happen. As far as the intermittent lockups, this could be any number of things from faulty RAM to misbehaving device drivers. Many times lockups are the result of the video drivers controlling your video adapter. Make sure you have the latest version of the video adapter drivers (check the vendor's Web site). You also can try adjusting the Video Hardware Acceleration slide bar (right-click My Computer, choose Properties, Performance, then click the Graphics button). It is a good idea to start with the setting all the way to the right (the Full setting) and move the slider one setting to the left until you find the setting that works best.

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