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Getting rid of old Favorites

By JOHN TORRO

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 1, 1999


Q. I am unable to delete any entry from my Favorites list in Windows 98. I have both Windows for Dummies books and the problem is not addressed.

A. From within the Windows Explorer menu bar, click Favorites, then Organize Favorites. That is where you can delete items in your Favorites list. You also can manually delete them by going to C:\Windows\Favorites and deleting them as you would any other file or shortcut.

Using Defrag with Norton

Q. I installed Norton Anti-Virus in my system, but I haven't been able to run Defrag. I am using a 486SX with Windows 3.11.) I tried to reinstall Defrag and DOS to no avail. When I deleted Norton, Defrag worked. When I reinstalled Norton, Defrag was inoperable.

A. You'll need to disable Norton while you run Defrag. In a DOS/Windows 3.11 system, this may mean editing the autoexec.bat, placing REM on the line that starts the anti-virus program and rebooting. After you defragment your hard disk, undo the change (remove the REM) and then reboot.

Stopping a start-up program

Q. You addressed (on Nov. 23) a problem concerning a small dialog box that appears after the desktop icons appear. The box is labeled Missing Shortcut and says that Windows is "searching for FL99.exe. To locate the file yourself, check Browse." This box is replaced by another that says "FL99.exe has been changed or moved." The program Family Lawyer 99 by Parsons Technology has been uninstalled, re-installed and uninstalled again, and the problem persists.

A. There are only so many places that a program can initiate at start-up. The most obvious is the Startup folder (Start/Programs/Startup). To remove programs launched from Startup, right-click on the Start button, select Open, double-click Programs, then Startup, and delete the shortcut to the application.

The next place to look is in the win.ini file. Look for the application on either the LOAD= or the RUN= line. 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 start automatically at start-up: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run. Click the application to select it. Then, from the menu bar, Edit/Delete. Exit RegEdit and reboot.

More device driver woes

Q. I did several updates to my system, including upgrading to Office 2000 and the Windows 98, second edition update. My computer generates an error message on boot-up that says "The mssp.vxd file referred to in the registry is missing" and suggests that I reinstall the program it's tied to to solve the issue. It would be nice if they gave me a clue what it's tied to.

A. Mssp.vxd is a virtual device driver used for file and print sharing validations and is installed as part of the Microsoft Client for Microsoft Networks service. Perhaps you installed software that assumes that this driver is present, or maybe it was deleted. To install the Microsoft Client for Networks:

1. In Control Panel, double-click Network.

2. Click Add, click Client and then click Add.

3. In the Manufacturers box, click Microsoft.

4. In the Network Clients box, click Client for Microsoft Networks.

5. Click OK or Close until you return to Control Panel.

If you are prompted to restart your computer, do so.

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