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By JOHN TORRO

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 6, 1999


Anti-virus program is a must-have item

Q. I was about to spend $50 on an anti-virus program to get rid of Happy99. Fortunately I saw and read your article (Nov. 22). I followed the directions and hope my virus has been deleted.

A. Lucky for you that the Happy99 was not a malicious virus. It could have just as easily destroyed all your files or, worse, done it a little at a time while passing itself on to others. If you connect to the Internet, receive e-mail or use your floppy drive (which should cover just about everyone), you are being irresponsible if you do not use a virus detection program. More than 200 viruses are created each month. Even if you have a virus detection program, you need to periodically visit the vendor's Web site to download the free updates.

USB settings conflict

Q. I get this error message when my computer boots up: "A device file that is specified in the system.ini file is damaged. It may be needed to run Windows. You may need to run Windows Setup program again. If this file is included in another software package, you may need to reinstall the software that uses the file. C:\Windows\System\VMM32\NTKERN.VXD." This problem started after I canceled the loading of Guard Dog, an Internet protection program. Though it has no apparent effect on the running of Windows, I did reinstall Windows 95, to no avail. I also get an error message with Microsoft Access: "Can't open database C:\Windows\System\System.mdw. It may not be a database your application recognizes or the file may be corrupt." I think the latter and that it may be associated with the previous problem.

A. This is a device file used by the USB Supplement in Windows 95 OSR2 (among other things). Click Start, point to Settings and then click Control Panel. Double-click Add/Remove Programs and on the Install/Uninstall tab, click USB Supplement in the list of installed programs, and then click Add/Remove. If this doesn't work, you can remove the NTKERN.VXD entry from the registry under the following registry entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlset\Services\VxD.

Make sure you back up the registry before making any changes (File menu, Export) and make sure you have a Windows Start disk.

I also would do a thorough ScanDisk. System.MDW is where MS Access stores its security logon information. If you don't use any Access security logons (you are not prompted for a User ID and Password when opening an Access database), then you can delete the System.MDW and re-install MS Access.

Moving your Task bar

Q. My Start button and tray have moved to the top of the window and I can't seem to bring it down to the bottom.

A. The Task bar can be positioned along any of the four sides of the monitor. Simply click on the Task bar and hold the mouse down while you drag the Task bar to the bottom. Once there, release the mouse.

Printing your address book

Q. When I had Juno, I could print my whole list of e-mail addresses on a page. I have tried every which way with Outlook Express and all I get is one name on each sheet. Do you know a way to print all your addresses at once?

A. In the Print dialog box of the Outlook Express 5.0 Address book, select the Phone List option of the Print Style option box. This should print your list as expected.

Finding files

You can use the F3 key to quickly display the Find Files dialog box from anywhere on your PC, instead of clicking Start, Find, Files.

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