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Ending an unwanted dance of the icons


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 19, 1999

Q. When I start my computer, just as it is about to come up ready to use, the icons start to flicker and then fly all over the place. It is a real mess. This started after I installed an external Iomega Zip drive.

A. The icon problem can occur when you select large icons on the Plus! tab in Display properties. After that is done, the spacing of the icons on the desktop may not change, causing the icons to overlap. They will not automatically rearrange unless the Auto Arrange option is selected for the desktop. To arrange the icons automatically, use the right mouse button to click an empty area on the desktop, point to Arrange Icons on the menu that appears, and click Auto Arrange.

Q. Occasionally when I am online, my arrow disappears and the computer freezes up. The only solution is Ctrl Alt Delete. This seems to happen only while I am scrolling down, such as reading e-mail.

A. Make sure you have the latest drivers installed for your video adapter (check the vendor's Web site). If it is still a problem, you also may want to 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 on the right (the Full setting) and move the slider one setting to the left until you find the setting that works best.

Q. I get an illegal operation dialogue box. When I click for details, it says "Program has caused an invalid page fault in KERNEL32.DLL at 0137:bff711be." It also shows a series of combinations of numbers and letters under several subtitles (Registers, Bytes and Stack dump). Will reinstalling Windows 95 fix the problem? If so, would I lose any programs or files?

A. This is a common error. Since you did not specify what it was you were doing when you received this error, I cannot be specific with a possible solution. The cause is most likely mismatched DLL files. If it is a particular program that is initiating the error, try uninstalling it and then reinstalling. Reinstalling Windows 95 also may correct the problem, and you will not lose any of your programs or settings.

Q. I was loading a CD on my 486. I was directed to go to the CD drive from DOS and delete some lines to free up space. I must have deleted too much because I do not have a D drive anymore.

A. Since you did not specify what line and from where you deleted, I'm going to have to guess what you did. I'm assuming that you deleted lines from your autoexec.bat. Since you no longer have a D drive (again I'm assuming that your D drive was the CD-ROM) maybe you deleted the MCSDEX line. This is the real mode driver that allows access to the CD-ROM. Add this entry in the autoexec.bat:

c:\dos\mscdex.exe /d:mscd001

device=c:\cdrom\cdrom.sys /d:mscd00

If your CD-ROM came with a setup diskette, you may need to reinstall it to get the correct settings.

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