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By JOHN TORRO
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 26, 1999
Q. When Windows 95 boots, a dialog box says "Enter your password for Microsoft Networking," and has spaces for a user name and password. However, typing no password and hitting enter bypasses the screen and finishes the initialization of Windows. How can I remove this prompt from the boot sequence?
A. Right-click your desktop's Network Neighborhood icon and select Properties (or open the Control Panel and double-click Networks). On the Configuration tab, under Primary Network Logon, click the down arrow and select Windows Logon. Click OK then click Yes to restart your computer.
Q. What are the registry files I need to backup before making any changes?
A. Windows stores information about the hardware and software in your computer in the system.dat and user.dat files. The system.dat and user.dat files should be treated as a pair. You should back them up together and restore them together. These files are hidden, read-only files. You also can use the Windows 95 Emergency Recovery Utility to create a backup of your system configuration and registry files. This utility is located on the Windows 95 CD-ROM in the Other\Misc\ERU folder.
Q. I'm confused about which column in the Version Conflict Manager the computer "uses" to run programs, "the backed-up version" or the "current version"?
A. The Windows 98 Version Conflict Manager allows you to install older (by version, not date) files, while moving newer ones to the \Windows\VCM directory. These are the files that you see through the Version Conflict Manager. The Backed Up column displays the file that was replaced and is no longer active. The Current Version column displays the current file and version that is in use.
Q. I would appreciate any information you can provide about Windows Temp files. I would like to delete them if indeed they are temporary files.
A. Windows 95 will create temporary files (most have the file type .tmp) in the \Windows\Temp directory. Applications also use this directory to create files that are needed temporarily, and they don't always clean up after themselves. The safest way to delete these files is to boot to a DOS prompt, change the current directory to \Windows\Temp (CD \Windows\Temp), and then del *.*. I first will do a DIR *.*, just to see what I'm deleting. But you can be sure that the Windows 95 operating system does not put any files that need to be retained in this directory.
Q. I know Windows can be installed over itself, without loss of program data. Can you give the procedure to do this? Why is this done?
A. There are several reasons one may need to do this, but almost always it is to correct abnormalities in the registry. From Windows itself, run the setup.exe file on the installation CD. If you are reinstalling Windows 95 and have Internet Explorer 4.0 (or greater) installed, first uninstall it, reinstall Windows 95 and then reinstall Internet Explorer.
Q. I installed Microsoft Office 97 Professional Edition. My computer tells me it is turning itself off but doesn't.
A. Something is staying active and preventing the completion of the shutdown. Assuming that it was caused by the installation of Office, I'm going to guess that it may be one of two things. First, try disabling FastFind. You will see a reference to this in the Startup folder. Delete this reference. After rebooting, if the PC still will not shut down, it may be because of a damaged exit sound file. To disable this, follow these steps:
1. In Control Panel, double-click Sounds.
2. In the Events box, click Exit Windows.
3. In the Name box, click None.
If this solves the problem, restore the sound file from a backup, or reinstall the program that provided the sound file
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