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Other programs shouldn't stop ScanDisk

By JOHN TORRO

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 24, 1999


Q. ScanDisk in Windows 95 shuts down with the message that other programs are running. I discovered (by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete) that Explorer and Systray are running on my computer all the time, even after a cold boot. When I close Systray the message says, "This program is no longer responding." Closing it seems to have no effect on the computer. Closing Explorer, however, shuts down the computer completely.

A. Explorer and Systray are always present and should have no effect on ScanDisk. Other programs running at the same time as ScanDisk should not be a problem. Perhaps there was other information in the error message that would explain further. My recommendation is to run ScanDisk after booting to DOS (Select the Boot to DOS prompt) after pressing the F8 key when you see the Starting Windows 95 message at boot up. Once at the prompt, type in ScanDisk.

Faulty folder name

Q. When I run a ScanDisk "thorough" function, I do not receive an error message. However if I run "standard" while checking files and folders, I receive an error message that a folder cannot be opened in MS-DOS mode because its name is not 66 characters. When I click to repair the error by removing the folder, I get another error message. If I try to delete the folder, I get a warning that the folder and its contents will be lost and repeated later as lost file fragments. How do I rename the folder? If I delete the folder, will I lose everything it contains as the message says?

A. The error message is due to a DOS limitation of 66 characters for valid file names. According to Microsoft, to work around this problem, follow these steps:

1. Start ScanDisk. Click the Automatically Fix Errors check box to clear it and begin checking the drive.

2. When you receive the error message, "The (path) folder could not be opened in MS-DOS mode because its complete short name was longer than 66 characters," click Ignore.

This will keep ScanDisk from checking files in that directory, which may or may not be a problem. And, yes, if you delete the folder, you will lose the files in it. You can try renaming the top level folder through Windows Explorer: Right-click, select Rename and then select a new, shorter name. Be aware that some programs may look for the old folder name and you may need to redirect them.

The lowdown on Cardfile

Q. Is there a way to use the Cardfile accessory in Windows 3.1 once you have upgraded to Windows 98? Or is a comparable program available?

A. Microsoft's Outlook Express, which comes with Internet Explorer, is one free cardfile/contacts list. However if you are attached to good old Cardfile, you will find that it runs fine on Windows 95/98. If you have your old Windows 3.1 system, you can copy Cardfile.exe and Cardfile.hlp to a floppy and then copy them to your new system. Put them in your Windows directory, then right-click on your Desktop, select New, Shortcut, enter c:\windows\Cardfile.exe, click Next, enter Cardfile, then Finish. This will put a shortcut to Cardfile on your desktop.

* * *

Making associations

Q. Sometimes I get 'cannot locate program.exe' when trying to open e-mail attachments. I click Locate, and my system still cannot locate them.

A. The attachments must have been associated with a program that you have uninstalled. The "missing program.exe" warning means Windows 95/98 can't find the associated "program" executable file. To fix this, you must associate an appropriate program to the file type. The easiest way to do this is to click once on the file that needs an association and then right-click while holding the Shift key. (This won't work inside an e-mail attachment; you'll need to copy the attachment to a directory or your desktop.) Select Open With, which will present you with the Open With dialog box. Select the program that is appropriate for this file type, or use the browse button if it is not on the list. Make sure you also select the "Always use this program to open this file type" check box.

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