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Keeping accurate time with your PC


© St. Petersburg Times, published August 9, 1999

Q. How can I get my clock/date to stay locked in my computer? We had no problem with it on Windows 95, but when we upgraded to Windows 98 we can't seem to get the clock to stay on the current date/time when we turn the computer off.

A. A slow clock usually is the result of a bad CMOS battery on the motherboard or a problem with the motherboard itself. It shouldn't have anything to do with changing from Windows 95 to 98. Replacing the CMOS battery is the first step in trying to correct this problem. Some people use a synchronization program such as AtomTime98 ( that connects to the atomic clock time server in Boulder, Colo., and fetches the current time. This could be a practical alternative, especially if you have a permanent Internet connection (such as a cable modem) versus a dialup using a modem.

Missing driver

Q. Whenever I boot my system I receive the following message: "File is missing or corrupt file: C: C\CDPRO\VIDE-CDD.SYS. Error in config.sys file, line 1." I have tried to correct this by changing the NOAUTO setting, but I can find only one line of this file.

A. This reference is to the real-mode device driver for your CD-ROM. Chances are you don't need it (unless, of course, you're running Windows 3.1 and not Windows 95 or 98). If you find you do need the real-mode driver for DOS mode, try reinstalling it from the original disk that came with your system or get a new copy from Otherwise, make this line inactive in your config.sys file by placing a semicolon (;) at the beginning of the line.

Eliminating the Log-on box

Q. When I boot my computer, I get a panel that says, "Welcome to Windows." The panel asks for user name and password. Manuals indicate that leaving the user name and password blank and clicking "cancel" will eliminate the box. But it continues to pop up every time. How can I get rid of the panel?

A. Actually, you need to enter a user name, but leave the password field blank. When Windows asks you to confirm this, click "OK" and you will not be prompted for this log-on information again.

Netscape connections

Q. I am trying to make an external Zoom 28.8 modem work through the serial port on a Pentium laptop. In Netscape 4.06 or earlier I get a message that says "Netscape was unable to create a network socket connection. There may be insufficient system resources or the network may be down. Try connecting later or try restarting Netscape or Windows." The laptop is a Sceptre model with 20MB of RAM. Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 comes up with a message "Navigation canceled" when I try to log on. I have no problem connecting to my server at 28.8. Would a modem connected to the parallel port be a better choice? The modem works flawlessly on my Pentium 166 from the serial port.

A. The most common reason for the Netscape error message is that the dialer program you are using is 16 bit (for Windows 3.1) but the version of Navigator or Communicator that you have is 32 bit (for Windows 95). This is common if you are using an older version of Navigator, AOL or a third-party dialer. Windows 95 and 98 come with their own dialer program called "Dial-up Networking." Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for help setting it to connect to their service. You can use Dial-up Networking with any of version of Netscape.

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