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Browser cache isn't the lock-up culprit


© St. Petersburg Times, published November 16, 1998

Q. Occasionally I have trouble with my computer locking up when I exit from the Internet. Someone told me that my cache may be full. Isn't the cache emptied each time the computer is turned off?

A. I cannot be sure of what is responsible for the lock up. However, your cache's filling up is not the problem. The cache that you are referring to is an area of disk space that the browser sets aside to store Internet pages that you have accessed in an effort to display them quickly when you return to these pages. Internet Explorer and Netscape each allow you to set the amount of cache that will be used for this.

To empty the cache while in Internet Explorer: From the menu bar (across the top), View, Internet Options, General Tab, Delete Files button. The adjacent "Setting . . ." button will allow you to set how much disk space the cache can use. For Netscape, on the menu bar select Edit, then Preferences. This will open a separate screen. On the left will be a list of options. At the bottom of this list should be "Advanced" with a "+

" sign next to it. Click the "+

" to expand the options, then click "Cache." This will display options to the right. One will be a button that says "Clear Disk Cache. Click this button.

Q. Your Oct. 12 answer on a repeated C prompt problem had no effect on the problem. Is there something else?

A. There could be any number of reasons that these C prompts are displaying during your Windows 95 bootup. Whatever the reason, the prompt is being triggered by something in your Autoexec.bat file. To determine what is causing this, you will need to comment out (putting an "REM" at the beginning of the line), or even deleting lines from the Autoexec.bat file and rebooting until you find the cause. Either way, this is most likely not a problem and just a side-effect of some application that is initializing at bootup.

Q. How do you eliminate the message in Windows 95: "It's now safe to turn off your computer"?

A. Windows uses the file LOGOS.SYS in the Windows directory as a bitmap image to display at that time (LOGOW.SYS is the file it displays during the "Please Wait . . ." phase). You can replace these files with any 640-by-480 bitmap file. However, I would make backup copies of the original and make sure that your replacement files are 256 colors bitmap and are sized at 320-pixels by 400-pixels (Windows takes a 320-by-400 file and stretches it to 640-by-480 for each of these three screens). Your replacement bitmap image could be blank, which would have the desired effect of eliminating the original message.

Q. I have been experiencing random system reboots under Windows 95. Sometimes the computer is just sitting with the desktop up and no other programs running. Sometimes it occurs five or six times and some days not at all. Is there a virus that could cause this?

A. This can be caused by a number of problems. First, I would open the PC and make sure all peripherals (memory chips, cards, cables, power connections) are firmly in place. I have found this to be the culprit many times. (By the way, you should never shake your computer. If you didn't have major problems before, you will later.) Next I would reinstall Windows to make sure that any corrupted system device files are replaced. After this the options get more difficult. Try switching your cards (video, sound, IDE) to unoccupied slots to see if this makes a difference. Any one of your memory simms can be bad or even your motherboard. Unless you have access to other equipment to swap out and test these components, you may be better off taking it to a reputable repair shop.

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