[AI] Your questions answered

Sanjay ilovecold at gmail.com
Mon Apr 26 10:50:21 EDT 2010

Chris Byers tackles readers' hardware and software conundrums 


Since upgrading from Vista 64bit to Windows 7 64bit I can no longer watch
YouTube video.  Adobe Flash Player isn't available as a 64bit plug-in, and I
can't change my browser to the 32bit version.  A Cutler

Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 64bit is more of a fresh installation than an
upgrade in the traditional sense.  Windows salvages as much of your previous
installation as it can, but things can go awry.

Although Flash Player is available only as a 32bit package, it'll work within
Windows 7 provided it's correctly installed.  Go to Control Panel, Programs and
Features and uninstall Flash Player.  Reboot the PC.

Open Internet Explorer 32bit from Start, All Programs, then download Flash
Player from adobe.com.  The site will determine which operating system you're
running and offer you the appropriate plug-in.

Look for a pale yellow bar at the top of the browser and click the 'Agree and
install now' button.  Right-click the bar and select 'Install this add-on for
all users on this computer'.  Flash will now install correctly.

You'll need to repeat this process for each web browser that you use. 


Upon booting up my Windows XP PC I'm confronted with a message that Windows
hasn't shut down properly or that new software or hardware has been installed.
Neither is true.  Clicking 'Start Windows normally' or booting into Safe mode
briefly displays the Windows loading logo, then returns me to the same screen.
A Kirkham

This message can be prompted by a number of issues; unfortunately, it's
impossible to pinpoint the culprit without the error code.  The following tips
may help, however.

Press F8 on bootup and choose 'Last Known Good Configuration' from the Bios
recovery screen.  Windows will attempt to boot up using the last settings that

If this doesn't fix the problem, and you have the original Windows XP
installation disc, you can repair the system by booting from this CD and
bypassing the setup screens until you find a repair option.  Note that we're
unable to use Windows' Recovery Console to fix the problem, since we don't know
exactly what the issue is.

If this method prompts you to enter the disk-formatting screen, don't go any

Next, try checking for disk problems.  These are a major cause of boot failures,
particularly in older systems, arising from hardware and file system disk

Boot from your Windows XP disc once more or, if you don't have one, use a
friend's PC to download BartPE ( nu2.nu/pebuilder) and boot from this - you'll
find the disk-checking tools in the menu.  If you're using an XP disc, enter the
Recovery Console by pressing R during the setup process.

Inside the console type chkdsk c: /r and press Enter.  Allow the utility to
check and repair the file system.  It may also locate bad sectors if your disk
has been damaged.

If you still can't enter Windows, use the BartPE disc to connect a USB hard
drive and back up your files.  Now reinstall Windows.


Where can I get drivers to redirect printing from my parallel printer to a USB
printer in the DOS/FreeDOS environment?  M Wolff

USB drivers for DOS can be found at either tinyurl.com/ypbhfq or
tinyurl.com/ykwtylk.  Both sites contain all the information and instructions
you require to use a USB printer from within a DOS environment.


new Vista 64bit PC doesn't provide a preview page when scanning 35mm colour
negatives as my old XP machine did.  I've downloaded the latest Epson 3590
drivers and reinstalled the software.  I've also disabled all Startup programs
using msconfig as recommended by tech support.  Windows XP Mode doesn't fix the
issue either.  Colin Muzik

Your scanner dates from 2005, two years before Vista was released.  It may be
that the generic drivers Vista 64bit uses to access the scanner simply won't
offer that functionality.  Your best bet is to go to Start, Search and type in
Fax and scan.  Use the Windows Fax and Scan tool to scan and preview your
documents and pictures.


QI've lost all the messages in my Outlook inbox and can no longer send or
receive mail.  Before this problem occurred, I remember clicking ok on a request
that I thought was about compacting mail - the term 'orphan' was used in the
message, if that helps.

I also get a message that says I am low on disk space and that I can't download
updates.  Are the two issues related?  Helen Jackson

Let's address the most urgent problem first: the lack of disk space.  Go to
Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs and uninstall any applications you don't
need.  Windows should provide an indication of what's not being used frequently.
You should also clear your PC of any files that you no longer need and copy to
an external hard drive any space-consuming media files that you don't need
instant access to.

Next, download and install CCleaner from ccleaner.com.  Run the program to
remove the junk files cluttering up your system.

Remove any Windows Update files that have accumulated in your Windows folder.
Right-click My Computer and select Manage.  Click the + button to expand the
Services and Applications list.  Select Services, right-click Automatic Updates
and choose Stop.

Navigate to your Windows system folder and delete the SoftwareDistribution
folder.  Restart Windows.

You should have now clawed back a sizable amount of space and be able to
download and apply outstanding updates.

If you still can't access your email, the easiest way to find it and set up
Outlook is to use a tool called ScanPST.  Locate ScanPST in the folder
C:\program files\common files\ system\MSMAPI\1033 and double-click it to launch
the program.  Select the mail database (.pst file) currently in use.

Once the tool has scanned for and fixed any errors (including any backup .pst
files), close the utility and launch Outlook.  Try sending an email.  If this
doesn't work, it's time to reinstall Outlook.

Go to Control Panel, Folder Options, View and tick the 'Show hidden files and
folders' option.  Next, go to C:\Users\Your

(C:\Documents and Settings\Local Settings\ Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook in
XP) and locate any files with a .pst extension.  These are usually quite large
and are called Outlook by default.  Copy the files to a safe location on your
hard drive.

Go to Control Panel, Mail and delete any accounts listed, along with any data
files.  Then go back to the Outlook folder in your user profile and delete both
the folder and the files it contains.

Reboot your PC, then set up your email account using the same settings as
before.  Outlook will automatically create a new .pst file.  To retrieve
existing email messages you'll need to reimport them.

Open Outlook, go to the File drop-down menu and click Import and Export.  If
this option isn't available, rest the cursor over the chevrons at the bottom of
the menu, then click Import and Export.  Click 'Import from another program or
file', Next.  Select the Personal Folder File (.pst) and click Next.

Browse to the .pst file you want to import and click through the prompts.  To
import everything in the .pst file, select the folder at the top of the
hierarchy.  Click Finish to begin the import process.  Repeat this procedure for
any other .pst files you have.


Despite having already installed it on my netbook, the update KB952069 continues
to appear in the Windows Update listing.  I tried the fix offered in Endless
upgrades, (Dec 09 issue, page 106), deleting the SoftwareDistribution folder and
running Windows Update, but to no avail.  The file doesn't appear when I
generate a list of hot fixes on my machine using QFECheck.exe.  Steve Tuff

Go to Start, Programs, Windows Update and click the Custom button.  Once Windows
has detected any outstanding updates, find the file in question, remove the tick
next to it and apply the 'Don't show this update again' option.  Windows will
ignore it in future.


Q My 

six-year-old Windows XP machine has 15GB of hard-disk space, yet has started
throwing up this error message at startup: 'The system cannot log you on due to
the following error: not enough storage is available to process the command.
Please try again or consult your system administrator'.  Password prompts have
also been appearing, but none are used on any of the user accounts on this PC.

The only recent change to the machine is the installation of BitDefender.  Since
I installed it I've only been able to perform system restores in Safe mode.
James Johnstone

Anecdotal evidence on the web points the finger at BitDefender being the cause
of these error messages.  Try uninstalling it to see whether that gets rid of
the problem.

If this fixes things, install a different antivirus.  If you're not keen to pay for another 

program, however, try
Microsoft's Security Essentials ( tinyurl.com/yewgwqn).


like to buy Adobe Premiere Elements but I haven't managed to establish whether
it includes the Stop Frame feature found in Elements 7.0.  For me, stop-frame
editing is a key reason to buy the program.  Graham Harris

Don't worry.  The stop-motion feature has been retained in the latest version of
Premiere Elements.  For more details see the Adobe help site:


"My server crashed after someone sent me a mega attachment," writes PCA reader
Don Smith.  "I fixed the initial problem by switching everything off and then on
again.  However, every time I tried to access my email I was asked for my
password, which it wouldn't accept.  My friend suggested that if I still had an
internet connection I should use it and type in 'Tesco'.  I did so and, hey
presto, my email was back.

"My service provider thought I didn't have an internet connection and was trying
to get me connected.  My 'Tesco' search proved to it that I was already


Since I installed Norton 360 on my XP PC and Vista laptop, the optical drives on
both aren't recognised.  XP's Device Manager states: 'A driver for this device
has been disabled.  An alternate driver may be providing this functionality
(code 32)'.  Vista, meanwhile, reports: 'Windows successfully loaded the device
driver for this hardware but cannot find the hardware device (code 41)'.

Another error message pops up when I instead try to use an external 

DVD drive, stating: 'The configuration information (in the Registry) is
incomplete or damaged (code 19)'.

I haven't been able to update the driver software, nor have I managed to fix the
problem by uninstalling Norton 360 from the XP machine.  M Ashton

You'll need to delve into the Registry to fix this one, so be sure to back it up
first.  Next, open Device Manager and uninstall any optical drives that display
a warning triangle by right-clicking them and choosing that option from the

Go to Start, Run, type regedit and press Enter.  Locate the key
Hkey_Local_Machine\ System\CurrentControlSet\Control\
Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BExxxxx}.  There may be several of these
keys; your drive should be the first listed.  Expand the key, right-click the
LowerFilters entry and select Delete.

Do the same for the UpperFilters entry. 

Reboot your PC.  Without pressing any keys other than those required to login,
you should see Windows reinstall your drives with the correct settings.


did a clean install of Windows 7 64bit on my Vista Home Premium PC and
downloaded Windows Live Mail.  I made an image backup using Macrium Reflect
before I started, but have lost my email messages.  Is there a way to retrieve
these messages from the image backup?  David Morris

If you've completed a clean installation of Windows 7 it should have formatted
the hard drive, wiping your mail files in the process.

When backing up your emails with Macrium Reflect you should use the file-backup
procedure, rather than the

disk-imaging option.  If, however, you created a disk image (a single copy of
the hard disk) you can use Macrium to navigate it.  Look in
C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\ Microsoft and either the Windows Mail or
Outlook folder depending on which you use.  Copy the Outlook .pst file or all
the Windows Mail files to a USB drive.  The procedure thereafter depends on your
version of Windows Mail.  See tinyurl.com/3c4v4b.


upgraded my Vista PC to Windows 7 Home Premium and I'm now without a working
internet connection.  The issue seems to stem from a file called rasppoe.sys.
Replacing this file lets me connect to the web after a reboot, but I must repeat
this process on every reboot.  I don't wish to restore Vista or do a clean
installation of Windows 7 as I will lose my expensive copy of Adobe Photoshop.
David Bathe

The rasppoe.sys file is part of your TCP\IP ethernet communications stack and
allows communication with your ISP.  Unlike with

previous versions of Windows, the upgrade to Windows 7 installs a clean copy and
then tries to port over as much as it can while leaving the system files intact.

Try any or all of the following workarounds: update your Bios; ensure all
Windows updates are applied; and update the network drivers.  The latter applies
if you have a dedicated ADSL or cable modem (if not, you should get one).  This
will store your login details, letting you delete the old connection in the
Network and Sharing Center.

If all else fails, you may have to bite the bullet and do a clean installation
of Windows.


computer has recently been in distress with almost constant disk thrashing.  I
ran the cleanup wizard and tried to defrag it, which wouldn't work because of a
lack of space.  The Windows XP directory is apparently hogging 93GB of the 119GB
total capacity.  Drive-mapping program SequoiaView revealed a black hole in the
drive filled with MSP files totalling 86.8GB.  What do I do next?  Alec Bowden

First, check for disk errors and run a virus scan with your antivirus software.
You can delete MSP files, but you must do so correctly.  You need a tool called
MsiZap, which is part of the Windows Installer Clean Up Utility (

Download the program and extract the files within to a single directory (called
msicuu2) using either Windows' zip feature or a third-party tool, such as WinZip
or WinRAR.

Delete the files beginning with MsiZapA - these are for Windows 95, 98 and Me.
Rename MsiZapU as MsiZap.  Move the folder to the root of your system (C) drive.

Open a command prompt. Go to Start, Run, type cmd and press Enter. 

Navigate to your C:\msicuu2 folder and type MsiZap g (note that this command is
case-sensitive).  Press ok in any dialog boxes that appear.  This will clear out
any old

or redundant MSP files that were cached by your system. 

Reboot the PC, then run CCleaner ( ccleaner.com) to ensure any old Registry
entries associated with these files are removed.  You can find more information
on MsiZap at tinyurl.com/ycqf7md.


Q I 

gave my XP machine a spring clean and defrag using CCleaner.  A recovery utility
then revealed thousands of files that couldn't be overwritten or wiped.  How can
these rogue files be exterminated and the space freed up for use?  Paul Woffy

There could be several reasons why the files refuse to be deleted, but they can
usually be persuaded with a workaround.

If the files are locked by a program that's currently running (even sometimes as
a background process), the best bet is stop the program.  Press Ctrl, Alt, Del
to launch the Task Manager.  Find the program or process causing the problem
and, if it's something you know to be surplus to requirements, close it.  Run
CCleaner again and prompt it to delete the file.

Another option is to run a disk check.  If the files are corrupted then Windows
may not be able to delete them until they've been fixed.  Go to Start, My
Computer, right-click your hard drive and choose Properties, Tools, Error
checking, Check Now.  Ensure that both boxes are ticked.  Once the disk check
has completed, reboot the PC and try to delete the files once more.

Brute force in the form of free utility Unlocker ( tinyurl.com/dlmd5) may be
able to delete the files.

A final option is to use CCleaner in Safe mode and persuade any stragglers to be



When I launch Internet Explorer Q8.0 the information bar says that add-ons are
disabled, no matter what I do.  How can I keep my toolbars in place, without
chasing around a crazy information bar?  Robert Lang

This is a common scenario if you've recently updated your browser.  The new
version may not recognise the plug-ins and extensions you've been using.  You
can update them manually or use the Add/Remove Programs and Features options in
Control Panel to uninstall them and then manually reinstall extensions designed
for the newer browser.

Another possibility is that your antivirus objects to the add-ons.  Downloading
the latest version of Internet Explorer should help.  Uninstall the antivirus
then reboot the PC.  Once back in Windows, uninstall Internet Explorer 8.0 and
reboot again.  Reinstall Internet Explorer, then your antivirus.

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