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BS: Computer Tech Help

Bullfrog Jones 21 Mar 03 - 06:31 AM
DMcG 21 Mar 03 - 06:39 AM
Bullfrog Jones 21 Mar 03 - 08:27 AM
MMario 21 Mar 03 - 09:00 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Mar 03 - 09:59 AM
GUEST 21 Mar 03 - 11:02 AM
Bullfrog Jones 21 Mar 03 - 11:39 AM
Dave Bryant 21 Mar 03 - 11:45 AM
GUEST 21 Mar 03 - 12:00 PM
Mr Red 21 Mar 03 - 02:54 PM
JohnInKansas 21 Mar 03 - 04:21 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Mar 03 - 07:44 PM
JohnInKansas 22 Mar 03 - 04:30 AM
Bullfrog Jones 22 Mar 03 - 11:11 AM

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Subject: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 06:31 AM

I hope someone can offer some advice before I tear out what's left of my hair! A couple of days ago my computer(Windows 98) became reluctant to open Word and XL documents, taking about 3-4 minutes each time. I rounded up the usual suspects --- did a defrag, scandisk, virus-check, emptied out temp files, deleted normal.dot, but no joy. I've discovered that once I'm inside Word or XL I can use File/Open and they come through as normal, but existing documents opened through their own icons take forever. Word and XL are loaded as part of Microsoft Office 2000 Small Business by the way and I can't find the disc to reload them. Any ideas?

BJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: DMcG
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 06:39 AM

I've had that problem when the C:\ drive is nearly full. How much space is there free on it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 08:27 AM

It's showing 12.4 GB of free space.

BJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: MMario
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 09:00 AM

try downloading and running ad-aware; this gets rid of parasitical "spyware"


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 09:59 AM

Your desktop icons may be corrupt. Have you updated your serice packs from Microsoft lately? After I put in Service Pack 3 (for Win2000) I couldn't get my desktop icons to work at all until I finally discovered a new feature in my start menu that the update placed there. It's called "Set Program Access and Defaults." It sounds like this probably isn't your problem if they do eventually open; I got an immediate error message. But if you get any messages, be sure to note exactly what they say. You can go do a search the Microsoft Knowledge Base by plugging in terms from the error message.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 11:02 AM

hows your resources?

also have you tried uninstalling and reinstalling the programs?


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 11:39 AM

Mmario -- I'll try the Adaware download tomorrow when the office is closed and I've got more time.
SRS --- I didn't even know about updating MS service packs. What's that do then?
Guest -- Reources showing 61% free. I still can't find the disc to reinstall, but I might be able to download from the MS site.

Thanks all,

BJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 11:45 AM

Does it take as long to open a DOC or XLS file by double-clicking it in Explorer ?

How long does it take to open the Word/Excel applications, rather than picking them up via the filetype association ?

How much junk is there in your Windows Temp folder ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 12:00 PM

go to msconfig and the startup page...and then uncheck everything....see if that helps...


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: Mr Red
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 02:54 PM

I get this from time to time but it usually resolves after switching-off. It feels like a Norton &/or ZoneAlarm thing.

I use XTech http://www.xteq.com to titvate a lot of hard to access parameters on a lot (huge) of programs and Windows. It is freeware and a lot of third party plugins for obscure app manipulation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 04:21 PM

Anyone using Windows and/or Office should book mark (Favorites) these.

Microsoft Windows Update
http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/en/default.asp

Microsoft Office Updates
http://office.microsoft.com/ProductUpdates/default.aspx

Either of the above two will download a small program that scans your Windows/Office installation, compares it (on your machine) to what's available, and makes a list of updates you can then choose to install, or not, on your machine. (It does not send anything "back to Mickey" about your machine, other than a list of the downloads you choose.)

The Windows updates are very important since this is where you get most of the "Critical Updates" and Service Packs (SR's) that keep you safe from the latest hacker tricks. Do the Windows update first.

If you're not up to date, you may have to go back a couple of times to get that way, since quite a few Critical Updates have to be separately installed, with a reboot. For minor stuff, you can pick several and do them as a batch.

You might also want to look around at:

Microsoft Office Downloads
http://www.microsoft.com/office/downloads/default.asp

This last site is a "poke and choose" that you have to browse for yourself; but it does offer some tools and gadgets that may be of interest if you use Office.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Mar 03 - 07:44 PM

Good advice from John in Kansas. Keep those bookmarks. And I hadn't thought about it for a while, but what Mr. Red says is also a possibility--I find connectivity is less universal when I have the Norton Firewall blocking various sorts of files and programs. I sometimes have to "lower my shields" and remove the ad blocking feature to get to some sites.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 04:30 AM

Bullfrog -

The most common cause of what you describe is probably a shortage of temp space on your hard drive. You indicated that you have 12GB free, which is quite a bit on a 30GB drive, but not really much headroom on a 120GB, because of the way Windows allocates/allows temp space to be used.

Windows normally will only use about 10% of hard drive free space for all temp uses. In Win98, especially, some of the temp functions are limited to 10% of the largest unfragmented free area on the drive. There are a number of "special purpose" temp files, each of which can have its own much smaller limit on the amount of space it can use - and most of these individual temp functions are not well documented.

You indicated that you've cleaned up temp files. I assume you used the "best" method, which is Start - Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Disk Cleanup. This is usually good, but can miss "dead" temps, so in problem cases it's also a good idea to (and you may have) do a search for *.tmp and for ~*.* files, either using Win Explorer - Tools - Find, or "DIR *.tmp/s" and "DIR ~*.*/s" in a Command/DOS window. Any .tmp that Windows will let you delete can be safely deleted - if you do it while Windows is running. Just don't toss your good cookies.

Temp resources can also be eaten by "dead" jobs in a print spool - just another thing to check.

You indicate that you use desktop icons to open individual documents. We'll assume that you've right-clicked a couple, checked Properties and verified that the shortcuts point directly to their target files (and that the files are still where they're supposed to be). Sometimes you can end up with shortcuts to shortcuts instead of direct paths.

When you "shortcut" to a document or spreadsheet, Windows has to look up what program to use to open it, so you may want to check your "File Associations." In Win Explorer, View - Folder Options - File Types tab.

If you have "many" icons, you may have run up against
the "MaxCachedIcons" limit, or your icon cache may just be scrambled. Most setups don't have a problem with 50 or 60 icons on the desktop, but it's possible to run out of space with fewer, and likely if you have very many more than that.

The simplest check on this is to attempt a rebuild of the icon cache. Start - Settings - Control Panel - Display - Effects, (or just right click a blank space on the desktop) and click or unclick "Use large icons." Click "Apply" and then change the icons size back to what it was and click "Apply" again. This forces Windows to rebuild the cache (twice) and may "bring the icons back to life."

If rebuilding the icon cache helps, you can increase the temp space the cache is allowed to use. Instructions for doing this can be found in Mickey'$ Knowledge Base articles:

132668: Icons Randomly Change to Different Icons

133733: Icons Displayed Incorrectly in Control Panel

The symptoms described are not exactly what you're seeing, but the fix may be the one you need. These require editing the Registry, so be careful. The linked articles have links to "how to edit the Registry" articles if you're not confident without help.

If the icon cache rebuilds itself successfully, I would be reluctant to edit the cache size, unless the problem comes back.

You can "rebuild" Windows in Control Panel - Add/Remove Software - Windows Setup, without a "reinstall." Your problem is that it may ask for the installation disk if there's a serious problem, and when it asks it can "lock up" if you don't have it. IF you find the Office install disk, you should be able to do a similar "rebuild" of Office from it.

No guarantees on any of this, but it's the best I can think of now.

Note: Mickey doesn't make full (reinstall) program disks available for download - only the upgrades. If your machine came "preloaded" the OS disk(s) may be labeled something other than "Windows CD" although usually the oem "Office" disks have the Mickey labels so they can show off their "Genuine Microsoft hologram" - just in case you've forgotten what they look like.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Computer Tech Help
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 22 Mar 03 - 11:11 AM

And the winner is......msconfig/startup. Thanks Guest, thanks everyone else, especially JohnInKansas (as usual) --- a lot of good advice for the future.

BJ


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Mudcat time: 15 May 7:14 AM EDT

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