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This is just a mess of stuff you might be interested in. The site hasn't been touched lately...sorry about that, but my life's been kind of busy lately.
The following are new Personal Online Support articles that answer frequently asked questions about using Windows and Internet Explorer:
Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition
Power Meter Displayed in Taskbar After Installing Sound Blaster (Q239777)
Error Message When Opening Self-Extracting File (Q239774)
The SHIFT+Delete Key Combination Sends Files to the Recycle Bin (Q239754)
Windows 98 Second Edition May Not Install Internet Explorer (Q239646)
You Are Prompted for Username and Password When Redirected (Q239546)
Microsoft Internet Directory Search May Return No Results (Q239476)
Files Not Found When Installing 3Com USB Modem in Windows 98 (Q239422)
Various Error Messages Displayed When Virtual Memory Is Enabled (Q239094)
How to Install Intel Intercast Technology for WebTV for Windows (Q238961)
Computer Does Not Resume After Warm Undock with USB Controller (Q238781)
Untitled System Folder Appears in My Computer (Q238517)
Troubleshooting Compact Disc Recordable and Re-Writable Drives (Q237948)
General Protection Fault When Starting Microsoft Solitaire (Q237900)
Description of Internet Explorer in Windows 98 Second Edition (Q237680)
Electrostatic Discharge Disables Devices Plugged In To USB Hub (Q236934)
Windows 95/98 TCP/IP May Retransmit Packets Prematurely (Q236926)
Left Mouse Setting Not Persistent in Mouse Tutorial (Q234950)
Establishing a VPN Connection with an ICS Host (Q234773)
DCOM Setting Not Retained Upgrading to Windows 98 Second Edition (Q233149)
Internet Properties Button Does Not Work (Q233102)
Address Toolbar Starts Shortcut Instead of Web Browser (Q233052)
I740 Adapter Problems After Windows 98 Second Edition Upgrade (Q232962)
Windows 98 Client Unable to Connect to Windows NT Share (Q232890)
Problems with VIA UHCI Host Controller (Q232889)
NetMeeting Cannot Run When You Are Running a DVD-ROM Program (Q232813)
Error Message Inserting DVD Movie in Cinemaster C WDM DVD Drive (Q232807)
Iomega FindIt Causes Illegal Operation in Windows (Q232794)
Err Msg: HH Caused an Invalid Page Fault in Kernel32.dll (Q231819)
Err Msg: Drive Cannot Be Compressed...DRVSPACE 748 (Q226870)
AutoCAD 14.0 Does Not Update File Date or Time (Q225190)
How to Install Windows 98 on a Computer with No Operating System (Q221829)
General Protection Fault or Invalid Page Fault During Setup (Q209321)
Error Message When Printing Multiple Fonts in the Fonts Folder (Q208252)
PS/2 Mouse Does Not Work After Upgrading to Windows 98 (Q206034)
Capture PrinterPort and Other Dialog Boxes Show Truncated Path (Q205981)
Error Messages on Sony Laptop with SMC IR Ports (Q205745)
Internet Explorer on the following platforms: Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0
Error Message Starting Computer with Pagis Pro 3.0 Installed (Q239057)
Cannot Install Internet Explorer in Windows 98 Second Edition (Q238670)
Must Start Internet Explorer Twice for Automatic Configuration (Q237540)
Unable to Paste Data into a Text Box on a Web Page (Q236137)
JAVA Program Is Always Printed in Initial State (Q234989)
Menu Bar Disappears After Using Internet Explorer for a While (Q234012)
Deleted "Available Offline" Favorites Stay on Synchronize List (Q227050)
Per-Session Cookies Are Not Cleared Until You Close Browser (Q224304)
MEM Command Reports Only 64 MB Extended Memory in MS-DOS Window (Q239514)
Err Msg: "Setup Needs the File Msie*.exe from CD Internet..." (Q238743)
Creating Hardware Profiles for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0 (Q236963)
Client Dialup, Authentication, Browsing Using TCPIP, IPX/SPX (Q232511)
From the Langalist
Win98SE Shutdown Patch Concerns
Last week, I featured the brand-new Win98SE shutdown patch
as a HotSpot of the Day; HotSpot visitors found out about
this new Microsoft patch very early on. The patch is
designed to correct one of the most common complaints about
Win98SE---indeed about Win98 as a whole: Slow shutdowns, or
hangs at shutdown.
You see, Win98 shuts down a PC in a way different from
Win95's method: Win95 shuts down each running component
essentially one at a time, in linear fashion, and waits for
one component to finish shutting down before moving on to
Win98, in contrast, issues a general "shut down now" order
to all running elements, and only waits for those relatively
few apps, services and other components that have to clean
up after themselves of perform sequential functions to shut
down properly. Microsoft's theory was that most Windows
components don't need to be shut down one at a time,
For systems with these kinds of apps and add-ins, Win98's
"fast shutdown" works great: The system responds almost
instantly to a shutdown request and is ready for power-off
in just a couple seconds.
But it turns out that there's a lot more software and
drivers than Microsoft thought that needs the slower, one-at-
a-time shutdown process, and simply don't work well with
Win98's Fast Shutdown. The too-frequent result is that Win98
often is slow or balky in shutting down.
Prior to the release of the Shutdown Patch, the only
workaround for Win98 users was to disable Fast Shutdown--
that is, to tell Win98 to revert to the slower, but more
reliable Win95-style of shutting down. This works in the
majority of cases.
If you're interested in trying that approach, the simplest
thing is to type MSCONFIG.EXE on your Win98 machine's Start
menu's command line. Then, on MSconfig's General tab, click
the Advanced button, and check "disable fast shutdown."
Clearly, this is an inelegant solution, but it does resolve
the majority of Fast Shutdown woes.
Win98SE was supposed to resolve many of the long-standing
issues with Win98, but alas, it seemed to make the fast
shutdown problem worse. So Microsoft created a Fast Shutdown
patch that's supposed to resolve the fast shutdown issues.
If you're running Win98SE, you can grab the patch at
(the above URL is very long and may word-wrap in your email reader.)
The patch adds new VxDs and DLLs to your system and updates
or adds INF files (all of which address common fast-shutdown
problem areas such as the handling of PCI devices and power-
management software). But here's the kicker: The patch also
gives you a new version of Msconfig. That version is nearly
identical to the old version, except that it does not offer
the "Disable Fast Shutdown" option.
Plus, once the Fast Shutdown patch is installed, there's no
way to uninstall it. So, the patch is a one-way trip--- once
you install it, you're locked in to using it, and the new
versions of the applets , DLLs , etc. it installs.
I'm using the patch on several systems here, and---although
I was alarmed to lose the reliable "disable fast shutdown"
option in MSconfig---the patch seems to be working fine. If
I'd known in advance what the patch was going to do, I would
have backed up the files it alters so I could restore them
more easily, if need be.
FYI: These are the files the Patch adds or changes in case
you want to make backups first:
239887UP.inf, Setup Information, 8/17/99, 4:17 PM, 2,623 bytes
qfecheck.exe, Application, 7/27/98, 3:48 PM, 36,864 bytes
Qfecheck.hlp,Help File, 2/9/96, 6:28 PM, 8,042 bytes
3675.cat, Security Catalog, 8/12/99, 1:26 PM, 5,903 bytes
CSETUP.exe, Application, 8/12/98, 9:32 PM ,16,896 bytes
MSConfig.exe Application, 8/11/99, 10:32 AM, 59,392 bytes
tshoot98.chm, Compiled HTML Help file, 7/22/99, 11:12 AM, 240,797 bytes
Pci.vxd, Virtual device driver, 8/11/99, 10:41 AM, 65,919 bytes
apmbatt.SYS, System file, 8/11/99, 10:46 AM, 4,384 bytes
239887UN.inf, Setup Information, 8/17/99, 4:17 PM, 1,632 bytes
configmg.vxd, Virtual device driver, 4/23/99, 10:22 PM, 125,057 bytes
ver_chk.inf, Setup Information, 8/12/99, 12:30 PM, 1,520 bytes
Advpack.dll, Application Extension, 7/15/97, 6:53 AM, 74,960 bytes
W95inf32.dll, Application Extension, 7/15/97, 6:53 AM, 4,608 bytes
W95inf16.dll, Application Extension, 7/15/97, 6:53 AM, 2,272 bytes
If you're using Win98SE and are having shutdown problems,
you might want to try the patch. If you're using a non-SE
version of Win98 and are having problems, try the Msconfig
Major Java Security Bug in Windows 9x, Window NT,
plus IE 4 and 5!
One of the attractions of Java as a web platform is that
it's designed with security in mind. For example, by
design, Java applets operate in something called a
"sandbox" which is quite literally a safe place for
applets to play, where they usually can't hurt themselves
or damage the rest of the system. (Yes it sounds a little
silly, but that's how it really is---and it's really
called a "sandbox!") This safe operation is accomplished
by running the applets in a carefully proscribed manner on
a software-only "virtual machine" (VM) instead of letting
them run directly on your real hardware and software.
That's the theory, anyway. Trouble is, it turns out that
some implementations of Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine
have a hole that can let malicious applets loose, where
they can do harm. A hacker could post an applet on a web
site, for example, and cause you trouble when you surf
Are you at risk? Here's how to find out:
Open a command window or "DOS Box". On Windows NT,
choose "Start", then "Run", then type "CMD" and hit the
enter key; on Windows 95 or 98, choose "Start", then type
"Run" then "COMMAND" and hit the enter key.
At the command prompt (C:\ >), type "JVIEW" and hit
the enter key.
A screen full of text will display, but all you care
about for now is the first line, which reads something
like "Microsoft (R) Command-line Loader for Java Version
Look at the last four digits in that line. In the
made-up example above, they are 1234. This is the build
number of your system's Java implementation.
If your build number is lower than 1521, you're OK.
(Well, you're out of date, but at least you don't have the
security problem we're discussing.)
If your build number is anything from 1521 through
3185, then you have a potential security problem.
If you do have the security problem, you have two choices.
You can disable Java applets and simply prevent them from
running at all: If they can't run at all, they can do no
harm. But this costs you functionality on many web sites.
The second, and better, approach is to grab a patch that
fixes the problem. It's over at
Follow the instructions there to download and install the
patch. (Alas, it's beefy at just over 6MB.) When you've
installed the patch, follow the steps outlined above again
top verify that the patch worked: The build number of the
new, corrected version is 3186.
PSST! More System Setup Secrets
Some of you had trouble finding the column on System Setup
Secrets; it went live later than anticipated. But it's up
and running now at
Many of the tips and tricks outlined in that column will
work on any kind of system--- Mac, Linux, BeOS, etc.:
Although the specifics are for Windows machines, the ideas
and concepts are easily transferable to other OSes.
The column details all the steps I take (and why I take
them) so you can decide for yourself which ones might be
useful to you, and which may be overkill. The early posts
in the discussion area have dealt with things like CDR
versus tape backup, why you'd set up even a standard
desktop PC in "server" mode, the use of a separate
partition for data storage (away from your applications),
and lots more.
I'll be glad to answer whatever questions I can about the
steps listed above, and I'd also love to hear from you:
What tricks or techniques do you use? What tips can you
share? What steps do you take to keep your system running
Take A Deep Breath: Here's *Another*
IE 4 and 5 Security Hole
OK, this is bad: Microsoft found two security holes in
Internet Explorer 4 and 5 that allow a script running on a
web site potentially to "take unauthorized action against
a person who visited it. Specifically, the web page would
be able to do anything on the computer that the user could
The two ActiveX controls are Scriptlet.typlib and Eyedog;
the former is a developers' tool, the latter a diagnostic
tool. Both are marked internally as "safe for scripting"
but they shouldn't be: Scriptlet.typlib can create local
files, so it should not be able to be controlled remotely.
Similarly, Eyedog can be asked, via a script, to diddle
with registry information and such.
The new patch marks both these controls as "not safe for
scripting" so they can't be hijacked by a rogue web page
and used against you.
Next week, this patch will appear on the Windows Update
site, but you don't have to wait: you can grab a copy
right now---and you should!---at
If you want more info first, see the FAQ at
"Burn-In" and Other System Setup Secrets
The discussion of "System Setup Secrets" has turned up some
interesting and informative information over at
For example, a reader pointed out it's a great idea to leave
a brand-new PC on continuously for several days---to "burn
it in"--- and he's right: Most solid-state hardware either
fails early in its life or practically runs forever. The
computer industry even has a macabre term for the failures
that tend to cluster early on in a device's life: They call
it "infant mortality." (Honest!)
But if new system gets past the first few days or weeks of
use without suffering a hardware failure, chances are the
hardware itself will run perfectly for a very long time.
(The software is another story....) So leaving a new system
on and in constant for a while is a very smart idea because
if you're going to have an "infant mortality" problem with
your new PC, you want it to happen while the system is new
and under full warranty.
Well I hope some of this will be of interest to you. I got a used laptop so now I have a seperate 'puter on the road for linux! SuSE 6.2 is installed on it and it seems stuff is sinking in slow but steady for me.
Till next time...
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