Q: In Windows 95 I can't get into the properties page for my display. When I right-click on the desktop and then select "Properties" it just ignores it. The board is identified as an "S3." There is also an icon in the toolbox (near the clock) with a display, and if I click on it to change the resolution, all of my icons become the default "Microsoft Windows."
A. You have the wrong display driver installed for the display, so it isn't responding. There are a couple of ways to fix it. In both, before you do anything you should examine the display adapter to identify the make and possibly the model (by looking at the identification markings on the chips.) Then visit the display adapter manufacturer's Web site and download the most recent set of drivers. Usually the files are in a single "self-extracting" .EXE file. Extract them into a temporary folder, and read the ReadMe file if there is one. Note that S3 is not a display adapter model but the type of chipset used by the manufacturer of many display adapters. Another very common chipset is Cirrus Logic.
Method 1: When booting your machine, press F8 when you see the "Starting Windows 95" message (before you see the blue clouds). Select "Safe Mode," which will default you into the default VGA 640x480 display mode, which doesn't use the hardware-specific adapter. You should then be able to get into the display properties page and work your way through the "Change Display Adapter" wizard. Use the "have disk" option , and point it at the file(s) that you downloaded.
Method 2: Go to My Computer / Control Panel / System / Device Manager and click on the display adapter icon to expand the list (there is usually only one). It should list the identification of the adapter that Windows 95 Setup found and installed. Select it and delete it. Then restart the machine. Windows 95 will then detect that you don't have a display adapter and try to identify the board. It will then install the driver it thinks is correct. If it offers you the option of specifying where the driver is, point it to the files you downloaded.
Comment: I had a similar problem with a Diamond Stealth video card. During install, Windows 95 Setup correctly identified that it was an S3 chipset but installed the wrong one. In my case, the machine would start but eventually lock up after putting the icons on the desktop.
Q. When I connect to a Web page, can I only view the text?
A. Yes, there is a configuration parameter, usually under "Preferences," that sets Text Only or similar.
Q. I just upgraded from Office 95 to Office 97, and Quick View no longer works.
A. The MS Word format changed in Office 97, and is incompatible with previous versions. You can download the "Word Viewer" from Microsoft for free (it is about 3MB in size). It is considerably faster than the old Quick View or using Word itself if you are just viewing.
Q. We have an HP 870csi printer that is driving us crazy. It pulls the first sheet of paper in a ways then tells you that it is out of paper. If you clear the paper, it then shuts down the system.
A. The feed wheels may need to be cleaned or replaced. Take the machine to an HP Authorized Dealer. Members identified dealers in Stamford, Bridgeport, Danbury, and Brookfield. Call HP's 800 number, found in the manual or on their Web site www.hp.com.
Q. Recently my machine has started insisting that it examine the A: floppy.
A. Some applications remember which drive was being used last. Put a floppy in, check the applications that are running, and see if any of them are looking at drive A:. Further questions revealed that you were running HiJaak for Windows 95, which has a feature called "Shell Extensions" that looks for graphic files to make thumbnail icons. This looks at all drives. Turn it off.
Q. When I create a CD-ROM is there a way to insert text that will show up in Windows Explorer next to the CD-ROM's icon rather than the serial number?
A. It depends upon the CD-ROM writing software. You want to find software that will write the CD-ROM's volume label.
Q. I recently changed my modem and now have a problem with WinFax Lite (Delrina era, under Windows 3.1). The transmission seems to start but at the last moment stops and hangs.
A. Your new modem is probably set to run at a higher speed than WinFax Lite can handle; your release of WFL and Windows 3.1 are from days when 9600 was a fast modem. The communications driver in Windows 3.1 cannot run reliably at speeds higher than 9600, and some say it doesn't work too well even then. You will have to slow down the speed setting for the modem when running WinFax, and/or replace the comm driver with a third-party communications driver such as KingComm, CommPro, etc. Look on the Internet, where you will probably some freeware or shareware drivers that can handle speeds over 9600.
Q. What is a .PDF file, and can it be loaded into PowerPoint?
A. PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format published by Adobe. The "Reader" is in public domain. It is intended to be device independent and is commonly used for documentation and help files, etc. There are conversion programs that can change PDF into other formats, although no one could remember if PowerPoint could handle PDF directly.
Q. I have a 2-year old Packard Bell machine with "Fast Media" which is used in conjunction with an infrared port and a special keyboard. Now if I try to remove the special keyboard, I am dead - I can't even get into the CMOS setup to delete the configuration.
A. Only suggestion was to remove the battery for a few seconds and then boot with a "normal" keyboard. By removing the CMOS battery the machine will forget everything about its configuration.
|Bruce Preston is president of West Mountain Systems, a consultancy in Ridgefield specializing in database applcations. A DACS board member, Bruce also leads the Access SIG and moderates the monthly Instant Reply Q&A at the general meetings.|