Monthly Questions & Answers For Windows XP

I am about ready to upgrade my Win 98.2 to XP. Will Office 97 programs as well as other Win 98 programs be accepted in XP?

Yes. Office 97 as well as most other Windows 98 programs runs very well under Windows XP. In addition, Windows XP allows you to run applications in previous Windows operating system modes. It is NOT necessary to do this unless you have problems.

Figure 1

To run a program in a different Windows operating system mode, find the executable (File that starts the program and ends with the three letter extension "exe") that you are having problems with and right mouse click on it. Choose "Properties".

Click on the "Compatibility" tab. Check the box "Run this program in compatibility mode for". Choose the appropriate Windows operating system. Again, please use compatibility only if you are having problems running an old program. I am a big believer that "If it isn't broke, don't fix it" (That includes upgrading operating systems).

I am about to purchase the new commodity type PCs with Windows XP on it. Will I need to find new drivers for my printer, scanner and camera in XP? Will just "plug and play" work?

Great question! Windows XP has many more "Plug & Play" drivers than its Windows predecessors. I would try the "Plug and Play" approach and if doesn't work, then download new drivers. At an average, I find that I end up downloading updated drivers on about 30% of existing peripherals for new XP installs.

Unfortunately, I will not guess if unknown hardware will need new drivers or even run under Windows XP. Please check to see what vendor makes the equipment and the correct model number. Then go to the appropriate vendor's website to check for Windows XP compatibility and drivers.

I would, however, be less concerned about needed drivers and more concerned that the hardware might not even run under the Windows XP operating system. For more information, please go to the Microsoft Website for XP Drivers at pro/using/tips/maintain/finddrivers.asp.

My son told me that I am running Spyware on my computer and that it can be harmful. What is Spyware? Will my antivirus program fix it?

Spyware is software installed on your PC that is designed to track and report your movements as you surf the web. It does not destroy files on your PC, however, it can collect them. It sometimes can grab personal information. It is usually installed as part of another program (i.e.: Bearware, Kazaa, Mail Addins that give you extra graphics, etc.) and works on your PC with out your knowledge.

It is not a virus, which is a program usually designed to destroy files on your PC. Anti-virus programs will do nothing for Spyware. To get rid of Spyware on your PC, you should use an Anti-Spyware program. Spybot ( and Ad-Aware ( are two very good programs that can be downloaded for free and will remove Spyware. Thanks for this terrific question!

How come with my new Outlook Express & Outlook XP, I am not receiving all of the attachments that people are sending me? These programs actually state that dangerous attachments were not sent. Do they have viruses?

This is probably not viruses. It is probably the new Microsoft enhancement that is included with these programs. As an enhancement, Microsoft has added the default feature to not allow certain file attachments to be received in mail. These attachments (like "*.exe" executables) are the most common type of files to include viruses. Microsoft's feelings are "By not receiving these file types, you will have less chances of receiving viruses and your PC is more secure". By this same thought process, "If we don't buy Computers or Microsoft products, we won't have to worry about viruses or PC problems". For more information on this enhancement, go to

With that said, one way around sending attachments is to "zip" them before sending them. (In Windows XP: Right mouse click on the file that you want to attach, choose "Send to". Choose "Compress (zipped) Folder"). Any files that are zipped with a "zip" extension are considered a safe and valid attachment.

With the most current version of Outlook Express, you can turn this feature off by:

  1. Start Outlook Express.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. Click the Security tab, click to clear the Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus check box under Virus Protection, and then click OK.

    For other versions of Outlook, you can go into the Windows registry and make manual adjustments. Manual Registry adjustments can "crash" a computer if any errors are made. I would suggest using a program to adjust your registry settings so all attachments are allowed to be received. One such program is DetachXP at One final comment. Please insure that all PCs do have current antivirus programs installed.

Figure 2

I would like for the XP Hibernate mode feature to not activate every few minutes. I have a Pentium 4 Laptop with 512 MB of RAM and Windows XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 1. Presently, I am having many delays while I am using my Laptop as I am having to repeatedly LOG ON to XP every 15 or 30 minutes because of what I assume is being caused by the XP "Hibernate mode". I have not found the available online "Hibernate HELP" information "helpful" for me to stop what has seemed like almost constant re-LOGONs. Can you help please?

Good Question! Yes. I don't believe that your problem is Hibernation. It is probably "Standby Mode" causing this problem. In simple terms, Hibernation is just a snapshot of your desktop. It does not necessarily save data files. It saves the snapshot temporarily until you un-hibernate the PC.

To save PC image points for an extended period of time, you would use restore points. Restore points have been covered in previous articles that can be read off the HAL-PC home page link of journal.html.

To adjust your Stand-by Mode, I would suggest first going into your power management. Adjust it so your PC stops going into Power Management mode. From the Desktop Start Bar, click on "Start" -> "Control Panel" -> "Performance and Maintenance" -> "Power Options" and change your power schemes to "Always On".

The monitor hard disks and standby settings should now be set to never. Click on "OK" and see if this fixes your constant shut down problem. I hope this helps.

Also, always run your laptop using your power cord when possible. When running on a battery charge, most laptops run slower. FYI: To adjust the Hibernation, from the Desktop Start Bar, click on "Start" -> "Control Panel" -> "Performance and Maintenance" -> "Power Options" and click on the "Hibernation" tab. Thanks!