Monthly Questions & Answers For Windows XP

Is there a scandisk in WIN XP? I don't seem to be able to find it and it isn't in the books that I have checked.

Thanks for the super question. Yes, Scandisk is still in Windows XP. It, however, has been renamed to "Error Checking".

To use "Error Checking":

  • Double Click on the "My Computer" icon.
  • Right mouse click on the "C:" drive icon and choose "Properties".
  • Click on the "Tools" Tab.
  • Click on the "Check Now." button under Error-checking.

I have been led to believe that the formatting of Windows XP and previous versions of Windows have systems that are different? I was told that eventually the Windows XP system may not be able to read the Windows 98 one. Have you heard of anything like that? I run basically most all my stuff on my Windows 98 system. There are times I need to use my other computer, so I transfer data to a floppy, go to Windows XP and do my other work. Will I still be able to do this data transfer?

Great question! You will have no problem with your floppy drive. Windows XP does have a more advanced formatting available for the PC's hard drive called NTFS (New Technology File System) or NTFS5. Windows 98 has available formatting versions for their hard drive called FAT (Fat 16, Fat32).

FAT cannot read NTFS without a third party program. However, in either system, Windows 98 or Windows XP, when you format a floppy disk (not the hard drive), the formatting is FAT which can be read be either Operating System. Thanks!

My XP installation works fine, but on shutdown it gets as far as "It's now safe to turn off your computer" and hangs. In Windows 98 this worked perfectly and the computer shut itself off. Now it just continues doing nothing, and I have to unplug at the wall to shut it down.

Your PC motherboard may not be completely ACPI compatible. The best action to take is to insure that your PC has the latest BIOS update installed for your motherboard. Contact your PC manufacturer (website) for this normally free update.

You might also try:

  • Right Mouse Click on My Computer and choose "Properties"
  • Choose the "Hardware" tab and click on the "Device Manager" button.
  • Go to View/Show Hidden devices.

There may be one disabled device called the NT APM/Legacy Interface Node. If you enable this, the automatic shutdown may work again. If NT APM/Legacy Interface Node is not listed, again you would need to check with the vendor for Hardware Compatibility and BIOS updates. Thanks!

I can start Windows Clean-up, Error Checking or Scandisk. However, it seems like the programs don't finish many of the times that I run them. Do you know what the problem is?

If a utility program starts but won't finish, you probably have another program or service running that conflicts with its operation. Antivirus programs are usually the biggest culprits.

First, close out of all programs. Then you will need to go into Task Manager to stop all appropriate services and programs. Then try running the appropriate XP utility. To get into the Task Manager, hold down the:

"Control", "ALT" and "Delete"

keys, all at the same time. In the Windows Task Manager window, review the "Applications" and "Processes" tabs. "End Task" any running Applications and as many Processes as possible. Do not end the "taskmgr.exe" or "Explorer.exe" processes. These executables run the operating system and the task manager program.

Once all appropriate Applications and Processes have been stopped, try running the Windows XP utility again. There are other ways of doing this process and a virus could be your problem, so make sure you are using an up-to-date antivirus program. I hope this helps. Thanks!

You have discussed setting up System Restore in your previous article. I have many auto-set "System Restore Points". The restore points are taking up a lot of my hard drive space. How can I delete unused restore points, with all the data to get free space?

Terrific question! Try:

  • Right mouse click on "My Computer"
  • Select the "System Restore" tab
  • Either select "Turn off System Restore on all drives" or...
  • Select an individual drive, click "Settings", and turn off system restore or change the space allocation