Monthly Questions And Answers For Windows XP

Since I installed Windows XP, I seem to be getting windows from the Internet that are opening with advertising on them. Does Windows XP have something in it to stop these advertising windows?

No. These pop up windows with advertising on them are simply called "Pop Up Windows". There currently is no true "Pop Up Window" stopper in Windows XP. There will probably be a "Pop Up Window" stopper along with an Antivirus program built into the next version of Windows called Longhorn. Until the next version is released, there are other options.

The current Microsoft IE Browser does not have a "Pop Up Window" stopper. The free Netscape 7.1+ Browser has a pop-up windows stopper built into it as well as a spam filter. If you want to use the Microsoft IE Browser, you can install the add-on Google ( toolbar that includes a "Pop Up Windows" stopper program for free.

Finally, you can download or purchase a "Pop Up Window" stopper program as an add-on to the IE Browser. There are many types of these programs; one of my favorites is "Smart Pop Up Killer", because it is free. Thanks for the question. Popup Windows can be a real PAIN!

I currently have no password set up on my Windows XP PC. My daughter told me that I needed to set one up so my PC would be secured. At my age, I am worried that I will forget the password and then my PC will be too secure. What should I do?

PRD! Did you know that recovering a lost password for a local account on a Windows XP (Professional or Home Edition) machine is now possible with a new feature called the Forgotten Password Wizard? This is a new lightly publicized feature of Windows XP.

Before this new feature can be useful, you must create a Password Reset Disk (PRD) before you forget the password. To create the PRD if you are not connected to a Network Domain:

Go to "User Accounts" in the "Control Panel" ("Start", "Control Panel, "User Accounts")

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  • Click your account name.
  • Under "Related Tasks" located on the left side of the window, click "Prevent a forgotten password".
  • In the Forgotten Password Wizard, follow the instructions as they appear on the screen.

After you have launched the Forgotten Password Wizard, follow the on-screen prompts that will walk you through the process. In less than a minute, you will have your PRD successfully created.

Make sure that you store the PRD in a safe place. I would recommend a locked safe or locked location. If someone gains access to the diskette and knows the machine and account for which the account belongs, they will have the ability to reset the password and break into your system.

Using the diskette is as easy as forgetting your password. When attempting to logon with a bad password, Windows will prompt you with an option to use a reset disk. By selecting this option, you will launch the Password Reset Wizard, which will prompt you for your PRD. After the wizard completes, the password has been reset.

Please be aware:

  • The PRD can be used even if you change the password multiple times, without having to update the PRD.
  • Use the latest service pack with Windows XP. If you don't have the latest service pack, you may run into issues when you attempt to decrypt files that were encrypted using Microsoft Encrypting File System (EFS) prior to resetting your password with the Password Reset Disk.

In my event viewer, there are policy changes that I did not make. Also, what is the deal with things such as a trusted logon process, Rasman, CHAP and the other events? I hope that you can help me. I don't really know a lot about computer security and I am worried that somebody is hacking in. P.S., I have zone alarm.

Installations can cause policy changes and security authority can be done from local software or Internet access. Your details do not necessarily show a security breach. You can check with HAL-PC for any future classes on security (like zone alarm) or look in the HAL-PC Magazine for security contacts. Your question needs specific details for specific answers. Usually hackers focus on servers and not PCs. HAL-PC has great security classes/SIGs.

I would, however, suggest that you download a software program ( to remove spyware. Spybot is a good one that is free. Ad-aware is also free and is good. Spyware can also cause these issues that you mentioned. I hope that this helps.

My son came over and installed some software (I don't know what) on my PC and now it seems slower. Two of the software programs load when I start my PC. One has a picture of a K and the other has a picture of a Bear. Could this be slowing up my PC?

Yes! It probably is spyware. Spyware is software that tracks your Internet patterns and reports it back to a third party. Let me suggest that you go to the 'Net (maybe and type in "teddy bear icon". I believe that you will find the information that you are looking for. As for spyware, download an anti-spyware program as discussed in the previous question. Spybot is a good one that is free. Ad-aware is also free and is good.

I was wondering if you could tell me how to remove a new copy of Windows XP off a new computer that I just built after the activation time has expired. I installed Windows XP on another computer and the product key has been used too many times. I want to take Windows XP off and install Windows 2000. Do I need to buy a new hard drive? Please let me know. Thanks.

No new hard drive! I assume that Windows XP is the only Operating System that has been installed on the PC. If Windows 2000 was on it before installing Windows XP, then just uninstall Windows XP from "Add or Remove Programs" in the "Control Panel" ("Start", "Control Panel").

A retail copy of Windows 2000 or Windows XP is only licensed to be installed on one PC. Installing a licensed copy on more than one PC usually carries a $10,000 fine and possible jail time.

When you put the Windows 2000 CD in your PC and boot off of it, you get prompted to repair, reinstall or format & install. The wording might be slightly different. Choose the format and install. This will erase the copy of Windows XP.

You can also manually erase the HD and then do a reinstall by using the FDISK & FORMAT utility on the CD or on a DOS disk. You can also create a boot disk with these utilities for free from You do not need to buy a new HD. You will, however, lose all of your data on the hard drive. Good luck and don't forget to have fun.