Monthly Questions And Answers For Windows XP

Does Windows XP come with any programs that I need to run to keep it working?

I always suggest running monthly three utility programs that come with Windows XP: Disk Cleanup, Scandisk and Defragment.

Double click on the “My Computer” icon.

From the “General” tab, click on the “Disk Cleanup” button.

Click on “OK” to start the Windows XP Disk Cleanup. Choose “Yes” to continue. Disk Cleanup will not delete personal data or currently installed programs.

From the “Properties” screen of the “C:” drive, click on the “Tools” tab. Under “Error- Checking” click on the “check now” button. Check off the disk options that you want and click on the “Start” button. Click “OK” when it is finished.

Finally, from the “Tools” tab on the “Properties” screen of the “C:” drive, click on the “Defragment Now” button. Click the “Defragment” button. It is best, when running the Defragment, not to have other programs running like mail, Internet or the Antivirus auto-protect program.

I would also consider downloading an antivirus program and a spyware program. Thanks for asking!

I can't delete a few files or folders in XP.

I get a "file in use" message. What do I do?

My first suggestion is don’t delete the file. Sometimes "in use" is reported to Windows XP because a .dll is in some way tied up. Often, a reboot followed by an immediate attempt to delete the file will work. If this process does not work, boot into “safe” mode, which will work. Once the file is deleted, reboot the PC in normal mode. Please remember, do not delete file than you are unfamiliar with. Thanks!

Is Windows XP less crash-prone than the Windows I am now using?

Yes. If you are running Windows 9x, you'll find XP to be tremendously more stable than what you're used to. The operating system can still be easily crashed but it's not a regular occurrence. Unlike with Windows 9x, when applications crash in Windows XP, they do not crash the operating system or other programs. In addition, Office XP does a better job of saving data automatically, so with a Windows XP/Office XP combination, results is much more stable and safe.

Why do I get "OE has removed the unsafe attachment" on all my e-mail attachments since I have upgraded to Windows XP? It is doing it to all attachments?

I am assuming that you are using Outlook Express for mail that comes with Windows XP. From Outlook Express, go to “Tools”, “Options”, “Security”

and see if the box for “Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus” is checked. If it is, uncheck it and click “OK”.   Super question!

I lost all my old Outlook Express emails when I upgraded to Windows XP from Windows 98. Can I get them back?

Yes, this behavior occurs because the Windows XP file structure is different and the files for Outlook Express are no longer in the same location.

First, to find your previous Mail Messages

  • On your desktop, create a new folder called XPMail. To do this, right-click your desktop, click “ New”, and then click “ Folder”.
  • Click “ Start”, and then click “ Search”.
  • In the “ What do you want to search for” box, click “ All files and folders”.
  • In the “ All or part of the file name” type “*.dbx.
  • Click “ More Advanced options”, click “ Search hidden files and folders”, and then click “ Search”.
  • In the Search window, you may select each .dbx folder individually or select multiple folders by pressing the CTRL key and clicking each folder.
  • After you have selected the folders, click “ Copy” on the “ Edit” menu.
  • Open the XPMail folder that you created, and then click “ Paste” on the “ Edit” menu.

NOTE: Make sure to include the Folders.dbx file when you copy the folders. This file is necessary for the import functions in Outlook Express.

Second, import Your Mail and Folders

  • Open Outlook Express.
  • On the “ File” menu, click “ Import”.
  • Click “ Messages”.
  • Click “ Microsoft Outlook Express 5”, and then click “ Next”.
  • Click “ Import mail from an OE6 store directory”, and then click “ OK”.
  • Click “ Browse”, select the XPMail folder that you created earlier, click “ OK”, and then click “ Next”.
  • Click “ All folders”, and then click “ Next”.

After it is finished, click “ Finish”. Repeat this procedure for each of the folders that you created earlier.

Third, find your Windows Address Book

  • From Windows XP ,click “ Start”, and then click “ Search”.
  • Click “ All files and folders”.
  • In the “ What do you want to search for” box, click “ All files and folders”.
  • In the “ All or part of the file name” type, “*.wab”, and then click “ Search”.
  • When the search is finished, double-click each file to open it. When you have found the correct one (it will contain your Contact information), note the exact location and name of the file.

Import Your Windows Address Book

  • In Outlook Express, click the “ File” menu.
  • Click “ Import”, and then click “ Address Book”.
  • Point the “ Look In” field to the location that you noted in step #5 of the "Find Your Windows Address Book" section.
  • Click the “ .wab” file, and then click “ Open”.
  • Click “ OK” to import the Address Book.

After you have verified that the import was successful, remove all folders that you created during the mail recovery process.

Windows XP Helpful Websites:

If you have any Windows XP questions that you would like to see in this column, please email them to The top 5 most requested questions will appear in the Magazine each month along with new helpful Windows XP websites.

Please remember when reading these questions that there is more than one way to do most Windows XP tasks. The suggested answers are one easy solution.