Download (direct link):
System Restore is completely reversible. If your computer winds up in even worse shape, load System Restore and choose a different date.
Before installing a program or any new computer toys, load System Restore and create a restore point in case the installation is a disaster. Name the restore point something descriptive, such as Before Installing Kitty Dish Webcam. (That way you know which date to go back to if things go awry.)
You can save many System Restore settings — each one is a snapshot of your computer’s configuration.
If you restore your computer to a time before you installed some new hardware or software, those items may not function properly. If they’re not working correctly, reinstall them.
My Mouse Doesn’t Work Right
Sometimes, the mouse doesn’t work at all; other times, the mouse pointer hops across the screen like a flea. Here are a few things to look for:
A If no mouse arrow is on the screen after you start Windows, make sure that the mouse’s tail is plugged snugly into the computer’s rump. Then exit and restart Windows XP.
A If the mouse arrow is on-screen but won’t move, Windows may be mistaking your brand of mouse for a different brand. You can make sure that Windows XP recognizes the correct type of mouse by following the steps on adding new hardware, as I describe in Chapter
Chapter 15: The Case of the Broken Window
A A mouse pointer can jump around on-screen if it’s dirty. First, turn the mouse upside-down and clean off any visible dirt stuck to the bottom. Then twist the little round cover until the mouse ball pops out. Wipe off any crud and blow any dust out of the hole. Pull any stray hairs, dust, and goo off the little rollers and stick the ball back inside the mouse. If you wear wool sweaters (or have a cat that sleeps on the mouse pad), you may have to clean the ball every week or so.
A If the mouse was working fine and now the buttons seem to be reversed, you’ve probably changed the right- or left-handed button configuration setting in the Control Panel. Double-click the Control Panel’s Mouse icon and make sure that the configuration is set up to match your needs. (I cover this in Chapter 14, by the way.)
Making Older Programs Run under Windows XP
Programmers write their programs for specific versions of Windows. Then, when a new version appears, such as Windows XP, some programs feel threatened by their new environment and refuse to work.
If a game or some other program refuses to run under Windows XP, there’s hope. Try running the program in Compatibility mode. This trick fools programs into thinking that they’re running under their favorite version of Windows, so everything works well.
If you have a problem with a program, right-click its icon and choose Properties. When the Properties window appears, click the Compatibility tab. After checking the program’s box or installation disks to see its required version, select that version from the Compatibility mode’s drop-down menu, as shown in Figure 15-1.
For more information, as well as a list of compatible programs, select the option Learn More about Program Compatibility (near the bottom of Figure 15-1.)
Chapter 15: The Case of the Broken Window
Compatibility mode enables you to select the version of Windows required by your incompatible programs.
It Says I Need to Be an Administrator!
You do need to be an administrator to perform most of the best stuff on Windows XP. Windows XP is set up so that when different people log onto the computer, they only see their own work. Windows XP saves everybody’s individual settings, and it seems like everybody uses a different computer.
Somebody has to be in charge, however, of installing new software, changing network settings, and adding new computer parts. That person is the administrator. Usually the owner has the Administrator account, while other users have Limited accounts or guest accounts.
If you see a message that says you need to be an administrator to do something on the computer, you need to find the computer’s owner and ask for help. (If you bug the administrator often enough, he or she might elevate your limited account to an administrator account.) I cover all this stuff in Chapter 9.
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I'm Stuck in Menu Land
If your keystrokes don’t appear in your work but instead make a bunch of menus shoot out from the top of the window, you’re stuck in Menu Land. Somehow, you’ve pressed and released Alt, an innocent-looking key that’s easy to hit accidentally.
If you press and release Alt, Windows turns its attention away from your work and toward the menus along the top of the window.
To get back to work, press and release Alt one more time. Alternatively, press Esc, perhaps twice. One or the other is your ticket out of Menu Land.
Keeping Windows Up-to-Date
Actually, you don’t need to worry about keeping Windows up-to-date. Windows updates itself automatically with its Windows Update program — if you have an Internet connection. Every so often, you’ll see a little message in the bottom of your screen, such as the one in Figure 15-