Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fix "Sonic Activation Module" error with visit to Dell support

When I start my Dell Media computer with Windows XP Service Pack 3, a window reads: "Windows installer. Preparing to install Sonic Activation Module." After I allow it to run, it asks me to insert a disk. Since I don't have a disk and don't have the program to delete it, I cancel it but it takes over 10 attempts. Please guide me to getting rid of it permanently.

This seems to be an issue with some Dells relating to an incomplete uninstall of one of the Sonic products. There are instructions on the support site that will help you download and run the Microsoft Windows Installer Clean Up Tool. Go to and type Sonic in the Search box. Scroll down and click the "Sonic Activation Module Install at Startup" link.

I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop. My problem is the slowdown I experience when accessing My Yahoo. I get a loading signal at the top of my screen. I'm having a slow time getting to Mail, Compose — any place on My Yahoo is slow. Other people accessing their Yahoo accounts on the same computer have no problem. I have cleared out files and pared down to the minimum to no avail.

Since other people accessing their Yahoo mail accounts using your laptop seem to have no problem, I would guess that your particular account may be on a server that is overloaded. Load-balancing on some of these giant e-mail sites such as Hotmail or Gmail is always taking place. Hopefully they'll get yours solved.

I have an HP Pavilion zd7000 wireless 17-inch laptop running Windows XP. For some reason, one morning when I opened the computer everything had increased in size and I now have to scroll left and right to get things to fit the screen. I have tried everything I know to no avail. I am not aware of anything I did to cause this problem, which is annoying.

This could be a number of things. Right-click anywhere on your Desktop and select Properties. Click the Settings tab. On the left side there should be a slider bar that adjusts screen resolution. Move that to the side that says More. Click apply and see if that solves the problem. If not, I would suspect possibly a driver file-corruption issue. Go to HP's support Web site and follow the links to identify and download/install the latest video drivers for your laptop. Hopefully that will get you back to normal.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Fix "Sonic Activation Module" error with visit to Dell support 04/19/09 [Last modified: Sunday, April 19, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst


    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  2. A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  3. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 149, collapses buildings in Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 149 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  4. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75


    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.