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Solutions: Don't trade Vista for Windows XP

I want to purchase a new computer but have found that all the new ones come with Vista. Has Microsoft worked out all the kinks yet? Also, if I have to accept Vista, can I remove it from my new computer and install XP? I realize I can have a computer built but don't want the hassle.

I've had several PCs running Vista for quite some time now with little or no problem. Aside from the more obvious new features in Vista, under the covers Vista has many innovations, especially in safety and integrity. Vista had a few minor quirks that seem to be part of any new operating system, but many of the problems stemmed from third-party vendors not having drivers/peripherals ready. It seems almost everyone has caught up. Now that I have gotten used to the interface and usability features, I wouldn't consider going back to XP — regardless of those amusing but inaccurate Mac commercials.

When I bring up Internet Explorer, it shows there are no add-ons, that they are all disabled. I bring up the help screen and try to fix the problem, but under the option of Manage Add-ons, it is disabled. I tried to uninstall, reboot and reinstall Internet Explorer 7, and received the same error. Is there a way to reset Internet Explorer to get my setting turned back on?

The Manage Add-on option on the Tools menu can be disabled when Internet Explorer is running in no-add-on mode. If you check the shortcut that you use to start Internet Explorer (right-click and select Properties) you may see something like to this: "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -extoff. If you do, modify the shortcut to remove the "-extoff." Even with Manage Add-ons disabled, you can still manage add-ons using Internet Options in Control Panel as follows: Click Start, Control Panel, Network and Internet, and then click Internet Options. Click the Programs tab, and then click Manage Add-ons. Changes will not take effect until you restart Internet Explorer. There is also an option that resets Internet Explorer 7 settings. To do this from within Internet Explorer: Click Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab and then click the Reset … button. Hopefully one of these solutions will solve your problem.

I always used Symantec antivirus. I had a contract for two years. When the message on the screen appeared for renewal I went to the Symantec site, updated and renewed for one year for $49.99. I received an e-mail with confirmation. Later, an e-mail appeared from Norton saying this was an automatic yearly update, but I did not agree to this since I had a contract with Symantec for two years. Are Norton and Symantec the same company? My credit card statement had a charge for Symantec, but also a charge from Norton for $39.99. I do not want two. How can I delete Norton?

Yes, Symantec and Norton are the same company. And this is not the first time someone has written to me about this confusing issue and double payments. You can delete Norton by clicking Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs and searching the list of installed programs. However, I would contact Symantec first. I suspect that you have only one installed and need not do anything other than straighten out the double payment.

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

Solutions: Don't trade Vista for Windows XP 08/25/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 11:42am]
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