Solutions: Features, security enhanced in Internet Explorer 8

Do you recommend downloading and installing the new Internet Explorer version 8?

I've been running Internet Explorer 8 for a few weeks now, and I'm very happy with it. IE8 contains many new usability features and, more important, increased security enhancements as well as performance improvements. The new SmartScreen filter is a set of technologies built into IE8 that helps protect against drive-by malware attacks and malicious Web sites and downloads. IE8 also introduces Accelerators. This allows instant access to the online services without having to leave the page and manually navigate to a different site. For example, if you highlight an address and right-click, you can select the Map Accelerator (such as Microsoft Live Search Maps or Yahoo Maps), and immediately be presented with the results in a fly-out window with the location mapped. My favorite is the Search Accelerator that allows an Internet search (using your favorite search engine) by just highlighting the text and right-clicking. The search results are returned in a new tab. This has saved me a lot of copying and pasting. Any change in browser versions may introduce incompatibilities with some Web sites. But IE8 provides a Compatibility View setting that will display the site in IE7 mode. There are many other improvements and features, more than I can mention here, and you can read more at www.micro soft.com/windows/Internet-explorer. Keep in mind that if you use non-Microsoft antivirus or fire walls, check with vendors' technical support for compatibility before installing.

I purchased a new laptop. I have transferred all my files from my old Windows XP system and now would like to reformat the C drive before selling. When I tried to reformat, I received the message, "Windows was unable to complete the format." Can you help me?

You will need to boot from either a floppy disk or a CD, as you cannot reformat the same drive you boot from. You can create bootable media from www.bootdisk.com. Just reformatting does not remove the data, only the file table pointing to the locations of the files. Someone could easily recover this data using various utilities. My recommendation is to download SDELETE from File Utilities section of www.sysinternals.com. This is actually part of Microsoft, and it is safe and effective. Follow the instructions on the Web site on how to use it.

I am using a newly purchased Windows Vista Home Premium OEMA. I use Road Runner as my home page. If I want to search on the Internet from this page (or any other) any URL used brings me to a Google page offering many options rather than the initial URL of my choice. How can I bypass this step?

I'm assuming that what you're saying is that when you type in a URL in the address bar, it treats it as a search. Check this Internet Explorer option: Go to Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab. Find "Search from Address Bar" and make sure it is turned off. Restart Internet Explorer.

I recently tried to save a Web page on my Windows Vista system, and now I cannot find it. I have saved similar pages many times in the past, and they have always appeared in My Documents folder. Not this time. I tried saving it under a different name, and still cannot locate it. Any idea as to where to look for it and how I can prevent this from happening in the future?

It doesn't sound like it's getting saved. Let's try a few different approaches. Go to Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab and uncheck "Disable script debugging" and check "Display a notification about every script error." Try saving the page again and see if this time an error message is now displayed. If not, try saving the page as type "Webpage, HTML only." You many also want to start Internet Explorer without add-ons to see if that makes a difference (click the Vista button, right-click Internet Explorer and select "Browse without add-ons"). An easy way to search in Vista for a file anywhere on your hard drive is to simply click the Vista button (Start button) and type any part of the name. Vista will then search and display any matches on your system.

How does one export Microsoft Outlook Contacts and then import them into Microsoft Outlook Contacts in a different computer? I see the import/export function, but I do not know which file type to choose from the list that is displayed during export.

You should be able to select "Comma separated values (Windows)." This will create a .CSV file that can then be used to import into the new computer.

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

Solutions: Features, security enhanced in Internet Explorer 8 05/12/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 14, 2009 2:02pm]

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