I have a Compaq laptop running Windows XP with a DSL modem. Recently my Outlook Express has been losing its connection when the computer is in Standby mode. When I open Outlook Express, an error window opens telling me some "errors occurred and the host could not be found" and to verify that I have entered the correct user name. I have to restart the computer to get everything back to normal. I have checked my settings but think I must be missing something.
It does sound as if you've lost your network connection. When you enter Standby mode, many of your computer peripherals are turned off to conserve power. However, the software drivers that control them are left in memory. It sounds like when your laptop is coming out of Standby and your DSL modem is reactivated, it may not be coming back to the exact state it was in when you entered Standby. First check the DSL modem properties and see if there is an option to stay powered even when in Standby. Also check your main power options (Control Panel) for the same type of setting. If your laptop is an older model, there may even be a BIOS update that can correct this — check the Compaq support Web site.
Why can't I install SP3 on my Dell 8400 running XP SP2? The installation starts and then stops after about 10 minutes. The message is "Access Denied," and when that is checked it proceeds to the update removal wizard and undoes all it had changed. I've tried it several times, even downloaded SP3 again. Same results.
There are some known issues concerning SP3 update installation. What you're describing is addressed in the Microsoft Knowledgebase article KB949377. It can get involved and is too long to list here, but you can check out the article along with troubleshooting steps at support.microsoft.com/kb/949377.
Send questions to email@example.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.