Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Solutions: Suffering browser errors? Troubleshoot add-ons

I have an HP 2700 using Windows XP. The computer was very slow, so I upgraded from 512 MB to 2 GB of RAM. It started running a lot faster, which was good. But since then popups come on and shut me down when I get on Internet Explorer, checking e-mail on Yahoo or on Outlook Express. These three popups appear and I click "Don't Send Report" and I can continue working:

• Generic Host Process for Win 32 Services has encountered a problem and needs to close.

• Windows Service Pack has encountered a problem and needs to close.

• Dr. Watson Postmortem Debugger has encountered a problem and needs to close.

The following popup appears and we can't do anything except close the popup and it takes us back to the desktop:

• Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close.

I had a computer person install my RAM upgrade, and he told me it could be a hardware problem, but he is now telling me it could be a software problem and I should reformat my computer. What is your suggestion?

My first suggestion is that in the future, avoid paying money to anyone who suggests such a radical solution such as reformatting before attempting other, more sensible troubleshooting. If it were a hardware issue, I would suspect that you wouldn't just be seeing problems with Internet Explorer, so I agree that it sounds like a software issue. And my first suspicion would be one of the Internet Explorer add-ons such as Shockwave or a third-party toolbar. But first try deleting your temporary cache files: From within Internet Explorer click Tools, Options and then on the General tab, click the Delete button under Browsing History. Restart Internet Explorer and see if the problems persists. If so, move on to disabling the add-ons. Start with the Adobe Shockwave add-ons. Click Tools, Manage Add-Ons, Enable or Disable Add-ons. Click an add-on to select it and then under Settings, click the Disable option. Restart Internet Explorer and again see if the issues persist. Keep repeating this process until you go through all the add-ons or until you find the problem. If the issue does turn out to be a bad add-on, try reinstalling the program by getting the latest release from the vendor's Web site. Internet Explorer also has an option to completely reset settings while deleting all cache files in one step. This should be used when you've exhausted all other troubleshooting options. Click Tools, Internet Options, click the Advanced tab and then the Reset button.

I believe taking entries out of the MSCONFIG STARTUP list prevents RAM from being wasted on programs you are not going to use. However, if I don't have a program such as AOL in the startup list and I call it at a later time, and then I exit when I'm done, does the RAM get freed up or is it necessary to reboot?

When a program terminates under normal conditions, its memory pages return to the free page pool to be used again. There is also a component of memory management referred to as "garbage collection" that kicks in when the system is under pressure that "cleans up" pages no longer in use and returns them to the free page memory pool.

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: Suffering browser errors? Troubleshoot add-ons 07/06/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 9, 2008 11:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Romano: On this education bill, you decide who is evil

    Politics

    The political ramifications are not lost on Kristine Benson.

    Six-year-old Chase Benson was born with down syndrome and autism. He attends a private school in Palm Harbor through a Gardiner Scholarship. [Photo courtesy of Kris Benson]
  2. St. Petersburg police team with federal agencies to crack down on gun and drug offenders (w/video)

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police say Raymond Adams, 29, jumped a fence to break into a home in the 800 block of 51st Street Avenue S.

    Some of the guns confiscated during an eight month firearms, drug trafficking, and violent crime operation dubbed the St. Petersburg Violent Crime Reduction Initiative were on display Wednesday, 5/24/17 at the St. Petersburg Police Department.  Federal charges have been filed against 35 individuals and state charges have been filled against 9 individuals in St. Petersburg. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  3. Graco recalls car seats; webbing may not hold child in crash

    Public Safety

    Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained.

    Graco has recalled eight different car seat models.
  4. Pro Bowl returning to Orlando in 2018

    Bucs

    ORLANDO — The Pro Bowl will return to Orlando in 2018 for the second straight year.

    Bucs  wide receiver Mike Evans runs a route as Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. defends during the first quarter of the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in January at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Plan your weekend: Memorial Day, Sunset Music Fest, comic Pablo Francisco, sci-fi writer Jeff VanderMeer

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Holiday

    Memorial Day: Monday is the day to honor those who died serving their country, and the Bay Pines VA Memorial Day Ceremony will have Fox 13 anchor Alcides Segui as emcee, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and musical performances starting at 10 a.m. at 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., St. …

    GULF SHORES, AL - MAY 20:  Diplo of Major Lazer performs at the Surf Stage during 2017 Hangout Music Festival on May 20, 2017 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Hangout Music Festival) 700050769