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Printer won't work with Windows 98

Q. I installed the beta version of Windows 98 on my computer. Now my HP Deskjet printer will not work. I checked Properties and saw that Win98 recognized the printer. I've reinstalled the printer software, checked cables, etc., to no avail.

A. You did not mention which Deskjet model you have. However, most people have reported success with the HP drivers supplied on the CD. After removing the printer, re-add the printer and make sure you use the drivers supplied on the CD under driversprintershp"your-model".

Q. My Internet service provider claims to have 33.6 Kbps modems and says it is upgrading to 56K. I have a 3Com Sportster 56K modem installed. Why does my modem rarely connect at a higher rate than 26.4 Kbps? When downloading, the average rate is about 3.8 Kbps. Why can"t I download at a higher rate? Is there anything I can do to improve this?

A. First go to Control Panel/Ports and make sure the Com port being used is set to the maximum speed of your modem. If you still cannot connect at a consistently higher rate, it may be a limitation of your phone line. Common problems with phone lines may be lines/jacks in the house that are shorting out. Another common problem is a loaded coil and bridge tap that may be on the phone lines somewhere between the phone company and your house. You may want to get your phone company to check your phone lines for Internet quality _ not just to see if they work.

Q. Each time I type in a Web address on Internet Explorer 4.0, it stays there. How do I delete all the unwanted Web addresses?

A. On the Explorer 4.x menu bar: View, Internet Options, General tab, click the Clear History button. This will cover your trail.

Q. I received a copy of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0. Upon loading and after restarting my IBM Aptiva L5H, the Access Aptiva section of the desktop disappeared. One-third of the screen is white. The program is still there because it appears on the task bar. The desktop returns to normal if I exit Access Aptiva, but the problem recurs on the next startup. I've tried to get an answer from GTE, IBM and Microsoft with little success. I finally uninstalled Explorer and now use IE 3.02.

A. This is a known problem with Access Aptiva (models 2140 and 2142 only). The good news is that IBM has an update available that solves the problem at techinfo/4862.html. People who received the IE 4.0 CD with their computer do not need this update; the software on the CD already has been updated.

Q. I am running Windows 95 with Works For Windows 4.0. I also have Excel 3.0, but cannot get any Excel files to load in Works. When I try, all that comes up are a couple of squares in the upper left side of the screen. The FAQ that comes with Works says that you can convert Excel files, but I cannot do so.

A. Works cannot directly import or preview files created in Excel 3.x. Try saving the Excel 3.0 file as a comma delimited file, and then open the file with Works.

Q. When reaching my e-mail provider using Windows 95 Internet Mail, upon connecting I get the message: "Explorer caused an invalid page fault in Module MailNewsDLL 0157:6206 ad01," followed by numerous registers. I have tried to correct the problem, to no avail.

A. An incorrectly formatted message in your server's mailbox could result in an IPF in mailnews.dll. Internet Mail will crash with some messages that other mail programs can handle. For more information on this, go to kb/articles/q159/7/68.asp

Also, installing the PC Magazine program Explorer Notes can cause an invalid page fault in module MAILNEWS.DLL at 0137:620441a6. If you have version 1.0 of Explorer Notes installed, either remove it from the Start Up program folder and restart Win95, or get the updated version 1.01 from PC Magazine's Web site.

_ Send hardware and software questions to, or Tech Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions will be answered only in the column. John Torro, a systems engineer for a software company in Tampa, is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Microsoft Certified Solution Developer.