1. Archive

Internet Explorer setting leaves open more than one window

Q. I installed Windows on a new hard drive and lost the ability to keep more than one Web site up at a time while surfing. I know Windows defaults to only one Web site at a time. I have lost the information on how to make the necessary changes to keep more than one open at a time.

I think you're referring to the "Reuse Windows for launching shortcuts" setting. Here's how to get to it: Through Internet Explorer, click Tools, Internet Options and then the Advanced tab. Scroll down to the Browsing settings and look for the Reuse Windows for launching shortcuts and clear the checkbox.

Several sites offer help with about:blank

Q. I'm having a problem with Internet Explorer. Every time I try to open it, I get this site about:blank as my home page. I downloaded Ad-aware Pro with no luck. It will detect others but not about:blank. Even using Pest Patrol, I have the same luck. Lately the browser that I'm using is Netscape and Firefox. If I want to open Windows updates, about:blank takes over, like it owns the PC. Any ideas how to tackle this pesky treat?

First, make sure you have the latest definition files for your Ad-aware Pro and Pest Patrol programs. If there are new updates, load and run those programs again. If you still experience the problem, download and run CWShredder from as well as LSPfix from You can search for information on these programs to find out the details as to what they are doing. Another excellent site is to get some of this information.

Service Pack 2 can solve startup problems

Q. When I start my computer, I get this message from Windows: Files that are required for Windows to run properly have been replaced by unrecognized versions. To maintain system stability, Windows must restore the original versions of these files. It then tells me to insert Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1 CD now. I have tried to reinstall XP Professional, but this is not the right CD.

Rather than give you a list of instructions on ways to satisfy this error message (it is part of the Windows File Protection system), just update to Service Pack 2, which is available at It is highly recommended that all Windows XP users install Service Pack 2.

State of Internet dictates running anti-malware programs

Q. I have Spybot and Ad-aware installed on my computer. What are their differences and do I need them both? I scan weekly with Norton Antivirus, Ad-aware and Spybot. It's very time-consuming and I think it slows my computer considerably.

A. Spybot and Ad-aware serve different purposes from antivirus. Antispyware applications such as Spybot and Ad-aware help prevent and clean out malware and spyware that are embedded on your computer. These malware and spyware components are not necessarily viruses, and antivirus programs such as Norton do not have all spyware on the radar screen. However, I recommend using all three, as well as a software/hardware firewall (Windows XP has a software firewall built in). I also recommend setting your browser's security and privacy settings (Tools, Internet Options for Internet Explorer) to at least Medium. And, most important, Internet users must become very judicious in everything they do including being able to recognize phony popup messages that try to trick you into initiating the malware/spyware onto your PC. It sounds exhausting, I know, but that is the state of the Internet today. And while not perfect, Windows XP Service Pack 2 does go a long way in helping your PC stay safe.