1. Archive

Old hard drive can be replaced, then used for extra storage

Can I take out the old hard drive on a 4-year-old computer and replace it with a new one if I have the original startup discs for Windows Me?

Absolutely. Many times the new hard disc comes with software that also allows you to copy the image of the old drive to the new drive (if all you're doing is replacing it to get more space). If the old disc is still operable, you should slave it off the new disc to provide extra storage. You'll need to check to see which jumper pins to set. You always should have them set to "CS" - cable select - which means it will take its position (primary or slave) based on which sequence in the ribbon cable it's connected to. The connector at the end of the cable that connects to the hard drive is always the master.

Download drivers to match display to Windows version

My display shows the Display Setting, 16, which cannot be changed. Therefore, I cannot install printer and other software (such as AOL 9.0), which requires a better color setting. I have checked the Display Properties. It showed this: Standard PCI Graphic Adapter(VGA), Driver Files C::WINDOWSSYSTEMVGA.DRV, Location of Driver File: for Adapter - C:WINDOWSINFMILLDISP.INF; for Monitor:- C;WINDOWSINFMONITOR.INF. It also showed that all these drivers were installed properly.

It sounds as if you are using the default Windows VGS drivers. You need to load the drivers specific to your video adapter. Your video adapter usually will identify itself at POST time (when you first boot) if you are not already familiar with the make and model. Once you get this information, go to the vendor's Web site, download and install the appropriate drivers for your version of Windows.

Manually remove CD, but drive may need replacing

The CD-ROM drawer will not open to release the CD in the drive. Before this, the CD drawer would quickly open and close, making it difficult to change CDs.

There should be a small hole in the front of the CD drive. With all power off, gently stick a small pin (paper clip) in the hole and the CD drive should begin to open. This should at least allow you to remove your CD. If the problem persists, it just may be a mechanical problem with the drive and it should be replaced.

Notations may mean Auto-Signature is turned on

When using Outlook Express, I have been receiving notations on senders' responses indicating that I had written them either on the laptop (my screen name) or desktop (my wife's screen name). When I use Yahoo on either computer, this computer ID is not indicated. Road Runner says it's not a result of its program. How can I discontinue the publication of this private information about my computer usage?

I'm not sure what you mean by notations on senders' responses. Since this is happening only from within Outlook Express, check to see if you have the Auto-Signature turned on (Tools, Options, Signatures).

Error common to Microsoft Works and some printer drivers

When using Microsoft Works spreadsheet, I get this message: "Microsoft Works, Out of Memory, Save or close open files or applications, OK." I hit OK and have to do nothing else. The printer will go ahead and print. I have reinstalled my printer, and it makes no difference. I even have input my spreadsheet again, to no avail.

This is a known error within Microsoft Works for certain printer drivers. You can try removing and then installing a fresh set of the latest printer drivers downloaded from the printer vendor's Web site. Make sure the printer is checked as the system default printer. Microsoft also recommends installing an emulation printer. What this means is adding a "new" printer, but with similar (not the same) drivers from the same manufacturer. You can see more detailed instructions on how to do this at

Motherboard determines number of memory chips needed

After I installed a memory upgrade, my computer didn't recognize the new memory. I was told by the company I purchased it from that I needed to install two DDR2 chips. My computer has four slots and two came with 256 megabytes of memory in each. Do I need to buy two of the memory chips I want to install?

Maybe. There is no set rule that DDR2 (double data rate) memory be installed in pairs; instead, it will depend on your particular motherboard/CPU. You will need to check the documentation for your motherboard. If you don't have the booklet that came with your PC, you usually can find this information at the motherboard manufacturer's Web site. The motherboard make/version usually displays at POST time (when you first boot the PC).