QUESTION: At my school, I help many of the teachers and students use our new PCs because the computer science teacher is more familiar with Apple Macs. One of the staff members in charge of the monthly newsletter types his important documents in Microsoft Word and then password-protects them. Unfortunately, he forgot the password and really needs to access the files. Is there any way to remove the password-protection from those files? - JAQUES, Internet|
ANSWER: Unfortunately, very little security is gained by password-protecting documents using the password feature built into popular word processors.
You can find password-cracking utilities such as Word for Windows Password Cracker (Wfwcd.exe) on a wide variety of download sites. That will solve your immediate problem.
Then surf to the site http: //spider.bokler.com/bokler/bsw _crak.html for a jaw-dropping list of utilities that will break the password-protection built into a variety of programs.
Unless you use an industrial-strength program designed specifically for encryption, your password-protected files are probably not as safe as you imagined. If you want files to be really private, a better idea might be to store them on a removable hard drive or Zip drive.
QUESTION: Someone showed me how specific keys or values in the registry could be deleted using an INF file, but I can't remember how to launch it. I want to clean up the URL history in Netscape Navigator. How do I do this? - GEOFF, Internet
ANSWER: To delete keys use a carefully crafted INF file. The INF file can be launched in a couple of ways -- by right-clicking the file in Explorer and selecting Install from the right-click menu, or by creating a shortcut to the file on the desktop and double-clicking its icon. (The latter method requires that "Install" be made the default action for files having the .inf extension.)
Create a file called Delurl.inf which deletes the registry key URL History created by Netscape Navigator. This key contains the names of all URLs the browser has visited. (The full path is HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software \Netscape\Netscape Navigator\URL History.)
Just as deleting a folder will delete all the files inside that folder, so deleting a registry key will delete all the values associated with the key.
In this case, deleting the URL History key will delete all its values. You don't need to know the name of each specific URL. Another way would be to run the INF file from a batch file. The trick to launching an INF file from within a batch file is to precede the name of the file with the internal command associated with Windows 95's "Install" action. The name of the INF file can then be used as the command's argument.
The internal command can be identified and inserted into a batch file in the following way: Open Explorer and click on View menu, choose Folder Options and then the File Types tab. A window listing all registered file types will appear. Scroll down to the item called Setup Information. Highlight that item, then click the Edit button. In the resulting Actions window, highlight Install, then click the Edit button. This opens a window called Editing Action for type: Setup Information.
In the text box called Application, used to perform action, you will see the highlighted command that defines Windows 95's "Install" action, which will look very much like this: c:\windows\ rundll.exe setupx.dll,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132.
Copy the string to the Clipboard using Ctrl-C. Then repeatedly press Cancel to get out of Explorer. Open a batch file from which you want to launch your INF file, and paste the string at the beginning of a new line.
At the end of the line, leave a space after the string, then type the full pathname of the INF file you want to launch. When you run the batch file, it will execute the INF file. In this particular example it will execute Delurl.inf, which deletes the URL History key from the registry.
This won't cause any problems for the browser. The URL History key is recreated automatically when the browser is launched.
QUESTION: I want to install a second hard disk in my system, but I think I read that the new disk cannot be any larger than the 1GB size of my existing disk. Is this true? Can the configuration of my system impose a limit on the size of the disk that I can install? Also, what is the difference between EIDE and IDE, and should I be concerned about it in choosing the second disk? - JAN, Internet
ANSWER: The first question is whether or not your computer's BIOS provides support for Large Block Addressing (LBA), which makes it possible to use disks larger than 540MB. If your system is using a software driver to get access to the full gigabyte of your existing disk, you may want to consider upgrading your system BIOS or adding a new controller with LBA support.
You should find a choice in your computer's CMOS configuration settings that indicates whether or not LBA support is provided; if you're not certain, ask your dealer.
Next, you may want to make the new disk the master and use the older disk as the master on your system's secondary IDE channel, if one is available.
This is because your new disk is likely to have more sophisticated controller electronics, and you may get better performance by making it the master.
Also, most IDE controllers use the same timing signals for both devices on a channel, so your older disk may limit the performance of your newer disk. If your system does not have a secondary IDE channel, consider adding one or getting a new controller that can provide different timing signals to two disks on the same channel. IDE stands for integrated drive electronics, and the extra E in EIDE adds "enhanced".
EIDE is generally used to refer to specifications that allow for faster transfer rates and larger hard disks. Any new hard disk you buy will support EIDE features. For some of the fastest new specifications, such as the Ultra DMA modes, you'll probably need a new controller to take full advantage of the disk's capabilities, but chances are your existing controller will do an adequate job with any EIDE disk you may buy.
QUESTION: Restarting Windows 95 is normally a four-step process: Click on the Start button, select Shut Down, click on the Restart button, and then click on OK. Is there anyway to simplify this? RIAAN, Internet
ANSWER: You can make it a one-step process by creating an icon on your desktop that restarts Windows 95. Open Notepad and type @exit. Save the document with a .bat extension. Create a shortcut to the file by using the right mouse button to drag it to the desktop and then selecting Create Shortcut(s) Here.
Right-click on the shortcut and select Properties. Click on the Program tab and check the Close on Exit box. Click on the Advanced button. Make sure MS-DOS mode is selected and "Warn before entering MS-DOS mode" is not selected. Click on the OK button twice. Give your new shortcut an icon and name. From now on you have a one-step process to restart your PC.
QUESTION: I use Internet Explorer. Every time I agree to receive a cookie, it goes into the directory C:\Windows\Cookies. The files add up pretty quickly. Is it okay to delete them or would this cause problems? - YVONNE, Internet
ANSWER: Cookies were invented to help you navigate the Web. When you're connected to a particular Internet site, the server doesn't actually remember you from one instruction to the next, much less one visit to the next.
But if the server sends you a cookie, it can use the information contained therein to personalise your visit.
Note, though, that if you refuse all cookies you may be unable to use certain sites to their full capabilities. For example, a discussion forum site may offer to display only messages that you haven't read, using a complex cookie to store that information.
And if a site normally stores log-on information using a cookie, you'll have to enter your user name and password each time you visit.
QUESTION: When you right-click on the Windows 95 Start button on the taskbar, there is a menu that allows you to select Explorer. For some reason, Explorer always opens in the C:\Windows directory, but I rarely need to look at the contents of that directory. Is there a way to make it open in a different directory? - DANIEL, Internet
ANSWER: Selecting Explore from the Start button's right-click menu is not a general-purpose way to start Explorer. When you right-click the Start button, one of the menu items is Explore (not Explorer).
By selecting this item, you are asking to explore the Start menu folder itself. Windows Explorer comes up showing the Start menu folder. The sub-menus of the Start menu are folders in this view, and the menu items are shortcuts within the folders.
The purpose of choosing Explore from the Start button's right-click menu is to rearrange items in the Start menu. In general, if you right-click an object in Windows 95 and get a menu, it contains commands specific to the object you right-clicked.
Right-clicking any folder, including the Start menu folder, gets you a menu of commands for working with that folder.
The only time you can control Explorer's initial display is when it's launched from a Start menu item or other shortcut. In that situation, you have full control over how Explorer starts up.