Troubleshooting Resources 
on the Internet


Error Messages
Windows 95/98/2000
Software Applications


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When working with computers, problems are inevitable.  Before you call your Help Desk, try some of the troubleshooting solutions on this page.  If the troubleshooting involves changing system settings, call the Help Desk to double check that this is ok.

This resource is a "work in progress" with problems/solutions added as I am aware of them.  Feel free to email me with your computer issues or solutions.  

If you find you do need to call the Help Desk, gather the following information before you call:

  • What kind of computer are you using?
  • What application are you having problems with?
  • Is there an error message? If so, write it down.
  • Keep track of what you were doing when the problem occurred.
    1. Starting up?
    2. Trying to open an application?
    3. Saving a document?
    4. Printing from a specific program?
    5. Connecting to the internet?
  • Try to isolate the problem.
    1. Can you print one document, but not another?
    2. Can you print from one application, but not from another?
    3. Does the freeze happen only in one application or in all?
    4. Does it happen when you are doing a specific task?

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Error Messages
Problem  Solution
Non-system Disk Error You may have left a disk in the A drive. Remove it and press any key on the keyboard to reboot the computer.
Out of Memory Error


There are a couple of things that could be happening: you could have too many applications running or you could have too many documents with lots of graphics open.
  • Acknowledge the error message; then check the taskbar to see what applications are running. Close the applications that you aren’t using.
  • If you don’t have extra applications running, check the window menu of the application that is running to see what documents are open. Close those documents you aren’t using (remember to save changes to the documents!) and then try completing your task.
  • If you still get the message, exit everything and reboot the machine.

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Windows 95/98/2000
Problem  Solution
Computer Freezes Press Control + Alt + Delete 
(all three keys at the same time) to bring up the Task List. Select any program that says "Not responding" and click the End Task button. Repeat until all tasks are ended.
Computer will not turn on
  • Make sure your equipment is firmly plugged in.
  • Check the power cable and all connecting cables.
  • If you are using a surge protector, make sure the surge protector is turned on.
  • Check all other cables to make sure they are firmly connected.
  • Unplug and replug the computer
  • Plug it into a different outlet
The screen is blank.
  • Check to see whether the monitor is on.
  • Ensure that the monitor is plugged into the back of the system unit.
  • Turn the monitor off and then back on.
  • Check the knobs that control the brightness and contrast – they may have been adjusted.
Computer is running slow.  The system resources are low.  (Right-click My Computer and choose Properties.  On the Performance tab, look at System Resources.) You may have too many items running in the Startup Group (programs that automatically start when the computer boots up). 

From the Start menu, choose Run.  Type msconfig and click OK. The items you needed checked are:

  • Scan Registry (keeps up to date the Windows registry, a complex listing of all of the settings needed to keep a given computer up and running)
  • Task Monitor (parcels out chunks of memory for each task as needed)
  • System Tray (the software that displays the Startup list)
  • LoadPowerProfile (some machines do not use the LoadPowerProfile while others use more than one profile)
  • Anti-virus program

Anything else can be removed if desired.  Restart the computer and check the System Resources.  You may notice an increased improvement.

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Problem  Solution
Pointer does not track properly as mouse is moved.
Remove mouse tracking ball and clean.
Printer won't print.

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Problem  Solution
My document just disappeared!


You could have accidentally told your computer to create a new document – a plain blank page – creating the impression that the work you had on your computer is gone. Look at the title bar of your screen to determine what document you are working with. Minimize the "new" document (do not just close it!), and the original document should return to the screen.

If this does happen, don’t panic (yet)! You may have accidentally selected text and then pressed another key on the keyboard while the text was highlighted. What you actually did was tell your computer to replace the selected text with the character you had pressed. Reverse the action by using the program’s undo feature.

Kid Pix Freezing- After attempting to open the Kid Pix section of the program from the Picker screen, a fatal exception OE error message may appear. 

Note:  Check with the Help Desk to make sure it is ok to change these settings.  It solved my freezing problem on my computer. 
The issue is probably due to an incorrect QuickTime® setting, an outdated video driver or both. Changing the QuickTime® setting, updating the video driver or lowering the Hardware Acceleration should resolve the issue.

Changing the QuickTime Setting

  • Close opened programs and return to the desktop. 

  • Click Start and then choose Run. 

  • In the Run window, type QTW.INI in the Open text field.

  • Click OK. 

  • In the Video section, locate the words: OPTIMIZE=DRIVER. 

  • Replace the word DRIVER with the letters BMP. The new line should now read: OPTIMIZE=BMP
    Note: Be certain to use all upper case letters when making the change. 

  • Click File on the menu bar and then select Save. 

  • Close the QTW.INI file.

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Last updated 04/19/08