q+a On starting my Windows XP, a Windows search box opens up. Every time I click on Start, a fresh search box opens. On trying to close the box, a fresh box opens. However, if a program is launched by any other shortcut, it starts functioning normally and thereafter the search box can be closed. I have done a full system scan using Avast and Securities Essentials, and no threats have been found. I would be grateful if you could suggest a remedy.
Dr Pallab Chatterjee
Start Windows using selective start up. To do this you must be logged in as an administrator or as a user with administrative rights. Go to Start—Run and type in msconfig. This will open the system configuration utility. On the General tab put a check mark next to Selective Startup. Clear all the other check boxes under it. You will not be able to remove the dot next to the ‘Use Original Boot.ini’ radio button. That is fine. Now select the Startup tab and clear all the tick marks, barring one. Restart your computer.
If your computer starts normally, go to the System Configuration Utility once again by going to Start—Run and typing in msconfig. Go to Startup and enable the next program that is supposed to load when Windows starts. Once again restart your computer. You must continue doing this till the irritating search box appears. Once it appears you will know exactly which program that was loading at startup was causing the problem. Just disable it. Go back to the System Configuration Utility and under the General tab put back your check mark against Normal Startup. Restart your computer and you will find that your problem has vanished.
I would suggest that you upgrade to Windows 7 if your computer supports it. Windows XP is more than 10 years old and newer programs do not run so well on this old, albeit stable, operating system.
q+a Whenever I open some websites, such as YouTube, I get a message saying ‘K9 Protection’. If I download something or search for some sites it displays this message. How can I overcome this problem?
K9 Web Protection is a free utility to shield your children from adult content and risky interactions online. It protects you from scams and temptations and also from spyware and malware. You must have downloaded this inadvertently. To get rid of it completely, go to Control Panel and remove the program.
q+a I have forgotten my Rediffmail password and am unable to retrieve it. I can’t remember the security question and answer either. Is there any other way to retrieve my account?
All you need to do is go to http://support.rediff.com. This will take you to the Customer Care page. Go to the area for Rediffmail and select All About Passwords from the drop down box there. This will take you to a page that says, “I tried to find the password using the ‘Forgot Password’ option. But it asks for my hint answer which I don’t remember.” This is exactly the problem you have. Click on this link. Finally, click on ‘No, Contact Customer Care’. Fill in the form that appears and you will be contacted by telephone by Rediff’s officials.
q+a How can I check my IP address and change it? Are there any security implications?
You can check your IP address by going to www.whatismyip.org. If your Internet service provider has allocated you a permanent IP address you cannot change it even if you want to. However, if your IP address keeps changing every time you log in to the Internet and you keep your Internet on all the time, just switch off your modem, wait for three minutes, switch it on again and you will be allocated a new IP address. If you surf the Internet by covering up your IP address and doing illegal things you will definitely get caught.
Appcorner: Prepare for the London Olympics with a whole lot of apps from www. telegraphindia.com/know how/bitsnbytes/appcorner
Send in your computer-related problems to email@example.com with bits&bytes as the subject line