virus screen   702 Weekend, 14 July 2001

Tips & Hints

Posted 18 July 2001

For a change we have had a month without a virus scare. But we have had myths and scams coming into our inboxes. This month we looked at Internet myths and domain name overcharging. The discussion about domains led to a listener's question about domain registration.

Should I register a .com or a
Domain names are an essential part of having a business presence on the Internet. Your business domain name (the part after the "www" or @ symbol) is your Internet identity. You do not want it confused with somebody else's domain or business.

Sue from Nowra has just registered her business as a "" domain name and wanted to know if it was necessary to register the ".com" name.

Generally the answer is yes. While there are restrictions on who can register a there are no restrictions on .com, .org or .net domains. So your competitor up the road could register your name as a .com and confuse your customers. If possible register the .com, .org and .net addresses.

Take the time to do the registration yourself, this avoids overcharging and most importantly puts you in charge of your own registration details. Australian business domain registration is handled by Internet Names Worldwide and costs $135.00 for two years. Top level domains (.com, etc.) are handled by Network Solutions and cost US$35.00 for two years.

Problems when a computer starts
Tim called in with a start-up error message, the program kbdtray causes illegal operations when the computer starts. In Tim's case the solution is simple, it is the special keyboard functions program that is causing the trouble. It should be removed from the startup files. Click start, run and type msconfig and press OK, click the startup tab and take the tick off the kbdtray entry. This won't affect the normal operation of the computer but will mean special keys like "open mail" and programmable keys on the keyboard won't work.

We discuss startup problems as our problem of the week.

Reinstalling windows
Reinstalling or upgrading your operating system to get rid of errors is a last resort. Some problems are fixed by reinstalling the operating system but often it makes a bad problem worse. The only guaranteed way of getting rid of problems by reinstalling is to remove the old operating system and re-install everything.

Paul wanted to get rid of blue screen errors and wondered if he could just reinstall Windows. The Blue Screen of Death (or the dreaded BSOD as computer technicians know it) is the worst possible error, at the very least it means a sad and confused program at worst it means imminent hardware failiure. The odds are against a Windows re-installation curing the problem.

For Paul it is better to track down the problem. If it can't be found or turns out to be unfixable then a full re-install is the best bet. Before reformatting or installing Windows to another folder, make sure you have all your software and hardware installation disks handy and all your downloads, registration numbers and installation keys available. Everything will have to be re-installed. If you reformat, your data has to be backed up, if you are reinstalling it is a good idea to have a backup on hand as well.

The good news is that after a full re-install a computer often runs like new. Some people think it is good to do this once every six months. Most people find re-installing Windows a waste of a weekend. This is why it should be considered a last resort.

Once again we had a lot of callers we couldn't get to. We will be back on again next month on the second Saturday of the month at 11.30. In the meantime visit our tips pages for useful help on getting the most from your computer. Happy computing.

PC Rescue Pty Ltd
Suite 236, 4 Young Street Neutral Bay NSW 2089
ABN 082 635 765
ŠTechnology Publishing Australia, 2011