How do I give Messenger the flick?
by George Skarbek - 15th November 2005

To look at the book, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here

Q: How do I uninstall the green "pawn" that is MSN Messenger? Every time I try to uninstall it, I am unsuccessful. I am using Windows XP.

A: This is not easy to do. There is a long article on the Microsoft site that deals with this and involves editing the registry.

However, there is a simpler method that does not involve editing the registry. Ensure that you have exited and closed MSN Messenger, then click on Start, Run and carefully enter the following:

RunDll32 advpack.dll,Launch INFSection %windir%\inf\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

If you do not want to delete it but just prevent it from starting, see this link.

Q: I run Windows XP. I want to copy my Outlook Express Inbox to a CD so I can free up space on my hard drive. I can't find instructions on how to do it.

A: I will tell you how to do it, but first I would like to state that this is not a good idea. Backing up mail is to be recommended, but if you are planning to delete the Inbox and expect to easily find old mail in that Inbox, this is quite messy to accomplish and there may be a risk of overwriting the existing Inbox with the old one.

A better method may be to create a new Outlook Express folder called, say, Old-in, and move most of your older mail to that folder. If you have your mail sorted by date, click once on the first item that you want to move, then scroll down to the last one and hold the shift key when you click on it. This will highlight all the intermediate messages and they can be dragged into the new folder.

Having moved that mail, compact all the folders by clicking on File, Folder, Compact All Folders and this will free a considerable amount of disk space in some cases. Emptying the Deleted mail can also result in freeing up more space. Compact the folder after deleting.

Now, it you wish to back-up your mailboxes, in Windows XP they are stored in the following hidden folder: C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\Local Settings\ Application Data\Identities\ {DB615905-D44A-4DCE-A124- DAA12DE7E366}\Microsoft\Outlook Express. Ensure you have set Windows Explorer to show Hidden Files and Folder from the Tools, Folder Options and View.

Only after you have verified that you have copied your mailboxes can you consider deleting the Old-In.dbx file, as retrieving it will be easier and there will be no risk in overwriting your existing Inbox.


Q: Can you tell me how to Print Screen in Windows XP Home? When I enter PrtScn, I cannot find a facsimile in Notepad, which is where I thought it was saved.

A: When you press the PrtScn key, the operating system puts the entire screen image into a buffer somewhere in memory. If you press Alt + PrtScn, only the active window is placed into the buffer. To view that image you must paste it into an application that can display graphics. Unfortunately, Notepad cannot.

Open either Word, Wordpad, Paint, Excel, Irfanview or any other graphics program and press Ctrl + v, or if you prefer using the mouse, click on Edit, Paste and then the image will appear in your chosen program.

Q: I have recently bought a notebook with a 15.4-wide screen. When I go to the internet with Explorer 6, I need to press F11 or the Full Screen icon to get the full screen. Is there a way of making the full screen the default?

A: You can create a new Full Screen shortcut to start IE in full screen mode. To create a new shortcut, right-click on the Desktop, select New, Shortcut and, in the Command line, enter: "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" k As there will be no menus, to exit from this mode press Alt + F4. To move back, use Alt + left arrow, forward Alt + right arrow. Normal shortcut keys Ctrl + f to find and Ctrl + r to refresh still work.

Q: I have two computers - one running Windows 98 and one with Windows XP. They are not networked. I have Office 2000 on both computers, but Publisher on Windows 98 only. Is it possible for me to copy all the relevant files for Publisher from my 98 to the XP? If so, could you please tell me which files they are and how to copy them and install them on my XP?

A: It is not possible to copy files from a Microsoft product or, for that matter, most programs, onto another computer and expect it to run. These programs must be installed from the CD. It is also against the copyright agreement. Microsoft has other Publisher files in the Windows\System32 folder as well as entries in the registry that will be required for Publisher to run.


To look at the book, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here