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Windows 95 Problem: wrong DNS server settings
Here's the problem. You moved your web site and your web connection to another service provider. Everything seems fine when you browse your pages from Windows 98 or Linux. Later you notice that your Windows 95 computer takes you to the old domain.

You probably have the old DNS settings on Windows 95. Cornell has provided easy-to-follow instructions for changing TCP/IP properties. Your internet service provider can give you the addresses for their domain name system (DNS) servers.

When you have made the necessary changes, a message will appear: Please insert disk labeled "Windows 95 CD-ROM" and check OK. The CD-ROM that you have may be labeled "Windows 95 Upgrade".

July 20, 2003

HP960C Deskjet kills Epson Stylus C40 Printer
Once you install the HP960C, you will probably find that you can't use the Epson printer. That seemed mysterious because there's nothing any easier to install and use than this Epson printer. So if you are prone to switching printers, it pays to remember this conflict.
The solution is to uninstall the HP960C and restart. Windows 98 goes through some DOS stuff before you get back to Windows. Then you can install the Epson printer with no more roadblocks.

Problem with ZoneAlarm Pro v 2.6.84
Everything works just fine with this firewall until it picks a fight with Windows 98. Summarizing what follows, the best part about ZoneAlarm Pro is that it has an Uninstall that works correctly.

Things went haywire when I tried to install one of the usual Microsoft fixes to another of their bugs. What happens if you do not have the CD_ROM when you get the message "Please insert Windows 98 Second Edition CD-ROM"? You get troubles from an incomplete installation. With an incomplete installation, you may get a boot message complaining that ndiswan.vxd is missing. The system eventually boots, but you try suggestions from a search of the internet. Before long your computer really hates you and tells you there is an invalid VxD dynamic link call from VSDATA95(01). Maybe this would never have happened if you had disabled ZoneAlarm Pro before installing Microsoft's bug fix.

Thanks to the F8 key that you press just before Windows 98 starts, you can load everything using the step-by-step choice. You say No to vsdata95.vxd and No to ndiswan.vsd. You now have a usable Win 98 machine.

The only remaining flaw is that you lost Dial-Up Networking. You aren't likely to get it back without the Win 98 CD-ROM. By now you are willing to spend a hundred bucks to get the Microsoft Windows 98 Upgrade Second Edition CD-ROM. You still have to answer "skip file" several times before you have managed to add Dial-Up Networking.

Maybe now you are willing to forgive Microsoft and ZoneAlarm Pro for the two days of troubles. After all, you didn't really want to format the hard disk and lose all the good stuff you use every day.

Troubleshooting Windows 95
Here are some suggestions for restoring your computer to normal operations after it fails to boot. When this happened to me, the monitor showed a blinking cursor on an otherwise blank screen. The operating system was hung up without providing any suggestions for recovery.

When this occurs, you will be grateful if you can get to Safe Mode Boot. Even that may not go smoothly, and you should read Microsoft's fix for Windows 95 (on another machine, of course). Once you are in Safe Mode, you can at least see that your files are OK. You won't have your CD ROM, your zip disks, or your modem, so you still have a problem.

If you keep getting puzzling messages, you might try uninstalling some applications. I used Norton Uninstall Deluxe, which was on the machine before the troubles began.

This worked for me, and Windows 95 is now back to normal. If I had tried to modify the Windows Registry, I might never have found the way out of the hopeless morass.
Bon Appetíte!

Linux: forgot root password!
Red Hat 7.2 installed on my VALinux workstation with the greatest of ease. Now if I could just remember my root password.
Fortunately, you can use Single-User Mode to log in and create a new password. In order to avoid the X-window, I booted up with the VALinux boot disk. At the prompt, I typed
linux single
Having entered single-user mode, I typed
passwd root
You enter a password and confirm it. Now you can
shutdown -r
You can also do this without a boot disk; see p 172 of the Red Hat 7.2 manual.