Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
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Why aren't minimized programs listed in the Taskbar?

Download then run the edit on line 240:

Programs Aren't Minimized in the Taskbar (Line 240)

Why doesn't Search work?

Open Explorer and go to the Windows\inf folder. Locate the srchasst.inf file. Right click it and select Install. You'll need your XP CD or the files from the i386 folder. (This fix will require you to have your Win XP CD).

The Windows\inf folder is a hidden folder. You can adjust your Explorer Folder Options (View tab) to Show hidden files and folders. You can also click Start, Run and enter %SystemRoot%\inf to open directly to the inf folder.

Error: "A file that is required to run Search Companion cannot be found. You may need to run setup".

The file that is missing, or corrupt, is one of two. BAR.XSL or BALLOON.XSL (and/or other files in the same folder), depending on your search preferences. These files are both normally located in the Windows\srchasst\mui\0409 folder on your hard drive. These files may be locally cached in the Temporary Internet Files, so this may explain why some users have this problem "intermittently".  Re-installing srchasst.inf works here as well.

Error Message: "A File That Is Required to Run Search Companion Cannot Be Found" (Q315330)
Windows XP Search Companion Does Not Work Because of File Corruption (Downloadable Fix)

The problem stems from Search Assistant being unable to connect to  This can be caused by proxy servers, firewalls and some "ad blocking" software.

Yellow Triangle with Exclamation Point

Option 1. Depending on your version of TweakUI, run it, go to the Desktop settings and put the check mark back in Search Results.

Option 2. If you don't have TweakUI installed, or this option isn't available in your version, copy and paste the following lines into a Notepad file and save the file with an REG extension. Make sure to add a blank line at the end of the file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Search Results Folder"

Locate the file you just saved and double click it. Answer yes to the import prompt.

Option 3: Apply this edit:

Search Shows Yellow Triangle with ! (Line 75)

To use the VBS File: Download .vbs file and save it to your hard drive (you may want to right click and use Save Target As). Double-click  the vbs file. You will be prompted when the script is done.

All other information, customizing and tweaks for Search can be found here:

Troubleshooting Search Issues in Windows XP

 Why doesn't Help and Support work?

This script repairs Windows Help and Support
Repairs Windows® XP Help and Support after running Easy Cleaner or similar registry cleaners.

Note: If you have used Easy Cleaner, there is a workaround that prevents Help and Support from becoming corrupt:  In the options, add Help to the Skip List.

Start Menu/Help and Support doesn't work:  Go to Start/Run and type in: helpctr -regserver and Start/Run/CMD:  regsvr32 /u hhctrl.ocx.

To reinstall Help and Support: Go to C:\Windows\inf\pchealth.inf.  Right click and choose install. Have your CD handy.

Note: The folder is hidden by default. Go to Start/Run and type in: control folders. View: Show hidden files and folders and uncheck Hide extensions for known file types.

"Could not start the Help and Support Service on Local Computer. Error 126: The specified module could not be found"  Restore Help and Support Service.  Restore Help and Support Service Keys.

Also, make sure that the Help and Support Service is running.  Go to Start/Run and type in: services.msc.  From there scroll down to Help and Support and make sure the service is set to Automatic and is Started. 

If the option is greyed out or Help and Support Service is not listed trying running these two edits. 
Restore Help and Support Service.  Restore Help and Support Service Keys.

You may also opt to running the System File Checker.  To do so, go to Start/Run/CMD and type in:  SFC /Scannow.  This option forces Windows to scan all protected system files immediately. 

Restore winhlp32.exe for XP or XPSP1 (Line 57)

After installing SP1 for some users the correct version of win32hlp.exe is not properly placed in the System32 folder. If this is the case replace the older version with the version found in windows\ServicePackFiles\i386.

Another option to the above:

1. Insert the Windows XP installation CD into your CD-ROM.
2. Browse to your CD-ROM and change the folder to \I386
3. Copy the following files into a temporary folder on your hard disk:


4. Click Start->Run, type CMD and then press Enter.
5. Change to the temporary folder where you stored the Winhlp32 files.
6. Type the following commands:


 7.  Copy Winhlp32.exe to your \%SYSTEMROOT%\ folder.
 8.  Copy the Winhlp32.cnt, and Winhlp32.hlp to the \%SYSTEMROOT%\Help\folder.
 9.  Typically this folder is C:\Windows.
10. Delete the contents of your temporary folder.

Checkpoint:  Help and Support Won't Expand

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment.  In the right pane, verify that the windir value is REG_EXPAND_SZ and not a REG_SZ type.  If not, change it.

Tip:  If you want to view only the locally stored Windows XP Help documentation in the Classic View: Go to Start/Run and type in: hh windows.chm

Check the default values for these registry keys to make sure that they match.  Registry keys and values to fix XP's Help and Support after running Toni Arts EasyCleaner. 

Default value: C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\HelpCtr.exe\1

Default value: C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\HelpCtr.exe\

Default Value: C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\HelpCtr.exe\2

Default value: C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\HelpCtr.exe\

Help and Support - Did you know not working...

Delete the following file. C:\WINDOWS\PCHEALTH\HELPCTR\Config\News\newsver.xml

Help and Support - Start Menu Doesn't Work

Go to Start/Run and type in: helpctr -regserver

Help and Support - Text is missing

Some themes can knock out the text in help and switching to another custom theme may not correct it. Switching back to an original XP theme - so far - will set things right again.

Windows XP Security Patch: Flaw in Windows XP Help and Support Center Could Enable File Deletion

The above patch resolves the "Flaw in Windows XP Help and Support Center Could Enable File Deletion" vulnerability in Windows XP. Download now to prevent an attacker from deleting files on another user’s computer, via either a Web site or an e-mail.

Restore winhlp32.exe for XP or XPSP1 (Line 57)

More information on troubleshooting Help and Support, customizing and other extra issues can be found here:

Troubleshooting Help and Support

 Why doesn't Windows keep my folder settings?

Run this edit, then reset your preferred folder options:

Windows remembers 400 folder settings. When that number is reached some settings aren't retained any longer. You can change this to 8000 by adding this edit to the registry.

Increase Folder View Options Limit: (Line 2)

To use the Regedit: Save the REG File to your hard disk. Double click it and answer yes to the import prompt. REG files can be viewed in Notepad by right clicking on the file and selecting Edit.

 Why does Windows XP Style change to Windows Classic Style?

This has to do with a Policy setting made either via gpedit.msc or manually via the registry. The side effects are that Windows and Buttons are greyed out under Desktop Properties/Appearance and the check box under System Properties/Advanced/
Performance/Settings that reads: Use visual styles on windows and buttons, does not remain checked. This edit corrects that behavior. Download and apply either one on line 214, they are the same edit.

Windows/Buttons Greyed Out under Appearance and/or Windows XP Style Changes to Windows Classic  or (Line 214)  

Other checkpoints:

1.  Right click the My Computer icon/Properties/Advanced/Performance/Settings.  Verify that: Use visual styles on windows
     and buttons is checked.
2.  Windows Explorer/Tools/Folder Options/View.  User Common Tasks in Folders.
3.  Right click the Desktop/Properties/Appearance.  Windows and Buttons choose:  Windows XP style.
4.  Start/Administrative Tools/Services.  Scroll down to Themes and verify that the service is started.

Troubleshooting Themes in Windows XP

 Where did my Sounds go?

Startup Sounds are missing:

TweakUI/General/Beep on errors (verify that the box is checked).

Restore Startup and Shutdown Sounds (Line 211)

System Sounds are missing:

Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key: HKEY_USERS. If it doesn't have a Data entry in the right pane that reads: (value not set), double click (Default) and delete it. If it does, check your HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21 keys for the same.

Restore System Default Sounds (Line 6)

Restore Media Files (Line 174)

This edit corrects many Sound issues: Fix the Ding.wav File (Line 6)

Resources for Troubleshooting Sound Problems in Windows XP;EN-US;q307918

 Why can't I auto logon anymore?

If this happened recently from no intervention on your part, (meaning that you have never previously used the Welcome Screen and was set to auto logon and that has changed) this has to do with the .Net Framework 1.1 update.

This update adds a new user called aspnet_wp account. The aspnet account/user can only be deleted, not disabled. Information on what the user account would be needed for:

When you run an ASP.Net application on a WebServer, not necessarily on your local machine, that is the account the Web Server uses for credentials/permissions. ASP.NET is a programming framework built on the common language runtime that can be used on a server to build powerful Web applications. ASP.NET offers several important advantages over previous Web development models: More information here:

The ASP.NET worker process (Aspnet_wp.exe) should run with a different and less privileged identity than the Windows default System identity. This allows the process to run as a relatively un-trusted user so that hosted Web applications do not have administrative privileges and cannot compromise the integrity of the server. More information here:

If this applies to you and you want to re-enable auto logon: Once the account is deleted, apply these settings:

1. Go to Start/Run and type in:  control userpasswords2 and press ok.

2. On the Users tab, clear the Users Must Enter A User Name And Password To Use This Computer check box and then
    click OK.

3. In the Automatically Log On dialog box that appears, type the user name and password for the account you want to be
    logged on each time you start your computer.

Add Control UserPasswords2 to the Control Panel (Line 1)

 Why is Dial-Up Modem or PPPoE not available using the Wizard?

Automated Edit:

Dial-Up Modem or PPPoE is Unavailable (Line 87)

To use the Regedit: Save the REG File to your hard disk. Double click it and answer yes to the import prompt. REG files can be viewed in Notepad by right clicking on the file and selecting Edit.

Manual Edit: Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:

Delete the sub-keys listed except 13 and 4.

Standard Checkpoints: Go to Start/Administrative Tools/Services. Set these three to "Automatic": Remote Access Connection Manager, Remote Access Auto Connection Manager and Telephony.

 Why can't I download updates?

To get the updates to re-appear and/or to be listed as available again. Go to Start/Run/CMD and type in: 
del /q "%SystemRoot%\System32\Catroot2\Edb.log.  Then try again. 

Can't download any updates and/or you receive an error message:  Go to Start/Run and type in: regsvr32 wintrust.dll. If that doesn't help: Go to Start/Run and type in CMD. At the command prompt, type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each line:

net stop cryptsvc
ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 oldcatroot2
net start cryptsvc

Or run this script, then try the install again.

Correct the Cryptographic Service Error Message

Another issue: When you use the Windows Update scan feature, the scan quickly reaches 100%, and then displays the "There are no updates available at this time" message.  To correct this:

Verify that your computer's date and time are accurate and that the Internet Explorer language option is not empty.

To check the language setting in Internet Explorer:

1. Click "Tools" and then choose "Internet Options"
2. Click the "Languages" button
3. Make sure at least one language is listed in the "Language Options" dialog.

If the above hasn't helped:  Go to Internet Explorer/Tools/Internet Options/Connections/Lan Settings and uncheck: Automatically detect settings.

Windows Update Site Lists Updates That You Already Installed;EN-US;Q319109

Troubleshooting Windows Update Issues

Errors Occur When You Try to Install Updates from the Windows Update Web Site

Troubleshooting Windows Update Issues:

Windows Update Restriction Error (Network) Line 28

Windows Update Greyed Out - Restore (Line 179)

 Why don't my Notification Area icons show or why do they disappear?

New Taskbar Repair Tool Plus! Notification Area and more. Download here.

Chevron is missing: For some users, setting the very first icon to Always Hide, restores the arrow/chevron. Note: It does time time for it to become effective.  Hide Inactive Icons is Greyed Out - Run this edit to restore.

Icons are missing or disappear, reappear:

This happens for most Auto-Logon users. Methods/workarounds: Log off and Log back on, password protect your account or disable SSDP and uPNP Services.

Disable SSDP and uPNP Services (Line 156)

Or if you are running XP SP1 uninstall UPnP from Add/Remove Windows Components.

Hide or Show Inactive Icons in the Notification Area (Line 53)

Remove Past Items From the Notification Area (Line 53)

Once done, Open Task Manager, click the Processes tab, click Explorer.exe, and then click End Process. In Task Manager, click File, click New Task, type explorer, and then click OK.

Volume Control disappears: Save Settings on Exit (Line 54)

To use the Regedit: Save the REG File to your hard disk. Double click it and answer yes to the import prompt. REG files can be viewed in Notepad by right clicking on the file and selecting Edit.

Icons in the Notification Area May Disappear If You Use High-Contrast Color Themes in Windows XP;en-us;q321213

Troubleshooting the Notification Area

Troubleshooting the Volume Control Icon

Hide All Notification Area Icons (Line 134)

 Why does Disk Cleanup freeze?

Disk Cleanup freezes during the Compressed File Phase: This edit corrects the problem:

Disk Cleanup - Compressed Old Files Freezes (Line 48)

To use the Regedit: Save the REG File to your hard disk. Double click it and answer yes to the import prompt. REG files can be viewed in Notepad by right clicking on the file and selecting Edit.

Disk Cleanup Tool Stops Responding While Compressing Old Files;en-us;812248

How to Automate the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows XP;EN-US;Q315246

Restore Disk Cleanup - cleanmgr (Line 84)

 Why isn't the option to save as a .jpg available?

Clear your Temporary Internet Files, then try again. To do so to IE/Internet Options/Delete Files. Also in Settings change the amount to 40 MB. This will help in preventing the index files from becoming overloaded.

If that doesn't help check your settings here: Go to Start/Run/Regedit and navigate to this key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.jpg.   For Content Type, it should read image/jpeg.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.jpeg  For content Type, it should read: image/jpeg.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.gif     For Content Type is should read image/gif.

NOTE: If you are using AOL: This behavior may occur when AOL's graphic compression option is turned on. When this option is on, the images are saved as the .art file type.

Connect to the Internet through AOL, and then visit the following AOL Web site: Click My AOL. On the Settings menu, click Preferences. In the Preferences dialog box, click Internet Options (WWW). In the Internet Options dialog box, click to clear the Always Compress Graphics dialog box. Click to select the Never Compress Graphics dialog box. Click Apply, and then click OK.

Internet Explorer Does Not Save Graphics Files in the Proper Format;EN-US;q260650

You May Be Unable to Save .jpg Files with Microsoft Paint After You Install Office 2000 SR1 or SP2

 Why can't I view source anymore?

To resolve this issue, delete all of the files in the Temporary Internet Files folder.

To do this, follow these steps: Start Windows Explorer. Browse to C:\Document and Settings\User Name\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files. On the Edit menu, click Select All, and then press DELETE. When the confirmation message appears, click Yes. Close Windows Explorer.

View Source Not Working in Internet Explorer

Source Code Is Not Displayed When You Click Source on the View Menu in Internet Explorer;EN-US;Q306907

 Why does Internet Explorer and Outlook Express keep crashing?

These new updates will correct both issues for the most part.

MS03-014: April, 2003, Cumulative Patch for Outlook Express

MS03-040: October, 2003, Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer  

 Why doesn't AutoPlay work?

Run the Auto Play Repair Tool (Line 234)

Check your settings here: Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services/Shell Hardware Detection/Return this service to Automatic.

Enable CD AutoPlay for Pro or Home (Line 10)

If you are using TweakUI/My Computer/AutoPlay

Many users have solved this issue by removing the AutoPlay Handlers. Details provided here:

More information here under AutoPlay Enable

Note: If you are using RealOne Player, there is a patch that corrects this issue after installing and XP SP1.  

Home Page Win98 - 11/28/2003 09:17 PM - Home Page WinXP
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