Our second Q & A of the week comes from Mark
via email. Remember to try our friendly forums
for help too.
Q: I run a home business in
which I do graphic design and a small but crucial amount of HTML editing.
Recently one of the programs I depend on
to do my daily work has stopped functioning mysteriously on my main system.
It gives me a cryptic error message (something about not
being able to perform the operation) when I try to open a file,
then hangs... only stopping the program from the task manager works. Everything else on
this Windows XP system works fine. I've tried restarting the computer and reinstalling the
program, but no luck. To top it off, this HTML editing software still works
just fine on my laptop. I've been going crazy trying to
figure out the source of this. Any ideas?
A: To be honest, the glitch could be from one of any number of causes;
the most likely though, is that a recent Windows patch or update has disrupted
your software. Assuming you are using the automated update service and
keeping yourself abreast of current critical Windows patches (of which there
have been several in the last few days) this is quite possibly the source of
The first thing you should check is if there is an update or more recent
version of your program that you can download. This may well fix your
issue, especially if the problem is due to a Windows patch.
Failing this, disconnect your system from the Internet, then go to 'control
panel\add or remove software\' and check the 'show updates' button. Use
the dropdown box to sort the list by date last used. Scroll down to find
the most recent XP hotfixes. Remove them one by one, restarting the system
and testing your software after each. Once you find the culprit, reconnect
to the Internet and run Windows update and manually select and reinstall any
benign hotfixes that you may have removed.
Stay alert for future updates to your software that may allow you to run it
and maintain a fully updated system.