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Software Install Guide

So, the program installed OK but now it's not running. Well, hopefully these ideas can help.

First, Re-boot

If a program isn't running after you first install it, try re-booting. Often, that's all it takes to get it up and running.

Reading the Read Me File

If you run into a problem getting the program to run, you may want to check the program's Readme file. It's usually a text file that's included on the CD ROM and they generally have lots of great trouble shooting information included.

Most software will copy the readme file to your hard drive during the install. You can usually access through the program's group on the Start button, Programs menu.

If you can't find it, you may need to look on the CD ROM. With your CD ROM in the drive, go to My Computer, right-click your CD ROM drive, Explore. Look for a file named "Readme" and double-click it to view.

Program Conflicts

The most common reason for a piece of software not running is that another program is interfering with it.

First, shut down any "regular" programs you have running and give it another try.

If that doesn't do it, try shutting down the programs that are running in your SystemTray. You would be surprised how often one of them is the trouble maker. Most of the time they will shut down by right-clicking them and selecting Exit or something similar from the menu.You may want to shut them down one at a time, trying the program between each shutdown. That way, if it is one of the system tray programs, you'll know which one it is.

If you are still having problems, you may have something else running in the background and causing interference. Hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and shut down (end task) everything but Explorer and Systray.

You may run into program or two that will shut the whole works down, so pay attention as your shutting stuff down so that you can leave that particular program running the next time you do the shut down thing.

If you figure out the program that's causing the problem, you may want to set it so it doesn't automatically run when you start your computer. You can do that with MS Config.

To run MSConfig, do the following:

1. Click the START button and select Run...
2. Next, type in MSCONFIG.EXE and hit OK.
3. The System Configuration Utility should run (please note that not all computers have it installed).
4. Click the Startup tab.
5. You'll see a listing of all the stuff that starts itself when your computer does. Just uncheck the programs you don't want to have running.

You'll probably see more stuff there than you bargained for. I would advise exercising a little caution while unchecking, especially if you're not sure about what program(s) you're unchecking. Stuff like "Scan Registry" and "System tray" are probably best left alone. Look for the name of the program that's causing the problem and try unchecking it.

Also, unchecking this stuff doesn't remove it. The idea behind having these programs start when the computer does is to give you fast, easy access to them. However, having too many of these programs running at the same time can hit you hard in the system resources department.

If you've shut as much down as possible, but still can't get the program to run, you the program may be conflicting with one of your drivers. Try running the program in Safe Mode to test.

Safe Mode

If you're running out of ideas, you may want to try running the program from safe mode.

To get to Safe mode, press the F8 key when Windows starts to boot. You have to do this BEFORE you see the first "Windows" screen. I start tapping away at mine when I see the "Starting Windows 98" message, although not all computers display it. Experiment and you'll get it.

Once you're into Safe Mode, give the program a try. Note that not all software will run under safe mode, but if it does run, then you can be fairly sure you have a problem with one of your drivers.

Uninstall / Reinstall

Sometimes, if you remove the program then reinstall it, that fixes the problem. If the program was downloaded, try re-downloading then reinstalling. If it was on CD or Disk, just do an uninstall then try reinstalling.

To uninstall, first check under the programs menu (Start button, programs) and see if there is an uninstall program listed under the name of the program.

If the program doesn't have a uninstall on the menu, then hit Start, Settings, Control Panel. Open the Add / Remove programs icon in the control panel and select the program you want to remove form the list. Click the Add / Remove button and you're all set.

Once you've removed the program, try reinstalling it. Doesn't always work, but it's worth a try.

Web Help

Let's say you've tried all the stuff above but you still can't get it to run. Then what?

Well, most manufactures have web sites that can help. Try heading to their site and looking for a troubleshooting FAQ or a Knowledge base. Some companies even have message boards you can post your question at.

Most of the time, you'll find the web site somewhere on the software packaging or on the disk itself. If you can't, try typing in www.manufacturer.com, where manufacturer is the name of the company that makes the software.

If that fails, try typing in the name of the software or the manufacturer in a search engine. I've found lots of hard to locate companies that way.

Once you're on the site, if you come up dry for tech support, look for a contact phone number or e-mail.

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