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Windows Vista Troubleshooting Frequently Asked Questions


Below, you will find answers to frequently asked questions regarding Troubleshooting of the Windows Vista operating system. If you are unable to find the answer to your question here, you can find additional computer support via our Free Technical Support
Form or our Free Computer Help Forums.

"Site Advisor has stopped working" error Right Click Send To Mail Option Not Working
"Error found: Code 0x80240029" when trying to update Windows Defender Programs need reinstalling when UAC disabled?
Windows Easy Transfer Freezes at Calculating File Size Rundll32 has stopped Error
"Windows calendar has stopped working" error message How can I restore Vista's Boot Loader?
Mouse pointer freezes intermittently How can I find out if there are any solutions to problems on my computer?
Error: Windows Host Process (rundll32) has stopped working What happened to Dr. Watson?
Some startup programs have been blocked How can I view my system logs?
No ReadyBoost message when flash drive is inserted? Vista crashes when it comes out of sleep mode
System Restore won't work [SPAM] appears in the subject line of every email
How do you uninstall Windows Live OneCare? iTunes installation requires VBScripts?
My Hibernate option is no longer listed The Hibernation feature is not listed in Vista
Vista will not recognize my DVD Vista Help Doesn't Show Pictures Any More
I accidentally deleted my Flip 3D icon in the Quick Launch toolbar Windows Search Indexing appears to be corrupt
Error Message: "STOP: C0000221 unknown hard error" or "STOP: C0000221 STATUS_IMAGE_CHECKSUM_MISMATCH" My mouse click causes a beep sound
Unable to read a blue screen message because computer restarts so quickly IRQL NOT EQUAL OR LESS Error Message in Vista
"An unauthorized change was made to your license" error message  
 

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"Site Advisor has stopped working" error

Q: At random time, I receive an error that states:

"Site Advisor Has Stopped Working! A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available."

Do you have any idea what program is causing this error and how I can fix the issue?

A: The error that you are receiving is from your McAfee security suite. You can try to repair the installation or you can just go ahead and uninstall this product and install other more competent products that are free to use.

I recommend that you install:

With the two listed products installed, updated regularly and used frequently along with having your Windows Firewall activated, you will have excellent protection.

For more information about the Windows Firewall, click the link below:

The Windows Vista Firewall

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Right Click Send To Mail Option Not Working

Q: When I right click a file and select the Send To>> Mail option, nothing at all happens. When I was using Windows XP I used this frequently. I have tried this in both Internet Explorer and Firefox. Any idea's how I can get this to function?

A: Follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Default Programs

  2. Select your Mail program from the list.

  3. Click the proper section to choose defaults for this program.

  4. Next, be sure that the "MailTo" protocol is enabled.

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"Error found: Code 0x80240029" when trying to update Windows Defender

Q: When trying to update Windows Defender, I receive the following error message:

"Error found: Code 0x80240029"

Is there a way to fix this problem?

A: Yes, the error you are receiving is caused by a corrupt SoftwareDistribution folder. To fix the issue, follow the instructions outlined below:

  1. Restart your computer. Once the computer starts to boot, press the F8 key on your keyboard repeatedly until you are taken to the Advanced Boot Options screen.

  2. Using your arrow keys on your keyboard, navigate to the "Safe Mode" option and press Enter.

  3. Once Windows Vista enters Safe Mode; Click the Start button.

  4. Type the following in to the Search textbox above the Start button, then press Enter when finished:

%windir%

  1. This will take you to the Windows system folder. Open the folder and locate the SoftwareDistribution folder.

  2. Right click the SoftwareDistribution folder and select "Rename" from the resulting menu.

  3. Type SoftwareDistribution.old and then press Enter.

  4. Restart your computer.

Once Windows Vista reboots, it will create a fresh SoftwareDistribution folder.

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Programs need reinstalling when UAC disabled?

Q: I have disabled UAC (User Account Control) and have noticed that some of the installed programs require a re-installation. Is this normal behavior when disabling UAC?

A: Yes and it is also possible that certain programs designed to be used under Vista will not function correctly with UAC disabled.

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Windows Easy Transfer Freezes at Calculating File Size

Q: When I launch Windows Easy Transfer, it tells me that it is calculating the file size to be transferred. However, it just sit there and doesn't do any more. How can I get this feature to work?

A: It has been reported that Windows easy Transfer can be very slow. Try just letting it go and see what happens. It could be that it is trying to calculate a very large volume of files. If it were to take longer than an hour I would imagine that there is something else wrong. But, for the most part, having a little patience will be all that is required.

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Rundll32 has stopped Error

Q: Each time that I start Vista, I get an error that reads:

"Rundll32 has stopped"

Is there a way that i can fix this?

A: You will need to take a look at all of the programs that start when Windows Vista starts. One of them is having some issues starting. Most commonly, I see this behavior in the Google Desktop application. You could start there. If you just want to delete the program to solve the issue that is fine. However, if you would like to keep the program, you could try uninstalling it and then reinstalling a fresh copy.

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"Windows calendar has stopped working" error message

Q: When I restart my computer running Vista Home, it produces an error message:

Windows Calendar has stopped working
A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.


How can I fix this problem?

A: There currently is a Hotfix available for this issue. You will need to contact Microsoft Customer Support to obtain the fix. The link below will take you to the MS contact page:

http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support

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How can I restore Vista's Boot Loader?

Q: In XP I could run two commands "fixboot" and "fixmbr" how can I restore Vista's boot loader?

A: You can do this by booting to the Vista DVD. Then select the "Repair" option. Follow the on-screen prompts from there. This will replace the boot loader in Vista.

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Mouse pointer freezes intermittently

Q: Every once in awhile, my mouse pointer will freeze very briefly, maybe 1 or 2 seconds. As it is frozen, it is unable to click anything. This is really more of an annoyance than a 'real' problem. Can you tell me if this is something that can be cured?

A: I have heard of this same scenario being caused by a USB flash drive. Try unplugging the USB stick, leave it out for a few moments and then re-insert it.

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How can I find out if there are any solutions to problems on my computer?

Q: When I report problems found in Vista, how can I find out if there are any solutions?

A: To view any solutions, your computer must first be connected to the Internet. Here is where you will find any offered solutions:

  1. Go to Start

  2. Click Control Panel

  3. Select System Maintenance

  4. Click Problem Reports and Solutions

  5. Select "Check for new solutions" from the left pane. You may need Administrator privileges to view these solutions.

Note: Right clicking a solution gives more options.

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Error: Windows Host Process (rundll32) has stopped working

Q: I keep getting the subject message. It gives some me instructions to unregister this item. I'm not sure how to do this, can you help?

A: Sure. Here's how it's done:

  1. Go to Start.

  2. In the Search box, type in: cmd.exe

  3. Right click CMD and select Run as administrator from the resulting menu.

  4. Type the following command in the command prompt and then press Enter on your keyboard:

regsvr32 /u lmpgd10.ax

  1. You should receive confirmation that the unregistration was successful.

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What happened to Dr. Watson?

Q: I used to use Dr. Watson in Windows XP when I needed help analyzing problems. Where can I find Dr. Watson in Vista?

A: In Vista, Dr. Watson was replaced by a feature called "Problem Reports and Solutions". This new feature will analyze the reported problem and offer solutions to your problem. This information is also saved so that you can view it at a later time.

Problem Reports and Solutions is found here:

  1. Go to Start

  2. Click Control Panel

  3. Select System Maintenance

  4. Click Problem Reports and Solutions

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Some startup programs have been blocked

Q: When I start Vista Premium I receive a message that states: Some programs have been blocked. I have looked around quite a bit but cannot seem to find exactly which programs are being blocked. Is there a way to find this out?

A: Yes, I recommend that you download and run a program called "Autoruns". It is a very powerful startup monitor that will show which programs are configured to run when your system starts. For more information and the free download, click the link below:

AutoRuns for Windows v8.61

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How can I view my system logs?

Q: I have been seeing some weird behavior on my machine and would like to see if there is anything showing up in my system logs. Can you tell me how I can access them?

A: Sure, here's how:

  1. Click the Start button

  2. In the Search field, type in:

    CompMgmtLauncher
     

  3. Press Enter on your keyboard

  4. In the left pane, click the Event Viewer entry

  5. All of the logs will be listed in each of the listed categories

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No ReadyBoost message when flash drive is inserted?

Q: I recently purchased a vista-compatible flash drive from Microsoft. The user instructions tell me that there will be a message when the flash drive is inserted that displays an option to use the drive with the ReadyBoost feature. When I insert the flash drive, nothing is displayed.

A: The likely reason for this is because your system is probably already configured to use this device with ReadyBoost. Therefore the popup message will not be displayed. To double check the settings try this:

  1. Go to Start

  2. Right click Computer

  3. Right click the USB drive letter in question

  4. Click the ReadyBoost tab

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Vista crashes when it comes out of sleep mode

Q: My Vista Premium machine is having trouble coming out of sleep mode on occasion. Once in awhile it will show a blue screen when attempting to wake it up. Is there a fix for this?

A: In most cases such as these, it is the graphics driver that is the problem. Try visiting the manufactures web site of your graphics driver and install an updated driver.

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System Restore won't work

Q: I had installed a new driver for my video card and it seemed to make it worse than it was before. So, I tried to use the system restore feature to take my computer back to a time before I installed the driver. Each and every time that I select returns an error message that says it is unable to complete the restore. What can I do to solve this issue?

A: One thing to keep in mind is that each system restore point is linked to each other which forms chain of data. If one link in the chain is corrupt, each link after that will also be corrupt. The only way to resolve this issue is to use Disk Cleanup and wipe all of your system restore point out and start from scratch. Here's how:

  1. Go to Start

  2. Select All Programs

  3. Select Accessories

  4. Select System Tools

  5. Select Disk Cleanup

  6. Select the "More" tab and choose the option 'delete all but the most recent restore point on the disk'.

As for your driver problem. You will need to access your video card in Device Manager, here's how:

  1. Go to Start

  2. In the Search field, type in: device manager

Once you've opened the Device Manager, double click your Display Adapter entry to expose your video card device. Right click your device and select "Properties". Then select the Driver tab, then the Rollback Driver button.

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[SPAM] appears in the subject line of every email

Q: Since setting up Vista and using Windows Mail. Each and every email I receive has [SPAM] in the subject line. I can't seem to find the setting in Windows Mail to turn this off.

A: You won't find this setting in Windows Mail. It is probably turned on in your anti-virus software such as McAfee or Norton.

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How do you uninstall Windows Live OneCare?

Q: I have installed Windows Live OneCare and am not happy with it. I am trying to find how to uninstall it as there doesn't appear to be an "uninstall" method. Can you help?

A: Sure. Here's how:

  1. Go to Start

  2. In the Search field, type in: appwiz.cpl

  3. Press Enter

  4. Find the Windows Live OneCare entry and click on it

  5. Select Uninstall/Change

  6. Restart your computer

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iTunes installation requires VBScripts?

Q: I am trying to install iTunes and when I do I receive a message that says I need to have VBScripts installed in order to install iTunes. I don't know what that is or where to get it. Can you help?

A: Yes. This is a known issue for both iTunes and Quicktime for Windows. If you simply register the vbscript.dll file, you will be able to complete the iTunes installation. Here's how:

  1. Go to Start

  2. Select All Programs

  3. Select Accessories

  4. Right click Command Prompt and click Run as administrator from the resulting menu.

  5. In the run command, type the following: regsvr32 vbscript.dll

  6. Press Enter

You should receive a message that states the registration of the DLL file was successful.

  1. Try installing iTunes again.

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My Hibernate option is no longer listed

Q: I recently performed a disk cleanup on my Vista system. Now, the Hibernate option is no longer listed. How can I restore this feature?

A: What you have done is deleted the Hibernation File Cleaner when you used disk cleanup. To restore Hibernation, please follow the instructions below:

<>Restore the Hibernation feature using the PowerCfg command-line tool:

  1. Go to Start

  2. In the search field, type in: command prompt

  3. Right click the Command Prompt entry

  4. Select "Run as administrator"

  5. At the command prompt, type in: powercfg /hibernate on

  6. Press Enter on your keyboard

Hibernation should now be restored.

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The Hibernation feature is not listed in Vista

Q: I was on a friends machine and saw that there was a Hibernation feature listed in his shutdown menu. This feature does not exist on my computer. How can I enable Hibernation on my computer?

A: If Hibernation is not listed in your power options, one of the following could be the cause:

  • The computer does not support Hibernation

  • Hibernation has been disabled

  • Hybrid Sleep has been enabled

  • You have deleted the Hibernation File Cleaner when using the Disk Cleanup tool

To check if your system supports Hibernation, try this:

  1. Go to Start

  2. In the Search field, type in: command prompt

  3. Right click the Command Prompt entry

  4. Select "Run as administrator"

  5. At the Command Prompt, type in: powercfg /a

  6. Press Enter on your keyboard

The output that this tool will now generate will list the power options that apply to your system.

If you have enabled Hibrid Sleep mode, Hibernation will not appear as an option because this option will generate a hibernation file. Both cannot be enabled at the same time.

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Vista will not recognize my DVD

Q: When I insert my DVD in to my DVD drive, it is not recognized. It was working fine before, how can I fix this?

A: This issue happens for both CD and DVD drives if you have Windows Media Player already running or if you have disable the audio device.

To make Vista recognize your CD/DVD drive, make sure that you exit Windows Media Player. Then, insert the disk. Or, to re-enable your audio device follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to Start

  2. Select Control Panel

  3. Double click the Sound entry

  4. Select the Playback tab

  5. Right click a blank area below the entry titled: Select a playback device below to modify its settings

  6. Select "Show Disabled Devices"

  7. Right click the disabled device entry

  8. Select "Enable"

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Vista Help Doesn't Show Pictures Any More

Q: When I access Vista Help, it does not show the pictures any longer. I know that the pictures used to show and I can't think of anything that I may have done to create this problem. Is there a fix for this?

A: Yes, this happens when the "Content Type" setting for .PNG files is broken. It is unknown why this could have happened, but the good news is that there is a simple registry fix for this. Click the "Download Now" button below to your desktop. Once the file has been created, right click the file and select "Merge" from the resulting menu. Delete the file from your desktop when complete.

PNG Image Fix

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I accidentally deleted my Flip 3D icon in the Quick Launch toolbar

Q: It looks like I have accidentally deleted the shortcut icon that was in my Quick Launch toolbar. I have searched around trying to find another shortcut to replace it but I can't see how that is done. Is there a way to get this back in my Quick Launch toolbar?

A: Yes. Luckily, each user profile has a copy of the Flip 3D icon in it. To extract the shortcut icon and place it back in your Quick Launch toolbar, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to Start

  2. In the search field, type in the following (copy and paste for accuracy):

    %systemdrive%\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
     

  3. Locate the entry titled: "Switch between windows"

  4. Right click the entry and select "Copy" from the resulting menu

  5. Go back to Start

  6. In the Search field, type in the following (again, copy and paste for accuracy):

    %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
     

  7. Open the Quick Launch folder

  8. Single left click an empty area within the folder

  9. Press CTRL + V on your keyboard to paste the previously copied information in to the Quick Launch folder.

  10. Exit the Quick Launch folder

Your Flip 3D shortcut should now reside back in your Quick Launch toolbar.

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Windows Search Indexing appears to be corrupt

Q: I don't know what happened but in the search applet it shows a message:

"0 elements have been indexed"

Is there a way that I can fix this problem?

A: There are a couple of known methods that can work for this:

Method #1:

  1. Go to Start

  2. Select Control Panel

  3. Select Indexing Options

  4. Select the Advanced button

  5. Select the Restore Defaults button

  6. Select OK

Method #2:

Note: The instructions below involve editing the Windows Registry. If you are not comfortable performing this task, then please get help. Be sure to create a restore point before following these instructions in case an editing error is made.

  1. Go to Start

  2. In the Search field, type in regedit

  3. Press Enter on your keyboard (continue through the UAC prompt)

  4. In regedit, drill down to the following registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search
     

  5. Single left click on the Windows Search entry to empty its contents in to the right pane.

  6. Right click the entry in the right pane titled: SetupCompletedSuccessfully

  7. Select Modify

  8. Place a 0 (zero) in the text box titled Value data

  9. Select OK

  10. Exit the Windows Registry

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Error Message: "STOP: C0000221 unknown hard error" or "STOP: C0000221 STATUS_IMAGE_CHECKSUM_MISMATCH"

The above error message applies to both Windows Vista and Windows XP.

You are receiving this error because a file has gone corrupt. A probable cause for the error could be:

  • An improper hardware driver has been installed.

  • You have an Iomega Zip Drive installed on the same IDE cable as your hard disk.

You will need to either obtain a good copy of the file in question and replace the corrupt file or reinstall your operating system using your installation media.

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My mouse click causes a beep sound

Q: This just randomly started and I can't figure out what has caused it but each time I use my mouse to open a program or open a folder it makes a beep sound like an error beep. How can I silence this beep sound?

A: It is possible that you have your sound disabled. Try double clicking your sound icon and check your settings.

If that doesn't work, you can try a different (known good) mouse to see if it happens with that one as well. If you still have the sound, try using System Restore to take your system back to a system configuration before the problem occurred.

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Unable to read a blue screen message because computer restarts so quickly

Q: When working in Vista, it will at random times produce a blue screen where there is an error message displayed for a brief moment only to have Windows automatically restart. I am told that I need to find out what the error message is in order to be helped, but at the moment that is not possible. Is there a way to keep Windows Vista from restarting automatically so that I can write this message down?

A: Vista is restarting your computer in an effort to correct the error. You can keep Vista from automatically restarting so that you can read the error message, here's how:

  1. Go to Start

  2. Select Control Panel

  3. Select the System icon

  4. Select Advanced System Settings (Continue through any UAC prompts)

  5. Select Startup and Recovery

  6. Select the Settings button

  7. Under the System failure category, untick the radio button titled: Automatically Restart

  8. Click OK and close all other open windows

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IRQL NOT EQUAL OR LESS Error Message in Vista

Q: When I boot up my Vista machine, it runs fine for a couple of minutes, then it reverts to a blue screen with an error message "IRQL NOT EQUAL OR LESS". It has more of a message but Vista restarts so quickly that I do not have a chance to read the entire message. Do you know how I can go about troubleshooting this issue?

A: The reason this is happening is because the Kernel, which is the core component of the Windows operation system is attempting to access a memory location at an interrupt request level (IRQL) where there appears to be a problem. To read more about blue screen errors, visit the link below:

Behind The Blue Screen of Death

There are many reasons why this could be happening. Without more information, it would be impossible to determine the cause. In order to keep Vista from automatically restarting so that you can read the whole error message, you will need to turn the auto-start feature off. Here's a link to the instructions on how this is done:

Unable to read a blue screen message because computer restarts so quickly

A few things you can try to troubleshooting this error are:

  1. Try reseating your memory modules inside your computers case.

  2. If you have recently installed new device drivers, try rolling back to the older or original version.

  3. If you have recently installed a new hardware device, try removing the device from the system.

  4. If you have recently installed a new piece of software, try uninstalling it.

Other troubleshooting method that may prove helpful are listed in our Basic Windows Vista Troubleshooting Guide.

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"An unauthorized change was made to your license" error message

Q: I am receiving the following error message:

"An unauthorized change was made to your license."
To keep your system stable, you must go online and validate that your software is genuine:
- Validate Online
- Close

How can I fix this issue?

A: The most common reason for receiving this error is due to installing incompatible software in Vista. While I mention that it is the most common reason, it isn't the only reason. It can also be caused by a hard disk error. Below are troubleshooting steps that may help you in your troubleshooting efforts.

Step #1:
Uninstall the incompatible software program

If you have recently installed a software program and started receiving the subject error message, try this:

  1. Restart Windows Vista

  2. Start tapping the F8 key on your keyboard before Vista starts

  3. When you come to the boot options screen, chose to start Vista in Safe Mode

  4. Press Enter

  5. Once in Safe Mode, go to Start

  6. In the Search field, type in: appwiz.cpl

  7. Select appwiz.cpl from the resulting programs list

  8. Click to highlight the software program that you would like to uninstall

  9. Select Uninstall

  10. Follow the on-screen prompts to uninstall this program from your system

  11. Restart Vista in normal mode. If this does not resolve the issue, please follow the instructions below.

Step #2:
Validate Windows

To confirm that the software installed on your Windows Vista installation is compatible, click the link below. Once at the Genuine Microsoft Software website, click the "Validate Windows" button.

http://www.microsoft.com/genuine

If you are still receiving the error message, continue with Step #3 below.

Step #3:
Check your hard disk for errors

As I had mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is possible that hard disk errors can cause this error message. To check your hard disk and fix possible problems, visit our Basic Windows Vista Troubleshooting tutorial and follow the instructions for performing a CHKDSK scan of your hard disk.

Basic Windows Vista Troubleshooting Guide

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