A Review of Error-Handling Messages and Exporting Favorites

My last few commentaries have generated so much email that I can't answer all of it personally. So this week, I'd like to address some of the more common or significant responses I've received.

In response to last week's commentary about Microsoft's error-handling messages, many readers agreed with me that cryptic or misleading error messages have long been a problem for Microsoft (and most other software vendors). However, in the case I described, the blue screen was the designed behavior in a situation where the OS already supported a way to fix the problem. Microsoft has now fixed this problem by, surprise, doing exactly what I suggested: The OS will automatically run the repair when it detects the problem. Microsoft will post the fix for the Unmountable_Boot_Volume error this week or next; in the meantime, you can request the fix from Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS). You'll need to identify the problem as Q315403: Stop 0x000000ED Error Message When Volume on IDE Drive with Caching Enabled is Mounted. My sympathies to the readers who unnecessarily formatted hard disks or reinstalled the OS because they encountered this problem before reading about it in my commentary.

In response to my tip about exporting your Favorites items, many readers said they simply copy the entire directory that stores the Favorites information, rather than use Microsoft Internet Explorer's (IE's) built-in export/import feature. I didn't mention in the tip that when you use the export feature, the output is an HTML-formatted file with headers for each subfolder you've created. I place this file in a private directory on one of my Web servers so that I can access my Favorites list from any machine that has an Internet connection.

I receive many requests for a collection of all the tips I've provided in Windows Client UPDATE during the past 18 months. The Windows & .NET Magazine Network archives all past newsletters, and you'll find all my past tips in the archived issues (click "previous issues" under Windows Client UPDATE). Also check out the Windows 2000 FAQ site and JSI's "Windows NT/2000/XP Tips, Tricks, Registry Hacks and more" site . These three locations provide all the tips and tricks you'll likely need.

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