Answer Line: Clean Up What a Messy Uninstall Leaves Behind

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Bashful Web Pictures

Why is it that some Web pages can't display their pictures? Quite often one of my computers will show the page's images, but another displays only a white box with an icon in the corner.

Richard Ketchum, Eden Prairie, Minnesota

One possibility is that the pictures reside on an overworked server, causing it to fail frequently but not consistently. Click the browser's Refresh button (or press F5) to give the server another chance. Or try to load the page again in a few minutes (or hours, depending on the quality of the site's servers).

If you still can't get the images to display, and the problem occurs on more than one site, clear your browser's cache: In Internet Explorer, select Tools, Internet Options, General; in the 'Temporary Internet files' section, click Delete Files, check Delete all offline content (if that option exists), and click OK.

You may also want to confirm that IE's Show Pictures option is enabled. To do so, select Tools, Internet Options, Advanced, and make sure that 'Show pictures' is checked in the Multimedia section (see FIGURE 3

Figure 3: If images don't show on Web pages, check IE's Multimedia settings.
). If it isn't, check the box next to the entry and click OK.

In Windows XP, the "pictures" you can't see may actually be Java programs. Earlier versions of Windows supported Java; XP does not. (Note that despite their similar names, Java has nothing to do with JavaScript, which IE does support.) Various free Java runtime environments (which allow Java applets to run) are available for XP.

Odd though it sounds, language encoding can affect image display in browsers. Select View, Encoding, Western European (Windows) to see whether that brightens the image situation. If it doesn't, try View, Encoding, Western European (ISO).

View Registry Changes

Want to see, and save, the changes a software installation made to your Registry? The free, open-source RegShot utility takes before-and-after snapshots of your Registry and outputs a .txt or .html file that reports the differences. Click 1st Shot, Shot and Save in the program to exit RegShot after taking the first shot (before an installation), and then reenter it after the installation to take the second one and compare the two. What does RegShot itself do to your Registry? Nothing. It runs without being installed.

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