Sunbelt TechTips for the week of May 22

How to automatically close non-responding programs

It can get old: a program hangs and stops responding, and you open up the Task Manager and click End Program (sometimes several times before the uncooperative program finally shuts down). Why not just have Windows close programs that quit responding so you won't have to? You can do it with a registry tweak. As usual, we recommend that you back up the registry before making any changes. Here are the steps:

In your favorite registry editor, navigate to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

in the right pane, right click the entry AutoEndTasks.

Select Modify.

In the Value Data field, change the value to 1.

Click OK, and close the registry editor.

If you want to change Windows back to the default behavior (not closing unresponsive programs, just repeat the process and change the value back to 0). You'll need to restart the system for the change to take effect.

Some add-ons aren't listed in the IE Add-on Manager

Internet Explorer with XP Service Pack 2 includes an Add-on management tool that lets you easily disable and enable browser add-ons, but you may find that some of the add-ons you know are installed don't appear in the list when you open the Manage Add-ons dialog box. This can happen because a flag was set in the registry during installation of the add-on that prevents it from being managed this way. There's a fix available that you can download from Microsoft. See KB article 888240 for a link to the download and more info.

"Delayed Write Failed" error message

If you get an error message that says "Delayed Write Failed" when you try to save or move files in Windows XP, this can be caused by the configuration of your hard disk controller and a feature that enables write caching on the disk. You may need to change a setting in your system BIOS and/or turn off the "enable writing caching on the disk" feature. For instructions on how to do so, see KB article 330174.

Incorrect battery information on laptop computer

If the total battery power remaining and other information displayed on the power meter tab after you resume from a suspended or hibernated state on your portable computer, or the computer stays in low battery hibernation mode even though the battery is fully charged, it may be because you replaced the battery with one of a higher or lower capacity after putting the computer in suspension or hibernation. There is a hotfix for the problem, but Microsoft recommends that you wait for the next service pack unless you have a special need to correct it. You can read more about how to get the fix in KB article 889816.