In the last Qamp;A section (TES Online, April 16), several people complained about general protection errors and other such crashes and lock-outs in Windows (presumably 95 or 98). My PC, which has a fair amount of RAM (48Mb) experienced many crashes, lockups and so on from the copy of Windows I had installed (95 OSR2). (For the uninitiated, OSR2 was the interim release of Windows 95 that Microsoft quietly sneaked out as they are not ones to admit their software is heavily bugged.) The copy had been on the PC for a couple of years and crashed regularly. However, I had read in PC Zone (a games magazine, I must admit, but games generally create a necessity to improve system performance - and I am 15) that the most effective way of stopping crashes on Windows is to use a clean version.
So, I backed up all my work and downloads (and I have a couple of hundred megs of those) and reformatted the hard drive. I have two hard drives so backing up is a doddle, though, if you don't, you should simply have the whole process carried out by a professional with a ZIP drive or a laptop to back up your work.
You have to reinstall most of your software, but it gives you a proper chance to organise your system more efficiently, and you will find that all those programs that used to crash should probably work without a single hitch, with the exception of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.
I know it's a drastic step, but if you constantly remove and install programs, it's well worth doing this every six to 12 months.
Iain Bagnall, Amersham, Bucks