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Downloading/installing FAQs
  1. What do I do now that I have downloaded a program?
  2. I got a program, but where is it on my computer?
  3. What does "unzip" mean?
  4. What is an "archive"?
  5. I have loaded a program, how do I use it?
  6. What should I do if my anti-virus program tells me that a program has a virus in it?
  7. Why do I get an error message when I try to launch a program I've just downloaded?
  8. I was told I need WinZip to use a program but I can't find it on your site.
  9. I can't find a "download" link on your site – how do I get a program?
  10. I can't remove a problem program?
1. What do I do now that I have downloaded a program?
Most programs need to be unzipped (if they have the file extension ‘ZIP’) or simply installed from the executionable file (it has an ‘EXE’ extension). If you use Windows Explorer to navigate to the program you have just downloaded you can double click on that file. If it has an extension of ZIP it should open your unzipping program (see “What does ‘unzip’ mean?” below). If that is the case, you should be left with a collection one or more programs, one of which should be either called install.exe or setup.exe. Double click on that file and it will start the program’s installer. If the downloaded file has an extension of EXE it should load the program’s installer when you double-click on it (a few programs simply unzip the contents into the folder that houses the ZIP file but this is now rare). If you follow the prompts in the installer the program should be set up properly. If you cannot do this then we suggest that you undertake a short introductory computer course through a local computer club or college.

2. I got a program, but where is it on my computer?
Once you tell a Web browser (like Internet Explorer or Firefox) where you want a program to reside then all subsequent files will be downloaded to the same location. We use a folder called “Downloads” and ensure that all downloaded files end up in that folder. Initially, the browser will try to put the downloaded file elsewhere but it is easy to change that location just as the download starts (you should be offered a dialog box so you can change the location). If you have already downloaded a file and neglected to notice where it went, go to download the file again (or another file, it doesn’t matter) and take careful note where the file would go by default. That is where your previous file would be so you can then cancel that second download and navigate to that location using Windows explorer.

3. What does "unzip" mean?
Files are often compressed into an archive – a collection of files compressed into a single file. A common type of compression produces the file extension ‘ZIP’, though there are others like ARJ and LHA. However, with Windows the ZIP extension is the most common. You just need a good archive manager to uncompress this archive and re-establish the separate files again. You can find many good archive managers in our Win9x/ME/XP General Programs section.

4. What is an "archive"?
A number of files compressed into a single (albeit smaller) file. Because that archived file is smaller it can be downloaded faster over the Internet and uses less bandwidth.

5. I have loaded a program, how do I use it?
There is usually a README file or some other form of Helpfile (sometimes in HTML format so you use your Web browser). Hopefully, having read that file you should be able to use the program. If all else fails, e-mail the author and ask for assistance. Please don’t ask CFS though – with the thousands of files we list we cannot be expected to know the details of them all...

6. What should I do if my anti-virus program tells me that a program has a virus in it?
Tell the program’s author. In 99% of cases it is just a conflict between your anti-virus program and the program you have just downloaded but occasionally there really is a virus and the author should know. If he is reluctant to help you then please inform us and we will download the file again and re-test it with our copy of Norton Anti-Virus. Always ensure that you have the latest virus definitions for your anti-virus program.

7. Why do I get an error message when I try to launch a program I've just downloaded?
The most likely reason is that the download was not completed properly which means that you will have to download it again. Some download managers can resume a broken download, even when it wasn’t the program which originally initiated the download. We list many excellent download managers in our Win9x/ME/XP Internet Related section. The other major problem is that you may not have the relevant Visual Basic (VB) runtime library files which can be downloaded from our VB runtime page. It does not hurt to load all of the VB runtime files, even the ones for Windows 3.1 (assuming you are running Windows 95 or later). You might also need DirectX to be installed on your computer (or a later version than you already have). Again, you can get more information from our VB runtime page.

8. I was told I need WinZip to use a program but I can't find it on your site.
No, WinZip is a shareware program which, because it is not free, is not listed with CFS. However, there are plenty of completely free zipping tools (usually called “archive managers”) which can be selected from our Win9x/ME/XP General Programs pages.

9. I can't find a “download” link on your site – how do I get a program?
By clicking on the program’s title which should open up the author’s page, or possibly another location for this program. You will have to search that site for the downlaod link (most are easy to find but if you have a problem, write to the author of the program of the Webmaster of that site). If you are still not sure, check out our Visitors Information section which has more information.

10. I can't remove a problem program?
If a program won't uninstall through the Add/Remove applet, or it doesn't have an "uninstall" link, try the following (hopefully one will work):
 1. write to the author and request help (always the first thing you should try)
2. try uninstalling the program in Windows "Safe Mode" (press F8 at Windows startup)
3. remove the specific folder(s) that house the program (Windows might give a warning message when you do this) and remove its Registry keys using a program like RegCleaner (available through CFS)
The third option will probably still leave a few DLLs, etc in the C:\WINDOWS\system folder but they won't hurt and shouldn't take up much space.

 

Please submit any questions you would like to see answered to CFS editor, Graham Pockett.

 
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Last Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017
 

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