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Three Question Series

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized

Today, we’re going to do something a little different with this section! Below are three questions that I have been getting a lot of lately, so I thought I would just answer all of them at the same time. You will find each question, followed by its answer. They’re just three quick and simple questions. Hope you don’t mind!

Question #1: What does the star in Gmail mean and how can I use this function in my own e-mail?

First, let’s begin with a brief explanation of what Gmail actually is, just in case some of you aren’t sure. Gmail (which can be found at is Google’s version of an e-mail program. It is one of the top free e-mail services online today, offering 2.8 GB of storage space and a very easy to use interface.

With that said, one of the new features introduced in Gmail is “starring.” By starring a message in Gmail, the user is able to place a graphic reminder next to an e-mail that may be a little more important than some of the others. With this feature, you no longer have to mark an e-mail as “Unread” to remind yourself that you need to deal with that e-mail ASAP.

Instead, you just mark the e-mail with a star and it will help you to remember that you need to respond to that e-mail. To star a message of your own, just look for the white star graphic, located to the right of the checkbox for the message you would like to select. Click on it and the graphic will then become a yellow star to show that it has been starred. As you can see, it’s a very handy feature!

Question #2: I’m using Windows XP and sometimes when I turn off my computer, I get this message as it’s shutting down: “This application failed to initialize, because the window station is shutting down.” What does that mean and how can I make it stop?

Basically, the only time you’ll ever see that message displayed is when your computer is shutting down. Whether you told the computer to turn off or an installer program is restarting your computer for you, that’s the only time it will come up. This error message is displayed, because an important program must be running while you are attempting to turn off your computer. Either that or a program has frozen while you’re trying to shut down your computer.

It is important you make sure that while you are installing new software, there are no other applications running on your screen at the same time. Also, when turning off your computer, it is important to make sure that all of the programs you are running have been closed down. If you follow those two tips, you should never have a problem with this error message again!

Question #3: Can a USB drive be reformatted? If so, how?

When you plug a USB drive (flash drive, etc.) into your computer, it will recognize the device as an external hard drive. Since it does that, the USB device can easily be formatted. However, USB drives do not work with Windows 95 or Windows 98, unless you install the correct drivers.

To reformat your USB drive, double click on the My Computer icon on your desktop and then find the icon of the USB drive you have plugged into your computer. Right click the correct USB drive and choose the Format option. You can then make any changes you want to the Options screen that appears and when you’re done, just click on the Start button. Windows will then format your USB drive. However, reformatting your USB drive will delete everything on the drive and all of your data will be lost. So, make sure you remove any important documents and files from your USB device before you proceed on with the reformat process. That’s all there is to it!

There you go. Hope these answers help you all out!

~Jack William

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