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Chapter 29. When Windows Won't Work: Tro... > Overcoming File Failings - Pg. 350

When Windows Won't Work: Troubleshooting Common Problems 350 So why doesn't Windows show the extensions? Well, it's probably because Microsoft doesn't want unwary users to accidentally delete or change an extension when they're renaming a file. Doing so would probably render the file useless, or perhaps associate the file with some other application. Chaos, of course, would ensue. Can't you change the extension anyway when you rename a file? For example, what if I renamed the birthday.bmp bitmap file to birthday.gif? (The .gif extension signifies a GIF graphics file.) That's a no go, Joe, because Windows is hip to that trick. All this does is change the file's full name to birthday.gif.bmp! But what if you really do want to change the extension? For example, suppose you want to create a Web page from scratch. Web pages are just text files, so you could start by right-clicking the folder and then clicking New, Text Document to create a new text file. However, for Web pages to work, they must use either the .htm or .html extension. Unfortunately, the text document you created will have the .txt extension. Hmmm. There's a head-scratcher. Are you doomed? Nope. The trick is that if you convince Windows to display the file extensions, you can rename extensions at will. Here's how to get Windows to display file extensions: 1. 2. 3. 4. In My Computer, select the Tools, Folder Options command to display the Folder Options dialog box. Display the View tab. Deactivate the Hide extensions for known file types check box. Click OK. I can't copy files to, delete files from, or format a floppy disk. If you're trying to copy files to a floppy disk, the disk may be full; in this case delete some files from the disk or try another one. Alternatively, the disk may be write-protected , which means you can't copy or move files to the disk, delete or rename files on the disk, or format the disk. On a floppy disk, the write-protection is con- trolled by a small, movable tab on the back of the disk. If the tab is toward the edge of the disk, the disk is write-protected. To disable the write-protection, slide the tab away from the edge of the disk. How do I encrypt a file so that no one else can read it? If you have a file that contains sensitive data and you're paranoid that someone else might read it, it's possible to scramble the contents of the file so that it's only readable when you're logged on to Windows XP with your username and password. This scrambling process is called encryption . Windows Wisdom