Q: My computer, operating on Windows Vista Ultimate, is a Dell Dimension 8400 with a Dell 3007WFP flat-panel monitor. During startup, it hangs...

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Q: My computer, operating on Windows Vista Ultimate, is a Dell Dimension 8400 with a Dell 3007WFP flat-panel monitor. During startup, it hangs up after displaying the Windows scroll bar (dark screen without display). Turning the monitor off and then on again restarts the process, and the computer continues the boot-up from where it stopped, normally. Similarly, when I’m turning the computer off, it hangs up on the “Shutting down” screen (stays on indefinitely with the busy sign active), until I turn the monitor off and on again. This completes the shutting-down process. I am unsure whether this is a hardware or software problem. Any suggestions?

— Claus Fjord Christensen,

Bainbridge Island

A: Turning the monitor on and off by using the monitor’s power switch shouldn’t do anything at all to Windows. The operating system should be right where you left it when you turn the monitor back on.

As for what can snag Windows during boot-up or shutdown, it could be just about any application or device driver. Because you’re having issues that seem to be related to the monitor, suspicion falls upon your graphics adapter and/or the installed video drivers. I’d recommend you make certain you have the latest drivers for your graphics adapter. These can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s Web site.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, I’d try popping in a different graphics adapter.

Q: I received a Zune as a present. When I tried to set up a relationship with my computer, I found out that Microsoft once again is playing the role of bad guy as far as compatibility. I’m running a Dell desktop with Windows XP Professional Media Edition Service Pack 3. The installer says that the Zune cannot link up to that operating system. It’s the Media part that is the problem.

Is there a workaround so I can use the Zune, or do I have a white elephant on my hands now and a sad niece to console?

— Joseph Alkana

A: You’re referring to the Media Center version of Windows XP. And, yes, Zune has compatibility issues with some older versions of Windows.

Truth be told, it’s not unusual for applications — especially multimedia applications and products — to have compatibility problems with older versions of operating systems. With respect to Windows XP Media Center you need to have at least the 2005 edition with KB900325 (Rollup Update 2 for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005).

Zune software also works well with most recent versions of Windows XP and with most versions of Vista, though I’ve been unable to get it to work with 64-bit Vista, even though there is a Zune installation file specifically for 64-bit Vista.

Q: My fiancée has saved every message (235 and counting) I’ve sent her (on Comcast Web mail). How do I save them all to Outlook Express before we marry? As you can see, my provider is Verizon, which we will keep.

— James Johnson, Tigard, Ore.

A: Do I understand correctly that your fiancée is the one who is using Comcast Web mail? And you’re using Outlook Express?

Why not just forward all the messages to your Verizon e-mail account and access them via Outlook Express? Comcast Web mail allows you to highlight any group of e-mails and forward them to another e-mail address.

The messages, of course, will be in your Outlook Express message database. And there is, alas, no way to export them as a batch to text files. (You can only batch export to Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange from Outlook Express.)

If you want to save the messages as text files, you’ll have to do it one message at a time. Just open the message in Outlook Express, then select File/Save As and choose the TXT format.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by e-mail to pmarshall@seattletimes.com or pgmarshall@pgmarshall.net, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.