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I WANTED to fit an internal Zip drive to my P-166 PC (which is nearly two years old). After installing it, the PC failed to recognise and other crazy things happened. The helpline at Zip pointed out that my Award Bios had to be updated. A friend told me to search the Web to get a software fix for the Bios. I found the website for Award, and entered all the details required. So far, so good. However, 10 days later I've had nothing back from Award. Is there anything else I can do? And if I ever do get the update, are there any special precautions about installing it?

I suspect that the problem isn't your PC's Bios, as any system that has an Enhanced IDE (EIDE) disk interface (introduced in 1994) should be capable of accepting devices, such as a Zip drive, which conform to the Atapi specification. However, adding internal drives can be a headache for the inexperienced. Each device must be correctly configured as a master or a slave, and it is entirely possible to insert the cable connector the wrong way up. A slip in either case could cause existing devices to stop working, as well as the new Zip. Before doing anything else, go back and check the EIDE cables and the "jumper" settings on each drive. There is a troubleshooting guide printed towards the back of the Zip manual to guide you.

I WAS trying to change the size of the icons on my Windows 95 desktop but now find I cannot restore the default settings - whatever size I apply, the icons appear with ragged edges and mottled colours. Also, the Windows standard scheme is missing from the Appearance Menu. Do you know how I can restore these?

The ragged appearance of the Windows icons is caused precisely because you have changed their size. Change it back to 32 pixels and click the "Apply" button, and they should then come back to normal. The mottled colours could simply be caused by an odd combination of desktop colours on your computer - it is best to stick with simple, neutral colour schemes, such as the Windows Standard. We are not sure how you can reinstate this colour scheme if you have deleted it, so the best solution is to experiment until you find a combination which you like, and then make sure that you save it as a named scheme.

Daniel Robinson is technical editor of `PC Direct' magazine

Send your questions to Helpline, Network, The Independent, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL or e-mail them to network@independent.co.uk with Helpline in the subject field

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