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CNET Membership newsletter September 17, 2004 

The 5 that matter

Dear CNET members:
A few members each week always e-mail me wanting to know the total number of poll participants in our weekly quick poll. So since we received quite a few responses to the poll on what Windows operating system you use, I'm going to let you in on the number of votes this week. In total, as of yesterday evening, the poll results were 20 votes shy of 10,000 participants. So if you break down the percentages below with the number of total votes, you'll get an idea of who uses what. As a spin-off to our quick poll section each week, I'd thought it might be worthwhile to introduce a weekly poll discussion, so in addition to each week's poll, you could not only vote and see the results but also discuss it in any shape or form. So join in the fun, and let's hear your two cents about the specific polls each week. Here's this week's poll discussion. I await your participation.

Now on to this week's Q&A. I have chosen two winning answers: one by Aaron C., with a straightforward method, and one by Stan C., who gives a couple of simple solutions that I think most people would be able to comprehend. The solutions don't stop with the winning answers, because there are definitely a few ways to tackle this issue, ranging from easy to the more advanced. So please check out the honorable mentions for solutions, recommended utilities, and the possibility that SP2 could correct this issue. Read through them and discuss away. Thanks, everyone, for your great submissions!

1Whenever I copy photo files to a CD on my Windows XP PC, their file attribute changes to read only. Then when I copy them from the CD to another PC, they're still read-only files, so they can't be edited. In order to edit them, I have to uncheck the Read Only box on each one. Is there any way to keep them from converting to read-only files? I don't think this happens on Macs.

--Submitted by: Brendan P.

Answer 1: While I do not know of a way to automatically toggle the read-only attribute of a file (in transit from a read-only source to the hard drive), there is a far more efficient method of changing file attributes than the one-at-a-time method you mention. When copying the files from the CD to another PC, copy them all to a special folder created just for the move. Once the files have been copied, go into the folder, select all the files in the folder (either with the mouse, by holding the CTRL key and pressing A, or by clicking the Edit menu and Select All), then right-click any one of the items and click Properties... Read more

--Submitted by Aaron C.

Answer 2:This is a common problem, with a few solutions. If you have a CD-ROM that will burn CD-RW (read/write), then the CD will act as a normal disk drive media. This requires that you use CD drives capable of utilizing CD-RW media, and you may need to format the CD before using it for CD-RW.

Another solution is to zip the files first, then put the ZIP files onto the CD. When you unzip the files, the attributes should be as they were originally (presumably read/write). This takes more time and disk space on the originating system but has the advantage of saving space on the CD. This leaves you with more room if you are using multisession recording... Read more

--Submitted by Stan C. of Glenside, Pennsylvania

(Please click the following for the honorable mentions, software utility recommendations, and the possibility that Windows SP2 could correct this issue.)

For Aaron's and Stan's efforts, we’re sending them their choice of any Learning CD.

Check out next week's question:

For some time now, there has been a problem with my CD-ROM drives (CD-ROM and CD-RW drives). Sometimes the drives are recognized by Windows and sometimes they are not. When they are not recognized, I can't open or use the CD drives, and the drives are not listed in My Computer. I even opened up the PC to make sure the drives were properly connected to the motherboard by removing and attaching the cables again. But even this did not solve the problem. Would someone know what the problem could be? I would really appreciate it.

--Submitted by: Rahul M. of Auckland, New Zealand

We feature a new question every Friday. If you have the answer, e-mail us at If we choose your response, you'll get a free CD. Click here for Q&A submission guidelines and check out our previous Q&As here.

Best regards and enjoy!

Lee Koo
CNET Community
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Windows Media Player

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Which operating system do you use?
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1 I haven't and won't upgrade to SP2, a little rant by one of our members
Do you need some honest opinions? Despite all the successful stories that you hear of Windows XP users updating their system with SP2, hear why one of our veteran member refuses to do so, sticking by the motto "If it isn't broken, don't fix it." This discussion is starting to heat up, so do you have something to say to convince him? Share your experience with us about SP2, and hopefully this person will become convinced that it is time to take the plunge. More from the Window XP forum

1 How much RAM is enough RAM?
At what point would you say that you have enough RAM? How much is too much, and how much is too little? In this discussion, a graphic designer looking to expand his capabilities into video editing/animation really has no clue how much RAM is enough for him. If you're getting into running intensive programs that require an abundance of RAM, this discussion is for you to learn from. And if you are an expert about RAM, we need your expertise to give this member some sound advice. So join in, and let's hear your recommendations. More from the Multimedia forum

1 How do you unpartition C: and D; drive?
Many of you know how to partition a hard drive, but how do you unpartition a drive, especially when the drive is already full of data? Do you have a solution to recommend to our member? Let's hear it. More from the Computer Help forum

1 Mac users I have listened
Well Mac users, your persistence has paid off with your e-mail to me about wanting more Mac stuff. So hear me out, please. I'm going to strike a deal with you guys. In the newsletter each week, I will include a dedicated section called the "Mac nugget corner" that will include a tidbit of Mac topics. However, the justification for its survival really depends on your participation in growing the two Mac forums that we have because, as I stated before, the community is only as good as the members who participate. So Mac users, I've listened, now the ball is in your court to make it all happen. Without your help, I can't bring any interesting topics to the forefront of this newsletter. So pitch in and keep it alive, or it gets the axe. Start posting and talking; I will highlight something starting next week. Here are the two forums: Mac Hardware
and Mac Applications & Utilities forums.

What is the MS-DOS mode file command you use to completely erase your hard drive?
Before dancing away on the Internet with Windows 2000 or XP, you'll need some protection tips
Why can't anyone make an MP3 player that has AM radio?

 Get help for the holidays
Sure we just passed Labor Day, but my Grandma has her holiday shopping all done. It's not too early to start thinking about what to give and what you want. CNET's here to help. All throughout the Fall and right up to December we'll answer your questions about holiday gadgets and gear. So start sending them in now. Just email us at with Holiday Question in the subject line.

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