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Issue #25: January 10, 2008

Q: I’ve sent an email to many friends that had an attachment in .pps format. Many were able to open it, but many replied telling me that they couldn’t open it. And I know that many of the latter have Microsoft’s Powerpoint software on their computers.

– Bill E.
Fort Walton Beach, FL

A: It was a little tough for me to answer this, Bill, as you didn’t really provide me with much to go on.  Readers, when you write with problems, I would remind you to always include as much detail as you can, especially error messages or program responses when possible.  Simply saying the computer “couldn’t” do something is often not enough information for me to even begin to speculate on a cause.  Also, depending on the problem, I often need detailed information on your computer setup, your version of Windows, and the version of whatever software you’re running.

That said, I did a little search engine work using the generic terms that you did provide: “.pps attachment won’t open.”  I found that the most common cause of this problem seems to be missing file associations, which is Windows-ese for the relationship between files of a given extension (such as .pps) and the application that uses them (in this case, Microsoft PowerPoint, or PowerPoint Viewer.  In other words, it’s possible that the files won’t open because Windows doesn’t know what program to execute to try and open it.  Restoring the associations can be tricky business, but my search revealed that someone has created a neat little program called PPSFix that automates the task for you.  You can read about it, and get the program at

Q: Can Office 2007 work with Windows XP home?

– Gene G.
Fort Walton Beach, FL

A: Yes it can, but you must have Windows XP Service Pack 2 installed.

Q: I have CD-RW disc that I want to delete files but I get the message that this is a “read only” disk and I cannot delete.  Is there any way that I can change this so I may have access?

– Kathy D.
Niceville, FL

A: It sounds like you used Windows XP’s built-in CD burning capability to create this disk.  Unfortunately, the way XP creates these disks you cannot delete or rename individual files even though the disk itself is re-writeable.  When this happens, your only recourse is to erase and re-write the entire disc.  To avoid this issue, use third-party CD recording software that supports random-access file deletions.  If you’d like to read more about this issue, Microsoft has a series of articles in its knowledge base.  I recommend you start here:

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