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Questions and Answers from the Computing Helpdesk

Collected by the IT/User Support Team

This is a collection of Questions & Answers that have been treated by the Computing Helpdesk managed by the User Support group.

N.B. The number in parentheses refers to its relative numbering in the User Support "Question-Answer" database, at URL:
where NNN is the problem identifier (number).

PC Support -

(Hannes Schwarzbauer IT/User Support)

Question (QA 192) - Reset profile on Windows NT
I lost my profile on Windows NT (or it is corrupted). Who can reset it ?

Answer - Any authorized administrator can do it, including the Computing Helpdesk (78888) who have been granted these privileges.

To see the list of authorized people:

Start - System Management - Nice NT Domain Admin. -  
 Reset local administrator password 

and then click on "show authorised": you will find all accounts that have the required privileges for this, including `helpdesk'.
N.B. The people currently authorised to reset roaming profiles are the same people authorised to reset computer accounts.

The procedure to be followed by the administrator is then:

To delete roaming profile: access "NICE NT Domain Administration" (which had been added in the Domain tools list) in:
   Start - System Management - NICE NT Domain Administration 

The tool only deletes the server copy of the profile and administrators still need to delete manually the local copy. The recommended way to delete the local copy is to log in as a local administrator and use the utility in

   Control Panel - System - User Profiles 

select the user account, and press the delete button. This will delete all the registry entries associated to the profiles.
N.B. Deleting the files in \profiles\ is not enough and you run the risk of creating multiple profiles with the same name and extensions like .000, .001, etc.


  1. In case of problems you may also call local support for your division.
  2. To reset your profile on Windows 95 see

Question (QA 204) - Visual Studio and Visual Basic on NICE
Could you please clarify the puzzling situation with different versions of Visual Studio, VC++, Visual Basic on NICE?

Answer - Today we have two versions of Visual Studio available on our NICE servers:

1. Visual C++ V5 and Visual Basic V5

They come as two separate packages and can be installed via the NICE Start Menu:

8-Software Engineering, Development, Visual C++ (or Visual Basic) 

The service pack 3 (icon 2 in both groups) for this version has to be added after installing the main product(s).

Applications developed under VC++ and VB mostly require additional components to run properly (e.g OCXs and DLLs). For applications developed with Visual Studio 5, all these components are already pre-installed on NICE, so the applications compiled by the user will run on any NICE machine.

2. Visual Studio 6

This single package (including VC++ and VB) should be installed from the following path:

 \\ntinfo01\vol2\Visualstudio6Enterprise, run 'setup.exe' 

Afterwards the service pack 3 from VS6 should be added from
\\ntinfo01\vol2\VisualStudio_Servpacks\Vssp3, run 'setupsp3.exe' 

Attention: Since the VS6 required components are not distributed on NICE, version 6 compiled applications will not run. The user has to deliver the required OCXs,DLLs and registry settings with his applications. In other words, he has to create a package. This can be easily done for VB applications using the 'Package and deployment wizard' in the VS6 tools program group. For C++ programs, you can use the 'Depends' tool to find the dependent components. In any case, packaging applications will become the standard on Windows 2000 and is the only way to distribute your application(s) on large scale.

Question (QA 227) - Default browser
How can I "force" my PC to open certain files (e.g. .jpeg) with Netscape instead of the default Internet Explorer?

Answer - By default, the browser used by the PC is Internet Explorer. To change it to Netscape:
From the Start menu:

Question (QA 262) - NICE space
I need about 400MB disk space on my J:\ home directory (I am dealing with a lot of graphics). Actually I have about 300MB of used space. The Helpdesk gave me an extra 50 MB, I got confirmation, but nothing happens. Why?

Answer - Most probably you have reached the "hard-coded" upper limit of 300 MB which cannot be over-ridden by the Helpdesk anymore and a manual intervention (from the NICE team) is needed.

Question (QA 265) - NICE server
How can I see on which NICE server(s) I am attached to?

Answer - From the DOS prompt (Start - Applications - 12) either type the command net use or whoami.

Question (QA 268) - Powerpoint and NICE logo
Using Powerpoint and CERN templates, how can I keep the CERN logo and my personalised footer without having the NICE logo ?

Answer -

UNIX Support -

(Nicole Crémel and Roger Woolnough IT/User Support)

Question (QA 181) - Login scripts intialization
I accidently erased my home directory contents: is there a way I can re-initialize my login scripts (files .profile,.cshrc,.login and such)?

Answer - First note that your complete directory from last night is available online in the /afs/ directory corresponding to your AFS login (i.e. /afs/ for login abcd) so you might be able to copy back the contents from there.

If that is not sufficient then the command "uco" can be used on all UNIX central systems (type "man uco").

Question (QA 194) - CPU time exceeded in batch job
I submitted a batch job in the RSPLUS cluster and it finished due to CPU time exceeded. For this reason it did not copy in my directory the files created in $WORKDIR. Is there a way to retrieve these files?
N.B.The $WORKDIR was /pool/lsf/pilar/170289_135917 in rsbat001.

Answer - Unfortunately not: unless the user explicitly specifies to keep some files in the work directory, all files - except the standard output - are deleted when the job terminates.

If files were kept, they could be copied back by the user with a simple rcp command, i.e. in your case:

[rsplus08] ~ > rsh rsbat001 ls -l /pool/lsf/pilar/170289_135917 
 total 32 
 -rw-r-----   1 pilar    t2         13552 Nov  4 12:02 941588516.170289.out 

Question (QA 195) - Linux machine shutdown
What is the procedure to shutdown a Linux machine? Can I just power it off?

Answer - From the machine :

You can also do it through telnet: Never power off the machine without making a clean halt.

Question (QA 208) - GNU make
There is a problem with GNU make: gmake is re-building the entire library even for the members which were not touched.

Answer - This is apparently a bug which has disappeared with GNU make 3.78.1. Since end-December 1999 it had been installed on all platforms in ASIS and the problem has disappeared on all central platforms at CERN.

Question (QA 219) - LXPLUS and LXBATCH
I want to run a batch job on the central Linux cluster, shall I run the job on LXPLUS or LXBATCH ?

Answer - LXPLUS/LXBATCH is managed in a similar way as RSPLUS/RSBATCH:

Question (QA 220) - "xlsbatch" on LXPLUS
When I run the command "xlsbatch" on LXPLUS I get a core-dump, while on RSPLUS it displays the job status as it should.

Answer - There is a known bug on Linux with LSF programs using X core dump (such as "xlsbatch") when these programs print a warning message at startup. This can happen if there are not enough colours available: then the command "xlsbatch" can crash or not depending on whether Netscape is open or closed respectively in the X session. It can also crash when there is a message for missing font (or any other warning message).

N.B. "xlsbatch" for Linux will be upgraded as soon as CERN will receive a fix for it. Meanwhile it can still be used provided that there are enough colours available in the colormap when launching it. Alternatively, equivalent LSF line commands (bhosts / bsub / bqueues / etc.) can be used instead.

Question (QA 225) - "invalid user" from "stagein" command
I'm having trouble staging tapes. When I try to stage in a tape with the "stagein" command, it fails with an "invalid user" error:

  stagein -v LT0097 -q 1  Ze20 
  STG11 - invalid user: 6919 
So it looks like I don't have permission to stage atlas tapes.

Answer - The first thing to be checked is that the users has 2 accounts (login) on TAPES and the ATLAS Work Group Server ATLAS_WGS (or CMS_WGS for CMS staging).

DeskTop Publishing -

(Andreas Wagner IT/User Support)

Question (QA 182) - Strange characters in Word document
I find very strange characters in my Word document which make it difficult to read (e.g. all spaces contain these characters). However, it's perfectly ok when I print (the characters are not printed then).

Answer - While you view or edit a document on the screen, you can display characters such as tab characters, spaces, and carriage returns that don't appear on the printed page. (For example, Word uses arrows to represent tab characters and dots to represent spaces.)

To see if you added an extra space between words, typed spaces instead of a tab character, and so on:

Tip: To display all nonprinting characters, select the All check box instead of selecting each individual check box, and deselect it when you want to get rid of them.

Web Publishing -

(Maria Dimou IT/User Support)

Question (QA 184) - Installing Internet Explorer 4
I tried to install Internet Explorer 4 from the Start Menu (Start->2->3->1s) but it fails when trying to install the components. All the items are marked with a red cross and I get the error message that the installation failed. Nothing more.

Answer - In the last few months NICE system people have noticed PCs having corrupted registry settings preventing MSIE4 or MSIE5 from being installed. They checked that this problem does not come from NICE itself (otherwise they could have fixed it for everybody).

The only workaround to this problem is to do a full re-install of Windows/95 before installing MSIE4. Once this is done the user should not have any further problems.

Question (QA 185) - Internet Explorer version
Which version of Internet Explorer is supported by NICE?

Answer - MSIE4 has been replaced by MSIE5. This is the only version you can install from NICE. but people who use MSIE4 can continue to do so.

Please note that MSIE3 does not work correctly with the current NICE nor with numerous Web sites around the world.

When users complain about MSIE, it is important to know which version they run with:
Help menu - About.

Question (QA 190) - Directory browsing from the Web on NICE
I would like to be able to do a directory browsing from the Web of the directory (for example) :

What is the way to do it? Can I make my "Public" directory browsable too?

Answer - nicewww considers now the "root" of all files accessible from the web to be the "www" folder in your home directory. Thus if you try to retrieve ,  

it will try to get default.htm from your j:\www, not just j:\.

The same situation exists with directory browsing requests. If you enter in your browser, you will get:

  1. the directory listing for j:\www\abc if directory browsing is enabled in j:\www\nicewww.ini.
  2. the default.htm file if directory browsing is disabled (and the file exists, of course).
  3. an error otherwise.
This is described at

Concerning the "Public" directory browsing: Unfortunately, you can not make contents of your Public folder available from the Web. Your web space is mapped to your j:\www folder, for example will show you contents of the j:\www folder - contents of the j:\www\foo\bar. 

To enable directory browsing you have to put a nicewww.ini file into the j:\www folder, containing the following lines:
 EnableDirectoryBrowsing = 1 

This is all explained in:

Question (QA 199) - Default Web-page
What are the filenames usable to display a default Web-page ?

Answer - On, and the sequence of files which are searched for in a directory for is the following (in order of precedence):

NB: The extension .shtml is used for server parsed files. For more information please have a look at

Question (QA 210) - Priority for search engines
How can I ensure that people using search engines on the Web and looking for "my type of information" will find it at the top of their list?

Answer - As stated in the the Infoseek manual (, you can put the following line in the HEAD section of your pages (especially in the home page):

<META  name="keywords" content="MY_TYPE_OF_INFO, RELEVANT_KEYWORDS"> 

Like that, the search engine will index your page giving a higher rate to these keywords, making your page appear higher in the result list, if the search was on these keywords.

N.B. You can read more on metadata at URLs: 

Question (QA 217) - Password protection
Would you please explain to me how I can introduce a password on my home page?

Answer - If the page is in AFS and served by then one should know that protections are not allowed (in principle) on that server. For other hosts running the Apache Web Server (e.g. a typical .htaccess and .htpasswd (file for private page protection) extract can be found in a previous CNL, at URL:


Question (QA 189) - Colour problem with Exceed
In order to run "xwpick" with Exceed, I had to change the default "Video" setting into "PseudoColor" mode (instead of "Auto Select" which is the default).

An unexpected feature is that it then changes the colours in the output. What can be done to avoid this problem?

Answer - This is a bug in Exceed and we still expect a proper solution from Hummingbird's. However it seems that you can solve the problem by changing the "Display Properties" settings from 16 bits planes to 8 bits planes:

Start --> Settings --> 
                    Control Panel --> 
                                  Display --> 
                                          Settings --> 

The bug is the following: if the Windows 95 color depth is 16 while the server is using only 8 planes (PseudoColor) - setting required by xwpick to work properly - the XGetImage() call capture 8 planes, but not those used by the X server itself. This can easily be seen using the standard xwd/xwud programs from the X11R5 distribution.

For matters related to this article please contact the author.

Vol. XXXIV, issue no 1

Last Updated on Fri Mar 17 21:33:30 GMT+04:30 2000.
Copyright © CERN 2000 -- European Laboratory for Particle Physics