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Norton Plug-In Error; Worn Out Floppy Disks

Sunday, September 12, 2004; Page F07

Ever since my husband tried to load a program from work on my home computer, I get an error message that says "The add-in 'C:\PROGÃ1\NAVNT\vpmsece.dll' could not be installed or loaded" when I try to run Outlook. My husband removed that extra program and added another one, but I still can't get rid of this message.

The reader's original e-mail didn't mention what that "program from work" was, but I did a quick Google search for "vpmsece.dll" and got a bunch of hits on Symantec's site. Then I realized that "NAVNT" might refer to Symantec's Norton AntiVirus utility.

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The error turned out to be a problem with a Norton plug-in that screens incoming messages in Microsoft's Outlook mail program. I pointed this reader to a troubleshooting article on Symantec's site, who later reported that its suggested fix had returned Outlook to normal.

Lessons here: If a problem starts after you load a new program, that program just might be at fault -- search its developer's Web site for any reports of your problem. If you're lost, run a Web search on the strangest-looking word or phrase in whatever error message you see.

I was working with a floppy disk at home and took it to work; when I popped the disk into the work machine later that day, I got a message asking me to format the disk. What happened?

I can think of a lot of different theories to explain this, but the most likely answer is that the floppy disk wore out on its own. This happens with floppies after a while -- it was one big reason I stopped using them. (Another was that I kept forgetting to eject the floppy before heading home!)

Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do if the disk has gone bad. Just throw it out, turn it into a coaster for a drink or recycle it in another manner. For example, I've found that once you rip open the two plastic halves of a floppy, the little metal tab on the back is convenient for applying spackle.

-- Rob Pegoraro

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or rob@twp.com.

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