Q. I can't seem to download Netscape 4.7 using Getright.

A. Many readers are right in the middle of a long download when their ISP cuts them off or one of their kids unplugs the computer. Several utilities have been floating around the Internet to allow you to start a download, stop it and then continue from the point that you disconnected.

Older products such as TweakDUN or File Frog Software from Albino Frog Software Inc. were supposed to help in this transfer. But some of these products have weak reputations.

Headlight Software (www.getright.com, $20) has a product called Getright that allows an interruption during downloads, but make sure your server works with Getright. This is best done by starting a download, stopping it intentionally and restarting. If it works, the server will be compatible with the program.

If you have TweakDUN already installed, remove it before using Getright; with Windows 98 you may have to change the packet size to ensure the program will work. (Go to "control panel," "dial up adapter," "properties" and "advanced," then change value from "automatic" to "small.")

I have a ton of programs that run when I start Windows. How do I delete some?

First, go to your "startup" folder and delete as many programs as you wish. Go to "start," "settings," "taskbar," "start menu programs" and "remove." Next, you may have to edit two key files from older versions of Windows: "autoexec.bat" and "config.sys." You can edit these from the DOS prompt to remove any references to programs that start up.

Another vestige of an older operating system is the "win.ini" file, one of the old "initialization" files from earlier versions of Windows. The first two lines of the "win.ini" file are usually "load=" and "run=" These may contain references to small programs that are running on your machine.

Finally, you may have to dive into the registry to eliminate references to programs. Go to "start" and "run," and then type "C:\windows\regedit" and start your registry search. Go to "HK_LOCAL_MACHINE," "SOFTWARE," "Microsoft," "Windows" and "current version." Clean out "run" and then "run services."

After all that, you can hit CTRL/ALT/DEL to see what is running--it should be "explorer," "system tray" and perhaps a small program for your modem or your network card.

What was that registry editor you talked about on the radio?

The registry is a database that keeps track of what's happening while running Windows. It starts out small but grows larger than most floppies can hold. It expands because many application programs place mysterious data all over the registry.

If you try to de-install a program, chances are that it has left many tracks in the registry. This becomes an issue because the longer Windows 95/98 runs, the larger this registry becomes, making the machine unstable.

In response to this problem, Microsoft developed a small utility called Regclean. It will go in and clean out the registry for you, and some people run it every day. It is not available with the Windows 95 or 98 CD; you must download it. Point your browser to download.microsoft.com/download/win98SE/utility/4.1a/w9x/EN-US/regclean.exe.

Symantec's Norton Utilities 2000 (www.symantec.com, $47.95) and Silicon Valley Software's MemTurbo (www.memturbo.com, $20) also offer commercial utilities that make life easier living with the registry.

John Gilroy of Item Inc. is heard on WAMU-FM radio's "The Computer Guys" at 1 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month. Send your questions to him in care of The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071-5302 or via e-mail at jgilroy@iteminc.com.