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"Adventures in Damaged Internet Preferences File"

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Hello All,

My husband (who has been home on vacation from school), somehow got our Internet Preferences File damaged. The error states that an older version has replaced the damaged one.

Specificaly, while using Internet Explorer 5.1.7, when he attempts to get to his email sites, the screen freezes and returns an error that our .."Internet Preferneces file has been damaged..." I also get a -50 error.

What, if anything, can I do to fix this problem?


Hi Mrs. L.

Go into System Folder > Preferences and throw Internet Preferences away.

Restart your machine and see if that's fixed it.

You'll probably need to reset a few things. Not sure exactly what.

Myrna, it almost never hurts to throw out something that properly resides in the Preferences folder. The "almost" part covers some items that would cause loss of an appreciable amount of input you would have to do again, such as an e-mail address book.

All programs with preferences or "user options" will create a preference file when they are opened, unless one already exists. So no preference file is better than a corrupt one. If you notice something strange about the program, go to the Preferences pull down menu and you'll likely find an adjustment that will put it back the way you're used to.

I'd embellish Gregg (and Kelly's) advice with the following hint . . . aimed at protecting one from future drudgeries.• 'Tis better to prepare now for the likelihood that someday you'll find it necessary to toss Preferences for <OS X programs, by making (and filing) a screen shot of any data residing anywhere therein that are carrying settings you'll want to duplicate when the Pref file restores itself.
• Sometimes such datum is a serial number, or a code signifying your "ownership" of the program. or a password. 'Tis an equally good idea to keep a separate roster of those items, too.

Good Day to All,

kelly,gregg and RHP,

Excellent, as per your usual replies.

Due to the old ChemoBrain problem, I had forgotten much of the good advice given me by RHP and sent via a Maintenance Drill for the Mac.

When I began as an overzealous user, I made mistakes which then made me timid in doing the entire Maintenance Drill. The drill contained advice to do screen shots. The problem is, I don't know what it is I am supposed to take screen shots of when it comes to Internet Preferences or where they are located.

If you could please tell me what I am supposed to do I would be most appreciative.

I admit, I dragged my feet on this Internet problem, as my husband, the Windoze Wonder, visits so many websites and invariably makes the Mac crash. Fortunately, he has the good grace to leave the Mac alone and let me handle whatever problems he encounters.  That said, I wanted a few trouble free days of using the Mac. It didn't impede my use of the Mac, as my email and Internet use was just fine.

As a bit of somewhat grim humor, my husband tells me that both his Windoze computers at the school are down.
This means that he had no access to his email at all. This is a good thing, as he seems to have a talent for crashing computers or making them dysfunctional.

I will just have to grin and fix it.



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