Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Where can I set the default sort order in the file dialog box? This annoys a lot of people, including myself (I want details on by default). To date I've not found an answer to this question.
I exported my mailbox ... where are my contacts? The original anonymous question was longer, but boiled down to having exported a mailbox to a PST and believing based on file size that the contacts should be there. Without knowing what application the mail was exported from it's hard to say. Realize that a .PST file has a fair amount of overhead, especially at "smaller" sizes, so filesize is a poor indicator of what's in it. In reality, I would believe that the contacts had not been exported, and probably needed to be exported as a separate step.
What is an IDE controller? It's the hardware that connects your computer to your hard disks. IDE stands for Integrated Drive Electronics. The folks out at How Stuff Works have a good overview of How IDE Controllers Work.
My PC crashes with "ff.exe caused an error". You've probably got a virus. Pest Patrol has a writeup on Fatal Flooder that sounds like a candidate. Make sure you get a virus scanner, keep it up to date, and scan regularly.
Why does my dos screens open then close? You didn't say but I'll assume this is at start-up. That's a command line program running, executing, and then exiting. Try one yourself: Press Start, Run and then enter "ping -n 1 localhost". Ping is one such command line program. A DOS window will open up for it to run in, and then close when it is done. Exactly what program you're seeing is hard to say. To start with, check out what programs run automatically when you start Windows.
What is the SYSTEM32 folder? In a nutshell, it's where almost all of Windows itself lives. The \windows folder has some, but the real heart of the operating system is in \windows\system32. Why is another question. Way back when, Windows was a 16bit operating system - running on computers that really only handled data 16bits at a time. As newer processors were introduced that could handle 32 bits, portions of the operating system were rewritten to run only on those 32bit processors. The "system" folder held the common code, and the "system32" folder held the code that was 32bit specific. 16bit support was dropped from Windows some time ago, but you'll still find a few relics in your \windows\system directory.
Can I run two instances of AOL Instant messenger on the same computer? I don't believe so. Same for MSN Instant messenger. Though you can of course run AIM and MSNIM side by side.
On startup I get the "Registry Editor: Cannot import sys.reg". How do I get rid of it? Visit this article on what programs run automatically when you start Windows. You should be able to remove it using the tools listed there. For what it's worth, this is one way that viruses and spyware infect your computer. It's not necessarily either, but definitely scan for both as well.