Hi Shirni, no the ballast is a totally different item, if it were the cause of the problem you'd definitely know by the smell
. The starter (if it has one)
is a small round cylinder (normally silver in color) approximately ¬æ inch wide and 1 inch tall, it is secured in place by two prongs (which you won't see until it's removed)
and you simply twist counter-clockwise to remove. Some newer flourescent lights may not have one, it could be incorporated in the ballast, although I'm not sure.
If you can post back up with the make/model/etc. of your light I might be able to find more info to help out.
[This message has been edited by Wick (edited April 18, 2000).]