Title: Ask Computron
Description: Help for your troubled PCs.
Computron - September 13, 2007 04:10 PM (GMT)
Dear fellow friends, I, your friendly nerdy Computron has decided to gracefully offer support to anyone who has any sorts of computer problems or bugs. With cooperation from other computer geeks, of course.
I wish to start this serious thread for computer problems and bugs which i or anyone can give help and advice. Unfortunately, I'm MAC illiterate so if anyone with any sorts of MAC knowledge would be welcomed to give help. The more, the merrier.
So if you have problems bugs or wish to make any Windows modifications, security, network problems, patches, software, hardware and such, please feel free to ask Computron. :thumb:
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK OR REPLY OR TO GIVE YOUR OPINION.
Got a Windows trick or add-on we should know about? Feel free to post it!
Prisma Nova - September 13, 2007 04:31 PM (GMT)
That's very sweet of you. There was a few problems before, but I can't seem to find them.
koshka - September 13, 2007 04:53 PM (GMT)
Prisma Nova - September 13, 2007 05:06 PM (GMT)
Hehehe, I was thinking of that one. Thought it was resolved. Let's wait what Computron recommends.
Dr Archeville - September 13, 2007 05:22 PM (GMT)
I'm considering getting a new computer -- my old (approx. 4 years) eMachine isn't cutting it (and being an eMachine, it's almost impossible to upgrade). The speakers have been acting screwy for over a year, it makes odd whining noises at random intervals, and now the monitor's starting to act up (giving everything an orange tint for a few seconds at a time). It also can't run any game that 's come out in the past three years or so.
So, my questions to you:
A) What sort of computer should I get? I've heard HPs are the best desktops. I'm not a heavy comp user -- I'd be using it mostly to surf the 'net, write, store/read .pdfs (so a monitor that's easy on the eyes is a must), play the occassional game (City of Heroes/Villains, Deus Ex/DE: Invisible War, Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, StarCraft, Stubbs the Zombie, and World o' Warcraft, mostly), and watch movies.
B) What OS would you recommend? Any new comp I get will most likely have Microsoft Vista pre-installed, but I keep hearing bad things about it (though I'm sure any bugs will eventually be smoothed out). My current comp runs Windows XP, and it's what I'm most familiar with.
Computron - September 13, 2007 06:08 PM (GMT)
Dear Dr Archeville
I build computers by buying all the pieces separately because name computer such as HP, Dell, Compaq and such are sold with packages. These type of computers are sold to people who usually don't bother playing with the innards such as flashing the motherboard, upgrading the processor or any cards. Don't get me wrong, not everyone finds pleasure in formatting a hard drive. But some name computer have pieces which are not standard. Meaning that you have to buy same name pieces. A clone on the other hand is very versatile in that. If you get your self a good motherboard, you can upgrade you computer as the years go by , to a certain point of course. If you do consider buying a name computer, get one with a good named brand of motherboards. If you don't wanna bother with all that research get Intel. As for processor goes AMD are good for fast 3d gaming which needs a solid processor. Intel's Processors are as good but especially made for ordinary applications. By the description you give, i would suggest a dual core processor.The power supply should be a Antec. As for memory more is good. be very attentive as to the description of you computer part. Dell, Hp, Compaq what ever. Buy good pieces.
As for the OS, you can just format the computer you buy and put your tried and tested XP. If you have a legal copy, you shouldn't have a problem getting it registered. If you do not have a legal copy, there a ways...theres always a way. Good luck.
Dr Archeville - September 13, 2007 07:20 PM (GMT)
The version of XP I have came pre-installed on my eMachine. No XP discs.
Computron - September 13, 2007 07:52 PM (GMT)
Dr Archeville,Is there a sticker on you computer tower with a Windows XP key?
Dr Archeville - September 13, 2007 09:15 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Computron @ Sep 13 2007, 03:52 PM)|
| Dr Archeville,Is there a sticker on you computer tower with a Windows XP key? |
Roadbuster - September 13, 2007 09:17 PM (GMT)
Even if there was, wouldn't he still have to pay for a set of CDs?
I mean, at least to have a legit copy.
Computron - September 13, 2007 11:39 PM (GMT)
I despise the Microsoft empire as well, but if you have a copy and a valid key, your ok, cause you can buy just the key without the windows cd. My computer has a copy of the cd and a valid cd key sticker found in the garbage along with the rest of a dead system, MUAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!! Yes, i can update and the key works.
The next best thing would be to create a ghost of the old system, hope for the best and install the ghost on the new system. The down side is the driver installation, you would have to do it manually. Each driver installed separately with the cd of the new system. The only problem is with name computers, the system comes with a cd with windows and the drivers all in one. Thats an advantage and a disadvantage of having a clone. You can buy the clone without any Operating System. You could always download a copy but then who knows whats hidden inside....
As for Windows Vista, remember when Xp came out and it was full of bugs? I say it takes one year to be called debugged...Well i never is. It always has flaws
Take a look here Dr Archeville: http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,123848;page,1/article.html
Jade - September 16, 2007 05:36 AM (GMT)
I would find your local computer store, as in not wal-mart, best buy, or circuit city and go in there and tell then what you'd like to do with your new computer, and have them look into ordering all the pieces and assembling it for you, and purchasing windows xp disks. (I recommend XP professional, even though it's slightly more expensive) Or if you have a friend who is good at things involving the guts of a computer sit down with him/her and visit www.newegg.com and order everything from there. They have a lot of good deals and their return policy is very friendly, which is good when ordering computer parts.
Also, if you go this route, you can get good deals buying OEM things, but what that means is you don't get any tech support from the company it originates from. (You can still send it back to where ever you get it if doesn't work.)
Computron - September 16, 2007 12:07 PM (GMT)
Excellent advice, always turn to someone that knows about computer INSTEAD of the salesmen because they are there to sell. Balance out what you need and what you can afford. Dont just by top of the line and only use it to play FREECELL...
And, if it looks like this, its probably too old...
Archangel_B4U - September 16, 2007 02:03 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Dr Archeville @ Sep 13 2007, 01:20 PM)|
| The version of XP I have came pre-installed on my eMachine. No XP discs. |
I don't mean to steal any thunder here Computron just wanted to let Dr Archeville I felt his pain having a Emachine years ago. When I went to upgrade I too didn't have a windows xp disc but I risk my data and took a very long shot. After I built my new system I used the Hard drive from my E Machine as the boot disc. When I turned it on Bios took over and found windows boot record and then started the hour long process of installing new drivers for each and every Mother board device. Later after that I had to remove the drivers from the old Mother board to help with speed. Now like I said its along shot I've done this with 7 computers and only 3 times had to work. Hoped that helped.
Archangel_B4U - September 16, 2007 02:10 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Computron @ Sep 16 2007, 06:07 AM)|
| Excellent advice, always turn to someone that knows about computer INSTEAD of the salesmen because they are there to sell. Balance out what you need and what you can afford. Dont just by top of the line and only use it to play FREECELL...|
And, if it looks like this, its probably too old...
Everyone needs to listen to that advice for example. I wish you was around in Nashville when my mom bought her last one. She had forgot about her son that removes spyware and has 2 year degree in computer science and went to Best Buy's Jerk Squad. They sold her a laptop with Vista with only 512Mb Ram and a 128Mb video card. Worse part cost her nearly $3000. sigh no one ever listens to the tech geek in the family then expects me to fix it after not listening :cry:
Cyberpumpkin - September 16, 2007 08:16 PM (GMT)
Just to offer a slightly different perspective, it's possible for friends and family to get sick of the family tech geek's "advice", which stereotypically comes in a distinctly "your-lack-of-knowledge-makes-you-lame" flavor.
But you're right, it is
lame to ask for help curing a disease that could've been much more easily prevented by the same person.
Computron - September 18, 2007 01:06 PM (GMT)
Well said Cyberpumpkin. All comments are welcome Archeangel B4U. I'm posting here some links which offer basic advice in maintaining healthy computer habits. These are basic steps and straight forward to prevent computer blues before they happen. http://www.yourwaresolutions.com/articles/compmaint.html
This link offers advice, links and software recommendation on backing up your most precious files in the advent of a computer falling ill. http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/backup.htm
This one helps you to have a faster running computer.:http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/3...y_and_fast.html
And finally, here are some steps to follow in computer hygiene.:http://www.computerdust.com/computer-cleaning.html
Have a happy computer.
Computron - September 20, 2007 08:04 PM (GMT)
I'm back wtih a brand-spaking new Hard drive. Western Digital 80 gig IDE.
This is what i did.
1- I previously made a system back up using Norton Ghost. Its a nifty software that takes a snapshot of your system. When you create the ghost, it stores a picture of your hard drive with all the programs, drivers (with a little tinkering) and settings.
2- I removed the old drive. I always take care not to store any important data on the C: drive, cause its most likely to bug.
3-I replaced it with the new hard drive. (60$ canadian...oh yeah canadian currency is now almost equal to us currency.) Set the jumper to master and plugged the power and the ide connector. Then placed in the Windowx XP cd. Restart.
4- I entered the bios and change the boot sequence to boot with the windowx xp cd. I follewed the steps to format (ntfs) and install xp.
5-Once the waiting was over, i did NOT register or validate Windows Xp because i already did. If you re-register, it might take your key for a stolen one ( when you use a copy cd with a key with it, it might be installed on several others computers, thats how they now and block you from updating.
6- I re-installed Norton Ghost, and accessed the restoring option. Rebooted and waited again.
7- Blam, back in buisness. All my software are installed, all my setting restored as described in step one. Update all my stuff and restart to switch back the bios boot sequence.
Hope this helps if ever you encounter problems.
Roadbuster - September 20, 2007 08:25 PM (GMT)
Hey Compy, i got a question for ye on the hardware side...
Simply put, how difficult is it to replace a power supply?
For me b'day I got Oblivion. It ran slow on even the lowest possible settings on my computer and it got me thinking... my computer is @ 3 years old, but it's aged well. It is a 3.4Ghz HP tower. I started pondering what I might do to fix it up a bit so it'll last a couple more years (till my wife finishes her Fellowship)
So, at any rate, switching out one of the two 512M stick for a 1024M and replacing my NVidia 256M with a 512M card AND replacing my wireless network router... basically because my wife has been pestering me to do that for about two years.... and BAM nice new shiney computational ability... mostly.
The one thing is that apparently the NVIDIA requires a better power supply than my current can offer. Not huge deal, it puts itself on a lower setting automatically, and I can still run all the games at kickass capability. I just make sure I put the computer in sleep mode when I walk away.
So, I'm thinking I should probably start looking to see how feasible it is to switch out the power supply.
Jackass Maximus - September 20, 2007 10:19 PM (GMT)
usually it's easy, but hp could use a proprietary ps.
Computron - September 21, 2007 12:31 AM (GMT)
Like Jackass Maximus said, and as i posted earlier, name brand computer uses name brand parts. Most of them. Be sure to get a hp brand power supply. I would check with the motherbord model, (usually a shticker on the motherborad) then check the manual for more details.
And here is how to choose the right power supply:http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,113931/article.html
Assuming your tower is an ATX formfactor (ordinary computer tower, not slim or mini), this is how to hook up your power supply:http://www.fonerbooks.com/r_power.htm
This link show how to change lots of parts, practical for the beginners.
Best of luck and keep me up to date.
Computron - September 21, 2007 12:55 AM (GMT)
P3 800 (found in the trash)
512 DSRAM (found in the trash)
Soundblaster live! soundcard
Maxtor Ide controller
Antec scsi controller
D-Link network card
LG DVD RW
LG CD ROM
All-In-Wonder 7500 Videocard with RCA adapters
Antec 450w power supply
6 hard drives of various sizes, one on a removable tray. (some found in the trash)
Mobo in a Asus TUSL (Thanks to Prisma)
Removable Hard drive tray (Ment for servers or, but i use it to recuperate data from hard drives, make back ups on hard drives.)
ATI remote + wireless receiver
AGFA SnapScan 1236scsi
Logitec 5.1 spekears
MS Natural Pro Keyboard
MS Trackball Explorer Mouse
Logitec Webcam Chat
SpeadStream Efficient dsl modem
Linksys ethernet router.
I call her Ol'Bessy. Its not the size that matters, its the way you use it.
Jackass Maximus - September 21, 2007 11:42 AM (GMT)
I'm in a bit of a pickle now. I've got to save money to eat and live and such, but I also really want to play Crysis. I figure it'll cost me about $800 to get my system up to spec, but it also means buying a first-generation DX10 card (which are out-performed by last-generation DX9's in DX9 games) and Vista.
I haven't used Vista very much, but it's not as bad as everyone seems to think, besides being bloated.
I also want to take most of the parts from my current computer and build a mATX Home Theatre PC to double as a network media server.
My question is: would it be prudent to make the HTPC a linux box? I like the look of Ubuntu, and it should be able to handle everything that I intend to use the comp for, but I've never really used Linux and am somewhat reluctant to join the ranks of self-important penguin worshippers.
Swoop - September 21, 2007 01:22 PM (GMT)
I'm not a "self-important penguin worshiper", but I have used Kubuntu exclusively on my primary system for nearly a year now.
Computron - September 21, 2007 02:08 PM (GMT)
I've been out of job since march, money issues i know...I'm not Linux experienced my self. I'm not saying i wouldn't try it someday. But lets face it, Microsoft is everywhere and like it or not. Linux is an opened base OS meaning everyone and anyone can come up with drivers, software and OS tweeks and variances, with a the know how of course. But will the drivers of an THPC stand up? How about software choices? Hardware compatibility? With its good and bad sides, it's a Microsoft world i tell ya...
A linux man would have better answers so, Peguines devotees, manifest your selves.
As a computer addict my self, oh how i wished i had a couple of 1000$ to blow on a new system right about now. See my specs. :(
Here are some interesting links that might get your nurons going for a better choice.
Ubuntu HTPC guide:http://www.ethics-gradient.net/myth/mythdvb.html
Linux HTPC howtos:http://www.linuxis.us/linux/media/howto/linux-htpc/
Why not consider a MAC THPC?http://www.machtpc.com/
And PCWorld HTPC component style cases recomended stores:http://www.calibex.com/serv/calibex2/buyer...DID=13101366511
Windows Media Center guide:http://www.htpcmediacenter.com/
CNET's HTPC introduction:http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10165_7-6364472-1.html
If its a look issue, try WindowsBlind to give Windows a custom look:http://www.stardock.com/products/windowblinds/
And for downloadable skins for Windows:http://www.wincustomize.com/
Be sure to look up consumer's reports/opinions/reviews before buying. Do get stuck with a lemon! Good luck.
koshka - September 21, 2007 06:09 PM (GMT)
okay now. Tangent question.
Do you (or I guess anyone.) have a programming background? I have basic level html experience, but I'm looking at some online/night courses, and I'm wondering what the natural progression would be. php, java, etc.
thanks and kisses.
Computron - September 21, 2007 08:15 PM (GMT)
Hi koshka, like i often heard in GI-JOE, knowing is half the battle. I manely play with computer parts and have no experience what so ever with programming, exept my VHS recorder.
As i've been told, HTML is relatively easy to learn and many places teaches HTML.
Here's a website that offers free courses. You could download a the whole content of the webpage and keep it in your computer or laptop to learn by your self, like i did with most of my computer know-how.
Here's where to get HTTrack Website Copier, its a free app:http://www.download.com/HTTrack-Website-Co...tml?tag=lst-6-1
Here's your programming school free courses, as it sais in the page, " the best things in life are free."http://www.w3schools.com/
Prisma Nova - September 21, 2007 08:30 PM (GMT)
Koshka, you can look at what employers are looking for today, in terms of experience withing web design.http://montreal.craigslist.org/web/
It will give you an idea what to get in order to remain "competitive" in this market.
Hope it will help.
Jackass Maximus - September 21, 2007 10:08 PM (GMT)
koshka I'm working as a web designer now and my programming path has gone like this:
koshka - September 22, 2007 01:36 PM (GMT)
Thanks all. Now I have to go ponder.
Computron - September 26, 2007 10:34 PM (GMT)
Hello all, here are some tutorials i've come across and wanted to share them with you all:
Tweeking Windows XP and start menu to run faster:http://www.metacafe.com/watch/839179/how_t...windows_faster/
Removing Windows XP boot screen:http://www.metacafe.com/watch/815827/get_r...xp_boot_screen/
Increase your WIFI signal:http://www.metacafe.com/watch/836145/how_t...e_wi_fi_signal/
Hacking your wireless antenna to double range and strenght:http://www.metacafe.com/watch/837885/wifi_antenna_hack/
Hacking an UPS to store data:http://www.metacafe.com/watch/830090/ups_hack_hide/
Watch worldwide network cameras with google and control them:http://www.tinkernut.com/archives/18
Have fun, more tutorials to come!
O.Supreme - September 26, 2007 10:56 PM (GMT)
ok I have a quesiton. My wife and I just recently bought a laptop for her work. However the main program she needs for her work (Auto CAD 2005), does not work with Vista, only XP. The Hardrive was already partitioned so we bought XP hoping to do a "dual boot" system. When our computer "expert" friend tried this however he ran into several driver etc... incompatibilites with XP & Vista. I know that these 2 OS's are ery different, but is there no way to run them both on one PC?
I wish the company she is working for would get the newest version of AutoCad which works with Vista but they dont want to "upgrade" at this point so we are stuck....
Computron - September 26, 2007 11:07 PM (GMT)
Hello O.Supreme. Good news! It is possible for you to install XP and Vista. It is recommended to have Vista already installed. In any case, i found this tutorial that you can try step by step. Its easy to follow, you could probably do it your self.
As for the drivers, which had troubles? What brand/model of laptop? Did your laptop come with the system cd? I don't think its compatibility problem.
Windows XP installed first OR Windows Vista installed first(follow the link), with pictures, for the visual type:http://apcmag.com/5023/dual_booting_xp_with_vista
Remember to always back up your important files first.
O.Supreme - September 27, 2007 02:40 PM (GMT)
Thank You. It is an Acer with a Pentium Centrino Processor. Brand new we just bought it in July (Vista was the OS it came with) 120 GB Hardrive in 3 partitions. I'm not sure of the processor speed. Anyway, it was purchased form Best Buy, and probably like an idiot I bought into the whole "Geek Squad" backup plan (approxamately $200 for 3 years). Of course they said this insured any damage to the system, but for any house call they automatically chage $140, and of course this does not cover any damage due to Viruses or Spyware, which is why we had to buy the latest protection for all that (Bastards!). I automatically backed up all our data files first thing, but unfortunately we did not recieve a system disk when we got the computer, however we were able to order one form the Acer website, and it should be coming soon. Thanks for the link. I'll forward it home and see if we can make this thing work.
Computron - September 27, 2007 04:09 PM (GMT)
Most system retailers don't offer damage protection because some software can cause physical damage to a system. The only thing they cover is hardware, thats why its important to understand and use firewalls, (not the one that comes with windows) anti-viruses and spyware removing tools. Getting the system CD is a wise decision but as i metioned earlier, the system CD probably comes with Vista and the drivers all in one. i looked up Acer and all of their laptop are XP compatible. So it must have been a faulty installation( the system cd should fix the driver problems). Good luck.
I always encourage people who wishes to invest in computer system (or in anything as a matter of fact) to shop online and too read about the produt they wish buy. There are always guidelines in buying stuff to get your money's worth and not to fill the salesman commision pockets.
Here are a couple of links that does that:
Evaluation to just about anything.(subscription needed)http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm
An other one that deals with submited reviews:http://www.epinions.com/
PCWolrd's all purpose laptop top 10 list:http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,123678;p...ry/article.html
Jackass Maximus - September 27, 2007 04:49 PM (GMT)
I hope you know that this is a joke...
Computron - September 27, 2007 06:25 PM (GMT)
Cool, thanks for looking up the links, i was waiting for someone to notice! rofl rofl rofl
Ok on the serious side, this Pringle empty tube hack is not a joke:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq3htRMNmss
Here is the detailed how-to:http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/weblog/view/wlg/448
Computron - September 27, 2007 10:08 PM (GMT)
Looking for a driver? Old or new device, Driverguide.com has it for you. It has Wizards to help you find your device and guides you to your driver, if not present, it redirects you to your device makers webpage. Neet-o. Registering is free.http://www.driverguide.com
Test My Hardware:
|Test My Hardware collects and displays system configuration information for your computers. This includes information about system configurations, computer components, and operating system. When support technicians troubleshoot your system configuration, they require specific information about your computer. You can use Test My Hardware Information to quickly find the information that these technicians need to resolve a system problem.|
You can get information about the mainboard, CPU, BIOS, video adapter, printers, sound card, keyboard, modem etc.
Corrected link with latest version 2.3 (October 5)
PC Wizard is like Test My Pc but better:http://www.cpuid.com/pcwizard.php
|SpeedFan monitors voltages, fan speeds, and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips. It can even access SMART information for hard disks that support this feature, and show hard-disk temperatures if that's supported. SpeedFan fully supports SCSI disks and can even change the FSB on some hardware (but this should be considered a bonus feature). At the lowest level, SpeedFan is a hardware monitor software that can access temperature sensors, but mainly it can control fan speeds (depending on the capabilities of your sensor chip and your hardware) according to the temperatures inside your PC, thus reducing noise and power consumption.|
Computron - October 2, 2007 08:42 PM (GMT)
I just visited Demonoid.com to brows trough the torrents when i suddently was faced with this message:
|We received a letter from a lawyer represeting the CRIA, they were threatening with legal action and We need to start blocking Canadian traffic because of this. If you reside in Canada, that is the reason you are being redirected to this message. Thanks for your understanding, and sorry for any inconvenience. |
What a drag. This will not do. I will tell you how i got to not only see the webpage but to download too. Simple answer actually. Proxy.
If you're ever stuck in that predicament, try this out.
First lets find a proxy list.http://www.atomintersoft.com/products/aliv...oxy/proxy-list/
Now in that list, select a proxy. Note the hosting country. I used a USA based proxy.
Now, in Tools, internet option, connection, click on LAN settings.
Put a checkmark on "use a proxy server for your LAN."
Put in the IP and the port number ( the port number comes after the : )
Do not put the the IP and the port number in the same space. Click ok.
Your done. Now Demonoid thinks your in USA. Once you're done, uncheck "use a proxy server for your LAN."
Computron - October 5, 2007 06:06 PM (GMT)
Ever heard of a KVM switch? Its a simple little device which enables you to hook up 2 computer towers (or more depending on the model) with the same mouse, keyboard and screen, depending on the model, you can hook up more devices such as audio, usb and data transfer. I own the PCI210 switch and use it to fix computers so i don't have to fumble for the cables all the time. Simply press the CTRL button 2 times and you're switched. You could even hook up that old pc and have fun with it once again. Its available in any computer store such as Staples, Best Buy etc...
Here are some examples of KVM switches:http://www.pciusacorp.com/products.php?subclassid=21