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Subject: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/28/06 at 2:00 pm

With over 35 years of experience with computers (18 with PCs), I am fairly knowledgable with most computer problems.

If anybody has any questions or wants some advice, feel free to ask.  I have been doing this on Yahoo Answers for almost a year now, and have an average of 58% being chosen as the best answer.

I will answer any question, from how to protect your system, software to add-on, or advice in what kind of computer to get.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 07/28/06 at 3:18 pm

Alright, I'll play :)

Let's see...my computer was purchased in May of 2000, runs @ 650 MHz with about 256 MB of RAM (I forgot if I upgraded it, but I'm at lab now so I can't check :P ) which I guess are the specs you really need.  Oh yeah, I'm on WinXP.  I think it might be a spyware or adware or maybe even a virus I can't get rid of, but there are a few issues going on with the computer, feel free to address whichever one (or all of them if you'd like :) ):

Okay...

1.  Computer freezes whenever I play video.  Does not matter what kind of file, numerous attempts to format hard drive to clean out whatever bug might be causing this have failed.  Freezes anyway even if WMP or DivX is the only program running.

2.  Computer runs incredibly slowly upon startup.  Tried looking in the "Systems Processes" tab but nothing seems out of the ordinary.  The only things I want at startup are the essential files and WeatherBug.  Don't know what is causing this, either.

3.  I have a HP 1410v printer/scanner/copier and it's attached via USB to my computer.  There seems to be some miscommunication between the printer and the CPU, as the printer stalls every now and then and the print queue continues to think that something is printing, yet nothing prints.  I've resorted to printing one page at a time, directly to the printer instead of spooling.  Still freezes sometimes, to the point where (even though I can run other apps in the background) I must reboot several times to clear the print queue, because the print job mysteriously remains even after I purge it.  Weird.

I run Ad-Aware every week or so to clean up my computer.  What are your suggestions?  Thanks :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/28/06 at 4:52 pm


Let's see...my computer was purchased in May of 2000, runs @ 650 MHz with about 256 MB of RAM (I forgot if I upgraded it, but I'm at lab now so I can't check :P ) which I guess are the specs you really need.  Oh yeah, I'm on WinXP.  I think it might be a spyware or adware or maybe even a virus I can't get rid of, but there are a few issues going on with the computer, feel free to address whichever one (or all of them if you'd like :) ):


To be honest, you are probably running against the end of the lifespan of the computer.

Most computers are built with an expected lifespan of 3-5 years.  After that, the wear and tear of useage tends to start causing problems.  Power Supplies and Hard Drives are the first things that you start to see failue in.  That was also an era where nobody was thinking about cooling, so increased heat just adds to those problems.

If you are having random lock-ups, I would first question the hard drive.  Check to see if it is making any unusual noises (clicking, loud whirring noise when it spins).  Also check the motherboard.  There should be a series of capaciters on it (those are the things that look like little barrels).  The tops of them should all either be flat, or slightly recessed.  If any of them are bulged outwards, then the board has gone bad.

Another problem is power supplies.  Your PS has 2 voltages, 12 volts and 5 volts.  Quite often what happens is the 5 volt part goes bad, and starts to send 12 volts down the 5 volt channel.  This can cause lockups and crashes, in addition to damaging the computer and other components.

You may also simply be running across the problem of software that exceeds the capability of the hardware.  The Recommended minimum for XP is 1 GHz, althought it will run on slower machines.  And modern videos have a much higher requirement for processor power then they did 5-10 years ago.  The compression rates of a modern copy of DIVX is much higher then that for an AVI of 10 years ago.  Not enough processor power can result in dropped frames, choppy playback, and even the sound falling out of sync of the video.

I often work with uncompressed raw video.  Unless you have a system over 3 GHz, you will not even get them to play at all.  They simply push through so much data at a time that any computer more then 1-2 years old can't keep up.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 07/28/06 at 7:44 pm

Crap, guess I gotta pony up some cash to get a new one then.  This one is working sorta well for the time being, except for the freezes.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/29/06 at 7:39 am


Crap, guess I gotta pony up some cash to get a new one then.  This one is working sorta well for the time being, except for the freezes.


Well, that is kinda like "My car works sorta well, except when I try to start it because the battery is weak, and when I try to stop it because the brakes are failing".

I find a good way to guage if your computer is "over the hill" is to take a walk through the software isle of your major retail store (WalMart, K-Mart, Target, etc).  When you are unable to play more then 75% of the games because your computer does not meet the minimum specs, then it is time to upgrade.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/29/06 at 7:51 am


With over 35 years of experience with computers (18 with PCs), I am fairly knowledgable with most computer problems.
Were your past 17 PCs just needed upgrades or did you picked viruses along the way?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: KKay on 07/29/06 at 9:53 am

where can i find a good resource online for teaching people that are completely computer-stupid?
the basics...email, basic database, the spacebar....


>:(

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/29/06 at 10:53 am


Were your past 17 PCs just needed upgrades or did you picked viruses along the way?


That is 18 years of experience with PCs.  Before that it was either Mainframes, Lisa, Macintosh, or Commodore Pet, Vic-20, C-64, or Amiga.  Also in there is experience with TRS-80, Atari (400, 800, and ST), Apple II and III, and a few others that are no longer with us.  I first started working with IBM PCs in 1988.

Computers I myself owned started with the Pet, Vic-20, Macintosh, C-64, and then at least 20 different IBM models over the years (from the 8086 to my current Athlon 64 3500).  I upgrade my home computer an average of once a year.  My computer before this (last year) was an AMD Athlon 3500 32 bit.  I am planning my current upgrade, which I will do in the next few months.  It will probably be a newer Athlon 64 bit, either a 4000 or 4200 dual core, I have not decided yet.

Luckily, I have only been hit by virus a handfull of times in all the years I worked on computers.  Most were of the nuisance variety, with only 1 bad hit, and that was actually from a trojan horse in 1998.  I am fanatical about antivirus software and antispyware programs, and update and run them on a weekly basis.  Since I do not go to porn, gambling, or hacker sites, that keeps my exposure to things like that to a minimum.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 07/29/06 at 10:55 am


Well, that is kinda like "My car works sorta well, except when I try to start it because the battery is weak, and when I try to stop it because the brakes are failing".


Exactly ;D  My issue is that I can't really afford an upgrade right now, so I gave my wife the good computer and I'm going to milk every last drop of usefulness out of this one and then go Office Space on it :)



I find a good way to guage if your computer is "over the hill" is to take a walk through the software isle of your major retail store (WalMart, K-Mart, Target, etc).  When you are unable to play more then 75% of the games because your computer does not meet the minimum specs, then it is time to upgrade.


I don't use my computer to play games much anymore...rather, I use it mostly for word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, internet, and creating PowerPoint presentations.  So I really don't need anything too fancy, I just want the darned thing to work :P

Today I tried to print out something off the internet, set it to one page only, and now it won't print, it crashed the browser, and the little printer status thingy is still in my toolbar trying to delete the job, which probably means I have to reboot this thing several times before it'll go away.  Grr.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/29/06 at 12:18 pm


where can i find a good resource online for teaching people that are completely computer-stupid?
the basics...email, basic database, the spacebar....


I have nver found any good resources on-line, but I have long recommended the Dummies series of books.  I have used them myself many times when I am first exposed to something new, and have to learn how to use it fast (Windows NT, Palm OS, Brain Surgery).  They are inexpensive, and work good as both tutorial and reference.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: KKay on 07/29/06 at 1:05 pm


I have nver found any good resources on-line, but I have long recommended the Dummies series of books.  I have used them myself many times when I am first exposed to something new, and have to learn how to use it fast (Windows NT, Palm OS, Brain Surgery).  They are inexpensive, and work good as both tutorial and reference.


fabulous. thanks.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/29/06 at 1:53 pm


I don't use my computer to play games much anymore...rather, I use it mostly for word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, internet, and creating PowerPoint presentations.  So I really don't need anything too fancy, I just want the darned thing to work :P


This is not just about useing your computer to play games.

In most cases, games are designed to work on the higher end computers of the era.  Games which seemed "high ended" at the time (Like The Sims 2) required computers that were almost new at the time.  However, that was 2 years ago.  The Sims 2 requires a 1 GHz with 256 megs RAM.  The issue starts to become "what are you capable of running on the machine.

Even programs like "Norton Antivirus" are requiring more and more power.  If you want to run the newest version, you had better have XP or 2000.  Anything lower, and it will install Norton 2005.  And many other programs are requiring 1.8 GHz and more to even work.

All to often, I see people trying to drag whatever life they can out of a computer.  This morning I had a gal that came in with a Gateway.  It was an antique, with a 400 MHz processor wunning Windows 98.  Her power supply and hard drive failed.  I told her that replaceing the power supply, hard drive, and reloading the system would run her about $125.  For $200 I could have sold her a system twice as fast, with 4 times as much RAM and Windows 2000.  But she saw no reason to do that, so I am in the process of fixing the old thing.  And I know that within a year or so, something else like the motherboard will die and she would basically be throwing it all away.

What I tell most people to do is to either get one built for you, or build it yourself if you can.  Then simply replace components as they get old.  In the long run, it is much cheaper that way.  And there are a lot of "cheap components" available to do this with.  Biostar makes a motherboard with a 1.6 GHz processor for around $70.  You might also check some of your local small computer stores.  They often have used parts they will sell cheap.  Where I work we have a $5 box, full of drives, processors, motherboards, and the like.  Our average price for a used 2 GHz motherboard and processor is around $50.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 07/29/06 at 8:00 pm

Yeah, I intend to replace this old thing when I can, just for the time being I have to find out how to make it last until that point.  If it's a hardware problem, though, then I guess it's a hit-and-miss and we'll see what happens.  I don't have too many important files on this computer anymore anyway.

I've seen some pretty good computers on Dell.com for less than $400 that I think I will shoot for.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 07/29/06 at 8:16 pm

It may be nothing, but every now and then my power supply also sounds like it shuts down and starts back up again (the fan and whirring shut down for like a fraction of a second) but not enough to actually turn the computer off.  I wonder if it's bad.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/30/06 at 10:02 am


I've seen some pretty good computers on Dell.com for less than $400 that I think I will shoot for.


If I can give one word of advice about those inexpensive mass-market computers, it is stay the hell away!  And I am not kidding.  At the beginning of the year, we decided to try saving those that we had to totally rebuild.  Last week, I finally threw away over 40 of them, because they were simply taking up to much room.  All of them were less then 2 years old, and most were Dells.  The others were scattered between HP-Compaq, E-Machine, and Gateway.

All of the companies take shortcuts on the cheap models, but Dell seems to be the worst of the lot.  Now do not think this is anti-Dell (or anti-corporate computer).  Dell makes some of the best computers in the market, if you are willing to shell out $1,000+.  The sub-1k computers are really junk.  And even worse, they are propriatary as hell.  At least with an HP or Compaq, you can put it into a better case, which does wonders for the lifespan.  With a dell, you can't do that.  The screw holes are in the wrong place, and the way the buttons and everything hooks up are not standard.

And you will discover that while the $1k+ computers normally have a 1 year warranty, the cheaper ones have "1 year free technical support".  Do not think that is a warranty, the warranty is normally only 90 days, and you have to send it off to be repaired.  The technical support only means that you can call them for up to one year, and have them tell you that it is dead.  I have already rebuilt several of those this year, that were bought this year!  And the repair bill is normally around $350-400.


It may be nothing, but every now and then my power supply also sounds like it shuts down and starts back up again (the fan and whirring shut down for like a fraction of a second) but not enough to actually turn the computer off.  I wonder if it's bad.


That can be many things, most likely motherboard or power supply.  Check for blown capacitors on the motherboard.  That is where the power is processed, and if one or more is blown, then it is sending erratic power to the rest of the components.  It may also be that your power supply is under-wattage.  Make sure that it is at least a 350 watt supply.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/30/06 at 10:55 am

I have had a few people ask me what to look for when buying a new computer.  So here is a list of things to look or ask for when you are shopping for a brand new computer:

64 bit processor: Unless it is at least a 64 bit processor, stay away, unless it is a real deal.  When Vista comes out next year, you will finally be able to use this to it's full advantage.  If you buy a 32 bit processor new now, you are simply buying somebodies old stock, so avoid unless it is a real deal.

CPU: If you are having a computer built for you (or building it yourself), make sure you are getting a "Retail Box" CPU.  This is one that comes in a manufacturers box (AMD, Intel, Via) and has a CPU cooler with it.  Avoid the OEM sets.  They may be cheaper, but they only have a 90 day warranty.  A Retail Box will have a 3 year warranty.  It is not worth the $10 saved to find it dies 6 months later, and you are stuck with it.

DDR or DDR-2 RAM:  Do not buy a computer that does not at least use DDR.  Avoid a system that uses PC-133 or RAMBUS, those are all old (3 years +) technology.

A case with good cooling:  Make sure that the case has good cooling.  Count the fans on the case, not including any fans on the power supply or CPU cooler, only fans on the case itself.  It should have as a minimum 1-2 80mm fans on the front (or a single 120mm fan), and be blowing across the hard drive.  This is to keep the drive cool, since heat is a major issue with the size and speed (7,200-12,000 RPM) is a major cause of hard drive failure.  Also look for at least 2 80MM (or 1 120mm) fan in the rear for cooling.  Fans on the side and top are a plus, but not needed.  If your case does not at least have that, look elsewhere, because components will start to die within 2 years.

Power supply:  As a minimum, make sure it at least has 350 watts of power.  If it has a lot of extras (2 CD drives, card readers, TV card, etc), make sure it has 400 watts or more.  To small of a power supply also is a way to guarantee your system will not last 2 years.

Hard Drive:  Make sure that it uses SATA hard drives, and not IDE.  Almost 2 years ago, SATA became the drive of choice among most custom builders, because of the increased speed and ease of use.  They are 35% faster then IDE, but cost on average only $5 more.  For a single builder, it is worth the expense, but for somebody like Dell, the $5 per computer saved turns into big bucks.  Also unless it is at least 120 gigs, you might want to look elsewhere.

Video card:  It is not nessicary that it have a video card installed, but make sure that it can handle one.  Unless the computer has a 16x PCI Express slot on board, keep looking.  Most of the cheap computers only have PCI slots, not even the older AGP.  That means that the capability of increasing the video at a later date is not even there.  In fact, if you look at the cheaper computers (Dell, HP-Compaq, etc) they often have the space on the board for an AGP to be soldered on, they simply have not done it.  This lets them sell the same motherboard with the slot as an "Upgrade", normally charging $75 extra for adding a $1 piece of plastic during manufacture.  And do not worry about an AGP slot, that is no longer used.

Bling-Bling:  There are a lot of extras you can add to your computer.  Here are some to consider:

Temperature/Fan controller:  There is really no need to controll your fans, but it is always nice to know how hot your computer is running.  Put the probe in the fins of the CPU heat sink, and keep an eye on it.  If it is running over 15 degrees (10c) over ambient room temperature, then it is to hot and something needs to be done to cool it off.

Card Reader:  More and more devices use "smart cards" to hold data, from cell phones and PDAs to hand held games and MP3 players.  Make sure the reader you get can handle all of the cards you plan on useing.  THere are over 30 different formats of cards.  Some devices available combine the floppy drive and card reader in one device.

Things you do not need:  Unless you have some need to use the following items, look cautiously if somebody offers to put one in.  These are all old technology, and generally no longer used:

ZIP Drive:  Went the way of the Dodo bird over 5 years ago.  Expensive and small compared to CDRW and DVDRW.

LS-120:  The "Super Floppy", it had this nasty habbit of eating disks.  Unless you use them, do not bother.

AGP:  The video standard of choice until last year, it is also extinct.  Unless you have a very expensive card you want to use, avoid it.  You can probably buy a newer-better card for less then $60.

Tape Backup:  Also extinct.  How good is a tape that lets you back-up 1 gig of data, when we have 100+ gig drives?  And witht he cost of tape, useing CDRW or DVD is much cheaper.


In closing:  I always encourage people to go to their small local computer store, and not the "Big Box" or online outlets.  For one, it keeps your money in your local community.  Also, you will find that having a computer built for you is often much better, and roughly around the same price.  Plus they tend to stick with the same brands of components, so they know the parts used and can make a knowledgeable recommendation based upon what you need.  Plus when it comes time to upgrade, you only have to replace components that are outdated, not the entire computer.  And when you have a problem, you simply go to them, you are not calling somebody in India, who is reading out of a book.

If you want to go local, ask your friends.  See who they go to, and why.  Go in yourself and shop the stores in your area.  Some things to look for are:

Are the computers clearly marked?  If they are not, then the price changes depending on what they think you can afford, stay away.

Are there repair and replacement parts clearly marked?  If there are no parts visible for sale (motherboards, CD drives, cases, etc), then they are only trying to sell complete units, not to customize systems.  Keep looking.

Are the parts priced?  I am often amazed when I go into a store, and see shelves full of parts with no price on them.  And I only see this in the computer industry.

Ask them about what parts they use, and which they avoid:  A good computer store will tell you why they use the particular brand of motherboards, cases, etc.  If prompted, they may tell you which ones they no longer use or stay away from because of poor quality.  If they push companies like "PC Chips", run away.  This is an uber-cheap manufacturer favored in fly-by-night repair shops.

I hope I did not confuse anybody, or scare them away.  But unless you are a company like Boeing that needs 25,000 identical computers, it is always better to buy local and custom.  Small computer shops tend to rely on word of mouth and later repeat business to stay alive.  They build good components, and are designed to last.

Companies like Dell, HP, and the like now build cheap junk for the consumers.  They factor in a 1

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/31/06 at 9:34 am


Hmmm... What would you suggest to those looking at laptops? Such as, say, me.  ;D People have been telling me completely different things (such as the "buy a  Dell" vs. "Dell's Suck!" debate  ::)), and I figure I might as well ask your opinion. I'm in the $700/800 price range.


If that is your range, then you will not have much choice but to buy a low end Dell consumer model.  But do not expect to have any kind of warranty, battery life, or computer lifespan.

The biggest problem I have with Dell (and the other mass-market companies) is that they are lowering peoples expectations about what a computer should cost.  They roll out these cheap $300-600 computers, and people expect that all computers should cost that much.  Never mind that they are cheap computers, and do not last.  Good quality computers have cost in the $800-1,000 range for the last 15 years.  They still cost that much today, but people are starting to consider that to be "to expensive", because of the flood of $299 computers they see on TV.

Quality laptops still start in the $1,200+ range.  However, the same thing happens there as with desktops.  Dell runs tons of TV ads bragging on their $600 laptop, and people start to expect that to be the normal price.  But at that cost, you end up with a much smaller hard drive, a 30 minute battery, lower RAM, slower processor, and a 3 month warranty.  Even replaceing the low end battery to something that will last a couple of hours costs over $100.  Add in the cost for more RAM, warranty extension, and before you know it you are right back up at $1,000.  But instead of getting a good quality computer for that $1k, you upgraded a cheap computer until it reached that price.

If you want a computer in that range, look around on-line for refurbished corporate models.  You can sometimes find great deals that way.  We recently got some in that we are selling for $900, and they still have just under a year of full Dell warranty.  Try looking around for a Dell Latitude C610.  You can frequently find them on E-Bay and online retailers in the $400-600 range.  This was a very popular corporate lease model, and replacement parts are plentifull.  Larger batteries, DVD-CDRW drives, second hard drives, ZIP drive, even car & airplane rechargers.  Also look for Compaq Armadas or Evos, or Panasonic Toughbooks.  All are quality corporate laptops.

Myself, I use a Panasonic Toughbook 1.8 GHz that I bought off lease last year.  All told I paid around $400 for it, and it is damned near indestructible.  It came off of a military lease, and still had the unit's name on the cover when I bought it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 07/31/06 at 12:52 pm

So if I were to buy one from Dell anyway, should I go for the more expensive ones in the hopes that they last longer?

Or should I go to a place like Fry's Electronics or ask the Dell folks to build me one to spec?

I'm scared now :o  Computers break down so easily!  :\'(

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/01/06 at 9:40 am


thanks! i have been checking the Dell outlet, but not lately.

what do you suggest if i were to, say, save up and get a $1,000 notebook? I was looking at an HP with the Centrino Duo...


What matters is not the name of the company or the processor, it is the model that matters.  Think of it like this:

General Motors sells the Geo Metro.  They also sell the Cadillac DeVille.  But do not buy a Metro, thinking that you are getting a DeVille, just because they are both made by GM.

With computers, it is the same way.  Dell makes the Dimension, a cheap consumer piece of junk.  They also make the OptiPlex, a quality machine that is only available to large corporations and the Government.  Compaq makes the cheap Presario for consumers, but they also made the Deskpro, and now the Evo line of computers.  You simply can't compare the two of them, even though they are made by the same company.

Try looking at your local computer stores.  You might be surprised at what they sell.  We are a small local store, and we sell a fair amount of "White Books".  And they sell new (with warranty) in the $800-1,200 range.  A good one we sold a lot of this last year was the Acer.  They come with a 1 year warranty, DVDRW, Wi-Fi, 120 gig hard drive, and are less then $900.

It always amazes me how people will continue to buy on-line, thinking they will save a buck.  Quite often the same people who will scream against WalMart killing local business, will not go to a local computer store to see what they have to offer.  If they do go to a "Computer Store", it is often a big box store like Circus City.  Where the guy selling computers and laptops this week was selling car stereos last week, and knows less about them then my grandmother does.  They just push the most expensive one they can get away with, because they get a comission.

And here is another big secret:  Name brand "Computers" are not made by their companies.  Dell buys it's motherboards from Intel.  HP and Compaq buy most of their motherboards from Asus and Asrock (2 branches of the same company).  This year though, Compaq switched from Asus to MSI.  E-Machines uses DFI a lot, and most of the motherboards in Microns and Gateways are also Intel motherboards, unless it is an AMD chip, in which they use MSI.

And MSI and Asus make most of the laptops also.  Asus is actually the largest laptop maker in the world, selling to both Dell and HP-Compaq.  They are simply made to the specification of the end company, and they put their names on it.  10 years ago, it was the same way, only WinBook made most of the laptops.  Panasonic, Toshiba, and Sony are about the only companies that sell laptops that they themselves manufacturered.

In fact, if you are adventerous, you can build your own laptop!  Both Asus and MSI sell "Barebook" systems, where you install your own RAM, Processor, Hard Drive, and Optical drive.  You can normally get them through your local computer store, or on-line.  They come in models that can take either AMD or Intell processors, and that is the best way to be sure that you are getting exactly what you want.  The laptop is pre-assembled, you simply drop in the things I listed, load the OS, and away you go.

http://www.directron.com/laptopdiy.html

And do not think that Dell actually "Builds" your computer just as you want it.  80% of the Dimension computers are the same.  It only takes a few seconds for somebody on their assembly line to drop in 256 megs more RAM, a bigger hard drive, or a DVDRW.  And you might actually find it cheaper to order it without all that stuff, and have a local store put the items in for you after you get it.  For example, if you want to upgrade from the DVD-CDRW combo to a DVD burner, it costs an extra $40, and they keep the Combo.  However, the price difference between a Combo and DVD burner is retail only $10.  We do not even sell anything but DVDRWs where I work anymore, because the price has fallen so much.  We sell them for $65.  The same goes for their RAM, and most other items.  They actually make a vastly larger profit from "Upgrades", because they charge you the higher price, and keep the original item.  When you add that to the cost of the "Upgrade", you are actually comming out behind.

And if you price the $299 system with all the "Dell Recommended" options (like a Windows XP disk), the cost has suddenly jumped from $299 to $740.  But do not be fooled that you are getting a $740 computer, you are still getting the $299 computer, just a bunch of other stuff thrown in with it.  This is a classic example of a "Loss-Leader" add.  Dell actually sells very few $299 computers, most are closer to a grand by the time people walk out the door.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/01/06 at 9:47 am


So if I were to buy one from Dell anyway, should I go for the more expensive ones in the hopes that they last longer?

Or should I go to a place like Fry's Electronics or ask the Dell folks to build me one to spec?

I'm scared now :o  Computers break down so easily!   :\'(


Well, I will say it again:  Check your local small owner-operated computer store.  Most of them can order you almost anything, if they do not have it in stock.

The problem with Big Box stores (Fry's for example) is that you are dealing with a company that does not specialize in computers.  Do not get me wrong, I love Fry's, as long as you know exactly what it is you want.  And beware of the dreaded "White Sticker" on the boxes, that is a customer return that was simply put back on the shelf.  Fry's policy is to restock a return 2-5 times before actually returning it to the manufacturer for replacement.  If you buy something with the white sticker, 75% chance it is dead, and you will have to return it again.

And read what I said above about having Dell (or any big company) "build you one".  It is like having one of the "Big 3" car companies build you a car.  That went out in the 1950's, with acres of chrome and tailfins.  They simply have somebody grab a car that matches the basics at the end of the assembly line, and put in a different option pack.  Any further changes are normally made by the local dealer in their own shop.

I used to work with a guy that worked at Dell.  They have warehouses full of pre-built computers.  The only things they are missing is hard drives and RAM.  When any order comes in, they simply drop in the drive and RAM needed.  It takes them no longer then doing it any other way.  The drives are already pre-loaded with Windows and all the other software.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/01/06 at 1:43 pm

One other thing you should consider when looking for a new computer: Can it run Microsoft VIsta?

I did some looking on Dell, wanting to find the cheapest system they had that could run Vista.  The cheapest was the Dimension E310, with a base price of $400.  Of course, when you finish adding on all the Dell additions that Vista would require, it is $1,085.  And even that does not include a video card, since the built-in Intel graphics are not on the requirement list for Vista.  So on top of that, add another $100 for a replacement video card.

Want a Vista capable laptop from Dell?  Hold on, cause the cheapest one starts at $1,824.  And that was with a laptop with a base price of $899.  You have to spend almost $1,000 extra to have the video, memory, and other things nessicary to run Vista.

And none of their cheaper computers can handle Vista at all.  I just ran the Dell Vista System Test on 3 of the systems we sell, 2 OptiPlex desktops and a Latitude C610 Laptop, and they all failed.  The Laptop was less then 6 months old, and it said all it needed was more memory.  The desktops all failed due to incompatability with the OS, so they will never run Vista.

If you plan on buying a computer in the near future, make sure it can handle Vista.  Otherwise, you will be like a lot of the people that bought new computers in 2000, only to find out they could not handle XP.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 08/01/06 at 1:48 pm

Did they release Vista already?  I thought MS was still working on it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Dominic L. on 08/01/06 at 1:55 pm

Why would somebody need an OS that uses such high graphics and the such? I'm fine with XP!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/01/06 at 3:26 pm


Did they release Vista already?  I thought MS was still working on it.


They are still working on it, expected release date is January 2007, 4 months from now.  And the next generation of a lot of programs are going to require Vista.  PhotoShop, Premiere, Avid, and AutoCAD are all awaiting Vista to release their newest versions, and all are going to require Vista and 64 bit processors.  Within 2 years, expect almost half of the new programs made to require it.


Why would somebody need an OS that uses such high graphics and the such? I'm fine with XP!


The major part of the industry that drives the requirements for graphics is games.

Every year now, we are being introduced to 2 or more newer generations of video card processors.  And when they come out, the game companies make changes to their programs, and stop support for the older ones.  VooDoo (which was the ultimate 5 years ago) is now a relic, and can't play anything more advanced then StarCraft.  In fact, GPUs (Graphics Processor Units) built into todays video cards are just as powerful as the CPU on the main computer.  And they started to use DDR2 RAM when the industry was just switching over to DDR1.  Most high end cards today already use DDR3 RAM.

One of the reason Microsoft built such high video requirements into Vista is to help curb the trend of the major computer manufacturers like Dell from building cheap boxes with crappy video.  The $300 Dimension is in no way, shape, or form Vista capable.  It fails the Vista requirements in many ways.  By forcing them to make their computers more upgradeable, it is a benefit to the consumer.  I can't tell you how many times I have had a customer come in with a low end Dell, HP-Compaq or Gateway, and they wanted to play something like The Sims 2.  I then have to tell them that the video can't handle the game, and there is no way it will ever handle it, because there is no AGP port to put a better video card in.

By requiring a 128 meg video card with high-end graphics rendering and Direct-X 10 support, it basically requires the manufacturers to include a PCI Express video slot.  This does not benefit Microsoft at all, but it does help protect the consumer from getting an un-upgradeable cheap box, which can not do much more then IE and Word because games require a much higher level of graphics.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Dominic L. on 08/01/06 at 3:36 pm

But you could always just get a new video card?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/01/06 at 3:49 pm


But you could always just get a new video card?


Not if there is no Video Card slot on the motherboard.

Most of the sub-$800 units sold until very recently did not have anything but PCI slots.  Even the newest Dell Dimension B110 you buy today at Dell has nothing but PCI slots.

The highest PCI card I have seen had only 64 megs RAM, and was based on a Radeon 9250 engine.  If you want to go higher then that, you need either AGP or PCI Express.  There is no PCI or AGP card made that is 100% Vista compliant.  Vista will run on the newest AGP cards, as long as it is a G-Force 4 or Radeon 9550+, with at least 128 megs of RAM.  But you still will not get full useage, since none of them are Direct-X 10 compliant.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 08/02/06 at 6:08 am

This is a question a friend of mine posed on another forum.

"Since installing our wireless network, i am kicked off the internet every night at midnight. I can easily reconnect, so there is no real probem. Does anybody know why this should happen exactly at midnight. The only thing that happens at midnight, in this house, is that my radio controlled watch goes into recieve mode, to get an update of the time. 
However, if i do this manually, i do not lose my internet connection. Could this be the cause of the problem. Does anyone else know of a problem with radio controlled watches causing problems with wireless connections"

you can read the rest of the discusion here.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/02/06 at 8:56 am


well, you have proven yourself to be most knowledgeable and helpful! thanks!

another question: would you suggest going with a mobile 64-bit processor or the Centrino/Core Duo in a laptop?


Well, the Core Duo laptop chip is a 64 bit processor.  Intel recently started shipping it's 64 bit Centrino processors.  The problem if you buy a Centrino is to make sure you got a 64 bit and not one of the older 32 bit processors.

However, I always recommend getting an AMD processor if you have a choice.  They started the movement to 64 bit processors over 3 years ago, and for the last year have sold nothing but 64 bit desktop processors.  And the latest generation of laptop processors all have the capability to be upgraded to 64 bit.  Intel started 64 bit late in the game, finally moving earlier this year.

In addition, Intel chips have always been the more power hungry of the two.  When all things are as identical as possible, most AMD laptops run 10-20% longer on the same battery.  They also tend to run a bit cooler, because they run at lower core speeds.  This is done by having a more efficient processor, so they do not have to run as fast to give the same performance.

However, if you are looking at buying a new laptop (or desktop) now, I would consider nothing but a 64 bit system.  With Vista comming out in just a few months, 64 bit systems will finally get the software and operating system they deserve, and you will see a large performance boost.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/02/06 at 9:13 am


This is a question a friend of mine posed on another forum.

"Since installing our wireless network, i am kicked off the internet every night at midnight. I can easily reconnect, so there is no real probem. Does anybody know why this should happen exactly at midnight. The only thing that happens at midnight, in this house, is that my radio controlled watch goes into recieve mode, to get an update of the time. 
However, if i do this manually, i do not lose my internet connection. Could this be the cause of the problem. Does anyone else know of a problem with radio controlled watches causing problems with wireless connections"


Two things come immediately to mind.

The lesser issue could be some kind of interference between the two wireless devices.  After all, there are only so many frequencies available, and there is always some kind of "bumping" between different devices.  Also they could simply be so close to each other that they are "bleeding through", reguardless of the frequencies used.  And CB user can tell you what happens when somebody with a 1,000+ watt amplifier gets on the mic, his voice bleeds over onto 2-3 frequencies above and below the one used.

It could also be an issue of the ISP.  Quite often, ISPs bump people off, to prevent their lines from being tied up.  I read several of the posts, and itseems that the person in question uses AOL.  AOL is long known for bumping people off at random times, especially if they show a pattern of being connected for hours at a time.

It could also be a misconfigured router.  Since this happens at Midnight, that may be the time his provider reverifies the username and password information.  If that is not stored in the router properly, then it will be kicked off.  But since that information can also be saved on the computer, the connection may be re-established when they try to access it again.

Network problems are one of the hardest to work on, since there is no way to see how it is really working other then by going to the location.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/03/06 at 1:54 pm


okay,another question:

what is your opinion of this computer? The amount of RAM is astounding to me (my desktop only has 384MB), but it's DDR1. Is it worth it? And how would the ATI Radeon Xpress 200M correspont to ordinary desktop graphics cards? Would a game that requires, say, a GeForce 78/68/66/6200 also run on the Xpress 200M?
(I'm not too worried about shared graphics RAM, since... 2GB is more than enough).


Well, the RAM is actually fairly typical for today.  Most new computers are comming with at least 1, if not 2 Gigs of RAM.

And the 200M video is comparable with the X300 video card.  The 200M and X300 are basically the same card, just that the 200M is the mobile version.  And with any laptop set, it will run a bit slower then the Radeon desktop model, but it will run anything that requires a Radeon (or GeForce).

If possible, I wouild recommend looking for an Evo model.  Presario is the Compaq consumer line, while the Evo is the Commercial line.  And this is based on the Socket 754 processor, so it will only work with DDR1 RAM.  However, in the world of AMD, the memmory controller is based on the processor (unlike Intel, which keeps it in the chipset).  In most tests, an AMD with DDR1 works just as fast as an Intel with DDR2, because the way that the memory is accesed is more efficient.  So a 2 GHz AMD with DDR1 is just as fast as an Intel 2 GHz with DDR2.  The improvement between DDR and DDR2 is compensated for in the difference in system design.

If you can wait a few months, I would wait though.  Both AMD and Intel are releasing the new generation of chips as we speak.  The AM2 series of chips (dekstop now, Laptop in about a month) work with DDR2, and are actually sheaper then the models that came before it.  Intel is rolling out it's newest generation of 64 bit processors for desktops now (Conroe), and laptop processors are coming out this month.  So if you can wait until December, you will be able to get a much better system then you can now, for around the same price.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/05/06 at 12:41 pm


However, I am loking into building my own laptop. I've been building my own computers for a while now, s it shouldn't be too hard. But.. Would this actually save me any money?


The biggest advantage of a DIY laptop is that you know what you get, and you get exactly what you want.

When you buy one from a name brand, you are getting whatever they think you want.  Hard drive to small?  Oh, they may offer an upgrade, for a price.  If you add the price of the upgrade to the cost of the first drive, you quickly realize that they are charging you much more for the upgrade.  Video not good enough?  Often a video upgrade is not even available until you reach the $1,200 price level.  And the same thing goes for most upfrages like that.

Overall, a DIY costs around the same as buying one from a major manufacturer of the same grade.  But you will not find a DIY at the low-ended level.  Most DIY kits I have seen start at around $500.  Once you add RAM, hard drive, processor, optical drive, and NIC/Modem/Wi-Fi, the cost is around $1,000.  But that $1,000 will be equal to a $1,200+ laptop from Dell, HP-Compaq, or Gateway.

And one last difference is in the OS.  When Dell sells a computer, it comes with a number locked version of XP.  That number can only be used on Dell computers, and no others.  And because Dell (and all the others) only have to buy the number, they pay a lot less for it, normally around $25 a license.  That  often accounts for at least $75 of the cost difference between one of the major manufacturers, and a custom built.  The retail price for an OEM version of XP home is $95.  But that OEM license can be transfered to any other computer in the future, no matter who made it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 08/10/06 at 12:14 pm

Has there ever been an incident where a laptop's DVD/CD-ROM (I think it's also a recordable drive) functions in viewing DVDs but does not read CDs at all?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/10/06 at 2:04 pm


Has there ever been an incident where a laptop's DVD/CD-ROM (I think it's also a recordable drive) functions in viewing DVDs but does not read CDs at all?   ???


That sometimes happens in both Desktops and Laptops.

In your DVD units, there are actually 2 different reading mechanisms.  One is used to decode DVD data, the other to read the CD data.  Often times, one unit or the other will go out, resulting in either a DVD that will read DVDs and not CDs, or read CDs and not DVDs.  We recently sold for $25 a DVD burner that would read and write DVDs, but not CDs.  A few years ago I threw away a unit that would read CDs, but would not recognize a DVD disk.

In that case, you simply throw the unit away and buy a new one.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/10/06 at 2:05 pm

How good are you on the internet?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/10/06 at 3:57 pm


How good are you on the internet?


What do you mean?  That is kind of vague.  Kinda like asking "How are you in medicine?"  It may be something as simple as "What is good for a headache?", or "What is the best kind of incision to use for gastro-intestinal surgery?"

8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/10/06 at 4:07 pm


What do you mean?  That is kind of vague.  Kinda like asking "How are you in medicine?"  It may be something as simple as "What is good for a headache?", or "What is the best kind of incision to use for gastro-intestinal surgery?"

8)



What websites are you familiar with?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/10/06 at 4:21 pm


What websites are you familiar with?


I am not quite sure what you mean.  I guess the sites that I go to most often are here, Wikipedia, and Google News.  I also go to ModTheSims2.Com fairly often, MajorGeeks, ExtremeTech, and a few others on at least a weekly basis.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 08/10/06 at 4:34 pm


That sometimes happens in both Desktops and Laptops.

In your DVD units, there are actually 2 different reading mechanisms.  One is used to decode DVD data, the other to read the CD data.  Often times, one unit or the other will go out, resulting in either a DVD that will read DVDs and not CDs, or read CDs and not DVDs.  We recently sold for $25 a DVD burner that would read and write DVDs, but not CDs.  A few years ago I threw away a unit that would read CDs, but would not recognize a DVD disk.

In that case, you simply throw the unit away and buy a new one.


I kinda figured that.  Just wanted to be sure.

What's a good deal on a replacement DVD/CD/reader-burner?  We have a Dell laptop...forgot the specs though.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/10/06 at 4:40 pm


I kinda figured that.  Just wanted to be sure.

What's a good deal on a replacement DVD/CD/reader-burner?  We have a Dell laptop...forgot the specs though.


YOu will have to look for what is available to fit your model.  For the most part, the drives in a Dell are easy to replace, normally requiring the removal of no more then one screw.  Simply remove the old drive, and put in a new one.  However, it has to match your laptop.  Dell has used at least 6 different designes for optical drives in the last few years.

There are lots of sources for the drives on-line.  We use one source for all of our Dell parts, but they are a wholesale only supplier.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/11/06 at 2:20 pm


I am not quite sure what you mean.  I guess the sites that I go to most often are here, Wikipedia, and Google News.  I also go to ModTheSims2.Com fairly often, MajorGeeks, ExtremeTech, and a few others on at least a weekly basis.



What about your favorite music website?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/11/06 at 2:40 pm


What about your favorite music website?


I don't really go to any.  I have a few I go to when I want loop files to use in Adobe Premiere, or to get MIDI files for background use, but I really do not go to "Music Sites".  I really have little interest in current "pop music", and have not for several years.

I am also against "P2P", so do not go to any sites involving the illegal sharing of music.  I know a lot of people in the Industry, and refuse to rob them of their royalties simply so I can get their music for free.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 08/23/06 at 11:08 am

I was thinking of getting a flatscreen monitor so I can clear up room on my desk, and also a wireless keyboard/mouse set.  What would you suggest that I get that will last me a long time?

Also, a few of my friends have their multiple monitors set up so that they can drag a window from one monitor to another on the same computer.  What kind of program do I need to do that for myself?

Thanks :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/23/06 at 2:36 pm

Do you know anything about error reports for Windows 2000? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 08/27/06 at 12:05 pm

Dang, the power supply on the computer my friend built for me crapped out.  How lame.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/30/06 at 5:13 pm


I was thinking of getting a flatscreen monitor so I can clear up room on my desk, and also a wireless keyboard/mouse set.  What would you suggest that I get that will last me a long time?

Also, a few of my friends have their multiple monitors set up so that they can drag a window from one monitor to another on the same computer.  What kind of program do I need to do that for myself?

Thanks :)


Flatscreens are all about the same.  Just find one that has a screen you are happy with.  The same with wireless keyboards and mice.  I had one a few years ago, but got tired of them and gave them away.  I got tired of having to re-sync them all the time, and constantly replacing batteries.

You do not need any special software, you simply need to install a video card that supports 2 monitors.

Most modern video cards have 2 connections out, a DVI and a VGA connector.  Simply get a DVI-to-VGA converter, they normally cost around $5-10.  I use an ATI 9550 video card, and I have 2 21" monitors hooked up to it.  Believe me, there is no way you are gonna get me to give up my 42" screen.  :D


Do you know anything about error reports for Windows 2000? ???


For the most part, the Error Codes in Windows are of little use, other then to programmers.  They are designed much more for them then they are for common users.  I have an MCSE, and even I rarely use them, other then to tell me what is wrong.

Most of the time, when the code says something like "Page file", that means it is a hard drive failure.  The majority of others tend to point to either bad drivers, bad ram, or a corrupt operating system.


Dang, the power supply on the computer my friend built for me crapped out.  How lame.


Well, a lot of times, people take shortcuts when it comes to the power supply.  I tell people that if they are having a new computer built, make sure it has at least a 400 watt supply.  Anything less is simply asking for problems.

We had one come into my shop today that left me feeling sick.  It was a brand new HP, AMD Athlon X2 4200, 2 CD drives, X800 video card.  I opened it up, and it had a 300 watt power supply.  I just can't understand how they can stay in business, selling such garbage.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 08/31/06 at 2:05 pm


Well, a lot of times, people take shortcuts when it comes to the power supply.  I tell people that if they are having a new computer built, make sure it has at least a 400 watt supply.  Anything less is simply asking for problems.

We had one come into my shop today that left me feeling sick.  It was a brand new HP, AMD Athlon X2 4200, 2 CD drives, X800 video card.  I opened it up, and it had a 300 watt power supply.  I just can't understand how they can stay in business, selling such garbage.


Thanks.  The computer guy at the U told me that the power supply my friend threw in, which he thought was enough, was rated for 250 W max, and when he tested it, confirmed that it had indeed blown out.  He's going to hunt down a 300 W supply for me since there's not too much stuff in there, just the 2 CD drives and a hard drive...pretty standard.  Hopefully this one works out too.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/31/06 at 2:34 pm

How long have you had your computer?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/01/06 at 1:54 pm


Thanks.  The computer guy at the U told me that the power supply my friend threw in, which he thought was enough, was rated for 250 W max, and when he tested it, confirmed that it had indeed blown out.  He's going to hunt down a 300 W supply for me since there's not too much stuff in there, just the 2 CD drives and a hard drive...pretty standard.  Hopefully this one works out too.


Do not even waste your time with a 300.

For the most part, a decent 400 watt supply will only set you back around $35 or so.  That is maybe $2-3 more then a 300 would cost you.  If your CPU is over 1 GHz, The minimum recommended by both AMD and Intel is 350 watt.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/01/06 at 2:05 pm

What kind of laptop brand can I buy for $1100?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 09/05/06 at 8:42 am

What is Mr. Mushroom's opinion on newegg.com?  My friend who is also a computer techie guy said it's the best place he knows of to get computer parts so I can just build my own computer :)  Which, as you said, will cost me as much as getting one from Dell :o

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/05/06 at 12:11 pm


What kind of laptop brand can I buy for $1100?  ???


It all depends on what you want the laptop to do.

You can easily get a laptop for around $600.  But the graphics and processor are both going to be low end, making it useless for much more then typing Word documents and surfing the Internet.

If you want something to play games, then you have to get one with a video card by ATI or NVidia.  Those units will set you back a lot more, $1000+.  It really all depends on what you want to do with the laptop, and how long you expect it to last.  Remember, there is a difference in quality.  A $600 laptop generally does not last as longa s a $1000 one.


What is Mr. Mushroom's opinion on newegg.com?  My friend who is also a computer techie guy said it's the best place he knows of to get computer parts so I can just build my own computer :)  Which, as you said, will cost me as much as getting one from Dell :o


Well, to begin with, I always encourage people to shop locally.  And to check with your friends to see which place has the best reputation.

As for building your own, that is always the best choice.  A $600 box you build yourself (or have built for you) will always be of a much higher quality then one that comes from a mass-marketer like Dell.  To begin with, the low end units never come with video card slots.  So if you do not like the video on-board (or want to play games), you are basically stuck with it.  If you want AGP (or PCI Express), be prepared to start at the $1,000 price range at least.  When you add in the poor quality power supplies and poor cooling, it becomes an even more one-sided arguement in favor of a custom model.

As far as New Egg, I have never been impressed with them, and that goes all the way back to when they were a retail outlet called Egghead Software.  To begin with, they are infamous for selling OEM CPU chips in order to lower the price.  The difference between OEM and Retail box is that the OEM is just a chip, and has a 90 day warranty.  A retail box set comes with the cooling fan, and a 3 year warranty.  When you add into that the fact that the OEM is normally only $20-25 cheaper, you actually loose out once you add a CPU cooler ($20-30),

And New Egg simply wants to sell you something, and not see you again until you want to buy something else.  They sell parts of all quality, from uber-cheap $50 CPU-MB combos to the ultra-high end.  And if you ever have problems with it, you then have to box it all up and send it back to them for replacement.

If you buy local, you simply take it back to where you bought it from.  New Egg does not provide tech support, where most local retails will.  And most local stores will sell you components that they have worked with and trust.  The store I work at, we only stock motherboards from 2 different companies.  We sell boards by Asus-ASrock (2 different names - the same company), and MSI.  We stopped dealing with Biostar and Gigabyte because of poor quality controll and a high number of defective units.  We have a reputation to uphold, and refuse to compromise that, in order to make more saled with cheaper components.

And when I mean local, I mean the local mom and pop computer store.  Not the Big Box companies.  They are no different from New Egg when it comes to selling you quality.  The guy in the computer department probably has almost no hands-on experience, and was selling car stereos the week before.  He will simply try to sell you the most expensive item they have, because he makes a comission off of the sale.

And a last word on Dell.  I have a saying when people come in with $299 Dell's that they spent $900+ on.  "Dude, you got Delled".  Dell is a master of bait & switch and upselling.  They sell very few $299 desktops.  If you go to Dell and click on every recommended "upgrade", it quickly turns into an $800+ computer.  And the sad thing is, it is the exact same unit as the $299 unit.  Same motherboard, same case, same power supply.  They simply dropped in a faster processor, more RAM, and a bigger hard drive.  There is still not enough cooling, an under-wattage power supply, and no video expansion capability.  And it too will last as long as the $299 unit, about 12-18 months.  In August alone, we took in 15 Dell Dimension units.  Every one of them with a dead motherboard, caused by the power supply dying and overvolting the motherboard.  The cost to replace the crappy Dell components with quality components?  About $350.  So you can do it right from the beginning, or you can pay half to Dell, and have to somebody else when the Dell dies.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 09/05/06 at 12:19 pm

I actually did find several local computer stores that seem to do what you said.  I guess I could ask them what would be cheaper, getting the parts off Newegg (or maybe some other online site, dunno if you have a suggestion) and then having them build it using my parts, or having them order the parts themselves and then build it for us.  My wife is fairly confident she can build one for me, and if not, I have several computer-savvy friends who can help in the area. 

I would think that each part would come with a warranty...I was searching all over Newegg based on my friend's manufacturer recommendations (like Asus and Maxtor etc.) and there were all ranges of components.  I would assume that a local computer shop would be able to find the same range of components as well?

One more: what kind of case would you recommend?  I want a mid-tower, but I don't know what else the bare-bones case needs...

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/05/06 at 12:30 pm


It all depends on what you want the laptop to do.

You can easily get a laptop for around $600.  But the graphics and processor are both going to be low end, making it useless for much more then typing Word documents and surfing the Internet.

If you want something to play games, then you have to get one with a video card by ATI or NVidia.  Those units will set you back a lot more, $1000+.  It really all depends on what you want to do with the laptop, and how long you expect it to last.  Remember, there is a difference in quality.  A $600 laptop generally does not last as longa s a $1000 one.

Well, to begin with, I always encourage people to shop locally.  And to check with your friends to see which place has the best reputation.

As for building your own, that is always the best choice.  A $600 box you build yourself (or have built for you) will always be of a much higher quality then one that comes from a mass-marketer like Dell.  To begin with, the low end units never come with video card slots.  So if you do not like the video on-board (or want to play games), you are basically stuck with it.  If you want AGP (or PCI Express), be prepared to start at the $1,000 price range at least.  When you add in the poor quality power supplies and poor cooling, it becomes an even more one-sided arguement in favor of a custom model.

As far as New Egg, I have never been impressed with them, and that goes all the way back to when they were a retail outlet called Egghead Software.  To begin with, they are infamous for selling OEM CPU chips in order to lower the price.  The difference between OEM and Retail box is that the OEM is just a chip, and has a 90 day warranty.  A retail box set comes with the cooling fan, and a 3 year warranty.  When you add into that the fact that the OEM is normally only $20-25 cheaper, you actually loose out once you add a CPU cooler ($20-30),

And New Egg simply wants to sell you something, and not see you again until you want to buy something else.  They sell parts of all quality, from uber-cheap $50 CPU-MB combos to the ultra-high end.  And if you ever have problems with it, you then have to box it all up and send it back to them for replacement.

If you buy local, you simply take it back to where you bought it from.  New Egg does not provide tech support, where most local retails will.  And most local stores will sell you components that they have worked with and trust.  The store I work at, we only stock motherboards from 2 different companies.  We sell boards by Asus-ASrock (2 different names - the same company), and MSI.  We stopped dealing with Biostar and Gigabyte because of poor quality controll and a high number of defective units.  We have a reputation to uphold, and refuse to compromise that, in order to make more saled with cheaper components.

And when I mean local, I mean the local mom and pop computer store.  Not the Big Box companies.  They are no different from New Egg when it comes to selling you quality.  The guy in the computer department probably has almost no hands-on experience, and was selling car stereos the week before.  He will simply try to sell you the most expensive item they have, because he makes a comission off of the sale.

And a last word on Dell.  I have a saying when people come in with $299 Dell's that they spent $900+ on.  "Dude, you got Delled".  Dell is a master of bait & switch and upselling.  They sell very few $299 desktops.  If you go to Dell and click on every recommended "upgrade", it quickly turns into an $800+ computer.  And the sad thing is, it is the exact same unit as the $299 unit.  Same motherboard, same case, same power supply.  They simply dropped in a faster processor, more RAM, and a bigger hard drive.  There is still not enough cooling, an under-wattage power supply, and no video expansion capability.  And it too will last as long as the $299 unit, about 12-18 months.  In August alone, we took in 15 Dell Dimension units.  Every one of them with a dead motherboard, caused by the power supply dying and overvolting the motherboard.  The cost to replace the crappy Dell components with quality components?  About $350.  So you can do it right from the beginning, or you can pay half to Dell, and have to somebody else when the Dell dies.



The laptop I have right now I've had since January 14th,2001 but over the past 5 years the pages either have came up slow or fast and I also want a laptop for browsing the internet and stuff and just about everything else of that matter,That's basically it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/05/06 at 2:06 pm


I actually did find several local computer stores that seem to do what you said.  I guess I could ask them what would be cheaper, getting the parts off Newegg (or maybe some other online site, dunno if you have a suggestion) and then having them build it using my parts, or having them order the parts themselves and then build it for us.  My wife is fairly confident she can build one for me, and if not, I have several computer-savvy friends who can help in the area. 

I would think that each part would come with a warranty...I was searching all over Newegg based on my friend's manufacturer recommendations (like Asus and Maxtor etc.) and there were all ranges of components.  I would assume that a local computer shop would be able to find the same range of components as well?

One more: what kind of case would you recommend?  I want a mid-tower, but I don't know what else the bare-bones case needs...


They can normally get what you want, and sell it for around the same price that New Egg does.  When I check the prices of our components against them, we are within $3-10.  And when you factor in the fact that your support is local, it makes it well worth it.

Ask your local store what brands they prefer.  Every builder has their own preferences in what company to use for parts.  Myself, every computer but 1 I have owned in the last 6 years has always had an Asus motherboard.  The only one that did not, barely lasted a year.  I am willing to pay more for quality, because I do not want to constantly be tearing my own computer apart to fix it.

When it comes to a case, there are 2 major things to consider:  Power Supply and Cooling.  Make sure that it has at least a 400+ watt power supply in it.  And make sure that as  a minimum, it has either 2 80mm fans or 1 120mm fan in the front and rear.  And make sure that the fans in the front blow across the hard drive.  Fans on the top and side are also nice to have, but not a real requirement.  And the more fans, the better.  One of the cases we sell can hold 4 80mm fans in the front, 1 80mm fan on the top, 1 80mm in the side and 2 80mm in the rear.  Better cooling means a longer lifespan.

And do not confuse warranty with quality.  Sure PC Chips gives a 1 year warranty with their motherboards, but that is because they only expect them to last that long, not any longer.  And once you consider the hastle of removing the motherboard, getting an RMA, shipping it all off (you pay the postage), then you have to wait 2-6 weeks for them to get around to fix or replace it.  Is the $20 you saved really well really a good dal after that?

And building a computer really is pretty simple.  I can take the components and assemble them into a working unit in less then 15 minutes.  However, I then spend the next 4 hours installing the Operating System, installing updates and drivers, and installing all of the other software that is required (game pack, antivirus, antispyware, Acrobat, CD burning, DVD playing, and all the other software needed).  But when it is done, it is ready to go out the door.  And considering we custom build several hundred units a year, we have a very low return rate: less then 2 a year due to hardware failure.

If you are not sure, Que makes a very good book on how to build and repair your own computer.  And here are a few things to look for when you pick a motherboard:

Good name brand (Asus, ASRock, MSI, Tyan).  Avoid cheap companies like Mercury, PC Chips, AOpen, EliteGroup, Chaintech, and the like.  Biostar and Gigabyte may make some good stuff, but over the last 3 years they have had some serious Quality Control issues.  I still advise people to avoid those, until they are able to get their act together again.  Some companies I give a so-so rating, like Epox, Soyo, Shuttle, and the like.  These are not bad boards, but I am not as impressed with them as I am with the ones we use.  In the last 3 years, we have had to RMA 1 MSI board, 1 Asus board, and 0 ASRock boards.  That is a pretty impressive track record.



The laptop I have right now I've had since January 14th,2001 but over the past 5 years the pages either have came up slow or fast and I also want a laptop for browsing the internet and stuff and just about everything else of that matter,That's basically it.


You might want to consider looking for a used Dell Latitude C610.  These are not the cheap homeowner models, but well build Commercial models.  If you do some searching, you can find good quality used ones for $350-500, depending on what the speed and parts are.

I know I have knocked Dell in the past, but I tend to knock all "consumer model" computers.  No matter what company built them, their only goal is to outlive the warranty.  They take huge shortcuts in quality in order to sell them cheap.  However, this is not the case with the Commercial models.  These are designed and built to outlive 5 year corporate leases, trouble free.  These are often great values, and will work for many more years.  And because most of them were leased units, there is a large supply of both units and replacement parts.

We sell both new and used computers where I work.  95% of our used computers are off of Government Lease.  We buy them without hard drives, and fix them up for resale.  If you are considering one of these, be careful what you are getting.  When it comes to laptops, all of the Dell Corporate models are a slate grey colour.  If the laptop is blue or silver, it is a home model.

And the same thing goes with Desktops.  Dell Dimensions tend to be cheap junk, but there is nothing cheap or junky about the OptiPlex or Precision lines.  These are corporate models, that sell new for $1,200+.  Avoid Compaq Presarios, but the Compaq Deskpro or Evo is a good machine.  Avoid the HP Pavilion, but if you get a good deal on an HP Vectra, get it.  We have had Dell OptiPlex units we sold used 5 years ago comming back in that are still working fine.  Try to say that about the Dimension.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 09/05/06 at 2:48 pm


When it comes to a case, there are 2 major things to consider:  Power Supply and Cooling.  Make sure that it has at least a 400+ watt power supply in it.  And make sure that as  a minimum, it has either 2 80mm fans or 1 120mm fan in the front and rear.  And make sure that the fans in the front blow across the hard drive.  Fans on the top and side are also nice to have, but not a real requirement.  And the more fans, the better.  One of the cases we sell can hold 4 80mm fans in the front, 1 80mm fan on the top, 1 80mm in the side and 2 80mm in the rear.  Better cooling means a longer lifespan.


My friend said that power supplies that come packaged with the case you order are not very reliable.  Is that true?  If so, I hope the computer guy can give me a swap deal or something so I can get a more reliable power supply in there.

Methinks a more complete question would be:

I want a new computer, I do not play very many computer games on it, if at all, I want something that will support some form of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel etc.), my netsurfing habit, and won't crash every five minutes.  I would also like to rip and burn music and videos (CD or DVD).  What would you build for me, and how much would it cost for all the parts?

My friend suggested that I get an AMD processor, a 450W+ power supply, and that I probably don't need Vista or a high-end graphics card because I do not game.  I am open to suggestions, I'd like to research this completely (or as completely as possible) before I drop a load on this new project :D

And not a big deal, but if you could link me to the parts you speak of so I know what is going on, that'd be really cool 8)

Alright, I'm home...this is a bunch of stuff recommended to me:

Power supply: from either Enermax or Antec, 450W+

Motherboard:  from either Abit or Asus, AMD compatible

Processor:  AMD 3000+

Hard drive:  from either Maxtor or Western Digital

CD/DVD/RW:  from Lite-On (combo drive)

Video card:  Nvidia GEForce card (hopefully one that will support my would-be 19-21" flatscreen :D )

Case:  Standard ATX mid-tower

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/06/06 at 9:24 am


My friend said that power supplies that come packaged with the case you order are not very reliable.  Is that true?  If so, I hope the computer guy can give me a swap deal or something so I can get a more reliable power supply in there.


It all depends on the quality of the case.  Any time you find a case in the $75+ range, it should come with a decent power supply for most uses.  It is not going to be a supply like an Antec, but it should be good enough for your needs.

I want a new computer, I do not play very many computer games on it, if at all, I want something that will support some form of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel etc.), my netsurfing habit, and won't crash every five minutes.  I would also like to rip and burn music and videos (CD or DVD).  What would you build for me, and how much would it cost for all the parts?

My friend suggested that I get an AMD processor, a 450W+ power supply, and that I probably don't need Vista or a high-end graphics card because I do not game.  I am open to suggestions, I'd like to research this completely (or as completely as possible) before I drop a load on this new project :D


Any computer build today will be able to handle Word and XP.  However, it would be a mistake to buy a computer today without keeping VIsta compatibility in mind.  It would be like ordering a computer in 2000, and not caring if it ran XP.  Vista is the new OS, and within 2-3 years, XP will be as obsolete as Windows ME.  You may not need the video capability now, but it would be a huge mistake if you did not at least get a motherboard with a PCI Express slot on it (even if you do not use it).  This at least gives you the option to expand in the future if you choose.

I agree with the idea of AMD.  I have built several systems with the new AM2 socket, and am very impressed with them.  Installation was simple, and performance was excellent.  Right now, the "sweet spot" for AMD Processors is the Athlon 3200.  You can pick them up for around $110 in a retail box set.  They are super performers, and being single core, they run circles around an Intel of the same speed.

Quick word about the newest chips.  Intel has made the choice to make all of their chips "Dual Core".  What that means is that when you get a Pentium D 3 GHz, what you are really getting is 2 1.5 GHz processors on one chip.  Unless your software is specifically designed for dual cores (PhotoShop, Adobe Premier, AutoCAD), you will actually see a degredation of performance over a single core 3 GHz.  Intel is going to Dual Core for all chips, because of the problems they have been having with heat, and to keep the cost down.  AMD has much less issues with heat, so is keeping with single cores until they get to the 4 GHz range.


Power supply: from either Enermax or Antec, 450W+
Motherboard:  from either Abit or Asus, AMD compatible
Processor:  AMD 3000+
Hard drive:  from either Maxtor or Western Digital
CD/DVD/RW:  from Lite-On (combo drive)
Video card:  Nvidia GEForce card (hopefully one that will support my would-be 19-21" flatscreen :D )
Case:  Standard ATX mid-tower


I am not real impressed with ABit.  They are not a bad company, I am just not impressed with them.  Asus-ASRock is always my first choice.  If you are looking more for value, use ASRock.  It is simply the "Budget Line" os Asus.

As I said, look at the AM2 Athlon 3200 processor.  Spending $10-20 now for the speed is well worth it.  Not to mention you move from Sempron to Athlon, and get even more performance boost.

Hard drive name is not such a big deal.  But make sure it is a SATA drive.  IDE hard drives are now a thing of the past.

Same with Opticals.  But if you want to put on labels, consider a drive with LightScribe technology.  If you want to put on a lable, simply turn over the disk and burn it on the other side.  Makes a pretty professional looking disk.  The blanks cost a bit more, but you can use normal disks if you do not want to burn on a lable.  And the drives only cost $5-10 more.

For video, I have always prefered ATI.  I use a 2 year old ATI 9550, and it drives my 2 21" monitors just fine.  But since you already said you are not looking for high end video, make sure your board has either an NVidia or ATI chipset on board.  This will give you decent graphics for day-to-day use.  Make sure it has PCI Express, for future upgrade though.

My bias for video actually goes back many years, to the first ATI cards I worked with in 1991.  ATI always tried to make rock-stable video cards, with lots of features.  This goes all the way back to the first generation of "Wonder Cards", which had Monochrome-CGA-EGA-VGA all on one card.  You could buy one card, and upgrade monitors as you went, without having to replace your video card each time.

NVidia to me shows it's history when it used the VooDoo sales model.  I call it the "Video Card Of The Month Club".  It seems like every other month, they would come out with a new video card, the card you just had to have if you wanted the best.  And with SLI it just got worse, because you now had to buy 2 identicle video cards at once.

ATI has never gone that route the same way.  The generally would offer 2 flavors of their cards, a "high end" for the performance person, then a cheaper one for the normal people.  The Radeon 9800 was the best of it's generation, but they also released the 9550, which used the same processor, just clocked a little slower.  But it sold for about half as much, letting more people get the high-end graphics, without the high-end price.

And instead of SLI, they wetn to CrossFire.  You can buy 1 high end video card now, then buy any CrossFire card at any time to upgrade at a future date.  So you did not have to dump $400-800 at one shot if you wanted to go to dual video cards in the future.  Any Crossfire worked with any video card of the same chip series.

And I find it puzzling that NVidia is so popular, yet it still has constant problems with it's drivers.  I have been playing Guild Wars the last several weeks, and the forums I go to about the game are full of reports of buggy NVidia drivers.  NVidia has even had to remove several driver updates over the last 3 months because of various crashes and memory leaks. 

And if you are considering AMD, you may not know that last month, AMD bought ATI.  That may be something to consider when thinking about what chipset and video to choose.  It is kinda like that old Hair Club For Men commercial "I liked them so much, I bought the company."

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 09/06/06 at 11:26 am

^ That was educational.  I think I will keep the option of upgrading to Vista in mind.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/06/06 at 11:38 am


^ That was educational.  I think I will keep the option of upgrading to Vista in mind.


YOu are very welcome.  :)

And if an Upgrade to Vista is planned, do not buy a high ended video card now.

At this time, there are no cards out that support Direct X 10.  Even the newest $500 NVidia and ATI cards are not DIrect X compliant.  So simply get something "good enough" for now, and save your money for the compliant cards.  They should start to be available in late November.

And avoid a new system with either Pentium 4 or AMD socket 754/939.  Consider nothing less then an LGA-775 or AM2 socket.  These all use DDR2 RAM, and should have PCI Express slots.  If you get something else, you are buying what is already old technology.  And the cost difference is often nothing.  3 GHz AM2 chips are actually cheaper then 2 GHz 754 or 939 chips.  And the price difference between DDR and DDR2 is now around $5 for a 512 Meg stick.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 09/06/06 at 11:39 am

^ Very interesting.

What kind of video card would support a monitor that has 1600x1000 resolution (ballpark numbers, I'm sure the actual numbers are different but I'm a Luddite :D )? 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/06/06 at 1:37 pm


^ Very interesting.

What kind of video card would support a monitor that has 1600x1000 resolution (ballpark numbers, I'm sure the actual numbers are different but I'm a Luddite :D )? 


Any new card should be able to support that with no problem.

I use a 2 year old ATI 9550 256 MB, and run 2 21" monitors at 2048x1024, with no problems at all.  The only thing I am not able to use in some of my games is Anti-Aliasing, because of the limits of the throughput of the card (AGP).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 09/06/06 at 2:54 pm

^ Okay, tonight (DSL willing :D ) I will try to find some parts that I think should go into my new supercomputer and link them in this post, and you can tell me (at your leisure, I don't intend to get this until I have $$ :D ) whether I should upgrade or downgrade or if it's okay based on my needs.

Again, all I'm really looking for is something that I can do basic word processing, spreadsheets, powerpoint, e-mail, internet/chat, and the occasional online game.  Prefer to have a 19"+ monitor with 1600x1000ish resolution as well.

Stay tuned 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Roadgeek on 09/06/06 at 3:02 pm

I have a little question about Microsoft Windows.

Why is it you can't have certain characters in a file name like "?, /,\)"?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/06/06 at 3:35 pm


I have a little question about Microsoft Windows.

Why is it you can't have certain characters in a file name like "?, /,\)"?


Because a lot of the characters are reserved for other uses.  For example, * is reserved as a symbol meaning "everything".  For those of us that used DOS, you could type "Del *.*" to delete everything in a directory.

? is reserved for another internal purpose.  When you delete a file, what actually happens is that the name is changed from (an example) NAME.DOC to ?AME.DOC.  The ? at the beginning tells the operating systme that the files is no longer used, and is safe to overwrite. 

\ is reserved for the directory structure.  Sub directories are expressed in DOS like this:  "C:\My Documents\User".  This useage prevents it's being used as a filename. 

/ is used as a default for useing "flags" in other programs.  If you go to DOS and type "FORMAT /?", you get a listing of all the subset commands that go along with the FORMAT command.  In oder versions of DOS, there was such an instruction for every program.

% is used as a variable in the BATCH scripting language.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/06/06 at 3:38 pm

Why does a computer freeze?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 09/06/06 at 3:42 pm

I have a question for you Mushroom - not hardware or software though.

My question has to do with html/xhtml programming or codes.
And of course as it relates to "MySpace" mahaha!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/06/06 at 3:58 pm


Why does a computer freeze?  ???


That is kinda like saying "Why won't my car start?"  There can be so many causes, it is impossible to give a simple answer.


My question has to do with html/xhtml programming or codes.
And of course as it relates to "MySpace" mahaha!


That is a programming question.  And I readily admit, that I gave up programming over 20 years ago.  For the most part, I stopped programming in around 1982.  That was back in the days when I used COBOL, and entered my code onto 80 column keypunch cards.

When it comes to web page creation, I use Front Page, and stick to basic HTML editing for other features.  I have no interest into learning yet another language.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 09/06/06 at 4:02 pm


That is a programming question.  And I readily admit, that I gave up programming over 20 years ago.  For the most part, I stopped programming in around 1982.  That was back in the days when I used COBOL, and entered my code onto 80 column keypunch cards.

When it comes to web page creation, I use Front Page, and stick to basic HTML editing for other features.  I have no interest into learning yet another language.


It's all good. I thank you anyway! ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 09/06/06 at 8:07 pm

Power supply: Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-500 ATX12V 500W Power Supply 115/230 V TUV, UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC - Retail  $67.99 -- comes with 3-year limited warranty from manufacturer

Case:  Antec Solution SLK2650-BQE Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply - Retail -- I will replace that power supply with the one above, it's $75.99, no warranty that I can see

Processor:  AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Orleans 2.0GHz 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor - Retail  $83.99  -- I assume this is the processor you are speaking of in your post.  It comes with a 3-year warranty.

Motherboard:  ASUS M2N Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail  $84.99 -- it seems that ASUS AMD boards have some kind of deal with NVidia, would this preclude me from using ATI video cards?  It has both PCI x1 and PCI x16 slots, not sure what that means really but the ATI card I am listing next seems to have a PCI x16 connector

Video card:  ATI 100-714800 All-In-Wonder Radeon X1900 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 Video Card - OEM  -- $199.64, I THINK this is something like what you suggested, but again, not sure if it's compatible with the motherboard listed above. 

Combo burner:    LITE-ON Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2M Cache IDE 16X DVD

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/06/06 at 9:16 pm

The power supply seems fine.

I would look at a different case however.  Remember how important it is to make sure you have a fan blowing over the hard drives.  That model of Antec does not do that.  To give you an idea, this is the case I use in my own system:

http://www.devhardware.com/c/a/Computer-Cases/X-Dreamer-Case/

I have the older model, with 2 80mm fans in the front.  The newer ones have 4 80mm fans.  That cooling on the hard drive is very important, and will add years to the life-span of your drives.

Asus has made boards with ATI chips in the past.  We use oned one for our 939 chip almost exclusively.  And their AsRock line has one.  But you should also consider MSI.  Here is a link to their K9A Platinum, a very highly rated board:

http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=K9A_Platinum&class=mb

Asus and Asrock have not come out with an ATI chip for the AM2 as of yet, simply because that platform is so new.  It only hit the market a month ago.  But there is an Asus Crossfire board in testing now that is claimed to be the best ever.

As I said though, I would definately hold off on a video card.  Get something more like an X300 through X500.  Do not waste money on a high-priced item like the X1900, because it will be obsolete come December, when the DirectX 10 stuff comes out.

In fact, unless you are looking at any kind of gaming. why even waste money on a video card?  Simply get a board with either NVidia or ATI graphics on-board.

As far as chipset and video card, that is not a worry.  No company is going to ruin their chances by making a chipset incompatible with the video card of another company.  Only Apple pulls games like that.  8)

And the All-In-Wonder is nice, but are you planning on useing this system for semi-pro level video editing?  If not, just get a regular video card.  The AIW series is a high-end video input-output system.  Just get the normal level card.  If you think you may want to do some light video capture with this computer, simply get a decent quality TV Capture card.

And the same thing with the sound card.  I admit that I have an Audigy card, but I do sound recording with my computer.  My computer is hooked up through a mixer board, then to a Shure microphone.  While I was pleased with the quality of my built-in sound card, there was a noticeable "buzz" when I tried to record with it.  I had a regular SB Live card until a few months ago, when I picked up a used Audigy for $25.

Built-in sound has come a long ways in the last few years.  Unless you are doing something elaborate (like high end recording, digital output, 8.1 surround speakers, etc), there is rarely a need to get anything else, unless you simply want to impress people.

You may want to realize something about how I design a system.  For one, I am a minimalist.  I avoid suggesting that people get the "best out there", unless there is really a need for it.  Then I try to design a system that will perform the tasks demanded of it, for a reasonable budget.

And that budget depends on the person and the job it is needed to do.  I have built $600 new systems for people with simple needs.  I have also built $12,000+ video editing systems for major studios, with multiple processors, redundent hard drives, and $2,000 video capture cards.

Other then the speed of the processor, it looks like you are looking at a "dream system".  And unless you really need it, I would spend the money in other areas.  ANd there is really no way to do all that for under $1,000.  The video card alone is almost half of the budget.

Drop the sound card, and downgrade the video card to something like an X550.  Oh, and a good hint:  drop most of the OEM packages.  To give an idea:  if you bought that video card, you would me missing half of the hardware and all of the software needed to make it work.  OEM is rarely a good idea, unless it is for something like Optical Drives and Hard Drives.  OEM in anything else (Processors, Motherboards, Cards) is always a mistake for an individual.  You get no software, no cables or accessories, no tech support, and a shorter warranty.

And have you checked with your local computer stores?  Do check them out.  I always encourage people to shop local, instead of from some big company that is located thousands of miles away, that could not give a damn about customer service.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 09/06/06 at 9:24 pm

^ Wow that was detailed :D  I need to get my printer to work hehehe.

My friend suggested that I get the parts off the net because the people in local shops would invariably mark up the prices, but how much I don't know.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 09/07/06 at 9:38 am

Okay, Mr. Mushroom...let's simplify :D

Tell me how much minimum RAM I need and the speed of the processor I need to run that which I have previously described, then tell me what new parts I need to upgrade to Vista since you are insistent on its practicality in the near future.  I am not one to be impractical nor unprepared, so fire away :D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/07/06 at 2:10 pm

Is it true that if guys use laptops on their laps,It'll lose the sperm count from what I've heard. ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/07/06 at 2:40 pm


My friend suggested that I get the parts off the net because the people in local shops would invariably mark up the prices, but how much I don't know.


Yes, there is a bit of a mark-up.  But you also get things like local tech support that is familiar with the parts you have.  And if you have problems, you can just bring it back to them for a replacement (rather then having to deal with the mess of trying to go through the channel of RMA and sending it back).  Myself, I would rather pay a few bucks for that.  And when you walk out the door, you have it in your hand.  Not having to rely on it being shipped, and ptentially being damaged (or lost) in shipping.  Or of even worse, getting the wrong part shipped to you.


Tell me how much minimum RAM I need and the speed of the processor I need to run that which I have previously described, then tell me what new parts I need to upgrade to Vista since you are insistent on its practicality in the near future.  I am not one to be impractical nor unprepared, so fire away :D


Well, the "minimum RAM" and "minimum CPU" really depends on you and your needs.  The "sweet spot" of CPU is the 3200, but feel free to go as high as you think you can afford.  If you can get a good deal on a 3800 or 4000, go for it.  This are is a lot about "personal choice".  There is no right or wrong.  But do not go hog-wild and get the highest ones out there.  With the depreciation of CPU prices, you will find yourself in the situation that within 3 months, it will be selling new for half as much.

The same goes for RAM.  I recommend at least 512 Meg as an absolute  minimum, 1 Gig is better.  Vista will have a recommended minimum of 2 Gig RAM for full features.  But there is nothing preventing you from getting just 1 Gig now, and adding another Gig at a later date.

After the 2 Gig mark, more RAM will not help much, unless you are doing high-ended tasks that would utilize that much RAM (AutoCAD, Premiere, etc).


Is it true that if guys use laptops on their laps,It'll lose the sperm count from what I've heard. ???


Yes, much in the same way that wearing tight pants will do the same thing.  It has to deal with heat.  And this is nothing knew, it has been known for years.  But this is only temporary.  The body replenishes the supply within a few days.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/21/06 at 1:48 pm

I made the following post recently in a forum about a game I play a lot of, Guild Wars.  In the Technical Support area, I am constantly reading of people suggesting people to get their new computers from Dell, or to order them from places like New Egg.  What follows is my response to them.

How To Shop For A Computer Store

There have been several posts here about where to buy their computer parts, or where to buy their new computer. And invariably, a lot of the people refer people to either "Big Name" dealers like Dell, or on-line retailers like New Egg.

Myself, I always refer people to their local mom & pop retailers. One reason why I do this is because that is where I work. And I honestly believe that I can build a better system then Dell, New Egg, HP, or Compaq. And I can do it for a better price.

However, I know that for every one like me, there is another one that is the opposite. This is the computer store that is run by the shady people, who simply want to foist off cheap junk, and scam the customer with overpriced items they do not want or need.

I am writing this, in the hopes of educating people what to look for when they walk into their local computer store.

1. Word of mouth references. Ask your friends and family who they have gone to and who they recommend. For most small stores, this is the bulk of their advertising. They let their service and quality speak for themselves. Also find out where they would not go and why. This can prevent you from being taken by the bad dealers.

2. Cleanliness and Organization: Now this is a small local business, not a big box like Circus City or Comp-WhoAreYou. Do not expect shiny glass and chrome surfaces and rows upon rows of new computers ready to walk out the door with. On the other hand, it should be nbeat and orderly for the most part. After all, you do not want them to loose your equipment.

3. Selection. Now do not expect a large selection, but there should be at least 3 or 4 different brands of most components available. This is expecially important for items like Motherboards, Cases, and accessories. Be cautious if they only offer 1 choice for most components. Also be cautious if their new stock is all held in a back room. It should be clearly displayed in the customer area.

4. Prices clearly marked. Be very cautious of any store that does not clearly mark it's prices. Sadly, I see this in almost half of the computer stores I go into. They often work on the "What they buyer can bear" philosophy of selling. If the customer looks rich (or naive), they charge more then they would to somebody else. Avoid such places.

5. Ask about warranties. This is especially important if you are buying a new processor. All CPU makers sell their chips in two ways: OEM and Retail Boxed. OEM chips are shipped with just the chip, no cooling fan. They also come with a 30-90 day warranty. Retail box sets however come with a factory approved CPU cooler, and a 3 year warranty. Retail may cost $20-30 more, but once you factor in the price of the CPU cooler, retail is always a better buy.

Good quality motherboards will have a warranty ranging from 1-3 years. If it is less then they, they are probably selling low-quality boards. And while the builder warranty may vary, most should offer at least 30-90 days on their labor. And ask, many will offer a full 1 year warranty for an additional charge.

6. Check the items they sell. Write down some of the manufacturers and models they sell, and do come checking. Most stores will offer a range of motherboards, from $60-150. Some of the better names in the business are Asus, MSI, AsRock, Tyan, and GigaByte. If most of their stock is in companies like Mercury, Epox, PC-Chips (also known as PC-100 and PC-Tech), avoid them. These are all low-quality manufacturers that are favored of stores that sell computers with no warranty, simply hoping to make a fast buck.

7. Avoid "Motherboard-CPU combos". If one is offered to you, look closely. One trick a lot of low-end companies do is to solder on a low-end processor to a motherboard, and overclock it. Most of these have a lifespan of around 6 months, and sell for under $100. Others sell a decent motherboard, but with an OEM chip and cheap aftermarket CPU cooler. Make sure that any combo is a seperate motherboard, with a Retail BOX CPU.

8. Check the cases. Be cautious if the cases are mostly beige boxes. The majority of these have poor cooling, and poor quality power supplies. And because the industry has moved away from these in the last several years, they can also be old stock they are trying to get away from. Make sure the case they recommend has at least a 350 watt power supply, and at least 2 fans (one blowing across where the hard drive will go). Make sure that if they build it, that all of the fans are inserted in the finished computer. I call fans "Cheap Insurance", because a $10 fan can save hundreds of dollars in premature failure.

9. Overstocking items. Look to see if they have huge stacks of new components in stock. Most computer stores work on a small profit margin, so avoid this tactic. But others often order large quantities because it is a "deal". What this means is that they will not order any replacements until the current stock is sold. This is a problem, because you often find yourself buying a "brand new" item that is already 2-4 years old (at the price it sold for 2-4 years ago). I have seen stores with "brand new" Pentium III motherboards selling for $120. And "Brand New" AMD motherboards, which took PC-133 and Duron processors for $110. Make sure you really are buying current technology, not the technology of 2 years ago if you are buying new. That same $110-120 can get you a good quality motherboard that takes either an LGA-775 or AM2 processor, with DDR2 RAM.

10. Ask questions. Feel free to ask questions about what they stock, and why. Just like anything else (cars, TVs, music), we all have our preferences. Most will prefer ATI or NVidia, AMD or Intel. And their stock will often reflect this. But beware of somebody that "bashes" the other major brands. AMD and Intel are both on par with each other (Via is a tad lower on the list, but still a good chip - if a bit overpriced for what it is). NVidia and ATI are also on par with each other for quality and performance. If they tell customers that competetors are junk, be careful.

Now here are a few tips on things to ask when you decide on where to go:

1. Complete custom or pre-built? Some stores (like where I work at) pre-build custom models. This is either done to save time (for high-volume stores), or to give a display model of what their finished products look like. Usually, there is nothing wrong with a floor-model like this, since they are rarely more then a few weeks old. But make sure it is current technology (LGA-775 or AM2). Otherwise, you are buying last-generation equipment (unless they are giving it at a good price).

2. Used computers? Some stores also sell used computers. If they do, make sure that they are Corporate models, not home models. Look for models like HP Vector, Compaq Deskpro or Evo, and Dell OptiPlex. These are Corporate models, that normally last 6+ years. Avoid Presario, Pavilion, and DImension. These normally have a lifespan of 1-3 years, and are most of the way through that by the time it makes it to used sales. And make sure that you get at least a 60-90 day warranty with a used system.

3. What to have built? Having a computer custom built can be a daunting decision for some people. If you are not sure what to get, have a friend that is more knowledgeable come along. A good "Computer Builder" will give you plenty of options, and try to stear you towards what fits your needs best. But beware: some will try to sell you the most expensive things they have. For the most part, a system to play GW should normally cost from $700-1,000. But the more you put into it, the more it will cost. If they try to tell you that you need an ATI x1950 video card, a 4 GHz processor, and 2 gigs of RAM, you might want to try to find another store.

And finally, what I consider one of the most important parts:

UPGRADE!

Remember, a custom built computer should be a continual work in progress. One of the beauties is that you can start off small, and build it up even more over time. You can start with 1 Gig RAM now, and add a second Gig (or more) when Vista comes out. You can get an X550 video card now for around $85, then get the nice fancy x1950 in about 6 months, when the price has dropped. I tell people that they should plan on spending 10-20% of the value of their computer every year for upgrades.

At that rate, a computer should never be obsolete. Because within 3-5 years, you are essientially replacing it. By spending $1000 this year, this gives you $150-200 next year for more RAM and a copy of Vista. The next year you can spend another $150-200 for new hard drive, maybe that all-in-one printer-scanner you had your eye on. The next year, your processor and motherboard will start to get outdated, so it is time to upgrade that (by 2009, we will probably be at around 5-6 GHz and DDR3 RAM).

The biggest problem I see with upgrades is that most people simply wait to long. If you wait more then 3 years, you are normally so far the technology curve that you are better off starting new then upgrading. Since 2003 we have gone from PC-133 to DDR and now DDR2. Socket A and Prescot have been replaced by LGA-775 for Intel, or 754/939, and now AM2 for AMD. AGP has been replaced by PCI Express. Even the venerable IDE has finally been replaced with SATA hard drives.

But before you pick up the phone to call Dell, Gateway or New Egg, check what the local stores have to offer. You may be amazed at the selection and quality available right in your own hometown. I live and work in a small town in SE Alabama, yet I can build a computer that will beat a new Dell XPS, for 1/2-2/3 the cost of the Dell. And the same story is true around the world. Plus I can offer something none of them can: local service. You are not stuck talking to India or Philippines of you call me for help. And you simply drive over and drop it off, you do not have to wait 2-5 days for an appointment, nor have to box up your computer and send it across the country for service.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/21/06 at 2:19 pm

What's the worst computer virus out there?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/21/06 at 2:58 pm


What's the worst computer virus out there?  ???


I would classify it as "Cool Web Search".  It is a combination Virus/spyware from a group of hackers in Russia.  It is impossible to remove, and is almost impossible to block.

Most of the time it comes from visiting hacker/porn sites.  However, there have been reports of it being imbeded in some gambling sites as well.  It also often turns up imbedded in software from P-2-P files.

This is a purely monetary virus package.  It force-feeds updates to your computer, as well as spyware, and pop-ups.  It is estimated that the hackers who wrote it make as much as $1 million a year from the content it forces to your computer.  Aurora is another one on the same class that behaves similarly.

If you type something like "www.google.com" into your computer and it redirects you to another site, you more then likely have CWS or some similar virus.  About all you can do then is to backup your data and reload your computer from scratch.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/21/06 at 3:55 pm


I would classify it as "Cool Web Search".  It is a combination Virus/spyware from a group of hackers in Russia.  It is impossible to remove, and is almost impossible to block.

Most of the time it comes from visiting hacker/porn sites.  However, there have been reports of it being imbeded in some gambling sites as well.  It also often turns up imbedded in software from P-2-P files.

This is a purely monetary virus package.  It force-feeds updates to your computer, as well as spyware, and pop-ups.  It is estimated that the hackers who wrote it make as much as $1 million a year from the content it forces to your computer.  Aurora is another one on the same class that behaves similarly.

If you type something like "www.google.com" into your computer and it redirects you to another site, you more then likely have CWS or some similar virus.  About all you can do then is to backup your data and reload your computer from scratch.



Thanks Mushroom. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 09/23/06 at 6:01 pm


What's the worst computer virus out there?  ???


Hey everyone, listen up, your attention if you please?
We wanna give you a warning, 'cuz I found out this morning
'bout a dangerous, insidious computer virus.
If you should get any mail with the subject "Stinky Cheese",
?Better?off?protecting?your chances (?taking no chances?) under no circumstances,
Should you open it, or else it will...

Translate your documents into Swahili,
Make your TV record Gigli,
Neuter your pets and give your laundry static cling!

(LOOK OUT!) It's gonna make your computer screen freeze!
(LOOK OUT!) Erase the easter eggs off your DVDs!
(LOOK OUT!) Erase your hard drive and your backups too,
And the hard drive of everyone related to you!

VIRUS ALERT! 
Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!

Soon, very soon it will make all the paint peel off your walls,
It'll make your keyboard all sticky, give your poodle a hickey,
And invest - your cash - in stock in EuroDisney,
Then it will tie up your phone making crank long-distance calls,
It'll set your clocks back an hour, and start hogging the shower
So just trash it now, or else it will...

Decide to give you a permanent wedgie,
Legally change your name to Reggie,
Even mess up the pH balance in your pool!

(LOOK OUT!) It's gonna melt your face right off your skull,
(LOOK OUT!) And make your iPod only plya Jethro Tull,
(LOOK OUT!) And tell you knock-knock joeks while you're tryin' to sleep,
(LOOK OUT!) And make you physically attracted to sheep,
(LOOK OUT!) Steal your identity and your credit cards,
(LOOK OUT!) Buy you a warehouse full of pink leotards,
(LOOK OUT!) Then cause a major rift in time and space,
And leave a bunch of Twinkie wrappers all over the place!
(That's right, it's a)
VIRUS ALERT!  Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!
VIRUS ALERT!  Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!
Warn all your friends, send this to everybody!
Tell everyone you know, tell everybody now!

If you get infected, you'll wish you had never been born,
So before it e-mails your grandmother all of your porn...

Turn off your computer and make sure it powers down,
Drop it in a 43-foot hole in the ground,
Bury it completely, rocks and boulders should be fine,
Then burn all the clothes you may have worn any time you were alive!

VIRUS ALERT!  Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!
VIRUS ALERT!  Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!
VIRUS ALERT!  Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!
Warn all your friends, send this to everybody!
Tell everyone you know, tell everybody now!
(WHAT ARE
YOU WAI
TING FOR?
JUST HURRY UP AND FORWARD THIS TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON THAT YOU KNOW!
HIT!
SEND!
RIGHT!
NOW!)

- Written by some weird accordion-playing geek in 2006.    And you'll have to wait until September 29th to get it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Red Ant on 09/24/06 at 6:04 am

I have a few questions:

My latest computer is a HP a1350. I'm curious as to why the installed video card, which is rated up to 256Mb, is slower than the ATI Radeon 64Mb DDR card that was installed in my last machine (which was friggin ancient by computer standards). By all accounts, this computer is at least 3x better in every area, yet my old computer (also a HP) with that card played games much better/faster.

The ATI, which was purchased around 2000, cost 250$. Only 128Mb video cards were faster then, and cost 500$. I realise 256Mb video cards can be had as cheaply as 100$ today, but do the features of a 7 year old video card, in some cases, outweigh sheer speed of newer cards that are rated faster? Also, is it worth spending 500$+ for a 512Mb video card now? If so, do I need to upgrade my RAM past 1Gb to take full use of it?

Also, this new computer is equipped with 64 bit processors. When I bought it (Jan of this year), nothing seem rated for it. I'm wondering if some software, particularly audio applications (specifically, audio recording software), may not be fully compatible with 64 bit technology yet.

I've read your posts regarding cooling. My computer was admittedly cheap (<$800 for the tower and software), but it does have two large fans cooling it. How often should I clean them? My last computer's final blow was frying the hard drive, though it lasted a good 6 years with the two fans it had.

How does one clean the internals of the case and how often should I do it?

Also, and this is *very* important: Are their any mouses (mice) out there that can auto-fire, i.e. you hold down the left clixk button and they will fire say 1000 times a minute?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/24/06 at 6:57 am


Hey everyone, listen up, your attention if you please?
We wanna give you a warning, 'cuz I found out this morning
'bout a dangerous, insidious computer virus.
If you should get any mail with the subject "Stinky Cheese",
?Better?off?protecting?your chances (?taking no chances?) under no circumstances,
Should you open it, or else it will...

Translate your documents into Swahili,
Make your TV record Gigli,
Neuter your pets and give your laundry static cling!

(LOOK OUT!) It's gonna make your computer screen freeze!
(LOOK OUT!) Erase the easter eggs off your DVDs!
(LOOK OUT!) Erase your hard drive and your backups too,
And the hard drive of everyone related to you!

VIRUS ALERT! 
Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!

Soon, very soon it will make all the paint peel off your walls,
It'll make your keyboard all sticky, give your poodle a hickey,
And invest - your cash - in stock in EuroDisney,
Then it will tie up your phone making crank long-distance calls,
It'll set your clocks back an hour, and start hogging the shower
So just trash it now, or else it will...

Decide to give you a permanent wedgie,
Legally change your name to Reggie,
Even mess up the pH balance in your pool!

(LOOK OUT!) It's gonna melt your face right off your skull,
(LOOK OUT!) And make your iPod only plya Jethro Tull,
(LOOK OUT!) And tell you knock-knock joeks while you're tryin' to sleep,
(LOOK OUT!) And make you physically attracted to sheep,
(LOOK OUT!) Steal your identity and your credit cards,
(LOOK OUT!) Buy you a warehouse full of pink leotards,
(LOOK OUT!) Then cause a major rift in time and space,
And leave a bunch of Twinkie wrappers all over the place!
(That's right, it's a)
VIRUS ALERT!  Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!
VIRUS ALERT!  Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!
Warn all your friends, send this to everybody!
Tell everyone you know, tell everybody now!

If you get infected, you'll wish you had never been born,
So before it e-mails your grandmother all of your porn...

Turn off your computer and make sure it powers down,
Drop it in a 43-foot hole in the ground,
Bury it completely, rocks and boulders should be fine,
Then burn all the clothes you may have worn any time you were alive!

VIRUS ALERT!  Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!
VIRUS ALERT!  Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!
VIRUS ALERT!  Delete immediately before someone gets hurt!
Forward this message on to everybody!
Warn all your friends, send this to everybody!
Tell everyone you know, tell everybody now!
(WHAT ARE
YOU WAI
TING FOR?
JUST HURRY UP AND FORWARD THIS TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON THAT YOU KNOW!
HIT!
SEND!
RIGHT!
NOW!)

- Written by some weird accordion-playing geek in 2006.     And you'll have to wait until September 29th to get it.



Why would he do that,Foo? ::)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 09/24/06 at 2:03 pm



Why would he do that,Foo? ::)


Probably the same reason he suggested that you "Don't Download This Song" :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/26/06 at 10:10 am


My latest computer is a HP a1350. I'm curious as to why the installed video card, which is rated up to 256Mb, is slower than the ATI Radeon 64Mb DDR card that was installed in my last machine (which was friggin ancient by computer standards). By all accounts, this computer is at least 3x better in every area, yet my old computer (also a HP) with that card played games much better/faster.


This is because it is not a "dedicated video card", but instead it is an on-board video card, which shares system RAM.  That model comes with 1 GB RAM, so when it is set to run at 256 MB Video, it only has 750 MB system RAM.  And System RAM is noticeably slower then Video RAM (which currently uses DDR2 or DDR3).

In addition, the commands have to take a longer path then they would if they were on-board.  Instead of going from GPU to RAM to GUP, they now go to GPU, CPU, RAM, back to GPU.  Combine the longer instruction path with the slower RAM, and you get bad performance.

Luckily, that model has 1 PCIe slot.  If you want to improve your performance, upgrade to an ATI X series video card.  One of the best deals currently is the X1300.  You can get an X1300 with 512 MB on board for around $110.


Also, this new computer is equipped with 64 bit processors. When I bought it (Jan of this year), nothing seem rated for it. I'm wondering if some software, particularly audio applications (specifically, audio recording software), may not be fully compatible with 64 bit technology yet.

I've read your posts regarding cooling. My computer was admittedly cheap (<$800 for the tower and software), but it does have two large fans cooling it. How often should I clean them? My last computer's final blow was frying the hard drive, though it lasted a good 6 years with the two fans it had.

Also, and this is *very* important: Are their any mouses (mice) out there that can auto-fire, i.e. you hold down the left clixk button and they will fire say 1000 times a minute?


As far a "64 bit", that does not matter, since you are useing a 32 bit Operating System (XP Media Center).  The fact that the processor is 64 bit has no bearing on anything.

XP (and Vista) does come in a 64 bit version.  But other then some high-ended applications (Adobe Premiere, Adobe Audition, AutoCAD, etc), there is not much 64 bit software out yet.  The system I am working on at this moment has XP Professional 64 Bit loaded, and it is good and bad.  The system as a whole is a lot faster and more crash resistant then normal XP Pro.  However, it is hard to find software that works on it.  Roughly 70% of programs made prior to 2005 work on it.  But this is really an issue with the programmers themselves, not MicroSoft.  They released the code requirements back in 2003.  They can't help it if the companies that make software have not all decided to follow their requirements.

And your system has 2 critical problems.  For one, you do not have 2 fans in your system, you have between 0 and 1.  When counting fans, you never count the CPU fan nor the power supply fan.  You only count fans attached to the case itself.  And if I am not mistaken, your computer has a single fan out the back, with a hood that directs it down to the CPU.  That is not enough to cool it off.  And more importantly, there is nothing to cool off the hard drives.

And knowing that model, I would be surprised if it has a power supply more then 300-350 watts.  AMD recommends for that CPU a 400-450 watt power supply minimum.  The largest failure point in those is the power supply.  That dies, and takes the motherboard out with it.  At that point, repair requires a replacement of the case, motherboard, and a new copy of XP.  At most shops, that is around $400.

However, putting it in a good case now would only cost around $125.  Even less if you have a geek friend that can do basic hardware work.  And trust me when I say that it is worth it.  Odds are that your power supply is already failing, and it is only a matter of time before it destroys the motherboard.

And HP hopes that when that happens (after warranty expires of course), that you will not like being told that repair would cost $400+, so instead you will simply buy a new computer.

As far as cleaning, that depends on the environment you are in.  I recommend at least 2 times a year.

And to be honest, computers for consumers simply do not last as long as they did 5 years ago.  In the last 3-4 years they have taken steps to prevent that from happening.  Poor quality cooling and uber-cheap power supplies make sure that computers last only as long as the manufacturer wants them to.  They realized that if you build a computer that lasts 6 years, people will not buy another one until it dies.  Now they build them cheaper, with a shorter life span.  This simply ensures that they get return customers faster.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: annonymouse on 10/14/06 at 7:34 pm

my grandpa's computer is around ten years old. it takes about fifteen minutes to start up aol, and another ten for every time you want to go somewhere (if it lets you go at all) however, the computer seems to work fine. it doesn't take too long to start up, and it still plays the games (that came with it) perfectly well. sure it freezes occasionaly, but it seems to be in great shape for its age. there's even a program on it that allows you to watch tv. and it works fine. my question is, how much longer do you think it'll last. it's an old sony viao. i hope it's good news doc.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 10/14/06 at 7:55 pm


my grandpa's computer is around ten years old. it takes about fifteen minutes to start up aol, and another ten for every time you want to go somewhere (if it lets you go at all) however, the computer seems to work fine. it doesn't take too long to start up, and it still plays the games (that came with it) perfectly well. sure it freezes occasionaly, but it seems to be in great shape for its age. there's even a program on it that allows you to watch tv. and it works fine. my question is, how much longer do you think it'll last. it's an old sony viao. i hope it's good news doc.


It's probably time for a new computer.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: annonymouse on 10/14/06 at 9:28 pm


It's probably time for a new computer.

trust me, my grandpa would never get a new computer. he never even uses it. the only person who does ever use it is me.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 10/14/06 at 9:48 pm

A 10 year old computer?  You need to replace it.  It's giving you clues that it needs to be replaced......the freezing, the long time to start up programs.....it needs more space to run the programs, and a 10 year old hard drive won't have the amount that you need.  That's why it's taking so long.  What OS is running on the computer?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 10/14/06 at 10:02 pm


trust me, my grandpa would never get a new computer. he never even uses it. the only person who does ever use it is me.


Well then you're going to have to live with the issues, because that's what you get with an old computer like that. 10 years old is beyond ancient for a computer to be in regular use.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: KKay on 10/16/06 at 10:09 am

What are the ways that you  (or anyone) has disposed of their old computers? 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 10/16/06 at 10:56 am


What are the ways that you  (or anyone) has disposed of their old computers? 


At work our old computers go to a charity which repairs them and then sells them on at low cost to the public or other charities

http://www.completewasters.co.uk/

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: KKay on 10/16/06 at 12:44 pm


At work our old computers go to a charity which repairs them and then sells them on at low cost to the public or other charities

http://www.completewasters.co.uk/


thats great..i'll look for that locally.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 10/17/06 at 2:30 pm


What are the ways that you  (or anyone) has disposed of their old computers? 


I have long been a supporter of donating old computer equipment.  Everything from monitors and desktop units to printers.

Locally, you can just take it to Salvation Army, Goodwill, your local church, or just about any non-profit organization (Boys & Girls Club, animal rescue foundation, homeless organization, Senior Citizen's Center, just about anybody).  You can even get a tax deduction.  Under current rules, the IRS allows up to $500 single donations, without a requirement for an estimated value.

I know that in LA, right before tax time I would see people buying computers for $100 from thrift stores like Salvation Army, then turning right around and donating it right back to them.  For $100, they get $500 off of their taxes.  And the charity gets to sell the same computer twice.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 10/17/06 at 2:34 pm


trust me, my grandpa would never get a new computer. he never even uses it. the only person who does ever use it is me.


Here are a few hints to try and get a little more life out of it.

For one, see if a local computer store has a faster processor for it.  We have everything in stock from Pentium I celerons to AMD K62-500, and we sell then normally for around $25.  And get more RAM, as much as the motherboard can support.  If it is 10 years old, your local computer store probably has bags of it sitting around, and would sell them for a few bucks a stick.

And if it is that old, do not install the newest version of AOL.  Look on the AOL disk, and you will find a directory for older versions of AOL.  Remove the version that is on now and go back to Version 6.  It requires much less processor power, and a lot less RAM.

Also make sure that you keep up on antivirus and spyware protection.  That can bring even the fastest computer down to a crawl.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: annonymouse on 10/20/06 at 11:44 pm

any idea on how much longer it'll live without help? just curious. remember, it's an almost eleven year old, sony vaio computer.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 10/21/06 at 7:24 am

My Father got a new laptop yesterday.What do you know about an IBM Thinkpad with that red dot in the middle of the laptop that's used for the mouse?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 10/24/06 at 1:15 pm


any idea on how much longer it'll live without help? just curious. remember, it's an almost eleven year old, sony vaio computer.


Well, back then computers were still built to last.  So you may well get any amount of time from it.  Although I would guess that your hard drive is probably getting ready to give up the ghost at any time now.

However, the more important question is why?  That computer has got to be so obsolete, you can probably do very little with it. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 10/24/06 at 1:24 pm


My Father got a new laptop yesterday.What do you know about an IBM Thinkpad with that red dot in the middle of the laptop that's used for the mouse?


Actually, it's a Lenovo Thinkpad.  IBM sold their laptop division to Lenovo in early 2005, and is no longer in the laptop business.

And yes, the pointer is just like a mouse.  Just like any new pointer (trackball, touch pad), the pointer takes a little getting used to.  I actually prefer it when precision is needed, like drawing or CAD.  Because it was an IBM patented technology, most companies chose the cheaper touchpad technology, because it was cheaper to license.  Some companies (like Dell for their high-end business laptops) actually use both pointer and touchpad.

My first modern laptop was a Thinkpad 600, a whopping Pentium 90, with 64 MB RAM and a 600 MB hard drive.  Quite a decent computer actually, I used it for several years, until the backlight in the LCD died.  By that time, it was so obsolete I just sold it for parts.

However, from what I have heard the quality of the units has dropped in the last year and a half, when the units manufacturered by Lenovo became the norm.  Lenovo is a company from the PRC, and in 2004 bought the IBM desktop division.  So if anybody is trying to sell you an "IBM" computer, double check.  It is either an old unit, or really a Lenovo.  The only computers that IBM makes anymore are servers.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: annonymouse on 11/02/06 at 4:52 pm


Well, back then computers were still built to last.  So you may well get any amount of time from it.  Although I would guess that your hard drive is probably getting ready to give up the ghost at any time now.

However, the more important question is why?  That computer has got to be so obsolete, you can probably do very little with it. 


he's got all those pre installed games on it like jezz-ball, and considering the lack of entertainment that sometimes goes on at their house, i need those games. also, they just recently (like after i wrote the original post) signed up with a new cable company called "WOW!"  although their computer can't support alot of websites, their internet is suprisingly fast. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Red Ant on 11/09/06 at 6:37 pm

Mushroom, I appreciate your reply to my previous query. A belated thanks from me.

I have a new problem though. After d/l a new Firefox update (to 2.0 I believe), I apparently did something wrong, and now I have no Firefox at all. The icon is still on my desktop, but when I click it it will not load any page, nor even give an error of some sort.

I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the entire program, but it does the same thing.

I want to have FF running smooth before I go to IE7, just in case something happens with that.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 11/10/06 at 2:29 pm

What's a good password manager?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 11/10/06 at 2:40 pm


What's a good password manager?



Firefox has a good one. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 11/12/06 at 8:07 am



Firefox has a good one. 


What about Keypass?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: danootaandme on 11/12/06 at 9:12 am

I have a Mac Performa that is in mothballs.  How do I make sure the hard drive is erased before getting rid of it?
And why don't people like Macs.  I have the Imac and am happy with it.  I have friends with other PCs but this is just so easy.  Sure it doesn't have the speed, and refinements are usually offered to non Mac computers first, but the way I see it how much does a person at home really need?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 11/12/06 at 8:03 pm


What about Keepass?  ???



Don't you mean KeyPass?  I don't use it.....Firefox has one already built in.  There's no need to download/buy another one.  I can't imagine not using Firefox.  It's just so damn perfect.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 11/12/06 at 8:03 pm


I have a Mac Performa that is in mothballs.  How do I make sure the hard drive is erased before getting rid of it?
And why don't people like Macs.  I have the Imac and am happy with it.  I have friends with other PCs but this is just so easy.  Sure it doesn't have the speed, and refinements are usually offered to non Mac computers first, but the way I see it how much does a person at home really need?



They need as much as they want.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: danootaandme on 11/13/06 at 3:26 pm



They need as much as they want.


But usually buy as much as they want, and much much more than they need. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 11/13/06 at 3:39 pm



Don't you mean KeyPass?  I don't use it.....Firefox has one already built in.  There's no need to download/buy another one.  I can't imagine not using Firefox.  It's just so damn perfect.


My father got rid of it so he went back to using Roboform instead.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 11/14/06 at 5:16 am


But usually buy as much as they want, and much much more than they need. 



I can honestly say that anything I've ever purchased for any of my computers has been stuff I've needed/used somewhere down the line, even if I didn't use it/need it to start off with.  The way I see it....I'd rather pay a little extra to have it now, than pay it in drips and drabs along the way as I find stuff I need that I don't have. 

A lot of people that buy add-ons for their computers, especially audio/video stuff, are not people who will buy it and then never use it. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 11/14/06 at 5:16 am


My father got rid of it so he went back to using Roboform instead.



What web browser do you use? 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 11/14/06 at 6:35 am



What web browser do you use? 



Microsoft Internet Explorer

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 11/14/06 at 10:44 am



Microsoft Internet Explorer



You should download Firefox.  It's a lot faster, and I've noticed it has less security problems.  That, and you have a built in password manager so you don't have to use an outside source.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 11/14/06 at 12:31 pm



You should download Firefox.  It's a lot faster, and I've noticed it has less security problems.  That, and you have a built in password manager so you don't have to use an outside source.


Ok,I'll take a look into that,thanks.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 11/14/06 at 2:29 pm


What's a good password manager?


Personally, I do not use them nor do I trust them.  To many times, they have turned out to be insecure, or fronts for spyware.  Gator started life as a "Password Manager", but it 2 years later that it was discovered that it was really a nasty spyware that was almost impossible to remove

I either enter them manually, or use the manager built into my browser.  Both IE and Firefox (andmost of their clones) have this ability.


I have a Mac Performa that is in mothballs.  How do I make sure the hard drive is erased before getting rid of it?
And why don't people like Macs.  I have the Imac and am happy with it.  I have friends with other PCs but this is just so easy.  Sure it doesn't have the speed, and refinements are usually offered to non Mac computers first, but the way I see it how much does a person at home really need?


I actually started working on Mac in 1985.  And years before that, I did some programming on the Lisa.  But over the years, my attitude has changed greatly when it comes to Apple and their products.

As the PC became easier to work with, the Mac actually became harder (at least from a techincian point of view).  And as the PC became more open and allowed more competition and outside products, the Mac actually went the other way.  As they years passed, you had less and less hardware and software available, mostly because of the requirements (and greed) of Apple.

For me, it finally came to a head in around 2000-2001, when OS 9 and the IMac came around.  Now the PC industry and Mac had both learned that combining a computer and monitor did not work.  But Apple decided to try it again.  The original IMacs were simply built cheap, with no consideration made to upgrades.  And by OS 9, it was obvious that the 100% graphic OS was to unweildy to work with any more.

That was also the time that Apple instituted a "mandatory authentication program", which required every company to pay royalties in order to carry the "Apple Logo".  This drove a lot of companies away from making hardware and software for Apple.  At the same time, the de-licensed a lot of tech schools that offered Apple certification classes.  From then on, the only way to get Apple certification was directly through Apple.  And they also stopped allowing "non-certified" stored from buying parts from them.

The Apple is not a bad product, but I feel it is grossly overpriced, and the classic example of an "Evil Corporation".  And they have a history of either screwing their "partners", or doing things like releasing millions of known bad computers, to use as a way to force an "upgrade" to a more expensive unit.  I dumped my Mac certification years ago, and do not even put it on my Resume anymore, I am so ashamed of it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 11/14/06 at 3:39 pm

Why do servers go under high stress? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 11/14/06 at 3:41 pm


Why do servers go under high stress? ???



Too many people accessing it, too many search engines indexing it, outdated/outmoded servers themselves.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 11/27/06 at 11:37 pm


Personally, I do not use them nor do I trust them.  To many times, they have turned out to be insecure, or fronts for spyware.


Thanks for articulating it quickly and concisely.  "Password managers" suck.

I'll go worse than "suck".  Password managers are broken by design.

Your own machine (my machine too, and I'm more paranoid than my sysadmin, who actually balances security with usability) is more easily compromised than your bank's, your broker's, your favorite retailers', or this website's, back-end server.  Unless you think you're at risk for being the target of a sneak-and-peek warrant (legal in the US, can't vouch for other countries), trust a post-it note in your own home (not your office!) more than any browser's "remember password" feature.

So I'll lay it out.  Under no circumstances should anyone ever use a password manager.  Never a third-party password-manager.  Your browser should support it.  But...

...never one supplied with a Microsoft-supplied browser.  Nor a password manager supplied with an open source product like Firefox, and not even on a non-Microsoft platform - be it OS X, Linux, or FreeBSD. Sure, Firefox is open-source, and therefore more likely to be fixed faster, and therefore more secure than IE7...  but "remember passwords" is a fundamentally broken way of doing security, and by its very definition it's gonna be full of holes.

I'm my own sysadmin -- and I'm more paranoid than my company's sysamind when it comes to security.  I've been online in one form or another since the 80s, and have disabled every "remember" feature (be it passwords or even things less secure), and I've never regretted it.  The human mind can remember 50-100 passwords.  I've done it myself, and my mind is nothing to be proud of.

Security, like pimpin', ain't easy.  Deal with it.  A post-it note on your own machine (if you live alone) or in a safety deposit box (away from your gf/roommate/spouse) is more secure than any "password manager" codable by anyone.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 12/05/06 at 10:35 am


So I'll lay it out.  Under no circumstances should anyone ever use a password manager.  Never a third-party password-manager.  Your browser should support it.  But...

...never one supplied with a Microsoft-supplied browser.  Nor a password manager supplied with an open source product like Firefox, and not even on a non-Microsoft platform - be it OS X, Linux, or FreeBSD. Sure, Firefox is open-source, and therefore more likely to be fixed faster, and therefore more secure than IE7...  but "remember passwords" is a fundamentally broken way of doing security, and by its very definition it's gonna be full of holes.


Actually, the one built-in to IE is pretty secure when run on Windows 2000 or XP.  This is because it is useing the password system of the OS, which is actually pretty secure.  It uses 256 bit encryption, and it can't be "hacked" from outside the computer.  This is why keyloggers are used, they operate on-top of the OS, and actually record anything you enter.  And ironically, if you are useing the built-in manager before you get infected with a keylogger, you will find that the old passwords are secure, while anything you have to type in afterwards is available to those who gave you the key logger.

However, IE under Windows 98-ME is not secure.  Since security was not a major issue back then, it uses the "plain text" model of that OS.  A hacker with a good idea of where the text files are can instruct your computer to send it to them, thereby capturing your user name and ID list.

I do not trust "third party" browsers, simply because they are open source, and a programmer with enough knowledge may find a way to exploit it.  And it gets even worse, because anybody with knowledge can hack a copy and distribute it, with a "back door" built in.  If you are going to use a thrid-party browser, make sure you download it only from the original programmer.  This nifty version of Firefox you find on the "SpeedyXYZ.Org" website may come with a special built-in feature: keylogger and ID-Password uploading.

In the end, it all goes back to security.  Use good reputible antivirus and antispyware software.  Keep all of your OS updates current.  Stay away from the "Dark Alleys" of the internet, where you are more likely to pick up spyware and virus (gambling sites, illegal porn sites, hacking sites, P-2-P sites).

I am on the internet  probably 40-80 hours a week, and am very careful.  I have not had a virus since 2003 (a mistype of a URL took me to a site that infected me with Cool Web Search).  I run at least 3 spyware scans a week (AdAware, SpyBot, and Microsoft Defender), and rarely come up with anything more dangerous then a "Tracking Cookie".

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/05/06 at 12:11 pm

So you're saying It's never good to use a password manager at all?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 12/05/06 at 2:49 pm


So you're saying It's never good to use a password manager at all?  ???


Not third-party ones.  They are simply to vulnerable.

The ones built into IE is safe, as long as your computer is secure (no virus, no spyware, and running on Win2K or newer).  I would imagine the password manager built into the OS X browser is equally secure, since it is also integrated to the OS, which has it's own security in addition to that of the browser).

In fact, one of the most (in)famous "password managers" was this nifty little program called "Gator" (it was also known as "Gain").  A lot of people used it, until they discovered that along with the password manager came all this neat and nifty spyware.  Around 1999-2001, a lot of programs had Gator included.  Trying to uninstall Gator was almost impossible, and people started to notice an increase in pop-ups and a slowdown in performance with it installed.  Then "Spyware" was finally discovered, and the first tools were made to remove it.

Myself, I just keep things simple.  I normally use one of 4 or 5 variants of a username, and one of 4 or 5 variants of password.  It rarely takes me more then 2 or 3 times to get it right.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/05/06 at 9:35 pm


Not third-party ones.  They are simply to vulnerable.

The ones built into IE is safe, as long as your computer is secure (no virus, no spyware, and running on Win2K or newer).  I would imagine the password manager built into the OS X browser is equally secure, since it is also integrated to the OS, which has it's own security in addition to that of the browser).

In fact, one of the most (in)famous "password managers" was this nifty little program called "Gator" (it was also known as "Gain").  A lot of people used it, until they discovered that along with the password manager came all this neat and nifty spyware.  Around 1999-2001, a lot of programs had Gator included.  Trying to uninstall Gator was almost impossible, and people started to notice an increase in pop-ups and a slowdown in performance with it installed.  Then "Spyware" was finally discovered, and the first tools were made to remove it.

Myself, I just keep things simple.  I normally use one of 4 or 5 variants of a username, and one of 4 or 5 variants of password.  It rarely takes me more then 2 or 3 times to get it right.



http://images.gator.com/gator/help/gatorguide/gatorlogin.gif

Remember The Gator E-Wallet? ::)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 12/06/06 at 10:39 pm


The ones built into IE is safe, as long as your computer is secure (no virus, no spyware, and running on Win2K or newer).  I would imagine the password manager built into the OS X browser is equally secure, since it is also integrated to the OS, which has it's own security in addition to that of the browser).

In fact, one of the most (in)famous "password managers" was this nifty little program called "Gator" (it was also known as "Gain").


Funny you should mention Gator.  Gator renamed itself "Claria" to try and dodge its bad rep, was subsequently bought out by Microsoft, and after the buyout, Claria's spyware was suddenly no longer "spyware" as far as Microsoft's spyware detector was concerned. 

I strongly agree with Mushroom when it comes to downloading third party browsers only from their known legitimate sources

I (just as strongly) disagree with his implication that open source is a security risk.  I can download the source code to Firefox and compile it myself.  So can hundreds of other people, most of whom are smarter than I am.  Anyone trying to put a back door into Firefox could do so, but he'd have to hide his code very cleverly, because there are plenty of Firefox developers (who are smarter than I am!) who are looking for just such a thing to happen.

Security holes can be (and are regularly) found in both open-source and closed-source products.  On the Windows platform, neither Firefox nor IE is immune.  There's neither an advantage nor a disadvantage to the open source business model here.

But back doors, on the other hand, are hard to hide in open source products, but - by definition - almost impossible to detect in closed-source products.  To date, no back door has ever been succesfully embedded and distributed in any build of Firefox distributed by the Mozilla foundation, and you pretty much have to go back to the 70s to find any back door distributed as part of any quasi-open-source operating system.  All that can be said on behalf of Microsoft - because nobody has access to their source code - is that no similar back door has been detected to date.  (It's true that there probably isn't one -- but it's not true that there pro*V*ably isn't one.)

Unless, of course, you trust Microsoft's word that Claria's software (or whatever else they choose to provide you by means of automatic updates, "genuine advantage" phone-home license verification, and whatever else Gates thinks belongs on your PC) is a legitimate use of your computing resources. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 12/08/06 at 9:16 am


Funny you should mention Gator.  Gator renamed itself "Claria" to try and dodge its bad rep, was subsequently bought out by Microsoft, and after the buyout, Claria's spyware was suddenly no longer "spyware" as far as Microsoft's spyware detector was concerned. 


Actually, Microsoft did not buy the company.  Claria has been seeking somebody to buy them out for over 2 years now, and so far there have been no takers.

And a lot of spyware companies have found a new trick in the last year:  Sue the antispyware companies.

Claria detection has been removed from a lot of spyware detection software, along with HotBar, Atom, and a load of others.  This is because the makers of the spyware simply have a laywer contact them saying "This is legitimate software, and we disclose everything in our EULA.  Remove us, or we will sue you for infringing our right to distribute software."

Because a lot of anti-spyware companies do not want to go through the hastle or expense of litigation, they simply quietly remove the ability to detect or remove those programs.  SpyBot and AdAware have also delisted several programs because of this reason.


I (just as strongly) disagree with his implication that open source is a security risk.  I can download the source code to Firefox and compile it myself.  So can hundreds of other people, most of whom are smarter than I am.  Anyone trying to put a back door into Firefox could do so, but he'd have to hide his code very cleverly, because there are plenty of Firefox developers (who are smarter than I am!) who are looking for just such a thing to happen.

Security holes can be (and are regularly) found in both open-source and closed-source products.  On the Windows platform, neither Firefox nor IE is immune.  There's neither an advantage nor a disadvantage to the open source business model here.


My problem is not with "open source" itself, but with those that may take advantage of the fact that the code is freely available.  I am not saying to not use Open Source programs, simply to be careful where you get it at.

And I feel safe in saying that every program has "security holes".  Programs are much more complex then they were even 10 years ago.  Where the original DOS was largely written by one man and fit onto a single sided 160k floppy, the upcomming Vista was compiled from code written by hundreds of people, and fills a DVD (around 7 GB).

With the complexity and size of modern programs, it is simply impossible to remove every flaw or accidental hole.  This is why I find it stupid when somebody finds a new hole, and starts screaming that "Product X is flawed, use our product".  Of course, they never mention that their own program has just as many flaws.

And when you then create the program to be inherantly unsecure by allowing it to connect to anonymous computers (which is exactly what the Internet is), you create the largest security hole imagineable.  It is like trying to put in a burglar alarm, when your house does not have a front door.

And not only that, the burglar alarm was designed and built by a committee, and not everybody agreed on to how to build it in the first place.  Plus the alarm has to work with every alarm designed and built by thousands of other companies over the last 8 years.

In short, the only way to truely be secure is to disconnect your computer from the Internet, and modem.  And install no software that did not ceom from the maker of the operating system.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 12/08/06 at 2:44 pm

Mushroom, Wal-Mart has this Compaq Presario (actually I think it's HP because HP bought Compaq, but whatever) for sale for $588.  It comes with a flatscreen monitor (17 inches) and seems to be fairly fast/powerful/etc.

How long after I (hypothetically) buy it before it explodes on me?  :D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 12/08/06 at 9:04 pm


My problem is not with "open source" itself, but with those that may take advantage of the fact that the code is freely available.  I am not saying to not use Open Source programs, simply to be careful where you get it at.

*snip*

In short, the only way to truely be secure is to disconnect your computer from the Internet, and modem.  And install no software that did not come from the maker of the operating system.


No argument there, nor on anything else you wrote. 

'Cept for that last bit. 

Funny:  Ya left out the bank of car batteries hooked up to inverters, and the whole thing being in a Faraday cage! 

Serious:  At the Faraday-cage level,  trust no closed-source operating system vendor whatsoever.  Trust no open source programs you didn't compile yourself.  And as Ken Thompson demonstrated 22 years ago in Reflections on Trusting Trust, don't even trust your compiler unless you wrote it, too.

If Thompson (the guy who invented C in order to help him invent UNIX) could compromise the C compiler that was used to build every subsequent copy of the C compiler distributed with subsequent generations of the UNIX system, how much do you really trust that the "firewall" that comes with Windows isn't designed not to block certain traffic destined for certain Microsoft-approved (or approved on levels higher-than-Microsoft) background processes?  How much do you trust the process viewer that ships with the OS not to hide certain processes?  Activation, phone-home, WGA and future DRM technologies shipping with XP and Vista, may have legal differences, but from a security standpoint, they are no different than any other rootkit. 

The question isn't whether you're being paranoid, it's whether you're being paranoid enough :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/08/06 at 10:13 pm

How do you get rid of an icon in the System tray that cannot be removed such as The Virusbsuters Icon that blinks and looks like a Triangle with an exclamation point in it saying you have "Critical System Errors"? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 12/08/06 at 10:14 pm


How do you get rid of an icon in the System tray that cannot be removed such as The Virusbsuters Icon that blinks and looks like a Triangle with an exclamation point in it saying you have "Critical System Errors"? ???



Have you clicked on the blinking icon to see what happens? 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/08/06 at 10:15 pm



Have you clicked on the blinking icon to see what happens? 



It takes me to The Virusbusters webpage.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 12/08/06 at 10:30 pm



It takes me to The Virusbusters webpage.



After you do that, does the blinking icon go away?  Also, if it's telling you you have "critical system errors", does it tell you what they are?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 12/08/06 at 10:55 pm


How do you get rid of an icon in the System tray that cannot be removed such as The Virusbsuters Icon that blinks and looks like a Triangle with an exclamation point in it saying you have "Critical System Errors"? ???


Install Linux!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/09/06 at 6:36 am



After you do that, does the blinking icon go away?  Also, if it's telling you you have "critical system errors", does it tell you what they are?


It keeps blinking telling me that you have a Trojan Horse but my Father's computer doesn't have it.It's a fake ad.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/09/06 at 6:37 am


Install Linux!



I'll let my father know,Thanks Foo. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 12/09/06 at 9:50 am


Mushroom, Wal-Mart has this Compaq Presario (actually I think it's HP because HP bought Compaq, but whatever) for sale for $588.  It comes with a flatscreen monitor (17 inches) and seems to be fairly fast/powerful/etc.

How long after I (hypothetically) buy it before it explodes on me?  :D


From experience, somewhere between 9-18 months.

The "Mass market" computers are some of the worst junk imaginable.  Between poor quality power supplies (250-300 watts, with no -5 volt lead), to substandard cooling and lack of upgrade potential (most do not have AGP or PCIe slots).  They truely follow the old addage, "you get what you pay for".  To give an idea, I had 4 walk in the door on Thursday and Friday.

In every one of these 4 (1 E-Machine, 2 Compaq-HP, 1 Dell), the power supply failed, and killed the motherboard.  This means a repair bill of around $400 (new case, new motherboard, new copy of XP, labor).  In 1 of the four, I rebuilt the system with quality parts.  That machine (a 2.8 GHz) will probably be good for another 3-5 years.

The other 3 people, they acted like I was trying to rip them off.  "This machine only cost me $500-700 when I bought it" was more or less the typical response, and they all decided to leave and go buy a "new computer".  And the sad thing is, they will buy another $500 piece of junk, that dies again within a year and a half.

If you buy a cheap computer and want it to last, gut it and place the components into a good quality case.  The case should have ample cooling (at least 4 80mm or 2 120mm fans), and a good quality power supply (400 watts or more).  Just by doing this, you can make most "cheap computers" last for many years.

Oh, but you can't do that with a Dell.  Dell uses special motherboards and connectors, which can't be moved to a new case.  Gateway has started to do the same thing, by moving away from the industry standard ATX case, and moving to the BTX case.  You can still find BTX cases out there, but they are hard to find, and normally are in the $200 price range.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: La Roche on 12/09/06 at 9:53 am

I'm fully aware of the suck-factor of mass produced computers.. but alas, I work to a budget.

I bought a Dell about 4 years ago and it still ticks along fine. What's equally odd about that is I'm the least security conscious individual in the world, download thousands of files, visit the wrong kinds of websites, kick the plug out of the wall when things piss me off and just generally abuse the hell out of the machine.

Is it some sort of phenomenal record that this thing has lasted as long as it has?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 12/09/06 at 9:58 am


How do you get rid of an icon in the System tray that cannot be removed such as The Virusbsuters Icon that blinks and looks like a Triangle with an exclamation point in it saying you have "Critical System Errors"? ???


You have a spyware-trojan dropper named "Virus Busters".  It claims to be an antivirus program, but is really just another form of spyware.

And here is the bad news:  about the only way to remove it is to reformat your drive and reload your OS.  I have seen this many times, and it is why I tell people to never install anything they see from a pop-up or ad bar.  And to never install an antivirus or spyware program without checking it out.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 12/09/06 at 10:11 am


I'm fully aware of the suck-factor of mass produced computers.. but alas, I work to a budget.

I bought a Dell about 4 years ago and it still ticks along fine. What's equally odd about that is I'm the least security conscious individual in the world, download thousands of files, visit the wrong kinds of websites, kick the plug out of the wall when things piss me off and just generally abuse the hell out of the machine.

Is it some sort of phenomenal record that this thing has lasted as long as it has?


By sticking to a buget, that is not hard.  Buy an HP-Compaq-E-Machine, and make sure it has a PCIe slot.  Then spend an extra $60-90, and get a good quality case and power supply, and move everything in the computer to the new case.  Doing this, the computer should last from 3-7 years.

And custom built does not mean expensive.  If you are comfortable doing it yourself, you can build your own computer for $600-800.  It really is not hard, and you can do it yourself in just a few hours (or find a geek frind to help you do it).

2000-2001 was really the last era of the "quality mass market computer".  Back then, most systems were 500-800 MHz, with 5600 RPM drives.  For those, a 250 watt power supply and no fans were fine for a computer.  And there were very few games that required anything more advanced then a 3-D video card.  Plus a lot still came with AGP slots.

But in the last 5 years, they basically keep building the same thing.  No fans, and low wattage power supplies.  In that time, CPUs have moved from 800 MHz to 3 GHz.  Hard drives have moved from 5600 RPM to 7200 RPM and higher.  Basic 3-D graphics is not enough, you need a higher level Radeon or GeForce card to play the majority of games anymore.

2 days ago, somebody brought in a Compaq with a Pentium 90 MHz processor (bought in 1995), and it worked just fine.  While I was waiting on him, a gal came in with a Compaq with a 64 Bit Sempron 3200 she bought last year.  This is one where the power supply failed, killing the motherboard.  Both computers had only a CPU fan, and no other cooling.  The first had a 200 watt power supply, the newer one had a 300 watt power supply.

That is what I mean when I say the quality of new computers has gone to hell.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 12/09/06 at 10:16 am


Install Linux!


Yea, then go to the store, and try to find the isle where you find the Linux software.

Or explain to a neophyte how to compile their software.

Linux has it's place, but not with the majority of computer owners.  I talk to "normal computer owners" every day, and most have no idea how to install a wireless router, let alone how to compile their own programs.  I have probably 100+ that come in every year to update their antivirus, because they are not comfortable doing it themselves.

One thing I do give MicroSoft credit for, and that is making computers easy to use.  If anything, they are now to easy.  Take the majority of computer users to a C: prompt, and they are totally lost.  Tell them about MSCONFIG and DXDIAG, and their eyes start to glaze over.  Forget about ever explaining how important the Registry is, and how to modify it if needed.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: La Roche on 12/09/06 at 10:19 am


By sticking to a buget, that is not hard.  Buy an HP-Compaq-E-Machine, and make sure it has a PCIe slot.  Then spend an extra $60-90, and get a good quality case and power supply, and move everything in the computer to the new case.  Doing this, the computer should last from 3-7 years.

And custom built does not mean expensive.  If you are comfortable doing it yourself, you can build your own computer for $600-800.  It really is not hard, and you can do it yourself in just a few hours (or find a geek frind to help you do it).

2000-2001 was really the last era of the "quality mass market computer".  Back then, most systems were 500-800 MHz, with 5600 RPM drives.  For those, a 250 watt power supply and no fans were fine for a computer.  And there were very few games that required anything more advanced then a 3-D video card.  Plus a lot still came with AGP slots.

But in the last 5 years, they basically keep building the same thing.  No fans, and low wattage power supplies.  In that time, CPUs have moved from 800 MHz to 3 GHz.  Hard drives have moved from 5600 RPM to 7200 RPM and higher.  Basic 3-D graphics is not enough, you need a higher level Radeon or GeForce card to play the majority of games anymore.

2 days ago, somebody brought in a Compaq with a Pentium 90 MHz processor (bought in 1995), and it worked just fine.  While I was waiting on him, a gal came in with a Compaq with a 64 Bit Sempron 3200 she bought last year.  This is one where the power supply failed, killing the motherboard.  Both computers had only a CPU fan, and no other cooling.  The first had a 200 watt power supply, the newer one had a 300 watt power supply.

That is what I mean when I say the quality of new computers has gone to hell.


It's all to do with cooling and power supply then eh.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 12/09/06 at 12:34 pm


It's all to do with cooling and power supply then eh.


That is the major factor when it comes to lifespan.  However, another factor is the quality of parts used.

For example, most of the cheaper computers make shortcuts when it comes to video cards.  At least 75% do not give you an AGP or PCIe slot.  This means if the graphics on-board are not good enough for your new game, your only solution is to "upgrade" to PCI (which really sucks).  They also often put on "clock locks", which prevents you from ever upgrading to a faster processor (Dell, HP, and Compaq are infamous for that).

Another thing I have noticed is the maker of the motherboard and other components.  Instead of useing a quality maker like Asus, they often go to "Grade B" manufacturers, like Biostar, Epox, and others.  In fact, both HP-Compaq and E-Machines were well known for useing hard drives made by a company called "TriGem".

Now in reality, TriGem does not make hard drives.  What they do is buy defective hard drive, and refurbish them.  They are then resold to manufacturers at a huge discount.  The manufacturers then use them in new systems.  I probably replace 50-80 of these every year, normally in less then 2 years of use.

And if you think about it, it is in their best interest to build computers that last only 1-2 years.  Or to limit the upgradeability.  After all, HP does not make any money if you upgrade or improve your computer.  They only make more money if you buy a new computer.  So if you get a computer and only then realize it needs something it does not have, it encourages you to buy another one next year.

Anmd if it dies after the warranty expires, that just means you have to buy a new computer.  They make no money if you take it into a shop like mine to repair.  And to the unknowledgealbe consumer, being told that spending $400 to repair a $600 computer sounds like a rip-off.

Companies like Dell, HP-Compaq, Gateway, E-Machines, AlienWare, and others really thrive on consumer ignorance.  They churn out either junk computers, overpriced computers, or junk overpriced computers all the time.  They rely on their name recognition, knowing that for every customer they drive away, 2 more will come to them (often driven away from another maker).

I have had customers come in with their 1 year old Compaq, and then leave swearing to never buy another one.  They then buy a Dell Dimension for $500.  They are in my shop a year later with the dead Dell, and swear they will never buy another one.  They then move to another maker, like Gateway.  They do not realize that the problem is not the manufacturers, as much as the quality of computer built.

With most of these makers, when you move into the $1,200 price range, the quality improves tremendously.  However, at that point most of the systems are badly overpriced.  I know that we can't touch the $400 computers, because wwe refuse to sell components of that poor a quality.  But the "name brands" can't touch us when it comes to the higher end units, because they are normally 30-50% more expensive for the same quality.

This is why they all love the "custom built" programs they all have.  It lets them sell $400 computers for $1,200+.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: La Roche on 12/09/06 at 12:37 pm


That is the major factor when it comes to lifespan.  However, another factor is the quality of parts used.

For example, most of the cheaper computers make shortcuts when it comes to video cards.  At least 75% do not give you an AGP or PCIe slot.  This means if the graphics on-board are not good enough for your new game, your only solution is to "upgrade" to PCI (which really sucks).  They also often put on "clock locks", which prevents you from ever upgrading to a faster processor (Dell, HP, and Compaq are infamous for that).

Another thing I have noticed is the maker of the motherboard and other components.  Instead of useing a quality maker like Asus, they often go to "Grade B" manufacturers, like Biostar, Epox, and others.  In fact, both HP-Compaq and E-Machines were well known for useing hard drives made by a company called "TriGem".

Now in reality, TriGem does not make hard drives.  What they do is buy defective hard drive, and refurbish them.  They are then resold to manufacturers at a huge discount.  The manufacturers then use them in new systems.  I probably replace 50-80 of these every year, normally in less then 2 years of use.

And if you think about it, it is in their best interest to build computers that last only 1-2 years.  Or to limit the upgradeability.  After all, HP does not make any money if you upgrade or improve your computer.  They only make more money if you buy a new computer.  So if you get a computer and only then realize it needs something it does not have, it encourages you to buy another one next year.

Anmd if it dies after the warranty expires, that just means you have to buy a new computer.  They make no money if you take it into a shop like mine to repair.  And to the unknowledgealbe consumer, being told that spending $400 to repair a $600 computer sounds like a rip-off.

Companies like Dell, HP-Compaq, Gateway, E-Machines, AlienWare, and others really thrive on consumer ignorance.  They churn out either junk computers, overpriced computers, or junk overpriced computers all the time.  They rely on their name recognition, knowing that for every customer they drive away, 2 more will come to them (often driven away from another maker).

I have had customers come in with their 1 year old Compaq, and then leave swearing to never buy another one.  They then buy a Dell Dimension for $500.  They are in my shop a year later with the dead Dell, and swear they will never buy another one.  They then move to another maker, like Gateway.  They do not realize that the problem is not the manufacturers, as much as the quality of computer built.

With most of these makers, when you move into the $1,200 price range, the quality improves tremendously.  However, at that point most of the systems are badly overpriced.  I know that we can't touch the $400 computers, because wwe refuse to sell components of that poor a quality.  But the "name brands" can't touch us when it comes to the higher end units, because they are normally 30-50% more expensive for the same quality.

This is why they all love the "custom built" programs they all have.  It lets them sell $400 computers for $1,200+.


Kinda like the American car industry then.  ;D

Buy all the parts from cheap ass companies, assemble them under a big happy flag of consumerism and them ream the customer 2 years later when it dies on them.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/09/06 at 7:53 pm


You have a spyware-trojan dropper named "Virus Busters".  It claims to be an antivirus program, but is really just another form of spyware.

And here is the bad news:  about the only way to remove it is to reformat your drive and reload your OS.  I have seen this many times, and it is why I tell people to never install anything they see from a pop-up or ad bar.  And to never install an antivirus or spyware program without checking it out.



I'll let my father know,Mushroom.He's stupid sometimes.He thinks he knows it all with stuff to put on and what not to put on computers.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 12/11/06 at 10:13 am


Kinda like the American car industry then.  ;D

Buy all the parts from cheap ass companies, assemble them under a big happy flag of consumerism and them ream the customer 2 years later when it dies on them.


Not really.  In the 1980's, that was true.  American cars were built cheap, and the quality suffered.  Within a few years they were even farther behind Japan then they were before, and quickly got their act together.

Cars are nowadays built to last between 125,000-250,000 miles.  My 97 Dodge has around 165,000 miles, and still runs pretty good.  However, Americans drive much more then they did a generation ago.  I know that my parents had a 1968 Toyota, and it took them almost 10 years to "roll the odometer".  Nowadays, we frequently turn a car over 100,000 miles within 3-4 years (if not sooner).

The philosophical difference is that the "Major Brand" computer companies want you to treat your computer like a car.  When the Engine or Transmission dies, most people do not fix them, they buy a new car.  Myself, I treat a computer like the old "Modular Stareo Systems".  When your CD player dies, you do not buy a new stereo.  You simply buy a new CD player.  And when it does not have enough power, you simply replace the amplifier and speakers.

Computers are modular by design, but the big makers want you to treat it like a single unit.  And when a single component fails, you replace the entire thing.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 12/11/06 at 8:56 pm



I'll let my father know,Mushroom.He's stupid sometimes.He thinks he knows it all with stuff to put on and what not to put on computers.


And in passing, karma to Mushroom for answering your question both correctly and honestly.  "Install Linux" is the geek equivalent to "Dust off and nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" as a solution to an Aliens infection.

My rule of thumb for software (especially in the closed-source world) is simple: The more promises the author of a product makes, the more likely it is that it's spyware or worse.  ("F-PROT"?  Not spyware.  "Super Mega Virus Nuker Killer Guaranteed To Make Your System More Secure And Kill All Evil Hackers Just Click Here Its Free 4U" - guaranteed spyware.)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/12/06 at 7:02 am


And in passing, karma to Mushroom for answering your question both correctly and honestly.  "Install Linux" is the geek equivalent to "Dust off and nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" as a solution to an Aliens infection.

My rule of thumb for software (especially in the closed-source world) is simple: The more promises the author of a product makes, the more likely it is that it's spyware or worse.  ("F-PROT"?  Not spyware.  "Super Mega Virus Nuker Killer Guaranteed To Make Your System More Secure And Kill All Evil Hackers Just Click Here Its Free 4U" - guaranteed spyware.)


Would that be the only way to get rid of it? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 12/12/06 at 5:16 pm


My rule of thumb for software (especially in the closed-source world) is simple: The more promises the author of a product makes, the more likely it is that it's spyware or worse.  ("F-PROT"?  Not spyware.  "Super Mega Virus Nuker Killer Guaranteed To Make Your System More Secure And Kill All Evil Hackers Just Click Here Its Free 4U" - guaranteed spyware.)


And sometimes, even knowledgeable people fall for the lies of the spyware makers.

My boss yesterday was told of a site that has free games for the PSP.  Singe his grandsons all have them, he thought it would be a good way to keep them busy.  So he went to the site, and downloaded the program that claimed to install the games.

What he ended up with was about 20 spyware programs, most revolving around the NEW.NEt spyware.  And naturally, he did not get the free games.  :P


And in passing, karma to Mushroom for answering your question both correctly and honestly.  "Install Linux" is the geek equivalent to "Dust off and nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure" as a solution to an Aliens infection.


Thanks.  :)

I am most definately not "Anti-Linux" (something I am frequently accused of by both my peers and on techie sites I go to).  However, I have a keen understanding of the capabilities of "normal computer users".  Almost every day, I run into something that makes me want to shake my head.  Most computer users are really ignorant, and handing them a copy of Linux would be rather like handing your grandmother the keys to a Mack 18 wheeler, and asking her to take a drive around the parking lot. 

In the last week, here are just some of the things I have heard:

A Computer called a "Modem" or a "Hard Drive" (I hear that one all the time)
Amazement when I told a customer that she could set her computer on it's side
10 minutes spent explaining to a customer how to use a "surge supressor"
Explaining to a customer why it is not worth fixing a 10 year old computer (another common occurence)
Explaining why a game like "The Sims 2" requires a good quality video card (and computer, not a 750 MHZ "used" computer)
Explaining why "Wireless Internet" (WiFi) does not allow you to get on-line everywhere
Trying to explain why the "$299 Dell" is not a good Christmas gift to a son that wants to play games
Trying to explain why putting Windows XP is not a good idea for a Pentium II-350 with 64 MB RAM
Explaining why somebody needs the $19 heatsink (rated to Athlon 3000) for an Athlon 2400, not the $13 heatsink (rated to Athlon 1800)
Why we need to know exactly what kind if memmory is in the system, or to have the system brought in in order to upgrade the RAM (the old line "that looks just like what is in it now" is just not good enough)

And yes, these are almost daily occurences.  I know how ignorant most computer buyers are.  And I shudder at the problems we would be having if even 10% tried to migrate over to Linux.  We have even had a few come in, who upgraded because their buddies told them it was the "best OS ever".  Since we do not support it, the only support we would give is pure hardware, or to wipe and reload it with the OS we sold it with.  Most are not willing to pay me $65 an hour to try and troubleshoot why their game will not work with WINE.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 12/12/06 at 8:35 pm


Would that be the only way to get rid of it? ???


Well it would be the only way to be sure :)

As Mushroom pointed out -- that solution comes with its own drawbacks:  a very steep learning curve.

Personally, I'm increasingly impressed with Macs.  Nice slick "it just works" GUI for the nontechnical user, but it's UNIX under the hood. 

Unfortunately, we've still got a few years to go (if ever) before PC gaming is free of the Windows monopoly.  Gaming is really the only thing that's still best on a Windows box.  Most releases aren't available for Mac, let alone Linux.  It's enough to turn a guy to the dark side of console gaming.  :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/12/06 at 10:28 pm

How do you get rid of script errors like when a web page says "Done,But With errors on page"? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 12/12/06 at 10:31 pm


How do you get rid of script errors like when a web page says "Done,But With errors on page"? ???


Is it a pop-up message that says this?  Where on the page do you see it?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/12/06 at 10:31 pm


Is it a pop-up message that says this?  Where on the page do you see it?


No,I think Foo would know what I'm referring to.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 12/12/06 at 10:33 pm


No,I think Foo would know what I'm referring to.


I know what you're referring to, I've had them happen to me but they can be different on different computers, web sites, browsers....hence why I was asking. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 12/12/06 at 10:44 pm


How do you get rid of script errors like when a web page says "Done,But With errors on page"? ???


It's a Javascript thing.  I look at it this way:  If the site author can't be bothered to write Javascript that won't trigger the error, I don't want to be running his Javascript in IE or Mozilla.

But then again, if it's not my bank or my broker, I don't want to be running his Javascript even if he or she is competent at coding it.

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/722/ -- For Mozilla/Firefox, Noscript is your friend. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/12/06 at 10:46 pm


It's a Javascript thing.  I look at it this way:  If the site author can't be bothered to write Javascript that won't trigger the error, I don't want to be running his Javascript in IE or Mozilla.

But then again, if it's not my bank or my broker, I don't want to be running his Javascript even if he or she is competent at coding it.

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/722/ -- For Mozilla/Firefox, Noscript is your friend. 


Thanks Foo

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 01/02/07 at 12:34 pm

Question: Hubby plays games on an older computer which operates with "Windows Pro" (whatever that is). He accidently hit a key and the bar across the bottom (which has what windows are open, etc.) moved to side. He would like to move it back to the bottom of the screen but he doesn't know what he hit to move it to side. Can anyone help?




Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: thereshegoes on 01/04/07 at 5:30 pm

I have a bunch of files in my pc that i can't delete, everytime i try move em to the ricycle bin it says the file can't be read.
What can i do?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 01/09/07 at 2:08 pm


Question: Hubby plays games on an older computer which operates with "Windows Pro" (whatever that is). He accidently hit a key and the bar across the bottom (which has what windows are open, etc.) moved to side. He would like to move it back to the bottom of the screen but he doesn't know what he hit to move it to side. Can anyone help?




Cat



Still waiting for an answer. ANYONE? ANYONE?  Hello? Echo...echo...echo...echo...echo



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Philip Eno on 01/09/07 at 2:12 pm



Still waiting for an answer. ANYONE? ANYONE?  Hello? Echo...echo...echo...echo...echo



Cat


Have you tried "Dragging and Dropping the Task Bar back into place?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 01/09/07 at 3:00 pm



Still waiting for an answer. ANYONE? ANYONE?  Hello? Echo...echo...echo...echo...echo



Cat






Has he tried tried right-clicking on the taskbar to see if the "Lock the Taskbar" is checked?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 01/09/07 at 4:03 pm

What do you know about wireless routers such as Linksys? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 01/10/07 at 11:59 pm


Question: Hubby plays games on an older computer which operates with "Windows Pro" (whatever that is). He accidently hit a key and the bar across the bottom (which has what windows are open, etc.) moved to side. He would like to move it back to the bottom of the screen but he doesn't know what he hit to move it to side. Can anyone help?


Sorry, was away for about 2 weeks because of a dispute with my ISP, and basically forgot to check in this forum when I got back on-line (thanks to the person taht sent me a message to remind me of it).

Basically, you can drag the "Task Bar" to any area of the screen you want to.  Simply left-click and hold the mouse in any unused area of the bar, and drag it where you want it to be.

When Win95 first came out, there were even some themes that made the PC look like a Macintosh, which included dragging the bar to the top of the screen.  And since I work on probably 20 computers a week, I often see them on either the right side of the screen, or on the top (for some reason nobody puts them on the left side).


What do you know about wireless routers such as Linksys? ???


I have worked with many of them, including LinkSys, USR, Intellinet, Belkin, and some others.

And basically, they are all the same.  I have never found any one to be better then the others, and for the most part, they are compatible between any brands of card and router (as long as they share a common protocol, 802.11 A, B, or G - I am not going to get into the "Pre-N", avoid those).

The trickiest thing often involves configuring them.  Depending on your ISP, you may or may not have to set up various configurations inside the router.  And thankfully, the practice of locking an internet connection to a fixed MAC address has largely fallen by the wayside.

Normally, about the most you have to configure is the User Name and Password for your account.  Although some ISPs run special scripts to prevent you from useing any router other then one they provide (for an extra charge).  My ISP does that, and I had to resort to installing a second NIC card in my computer and useing it as a "Bridge" in order to use my wireless router.  So if my computer is turned off, my wireless is disconnected.

If I can give a few pointers in configuration, it is to do the following:

1.  Change your default password.  If you leave it at default, anybody within @ 100 yards can log in and change settings, even lock you out of your own network.  Or worse yet, gain access to the computers on your network.

2.  Enable security.  A lot of people prefer WAP to keep people out of a wireless network, but I always prefer the good old-fashioned technique of MAC address filtering.  To do this, you need the MAC address of every network card on your network.  You can get the address by opening a DOS box on your computer, and entering "ipconfig /all".  You will see a line like this:

Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 02-00-54-55-4E-01

The string of numbers and letters is the MAC address of the card.  Simply locate the address for every card on your network, and enter them as allowed.  Then set your router to ignore any address that is not authorized.

WAP is not as secure as most people think.  With a few programs easily found on the internet, hackers can get around WAP in as little as 2 hours.  However, MAC is much harder to get around, since they first have to find a way to get a valid MAC address (which is next to impossible to do without physical access to the computer), then set their own to "clone" a valid address.  Most hackers will simply move along and find a network that is easier to get into.  The only successfull wireless MAC address hack I have heard about took over 1,000 hours to accomplish.

If you have another question, feel free to ask.  Since your question was rather vague, I kinda covered the questions that most people tend to ask me at work.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 01/11/07 at 6:20 am

What about Netgear?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 01/11/07 at 11:55 am


What about Netgear?


They are all about the same, NetGear included.  I have yet to find any major issues with any router I have ever worked with.  They are all basically the same, and do the same thing.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 01/11/07 at 3:45 pm

My father and I have basically the same Linksys system.He's hooked up to my laptop.Some occasions,His computer works(all 4 lights blink) but my laptop doesn't and when it says "Connected To Router or "Connected To Internet",I'm on so how come sometimes it doesn't read?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 01/12/07 at 11:01 am


Have you tried "Dragging and Dropping the Task Bar back into place?




Sorry, was away for about 2 weeks because of a dispute with my ISP, and basically forgot to check in this forum when I got back on-line (thanks to the person taht sent me a message to remind me of it).

Basically, you can drag the "Task Bar" to any area of the screen you want to.  Simply left-click and hold the mouse in any unused area of the bar, and drag it where you want it to be.

When Win95 first came out, there were even some themes that made the PC look like a Macintosh, which included dragging the bar to the top of the screen.  And since I work on probably 20 computers a week, I often see them on either the right side of the screen, or on the top (for some reason nobody puts them on the left side).




Yup, that worked. Thanks guys. Such a simple solution. However, I could blame it on Hubby who is not really computer inclined.  ;)



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Dominic L. on 01/12/07 at 11:10 am




Yup, that worked. Thanks guys. Such a simple solution. However, I could blame it on Hubby who is not really computer inclined.  ;)



Cat


If you right click on this bar and click "Lock Taskbar", it will not do that anymore.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 02/15/07 at 3:06 pm

Stupidity on my part but here is the situation.

Today I reached up to get my pepsi and instead of grabbing, I dumped it on my wireless keyboard!
It hit the number pad and the arrows. I think I got most of it cleaned up, used the can of air on it too.
Of course, right now I have the old wired keyboard and wired mouse hooked up - what a pain in my butt!

So my question is, once it dries out, do you think it will still work Mushroom?
Before I disconnected it, it worked fine, except that when I hit the shift key it would type a q or a z.
I hope it will still work. I hate being confined to this wired crap.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 02/15/07 at 3:45 pm

What do you know about Zwinkys?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 02/26/07 at 2:13 pm


Today I reached up to get my pepsi and instead of grabbing, I dumped it on my wireless keyboard!
It hit the number pad and the arrows. I think I got most of it cleaned up, used the can of air on it too.
Of course, right now I have the old wired keyboard and wired mouse hooked up - what a pain in my butt!

So my question is, once it dries out, do you think it will still work Mushroom?
Before I disconnected it, it worked fine, except that when I hit the shift key it would type a q or a z.
I hope it will still work. I hate being confined to this wired crap.


Maybe.  It all depends.

If the moisture shorted out an IC, it is toast.  It can also leave sticky residue on the key switch, making those keys almost worthless.  Either way, I would expect to have to buy a new keyboard.  Because a soda will eventually cause corrosion.


What do you know about Zwinkys?


Zwinkys are made by SmileyCentral.  And SmileyCentral is a major Spyware company.

So I think they are junk, just another way to try and con people into installing spyware onto their computers.  Must like COmetCUrsor, Gator, HotBar, and every other piece of spyware out there.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 02/26/07 at 3:34 pm


Maybe.  It all depends.

If the moisture shorted out an IC, it is toast.  It can also leave sticky residue on the key switch, making those keys almost worthless.  Either way, I would expect to have to buy a new keyboard.  Because a soda will eventually cause corrosion.

Zwinkys are made by SmileyCentral.  And SmileyCentral is a major Spyware company.

So I think they are junk, just another way to try and con people into installing spyware onto their computers.  Must like COmetCUrsor, Gator, HotBar, and every other piece of spyware out there.


So Why do they want you to create your very own Zwinky? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 02/27/07 at 5:12 pm


So Why do they want you to create your very own Zwinky? ???


As a way to install their software on your computer.

And along with that software comes spyware.  And the company gets paid for their spyware.  SC get's most of it's revenue from either pop-up and banner ads, or by selling your e-mail address and other information (which you allow them to collect when you agree to use their program.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: gumbypiz on 03/02/07 at 7:17 pm

OK, heres a problem I've had since I got a new HP PC last year.

Its came with XP Media Center Home Edition 2005.
The problem, can't get any embedded wmp files from the internet to play, video or audio.

Whenever I come to any windows media player files to play, firefox (IE too) tell me that I need to download and install WMP to view the file, which is bizarre as I have WMP 11 already installed and works fine otherwise.

I've already looked around on the net, didn't find any mention of a similar problem on any MS site, but did find some notation by others that MCE '05 does not have the usual WMP plugins installed, and it was designed that way by Microsoft (?).

I have manage to down load FFV, and a separate program that recognizes this problem and opens up wmp when this situation arises for playback, but its a pain to have to have a separate window open just to play back a short video or song each and every time I come across a wmp file while stumbling on the internet...Has anyone heard of this happening or had any other weird problems with MCE?

Any suggestions?

I'm running an AMD 64, with 2GB of memory, so I don't think its any problem with my PC's hardware or video card...

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nicki_morrissey on 03/04/07 at 6:15 pm

I've got a question. Is there any way I can get a free version (or just a trial version) of Microsoft Word?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 03/04/07 at 8:09 pm


I've got a question. Is there any way I can get a free version (or just a trial version) of Microsoft Word?


You should be able to get it here for a 60 day trial.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/eval/office/default.mspx

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/04/07 at 10:28 pm

Why do computers get error reports?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/04/07 at 10:54 pm


Why do computers get error reports?



Because something goes wrong. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/05/07 at 6:14 am



Because something goes wrong. 


But the question is,I want to know why? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 03/05/07 at 8:17 am


But the question is,I want to know why? ???


Bugs in the programs, or compatibility issues between different programs (certain programs can conflict with one another), driver bugs, spyware/malware. There's many things that can cause a program to stop responding.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/05/07 at 3:43 pm


Bugs in the programs, or compatibility issues between different programs (certain programs can conflict with one another), driver bugs, spyware/malware. There's many things that can cause a program to stop responding.



So that's why some computers freeze up sometimes.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/05/07 at 3:45 pm



So that's why some computers freeze up sometimes.




Computers can also freeze up if you're running too many programs and there's not enough internal memory to handle it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/05/07 at 4:55 pm




Computers can also freeze up if you're running too many programs and there's not enough internal memory to handle it.



That's what happens on my laptop too

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: JamieMcBain on 03/07/07 at 5:49 pm

I worried about my computer, eventually overheating, and being destroyed.

Is there anyway, to cool a coomputer down?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/08/07 at 6:17 am


I worried about my computer, eventually overheating, and being destroyed.

Is there anyway, to cool a coomputer down?


You could always keep it off for a while

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: JamieMcBain on 03/08/07 at 9:49 am

It's not overheating at the moment, but I am more worried about it, at the summer.

Thanks for the adviice, Howard!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 03/08/07 at 11:14 am


It's not overheating at the moment, but I am more worried about it, at the summer.

Thanks for the adviice, Howard!


Should be alright as long as you have a fan in there and give it proper ventilation.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/08/07 at 11:20 am


It's not overheating at the moment, but I am more worried about it, at the summer.

Thanks for the adviice, Howard!



Oh No problem,You're Welcome.  ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: JamieMcBain on 03/08/07 at 9:12 pm


Should be alright as long as you have a fan in there and give it proper ventilation.


Thanks, for all of the help!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 03/10/07 at 9:34 pm


I worried about my computer, eventually overheating, and being destroyed.

Is there anyway, to cool a coomputer down?


That depends, is it a laptop or desktop?

If it is a laptop, get a "cooling pad".  These are powered by the USB bus, and have from 2-4 fans that blow on the bottom of the laptop.  I use them myself, and they make a huge difference.

If it is a desktop, the best solution is to put it in a better case.  Especially if it is a "name brand" computer.  Those tend to have the worst cases I have ever seen.  Most of them would have had good cooling - in abour 1995.  With modern processors (3 GHz+) and Hard Drives (7200+ rpm) they are simply built to outlive the warranty.

However, if it is a Dell, you are outta luck.  Their motherboards are propriatary, so the cases can't be changed.  Basically you are stuck unless you want to replace the case, motherboard, and operating system.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/11/07 at 7:28 am

How can computers recognize when It's Daylight Savings Time?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 03/11/07 at 8:48 pm


How can computers recognize when It's Daylight Savings Time?


They don't.  It is all in the software.

Operating systems like WIndows have it programmed in when Daylight Savings Time starts and ends.  And one of the patches that was installed in the last few months was to tell the computer that it is starting earlier this year.

So if you have updated your OS in the last few months, it adjusted itself.  If you do not update your OS, it did not ajdust.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 03/12/07 at 11:00 am

I keep getting a little speech bubble popping up telling me I have unused icons on my desktop.  Does it matter that I have unused icons on my desktop?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nally on 03/12/07 at 11:01 am


I keep getting a little speech bubble popping up telling me I have unused icons on my desktop.  Does it matter that I have unused icons on my desktop?

I get that all the time, too. For the most part I could care less about unused icons.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 03/12/07 at 11:04 am


I get that all the time, too. For the most part I could care less about unused icons.


me too.  I just wondered why the computer was bothered by them

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nally on 03/12/07 at 11:06 am


me too.  I just wondered why the computer was bothered by them

I have no idea why. I just know that I'm not bothered by my unused icons (whatever they might be).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 03/12/07 at 1:45 pm


I keep getting a little speech bubble popping up telling me I have unused icons on my desktop.  Does it matter that I have unused icons on my desktop?


Because you told your computer that you wanted to be notified if they were not used.  ;)

In XP, right-click in an unused portion of the desktop, right-click then choose "Properties".  Choose "Desktop", then "Customize Desktop".  At the bottom will be a box marked "Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days".  Simply check that box off, then click OK and Apply.  This will make that notice go away.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: gumbypiz on 03/12/07 at 2:39 pm


OK, heres a problem I've had since I got a new HP PC last year.

Its came with XP Media Center Home Edition 2005.
The problem, can't get any embedded wmp files from the internet to play, video or audio.

Whenever I come to any windows media player files to play, firefox (IE too) tell me that I need to download and install WMP to view the file, which is bizarre as I have WMP 11 already installed and works fine otherwise.

I've already looked around on the net, didn't find any mention of a similar problem on any MS site, but did find some notation by others that MCE '05 does not have the usual WMP plugins installed, and it was designed that way by Microsoft (?).

I have manage to down load FFV, and a separate program that recognizes this problem and opens up wmp when this situation arises for playback, but its a pain to have to have a separate window open just to play back a short video or song each and every time I come across a wmp file while stumbling on the internet...Has anyone heard of this happening or had any other weird problems with MCE?

Any suggestions?

I'm running an AMD 64, with 2GB of memory, so I don't think its any problem with my PC's hardware or video card...



Umm, a little help?
Can anyone advise?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/12/07 at 3:46 pm


me too.  I just wondered why the computer was bothered by them



The computer wants to know if you used them lately.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 03/13/07 at 4:31 am


Because you told your computer that you wanted to be notified if they were not used.   ;)

In XP, right-click in an unused portion of the desktop, right-click then choose "Properties".  Choose "Desktop", then "Customize Desktop".  At the bottom will be a box marked "Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days".  Simply check that box off, then click OK and Apply.  This will make that notice go away.


Damn University approved settings.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/13/07 at 6:17 am

Why do most computers become slow?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nally on 03/13/07 at 10:59 am


Because you told your computer that you wanted to be notified if they were not used.   ;)

In XP, right-click in an unused portion of the desktop, right-click then choose "Properties".  Choose "Desktop", then "Customize Desktop".  At the bottom will be a box marked "Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days".  Simply check that box off, then click OK and Apply.  This will make that notice go away.


So then, by default, the notification is turned on?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 03/13/07 at 12:01 pm


So then, by default, the notification is turned on?


it would appear so in my case at least

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/13/07 at 12:04 pm


it would appear so in my case at least



How do I turn my notification on?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nally on 03/13/07 at 1:13 pm



How do I turn my notification on?  ???

You would probably do the reverse of what Mushroom said in his most recent reply.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/13/07 at 1:15 pm


You would probably do the reverse of what Mushroom said in his most recent reply.


Ok Thank You.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 03/13/07 at 2:54 pm


So then, by default, the notification is turned on?


Yes, by default it is turned on.  I turn it off on every computer I work on.  Otherwise, I normally end up getting called a few months later, with people asking where some of their icons went.  ;D


Umm, a little help?
Can anyone advise?


Your question is really hard to answer, because WMP is not a file format that I generally use.  I tend to avoid "propriatary" file formats, and stick to the ones more universally recognized (WAV, MP3, MPG, etc).

Your problem may relate to either DRM issues, or Codec issues.  Try going to MajorGeeks.Com, and download one of the Codec packs (I like the K-Lite Codec Pack myself).  This should solve the problem if it is codec related.

If it is a DRM issue, there is really nothing you can do about it.  That is because you do not have the proper authorization to view/listen to that file.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/13/07 at 3:32 pm

WMP is Windows Media Player and the file formats commonly associated with it are wma and wmv.  Sometimes asf as well.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 03/13/07 at 3:37 pm


Umm, a little help?
Can anyone advise?


Maybe try reinstalling/repairing it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/13/07 at 10:07 pm

Is Quicktime good for audio and video?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 03/14/07 at 10:43 am


Is Quicktime good for audio and video?


I am not a big fan of QuickTime.  In fact, I generally reccomend against it's use because it is so "propriatory".

To give you an idea, I used to use QT for some video that was going to be used on the net.  And my Adobe Audition had it built in.  However, in the last few years the software to view it has become increasingly "invasive" in how it installs.

For example, if you install Quicktime now, it wants to become your default media plkayer for everything.  It also wants to take over as your default way to buy music and videos on-line.  Not to mention that it installs itself into your start-up list, and will run every time you turn on your computer.

That is excessive and invasive.  It is the same reason I no longer reccomend the use of RealPlayer.  Anything that says "We only allow you to use us and nobody else" is wrong, and a company I avoid.  And Apple is one of the worst offenders when it comes to that kind of behavior.

Plus QT comes with some heavy DRM management, another thing I do not like.  I am not against DRM, I have used it myself.  But Apple goes to extremes, making it almost impossible to do it yourself.  That is why I stick to AVI and MPG.  Anybody can play those files, with almost any player out there.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/15/07 at 2:08 pm


I am not a big fan of QuickTime.  In fact, I generally reccomend against it's use because it is so "propriatory".

To give you an idea, I used to use QT for some video that was going to be used on the net.  And my Adobe Audition had it built in.  However, in the last few years the software to view it has become increasingly "invasive" in how it installs.

For example, if you install Quicktime now, it wants to become your default media plkayer for everything.  It also wants to take over as your default way to buy music and videos on-line.  Not to mention that it installs itself into your start-up list, and will run every time you turn on your computer.

That is excessive and invasive.  It is the same reason I no longer reccomend the use of RealPlayer.  Anything that says "We only allow you to use us and nobody else" is wrong, and a company I avoid.  And Apple is one of the worst offenders when it comes to that kind of behavior.

Plus QT comes with some heavy DRM management, another thing I do not like.  I am not against DRM, I have used it myself.  But Apple goes to extremes, making it almost impossible to do it yourself.  That is why I stick to AVI and MPG.  Anybody can play those files, with almost any player out there.


So Then would Realplayer or Winamp be a good default player?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/15/07 at 2:31 pm

He just said he didn't recommend using RealPlayer.  I use iTunes to listen to everything, but that's because I have an iPod.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/15/07 at 3:24 pm


He just said he didn't recommend using RealPlayer.  I use iTunes to listen to everything, but that's because I have an iPod.


I use WinAmp for almost everything

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 03/15/07 at 3:27 pm


So Then would Realplayer or Winamp be a good default player?  ???


Realplayer is horrible, slow, clunky, etc, and winamp cripples your cd ripping and burning speeds if you don't pay $19.95 for it. I prefer either Windows Media Player or itunes. I do like itunes, I think it's a good piece of software and never had any issues with it and you get full speed cd burning and ripping for free.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/15/07 at 3:31 pm


Realplayer is horrible, slow, clunky, etc, and winamp cripples your cd ripping and burning speeds if you don't pay $19.95 for it. I prefer either Windows Media Player or itunes. I do like itunes, I think it's a good piece of software and never had any issues with it and you get full speed cd burning and ripping for free.



iTunes is amazing.  I burn CDs in WMP though, because I don't have a CD burner on my laptop and that's where I have iTunes.  CD burning on WMP 11 is hella fast.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 03/17/07 at 11:18 am


I use WinAmp for almost everything


I use WinAmp for playing MP3 files.  But that is about it.  I do "Custom Installs" for every program I install, so disable WinAmp doing anything but playing MP3.


Realplayer is horrible, slow, clunky, etc, and winamp cripples your cd ripping and burning speeds if you don't pay $19.95 for it. I prefer either Windows Media Player or itunes. I do like itunes, I think it's a good piece of software and never had any issues with it and you get full speed cd burning and ripping for free.


I agree, but I also do not rip or burn CDs with WinAmp.  I use an older version of MusicMatch to rip CDs.  For burning CDs, I use Nero.

I am not a huge fan of "All-In-One" programs.  This goes all the way back to "Enable", the first all-in-one Office Suite.  It did word processing, spreadsheets, databases, fax, and just about everything else.  The problem was that it did not do any of them very well. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: gumbypiz on 03/17/07 at 12:37 pm


Maybe try reinstalling/repairing it.

Thanks for the reply...

Yes, tried that. Its weird, the situation is that whenever I go to a site, say Devilducky or the like, and they have an embedded file set up to play a file via windows media player, I get the message that I'm missing the plugin to play the file and need to download windows media player to play the file.

Now, just months ago, with my old PC (running MS 2000) I went to the same sites and no problems. Now with XP Media Center Edition 2005 on a new HP PC, that has windows media player 10 built in (I upgraded to WMP 11) I get these bizarre messages that I need to install windows media player (when it is already installed).

Now, from what I understand (from looking around on the net) that Media Center Edition versions of XP were made specifically without the PLUG INS for windows media player. That is, the browser and page I'm on will not recognize that I have window media player installed, (why Microsoft would purposely disable their own media player by not including the browser plug ins is beyond me), and therefore will not play back any video or music that is embedded for windows media player on a web page.

I have found a work around, Media Player Connectivity plays any format in any player and will recognize any embedded file and play it, but only by opening another window. It works fine but is annoying at times...
What I'm looking for is the window media player plug ins for XP. Shouldn't I be able to find these from a regular XP operating system boot disk? If not where would I find them?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/17/07 at 4:21 pm


I use WinAmp for playing MP3 files.  But that is about it.  I do "Custom Installs" for every program I install, so disable WinAmp doing anything but playing MP3.

I agree, but I also do not rip or burn CDs with WinAmp.  I use an older version of MusicMatch to rip CDs.  For burning CDs, I use Nero.

I am not a huge fan of "All-In-One" programs.  This goes all the way back to "Enable", the first all-in-one Office Suite.  It did word processing, spreadsheets, databases, fax, and just about everything else.  The problem was that it did not do any of them very well. 





What is Tara used for on Winamp? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/22/07 at 8:49 pm

Do you own a flashdrive?

My computer won't let me eject safely right now.

What can I do?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/22/07 at 8:53 pm


Do you own a flashdrive?

My computer won't let me eject safely right now.

What can I do?




Maybe I can help.  I have a flash drive.  What is your computer telling you when you try to pull the flash drive out of the USB port?  Is it not recognizing the flash drive?  Usually you plug it in, go to My Computer and you should see it listed, and when you pull it out it will disappear. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/23/07 at 2:02 pm




Maybe I can help.  I have a flash drive.  What is your computer telling you when you try to pull the flash drive out of the USB port?  Is it not recognizing the flash drive?  Usually you plug it in, go to My Computer and you should see it listed, and when you pull it out it will disappear. 


I'll explain abit more, I was able to use the safely remove option on the computer screen(on the bottom right, the green arrow that appears after you put it in the port) the first time I did after doing some massive image saving. When I was on a second time later that afternoon and finished saving images(at one point, a warning popped up, something about being low on virtual memory and said it was updating it), I clicked on it safely remove option, then selected what I was removing. It said it couldn't be safely removed at that point and to try again later(I tried several times and even wait for a short period of time before one last attempt), I ended up having to shut my PC down before removing it. I hope that didn't damage it or corrupt any files.(I saved over 300 images, I don't want to have to do that again)

I did look up on google about it too, one site had something on that problem. But didn't have any other solution but PC shutdown before removing it.

Edit: Everything appears to be fine, though.

I'll see if I can remove it safely now.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/23/07 at 2:07 pm

Hmmmm, I don't know.  I've never used the "safely remove hardware" option before.  Put the flash drive back in the computer and see if it is recognized.  If it is, check if all the files you put on there are still there.  How big is the flash drive?  Maybe you tried to remove the flash drive before it was able to update the virtual memory.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/23/07 at 2:18 pm


Hmmmm, I don't know.  I've never used the "safely remove hardware" option before.  Put the flash drive back in the computer and see if it is recognized.  If it is, check if all the files you put on there are still there.  How big is the flash drive?  Maybe you tried to remove the flash drive before it was able to update the virtual memory.


1 gigabyte. It was working properly when last night as well, just didn't allow it to be safely removed.

The drive was recognized.

It allowed me to remove it this time and everything appears to be fine too.

A co-worker of mine said it really isn't necessary to click that option, at least when the port is in the front. The port is in the back of the black tower, so I kinda have to use that option.

At the libraries, that option is restricted though, which is why I'm using it here. At least it can be used.

I did alot of saving yesterday too, that could be why as well.(this computer is customized and has alot of data, but isn't the fastest)

I also did a virus scan, but I don't think that was the reason.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/23/07 at 2:24 pm

See, my USB ports are in the front, so I've never even thought to use that option.  I'm glad to see that the drive wasn't damaged and all your files are still there. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/23/07 at 2:31 pm


See, my USB ports are in the front, so I've never even thought to use that option.  I'm glad to see that the drive wasn't damaged and all your files are still there. 


Most of them are from my image account, so I would have just had to saved them again.(The rest were from 3 1/2 floppies, a much smaller percentage, I can always upload them again, but floppy disks tend to have a high corruption rating, so that depends on which ones are good)

I'll also get some storage CDs when I can afford to. But I need to get those CD drives running again.(they don't pop up any options to play any music CDs I pop in)

I have other sites and images linked up in my PMs too(which I haven't saved yet), but I'll take my time to with those to make sure this doesn't happen so easily.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/23/07 at 2:37 pm


Realplayer is horrible, slow, clunky, etc, and winamp cripples your cd ripping and burning speeds if you don't pay $19.95 for it. I prefer either Windows Media Player or itunes. I do like itunes, I think it's a good piece of software and never had any issues with it and you get full speed cd burning and ripping for free.


The computer I have has Bearshare on it, but it's annoying.

(it's my sister's PC, they installed it in there)

Mainly because it has Zango as part of it and a search hijacker type ware is part of it, it automatically pops up the site first thing.(I don't have any interest in music download anyway)

I want to get my own PC so that I don't have to deal with it and have things I want put into it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 03/23/07 at 2:53 pm


1 gigabyte. It was working properly when last night as well, just didn't allow it to be safely removed.


Did you have a "Windows Explorer" or any program or file active on the drive at the time?

If the drive is being accessed, you will be unable to disconnect it.  Make sure that before you try to do that, all Explorer and other programs that you may have used to access the data on the USB drive (Media Player, Photo Viewer, etc) are closed.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/23/07 at 3:19 pm


Did you have a "Windows Explorer" or any program or file active on the drive at the time?

If the drive is being accessed, you will be unable to disconnect it.  Make sure that before you try to do that, all Explorer and other programs that you may have used to access the data on the USB drive (Media Player, Photo Viewer, etc) are closed.


It said something about low virtual memory at one point, I can only wait so long before I stop. I tried it once, it wouldn't let it, waited alittle bit, still wouldn't, waited, still wouldn't. I didn't have any images active at the time, did the low virtual memory have anything to do with it?

The only other thing I did was a virus scan, but that was done abit before hand, plus I didn't save any images at that time(or have the drive in for that matter).....

The only thing I could do was shut down the PC.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 03/23/07 at 4:54 pm


It said something about low virtual memory at one point, I can only wait so long before I stop.


That normally means your hard drive is full (or almost full).  As a good rule of thumb, you never want your hard drive to have less then 2 GB of free space.

However, this message can also be caused by many other things.  Virus or spyware, not enough system RAM, and to many applications at once can also cause this message to appear.  If you are running XP, you should have as a minimum 256 MB of physical RAM.  If you use Vista, there should be as a minimum 512 MB of physical RAM.  And you also never want your hard drive to be so full that you have less then 10% of the total drive capacity free.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/23/07 at 5:16 pm


That normally means your hard drive is full (or almost full).  As a good rule of thumb, you never want your hard drive to have less then 2 GB of free space.

However, this message can also be caused by many other things.  Virus or spyware, not enough system RAM, and to many applications at once can also cause this message to appear.  If you are running XP, you should have as a minimum 256 MB of physical RAM.  If you use Vista, there should be as a minimum 512 MB of physical RAM.  And you also never want your hard drive to be so full that you have less then 10% of the total drive capacity free.


I have 300+ images on the flashdrive, varying between 20-500 kilobytes. I know I still have plenty of room on it.

The 2 gig ones are 10 dollars more than I could afford.

On the computer, the local disk has 1.36 gig free space, although I did have some images that I had to convert from bitmap to jpeg(by uploading them on photobucket), I saved them into my documents, I sent them to the recycle bin today.

Could those bitmap files have caused the problem? Since I didn't remove them yesterday.

What hard drive would be the free space your talking about?

One of them has over 30 gigs of free space(music's on it).....

The one that's needed to keep the the computer running has .98 gigs of free space......

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: limblifter on 03/25/07 at 4:11 pm

Can anybody give me a hand with formatting a hard drive on a Dell?

My GFs computer was running very poorly so she decided that she would do a clean install. It's an old PIII with 128Mb RAM, and it was running windows 98. We decided to put windows XP on it because I had the same computer and XP ran fine on it. We had both done this on our own before so we were confident that we wouldn't have any problems.

We put the XP installation disk in the drive and reboot. We get to the install/format part and choose the option to format the drive where the Windows 98 is located. The computer does all the formatting and says that it's done and that it will reboot in order to continue with installation. When the computer starts back up again, it starts with the same setup options. We seem to be going around in circles and it isn't installing.

Anyone have any ideas?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tia on 03/25/07 at 9:00 pm

i'm having a hell of a time with my audio setup. i bought a couple of expensive music recording program (acid music studio and sonar) and a 200-dollar audio interface that plugs into my usb port and now the computer locks up all the time. acid music hangs up all the time but now even just the windows media player hangs up whenever i try to even listen to or watch anything. whenever it happens i get these odd messages that "XPCOM: Eventreceive" and "Media Even Sink Window" have stopped responding. wtf is that? i already tried defragging, cleaning up the hard drive, reinstalling the operating system, and upgrading some of the software. i'll probably reinstall the driver software for the audio interface next but i was wondering if anybody might have any ideas what's going on here.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 03/25/07 at 9:07 pm

Holy crap, that sucks.  It almost sounds like a hardware problem although I have no idea where to start...lemme ask a friend.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Rice_Cube on 03/25/07 at 9:10 pm

Definitely go to the manufacturer's website and upgrade the drivers for the software.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tia on 03/25/07 at 9:11 pm


Holy crap, that sucks.  It almost sounds like a hardware problem although I have no idea where to start...lemme ask a friend.
i hope not! i had to replace the cpu a few months ago. all this stuff's brand new though, the m-audio thing, so i figure it's probably okay.

i found this...

http://www.theeldergeek.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=6421

the guy's having the same problem, he seems to think it's a problem with mozilla, although it's happening now even when mozilla isn't running. but they gave me a couple of things to try at least.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 03/28/07 at 5:27 pm


We put the XP installation disk in the drive and reboot. We get to the install/format part and choose the option to format the drive where the Windows 98 is located. The computer does all the formatting and says that it's done and that it will reboot in order to continue with installation. When the computer starts back up again, it starts with the same setup options. We seem to be going around in circles and it isn't installing.

Anyone have any ideas?


First step, you need to restart the install again.  But before you do so, remove any other hard drive installed on the system.  When you start the install, make sure you delete all partitions on the hard drive.  It sounds like you either have another drive in the system, or you are trying to keep another partition on the drive.  Either of these causes XP to think you are doing a "Dual Boot" install.

Also, you really should add another 128 MB of RAM.  XP works with 128, but you really need at least 256 to run it well (especially on something as old as a P3).


i'm having a hell of a time with my audio setup. i bought a couple of expensive music recording program (acid music studio and sonar) and a 200-dollar audio interface that plugs into my usb port and now the computer locks up all the time. acid music hangs up all the time but now even just the windows media player hangs up whenever i try to even listen to or watch anything. whenever it happens i get these odd messages that "XPCOM: Eventreceive" and "Media Even Sink Window" have stopped responding. wtf is that? i already tried defragging, cleaning up the hard drive, reinstalling the operating system, and upgrading some of the software. i'll probably reinstall the driver software for the audio interface next but i was wondering if anybody might have any ideas what's going on here.


Well, the first error message is an error with Firefox (or Mozilla).  The "Media Sink" normally comes from a corrupted install of Media Player.

First off, I would remove Mozilla/Firefox, then reinstall media player.  Also check with the manufacturer to see if there are any incompatabilities with the version of Media Center you are using.

And if I had to guess, sounds like you may be having a problem with the USB device (you did not list the make or model).  As a general rule of thumb, most such USB devices tend to be of questionable quality.  They tend to be aimed at the "low end" of the industry, because the higer end equipment is normally on a Fire Wire interface.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tia on 03/28/07 at 8:50 pm

well called, i tracked down the xpcom error to mozilla and already deinstalled it so hopefully that won't come up again. media player i suppose i'll reinstall but i don't actually need to use that for recording -- it's annoying because i didn't get this error until media player took it upon itself to upgrade itself. ::)

the interface i'm using is this

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FastTrackPro-main.html

i've really been damned impressed with it except for this problem (it wasn't cheap!) and i'm still not convinced it's not the software. (i'm using acid music studio and these lockups seems to mostly happen when i do software events, like stop recording, most often, is when it pops up -- and i can't imagine why the interface would be locking up the system, but i could be all right.)

that's a drag about usb vs. firewire. i know the guys at the shop were all about firewire but i thought that was exclusively a mac thing?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 03/30/07 at 10:42 am


well called, i tracked down the xpcom error to mozilla and already deinstalled it so hopefully that won't come up again. media player i suppose i'll reinstall but i don't actually need to use that for recording -- it's annoying because i didn't get this error until media player took it upon itself to upgrade itself. ::)


You are seeing one of the reasons that I tend to advise against Mozilla.  I do not say it is not a good program, but it is simply not as well tested as IE or Netscape.  And because it works "differently", this can often cause problems in less used programs.


i've really been damned impressed with it except for this problem (it wasn't cheap!) and i'm still not convinced it's not the software. (i'm using acid music studio and these lockups seems to mostly happen when i do software events, like stop recording, most often, is when it pops up -- and i can't imagine why the interface would be locking up the system, but i could be all right.)

that's a drag about usb vs. firewire. i know the guys at the shop were all about firewire but i thought that was exclusively a mac thing?


"Cheap" does not always mean the product itself is cheap.  Just that they took shortcuts in how it works.

USB has traditionally been the interface for "Amateur" audio and video.  Fire Wire has traditionally been the interface for "Pro" audio and video.  And it has always worked on both PC and Mac.  You simply hear Mac talk about it more, since they included the interface in all of their high-ended equipment for years.  But most of your high-ended PC equipment uses it as well (Audigy cards, Matrox IO cards, Canopus and Avid editors). 

By looking at what the box does, we are actually doing somewhat similar tasks.  Although I take a more definate "Old School" approach.  I actually have a DJ style mixer board hooked up to my computer, and run it through my Audigy card.  This lets me run my Sure microphone, and do some elaborate (or basic) pre-amping to my audio inputs before bringing the signal into my computer.  I then use Adobe Audition (I was a die-hard Cool Edit user before that) to edit and recompile the audio signals I recorded.

Someday I am gonna have to take another pic of my setup.  A lot of people laugh at what my computer area looks like, since it is spread out between 2 desks (1 for my 2 monitors, the other for my tape deck and mixer board) and a TV cart (for my computer and Printer), with a boom mic sitting between them.  But first I am going to have to finish getting it all configured to my new computer.  After just over 2 years, my old Athlon 64 3500 is being retired (I sold it to my friend in California for light video editing and games), and I have built myself a new Athlon 64 X2 4600. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 2:51 pm

I can't see any of the avatars of smilies right now, is something going on with my internet service?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/31/07 at 2:55 pm


I can't see any of the avatars of smilies right now, is something going on with my internet service?



I don't think your internet service would cause you to not be able to see images.  Are you on Firefox?  If so, check this out: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=288184


I had a similar issue a while ago and this helped.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 3:02 pm



I don't think your internet service would cause you to not be able to see images.  Are you on Firefox?  If so, check this out: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=288184


I had a similar issue a while ago and this helped.


I'm have ATT service, I don't know if firefox is apart of it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/31/07 at 3:05 pm


I'm have ATT service, I don't know if firefox is apart of it.



??


What web browser are you using?  IE, Firefox, Opera, Safari.....?  Because the problem is more than likely NOT with the service.  I have BellSouth...that has nothing to do with my web browser.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 3:07 pm



??


What web browser are you using?  IE, Firefox, Opera, Safari.....?  Because the problem is more than likely NOT with the service.  I have BellSouth...that has nothing to do with my web browser.


Well, it says AT&T Yahoo, so I think Yahoo.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/31/07 at 3:10 pm


Well, it says AT&T Yahoo, so I think Yahoo.



Yahoo is not a web browser, it's a website.  When you start the internet up, what icon do you double-click?  I mean, you can't browse the web without a web browser.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 3:13 pm



Yahoo is not a web browser, it's a website.  When you start the internet up, what icon do you double-click?  I mean, you can't browse the web without a web browser.


I don't have the internet icon on the main screen, I don't know why either.....

I'll have to check first.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/31/07 at 3:15 pm

How do you surf the internet if you don't open a browser up in which to do so?  I mean, is it Internet Explorer?  That comes standard on all Windows OS's...so that's probably it.  What OS are you running?  XP?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 3:16 pm

Well, I go into the my computer icon, or into favorites.

http://google.bearshare.com/

Is this it^^^^

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/31/07 at 3:17 pm

That's a website.  And BearShare is a file-sharing P2P application.  Okay, so when that website pops-up, what browser is running it?  Go to "Help" and look down....on mine it says, "About Mozilla Firefox" because that's the browser I use.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 03/31/07 at 3:19 pm



Yahoo is not a web browser, it's a website.  When you start the internet up, what icon do you double-click?  I mean, you can't browse the web without a web browser.


There is a custom AT&T browser that comes with that service, however it is just a skin or front end for what actually is in fact IE.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 3:20 pm


That's a website.  And BearShare is a file-sharing P2P application.


I found the internet icon, and that's where it sent me to when I clicked on it.

It says IEXPLORE next to the icon.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 3:25 pm



THANK YOU.  So, the browser is IE.  What version?  I can look up specifically how to fix it if I know what version it is. 


Version: 6.0.2600.0000.xpclnt_qfe.021108-2107

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/31/07 at 3:28 pm


Version: 6.0.2600.0000.xpclnt_qfe.021108-2107



According to the sites I was looking at, everyone recommended downloading Firefox and using that. 


So......http://www.mozilla.com


You shouldn't have this problem once you stop using IE.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 03/31/07 at 3:33 pm


Version: 6.0.2600.0000.xpclnt_qfe.021108-2107


You're using IE 6, definitely get away from that. At the least you want to upgrade to IE 7. Though I personally like Firefox, I think it's a faster, safer, overall better browser than IE 7 is. Also you should do the usual virus/malware scan.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/31/07 at 3:34 pm


You're using IE 6, definitely get away from that. At the least you want to upgrade to IE 7. Though I personally like Firefox, I think it's a faster, safer, overall better browser than IE 7 is. Also you should do the usual virus/malware scan.



I have the new IE7 and it works for somethings, like Jason's quizzes....but other than that....Firefox all the way.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/31/07 at 3:42 pm


I can't see any of the avatars of smilies right now, is something going on with my internet service?



everything is fine on my side.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 3:44 pm



According to the sites I was looking at, everyone recommended downloading Firefox and using that. 


So......http://www.mozilla.com


You shouldn't have this problem once you stop using IE.


Well, it could be because of what happened with the computer yesterday(the power switch was loose, everytime I was about to put my flashdrive in, it would shut off, the cord actually popped out, last night. I plugged it back in). Although I'm highly doubtful that's the case. Yesterday was when this crap happened, but when I started up today everything appeared to be fine, then it happened again.

I removed the bearshare icon(I want to uninstall that, so the stupid search hijacker doesn't activate), but that doesn't do that. Since Bearshare is free anyway, they can reinstall it after they get it back(and I have a better computer).

I want to change internet services when I can, do different ones run on different browsers, or does that matter?(I just need to know, before this, I used library services, which is why I have no knowledge on this stuff)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 3:47 pm


You're using IE 6, definitely get away from that. At the least you want to upgrade to IE 7. Though I personally like Firefox, I think it's a faster, safer, overall better browser than IE 7 is. Also you should do the usual virus/malware scan.


I've did virus scans and spyware scans before(I can't seem to get the spyware scan to work today though).....

What is malware?

I better do a disk defragment before I shut down the PC.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 3:48 pm



everything is fine on my side.


You have a better setup than me, then.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 03/31/07 at 3:52 pm


I've did virus scans and spyware scans before(I can't seem to get the spyware scan to work today though).....

What is malware?

I better do a disk defragment before I shut down the PC.


Just a general term for any bad software that installs itself without your consent, spyware is one type, worms, trojans, etc.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 6:05 pm


Just a general term for any bad software that installs itself without your consent, spyware is one type, worms, trojans, etc.


The first time I did a spyware scan, it found a trojan file.

My brother in law says does tend to be rare.


Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Sister Morphine on 03/31/07 at 6:06 pm


I want to change internet services when I can, do different ones run on different browsers, or does that matter?



Huh?  No.  ISP and web browser are not interlinked unless it's AOL and you're running AOL, not just on aol.com.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 6:10 pm



Huh?  No.  ISP and web browser are not interlinked unless it's AOL and you're running AOL, not just on aol.com.


Okay, thank you.

I'll be looking into this pretty quick.(it's bad enough that AT&T says my phone line can't handle the full 1.5 even after they repaired it)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 03/31/07 at 10:16 pm


The first time I did a spyware scan, it found a trojan file.

My brother in law says does tend to be rare.





Did you do a scan?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/31/07 at 11:05 pm


Did you do a scan?


Before I logged off earlier, I did a disk defrag and after coming back on I did a spyware scan. There was nothing there that wasn't before.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 04/01/07 at 6:40 am


Before I logged off earlier, I did a disk defrag and after coming back on I did a spyware scan. There was nothing there that wasn't before.


So what could be the problem?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Dominic L. on 04/01/07 at 10:10 am


I can't see any of the avatars of smilies right now, is something going on with my internet service?


This happens to me at school. It is indeed your ISP, or web blocker, if you have one... Maybe there is an active X control you can install or something? Ask Chucky!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: loki 13 on 04/01/07 at 10:29 am

Recently, when I log on, the computer runs extremely slow. I do a sweep , using webroot spyware, and usually
traces and items are found.

the traces found are;

adware: hotbar/zango version 1.0.0.0 -- execution allowed at users request
hotbar cookie

The cookie I get rid of, but what is the hotbar item, where did it come from, how do I get rid of it?

I am completely computer stupid, I don't know what any of this means or even if it is the problem,
any information will help.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Dominic L. on 04/01/07 at 10:37 am


Recently, when I log on, the computer runs extremely slow. I do a sweep , using webroot spyware, and usually
traces and items are found.

the traces found are;

adware: hotbar/zango version 1.0.0.0 -- execution allowed at users request
hotbar cookie

The cookie I get rid of, but what is the hotbar item, where did it come from, how do I get rid of it?

I am completely computer stupid, I don't know what any of this means or even if it is the problem,
any information will help.


Maybe there are background programs running, like extra processes?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/01/07 at 1:56 pm


Recently, when I log on, the computer runs extremely slow. I do a sweep , using webroot spyware, and usually
traces and items are found.

the traces found are;

adware: hotbar/zango version 1.0.0.0 -- execution allowed at users request
hotbar cookie

The cookie I get rid of, but what is the hotbar item, where did it come from, how do I get rid of it?

I am completely computer stupid, I don't know what any of this means or even if it is the problem,
any information will help.


I got rid of zango's search hijacker and it came back the next time I went on.

It makes me mad.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 04/02/07 at 3:07 pm


The cookie I get rid of, but what is the hotbar item, where did it come from, how do I get rid of it?

I am completely computer stupid, I don't know what any of this means or even if it is the problem,
any information will help.


Hotbar is something that you installed.  Either by itself, or it came "bundled" inside of something else you installed.

Hotbar has been a problem for over 10 years.  It often comes bundled in software that claims to make the internet faster.  But all it does is hijack your search paramaters, and send you pop-ups and banner ads.

When it comes to anti-spyware programs, I only trust 3.  Ad-Aware, SpyBot, and Microsoft Defender.  Sadly, the majority of the others are either worthless, or are spyware themselves.  Webroot seems to be OK, but you have to pay for basically what AdAware and SpyBot do for free.

And Firefox is not nessicarily good solution either.  There are many cases where it can cause conflicts in other software.  Just look back at the earlier problem Tia had to see an example.  In reality, it is not any "safer" or "bug free" then IE is, it just gets bugs and spyware of a different kind.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/02/07 at 7:02 pm


Hotbar is something that you installed.  Either by itself, or it came "bundled" inside of something else you installed.

Hotbar has been a problem for over 10 years.  It often comes bundled in software that claims to make the internet faster.  But all it does is hijack your search paramaters, and send you pop-ups and banner ads.

When it comes to anti-spyware programs, I only trust 3.  Ad-Aware, SpyBot, and Microsoft Defender.  Sadly, the majority of the others are either worthless, or are spyware themselves.  Webroot seems to be OK, but you have to pay for basically what AdAware and SpyBot do for free.

And Firefox is not nessicarily good solution either.  There are many cases where it can cause conflicts in other software.  Just look back at the earlier problem Tia had to see an example.  In reality, it is not any "safer" or "bug free" then IE is, it just gets bugs and spyware of a different kind.


What should I upgrade the web browser to?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 04/02/07 at 11:33 pm


What should I upgrade the web browser to?


You always want to make sure that all of your OS upgrades are done.  For XP, that means that you are running IE 7.  Other then that, a lot of it is simply personal preference.

At least once a week, you want to run your Microsoft Update program, and download EVERYTHING, both critical and otherwise.  That is the best way (and most frequently ignored) way to keep your system running right.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/02/07 at 11:38 pm


You always want to make sure that all of your OS upgrades are done.  For XP, that means that you are running IE 7.  Other then that, a lot of it is simply personal preference.

At least once a week, you want to run your Microsoft Update program, and download EVERYTHING, both critical and otherwise.  That is the best way (and most frequently ignored) way to keep your system running right.


My IE is version 6 at the moment, so I'll have to do that soon(I've never updated anything on a computer, first time with one in my house. (Thus the lack of experience)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/16/07 at 4:19 pm

How long does a virus scan usually take?

Over 56000 files have been scanned now.

Edit: Nevermind, it stopped at over 62000.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/24/07 at 6:21 pm

I need some serious help!

I'll explain what the situation is.

Last night at home while on the internet, around alittle after 10 PM, I started having problems with my internet access. No matter what site I went to, it said that the "Page could not be displayed". I called up my provider today and they took me through a series of steps(the last which involved deleting cookies and temp files from my internet browser) to help fix the problem. It turned out only to be a temporary fix, as it started up the "Page could not be displayed" crap after alittle over five minutes later. Right now, I'm at a library, which is the only way I can get online.

Now today, I figured out how to uninstall some stuff that wasn't needed in the computer.(Since the this crap started last night, I know that it wouldn't cause this)

I don't know what to do about it now, calling up tech support again is useless to me now.(Because my DSL line is working properly)

My web browser is IE version 6, could that be the problem?

Or is something else wrong?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Dominic L. on 04/24/07 at 6:25 pm

Your cable modem could be slightly unplugged, unplug it and plug it back in. I know my modem gets a lliiiiiitittttle bit out of place quite often, and that always sets it off.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/24/07 at 6:27 pm


Your cable modem could be slightly unplugged, unplug it and plug it back in. I know my modem gets a lliiiiiitittttle bit out of place quite often, and that always sets it off.


Mine is a DSL modem, not a cable one. Besides, that was one of the steps that the tech person had me do.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Dominic L. on 04/24/07 at 6:35 pm


Mine is a DSL modem, not a cable one. Besides, that was one of the steps that the tech person had me do.


My dad's DSL modem had the same problem once, and even after plugging it back in, it didn't work. I pushed down on it as hard as I could for about an hour before it worked. XD

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/24/07 at 6:37 pm


My dad's DSL modem had the same problem once, and even after plugging it back in, it didn't work. I pushed down on it as hard as I could for about an hour before it worked. XD


All the lights that are suppose to be on are on it, so the cable lines in the DSL modem are working.

The tech support guy said that they're working fine, he did a test.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Dominic L. on 04/24/07 at 6:43 pm


All the lights that are suppose to be on are on it, so the cable lines in the DSL modem are working.

The tech support guy said that they're working fine, he did a test.


Maybe you should try to a different web browser? Maybe it just needed some time before it would work again.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/24/07 at 7:02 pm


Maybe you should try to a different web browser? Maybe it just needed some time before it would work again.


But it started working again right after he had me do those things. It just didn't last too long after that.

I now know how to uninstall things, but I don't think it's possible for me to install a new one unless I can go find it on the net first or if I need a disc to do it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Dominic L. on 04/24/07 at 7:05 pm


But it started working again right after he had me do those things. It just didn't last too long after that.

I now know how to uninstall things, but I don't think it's possible for me to install a new one unless I can go find it on the net first or if I need a disc to do it.


It could be an intermittent thing. Maybe when you get home, it'll be working again.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/24/07 at 7:10 pm


It could be an intermittent thing. Maybe when you get home, it'll be working again.


I'll check. But I'm not very optimistic about it working. My brother in law said he's had the problem before, where it wouldn't work for a couple of days.

I'll also ask someone at work(if he's there tommorrow) to see what he says.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/24/07 at 8:54 pm

BTW, I turned the power off on the modem and turned it back on.

Now it's working, but I'm not trusting it to be a fluke.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: gemini on 05/01/07 at 10:47 am

My CD drive isn't working. This will be the second one we've went through in 4 years. Last time I was still under warranty so I got a new one installed for free, but now I'll have to buy one and try to install it myself. Do you think it's something I can do myself? I don't really want to pay someone to do it if it's an easy fix.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Paul on 05/01/07 at 10:55 am


My CD drive isn't working. This will be the second one we've went through in 4 years. Last time I was still under warranty so I got a new one installed for free, but now I'll have to buy one and try to install it myself. Do you think it's something I can do myself? I don't really want to pay someone to do it if it's an easy fix.


Even with my limited knowledge of these things, Rhonda, it should be a doddle, albeit a little 'fiddly' with fixing the cables and such (this is where you need small-ish hands!)...

This little 'walk-through' guide tells you the basics...

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: gemini on 05/01/07 at 11:15 am


Even with my limited knowledge of these things, Rhonda, it should be a doddle, albeit a little 'fiddly' with fixing the cables and such (this is where you need small-ish hands!)...

This little 'walk-through' guide tells you the basics...

Wow, that doesn't look to difficult. I might try it! Thanks!  :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 05/01/07 at 6:07 pm


My CD drive isn't working. This will be the second one we've went through in 4 years. Last time I was still under warranty so I got a new one installed for free, but now I'll have to buy one and try to install it myself. Do you think it's something I can do myself? I don't really want to pay someone to do it if it's an easy fix.


Actually, this makes me ask another question:  How old is your computer?  It may well be a problem with the computer itself, and the loss of the CD is simply a symptom.

And for the most part, computer drives (optical and hard drives) typically only have a 3-5 year life span in the first place.  And the more you use a drive, the faster it will die.  DVD players are frequently the first drive that fail, beause people use them to watch movies on.

Hard Drives today typically spin at 7,200 RPM.  Most optical drives spin at around 24,000 RPM.  So it is easy to see why they would fail if they are used heavily.  The bearings and heads simply wear out.  I am a heavy movie watcher, and I replace my DVD drive about once a year because of that.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: gemini on 05/01/07 at 6:14 pm


Actually, this makes me ask another question:  How old is your computer?  It may well be a problem with the computer itself, and the loss of the CD is simply a symptom.

And for the most part, computer drives (optical and hard drives) typically only have a 3-5 year life span in the first place.  And the more you use a drive, the faster it will die.  DVD players are frequently the first drive that fail, beause people use them to watch movies on.

Hard Drives today typically spin at 7,200 RPM.  Most optical drives spin at around 24,000 RPM.  So it is easy to see why they would fail if they are used heavily.  The bearings and heads simply wear out.  I am a heavy movie watcher, and I replace my DVD drive about once a year because of that.

The computer is about 4 or 5 years old, but it was just re-formatted? (not sure if that's what you call it) in february because it had a virus I couldn't get rid of. Anyways, yes, we were using the CD drive like crazy because my daughter is in a band and she was burning a ton of their CD's to send out in promo packs.  Now, she has her own laptop so she won't be using ours. I just want to listen to CD's occasionally and burn some once in awhile.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 05/02/07 at 1:59 pm


The computer is about 4 or 5 years old, but it was just re-formatted? (not sure if that's what you call it) in february because it had a virus I couldn't get rid of. Anyways, yes, we were using the CD drive like crazy because my daughter is in a band and she was burning a ton of their CD's to send out in promo packs.  Now, she has her own laptop so she won't be using ours. I just want to listen to CD's occasionally and burn some once in awhile.


Well, if your computer is that old, you are actually running against the "end of life span" of the computer itself, not just the drive.

And burning CDs (and DVDs) is double hard on the drive.  That will wear it out even faster, because of the wear and tear of the burning head.  I had a friend who worked for a company that did mass-duplication of CDs.  He said that the average lifespan of their drives was around 2-3 weeks.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: gemini on 05/02/07 at 4:57 pm


Well, if your computer is that old, you are actually running against the "end of life span" of the computer itself, not just the drive.

And burning CDs (and DVDs) is double hard on the drive.  That will wear it out even faster, because of the wear and tear of the burning head.  I had a friend who worked for a company that did mass-duplication of CDs.  He said that the average lifespan of their drives was around 2-3 weeks.

Wow! I hate to think this computer is considered old already, but I guess with the way technology changes, it was getting older as I carried it out of the store!  :D  Thanks for all your info, I appreciate it!  :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 05/03/07 at 4:35 pm

On my flashdrive, it usually rearranges the images in order by name and number.But now it isn't doing it, beyond the ones I did the day before yesterday.

Is this something to worry about?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 05/03/07 at 4:46 pm

Edit: Nevermind, I fixed it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 05/04/07 at 11:18 am

Am copying a post I made on my blog in here.  In short, avoid any products made by Kensington.

*****

This is a warning to anybody who is thinging of buying a new computer mouse.  And the advice goes to somebody looking at a Keyboard, web cam, or any other periphial.

In short, avoid any product made by Kensington.  http://us.kensington.com/

I made the mistake of buying a Kensington mouse last year, and it has been a nightmare when dealing with Tech Support since the day I bought it.

Now those that know me know I tend to stay on the "cutting edge" of many computer areas.  I was an early adopter to Vista, and because I was becomming very active in Guild Wars, I thought I would spend some money on a gaming mouse.

I went to the local Circus City, and choose a mouse by Kensington.  It had 5 buttons, and allowed for the use of Macros.  This would be a huge help in playing my games, so I spent the $35 to get it.  I hooked it up to my computer, and discovered that the software did not like Vista.  The mouse worked just fine, but the extra buttons refused to work.

So I wandered to the Support area, and found no drivers for Vista.  "OK" I thought, "Vista is still in Beta, surely they will come out with drivers by the time it goes public."

Wrong.

November then December rolled along, and still no drivers.  I finally sent them an e-mail, and was told that their drivers were still in beta, and not available to the public.  Now that was puzzeling, since most companies release beta drivers so they can be tested.  So I waited a bit longer, and finally Vista shipped.  Surely there are now drivers available.  Nope.

I contcted them again, and was told they were waiting for Microsoft Certification before they release their drivers.  And no, no beta drivers were available.  Yet on the page for the mouse I bought, they proudly display a "Vista Compatibility" logo:

http://us.kensington.com/html/11186.html

So off I sent another e-mail, and was told that the support was built into Vista.  I responded back saying that while the mouse works, the programmable buttons do not.  Again I get an e-mail saying they are working on that issue.

Finally last week I got fed up of waiting, and called them on the phone.  After being passed through several people, I was finally told that there are no drivers available, and that they are not going to make any drivers.  In short, they are burying their head in the sand, and totally ignoring Vista.

I say this because it is not just their mice that are having problems.  Mice, Keyboards, Blue Tooth adapters, docking stations, nothing that needs drivers for full support has any Vista drivers.  And according to their tech support, they are not going to make any Vista drivers.  Ever.

So in short, avoid anything made by Kensington.  They may get good reviews for quality, but the corporate decision to not support Vista means that you will eventually be left with a useless item.  And their proclaiming to be "Vista Compliant" is nothing but a lie.  Spend the extra $20 for a Microsoft or Logitech mouse, because at least those companies really care about customer support.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 05/20/07 at 6:05 pm

I have been trying to install java on my computer but it won't let me do it-I get to the part where it is installing and then it says that it can't be opened. I am using Mozilla Firefox because my IE is has died (and I can't open it at all). Could it be that I can't install java because of the IE problem or it is because of something else?



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 05/20/07 at 6:34 pm

Why in the past when I clicked on Live365 to listen to music,My dial-up connection came up,Why was that? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 05/22/07 at 5:24 pm


I have been trying to install java on my computer but it won't let me do it-I get to the part where it is installing and then it says that it can't be opened. I am using Mozilla Firefox because my IE is has died (and I can't open it at all). Could it be that I can't install java because of the IE problem or it is because of something else?


If your IE dies, more then likely your operating system is corrupted.  IE and Windows are now integrated, and anything that corrupts IE normally corrupts Windows as well.  And that can cause things like preventing programs from installing or running.

I would suggest that you back up all your data, and doing a complete reload.  This is normally the fastest and easiest way to fix such problems.  And it is something that you should do every year or so anyways.


Why in the past when I clicked on Live365 to listen to music,My dial-up connection came up,Why was that? ???


At one time, the Windows Dial-Up software and the software from most ISPs set Windows to automatically dial-up if it saw attempted internet activity.  This was routine with companies like Earthlink and AOL.  However, with always-on high-speed connections and the epidemic of virus, trojans, and spyware that is now normally turned off.  Otherwise, your computer would constantly be trying to dial out, trying to get back to whoever it was that infected it.

The setting is still there however, if you really want to turn it on.  As long as you are able to use the Windows dial-up software (IE: not useing a dialer like AOL), you can set it up in the properties.  But I would advise against it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nally on 05/22/07 at 5:29 pm


Yes, by default it is turned on.  I turn it off on every computer I work on.  Otherwise, I normally end up getting called a few months later, with people asking where some of their icons went.   ;D



So...you use a shared computer then?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 05/22/07 at 6:12 pm


If your IE dies, more then likely your operating system is corrupted.  IE and Windows are now integrated, and anything that corrupts IE normally corrupts Windows as well.  And that can cause things like preventing programs from installing or running.

I would suggest that you back up all your data, and doing a complete reload.  This is normally the fastest and easiest way to fix such problems.  And it is something that you should do every year or so anyways.





My brother had told me that the only way to fix the IE was to zap the entire system and start from scratch. I just hate to do that but it looks like I might have to (or get a new computer.  ;) )



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 05/23/07 at 12:02 pm


So...you use a shared computer then?


No, I am a professional computer technician.  I build or repair anywhere from 60-150 computers a month.  This is a setting that most people are un-aware of, and they normally have no idea why their icons suddenly started to dissapear.  I have often started to work on a computer, and looked into the "Unused Icon" directory, only to see 4 or 5 versions of multiple icons, all created when Windows removed them.  Because of this, I turn it off to make it easier for my customers.

After all, if an icon is really un-needed, most people simply delete it themselves.  They do not need Windows to go around behind them acting as an annoying nanny.


My brother had told me that the only way to fix the IE was to zap the entire system and start from scratch. I just hate to do that but it looks like I might have to (or get a new computer.  ;) )


Well, that decision is often based on how old your current computer is.  If it is more then 2-3 years old, I would reccomend getting a new system.

In the last 2 years, we have had more changes then in the last 15 years combined.  IDE has finally moved aside, being replaced by SATA.  PCI Express video and newer chipsets allow for graphics unheard of 3 years ago.  DDR2 RAM, 64 bit and Dual Core processors are also the norm today.  My new computer is twice as powerful as the one I built 2 years ago, and 20% cheaper.  And with Vista, there is little reason to invest much money in fixing what is essentially an outdated machine.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 05/23/07 at 2:11 pm



Well, that decision is often based on how old your current computer is.  If it is more then 2-3 years old, I would reccomend getting a new system.

In the last 2 years, we have had more changes then in the last 15 years combined.  IDE has finally moved aside, being replaced by SATA.  PCI Express video and newer chipsets allow for graphics unheard of 3 years ago.  DDR2 RAM, 64 bit and Dual Core processors are also the norm today.  My new computer is twice as powerful as the one I built 2 years ago, and 20% cheaper.  And with Vista, there is little reason to invest much money in fixing what is essentially an outdated machine.



Carlos and I have a disagreement about this. The other day, I mentioned something that it may be time to upgrade the computer. When he asked me what I meant, I said to get a new one. He said a flat-out, "NO!" I didn't get into it with him then. Then yesterday, I said something about saving everything and starting from scratch and he made a comment about it being too much, etc. etc.  ::)  So, I'm trying to figure out how best to approach this issue with him. He rarely uses this computer so he doesn't understand all the problems I have had with it. I'm sure if I play my cards right, he will come around to my way of thinking.  ;) :D ;D




Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 06/12/07 at 2:14 pm


Carlos and I have a disagreement about this. The other day, I mentioned something that it may be time to upgrade the computer. When he asked me what I meant, I said to get a new one. He said a flat-out, "NO!" I didn't get into it with him then. Then yesterday, I said something about saving everything and starting from scratch and he made a comment about it being too much, etc. etc.  ::)  So, I'm trying to figure out how best to approach this issue with him. He rarely uses this computer so he doesn't understand all the problems I have had with it. I'm sure if I play my cards right, he will come around to my way of thinking.  ;) :D ;D


Actually, the best way to own a computer is to get a good custom built unit, and then keep it up to date.

A good custom built computer can cost between $600-1,200.  And as long as you put $100-200 into it every year, it will never be out of date.  As long as you upgrade it regularly, it will never get so out of date that you need to throw it all away and start over.

And the one thing I can't say often enough:  avoid the "Name Brand" computers.  Most of them are pure junk.  The picture at the bottom should give you an idea of what I mean.

During the month, I collect up all of the dead units that come into the store, and stack them against the back wall,  These are all units 2 years old or less, and 95% of them are there because the motherboard blew out.  During the month of May, we worked on around 45 of them.  Out of that 45, 30 of them were left in our shop.  This is actually one of our best advertisers.  Showing people how poor of a quality the Heck, Mad Cow, Bulky, and Hudson-Packard computers are shows people that the old saying is true"  You get what you pay for.

Plus I am a huge believer in "Buying Local".  I am often amazed at people that will not shop at stores like WalMart, because they claim they "put small stores out of business".  Then these same people turn around and order computers from companies like Bulky or Heck, because they like the name.  Of course, WalMart now sells Heck computers (along with Why-Machine and Hudson-Pontiac).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 06/12/07 at 3:40 pm


Actually, the best way to own a computer is to get a good custom built unit, and then keep it up to date.

A good custom built computer can cost between $600-1,200.  And as long as you put $100-200 into it every year, it will never be out of date.  As long as you upgrade it regularly, it will never get so out of date that you need to throw it all away and start over.

And the one thing I can't say often enough:  avoid the "Name Brand" computers.  Most of them are pure junk.  The picture at the bottom should give you an idea of what I mean.

During the month, I collect up all of the dead units that come into the store, and stack them against the back wall,  These are all units 2 years old or less, and 95% of them are there because the motherboard blew out.  During the month of May, we worked on around 45 of them.  Out of that 45, 30 of them were left in our shop.  This is actually one of our best advertisers.  Showing people how poor of a quality the Heck, Mad Cow, Bulky, and Hudson-Packard computers are shows people that the old saying is true"  You get what you pay for.

Plus I am a huge believer in "Buying Local".  I am often amazed at people that will not shop at stores like WalMart, because they claim they "put small stores out of business".  Then these same people turn around and order computers from companies like Bulky or Heck, because they like the name.  Of course, WalMart now sells Heck computers (along with Why-Machine and Hudson-Pontiac).





I finally convinced Carlos about getting a new one. I'm not as impressed with it as I thought I would be. It is a Dell which has Vista. Of course the computer was built in China and the support staff is in India.  ::)  Anyway, I am having more problems with it. I can't get my email. And a lot of the programs I have are for XP. So now, I have to buy all new software (games and I had a GREAT card making program that I love). But, at least we can copy DVDs.  :D ;D ;D



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 06/12/07 at 5:12 pm


I finally convinced Carlos about getting a new one. I'm not as impressed with it as I thought I would be. It is a Dell which has Vista. Of course the computer was built in China and the support staff is in India.  ::)  Anyway, I am having more problems with it. I can't get my email. And a lot of the programs I have are for XP. So now, I have to buy all new software (games and I had a GREAT card making program that I love). But, at least we can copy DVDs.  :D ;D ;D


I could have told you that Cat.  If you look at that picture, you will see that over half of them are Heck Computers.

And the rest are various other makes.  Hudson-Pontiac, Bulky, Why-Machines, and Mad Cow.  One of them was a 7 month old Boney.  The one thing they all have in common is a horrible case with an even worse power supply.  These are built en-masse, with price being the most important factor.

However, most of your software should still work.  So far, the only 2 programs I have not been able to make work on Vista are Second Life and Sim City 4.  The issue with SL seems to be a driver, while Sim City is a random crash.  But everything else I have ever tried to use has installed and worked with no problems at all.  I had less problems this time then when I moved from Win 3.1 to Win 95 (or Win 98 to XP).

Although I would hate to hear how much you paid for the thing.  Heck is a major "Bait & Switch" company, and people are often gobsmacked when they find out the $300 they originally looked at now costs them $900 (or more).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 06/15/07 at 12:58 pm

Ok, another problem. I have been trying to download a program that is supposed to work with Vista. The download gets not even halfway done when it says that it is "done" and of course it doesn't open because the entire file wasn't downloaded. It has happened with many of the downloads I have done since getting this &*&^% new computer. Some manage to get all the way downloaded but many do not. I tried turning off my firewall but that doesn't seem to help the problem. Any ideas?


Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 06/29/07 at 7:57 am

Hi Mr. Mushroom ..

I wonder if you can answer this one. Recently I had this trial software that I'd installed with 'Ashampoo' uninstaller. The program claims to be able to remove all traces of a program from your machine. By that, I took it to mean that it could make like you'd never even tried it out before. Somehow, mysteriously (cough cough) my systems date got adjusted. Next thing I knew, even though I supposedly had a 30 day trial, and had only used one or two days of it, it informed me my trial was over. Now, 'Ashampoo' was not able to recover the situation, nor was 'system restore'. I wonder where/ how they are able to place info that is able to tell the program that it's been previously installed. Is there any way around this? I suspect ghosting your system prior to this might be the only solution ...

Of course, this is purely a theoretical discusssion, and there's no way I'd dream about putting any such possible, despicable procedures in to practice ...  (I spend enough time dreaming as it is ) :D ;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 06/29/07 at 9:08 am



Of course the computer was built in China and the support staff is in India.  ::) 



Cat



















http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/3757/msemployeevj2.jpg

;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: NbC on 06/30/07 at 6:48 am


Hi Mr. Mushroom ..

I wonder if you can answer this one. Recently I had this trial software that I'd installed with 'Ashampoo' uninstaller. The program claims to be able to remove all traces of a program from your machine. By that, I took it to mean that it could make like you'd never even tried it out before. Somehow, mysteriously (cough cough) my systems date got adjusted. Next thing I knew, even though I supposedly had a 30 day trial, and had only used one or two days of it, it informed me my trial was over. Now, 'Ashampoo' was not able to recover the situation, nor was 'system restore'. I wonder where/ how they are able to place info that is able to tell the program that it's been previously installed. Is there any way around this? I suspect ghosting your system prior to this might be the only solution ...

Of course, this is purely a theoretical discusssion, and there's no way I'd dream about putting any such possible, despicable procedures in to practice ...  (I spend enough time dreaming as it is ) :D ;D


My guess is that the program placed a "runonce" key into your registry during the install.  You would have to locate and remove the correct key in order to load the software on your computer again...or do a clean install.  Which would remove "ALL" traces of past installed program more effeciently than Ashampoo.  I wouldn't fool around with the registry though, remove an incorrect key and your system may not operate properly or at all.  Anyway, just me two cents. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/08/07 at 12:42 am


Ok, another problem. I have been trying to download a program that is supposed to work with Vista. The download gets not even halfway done when it says that it is "done" and of course it doesn't open because the entire file wasn't downloaded.


That is often a problem with either the web site you are downloading, or the program they are offering.

As a good example, recently I was installing Yahoo Widgets on a machine for a friend.  It would say it downloaded properly, but the thing would not run, I kept getting a "corrupted file" error when I tried to run it.  I must have downloaded it 10 times, always with the same result.  Finally I got the file from a thrid party (CNet), and this time it worked.  Apparently, the one being offered from Yahoo was corrupted.

Also there are still a lot of issues with drivers.  Make sure that all of your drivers are current.  Video, Audio, and chipset drivers shipped with new systems are normally old and out of date (if not Beta versions).  And let the software company know of your issue.  It may also be a problem with the program.


Recently I had this trial software that I'd installed with 'Ashampoo' uninstaller. The program claims to be able to remove all traces of a program from your machine.


Uninstallers are only effective if they are installed before the other programs.  And they are not always effective.

Personally, I do not believe in these.  Because if a program is well-written in the first place, it will come with an uninstaller that will remove itself fully in the first place.  And program that will not remove itself when requested is what I consider "Crapware".  And sadly, there is a lot of that out there.

And AShampoo is a well known maker of Crapware.  They seem to thrive on "30 day trials", that then turn into crippleware and begware.  And once you get it on, it never seems to work as promised.  And even worse, you can never remove it completele.


http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/3757/msemployeevj2.jpg


This actually reminds me of a joke I got e-mailed to me the other day.

Abu lived in New Delhi, and as a recent graduate of an English school, he decided to get himself a job offering technical support.

When Abu was given his interview, he was told "Use the words yellow, pink, and green in a sentence."

Abu thought about it for a second, and said:

"I sit in front of the phone, and it goes 'green green green'.  I pink it up and say 'Yellow, this is Abu.  How may I help you?'"

He started the next week giving technical support for Dell.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/12/07 at 4:46 pm

There's been an increase in pop up ads while I'm online lately.

I thought it was the IMVU live chat I installed, so I uninstalled it, but ads are still popping up(it doesn't matter what site I'm at either).

What is going on?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/12/07 at 10:52 pm


There's been an increase in pop up ads while I'm online lately.

I thought it was the IMVU live chat I installed, so I uninstalled it, but ads are still popping up(it doesn't matter what site I'm at either).

What is going on?


First of all, make sure that you have some good anti-spyware software installed.  The 3 I recommend are AdAware, SpyBot, and Microsoft Defender.  Install, update, and run all 3 of them.  This should cut down on things like that a lot.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/14/07 at 1:37 pm


First of all, make sure that you have some good anti-spyware software installed.  The 3 I recommend are AdAware, SpyBot, and Microsoft Defender.  Install, update, and run all 3 of them.  This should cut down on things like that a lot.


The computer I'm using is kinda old. Do those take up much space?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/15/07 at 10:42 pm


The computer I'm using is kinda old. Do those take up much space?


Not at all.  They are all fairly small.

And as an advantage, they all remove spyware.  At times, I have had them remove over 300 MB of spyware.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/16/07 at 6:16 am

When creating a new large document on the a computer in Word, is it best to have it divided into separate Folders or have one large one (which will be backed up)?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/16/07 at 4:23 pm


When creating a new large document on the a computer in Word, is it best to have it divided into separate Folders or have one large one (which will be backed up)?


Well, that all depends on the document.

I do a fair amount of writing myself, and with me it depends on the format of what I am writing.

When I am doing something that has distinct chapters, I normally break them up into seperate files.  But when it is more "free form", I tend to just make one big file.

One advantage of multiple files is that in the event of corruption, much less of the document will be effected.

However, as far as backing it up, that really makes no difference.  And in reality, how many of us even bother to make backups?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/16/07 at 4:30 pm


Well, that all depends on the document.

I do a fair amount of writing myself, and with me it depends on the format of what I am writing.

When I am doing something that has distinct chapters, I normally break them up into seperate files.  But when it is more "free form", I tend to just make one big file.

One advantage of multiple files is that in the event of corruption, much less of the document will be effected.

However, as far as backing it up, that really makes no difference.  And in reality, how many of us even bother to make backups?
It will be documents in Word, with some Excel, I may end up have infomation on the two linked. I will start as one document then start to break it down.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/16/07 at 5:06 pm


Not at all.  They are all fairly small.

And as an advantage, they all remove spyware.  At times, I have had them remove over 300 MB of spyware.


I'll need it, because not too long later on Saturday, my computer got infected with it, badly.

The problem is it got infected before I could download any of them to do the job.

The AT&T Yahoo spyware scan is no good, I was only able to remove one file permanently, a couple of others keep coming back(I'll left my computer shut down since that happened).

A co-worker of mine is going to write some stuff on CD for me, that will hopely work. I can't download spybot or any of the others at the library.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/21/07 at 5:16 pm


The problem is it got infected before I could download any of them to do the job.


It sounds like you may need to reload your computer.

Some spyware are more like virus, and are impossible to remove.  Aurora and CoolWebSearch are among the worst.  And once you get these, the only way to remove them is to reload the system.

Odds are that you had spyware within minutes of getting on the Internet.  Studies have shown that the average computer without protection will get a virus within 12 hours, and spyware within 15 minutes.  And some of them (CoolWebSearch) are actually set to cause even more problems once anti-spyware software is downloaded or installed.  It even has code that recognizes the most common sources for downloading the program, and hijacks your browser to other sites that either installs more spyware, or urges you to pay for spyware software that does not work at all.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/23/07 at 6:47 pm


It sounds like you may need to reload your computer.

Some spyware are more like virus, and are impossible to remove.  Aurora and CoolWebSearch are among the worst.  And once you get these, the only way to remove them is to reload the system.

Odds are that you had spyware within minutes of getting on the Internet.  Studies have shown that the average computer without protection will get a virus within 12 hours, and spyware within 15 minutes.  And some of them (CoolWebSearch) are actually set to cause even more problems once anti-spyware software is downloaded or installed.  It even has code that recognizes the most common sources for downloading the program, and hijacks your browser to other sites that either installs more spyware, or urges you to pay for spyware software that does not work at all.


Problem, it's not my computer(at least because it doesn't have much stuff that I belongs to me). It's my sister's and her husbands. They sold it to me until I can get one of my own(They want to buy it back). I don't have anything on back up myself. Unless there's a way without it.

I don't know who has anything that I can replace all that stuff with.

I don't know if the music they have on it can be saved or if they have back-ups(I'll have to get to them on this). They should be able to make copies of them even with the problem I hope(since it's on the net itself).

My question is, how did they keep from getting it while they had internet? They didn't have anything that I seen to keep it clean.

All they did was do a disk clean up and defragmentation.

Does it require me to have back ups ready?


EDIT:
I knew that the antispysolutions site was a hijacker.

EDIT Again:

I'll get back to you on this again tomorrow by PMs.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/27/07 at 2:31 pm

Bump!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 08/02/07 at 1:28 pm

HELP!!!!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/02/07 at 2:57 pm


HELP!!!!



help with what?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/02/07 at 8:24 pm


HELP!!!!


Sorry, but I was away for a few days there.

Well, unless you have copies of the programs you are probably best off either having a reload done at a reputible computer shop, or finding a geek friend to do it for you.

I know that where I work, we charge $50 for a complete wipe and reload, including installing nessicary programs like word processors, cd burning and dvd playing (if needed), and just about everything else.  And I can't imagine being charged much more then that.

If you decide to have something like this done, avoid the large chain companies.  They normally do the absolute minimum, and charge the most money.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 08/03/07 at 12:52 pm



help with what?  ???


I'm still using the library internet at the moment. Which is why I'm bumping it up.

I just put help the second time. I should check to see if my Brother in law has back ups.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 08/10/07 at 12:18 pm


Sorry, but I was away for a few days there.

Well, unless you have copies of the programs you are probably best off either having a reload done at a reputible computer shop, or finding a geek friend to do it for you.

I know that where I work, we charge $50 for a complete wipe and reload, including installing nessicary programs like word processors, cd burning and dvd playing (if needed), and just about everything else.  And I can't imagine being charged much more then that.

If you decide to have something like this done, avoid the large chain companies.  They normally do the absolute minimum, and charge the most money.


Okay, thank you. (Don't worry about it, I was mainly trying to keep the thread on the first page. Which is why I bumped a couple of times with HELP! being the second. I am getting tired of going to the library when I'm paying for it to use at home. I'm also having problems getting my modem rebate back from AT&T)

I know a couple of people can do it, but the key is getting a good chance to get it done.

This might sound abit silly...

Do the programs spybot, microsoft defender and adaware also have programs in them that prevent stuff like coolwebsearch(which is one of the worst you said) from getting through in the first place? Or does that require a different sort of protection?

I know that updates are required as well, but I don't know how often.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/10/07 at 1:13 pm

I have a question.Why do some web sites have "error reports"?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Philip Eno on 08/11/07 at 1:52 pm


I have a question.Why do some web sites have "error reports"?  ???
...not on the websites I look at.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/13/07 at 9:20 pm


Do the programs spybot, microsoft defender and adaware also have programs in them that prevent stuff like coolwebsearch(which is one of the worst you said) from getting through in the first place? Or does that require a different sort of protection?


There is really no way to protect against programs like Cool Web Search.

CWS is simply updated and changed so fast, that the prevention programs can't keep up.  The creators of that spyware update it 2-10 times a day.  And whenever you log on, the infection automatically updates itself with the newest infections.  That is why the best way to prevent it is to stay away from "questionable" web sites.


I have a question.Why do some web sites have "error reports"?  ???


Those are mostly for internal purposes.  It allows the webmaster to determine where there are problems with the code and correct it.

Just like the error messages in Windows, they are almost worthless for anybody else though.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 08/14/07 at 4:43 pm


There is really no way to protect against programs like Cool Web Search.

CWS is simply updated and changed so fast, that the prevention programs can't keep up.  The creators of that spyware update it 2-10 times a day.  And whenever you log on, the infection automatically updates itself with the newest infections.  That is why the best way to prevent it is to stay away from "questionable" web sites.



Nevermind, it wasn't coolwebsearch. It was an older one that knew I found out that something was up(I'm at home at the moment).

I don't know what sites are questionable(except for free download sites, my brother in law had bearshare before which is a site that cause that stuff to happen, I uninstalled it awhile back). I think it was on there since I had the computer.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/14/07 at 9:48 pm


I don't know what sites are questionable(except for free download sites, my brother in law had bearshare before which is a site that cause that stuff to happen, I uninstalled it awhile back). I think it was on there since I had the computer.


Peer-2-Peer is probably the worst place you can go.  That is the leading release point today for new viruses.  I remember a study a few years ago on Kazaa, and an estimated 45% of files on that network were infected with viruses.

As a good rule of thumb, avoid hacker, gambling, and porn sites.  Those are almost guaranteed to infect you with either a virus or spyware.

Also avoid the "Free Game" sites, unless it is sponsored by a major company like AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, or something like that.

Never ever ever click on a pop-up.  Not only does that often give you spyware, no reputible companies advertise through that anymore.  In fact, most companies have policies in place that forbids their affiliates from useing pop-ups as advertisement.

Also avoid things that claim to make the internet faster, clean your registry, or remove spyware.  Internet accellerators and registry cleaners are all junk, and can actually mess up your computer more then it was before you installed them.  Ad-Aware, Spybot, and Microsoft Defender are all among the best spyware cleaners in the industry, and are free.  90% of the others are all garbage.  Besides, most advertise through pop-ups.  How can you trust a company that claims to remove pop-ups, if they advertise through pop-ups?

And be very careful about any site that claims to give you something for nothing.  It is one thing when Microsoft or Yahoo do it, because they do it for PR purposes, and have a large source of income through other areas.  When "FreeComputerGamesForYou.Net" or "FreeMovies.Com" tells you that you can get stuff from them for free, don't believe it.  Their income is quite often through either spyware, or by infecting your computer with something like CWS or Aurora.  Especially on the Internet, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 08/15/07 at 6:35 pm


Peer-2-Peer is probably the worst place you can go.  That is the leading release point today for new viruses.  I remember a study a few years ago on Kazaa, and an estimated 45% of files on that network were infected with viruses.

As a good rule of thumb, avoid hacker, gambling, and porn sites.  Those are almost guaranteed to infect you with either a virus or spyware.

Also avoid the "Free Game" sites, unless it is sponsored by a major company like AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, or something like that.

Never ever ever click on a pop-up.  Not only does that often give you spyware, no reputible companies advertise through that anymore.  In fact, most companies have policies in place that forbids their affiliates from useing pop-ups as advertisement.

Also avoid things that claim to make the internet faster, clean your registry, or remove spyware.  Internet accellerators and registry cleaners are all junk, and can actually mess up your computer more then it was before you installed them.  Ad-Aware, Spybot, and Microsoft Defender are all among the best spyware cleaners in the industry, and are free.  90% of the others are all garbage.  Besides, most advertise through pop-ups.  How can you trust a company that claims to remove pop-ups, if they advertise through pop-ups?

And be very careful about any site that claims to give you something for nothing.  It is one thing when Microsoft or Yahoo do it, because they do it for PR purposes, and have a large source of income through other areas.  When "FreeComputerGamesForYou.Net" or "FreeMovies.Com" tells you that you can get stuff from them for free, don't believe it.  Their income is quite often through either spyware, or by infecting your computer with something like CWS or Aurora.  Especially on the Internet, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.


How do I dispose of a pop up when it appears? The only option I know of is to close it.

I don't go through porn sites(minus sites where you upload images on threads, although these vary from worksafe to erotic and I haven't had pop ups happen on normal terms there before the problem started to occur). As for free stuff, I don't fall for it. I also don't go to file share sites.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/15/07 at 6:55 pm

Have You tried Pop-Up Stopper?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 08/16/07 at 2:27 pm

The person who got rid of the spyware installed (by accessing his computer) something called McAfee(I think that's what it's called). But it seems to be on the slow side, plus I think I might have made a mistake while doing the scan(which took multiple hours to get done). He said it's supposed to be faster after a couple of uses. How good do you think that one is?

I'll have to talk to him about the error I made, because I think it's allowing stuff to get through again.

Also, system 32 pops up(something that was part of the computer to begin with) at first for some reason when logging onto the computer. I know that he restored some stuff from the recycle bin(which I wish he didn't do now), which I think went into the system 32 file. Why is it popping up like that?

I know I had a heck of a time trying to get stuff done with my flashdrive yesterday(luckily nothing was damaged), so I won't be using it for awhile until after I get this other problem straightened out.

I would like to know what the libraries use to keep stuff like this under control. I could really use it.

Edit: I'm at a library right now, I'll still be using them most of the days of the week. It gets me out of the house(which is more crowded at the moment, part of the reason why) and I'm still not trusting the computer at home. I really need to get my own custom computer(preferably abit faster), with things on it that I'd prefer(make sure that I have good protection too).

Any CDs I put into it don't get read either(the guy that came over had AdAware as well as a anti-virus program one to install, but it wasn't reading, I'm wondering if that's part of the reason why they sold/pawned it to me to begin with. When I told him, my brother in law he said it read and played CDs when he had it).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 08/21/07 at 8:37 pm

I'm starting to suspect that the solution is wipe clean and reload.

There's a potentionally wanted program that couldn't be removed it said.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: NbC on 08/22/07 at 9:43 pm


I'm starting to suspect that the solution is wipe clean and reload.

There's a potentionally wanted program that couldn't be removed it said.


I used to have a real problem with viruses and spyware because I loved to download.  I have had to do a fresh install many times (still do on a yearly basis, just because).  One time I lost all my photos and programs that I was too lazy to back up.  It is very tramatic for me to lose pictures so I learned from that. 

You should consider partitioning your hard drive this time around.  One partition for your system files only and the other for your important stuff.  Just for peace of mind.  If you ever need to do a re-load (and you will need to since you are running Windows.) you don't have to worry about losing valuable data since your system files will be totally separate from your other stuff.  Of course, you should always back up your important stuff. 



Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 08/22/07 at 10:44 pm


I used to have a real problem with viruses and spyware because I loved to download.  I have had to do a fresh install many times (still do on a yearly basis, just because).  One time I lost all my photos and programs that I was too lazy to back up.  It is very tramatic for me to lose pictures so I learned from that. 

You should consider partitioning your hard drive this time around.  One partition for your system files only and the other for your important stuff.  Just for peace of mind.  If you ever need to do a re-load (and you will need to since you are running Windows.) you don't have to worry about losing valuable data since your system files will be totally separate from your other stuff.  Of course, you should always back up your important stuff. 



I meant to say unwanted.

Since it's not my computer(it's a temporary pawn/buy from my sis and brother in law, they will want it back) I don't have any back ups and the CD drives don't seem to read.

I found out last week(had internet since mid March) that the spyware was already in the computer when I got it which was about a month before getting internet. 

I save stuff to a flashdrive, so that stuff is safe(haven't been able to use it, the last time I tried, it took too long to do it and was irritating me. So I stopped using it).

I have thought about getting rid of the internet due to the lack of back ups and financial problems(plus having problems with AT&T).

What do you mean by partitioning the hard drive? I don't have a say in doing whatever that is(since it's not my computer).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: NbC on 08/23/07 at 10:30 am



What do you mean by partitioning the hard drive? I don't have a say in doing whatever that is(since it's not my computer).


Here is a link:  http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,73826-page,1-c,systembackups/article.html

If you are planning on doing a clean install it is very easy to do.  Hardest thing is figuring out how much space you want allotted to each partition. 

Wish you luck on getting things back in order.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 08/23/07 at 1:49 pm


Here is a link:  http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,73826-page,1-c,systembackups/article.html

If you are planning on doing a clean install it is very easy to do.  Hardest thing is figuring out how much space you want allotted to each partition. 

Wish you luck on getting things back in order.


The computer doesn't feel like my own anyway(it isn't, I don't have anything that belongs to me on it), so I couldn't do whatever the partition thing is(I just wanted an answer is all, there was no need for a link, I have no use for it because of the situation with it not being my computer). I need my own computer instead, so that way I know that I have working drives and backups.


I just wish they would have told me in case I got the internet(which happened) so I could have changed my mind on the matter. They didn't tell me about any spyware already being on it(it didn't act out until mid July).

They said that everything worked when they had it, but I had to get the help of someone to be able to access the floppy disk drive(I used to store images on the 3 1/2 floppy disks before getting a flashdrive).  The CD drives won't read any disc either, I had to get a AT&T tech to help install because it wouldn't read the CD for internet installation. That's the last time I trust them on anything.


Let that be a lesson: Don't get a hand me down computer with someone else's existing programs on it. At least not with out backups and make sure they didn't sell it to you just get rid of something that has spyware that they couldn't remove on their own.

Their's had Bearshare downloaded on it(I don't download stuff on there, except for IMVU chatroom, but I removed it when I thought that it was causing pop-ups to get through, turned out that it wasn't, there was already spyware on the computer to begin with, it just didn't start to act up until mid July)

Alot of spyware can easily go through Bearshare, since that site has adware in it.

I uninstalled it shortly after getting internet at home.


EDIT:

On a side note, I looked at the site. Wouldn't spyware and crap like that be able to get into the seperated drives still?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 09/03/07 at 12:12 pm

I don't know if Mushroom will be around to answer this question but I am hoping that other computer savvy people here can help me. We have two computers-both Dells and we both do work on each computer that each of us will need on the other. The old one has a CD rom (reader) and a floppy disk drive. We also have a CD burner that we can hook up to it-but it is a PITA. The new one has a CD/DVD recorder but no floppy disk drive (which is my fault-I THOUGHT that I requested one but didn't). We did buy an external floppy disk drive-which is ok. So, we transport our work on floppy disk back and forth from one computer to the other.

This morning in the paper, there was an article about flash drives. Here is my question: Would a flash drive be better for this than floppy disks? And if so, what kind of flash drive do people recommend? (Brand? Memory? etc.)



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 09/03/07 at 12:29 pm


I don't know if Mushroom will be around to answer this question but I am hoping that other computer savvy people here can help me. We have two computers-both Dells and we both do work on each computer that each of us will need on the other. The old one has a CD rom (reader) and a floppy disk drive. We also have a CD burner that we can hook up to it-but it is a PITA. The new one has a CD/DVD recorder but no floppy disk drive (which is my fault-I THOUGHT that I requested one but didn't). We did buy an external floppy disk drive-which is ok. So, we transport our work on floppy disk back and forth from one computer to the other.

This morning in the paper, there was an article about flash drives. Here is my question: Would a flash drive be better for this than floppy disks? And if so, what kind of flash drive do people recommend? (Brand? Memory? etc.)



Cat


Any of em work, floppies are long dead in 2007, I didn't even think of bothering to put one in my new computer I built.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8202045&type=product&id=1165609745683

Something like this is totally suitable.

or this 1 gb 3 pack is a pretty good deal if you want more than 1:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7847128&type=product&id=1142299122039

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/26/07 at 9:46 pm


The new one has a CD/DVD recorder but no floppy disk drive (which is my fault-I THOUGHT that I requested one but didn't). We did buy an external floppy disk drive-which is ok. So, we transport our work on floppy disk back and forth from one computer to the other.

This morning in the paper, there was an article about flash drives. Here is my question: Would a flash drive be better for this than floppy disks? And if so, what kind of flash drive do people recommend? (Brand? Memory? etc.)


For the most part, the floppy has gone the way of the dodo bird.  Other then installing SATA drivers on first generation systems I have not used them in years.

USB drives are nice, but not a good choice for archiving files.  They do have a tendency to fail, and I have had 2 of them die in the last 3 years.

If you want to do backups for archiving, CD/DVD disks are the best choice.  But flash drives are the best choice for transfering data from one system to another.

Of course, if you have the computers hooked up in a network, you can just transfer files directly from one to the other.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/28/07 at 2:47 pm


For the most part, the floppy has gone the way of the dodo bird.  Other then installing SATA drivers on first generation systems I have not used them in years.

USB drives are nice, but not a good choice for archiving files.  They do have a tendency to fail, and I have had 2 of them die in the last 3 years.

If you want to do backups for archiving, CD/DVD disks are the best choice.  But flash drives are the best choice for transfering data from one system to another.

Of course, if you have the computers hooked up in a network, you can just transfer files directly from one to the other.


So since I have a flashdrive, it would be a good idea to get some CDs to transfer more images onto sometime in the near future? Just to make sure...

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/28/07 at 3:23 pm

Mush,What's the latest virus out there that My Father And I should look out for?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/28/07 at 8:11 pm


So since I have a flashdrive, it would be a good idea to get some CDs to transfer more images onto sometime in the near future? Just to make sure...


CD/DVDs are probably the best choice for long-term storage.  They have a shelf-life of around 20 years, which should be more then long enough to read them in the forseeable future.  Flash drives have a much shorter lifespan, 2-5 years.


Mush,What's the latest virus out there that My Father And I should look out for?  ???


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-GaRKDsz-Y

Here is the reality:  There are new virus created daily.  In an average year, over 5,000 new virus are created.  That is an average of 14 virus per day.

So the simple answer is:  Be paranoid, be very paranoid.  Make sure you have good protection installed, and update and run it regularly.  And stay away from P2P, hacker, porn, and gambling sites.  Those are still the leading sources of virus infection.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 09/28/07 at 11:32 pm


So the simple answer is:  Be paranoid, be very paranoid.  Make sure you have good protection installed, and update and run it regularly.  And stay away from P2P, hacker, porn, and gambling sites.  Those are still the leading sources of virus infection.


And if you must use Windows, remember that 99% of these exploits are Windows-based, and 90% of the exploits rely on Javascript or Active-X controls to get on your box.

Zeroth, keep your box patched. 

First, browse with Firefox, not IE.  The big blue "e" on your desktop stands for "exploit".  By not using IE, you deny the enemy the use of IE and Active X as attack vectors.

Second, use the NoScript extension for Firefox.  Enable Javascript for only those sites that you trust.  By disabling Javascript for all sites, and turning it on only for the very few sites you trust (your bank, your broker, maybe some sites at Google), you deny the enemy the ability to use Javascript as an attack vector.

Third, follow Mushroom's advice.  There's no such thing as being too paranoid when they really are out to get you.

"Only the paranoid survive."
- Andy Grove, CEO, Intel.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/29/07 at 6:45 am


And if you must use Windows, remember that 99% of these exploits are Windows-based, and 90% of the exploits rely on Javascript or Active-X controls to get on your box.

Zeroth, keep your box patched. 

First, browse with Firefox, not IE.  The big blue "e" on your desktop stands for "exploit".  By not using IE, you deny the enemy the use of IE and Active X as attack vectors.

Second, use the NoScript extension for Firefox.  Enable Javascript for only those sites that you trust.  By disabling Javascript for all sites, and turning it on only for the very few sites you trust (your bank, your broker, maybe some sites at Google), you deny the enemy the ability to use Javascript as an attack vector.

Third, follow Mushroom's advice.  There's no such thing as being too paranoid when they really are out to get you.

"Only the paranoid survive."
- Andy Grove, CEO, Intel.



Thanks Foo.  ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 09/30/07 at 11:47 am


For the most part, the floppy has gone the way of the dodo bird.  Other then installing SATA drivers on first generation systems I have not used them in years.

USB drives are nice, but not a good choice for archiving files.  They do have a tendency to fail, and I have had 2 of them die in the last 3 years.

If you want to do backups for archiving, CD/DVD disks are the best choice.  But flash drives are the best choice for transfering data from one system to another.

Of course, if you have the computers hooked up in a network, you can just transfer files directly from one to the other.



When I looked into flash drives, some said they weren't compatible with Vista (which this computer is using-and the other uses XP).  We did get a disk drive which seems to be working fine for what we want/need it to do.

How do you connect two computers? Ours are across the room from each other. We only have 1 phone line (jack). Is there another way to hook them up together without using a phone jack/line?



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/01/07 at 5:45 pm


CD/DVDs are probably the best choice for long-term storage.  They have a shelf-life of around 20 years, which should be more then long enough to read them in the forseeable future.  Flash drives have a much shorter lifespan, 2-5 years.



My flashdrive is about 9-10 months old, so I'll make sure to get some CDs as soon as I can(I'll have to get some help with getting CD drives working again, the guy can do that, he got the floppy disc drive to run again).

I have another reason to switch to CD formats, my flashdrive from time to time won't let me remove it safely(saying it can't be stopped at the moment). This drives me nuts and I have it in right now. It won't let me remove it!

Plus with CDs, I can seperate different categories of images and put them on different discs. That will allow me to have a far more efficient setup for everything. Plus I don't have to worry about removing CDs safely(I think).

I think the only downside to disc formats like CDs is if they get badly scratched.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 10/01/07 at 7:26 pm


When I looked into flash drives, some said they weren't compatible with Vista (which this computer is using-and the other uses XP).  We did get a disk drive which seems to be working fine for what we want/need it to do.

How do you connect two computers? Ours are across the room from each other. We only have 1 phone line (jack). Is there another way to hook them up together without using a phone jack/line?


I have never heard of any flash drive being incompatible with Vista.  Unless it had some kind of strange propriatary security set up on it.  Every one I have ever used just plugged in and worked.

Well, the easiest way is to make a simple network.  Your computers should already have Ethernet cards installed.  If they do not, they normally cost from $5-10.  You can do it one of two ways.

The easiest way is to get a router.  You hook the computers up to it, and set one or more folders or drives to share.  You can then transfer files from one to the other.

If you are somewhat familiar with computer networking, you can simply buy a either a crossover cable or a switch.  But I do not reccomend this for novices, since you will have to manually do a lot of configurations that a router would do for you automatically.


I think the only downside to disc formats like CDs is if they get badly scratched.


That is why you want to keep your backups in a safe place, and only use them to recover lost data.  For years, my backups have all been old hard drives that I stored in the closet.  When I was clearing out my stuff to go in the Army, I combined 15 hard drives (from 20-120GB each) onto a single 500 GB hard drive.  It was simply no longer practicle to have that many hard drives simply sitting around gathering dust.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/02/07 at 12:53 am



That is why you want to keep your backups in a safe place, and only use them to recover lost data.  For years, my backups have all been old hard drives that I stored in the closet.  When I was clearing out my stuff to go in the Army, I combined 15 hard drives (from 20-120GB each) onto a single 500 GB hard drive.  It was simply no longer practicle to have that many hard drives simply sitting around gathering dust.


Namely in CD cases, are normal CDs needed for image storage?

The DVD ones sound like it would only work for movies.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 10/03/07 at 9:12 am


That is why you want to keep your backups in a safe place, and only use them to recover lost data.  For years, my backups have all been old hard drives that I stored in the closet.  When I was clearing out my stuff to go in the Army, I combined 15 hard drives (from 20-120GB each) onto a single 500 GB hard drive. 


'Mushroom' ... do you have mush room left on your hard drives ?  ???

:P :D ;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 10/03/07 at 12:34 pm


'Mushroom' ... do you have mush room left on your hard drives ?   ???

:P :D ;D



Was that a computer question? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 10/04/07 at 10:10 pm


Namely in CD cases, are normal CDs needed for image storage?

The DVD ones sound like it would only work for movies.


Exactly, and not use them for anything other then recovery.  I have known a lot of people that will make backups, then delete the files from their computer.  Then they are upset because the disk (which is constantly used) goes bad, and they loose the data.

And DVD disks are useable for anything, not just movies.  They are basically just like CD disks, they just hold a lot more information (4 GB).


'Mushroom' ... do you have mush room left on your hard drives ?   ???


I think I have about 300 GB free on that computer.  But it is currently in storage, and it will not be until late this year-early next year until I can get it out.

Currently, I am useing my new laptop (I bought it last week as a present for myself).  This one is a dual core AMD Turion, with a 160 GB hard drive, 1.5 GB RAM, and a 17" screen.  It works nicely with my Celular internet connection.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/06/07 at 8:50 pm


Exactly, and not use them for anything other then recovery.  I have known a lot of people that will make backups, then delete the files from their computer.  Then they are upset because the disk (which is constantly used) goes bad, and they loose the data.

And DVD disks are useable for anything, not just movies.  They are basically just like CD disks, they just hold a lot more information (4 GB).



How often would the CD have to be used before it goes bad... Would this be from overly abusing it(on a daily basis)? What if I find some stuff to save from time to time(which is less often now with the flashdrive, since I have so much on it that it's a pain to keep count inventory wise).

Now you're scaring me...  :o

I have over 2700 images on the flashdrive.... which once everything is taken care of, will be separately saved on different CDs(seven of them).

So I will have to save them to the hard drive as well(which would be done from the flashdrive first)? :o

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 10/17/07 at 1:44 pm


How often would the CD have to be used before it goes bad... Would this be from overly abusing it(on a daily basis)? What if I find some stuff to save from time to time(which is less often now with the flashdrive, since I have so much on it that it's a pain to keep count inventory wise).

So I will have to save them to the hard drive as well(which would be done from the flashdrive first)? :o


CDs go bad simply because of time.  Much like unused (or undeveloped film) will eventually go bad.  The estimated 5-12 year lifespan of CDs is due to the coating and foil, which eventually oxodizes and seperates.  The amount of use is not a major factor.  However, repeated use will degrade them faster because of the heat and possible scratching.

I tell people to make multiple backups.  On the hard drive, on a CD (or multiple CDs), by e-mailing it to yourself, even on paper if it is printed material.  If something is really important, you can't back it up enough.  Most big organizations use multiple layers of backups.  Most use either a Father-Son system (2 copies), or Father-Son-Grandfather system (3 copies).  Some even get real elaborate, keeping weekly, monthly, bi-annual, and annual copies of everything.  Because you really never know when that e-mail that was sent out 2 years ago can save your butt in some lawsuit.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/17/07 at 11:54 pm


CDs go bad simply because of time.  Much like unused (or undeveloped film) will eventually go bad.  The estimated 5-12 year lifespan of CDs is due to the coating and foil, which eventually oxodizes and seperates.  The amount of use is not a major factor.  However, repeated use will degrade them faster because of the heat and possible scratching.

I tell people to make multiple backups.  On the hard drive, on a CD (or multiple CDs), by e-mailing it to yourself, even on paper if it is printed material.  If something is really important, you can't back it up enough.  Most big organizations use multiple layers of backups.  Most use either a Father-Son system (2 copies), or Father-Son-Grandfather system (3 copies).  Some even get real elaborate, keeping weekly, monthly, bi-annual, and annual copies of everything.  Because you really never know when that e-mail that was sent out 2 years ago can save your butt in some lawsuit.


5-12? I thought you said 20 at most.

Well, I have a small portion in my image accounts(around close to 15%)... But those are images that are more or less worksafe(although some are grey area). I have an email account where I can store images on... but before I do anything like that, I'll need to know what I can put into it.(I hope that a private setup can be done so that no one but me can access and save them).

I don't think I can send 1000s of images in one email... (I'm now at 3000+)

The CD factor also depends on how many I can afford to buy. I don't want to buy too big of a pack only for them to ruin before I use them all.

Keeping the flashdrive for now is still good too.(since it's under a year in age and use. I'm going to try to resolve the disc drive problem soon)

I do want to print up alot of stuff, but need a printer.(especially since I want to print things in color)

Edit: This actually gives me an idea to use both the CD and DVD formats for storage. Seperate CDs for different types and DVD ones as master copies.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 10/19/07 at 12:55 pm

My hard drive skips,What does that mean?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 11/17/07 at 11:07 pm


My hard drive skips,What does that mean?  ???


I have no idea.  That means nothing to me.

But if you mean that you hear a clicking or clattering noise, your drive is dying (or is about to totally die). 

Most hard drives now have a life span of 2-5 years.  So it is a good idea to replace them before they get that old.

I was advising a guy last week on building his new computer, and he was actually going to use his 10 year old 40 gig drive as his master drive, and his brand new 500 gig SATA as a storage drive.  Thankfully, I talked him out of that.


5-12? I thought you said 20 at most.


I probably did, but why take the risk?

I would not worry about CDs (or DVDs) dying, unless they are used a lot, or have been sitting in storage for 5+ years.  And considering how fast things change, it is not hard to predict that within 10 years, you will be converting the data to some other media.

over 10 years ago, almost everybody made backups onto floppy disks or tape.  10 years ago most people started to use ZIP and JAZZ drives.  5 years ago, CD-ROM was all the rage.  Currently, people are starting to use DVD more then anything else.

In another 5 years, who knows.  HD-DVD or BluRay may be all the rage, or even something else we have not thought of yet.  But the concept of having multiple backups will always be a sound strategy, because you are not "placing all of your eggs in one basket".

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: EuriskoXP on 11/18/07 at 11:53 am

Here's a quickie:

Which port do I need to forward for Puzzle quest Challange of the Warlords?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: EuriskoXP on 11/18/07 at 11:59 am


I have no idea.  That means nothing to me.

But if you mean that you hear a clicking or clattering noise, your drive is dying (or is about to totally die). 

Most hard drives now have a life span of 2-5 years.  So it is a good idea to replace them before they get that old.

I was advising a guy last week on building his new computer, and he was actually going to use his 10 year old 40 gig drive as his master drive, and his brand new 500 gig SATA as a storage drive.  Thankfully, I talked him out of that.



actually, a hard drive's life span can be anywhere from 1 year, to I currently have a 10gb Maxtor that is a DECADE old and still rates 90% fitness on S.M.A.R.T.
that said, a clicking noise is a sure sign of trouble ahead, replace the hard drive ASAP. Best deal right now is a 500GB for about $100.




I probably did, but why take the risk?

I would not worry about CDs (or DVDs) dying, unless they are used a lot, or have been sitting in storage for 5+ years.  And considering how fast things change, it is not hard to predict that within 10 years, you will be converting the data to some other media.

over 10 years ago, almost everybody made backups onto floppy disks or tape.  10 years ago most people started to use ZIP and JAZZ drives.  5 years ago, CD-ROM was all the rage.  Currently, people are starting to use DVD more then anything else.

In another 5 years, who knows.  HD-DVD or BluRay may be all the rage, or even something else we have not thought of yet.  But the concept of having multiple backups will always be a sound strategy, because you are not "placing all of your eggs in one basket".

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: ADH13 on 12/02/07 at 9:57 pm



I just bought a new computer and am having a couple issues...  one is that my firewall is blocking me from going to LimeWire (even after following all the tips Limewire had to offer, and even temporarily turning the firewall OFF) Do you have any other suggestions??

Secondly this computer I bought was advertised as new but when I opened my media player and searched for music to add to it, I ended up with a bunch of music I had never heard of... do you think they tried to slip me a refurbished one for the price of a new one??

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 12/06/07 at 8:35 pm



Okay so my mother wants a web cam so she can talk to her sister online... my mom is in AZ her sister is in Holland.  I want to buy her a good one but I know nothing about them...and I have not a lot of cash.

My mom has Windows XP, limited knowledge of technology, and even less patience....any ideas?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 01/08/08 at 12:21 pm

I know Mushroom doesn't come here too often anymore but I hope someone can answer my question.

Back in June, I got a new computer that uses Vista. It came complete with a backup drive-just in case. I thought it was a good idea-however, the main drive has 111 GB and the backup drive has only 27.2 GB. Well, you can imagine what happened-just about 6 months after buying this thing, the backup drive is FULL. It keeps telling me that I should delete programs that I don't use. But, I'm not too sure what I should delete. I'm also wondering WHY I need to delete-that is why I got a computer with 111 GB. Can anybody give me some advice as to what to do-short of taking a sledgehammer to this stupid thing.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/09/08 at 11:37 am

Cat

I have a friend who LOVES VISTA....first person I met who does...anyway he is pretty computer literate. If you lived closer I'd make him come fix it for you

here is his answer to your question.  Hope it helps

It sounds like she bought a Gateway/HP/Dell that had a Restore (backup) partition.  What that means is that she has a 160 gigabyte hard drive, that was split into two sections, or partitions.  The main partition, the C drive, is where the operating system, and programs are installed, and the Restore (backup) partition, the D drive, is where Gateway/HP/Dell have put system restore information.  The purpose behind this is that if the operating system has a catastrophic failure, and no longer functions, you can use the Restore partition to literally restore the computer back to the state it was when it was originally purchased.  If your friend is saving their information to that area, they should immediately move it to the proper locations, such as My Documents, My Music, or My Pictures, etc.  That is not a "back-up" drive.  Saving information there does no good in the event of a hardware problem, such as the hard drive failing.  If your friend wants to back up her data, she needs to burn it to blank DVD's or CD's, which Vista will allow you to do with no extra software needed.  I hope this answer makes sense.  if your friend has any more questions, you can have them email me directly.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 01/09/08 at 12:07 pm


Cat

I have a friend who LOVES VISTA....first person I met who does...anyway he is pretty computer literate. If you lived closer I'd make him come fix it for you

here is his answer to your question.  Hope it helps

It sounds like she bought a Gateway/HP/Dell that had a Restore (backup) partition.  What that means is that she has a 160 gigabyte hard drive, that was split into two sections, or partitions.  The main partition, the C drive, is where the operating system, and programs are installed, and the Restore (backup) partition, the D drive, is where Gateway/HP/Dell have put system restore information.  The purpose behind this is that if the operating system has a catastrophic failure, and no longer functions, you can use the Restore partition to literally restore the computer back to the state it was when it was originally purchased.  If your friend is saving their information to that area, they should immediately move it to the proper locations, such as My Documents, My Music, or My Pictures, etc.  That is not a "back-up" drive.  Saving information there does no good in the event of a hardware problem, such as the hard drive failing.  If your friend wants to back up her data, she needs to burn it to blank DVD's or CD's, which Vista will allow you to do with no extra software needed.  I hope this answer makes sense.  if your friend has any more questions, you can have them email me directly.



Yes, it is the D drive that is full. I also have an E drive that says "Recovery" which is also smaller than the C drive (with the operating system). Can you tell your friend that I have a program that backs everything up. When I go into the drive-there are two files "Norton Backups" (the program) and VPRoRecovery.  The thing is, I don't know which files or which-what to move or where to move it.


Thanks for your help (and karma to you-that you can pass on to your friend.)


Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: wsmith4 on 01/29/08 at 8:22 am

My computer is sssssssssssllllllllooooooooowwwwwww.  I bought an external hard drive for my music because that was taking up several Gigabytes of memory.  Should I upgrade my RAM?  Right now it's at 512MB.  How do I do that?  How do I know how much I can upgrade to?  What kind do I get?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 01/29/08 at 8:41 am


My computer is sssssssssssllllllllooooooooowwwwwww.  I bought an external hard drive for my music because that was taking up several Gigabytes of memory.  Should I upgrade my RAM?  Right now it's at 512MB.  How do I do that?  How do I know how much I can upgrade to?  What kind do I get?


Since this is Mushrooms thread, I'll let him tackle that one. However ... gotta say, 512 MB ? That's really lightweight by todays standards. I would have thought most new computers ship with at least twice that  ( 1 GB). I think 1 GB is generally considered good for XP systems, but 2 GigaBytes or more is recommended for Vista ?

If you've only got 512 MB, I suspect you've got an older computer, maybe a Pentium 3 around 500 Mhz, or equivalent ?  The cost of upgrading older machines has to be weighed up against putting that money into a much more powerful more recent entry level machine ... which can often work out a relative bargain. You could be throwing good money after bad. Incidentally, memory is a dynamic thing .... like trying to remember a phone number in your head. You switch it off (the machine) you lose it .  The hard drive is not 'memory' .... it stores your programs and data like a cassette, cd, dvd does .... long term, relatively permanently.

Your computer .... I take it its slowed down since you first bought it ? Possibly due to spyware,  disk fragmentation, a bulging 'registry' (registry cleaners / re-installation of the operating system  might help (Windows ?)

Anyway, I'm going on too long. Over to you, Mushroom.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: wsmith4 on 01/29/08 at 8:50 am

oh, boy. I'm confused LOL  i bought it in 2005, brand new, from Dell, and it was a pretty  high-end computer at the time, i guess.  is there a way to get rid of the Spyware?  i have Norton Internet Security, which I've had installed and updated every day since I bought the computer... I thought that would block the spyware but I don'tk now much about computers so I could be wrong.

It's just gotten really, really sluggish....takes about 10 minutes or more to load everything and actually be usable after turning it on... if I try to do something too quickly, and everything hasn't fully loaded, it takes FOREVER. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 01/29/08 at 10:02 am


oh, boy. I'm confused LOL  i bought it in 2005, brand new, from Dell, and it was a pretty  high-end computer at the time, i guess.  is there a way to get rid of the Spyware?  i have Norton Internet Security, which I've had installed and updated every day since I bought the computer... I thought that would block the spyware but I don'tk now much about computers so I could be wrong.

It's just gotten really, really sluggish....takes about 10 minutes or more to load everything and actually be usable after turning it on... if I try to do something too quickly, and everything hasn't fully loaded, it takes FOREVER. 


That's way too long ... 10 minutes. A couple of minutes .... that's just about acceptable, I'd say. Sounds like you should try running some registry cleaners. I think 'Reg Vac' is a pretty good one. Registry Mechanic is well regarded. You can probably find some good freeware ones if you search the internet ?

Installing / uninstalling  a lot of trial software can lead to problems. If you don't regularly run a defragmenter program, it leaves a lot of gaps that your hard drive jumps back and forth trying to find data / bits of programs which get placed here and there. Defragging places it in a more compacted area, minimizing the delays. If you've got XP, it should be built into your machine. Worth a try. (Start Programs menu, Control Panel, Performance and Maintenance,  .... then .... 'Rearrange items on your hard disk to make your programs run faster'. You can click on 'Analyze' to see how bad things are graphically .... or just  click on defragment to start the procedure . This could take a few minutes  to a number of hours, so best done overnight. If your hard drive is anywhere near full, the program  will have less room to swap things around .... slowing things right down.

Running the defrag program first is probably the easiest / safest route for you .... and then seeing if it makes much difference. Then start looking at other options. You probably would benefit down the road from extra memory (twice what you have)  .... if you like to have a lot of tabs / windows open at the same time !


Here's a link about defragging:  http://windows.about.com/od/troubleshooting/ss/defrag_7.htm

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: wsmith4 on 01/29/08 at 10:15 am


That's way too long ... 10 minutes. A couple of minutes .... that's just about acceptable, I'd say. Sounds like you should try running some registry cleaners. I think 'Reg Vac' is a pretty good one. Registry Mechanic is well regarded. You can probably find some good freeware ones if you search the internet ?

Installing / uninstalling  a lot of trial software can lead to problems. If you don't regularly run a defragmenter program, it leaves a lot of gaps that your hard drive jumps back and forth trying to find data / bits of programs which get placed here and there. Defragging places it in a more compacted area, minimizing the delays. If you've got XP, it should be built into your machine. Worth a try. (Start Programs menu, Control Panel, Performance and Maintenance,  .... then .... 'Rearrange items on your hard disk to make your programs run faster'. You can click on 'Analyze' to see how bad things are graphically .... or just  click on defragment to start the procedure . This could take a few minutes  to a number of hours, so best done overnight. If your hard drive is anywhere near full, the program  will have less room to swap things around .... slowing things right down.

Running the defrag program first is probably the easiest / safest route for you .... and then seeing if it makes much difference. Then start looking at other options. You probably would benefit down the road from extra memory (twice what you have)  .... if you like to have a lot of tabs / windows open at the same time !



awesome advice! thank you so much!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 01/29/08 at 10:19 am



awesome advice! thank you so much!


I hope I don't get into trouble with Mushroom. I'm sure he knows FAR more about all this then I do. 

Check my prior post for an edit ( added link)  ... oh don't bother ... here it is again :

http://windows.about.com/od/troubleshooting/ss/defrag_7.htm

^ Explains in pics, defragging.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: wsmith4 on 01/29/08 at 1:24 pm


I hope I don't get into trouble with Mushroom. I'm sure he knows FAR more about all this then I do. 

Check my prior post for an edit ( added link)  ... oh don't bother ... here it is again :

http://windows.about.com/od/troubleshooting/ss/defrag_7.htm

^ Explains in pics, defragging.


1 other quick question that is related to this. a  few months ago I installed a program on my computer called "AOL HIQ" which allows you to download TV shows from AOL's website.  Well, I noticed my computer running much, much slower immediately after installing that program.  In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm wondering if it's not 90% of my problem.  The thing is, I've tried to uninstall it on numerous occassions but I can't.  I go to "Control Panel", then "Add or Remove Programs" and it comes up on the list, but as soon as I click "uninstall", it freezes and I have to terminate the window.  I can unsintall other programs just fine, but not that one... is there another way to get rid of it?  I can't even figure out where on my computer it's hiding! :(

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/29/08 at 2:16 pm


I hope I don't get into trouble with Mushroom. I'm sure he knows FAR more about all this then I do. 

Check my prior post for an edit ( added link)  ... oh don't bother ... here it is again :

http://windows.about.com/od/troubleshooting/ss/defrag_7.htm

^ Explains in pics, defragging.


yeah but you're here....mushroom hasn't been around since Dec 8th 07


for me I can't seem to get any of the usb ports to work on my laptop.

It recognizes when something is plugged in but I can never get that item to work.

I have plugged in
-an optical mouse
-a usb hub
-a numeric keypad
-usb speakers

can't get any of these items to work...


have I mentioned that I really HATE my laptop?



Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 01/29/08 at 8:10 pm


1 other quick question that is related to this. a  few months ago I installed a program on my computer called "AOL HIQ" which allows you to download TV shows from AOL's website.  Well, I noticed my computer running much, much slower immediately after installing that program.  In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm wondering if it's not 90% of my problem.  The thing is, I've tried to uninstall it on numerous occassions but I can't.  I go to "Control Panel", then "Add or Remove Programs" and it comes up on the list, but as soon as I click "uninstall", it freezes and I have to terminate the window.  I can unsintall other programs just fine, but not that one... is there another way to get rid of it?  I can't even figure out where on my computer it's hiding! :(


Interesting. I don't really know much about AOL ... but think I've read before it can be a hassle. Found this link ... which may help (but use at your own risk) ....  http://antiaol.insanejournal.com/23706.html#cutid1

Don't think it specifically mentions HIQ ... but since it's under the AOL umbrella, suspect it too would be removed ?    :-\\

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: adagio on 01/29/08 at 8:12 pm


I hope I don't get into trouble with Mushroom. I'm sure he knows FAR more about all this then I do. 

Check my prior post for an edit ( added link)  ... oh don't bother ... here it is again :

http://windows.about.com/od/troubleshooting/ss/defrag_7.htm

^ Explains in pics, defragging.


This is a better place to ask about computers.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 01/29/08 at 8:37 pm


yeah but you're here....mushroom hasn't been around since Dec 8th 07


for me I can't seem to get any of the usb ports to work on my laptop.

It recognizes when something is plugged in but I can never get that item to work.

I have plugged in
-an optical mouse
-a usb hub
-a numeric keypad
-usb speakers

can't get any of these items to work...


have I mentioned that I really HATE my laptop?






Sorry, I'm out of my depth here.

Perhaps you can get a clue from this link : http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/167261.html


There's all kinds of background here: http://www.usbman.com/USB_Guides.htm

Maybe best to scroll down to the link in that page called 'usb troubleshooter'  ?


http://www.usbman.com/Troubleshooter%20General.htm



Guess you could always take it past a local computer store, and see if they can give it a quick look ?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/29/08 at 9:01 pm


Sorry, I'm out of my depth here.

Perhaps you can get a clue from this link : http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/167261.html


There's all kinds of background here: http://www.usbman.com/USB_Guides.htm

Maybe best to scroll down to the link in that page called 'usb troubleshooter'  ?


http://www.usbman.com/Troubleshooter%20General.htm



Guess you could always take it past a local computer store, and see if they can give it a quick look ?



Thanks I'll give the sites a look.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 01/30/08 at 6:19 am


yeah but you're here....mushroom hasn't been around since Dec 8th 07


for me I can't seem to get any of the usb ports to work on my laptop.

It recognizes when something is plugged in but I can never get that item to work.

I have plugged in
-an optical mouse
-a usb hub
-a numeric keypad
-usb speakers

can't get any of these items to work...


have I mentioned that I really HATE my laptop?







Why do you hate your laptop?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: NbC on 01/30/08 at 6:52 am


1 other quick question that is related to this. a  few months ago I installed a program on my computer called "AOL HIQ" which allows you to download TV shows from AOL's website.  Well, I noticed my computer running much, much slower immediately after installing that program.  In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm wondering if it's not 90% of my problem.  The thing is, I've tried to uninstall it on numerous occassions but I can't.  I go to "Control Panel", then "Add or Remove Programs" and it comes up on the list, but as soon as I click "uninstall", it freezes and I have to terminate the window.  I can unsintall other programs just fine, but not that one... is there another way to get rid of it?  I can't even figure out where on my computer it's hiding! :(


Try booting windows in Safe Mode and then try uninstalling the program using the Add or Remove Programs.  Spyware would usually load  itself when your computer first boots up so it would be hard to remove normally.  While in safe mode only a few essential programs will run giving you an opportunity to get those pesky files out. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/30/08 at 8:47 pm



Why do you hate your laptop?  ???


just because I have so many problems with it....its probably me but seems like too much trouble I want one that's easier to use....plus this one is really heavy.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: adagio on 01/30/08 at 9:13 pm

I can't get used to the little square thing at the bottom to move the cursor...takes me ages to say anything!  I know they have a wireless mouse, too, but I can't install mine.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/30/08 at 9:22 pm


I can't get used to the little square thing at the bottom to move the cursor...takes me ages to say anything!  I know they have a wireless mouse, too, but I can't install mine.



I'm pretty good with the square but I kill myself when I try to play a game that requires a mouse.  and I can't get my optical mouse to work either.

I've gotta try that help site Alan suggested but I've been otherwise engaged  ;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: adagio on 01/30/08 at 9:29 pm



I'm pretty good with the square but I kill myself when I try to play a game that requires a mouse.  and I can't get my optical mouse to work either.

I've gotta try that help site Alan suggested but I've been otherwise engaged  ;D


That computer has an optical mouse.  There's a help site?  where?  here (this thread)?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/30/08 at 9:34 pm


For you...


There's a help site?  where?  here (this thread)?




yeah but you're here....mushroom hasn't been around since Dec 8th 07


for me I can't seem to get any of the usb ports to work on my laptop.

It recognizes when something is plugged in but I can never get that item to work.

I have plugged in
-an optical mouse
-a usb hub
-a numeric keypad
-usb speakers

can't get any of these items to work...


have I mentioned that I really HATE my laptop?









Sorry, I'm out of my depth here.

Perhaps you can get a clue from this link : http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/167261.html


There's all kinds of background here: http://www.usbman.com/USB_Guides.htm

Maybe best to scroll down to the link in that page called 'usb troubleshooter'  ?


http://www.usbman.com/Troubleshooter%20General.htm



Guess you could always take it past a local computer store, and see if they can give it a quick look ?



Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: adagio on 01/30/08 at 9:49 pm


For you...









Thanks...that helps!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 01/30/08 at 10:51 pm




I've gotta try that help site Alan suggested but I've been otherwise engaged  ;D



Quite understandable .... who's got time for 'help sites' when  .......


That's BIG news ! Congratulations Snoz ! When's the wedding ?  ???  :P

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/30/08 at 10:53 pm



Quite understandable .... who's got time for 'help sites' when  .......


That's BIG news ! Congratulations Snoz ! When's the wedding ?  ???  :P



Alan if I were going to get married it would look something this...only less Asian.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v457/Instrict/Meilings%20wedding/BridgentheWilldebeast.jpg





oh but Carly would have to wear the gown because I don't do dresses....


You think the make this in her size?

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/cureah_2006/Halloween/doggybride.jpg



Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: adagio on 01/30/08 at 10:54 pm

Snoz, youre getting married??!  Congratulations!!  oops...spoke too soon!


I wondered where you were, Alan since you're hidden.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 01/31/08 at 6:43 am



Alan if I were going to get married it would look something this...only less Asian.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v457/Instrict/Meilings%20wedding/BridgentheWilldebeast.jpg





oh but Carly would have to wear the gown because I don't do dresses....


You think the make this in her size?

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l190/cureah_2006/Halloween/doggybride.jpg







Nice picture of you and the groom.  ;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 05/19/08 at 1:53 pm

I know Mushroom hasn't been around for a while but I hope someone can answer this question for me because it is driving me CRAZY!!!! Every now and again I will hear a "ping". I have checked all my emails so I know that can't be it. Can someone give me some idea what is causing this "ping"?




Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 05/19/08 at 2:10 pm

Does it happen when you do a specific thing?  Mine 'pings' sometimes when I go to a new website to show that it has blocked pop-ups on that page.  (It also puts a little header telling me that.)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 05/19/08 at 2:32 pm


Does it happen when you do a specific thing?  Mine 'pings' sometimes when I go to a new website to show that it has blocked pop-ups on that page.  (It also puts a little header telling me that.)



I don't think that is it. I was playing a game on Pogo when it pinged. It was pinging all over the place not too long ago and now, it is quiet. Like I said, it is driving me CRAZY!!!!!



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 05/19/08 at 2:38 pm



I don't think that is it. I was playing a game on Pogo when it pinged. It was pinging all over the place not too long ago and now, it is quiet. Like I said, it is driving me CRAZY!!!!!



Cat


Maybe it is your firewall indicating 'attacks' it has blocked?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 05/20/08 at 12:47 am


I know Mushroom hasn't been around for a while but I hope someone can answer this question for me because it is driving me CRAZY!!!! Every now and again I will hear a "ping". I have checked all my emails so I know that can't be it. Can someone give me some idea what is causing this "ping"?




Cat



Paging Mushroom. PAGING MUSHROOM !!























http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/1289/mushwr1.jpg

Your 'magic' .... is required !




:D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 05/20/08 at 1:15 am

Does it happen anytime or just when you're browsing the internet?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 06/04/08 at 4:11 pm

I figured out what that ping is. Every time my niece comes on my AOL IM or leaves, it pings. She is the only one this happens with-everyone else I get the door open/shut. But, at least now I know what it is.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 06/07/08 at 12:32 pm


I figured out what that ping is. Every time my niece comes on my AOL IM or leaves, it pings. She is the only one this happens with-everyone else I get the door open/shut. But, at least now I know what it is.



Cat


Thank god YOU understand ! Since I don't have AOL / IM .... I've barely the foggiest what you're meowing about. But who cares !   


???


>:(








:P






:D





;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 06/07/08 at 12:40 pm


Thank god YOU understand ! Since I don't have AOL / IM .... I've barely the foggiest what you're meowing about. But who cares !   


???


>:(








:P






:D





;D



:\'( :\'( :\'( :\'(




Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 06/07/08 at 12:57 pm



:\'( :\'( :\'( :\'(




Cat






Where have I seen THAT before !    ???


'    :\'( :\'( :\'( :\'(  '




See my last post in 'who's online right now !'  >:(









:P






:D




;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/19/08 at 12:49 pm

Am glad you found the cause Cat.  I was just about to suggest checking your IM programs.

Over the years I have pretty much quit useing them because they are constantly making noises.  I started with ICQ right when it first came out (and I have actually been offered $75 for my easy to remember 6 digit number), and have used MSN, YIM, and AIM (along with a few others that are not around anymore).

But I only have Yahoo and MSN loaded now, and only use them for email alerts.  IM is pretty much dead I think, with increasingly smaller numbers of people useing them it seems.  To me a lot of that was the way they work, and the increasing use of them for spam.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/19/08 at 1:11 pm

OK, gonna try and tackle some of thse.  Sorry I am not on much anymore.  RL has me so busy nowadays.


My computer is sssssssssssllllllllooooooooowwwwwww.  I bought an external hard drive for my music because that was taking up several Gigabytes of memory.  Should I upgrade my RAM?  Right now it's at 512MB.  How do I do that?  How do I know how much I can upgrade to?  What kind do I get?


Well, without knowing things like processor, processor speed, and OS it is hard to answer that question.  If you have an old computer, no amount of RAM will help the speed.  And don't confuse Memory and Storage.  Hard drive is storage, and unless your main drive is slammed full (less then 10% free space), that will have no impact on speed.  RAM is memory, and as the amount you need depends on the age of the system and OS.  XP runs fine as long as you have at least a 1 GHz system, with at least 256 MB RAM.  If you have Vista, I recommend at least a 3 GHz processor, and 2 GB RAM.

And as far as what kind to get, that depends on your motherboard.


for me I can't seem to get any of the usb ports to work on my laptop.


Well, USB can sometimes be really wonky.  I have had USB devices suddenly ask for a driver for no apparent reason.  Or for a USB device that has worked fine for ages suddenly stop working.  This is often annoying, and sometimes devices simply take over your USB ports.

My first recommendation would be to reload the OS.  You may have a messed up driver that is taking over USB controls and not releasing them.  This also sometimes happens with software.  I had a GPS unit do the same thing once, and had to reload the computer to get itto work again.  Also some programs (ahem, HP printer-scanner software) are infamous for wanting to totally take over your computer and run everything their way.


oh, boy. I'm confused LOL  i bought it in 2005, brand new, from Dell, and it was a pretty  high-end computer at the time, i guess.  is there a way to get rid of the Spyware?  i have Norton Internet Security, which I've had installed and updated every day since I bought the computer... I thought that would block the spyware but I don'tk now much about computers so I could be wrong.

It's just gotten really, really sluggish....takes about 10 minutes or more to load everything and actually be usable after turning it on... if I try to do something too quickly, and everything hasn't fully loaded, it takes FOREVER. 


Well, 2005 was 3 years ago now.  That is like 60 years in Human age.  And what version of NIS are yu useing?  The same one you had when you bought it in 2005?

I have not been a fan of the "Norton Security Suite" in years.  It has gone from a sleek package to a monster bloatware pig, that once again wants to take over every function of your computer.  Plus I have never been real trusting of "All-In-One" programs.  This goes all the way back to when the Military dumped Lotus 1-2-3, DBase, and WordStar in favor of a horrid program called Enable in 1989.  Sure it did everything, but it did them so badly.

If your Norton is over a year old, you need a drastic upgrade.  I never recommend useing a base virus program for over 2 years.  You will be getting the virus updates (if you pay), but the core progrm itself is frequently compromised.  So if you get Norton 2005, use it through the end of 2006 and get the newer version in 2007.

And while I do like the Norton Antivirus, I do not care much for their spyware features.  I much prefer the combination of Microsoft Antivirus for realtime protection, along with AdAware and Spybot for more in-depth detection and cleaning. 
These are not only free, but take up a lot less system resources then Norton (which can make a system come to a complete crawl.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/10/08 at 3:50 pm

This goes along with the the question I asked a long time ago. Ok, here is the deal. I have Norton Back Up & Recovery. I have a D Drive (Dell Back Up) and an E Drive (Recovery). The D Drive have been maxed out for some time now. Well, today I did something about it. I noticed that there were 11 recovery points. I zapped them all and figured I would just create new one. Well, that brought the amount on the D Drive down and when I tried to make a new recovery point, it is telling me that there is not enough room on the drive.  ??? :o :o :o  I just don't understand how my D Drive which has 27.2 GB is supposed to back up the C Drive that has 111 GB. Even if I add on the E Drive, that only has 9.99.  It does not make any sense. Ok that is the background. I now have two questions:


1. How can I make a recovery point if the back up drive is full?
2. What is the best (and easiest) way to back up my system? I was thinking of flash drives but I'm not too sure about that. I also noticed that they have on-line storage but I am a bit leery about that.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: greenjello74 on 09/28/08 at 10:24 am

Its not really a technical question, but at the risk of sounding dumb, how do I put those little icons at the bottom of my posts? Thanks in advance

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 09/28/08 at 3:42 pm


Its not really a technical question, but at the risk of sounding dumb, how do I put those little icons at the bottom of my posts? Thanks in advance


Go to your profile.    on the left you'll see a list of options
Click Forum Profile information.
On this page, where you change your avatar...you john holmes loving freak  ;) ...wait that is john holmes right  ;D

anyway- where it says "signature" paste the photos you want (I get mine from photobucket) there is a size limit but Photobucket allows you to resize pics and gives you avatar as a size option. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 09/28/08 at 4:08 pm


Go to your profile.    on the left you'll see a list of options
Click Forum Profile information.
On this page, where you change your avatar...you john holmes loving freak  ;) ...wait that is john holmes right  ;D

anyway- where it says "signature" paste the photos you want (I get mine from photobucket) there is a size limit but Photobucket allows you to resize pics and gives you avatar as a size option. 



Um... it is actually Ron Jeremy-but I wouldn't know that.  ;)



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 09/28/08 at 4:17 pm



Um... it is actually Ron Jeremy-but I wouldn't know that.  ;)



Cat


I knew it was one of those old p dudes... I've actually only seen the current version of RJ so I am not familiar with him looking less scumy.  ;D  hmmm did you invite GJ to the other site...which I still have to go check out! 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 09/28/08 at 5:32 pm


I knew it was one of those old p dudes... I've actually only seen the current version of RJ so I am not familiar with him looking less scumy.  ;D  hmmm did you invite GJ to the other site...which I still have to go check out! 



I'm sure I did but I don't see her as a member. Maybe you could extend the invite. I hate to be the only one doing the inviting around here.  ;)

Ok, so we got off topic a bit. So sue us.  :D ;D ;D ;D



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 09/28/08 at 5:34 pm



I'm sure I did but I don't see her as a member. Maybe you could extend the invite. I hate to be the only one doing the inviting around here.  ;)

Ok, so we got off topic a bit. So sue us.  :D ;D ;D ;D



Cat


well what's his name hasn't been around for a long time so it serves him right if I hijack his thread  ;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 09/28/08 at 5:54 pm


well what's his name hasn't been around for a long time so it serves him right if I hijack his thread  ;D



Well, we should be posting this in his other thread, "Ask Me About Porn".  :D ;D ;D ;D



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 09/28/08 at 6:24 pm



Well, we should be posting this in his other thread, "Ask Me About Porn".  :D ;D ;D ;D



Cat


;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: greenjello74 on 10/03/08 at 2:46 pm


Go to your profile.    on the left you'll see a list of options
Click Forum Profile information.
On this page, where you change your avatar...you john holmes loving freak  ;) ...wait that is john holmes right  ;D

anyway- where it says "signature" paste the photos you want (I get mine from photobucket) there is a size limit but Photobucket allows you to resize pics and gives you avatar as a size option. 


Thanks for the info and It is Ron Jeremy...J :-*ohn Holmes was way too sleazy for me. 8-P

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 10/03/08 at 3:04 pm


Thanks for the info and It is Ron Jeremy...J :-*ohn Holmes was way too sleazy for me. 8-P



Um...Like Ron Jeremy ISN'T sleazy?  ??? ??? :o :o  :D ;D ;D ;D



Cat




Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: greenjello74 on 10/03/08 at 6:13 pm



Um...Like Ron Jeremy ISN'T sleazy? 8)??? ??? :o :o  :D ;D ;D ;D



Cat







Well he was no choir boy, but  john Holmes was into drugs and stooped to making gay porn like the kind you buy for 1.00 in the gas station.
Besides RJ has a great sense of humor. And I think he was very hot in his prime. But nowadays its a whole different ball game!!!

Now he looks like a fat little hedgehog.
I haven't had a chance to check out the other boards, but I will get around to it one of these days.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 10/03/08 at 9:12 pm



Um...Like Ron Jeremy ISN'T sleazy? 8)??? ??? :o :o  :D ;D ;D ;D



Cat









http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa235/snozberries44/smileys/l-lolabove.gif

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 10/04/08 at 12:58 pm




Now he looks like a fat little hedgehog.




I love that. I am going to have to remember that analogy.  :D ;D ;D ;D



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/07/08 at 1:17 pm

I know Mushroom hasn't been around in a while but is there anyone out there who can help me with a BIG computer problem?




Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 11/07/08 at 3:30 pm

I know you've looked for stuff on-line but I thought I'd post these anyway.

http://www.chicagotech.net/vista/vistaprint.htm

http://www.communities.hp.com/online/blogs/laserjet/archive/2007/02/26/HPPost2551.aspx

http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/694b4e66-6f38-408d-aef0-0feaba5f44a51033.mspx

Is the printer a network/shared printer?  I remember this causing problems at work (pre-Vista).  You had to set it up as a local printer for some reason I never understood.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 11/07/08 at 3:34 pm


I know Mushroom hasn't been around in a while but is there anyone out there who can help me with a BIG computer problem?




Cat


What's up Cat?
I know it has to do with Vista since you hate it so much ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 11/07/08 at 3:41 pm

spooler crash discussion

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/07/08 at 4:37 pm


What's up Cat?
I know it has to do with Vista since you hate it so much ;)



Like Karen said, (or is that karen  ;) ) it is my spooler that will not start. At first I thought it was the printer so I uninstalled it and now I can't reinstall it. I can't get the spooler to start and I have scoured the internet looking for solutions-I tried so many things in the last week. Yeah, I know it is not an uncommon problem. There is a bug in the Vista spooler program and apparently Microsoft haven't really dealt with this problem.


AAAAAAUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!




Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 11/07/08 at 6:40 pm

I don't have Vista ...... and the fax/ printer machine I DO have ... it's been sitting here virtually 12 months, waiting for me to see if it works properly !  I've had problems with networked printers before ... got frustrated trying to understand where the prob. was that refused to allow printing. Now, this one ain't even on a network .... but I guess I'm avoiding potential frustrations ? So ... I don't get along with printers. My sympathies to Cat.


Don't know if this'll work ?


http://www.windowsreference.com/windows-vista/fix-for-the-print-spooler-service-is-not-running-error-in-vista/

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/08/08 at 10:36 am


I don't have Vista ...... and the fax/ printer machine I DO have ... it's been sitting here virtually 12 months, waiting for me to see if it works properly !  I've had problems with networked printers before ... got frustrated trying to understand where the prob. was that refused to allow printing. Now, this one ain't even on a network .... but I guess I'm avoiding potential frustrations ? So ... I don't get along with printers. My sympathies to Cat.


Don't know if this'll work ?


http://www.windowsreference.com/windows-vista/fix-for-the-print-spooler-service-is-not-running-error-in-vista/





Tried that already. Like I said, I have tried just about EVERYTHING.  :\'( :\'( :\'(




Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 11/08/08 at 11:24 am



Tried that already. Like I said, I have tried just about EVERYTHING.  :\'( :\'( :\'(




Cat


frustration may be getting in the way.. maybe you oughta take a day away and then try.... or how about going to the geek squad maybe they can help.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/08/08 at 11:42 am


frustration may be getting in the way.. maybe you oughta take a day away and then try.... or how about going to the geek squad maybe they can help.



That is the best advice I have heard so far. I will probably not even try to figure it out today because I have a splitting headache but as soon as I feel better, I will check with the the Geek Squad and see if they can give me some advice.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 11/08/08 at 12:24 pm







That is the best advice I have heard so far. I will probably not even try to figure it out today because I have a splitting headache but as soon as I feel better, I will check with the the Geek Squad and see if they can give me some advice.



Cat




yay I helped

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 11/08/08 at 6:11 pm



Tried that already. Like I said, I have tried just about EVERYTHING.  :\'( :\'( :\'(




Cat


I wonder if you can create another partition on your machine .... maybe get it to dual boot ... so, you select on boot up, to go into xp instead, when you want to use your printer ? I expect you have some old xp disc lying around, that you could install that operating system from ? Failing that, maybe it would work under 'Linux' .... a free, highly respected operating system. Just ideas off top of my head.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 11/09/08 at 8:21 am

I just noticed ... 'Mushroom' mike is currently online ... so .. maybe we can get the experts input ?

Bump !

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 11/09/08 at 11:44 am


I just noticed ... 'Mushroom' mike is currently online ... so .. maybe we can get the experts input ?

Bump !



nice try but it didn't work...perhaps we should PM him or something to get him back in here.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 11/09/08 at 11:47 am

Sorry, as usual, RL has been keeping me so busy I have hardly been on in ages.

Well, let me give a few pokes at ideas.

The first thing you should do is go through your printers, and remove any unused printers.  This is done from Control Pannel-Printers.  While there, make sure the printer you want to use is set to default (right click the printer and select "Set as default printer").

If that does not solve the problem, then try removing all printer drivers, and reinstalling the one for the printer you intend to use.  Instead of useing the disk provided, go to the manufacturers web site and download the latest version.

One thing I do not know is if you are useing an OEM version of Vista, or have done an upgrade over an existing version of Windows.  If you did an upgrade, I suggest considering a clean reload.  Vista Upgrade (or any version of Windows Upgrade) does not require you to have the earlier Windows installed, simply that you have a copy of an older version ready to put in when asked.  Upgrading often leaves pieces of the old version around, which can cause conflicts, especially with drivers.

If it is an original install, you may also want to consder reinstalling Vista.  I am one of those that reccomends reinstalling your OS around once a year.  This is because we normally accumulate programs that we never use, or programs have messy installs-uninstalls.  They often mess with other things, which causes things like instability and memory leaks.

You may also want to try running the printer on another computer, to make sure it is not a problem with the printer itself.  For all the checks you are doing on the OS, it may be something as simple as the thing has died, and nothing suggested above will do any good.

Myself, I use an HP 4050N LaserJet.  This is a good rock-solid printer, that I use through my network.  In this way, both my wife and myself can both use the printer at the same time.  Once a workhorse of the corporate world (I worked with them at Hughes-Boeing in 2000), they are frequently available on EBay for under $150.  Simply plug it into your router, and tell your computer to look for network printer.  All drivers needed are built into every OS since Mac OS 7 and Windows 3.11.

Word of note for anybody looking to buy used "Corporate Grade" printers, do not worry about the page count.  These are built with a lifespan of well over 1,000,000 pages (with maintenance every 250,000 pages).  Almost everybody on EBay claims their units are under 50,000.  But that is normally a lie, since any technician knows how to reset that count to whatever they want.  A company I worked for sold these and other HP printers bought from Enron when it collapsed.  We would reset them from around 150,000 pages to around 35,000 pages.  With reports of these units lasting with over 5,000,000 pages printed, most available used still have at least  decade of life left in them.


nice try but it didn't work...perhaps we should PM him or something to get him back in here.


It worked.  The other half had me doing some yard work, and I just now got back to finish the interrupted post.  :D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 11/09/08 at 11:48 am





nice try but it didn't work...perhaps we should PM him or something to get him back in here.





It worked.  The other half had me doing some yard work, and I just now got back to finish the interrupted post.  :D




okay I spoke too soon.  Welcome back Mushroom.


Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 11/09/08 at 12:04 pm


okay I spoke too soon.  Welcome back Mushroom.


Thanks, has been a hectic 2 weeks for me.

On November 1 I took 10 days leave, and flew back to LA to move my wife to El Paso.  After 16 years of seperation, we are back together again.  On the evening of the 1st we took a 18' truck and a trailer towed behind my car and started out for El Paso.  We got here the following evening, and spent the next day unloading, and the time since then trying to put the house in order.  We are still working on it, and there are half-empty boxes all over the house.  But at least it is finally liveable.

And before that, I spent most of October living in a tent in lovely Yuma Arizona.  Hot as hades, and no internet to speak of (does not do much good to plug your computer into a Seguaro for internet).  ::)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 11/09/08 at 12:16 pm


Thanks, has been a hectic 2 weeks for me.

On November 1 I took 10 days leave, and flew back to LA to move my wife to El Paso.  After 16 years of seperation, we are back together again.  On the evening of the 1st we took a 18' truck and a trailer towed behind my car and started out for El Paso.  We got here the following evening, and spent the next day unloading, and the time since then trying to put the house in order.  We are still working on it, and there are half-empty boxes all over the house.  But at least it is finally liveable.

And before that, I spent most of October living in a tent in lovely Yuma Arizona.  Hot as hades, and no internet to speak of (does not do much good to plug your computer into a Seguaro for internet).   ::)



Congrats on the reunion!!! and best of luck to you and your wife.


Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/09/08 at 12:40 pm

Welcome back & congrats on your reunion with your wife. I hope it works out for you.

Thanks for your help but at this point, I like the idea of calling the Geek Squad-I hope they can come out this way since we are in the middle of nowhere.

I mentioned to Carlos about calling the Geek Squad to come and take care of the problem. He said, "I understand your frustration but wouldn't it be cheaper if you just called them?"  http://www.inthe00s.com/smile/11/BangHead.gif  I have been dealing with this problem for the past week and trying to find solutions-and this is only ONE of the many problems with this stupid machine. There are others that I haven't dealt with yet. I like the idea of having someone come and take care of ALL the problems for me. Then he said, "Whatever you think is best". So, probably Tuesday, I will see if they will come here and how much. Hopefully, it won't cost more than a new computer will.  :-\\



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 11/09/08 at 12:42 pm


Welcome back & congrats on your reunion with your wife. I hope it works out for you.

Thanks for your help but at this point, I like the idea of calling the Geek Squad-I hope they can come out this way since we are in the middle of nowhere.

I mentioned to Carlos about calling the Geek Squad to come and take care of the problem. He said, "I understand your frustration but wouldn't it be cheaper if you just called them?"  http://www.inthe00s.com/smile/11/BangHead.gif  I have been dealing with this problem for the past week and trying to find solutions-and this is only ONE of the many problems with this stupid machine. There are others that I haven't dealt with yet. I like the idea of having someone come and take care of ALL the problems for me. Then he said, "Whatever you think is best". So, probably Tuesday, I will see if they will come here and how much. Hopefully, it won't cost more than a new computer will.  :-\\



Cat



its a desk top huh?  Otherwise I'd say take it to them it might be cheaper....cumbersome but cheaper.  Circuit City is going out of business maybe their techs are um... discounted.  ;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/09/08 at 12:46 pm



its a desk top huh?  Otherwise I'd say take it to them it might be cheaper....cumbersome but cheaper.  Circuit City is going out of business maybe their techs are um... discounted.  ;D



Yes, it is a desk top. I know if I really wanted to, I could probably ask my brother to help but I do not want help from him for several reasons.

1. I bought this computer without his knowledge and he would give me holy hell about that (he did that with my poor nephew who was about 15 or so at the time when he got his computer).
2. He lives at least 3 hours away and I would be without my computer for a while (he did that with our other computer).
3. My brother is an asshole and at this point, I'm not too sure I want anything to do with him-but that is a personal matter.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 11/09/08 at 7:16 pm


So, probably Tuesday, I will see if they will come here and how much. Hopefully, it won't cost more than a new computer will.  :-\\


Tuesday?  Veteran's Day?  Might be better to wait until after the holiday to do such.  :P

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/10/08 at 6:18 pm


Tuesday?  Veteran's Day?  Might be better to wait until after the holiday to do such.  :P



Oh yeah, that's right. I forgot. I knew I couldn't do it today because I was gone all day. So that means Wednesday I will call. Thanks for the reminder-and I am a Vet.  :D ;D ;D ;D



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 11/10/08 at 9:49 pm

Cat - first and foremost Geek Squad is there to make MONEY.
They are going to ask you if you have the recovery disk, and if you do - all they will do is reinstall your system and charge you over or around $100 to do it. Now, it could be something that is easily fixed, but of course they won't tell you that. And like you said, calling the manufacturer has done no good, and will probably do no good if you call them again.

Try this for me if you will:


Click on Vista (Start) button, and type Regedit.exe in search bar (click continue if the control screen comes up)

Navigate to the following branch
*HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ Spooler*

In the right-pane, double-click the DependOnService value

Delete the existing data, and then type RPCSS then click OK

Close Regedit.exe

Restart the computer.

My dad ran up against this with a vista machine and said this was all it took to fix it. Of course, your problem may not be the exact same, but give it a try if you want. I will keep researching in the meantime.

Tam 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 11/10/08 at 9:55 pm

^

Sounds easy enough. I would always favor trying the simplest / easiest solution(s) first. This vista sounds like a right royal pain. I believe they've already got beta versions of 'Windows 7' ... it's successor (whatever it will be called) out there. If and when I upgrade from XP ... I'm sure to entirely give Vista the flick!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 11/10/08 at 10:03 pm


^

Sounds easy enough. I would always favor trying the simplest / easiest solution(s) first. This vista sounds like a right royal pain. I believe they've already got beta versions of 'Windows 7' ... it's successor (whatever it will be called) out there. If and when I upgrade from XP ... I'm sure to entirely give Vista the flick!


*whist knocking on wood*

I have vista and to this day have never had a problem with it.
One of the main things that I have seen go wrong with vista is that some people keep their User Account Control ON, so when they install something, they just go ahead and install the normal way. With the control still on in vista, you actually have to right click the .exe file you want to install, then click Run As Administrator. If it isn't done that way, the program never fully installs, so it won't work. This is pretty much the problem I see when I fix vista computers. The last one I fixed came back from Geek Squad.... worse than before it was taken there. I had it for about 3 hours, didn't need the recovery disk, and managed to get everything squared away.  ::)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 11/10/08 at 10:53 pm


*whist knocking on wood*

I have vista and to this day have never had a problem with it.
One of the main things that I have seen go wrong with vista is that some people keep their User Account Control ON, so when they install something, they just go ahead and install the normal way. With the control still on in vista, you actually have to right click the .exe file you want to install, then click Run As Administrator. If it isn't done that way, the program never fully installs, so it won't work. This is pretty much the problem I see when I fix vista computers. The last one I fixed came back from Geek Squad.... worse than before it was taken there. I had it for about 3 hours, didn't need the recovery disk, and managed to get everything squared away.  ::)


sheesh well why didn't you say something sooner?  ;)


I haven't had any problems with Vista either. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/11/08 at 12:03 pm


Cat - first and foremost Geek Squad is there to make MONEY.
They are going to ask you if you have the recovery disk, and if you do - all they will do is reinstall your system and charge you over or around $100 to do it. Now, it could be something that is easily fixed, but of course they won't tell you that. And like you said, calling the manufacturer has done no good, and will probably do no good if you call them again.

Try this for me if you will:


Click on Vista (Start) button, and type Regedit.exe in search bar (click continue if the control screen comes up)

Navigate to the following branch
*HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ Spooler*

In the right-pane, double-click the DependOnService value

Delete the existing data, and then type RPCSS then click OK

Close Regedit.exe

Restart the computer.

My dad ran up against this with a vista machine and said this was all it took to fix it. Of course, your problem may not be the exact same, but give it a try if you want. I will keep researching in the meantime.

Tam 8)



I did that last week and it didn't work. I told you that I have tried so many things.


I know the Geek Squad is going to cost. At this point I am at my wit's end and the spooler is only ONE of the issues I have.

-I can't set a systems restart point-it says that I don't have enough room on the disk which I do.
-My WordPerfect keeps closing when I try to save. (I have uninstalled and reinstalled-downloaded new patches and it still has the same problem).

I am just tired of dealing with all of this sh*t.



Cat
-

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 11/11/08 at 12:15 pm



^ perhaps it would be cheaper to have Tam come out to you.... gas and dinner might be cheaper than the Geeks  even if she is a few states away.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/11/08 at 12:24 pm



^ perhaps it would be cheaper to have Tam come out to you.... gas and dinner might be cheaper than the Geeks  even if she is a few states away.



Actually, she is only 1 state away now. Hey Tam? You wanna come and help me with my computer? We can put ya & your family up-and of course "the chef" wouldn't mind cooking for a few more people.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 11/11/08 at 12:28 pm



Actually, she is only 1 state away now. Hey Tam? You wanna come and help me with my computer? We can put ya & your family up-and of course "the chef" wouldn't mind cooking for a few more people.



Cat




btw I failed geography in fourth grade....and funnily enough the subject never came up again in my further studies.

;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 11/12/08 at 2:15 pm



Actually, she is only 1 state away now. Hey Tam? You wanna come and help me with my computer? We can put ya & your family up-and of course "the chef" wouldn't mind cooking for a few more people.



Cat



That would be too sweet wouldn't it? ;) 8)

Ok, so I know that spooler, word and save points are a no go for ya.
Let me see what else I can find.
Although you have probably said this before, I am too lazy to look. What make and model is your printer? What Vista version do you have? (Basic, Premium etc.)? What year is your Office? (2003, 2007)? I will help you if it is the last thing I do! ;D ;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/12/08 at 3:45 pm


That would be too sweet wouldn't it? ;) 8)

Ok, so I know that spooler, word and save points are a no go for ya.
Let me see what else I can find.
Although you have probably said this before, I am too lazy to look. What make and model is your printer? What Vista version do you have? (Basic, Premium etc.)? What year is your Office? (2003, 2007)? I will help you if it is the last thing I do! ;D ;D



Before you go through all that trouble, there is something that may work. Carlos called the college computer center today. He was hoping that the guy there will make a house call but was told that he is probably too busy but maybe a work-study student may. We will know more in the next coming days.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 11/12/08 at 3:51 pm



Before you go through all that trouble, there is something that may work. Carlos called the college computer center today. He was hoping that the guy there will make a house call but was told that he is probably too busy but maybe a work-study student may. We will know more in the next coming days.



Cat



Don't know what your funds are like ... but maybe you should consider a cheap second-hand computer ... with xp on it .... use that just for printing purposes ?

Do you have XP installation disks ?

Remember I suggested dual booting with xp / vista option ?


I did run across THIS: http://apcmag.com/how_to_dual_boot_vista_and_xp_with_vista_installed_first__the_stepbystep_guide.htm


But it's probably too much trouble / complication  ... and uncertain ... given some comments (?)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 11/12/08 at 7:10 pm



Before you go through all that trouble, there is something that may work. Carlos called the college computer center today. He was hoping that the guy there will make a house call but was told that he is probably too busy but maybe a work-study student may. We will know more in the next coming days.



Cat


Ok Darlin' - just let me know if you need me to research it further ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 11/13/08 at 7:12 am


This vista sounds like a right royal pain. I believe they've already got beta versions of 'Windows 7' ... it's successor (whatever it will be called) out there. If and when I upgrade from XP ... I'm sure to entirely give Vista the flick!


I have actually had little problems with Vista.  And most of those are the usual when i comes to upgrading to any new OS:  Drivers and programs.

But these are easy fixes, if the creators of the programs and drivers want to do so.  But most do not, instead making a new and improved version of their hardware or software, wanting to sell you that instead of giving a free upgrade to a 5+ year old program.

To see this in action, look at programs like Quickbooks, DeLorme Streets & Maps 2007, Nero, PowerDVD, etc, etc, etc.  In these and thousands of other cases, the creator made the choice to release a non-Vista compliant program because they knew it would help them sell new programs in 2007.

And as for the new OS, that is always in development.  MS normally has 2-6 new OSs in development at all times.  Because of the amount of time it takes to make one, this normally gives them 2-4 viable candidates to choose from when they become ready for market surveys.  This is what let them go from 95-98-ME-XP within only 6 years (with NT 4 & Win2000 tossed into the mix as well).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/13/08 at 11:57 am

I just got off the phone with the guy at the college computer center. He basically said the same thing that Mushroom did-reinstall windows. Which means I need to start backing EVERYTHING up and starting from scratch. I have been backing things up-sort of but now I really have to do it. So, I don't know how long this will take but hopefully, I will have a semi-new computer in the next few weeks.


Thanks everyone for all your help.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 11/13/08 at 9:40 pm

Oh boy, this is something that has caught me by surprise.

I turned on my computer and it said that I may be a victim software counterfiting(Some of Windows checks didn't match or something like that).

Is this spyware causing it? (I still haven't been able to get the computer reinstalled, so it still has some of it's problems)

Or is it a legit situation?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: quirky_cat_girl on 11/13/08 at 9:41 pm

so..what's a good (and free) anti-virus program that you can recommend?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 11/13/08 at 10:26 pm


so..what's a good (and free) anti-virus program that you can recommend?


I use AVG 8  ... which even has anti-spyware built into it. How good it is ... well the various anti-virus programs have their own supporters. Of the other freebies ... I think 'Antivir' and Avast are probably the best ? I've had Avast on and off over the years ... but end up removing it ...coz unlike AVG ... which keeps running, detecting ... and THEN giving you a list of what it's found ... with Avast .. it just halts, and waits for user interaction ... before continuing ... which can be a RIGHT 'pain' . If there's a way to make it work like AVG in this regard, I've yet to discover it (even looking through options).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: tmayfield on 11/14/08 at 12:39 am


I just got off the phone with the guy at the college computer center. He basically said the same thing that Mushroom did-reinstall windows. Which means I need to start backing EVERYTHING up and starting from scratch. I have been backing things up-sort of but now I really have to do it. So, I don't know how long this will take but hopefully, I will have a semi-new computer in the next few weeks.

Thanks everyone for all your help.

Cat


I just have one question... is it ONLY HP printers that cause all of this pain for Vista users?  ::)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 11/14/08 at 7:56 am


I just have one question... is it ONLY HP printers that cause all of this pain for Vista users?  ::)


No, we had a Lexmark printer and ended up buying a HP printer instead.  Also I think Cat's printer is a Lexmark

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/14/08 at 12:38 pm


I just have one question... is it ONLY HP printers that cause all of this pain for Vista users?  ::)




No, we had a Lexmark printer and ended up buying a HP printer instead.  Also I think Cat's printer is a Lexmark



Yes, mine is a Lexmark.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/14/08 at 3:05 pm

Ok, another problem. (What else is new?  ::) ) I know that I need to back EVERYTHING up BEFORE I wipeout the system and start over. I bought a WD (Western Digital) My Passport Essential Portable Hard Drive for the purpose of backing up all my files. Now, that I started to do that, when I went to their site, they tell me this is NOT a back-up program.  http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1455&p_created=1152630952&p_sid=I*yiCUij&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=1460&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MjYsMjYmcF9wcm9kcz0wJnBfY2F0cz0wJnBfcHY9JnBfY3Y9JnBfc2VhcmNoX3R5cGU9YW5zd2Vycy5zZWFyY2hfZm5sJnBfcGFnZT0xJnBfc2VhcmNoX3RleHQ9c3luYw**&p_li=&p_topview=1


WTF??!!!! If it is NOT used to back up data, what do you use it for?

Anyway, what would be best (and easiest) way to back things up. Please don't tell me disks or flash drives-unless they can fit at least 100 GBs worth of "stuff" on them and I don't think they make them that big.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 11/14/08 at 5:47 pm


Ok, another problem. (What else is new?  ::) ) I know that I need to back EVERYTHING up BEFORE I wipeout the system and start over. I bought a WD (Western Digital) My Passport Essential Portable Hard Drive for the purpose of backing up all my files. Now, that I started to do that, when I went to their site, they tell me this is NOT a back-up program.   http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1455&p_created=1152630952&p_sid=I*yiCUij&p_accessibility=0&p_redirect=&p_lva=1460&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MjYsMjYmcF9wcm9kcz0wJnBfY2F0cz0wJnBfcHY9JnBfY3Y9JnBfc2VhcmNoX3R5cGU9YW5zd2Vycy5zZWFyY2hfZm5sJnBfcGFnZT0xJnBfc2VhcmNoX3RleHQ9c3luYw**&p_li=&p_topview=1


WTF??!!!! If it is NOT used to back up data, what do you use it for?

Anyway, what would be best (and easiest) way to back things up. Please don't tell me disks or flash drives-unless they can fit at least 100 GBs worth of "stuff" on them and I don't think they make them that big.



Cat



  Can I use WD Sync to backup my computer system?
  Question
  Can I use WD Sync to backup my computer system?
  Answer
  Important: This synchronization software is intended to synchronize the data from one drive to another. This is not backup software and SHOULD NOT be used as backup software. To use this software properly, we advise that you do not wipe or erase the data from the internal hard drive and re-synchronize, as this will cause the data on the Passport hard drive to be deleted.

The main difference between synchronization software and backup software is that synchronization software maintains the same files on the destination as on the source. Any changes to files (or folders) that you add, modify, or delete will also replicate to WD Sync during the next synchronization.

Please Note: Since WD Sync is not backup software, you cannot synchronize operating system or programs files.


It would appear it is the WD Sync SOFTWARE they're talking about (presumably provided with your portable)  .... NOT that your portable can't be used for backup purposes  ... just that software is NOT used for that purpose. In the end  .... it is 'storage' ... and you should be able to store anything on it .

As for the BEST approach ... I'm not sure, not having done it myself .... for some time. There appears to be a BUNCH of methods, different software available out there, for the purpose. You've probably got some free full version backup programs .... on disks ... usually provided  with computer magazines as a  bonus ?


Maybe one of the programs HERE:  http://www.downloadatoz.com/f/hard-drive-backup/free-hard-drive-backup-program.html

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/14/08 at 5:52 pm



It would appear it is the WD Sync SOFTWARE they're talking about (presumably provided with your portable)  .... NOT that your portable can't be used for backup purposes  ... just that software is NOT used for that purpose. In the end  .... it is 'storage' ... and you should be able to store anything on it .

As for the BEST approach ... I'm not sure, not having done it myself .... for some time. There appears to be a BUNCH of methods, different software available out there, for the purpose. You've probably got some free full version backup programs .... on disks ... usually provided  with computer magazines as a  bonus ?


Maybe one of the programs HERE:  http://www.downloadatoz.com/f/hard-drive-backup/free-hard-drive-backup-program.html



Actually, I am trying to back things up on it now. I will see how it works-but so far so good. If that doesn't work, I noticed that there are 36 GB flash drives for sale. I will have to spend more $$$ on this stupid thing.  >:( >:(



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: tmayfield on 11/14/08 at 11:53 pm


Anyway, what would be best (and easiest) way to back things up. Please don't tell me disks or flash drives-unless they can fit at least 100 GBs worth of "stuff" on them and I don't think they make them that big.

Cat


I use DriveImageXML http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm and it works well. It's free to use the private edition for home use and that's fine with me.  8)

There are options with this kind of thing too. You can create 'pieces' that are small enough to burn to a CD if you want it on permanent media.

Another thing you can do is create the one big file and use 7-zip http://www.7-zip.org to split it into DVD sized pieces. 7-Zip is open source software. I like that option best as it's cheaper.  ;)

I do video editing with large files (30GB+) and with out 7-zip, I would have a hard time moving the raw videos to DVD-R.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 11/15/08 at 8:46 am


Oh boy, this is something that has caught me by surprise.

I turned on my computer and it said that I may be a victim software counterfiting(Some of Windows checks didn't match or something like that).

Is this spyware causing it? (I still haven't been able to get the computer reinstalled, so it still has some of it's problems)

Or is it a legit situation?


Ods are you eithr have n unregistered version of Windows, or you did enough hardware changes that it wants to be reverified.

As long as your copy is legit, you should be able to verify it either on-line or over the phone.

If the warning is from something else, it is probably spyware.


so..what's a good (and free) anti-virus program that you can recommend?


I use AVG myself, and have had no problems with it. 

http://free.avg.com/


I just have one question... is it ONLY HP printers that cause all of this pain for Vista users?  ::)


No, the problems seems to be with all recent model inkjet printers (5 years old or newer).  This is because most of them no longer give you simple drivers.  They want to install 10,000 un-needed things into your computer before they will work.

This is why I stick with a laserjet printer.  Every OS has the "HP LaserJet II" driver built into it, and that is all you need to make 99% of laser printers work.  I avoid inkjet printers like they were the plague (and all-in-one units like they were infected disease carriers).

In fact, the worst I have seen when it comes to software needed for a printer is Xerox.  One actually had a 3 CD installation package, and would not work without it.


Anyway, what would be best (and easiest) way to back things up. Please don't tell me disks or flash drives-unless they can fit at least 100 GBs worth of "stuff" on them and I don't think they make them that big.


Well, you can't have best and easiest.  :)  Those two terms just do not work together.

Personally, I recommend simply installing a second hard drive.  With SATA, it is a simple thing to just plug one in.  Or with ESATA, you can plug it in the back of your computer.  These are 100 times faster then messing with USB drives, and more stable.

And an internal 100 GB drive is around $30-50 at most places nowadays.  Just pop it in, and use Windows Explorer to move over the files you need.

Don't bother to back-up things like programs.  Most can't be back-ed up anyways.  Just save your data (pictures, music, documents, etc) and reinstall everything from scratch.  When it comes time to install Windows, disconnect the drive, install the OS, then hook it up agian when you are finished.

Personally, I recommend leaving in at least one extra drive at all times.  Use it for backups, and other things.

In fact, my preferred method is even more extreme.  It is what I do every time I need to reload my system.

I simply buy a new hard drive, and install everything onto it.  I then hook up my old drive, and pull off everything I want to continue useing.  That old drive then goes into my closet as my "long term backup".  When I went back in the Army last year, I went through my closet and cleaned up and sold 20 hard drives, from 40-400GB in size.  And I pulled off a lot of old stuff I had totally forgotten I had.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 11/15/08 at 8:23 pm


Ods are you eithr have n unregistered version of Windows, or you did enough hardware changes that it wants to be reverified.

As long as your copy is legit, you should be able to verify it either on-line or over the phone.

If the warning is from something else, it is probably spyware.


It's coming from microsoft's site. The thing is, I updated it(for the first time ever) on Wednesday, then Thursday the software countering thing popped up when I got to the password screen. I also talked to Daniel(someone else well versed in computers) and he said if it could eventually shut down.(Which means I have to transfer some stuff I saved to my flashdrive soon, just in case). 

Did the update have something to do with it?

One other problem is that I don't have the product key number for it. I got the computer from my sister(and officially own now, I bought it completey off of her not too long ago) and didn't get anything like that.

Kinda wish I didn't do a update for it(since I still need to wipe it clean and put better stuff in it).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 11/15/08 at 8:27 pm



One other problem is that I don't have the product key number for it. I got the computer from my sister(and officially own now, I bought it completey off of her not too long ago) and didn't get anything like that.

Kinda wish I didn't do a update for it(since I still need to wipe it clean and put better stuff in it).




Try this ? :  http://magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 11/16/08 at 4:16 pm




Try this ? :   http://magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/


Karma for the link. But I don't know if that will work for sure(It's a 2001 XP OS).

Edit:

Plus, I'm pretty nervous about downloading anything into the computer right now. I still have spyware problems that existed even before I got the internet(happened in my sister's possesion).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Green Lantern on 11/16/08 at 8:42 pm


Karma for the link. But I don't know if that will work for sure(It's a 2001 XP OS).

Edit:

Plus, I'm pretty nervous about downloading anything into the computer right now. I still have spyware problems that existed even before I got the internet(happened in my sister's possesion).


Well ... I tried it myself ... on my XP machine, pretty soon after suggesting it to you. Of course, I scanned the download for virus/ spyware .... with avg ... before launching it.  It took a second or so, to come up with the key.

Why don't you download avg (not sure what you're using at the moment) here: http://free.avg.com/download-avg-anti-virus-free-edition

It should remove ALL your spyware ... and once that's done, its active shield .... should continue to keep you spyware free (assuming you install it as your default / ongoing protection).  It's the one Mushroom uses ... and if it's good enough for HIM .......

You could also get avg off of many computer magazine disks ... if you prefer THAT route.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 11/17/08 at 12:36 pm


Well ... I tried it myself ... on my XP machine, pretty soon after suggesting it to you. Of course, I scanned the download for virus/ spyware .... with avg ... before launching it.  It took a second or so, to come up with the key.

Why don't you download avg (not sure what you're using at the moment) here: http://free.avg.com/download-avg-anti-virus-free-edition

It should remove ALL your spyware ... and once that's done, its active shield .... should continue to keep you spyware free (assuming you install it as your default / ongoing protection).  It's the one Mushroom uses ... and if it's good enough for HIM .......

You could also get avg off of many computer magazine disks ... if you prefer THAT route.


I didn't imply that the site you posted had any malware, it's just that I already have spyware problems that might try to screw with it.

Someone put the McAfee security system on my computer, it took care of some of the crap, but unfortunately it's not very good overall with anything more complex.

I actually have Adaware and AVG Anti-Virus on a disc, but there is a big problem with being able to install it. The spyware had disable the CD ports and floppy disc port, it was like that when I first got the computer. I couldn't play any CDs, plus I had to call up AT&T to get my internet started thanks to that crap.

My sis got some stuff(and I made a mistake to) that is practically impossible to get rid of. Plus I need to get a reload done with stuff I want to use(this would also allow me to use the CD ports again), thanks to the spyware, I can't even go into my image accounts, it just freezes when I go there, so it's screwed with a few things. This makes a reload a major priority for me in general.

I'll try later to see what happens though, anything is better than having to worry about whether or not it will shut down due(I shouldn't have updated it).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 11/17/08 at 4:53 pm

It's not an install type of finder?

Edit: I'll need to see how to use it through that...

Edit: Nevermind, it found the key. You're right, that was quick.

Edit: Most of the numbers didn't match in the check, I'm screwed.(I don't even have the CD for it, got the computer from my sister) I'll try again.

I wonder if the Microsoft site has a way to check.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 11/18/08 at 10:50 pm


Karma for the link. But I don't know if that will work for sure(It's a 2001 XP OS).


OK, I can pretty much tell you exactly what the problem is.

One of the updates you got was more then likely a Service Pack.

If anything, MS has gotten smart about how it gives out Keys, especially Corporate ones.

Over the last 7 years, a great many "Open" keys have been released.  These are normally keys that are hard-wired into XP to never need validation.  This is a problem, since without Validation, anybody can use these keys.

A great many updates (SP2, Defender, and Media Player) require you to install the newest Validation software. And part of it's feature is to look for such "Open Keys", and deactivate them.  And no, this is not just to screw over the users.  A huge number of crooked computer makers and distributors have been caught through this system in the last few years.  I know of 3 in the town I lived in that were shut down because of this.  2 of them even went as far as charging customers for XP, only to install a bootleg copy and glue a counterfit code onto the case.  Both companies were shut down because of pressure from MS (one even lost his ISP company because of this).

My suggestion is to try the following:

There is (or used to be) a phone number to contact Microsoft with the message.  Find an out-of-business computer store and call MS, claiming that you bought the computer there 2-3 years ago.  At least when I was still highly active in computers, they would offer you a legitimate XP key for around $50.

This gets you a legal copy for around half price, and because the company is gone, no harm-no foul.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 11/19/08 at 7:05 pm

Without a way to use the CD ports(stupid spyware, I hate the fact that it did this before I even got the computer), I couldn't really do it(unless they give me a flashdrive to use). Plus, I don't have alot of money right now.

You definetly deserve some karma for the info, because this will help me out in case I have the problem again. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 11/24/08 at 10:34 pm

I bought a second flashdrive yesterday. My first flashdrive shows the thumbnails of images I store on it, but the second one doesn't.

Is there a way to make it display the thumbnails?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Davester on 01/01/09 at 10:42 pm


  What is the best kind of printer for making CD tray inserts (artwork)?  I want pretty high quality...

  I know nothing about printers....

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: tmayfield on 01/03/09 at 2:50 pm


   What is the best kind of printer for making CD tray inserts (artwork)?  I want pretty high quality...

   I know nothing about printers....


It's all about preferences. You can get any 'photo' printer to do the job. I like HP, but Canon and Epson are equally reputable and produce good quality. If you want to go with a Lightscribe enabled printer (it can burn an image on the CD or DVD) that is another option. Also some printers can print directly on white CD/DVD disks.
Check out HP Photosmart C8180 All-in-One Printer, Scanner, Copier for one example that does Lightscribe and HP Photosmart D7560 Printer for one that prints right on CD/DVD disk.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Davester on 01/05/09 at 1:19 am


It's all about preferences. You can get any 'photo' printer to do the job. I like HP, but Canon and Epson are equally reputable and produce good quality. If you want to go with a Lightscribe enabled printer (it can burn an image on the CD or DVD) that is another option. Also some printers can print directly on white CD/DVD disks.
Check out HP Photosmart C8180 All-in-One Printer, Scanner, Copier for one example that does Lightscribe and HP Photosmart D7560 Printer for one that prints right on CD/DVD disk.


  Message received.  Thanks Tim... :)

  I could do without the scanner as I just purchased a Canon last year...

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/24/09 at 6:35 pm


I'm having a hell of a time with my router... he keeps dropping my signal (or whatever) a netgear g series piece o crap~

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: tmayfield on 01/24/09 at 10:50 pm


I'm having a hell of a time with my router... he keeps dropping my signal (or whatever) a netgear g series piece o crap~


The first question is are you talking about wireless signal? I am assuming so, but just checking the basics.  ;)

Second, do you have your connection secured by a security mode like WEP, PSK, or WPA?

Third, does it drop the signal when you are in the same room or only when you are 3 rooms away, outside, etc.?

Fourth, what model is the router, not all netgear routers are equal.

Fifth, would you be interested in information about N series routers or just G? And, is Netgear the only brand you want to buy? Linksys is more expensive but very reputable (for example).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/24/09 at 11:00 pm



hmmm lots of questions... okay first... let's pretend like I am stupid... it'll make this easier.  ;)


I am talking wireless. I have a desk top and a laptop. everything was working fine- I pretty much keep my desktop on 24/7 shhhh but it was running slowly so I restarted it... that's when the problem started. Ive been using the router for months no problem. One day after restarting the computer the damn thing crashes twice in one night... seems fine right now tho... go figure.

I wouldn't know my WEP, PSK WPA from my ass so you would have to tell me how to figure that out.

I only have two rooms in my apt so that's not a big its a small apt. I use the laptop in the next room. but like I said. Its been working for months no problems.

Its a WPN824

I'm not really brand specific. I had a linksys but it was set up with my old laptop and when I gave my mom my old laptop I gave her that router as well to save us trying to set up a new one... my mom knows even less about computers than I do.. I was surprised she could even turn it on  ;D


I'm not really sure I understand the difference between the N and the G. When I went to buy the router...the clerk tried to explain it to me but I kind of glazed over and went with the easier option...

Plus I run XP on my desktop and Vista on my laptop... don't know if it matters really I just want the stuff to function when I turn it on!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 01/24/09 at 11:10 pm




I wouldn't know my WEP, PSK WPA from my ass so you would have to tell me how to figure that out.





Q - when you set up the wireless to the wii, did it ask you for a series of numbers? Or did you just directly connect?
If you directly connected then you don't have your router locked. Which also means that anyone within a certain radius of you - can connect to your router and use your internet.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/24/09 at 11:16 pm


Q - when you set up the wireless to the wii, did it ask you for a series of numbers? Or did you just directly connect?
If you directly connected then you don't have your router locked. Which also means that anyone within a certain radius of you - can connect to your router and use your internet.


Well it asked me for my password but not a series of numbers...

that's about the only thing I knew to do was to keep it password protected to get online... but if there's something else I should be doing I'm open to suggestions...

Remember, I'm an idiot.  ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: tmayfield on 01/24/09 at 11:27 pm


Well it asked me for my password but not a series of numbers...

that's about the only thing I knew to do was to keep it password protected to get online... but if there's something else I should be doing I'm open to suggestions...

Remember, I'm an idiot.   ;)


And when you go to http://www.routerlogin.net (as specified in the Netgear router manual) are you able to login and view the router settings?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 01/24/09 at 11:29 pm


Well it asked me for my password but not a series of numbers...

that's about the only thing I knew to do was to keep it password protected to get online... but if there's something else I should be doing I'm open to suggestions...

Remember, I'm an idiot.   ;)


You are by no means an idiot! ;)

Since it is protected, then it shouldn't be an issue.

First thing you should check is your internet connection. Disconnect your router and directly wire your internet to the desktop. Run with it like that and see if anything happens. If the connection stays solid then you know it isn't your internet connection. Another thing to consider is if your internet provider had an outage - it would have affected any connection. Do you have Time Warner or is it from another provider?

I don't want to say that it is a router failure, because there could be so many other reasons first. ;)


Tim - she doesn't need wireless N - G is fine for what she wants it to do.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/24/09 at 11:42 pm


You are by no means an idiot! ;)

Since it is protected, then it shouldn't be an issue.

First thing you should check is your internet connection. Disconnect your router and directly wire your internet to the desktop. Run with it like that and see if anything happens. If the connection stays solid then you know it isn't your internet connection. Another thing to consider is if your internet provider had an outage - it would have affected any connection. Do you have Time Warner or is it from another provider?

I don't want to say that it is a router failure, because there could be so many other reasons first. ;)


Tim - she doesn't need wireless N - G is fine for what she wants it to do.



you know me so well! I love it!

So far I want to say complaining about it has helped. It hasn't gone down yet tonight. I have Cox Tam. Maybe Cox was down yesterday. I didn't think so at first because when I unplugged the router for a couple of minutes and plugged it back in the router was working but it went down 30 minutes later and that trick didn't work so I went to bed but now its working so maybe it was Cox's fault....


Thanks Tam  (and Tim) I will watch it for a couple days and see what happens.
 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 01/24/09 at 11:51 pm


you know me so well! I love it!

So far I want to say complaining about it has helped. It hasn't gone down yet tonight. I have Cox Tam. Maybe Cox was down yesterday. I didn't think so at first because when I unplugged the router for a couple of minutes and plugged it back in the router was working but it went down 30 minutes later and that trick didn't work so I went to bed but now its working so maybe it was Cox's fault....


Thanks Tam  (and Tim) I will watch it for a couple days and see what happens.
 


I got 'yer back Girl. ;)

Here: this is the link to the Network Status for Cox.
http://support.cox.com/sdcxuser/asp/cox_networkstatus.asp

Now, I have already checked and it won't show previous outages, it will only show current and future planned outages. (Just click your state.)

If it happens again and you are directly connected, check the network status link as soon as you can get online. That way we will be able to rule out internet service provider, and if it is them, then we know where the problem is most likely from. If it isn't them, then we can move forward. 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/25/09 at 12:20 am


I got 'yer back Girl. ;)

Here: this is the link to the Network Status for Cox.
http://support.cox.com/sdcxuser/asp/cox_networkstatus.asp

Now, I have already checked and it won't show previous outages, it will only show current and future planned outages. (Just click your state.)

If it happens again and you are directly connected, check the network status link as soon as you can get online. That way we will be able to rule out internet service provider, and if it is them, then we know where the problem is most likely from. If it isn't them, then we can move forward. 8)


thanks... I appreciate it truly!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: tmayfield on 01/25/09 at 12:23 am


Tim - she doesn't need wireless N - G is fine for what she wants it to do.


I would agree (now that I have heard more particulars)  :)

I would also add that if you have shared folders between the laptop and the desktop computer you can rule out the internet provider directly. Connecting from one to the other would quickly determine the status of the router.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 01/25/09 at 12:55 am


I would agree (now that I have heard more particulars)  :)

I would also add that if you have shared folders between the laptop and the desktop computer you can rule out the internet provider directly. Connecting from one to the other would quickly determine the status of the router.



I haven't figured out how to share files from one to the other but that would be very handy... as it stands I am for ever running back and forth with a thumbdrive to get this pic or that word doc.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 12:33 am

I have a new problem...

I can't save images while on the web! I've been saving to flashdrives for backup, so I can do a reload and finally get rid of my spyware problem!

How can I fix this problem?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 12:37 am


I have a new problem...

I can't save images while on the web! I've been saving to flashdrives for backup, so I can do a reload and finally get rid of my spyware problem!

How can I fix this problem?


When you right click there is no option to save image?
Or it won't let you save to the flashdrive location?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 12:43 am


When you right click there is no option to save image?
Or it won't let you save to the flashdrive location?


Well, it freezes when I try to save it to the flashdrive.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 12:49 am


Well, it freezes when I try to save it to the flashdrive.


Not sure what could be freezing it up. It could be a number of things, including the spyware that is on your PC.

Can you still access the files on the flashdrive?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 12:51 am


Not sure what could be freezing it up. It could be a number of things, including the spyware that is on your PC.

Can you still access the files on the flashdrive?


Yes, I can do that.(As well as on my computer)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 12:55 am


Yes, I can do that.(As well as on my computer)


It could be that there is spyware or a virus on the flashdrive which is stopping it from accessing it's drive files....

I'm not sure what else to tell you. The only time I have encountered this was because there was a virus present. I say scan the flashdrive for spyware and viruses. If found, get rid of them and try again.

Sorry I can't be of more help :(

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 12:59 am


It could be that there is spyware or a virus on the flashdrive which is stopping it from accessing it's drive files....

I'm not sure what else to tell you. The only time I have encountered this was because there was a virus present. I say scan the flashdrive for spyware and viruses. If found, get rid of them and try again.

Sorry I can't be of more help :(


I can click on the images and they show up.

It's just when I try to save images from a website, it freezes.

I was saving things earlier today and shortly before it happened.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 1:00 am


I can click on the images and they show up.

It's just when I try to save images from a website, it freezes.

I was saving things earlier today and shortly before it happened.


Did you remove the flashdrive at all since the last time you saved?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 1:04 am


Did you remove the flashdrive at all since the last time you saved?


After I saw it was freezing when I tried to save, I stopped the drive and removed it(then restarted the computer to see if it was a temporary problem).

I then put the flashdrive back in after restarting and noticed it still wouldn't save from the internet.

I could try to save something from computer to flasdrive to see if that will work, but it seems to increase the amount of data each file contains when doing that.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 1:13 am

Nope, still froze.

I think it's the computer being attacked by spyware itself, not the flashdrive.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 1:18 am


After I saw it was freezing when I tried to save, I stopped the drive and removed it(then restarted the computer to see if it was a temporary problem).

I then put the flashdrive back in after restarting and noticed it still wouldn't save from the internet.

I could try to save something from computer to flasdrive to see if that will work, but it seems to increase the amount of data each file contains when doing that.


When you remove it, you go through the "safely remove hardware" programming right?
Sometimes if you don't do that - it will mess the flashdrive up.



Nope, still froze.

I think it's the computer being attacked by spyware itself, not the flashdrive.


I hope so. Keep trying with it. 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 1:27 am

I always click the safely remove feature.

I just found something out.

I can save to my computer from the web, but not to a flashdrive.

I don't know it's spyware or not, but I better look for an answer.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 1:32 am


I always click the safely remove feature.

I just found something out.

I can save to my computer from the web, but not to a flashdrive.

I don't know it's spyware or not, but I better look for an answer.


And check that your flashdrive isn't locked as well. 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 1:52 am


And check that your flashdrive isn't locked as well. 8)


I don't know how it would have been locked, I didn't do anything to make it do that.

Can it be locked and still allow me to click on images and view them?

I'm still able to view them.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 1:54 am


I don't know how it would have been locked, I didn't do anything to make it do that.

Can it be locked and still allow me to click on images and view them?

I'm still able to view them.


It sure can.
Locking it makes it so that files cannot be removed or altered, or saved over.
I would double check it. Normally, there is a little switch on the side - it should have a lock and unlock pic right beside it. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 1:57 am

I don't see a switch on it at all.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 2:02 am


I don't see a switch on it at all.


Hmm... then yours might not lock.

Pull up "My Computer"

Right click on the flash drive and click properties.
Check all of the tabs to see if there is a lock option on them. Some come this way.

If nothing then I really don't know what to tell ya....
Could still be the spyware.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 2:04 am


Hmm... then yours might not lock.

Pull up "My Computer"

Right click on the flash drive and click properties.
Check all of the tabs to see if there is a lock option on them. Some come this way.

If nothing then I really don't know what to tell ya....
Could still be the spyware.


Yeah, both of mine lack a switch. I'll do that.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 2:13 am

I didn't see one.

How do I check it for spyware?

Just have it plugged in and run a scan?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 11:19 am


I didn't see one.

How do I check it for spyware?

Just have it plugged in and run a scan?


Pretty much.

Or right click on the flashdrive and depending on your spyware searcher, you might be able to tell it to search it right then and there. If not then just go through your program, and tell it to only search that drive or else you will be there for a while while it searched everything. 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 12:07 pm


Pretty much.

Or right click on the flashdrive and depending on your spyware searcher, you might be able to tell it to search it right then and there. If not then just go through your program, and tell it to only search that drive or else you will be there for a while while it searched everything. 8)


Okay, but first I'm checking to see if my other flash drive for saving, if it saves, then it means that the other one has the problem. If it trying to save to it doesn't what the other did, then that means that it's probably something in my computer.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 12:08 pm


Okay, but first I'm checking to see if my other flash drive for saving, if it saves, then it means that the other one has the problem. If it trying to save to it doesn't what the other did, then that means that it's probably something in my computer.


Sounds like a plan to me! 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 12:14 pm


Sounds like a plan to me! 8)


I'm wish I would have thought of it sooner.

I tried the other flashdrive and it saves to it.

The problem is my new one.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 12:23 pm


I'm wish I would have thought of it sooner.

I tried the other flashdrive and it saves to it.

The problem is my new one.


So if you can - save everything from the new one - I would say on a cd, then reformat the new one and try again! 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 12:32 pm


So if you can - save everything from the new one - I would say on a cd, then reformat the new one and try again! 8)


I can't save anything to a CD. The spyware blocked the CD drives from accessing. It was like that when I got the computer from my sis. It also blocked the floppy disc drive(until this one guy re-enabled it).

I'm scanning it now, hopefully, it's something I don't have to format.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 12:38 pm


I can't save anything to a CD. The spyware blocked the CD drives from accessing. It was like that when I got the computer from my sis. It also blocked the floppy disc drive(until this one guy re-enabled it).

I'm scanning it now, hopefully, it's something I don't have to format.


Wow! I wish I could get my hands on your computer! I would have a field day cleaning that sucker up! I'm not kidding! I love doing that stuff!
Here's hoping the scan catches something! 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 12:56 pm


Wow! I wish I could get my hands on your computer! I would have a field day cleaning that sucker up! I'm not kidding! I love doing that stuff!
Here's hoping the scan catches something! 8)


I hope it does too, if that's problem.

I use Spybot, which is a decent one(it caught a bunch of stuff Mcafee didn't).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 1:03 pm


I hope it does too, if that's problem.

I use Spybot, which is a decent one(it caught a bunch of stuff Mcafee didn't).


Spybot is ok - but tediously slow.

I use TrendMicro on my personl PC, but when I clean others, I use a freeware one that is absolutely amazing! I would tell you what it is, but when it catches the problems, you actually have to go into the registry to edit them out - it is the only way to be 100% sure that they get removed. Programs that remove them automatically do not get all of the registry keys...

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 1:20 pm


Spybot is ok - but tediously slow.

I use TrendMicro on my personl PC, but when I clean others, I use a freeware one that is absolutely amazing! I would tell you what it is, but when it catches the problems, you actually have to go into the registry to edit them out - it is the only way to be 100% sure that they get removed. Programs that remove them automatically do not get all of the registry keys...


A guy installed McAfee into my computer to get rid of spyware problems, it did help abit but it's really slow(even slower than Spybot, after some updates, Spybot has ran alittle faster, usually taking about 3-4 hours, when I first used it, it took over 6 hours) and isn't very thorough, you'd figure that it for the length of time it takes it would catch more(I'm talking over 9 hours with McAfee).

I know nothing about going into the registry keys, so it would just overwhelm me at the level of computer experience I have.

And there is something else that the spyware has done to my web browser(IE6), some thumbnails won't show. After that no thumbnails or full size images will show up if I check them up(just a blank space). Because of this, I can't even go to into my photobucket accounts. It's affected the viewing of my accounts, nothing shows up(except for some images that are linked in my PMs, since those aren't thumbnailed). This is always temporary, as shutting down the computer stops this, but if I go back to photobucket the problem starts again. This problem isn't prevalent if I go a different computer though, obviously, but I can't stop my flashdrives at the library(I've tried before).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 1:23 pm


A guy installed McAfee into my computer to get rid of spyware problems, it did help abit but it's really slow(even slower than Spybot, after some updates, Spybot has ran alittle faster, usually taking about 3-4 hours, when I first used it, it took over 6 hours) and isn't very thorough, you'd figure that it for the length of time it takes it would catch more(I'm talking over 9 hours with McAfee).

I know nothing about going into the registry keys, so it would just overwhelm me at the level of computer experience I have.

And there is something else that the spyware has done to my web browser(IE6), some thumbnails won't show. After that no thumbnails or full size images will show up if I check them up(just a blank space). Because of this, I can't even go to into my photobucket accounts. It's affected the viewing of my accounts, nothing shows up(except for some images that are linked in my PMs, since those aren't thumbnailed). This is always temporary, as shutting down the computer stops this, but if I go back to photobucket the problem starts again. This problem isn't prevalent if I go a different computer though, obviously, but I can't stop my flashdrives at the library(I've tried before).



I completely understand 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 1:33 pm

While I can switch to saving to the other flashdrive, there isn't a great deal of room left in(around 133 megs, while the new one that's being scanned, still has 1.68 gigs). I originally used Photobucket to resize some images, mainly ones that were of an absurd resolution. Some of these images are really big, like 4000x3200 for example and are at least over a meg in size(some are multiple megs).

I obviously don't need anything that big(Those are like poster/wallscroll sizes) and am happy with 800x600 to 1600x1200 sizes.

I still have over 150 megs to save to the flashdrives for back up as well.(If I could still resize the big ones, I probably wouldn't have gotten the second flashdrive(The first one is a 1gig, the second is 2gig).

After reload, I'll have abit to resize.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 3:08 pm

Okay, I started the scan of the flash drive for nothing. My mom got on and was having trouble and deleted some windows, including the one which the scan was being done on. >:(

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 3:14 pm


Okay, I started the scan of the flash drive for nothing. My mom got on and was having trouble and deleted some windows, including the one which the scan was being done on. >:(


That sucks!
Keep tryin' tho. Don't give up! 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 3:43 pm

It was taking awhile, so I didn't bother starting it again.(I'll do that when I have more time)

The flash drive in question is a Geek Squad brand.

I hope it's nothing I'd have to format, mainly because of the fact that while the threads I started and uploaded are still(with the lion share of the images still there), I don't want to have to save 500+ images again when I still have alot of other stuff to save from the computer.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 3:52 pm


It was taking awhile, so I didn't bother starting it again.(I'll do that when I have more time)

The flash drive in question is a Geek Squad brand.

I hope it's nothing I'd have to format, mainly because of the fact that while the threads I started and uploaded are still(with the lion share of the images still there), I don't want to have to save 500+ images again when I still have alot of other stuff to save from the computer.


The scan should find anything.
Here is the user manual for your flash drive:  http://products.geeksquad.com/skins/skin_1/Topics/Documents/GS-FlashDrives_WEB.pdf

Check your settings and preferences on your flash drive as well. It might be locked through the actual program for the flash.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 4:04 pm

Okay, I'd copy that and look through it later.

Hopefully it is just locked(would be easier to take care of, instead of doing another scan).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 4:19 pm


Okay, I'd copy that and look through it later.

Hopefully it is just locked(would be easier to take care of, instead of doing another scan).


Let's hope so! 8)

I sent karma your way, hoping it helps a little! ;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 6:46 pm

It should. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 6:50 pm

That link open's file?

I thought it was just a link for info.(Windows can't open it)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 6:53 pm

Having Windows search to find out about it led me here:

http://shell.windows.com/fileassoc/0409/xml/redir.asp?Ext=pdf

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/06/09 at 7:06 pm


That link open's file?

I thought it was just a link for info.(Windows can't open it)


Yes, it is a .pdf file.


Having Windows search to find out about it led me here:

http://shell.windows.com/fileassoc/0409/xml/redir.asp?Ext=pdf


Ah, you don't have adobe reader on the PC.
The user manual is no good for you then.

To open your flash drives program, just open the folder in windows to the flash directory. There should be a program on the flash called Launchpad or U3 Launch pad. If it isn't there then down in your icon tray there should be an icon with a U3 in it. Click one or the other and the launch pad should come up for the flash drive.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/06/09 at 8:15 pm


Yes, it is a .pdf file.

Ah, you don't have adobe reader on the PC.
The user manual is no good for you then.

To open your flash drives program, just open the folder in windows to the flash directory. There should be a program on the flash called Launchpad or U3 Launch pad. If it isn't there then down in your icon tray there should be an icon with a U3 in it. Click one or the other and the launch pad should come up for the flash drive.



Yeah, I don't have that(didn't even know about it).

Copied that down. Thank you!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/08/09 at 10:50 pm

Okay, I'm trying to figure out how to find windows in my computer, I don't think I have a normal folder displayed for it, I wonder if I can go through programs to get there.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 03/09/09 at 8:26 am


Okay, I'm trying to figure out how to find windows in my computer, I don't think I have a normal folder displayed for it, I wonder if I can go through programs to get there.


Since the whole operating system is 'windows' you need to know the exact name of the program you are looking for.  I suspect it's Windows Explorer.

On the computer I am using (running Vista) you click on the windows icon in the bottom left hand corner.  Then click on Accessories and find Windows Explorer there.

On older systems I think it was the 'start' button you needed to click to pull up the menu.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/09/09 at 11:57 am


Since the whole operating system is 'windows' you need to know the exact name of the program you are looking for.  I suspect it's Windows Explorer.

On the computer I am using (running Vista) you click on the windows icon in the bottom left hand corner.  Then click on Accessories and find Windows Explorer there.

On older systems I think it was the 'start' button you needed to click to pull up the menu.


Thank you!

It's been driving me nuts since I haven't been able to save to my newer flashdrive.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/09/09 at 5:26 pm

Okay, I found Windows Explorer. But even with what I'm suppose to do to access my flash programs, I don't see an option for it.

Is there something I'm not noticing?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 03/09/09 at 5:54 pm

You might then have to click on 'computer' to access all the drives on your computer.
Or something else that sounds like it might be to do with 'flash'

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/09/09 at 6:03 pm

The one that I can't save anything is a Geek Squad one.

I read about the U3 option on wikipedia on data security:

Data security
Most U3 drives on the market feature a security lock within the U3 Launchpad. This loads the CD partition first and can be user-configured to require a password to be entered; otherwise the data partition will not load. The drive is supposed to seal itself after a certain number of invalid password entries, requiring a reformat.

Now, I've never put a password into the flashdrive at all.

I'll be back.

I see that there are a couple of other things that are apart of the flash drive, although I don't know if it's allowed to be posted on here.(It's not a password, but I don't know what legal stuff goes into it)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/09/09 at 6:06 pm

I just right-clicked the my computer folder and found an option in the hardware section "Device Manager".

I don't know if that's what I'm suppose use to search to find it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 03/09/09 at 9:46 pm

You should see the flash drive in Computer, you shouldn't have to do anything else just plug it in and it should if everything's functioning right it should be right there with your hard drive, optical drive, etc. in Computer. It should have a letter like (E:) or something. You shouldn't have to mess around in device manager.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 03/09/09 at 9:51 pm

I think there's some other problem Brian.  You need to read the page before as well

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 03/09/09 at 10:21 pm

So it's only this one flash drive that isn't working right does it show up at all in Computer? It could be corrupted, you could try and run a disk check in windows and check for errors if you haven't yet. I've have some get corrupted before and ran the check and it fixed them.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/09/09 at 10:37 pm


So it's only this one flash drive that isn't working right does it show up at all in Computer? It could be corrupted, you could try and run a disk check in windows and check for errors if you haven't yet. I've have some get corrupted before and ran the check and it fixed them.


The computer recognizes it and reads it.

I'm able to view the images though, it's just something prevents me from saving to it.

It won't require me to format it will it?

I have 511 new pics on there and I need to know if I have to upload them somewhere(as much as I'd hate to do that, it takes awhile to upload around 1/10 that amount due to the computer problems I have).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 03/09/09 at 11:03 pm


The computer recognizes it and reads it.

I'm able to view the images though, it's just something prevents me from saving to it.

It won't require me to format it will it?

I have 511 new pics on there and I need to know if I have to upload them somewhere(as much as I'd hate to do that, it takes awhile to upload around 1/10 that amount due to the computer problems I have).


No just checking for errors won't format it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/10/09 at 1:35 am


No just checking for errors won't format it.


Okay cool, I wanted to make sure.(Other than using the internet and saving things, my knowledge is very limited, as you seen) :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/10/09 at 7:01 pm

Checking for errors on the flashdrive is in the tools section, right?

I did the scan, but I still can't save.

Heck, the drives say they're working properly too.

So, if it's not corruption, then it's either locked or infected.

I just don't know where to check to see if it's locked.

I wonder if I can upload from it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/10/09 at 7:07 pm

Update: While I can't save to it, I can upload to sites from it. Man, this is driving me crazy!

If it's locked, is it still possible to do that?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/10/09 at 7:53 pm


Update: While I can't save to it, I can upload to sites from it. Man, this is driving me crazy!

If it's locked, is it still possible to do that?


Yes, if it is locked you can still use everything from it and copy from it. It is only when you try to alter the memory that the lock would take effect.



Checking for errors on the flashdrive is in the tools section, right?

I did the scan, but I still can't save.

Heck, the drives say they're working properly too.

So, if it's not corruption, then it's either locked or infected.

I just don't know where to check to see if it's locked.

I wonder if I can upload from it.


When you open the flashdrive in windows - besides your personal files, are there any other files on the flashdrive?
It had to have came with the U3 Launchpad.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/10/09 at 10:19 pm

That's the problem I'm having, I don't know where to look for it at, I haven't seen anything that looks like a U3 of sorts in the normal flashdrive nor have I seen a flash programs option in windows.... If I looking in the right place. I don't know if windows explorer is what I have to use.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/10/09 at 10:48 pm

Is the U3 icon in the bottom right?

Does it look like a green arrow?(Which is also the safely remove feature, strangely enough)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/11/09 at 12:44 am

The icon for the U3 Launchpad looks like this:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f3/U3logo.svg/160px-U3logo.svg.png
If it is there, double click it and it should open a program called Launchpad. It will look similar to this:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/4a/U3launch.PNG/216px-U3launch.PNG

It should be in your icon tray. If it isn't there then you need to open windows to your flashdrive and see if there is anything other than your files on it.

It has also been said that the launchpad program is supposed to start up as soon as you insert your flash into the usb. However, if the program was deleted from the flashdrive when you first used it - you will have to download another version of it and install it on the flash drive. Probably won't be able to though if it isn't allowing you to save to it.

If all else fails - I suggest you take it to Best Buy where the Geek Squad can actually unlock it for you or tell you what is wrong with it.

That's the best I can offer from so far away.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/11/09 at 1:35 am

I don't remember deleting any programs when I put the flash drive in for the first time.

I see a F drive on there, hmmm... You gave me an idea. Karma goes to ya. :)

Edit: Found the Windows folder in the F drive. I'm checking it abit more now.

Extra Edit: And I'm still lost... Sorry about that.

Another Edit: On another note, I'm not sure if defraging would help or not.(Noticed that option on there)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 03/11/09 at 12:15 pm

Step

You need to go to windows explorer and look for the F: drive.  So click on 'computer' and then double click on the F: drive (if that' the letter allocated to the flash drive).  That should bring up a list of all the programs stored on your flash drive.  This U3 program Tam is talking about should be there on the list.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/11/09 at 12:25 pm


I don't remember deleting any programs when I put the flash drive in for the first time.

I see a F drive on there, hmmm... You gave me an idea. Karma goes to ya. :)

Edit: Found the Windows folder in the F drive. I'm checking it abit more now.

Extra Edit: And I'm still lost... Sorry about that.

Another Edit: On another note, I'm not sure if defraging would help or not.(Noticed that option on there)


Defraging won't help. Your flashdrive had to have come with the launchpad program.
Keep looking at the flashdrive or for it in windows. It might not be F: it could be another letter - wherever you save your pictures to is the drive letter.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/11/09 at 12:52 pm

Yeah, F didn't show anything, but Windows is in it.

The only thing being that I don't see something that says U3 launchpad in D(which is the drive letter for this flashdrive). Plus, it didn't mention anything about U3 on the actual flash drive's side(My older flash drive, an Atachee, I think that's how it's spelled, says U3 smart on it).

Unless it goes under a different name on the Geek Squad one, but that shouldn't be the case.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/11/09 at 12:56 pm

The Atachee one doesn't display the U3 icon on the bottom either, now that I think of it.(But it saves)

In the meantime, I'll scan it to see if it's infected.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 03/11/09 at 1:54 pm

When you plug the flash drive into the USB port the U3 icon should appear on the bottom right set of icons (taskbar).  It isn't the green arrow it's a box with U3 on it.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/11/09 at 5:51 pm

It didn't nor has it shown up on either flash drive, though. Which is a stumper to me.(As I never did anything that would cause it to be deleted)

I wonder if some Geek Squad flash drives don't have them.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 03/11/09 at 9:32 pm


It didn't nor has it shown up on either flash drive, though. Which is a stumper to me.(As I never did anything that would cause it to be deleted)

I wonder if some Geek Squad flash drives don't have them.


Sounds to me like you need to go back to Geek Squad now

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/11/09 at 10:09 pm


Sounds to me like you need to go back to Geek Squad now


I've heard horror stories about their service.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 03/29/09 at 5:02 pm

HELP!!!!


I'm sure most of you know that I finally reloaded the OS in my computer. Everything was all hunky dory. Now for some strange reason, it doesn't recognize my cd/dvd burning (G drive). It is not on My computer and and I can't open the drive up. It was working not long ago (AFTER I put redid the OS).



HELP!!!!!!



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: NbC on 03/30/09 at 7:58 am

If you can locate your CD/DVD from the Device Manager you can try to uninstall the hardware, reboot and see if Windows will recognize it again and reinstall it correctly.

If you see a yellow question mark the driver may just need to be updated.  Properties/driver/update driver.




Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 03/30/09 at 10:46 am

It is back today.  :o :o :o  I don't understand it. Well, thanks for the help anyway.




Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: NbC on 04/04/09 at 6:30 am


It is back today.  :o :o :o  I don't understand it. Well, thanks for the help anyway.




Cat


When you run Windows it is understandable.  ;D

I am glad it is working for you again. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/15/09 at 1:46 am

I bought a different flashdrive(different brand) and now after saving over 500 files(like on the other one), I can't save like the on the previous one. Talk about bad luck.

Extra thought: I'm going to take a look at the number on both, I wonder if there is something I need to do.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/15/09 at 5:30 pm

I just found out that cheaper flash drives have a lower life span when it comes to saving(sort of like a data writing counter) from some people on Woodus. It definetly shedded some light on why it suddenly stopped.

I wish that I would have included the file count the last time, this could have been solved sooner.

(Apologies for this being dragged out)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 04/18/09 at 1:43 pm


I just found out that cheaper flash drives have a lower life span when it comes to saving(sort of like a data writing counter) from some people on Woodus. It definetly shedded some light on why it suddenly stopped.


I have learned long ago to never trust flash drives for anything other then transfering files from one computer to another.  Over the years, I have had an average of one flash drive die every year.  And some of them were name brands, like Kingston.

Sure they have a warranty, but that does not help when your information goes to the bit bucket.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/18/09 at 5:29 pm


I have learned long ago to never trust flash drives for anything other then transfering files from one computer to another.  Over the years, I have had an average of one flash drive die every year.  And some of them were name brands, like Kingston.

Sure they have a warranty, but that does not help when your information goes to the bit bucket.


My oldest one(which had a bug in it originally), has last the longest(There's still a small amount of room left on it, have had no troubles with it).

In my case, I would have used CDs for backup if I didn't have the problems I have right now. Just had to get a spyware infected computer with the CD drives access blocked. I haven't had a reload done yet.(My brother in law still has his music albums on here, he better hurry up and save his stuff, I'm tired of not being able go to my image accounts and tired of not having CD access)

The good thing is that I have only like 5 things I have to save, I can simply upload those shortly before reload. So I don't have to save anything else, if only my computer reload weren't being held hostage by someone else's music albums.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 04/28/09 at 12:12 am


Mushroom.....feel free to talk to me in nice easy common English language...otherwise... pretend that I am stupid  ;)


My C drive is Full, full, full and my D drive is 100%  I have tried transferring stuff to my D drive but that didn't work (or I just did it wrong)

How can I set up my computer so that stuff I want to install or download bypasses the c drive and goes straight to my harddrive or to my D drive... I can't do anything with out getting an error message that says I have low disk space on my computer.. I've deleted what I can from C but that didn't help much...

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 04/29/09 at 6:31 am


My C drive is Full, full, full and my D drive is 100%   I have tried transferring stuff to my D drive but that didn't work (or I just did it wrong)

How can I set up my computer so that stuff I want to install or download bypasses the c drive and goes straight to my harddrive or to my D drive... I can't do anything with out getting an error message that says I have low disk space on my computer.. I've deleted what I can from C but that didn't help much...


OK, I juat have to ask.  Is the D drive 100% full, or 100% empty?  8)

Well, forget trying to install programs on the D drive.  A huge number of programs do not install properly if installed on anything other then the main C drive.  As far as download, you can change that at the time you start the download.

But those are not fixes, just work-arounds.  Ultimately you should probably install a new drive as the C drive and reload your operating system.  I have seen people fight things like this for weeks and months, when a few hours reloading will fix it right the first time.

I normally recommend if somebody expects to do a lot of downloading to install 2 drives right off the bat.  A 500+ GB drive for the main OS and programs needed, and a second larger drive for downloads (movies, music, pictures, etc).  Then as drives fill up, simply add in more.  With most sytems today comming with 4-6 SATA ports it is really easy to add a drive nowadays, only taking 5 minutes and a screwdriver.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 05/06/09 at 2:25 am


OK, I juat have to ask.  Is the D drive 100% full, or 100% empty?   8)

Well, forget trying to install programs on the D drive.  A huge number of programs do not install properly if installed on anything other then the main C drive.  As far as download, you can change that at the time you start the download.

But those are not fixes, just work-arounds.  Ultimately you should probably install a new drive as the C drive and reload your operating system.  I have seen people fight things like this for weeks and months, when a few hours reloading will fix it right the first time.

I normally recommend if somebody expects to do a lot of downloading to install 2 drives right off the bat.  A 500+ GB drive for the main OS and programs needed, and a second larger drive for downloads (movies, music, pictures, etc).  Then as drives fill up, simply add in more.  With most sytems today comming with 4-6 SATA ports it is really easy to add a drive nowadays, only taking 5 minutes and a screwdriver.



lol... the d drive is empty...

cool.... now can you say alll that again in English please?  ;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 06/04/09 at 4:04 am



lol... the d drive is empty...

cool.... now can you say alll that again in English please?  ;D


OK.

As far as installing programs on your D drive, forget it.  Many will not install that way.  And if they do, you often have problems.

Downloading is not a problem.  When you go to download, right-click the URL and select "SAVE AS".  Then simply point them to go to the D drive.

Once you do that, it should point to that directory for any future downloads.

Although your best solution is probably to do a reload, with the D as your main drive.  If you can't do that, I suggest a good "house cleaning" on your C drive, deleting any programs you do not use.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 06/11/09 at 3:44 pm

I REALLY hope someone can help me with this problem. Carlos has been playing Sid Mier's Civilization II & III for so long he has gotten a bit bored with it. So, I thought that I would give him a treat and get him a new game. Enter Sid Mier's Pirates. Sounded like a nifty game that I thought Carlos would love. We went to load it on his computer and nothing. I THEN read the package and it said that a DVD-ROM is needed (his computer doesn't have one). So, I purchased a USB DVD-ROM. We plugged that into the computer and the game played but VERY SLOW-too slow to really play the game. So, I figured out that the 1.1 USB had to upgraded to a 2.0. I purchased a card and with the help of my niece, I was able to install the card into the computer. When we plug the DVD-ROM into the card, it doesn't read the disk-ANY disk. The thing is, the computer reads the card, the DVD-ROM but when we put a disk in it, it won't read it. We tried it with CDs and such and it still wouldn't read it. We still have the 1.1 port and it will read it there. We have tried other devices in the 2.0 port and they seem to work (but they didn't NEED the fast port). I have tried to troubleshoot and it does say that the devices are working properly.


Can someone PLEASE help me as to what I need to do to make the 2.0 port read the disk that is in the USB DVD-ROM??

In the meantime, Carlos has been taking over my computer to play the game for an hour or two a day (btw, he loves it).

Note: The OS for the computer is Windows XP & is NOT on-line so downloading anything is out of the question.

Thanks.


Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 06/20/09 at 10:44 am


I REALLY hope someone can help me with this problem. Carlos has been playing Sid Mier's Civilization II & III for so long he has gotten a bit bored with it. So, I thought that I would give him a treat and get him a new game. Enter Sid Mier's Pirates. Sounded like a nifty game that I thought Carlos would love. We went to load it on his computer and nothing. I THEN read the package and it said that a DVD-ROM is needed (his computer doesn't have one). So, I purchased a USB DVD-ROM. We plugged that into the computer and the game played but VERY SLOW-too slow to really play the game. So, I figured out that the 1.1 USB had to upgraded to a 2.0. I purchased a card and with the help of my niece, I was able to install the card into the computer. When we plug the DVD-ROM into the card, it doesn't read the disk-ANY disk. The thing is, the computer reads the card, the DVD-ROM but when we put a disk in it, it won't read it. We tried it with CDs and such and it still wouldn't read it. We still have the 1.1 port and it will read it there. We have tried other devices in the 2.0 port and they seem to work (but they didn't NEED the fast port). I have tried to troubleshoot and it does say that the devices are working properly.


Can someone PLEASE help me as to what I need to do to make the 2.0 port read the disk that is in the USB DVD-ROM??

In the meantime, Carlos has been taking over my computer to play the game for an hour or two a day (btw, he loves it).

Note: The OS for the computer is Windows XP & is NOT on-line so downloading anything is out of the question.

Thanks.


Cat



I guess nobody can help me with this problem.  :\'( :\'( :\'(



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 06/20/09 at 9:34 pm



I guess nobody can help me with this problem.  :\'( :\'( :\'(



Cat


Cat,

I may have a solution for you, but gimme a bit to figure it out for sure.
I will help as best as I can. 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 06/25/09 at 3:53 am


I REALLY hope someone can help me with this problem. Carlos has been playing Sid Mier's Civilization II & III for so long he has gotten a bit bored with it. So, I thought that I would give him a treat and get him a new game. Enter Sid Mier's Pirates. Sounded like a nifty game that I thought Carlos would love. We went to load it on his computer and nothing. I THEN read the package and it said that a DVD-ROM is needed (his computer doesn't have one). So, I purchased a USB DVD-ROM. We plugged that into the computer and the game played but VERY SLOW-too slow to really play the game. So, I figured out that the 1.1 USB had to upgraded to a 2.0. I purchased a card and with the help of my niece, I was able to install the card into the computer. When we plug the DVD-ROM into the card, it doesn't read the disk-ANY disk. The thing is, the computer reads the card, the DVD-ROM but when we put a disk in it, it won't read it. We tried it with CDs and such and it still wouldn't read it. We still have the 1.1 port and it will read it there. We have tried other devices in the 2.0 port and they seem to work (but they didn't NEED the fast port). I have tried to troubleshoot and it does say that the devices are working properly.


Well, the problem is probably a driver.  Try removing any software for the DVD drive.  You will probably need to go into the Device Manager and remove any references there to the DVD drive.  When you do these steps, make sure it is not connected when you do so.

However, now for the bad news.  That will probably not help much.  USB is good for many things, but for drives it is horrible.  The speed even among the fastest ones is a fraction of an internal drive.  And 95% of the time, they are not fast enough to play games with.

The only external drives that are truely "fast" ar SATA drives.  But those are still fairly new and hard to find.  When I bought a 1 TB external HD when I was home on leave, and only had a choice of 2 different models.  But there were at least 40 different USB ones (and even a handfull of FireWire drives).

Since it sounds like you have a desktop system, why not just replace the current drive with an internal DVD?  They are a lot cheaper and faster then USB drives. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 06/26/09 at 5:38 pm


Well, the problem is probably a driver.  Try removing any software for the DVD drive.  You will probably need to go into the Device Manager and remove any references there to the DVD drive.  When you do these steps, make sure it is not connected when you do so.

However, now for the bad news.  That will probably not help much.  USB is good for many things, but for drives it is horrible.  The speed even among the fastest ones is a fraction of an internal drive.  And 95% of the time, they are not fast enough to play games with.

The only external drives that are truely "fast" ar SATA drives.  But those are still fairly new and hard to find.  When I bought a 1 TB external HD when I was home on leave, and only had a choice of 2 different models.  But there were at least 40 different USB ones (and even a handfull of FireWire drives).

Since it sounds like you have a desktop system, why not just replace the current drive with an internal DVD?  They are a lot cheaper and faster then USB drives. 



Yeah, it sounds easy to replace the CD drive with a DVD drive if I knew what the hell I was doing. I am NOT that much of a computer guru to be able to do that.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 06/27/09 at 4:40 am



Yeah, it sounds easy to replace the CD drive with a DVD drive if I knew what the hell I was doing. I am NOT that much of a computer guru to be able to do that.

Cat


It's rather straightforward actually.  There are only 2 types of drives in use now.

IDE (PATA):

This is the one with the wide 40 pin cable.  You just get a drive, then remove the old one.  There are a set of 3 pins on the back, one of which will have a jumper over them.  Just make the pins on the old drive match the new one, then put it back in the same way you removed the old one.  And that should be all you need to do.

There is no software needed, unless you want to watch movies or burn disks.

SATA:

This is normally a single cable that looks similar to a USB cable (but is frequently red).  Just remove the cables from the old drive and install them on the new one.  That is all (except for software if you want to burn disks or watch movies).

If you need help, just grab the nearest 13 year old.  :P

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Womble on 07/05/09 at 11:39 am

Hello, Mushroom. I am unable to paste a copied image from one website to another. For example: I highlight the photo, right click and copy (there is no "cut" option). When I go to the page I want to paste the image onto (Like here on a PB post) I right click but don't get the paste option. What's wrong? Can you please help me resolve this issue? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 07/05/09 at 12:04 pm


Hello, Mushroom. I am unable to paste a copied image from one website to another. For example: I highlight the photo, right click and copy (there is no "cut" option). When I go to the page I want to paste the image onto (Like here on a PB post) I right click but don't get the paste option. What's wrong? Can you please help me resolve this issue? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.


Hey Womble!

Generally, you cannot just copy and paste from one site to another. As far as I know, that only works sometimes in email.

In order to post a picture here on inthe00s - you need to use the tags for the image and the link to the image.

First you right click on the image and select "copy image URL" or something close to is depending on which browser you are using.
Then you come here and use the image tags in order to make it show.
http://www.inthe00s.com/Themes/babylon/images/bbc/img.gif This is the image tag button.
Coding will show up in your post that looks like this (without the spaces)     

So then you paste the image URL between the two center brackets and the image should show up.
put the image URL in here

And this is the only way to do it here.

(There are other ways to do it as well, but I listed the easiest way, and this is the way I do it.)
Hope this helps.

Tam 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/05/09 at 12:07 pm


Hey Womble!

Generally, you cannot just copy and paste from one site to another. As far as I know, that only works sometimes in email.

In order to post a picture here on inthe00s - you need to use the tags for the image and the link to the image.

First you right click on the image and select "copy image URL" or something close to is depending on which browser you are using.
Then you come here and use the image tags in order to make it show.
http://www.inthe00s.com/Themes/babylon/images/bbc/img.gif This is the image tag button.
Coding will show up in your post that looks like this (without the spaces)     

So then you paste the image URL between the two center brackets and the image should show up.
put the image URL in here

And this is the only way to do it here.

(There are other ways to do it as well, but I listed the easiest way, and this is the way I do it.)
Hope this helps.

Tam 8)
It could be that the image is heavily under copyright?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 07/05/09 at 12:10 pm


It could be that the image is heavily under copyright?


That too - which would result in a red X in place of the image, or a bogus image - one that was not intended. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Womble on 07/05/09 at 2:09 pm


Hey Womble!

Generally, you cannot just copy and paste from one site to another. As far as I know, that only works sometimes in email.

In order to post a picture here on inthe00s - you need to use the tags for the image and the link to the image.

First you right click on the image and select "copy image URL" or something close to is depending on which browser you are using.
Then you come here and use the image tags in order to make it show.
http://www.inthe00s.com/Themes/babylon/images/bbc/img.gif This is the image tag button.
Coding will show up in your post that looks like this (without the spaces)     

So then you paste the image URL between the two center brackets and the image should show up.
put the image URL in here

And this is the only way to do it here.

(There are other ways to do it as well, but I listed the easiest way, and this is the way I do it.)
Hope this helps.

Tam 8)


Hi, Tam. I followed your instructions but I didn't get the "copy image URL" option. The closest option to it is "copy" which I used and still didn't get any kind of a "paste" option. I tried images from websites I found through different search engines and still nothing.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 07/05/09 at 8:34 pm


Hi, Tam. I followed your instructions but I didn't get the "copy image URL" option. The closest option to it is "copy" which I used and still didn't get any kind of a "paste" option. I tried images from websites I found through different search engines and still nothing.


Ah - I forgot because I use google chrome that IE is different. ;)

Go to the picture you want, right click it and then click "properties"
In the next pop up window, you will see the URL. You need to highlight the URL and then right click and copy.
Then you paste that between the brackets. ;)

My fault for not giving the IE way to do it! 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/10/09 at 9:37 pm

I have a couple of questions:

Does anyone know a way to stop McAfee's annoying installing crap? (Where a rotating arrow pops in the corner)

It slows down my computer on and off while it's happening. It's happening on a daily basis and I'm sick of it.(It's about as affective as a toothpick against a tank anyway when it comes to spyware and stuff)

(It's doing this at the time of this post as well... Argh!)

The second one:

I don't remember, but I apparently clicked for Spybot to check my computer after start up. The other computer icons won't show up until after I stop it. The thing is that I've been telling it to "No" to check the computer after start up everytime now since accidently clicking "Yes" the previous time and it still starts a check up after starting the computer.

Does anyone know how to get it to stop that?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Womble on 07/11/09 at 6:36 am


Ah - I forgot because I use google chrome that IE is different. ;)

Go to the picture you want, right click it and then click "properties"
In the next pop up window, you will see the URL. You need to highlight the URL and then right click and copy.
Then you paste that between the brackets. ;)

My fault for not giving the IE way to do it! 8)


I finally got it to work! Thank you, Tam !

http://rodjohns.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54edf371988340105362d82ca970c-800wi

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/15/09 at 4:18 am


I have a couple of questions:

Does anyone know a way to stop McAfee's annoying installing crap? (Where a rotating arrow pops in the corner)


Personally, I can't stand McAfee.  And there are multiple reasons why.

I would suggest getting AVG and dumping McAfee.  McA is simply to bloated with unnessicary software, and begs like crazy for more money.  In fact, the main reason I hate it is because it demands you pay for it, and does not tell you when it will expire until after it expires, giving you a choice between paying them again, or going without antivirus at all.

Plus "all-in-one" software is normally nowhere near as good as specialized products.  For Antivirus I reccomend AVG:

http://free.avg.com/

For spyware, I use Ad Aware and SpyBot:

http://www.lavasoft.com/
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Reynolds1863 on 07/15/09 at 12:06 pm

I've got a Mac and I'm having trouble doing little things on it like cut and paste and it doesn't seem to multitask like Windows.  Is there anyway I can get it to run similar to windows?  Dumb question I know, but I'm getting frustrated.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 07/16/09 at 7:13 am


I've got a Mac and I'm having trouble doing little things on it like cut and paste and it doesn't seem to multitask like Windows.  Is there anyway I can get it to run similar to windows?  Dumb question I know, but I'm getting frustrated.


I bet you're the first person to want their Mac to run like a pc.  Most Mac users claim they are so much better than Windows at anything!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Reynolds1863 on 07/16/09 at 7:19 am


I bet you're the first person to want their Mac to run like a pc.  Most Mac users claim they are so much better than Windows at anything!


Perhaps maybe I'm still used Windows. :-\\

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: NbC on 07/16/09 at 8:57 am


I've got a Mac and I'm having trouble doing little things on it like cut and paste and it doesn't seem to multitask like Windows.  Is there anyway I can get it to run similar to windows?  Dumb question I know, but I'm getting frustrated.


Mac doesn't have a Cut and Paste.  You can use the Command key (key with the Apple on it) and V (Paste), C (copy) or X (cut).  Or make it even easier just highlight and drag.  I love it for photos just drag and drop.  With Windows there are just so many more steps such as right clicking and then Save Target As, locating the folder you would like to store it.....

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Reynolds1863 on 07/16/09 at 9:13 am


Mac doesn't have a Cut and Paste.  You can use the Command key (key with the Apple on it) and V (Paste), C (copy) or X (cut).  Or make it even easier just highlight and drag.  I love it for photos just drag and drop.  With Windows there are just so many more steps such as right clicking and then Save Target As, locating the folder you would like to store it.....


If you're using Firefox it does have cut and paste. (which doesn't always work right)  I suppose you're talking about Safari?  I hate Safari even more than Firefox.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/16/09 at 10:55 am


I've got a Mac and I'm having trouble doing little things on it like cut and paste and it doesn't seem to multitask like Windows.  Is there anyway I can get it to run similar to windows?  Dumb question I know, but I'm getting frustrated.


Sorry, I can't give much help here.  I stopped working on Macs for the most part in 1998, and have not touched one since 2003.

And I can't say that I have missed them at all.


I bet you're the first person to want their Mac to run like a pc.  Most Mac users claim they are so much better than Windows at anything!


I would never say that.  And when I worked at Hughes I was one of the resident Mac Experts.

But then again, I was never brainwashed into thinking that Apple never did anything wrong, and their inventions were all the greatest thing since sliced bread.  While the OS was revolutionary in 1984, by 1994 it was a kludgy mess.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Reynolds1863 on 07/16/09 at 12:01 pm


Sorry, I can't give much help here.  I stopped working on Macs for the most part in 1998, and have not touched one since 2003.

And I can't say that I have missed them at all.

I would never say that.  And when I worked at Hughes I was one of the resident Mac Experts.

But then again, I was never brainwashed into thinking that Apple never did anything wrong, and their inventions were all the greatest thing since sliced bread.  While the OS was revolutionary in 1984, by 1994 it was a kludgy mess.


I find apple stuff to have cliches.  They're also not as durable as some products.  The iPod is a touchy little bugger. :P

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/17/09 at 12:48 am


Personally, I can't stand McAfee.  And there are multiple reasons why.

I would suggest getting AVG and dumping McAfee.  McA is simply to bloated with unnessicary software, and begs like crazy for more money.  In fact, the main reason I hate it is because it demands you pay for it, and does not tell you when it will expire until after it expires, giving you a choice between paying them again, or going without antivirus at all.

Plus "all-in-one" software is normally nowhere near as good as specialized products.  For Antivirus I reccomend AVG:

http://free.avg.com/

For spyware, I use Ad Aware and SpyBot:

http://www.lavasoft.com/
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/



I do use Spybot.

How I got ahold of McAfee, was when this one guy came over to fix my problem. He originally was going use to AVG and Ad Aware, but found out that the disc drives weren't reading.(They still aren't, the reason why a reload, which I can't afford yet is needed)

Since the internet was hijacked on my computer at the time, he couldn't get to the download sites for the stuff. He accessed his computer from mine and put in McAfee.

It did two things right:

1. It stopped the hijack.
2. It eventually got something else that was making extra icons appear on my desktop when I'd go to some sites.(Now it doesn't happen)

However, that was all it did right. After that it became a liability, particularly with it's stupid installs. When the installs happen, using the internet becomes a pain, it slows it down part of the time.

I put in Spybot when the computer got hit by those pop ups from a phony anti virus thing/spyware/whatever it was. It definetly got rid of that problem.(And found alot more things than McAfee ever did)

All in all, I need a reload, that I do know.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: NbC on 07/17/09 at 3:21 am


I find apple stuff to have cliches.  They're also not as durable as some products.  The iPod is a touchy little bugger. :P


Just curious.  Why did you purchase a Mac in the first place if you want the computer to run like a windows machine.  You can get a more powerful windows computer for the price you pay for an Apple.  I personally like macs but that is just me. 

The beauty of a mac though is that you can install windows using Boot Camp.  Configure it to dual boot if you want to keep the apple software.  You just need a licensed copy of XP or Vista.  I tried it once but my mac (older version) doesn't come with boot camp and I didn't have a licensed copy of XP so I went another route.  Needless to say, windows didn't function correctly.  But it did install.  ;D 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Reynolds1863 on 07/17/09 at 9:21 am


Just curious.  Why did you purchase a Mac in the first place if you want the computer to run like a windows machine.  You can get a more powerful windows computer for the price you pay for an Apple.  I personally like macs but that is just me. 

The beauty of a mac though is that you can install windows using Boot Camp.  Configure it to dual boot if you want to keep the apple software.  You just need a licensed copy of XP or Vista.  I tried it once but my mac (older version) doesn't come with boot camp and I didn't have a licensed copy of XP so I went another route.  Needless to say, windows didn't function correctly.  But it did install.   ;D 


Because it's not my computer it's my better half's.  Besides you can't beat the graphics which I'm into.  I also have a windows laptop I use every now and then.  Yes I have boot camp installed I just don't have XP on it yet.  I do hope this satisfies your curiosity.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/23/09 at 2:15 pm

Uninstalled McAfee. Even with the other problems the computer is still having, it's running much smoother now.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/27/09 at 6:01 pm

My PC just got infected by 2 hijacker programs(Spybot just found them, I saw some crap pop up on the bottom right and then it mentioned me being infected, heck.... it is the infection)...

This happened when I went to Serebii today...

Which brings me to my question:

Is it possible for website that is normally safe to be taken as a gateway for unwanted crap like that?

Even though the site itself doesn't do that itself otherwise?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 09/27/09 at 7:19 pm


My PC just got infected by 2 hijacker programs(Spybot just found them, I saw some crap pop up on the bottom right and then it mentioned me being infected, heck.... it is the infection)...

This happened when I went to Serebii today...

Which brings me to my question:

Is it possible for website that is normally safe to be taken as a gateway for unwanted crap like that?

Even though the site itself doesn't do that itself otherwise?


It all depends...

There are mock sites that look the exact same as the real site, only there is one letter difference or something like that in the URL.

Unless of course if your site was hacked, in which case the hacker can definitely embed a trojan, virus, program and when you access the site you get it. But mostly, those things come within a program or embedded and by you agreeing to the terms of a site or the terms of a download... you agreed to being hijacked. Sorry Step-chan.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/27/09 at 10:44 pm

I went there for along time and this never happened before.

I haven't been able to get rid of it, finished scans cause Windows to automatically shutdown and I can't seem to remove it from the control panel.

Need help!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/27/09 at 10:59 pm

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090915163530AAFTwKK

It's worse than I thought.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/28/09 at 4:08 pm

Okay, went to Serebii from a library computer and nothing bad happened.

So it's not the site...

Kinda weird that it happened only on that site from my computer(I went there a second time yesterday to test and the same thing happened).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 09/29/09 at 6:20 am


Okay, went to Serebii from a library computer and nothing bad happened.

So it's not the site...

Kinda weird that it happened only on that site from my computer(I went there a second time yesterday to test and the same thing happened).


The library may have a better firewall than you do at home.  Or better virus/pop-up blocking software

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/30/09 at 5:20 pm


The library may have a better firewall than you do at home.  Or better virus/pop-up blocking software


Serebii is a Pokemon game site. I've went to it for along time on both this computer and the library computer.

It would have infected me long ago if that were the case.

Since this was recent, I don't think that was necessarily the case.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/30/09 at 5:21 pm

I'm going to check Serebii again from this computer to see if it happens.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/30/09 at 5:23 pm

Didn't happen this time.

This was the work of a bot sent by someone.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/30/09 at 5:38 pm

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-antivirus-pro-2010

Is this a legitimate site for help on it?

If not, what would be a way take care of that this nuisance?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 09/30/09 at 5:41 pm


http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-antivirus-pro-2010

Is this a legitimate site for help on it?

If not, what would be a way take care of that this nuisance?


If that doesn't work then your best bet would be to buy a internet security program that comes with anti-virus and anti-spyware and have it remove it all for you.

And if you don't have internet security on your pc, I would recommend that you not open anymore attachments or download anything until you do. Without proper security, you leave yourself open to these kinds of attacks.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/30/09 at 5:55 pm


If that doesn't work then your best bet would be to buy a internet security program that comes with anti-virus and anti-spyware and have it remove it all for you.

And if you don't have internet security on your pc, I would recommend that you not open anymore attachments or download anything until you do. Without proper security, you leave yourself open to these kinds of attacks.


When this happened, I didn't open anything, just went on Serebii like I have for along time. Since it didn't happen again today(don't know if that is relevant enough), I think was just sent on that day by chance.

I have Spybot at the moment(which finds the stuff, but the computer shuts down when the scan is either close to finished or done), but that's not enough on it's own. I will be getting a reload done soon, which I need to afford first beforehand(this has to be done before buying anything like anyway. I need the disc drives to be able read first).

How much does it cost to get a internet security program?

I just want to make sure that program they advertise to remove is a legit one. I get alittle nervous about some of those.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 09/30/09 at 6:17 pm


When this happened, I didn't open anything, just went on Serebii like I have for along time. Since it didn't happen again today(don't know if that is relevant enough), I think was just sent on that day by chance.

I have Spybot at the moment(which finds the stuff, but the computer shuts down when the scan is either close to finished or done), but that's not enough on it's own. I will be getting a reload done soon, which I need to afford first beforehand(this has to be done before buying anything like anyway. I need the disc drives to be able read first).

How much does it cost to get a internet security program?

I just want to make sure that program they advertise to remove is a legit one. I get alittle nervous about some of those.


I personally favor Trend Micro Internet Security. It is about $50 from Best Buy or Target. I use it because it isn't half as bloated as Norton/Symantec and it secures and removes anything if found. Not only that, it also lets you know when someone is trying to hiujack your system, if someone is trying to use your internet, scans all of your emails (of course if you are using Outlook or Windows Mail and it can be set up to do any type of scan at any given time. Renewal is abuot $40 a year - yep, you have to renew it every year or every two.

As for the program being sent to you... it had to be downloaded by you at some point in time in order for it to land on your computer. That type of malicious software can't just land on your computer from a site. I would say that it probably isn't the serebii. If you use p2p or other file sharing programs, it probably came bundled in that download. Or if you downloaded shareware from a site, it came bundled in that. The reason why it runs is because once you agree to the download terms, you give authorization for every program that came with it to install and run. A bot didn't put this on your computer from a site. It was downloaded.



I haven't been able to get rid of it, finished scans cause Windows to automatically shutdown and I can't seem to remove it from the control panel.

Need help!


When a scan finishes and the Operating System automatically shuts down - it could be one of two things.

1. You have a check mark in the box on the scan page that says "shut down windows/computer when scan is finished" or
2. Your pc is also infected by a trojan which will no longer allow changes to the system, registry etc.

Double check the scan page the next time before you run the scan. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/30/09 at 6:29 pm

50 dollars, ouch for me.

I know my sister downloaded some programs, the only thing I've did was listen to music through one of them.

(Looks it up)

Winamp I've used. There is also NVDVD and FL Studio 6 on it. The latter two I've never used for anything myself. The fact that I have IE version 6 doesn't help matters any either, due to it's weak security levels.

I haven't seen any options during the scan by Spybot that would point out an auto shut down, where would I see them at?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/30/09 at 6:34 pm

Well, I didn't know that I could look up the components of the files Spybot finds. Interesting.

Funny how both times I get hit with like this something it's because of something my sis put on here.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 09/30/09 at 6:41 pm


50 dollars, ouch for me.



Yes but imagine how smoothly your pc would run... worth $50, no?


I know my sister downloaded some programs, the only thing I've did was listen to music through one of them.

(Looks it up)

Winamp I've used.

I haven't seen any options during the scan by Spybot that would point out an auto shut down, where would I see them at?


Winamp isn't bad. I used to only ue winamp because I hated the way the old wmp was.
IE6 - yeah, you  need a browser with better security. Bet you can't download it though until you clean up the pc.
Although, you could give Google Chrome a try. http://www.google.com/chrome

As for spybot, (a program I detest, btw) it should be in your settings, or options, as to what you would like your computer to do when the scan is finished. If it isn't there, then even your spybot has been compromised. (Yep. those programs with make your free security programs go wonky!)


Funny how both times I get hit with like this something it's because of something my sis put on here.


That is exactly why I let no one touch my computer. The Son has his own and Big Nasty as well. NO ONE touches my baby. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/30/09 at 6:48 pm

I bought it off of her, so I got the problems along on it.(It was originally a loan, but she fully sold it to me later) The downloads were already there when I got it, can't use the disc drives since since they won't read right now. Bearshare was originally one of them, which has adware/malware on it.(I got rid of it)

Yeah, some people are iffy about Spybot, but it worked better for me than McAfee(which wasn't my copy of McAfee to begin with). And since I need a reload anyway, I felt it was a waste of time to put anymore protection in it.(Since this happened to it anyway)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/30/09 at 7:12 pm

The other thing that bothers me about the 50 is the fact that it also cost 40$ to renew every year or so.

That one I'd have to think about first.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 09/30/09 at 7:43 pm


The other thing that bothers me about the 50 is the fact that it also cost 40$ to renew every year or so.

That one I'd have to think about first.


Well, look at it like this:
50 to start and 40 there after or...
85/hr for an A+ Certified Computer Technician to fix your computer every time it goes tits up?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/30/09 at 8:01 pm

Blame McAfee for my uneasiness with payed for software protection. :D

The person I have to call for the reload is the one who put it together. I'll have to check, but from what my sister told me, he charges 20 dollars.(I'll have to check up with him soon) So I'm lucky on that front if that's the case.

I'll be trying to clear out this problem tommorrow.

My main options are:

Safe mode and delete them from the registry myself. Not recommended, since I've never tried it before.

Download something can get rid of it. If I can get rid of it, I can more easily use it until reload.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 09/30/09 at 8:15 pm


Blame McAfee for my uneasiness with payed for software protection. :D

The person I have to call for the reload is the one who put it together. I'll have to check, but from what my sister told me, he charges 20 dollars.(I'll have to check up with him soon) So I'm lucky on that front if that's the case.

I'll be trying to clear out this problem tommorrow.

My main options are:

Safe mode and delete them from the registry myself. Not recommended, since I've never tried it before.

Download something can get rid of it. If I can get rid of it, I can more easily use it until reload.




Well I wish you luck with your endeavors. McAfee was crap right from the word go.

And if you have a guy who will do it for 20 - make sure it is a legitimate copy of windows. ;)
I know of techs who do it for cheap and give a pirated copy of windows.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 09/30/09 at 9:25 pm

Karma for ya in second.

I do have a way of using the net without that thing interfering that I just tested.

Due to Spybot doing auto start ups, the desktop doesn't appear until after I clear it.

Well, I also messed up awhile back(last year) by updating Windows, so a window pops up for it.

I used that window for the net. Have had no interfence from it so far.

So I guess the mistake of updating had an upside to it.

On another note...

How do you go into safe mode?

Because I looked up with that could work on it, but they said it works best in safe mode.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 09/30/09 at 9:32 pm


Karma for ya in second.

I do have a way of using the net without that thing interfering that I just tested.

Due to Spybot doing auto start ups, the desktop doesn't appear until after I clear it.

Well, I also messed up awhile back(last year) by updating Windows, so a window pops up for it.

I used that window for the net. Have had no interfence from it so far.

So I guess the mistake of updating had an upside to it.

On another note...

How do you go into safe mode?

Because I looked up with that could work on it, but they said it works best in safe mode.



You are running windows xp right?


Close all open programs.
Click Start, Run and type MSCONFIG in the box and click OK
The System Configuration Utility appears, On the BOOT.INI tab, Check the "/SAFEBOOT" option, and then click OK and Restart your computer when prompted.
The computer restarts in Safe mode.
When you are finished with troubleshooting in Safe mode, open MSCONFIG again, on the BOOT.INI tab,  uncheck "/SAFEBOOT" and click OK to restart your computer

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/01/09 at 10:52 am

Yes I am.

I'll have to write that down first before I even download the new one to deal with this.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/01/09 at 10:53 am

Close open programs?

Is that just any window I have open and am using on the computer?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 10/01/09 at 11:07 am


Close open programs?

Is that just any window I have open and am using on the computer?


Yep.

If you have IE, yahoo messenger or any other program open, you have to close them so that all that is running is your operating system. The you click start > run ... etc.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/01/09 at 11:08 am

Thank you, just wanted to make sure. :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/02/09 at 4:30 pm

Went to safe mode, that mode was easier to use than I thought.

Now I'm waiting and keeping an eye out just to make sure.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 10/02/09 at 4:36 pm


Thank you, just wanted to make sure. :)


My pleasure!


Went to safe mode, that mode was easier to use than I thought.

Now I'm waiting and keeping an eye out just to make sure.


Keep me posted. 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/02/09 at 4:38 pm

So far, that thing hasn't popped up.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: apollonia1986 on 10/05/09 at 12:41 pm

Hi!

I hope that you can help me. I have a Tribeca 2GB USB port that I use on my computer. I've had it for a little over a year and have saved literally thousands of pictures to it. A few days ago, the computer started saying that I needed to re-format the disc. But I can't do that, because I'll lose all the information that I have on the disc and I really REALLY need everything that is on there. I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose all the pictures and things it took me years to get.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41zsokwZEHL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

That's the USB drive I have.

Will you please help me?

Thank you so much!  :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 10/05/09 at 12:45 pm


Hi!

I hope that you can help me. I have a Tribeca 2GB USB port that I use on my computer. I've had it for a little over a year and have saved literally thousands of pictures to it. A few days ago, the computer started saying that I needed to re-format the disc. But I can't do that, because I'll lose all the information that I have on the disc and I really REALLY need everything that is on there. I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose all the pictures and things it took me years to get.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41zsokwZEHL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

That's the USB drive I have.

Will you please help me?

Thank you so much!  :)


I am not sure what can be done without a little more information. ;)

Can you still access all of the pictures and files on the flash drive?
If so, then everything can still be saved! Either copy the entire thing to a folder on your computer hard drive, or get another flash drive and copy everything to it.
Then reformat and put everything back on it.

If you can't access the pictures and files, then your best bet would be to take it to a computer repair shop, where they can actually take it apart and try to save your files. I must warn you though, that trying to save them when the drive doesn't want to let you in, can be a rather hard task. Not every flash will allow you to copy and save if it is malfunctioning. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/08/09 at 2:41 pm

I'll be getting a reload done this month, as long as my luck with hours keeps up.(I'll be calling this weekend to get set up for it)

For that, I have a couple of questions...

Will I have to redo the internet start up after reload?

I seen you mention Google Chrome, how good is it?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 10/08/09 at 2:53 pm


I'll be getting a reload done this month, as long as my luck with hours keeps up.(I'll be calling this weekend to get set up for it)

For that, I have a couple of questions...

Will I have to redo the internet start up after reload?

I seen you mention Google Chrome, how good is it?


Internet - it depends on what you are using.
If, for example, you are directly connect to cadle or dsl, it should just be plug and play. If however, you ar using aol dsl/cable/dial up or regular dial up, you might have to set up the internet again.

Google chrome - it is an excellent browser. It isn't as bloated as IE, and runs a lot faster. It is powered by Safari.
There are some downsides to chrome though. Not all secure websites recognize it yet, and so you can't necessarily do anything on some sites. (myself, I shop at Borders.com and when I submit a purchase, the site doesn't rcognize chrome, so the purchase just kind of sits in limbo. It doesn't get processed , so at least my card doesn't get charged.) Also with chrome, I know they just updated inthe00s to be compatible... before you couldn't use the shortcut key to post (alt+s) but I reported it to them and now it works. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/08/09 at 10:39 pm

I use DSL through AT&T, don't know what I'll have to do, but I know I still have the disc somwhere. I had to actually call them up due to the disc drives not reading to get started when I first got it here at home.

I consider Google Chrome as an additional browser. After all the crap I've dealt with, I definetly need more than one web browser.

Karma for ya.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nally on 10/08/09 at 10:49 pm


I use DSL through AT&T, don't know what I'll have to do, but I know I still have the disc somwhere. I had to actually call them up due to the disc drives not reading to get started when I first got it here at home.

I consider Google Chrome as an additional browser. After all the crap I've dealt with, I definetly need more than one web browser.

Karma for ya.

We used DSL for a number of years, now we have a broadband service through Verizon. It works great, but the computer we are using is a laptop that is 6 years old.

I have not used the browser Google Chrome. Is it any good?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nally on 10/08/09 at 11:00 pm

I've been going through some of the older replies on this thread, and a number of them have sparked my curiosity. For example, sometimes when I'm on the internet and the web site freezes (probably because the page takes way too long to load) and I want to dump out of it. After some struggle, I get something that causes an "error report"...and I spotted an older post on the issue:


I have a question.Why do some web sites have "error reports"?  ???




Those are mostly for internal purposes. It allows the webmaster to determine where there are problems with the code and correct it.

Just like the error messages in Windows, they are almost worthless for anybody else though.

And I for one am no "webmaster"...but I do agree that they are pretty much worthless.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 10/08/09 at 11:04 pm


I use DSL through AT&T, don't know what I'll have to do, but I know I still have the disc somwhere. I had to actually call them up due to the disc drives not reading to get started when I first got it here at home.

I consider Google Chrome as an additional browser. After all the crap I've dealt with, I definetly need more than one web browser.

Karma for ya.


I know with DSL it is a little different. You actually have to go through the internet options settings in order to configure the LAN and other stuff like that. Your best bet would be to just call tech support after you get the reload and they can walk you through it. ;) Karma backatcha!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 10/08/09 at 11:08 pm


We used DSL for a number of years, now we have a broadband service through Verizon. It works great, but the computer we are using is a laptop that is 6 years old.

I have not used the browser Google Chrome. Is it any good?



See my previous post:

Google chrome - it is an excellent browser. It isn't as bloated as IE, and runs a lot faster. It is powered by Safari.
There are some downsides to chrome though. Not all secure websites recognize it yet, and so you can't necessarily do anything on some sites. (myself, I shop at Borders.com and when I submit a purchase, the site doesn't rcognize chrome, so the purchase just kind of sits in limbo. It doesn't get processed , so at least my card doesn't get charged.) Also with chrome, I know they just updated inthe00s to be compatible... before you couldn't use the shortcut key to post (alt+s) but I reported it to them and now it works. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nally on 10/08/09 at 11:08 pm


No, I am a professional computer technician.  I build or repair anywhere from 60-150 computers a month.  This is a setting that most people are un-aware of, and they normally have no idea why their icons suddenly started to dissapear.  I have often started to work on a computer, and looked into the "Unused Icon" directory, only to see 4 or 5 versions of multiple icons, all created when Windows removed them.  Because of this, I turn it off to make it easier for my customers.

After all, if an icon is really un-needed, most people simply delete it themselves.  They do not need Windows to go around behind them acting as an annoying nanny.

Well, that decision is often based on how old your current computer is.  If it is more then 2-3 years old, I would reccomend getting a new system.

In the last 2 years, we have had more changes then in the last 15 years combined.  IDE has finally moved aside, being replaced by SATA.  PCI Express video and newer chipsets allow for graphics unheard of 3 years ago.  DDR2 RAM, 64 bit and Dual Core processors are also the norm today.  My new computer is twice as powerful as the one I built 2 years ago, and 20% cheaper.  And with Vista, there is little reason to invest much money in fixing what is essentially an outdated machine.

I see. (I know this post is rather old too, but it was a response to a post I had made, but I never got back to it, so now I'm finally responding.) In 2005 I looked into the possibility of pursuing technical training, which teaches you how to repair computers and debug them, but it didn't seem all that interesting to me, and I didn't think I would ever understand it totally, so I decided not to pursue it. I'm glad there are people out there who do enjoy it.

The machine I'm on is fairly outdated (and is running slower, but it still runs, which is important) but I guess all the newer machines run on Vista now?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nally on 10/08/09 at 11:09 pm



See my previous post:

Oopsie! I should have looked first. Thanks Tam!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 10/08/09 at 11:11 pm


I've been going through some of the older replies on this thread, and a number of them have sparked my curiosity. For example, sometimes when I'm on the internet and the web site freezes (probably because the page takes way too long to load) and I want to dump out of it. After some struggle, I get something that causes an "error report"...and I spotted an older post on the issue:
And I for one am no "webmaster"...but I do agree that they are pretty much worthless.


The error reports mean absolutely nothing to Joe Schmo, but the webmasters can decipher them as quick as can be. They basically list what went wrong, what was being used, what was incompatible etc. And they also help Microsoft to make sure their browser  is compatible or acting properly. But ya, for regular people, they seem worthless. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 10/08/09 at 11:15 pm



The machine I'm on is fairly outdated (and is running slower, but it still runs, which is important) but I guess all the newer machines run on Vista now?


Vista for now, but comiong later this month is the new OS Windows 7. Basically Vista but better. (Like when they rolled out Windows ME and found that not even a year later that ME was so completely user unfriendly that they had to roll out XP early.)

Not to mention that most netbooks only come with XP. Brandnew ones right off the shelf today have XP. Kind of funny when you think about it since they stopped supporting XP over a year ago. ::)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/12/09 at 4:25 pm


We used DSL for a number of years, now we have a broadband service through Verizon. It works great, but the computer we are using is a laptop that is 6 years old.

I have not used the browser Google Chrome. Is it any good?


I don't exactly know how old mine is. I'll be calling Scott(the guy who did this one, it's a custom one) for reload tommorrow. I'll see if he remembers. I need to ask him what other types of browsers he has to(like IE7 instead of IE6), I'm wanting more than one after reload.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 10/12/09 at 4:27 pm


I know with DSL it is a little different. You actually have to go through the internet options settings in order to configure the LAN and other stuff like that. Your best bet would be to just call tech support after you get the reload and they can walk you through it. ;) Karma backatcha!


I had to call for that when I got the net with them, due to the current CD drive situation. I'll call them up again.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/17/09 at 1:30 pm

I'm in the market for a laptop. I don't think I want to go with a Dell. My PC is a Dell & I have had mega problems with it (or it could be the Vista that is making my PC not run correctly). I thought about going with a Mac because I heard that they are great. However, I want something that is compatible with this computer. I am sort of leaning toward a Toshiba.

Does anyone have any recommendations?



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 11/21/09 at 5:54 pm


I'm in the market for a laptop. I don't think I want to go with a Dell. My PC is a Dell & I have had mega problems with it (or it could be the Vista that is making my PC not run correctly). I thought about going with a Mac because I heard that they are great. However, I want something that is compatible with this computer. I am sort of leaning toward a Toshiba.

Does anyone have any recommendations?



Cat


I love my Compaq...it has Vista but I have experienced no problems what so ever in the 2 years I've had it... 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/21/09 at 6:03 pm


I love my Compaq...it has Vista but I have experienced no problems what so ever in the 2 years I've had it... 



Went to Radio Shack today and the woman there was telling me about the Acer Aspire. It sounds good. The reviews seem ok, too. So, now I'm leaning towards Toshiba OR Acer. BTW, the both have Windows 7.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 11/21/09 at 6:10 pm



Went to Radio Shack today and the woman there was telling me about the Acer Aspire. It sounds good. The reviews seem ok, too. So, now I'm leaning towards Toshiba OR Acer. BTW, the both have Windows 7.



Cat


well it is the next best thing  ;)  (windows 7)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 11/21/09 at 6:24 pm



Went to Radio Shack today and the woman there was telling me about the Acer Aspire. It sounds good. The reviews seem ok, too. So, now I'm leaning towards Toshiba OR Acer. BTW, the both have Windows 7.



Cat


In all honesty Cat, stay away from ACER. Their customer support SUCKS.
Granted they are pretty much American - but trying to get someone on the phone who actually knows anything about computers is almost next to impossible. They speak from a script and if your problem isn't on their scripts... you wait days for someone to call you back who can help you.

I am a Gateway / eMachines Girl. Love both to pieces!
A very close second is Lenovo - formerly IBM. 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/22/09 at 12:55 pm


In all honesty Cat, stay away from ACER. Their customer support SUCKS.
Granted they are pretty much American - but trying to get someone on the phone who actually knows anything about computers is almost next to impossible. They speak from a script and if your problem isn't on their scripts... you wait days for someone to call you back who can help you.

I am a Gateway / eMachines Girl. Love both to pieces!
A very close second is Lenovo - formerly IBM. 8)



I find it interesting that you say to stay away from Acer because all the reviews I have read have been good.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 11/22/09 at 9:24 pm



I find it interesting that you say to stay away from Acer because all the reviews I have read have been good.



Cat


Like I said, the customer support sucks.

The systems themselves are alright, so of course reviews are going to be good - but who includes customer support in their reviews of a product? ??? 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nally on 11/22/09 at 10:29 pm


Vista for now, but comiong later this month is the new OS Windows 7. Basically Vista but better. (Like when they rolled out Windows ME and found that not even a year later that ME was so completely user unfriendly that they had to roll out XP early.)

Not to mention that most netbooks only come with XP. Brandnew ones right off the shelf today have XP. Kind of funny when you think about it since they stopped supporting XP over a year ago. ::)

Windows Seven...yeah, I've heard of that one. I hope it's good. Guess if I were to get my own laptop anytime soon, it would probably utilize Windows Seven.



I don't exactly know how old mine is. I'll be calling Scott(the guy who did this one, it's a custom one) for reload tommorrow. I'll see if he remembers. I need to ask him what other types of browsers he has to(like IE7 instead of IE6), I'm wanting more than one after reload.

I see. Hope everything turns out ok. ;)



In all honesty Cat, stay away from ACER. Their customer support SUCKS.
Granted they are pretty much American - but trying to get someone on the phone who actually knows anything about computers is almost next to impossible. They speak from a script and if your problem isn't on their scripts... you wait days for someone to call you back who can help you.

I am a Gateway / eMachines Girl. Love both to pieces!
A very close second is Lenovo - formerly IBM. 8)

What?! IBM got renamed?! :o Did I miss something?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/23/09 at 11:05 am


Like I said, the customer support sucks.

The systems themselves are alright, so of course reviews are going to be good - but who includes customer support in their reviews of a product? ??? 8)



True. After going around and around, it appears that Acer has everything that I am looking for-and at an affordable price.  :-\\  I haven't made up my mind yet. I am taking your words into consideration when making my final decision.


The other day, I was playing in Pogo and asked what people in there recommended. Most of them said Dell-including an IT worker. Like I said, I don't really want to go with Dell again because of the problems I have had with this machine (of course that could be a problem with Vista as opposed to problems with Dell).


Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 11/23/09 at 12:17 pm

According to this article Acer are amongst the most unreliable laptop brands, along with Gateway and HP.

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/154921

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/23/09 at 1:49 pm

Oh man, this is so hard. Just when I THINK I have come up with something, I get more news that I don't like. I THOUGHT I had narrowed it down to an HP and/or Toshiba. I seem to keep going back to Toshiba.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: loki 13 on 12/09/09 at 6:27 pm

I have a question maybe someone could answer.

What is a 501 Internal Server Error?

Awhile ago my wife was trying to order those incredibly stupid battery operated hamsters and when she tried
to check out this was the received message.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 12/09/09 at 7:14 pm


I have a question maybe someone could answer.

What is a 501 Internal Server Error?

Awhile ago my wife was trying to order those incredibly stupid battery operated hamsters and when she tried
to check out this was the received message.


It isn't anything that you or she can fix Kevin.

It is a server error - so the website she was trying to access has a faulty script, and couldn't process what it was supposed to. The company needs to address it with their server provider. ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: loki 13 on 12/09/09 at 7:33 pm


It isn't anything that you or she can fix Kevin.

It is a server error - so the website she was trying to access has a faulty script, and couldn't process what it was supposed to. The company needs to address it with their server provider. ;)


Thanks Tam, I thought is was too good to be true anyway, they were selling those stupid things at regular price.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 12/31/09 at 12:48 pm


According to this article Acer are amongst the most unreliable laptop brands, along with Gateway and HP.

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/154921


I have owned 2 Acer laptops, and neither has given me a bit of trouble.  I gave one to my son who has not had a problem, and sold the other to a buddy who is also still useing it.

For a consumer level laptop, it is OK.  But be expected to need to upgrade the RAM (not a big deal, RAM is cheap).  And as for the Customer Support, I have never really found what I would call good yet.  For the most part, "Technical Support" is some idiot in another country that knows little about computers, reading out of a book.  If the problem is not covered in the book, they are hopelessly lost.

Last year, I bought a new laptop because I wanted something a little more powerful.  I got an HP basically because it had BluRay, and a few other features.  But it has been problematical since I got it.  Some movies do not play (and calling HP for help was a joke, he said update the firmware, which they do not have availble), WiFi frequently cuts off or grinds to a crawl, and keys started to fall off less then a month after I got it.

I have already decided, the next laptop I buy is going to be a Corporate level, no more "Consumer Models" for me, they are not worth the hastle.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 02/10/10 at 1:19 pm

Ugh...

I've been hit with rogue software called Antivirus Soft. I am currently at the library because I screwed something up when trying to get my IE to access the net again.(And I suck at trying to restore it on my own)

Does anyone know how to restore access to the net?

(I don't know when I'll be back in to check... I have to work the few days, I'll try to get back asap)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 02/10/10 at 4:10 pm


Ugh...

I've been hit with rogue software called Antivirus Soft. I am currently at the library because I screwed something up when trying to get my IE to access the net again.(And I suck at trying to restore it on my own)

Does anyone know how to restore access to the net?

(I don't know when I'll be back in to check... I have to work the few days, I'll try to get back asap)


Go back a couple of pages and follow the directions I gave to ninny. That will get rid of it without doing a system restore! ;)
And from now on, tell people when they are on the computer not to believe everything that dang thing tells them! It was downloaded by someone for sure. 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 02/10/10 at 4:11 pm


Go to the rants thread and follow the directions I gave to ninny. That will get rid of it without doing a system restore! ;)
And from now on, tell people when they are on the computer not to believe everything that dang thing tells them! It was downloaded by someone for sure. 8)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: nally on 02/10/10 at 10:48 pm


I have a question maybe someone could answer.

What is a 501 Internal Server Error?

Awhile ago my wife was trying to order those incredibly stupid battery operated hamsters and when she tried
to check out this was the received message.


It isn't anything that you or she can fix Kevin.

It is a server error - so the website she was trying to access has a faulty script, and couldn't process what it was supposed to. The company needs to address it with their server provider. ;)

Sometimes I get those things too. For me it often shows up as a "500 Internal Server Error", which I presume is similar in a sense..

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 02/15/10 at 4:15 pm


Go back a couple of pages and follow the directions I gave to ninny. That will get rid of it without doing a system restore! ;)
And from now on, tell people when they are on the computer not to believe everything that dang thing tells them! It was downloaded by someone for sure. 8)


I didn't believe it myself, I knew what it was.(I've had too much experience with this crap)  :D

I've managed to get online from home just now, through msn somehow.(I'll have to remember this from now on)

I'll go and look here in a second. Weirdly enough, I don't see the thing anymore.

Another thing I need to know... I have this icon that says "windows messenger not signed in". Is that real or phony?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/01/10 at 4:04 pm

I keep getting a message about upgrading to Yahoo! toolbar 8.1 (Everytime I go to a new page, after closing it or telling it to remind me later)

Is this legitimate or fake?

I just need to know, mainly thanks to the fact that I don't trust anything that pops up(due to a few malware infections).

Edit: Also, is Youtube compatible with Google Chrome?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 03/01/10 at 10:03 pm


I keep getting a message about upgrading to Yahoo! toolbar 8.1 (Everytime I go to a new page, after closing it or telling it to remind me later)

Is this legitimate or fake?

I just need to know, mainly thanks to the fact that I don't trust anything that pops up(due to a few malware infections).

Edit: Also, is Youtube compatible with Google Chrome?


Yahoo toolbar 8.1 is legitimate. Only download it if you want it.
And yes, youtube is compatible with google chrome

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/02/10 at 12:01 am


Yahoo toolbar 8.1 is legitimate. Only download it if you want it.
And yes, youtube is compatible with google chrome


The option just keeps popping up every new page I go on.(Like while I'm posting right now)

That's the only thing that concerned me.(I guess it's because of a phase out)

Thank you.  :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/02/10 at 8:25 pm

Tried to install that Yahoo thing, but there was an error. So now I still have to deal with that thing.

I'll install(or try to) Google Chrome tommorrow, to give it a test run to see if I like it enough for reload.

I'm unable to install it right now.(Might be the security level on the browser I'm using... Need the reload... Ugh..)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 03/16/10 at 8:03 pm

I'm able to use the net normally again. Too bad I didn't find this out sooner, Youtube is phasing the crap IE I using right now.

(Although I could try)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 04/08/10 at 3:07 pm

Little problem with Internet Explorer.  Whenever I close it down (x out of it to quote Elizabeth!) I get the pop-up box telling me Internet Explorer has stopped working then asking me what I want to do (report problem or restart program).  When I restart it and close it down straight away it shuts down without problem.  :-\\

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 04/08/10 at 3:59 pm


Little problem with Internet Explorer.  Whenever I close it down (x out of it to quote Elizabeth!) I get the pop-up box telling me Internet Explorer has stopped working then asking me what I want to do (report problem or restart program).  When I restart it and close it down straight away it shuts down without problem.   :-\\


Could be a corrupt execution file.
Best bet - download it again.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/default.aspx

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/12/10 at 1:52 pm

I've downloaded Opera and have been giving it a test run.

There is something annoying that's been happening occasionally while I've been using it.

It will go back to other pages I've been to, repeatedly, almost like it's getting hung on a certain command on it's own. This is happening when I'm not doing any typing or click on anything.

What's the cause of it?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 04/12/10 at 1:53 pm


I've downloaded Opera and have been giving it a test run.

There is something annoying that's been happening occasionally while I've been using it.

It will go back to other pages I've been to, repeatedly, almost like it's getting hung on a certain command on it's own. This is happening when I'm not doing any typing or click on anything.

What's the cause of it?


I don't know the workings of Opera at all so I can't help you here... perhaps I should learn it huh? lol

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/12/10 at 2:02 pm


I don't know the workings of Opera at all so I can't help you here... perhaps I should learn it huh? lol


I know a co-worker who uses it, I'll ask him as well.

It doesn't happen all the time, but it's annoying when it does. I'm wondering if how well it works with my OS would have anything to do with it.(Or if it's my mouse getting stuck.... But I've never had that problem with IE and my computer mouse)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/29/10 at 11:54 pm

I've been trying to login on my account at another site and it's been giving me this message:

HTTP Error: server failed to send headers

What does it mean?


(Sorry for the internet question, but this is the thread that is the closest match I could find)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 04/30/10 at 1:39 pm


I've been trying to login on my account at another site and it's been giving me this message:

HTTP Error: server failed to send headers

What does it mean?


(Sorry for the internet question, but this is the thread that is the closest match I could find)


http://www.inthe00s.com/index.php?topic=40451.0
http://www.inthe00s.com/index.php?topic=40453.0
http://www.inthe00s.com/index.php?topic=40457.0

This should answer all your questions lol

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/30/10 at 2:24 pm


http://www.inthe00s.com/index.php?topic=40451.0
http://www.inthe00s.com/index.php?topic=40453.0
http://www.inthe00s.com/index.php?topic=40457.0

This should answer all your questions lol


Thank you, that also explains why I seen the back up data message when I came here the other. :)

(The site I was trying to log on to last night was gamefaqs, I finally got on after several attempts)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 05/27/10 at 1:38 pm

That stupid Anti-virus soft malware is back. Although it doesn't seem to affect Opera.

Malwarebytes can't seem to find this time. I'm trying to that page on how to exactly deal with in safe mkode.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 05/27/10 at 1:49 pm


Go back a couple of pages and follow the directions I gave to ninny. That will get rid of it without doing a system restore! ;)
And from now on, tell people when they are on the computer not to believe everything that dang thing tells them! It was downloaded by someone for sure. 8)


I went back some pages and didn't find anything on it... Where is it at?

Is it in a different thread?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 05/27/10 at 1:56 pm

http://www.inthe00s.com/index.php?topic=35513.240

Found it...

Okay. I'll have to write that down...

Something tells me that I probably didn't get rid of it completely the other time and it just started up again.

Edit: That's a lot to write down.(I don't have a printer)

Umm... Since I'm on Opera.... Couldn't I just install Avast Free before going into safe mode first? Or would it not work the same?(While I can easily go into safe mode, that's alot of stuff to do while in safe mode just to download another anti-malware/spyware type of program)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 05/29/10 at 12:10 am


Umm... Since I'm on Opera.... Couldn't I just install Avast Free before going into safe mode first? Or would it not work the same?(While I can easily go into safe mode, that's alot of stuff to do while in safe mode just to download another anti-malware/spyware type of program)


The box is compromised.  You can't trust it to do what you're telling it to do. 

If the malware coder was smart (and some of them are), the virus will notice the startup of Avast or other legitimate AV software, and either shut down the AV before it can do anything useful, or hide itself such that the AV software can't detect it.

The point of going into "safe mode" is to prevent things from starting up, and even that's not a guarantee.

Best practice is to find a non-compromised machine, burn a CD with your preferred cleanup tool, and boot the compromised machine from the CD.  The LiveCD-based products typically boot to some form of Linux, guaranteeing that nothing on the Windows box ever runs.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 05/29/10 at 9:52 pm


The box is compromised.  You can't trust it to do what you're telling it to do. 

If the malware coder was smart (and some of them are), the virus will notice the startup of Avast or other legitimate AV software, and either shut down the AV before it can do anything useful, or hide itself such that the AV software can't detect it.

The point of going into "safe mode" is to prevent things from starting up, and even that's not a guarantee.

Best practice is to find a non-compromised machine, burn a CD with your preferred cleanup tool, and boot the compromised machine from the CD.  The LiveCD-based products typically boot to some form of Linux, guaranteeing that nothing on the Windows box ever runs.


Finally got back on(It was able to block my use of Opera until I found an option on the browser). My problem is the fact that I couldn't get rid of it and Malwarebytes can't find it. I did try Avast free, although(unless this is the virus's doing) it conflicts with SBC's Anti-virus.

Sadly, my CD drives don't read.(Haven't gotten a reload yet and I don't have a car to take my hardware in, don't want to drag that stuff on the bus)

This aggravates me to no end. Nothing like having a problem I can't get rid of.

Next year, I'm getting new hardware and software.(Although I will try to find someone who can reload here soon, this is getting old)


The list on there shows that you can go to that download site, how do you do that in safe mode exactly?(I tried hitting F8 repeatedly to no avail while in safeboot)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 05/30/10 at 7:02 am

Hey Mushroom,I have a question about my WinPatrol:

http://temerc.com/images/Scotty.jpg

When I open up WinPatrol,I always check for cookies and there is this LOW folder that the cookies go into,Do you have any idea what that is? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 05/30/10 at 7:06 pm


Finally got back on(It was able to block my use of Opera until I found an option on the browser). My problem is the fact that I couldn't get rid of it and Malwarebytes can't find it. I did try Avast free, although(unless this is the virus's doing) it conflicts with SBC's Anti-virus.


Can't help you with that one.  SBC, as in SouthwesternBellCorp?  Telecommunications providers don't write antivirus software.  They slap their brand on someone else's software as part of some sort of revenue-sharing agreement.


The list on there shows that you can go to that download site, how do you do that in safe mode exactly?(I tried hitting F8 repeatedly to no avail while in safeboot)


I'm probably not much use there either.  It's probable (likely) that safe mode disables networking, because there's no point in opening up the machine to further remote attacks.  You really need to get to an uncompromised machine before you can have a good shot at fighting it.

Antivirus isn't actually my strong point because I've never been infected by malware.  I believe in defense-in-depth, which starts with running up-to-date version of Firefox with Javash^Hcript and Flash turned off for 99% of my casual surfing.  I've tweaked it such that PDFs don't render in the browser, they render in a non-Adobe PDF viewer.  As a fallback, most of the big adserving networks are further blocked by use of a HOSTS file.  But I'm paranoid like that. 

When you get the new box up and running, I'd recommend the PrefBar extension for Firefox.  At the very least, try noscript and Adblock.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 05/31/10 at 9:00 pm

It was this post by Tam from the other thread:

http://www.inthe00s.com/index.php?topic=35513.240

Boot the computer into Safe Mode
restart the computer
Once the screen starts coming up, continually press F8 until you get the black boot options screen
choose "Safe Mode with Networking"


Safe mode with networking. Of course, by looking at the description she did, I would be foolish to try that on my own.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Toreys Lover on 06/04/10 at 7:31 pm

Hey, I have a Windows Vista 32bit system, anyways, whenever I try to update the software on it (through Windows Update Center) it will bring up the window (Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Windows Update), but say the page failed to load. Any idea what's wrong/how to fix it? Much appreciated.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 06/04/10 at 11:49 pm


Hey Mushroom,I have a question about my WinPatrol:

http://temerc.com/images/Scotty.jpg

When I open up WinPatrol,I always check for cookies and there is this LOW folder that the cookies go into,Do you have any idea what that is? ???


Don't worry about it Howard. The low folder is for low risk cookies - like the cookies that are stored there for this website. Don't delete it or anything... it is fine! ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 06/04/10 at 11:51 pm


Hey, I have a Windows Vista 32bit system, anyways, whenever I try to update the software on it (through Windows Update Center) it will bring up the window (Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Windows Update), but say the page failed to load. Any idea what's wrong/how to fix it? Much appreciated.


Internet security or anti-virus software?
My best guess would be that you are using a free one that hasn't done what it said it would do.
Your update has been compromised by either a trojan or a virus.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 06/05/10 at 5:35 am


Don't worry about it Howard. The low folder is for low risk cookies - like the cookies that are stored there for this website. Don't delete it or anything... it is fine! ;)


Ok,Thanks Tam for the explanation Karma To You.  :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 06/09/10 at 10:43 pm

As far as the leak of 114,000 iPad owners' email addresses due to poor security practices at AT&T, I have only this to day: Best. Headline. Ever.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: slacker on 06/11/10 at 11:52 pm

Ha! Ha! Ha!  ;D

Make good use of that old hardware!!
I would like to get my hands on some of those computers Mushroom
is discarding or those mass market machines he says don't bother with.

Most of my hardware is old, cheap and often given to me.
I check the machine out and if the hardware is OK,
I install Linux or BSD.
No need to upgrade ram, processor or power supply,
Linux runs very lean and fast on older hardware.

Buying new or upgrading is not the answer, just remove
that resource hungry, virus ridden, overpriced hog of an operating system (Windows).

Run lean mean and virus free w/ Linux and the cost... It's free!!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 06/27/10 at 5:35 pm

Why can't I upload on Photobucket while on Opera?

I'm able to upload on other sites.

Edit: nevermind, finally got it uploaded.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/06/10 at 5:43 pm

I'm having the same problem again... as previous post describes.

Ugh... I fluked my way through it last time.

Why is my only functioning browser having issues with Photobucket?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/07/10 at 9:36 pm

Well, found out that uploading directly from a link while Opera, actually works. Such a fickle browser. :P

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/17/10 at 5:25 pm

I need some advice. As many of you know, I FINALLY got a new computer-YAY!!!! It has Windows 7 (no more Vista-YAY!!!!) I downloaded Firefox-like I always do. However, I have a problem with the font. The default font was just too small and I couldn't read it. I have been trying different sizes, different fonts, etc. etc. and I just can't seem on finding one that everything seems to fit and that I can see. Right now, the font is ok but the smiles are super tiny but yet, all the info about the chat room doesn't fit in the box. So, can someone give me some advice on what size to make the font?

Also, what do I have to do


Thanks.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 08/17/10 at 5:35 pm

Cat - might not be firefox's fonts - could be the new computers fonts.

Look in the control panel at the font selection

Start>Control Panel>Fonts
Left hand side...
Change font size

If it is on smaller-100% Default, try switching it to Medium 125%
Apply it and if it doesnt work, first go and put firefox back it it's default to see if it helps.

Best I can give ya. I don't use firefox so I don't know about nay of it's details or features. ;)

Tam

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/17/10 at 5:48 pm


Cat - might not be firefox's fonts - could be the new computers fonts.

Look in the control panel at the font selection

Start>Control Panel>Fonts
Left hand side...
Change font size

If it is on smaller-100% Default, try switching it to Medium 125%
Apply it and if it doesnt work, first go and put firefox back it it's default to see if it helps.

Best I can give ya. I don't use firefox so I don't know about nay of it's details or features. ;)

Tam



I did do that. I did that before I started playing with the different fonts in Firefox.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 08/17/10 at 6:01 pm



I did do that. I did that before I started playing with the different fonts in Firefox.



Cat


I don't know then Darlin' ;)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: karen on 08/18/10 at 2:42 pm

could it be something to do with how you've set the screen size/resolution.  Can't recall what the different settings are but I know in my last job my boss used to changeany computer he used to some particular setting that suited his eyesight.  The computer guys always complained about it!

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/18/10 at 4:22 pm

Why does my computer create a minidump folder when after the computer crashes? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: ADH13 on 09/02/10 at 1:04 am



When I'm trying to search for things, I'm getting some hits from a wikia.com - is this a legitimate site??

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/04/10 at 7:01 am

Anybody know about IE8,Why does an interactive service message pop up telling me to download it,I could do it now but I don't want to mess up anything that I'm doing at this time,Should I try it?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 09/05/10 at 4:17 pm


When I'm trying to search for things, I'm getting some hits from a wikia.com - is this a legitimate site??


Yes.  It's a wiki primarily concerned with pop culture and/or gaming information.  It was probably founded in response to the whole Wikipedia "deletionist/inclusionist" debates.  Wikipedia has the page about the history, development, and cultural significance of Your Favorite Game.  Wikia's the place that has the page about the importance of every quest, every item, and every non-player-character in Your Favorite Game. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: ADH13 on 09/07/10 at 11:44 pm


Yes.  It's a wiki primarily concerned with pop culture and/or gaming information.  It was probably founded in response to the whole Wikipedia "deletionist/inclusionist" debates.  Wikipedia has the page about the history, development, and cultural significance of Your Favorite Game.  Wikia's the place that has the page about the importance of every quest, every item, and every non-player-character in Your Favorite Game. 


Thank you!  I thought it might be a malware trick intended to make people think they were clicking on wiki... you just never know these days...

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/08/10 at 6:32 am

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:H2ir3XGvgBBECM:http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy49/hellorebeccax3/Bleeping%20Computer/LastBrowsingSession.jpg&t=1


Does anyone get this sometimes?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Frank on 09/08/10 at 6:42 am


http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:H2ir3XGvgBBECM:http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy49/hellorebeccax3/Bleeping%20Computer/LastBrowsingSession.jpg&t=1


Does anyone get this sometimes?  ???

Yes. If the last thing your were looking at is what you wanted, click on "restore last session"

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/08/10 at 7:28 am


Yes. If the last thing your were looking at is what you wanted, click on "restore last session"


That's what I do.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 09/08/10 at 9:35 pm


http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:H2ir3XGvgBBECM:http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy49/hellorebeccax3/Bleeping%20Computer/LastBrowsingSession.jpg&t=1


The more interesting question (aside from "Why are you using IE? :)") is "Why is IE crashing on your machine?"

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/09/10 at 6:44 am


The more interesting question (aside from "Why are you using IE? :)") is "Why is IE crashing on your machine?"


I think I need a new hard drive,the blue screen doesn't pop up anymore it's just that the pages gets stuck and I have to start the browser all over again.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: snozberries on 10/17/10 at 9:30 pm


from my former co-workers/ current facebook friends

Too funny not to post somewhere....


Shannon has no idea how to open a .ofm file. Anyone?
about an hour ago · Comment · LikeUnlike · View Feedback (2)Hide Feedback (2)

    *
    *
    *
          o
            Kevin yes, simply type the key OMG in the FML window and you should be GTG

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/12/10 at 7:24 am

I have a problem with 4 computer cookies that refuses to be deleted in The Temporary Internet Files,I think it was either on the 4th or the 5th that the computer motherboard was slow and stuck and I had to shut down and turn back the computer 20-30 times and that caused problems with the motherboard so after that it left 4 cookies days later in the TIFs that I tried deleting but now it says files cannot be found,I tried deleting browsing history,nothing happened,I tried CC Cleaner,nothing happened,did a scan for spyware and malaware,nothing happened So does anyone know to delete cookies for good?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 12/12/10 at 9:38 pm


I have a problem with 4 computer cookies that refuses to be deleted in The Temporary Internet Files,I think it was either on the 4th or the 5th that the computer motherboard was slow and stuck and I had to shut down and turn back the computer 20-30 times and that caused problems with the motherboard so after that it left 4 cookies days later in the TIFs that I tried deleting but now it says files cannot be found,I tried deleting browsing history,nothing happened,I tried CC Cleaner,nothing happened,did a scan for spyware and malaware,nothing happened So does anyone know to delete cookies for good?  ???


Howard,

Cookies are going to be on your computer no matter what.
Cookies aren't bad - at least not all of them. ;)

What are they called?

If you scan isn't finding them and they aren't showing up anywhere else, then the ones you are looking for are gone.
Now, the only way they will be back is if you go to the site that uses the cookies you are looking for.

When you come to inthe00s - there are cookies from our site put on your computer in order to increase load speed and remember you.
Like I said, not all cookies are bad.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/13/10 at 6:50 am


Howard,

Cookies are going to be on your computer no matter what.
Cookies aren't bad - at least not all of them. ;)

What are they called?

If you scan isn't finding them and they aren't showing up anywhere else, then the ones you are looking for are gone.
Now, the only way they will be back is if you go to the site that uses the cookies you are looking for.

When you come to inthe00s - there are cookies from our site put on your computer in order to increase load speed and remember you.
Like I said, not all cookies are bad.


Here are the 4 cookies I'm talking about: msco which is a marketing website,inthe00's which is our site,tradex openx I don't know what that is and rewardtv,is a website where you win prizes. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/13/10 at 6:53 am

I also have one more question,Shouldn't the Temporary Internet Files be empty?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 12/13/10 at 8:36 pm


Here are the 4 cookies I'm talking about: msco which is a marketing website,inthe00's which is our site,tradex openx I don't know what that is and rewardtv,is a website where you win prizes. 


They are fine Howard. They are not harmful to your computer in any way.
As for the temporary internet files... as long as you are on the internet you will have tif's. They are fine too. You only really need to worry about those if things aren't loading properly, or flash player/shockwave won't run.

You are fine.
Don't worry about them at all! ;)

Tam

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/14/10 at 7:14 am


They are fine Howard. They are not harmful to your computer in any way.
As for the temporary internet files... as long as you are on the internet you will have tif's. They are fine too. You only really need to worry about those if things aren't loading properly, or flash player/shockwave won't run.

You are fine.
Don't worry about them at all! ;)

Tam


I know they're fine but I want to get rid of these stupid 4 files,I think it happened on the 4th or 5th when I had to shut down and turn back on the computer 20-30 times and some of these files are saying:

Windows cannot find so and so... make sure you typed the name correctly then try again. If there's nothing else you can do it's ok,I won't worry about it anymore Tam but thanks anyway. :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Tam on 12/14/10 at 10:45 am


I know they're fine but I want to get rid of these stupid 4 files,I think it happened on the 4th or 5th when I had to shut down and turn back on the computer 20-30 times and some of these files are saying:

Windows cannot find so and so... make sure you typed the name correctly then try again. If there's nothing else you can do it's ok,I won't worry about it anymore Tam but thanks anyway. :)


So windows can't find certain programs?
If it can't find programs you are going to have to install them again.

As for your shutting down and restarting the computer 20-30 times... Howard I thought you were kidding! What was wrong that you had to restart it that many times?? And please tell me you did it with the start>shutdown button, not just holding the computer tower button down 'til it shut off...

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 12/14/10 at 2:11 pm


So windows can't find certain programs?
If it can't find programs you are going to have to install them again.

As for your shutting down and restarting the computer 20-30 times... Howard I thought you were kidding! What was wrong that you had to restart it that many times?? And please tell me you did it with the start>shutdown button, not just holding the computer tower button down 'til it shut off...


No,It's not programs,It's computer cookies it can't find,Shutting down the computer 20-30 times was because the computer motherboard was stuck but it turns out I had to delete browsing history and stuff because I had 40 things opened from the past week of sessions but I shut it down both from the tower and the start/shutdown button.That's what probably messed the computer up.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/08/11 at 6:40 pm

I'm having a problem with Youtube, it's been hit with a link to a fake Adobe site, preventing me from watching videos(at least from my computer).

Does anyone know what I need to do to fix it?

Edit: Nevermind, whatever did it disabled my plugins, problem solved for now.

Edit: Although going through any site with vids seems to make it freeze when I want to click something else, so I'll have to do some safe mode scans to try and figure it out.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 04/09/11 at 5:07 pm

It looks like I'm no longer having the freeze problem, but I'm still going to do a safe mode scan just to be sure.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/14/11 at 2:50 pm

I have a couple questions.

I just hooked a new hard drive, but I can't play any Youtube vids. It says something about needing the newest adobe flash player.

But due to my old computers problems with spyware and such, I don't trust the link on there(You can't really blame me).

I'm looking for the official site for the flash player, can someone post it?

Also, is AVG Anti Virus free edition 2011 a real antivirus program? I'm just wanting to make sure to due past experiences.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 07/14/11 at 9:10 pm


I have a couple questions.

I just hooked a new hard drive, but I can't play any Youtube vids. It says something about needing the newest adobe flash player.

But due to my old computers problems with spyware and such, I don't trust the link on there(You can't really blame me).

I'm looking for the official site for the flash player, can someone post it?

Also, is AVG Anti Virus free edition 2011 a real antivirus program? I'm just wanting to make sure to due past experiences.


http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

Yes, AVG is legit.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/14/11 at 10:23 pm

Thank you, a karma for you. :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/14/11 at 10:34 pm

And Youtube still is showing I need to update.

Edit:

Okay, now I'm starting to see a problem, apparently alot of people have been having problems getting Adobe to work with IE8(Due to my lack of knowledge, what they were describing made my mind spin).

I'm somewhat relieved, I'm planning on getting an additional browser installed tommorrow.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Brian06 on 07/14/11 at 11:02 pm

Yeah I would go to Firefox or Chrome, definitely if you're still on XP and can't get IE 9 that's your best bet. Chrome even has flash built right into it, no need to download it separately.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/14/11 at 11:56 pm

I almost thought that my new drive was infected for a minute there(my other hard drive still has problems, so I tend to expect the worst) and so I went to see if anyone else was having that problem.

I'm actually surprised that this one has IE8, the previous one(which I still have, I plan on keeping it for a backup) had IE6.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 07/15/11 at 6:50 am


http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

Yes, AVG is legit.



My father uses AVG.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 07/15/11 at 6:52 am

How come when I go on youtube to watch a video sometimes it says "movie not loaded" but then a few hours later,it's back to normal,how come that happens? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/15/11 at 5:22 pm

Which version of Firefox is better? I'm on Windows XP.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Step-chan on 07/15/11 at 8:38 pm

Looked up some info, I'm starting to weigh between Chrome and Firefox.

The only thing about Chrome is with XP users, they have to have the expansion pack. I don't know if I have that.

Edit: Went Firefox.

Seems abit better than IE8.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 06/11/13 at 5:38 pm

Bumping up this thread.

In the past, whenever I did my backup going to an external hard drive, I would go through Windows-via the Control Panel. But, as I take more & more photos-not to mention videos, the back up takes FOREVER!!! I am wondering is there a quicker way to back things up and is it possible to just copy & paste my files on the external hard drive?



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 06/11/13 at 5:58 pm


Bumping up this thread.

In the past, whenever I did my backup going to an external hard drive, I would go through Windows-via the Control Panel. But, as I take more & more photos-not to mention videos, the back up takes FOREVER!!! I am wondering is there a quicker way to back things up and is it possible to just copy & paste my files on the external hard drive?

Cat


Yea, you can just copy and paste with no problem.  Or open 2 windows and click and drag.  It is all the same thing really.

Actually doing a "back-up" takes longer, because it is going through each file, and seeing if it has changed since the last time you did a back-up.  It looks at the file and sees if the "Archive" flag has been reset.  If it has, it does the copy, then turns that flag off, then goes on to the next file and repeats the process.  This can add a lot of time to backups, especially if you already know exactly what you want to back-up in the first place.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 06/11/13 at 7:41 pm

How come when I go on youtube to watch a video sometimes it says "movie not loaded" but then a few hours later, it's back to normal, how come that happens?

It's been 2 years maybe you could answer this? ^

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 06/11/13 at 7:48 pm


How come when I go on youtube to watch a video sometimes it says "movie not loaded" but then a few hours later, it's back to normal, how come that happens?

It's been 2 years maybe you could answer this? ^


Sorry, but that is about Youtube, and I really do not know how they work internally.  But I have to admit I have never seen that come up.  But I just looked it up, and it appears to be an issue with Flash.  And from the several sites I checked, these were their suggestions:

Reboot your computer
Clear your cache
Upgrade your version of Flash
Make sure your browser is fully updated
If it persists, use HTTPS:// instead of HTTP://

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 06/11/13 at 8:28 pm

My computer has been running slow lately and the pages with all those pictures don't load up as quickly as they used to, Would it be time to get a new modem? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 06/11/13 at 8:30 pm


My computer has been running slow lately and the pages with all those pictures don't load up as quickly as they used to, Would it be time to get a new modem? ???


If you are still using a modem, it is time to upgrade to some form of high speed Internet.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 06/12/13 at 7:09 am


If you are still using a modem, it is time to upgrade to some form of high speed Internet.


what about upgrading to a new Windows? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 06/25/13 at 1:45 am


In the past, whenever I did my backup going to an external hard drive, I would go through Windows-via the Control Panel. But, as I take more & more photos-not to mention videos, the back up takes FOREVER!!! I am wondering is there a quicker way to back things up and is it possible to just copy & paste my files on the external hard drive?


How fast is the port into which you've plugged the external drive?  USB1/USB2/USB3/FireWire/SATA1/2/3?  Is the dock into which the external drive is plugged capable of USB1/2/3/FireWire/SATA1/2/3 speeds?  If the PC (and the dock) are up to to it, eSATA can provide performance equivalent to a drive plugged directly into the motherboard.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 06/25/13 at 2:42 pm


How fast is the port into which you've plugged the external drive?  USB1/USB2/USB3/FireWire/SATA1/2/3?  Is the dock into which the external drive is plugged capable of USB1/2/3/FireWire/SATA1/2/3 speeds?  If the PC (and the dock) are up to to it, eSATA can provide performance equivalent to a drive plugged directly into the motherboard.



The USB is a 2.0 speed. Don't know what the rest of the stuff is. My new computer (which I should be getting any day now) will have a 3.0 USB. But, I'm just going to copy & paste because there is a lot of sh!t that is on this computer that I don't want to transfer to the new one. Just want my files and then I can reload all the programs and make a clean start. Once I transfer all my files, I'm gonna wipe this one clean and then throw it out the window get rid of it. I still have my old vista computer that I haven't wiped cleaned so I can't get rid of it just yet. The problem with doing that is that I don't have a spare monitor lying around. I would have to use the one that I am using now. Even with my new computer-I didn't get a new monitor.  :-\\



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Foo Bar on 06/27/13 at 9:20 pm


The USB is a 2.0 speed.


That's probably your bottleneck. 35 MB/s at best, which an old IDE drive (ATA/33) was capable of in 2001. (In 2001, there were no drives that could actually hit that limit), and that's assuming your drive dock is a USB 2.0 dock.

When you get the new machine, get a dock with both USB 3 and eSATA ports.  It won't make getting the data off the old machine much faster (the USB 2.0 will still be the bottleneck), but backing up from the new machine to a SATA drive in the new dock will be at least 5 times faster when what you're seeing now.  As for spare monitors, especially if it's just for temporary use, think like Macklemore and hit the thrift shop.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/10/13 at 7:35 pm

Sorry, been away the last few weeks, only now trying to catch up.

Another suggestion if you are somewhat comfortable with working inside your computer is to actually pull out your old drive and put it inside the new computer.  Then you will be copying from one directly to the other, at the fastest possible speed.  This is always the way I go when I do this.  Or if this is a bit much, you can invest about $25 or so and get an eSATA to IDE converter, and hook your old drive up outside of your computer.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 07/11/13 at 11:20 am


Sorry, been away the last few weeks, only now trying to catch up.

Another suggestion if you are somewhat comfortable with working inside your computer is to actually pull out your old drive and put it inside the new computer.  Then you will be copying from one directly to the other, at the fastest possible speed.  This is always the way I go when I do this.  Or if this is a bit much, you can invest about $25 or so and get an eSATA to IDE converter, and hook your old drive up outside of your computer.



Do not feel comfortable going inside the computer. The copy & paste worked just fine-in fact I really liked it. When I backed up with using Windows and transferred it to a new computer, I got all sorts of sh!t that I didn't want transferred. Now, I can just transfer what I want to transfer-nothing but my files. The new computer will have its own sh!t on it from the all the programs that I put on. No need to transfer all of that again. Not too mention it took less time.  :D ;D ;D ;D



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 07/20/13 at 9:57 am

Another question. With my old computer, whenever I fired it up, I would get this low "ba-dum" sound. It only happened at start up. I thought there was something wrong with the hardware-a problem I had since I got it. That was the reason why I replaced it and got a new computer. Now, the new one is doing the same thing. I fire it up, I hear the Windows start up music and then the "Ba Dum."  Any idea of the source, cause or how to get rid of it?



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 07/20/13 at 4:12 pm

I'm trying to delete this theme song from my Download folder but it says "could no longer find this item" and I've been trying to throw it in the trash bin but it still says the same thing. How do I get rid of it for good, if there is a way?  ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/21/13 at 10:32 am


Another question. With my old computer, whenever I fired it up, I would get this low "ba-dum" sound. It only happened at start up. I thought there was something wrong with the hardware-a problem I had since I got it. That was the reason why I replaced it and got a new computer. Now, the new one is doing the same thing. I fire it up, I hear the Windows start up music and then the "Ba Dum."  Any idea of the source, cause or how to get rid of it?


If you go to the Control Panel there should be a setting there to let you personalize, and in there you will find a setting for sound or sound effects (it varies slightly with different versions of Windows).  There you can go through them and see which one is making the noise, and change it to something else or even turn it off.


I'm trying to delete this theme song from my Download folder but it says "could no longer find this item" and I've been trying to throw it in the trash bin but it still says the same thing. How do I get rid of it for good, if there is a way?  ???


That is something I have seen before, along with files that are inaccessible even though I can see them.  This is most commonly caused when your registry gets corrupted.

The optimal solution I would say would be to simply start over and install a fresh copy of Windows.  I generally do this every year, since after that long it tends to get corrupted (because so many programs are sloppy in the install/uninstall area).

If you are daring, you can go to the text bar of the start menu and type REGEDIT, that will bring up the registry editor.  Then you can do a Control-F and type in the name of that file, and see if it is actually in the registry somewhere.  It is hard to give much advice after that, since it could be there in many different ways, but deleting it there should allow you to delete it in Windows.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 07/21/13 at 11:09 am


If you go to the Control Panel there should be a setting there to let you personalize, and in there you will find a setting for sound or sound effects (it varies slightly with different versions of Windows).  There you can go through them and see which one is making the noise, and change it to something else or even turn it off.





Ok, I went to the control panel and sure enough, the noise is "Windows Hardware Fail" which I suspected on the old computer. But why would it be on the new computer? I know you can't answer that without actually looking at the computer. Ok, here is a question you may be able to answer, could it be that the "hardware fail" could be an external device-i.e. the printer? The speakers? etc? Since all of those are the same from the old computer, I just can't imagine that there is someone wrong with the hardware on this new computer already.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 07/21/13 at 11:46 am



Ok, I went to the control panel and sure enough, the noise is "Windows Hardware Fail" which I suspected on the old computer. But why would it be on the new computer? I know you can't answer that without actually looking at the computer. Ok, here is a question you may be able to answer, could it be that the "hardware fail" could be an external device-i.e. the printer? The speakers? etc? Since all of those are the same from the old computer, I just can't imagine that there is someone wrong with the hardware on this new computer already.



Cat


Hardware fail can be almost anything, from a printer or TV card to almost anything else.

Click on your start button, then look for COMPUTER, and right click on that, then choose PROPERTIES.  A window should open giving basic information about your system.  On the left side should be an option for DEVICE MANAGER, click on this will bring up all of your hardware.  Look for the ones with yellow or red icons next to them, those should be the ones that are failing or are not loading properly.

Quite often it is just a device driver issue.  If this is the case you can normally go to the manufacturers website and download their newest drivers and that will clear the problem.  Or it may be the device actually failing, in which you can simply replace that piece of hardware.  Sometimes it is really not important though, like the AUDIO IN of your sound card, not important unless you are trying to record audio.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 07/21/13 at 12:05 pm


Hardware fail can be almost anything, from a printer or TV card to almost anything else.

Click on your start button, then look for COMPUTER, and right click on that, then choose PROPERTIES.  A window should open giving basic information about your system.  On the left side should be an option for DEVICE MANAGER, click on this will bring up all of your hardware.  Look for the ones with yellow or red icons next to them, those should be the ones that are failing or are not loading properly.

Quite often it is just a device driver issue.  If this is the case you can normally go to the manufacturers website and download their newest drivers and that will clear the problem.  Or it may be the device actually failing, in which you can simply replace that piece of hardware.  Sometimes it is really not important though, like the AUDIO IN of your sound card, not important unless you are trying to record audio.



Nothing is yellow or red.  :-\\  But, it didn't make the noise when I fired up the computer today - it only happens sometimes. I will check it the next time I hear the noise.

I realize that it CAN'T be the printer because the printer isn't turned on when I fire up the computer.

Thanks for helping me.



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 07/21/13 at 4:05 pm

That is something I have seen before, along with files that are inaccessible even though I can see them.  This is most commonly caused when your registry gets corrupted.

The optimal solution I would say would be to simply start over and install a fresh copy of Windows.  I generally do this every year, since after that long it tends to get corrupted (because so many programs are sloppy in the install/uninstall area).

If you are daring, you can go to the text bar of the start menu and type REGEDIT, that will bring up the registry editor.  Then you can do a Control-F and type in the name of that file, and see if it is actually in the registry somewhere.  It is hard to give much advice after that, since it could be there in many different ways, but deleting it there should allow you to delete it in Windows.


I went to REGEDIT and it said "file cannot be found". Nothing will happen to the file if you just leave it there? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/29/13 at 8:10 am

I don't know what it was this morning but I got the blue screen about 5 times this morning and like 5 minutes into opening, the blue screen of death pops up, then I tried working in Safe Mode but that didn't help much so I kept starting it over and over, turning it on and off, then I kept checking the View Problem History and about 530am this morning a problem with the generic software and my Winamp wasn't working either. My father doesn't want to put any money right now into getting a new computer for me but we might have to one day, For about a year and half, this has been going on like every 3 months the blue screen would pop up then it would stop for another 3 months.

Would it be time for a new computer and what happens if the blue screen happens to pop up again? ???

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/29/13 at 9:05 am


I don't know what it was this morning but I got the blue screen about 5 times this morning and like 5 minutes into opening, the blue screen of death pops up, then I tried working in Safe Mode but that didn't help much so I kept starting it over and over, turning it on and off, then I kept checking the View Problem History and about 530am this morning a problem with the generic software and my Winamp wasn't working either. My father doesn't want to put any money right now into getting a new computer for me but we might have to one day, For about a year and half, this has been going on like every 3 months the blue screen would pop up then it would stop for another 3 months.

Would it be time for a new computer and what happens if the blue screen happens to pop up again? ???


BSOD is one of the most annoying problems there is.  And if you look carefully it can actually tell you a lot.

http://www.prime-expert.com/articles/b03/images/bsod_structure.png

With this example, you can look at the file causing the problems (spcmdcom.sys), and find out what it is and what it does.  In this case, it is a virus.  In reality, most crashes are caused by poor program coding (not by MS but by other companies), bad hardware drivers, and failing hardware (especially video cards)

But I really do not have enough to go off of to give you a fair answer.  How old is the system?  What is the OS?  What Processor does it have? 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/29/13 at 5:14 pm


BSOD is one of the most annoying problems there is.  And if you look carefully it can actually tell you a lot.

http://www.prime-expert.com/articles/b03/images/bsod_structure.png

With this example, you can look at the file causing the problems (spcmdcom.sys), and find out what it is and what it does.  In this case, it is a virus.  In reality, most crashes are caused by poor program coding (not by MS but by other companies), bad hardware drivers, and failing hardware (especially video cards)

But I really do not have enough to go off of to give you a fair answer.  How old is the system?  What is the OS?  What Processor does it have?


This is what has been happening since this morning on, if you can de-code this:

Bugcode:USB DRIVER
Tech Info: STOP:0X0000FE 0X00008 00006 0X00001 08DE44310


I think My Father & I might have to go our repairman to have him fix it OR I might have to shell out some money for a new computer. This system I think is 4 or 5 years old The OS is Microsoft Vista 2008, I'm not sure about the processor. ??? That's all I know right now.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/29/13 at 5:25 pm


This is what has been happening since this morning on, if you can de-code this:

Bugcode:USB DRIVER
Tech Info: STOP:0X0000FE 0X00008 00006 0X00001 08DE44310


I think My Father & I might have to go our repairman to have him fix it OR I might have to shell out some money for a new computer. This system I think is 4 or 5 years old The OS is Microsoft Vista 2008, I'm not sure about the processor. ??? That's all I know right now.


It is a driver then.  I would remove every USB item, and then uninstall the drivers, and go to the websites and download the newest driver for each item, that should do it.

If it is that new, I would not get a new computer.  However I would seriously consider backing up everything and reloading the OS from scratch.  I generally reload my computers every 1-2 years, because the OS starts to get flaky after that (all of the installing and uninstalling of software).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/29/13 at 6:10 pm

It is a driver then.  I would remove every USB item, and then uninstall the drivers, and go to the websites and download the newest driver for each item, that should do it.

I would let the repairman do it but If I tell My father he would say the same thing, let the guy see what the problem is and diagnose it.

What about my favorites and bookmarks will they be lost? ??? I wouldn't want that to happen because it took me months and months to create it  :(

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/29/13 at 6:36 pm


I would let the repairman do it but If I tell My father he would say the same thing, let the guy see what the problem is and diagnose it.

What about my favorites and bookmarks will they be lost? ??? I wouldn't want that to happen because it took me months and months to create it  :(


Back up anything you want to keep.  Bookmarks are kept in a folder in your user directory, will have to look when I get home to see what that directory is in Vista.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/30/13 at 3:52 pm


Back up anything you want to keep.  Bookmarks are kept in a folder in your user directory, will have to look when I get home to see what that directory is in Vista.


I checked for some USB updates from the Control Panel last night and it seems that everything is up to date and needs no update. Is that a good thing?

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/30/13 at 4:09 pm


I checked for some USB updates from the Control Panel last night and it seems that everything is up to date and needs no update. Is that a good thing?


That is of no use, especially if there is a bad or conflicting driver.

You need to remove all USB devices, remove all drivers, reboot, then one at a time install them again and load clean drivers.  Otherwise they will just keep putting in the bad drivers over and over again.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/30/13 at 4:21 pm


That is of no use, especially if there is a bad or conflicting driver.

You need to remove all USB devices, remove all drivers, reboot, then one at a time install them again and load clean drivers.  Otherwise they will just keep putting in the bad drivers over and over again.


You mean the plugs that are in the D-Link? ??? http://i.walmartimages.com/i/p/00/79/00/69/25/0079006925241_500X500.jpg

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 08/30/13 at 5:47 pm


You mean the plugs that are in the D-Link? ??? http://i.walmartimages.com/i/p/00/79/00/69/25/0079006925241_500X500.jpg


Yea, it will have a plug like that.  Printer, scanner, camera, pretty much anything but the keyboard and mouse should be removed.  Reboot, go to Add/Remove programs, and uninstall any drivers for these items you see.  Download the newest driver for each item, then one at a time install the newest drivers.  This way any bad drivers should be gone, and only good ones will be in the system.

If this does not do it, a clean reload of Windows is the best way to go.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 08/31/13 at 4:27 pm


Yea, it will have a plug like that.  Printer, scanner, camera, pretty much anything but the keyboard and mouse should be removed.  Reboot, go to Add/Remove programs, and uninstall any drivers for these items you see.  Download the newest driver for each item, then one at a time install the newest drivers.  This way any bad drivers should be gone, and only good ones will be in the system.

If this does not do it, a clean reload of Windows is the best way to go.



Should this happen when the power is on or off? ???
I'll just pull out the plugs from the D-link USB port, download the newest version and see what happens.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: whistledog on 08/31/13 at 8:54 pm

Blue screen of death, I've been there recently.  My previous laptop had it.  I ignored it and just lived with it cause I was too lazy to get it looked into (i didn't want to be without a computer), but when I went to an untrusted site to download an mp3, I got a virus that gave me errors everytime I tried to open any program.  So I took it to get it repaired, and got told exactly what Mushroom said could be one of the causes:  Failing hardware.  My video card got fried.  To get something like that fixed, you're better off getting a new computer.  Why spend the money to fix something that might break again, when a new one costs around the same (maybe a bit more)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Mushroom on 09/01/13 at 12:31 pm



Should this happen when the power is on or off? ???
I'll just pull out the plugs from the D-link USB port, download the newest version and see what happens.


Turn power off
Remove all USB devices
Turn power on
Uninstall drivers and software for all USB devices
Reboot
Download newest USB drivers
Start to insert USB devices one at a time, installing all software for one device and making sure it is working before moving on to the next

When you are done, you should have everything working properly.  If not, I would start to suspect a failing USB device, or OS corruption.


Blue screen of death, I've been there recently.  My previous laptop had it.  I ignored it and just lived with it cause I was too lazy to get it looked into (i didn't want to be without a computer), but when I went to an untrusted site to download an mp3, I got a virus that gave me errors everytime I tried to open any program.  So I took it to get it repaired, and got told exactly what Mushroom said could be one of the causes:  Failing hardware.  My video card got fried.  To get something like that fixed, you're better off getting a new computer.  Why spend the money to fix something that might break again, when a new one costs around the same (maybe a bit more)


You are also talking about a laptop, which is a very different beast form a desktop.

For a laptop you are right, if it was the video I would get a new laptop.  If it is a desktop, you can replace the video card for as little as $30, so getting a new computer for that is not to smart (unless you were getting ready to get a new one anyways).

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/01/13 at 3:46 pm


Blue screen of death, I've been there recently.  My previous laptop had it.  I ignored it and just lived with it cause I was too lazy to get it looked into (i didn't want to be without a computer), but when I went to an untrusted site to download an mp3, I got a virus that gave me errors everytime I tried to open any program.  So I took it to get it repaired, and got told exactly what Mushroom said could be one of the causes:  Failing hardware.  My video card got fried.  To get something like that fixed, you're better off getting a new computer.  Why spend the money to fix something that might break again, when a new one costs around the same (maybe a bit more)


It could be failing hardware, We got this computer in late 2008-early 2009.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/01/13 at 3:52 pm


Turn power off
Remove all USB devices
Turn power on
Uninstall drivers and software for all USB devices
Reboot
Download newest USB drivers
Start to insert USB devices one at a time, installing all software for one device and making sure it is working before moving on to the next

When you are done, you should have everything working properly.  If not, I would start to suspect a failing USB device, or OS corruption.

You are also talking about a laptop, which is a very different beast form a desktop.

For a laptop you are right, if it was the video I would get a new laptop.  If it is a desktop, you can replace the video card for as little as $30, so getting a new computer for that is not to smart (unless you were getting ready to get a new one anyways).



Thanks, Mush.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: CatwomanofV on 01/08/14 at 6:54 pm

I hope there is a computer guru out there who can help with this matter since Mushroom hasn't been around for a while. Our laptop takes a long time to fire up. I have gone to the start menu and turned off all the b.s. programs that they ALWAYS put on the start menu every time you install one.  ::)  I have also cleaned the disk, got rid of temp files & done the defrag but it is still takes a long time to fire up. Any ideas? Is there something else I should do?



Cat

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: warped on 01/11/14 at 9:08 am


I hope there is a computer guru out there who can help with this matter since Mushroom hasn't been around for a while. Our laptop takes a long time to fire up. I have gone to the start menu and turned off all the b.s. programs that they ALWAYS put on the start menu every time you install one.  ::)  I have also cleaned the disk, got rid of temp files & done the defrag but it is still takes a long time to fire up. Any ideas? Is there something else I should do?



Cat


You might wanna start a thread in the 2010s section and ask the question. Maybe some of the younger ones on this site (who probably don't venture into this section) might know. They grew up with computers.

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/19/14 at 12:17 pm

I don't know what it is, it must be my driver but this sound keeps happening, I never know when it comes but when I'm listening to music or doing something like watching a video on the computer, it makes a sound like someone is going underwater and it stops for 2 or 3 minutes then it goes back to normal (resumes my activity). Could this sound be a damaged driver? Thanks. :)

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: wsmith4 on 09/29/14 at 5:57 am


I don't know what it is, it must be my driver but this sound keeps happening, I never know when it comes but when I'm listening to music or doing something like watching a video on the computer, it makes a sound like someone is going underwater and it stops for 2 or 3 minutes then it goes back to normal (resumes my activity). Could this sound be a damaged driver? Thanks. :)


Ahh, yes, that is known as the "fish tank" syndrome.  You'll want to flush your entire computer down the toilet and buy a new one. 

Subject: Re: Ask me about computers

Written By: Howard on 09/29/14 at 1:47 pm


Ahh, yes, that is known as the "fish tank" syndrome.  You'll want to flush your entire computer down the toilet and buy a new one.


Thanks for your advice.  ::)

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