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Laptop Wireless Signal Drops 

by on November 17, 2006

Q: I have a Systemax wireless laptop and a few weeks ago I started having connectivity issues with the Linksys Wireless-G router. I would constantly get low signal and no signal strength, which the signal strength had been very good previously. Could my computer be infected with a virus? During some trial and error troubleshooting I saw something indicating that my wireless network adapter failed along with the default IP gateway, DHCP Server, and DNS Server Search Order. The computer is still under warranty should I ship it back to have the company repair?

A: With the information provided it doesn’t sound like it’s a virus. Typically wireless issues are experienced from either interference or driver/firmware issues. Try out these steps to resolve your problem:

1. Try changing the channel in your Linksys router. Typically the default channel is 6, I have found using 11 may reduce the interference experienced. You may also have a neighbor’s access point over riding yours, so a channel change is the first thing you should try. Keep changing it until you either find a channel that works great, or you run through all of the channels without improvement (if that’s the case, follow the steps below).

2. Do you have cordless phones in the house? If you do, are they 2.4ghz? 2.4ghz phones operate in the same frequency band as Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/a. You will want to ensure that you keep cordless 2.4ghz handsets and base stations away from your access point and laptop while using it. You may consider buying yourself a set of 5.8ghz phones, which won’t interfere with your wireless network (I had to do this myself).

3. If 1 & 2 don’t help then it’s time to upgrade your drivers on your wireless adapter. Go to the support site for your laptop (from what I could find on Google, it’s http://www.supportforyourpc.com/ for Systemax products). Download the latest driver for your wireless chipset/card and install it as per the instructions included.

4. If that doesn’t improve matters you need to visit http://www.linksys.com and download the latest firmware for your model of Linksys Wireless G Router. Make sure you pay close attention to the model number located on the sticker under your router. There are typically many versions of a router model (For example there is a WRTG54 v1, v2, v3 and so on). It’s critical that you download the appropriate file for your specific model. Follow the instructions (Especially the part where you need to use a wired connection to flash the router’s firmware). You will likely need to reconfigure the router after it’s been flashed, so write down your settings prior to flashing it (SSID, Encryption key and so on).

We suggest doing these before sending your laptop back to the manufacturer because none of them will take you more than 5 to 10 minutes and they could solve your problem. If you are unable to get your wireless adapter working using these steps then you will need to contact the manufacturer of your laptop and send it back to get repaired.


LLMetrix Wrapper – To Block Or Not To Block 

by on November 6, 2006

Q: Our antivirus software has a message that pops up to tell us LLMetrix Wrapper is trying to access the internet and recommends that we permanently block it. What is LLMetrix Wrapper and should it be permanently blocked?

A: I can’t locate any information on LLMetrix Wrapper within my security references and sources, however it’s always a good idea to block anything that’s trying to access the Internet (such as this is) without your previous consent and acknowledgement.

I would block this indefinitely, until (and if) such a time arises you realize something isn’t operating as it should (Automatic updates aren’t being received, virus definitions and so on). If that occurs, simply open your firewall application and remove the rule that is blocking LLMetrix Wrapper from connecting to the Internet.


Burn An AVI File To DVD 

by on November 4, 2006

Q: I downloaded an AVI movie file and I am able to play it on Windows Media player. I would like to know if it is possible to burn this movie onto a DVD so that I can watch it using my TV using my DVD player.

A: The easiest way to burn an AVI or MPEG file directly to DVD is to use an application such as Nero. It is not an expensive piece of software and it makes the conversion and burning a relatively painless process.

Once you have Nero installed, simply use the wizard to create a new DVD Video disk. A window will pop up allowing you to drag and drop the AVI or MPEG files that you want to include on the DVD. Nero will then begin converting it to the formats you specify for your region (NTSC, PAL etc) and will then burn it to DVD for you.

Also, some of the packages from Nero include the ability to create 3D DVD Menus, so you can give it a professional look rather than just have the movie play. It is easy and it is not that expensive.


Error Launching Adobe Photo Deluxe Home Edition 3.0 

by on November 1, 2006

Q: I am getting the following error message when I launch Adobe Photo Deluxe Home Edition 3.0.

“The SHELL32.DLL file is linked to missing export SHLWAPI.DLL: SHRegGetUSValueA.”

I can no longer use the application can you help?

A: This problem seems to be fairly common with a variety of Adobe products. All is not lost though; here are the steps to fixing the problem:

1. You will need to find your way to your C:\Program Files\Photodeluxe HE 3.0\ folder (this is the default installation directory, if you changed your installation directory then you will need to make your way there) either by using Windows Explorer or by clicking on My Computer.

2. In this folder you will need to locate the files URLMON.DLL and SHLWAPI.DLL and then rename them to URLMON.OLD and SHLWAP.OLD respectively.

3. Reboot your computer and everything should work fine!