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Steps To Take When Windows XP Keeps Freezing 

by on February 26, 2008

Q: I have a Dell XPS 400 desktop and recently it has started to freezes up for no apparent reason. It is running Windows XP and I have tried everything I could think off including reinstalling windows, but again it froze up during installation. I would really like some help.

A: The first thing I would recommend is to run an anti-virus software program like AVG to make sure that your machine has not been infected. If you are virus free, then I would suggest downloading an anti-spyware program like Ad-Aware. If that is not the problem then the next step would be downloading and installing a free program, called HijackThis.

Unfortunately if none of these solve the problem, and they might not due to the fact that your computer froze during reinstall, then the problem might be related to your hardware in the computer. Maybe the CPU fan is not working anymore causing the computer to over heat and freeze up. Maybe the video card fan is not working anymore causing the computer to over heat and freeze up. So you will want to check all the fans in the system and maybe even try running your computer with the cover off and see if that helps a little bit.

Getting in your computer with a vacuum might even help to get the dust out that seems to always built up inside of a computer causing air to not travel as easily.


Windows Detected A Hard Disk Problem 

by on February 21, 2008

Q: I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 and I have a pop up that says, “windows detected a hard disk problem” what should I do?

A: Hello. The first thing to do is to backup your hard drive, including any files, folders, and programs that you would need should your machine hard drive fail.

The next step I would try, since it is a Dell is to press F12 for the Boot Menu and then run the HDD Diagnostics to see if the system catches the problem.

If you did not find anything then I would recommend trying to run the Seagate Seatools for Windows.

One of these two programs should be able to diagnose what the problem is. Once you have a diagnosis and if you need further help please contact us again. If neither of these tools was able to give you a diagnosis then also let us know what operating system you have and we can start from there.


Laptop Alternative For Posting To Blogs While On The Road 

by on February 15, 2008

Q: I just bought a great new Dell Inspiron S531running Windows Vista and I love it. My issue is that I will be traveling around the country for a few months and still need to be able to update my blog. Bringing my desktop computer into Starbucks is not possible but at the same time since my desktop is so new I do not want to spend the money on getting a laptop. What other alternatives are there out there for us bloggers to be able to post while on the road?

A: I think that the real solution for you is a smart phone and we did a recent answer titled Handheld Or Smart Phone With Internet Browsing Ability that you will want to read after reading this. The reason it is not a complete answer to your question is that we were looking for solutions related to browsing internet not doing a lot of typing. Read the rest of this entry »


Opening A Folder Makes The Desktop Disappear 

by on February 14, 2008

Q: I have an HP Presario C700 Notebook with Intel processor running Windows Vista. When I start up the computer I get two error messages that say:

  • c:\Users\Jared\AppData\Local\Temp\efcba.dll
  • c:\Users\Jared\AppData\Local\Temp\ojhlyjuj.dll missing entry:run

Then when I try to open any folder on my computer, it closes right away and the desktop disappears. The only thing I can see is the wallpaper. Then after a few seconds, the desktop comes back. It seems like my computer just won’t let me open folders anymore. Please help me:)

A: I have four things to try and see if this corrects the problem. if you have already tried one or more of these please continue with the next step. I will start with the easiest first to see if it resolves the problem. Read the rest of this entry »


Scheduling A Windows Computer To Make A Wake Up Call 

by on February 13, 2008

Q: My grandmother is blind and can’t set her alarm clock. That means I have to get up at 6am on Sunday to give her a wake up call so she can get to Sunday school on time. Using Windows XP, is there a way to integrate Scheduled Tasks and Phone Dialer (or even Hyper Terminal) so I can set up my PC to place this call weekly? Granny would receive her wake up, and I could still sleep in. Incorporating some type of automated voice message would be great as well; it would not absolutely necessary.

A: I am going to start off by answering your question about how to make this work with Windows XP, Scheduler, and Hyper Terminal. It is a rather simple process and then I am going to go on about how you should not do it and explain better solutions that are more reliable and will not require you to keep your computer on.

We first start by opening up Hyper Terminal. To do this go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Communications -> Hyper Terminal. Now when you open this you might get a popup box asking you if you want to make this your default internet dialer. You probably want to select no but you HAVE to check the check box either way. If you do not check the check box to tell it not to ask you anymore the scheduler will not work because that popup will just sit there and not let the dialer dial. Read the rest of this entry »


Home Networking A Computer And A PS2 

by on February 12, 2008

Q: I have a PS2 and some of the games have online play. I read that I could just plug an Ethernet cable from my PS2 to my high speed modem, and voila! So I bought a 30 ft. Ethernet cable (cause my modem is in the next room from my PS2) and when I went to my modem (model # 60678EU, and it doesn’t have a brand name printed on it anywhere, got it from charter communications I think), the only port for an Ethernet cable is occupied by the Ethernet cable that is running to my other computer. To make this work, will I have to buy different stuff? Or can I get around what I’ve currently got?

A: There are actually 4 solutions you can use to solve this problem. One does not involve some new hardware where the other 3 do though. I will list them in the order of how easy they are.

The easiest and most annoying solution would be to not use the PS2 and the PC at the same time. Just unplug the PC and plug in the PS2 when you want to use it. This will probably require powering down the modem each time as well.

The most reasonable solution is to buy a switch/hub. We highly suggest a Linksys , D-Link, or NetGear. A switch/hub is a networking device that allows you to convert the one port on your modem to 4 or more ports. Most Cable and DSL modems have their own DHCP service in them, so if your modem is new this should work just fine for you. A DHCP service is a service that will give the devices you connect to the network an IP address, which allows them to talk to each other much like phone numbers.

I spent some time browsing the web looking for information on your particular modem, the Ambit 60678EU, and it does have a DHCP service built in that supports 32 computers. So this means you just need to buy a hub, bring it home, unplug everything, hook the Ethernet cable from your modem to your hub, and then connect your PC and your PS2 to the hub. Then you should be in business! I would suggest getting a switch/hub that has a cross over port because I have a feeling you would need it to connect to your modem.

I personally get confused about that all the time. In short if you plug your modem into your switch/hub and the computers do not get to the Internet then you will need a cross over cable. The easiest thing to do is just get a hub that has an optional cross over port. There is usually a button that handles this or in some cases it is just automatic.

The next option, if your modem did not support DHCP would be similar to the above except you would go out and get a router. The router does the DHCP for you and looks very similar to a switch/hub and can even be used as a switch/hub if you disable the router portion in the settings.

The setup would be similar in that you would hook the modem via the Ethernet cable to the routers WAN port. Then you would connect your PC and PS2 to the LAN ports and you would be ready to go.

The last option is for people who like to make things a little bit more difficult. It would also require you leave your PC on all the time when you want to use the PS2.

You would need to install an extra ‘network interface card’ (NIC) on your computer, if your computer already has an extra NIC (Ethernet port) then there is no need for this installation.

The Internet connection sharing is a fairly technical task and it needs conscientious efforts from your side to follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. To perform sharing, first of all switch off all the attached hardware devices i.e. PS2, modem and computer,
  2. In case you are operating with an external USB modem then assure that it is connected to your pc.
  3. Now you need to join the PS2 Network adapter and the free Ethernet port on your computer with a ‘cross-over’ Ethernet cable.
  4. Next join the spare computer Ethernet port and your broadband modem with the ‘straight-through’ cable. Now switch on your modem and pc.

After making the above connections, Windows allow you to setup the required Internet sharing between your PS2 and pc and subsequently check out the connectivity of your pc. Now turn your PS2 on and breeze in the network access disc. Simply carry out the on-screen setup steps and enjoy the thrill of your PS2. Please note that for PS2 to be online, your pc should be on and connected to the web.


Merging Two Or More Partitions Together 

by on February 12, 2008

Q: I have a 120 GB HD that has been partitioned into three 40 GB HD’s C,D,E. I just reinstalled windows XP onto the computer and I deleted the D and E assuming they would become part of the original C drive regaining a 120 GB HD, after I installed the OS, I now only have 1 40 GB HD, I installed Acronis Disk Director and it recognized the D and E drives now labled I (due to a second HD that has been partitioned as well). My question is if I re-install XP again and delete the C drive as well as the I drive will it combine them as it installs the OS onto the C drive?

A: Hello. You should be able to use Acronis Disk Director to combine the C and the I drive. My understanding is that you now have two drives containing the total disk space that your machine has. I downloaded the software and installed it and did a test. I was able to create a partition, then merge the two back together for the C drive using the following directions.

  1. I selected the Automatic mode and clicked Ok.
  2. I could now see the C drive and the Q drive.
  3. Select Increase free space.
  4. Highlight your primary drive, the C: drive.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Select the secondary drive that you want to take the memory from, for you it will be your I: drive.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Move the slider to the maximum size of the I: drive.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Reboot.

Once done you should see that the drives have been merged.


Recovering Email From A Year Ago 

by on February 11, 2008

Q: Is there a way to retrieve mail deleted over a year ago?

A: Unfortunately, since it has been a little over a year your chances are not good. When you receive an email from someone that information is received by your email system provider (ex: outlook, AOL, etc) and then when you check your mail the emails are downloaded for you to view. Many times these providers will store the email on the server for a certain period of time but I would think after a year that would be impossible to recover.

Many email programs either compact or encrypt the messages after they have been deleted which would render the email unreadable if you even were able to find the files. Most programs also save email as text files and they are constantly overwritten making the files unrecoverable after a short period of time.

I am sorry, as I am sure this is not the answer you wanted but there is virtually nothing that can be done to retrieve it at this point except to contact the ISP that handles your email and ask them if there is anyway they can get the emails back.


Safely Removing Temporary Internet Files 

by on February 11, 2008

Q: Can I delete all temporary Internet files in IE without causing any problems? If so how do I go about deleting them?

A: Yes it possible to remove Temporary Internet files in Internet Explorer without causing any issues. However, please do make sure that you bookmark any pages that you had recently visited and would like to visit again.

To delete the Internet files, please apply the step by step procedure described below:

  1. To begin with close any Internet Explorer and Window explorer windows that are open
  2. Now click on the Start button and then move up and click on to the Control Panel
  3. Next you need to click twice on the Internet Options windows.
  4. In the window that appears i.e. the General tab locate the Delete files option which is present below the Temporary Internet Files.
  5. Next when the dialog screen appears please be sure to choose the Delete offline content option and then press OK.
  6. Again click Ok to complete the procedure.

Please note that in newer versions of Internet Explorer after you complete Step 3 and reach the General Tab; you will notice a Browsing History option will have a button mentioning Delete. You need to press on this and you will move to a screen allows you to remove your temporary internet files along with many details of your browsing.

One thing that you should be aware of while deleting temporary internet files is that at times files downloaded from website are shown in the Temporary folders leading to a extra consumption of disk space which you may notice. In case you require assistance to remove such files it would be handy to visit Temporary Internet Files Use More Disk Space Than Specified for a detailed resolution of the issue.


Fixing A Corrupted Registry In Windows XP 

by on February 11, 2008

Q: How do I fix a corrupted registry in Windows XP?

A: I have used a product called RegCure before and it has fixed my problems but if you do not want to buy anything I found another quick fix is to perform a system restore to a point before it became corrupt.

If you are going to need to perform a System Restore you need to:

1. Click Start.

2. Click All programs.

3. Click Accessories.

4. Select System Tools.

5. Choose System Restore.

6. From this point you will have to follow the prompts to select the Restore point but it will guide you well through the process easily.