Understanding Blue Screen of Death

 

Blue Screen of Death. Just the name is terrifying! It is likely that if you’ve used Windows that you’ve also encountered this blue screen STOP error. It happens whenever your computer senses a software, hardware or driver error which will not allow it to continue operating properly. It can happen anytime for any different reasons. Before you have a heart attack, here’s a beginner’s guide on how to deal with BSOD

The first step is trying to reboot your computer. Sometimes, all it needs is that and you will have recovered. On other more complicated times, you may need to troubleshoot more. All BSOD comes with clues. Take your time to read because it will contain what you need to do. Most of the time it will tell you to restart your computer. (Do that) Otherwise, go into safe mode. From there you can get into “My Computer” and right click on the “c” select the tools tab and do a defrag and schedule a disk check – check both boxes in disk check – one says “check for errors” the other one say “attempt to repair”

Computer Basics : Essential for troubleshooting Part-1

pctt5.jpgIt is true that not many people know how to tinker with their computers which doesn�t mean that one cannot handle minor repairs. Repairs and preventive maintenance such as cleaning can be carried out by you and me with the most elementary of cleaning tools and a little elbow grease to go with them. First, to ensure you experience less problems try to get the computer CPU cleaned at least once a year. If you live in a dusty environment or if you have a Fido or Fifi in he house then this might become a regular routine. Before you take off the cover which is normally screwed down ( be sure to check for any warranty seals on the casing, breaking them would void the warranty terms) with four Phillips type screws be sure the power chord is removed and all devices are unplugged from the respective connections (tip: if you assume that you won�t be able to return all those wires to the proper places, get hold of your camera phone or digital camera and take a few shots as a visual record). Slide the cover off to get a glimpse of the innards of your personal computer.

Tips to Help Before You Call a Professional to Repair Your PC



There are many problems that can easily be fixed in a few minutes by a person with no computer knowledge. So before you call in a professional see if you can save yourself time and money by fixing it yourself.

First, and this sounds silly but you need to check the obvious. Is the computer turned on? Assuming that it is your next step will be to make sure it is getting power. Unplug the computer and plug something else into the outlet to make sure the electrical outlet has power. Next switch your computers power cord with another cord make sure the problem is not the power cord. Check all the wires that attach to the back of the computer make sure they are firmly connected.

If all that is working it’s now time to open up your desktop computer. Don’t panic this is very simple and there is very little harm that you can do. On the back of the computer you will find two screws normally on the right hand side of the case when the back of the computer is facing you. After you remove these screws the side of the case should slide off. Look inside you will see a fan facing you somewhere close to the centre of the case. Turn the computer on, is this fan spinning? If not you will need to replace this fan, just remove the four screws holding the fan in place and take it to your local Best Buy or PC parts store.

While you are inside the case get a can of compressed air and small brush (A paint brush is fine) and remove any dust you can find, focus your attention on the metal fins underneath the fan. Also give a gentle push on all wires to make sure they are securely connected. You should do this once or twice a year to maintain your computer and extend its life.
These simple checks can save you hundreds of pounds.

Top Tips For Troubleshooting DLL Errors



Many computer users are victims of the false belief that the task of troubleshooting computer errors should be only undertaken by an expert. Well, certainly we should seek expert help in resolving complex computer errors, but many common computer errors can be easily resolved and do not require any expert help. In this article, we discuss how to troubleshoot one such common fix-it-yourself computer error known as DLL errors.

What are DLL files?

DLL files contain code or functions that are used by different applications to perform a particular function. A single DLL file can be used by multiple applications to perform the same function. Because there are thousands of DLL files present on a PC, the occurrence of a DLL error every now and then is pretty common. However, unlike other system errors, DLL errors are fairly simple to troubleshoot. Usually, DLL errors messages display a fairly illustrative DLL error message and tell the user the likely cause of the error.

Causes of a DLL error

Discussed below are common causes of a DLL error:

o Missing or Corrupt DLL file
o Malware infection
o Registry issues
o Outdated files

How to troubleshoot a DLL error

Depending upon the cause of the DLL error, you can use either of the following steps to fix the DLL error:

Reinstall the missing DLL file

You can usually fix the DLL error that occurs due to a missing DLL file by reinstalling the DLL. You must try to reinstall the application that generated the error to replace the missing file. You may also try to obtain the missing DLL file from a reliable source on the Internet.

Get rid of the malware that is causing DLL error

Many DLL errors, such as rundll errors occur due to malware infections. Malware programs, such as viruses and worms deliberately edit the codes embedded in DLL files and make them inaccessible. As a result, a DLL error is generated every time an application or the operating system tries to access the infected DLL file. To fix a DLL error that is caused by a malware infection, perform a full scan of your entire system to delete or quarantine the malware and repair the infected file. To prevent malware programs from breaching your system’s security in the future, install reliable antivirus and antispyware tools on your system.

Repair registry entries

The registry is the central repository of your system and stores important data, including entries related to all your DLL files. DLL errors, such as shell32.dll errors occur when the entries related to this file are damaged or incorrectly modified. To resolve such errors, you will need to repair their entries. However, editing registry entries is a highly technical job and should not be attempted if one does not posses the required expertise. We recommend that you use an efficient registry cleaning tool to repair the incorrect DLL entries within the registry. To repair damaged registry entries and to get rid of all the unwanted information accumulated in the registry, perform a registry scan using an advanced registry cleaning tool.

Update your drivers, software and operating system

Outdated files may also cause DLL errors on your system. To prevent this from happening, regularly update your drivers, software, and operating system with the latest security releases and updates that are released by their manufacturers.

Screech….ing hard drive – Finishing the Job (Part 6)

hdfail5.jpgOne drive systems usually have no jumpers while two or more drive systems can have them installed. Set your errant drive as the slave and the master drive (the new one) as the master drive. Install the drive and screw securely while ensuring all power cables and connectors are set in their proper places before you power up. Partition the new drive if desired and format each partition (this ensures no malicious programs might have been innocently???? left in the drive during testing by the retailer or manufacturer) even if the retailer who sold you the drive says it is factory formatted. Re-install the OS, drivers and all the other programs; re-copy all the necessary files and you’re all set to go. Oh, don’t forget to take out the errant drive after you copy all your documents and files (the drive can fail and damage the computer if the controller board shorts due to failure of the mechanical parts damaging the rest of your computer including the new drive).

Hardware Upgrades – Are they still worth it?

That would be a question that you yourself would have to address for determining the feasibility of such a task depends mainly on cost. Consider these points, if you are upgrading your computer because it has considerably slowed down, then a total retrofit or even replacement would be in order. This would be more akin to older machines that may have already been serving you for a good couple of years, besides, you may not be able to find any compatible hardware anymore due to the fast pace at which technology advances. (more…)

XP’s Restore Points – Using them

The Restore point option of Windows XP has the operating system taking a snapshot of your overall system (mostly the system areas on the hard drive along with documents), saving compressed information about the hard drive’s contents at regular intervals allowing almost instant file restoration should the computer experience a system crash. These restore points can be set manually on when it is to take snapshots of the system for backup or as experienced XP users know, every time you opt to upgrade a critical part of your operating system that may have bearing on the overall stability of your computer. (more…)

What to Do When Your Laptop Gets Wet

coffee laptopWe all know the dangers of drinking coffee while typing on our laptops, but just like I’m doing right now, you probably drink coffee while working. Of course, once you spill your drink on your laptop panic and regret makes you swear the bad habit off, but until then our daily cup of poison must be drunk to get us going.

So what should you do if your laptop gets wet?

The first thing you should always do is to unplug it (if plugged), turn it off, and remove and external devices (e.g. USB sticks, mouse, external hard drive). Forget about backing up your files, because you just need to make sure you don’t fry your computer!

Next thing you do is to turn your laptop upside down (to prevent further seepage) and run for the most absorbent cloth or paper towels to wipe off as much of the fluids as you can. If your laptop’s keyboard easily comes off, take it off and try to dry off as much of the laptop as you can. After this, the best thing to do would be to take it to your service center. However, if your the DIY type of person then you can follow more steps to try to save your laptop from liquid damage, although it involves taking your laptop apart.

In case you already committed a big booboo by turning it back on when still wet and it does turn on or turns back off after turning on for a few seconds, then you’d better get ready to apply for a loan because chances are that you’ve shorted a vital part.

Photo Credit

Reformatting Your PC: Back it Up First!

reformatReformatting your PC is not really all that hard. However, forgetting some basic things you need to do BEFORE you reformat your PC can lead to disastrous results. Not that it will mean an irreparable PC, but it can mean data loss.

Before you reformat any PC, you need to always make sure that you back up all your important data, including your precious family photos, copies of important notices from service provides and financial institutions, and any work files. If you don’t, then all your data will be erased in the process with no way for you to get them back.

Backing up your data before reformatting your hard drive is also a good time to purge your files, much like virtual spring cleaning. It may be time consuming to do so, but in the end it just feels better knowing that your files are all in order.

Photo Credit

Complexities of Business IT Infrastructure

decisionsBuying and a computer and deciding on troubleshooting issues is really easy if it is for personal purposes only. After all, the only things you need to consider are your personal preferences, budget and convenience. When it comes to purchasing and maintaining computers for businesses though, the issue is definitely more complex with everything from the smallest details needed to be taken into account during decision making.

Some of the things you need to really decide on regarding your business IT infrastructure include your system requirements such as the appropriate operating system to use, your web hosting package, all other business software needed, and even the IT personnel that will maintain all these for you. On top of these all, you also have to factor in your budget and stay withing limits. You have to know if this is worth getting a financial loan and get the approval from your finance department.

With so many things to consider, the stress of troubleshooting PCs all day pale in comparison!

Image via Scott McLeod