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.

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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.

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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

Video Card Errors – Part 1

video.jpgYou are browsing the net and you get tired so you take a break and return to a computer with no display, what do you do? First of all, don�t panic and see if the CPU is still functioning with blinking lights or the power LED (the green thingy that is always on when you use your PC). If it is blinking, the PC has turned itself off going into sleep mode, look for the wake-up key on the keyboard and press, you�re back in business. If it still fails, sorry but you�ll have to turn off the CPU (computer actually) by pressing the Power Button until the power led turns off and the fan stops humming. Disconnect all cables and connectors from the CPU and open the casing making sure you touch the case before doing anything else (this discharges static electricity which could fry expensive microelectronics like your motherboard, memory module, CPU, etc).

Scratched CD’s (Data, Driver and Software CD’s) Part – 1

sctratched.jpgThere are a lot of instances when we find ourselves looking for a driver or software installation cd that is needed to restore some function you have accidentally removed or uninstalled. Sometimes, they just seem to be hidden so good they defy all searching efforts but sometimes they are right in front of you but with tons of scratches due to your daughter playing with it as you accidentally left in on the computer table. These colorful disks are quite attractive to kids and will be dealt with when seen. Unfortunately, scratches that are deep enough to bend the laser can render a disk useless but shallow ones can be polished off. A warning though, this should only be tried as a last resort for this may also crack the disk or ruin it further.

Best Troubleshooting Tips For HP Products

HP is a recognized manufacturer, which deals in all kinds of computers, printers, scanners and other peripheral devices along with their accessories. It keeps on introducing latest technologies in its products, so as to give you a new experience every time.

HP has introduced innovation in mobile computing; there are some ultra portable models like Compaq Mini CQ10 series, Compaq Presario CQ61Z series and HP Pavilion dm3z series which are quite popular.

However, sometime you may face issues with your HP computer, when you need to implement the best troubleshooting technique. Some of the most random issues of HP computers are slow performance, blue-screen error, audio problems and low memory. On rare occasions, you may also face problems with installation of software and hardware devices on your HP computer.

You can follow some easy troubleshooting steps to enhance your computer’s performance and reduce the chances of blue-screen error. Mainly, these occur due to lack of memory. There are free utilities like Disk Cleanup and Defragmenter, which can delete unwanted files and generate extra space on your computer’s memory at no cost.

However, memory of your HP computer can also be flooded with some virus infected files. In this situation you can troubleshoot your HP computer by scanning with compatible antivirus software, such as Avast Free Antivirus, AVG Anti-Virus 9.0 and Norton Internet Security 2010.

At times, your operating system might also get corrupted. Follow the below troubleshooting steps to rectify/repair you corrupted Windows 7 OS:

Step 1. Insert a valid Windows 7 CD into the DVD drive and restart your computer.
Step 2. Change the boot order through BIOS, if required.
Step 3. Select the language you prefer and mention “Time” and “keyboard input”. Click “Next”.
Step 4. You will be getting three options, select “Repair Your Computer” followed by “Command Prompt” to run the effectual utility tool called “bootsect.exe”. It will repair your Windows 7 operating system.

To get real-time resolution for any issues related to your HP product, you can always contact some tech support organization. These organizations have a team of experts and proper technology, which make them capable of resolving any issue related to HP product with an ease.

Troubleshooting a Dead PC (Grounding Isolation)

bent.jpgModern boards use plastic stand-offs to which the board simply snaps into place or is fastened to by ties. Older PC casings use brass ones that need paper or cardboard washers for the task. There may also be an issue with the alignment of the board itself (there was an issue with Gigabyte boards sometime back that had the whole board sagging in one place of the other which prevented the memory modules from seating properly. Thanks to answersthatwork.com for the details ) Use plastic tie-downs where a plastic tie is used to pull the board into alignment to solve this type of problems.

PC Troubleshooting – What is Causing Your Computer to Run Very Slow?

Computer running very slow? There are millions of people just like you who are having to put up with a PC which won’t respond quickly and which will not load up very quickly at all. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to fix this problem which even a beginner can do.

The first thing you need to check for is the hardware of your computer. The ‘hardware’ that a computer has is basically all the components and physical pieces which make the computer work. The speed of your PC is directly determined by how much information your hardware can process at once, and the reason why many new PCs are expensive is because they can process a lot more information than older models, making them faster.

You should check the quality and specifications of your computer’s hardware to see if it’s able to run the system and software that you have on your computer. It’s often the case that many PCs older than 2 years need to have some upgrades in order to help them run as quickly as what they should.

Poor quality hardware is the biggest cause of a slow system but there’s another big problem that not many people know about. The other big reason why your computer might be running slowly is because of the “registry”. The registry is a database which stores information and settings for Windows, and is constantly getting corrupted and damaged. This makes Windows struggle to load a lot of the settings it needs, which makes it run slower and slower.

Not many people realize the significance of the ‘registry’ and hardly anyone actually knows it exists… but every time you use your PC, it’s being slowed down more and more thanks to an increasing number of registry files becoming damaged. This means that if you have a lot of corrupt registry files on your computer, you can actually make it run a lot faster by removing them all.

You can remove corrupt registry files with a ‘registry cleaner’, which is a software program designed for this job. Cleaning out these corrupt files will make your PC run faster and can even make it run like new. New computers run fast because they have new hardware and (more importantly) they don’t have any corrupt settings inside the registry, allowing Windows to open the files it needs instantly. This means that if you use a registry cleaner to scan through your system & clean up all of the damaged registry files, you could make your PC run as fast as it did when it was new.

3 Common VGA Drivers Problems, 3 Simple Troubleshooting Solutions

There are quite a number of common problems that computer users encounter with their video graphics array (VGA), and the most prevalent of these problems are often due to the VGA drivers. This article will list the top 3 common VGA problems, and 3 simple troubleshooting solutions to resolve them.

Problem one: Your monitor’s power LED seems to flash, but there is no image displayed on screen. This could possibly mean a couple of things, but before you do something stupid like smacking the monitor hoping it will somehow jar it back to life, check to see if the connection to the computer is ok.

Sometimes even when things are all connected there may still be problems. This would most likely mean that there is something wrong with the digital/analogue connection, and you will have to look into the problem. It could be the cable itself, or it could be the port. It could also mean that you may need to have a converter, depending on how old or how new your monitor is. Not everything is a problem with the driver though, and sometimes hardware also plays quite a part in it; so you need to look at this problem from both angles.

The problem could also lie with your graphics card hardware and its drivers. One thing that you need to have is the latest drivers for the graphics card. By doing so, you can figure out the problem with ease, especially if you can eliminate drivers as being the sole cause of the problems.

First things first, make sure that you are able to verify the graphics card compatibility with both your system and the monitor. If there is still an issue with the display, then what you need to do is to get the latest drivers. You can do so by simply going online and visit the manufacturer’s website and download the drivers from there. More often than not, this is enough to solve the problem.

But if it still doesn’t work, do not worry, most of the time, blank unresponsive screens would more than often mean that you have installed a previous, outdated version of the drivers. What you can do is also to use force ware drivers, which are universal drivers for graphics card that activates the chip the same way your manufacturer has designed it. In fact, there is almost no difference when it comes to both drivers, so you can use both.

One thing unique about the display environment of the PC is that there is another set of drivers that come into play, which both facilitates and augments the capabilities of your graphics card and this is called the Direct X technology. This is a technology released by Microsoft, and a lot of the architecture built around the display driver is done so in reference to the versions of Direct X available.

Therefore, it is also crucial for you to have an updated version of Direct X, whose drivers are available on the company website and sometimes comes packaged with new games and new graphics cards that are purchased.

With these 3 common problems and 3 common tips to use, you will be able to route around many of the display driver problems that are plaguing people all over the world.