Help a computer guy if a solution has helped you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How to add My Computer ,My Documents ,Internet Explorer icons to desktop

To add the actual icons and not shortcuts to the Windows XP desktop do the following.
Right-click on any open space on the desktop and choose properties to open the display properties window.
Now choose the Desktop tab and then the Customize tab on that page ,select the icons you want displayed and click on OK.

Monday, May 26, 2008

how much memory do I have on my computer

If you want to know how much memory you have on your system there are a few ways to tell.
First we have to know which memory we want to check there are two main types Hard Drive memory and Random Access Memory or RAM.
Hard drive memory is the memory where you physically store your information and install your programs to.
RAM memory is used to temporary store information when you open or load a program ,as soon as you switch off your computer the RAM is cleared of all info ,usually adding more RAM will make your system and programs load faster.
To view the amount of Hard Drive memory one has in Windows you have to go to My Computer and view the properties of the selected Hard Drive ,here you will see what the capacity is and how much space has been used and how much is available to use.
To view the amount of RAM memory go to Control Panel click on System and on the window that opens you will see your processor speed and amount of memory you have.
Another way to view these items is to use the System Information utility.
Click Start ,programs ,accessories ,system tools and then System Information

Media Player movie has sound but no picture

When trying to play a movie with media player or another player I could hear the sound but no picture was displayed.
After some research I realised that I needed Codecs in order to watch the film.
I downloaded K-Lite Codec Pack ,installed it and my problem was fixed.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Windows Vista system requirements.

Anyone looking to upgrade to Vista ,here are the system requirements needed.

Home Basic

1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

512 MB of system memory ( 1gb for premium, business and ultimate)

20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space ( 40gb for premium, business and ultimate)

Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory ( 128mb with pixel shader 2.0 for premium, business and ultimate)

DVD-ROM drive

Audio Output

Internet access (fees may apply)

For more info ;

New Hard Drive detected by system but Windows XP does not recognise it.

After installing a new Hard Drive the CMOS setup sees the Hard Drive correctly so it is connected correctly but in windows after it has been installed by the the Add New Hardware Wizard it is not shown in My Computer.
what is happening here is that windows hasn't created a partition for this drive or it hasn't been initialized.
To verify and correct this we have to go to Disk Management this is done by clicking on Start, click Run, type compmgmt.msc, and then click OK
In the left pane click on Disk Management ,your disks and partitions are shown.
To create a new partition, right-click the unallocated space on the disk where you want to create the partition, and then click New Partition ,when asked choose Extended Partition(primary is more for installing an operating system and booting of it) ,choose the default size ,when done click Finish(or close).
For an Extended Partition we need to create a Logical Drive so right-click your new Partition and choose create Logical Drive follow the steps and at the end you have the option to Format it ,do it so that Windows will see your drive .
when complete close disk Management and see if the drive is seen In My Computer.
Here is more info if you get lost;

Monday, May 19, 2008

run older programs in windows vista

If you try to run an older program that was designed for Windows XP or earlier you might get an error or it just wont start.
The first thing to try is the Windows Vista Compatibility Mode ,this is done by right-clicking the program .exe file ,selecting properties and then Select the Compatibility tab.
You can choose to run the program in Windows XP compatibility mode or even an earlier windows version.
If that doesn't work you can also try disabling the Visual Themes and Desktop Composition options, play around with the settings till it works.
If all else fails see if the program manufacturer has released a patch or update for that specific program.

cannot remove virus it says its in use or write protected

If you run an Anti-virus scan in windows or if a virus is found the program might give the error that it cannot delete ,quarantine or repair it.
First make sure you have the latest virus definition files (this is easily done by clicking on update button).
The best way to remove a virus is to boot into safe mode and run it from there.
when rebooting or switching on your computer tap the F8 key a few times before windows starts to load( usually after the machine beeps and shows your systems speed and memory amount).
you will be shown the boot menu( here is a description of the items shown), choose the option right on top called Safe Mode and press Enter.
After windows has loaded many files your mouse cursor will reappear and the graphical display will return.
Don´t worry if the display looks bigger or not so crisp it´s what we call the back door of windows ,click on the username that needs to be opened to enter Safe mode.
you will be asked if you want to launch System Restore or continue in Safe Mode ,choose Safe mode.
After the system has loaded the icons open the Anti-Virus program and run the scan.
when finished reboot and windows will reboot normally.

Monday, May 12, 2008

How to disable annoying startup programs in windows XP

If you have many programs starting up with windows or your taskbar is full of icons and you would prefer that they wouldnt, then you can try disabling them.
This will also make your computer faster, the first way is to actually right-click on the programs icon on the taskbar and see if they have a tick next to an option called load on system tray or load with windows ,unchecking this will disable them from loading next time you restart your system.
Also going to the programs properties and looking for an option to load with windows if there is no option to tick or untick a load windows option.
Another way is to run the Microsoft System Configuration Utility or MSCONFIG for short ,
from the run box and then uncheck items from the start up tab.
Remember not to remove essential programs like your anti virus program.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Invalid / Non System Disk error when switching on PC

when switching on a computer the error Invalid / Non System Disk would appear.
In this case it was an easy problem since their was a floppy diskette left in the floppy drive and the system tried to boot of it ,no operating system was found so the error was shown.
In other cases it could be a wrong boot order in the CMOS setup ,usually the Hard Drive should be the first boot device.
Also A corrupt operating system which will need a repair install.
A Hard Drive that is not properly connected or faulty can also cause this.

how to get drivers for your computer without system CD

If you ever format a computer then you will need the drivers for your system ,these are usually video ,sound ,network and others ,missing a driver CD makes this even more difficult.
If you have a branded PC like HP then all you have to do is go to their website and download the appropriate drivers for your computer.
No name brand computers are more difficult you have two options.
1: Use a program to view your manufacturer like Hwinfo,
2:You will have to open up the box and look on the motherboard itself to find out the manufacturer and model of your computer.
Here is a video to help you;
If you have other devices connected to your system like a printer ,webcam etc. ,their drivers and software will also need to be downloaded from the manufacturers site or use the CD if you have it.

Epson printer prints with horizontal white bands or streaks

If the printer hasn´t been used for a while this can happen.
The first thing to try is to run a head clean from the printers properties box and go to the maintenance tab, run various cleans and print a few pages until the printing improves(note this uses quite a bit of ink so you might have to get a refill).
If after many prints the print output is the same then you should try replacing the culprit cartridge.

PS: Sometimes if you get this printing problem after changing a cartridge it could also be a faulty cartridge.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

windows vista error Internet Explorer has stopped Working

When ever trying to open Internet Explorer the error Internet Explorer has stopped Working would appear.
First I decided to reset Internet Explorers settings by going to Control Panel ,Internet options , clicking on the advanced tab and choosing the Reset option at the bottom of the menu.
It reset all my Internet settings and the error went away.
Other steps to follow would be running an updated Anti-virus ,adware and spyware scan.

Network cable not detected by Windows Vista

weird one this one ,when plugging in the network cable the system doesn´t recognise it and says no network devices available to connect to.
Also the wireless adapter connects to a network but gives an error saying that it cannot get Internet access.
First thing to try is make sure they are fine in Device Manager If they are then we try uninstalling both adapters from Device Manager ,reboot and test again.
If the problem persists then disable the firewall and Anti-Virus program and see if it will detect the cable or connect to Internet.
Since I was getting errors saying that the firewall could not be enabled and the network service could not be started I decided to rather repair the Vista installation using the Upgrade Option Of The Vista DVD as it installs vista on top of itself and repairs any corrupt system files.
no information will be lost too, here is complete instructions ;

Monday, May 5, 2008

Device Manager shows yellow question mark for the SMBus controller

After formating a windows XP computer Device Manager shows a yellow question mark for the SMBus controller(it can also be under Other Devices).
Only solution is to download and install the Intel® Chipset Software Installation Utility.
restart the computer and no more errors.

Remove CMOS password from a desktop computer

A client added a system password to his system via the CMOS Setup so the computer would ask for it every time the computer is switched on.
The only problem....
He forgot what it was ,now the quickest way to resolve this is to short or reset the CMOS Setup.
This is done by opening the computer box .
Once open find and locate the battery , we have to options here.
1: We can remove the battery and leave it out(with the power mains unplugged) for about 10 minutes .
2:Short the CMOS by jumpering two of the three pins(some boards only have two pins) next to the battery by placing a jumper on top of them for about ten seconds.
This is illustrated in your motherboards documentation.

Option one is the easiest one especially if you are a beginner.

Outlook Express 6 gives blank error when trying to send or forward email.

When trying to forward an email to someone else or even trying to send a newly made email Outlook Express would give an error ,the weird thing was that it was a blank error with no error code.
The first thing to check is if the SMTP server is correct in the account options by going to Tools ,Accounts ,Mail tab selecting the email account and choosing properties ,go to servers tab and make sure the SMTP information is the correct information that was given by the ISP.
If all is correct then what you can then do is what worked for me many times which is create a new Outlook Express Identity.
First you must backup your email address and address book contacts.
Go to Tools ,Accounts ,Mail tab ,select your email address then on the right hand side click on the Export button ,select the destination and give it a name(keeping the extension .iaf).
If you have many email addresses then you have to do this for all of them.
Backing up the address book is very similar, click on the Address book tab(it should be next to the Send and Receive icon)once open click on File ,Export then choose address book(wab).
Select the destination and give it a name .
Once all this is done we can create a new identity.
On the File menu, click Identities, and then click Add New Identity ,type a name for the identity and click on OK.
When prompted say Yes to switch to the new identity, click Cancel to close the New Account wizard. If you are prompted to import settings or messages, select “Do not import at this time” or Cancel.
Now we are going to import the email address we exported.
Click on Tools ,Accounts ,Mail then choose the Import option on the right hand side and import the saved .iaf file.
the same thing must be done for address book contacts ,click on the address book icon then File ,Import ,Address Book(wab) and choose the location of the file and import.
Finally import your messages from the old identity ,on the File menu, click Import, and then click Messages, Select Microsoft Outlook Express 6 from the list of programs, and then click Next.
Then select the name of the Identity to import, and then click OK

The repair has now been done.

If you still get an error try to repair Outlook Express;