Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
All things physical, from the computer to the components to the devices that you attach to it.
DVD Region Codes are intended to restrict where a DVD can be played. Computer DVD drives can sometimes alter region codes, but only a few times.
Audio CDs are different from data CDs. Typically, your burning software needs to know how to create audio CDs, and you need to explicitly tell it to do so.
This is usually a bad idea. Even when it appears to work, you're never really certain that everything's been fixed up properly.
Upgrading a motherboard and CPU can be tricky if you need to preserve data and settings. I have one possible suggestion for a work-around.
Flash memory is not the same as the type of memory used as your system RAM. They have different characteristics and they're accessed differently.
Your TV can often be used as a second monitor, but unless you have a newer digital TV, the results will likely be very disappointing.
When replacing a motherboard you can almost certainly use your hard disks, the question is how much additional work and configuration you might need.
While the technology continues to improve, the fact is that flash memory has a limited number of times it can be written to. It can, in fact, wear out.
Cyclic Redundancy Check is an error detection mechanism to make sure that your data has been read properly. If a Cyclic Redundancy Check fails, it could mean several things.
When more memory is added to a computer, most of the system will automatically use it without the need to adjust settings on your machine.
When flashing your BIOS fails, there typically is only one remedy: replace the chip where the BIOS is stored.
Defragmenting is a useful bit of maintenance to keep your hard disks speedy. It's not always needed, though. We'll look at when, and how, to defrag.
You should try to fix bad sectors on your hard drive before trashing it. Starting with "chkdsk" may help.
Windows natively supports a lot of hardware. For hardware not directly or completely supported you'll need to take a couple of additional steps.
Is it a driver problem? Or hardware? Or what? I go through a few troubleshooting steps to see.
Reformatting a computer is still the best way to get it back to like-new condition, but there are a few useful habits and software choices that can help keep a system clean.
When setting up a 'headless' machine, you may need to change the BIOS setting to allow it to boot without a keyboard.
Occasionally, something as simple as inserting a device into a different USB port will cause Windows to reinstall drivers again. Or will it?
The place to start is with your hard drive although this error can also come from RAM and the motherboard. But, start with that hard drive...
There are two approaches to sharing a display, keyboard, and mouse with multiple computers. I'll give a brief overview of both.
A lot of time and thought goes into cleaning your hard disk, applications and so on. But what about the box itself and other attached peripherals?
Drivers are critically important components of your computer, but knowing when and how to update them isn't as easy or as obvious as we might like.
Start by unplugging suspected devices and see if you can pinpoint the culprit. Sometimes, it's as easy as replacing a cable.
After performing a clean install of Windows it's not uncommon for some devices like sound to no longer work. The solution is fairly easy.
Spilling liquid into your laptop or keyboard can cause serious damage. The first step is to dry it thoroughly, and we'll look at one possible solution.
28.8kbps is a standard speed for dialup modems, But even if your modem is rated at 56kbps, often 28.8kbps is all you'll get. There's one major factor that causes the actual speed to be lower than advertised.
A bad sector is a physical problem with the hard drive. Copying the file will give you clues to its status.
Reinstalling Windows is often recommended when replacing a motherboard with a different model. But there are scenarios where it may not be needed.
Every so often a keyboard stops working or acts up. It's tempting to look everywhere but at the most likely culprit: the keyboard itself.
A CD player that won't stay put may be a sign of hardware failure. Maybe it's time to upgrade.
Digital cameras often include software to download pictures. Good or bad, the big secret is that you may not need software to download pictures at all.
A virus scan and checking the cooling fans in a computer are good places to start if your machine shuts itself off frequently.
A machine that fails on boot is hard to diagnose long distance. There are two typical problem areas to look at first.
A computer acting erratically after a clean install indicates a deeper problem - perhaps static electric or hardware.
There are a few hardware-related things that you can check if your modem connection has suddenly slowed.
Bizarre actions from your mouse may mean its imminent death, however there are a few less extreme causes of sensitivity and other odd actions.
It depends so much on how you use your computer and what your own personal preference is for things like heat versus noise.
An upgraded computer may shut down because the existing power supply isn't strong enough. Here's why.
Replacing a hard drive is not terribly difficult, but if you're worried about losing data, then perhaps replacing the hard drive isn't all you should do.
The "Safely Remove Hardware" icon can occasionally disappear. It turns out there's a simple workaround to safely remove hardware anyway.
Depending on your usage, turning your computer off at night might be appropriate. But is it actually saving energy? In the long run, it's hard to say.
Upgrading equipment is a common way to get better performance or increased capacity. Upgrading a DSL modem, in and of itself, will likely do neither.
Your system fan is an important component of your system. If the fan fails your system could fail or some components could even be damaged.
Intel's Core i3, i5, and i7 processors present a headache-inducing combination of characteristics. I'll look at what matters and then dig a little deeper.
There are a few things to check out if your computer freezes when you insert a CD or DVD into your DVD ROM.
Missing drivers? Best place to search for drivers is on the manufacturer's website.
We'll look at why you might not be able to add files to a CD-R.
The Sims 2 may not work for a number of reasons, but there are a few things to look into to make sure the game is compatible with your computer.
A CD disc explodes inside a machine! Now, how do you find out how much damage it has done?
Burning CDs can occasionally be a little touchy. A combination of minor issues with players and records can add up to intermittent problems.
If your computer has a clear dial tone but is still showing "no dial tone", check to see if the modem is properly connected to the right places.
A black screen on your computer can mean several things. A black screen is most commonly a screen saver, but there are also much worse possibilities.
Computer manufacturers use the Fn key to cram even more virtual keys onto smaller laptop keyboards. Sometimes it can get confused.
Quite often the first thing that a diagnostic technician will ask you to do is reboot your computer. Why? Because rebooting works surprisingly often.
Sometimes a DSL connection dropping out could be a sign of a faulty telephone wire.
When your computer is turned off or unplugged, a small battery keeps the computer's clock running. If that battery runs out, your clock will reset.
While there are many reasons your computer could blue screen, there are some things you can look into to help determine the cause.
Random reboots are annoying because you can easily lose what you're working on at the time. Random reboots are difficult to diagnose, because there are many possible causes.
A common cause for computers shutting down unexpectedly is overheating. An external drive probably doesn't add heat - but the software drivers might.
Power settings in a laptop will be in the Control Panel and also in the BIOS. Changing them requires checking both areas.
If your CD drive makes a grinding sound, you'll need to replace it. Here's why.
On-screen volume indicators are handy, but surprisingly they're not actually part of Windows. We'll look at alternatives.
Everything indicates this is a hardware related issue. I think you're looking at having a technician take a peak at the hardware.
Sometimes 640x480 is your only option. We'll look at ways to work with this.
Bluetooth connections, when they work, are pretty darned cool. It would be great it if were a little bit more solid!
We'll look at some ideas to try to stop a USB device from asking for a CD.
USB device detection normally works well, albeit mysteriously. The mouse is a critical Windows component, so if your USB mouse is not detected, an error results.
Usually an issue with the monitor, we'll look at ways to adjust your screen.
While Windows 98 itself may to blame, there are a couple reasons why Windows 98 won't recognize new hardware installed on a machine.
Your display might not turn on if the computer's not working or the display's not working. However there are other possible causes we'll look at also.
Desktop vs. laptop performance is hard to compare because laptops generally have special power-saving hardware installed.
Backup hard drives are inexpensive and a great way to save important information. Is storing your backup hard drive in your safe adding any protection?