September 27, 2007
Note: All featured softwares were tested functional and virus free.
Download No.1: Auslogics Registry Program
OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista
Its a registry defragmenter utility, it tells you if your registry is fragmented or not, its user-friendly and it automatically create a restore point before it will attempt to defrag your registry .The developer claims that it will provide significant speed in accessing your system registry after defragmenting.
Click this link to download file:
Download No. 2: Spyware Terminator(Highly-Recommended)
Spyware Terminator includes Real-Time Protection, HIPS, and antivirus. Effectively remove spyware, adware, trojans, keyloggers, home page hijackers, and malware threats even dangerous threats like Look2Me, BetterInternet, VX2, and CWS. Spyware Terminator is easy-to-use, requires minimal PC resources, and performs ultra fast scans. Protect your computer with powerful real-time protection shield, advanced system scanning and safe quarantine for found spyware. Scan your computer manually or schedule full system sweeps. Perform in-depth scans of your computer's hard drives, memory, process, registry and cookies to seek out and remove all known spyware threats. Includes optional Web Security Guard which displays website reviews and threat level to help identify potentially dangerous Web sites.
Click this link to download file:
September 22, 2007
Service Done:Check fuse and power regulator transistor at primary of power suppyly section, I found out that everything is ok. I check the horizontal power transistor(supply signal to flyback transformer), it is busted(shorted).I remove the defective transistor from the pcb and test the unit again, the power is now restored. In this case, power was pulled down by the short circuit created by the transistor when still connected in the circuit. After replacing the defective transistor(Part no:C5521), monitor now funtions normally.
September 19, 2007
The ATX standard has two different versions of the main power cable: the original 20 pin cable, and the newer 24 pin cable. The 24 pin cable is just the 20 pin cable with 4 extra wires added to the end to provide extra current. If your power supply main power cable and motherboard main power connector both have the same number of pins then they'll (of course) fit together just fine. But what happens if they don't match? If you plug a 24 pin power cable into a 20 pin motherboard then it will work fine but you often can't get them to physically fit together because something gets in the way. If they don't fit together then you can get an adapter cable which converts a 24 pin power cable into a 20 pin cable. You can always plug a 20 pin power cable into a 24 pin motherboard but whether it works over the long haul depends on how much current your motherboard draws. Those extra 4 pins provide more current carrying capacity. Plugging a 20 pin cable into a 24 pin motherboard can strain the 20 pins that you're using. If the motherboard draws too much current then it will overheat the connector which can burn or melt it. There are adapters which convert 20 pin cables into 24 pin cables but they don't solve the problem and can cause problems of their own. Many newer power supplies come with a 20+4(last 4 pins is detachabel)power cable which has a 24 pin connector which can be split into two pieces: a 20 pin piece, and a 4 pin piece. This kind of power cable is fully compatible with both 20 and 24 pin motherboards. If you're buying a new power supply then try to get one with a 20+4 power cable.
The 24 pin power supply was created to address additional current requirement on newer motherboards, these 4 pins are supplied with the following voltages; +3.3V,+5V,+12V and Ground.It is also use to power-up the PCIe slot of newer motherboards, pcie cards may not function if you are only using a 20 pin power supply.
Picture courtesy of motherboard.org
Problem Encountered:You can't directly load an operating system within its system
Troubleshooting/Repair Done: I reformatted the Hard drive and started to install Windows98, when intallation reached just in the verification process it all stackep up.I tried to use Windows ME and Windows XP still no success. What I did is connect the hard disk to the standard desktop IDE (using a converter) and load windows 98 from there, then connect back to the Laptop.After detecting all the necessary devices, Windows now runs normally and I just added the necessary driver for its sound, video and modem.
September 17, 2007
When I arrive on site, the unit is turned on and its running the application mentioned above. One of the QA engineer informed me that they cannot shot down the unit because they are running some tests and it will take some time before the tests is done. Since I cannot wait all day long, I suggested that I will just pull out the old keyboard and plug-in the new one while the unit is turned on. At first they are hesitant, but after consulting in one of their in-house programmer they let me do the thing.
Technically speaking it is possible that you unplugged and plugged keyboard even if CPU is turned on(but not safe if CPU is performing a task) , so I am confident that everything will be just fine. So I unplugged the old keyboard and plugged the new one but after the new keyboard is plugged, the system hangs-up and I started to feel nervous. The operation was halted and I have no choice but to restart the system, but the worst is yet to come because after restarting, the system already indicates a disk boot failure and later I found out that the hard drive crashed and all their precious data is gone. The department supervisor got mad at me claiming that they have no back-up of that application and it will be difficult to rebuild the database. Later I was brought to their IT manager for questioning and threatened to have me pay any loses I have made. I explained my side and insists that I was given a go signal in one of his staff.
Finally, after almost 3 hours of questioning and redundant explanations I was allowed to left, with the promise that I will do everything to recover the data. The next day I was called by my Department Manager to hear my side and after hearing my explanations I was freed from any liability, but he emphasized that next time I have to be extra careful in dealing PC's that runs application with very important functions.
I tried everything to rejuvenate the disk but to no avail, it was a Seagate 540MB hard drive and base on records at that time, that particular model is sensitive on a lot of factors and often problematic. I may point it to an ailing hardware but still I have to accept the blame considering I may have triggered the whole situation.The company was forced to replace the defective hard drive for free and I was lucky that it was not deducted on my payday.
The lesson learned here is doing some shortcuts can sometime brings us trouble and if you are not willing to take the risk, just perform the proper way to avoid disaster.
September 13, 2007
Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.org
September 12, 2007
- Make sure to verify that there is no short circuit in one of the head coil in the particular printer head(in case you don't know, printer head on all dot matrix printer consists of small coils inside),otherwise it will damage the driver transistor(s) of the logic board in the good printer. Tests all pins of the printer head by using a multi tester(analog), try to find out if there is no two pin that is short circuit(zero resistance), or if you have another good printer head, try to compare the reading with the suspected one.
- Test all head driver transistors of the logic board, before installing a good printer head, otherwise it will damage the good printer head and you will now have two defective printer head.You can check the head driver transistor by comparing all reading by way of a multi-tester(Analog) each one of them should have the same reading. If you suspect that one of them is defective, remove the transistor from the pcb and perform a standard transistor test to confirm if its bad.
If no short circuit exists on both head and logic board, it is now safe to proceed in swapping printer head to and from a good printer unit.
Note: Head driver transistors are the one supplies electricity to each one of the coil in your printer head, these transistors are normally located in one place within your printer logic board, the number of transistors corresponds to the number of your printer head pins.
Phishing is the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information.
One example of this is my own experience, at one time I received an email from the admin of Yahoo(as to what I know that time) saying that congratulations you are one of those who win on our daily raffle worth $500 to claim the price please click on the link, if you still don't know what is phishing all about, you will really say that's the email is genuine and and you will jump to click on the link.After clicking the link it opens a site that resembles just like yahoo, and it will instruct you to further click on the link to claim you price via an e-currency company(if you have one, otherwise you will be obliged to open an account) and the last part just about you are finish transferring the $500, another message pops-up saying that you are not yet a premium member of Yahoo games and you have to register in order to claim your price, the cost is just a little over $8 so you will not suspect thats its a hoax, you will pay the said subcription price and found out later that no $500 goes to your account, and its just a work of a phisher but I thank God I only lost 8$. Phishers can steal password and user name to a site that you log-in regularly even in a Friendster or Yahoo mail account. Lots of E-bay members was also victimized by these phishers.
If you received an email, requiring you to upgrade your password, user name or something dont act on it, call or email the involve company to verify if it comes from them.Normally legitimate businesses will not let there members upgrade vital information via an email link, especially if password and user name are involve. You can also verify the given link on a domain verification site like http://www.whois.sc/ , in most cases it will give you the details of the particular link.
In IE7 there is already anti phishing features, while Opera and Firefox will warn you if the site you are about to open is not safe or bogus.
September 11, 2007
1. Speed up showing of your start menu by doing the following changes of your registry. Go to the Registry key HKEY_Current_User\Control Panel\Desktop\Menu Show Delay the default is 400. Set it to your desired value, the lower the value the faster the menu will show.
2. Setting your Windows Kernel to run via RAM by setting the DisablePageExecutive DWORD value to 1. EditRegistry key Hkey_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\DisablePagingExecutive to 1 to disable paging and have the kernel run in RAM. Remember, any applications will run faster in RAM compare in a Hard drive or a virtual memory. After making the tweak, exit registry and restart windows. Take note that do this procedure only if your system has a 256 MB or higher RAM.
3. Disable the 8.3 naming convention in Windows XP,expert says that this naming convention can degrade NTFS drive performance, unless you are still using a 16 bit applications dont perform this tweak. Set the Registry DWORD Key Hkey_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem\ntfsdisable8dot3NameCreation to1.Exit and Restart.
Reminder: Back-up registry before you perform the following tweaks, so that you can reverse to an earlier state in case something happen.
September 9, 2007
Continuation from last week,"Common PC Glossary"
- Dot-matrix printer-An impact printer that prints characters composed of dots.Characters are printed one at a time by pressing the ends of selected wires against an inked ribbon and paper.(Ex. Epson LX300,Epson FX1170 printers)
- Encryption-The translation of data into unreadable codes to maintain security
- FORMAT-The DOS format program that performs both low and high level formatting of floppy disks but only high-level formatting on hard disks.(High level means at the software level only)
- Full duplex-Signal flow in both directions at the same time.
- Giga-A multiplier indicating 1 billion of some unit,abbreviated as g or G.
- Gigabyte- A unit of information storage equal to 1,073,741,824
- GUI- Graphical User Interface. A type of program interface that enables users to choose commands and functions by pointing to a graphical icon using either a keyboard or a pointing device such as a mouse.Windows and OS/2 are the most popular GUIs available for PC systems
- Hardware- Physical components that make up a microcomputer,monitor,printer, and so on.
- Head crash- A rare occurrence in which a read/write head of your hard disk strikes the platter surface with sufficient force to damage the magnetic medium.
- Heat sink- A mass metal attached to a chip carrier or socket for the purpose of dissipating heat.(Can be found on all PC systems,use to protect processor chip and chipsets of a motherboard)
- High-level formatting- Formatting performed by the DOS FORMAT program.Among other things, it creates the root directory and FATs.(DOS formatting only for Windows98)
- HTML- Hyper Text Markup Language. A language used to describe and format plain-text files on the Web.It's based on pairs of tags which enables you to mix graphics with text, change the appearance of text, and create hypertext documents with links to other documents.
- HTTP- HyperText Transfer Protocol. The protocol that describes the rules that a browser and server use to communicate over the World Wide Web.HTTP allows a Web browser to request HTML documents from a Web server.
Note: This procedure is also applicable even if you are simply loading a device driver on your PC
September 8, 2007
Take note though that data encryption is only one way to protect your data from these intruders;spywares can also steal important impormation from your PC such as your credit card account or your password....etc.Or maybe the hacker is just your officemate and that he will take over your PC while you are in a break.So consider all this things if you want to secure your data from this crooks.
Lastly, I suggest that make it a habit to backup your encrypted data regularly, because the moment your operating system bogged down so goes with your encrypted data as well and it is very difficult to recover encrypted data, unless you are willing to pay the price of recovering it.
September 6, 2007
- ANSI- American National Standards Institute. A non-governmental organization founded in 1918 to propose, modify, approve, and publish data processing standards for voluntary use in the United States.
- ASCII-American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A standard 7-bit code created in 1965 by Robert W. Bemer to achieve compatibility among various types of data processing equipment.
- Bad sector-A disk sector that cannot hold data reliably because of a media flaw.
- Boot record-A one-sector record that tells the computer's built-in operating system(BIOS) the most fundamental facts about a disk.Instructs the computer how to load the operating system files into memory, thus booting the machine.
- Boot- To lead a program into the computer. The term comes from the phrase "pulling a boot on by the bootstrap."
- Buffer- A block of memory used as a holding tank to store data temporarily. Often positioned between a slower peripheral device and the faster computer.
- Bug- An error or defect in a program
- Bus - A linear electrical signal pathway over which power, data and other signals travel.(Ex. Memory Bus, Address Bus)
- CMOS-Complimentary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor. A type of chip that requires little power to operate.(Ex: CMOS chip set of your motherboard)
- Crash-A malfunction that brings work to a halt. A system crash usually caused by a software malfuntion.A head crash, however, entails physical damage to a disk and probable data loss.
- CRC-Cyclic Redundancy Checking. An error-detection technique use to check integrity of data being sent or received.
- Defragmentation-The process of rearranging disk sectors so that files are stored on consecutive sectors in adjacent tracks.
Over time, as you delete and save files to a hard disk, the files become fragmented. This means that they are split into many non contiguous areas on the disk.One of the best ways to protect both your hard disk and the data on it is to periodically defragment the files on the disk. This serves two purposes. One is that by ensuring that all of the files are stored in contiguous sectors on the disk,head movement and drive wear and tear will be minimized.This has the added benefit of improving the speed which files will be retrieved from the drive by reducing the head thrashing that occurs every time a fragmented file is accessed.The second major benefit of a fragmented disk is that in the case of a disaster where FAT and root directory is severly damage, the data on the drive can usually be recovered very easily if the files are contiguous.
- Acer - Ctl Alt Esc
- Dell- F1 or Del or Ctrl Alt Enter
- Zenith-Ctrl Alt Ins
- Toshiba- Press Esc at switch on
- Sony- F3 at switch on,then F2 or F1
- Packard Bell- F1 or F2
- NEC - F2
- IBM Aptiva-F1
- Hewlett Packard/Gateway 2000-F1
- DTK BIOS - Esc
- AMI BIOS - Del, F1 or F2
- Phoenix BIOS - F1 or F2,Ctl alt S or Ctl Alt Esc ,Ctl S or Ctl Alt Ins
- Award BIOS - Del, Ctl Alt Esc
Note: Keys presented above may not work of a particular model or brand
September 4, 2007
Here's a few tips to make your PC trouble free:
- Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that can conduct electricity and cause corrosion of computer parts.The smoke residue can infiltrate the entire system, causing corrosion and contamination of the electriclal contacts and sensitive componensts such as floppy drive read/write heads and optical drive lens assemblies.You should avoid smoking near computer equipment and encourage your friends or company to develop and enforce a similar policy.(Dont sound good for smokers!LOL)
- Be careful with ESD(Electrostatic Discharge), which can damage components when cleaning electronic components.Take extra precautions in the dead of winter in an extremely dry, high-static environment.An antistatic grounding wrist strap is recommended or if you dont have a wrest strap touch a metallic frame or your PC chassis before touching any components of you PC. It is easier to ensure proper grounding while the motherboard is still installed in the chassis, so it is a good idea not to remove it.(Unless you feel necessary)
- If you do not leave a system on continously;at least give it 15 minutes or more warm up after a cold start(means you just turn it on that day) before writing to the hard disk.Power up the system and go get a cup of coffee, read the paper, or do some other task.This practice does wonders for the reliability of the data on your disk, especially cheaper units.
Active preventive maintenance includes steps you apply to a system that promote a longer, trouble-free life. This type of preventive maintenance primarily involves periodic cleaning of the system and its componest(every 3 months is the usual).Examples of active preventive maintenance are resocketing and cleaning of card edges, removing dust on your Mainboard and related peripherals, check up of software conditions.
Passive preventive maintenance includes steps you can take to protect a system from the environment, such as using power-protection devices, ensuring a clean, temperatured controlled environment; and preventing excessive vibration. In other words, passive preventive maintenance means treating your system well.
Creating backup files of data in one's PC is sometimes taken for granted. And the sad reality in the computer repair and servicing world is that hardware can always be repaired or replaced, but data cannot.Most hard disk troubleshooting and service procedures, for example, requires reformatting.This procedure overwrites or deletes all your important data.So next time, make sure to have your data backed up regularly.
September 2, 2007
Problem Description: While you are in the middle of something, your mouse pointer just run havoc all over your desktop and messing up all the settings of your document.Mouse is uncontrollable. You reset your PC and everything is working fine again, after a while the problem came back.
Suggested Solution: Replace your mouse device first, before attempting different troubleshooting approach.
Problem: No display appears on your monitor screen upon turning on your PC
Performs the following:
- Check both power indicator of your monitor and CPU it its lit? If it's lit observe HDD LED if its actively blinking or press Numlock or Capslock keys to see if keyboard responds. If keyboard responds, it is possible that the problem lies in your monitor(try also adjusting brightness control of your monitor-applicable for older models only).If none of the above works,chances are that you have a defective monitor.
- If you hear beeps (usually 3 beeps) just after you turn on your PC, keyboard is responding and HDD LED is active, the problem maybe cause by a defective or ailing VGA Card, try re-socketing the card and clean its contact edge by a pencil eraser. Try replacing a known good VGA card when you feel necessary.
- Check for loose cable connections.
- If Keyboard dont responds and monitor displays "No signal", its possible that the problem lies in the CPU unit,try removing the memory chips and clean contacts by a pencil eraser. If still nothings happen continue your isolation test in your micro processor, mainboard and power supply.You may also try removing other devices attached to you PCI slot, until the defective part is identified.
Note: When attending a specific pc problem, always perform basic troubleshooting first,before suspecting a defective hardware device . Ask,Is the power cables, keyboard and mouse connectors properly connected? Is the power rating going to the PC sufficient?Performing this simple task might save you time in fixing a particular problem.