Q. I use Windows XP. Whenever I try to install a software, I get an MSI (Microsoft Installer) error.
Download the latest MSI installer redistributable and you will not get any further errors while installing an MSI package. You can find the MSI Installer 3.0 redistributable for Windows XP at www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx? familyid=5FBC5470-B259-4733-A914-A956122E08E8 (http://tinyurl.com/2jsmzd).
Just A Download Away
Q. My SanDisk Cruzer 1 GB with U3 used to work well, but the U3 application launcher now gives an error. Please help.
Download and install the SanDisk U3 LaunchPad Installer from http://u3.sandisk.com/download/apps/LPInstaller.exe. This is a small file—less than an MB. Make sure your Flash drive is plugged in before you launch the program. Follow the on-screen instructions, and after a few seconds, your U3 disk will be ready with the latest U3 application. Note that this installer is not compatible with Vista, so use it only if you have XP or Windows 2000 SP4—we’re assuming this is the case. Also, at no point of time during the installation should you try to remove the USB drive; you could permanently damage it.
Q. The Standby button, which used to be available as a shutdown option on my computer, is now disabled. What could have caused this?
The disappearance of the Standby button means XP is not able to properly use the power management functions of your motherboard. This could have been caused by various things—for example, you might have changed the power management settings in the BIOS after XP was installed. If that is the case, revert to the original settings, or try loading the defaults. Another common reason is the installation of a device that does not support power management (or supports it partially); this could be a PCI device such as a LAN card or a TV-Tuner card. Try to upgrade the drivers of the device, and also run Windows Update. If that doesn’t help, you might need to remove the device from the PC to restore Standby functionality.
Q. I have a Seagate 120 GB hard disk with Windows XP SP2. My PC has recently started showing a .NET Framework error message—as in the screenshot.
Make sure you have the .NET Framework installed: check that the C:\WINDOWS\ Microsoft.NET\Framework (assuming that XP is on the C drive) exists and that it is not empty. If the folder doesn’t exist (or if it’s empty), then install the .NET Framework. Otherwise, open the Registry Editor, and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\.NETFramework. In the right pane, double-click the (or create a) String entry named InstallRoot. Set its value to C:\WINDOWS\ Microsoft.NET\Framework\. Exit the Registry Editor and restart Windows.
Q. My Windows XP computer takes a long time to shut down. What could be the problem?
There could be many reasons, though the most common one is a program that runs in the background and refuses to close. You’d know best which program this is: try and recall if you recently installed a program after which the problem started, and see if you can afford to uninstall it. Also try to speed up your system after referring 30 Minutes Expert: Keeping Your PC Prim And Proper in our October 2007 issue.
Q. When I try to open a file in Adobe Illustrator 9, I get an error message that reads something like “Can’t open the illustration. The illustration contains an illegal operator. Offending Operator: ‘Ar’ Context: 72”. When I click OK, the file opens, but there are missing items.
This problem can be solved by editing the PostScript code of the document and removing the incorrect output resolution information. Make a backup of the original file before proceeding. Write down the portion of the error message that follows the word Context:, in your case, 72. Open the Illustrator document in a text editor such as Notepad. Locate the line containing 72 Ar. Change the number in that line to reflect the desired output resolution, but keep in mind that this number should be greater than 100 and less than 9600. (For example, you can set it to 800 Ar.) Repeat this procedure for each instance of 72 Ar. Save the file in text-only format and close the text editor. You’ll now be able to open it in Illustrator.
You’ll, Umm, Need To Pay...
Q. When I try to create a movie DVD using my DVD-Writer with Nero, I get a message like “install multi-channel plug-in.”
The version of Nero usually bundled with DVD-Writers does not contain the audio plug-in that allows you to copy multi-channel DVDs. You will need to purchase it online from www.nero.com. It is available for €19.99 (Rs 1,150).
The Version Matters
Q. I get the error message “direct x 9.0c not found” when I try to run Spiderman 3. Other games run fine. Please help!
You must install the latest version of DirectX 9.0c, which is the November 2007 edition (it’s on our CDs and DVDs starting December 2007).
Q. How can I make a multi-boot CD with Windows XP Professional and Media Center Edition?
You can use a tool such as EasyBoot from www.ezbsystems.com to create multi-boot CDs of different Windows versions. Remember that it is illegal to do so unless both versions of Windows are legal. Here are the steps to add Windows XP.
Create a folder named XPPR under C:\easyboot\disk1. Copy the files win51 and win51p from the root directory of the XP CD to C:\easyboot\disk1. Copy the i386 folder to C:\easyboot\disk1\XPPR. Copy wxp.bat from C:\easyboot\resource to C:\easyboot\disk1\XPPR and run it. Copy w2ksect.bin from C:\easyboot\disk1\ezboot to a new file named xppr.bin.
Start EasyBoot. Select Tools >Replace Text, browse to C:\easyboot\disk1\ ezboot\xppr.bin, and specify i386 as Text to Replace, XPPR as Replace to, and click Replace; one occurrence should be replaced. Repeat this for C:\easyboot\disk1 \xppr\setupldr.bin, replacing i386 by xppr; four occurrences should be replaced. Open c:\easyboot\disk1\xppr\txtsetup.sif in Notepad, search for SetupSourcePath, and change SetupSourcePath = “\” to SetupSourcePath = “\XPPR”. Set the menu item’s command as run xppr.bin. Save the file.
Repeat these steps to add more version of Windows, but make sure that you use a different name for the folder XPPR and the file xppr.bin. After you’ve prepared the contents, save the compilation by clicking Save. Click Make ISO, select the name and location of the place to save the ISO image file to, and click Make.
Gone, Yes, Gone!
Q. I had encrypted some files on my E drive. I formatted and installed a fresh copy of Windows XP because of a virus, and I am now not able to open these files. Is there a way to recover them?
When you encrypt files in Windows XP, a unique encryption key is generated and used, and this makes it virtually impossible to decrypt and view those files from another installation of XP or any other OS. Unfortunately, therefore, there is no way to recover files encrypted in an unbootable installation of XP.
No Access For You!
Q. I use BSNL NetOne to connect to the Internet. For the past few days, I have not been able to connect; I get an error message that says “Error 775: The call was blocked by the remote computer.”
Though the error says the call was “blocked” by the remote computer, nothing is really wrong. The error only occurs if the username and / or password are incorrect, or if your account has expired. Of course, you could even be dialling the wrong number, but from the screenshot you’ve sent in, it appears to be correct. So if you’re sure about the validity of your details and your account, contact the BSNL Helpdesk.
Here’s Your Link!
Q. My computer is infected by the Brontok virus; it resides in the My Document and My Pictures folders as an HTML file. I’ve tried deleting it many times, but it reappears. I’ve tried to download the removal tool from Softpedia.com, but it does not get downloaded. Please help.
Download the Brontok virus removal tool from http://dnl-pr1.kaspersky-labs.com/utils/klwk/klwk.zip. This is a small (70 KB) file and can be easily downloaded. Extract the contents to a folder and run the executable file. Reboot the computer after the removal process is done, and install a good anti-virus software to prevent future infections.
The Way It’s Read
Q. Is there a way to make numbers show up with the thousand separator (by default) in Word 2007?
Choose the Insert tab on the Ribbon and select Quick Parts > Field. Select the item =Formula in the list and click Formula. Type your number in the Formula field preceded by the equals symbol. Enter #,##0.00 in the Number format field and click OK. Done!
To make changes to the value, click on the number and press [Shift] [F9]. This will show the fields so you can change the value. Press [Shift] [F9] to retain the format—you’ll see what we mean when you try it.
A Patch To Match
Q. I want to play Quake 3 Arena online, but I’m not able to connect to some servers even though they are listed in the multiplayer option of the game.
Verify that you have installed the latest patch for Quake 3 Arena; it is 1.32c, available for download from www.idsoftware.com. If, when you click on the server in the list, you see the default Quake 3 logo, then you do not have the map or mod the server is using, so you won’t be able to connect to it. Go to Game Options in the game and set Automatic Downloading to On (this allows you to download the required map automatically). Some game servers require PunkBuster to be installed and enabled, and this is mentioned after the server name in the list. The latest Quake 3 patch comes with this anti-cheat software, but in case you opted to not install it, you need to do so by downloading it from www.evenbalance.com/index.php?page= pbsetup.php. (Download the version for your OS.)
You’ve Got To Tell It!
Q. I recently purchased an NVIDIA 7600GS PCI-Express graphics card, but it doesn’t display anything on my ATI RS480 motherboard. The graphics card works when it’s installed in my friend’s computer. My computer can still boot using the onboard graphics, so my motherboard is not faulty.
It looks like your motherboard is still using the onboard graphics to boot. You need to set the PCI-Express graphics card to initialise first. Enter the BIOS, look under Integrated Peripherals > Init Display First, and set it to PCIEx.
|Chop And Change|
Q. I have video files in the MPG format and want to convert them to an AVI. Is there a way to get them onto one CD in the AVI format?
You can use DivX Converter to get your job done. Download and install the DivX Bundle from www.divx.com. Go to the DivX program group and launch DivX Converter. A small Converter window will open; click on View List to open the list window. Click Add to browse for and add your MPG files one by one. When you add more than one file, you will see that the greyed box next to Combine videos into a single DivX file and include menu will become available; check it.
Click on the icon with an exclamation mark just below the checkbox. Here, click on Advanced to access the encoding options such as resolution, bitrate, and more. You can select a certified profile, or specify custom settings. Check the box next to Limit Filesize to and set the maximum expected size of the encoded file (this would be 700 MB in your case, since you want to get the files onto a single CD). If the source files have different resolutions, you should check Use Custom Resolution and specify an appropriate resolution (specify either a resolution matching one of the files, or a standard video resolution). If necessary, click on the Lock icon so that you’ll be able to specify a custom aspect ratio. Finally, check the box next to Limit Total Average Bitrate to—this will let you specify the video and audio bitrates individually.
The Indian Connection
Q. I use Yahoo! Messenger to voice-chat with my friends. I recently purchased a webcam. When I try to chat with the webcam on, the audio quality becomes very poor, and it is often inaudible.
You need a broadband connection to be able to video-chat; your Internet bandwidth is probably not enough to support video chat—try and see if you can get a faster connection! If you can’t, you could reduce the size of the video stream by reducing the resolution of the webcam under the webcam’s advanced properties. Also, do not download while chatting; this eats up bandwidth.
Out With The Old
Q. I tried to install Office 2007 from the Digit DVD, and it displays an error: “An error occurred during installation and setup was unable to complete.” When I clicked on PowerPoint setup, it shows “Error 1731.” I have Media Center Edition.
Kiran Kumar Sripati
This error occurs when you try to update, reinstall, or install an additional feature of a Windows Installer setup-based program from a different version of the source setup. In your case, you may have an earlier version of Microsoft Office installed. You need to uninstall that version before trying to install the newer version. You may need the original installation source files of the older version of Office to be able to uninstall it.
Q. When I try to play a song on my computer, I get this message: “Cannot play back the audio stream: no audio hardware is available, or the hardware is not responding”. I use Windows XP.
This error occurs when the computer does not have an external sound card, when your sound card is not working properly, or when the sound hardware acceleration is set too high. Install the latest drivers for your sound card. Open Sound and Audio Devices in the Control Panel. Click on the Audio tab, then on the Advanced button under Sound Playback. Click on the Performance tab and move the Hardware Acceleration slider a notch closer to None. Click OK, and restart your computer.