Q. My Samsung CD writer keeps ejecting when I put a CD in it, and only after 5 or 6 attempts, it manages to read a CD. What could be the problem? Do I need to reinstall Windows?
Your CD writer keeps on ejecting the media because it finds it difficult to read it. The most common reason for this to happen is due to the laser head power deterioration over a period of time, or due to the lens getting dirty. You can try to clean it by using a lens cleaning CD, which you can get at any stationary store. Another possible reason could be that your power connector or data cable is bad, so you should try replacing these with new ones. If all fails, then it is time to get a new optical drive.
Find What You Need
Q. My friend has just bought a new hard drive and installed Windows XP. But she does not know what drivers are required. Please tell me how to find the drivers without opening her cabinet.
The best and the easiest way to approach your problem is to call up the place from where the computer was bought and ask them the system configuration. Note down the names of the individual components—motherboard, graphics card, network card, etc. and search for their drivers online. You can also download, install and run Everest (any edition) from www.lavalys.com. In the Summary module, you will be able to see all the components of the computer without having to open it. Once again, you must note down the names of the components and search for their drivers online.
Q. I had read about setting the DMA mode for an optical drive in your older Q&A section, and have been able to do that with success. But the problem is that I find that my drive keeps going back to PIO mode again.
To set your device to DMA, go to Start > Run > devmgmt.msc to open the Device Manager. Expand “IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers”. Double-click on Primary IDE, go to Advanced Settings tab and set the Transfer Mode to DMA if Available. Do the same for Secondary IDE as well. Restart Windows, and if you still see the mode as PIO, you should uninstall the Primary IDE and Secondary IDE channels and restart Windows to redetect them. This should solve your problem.
In your case, the drive keeps switching back to the PIO mode, and the reason for this is often attempting to read scratched media. Another reason could be that your IDE cable may be faulty or too long. Use only IDE cable with 80 conductors as are commonly available today, as against the 40-conductor cables available earlier. There may also be certain power management issues that may cause this problem when the computer wakes from the Standby mode, but this can be solved by installing the latest chipset driver for your motherboard.
ME No Work
Q. I have recently reinstalled Windows ME and the problem is that System Restore no longer works. I sometimes get a blank window or the following error:
An error has occurred in the script on this page
Error: Object doesn’t support this property or method
Do you want to continue running script on this page?
It seems that your computer did not create a restore point during the first boot of Windows ME. You should therefore create one manually to get rid of this issue. Run the following command at the command prompt:
Now restart the computer and System Restore should work fine.
|I Can’t Do That, Dave|
Q. My computer was working fine, but one fine day, it started displaying a message that said something like “Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: /system32/hal.dll” and Windows does not start. Please help.
This problem can be attributed to a missing or corrupt Hal.dll file and / or Boot.ini. Here is how you go about with the repair process. Boot from the Windows XP CD and press [R] to start the Recovery Console when you see the “Welcome to Setup” screen. Press the number corresponding to the correct location of Windows you want to repair (this is typically 1). Type bootcfg /list to view the current entries in the Boot.ini file. If you get a message that this file does not exist, you should type bootcfg /rebuild, to repair it. This will automatically scan your hard drive for installations of Windows XP, 2000, 2003 and NT and display the results. Now follow these instructions:
1. Total Identified Windows Installs: 1
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)
Type Y and hit [Enter]
2. Enter Load Identifier
This is the name of the operating system. When you receive this message, type the name of your operating system, and then hit [Enter].
3. Enter OS Load options
After receiving this message, type
/fastdetect, and then hit [Enter].
Eject the CD and type exit.
Now to repair (or replace) hal.dll. You must once again, boot through the Windows XP CD and enter the Recovery Console. Press the number corresponding to the location of the Windows installation to be repaired. Type the following command at the command prompt: expand X:\i386\hal.dl_ C:\windows\ system32\hal.dll
(Replace X by the drive letter of your CD/DVD drive and you can specify the actual drive letter of your Windows installation instead of C: as in the case above).
Select Yes if you are prompted to overwrite the existing hal.dll. Type exit and restart your computer normally. In very rare cases, the above procedure may not help you. In such cases, you may need to make a temporary installation of Windows in another partition of the drive. Now (assuming that your original Windows installation is in the C drive and your temporary Windows in D), copy hal.dll from D:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386 to C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386 and C:\WINDOWS\System32. Overwrite, if prompted.
Stop That Nag!
Q. I want to know how I can stop Automatic Update from nagging me repeatedly to restart the computer after installing an update.
There are two ways to get around this issue. We will first tell you how you can do this for just the current update. Click on Start > Run, type net stop wuauserv and hit [Enter]. This will stop the Windows Update service until the next time you restart your computer. The second method describes the way to stop these reminders forever. Assuming that you are running Windows XP Professional, click on Start > Run, type gpedit.msc and hit [Enter]. This will launch the Group Policy Editor. Select Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update. Double-click on Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations. Change the value to 1440. Close the Group Policy Editor. Click on Start > Run, type gpupdate /force and press [Enter]. This will stop the repeated reminders for this and all future Windows updates.
Twice Isn’t Nice
Q. Help! My Outlook Express sends two copies of any mail I try to send.
This problem occurs if you have configured Outlook Express Read options to Read all messages in plain text, but are still sending messages in HTML format. Outlook Express creates a dummy attachment with the formatted (HTML) copy of the message, so that you can easily view it if needed and it does so for incoming messages as well.
To solve this problem, configure Outlook Express to send messages using plain text—go to Tools > Options and navigate to the Send tab. Deselect Reply to messages using the format in which they were sent. Set Mail Sending Format to Plain Text.
Q. I had installed a 3-day trial of moviepass.tv, but now that the trial has expired, I am unable to remove it and am continuously bombarded with pop-ups demanding that I sign up for a monthly subscription. Please help.
You can attempt to remove moviepass.tv in one of the following ways:
1. Use System Restore to roll back to the state before you downloaded this adware. Go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore, select Restore my computer to an earlier time and click on Next. Select a checkpoint date before the moviepass.tv software was downloaded and click Next to continue with the restore. Download, install and scan using a good spyware such as Spybot to remove any residual occurrences of this adware.
2. If the above method does not help, or if you don’t use System Restore, you can do a manual uninstall. Start your computer in Safe Mode. Open the Control Panel, and go to Add or Remove Programs. Uninstall any program with names starting with or similar to the following: AltBill, AltPayments, AltPayV2, DownloadManager, FileGrabber, FSupport, ITBills, License Manager, MediaPipe, MoviePass, MovieLand, MPNotifier, MyAccessMedia, MyWaySA, Notify, Notifier, Notification Utility, OptimumOnline, and P2PNetworks.
Now open Windows Explorer, and go to the Program Files folder. Delete any subfolders with names related to the items you just uninstalled. Go to Start > Run, type msconfig and hit [Enter]. Go to the Startup tab. Disable any items with command names related to the items you just uninstalled by clearing the associated check box. Click on OK and restart the computer when prompted to do so.