DVD Regions Conundrum

Published Date
01 - Feb - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Feb - 2005
 
DVD Regions Conundrum
One day, I saw that it could not read the DVD disk, however, it read CDs till now. From the 'DVD Region' in the 'Properties' of the DVD-ROM drive, I found that  the current region shows Region 1, but India belongs to Region 5. When I try to change the region from 1 to 5, I receive an error message: "Unable to update region setting. Please make sure the drive contains Region 5 media and you have administration privileges." How do I make my DVD drive read a DVD?
Sadananda Singha

DVDs have nine region codes: Region 0 is region-free and such DVDs will play on all drives. Regions 7 is reserved and not set. Region 8 is for use on international planes, ships etc. These settings can be changed four times at most, after which they get locked to the last region used. It looks like you have changed the region more than four times, in which case you are out of luck. Remember, you do not have to change the region simply because you are in India. To play a DVD made in the
US, for example, your player needs to be in Region 1.
You can bypass the region lock that each DVD player comes with using various software. However, this is illegal and will render your warranty void.

Get FAT!
Q. My OS is Win98. I installed Win2000 Pro and it asked to upgrade with NTFS which I did. Now, I cannot format my C:    drive on which my OS resides. When I try to format it, the D: drive  gets formatted. My C: drive file system is NTFS and other drives, including the D: drive are FAT32. How can I change my C: drive from NTFS to FAT32?

Managing drives in Partition Magic 8.0

Download a tool called PartitionMagic (http://www.powerquest.com/partitionmagic/) that lets you convert from NTFS to FAT32 without losing your data. If possible, backup your data as a precaution.

Hey RAM!
Q. The specs of my PC are as follows: Athlon XP 2400 , 256MB PC133 DDR RAM (Hynix) and a Krypton C18G-400 motherboard with onboard nVidia Geforce 4. Recently, my friend accidentally dropped my RAM module. But there were no cracks or scratches. From then on, while launching some applications or games, it shows an error-"(appname).exe has encountered an a problem and needs to close." When I viewed the technical contents of this report, it displayed, "The following files will be included:
D:DOCUME~1SIVASU~1LOCALS~1 TempWER6.tmp.dir00gta-vc.exe. mdmp.
D:DOCUME~1SIVASU~1LOCALS~1 TempWER6.tmp.dir00appcompat. txt"

For each application, only the number after "WER" and the application name itself changes. It happens mostly when launching GTA:Vice City, Colin McRae Rally 2, Adobe Live Motion and PDF-to-HTML converter. Is it due to my Hynix RAM? Do I need to get it replaced (it is within the warranty period)? Are there any tools to detect damaged RAM modules?
M Siva Subramanian

To test whether your RAM is damaged, remove all RAM modules from their slots and insert only one of them into a slot. Now run any the following utility: http://www. memtest86.com/
Or get the Microsoft utility at: http:// oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp
If you get an error, run the test again with your RAM chip in a different slot. If you do not get an error this time, then your RAM slot is not faulty. Repeat the test for all the RAM  chips you have.

It may turn out that both your RAM slots are faulty. To make sure that it is your RAM chip at fault, test it on another machine where the slots are working fine.

If you do not get any memory errors, then your RAM chip is fine and you should try reinstalling your games and software and updating them with the latest patches.

Internal HDD, External Connection
Q. I have a P III 1.0 GHz, a Vesta 810e Intel chipset board with 256 MB of SDRAM and an 80 GB Seagate HDD running Win98 and WinXP as the OSes, a CD-ROM and an LG CD-RW. I also have a 40 GB Seagate HDD not connected to the system. The 40 GB HDD is divided into three partitions running Win98. The 80 GB HDD is divided into six partitions-four as FAT and two as NTFS. How can I connect my HDD to my system without opening the cabinet? Do I need any special drivers? Ravi Shah

It is possible to convert an internal HDD to an external HDD. You need to buy a case which retails for Rs 1,500-2,000. Just put your drive in the case and connect it to your PC with a USB cable. These cases do not support SATA drives-only regular IDE ATA disk drives.
PROcessor CON!
Q. I recently bought a PC with an AMD processor 2800 , ASUS motherboard, an 80 GB HDD, 256 MB of DDR RAM, a combo drive etc.  I have installed Windows XP.  The PC configuration in the device manager displayed "AMD Processor 1500 ". When I asked the vendor about this, he replied about some switches on the motherboard. On changing those, it would show the correct configuration. I am not so familiar  with AMD processors. I want to know what the number 1500 actually means, and is my vendor right?

Earlier I worked on a P IV PC with a VIA chipset motherboard. I had a bad experience with that PC. I came to know that the VIA chipset doesn't support high-end games. So I didn't opt for any motherboard having VIA chipsets. But my vendor says that there are no chipsets available other than VIA for AMD processors. When I opened my CPU, I saw that he had given us an ASUS motherboard with a VIA chipset. Now my PC hangs every time I install a game, even a small one like Delta Force. Is it the motherboard, or something else responsible? Aren't there other motherboards available for AMD computers? Is a graphics card required to install games?
Sambit Mohapatra

To check whether your vendor has given you the correct processor, go to your BIOS. Your processor's core speed will be listed there. Alternatively, download any of the following utilities: Sisoft Sandra from http://www.sisoftware.net/ or Everest from http://www.lavalys.com/. Click on the Computer>Summary tab and your system specs will get listed. This will tell you whether you have been taken for a ride.

Viewing System Summary in Everest

The term "1500 " is AMD's way of indicating  the processor's performance-this processor will give the same performance as an Intel processor running at a core speed of 1500 MHz. This is not the actual core speed at which the processor runs. If your processor is an Athlon XP 1500 , then your actual CPU core speed is 1,333 MHz.

There are four chipset manufacturers for AMD boards-ATi, nVidia nForce, SiS and VIA.

There are manufacturers who make motherboards based on these chipsets-ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and others.

You need a graphics card to play almost all high-end games these days. For specifics, refer to Digit (January) for the graphics card shootout. Since you haven't mentioned your motherboard or the chipset specification, we cannot give you a detailed answer. But you can check your motherboard and graphics card (if you have it) using the SiSoft utility. Also, try installing DirectX9c and update your graphics driver. Try running games now. It might work.

The Infamous BSOD
Q. I have a P IV 2.4 GHz PC with 512 MB of DDR RAM, an Intel 865GBF Motherboard, nVidia GeForce FX 5200 AGP, an 80 GB Seagate Barracuda 7,200 RPM, a Samsung combo drive and a Realtek Rtl 8139 ethernet card. When I logon to or logout from Windows XP, the blue screen of death appears often-in fact 80 per cent of the time with either one of these messages:
1. IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Technical Information: Stop (0x00000000,0x00000002, 0x000000000, 0x804 D9716)
2. PAGEFAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
Technical Information: Stop 0x00000050 (0xFFFFFF60,0x00000000,0x804F4C32,0x00000000)
The technical information varies each time. The errors occur mainly when I switch from one user account to another (I have disabled faster user switching). I have no problems when I logon immediately after system boot. I have installed the latest BIOS drivers. There are no anti-virus or background software installed. I have Windows XP Professional, Windows 98 SE and SuSe Linux with XOSL in a separate partition. Is there a fault in my RAM?
Amar Gupte

This error happens mainly due to the hardware or software incompatibility. To avoid this, update the drivers of all your devices and upgrade to SP2 in Windows XP.

If that still does not solve the problem, immediately after you get the error, reboot your PC and see the CPU temperature in the BIOS. In case, it is too high, then your system is overheating and you must get a better heat sink and fan. If the temperature is normal, then go to Start>All Programs>Accessories> System Tools> System Information. Click on IRQ on the left side. View the status of your IRQs in the right hand pane. If there is any IRQ whose status is not OK, uninstall that device from the device manager. Your computer should work fine now.

If all the IRQs have status 'OK', then download the Windows memory-testing program from http://snipurl.com/c3mh. Run it, and if it gives any errors, then assuming you have a single chip, remove your RAM chip and put it into another slot. If it works fine then your RAM slot is faulty and you will have to repair or replace your motherboard. If, however, your errors persist, then your RAM chip is definitely faulty.

If you have multiple RAM chips then insert only one of them and test it in your RAM slots, then put in the other and test as before. Identify the faulty slots and fix the problem accordingly.
WiFi Without Access Point
Q. I want to set up WiFi at work with a single desktop and my WiFi-enabled laptop. Can I use a wireless PCI card and communicate directly with my laptop with the RF waves from both terminals? Does technology support such configuration? Or is an AP a must? Can I use only an AP connected to the desktop that will communicate with the laptop? Which brand is preferred for the hardware (AP, wireless PCI card)?
mrdedhia@yahoo.com

You do not need an access point to setup a wireless network between your laptop and your desktop. You need to set up an Ad Hoc access point.
First, install the wireless card on your desktop. If you are using Windows XP, your card will be automatically detected and the drivers will install. If other networks are available, Windows will automatically open the window for wireless network connection. If not, click on the 'Wireless Connections' icon to open the window. If applicable, clear all connections in preferred access points to make sure that you connect only to your laptop.

On the top right of your window, click the 'Advanced' tab and select 'Computer to Computer (Ad Hoc) networks only.' Un-tick the 'Automatically connect to non-preferred networks' box. Go back to the wireless networking tab under the preferred Networks window, click 'Add' and specify a name (SSID)-any name. The connection type would already be specified as 'Ad Hoc'. Now you will see the name of your network in the preferred networks window marked with a red 'X', signifying that that computer is not within range.
Since your laptop is WiFi-enabled, go to the wireless networks tab and you will see the name you gave in the above step in the "Available Networks" window. That's all you need to do to share data between the two.

Over Drive!

Q. I have a Celeron 600 MHz, a Procomp motherboard and 128 MB of RAM. I have two Seagate hard disks-20 GB and 40 GB. I also have a Sony CD-ROM and an LG CD-RW. The two IDE cables are all occupied. How do I attach a DVD-ROM to my PC?
Tanmoy Das

Install an IDE controller card to be able to add additional drives. An alternative is to  remove your CD-ROM and attach the DVD- ROM in its place, as a DVD ROM drive will allow you to read CDs as well.

Dirty PC !
Q. I have a P IV 1.6 GHz CPU with an Intel 845WN motherboard, 128 256 MB SD RAM, 40 120 GB HDDs, a 24X CD-RW, a 16X DVD-ROM and a 15-inch  LG monitor. I have three OSes-Win98, Win2000 and WinXP, loaded in the 40 GB HDD in three different partitions. The problem is that my WinXP restarts abruptly without warning and this generally happens when I switch on my PC after several hours. After this, when the PC restarts, the CHKDSK operation is performed that results in some errors and when finally XP restarts, a warning indicates that the system has recovered from a serious error.

My DVD-ROM works perfectly but when I use it for some time, the BIOS stops detecting it. When I restart my PC three to four times, the BIOS detects it perfectly. This problem occurs at regular intervals and persists or does not occur at all.
Sanjeev Chharia

Ensure that the motherboard is clean and dust free. You may want to contact a local technician to service it. Make sure all wires and cables are plugged in properly and that your RAM, video cards and all other peripherals are plugged in tightly into their sockets. As for your DVD problem, check your connection cables. They must probably be loose!  



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