Questionable licenses and truant uninstallers—all dealt with right here!
Q. I often get the low disk notification message on one of my drives. Since I am all too aware that the drive is full, it’s a major irritant!
Open the Registry Editor. Go to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer and look at the DWORD value NoLowDiskSpaceChecks. (Create it if it doesn’t exist.) Set its value to 1. Exit the Registry Editor and reboot for the change to take effect.
Coding The Load
Q. When I try to install Windows XP on my PC with Windows 98, I get the following error:
NTLDR is missing
Press any key to restart
This problem can occur if a current Windows ME or 9x installation was cloned from a hard drive with a geometry different from that of your current drive. This results in a mismatch of written values, which is ignored in Windows 9x and ME; Windows XP/200x/Vista have an issue with this, though. Still, this can be corrected:
Restart the computer using a Windows 98 startup disk.
Make a backup copy of the Msdos.sys file in the root directory of your system drive. To do this, type in the following commands at a command prompt:
attrib -h -r -s c:\msdos.sys
rename msdos.sys *.bak
At a command prompt, type sys c: to rewrite the Windows 98 startup code with accurate information.
Restart into Windows 98, and then try to install or upgrade to XP.
Q. The PC I bought has Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player with the title bar displaying the name of my system integrator. I want to get rid of this.
Launch the Registry Editor and go to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main (for Internet Explorer). Modify or create the String Value called Window Title, and give it a value equal to what you want it to be—say, your name. If you just remove it, it’ll default to “Microsoft Internet Explorer”, getting rid of the name of your system integrator.
For WMP, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\Policies\Microsoft. Click on the key WindowsMediaPlayer. Modify the String Value TitleBar (or remove it to get back to the default setting).
The Famous Disappearing Act
Q. My XP Taskbar has disappeared. Help!
This can happen if the Windows settings for a user account get corrupted, so you’ll need to start your computer in Safe Mode. Select the Administrator and enter the administrator password. Click Yes to close the message that states that Windows is running in Safe mode. Right-click My Computer and select Manage. In the list called Computer Management (Local), expand Local Users and Groups. Right-click the Users folder, then select New User. Type in the username and password where needed, then confirm the password. Untick the User must change password at next logon checkbox. Click Create, then Close, and then quit the Computer Management window. Restart Windows normally and log on as the new user. The taskbar should reappear.
Q. My computer shows my partitions as follows: C: Seagate primary; D: Samsung primary; E: and F: Seagate extended; G:, H: and I: Samsung extended; J: CD-ROM. I have set up the Seagate as the primary master and the Samsung as the primary slave. I have installed Windows 98 on C: and XP on E:. When I removed my second hard disk, I couldn’t boot into XP, as the E drive swapped with D. What should I do?
This happens because the settings in the boot.ini file are no longer correct, now that you have removed the Samsung drive. What you can do is edit boot.ini. To do this in Windows 98, at a command prompt, type in CD\ and press [Enter]. Now type Edit boot.ini and press [Enter]. This will open the boot.ini file, which will display partition information. Here, you need to locate the Windows XP partition string. It looks like this:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /fastdetect.
Take the digit next to the partition tag; subtract 1 from it, and save the file. You should now be able to boot into XP.
My Computer Boasts Of No Floppy
Q. I run Windows 2000 Professional. Recently, my floppy drive stopped showing up in My Computer. All the other drives display correctly. Under Floppy disk controllers, in the Computer Management console, it says that the drive is working properly. What is the problem?
The BIOS doesn’t seem to detect your floppy drive. Check the CMOS settings and see if the floppy drive is visible. Ensure that the CMOS is set to “Halt on all errors” and also check that the BIOS’ “Report the floppy drive to the OS” setting is enabled. Another reason could be drive letter conflicts caused by software such as RAMdisk. The TweakUI PowerToy, available from www.microsoft.com /windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx, can also cause drive letters to be hidden in Windows Explorer and My Computer. If you have it installed, go to the Control Panel and double-click on TweakUI. In the My Computer tab, select the checkboxes of the drives shown as hidden. Click Close and restart.
Q. My computer is infected with WinAntivirus Pro 2007 and PestCapture, which I had installed thinking they were anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. I later learnt about them being bogus… how do I remove them?
Download these programs to your desktop and install them: SmitRem from http://noahdfear.geekstogo.com, SmitFraudFix from http://siri.geekstogo.com/SmitfraudFix .php, RogueRemover from www.majorgeeks.com/ RogueRemover _d5360.html, HijackThis from www.merijn.org/files/hijackthis. zip, and CCleaner from www.ccleaner.com.
That done, reboot into Safe Mode. Open the SmitRem folder and double-click RunThis.bat to start the SmitRem removal procedure. Next, open SmitFraudFix and choose to search (option 1) and clean (option 2) and run a full system scan to remove anything it finds. Then, run RogueRemover. While still in Safe Mode, run CCleaner. Analyse and clean the files it finds, then click on the Issues button and Scan and Fix any Registry issues CCleaner discovers. Run both the Registry Scanner and the File Analyzer until nothing more is found.
Run Hijackthis and Remove any leftover issues. Do not delete anything with Hijackthis unless you are absolutely sure what the file is and what it does. For items in the Hijackthis log like the following, which will not get deleted manually, use KillBox (killbox.clickhereformoreinfo. com) to browse to the location of the file and delete it or delete it on reboot. Items that are impossible to remove unless using Killbox usually show up in the “20” section of Hijackthis, for example:
O20—Winlogon Notify: msupdate—C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\msupdate32.dll
O20—Winlogon Notify: winrir32—C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\winrir32.dll
O20—Winlogon Notify: dvd4free—C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\dvd4free.dll
Reboot into normal mode. Scan your computer using online virus checkers such as those at www.kaspersky.com/ virusscanner and http://security.norton.com/sscv6/default.asp? productid=sarc&langid=ie&venid=sym. Also download, install and thoroughly scan your system using a spyware removal tool such as Spybot Search & Destroy from http://spybot.clickhereformoreinfo.com.
As a matter of general practice, always install and use an anti-virus program, update it regularly, and never disable it (even when certain programs ask you to do so), especially when you are online.
Beating The Heat
Q. I have a Celeron 1.2 GHz, a Mercury 815e motherboard, an 80 GB hard drive, and 256 MB of SD RAM. The problem is that my heat sink gets really hot (I can feel really hot air blowing towards my hand when I place it next to the heat sink), and as a result, the PC hangs or restarts. The CPU fan is working fine, but the BIOS setting doesn’t show its rpm. I have another case fan, and the BIOS reports its speed. Is there a problem with my motherboard?
You first need to make sure the CPU fan is working properly. Open your cabinet and make sure the fan rotates easily. Make sure the heat sink and fan blades are free from dust. Use a paint brush to clean these. If necessary, remove the fan and heat sink, clean them thoroughly, re-apply thermal paste and fix them back on to the CPU. To make sure it's a heating problem, you can try running the CPU with the same heat sink and fan on another motherboard. Another factor due to which the BIOS may not be reporting the rpm of the CPU fan correctly could be the CPU fan cable not being connected to the proper connector on the motherboard. Check for this. If all is in order and you still have an issue, you will have to opt for an external CPU fan kit, which will cost between Rs 200 and 300.
A Sound Solution
Q. I have a Pinnacle PCTV Rave TV-Tuner, and my computer has Windows XP Pro SP2. I want to record TV programs in WMV, DivX, as well as the MPEG-2 formats, but the software provided with the card does not support it. I have tried to use third-party PVR programs such as InterVideo WinDVR, but it does not capture sound.
The Pinnacle PCTV Rave TV Tuner encodes TV audio right on the board, and there is no loop-through cable that goes to the line-in of the sound board, as is usually the case with most TV-Tuners. That’s why the audio does not work with InterVideo WinDVR, since it does not feature an option to use internal TV audio. There are some programs such as ChrisTV from www.chris-tv.com and BeyondTV from www.snapstream.com that support such TV-Tuners (with on-board audio chips) and also allow you to capture in the WMV, DivX, and MPEG-2 formats.
Anti vs. Anti!
Q. I had installed McAfee AntiVirus from your CD for a trial run, then uninstalled it and returned to my older Norton AntiVirus. The problem is that Windows Security Center says I have the above two antivirus programs running.
Right-click on My Computer and click Manage. Expand Services and Applications and click on Services. Find the Windows Management Instrumentation service, right-click it, and choose Stop. Open My Computer, then go to (assuming Windows is installed on C) C:\Windows\System32\WBEM\Repository. Delete it. Return to the Windows services screen; find Windows Management Instrumentation, right-click on it, and choose Start. Restarting this service will rebuild the repository folder information. Restart your computer. Windows Security Center should be fine.
Video’s Not On The Cards
Q. I have an NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 graphics card. The problem is that the display goes blank after entering Windows, even when I have installed the official WHQL drivers. When I booted using my onboard graphics, I got a message that read something like "the display device driver was unable to complete a drawing operation. Please check for a driver update." I downloaded the latest drivers from NVIDIA, but the problem persists. My PC configuration is an AMD Athlon XP 2100 CPU and 512 MB DDR RAM on an ASUS A7N266VM motherboard and I have Windows XP Professional SP2.
A device driver conflict seems to be at play. Here's what you can do: Boot your system while using the onboard video card, then uninstall all the video card drivers. If possible, use System Restore to get back to a time when the computer was working fine, and then uninstall the display drivers. Now, reboot and get to the BIOS. Go to the Advanced Options, and look for the PCI display menu. Under VGA BIOS, change the adapter to AGP VGA. Save the settings, shut down the computer, and install the new video card. Reboot and install the display drivers. Your issue should be resolved. Alternatively, start the machine in Safe Mode; right-click on My Computer and select Properties > Hardware > Device Manager and expand the Display adapters option. Right-click on each entry under display adapters, and select Uninstall. It is imperative that you install only the latest drivers for the motherboard, and also to ensure that your BIOS is up to date. Check at the motherboard manufacturer's Web site for this.
Q. I uninstalled a program, but the Add/Remove Programs applet still shows the entry for it. So how do I get rid of it?
Open the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall. You can find the entries related to the uninstalled program in the right pane. Just delete them.
Installing An Installer!
Q. I have Windows XP. I get the Windows Update Error 0x80070420 while trying to update Windows.
First, Check to see if you have Windows Installer 3.1 installed: go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs, search the list of programs for Windows Installer 3.1. If you find it there, uninstall it, then reboot and install the program; if it’s not there, you’re fine; just install it. The program (Windows Installer 3.1) is at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=889482fc-5f56-4a38-b838-de776fd4138c&displaylang=en. Reboot and then try and do the Windows Update.