Draft As Default.

Published Date
04 - May - 2007
| Last Updated
04 - May - 2007
Draft As Default.
This is simple. Just open Printers and Faxes from the Control Panel. Select your default printer and choose "Set printer properties" or something like that. The exact steps will depend on what printer you have, but you need to land at Printing Preferences. Here's where you'll find the box where you always select Draft mode. Select it and click OK twice to close the settings dialog box. Draft is now the default!

Through The Looking Glass

The names of the icons on my desktop have a background colour. This destroys the appeal of my wallpaper! How can I get them to be transparent?
Ankit Patel

There is a sort of hidden setting in XP that controls whether the icon labels on the desktop have a drop-shadow with a transparent background or are text laid out on the system background colour. Here's what you need to do in order to make the icon labels transparent: right-click My Computer and choose Properties. Click the Advanced tab, and click the Settings button in the panel labelled Performance. Click the Visual Effects tab in the Performance dialog. Check the box titled "Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop". Click OK twice, and your wallpaper is beautiful again!


I've been trying to convert analogue videotapes to digital format, as files on my computer, using my analogue 8mm video camera and a capture device. I'm using MyDVD; the video is fine, but there's no audio. What cable connections and software would I need to get the audio as well? I intend to convert the 8mm tapes to DVDs. Going straight from my camera to DVD would be even better!
Solomon Verghese

If all you want to do is convert tape to DVD, it's simpler than putting the video onto your PC and then converting. For example, you could use the Sony DVDirect VRDMC1. Plug your camcorder or VCR directly into DVDirect, which will burn a CD or DVD from the feed, including the audio. The device supports both analogue video and audio connections, as well as FireWire.

Don't Do The Math

Does a 64-bit processor require twice as much memory as a 32-bit processor because of the increased word length?
Anirudh Sathe

No! The amount of memory you can use is limited by the motherboard and/or the memory controller rather than the processor itself. One more thing that affects the amount of memory is the operating system. The 32-bit version of Windows XP can support a maximum of 4 GB of RAM with up to 2 GB of dedicated memory per process, whereas 64-bit operating systems can address up to 128 GB. In case it interests you, the benefits of 64-bit vs. 32-bit, span across all types of memory, including 16 TB of virtual memory vs. 4 GB, 1 TB of cache vs. 1 GB and support for a page file of up to 512 TB vs. 16 TB.

Die A Dodo's Death!

I have Windows XP on my computer. A certain program launches itself automatically. I am unable to stop it from running-even if I run the Task Manager and kill the program from there, it starts again all by itself. I can't even delete the .exe file-it re-spawns!
Mayank Rajawat

First, you need to stop the program from launching itself at startup. To do this, go to Start > Run, type "msconfig" and hit [Enter]. Click on the Startup tab, locate the program in the list, and uncheck the box to its left. Also note the path of the program from here. Click OK and restart Windows for the change to take effect.

To prevent the program from launching itself, you have to create a new "software restriction policy": go to Start > Run, type "Secpol.msc", and hit [Enter]. Right-click on Software Restriction Policies and select Create New Policy. Expand SRP, right-click on Addition Rules, and select "New Path Rule..." Enter the path of the menacing program and set the security level to Disallowed. Click OK. Program gone!
Alignment Angst

I recently replaced the ink cartridges on my HP PSC 950 MFD, and ever since, it won't copy. When I run the alignment routine from the printer's front panel, the alignment page prints, but without the checkmarks that indicate the printer passed the alignment tests. Then I get the message "Alignment Failed Please Try Again," which eventually changes to "Press Enter To Align Cartridges." I can still print from the PC, but I can't copy from the front panel.
Vilas Seth

You can run into a problem aligning print heads on almost any inkjet printer or MFD. Fortunately, the problem is usually with the paper or cartridges, not the printer itself. A quick fix is to first skip the alignment. With the PSC 950, you can do this by holding down [Enter] and pressing Setup. (You can find a list of equivalent combinations for other HP models at https://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/ wc/genericDocument?cc=us&docname=bpu00657&lc=en&jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN (or http: //snipurl.com/qnadec1.) Then, check the paper. If there's anything printed on the page, or if it's any colour but white, or if its brightness level-which should be indicated on the package-isn't at least 85, you can't use it for alignment.

If the problem isn't the paper, it's almost certainly the cartridges, which could be low on ink (if you replaced only one cartridge), defective, suffering from clogged nozzles, or past their shelf life. HP cartridges include a use-by date on the box. The dates tend to be conservative, but if the deadline is long since past, the cartridge could be all but useless.

Run the cartridge-cleaning routine, and then try aligning the cartridges again. If the problem was with clogged nozzles, the cleaning routine might fix it. If it doesn't, try cleaning the cartridges and the contacts in the printer. HP gives a step-by-step explanation for how to do this at https://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/ genericDocument?lc=en&cc=us&jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN&dlc=en&docname=bpu02176#bpu02176_doc (or https://snipurl.com/qnadec2).

Once you've cleaned the cartridges, try the alignment routine again. If it still fails, you might want to try a new set of cartridges. Or, you might want to bypass the alignment and use up the ink in the current cartridges before getting new ones.

A Picture Is Worth…

When I open any Web page in Internet Explorer, none of the pictures, ads or buttons are visible. All I get is an outline of where they would normally show, with three little shapes in the top-left corner of each box.
Manoj Rajput

This problem is almost always caused after installation of buggy software. To resolve the problem, go to Control Panel > Internet Options. Choose the Advanced tab. Scroll down to the Multimedia section. Check the Show Pictures box. Also check the Show Image Download Placeholders box. Click OK. IE should be fine now.

We Can Work It Out

I upgraded my Dell Dimension 8200 from Windows 2000 to XP Pro using Dell's Windows XP Pro Upgrade CD. Now, when I power it up, it makes a sound, and the following messages appear: "Invalid boot.INI file" and "booting from C:winntboot." Then it boots up. Occasionally it fails to boot, but on my second attempt, it has been booting up with the same error message. What's up?
Mani Iyer

The boot.ini file contains information the boot loader needs, including which drive Windows has been installed on. There is also a backup of the boot.ini file, which can be used by the OS in case of a crash. The boot.ini file is just a text file. Incorrectly editing boot.ini, though, can result in an inoperable PC, so we'll tell you the easier way to get rid of the error message. You'll need to have the original Windows CD. Boot from the CD and start the Recovery Console by pressing [R] when asked. If you have more than one OS-for example, if you're dual-booting Windows XP 32-bit and Windows XP 64-bit-you'll be asked which one you want to recover. Pick the one you want. Then you'll see something like a DOS prompt. Type in "bootcfg /rebuild".

When you enter this command, you receive a message that says:
The Windows installation scan was successful.

Note: These results are stored statically for this session. If the disk configuration changes during this session, in order to get an updated scan, you must first reboot the machine and then rescan the disks.

Total identified Windows installs: 2
[1]: C:WINXP
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All):
When you type [Y], and then press [Enter], you receive the following message:
Enter Load Identifier:
Type the description of the installation that you want displayed on the Startup menu. For example, type "Microsoft Windows XP Professional", and then press [Enter].
You will receive the following message:
Enter OS Load Options:
Type the operating system load options that you want. For example, type "/fastdetect", and then press [Enter]. Then you can type "/exit" and the PC will restart.

More detail on this can be found at https://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184/en-us, or https://snipurl.com/qnadec3.

Getting Under The Hood

I need to change the boot device priority in the BIOS, but my computer assembler has set a password and I am unable to contact him. What can I do?
Ritesh Pendse

If you need to get into a PC's BIOS setup that has been password-protected, you will either need to crack the password, or you will need to reset the BIOS.

Most motherboards come with a spare 2-pin jumper installed in the Off position on some connector pins on the board. Most motherboards also have "Clear CMOS" pins. If you can find a spare jumper, and your motherboard has "Clear CMOS" pins (you can verify this by either checking the manual, or by looking directly at the motherboard next to the CMOS battery), you can reset the BIOS by taking the following steps: shut down the PC and turn it off. Remove all power cables, and take the case off. Place the jumper over the two Clear CMOS pins. Plug the power cables back into the PC (still leaving the case off), turn the PC on and wait for 30 to 60 seconds (most likely nothing will switch on). Shut down the PC and remove the power cables again. Take the Clear CMOS jumper off the pins. Put the case back on the PC and plug the cables back in. Turn the PC on and you should be able to get into the BIOS.

If the CMOS battery goes dead, you lose some or all the BIOS settings and you have to install a new battery and reconfigure the BIOS. In a similar manner, often, if you remove the battery from the motherboard and leave it out for a while, this will reset the BIOS to its default state and thus enable you to get into it as a result of the BIOS password having been reset to nothing. Shut the PC down and turn it off. Remove all power cables and take the case off. Take the CMOS battery out of the battery chassis. Wait for at least two minutes and put the battery back. You should now be able to get into the BIOS.

And here's a third method! BIOS passwords are stored with very rudimentary encryption and are, as a result, very easily decryptable. As a starting point, go to www.atwdownloads.com, and download CMOS Password v4.6.
This nifty little utility will successfully retrieve most BIOS passwords!

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