Helpful Warnings

Published Date
01 - Feb - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Feb - 2006
Helpful Warnings
Whenever I'm connected to the Internet, a message flashes, stating either that a worm has been detected, or that there's a problem with the Registry. It advises me to visit some Web sites and download Registry repairing software, and says my system will be damaged if I don't. I want to know whether these messages are genuine.

I have the latest version of Norton AntiVirus, and it does not detect any viruses.
Debabrata Rout

Your computer is infected not by a virus or worm, but by some form of spyware or adware. Many of these are not detected by anti-virus programs. You need to install anti-spyware software to get rid of these.

Microsoft AntiSpyware from www. and Spybot-S&D from are good (and free!) anti-spyware applications to start with. Alternatively, you might want use paid anti-spyware applications such as Ad-Aware SE from

Install one of these programs and update the spyware and adware definitions file from the respective Web site, and thoroughly scan your hard drive for spyware and adware. You might need to install more than one anti-spyware software to remove all spyware or adware applications installed on your computer.

Note that some applications, such as the DivX Create Bundle, require the adware bundled with them to function properly-make sure you're deleting only unnecessary adware!

When you've got spyware on your computer, Windows might display a warning like this one

AGP Blues
Q. I have a GeForce2 MX400 64 MB graphics card. My problem is that this AGP card does not support any of the latest games. I updated the BIOS and installed the latest display drivers and DirectX 9.0c. My graphics card BIOS version is 3.11.0124.
Renju R

The nVidia GeForce2 MX400 chip is DirectX 7 compliant. It does not have the features required to run games written to take advantage of certain features that can only be found in graphics chips supporting higher versions of DirectX. Some such features are Pixel Shaders and Vertex Shaders-most of the newer games use these features, and hence they will not run on this card, unless the game allows running in a lower mode that uses DirectX 7.

Installing DirectX 9.0c and the latest drivers will not solve this problem either. The only remedy is upgrading to a newer AGP graphics card supporting DirectX 9, such as those in the GeForce FX and 6x00 series.

Fine Card, Broken Graphics
Q. I have a Pentium III 1 GHz with Windows XP SP2, 256 MB of RAM, and a GeForce4 MX 4000 128 MB with Forceware version 77.72 connected to an AGP 4X slot. I have DirectX 9.0c installed.

In almost all the games I play, the graphics appear broken into triangles- especially text and moving objects. All the settings are at their defaults, and the DxDiag tests all run fine.

I never experienced this problem until recently. I even tried keeping all the graphics settings at their lowest values, but the problem persists.
Aslam Kamal

The problem you're facing-and also other problems such as texture bleeding, flashing triangles and corrupted textures-often happens due to improper AGP aperture size. The AGP aperture size is memory that has been reserved from your system RAM for graphical processing. This takes the RAM out of use for you and your operating system.

The problem can be remedied by changing the AGP aperture size. You will have to experiment with different values until you find one that suits you.
You can only change the AGP aperture from the BIOS. It can usually be accessed under 'Advanced Chipset Features', depending on the BIOS manufacturer. It can be set to values such as 16, 32, 64, 128 and 256 MB.  Different motherboards allow different settings-for example, i815 motherboards will not allow you to set the aperture size above 64 MB. As a rule of thumb, set the value to half your system memory for optimal performance.

The problem you've described can also occur if your graphics card is damaged, in which case you'll have to get yourself a new card.
Alternative Usages?
Q. I have no DVD-ROM drive on my computer. However, I have a Philips DVD video player (DVD623K).  Is there any way I can connect my Philips DVD to my computer and use it as a DVD-ROM?
Arindam Dutta Roy

Unfortunately, you cannot. Even though your DVD player can read DVDs, its firmware (chip inside your DVD player) is not programmed to read data discs, only movie and MP3files. Even if you can get your DVD drive to read data discs, there is no way you can connect it to your PC to pass on digital data.

Invalid Key-No Probs!
Q. I recently created a Windows XP Professional SP2 bootable CD as described in Take A Crack in your March 2005 issue. My problem is that Setup accepts any Product Key, even blank spaces and semicolons. Setup proceeds even when I keep the Product ID field empty and click 'Next'. And after the 'Get Updated Files' screen appears, it generates an error that says that the wizard cannot continue. What do I do about this?
Adarsh Akhilesh
It looks as though either the Windows XP setup files you used or the CD that you created is corrupt. This could happen if the version of Windows XP you're using is pirated. We suggest you use the Windows XP setup files from the legal copy of Windows XP that you purchased. Also, try burning the CD at a lower speed such as 16X.

Seeing Double
Q. I have Windows 98 SE and Windows XP Home Edition installed on my system. I formatted the drive that had XP on it and re-installed XP. Now, when Windows starts up, I get two Windows XP Home Edition names on the opening screen. How do I delete one of them?

The Windows "Startup Options" dialog

Since you had a dual-boot system, we assume you had Windows 98 SE on the C drive and Windows XP Home on, say, the D drive. A dual-boot system such as yours uses the Windows XP boot loader to boot. This is located on the C drive, and there is also the 'boot.ini' file, which resides in the root of this drive. The various operating systems that are installed and into which the system can boot are listed in this file.

When you reinstalled Windows XP over your previous installation, though the D drive was formatted, the C drive retained all its files, including boot.ini. This file is updated every time you install a new OS, and an entry for this OS is made. This file must be edited to correctly display just one instance of Windows XP Home Edition in the boot menu.

To edit boot.ini, in the Control Panel, open 'System'. Click on the 'Advanced' tab, and under the 'Startup and Recovery' section, click on 'Settings'. Under 'System Startup' in the newly-opened Window, click 'Edit'. This will open the boot.ini in the default text editor. The structure of boot.ini will be something like this:
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect

As you might have noticed in the above, there is a duplicate entry for Windows XP Home Edition under the [operating systems] section. Just delete one of these two lines and save the file.

It is wise to back up boot.ini so if something goes wrong, you will be able to revert to the original settings.

Q. Is there a device or connecting cable available in the market to connect a pen drive directly to a digicam?
Manoj Singhal

An emerging standard in USB, known as USB 2.0 On-The-Go, enables any digital camera with a USB 2.0 interface to connect to a storage device that conforms to the standard. Devices that conform to this standard can directly connect to a digital camera, and images can be downloaded to the device.

The MSI MegaView 588, which we reviewed in New and Notable in our December 2005 issue, is one such device available in the market.
The Dreaded Missing File Syndrome
Q. When I boot into Windows XP Professional, I get an error: "C:windowssystem32configsystem file not found." Windows then stops loading. How can I repair my OS? Is there any way I could allow a Guest to write CDs from their accounts?
The file 'system' that resides in the 'config' directory of Windows XP's 'System32' directory is part of the Registry. If this file is corrupt, Windows will naturally have problems booting. But you can attempt to repair this error:
 Insert the Windows XP installation CD and boot through it.
 When prompted with the "R=Repair" option, press [R].
 Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair. Typically this will be number 1 if Windows is installed on the C drive.
 Enter the Administrator password when prompted.
 Type in the following commands at the command prompt:
cd windowssystem32config
ren system system.bad
copy windowsrepairsystem
 Eject the CD-ROM and type in "exit".
 Restart your computer. You should be able to boot into Windows XP properly.
Now for your second query: a user logging on using a Guest account can only view files but cannot modify files in Windows XP. They also will not be able to write CDs.

Accelerating Access

Q. My PC configuration is an Intel P IV 530 with HT, Intel original i915GAV motherboard, 512 MB DDR 400 MHz RAM, and a Seagate Barracuda 80 GB hard drive (ST380013AS). The drive supports UDMA-6, but is currently using UDMA-5. Is there a way to make it use its rated data transfer mode?
Mustak Patel

Installing the Intel Application Accelerator should do it. Since you have an Intel original motherboard, you'll find this application on the driver CD that accompanied the motherboard. You can also download the latest version of Intel Application Accelerator from Intel's Web site, but you must take care to download the version that's meant for your motherboard's chipset and your Windows version.

Of Codecs And Autorun
Q. I have a Celeron 1.2 GHz and a BenQ DVD-ROM running Windows XP. The Digit December 2005 movie DVD is getting detected as a data DVD by the DVD-ROM, and I'm not able to view the movie. I want to know whether an upgrade is required for the DVD-ROM, or whether any drivers can help.
Rajdeep Kohli

There does not seem to be any problem with your DVD-ROM drive. It looks like  the Autorun functionality of your drive has been disabled. Some software such as CD-Writing software and virtual machines require the Autorun feature on optical drives to be disabled in order to function properly, and these disable Autorun when they are  installed.
Regardless of whether Autorun is turned on or off, you will still be able to view DVD movies, provided you have the necessary DVD player and MPEG-2 codecs installed. Most DVD players such as InterVideo WinDVD (www. and Cyberlink PowerDVD ( come with their own codecs, and installing one of these will allow you to view DVD movies using either the player or Windows Media Player.

Squeezing It To The Max
Q. Is there any software that can compress 5 to 6 GB of data to 500 to 600 MB?
Kishore Jethanandani

Compressing 5 to 6 GB of data to 500 or 600 MB means a compression ratio of 1:10, which is extremely high. While not impossible, it's very hard to achieve. It depends on the type of files you're planning to compress-certain file types such as BMP and DOC compress better. There are a host of file compression utilities that can help you compress files to a varying degree of compression. WinZip (www., WinRAR (, WinAce (, PowerArchiver (, and 7-Zip ( are some of these.

TV-Tuner On Win98?
Q. I have a Pentium III 500MHz, a SiS P-II motherboard, 96 MB of RAM, and Windows 98. This system runs fine-I generally use it for music and video. I want to add a TV-Tuner card. But my vendor has expressed doubts as to whether my P-II motherboard will support a TV-Tuner card. He also said that the TV-Tuner cards available in the market do not have driver support for Windows 98. I want to know whether this is true or not.
Srikanth Vavilala

Any system with at least a Pentium 233 MHz and 32 MB of RAM will support a TV-Tuner card for viewing purposes. The dealer must have meant that capturing live TV might not be possible on your system, and that is true.

Most, if not all, TV-Tuners-such as the Compro Videomate PVR and PVR/FM cards-still support Windows 98. You'll be able to find the drivers on the Internet.

Team DigitTeam Digit

All of us are better than one of us.