Mandrake Black Magic

Published Date
01 - Dec - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Dec - 2005
Mandrake Black Magic
I tried to install Mandrake Linux 10.1 which came on the Digit February 2005 DVD. After booting from the Installation CD 1, I get a message: "Detecting USB Devices." After this, an error pops up-"No CD-ROM device found." When I click 'OK', a notice comes up-"Please insert the Additional Drivers Floppy." I don't have any such floppy. However, all the devices work fine in Windows XP.
Sandeep Rohtak, via e-mail

The most probable cause of your problem is that your installation CD has not been burnt properly. Burn the CD again and this time, make sure the written data is verified.

Age Of Problems
Q. I am running Windows XP. I tried to install Age of Empires 3 from a CD, but the installation stopped midway and I had to restart. Now whenever I start my computer, the Windows installer starts up and tries to install Age of Empires 3, and asks for CD 1. Why does this happen?
Ashmit, via e-mail

The program launches itself when Windows boots because it's been placed in the Windows startup. The reason could be a corrupt installation CD, and this problem can be easily solved once you install the game again from the original CD (assuming you made one legal copy). If the original CD is damaged, you can probably get it replaced.
If you just want to get rid of the program being loaded at startup, run "msconfig". Go to  the 'Startup' tab and look for entries that pertain to the Age of Empires 3 setup, and uncheck those entries. The problem should not occur the next time you boot up.

Q. I was using Windows XP SP2 with O&O Defragmenter 4.0 Server Edition. Now that I have uninstalled it, I am not able to use the Windows defragmenter. When I press "Defragment now" after right-clicking my hard disk icon, I get the error: "There is no defragmenter. Please install it using Add/Remove Programs > Install/Uninstall tab". How do I restore my Windows disk defragmenter?
R Vivek, Assam

This problem is caused because O&O Defragmenter set itself as the default Windows defragmentation tool when it was installed. After it was uninstalled, the default disk defragmenter was not re-instated. To correct this problem, open the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMyComputerDefragPath". In the right pane, double-click the string 'Default' and set its 'Value Data' to "%systemroot%system32dfrg.msc %c:". The Windows defragmenter should now be restored as the default disk defragmenter tool.

Mad Monitors
Q. I bought a new PC with a Samsung SyncMaster 591s 15-inch monitor. My problem with the monitor is, it starts flickering in no time; sometimes it works fine, but sometimes it starts to flicker at random. I tried changing the resolution, but it doesn't work. My PC is just two months old.
Imtiaz Khan, via e-mail

First check if you have loaded the latest drivers for your display adapter as well as for your monitor. If the problem you're experiencing is limited to Windows, then it's likely that your monitor's refresh rate is not optimal. You can set this using 'Display Properties' in the Control Panel. Go to the 'Settings' tab and click 'Advanced'. Now click 'Monitor', set the refresh rate at anything above 70 Hz, and click 'Apply'.
If the selected refresh rate is not supported by your monitor, wait for 15 seconds, after which your earlie refresh rate will be restored. Then choose another refresh rate to see if it is supported. This way, set the highest refresh rate supported by your monitor for the resolution you're using, and the flickering should go away.

In addition to this, degauss the monitor using the controls on the monitor, and move any items that have a magnetic field (such as speakers) some distance away.

If the flickering persists and if it is not limited to Windows, then the problem is most probably that the monitor is faulty and needs to be replaced.

Hibernating Mouse
Q. I have Windows XP installed. Whenever I try the hibernate or standby feature and then restart my computer, my mouse doesn't work.
Aman Jain, Rourkela, via e-mail

Your mouse with its current drivers doesn't support the power management features of Windows XP. The solution to your problem is to download and install the latest drivers for your mouse, and if the drivers support power management, your mouse should work after hibernation or standby.

Please send us the full configuration details of your system when writing in to us so we can be of more help.

Camera Prefers 98
Q. I am using an icam Robo - 351 Web cam. I have Windows 98 SE and Windows XP (dual-booting). In Windows 98 SE, the cam works fine, but in XP, when the cam is started, the video stops within 10 seconds. Then I get an error message: "Error 80070450: cannot preview graph." I tried re-installing the driver from the Web site, but the problem persists. I also happen to have a Pinnacle TV-Tuner card.
C S Laxmi, via e-mail

First, install the latest version of DirectX for your version of Windows. You can get this from the Microsoft Web site or from one of the Digit DVDs. You will also need to install the latest drivers for your TV-Tuner card from

Swap OSes
Q. I have installed Windows XP Professional on both my hard disks. Can I reverse the order in which the OS choice is displayed in the OS option menu?
Hemant Sahi, via e-mail

All you need to do is edit the boot.ini file, which resides in the root of your system drive. Enter "%systemdrive%/boot.ini" into the Run dialog box. Boot.ini will open in Notepad. The file is divided into two sections-"Boot loader" and "Operating Systems". The two OS options for your PC will be mentioned under "Operating Systems", in two lines. You can edit this and reverse the order of how the OSes are displayed. In order to change the default OS, change the text in the line next to "default=" to that which matches the OS into which you wish to boot first.

Codec Issues
Q. I used Windows MovieMaker 2 to create some movie files. When I copied the files to a Compaq Presario laptop, the files I'd created played on the laptop as audio files instead of as videos. All I could view were some visualisations. They'd worked perfectly on my computer. The Compaq laptop had Windows Media Player 9 installed on it.
Swathy Sudarsanan, via e-mail

Windows MovieMaker 2 uses Windows Media Codec 10. The Compaq laptop which had WMP 9 installed could not play your files because these codecs were not installed. In order to play the videos you created, you need to install Windows Media Player 10, which includes Windows Media Codec 10.

Access Gone Awry
Q. I was working on Microsoft Access when there was a sudden power failure, and all my data got deleted or corrupted. Is there a way to restore data from corrupted Access files?
Sajan Mishra, via e-mail

There are several utilities that attempt to recover corrupt MS Access files. One such utility is AccessFIX from Cimaware Software, which can restore damaged database files and rebuild table data even if the files are password-protected. You can download a free demo from

Sticky Windows
Q. I've got keyboard problems. When I press [D], all open windows get minimised. When I press [M], the active window is minimised. When [U] is pressed, the utility manager opens. On pressing [L], my computer gets locked. I have these problems even when several applications are open. I even formatted my hard drive and re-installed Windows, but I'm still facing this problem!
Bhabatitdev Das, via e-mail

The only possible cause of your problem is that the Window key of your keyboard is stuck. This happens because of dust accumulating in the keyboard, and the keyboard getting dirty in general. Try to release the key, and if possible, clean and service your keyboard because this problem may occur with the other keys as well.

LAN Woes
Q. I have a Pentium IV on an Intel 915 motherboard with onboard LAN (Intel Pro VE 10/100), and I'm using Windows XP SP2. The drivers for the LAN were successfully installed from the motherboard's driver CD, but XP always shows that the network cable is unplugged.
Rajiv Chopra, via e-mail

This can happen when there is a link speed mismatch between that set for the network adapter and that available on the network. If you do not know what the speed of your local area network is, you can try setting various speeds for your network adapter. To do this, open 'Network Connections' from the Control Panel. Right-click on the network adapter and click 'Properties'. Now click 'Configure'. In the window that opens, click 'Advanced'. Against 'Link Speed/Duplex Mode', select different speeds one by one to see which works. Set the highest speed at which the network adapter works.

BIOS Gone Boom
Q. I got the latest BIOS for my motherboard-an Asus P4S800-MX/s-from the Asus Web site, and used the Asus EZ Flash utility to flash it. Everything during the flashing process went well, and the computer said it was successful. But when I tried to reboot, I was unable to, and I had to use my support CD to try and recover my BIOS.

After erasing the BIOS while flashing it, it suddenly said there was a "data compare failure", and it stopped. I tried even older BIOS versions, but the same problem occurs. I used the Aflash utility, but nothing seems to work. Do I actually have to get a new motherboard? The error message that shows up on my screen is "BIOS ROM CHECKSUM ERROR."
Vinay Krishna, via e-mail

Though this is a rare case, chances are your BIOS chip has developed a fault, and it needs to be replaced. If your motherboard is under warranty, you may avail of this, or else you can try to get the BIOS rewritten by a BIOS writer. Rest assured, there is no need to buy a new motherboard!

Sessions, Volumes, Tracks
Q. My system is running Windows XP Pro (SP2). I want to know how I can access different volumes/tracks on a CD-that is, after creating a multisession CD, how can I access a previous session on the disk? I know the method in Windows 98, but that method doesn't work with XP.
Nishank Gupta, via e-mail

Download the Windows 2000/XP version of Multimounter from Run Multimounter, and open the properties of your CD drive. Select the 'Volumes' tab. Each burn session will show up as a separate volume, with a checkmark indicating the volume presently active and accessible.

Select the volume or session you want to access, and click 'Apply'. You may need to refresh your Explorer window before the change shows up. You'll only be able to access one session at a time, not all the files at once.

Password Prompts
Q. I have Windows XP Pro installed. Every time I log into Windows, I get a username and password prompt even though I haven't set a password. As a result, I need to press [Enter] every time I boot into Windows. Is there a way to eliminate the username and password prompt?
Ashish Rana, via e-mail

You will need to edit the Windows Registry. Proceed only if you know what you are doing, because one wrong step could make Windows unbootable.

In the Registry editor, navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsNTCurrentVersionWinLogon". In the right pane, double-click on the string "DefaultUserName" and change the Value data to your username. (If the string is not present, create it.) Similarly, change the strings "DefaultPassword" and "Default DomainName" to your password and domain name respectively. Finally, delete the string "AutoLogonCount".

The next time you start Windows, you will not be asked to enter a username and password.

My Computer Is Deaf!
Q. While recording a program on a TV-Tuner card through cable on my PC, it only records video and not audio. However, while watching TV, both video and audio work properly. My PC configuration is as follows: Windows XP with SP2, P IV 3.2 GHz, 1GB of RAM, a Samsung 160 GB hard disk and an Asus TV FM Tuner card. I use InterVideo WinDVR to capture.
Dipak Pimple, Via e-mail

While using video capture software such as InterVideo WinDVR, you need to specify the audio source if it is not automatically detected. To do so, open InterVideo WinDVR, right-click anywhere in the video window and click 'Setup'. Navigate to the 'Record' tab. Here, you will be able to select the audio source. Select 'Line-In' as the audio source.

The second thing to check is whether the Line-In volume of your sound card might be set to zero, or it might even be muted. Before you use any third-party PVR software, ensure this is not the case. To find out if this is the problem, double-click on the volume icon in the system tray. See if the Line-In is low or muted. Now click Options > Properties > Recording and click OK. Check the box next to Line-In, and raise the volume to a comfortable level. Close it and launch the PVR program, and under Options, check if Line-In is selected as the audio source. Also check its volume level there, if it exists.

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