Stretching It Too Far

Published Date
01 - Aug - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Aug - 2006
Stretching It Too Far
Q. I have a Creative Webcam. The cable wasn't long enough, so I bought a 5-metre USB-to-USB extension cable. Now, when I connect the Webcam using the cable, a message appears: "USB Device Not Recognized". When I connect the Webcam directly, it works fine.
Bhupinder Singh

An unfortunate USB device not recognised

Because of latency issues, a USB cable can only be 5 metres long. If you need to extend the length of the cable, you need a USB repeaters or USB relays to reduce signal loss.

Go Away!

Q. I have Windows XP, and I installed Windows 98 from the DOS prompt. It started appearing as the first item in the OS choice menu. Later, I deleted all the Windows 98 files because I didn't want it any more, but it still appears in the boot menu. How can I get rid of it?
Via e-mail

The items that appear in the OS choice menu at boot time are stored in a file-Boot.ini. You can edit this file to remove the Windows 98 menu item. Open Control Panel > System. Click on Advanced, and under "Startup and Recovery", click Settings. In the window that opens, you can change the default OS by choosing Windows XP from the drop-down box. If you want to stop the item from appearing, you need to click Edit. The Boot.ini file will open in Notepad. Scroll down to the [boot loader] section, which will look like this:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS="Windows 98" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
Under the [boot loader] section, change the line
"default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS" to
Delete the line
"multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINDOWS="Windows 98" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect"
Save the file and you're done. The next time you boot your computer, you will only see the "Microsoft Windows XP Professional" option.

We're Sorry To Inform You That…
Q. I have a P4 2.8 GHz (Northwood, Socket 478) on an Intel D865PERL board. My processor's fan failed. While pulling out the heat sink / fan, the thermal compound (Intel-shipped) between the heat sink and the processor was so adhesive that the CPU's thermal spreader got plucked out, flushing the liquid compound all over the CPU area of the board. (The thermal spreader is a metallic plate over the CPU's core that's hollow, filled with liquid thermal compound.)

I understand that if I just replace the plate, it would create an air gap between the core and the plate. If I use the CPU in that condition, it would toast the core. What do I do? Luckily, my board survived the spill.
Tarun Raju

While you might have been lucky that the motherboard survived the spill, we have to say that the same is not the case with your processor. Because the CPU's thermal spreader is considered a part of the processor, its getting dislodged from the processor body means that the processor has been damaged-and this damage is not repairable. Since this is physical damage, you cannot avail of the warranty even if the processor is under one.

Done In A Jiffy!
Q. Whenever I schedule a disk check on Windows XP, the following error comes up at the next reboot:
"Disk checkup
Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS
Cannot open volume for Direct Access
Windows has finished checking the disk"
All other partitions are checked normally except the C: partition. I log into Windows as Administrator.
Sandeep Jain

The problem can be resolved by installing the latest Service Pack and hotfixes for Windows XP. According to Microsoft, this problem has been resolved in Service Pack 2.

Call A Rose By Any Other Name…
Q. I want to know what difference setting a hard disk or an optical drive as Master or Slave would make. How can I make a drive Primary or Slave? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both?
Manish Sihotra

There is no functional difference between Primary Master, Primary Slave, Secondary Master and Secondary Slave. These designations only differentiate between the different devices. Your primary hard disk-the one with your OS-can be the secondary slave, if you so wish.

An IDE device, when connected to the Primary IDE port (via an IDE cable connected to the port), becomes a Primary IDE device. An IDE hard drive or optical drive can be set to Master or Slave by changing the connection of the jumper-a small plastic plug with metal sleeves that forms a circuit between a pair of pins.

The jumper settings of a drive can be accessed just beside the IDE data cable connector. The hard disk or optical drive will have the jumper settings mentioned on the label-what setting will set the drive to master, slave, and more. Jumpers are tiny, and you might need a pair of tweezers to handle them.
A BI-OS Conflict
Q. I have an NForce4 motherboard with 512 MB of DDR RAM. I want to install Windows XP on it, but I get error 0x0000007B during installation. The hard drive is detected by the BIOS but not by the Windows XP installer CD. I have tried replacing the 250 GB SATA hard drive with my old 120 GB SATA drive and even replaced the RAM, but the problem persists.
Manish Paswan

The 0x0007B error is normally the "inaccessible_boot_device" error where windows can't find the partition that has your OS. The most common reason for this is that you may have configured your SATA hard drive in the RAID configuration in the BIOS. You may need to check for this in the BIOS and set the hard drive back to legacy IDE mode. But if you intend to use it in RAID configuration, you can still install Windows XP. You need to keep the RAID driver floppy disk ready before starting the installation. If you don't have it, you can create one using the driver CD that came with the motherboard.

After the Windows XP bootable CD boots and the installation begins, press [F6]. You will be prompted to insert the driver disk; use the RAID driver disk you created. Select the correct driver from the list and continue. XP shouldn't have any problems installing.

Got Java?
Q. I have a Compaq Presario 4010 running Window 98, with 128 MB of RAM and a Celeron at 367 MHz. While trying to run the "Quick Restore/ Custom Restore" CD, I get a message: "Applet sqcd not inited." Pressing the restore button gives an "Error on page" message.
B Mazumdar

The "Applet notinited" error occurs when the Java Virtual Machine is either not installed or is corrupt/damaged. You will need to download and install the JRE from the Sun Java Web site at or by visiting

Blame It On IE
Q. I have Windows XP SP2. I am not able to download any files. When I try to download a file, I get an error (as shown below). I am using Norton Internet Security 2005; I contacted Symantec Corp. and they just said something to the effect that it wasn't their fault. What do I do?

Your Internet Security settings are set to prevent file downloads. This probably happened accidentally. You can change this setting: open Control Panel > Internet Settings. Go to the Security tab and click "Custom Level". In the Settings list, look for "Downloads", and under this, you will see "File Download". Click on the radio button next to Enable and click on OK twice. The new settings will take effect immediately, and you'll be able to download.

Set the download setting in the IE Security
Setting tab

Q. I saw an ad for a Pentium 4 system with Window XP Media Center Edition, which said you could pause Live TV. I want to know whether this is possible, and how?
Rajesh Kumar

Windows XP Media Center Edition, as well as many of the PVR (Personal Video Recorder) software available, have a feature called timeshift. Using the timeshift feature, it is possible to pause, rewind or even skip parts of a live telecast. In the timeshift mode of operation, the PC records the telecast at the same time as it displays it on the Desktop. When the Pause button on the Media Center remote is pressed, the recording continues, but the display on the Desktop is frozen until the Pause button is pressed again. Playback resumes from the point that it was paused, which can happen because the telecast that was recorded during the pause interval is maintained as a buffer. Rest assured-the advertisement is not misleading!

Read The Fine Print
Q. My PC configuration is a Pentium 4 at 3 GHz, an original Intel D915GAV motherboard with a Intel(R) 82915G/GV/ 910GL Express Chipset Family, a display adapter with 128 MB of onboard memory, and 512 MB of DDR 333 MHz RAM with DirectX 9.0c installed. The Age of Empires 3 Demo runs fine with all the advanced features turned off, but in the later stages of the game, I experience some problems with the smoothness of play. I intend to buy the game, and I want it to run smoothly on my PC. Are there any changes I can make so I don't experience a problem?
Jatin Bidaye

Your system configuration meets the minimum system requirements of Age of Empires 3, so it is able to run on your computer. However, you should keep in mind that the "minimum system configuration" the game developer states is the absolute minimum system specifications at which the game can run.

You can't expect it to run in its full glory on such a system-even if certain levels of the game run satisfactorily, at a level with complex details and higher AI requirements, the game might stutter.

Shadows Of The Past
Q. I was addicted to porn once upon a time, and that reflects in my browser's Google toolbar: if I want to do a search on "systems," as soon as I type the "s", it brings up a drop-down list of options that indicate objectionable content, which, of course, I'd typed in earlier. What needs to be done to prevent the unwanted lists from coming up?
Ajay CK

We assume you're using IE, since you haven't mentioned what browser you're using. Get rid of the drop-down history in the following way: go to Control Panel > Internet Options. In the General tab, under Temporary Internet Files, click on the button that says Delete Files. In the window that pops up, check the box that says "Delete all offline content" and click OK. Further down, you will see a History section. Click on the Clear History button to clear the History folder, which contains links to pages you've visited.

Q. I have a dial-up Internet connection from BSNL called NetOne. I use a 56 Kbps internal modem. When I connect, the connection speed shows up as "connected at 40 Kbps," but downloads are very slow. Even when I use a download accelerator such as DAP, I get ridiculously slow download speeds-2 to 3 KBps.
Bipin Thite

The "General" tab under Internet Properties
The connection speed shown is the speed at which the handshake between the modem and the ISP's server has been negotiated. This depends on a variety of factors such as the quality of the telephone line, whether there is noise in the signal, the quality of the modem, and other factors. You might need to check your modem settings, such as the initialisation string, which can be set in Control Panel > Phone and Modem Options. Try to lower the baud rate of the modem to, say, 33.6 kbps and then try to connect. If the modem connects, there is certainly a noise problem with your telephone line: you might need to contact your telephone company for a solution. You could also try plugging the modem into a different PCI slot.

I Screwed Up…  
Q. I have an ASUS motherboard. I used the ASUS BIOS update utility to download and update my BIOS to the latest version. I could only see a blank screen after I rebooted. The fans spin, and there is no other activity. My motherboard came with the CrashFree BIOS 2 facility. How I can use it to revive the motherboard?
Navraj Singh

To restore your BIOS using CrashFree BIOS 2, all you need to do is boot the computer using the ASUS support CD. The BIOS will be recovered automatically. But if your system doesn't even reach the stage where it detects the CD as the boot device, your only option is to get the BIOS chip replaced, or re-programmed by a technician.

Perfect Password Protection  
Q. Is there a way to lock a folder by assigning a password so that the folder will not be accessible without a password even in Windows XP's Safe Mode?
Aadesh Patil

There are quite a few programs that let you do this. A good program to password-protect your files and folders is Folder Lock, which you can download from or Hide Folders XP from These programs can hide your files as well as your folders, and it can do this for files on removable drives as well.

Team DigitTeam Digit

All of us are better than one of us.