My problem is that all of a sudden, my PC displays a blue screen and it restarts by itself. I don't know what to do. Recently, I installed a 128 SDRAM module on top of the existing 128 MB SDRAM module. Is the problem due to the RAM?
Tenzin Sherab, Manali
There is a good chance that the new RAM module you installed is faulty, or incompatible with the motherboard or the older RAM module, or both. You'll need to get the new RAM module replaced. Take your old RAM module to the vendor from whom you bought it and ask him to replace the new RAM with one similar to the old RAM.
I Can Watch But Can't Catch!
Q. I have an Intel Celeron 1.2 GHz, 256 MB RAM, a 60 GB hard drive and a Frontech TV-Tuner card. The TV playback of the card is smooth enough. But while recording, many frames are lost in the DVD quality. As a result, the quality of recording is poor. How can I ensure best quality?
Mahesh Bandekar, via e-mail
The system configuration you mention is more than enough to view TV using a TV-Tuner card. But it is not enough to record live TV in DVD quality. You can record in MPEG-1 file format (VCD quality) without dropping a frame, but if you try to record a MPEG-2 file format (DVD quality), you will drop a lot of frames and the resulting captured file will be of bad quality.
If you wish to record in MPEG-2 format, you should consider upgrading your hardware to at least a 2 GHz processor from Intel or a 2000 processor from AMD. To capture in MPEG-2 with really good quality, you will require a TV-Tuner card with hardware MPEG capture capability, such as the ones from Hauppauge.
Q. My PC's configuration is as follows: an AMD Athlon 64 3000 , an Asus K8N4E Deluxe nForce 4 chipset-based motherboard, XFX GeForce PCX 5300 PCIx16, a Tricom 450 watt, iBox i612 Standard ATX, a Seagate 80 GB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive and Windows XP Professional SP2.
The problem arises when I start playing games like Call of Duty or Prince of Persia-Warrior Within. It runs fine initially, but after playing for 10 to 15 minutes, the PC hangs and restarts.
I have checked the CPU and motherboard temperatures-they were stable at 48 and 46 degrees Celsius respectively. All overclocking options are disabled and there is no overclocking. Is there a problem with my power supply? I'd asked my vendor for a genuine 400 W power supply. He recommended the Tricom 450 W, and I purchased it.
Install DirectX 9.0c on your PC. Install the latest versions of nForce4 chipset, nVidia graphics and AC'97 audio drivers for your motherboard. Install the latest hotfixes for Windows XP SP2. If the problem persists, your RAM is the probable cause. This is more likely if there is a slight mismatch in the RAM modules in the dual- channel configuration.
To figure out if this is the case, remove one of the RAM modules and try playing the game to see if it works. If it doesn't crash, the problem is with the mismatched memory modules. If the problem persists, there could be some heating issues with your processor. You can't always depend on the motherboard's temperature sensor to report the correct temperature at all times.
More For Less?
Q. Using my Windows 2000 bootable CD, I can install Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server. When I checked the size of the disk by right-clicking the CD drive icon, it was around 450 MB. But when I tried to copy it to my hard disk, it took around 1.5 GB.
I've also come across some 770 MB VCDs, although the normal disk capacity is 700 MB. How we can one write more data on a CD than its pre-defined capacity?
Prasad V Nair, Trivandrum
Some data CDs are created in such a way that although the total size of the data on each may far exceed the normal capacity of a CD (which is 700 MB, and may sometimes even cross 1 GB), the CD properties still show the CD's size to be well within the limits.
This is achieved by a special method of CD image creation wherein identical files appearing multiple times in the CD compilation are stored as a single file with different entries in the file allocation table of the CD. This way, multiple identical files that are seen to occupy multiple times the size of the file actually occupy only the space of a single file. There are various tools available to create such images, including UltraISO at www.ezbsystems.com/ultraiso.
A Useful Dump
Q. When memory dumping happens, '.dmp' files are created. Can you tell me how to open these files to know the reason of the dump?
Adesh Kumar, via e-mail
Memory dump file creation is a very useful diagnostic tool in Windows systems based on NT. A memory dump is an output file generated by the OS during a crash, and is useful in determining the cause of the crash. It is saved as a file with the .dmp extension in the 'System32' directory inside the 'Windows' directory.
To set up this option, open 'System' in 'Control Panel', navigate to the 'Advanced' tab, and click 'Settings' under 'Startup and Recovery'.
The dump file can be analysed using a tool from Microsoft known as dumpchk.exe. You can download it from https://snipurl.com/gzel. Different versions of the tool are available for different versions of Windows. Detailed information about using dumpchk.exe can be found at https://snipurl.com/gzf8.
BIOS Upgrade Needed
Q. I have an Intel P III 450 MHz (Katmai) processor, Intel (i440BX/ZX-SMC60X rev. C1, Intel 82371 (PIIX4) rev. C1) Chipset, Inno3D GeForce4 MX 64 MB, 128 MB of RAM, a DVD/CD-RW, Windows 98 SE, and a 20 GB hard disk. I have the following questions:
1. Can I use a P III 1 GHz Processor with this chipset? Is there some other fast processor that I can use with this chipset?
2. How can I upgrade my BIOS? I have the Award 4.51 P-03/01/99 BIOS. I am unable to install Windows XP. Is this a BIOS problem? Does this BIOS support only Windows 95/98?
3. While burning CDs, disk finalisation fails, and the disk becomes unusable. Why is it so? I can play games like Call of Duty, NFS Hot Pursuit 2 and GTA Vice-City on my PC, and they run very well.
Zaif Khan, Delhi
Unfortunately, you will not be able to use a 1 GHz P III on your board-the board simply does not support that processor. You can upgrade your BIOS by downloading the latest BIOS and BIOS flashing utility from your motherboard manufacturer's Web site.
The Award 4.51 BIOS has certain limitations. When a hard drive larger than 33.8 GB is attached, the system hangs during Power-On Self Test. But you should be able to install Windows XP even with this BIOS.
CD burning can fail during finalisation for a variety of reasons-due to faulty media or a faulty writer. Try using different media. Use a cleaning CD to clean the lens of your CD-Writer- dust may have accumulated over it. Try burning at lower speeds.
Q. My system configuration is a P IV, an Intel 845 motherboard, and 256 MB of DDR RAM running Windows XP. Whenever I try to open Windows Media Player, I get the following error:
"winplayer.exe - ENTRY POINT NOT FOUND
The procedure entry point ASFSend Time To Time could not be located in the dynamic link library WMASF.DLL"
It's only recently that I've started experiencing this problem. I've tried to restore the system to an earlier date, but the problem persists. What is the solution?
Prof Sanjay S Patil, Ratnagiri
You need to reinstall Windows Media Player. Go to Control Panel > Folder Options > View and set it to 'Show hidden files and folders'. Uncheck 'Hide protected operating system files [recommended]' and 'Hide extensions for known file types'. Now, open the Windows Explorer and go to the 'C:WindowsInf' folder, find the file 'wmp.inf', right-click it and choose 'Install'.
You will need to either insert your Windows XP CD or know where the i386 folder is located on your hard drive. You may also need to know where the 'ServicePackFiles' folder is (it's usually under the Windows directory) if you've installed a service pack. If your Windows directory is 'C:Windows', then the service pack files are in 'C:WindowsServicePackFiles'.
Icons For CDs
Q. How do I assign an icon to the CD-R/RW while writing it, so that when I put it into the drive the icon appears at the place of the CD drive in 'My Computer'?
Ajay Bhushan, via e-mail
The icon displayed in 'My Computer' when some CDs are inserted into the CD drive is due to the Autorun feature of the CD. The root of an Autorun CD contains a file 'autorun.inf', which is an instruction file associated with the function. This file has a syntax, and a simple autorun.inf file looks like
Here, 'autorun.exe' is the executable file that is launched when the CD is inserted, and 'autorun.ico' is the icon file that gives the CD its icon. Sometimes, an executable file or a DLL that might contain an icon is also used instead of an icon file. You may also try a freeware Autorun file editor such as the one from https://autorun.moonvalley.com if you want to play around with Autorun files.
I Lost My Password!
Q. I use MS Office 2000 on my computer. I created an MS Word file and saved it with password protection. I've forgotten the password. How can I open the file?
Vikram Dan, Barmer, Rajasthan
To recover the password of an MS Word file, download software such as the Word Password Recovery from Interlore (https://snipurl.com/gzf0) or the Passware Word Key (https://snipurl.com/gzey).
A fast processor enables quick recovery of the password. Short passwords are easy to recover, but longer passwords may take days to recover even with a fast processor. The software uses the brute-force technique of password breaking, and how fast it can find the password is dependent on the number-crunching capability of the processor.
Now You C!
Q. My PC runs two OSes, Windows 98 on the C drive and Windows XP on the D drive. A few days ago, I installed the Windows version of the C language. Recently, I uninstalled it and started getting an error message at bootup in the Windows 98 OS:
"There is an error in your CONFIG.SYS file on Line 2
The following file is missing or corrupted:D:C700BINSMARTDRV.EXE
There is an error in your CONFIG.SYS file on Line 8
Incorrect DOS version
The following file is missing or corrupted:COMMAND.COM
Bad command or file name
C:>PATH= D:C700BIN;D:WINDOWSSystem32; D:WINDOWS; D:WINDOWSSystem32Wbem
C:>SET LIB= D:C700LIB;D:C700MFCLIB
C:>SET INCLUDE= D:C700INCLUDE; D:C700MFCINCLUDE
C:>SET HELPFILES= D:C700HELP*.HLP
C:>SET INIT= D:C700INIT" Why is this happening?
Ravi Ranjan, via e-mail
The problem with your system is that one of the startup files for Windows 98, config.sys, contains invalid commands that were added to it when you installed C for Windows. Now when you uninstalled C, the changes to config.sys have not been undone, and since those commands are no longer valid, you get the error.
In order to correct this problem, open config.sys in a text editor such as Notepad. The config.sys file might be hidden and read-only, and you might have to reset its attributes. To do this, go to the Windows command prompt and type in the following commands:
ATTRIB -S -H -R CONFIG.SYS
You'll now be able to edit config.sys. Go to line number 2, and type in 'REM' and a space at the start of the line. Similarly, go to line number 8, type 'REM' and a space at the start. After adding 'REM', save the file and restart your computer. Everything should work fine now. 'REM' is short for 'Remark Comments', and stops lines from getting executed. Similarly, to un-comment any line, just delete the word 'REM' from the start of the line.
Registry Backup In Win98
Q. I have a Pentium III 500 MHz processor, an Intel BX motherboard, 128 MB of RAM and a 20 GB hard disk. I have Windows 98 installed. How do I back up my registry?
Rajesh Bhatt, Mumbai
There is a utility in Windows 98 to check, backup and restore the registry, known as SCANREGW. Go to Start > Run. Enter "SCANREGW" and hit [Enter]. You'll be asked if you want to back up the registry. Click 'Yes', and your registry will be backed up.