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Questions & Answers: November 2008

By Team Digit | Published 25 Mar 2009 06:36 IST
Questions & Answers: November 2008

Hard Drive Space Issues

I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 with Vista Ultimate SP1 loaded on it. It runs an Intel Centrino Duo (1.73 GHz) with 1 GB of memory and a 120 GB HDD.

I have a few queries. Like I mentioned, I have a 120 GB hard drive. I’m able to use only 110 GB of the 120 GB. When I bought the laptop, it had Vista Home Premium and the local drive (C:) was a 110 GB and there was a backup drive of 10 GB. However even after formatting it completely and deleting the backup drive, I still don’t get the complete 120 GB of space. I re-partitioned the drive as C (49.9 GB), D (29.9 GB) and E (31.7 GB). It adds up to 111.5 GB.

Is there anyway of using the remaining drive space as even the backup feature has stopped functioning now?


I used to run Disk Cleanup every week. It used to free up a maximum of 500 KB of space. Three months back, I installed Uniblue SpeedUpMyPC and Registry Booster. I stopped using Disk Cleanup. Now two days back when I started Disk Cleanup and scanned my 29.9 GB partition, it says that 159 GB can be freed when my entire drive itself is only 120 GB!


My friend too had the same issue after install­ing some software. And he did disk cleanup. All of his software got uninstalled and Vista crashed. I don’t know what to do now.

I am sure that there are no viruses on my laptop as I download and install software only from trusted sites and I use the latest version of Kaspersky 2009. I keep it updated.

Anand Ravindran


The problem with the drive space is because of the conversion of bytes to kilo­bytes and megabytes and so on. A kilobyte is actually a 1024 bytes not a 1000. All this adds up to a big number when you calculate capacities such as 120 GB. For example, an advertised 750 GBdrive is actually close to 698 GB. The same is the case with your 120 GB drive.


If your Disk Cleanup is showing strange hard drive space values, try running a chkdsk on all the partitions. To do this, click on Start > Run. Type chkdsk C: /f and click OK. You might be needed to restart. Do the same step for all the partitions and the incorrect space issue might get solved.


Laptop Not Performing Well

I had purchased an Acer Aspire 4520 laptop. It came with an AMD Athlon 64 X2, an NVIDIA 7000m graphics solution. I upgraded its memory from 1 GB to 4 GB. I am using Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit. The problem I have is that it is running slowly. Games still do not run smoothly, so is there any way to increase the performance?

Sachin Wadnere


While the processor and the amount of RAM is sufficient for most applications, modern games required a solid graphics solu­tion to run perfectly. The NVIDIA 7000m is not the best in its class and its no surprise it strug­gles to run today’s games. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do to change this.


Display Problems

Here are my system specications:

Intel Pentium 4 1.7 GHz Willamette processor, Gigabyte GA-8SMML Motherboard, 512 MB PC133 MHz SDRAM, 160W SMPS, SiS 650 Chipset onboard video, SiS 7012 Onboard audio, PS2 Keyboard and mouse, HCL HCM580M 15-inch CRT Monitor, Samsung CD-ROM and Pioneer DVD –RW DL

I recently bought one more 512 MB 133 MHz SDRAM. When I powered on the computer after adding the RAM, the monitor remained blank and there was no beep from the motherboard. I had to restart it several times and then the computer booted. I tried using the two RAM sticks separately and they worked fine. However they do not seem to be working properly together. When I used them together again the monitor remained in its standby mode (Orange LED) even though the computer was ON. When I restarted the computer I received a message — “SiS 650 32 MB Video” and there was a one continuous long beep and it just hung there. The computer boots once in 5 or 6 times and the remaining times the monitor is blank or I receive the above message. I even tried using a Zebronics 450 Watt SMPS, but it didn’t help. Please help. I am getting desperate day by day. Also my moni­tor displays everything in blue and after around an hour it comes back to normal color. When the monitor is shaken, it changes colour from blue to normal and then goes back to blue.


Also my friend wants to buy an XFX 7600GT AGP card. Will it work in a 4X slot? And how much would it cost? Please help.

Shreyas Vaidya


Certain boards can have compatibility issues which mean that it is best to have the same brand of RAMused in both slots. You can try visiting the motherboard manufacturer’s site for any BIOS updates that might fix the problem. Remember that flashing your BIOS is risky and can cause your motherboard to fail if not done correctly. You might have to buy a single RAMstick of a higher capacity if the flashing doesn’t work. If you haven’t cleaned your cabinet in a long time, you should try it as it might fix some of the problems. The long beep could be a miss­ing or loose RAMstick. The problem with the colours changing is not because of a faulty moni­tor but a faulty display cable. You will need to have it replaced by the manufacturer.


The XFX 7600GT AGP is now an outdated card and can be difficult to find. You might have to settle with a second hand one. If you do find a new one, you should spend around Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,500 on it. 8x AGP is backward compatible so you should have no trouble running it on a 4x slot.


Installing XP Over Vista

I purchased a Dell Studio laptop, which came preloaded with Vista Ultimate edition on a single partition, with no seprate OS installation disc. I have Windows XP Professional that I want to install on my laptop, on a seperate partition. Please guide me. Is it neccesary to integrate HDD drivers with XP setup before hand?



We have carried the solution to install­ing XP over Vista in last month’s QnA section. It was the Question of the month. You should be able to get your answer. You might need to integrate your hard drive controller drives if the laptop is really new and the drivers aren’t available on XP’s instal­lation CD. The problem with drivers usually happens with the SATA controller and you’ll notice it the moment you boot into the XP CD. Your drives will not be detected in case that happens. You can use software called Nlite ( to do this.


Display Gone Dead After Bootup

My system configuration is as follows:

Motherboard: Intel D945GCCR, Processor: 1.8GHz Dual Core, Ram: Dynate 2 GB, Power Supply: PSTECH 450 W, Hard Disk: Seagate 160 GB, Optical Drive: Sony DVD Rw, Operating System: Vista Ulitmate Edition, Monitor: Acer LCD 17-inch Model No. AL1716


My problem is that until today morning my system was running perfectly but after two hours the system automatically restarted. Now it takes a lot of time to load Vista. I manually restarted the system. When i start the computer now, the monitor does not display anything but the fans in the cabinet are work­ing. I’ve tried everything like removing the battery, changing the RAM and even the power supply and monitor. But it can’t display anything.


The problem could be with a couple of things — mostly your hard drive and the power supply. The slowdown could be explained by some issues with the drive. If there is a display when you first power up your PC, then it is to do with the power supply. If the display doesn’t come on when you turn on your PC, then a power supply could be to blame. Listen for any beeps as well. If there are any beeps, refer to your motherboard manual to try and pinpoint to what the problem could be.


I Think My Drive Failed

My system’s DVD combo drive has a problem. Whenever I load a CD or DVD into the drive system hangs up and after sometime a message appears that there is no disk in the drive. When I insert a CD-R into the drive, it is detected but when I burn the CD with Nero, an error message appears during the burn process and disk becomes useless. Please help me.


I have an option to go for a DVD writer if the problem cannot be fixed. I have only IDE ports on the motherboard. I would like to buy a Lite-on DVD writer. I am from Kerala. Where can I buy one?

Akhil S Nath


You might have a faulty drive. IDE drives are easily available are priced betweenRs 1,100 and Rs 1,200. The LH-201A1P is a good model. If you have problems finding it, you can also look at other brands such as LG. The LG GSA-H55 is another good drive.


Virus problems with Windows 98

I use Windows 98 and I installed a trial version of Quick Heal and Norton GoBack. The antivirus software I have does not provide me with a native boot scan facility on start up. When I start my PC it shows the wallpaper but the other icons and the startup toolbars do not appear. Every time to start my PC, I have to revert with the help of Norton GoBack.


When I scan my computer, it shows seven scan warnings. I have tried to remove the antivirus software to reinstall but when I restart my PC the same problem appears. I have to again revert to all the previous settings over and over again. Please guide on my how I can remove the viruses stored in boot sector or repair system. I have lots of data on my PC. The virus has also infected a lot of the Windows system files. Please help. Thanks and regards



You firstly need to try and update your anti­virus with the latest updates so that the application can try and clean the viruses. If the antivirus comes with a bootable disk option, make one and try boot into a floppy or a CD and clean your drive with it. This is the best way to fix any boot sector viruses that you might have. You can also try connecting your hard drive to another computer if that has an antivirus installed. Scan your drive through the other computer with the antivirus. If no antivirus can clean your drive, then you should also back up all of your essential data on to the other drive as the virus might have done irreversible damage to the operating system. You will then need to format your drive and rein­stall Windows.


Drive At The End Of Its Life?

I own an 80 GB SAMSUNG SP0802N hard disk. Lately, I have installed two software - HDD life Pro 2.5.62 and Hard Dive Inspector 1.85 build #950. When I run both the soft­ware, they show some extreme messages. One of them says that the drive has no problem and the other says it is close to failing. Is it time to backup my data?

Chikku George Thomas


Your Samsung SP0802N 80 GB drive is now close to ancient and it’s definitely served well when many drives fail within a year or two at times. Both the software might be measur­ing the state of the drive through different methods, and that’s why you are getting the contradictory messages. A drive this old could fail any moment, so it’s wise to create a backup of your vital data on another drive or on DVDs to be safe.


Nero Handles All My Executables!

I have Windows Vista Ultimate running on my computer but unknowingly I went and executed an executable file with Nero Backitup with the option ticked to run all programs with Nero backitup. Now, every executable file in Vista starts with Nero so then I removed it and thought that the problems would undo itself but now none of the programs are working.


You can solve it with following steps:

1. Go to My Computer

2. Click on Tools in the menu bar

3. Click on Folder options

4. Click on the File Types tab

5. In Registered file types, select extension EXE. Look at the type of associated program and see that it is Nero Backitup.

6. Select extension and click on delete.

7. Restart your computer

Jagdeep Virdi (TECH QNA Expert)


DEP Errors With Windows XP2

I get a computer data execution error message popup when I click on any file, I want to disable it. Please help me.

If you have XP SP2, then it may be “Data Execution Prevention” (DEP) error. Turn off DEP in the XP Control Panel

1. Click the Start button at the bottom left of your screen

2. Click the Control Panel menu item

3. Then, double-click the System icon.

4. Click the Advanced tab

5. Find the item marked Performance right under there is a button that says Settings.

6. Click the Data Execution Prevention tab.

7. You will see two options in that window. Click the second option that says “Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select.”

8. When you are finished with that then click the ‘Add...’ button it should be visable at the bottom of the box. Then, you have to find where the file ‘explorer.exe’ resides on your computer most of the time it’s some­thing like this C:\WINDOWS\EXPLORER.EXE anyway add explorer to that list. It’ll give you a warning just ignore it and click OK. Then, you reboot and if you try it everything should work just fine.

Jagdeep Virdi (TECH QNA Expert)


Turbo C Crashes On Vista

My problem is that I am not able to do any graphical programming through my Vista operating system. Firstly, it does not support full screen and secondly when i run any program in the small Turbo C screen, it shows error NTVDM.exe and stops working. The screen flick­ers and goes blank. Is there any way to fix this? I use Turbo C and Windows Vista Home Basic.


Try using the Dev CPP IDE and this should help fix your problem. It is an updated application with a host of additional features. It also uses the gcc compiler. The turbo c compiler has not been updated and support for it is not avaliable. Dev CPP is a free compiler available online. I have not tried Turbo C in Vista.

Prasanth Philip (TECH QNA Expert)


Question of the month

I have a Pentium 4 processor with 512MB of RAM and an 80 GB hard drive. I use Windows XP SP2 along with Avira and Spybot. Whenever I click on any drive or folder (including any removable drive) I get this response, “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.” I’m already logged in as administrator when this happens. I am able to run all executables on my desktop and able to open all documents on the desktop. The programs also work. I’m not able to save any thing in any folder as it refuses to open the folder/drive in the “Save as” window.



1. Click Start > Run. Type MMC and then click OK.

2. Click Console and then click Add/Remove Snap-in.

3. In the Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box, click Add.

4. In the Add Standalone Snap-in list, click Group Policy, and then click Add.

5. In the Group Policy Object window, click Finish.

6. Click Close, and then click OK.

7. Go to Local Computer Policy > User Configuration > Administrative Templates.

8. Click Desktop.

9. In the right-pane, right-click Hide My Network Places icon on desktop, and then click Properties.

10. Click Not Configured, and then click OK.

11. Expand Windows Components, and then click Windows Explorer.

12. In the right pane, right-click Prevent access to drives from My Computer, and then click Properties.

13. Click Not Configured, and then click OK.

14. Quit the Local Computer Policy MMC snap-in.


Jagdeep Virdi (TECH QNA Expert)



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