BIOS - All but keyboard
Any reason for some bios motherboards to have as default stopping at
errors "ALL BUT KEYBOARD"?
there is a purpose for this.
It is not uncommon for someone to want a server or
workstation set up to be able to boot without a keyboard. In
most cases it's a server that you do not want to dedicate a
monitor, keyboard, and mouse to.
You boot it without these and all works fine. However, if
the BIOS is set to stop on the error of no keyboard, there is no
way to completely boot the machine without having one attached.
BIOS - Beeps on POST
If a PC repeatedly beeps that is a sign of the BIOS there is a
hardware problem you can even figure out by the "sort"
of beeping which hardware problem for more information go to
- Kees Kouwen
BIOS - Entering BIOS in Compaq Prolinea 575
When the computer starts to boot up, there is a point
where a small white box blinks in the upper right hand corner.
Hit F10 when you see the box.
- Donald Gaither
BIOS - Tweaking and Reference
For those who may be interested in finding out more about
"Bios Tweaks", I have these sites book marked for use
when building or repairing computers.
As with anything you do to a computer you must use caution.
Changing certain settings may cause your system to balk on start
up or not start at all. If you need to change the settings, make
a log of what the settings are at the present time so you will
have a backup in case something doesn't work. When you do change
something, write down what you changed. <smile> In a panic
you will probably not remember what you changed or why.
- Frank Suszka
CD-ROM - Audio CD - D/A Output
The 2 pin connector that you refer to is for Digital audio (SPDIF)
from your cd rom.
If you have a sound card that supports digital audio, you can
connect your cd rom to the sound card digitally, which according
to SB is supposed to keep the digital sound signal pure until it
is converted to analog for your speakers.
If you also have digital speakers then the sound is never
converted to analog.
The sound Blaster Live series supports Digital audio, but not
all cd roms that have the SPDIF Digital connection truly support
the SPDIF connection. SB
used to have a place on their site where they had tested
different cd roms and told you which ones did support SPDIF
- Mary Wolden
CD-ROM - Cleaning
I was able to resurrect a dead cd rom using this cd rom cleaning
fact. It explains
exactly how to clean the inside of your cd rom drive.
I figured I had nothing to lose by trying.
- Mary Wolden
There are several sites you might want to try. I use this one when
I'm in need.
The other two,
are very helpful if you are a tech. I hope that one of these sites
will answer your question and get your son back on the road...
As far as computing goes.
You didn't mention how old the system or CD-ROM was. If it is
an older version, it may not be worth trying to fix.
- Frank Suszka
CD-ROM - Not recognized on cold boot
setting your Bios for the IDE CDROMs, to None, or CDROM, instead
of using Autodetect! I have found this option to work with
problem ATAPI devices.
CD-ROM - Troubleshooting - Read Errors
> I have mounted the drive above my CD-RW drive. Could this cause
a heat problem as I notice that drive was quit warm when it
crashed? There is no room between the drives for air
You will see heat problem. There should be at least an empty bay
between your CD-RW and CD drive, and possible extra fan should
be used to avoid heat problem. If you can feel the heat from CD
drive when it crash, it is heat problem. I have seen a true
story about how a CD-RW burned itself because the user mounted
CD-RW and CD drive next each other. About two years ago, I had
heat problem (when play games, very similar to your situation -
I ran a game for 4 hours, I almost burned the CD), now I have
left a 5" bay open (I removed the cover), and have an extra
- Jun Qian
CD-ROM - Vertical switch
I just noticed on my CD drive that I have a vertical switch, which
is currently in the off position. What is this?
The switch, when turned on, is to allow you to use the drive in a
vertical position, or turned side ways.
Although most people use the drive horizontally...
if you were to turn the tower on it's side, (assuming it
is in a tower case and not a desktop), this would allow you to
slide the CDs in to the drive and have them function. These drives and other build specifically and tested
specifically to be mounted vertically are often also used in
Rackmount cases where nearly all drives are mounted vertically
in the front.
- Bob Wright
CD-RW - Installing
I just ordered an Internal CD-RW. I have never installed or used a
CD-RW but I have installed other hardware such as hard drives,
CD-ROM, video, and sound cards. I would like to know of any
caveats that I should be aware of with the installation and/or
use of this new hardware.
first plugged in, the CD drive will "look like" a
normal CD drive to the system.
To burn anything, you will have to install at least one
program. Your drive will no doubt come with at least two
programs. They may (or may not be) "stripped down"
versions of full
"type" of program allows you to burn Audio and Data
CDs of both the write once and the erasable type. Another
program will allow you to use the CD-RW drive as a hard drive
with removable media. It
is important to understand the difference. After that, it is a
virtual "minefield" filled with lots of new and
sometimes difficult questions. One thing people forget is that
cheap media is just that, in some cases. Get a few name brand
CD-RW disks and play with the software for awhile and get used
to it before you start turning out "write once" CD-R
disks. Note that if you want to play music in a normal CD player
it must be recorded in Audio CD format, and
"generally" (for compatibility reasons) will work
better if a CD-R disk is used. You can put music on a CD as data, but almost nothing other
than a computer will be able to play it.
buying CD disks, 74 minute disks will work with all drives. To
use 80 minute disks, you must have a drive and burning software
that will support them.
the hardware, nothing special than a normal CDROM, however I did
see some CDRW/DVD don't like to be slave drive (may caused by
may have problem running the software. I have a sence that you
are going to use Adaptec software. In my exp, it is buggy
(unless you have the latest version with lastet patch), and I
don't like its DirectCD, I would recommand to use Nero or some
thing else rather than Adaptec. If you have no other option than
Adaptec, for your own good, when you do the installation, do a
custom install - install Easy CD Creator only! Avoid DirectCD as
possible as you can.
CPU - Cooling - Fans, connectors w/ 2 or 3 pins
The extra wire is for the RPM sensor. Your motherboard probaby
doesn't support it. You can plug it in just fine. If you ever
get a motherboard that has the monitoring chip, you will be able
to read the fan RPM, either through the BIOS, or through one of
the Windows based hardware monitoring programs available.
- Russ Poffenberger
CPU - Intel - 80486 - L2 cache performance
> Does anybody remember any hard data as to performance with or
without a L2 cache on a 486 ?
what I have experienced L2 cache does not supply as huge a
performance boost as people tend to believe. At higher clock
speeds where the core runs 4 or 5 times the speed of the memory
bus L2 certainly becomes more important (in cases where the L2
runs at either core or close to core speeds) but in 486 class
machines L2 cache has never in my experience supplied more than
about a 5 to 10% boost. L1 cache is much more important. Now
again, it does depend, some tasks benefit from L2 more than
others. A lack of L2 cache will not impede the additional
performance of additional RAM and processing speed. I myself ran
a 486DX4/120 (overclocked from 100) with 16MB and it
"managed" win95 OK, not stellar but usable as a backup
system. I have found that Linux is very good at getting every
last bit of performance out of a machine. While X might be a
little sluggish on that machine I am sure that it will run quite
well. If you forgo X it will fly pretty well.
- Herbert Graf
CPU - Intel - Difference between PPGA / FCPGA
The FC-PGA package is used on Pentium® III processors, and is
referred to as the Flip Chip Pin Grid Array package. The PPGA
package is used on Intel® Celeron™ processors, and is
referred to as the Plastic Pin Grid Array package.
The PPGA package used on the Intel® Celeron™ processors has the
actual silicon core facing down towards the motherboard. The
silicon core is covered by a heat slug helping to dissipate heat
from the core. The heat
slug transfers heat from the core to the heatsink. As processors
get smaller and faster, the ability to dissipate heat from the
processor core is become more and more critical. The FC-PGA
package, flips the silicon core over
facing up. The core sits on top of the actual package and is
exposed. The silicon die is exposed and makes direct contact
with the heatsink.
They are all in the Socket 370 style of sockets, just how the die
is possitioned is the difference in PPGA vs. FC-PGA.
- Patrick Black
CPU - Intel - Pentium II - Verifying authenticity
Visit the Intel site below to find a utility to give information on
CPU family, model and stepping.
Look under the heading "Processor
Authentication" and subheading "Verifying a processor
purchase and current operating speed".
- Joe Baire
CPU - Intel - Pentium III - E, B, and EB explained
Look at figure 1...half way down the page.
Basically, there are the "E" and the "B" and
the "EB", and there are the "no letter after the
speed" Pentium III processors.
The "no letter" 600 and below are fabricated using .25
Micron technology. (The smaller the number, the better. Because
the transistors are smaller, a die can hold more of them and the
processor will use less power when running). These .25 micron
processors have 512 KB of off die (half speed) L2 cache....just
like Pentium II processors.
The "E" versions are the ones that are .18 Micron and
have 256 KB of on-die L2 cache that runs at full processor
speed. If the processor is faster than 600, they don't bother
adding the "E". In other words, they're all
"E" after 600 MHz. so they stopped specifying it.
The "B" versions run with a 133 MHz. FSB systems. In
other words, the Pentium III "B" processors are half
integer devisable by 133. (If dividing by 66 or 133 gives
approximately an integer, it *may* be a "B".)
The "EB" versions are .18 Micron, have the 256 KB of L2
cache, and run at 133 MHz front side bus. If faster than 600,
they don't bother adding the "E" to the name.
An example: 800 MHz divided by 133 MHz. is 6.01 (close enough to 6)
and there are both 800 and 800B. (I'd say 800E and 800EB, but
everything over 600 is an E.) There are both 800 = 8 X 100 and
800B = 6 X 133. (6 and 8 are the multipliers, 100 and 133 are
the FSB frequencies.)
Finally, there are both slot one and 370 pin versions of many
Pentium III processors. (Check the link above to see what
versions come in slot one and which are socketed.)
There is a slot one 800, and a 370 pin 800, and a slot one 800B,
and a 370 pin 800B.
The place where it really gets confusing is with 600 MHz processor
because there are so many versions of the 600 MHz Pentium III:
600, 600E, 600B, 600EB...all in both slot one and 370 pin
versions. There are eight different versions of the 600 MHz.
- Bill Cohane
CPU - Intel - Slot 1 to PPGA connector
> I have a Soyo socket 370 MB 7WI/L or something like this, can't
remember, but I would like to install a celeron 300a slot 1 cpu
I have on hand in it. Is there an adaptor made to do this? I know there is the 370 to slot 1
AFAIK, no. It would be too expensive, too physically unstable, and
the adapter probably wouldn't be electrically stable either
(because of the lengthy path runs on some traces and not on
- Herbert Graf
CPU - Intel vs. Athlon
from the CPU side: athlon 700 is much much faster than P3-550. If
you use some programs that specify to ONLY use P-3 SSE
instruction set, the programs gain performance increase from P3,
but AMD will be still faster. However, when you talk about whole
system, there are lot of other issues. I can list some here, you
may need to give more details on these components:
1) which mobo is used (in both system)
2) if graphics performance is important to you (for graphics, games
...), which video card in used (in both system)
3) which operation system you are going to use, windows 2000 may
have hardware related issues.
4) what programs are you going to use. "bad" designed
software can make good system looks bad, eg. some video driver
could work better under Intel than AMD system (this kind of
problem should be fixed when there are update available).
Personally, I would go for AMD.
- Jun Qian
I can tell you that I was at a presentation a few weeks ago
demonstrating the speed of the new Athlon CPU's. We were shown 2
identical system, (not quite identical, as the Athlon uses the
AMD and Via Chipset, and the PIII uses intel.) But, these 2
machines were sitting side by side, both running 600mhz CPU's,
one PIII- 600 the other the Athlon 600.
The two machines were started with a mouse click to run the Latest
version of WinBench. All I can say is the Athlon Blew Away the
PIII, as it finished the test almost 3-minutes faster than the
PIII. I was impressed enough, that I now am the proud new owner
of an Athlon 700, and love it. It is fast, and runs solid as a
rock! Not a single crash or lockup in over 2 weeks.
Hope this answers your question, and doesn't seem too Biased
- Steve Wolfe
While several factors affect the performance of a system, assuming
that the two systems are as close to identical except for
processor, an AMD700 with BLOW AWAY a PIII500, chances are an
AMD700 is faster than a PIII 700. AMD really has something with
the Athlon, I hope that more MB manufacturers
start producing high quality boards.
- Herbert Graf
CPU - Multiprocessor System
have at least three dual processor systems in the Network
Operations Center here at The NOSPIN Group.
I know that we definitely did not realize a 100% increase
in processing over a single chip system of the same speed,
although the systems are certainly faster.
significant issue is with the programs that you run. For an application to take advantage of multiple processors,
it has to be "multithreaded", that is, it has to have
the capability to be "split" into multiple parts that
can run simultaneously or almost simultaneously.
You'll probably find that most programs that you use
aren't multithreaded, although a lot of new graphically
challenging games (like Quake III and others like it) are.
is not lost, though, because most multiprocessor operating
systems (including Windows 2000) can use multiple processors
efficiently by assigning different tasks to different
processors, in effect "balancing" the processing load
between processors. In
our situation in the NOC, that's generally where we see the most
improvement in performance.
knowing exactly what applications you'll be using, if they are
non-multithreaded, you could see as much as a 50% increase in
performance. If the applications are multithreaded, then you
might see something approaching a 100% increase, depending upon
what other areas of your system those applications impact.
As a seat of the pants estimate, I'd say that our web
server runs about 50% faster and the mail server is around 75%
faster than before. But
those are systems that perform no graphical operations and have
relatively slow processors (366MHz and 233MHz respectively), so
they are not bound by video or disk bottlenecks.
If your applications are video or disk intensive, you may
see lower performance increases.
Floppy drive - Troubleshooting
floppy drive is not all that sturdy a device. If you open one up
and take a look at the heads you will see that they are on a
pretty flimsy mount that can easily become misaliged if you
insert a floppy with a bent metal slider. The heads can also
become dirty.There are <cleaning > floppies that can be
used to clean the heads. If the heads have been moved out of
position you might be able to realign them but you could never
really trust them to work without errors.
has been my experience that once a floppy starts to give you
problems and if you can not immediately rectify it with a
cleaning floppy or by re-seating the cableing then it is
time to replace it. A new Teac 3.5 inch floppy drive can be
purchased from Buy.com for as little as 15 dollars.
General - Backup - The Best Way
Can anyone tell me what is the easiest way to set up automatic or
almost-automatic backups of data.
Zip drive, Cd-R, tape?
We're looking for the easiest solution.
Depends on what you want your backup system to do for you.
The three major contenders are removable drives like the
Zip drive, CD-RW and tape.
With the larger size of hard drives these days, Zip disks, even at
250MB are too small, medium expense per disk ($8-10) but many
needed - too many disk swaps to backup a lot of data and they
are not very fast. Can
only transport disks to another system with a Zip drive
($80-160) or requires moving the drive with you.
On the positive side, it is usually quite fast to recover
a small number of files. Backups
can be done in background.
Most backup programs will use removable drives.
CD-RWs are bigger and faster and cheaper ($1-3)
but still may require backing up chunks that fit on a CD
(640MB) or swapping a few disks. Usually quite fast to recover a
small number of files due to the speed and size of the disk.
Most systems these days have CD-ROM drives but many older
CD-ROMs will not read CD-RWs.
Backups usually require dedicated time due to chance of
causing problems with writing disk caused by multi-tasking.
CD-RWs are more versitile and can be used for many other
purposes besides backups. Backup
programs that will use CD-RW are not common.
Tape is expensive ($20 per tape and $100 and up for drive) but you
may only need one tape because they will hold several gigabyte
each. Cheaper tape drives are very slow - faster drives are very
expensive. Tape drives are like Zip drives in that not many
people have them and you would need to move the drive with you
to move files to another system. Backups are easily and usually done in background or can be
scheduled to run at night.
Almost all backup programs will use tape of one kind or
I use tape because of the amount of data that can be written
without swapping and because of scheduled night-time backups.
- Earl Truss
I have a contender for a fourth type backup that I use all the
time. I use an
external parallel port hard drive with Ghost software.
It has the advantage of being portable, can fit the
entire hard drive contents, can restore my entire hard drive, or
file by file with Symantec's Ghost Explorer, and is cheap.
I use one of the DataTank external hard drive boxes that
has a DOS driver. My 3 gig hard drive takes about 45 minutes to make a complete
copy in the Fast Compression mode. I use a DOS boot disk with
the hard drive driver and can then use the hard drive as if it
were installed in my machine. Something else to consider.
- Doug Simmons
For automatic backups? Tape by a LARGE margin. While ZIP drives and
CDR are great, they are just too small for backing up hard
drives. If on the other hand you are just backing up a few MBs
then ZIP drives are a nice choice. CDR and CDRW are OK but a
little too error prone for me to consider them a automatic
backup solutions. For manual backing up they are great though.
- Herbert Graf
General - Cleaning your PC
First of all be careful of using a standard vaccuum cleaner as it
could cause an electrical arc and damage some of the components,
becase they are usually not shielded. Sometimes you can buy mini
attachments which are
plastic and then you're a bit safer in terms of using a regular
Second, a cheap investment is a can of compressed air. Turn your
computer off and blast away (carefully).
Third, a small brush to dust away the inards is always a safe bet.
Hope these suggestions find you well.
- Guido Piraino
I have used a bicycle pump before, the kind with a flexible hose,
although it takes to people (one to pump and one to point).
Also, "canned air" is available from many
stores (make sure you keep canned air upright while
- Martin Kurr
General - Finding a free IRQ
If you are running win98/95:
Right click on "my computer", click "device
manager", double click "computer", there you go,
you can see if there is an IRQ free.
I think you will see there is no free IRQ left, but as you can see,
IRQ is able to be shared (some devices don't like to share IRQ
with others, some do). Even you don't have free IRQ left, there
should be no problem to add an exteral modem (it uses IRQ for
com port which it attached to), just be careful with internal
modem, you should not go for a "soft modem" or
"Win Modem" in this configuration. Hardware based
modem does not mess up your system and they can be removed
- Jun Qian
At a DOS prompt, enter MSD (then Q) on Windows 3-plus systems. This
should show you what you want, and more - without risk.
- Boyd Ramsay
General - Lightning strike
A good friend just called me this morning saying his computer (an HP
Pavilion Pentium III) won't start. There was a whopper of a
lightning storm last night. You've heard the story before,
by checking the power supply fuse. And any other fuse elsewhere.
You may get lucky; most likely not, but try the cheap stuff
first. If the modem was plugged into the phone, you may get
"lucky" that the phone was an expensive fuse for the
modem. Try another power supply if replacing the fuse doesn't
work. Go to a basic system: power supply, mobo, CPU, ram. Add
the other stuff in the obvious order. Do the cheap fixes first.
right that lightning is strange stuff when it comes to what was
spared and what was fried. Truly an act of God. The weirdest
lightning strike I had was a friend's Compaq Presario. Came in
via phone line. Fried internal modem and all, count 'em all,
user usable expansion slots -- the compaq video card and such
are on the mobo. The rest of the computer worked fine. Put an
external modem on a serial port and the computer runs just
dandy, still, about six months later. Go figure.
are asking us to speculate without any symptoms beyond it will
not start. That is
difficult to do in this case.
But, with that said, the odds are very great that it is a
complete waste. A
small spark of static electricity is enough to fry most parts
inside a PC, including the CPU, motherboard, ram, hard drives
and so forth... the modem is probably the least of his worries
if the lightning passed through the PC.
home owner insurance policies will cover lightning damage to a
PC, at least that is what I have found here in the US.
You might have him check to see if they have insurance.
have been a lot of good comments on this topic but one recurring
comment that concerns me is that people keep equating surge
protection with lightening protection.
electrical surges to lightening is like comparing a drip in the
kitchen sink to a full blown, Mississippi River flood. Surge
protectors and lightening arrestors are not the same thing.
not rely on a UPS or a surge protector to save you from
lightening. If you
value the equipment, unplug it.
General - Overclocking - 75/83 MHz bus problem
I have an LX chipset Soyo MB with bus speeds of 66,68,75 and 83.
CPU is celeron 300a which runs fine in a BH6 board @ 100
b us. In the lx
board it will only run properly at 68 bus.
At 75 it will boot up and run ok except for graphic
programs, like PhotoDeluxe, etc, or internet pages, and will
Well as you guess, your problem is your other devices. When you
overclock to anything above 66 on that board, you also overclock
the PCI bus. Some cards don't mind, other's do. The fact that it
is crashing in graphics
programs leads me to believe that your video card is the cause. It
could be a heat problem, try throwing a cooling fan on the main
chip of the video card and see if that helps.
- Herbert Graf
General - Overclocking - Why can't?
> Using Softmenu, I have not been able to overclock this setup at
all. Not even 400Mhz. It should clock upto 550 easily with the
big cooling fan.
While it is possible that the memory is PC66, the most likely thing
is that the CPU just won't work at 100 MHz FSB. In
overclocking there are no guarantees.
While virtually all Celeron 300A's will work at 100 MHz,
there are some that won't.
I got lucky, mine works flawlessly at default core
voltage. All other
Celeron processors have a higher element of "risk."
I have a 366 that will only function at 550 with core
voltage raised to the max, until CPU usage gets heavy, then it
collapses. I know
others that have no problem at all running at default core
voltage and FSB's exceeding 120MHz.
For a slight premium, you can purchase CPU's that have
been tested at higher speed, but that really takes the
"fun" out of overclocking.
Give it a shot at 75 and then 83MHz and see what happens.
It may be that you're going to have to settle for that.
BTW, did you make sure that your PCI was set to 2/3 on
- Art Cassel
General - Overheating
I have a AMD 233 mounted on a super 7 motherboard and a decent
cooling fan and a layer of thermal paste in between. However,
the 233 heats close to 61c and higher and then the system stops.
What else, if anything, can I do to reduce this heat? The power
supply fan works fine.
the easiest way is to install another fan. I have 4 fans in my
system, one in the power supply, one mounted on the CPU and two
in the case, one at the front of the case and one in the middle.
An alternative is to install and better heat sink/fan combo on
the CPU, but my wind tunnel cools the whole system, not just the
should first verify the voltage is properly set for your AMD 233
on this motherboard.
cooling fans are rather deceptive. It really is not the fan
itself that's most important, but the cooling fins on the fan.
You need maximum air exposure (surface area to mass ratio), in a
design that will dissipate heat synergistically with the cooling
can also add an intake fan in front of the case, which would
blow external air over the CPU.
your case airflow, since you have an older system. Blow the dust
off your motherboard, the components and the power supply (and
its exhaust fan) with a can of air. Re-work the cabling so your
airflow is improved. Sometimes taping closed some of the holes
in the case will improve your airflow (increase the draft) over
would also remove the thermal paste and either (1) leave it
paste-free; or (2) reapply new thermal paste. Some thermal paste
applications may harden or lose conductivity with age, and
sometimes are not properly applied (non-ceramic top AMD CPUs are
difficult applications) . I quit using thermal paste myself.
hard core computer enthusiasts leave part of the case off to
access devices, but they also do this to keep the system cool.
Some even point a external fan into the case to lower
if a computer is running properly, within operational
temperatures, reducing the heat by a few degrees will increase
the life span of your electronic components.
General - PC/Motherboard Form Factors
time I cared about motherboard form factors I knew about
Baby-AT, Full-size AT, LPX, ATX, Micro-ATX, Flex-ATX, NLX, WTX
and Backplane Systems. There are also many proprietary designs,
specification was developed by Intel as a low-profile
case and motherboard. NLX systems are designed to use ATX power
supplies, even though
case and motherboard dimensions may be different. NLX computers
use a riser board and the motherboard plugs into the riser
(unlike LPX where the riser plugs into the motherboard). The
power supply connects to the riser, as do the disk drives, front
panel lights and switch connectors, etc. So the motherboard in
an NLX system has no internal cables, cards or connectors
attached to it. If you want to take out the motherboard, no
boards or cables have to be removed. Simply slide it out the
left side on rails. You can find more information about some
motherboard form factors in http://www.teleport.com/~ffsupport/
General - Purchasing - Places to Shop
buy all my components from either www.buycomp.com
They both have killer prices and very courteous sales
reps. My only
complaint is that MultiWave sometimes cannot ship my orders the
same day I make them...
Brad Boutwell (BDB Design | Tulsa, OK)
you need a specific major component (i.e. a new hard drive) you
might want to try the following strategy:
Go to www.pricewatch.com,
locate the price/vendor list for the component. Maybe print a
page or 2.
Start with the vendor with the lowest price. Go to www.resellerratings.com,
look up the lo-price vendor, see how they rate. If they have a
dubious customer service record or other problems are indicated,
go back to the pricewatch list, try the next vendor. Continue
until you find a vendor with a "good record".
you need minor components (i.e. little cables) you might want to
locate a parts supply house in your area. Try the yellow pages.
this site out. It's Canadian. It was once called MegaDepot, but
it has changed. I have not ordered anything because the prices
did go up slightly. www.onvia.com
- Guido S. Piraino
Try www.computergate.com. I just placed an order with
them and was quite pleased with the shipment.
- Jim Woodford, Jr
My favorite shopping site is www.ic-direct.com.
Not a glossy site but carries scads of computer-related products
with excellent prices. Availability is well documented per item.
Customer support is the **best** I have ever encountered. Highly
- Patricia Osborne
I might as well get into this fray with a few more sources:
Ingrahm-Micro is one of the largest warehouse distributes in the US
You need to setup an account to access their web site, but they
have a vast amount of hardware.
The catalogue they send me regularly is over 4 inches
really have everything.
Merit Distributing in Seattle is also an excellent choice for the
US west coast and once again you need to setup an account to
access the web site deals : http://www.meritusa.com
EBC Computers in Salt Lake City, Utah will sell to anyone over the
phone or take your order online:
They have a limited inventory, but very good pricing
Specialty hardware, mostly cases, cables and such...
try Cables Unlimited: http://www.cablesun.com
Once again, they require you setup an account and they
have a minimum order requirement of $50...
Micro Pro is in Illinois, US and they have an excellent line of
computer components, often great pricing.
These are but a few of the places I have regularly used for sources
when buying computer components.
I can recommend all of these from personal experience.
- Bob Wright
General - Troubleshooting - IRQ Conflict
> I've got a
problem. On friend's PC, his Sound Blaster Live! and
> Rockwell PCI
WinModem both take IRQ 12 and I can't change it (the
window shows Can't change this resource).
Hi, I just had a similar issue this morning involving a STB display
adapter and a 3Com NIC. They were both sharing IRQ 11 and did
not allow maual configuring of the settings in Device Manager.
These cards also lacked jumpers for on-board settings.
My fix was as follows:
I disabled(not removed) the STB in device manager, ( by
disabling your device you can still save the settings.)
I removed the 3Com from device manager to be redetected.
After rebooting, I enabled plug & play in BIOS and reserved
IRQ11 to get Windows to place the 3Com elsewhere.
and Play placed the 3Com on IRQ10
re-enabled the STB on its current settings which was IRQ11
more reboot completed it.
This won't work if you don't have any free IRQ's. And if you're
using a newer BIOS you may be able to assign IRQ's as opposed to
reserving themlike I did.
This conflict may have occured because plug & play was disabled
in BIOS. I've read Windows can not properly recognize what
settings are being allocated in such a situation.
On a final note you can always remove the cards and reinstall them
one by one. I usually, install in this order: video, sound,
modem, nic to ensure favorite settings are allocated. And of
course this method works best on a mb/BIOS which has plug &
- Yui Shin
If you cannot modify either device's irq, I have solved this by
removing one PCI device and putting it in another slot. I
beleive some of the shared orq are detemined by the motherboard.
ie PCI slots 1 and 3 will share an irq. If you force by changing
the bios them to move they will move together and share another
free irq. Thats PNP.
- Bill Kapelas
General - Troubleshooting - Won't Boot
the case and check for loose connections and/or loose
and foremost ---- make sure the power cord is unplugged. (to
protect you) Second,
make sure you are always holding the metal frame with one hand
or the other. (to protect the electronics)
GENTLY wiggle and push on each wire connector to make sure they
are plugged in completely.
Do the same for each I/O card.
the edge connectors is a good idea too, but I prefer using
denatured alcohol and a Q-tip.
Erasers are abrasive (just like sand paper) and will wear
down the metal contact pad
- not a good idea, as you already surmised.
General - Tweaking - Case temperature
My case is a full tower with a high performance, 4 inch, power
supply fan blowing air out of the case and two high performance
3 inch fans blowing air into the case from below creating a
positive pressure inside the case. The delta T from room to
inside case temp is usually 5 ~ 8°F. Standard mid/mini towers
that I have tests are usually 15 ~ 20°F.
The tests I referred to earlier have been done on a number of
systems over the last 2 years or so using different CPUs,
coolers, cases, etc. with different cooling configurations.
Additionally, the CPU was run for 20 minutes at idle and also at
100% utilization to insure stabilized results. The CPU temp was
measured by a thermocouple on the top center of the CPU via a
small hole in the heat sink to insure the greatest accuracy.
Inside case temperatures were taken in several locations to
insure a realistic mapping of the inside air temperature and
Speaking of inside case temps, I think it was this mailing list
that someone commented that the case was designed to work with
the sides on for best cooling. This in theory is true. In
reality, WRT most tower (all sizes), the temperature around the
CPU cooler is lower if the sides are open because the usual one
fan in the power supply can not flow enough air to keep it as
cool as with out the sides. Even with most cases that have a
second fan, this is true because there are not enough
unrestricted air inlet/outlet resulting in a fan that operates
at less than 50% CFM rating and/or actually recirculates
- Daniel Wysocki
General - What is OEM?
can help with the OEM part. It is an acronym for Original
Equipment Manufacturer. In the world of computers, an OEM could
be anyone from Dell or Compaq down to the local computer shop
that builds PC's for resale. Component manufacturers -- the guys
who make the motherboards, hard drives, CPU's, and all of the
other bits and pieces that go in the box -- are able to reduce
their prices to the OEM's by leaving out the fancy box, the
instruction manual, and sometimes other stuff (see below). A lot
of stores sell these components to their customers, and usually
at pretty good prices. I buy most of my equipment that way.
interpretation of your posting is that the Thunderbird is only
available as an OEM product; there is no retail version. If it's
similar to other motherboards that I have seen, it will include
a manual, some or all of the cables and connectors, and a disk
(usually a CD-ROM) with drivers. Likewise, the multimedia kit
comes in either a plain white box or a polyethylene bag, and
probably doesn't have a lot of fancy full color brochures, or
free software. It should, however, contain a technical manual
and the essential drivers.
is one potential pitfall, however, and that concerns the
manufacturer's warranties. They are often greatly reduced, or
there may not even be any. The OEM (read "store")
takes care of any defective goods in return for the lower price
that he pays. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. My own
dealer does a good job of informing his customers that the OEM
stuff does not have the full manufacturer's warranty. Not all
stores do. If you are willing to assume the risk, this can be a
good way to save money. I've been fairly lucky -- well, until
last week when a two-month old CPU in my son's computer died.
of the guys who sell OEM components but don't tell their
customers. Avoid them -- if they lied to you when you bought it,
they aren't going to start being honest when you have a problem.
HDD - Adding a partition
Is there a utility that will let me add another partition to my HD
without losing the current single partition and its
contents(which only use a small portion of the drives capacity)
is always a risk in using programs for this purpose, Partition
Magic by PowerQuest will do what you want.
HDD - Choosing
One of the best sites I have found for hard drive information is:
- Peter Hogan
HDD - How to copy?
> Is there a way to copy one hard drive to another one? I am
thinking about getting bigger drive but I don't want to reload
the software to make it the primary drive.
Download Ranish Partition manger, still free for personal use I
believe, at http://www.intercom.com/~ranish/part/.
The new beta (version 2.38) includes both a "copy
partition" and "copy disk" feature. Just select
source partition and press C for partition copy or D for disk
copy, and it prompts you for the target. I'm
not sure if the "copy" feature is available in
the previous final release(2.37), I don't think so. The target
partition must be the same size or larger than the source. I've
tried "copy partition", and it worked just fine for
me. Fast too. The only thing that doesn't work quite as expected
in the beta is the boot manger(*). The partition manager seems
to work just fine though. Very useful partition Wizard in the
new version as well.
- Bjorn Simonsen
HDD - Low Level Format
>Could someone answer the following questions please.
>1. what is the
purpose of a low level format?
>2. In what
situations is such a technique required?.
>3. If special
software is needed are there any freeware or shareware utilities
to be found on the net?.
First, we do not "low-level-format" IDE or ATA hard
drives. This term
is a misnomer from the old MFM days when a drive could have the
tracks and sectors defined using a low level format.
The IDE or ATA drives we use today have all this information preset
at the factory and a real low level format would destroy the
drive or at least slow it down radically...
you cannot redefine the tracks and sectors on these
drives with a true low level format.
Of course this is highly simplified for this discussion,
but let us suffice to say that you cannot change the logical
geometry of current IDE/ATA drives without destroying it...
since we have two different issues: physical geometry vs.
logical geometry... and
they a quite different.
Fdisk only writes to the Master Boot Record on the hard drive to
create logical areas of the drive to divide the drive, even if
it is only to set it as one large area.
These areas are defined as partitions.
So, FDISK does
not perform a low level format, but only writes to one small area,
the Master Boot Record or MBR, located in the boot sector of the
What is usually called a low level format is a utility that writes
or refreshes the drive by over writing the drive to clear out
all information. This
is actually a mid-level format or maybe more accurate a
re-initializing of the
drive. The only
recommended, factory recommended manner to do this is with
utility programs supplied by each manufacturer.
You can download these software programs from the
manufacturer's web site to clean out the drive and prepare it
for a fresh partition. Using these utilities will overwrite the entire drive and all
data will be gone, including the MBR, (Master Boot Record).
Once the drive has been re-initialized you will be required to
build a new MBR using a partitioning program, such as
SO... Why would you
re-initialize a drive?
1) To remove a virus located in the boot sector
2) The hard drive has
developed a large number of bad sectors and they are increasing
3) You wish to change
from one operating system to another
Once this has been finished, you will need to repartition the
drive, this is when FDISK can be used.
Finally, you use format or a high level format utility to
prepare the drive to receive data in the manner the operating
- Bob Wright
HDD - Ultra DMA 66 Cables
>I believe one can use these ribbon cables to connect to dma33
drives. Is there any condition where this may not be true or
where there use coul daffect system functionality - ie Windows?
The UDMA66 cable is backwardly compatible with all IDE devices and
the motherboards today that support UDMA66 have over come the
issue with data transfers reduced by slower drives on the a
you can connect just about any IDE device to these cables.
There are some motherboards that have issues with some
IDE devices on a UDMA66 controller, but these are rare.
- Bob Wright
In order to run at ULTRA 66 three things must be present.
Your controller must support Ultra 66.
You must use the special 80 wire ribbon cable to connect the
controller to the drive. The blue end is connected to the
You must load the ULTRA 66 drivers for the operating system you are
- Mark Rode
>Which is it the difference between a cable ATA66 and ATA33?
ATA 66 cable has 80 wires, 40 of them are ground wires. This is to
- Susan Stubbs
Keyboard - Compatibility
I was wondering how do you tell if a Microsoft keyboard from Gateway
would be compatible with a Compac keyboard. I really like the
Compac over the one I have now. It's like having to stomp on
each key to get it to register.
If both keyboards are standard (no special keys) then they are
many PC makers are now building keyboards with unique and
specialized keys (like a special key to load
the web browser). These
new specialized keyboards might work, but those extra
keys will not.
- Jim Meagher
A caveat on keyboards: there are two kinds of plugs for keyboards, which means
keyboards are not always physically interchangeable (although
adapters are available for only a few dollars).
- Martin Kurr
Keyboard - Not working
Some older machines don't have a USB bus, the only other
alternative (I know of) for a keyboard.
I have had problems with some motherboards where the
keyboard connector has parted from the motherboard. It sticks
out from the MB and with the tugging and pulls, it is very
vulnerable for this type damage. A solder job _may_ be able to
fix the keyboard connector back to the motherboard and fix the
problem. I have had mixed success in doing these repairs.
- Doug Simmons
Also, look for a "pico" fuse - looks like a 1/4 W
resistor without the color bands.
Usually you can see a rating such as "2 A"
printed on it. Use
a low-voltage ohmmeter or "beeper" to check
loose screw in the keyboard, or even fumbling the keyboard
connection with the power on, could blow the fuse.
- Kenneth Alan Boyd Ramsay
LS-120 - Information
LS-120 is an IDE device. If you don't have BIOS and/or Windows
9X [LS-120] support, you have to use the drivers. The SUPERDISKs,
as they are also known, are standard ATA (IDE-based) Removable
Media Devices, so you have to configure them as a master or a
slave on the IDE channel and connect them to a 40-pin IDE cable.
You don't need to set any special CMOS settings.
You should not have any problems if you have a current
system and use Windows 98 or later. Earlier versions of Windows
95 (and DOS) require the drivers.
can get more information, support and drivers at:
should retain the 1.44 MB floppy disk drive. Although some
people use the LS-120 as an A: drive, you'll require L-120
support in BIOS for boot purposes. Replacing a floppy drive (a
low-tech but mostly reliable/useful boot drive) with a LS-120 is
not recommended and can be problematic.
installed LS-120 drives in all my computers and I have an
external, Parallel Port LS-120. Works fine for my needs, which
includes carting around a large number of often changing files,
and backing up data from other people's PCs (the LS-120 real
mode drivers/TSRs will fit on a 1.44 MB boot floppy).
Modem - Call freezes the PC
> I have a Sportster Express external 56k modem. I'm using
Windows 98 SE. My problem is that if the telephone rings my
computer freezes. Ctrl-Alt-Del does nothing and I need to reset
Sounds like the port your external modem is
connected to is using an IRQ used by some other active device.
Check what IRQ the com port the modem is connected too and see
if any other device uses the same.
Modem - Internal vs. External
What are the pros and cons of external vs. internal modems?
If an external plugs into the serial port, does that mean
some other device can't be used? I want a speakerphone to speak
to people I call at their house (and I don't like headsets).
There sia 3com external faxmodem pro that comes witha
If I had an internal, how can I do the same thing?
I use both types, I recommend an external if you don't mind the
extra space it occupies. Here are the advantages of external:
no question of compatibility with software - winmodems are
internal and will not work with all operating systems and
easy to move to another computer if needed
does not create additional heat inside the computer
if lightning strikes a phone line, it is less likely to damage
the computer if you are using an external modem - this happened
to a friend of mine and he will never use an internal modem
my thoughts. Others may have different opinions.
have always used internal modems.
some of my tech friends swear by externals, and will use nothing
else. One reason is
they like the touchy-feely thing about being able to see the
blinking lights to prove it's working.
other is because an external is inherently faster.
Their contention is that the modem does not rely on the
PC bus or processor, which provides a better throughput.
I have a tendancy to side with them on this issue, but I
would argue that it depends on the quality of the modem as well.
3Com is about as good as you will get, IMHO.
the modems in my system allow me to use my computer like a
speaker phone. I
have the mic hooked up to my modem and a patch cable goes from
the modem to my soundcards line-in to process the sound.
It works great unless you get the mic too close to the
speakers. Then you
get that wonderful screech called feedback.
are some more advantages of external modems . . . .
You can reset external modems by powering them off and back on
again. With an internal modem, you have to shut down the entire
operating system and restart the computer to reset the modem,
which is time consuming and a bother in Windows.
It is usually easier to configure an external modem, since you
are using an existing COM port, usually a standard feature on
the motherboard. With an internal modem, you have to do one of
(a) share an IRQ (and plan not to use the other device
whilst using the modem);
(b) use a non-standard IRQ, I/O port address and COM port
(c) disable an on-board serial port and assign its IRQ,
I/O and COM port to the internal modem.
port assignments are based upon I/O port priorities, not IRQs,
and you can become easily frustrated trying to configure a
non-standard COM port modem on a device-ladened system.
advantage of internal modems . . . .
External modems must rely on the existing serial port.
Therefore, if you have a buggy or slow serial port (such
as those found on older motherboards without the latest UART
chip), then an internal modem will provide an UART chip upgrade
in the bargain.
Modem - No Handshake
I am not able to connect so two ISP's though I can connect to one. A
dial tone is heard, the modem dials, tone is heard from the
remote modem, my modem answers with a tone but then nothing
happens. There is no handshaking.
may have 2 TCP/IP protocols present in your network section of
Modem - Settings - Display correct connection speed
you add an ATW2 to the
modem init string in the properties it will show
Modem - Settings - Volume regulation
Go into your modem properties, click on configure, then connection,
then advanced and in "extra settings"
add what you want from the following (this being an excerpt from my
USR modem's online help (AT$) but should work for most other
ON Until Carrier Detect
speaker is ON after last digit dialed, OFF at carrier detect
Low Speaker Volume
For example, to always have the modem's speaker on with
full volume (I don't think anybody else would appreciate this!)
enter M2L3 in the extra settings section. Hope this helped,
- Herbert Graf
Modem - Using two modems
You can do it with any two modems, provided you have two phone
lines, support in your OS and the ability to log into your ISP
twice at the same time (many charge extra for that). I don't
know with what version of what win95 gained this functionality,
but my install of Win95B and IE5 has it. To enable the feature,
open up your dial up networking folder. Right click on the
account you want to enable it on and click on properties. Click
on Multilink and go from there. Since I only have one phone line
I have never tried it, however I do have a friend who relied on
it until they got Cable Modem access.
- Herbert Graf
Monitor - Colour gone deep pink or yellow or blue
The first thing to check is the monitor cable and any extension
cables. I once had a customer whose office monitor turned
yellow. The background was a distinct yellow haze. After
verifying the video card by checking with another monitor I
ordered a replacement monitor. When I pulled the <bad >
monitor out from the tangle of wires behind the desk I realized
that it was plugged into a short extension and was not cable
locked. The connection between the monitor cable and the
extension cable had backed off a millimeter which was enough to
break a connection with one of the pins resulting in the loss of
full color bandwidth. I pushed it together and it
- Mark Rode
I once had a client whose monitor was blue then red then normal,
randomly changing at various times and frequency. It was fixed by the first thing I checked - the power cord,
which was almost ready to fall out of the wall. It seems simple,
but check that power run and bypass any surge protector to test.
If the monitor has a self-test mode (I know some KDS
monitors do, for example), turn on the monitor without the PC
on. Also if you can test the monitor on a known stable PC
(someone with a laptop and video out port is the easiest IMHO)
you can determine if the monitor itself is the trouble right off
the bat. Good luck.
- Marilyn Wilson
This might not be hardware at all. If the person is running Windows 2000, and using the Liveware
2.0 drivers with a Soundblaster Live, there is a driver issue
which causes the background to be pink (at least with TNT2
cards). It also shifts
the rest of the color pallet around a bit.
A restart usually fixes it, but it returns up on random
- Jeff McConnell
Monitor - Multi Monitors
I guess I was fortunate in that I didn't have to do much for my
dual monitors. I run win 98se and have a diamond stealth 64 pci
as primary and a agp rage pro as secondary.
I added my second card after windows was set up and it didn't
recognize it first so I had to go to control panel system and
delete the exsisting video setting and then reboot it recognized
both and asked for drivers for each. The second screen only
comes up with a message that says if you can read it you have
properly installed it and to go to display in control panel to
activate it. You then have to give it it's size and color range
and click apply and it should stat to work for you you may have
to rearrange the images on your desktop . Also both monitors
should have the same size settings if one is set for 800x600 the
other one should be to.
I have had it crash because I carried something from one side to
the other and they were at different setttings. the color
settings can be different i have one set for true color and one
for 16 bit color. That has not given me any problems. I have an
award bios and did not make any adjustments to it to accomplish
this and I have no idea how to set refresh rates and wouldn't
know why I should. I know that win NT runs dual also and the
idea is the same but I have never actually done it I do know
that my two moniter setup has made like a lot easier to work
with this. I wish I could give you more of the technical info
you were looking for but maybe someone else here has that.
- Brendhan Horne
I am currently running two monitors on win98 (not 98SE)
using a Matrox Millennium
G400 dual head AGP
video board. . . Machine is AMD K6 II 400Mhz with 192Mb RAM on
DFI P5BV3+ MB My experience has been generally good. . . at
least the viewing is great. . .
The downside was setting up. . . necessary to get the latest
drivers from Matrox and a Via specific chipset 4-in-1 driver for
the Via chipset on the motherboard. Also, windows would not shut
down properly after installation of the Matrox card and drivers.
. . to overcome this problem, I had to flash the motherboard
After overcoming thie installation woes I find the Matrox card as
solid as a rock. . . am able to switch resolutions and color
settings for the individual monitor with no problem. My refresh
rate ar set at "optimum" with the rate for my large,
(20 in) monitor held to 75 Hz as per my monitor repair shop's
- Don Kendrew
Monitor - One of the Colours
> I have problem for my PC 15 inch colour monitor. The monitor is
standard Super VGA. Sometimes the Blue colour just gone when
system boot and never show on the screen. But sometimes is OK no
problems at all.
If it is an intermittent problem , I could guess that
either the signal cable from the monitor is damaged somewhere
along the cable or in the
connector,(the one that plugs into your PC, or some monitors
have plugs at BOTH ends). There could be a pin in the connector
to the PC that could be pushed inside the connector
shielding.Examine the plug ,and verify that all the pins are
straight and of the same height. If it is a molded shield you
cannot take it apart and fix it, but you can try to pull the pin
out. VERY GENTLY
with a small neddlenose plier, taking care in not flattening the
pin itself. (BE SURE TO UNPLUG THE MONITOR FROM THE AC PLUG, AND
THAT YOUR PC IS NOT TURNED ON)
Sometimes those pins could get bent while trying to plug
them into your video card plug also.
this is rarely (but not impossible) a driver problem. It is a
usually a hardware problem.
And that limits the problem to these three components:
the monitor, the video card, the cable that connects the
quickest and easiest troubleshooting test is to make sure all
the monitor wires are connected firmly and tightly at the
monitor and the back of the PC case.
everything is plugged in good and tight, then next move the
monitor to a different computer (a friend or at work) to see if
the problem follows the monitor.
it does not follow the monitor, then borrow a known good monitor
and plug it in to your pc to prove the problem is in the video
Motherboard - Choosing - BX vs. VIA KX chipset
The base line is: BX chipset can be overclocked to 133 and beat VIA
KX133A chip, Intel expensive chip. The only problem to overclock
BX is AGP speed, it has to run an 87Mhz, that's a problem with
some graphics card. If you don't want to overclock BX, then
KX133A is the best price/performance chip, it is much cheaper to
get a KX133A mobo and you'll save huge $ to avoid RDRAM instead
by using PC133 SDRAM, the performance is good enough to compare
with Intel RDRAM solution. The most important message is:
whatever you do, DO NOT use Intel i820 with PC100 SDRAM, it is
the slowest; and i820 with PC600/700 RDRAM is no better than
KX133A with PC133 SDRAM, but you'll have to pay way too much for
There is a complete long "history" of article on www.tomshardware.com
about RDRAM vs SDRAM, BX vs KX133 vs i820 vs i840 you need to
read them all, then you'll know the difference between different
- Jun Qian
Motherboard - Choosing - low-end
I, personally, would recommend the SiS boards.
Many of the Amptron boards I've used were a big
- Byron Wolter
Motherboard - MicroStar
<< Has anybody ever seen a product review of (or even USED)
one of their boards in the past? (let's say since Jan. 1999)
I built an athlon system just last week w/a Microstar board.
I use and like them.
If I'm not mistaken, they're one of the boards that AMD
recommends for use with their chips. If you check the AMD site, they give a list of recommended
boards for use w/each chip.
Microstar is one of them, although I can't speak
specifically to the K7 1G's.
- Donna Cook
rates the Microstar #1 out of all the AMD 750 boards they
tested, included Asus and Abit boards.
- Sunil Bector
Motherboard - VLB
> will someone please explain what a VLB motherboard is?
Vesa Local Bus. In the days of the 486 to Pentium
transition there were two competing standards for a higher speed
local bus (well three if you count EISA but EISA never really
caught on outside of the server market. MicroChannel bus (I
think that is what it was called) by IBM could also have been
considered a contender but being IBM only I don't think it had
any chance and it wasn't much faster than ISA).
VLB consisted of a standard 16bit ISA slot with a 32 bit VESA slot
on the end of the ISA. It was great for the reason that every
slot that was a VLB slot could take a standard ISA card instead.
It lost, for various reasons. The first was the cards were VERY
long and prone to slipping out of the slot (which I have
experienced many times). Also the bus was tied directly to the
CPUs bus (no buffer of any type) which meant alot of
instabilities could be introduced to the system by a bad card.
Bus length was very short, subsequently the max number of slots
I've ever seen was 3. I believe only one slot could be a bus
master, I don't know if PCI has a similar constraint.
Also, the VLB had big compatibility problems with the Pentium
architecture, I don't remember the details. I think the biggest
reason it lost is because Intel was a major supporter of PCI
(maybe even the creator), and we all know Intel's influence back
then. Most of the late 486 boards were VLB, while most of the
Pentiums were PCI (although there were a few PCI 486 boards and
a few VLB Pentium boards).
- Herbert Graf
Mouse - Cleaning
know how to clean your mouse occasionally---you unscrew the lid,
put it aside, clean out the little wheels inside and the rubber
ball (I find an old toothbrush good for that), and screw it back
together. And you
still have a sticky mouse.
many of us remember to clean out the lid as well? It can accumulate a lot of dirt.
The ball revolves in the lid (actually the base), so dirt
in the lid can affect mouse performance.
time you do a mouse-clean, don't forget to clean inside the lid.
Mouse - Hooking up two mice
Yes, it's not only possible, but quite handy. I have a Logitech
Marble FX on my PS/2 port, which I use all the time. I also have
a Logitech USB Mouseman Wheel that I use for FPS games. They
both are functional all the time.
- Ernie Goens
Mouse - Microsoft Optical
I have been toying with the idea of getting one of these new
Microsoft Optical mice since I am tired of removing gummy guck
from the wheels inside my mouse.
I noted that they have two versions: the cheaper Microsoft
Intellimouse Optical Mouse and the more expensive optical
Intellimouse Explorer mouse. Other than colour, I am hard
pressed to figure out the difference, although
they are priced about $30 (Can.) differently. Looking at the specs
on the box, I can't see what extra I am paying for in the more
Can anyone tell me if they have had good or bad experiences with
either of these, but especially, what is the difference between
I've never used an optical microsoft mouse, but I have used other
optical mice, and don't much care for them. The ones I used were
distinctly flakier that 'ball-mice'.
I've used many brands of ball-mouse (ibm, compaq, hewlett-packard,
generic) that gummed up almost instantly.I blame the mice, not
the ball-mouse technology.
I have had uniformly good experience with many generations of
microsoft mice. (I've
had limited experience with a re-branded logitech mouse, which
also seems okay.) I never use a mouse pad.
I use a normal desktop (typically wood, formica, or
laminate), in a 'normal' state of cleanliness. When using a
laptop, I might use the mouse on whatever magazine is handy, or
on the fabric arm of the sofa.
Works great. Depending
on usage I might have to do a quick mouse-clean (literally half
a minute, or so), maybe once a month.
My recommendation: get
a properly desigend ball-mouse (I don't know what they do
differently, but in my book that means microsoft) --- works for
me, at least.
- Frank R. Brown
Mouse - Overheating
I have had two clients, two separate brand new computers, where
their ps2 Microsoft intellimouse locks up their system and the
bottom of the mouse actually gets really warm.
was a series of the Intellimouse mice about 3-4 months ago that
would develop this problem. Had something to do with the type of
mouse pad they were used on. They would have conductivity with
certain ones, and would lock on one of the circuits inside
causing heat to build up and the mouse to eventually die. A
reboot usually solved the problem and MS reworked the mice
Network - Cable Modem - Tweaking the settings
has a section on Win98 registry changes for speeding up
cable modem connections.
They also have a webpage where you can download patches that will
make these changes (and others) automatically. See http://www.speedguide.net/Cable_modems/cable_patches.shtml.
I have heard (from a fellow PCBUILD member) that using default
registry settings (which are usually optimized for dial up
connections) can result in very slow cable speeds...almost as
slow as dial up. Following Speedguide's advice can fix this.
- Bill Cohane
Network - General
Network - Hub, Switch or Switching Hub?
I went out to buy a hub for my network and I was offered :
1. A Hub 2. A
Switch 3. A
What are the essential differences between them and what are the
speed and money factors involved.
terms of networking PCs, a switch and a switching hub are the
a hub is a box or device which allows you to connect the cables
from two or more PCs into a central point so they can
hub is either 10Mbps or 10/100Mbps.
A hub strictly speaking moves data across the entire
network at the speed of the slowest Network card or hub
connected to it, (this is if you have other hubs connected to
the first hub). So, even if you have two PCs with 10/100Mbps
network cards, a 10/100Mbps hub and one PC with a 10Mbps network
card, the data will only move across the network at 10Mbps, the
speed of the slowest device.
switch or switching hub has the ability to allow the faster
devices to continue to connect with one and other at the higher
speeds, in the above case, if the hub was replaced with a
10/100Mbps switch, then the two PCs with 10/100Mbps network
cards could communicate at 100Mbps, though data would only move
to the PC with the 10Mbps network card at the slower speed, no
matter what machine received or sent it.
switch in the hub increases the price.
Hubs are relatively inexpensive today and the price of
switches has dropped dramatically this year.
Personally, I purchased a 10/100Mbps switch for my
network for about $55US recently, where they were over $150 just
a year ago.
was under the impression that a switch was more than just a
speed sensor. A switch, as it is my understanding, gains
knowledge of the physical address of the NICs on each port. On
receipt of a packet a switch analyses the destination address
and transfers the packet to the port where that NIC can be
found. A hub on the other hand just transmits everything it
hears to every port. A switch GREATLY reduces the number of
collisions on a network. Basically there are two major types of
switches, cut-through and 'store and forward'.
switches only look at the destination address and transfer the
packet based on that address, they don't check the packet for
correct size or CRC. However these types have very low
latencies, barely slower than a dumb hub.
and forward switches suck in the whole packet and make sure it
is valid, they then forward the packet to the appropriate port.
These types of switches have relatively high latencies but make
up for it by reduced traffic and bandwidth needs.
are a few other types of switches but they are just combinations
of the above two, a "best of both worlds" concept.
Network - MAC address conflict
How do card manufacturers are sure that there is no two cards with
the same mac address? In my LAN when I try to install an e-mail
client in one of the Pcs a message appears warning there is a
conflict with the mac address of other pc.
There are a couple of ways that this could happen.
Although the number encoded into the card is unique, it
can be overridden in software.
Win9x, for instance, records the MAC address during the
Windows install, and keeps this address even if the hardware
changes. So if you
pass around a network card amongst different machines,
could easily get an error message like this.
Network - What is a router?
In general, a router is a special case of gateway, a
machine that is a member of two (or more) different networks for
the purpose of "internetworking" -- allowing traffic
between hosts on different networks.
[There are two basic kinds of gateway:
proxies, which hide the fact that there is a whole
network beyond them (amongst other things, this makes protocol
conversion practical), and routers, which do not.
In a typical TCP/IP setup, a proxy rewrites header
information at Layer 3 and a router rewrites header information
at Layer 2.] There
are, of course, lots of extra complications that can be added to
the routing piece: media conversions, security, multiple networks, dynamic
On my desk at work, I have a 10Mbps Ethernet-to-Ethernet
router that cost less than $200; I'm awaiting delivery of a
multi-port router from Cisco whose pricetag was about $23K.
Of course, a router *could* just be a standard computer
with multiple NICs and appropriate software running.
Connecting a network to the Internet is going to require
some sort of gateway. Whether
that gateway is a router or something else is a choice to be
Parallel Port - Settings
The ECP setting is the fastest IF you can get it to work with your
combination of equipment and available resources. It takes a DMA port resource to work.
The EPP is next fastest and is fairly reliable.
Bi-directional setting allows communication both ways between the
parallel port device and the computer. Very reliable.
Uni-directional is also a setting available on some older machines.
It has one way communication to the parallel port
- Doug Simmons
Ports - Adding a printer port
bought a digital camera. It downloads the images through the
parallel port.Is there some device I could get so I don't have
to disconnect my printer to dowload pictures from the camera?
can purchase an ABC parallel port switch box for your camera. I
have 3 devices on mine including a printer.
It is available in either automatic or manual model; I
use the manual kind which is cheaper, about $20-30. All you have
to do is turn the dial to which device you want to use without
should be careful with the manual switches - some printers do
not like them (namely, Hewlett Packard).
This is especially true if the printer has any kind of
multi-function abilities, like scanning or faxing. There are
some switches (digital, maybe?? not sure what made them special)
that are made to work with these types of printers.
I seem to remember that Belkin makes one.
your computer is USB equipped, you can buy a USB Hub with
parallel & serial ports on it.
Ports - COM port doesn't work
I have here an old 486DX2-66 computer and have problems with the
COM1 port. I haven't any documentation of this PC. Last week,
when I tryed to install a modem I found that the COM1 port
didn't work, although Windows' Control Panel says that
"This device is working properly".
have experienced some troubles with some on-board serial
controlers in 486 and Pentium Mother boards. Some MB models use
a different connector for serial ports, with a non-standard pin
position. Make sure that both serial connectors and ribbon
cables you're using are the same, because maybe they were
switched in the long life of your 486 and, like I said before,
not every connector works on that kind of board. If this not
help maybe you have defected serial port, it's pretty normal
that, even though the port doesn't work anymore windows report
it as "workin properly", try a hardware test software
(like norton utilities for dos) with a serial loopback on the
you're running Win95 then you may need to disable the COM port
from CMOS and let Windows install it when the wizard launches
during boot up. It fixed a troublesome modem problem I had on a
Pentium 75 using this technique.
link below will give you more detail information.
Power - Testing
I have a volt meter. If I put one probe of the volt meter into the
socket hole that goes to a red wire, and the other probe into
the socket hole that goes to the adjacent black wire (and the
same for the yellow wire and the adjacent black wire) will this
give me the voltage readings that I want?
Certainly you can test these wires with a volt meter.
Here is something from a recent question I answered that
may be of some help:
There are four wires on every connector for hard drives coming from
the power supply. The
Yellow wire is 12v and the black wire next to it is the ground
for 12v. The red
wire is 5v and the black wire next to it is the ground for 5v.
I hope this helps.
- Bob Wright
Power - Wattage
> I just found my original specs. on my 95 Gateway 200 MHz, Mine
has a 145 watt power supply. Question is , is this too low a
power suppply to add new board and say 500-550 AMD cpu?
I'm sure it is too low. You will need at least 250w these days.
- Jun Qian
A standard set up of 1 hd and a videocard,sound
card,modem,floppy,cd-rom,cooling fan would make me very leery of
using anything less than a 200 watt power supply. And if some of
the perphials are high end or that AMD was being overclocked I
would not leave the low pwr supply in. I just prefer to err on
the side of caution and have something a little stronger than
what I need than the bare minimum.
- Brendhan Horne
Printer - Choosing a new Inkjet
was very impressed with Lexmarks printing and bought a 3200.
Took it back because it was way too slow on every type of
printing and it was going through ink like the stuff was free.
The ink usage is a common complaint of all the Lexmark
owners I know. The
quality of color printing was excellent.
came a Canon 5100. Very,
very fast. Color
was ok but black and white graphics were terrible with one or
two cartridges installed. Very
serious banding problems and customer service treated it like
it's a normal thing. Back
ended up with a Canon 6000.
I have no complaints about it.
It does superb color on glossy paper, it's almost as fast
as the 5100 and it does excellent black printing.
With the dual cartridges (using a color cart and a photo
cart), it make amazing color photo prints.
I particularly like the fact that individual color tanks
can be replaced and they are transparent so you can see how
you're doing on ink supply.
have too many friends with HP printers to consider buying one.
They have had far too many paper path problems.
It is a Rube Goldberg contraption if ever there was one.
Why they choose to make feeding paper into such a
mechanical monstrosity is beyond me.
Too many mechanical breakdowns.
A friend has a 1100 (reads photo memory cards and prints
two sided copy). We
did a print comparison of his 1100 and my Canon 6000.
His was slightly sharper and mine was truer colors to the
original. The 1100
is $499 and my Canon was $89.
always avoided Epson because the printhead is part of the
printer and seems to be a very expensive machine to maintain due
to this. I only know one person with an Epson and he swears it's the
greatest printer in the world as he tells me about his latest
$100+ repair. All
the others I've mentioned have the print head as part of the
cartridge so it's replaced with the cartridge.
All seem to do quite well with good quality ink refills
as long as you replace them periodically.
for maximum bang for the buck, I would recommend Canon and
Printer - Inkjet - Epson - Clogged print head
Hello, I myself also had a problem with an Epson printer. For at
least 1 year it was used everyday a lot. Then it was used
occasionally. Here is where the problems happened.
You must use at least once a day or ink dries. I called Epson after
trying everything & ready to get a new one. This is what
they told me & it worked. Go to where you do the head
cleaning, start cleaning & then nozzle check. If it is a bad
test (broken or missing lines) start process over. Never hit
finish or cancel!!!! They said that I would have to run this
process 10-15 times. The idea is to build up pressure inside the
heads. This is why you never hit "finish or cancel"
until the nozzle clean is perfect. This will use a lot of ink.
By the way I have always refilled my cartridges with no problem. As
I said the problem is when the printer is used occasionally.
Hope this works as it did for me, as mine was ready for the
- Arthur Young
On these injet
printhead cleaning questions, extremely hot distilled water
cleans well. Inkjet ink is water soluble.
In extreme cases I have added a drop of household ammonia to
a shallow saucer of near boiling water and soaked the
printhead for a couple hours. After a few bouts of this, I don't
buy or recommend any printer where the printhead
is a built-in part of
the printer. (like Epson)
Be careful not to get the ammonia solution on the electrical
contacts or it will eat them.
Only submerge the very tip with the jets.
Again only use ammonia when the straight hot water won't work, and
the alternative is to trash the head/cartridge.
Also helps sometimes
to apply a little positive pressure (use your imagination) to
the vent on top of the cartridge if possible.
- Larry Fisk
Printer - Inkjet - Feedback
have a Lexmark 3200, and
it is excellent. It's fast, reliable, and delivers very high
quality output. In addition, if you like to refill your ink
cartridges, the Lexmark 3200 cartridges are easy to refill. You
should be able to refill 4 times or so before needing to buy a
brand new cartridge.
Bryan S. Tyson
for me -- I've Lexmark 5700,
trouble-free for already 9 months and saves me $15 on each
Printer - Inkjet - HP 660C - Grinding Noise
Hi, my deskjet is making a grinding noise when printing and it is
not the problem with the clutch actuator misaligned on the metal
and plastic gears as discussed on HP's web support site.
Has anyone been able to fix this problem without going
back to HP's repair center? How do you fix that aweful noise?
Your printer is
probably about thrashed. While Hp printers are very good, the
600 series are not their best product. I've worked on several of
this vintage and usually the grinding noise is the problem.
You can probably get a
little more use out of it by cleaning the cartridge guide bar
and applying (very sparingly) some high quality light oil to it.
Don't use 3 in one oil, use sewing machine or gun oil that won't
get gummy. Some of the new teflon or silicon lubricants might
work well also. Be very careful not to get oil on the mylar
strip that runs behind the shiny round guide rod. I usually just
put a drop or two on a paper towel and rub it sparingly on the
Yes, I know this
isn't recommended by HP, but I've done it on numerous printers
and normally it will make it work for a while longer, if it has
no other problems. What
do you have to lose?
If you do have to
replace it, the discontinued model
722c or 720 (same printer) Hp deskjet is excellent and is
selling for as little as $100 at my local Costco (Boise) .
- Larry Fisk
Printer - Inkjet - HP 722 - One Color Missing
days ago I fixed a No Yellow problem on my HP printer cartridge
(HP 722). These
cartridges are the sponge type and do occasionally trap air
bubbles in the sponges. I
cured mine with a sharp rap down on a firm surface.
I wrapped tissue paper on the nozzle to catch the ink
that came out of all the chambers and then rapped the wrapped
printing end on my desk two or three times.
It had been skipping and erratic in printing yellow for
three or 4 weeks, but I had not had time to investigate. I read
about the trapped bubble problem on an inkjet re-filler company
Printer - Inkjet - HP Deskjet 500 - Feed problems
I have a 7 years old HP deskjet 500 printer. It still works alright
untill past day. The paper feeder has lost its strength, so
paper in tray cannot reach the paper feed wheel, as a result, I
have to push each paper to the wheel if I want to print
something, otherwise the printer
will say "out of paper".
These sorts of problems with printers and faxes are most often
caused by a dirty paper pathway. Dirty rollers cause the paper
to slow down or hang up.
The first thing to try is to clean the paper path way with 100
percent alcohol and a swab. You can also use rubber rejuvenator
on the rubber rollers although keep it off the plastic parts or
it might melt the finish. Sometimes you have to keep going over
the rollers giving them a good scrubbing.
You can also use a special lubricant that won't degrade plastic on
any gears or other moving parts. Only use this on parts where
you see existing lubricant.
- Mark Rode
Cleaning it as Mark suggested might solve the problem, but you
should also check the paper lift mechanism in the tray.
The paper load mechanism is an ear-shaped black piece
located on the right side of the In tray. As this piece turns, the paper is lifted up to the rollers.
If the load mechanism is jammed, turning the black piece to the
right and to the left a
few times may clear the problem.
- Bob Wright
Good day, I have been following this thread with interest as I have
a HP855C that had also developed paper pick up problems. I would
have to push a page into the feeder to get it to pick up. After
seeing what people have suggested to remedy this problem, and
the "Brillo" item below, and the previous "sand
paper" solution, here is what I did. I took some 400
wet-dry sand paper, pushed the manual feed button and allowed
the rollers to be scuffed, mindful to not allow the paper to be
pulled into the innards. I did this until I could see that the
rollers had been buffed up a bit, by looking at the wet or dry
paper and the color of the rollers. I then used some Windex on a
shop towel, cloth, as suggested in my "Bigelow's Printer
Troubleshooting Pocket Reference" not alcohol, and cleaned
the rollers. Followed by a blast of canned air to get any grit
that may have been left behind. I then ran a couple of test
pages to get any other crud off the rollers. The old reliable,
5yrs, works like a champ again. Just thought I'd pass this
- Brad Loomis
Printer - Inkjet - Lexmark - Refilling
been refilling my Lexmark 7200 with aftermarket inks for about
18 months with perfect results. The 7200 is esentially the same
as the 5700. The Black cartridge just gets a hole in the top
where you can just shoot the ink in, the color cartridge must
have the red top removed, which can be done easily with a little
muscle and a set of pliers. I guess you could also do it with an
x-acto knife, should you desire. once open, the proper fill
holes are very obvious.
get 4-5 refills out of a cartridge before the built in print
head is too worn to use. At that point, the cartridge is
useless, you toss it and open a new one.. The key is to get your
ink from a reliable source. I have a digital camera and print a
lot of pictures, so the refilling is a necessity for me. The
prints from the refilled cartridge and the ones from a factory
filled cartridge are virtually identical. Good luck, my friend.
have been getting my inks from a vendor at a local computer
show, he's a person whom I've been dealing with for several
years. The inks are, as far as I know, just called "Lexmark
Compatible ink jet refill ink...
As far as the costs, I pay $28.00 for a box of 4 colors,
yellow, cyan, magenta and black, about 6 ounces of each. Despite
the fact that I have a digital camera and a four year old son
who always needs things printed in quantity for school, that
$28.00 box of ink has so far lasted 16 months. Remember, you are
still replacing those cartridges every 4th or 5th refill, so you
have to count in the fact that they are filled at the factory.
All I know is that the Lexmark cartridges here in the US are
$39.00 for color and $30.00 for black. (I'm sure they are quite
a bit more in your country!) Reloading saves me a TON of money.
Richard Tabas (Phillykid)
Printer - Inkjet - Recovering dried-up cartridges
The print output from my venerable Desk Jet 500 was getting faint,
so I bought two cartridges. When I removed the old cartridge, I
could see it was abut half full of ink. Thinking maybe it was
clogged, I tried to wipe off the head with alcohol and a q-tip.
I removed a lot of
dried-up ink from the print head.
That did not help at all. Is there any way I can salvage
cartridges like this one?
salvaged similar cartridges by sitting pouring roughly half an
inch of alcohol in a bowl and sitting the cartridges in it.
Press down gently every couple of minutes for about ten
minutes or so. Then
dab dry with a paper towel.
When you press the cartridges against the paper towel you
should see a bit of ink flow out.
the cartridges completely, place back in printer and print two
or three pages of something typed BOLD.
clears up my cartridges most of the time. Occasionally, they
don't start printing perfectly for a few hours, but usually the
process is very quick.
Printer - Laser - HP LaserJet 5L, 4L - Feed problems
I was wondering if
anyone has had any experience with either the HP laserjet 4L or
5L printers. We
have several of these printers on campus and they all have the
same problem (At the start of the printing process several pages
are advanced instead of a single sheet, causing a paper jam)
I've tried cleaning the main pick-up
roller with Alcohol and fanning the paper before loading, but
nothing seems to work. This
problem occurs whether I load 5 pages or 25 pages.
I would go a step further than alcohol. Try sandpaper. Typically,
it's not that the rollers are dirty, but that they are so worn
that they've lost their grip.
Sandpaper roughs them up and gives them grip again.
I have done this with HP II's, IIP's, III's, IIIP's,
4L's, 5L's, 4P's, and 5P's, all with a realative measure of
there is no substitute for new rollers, but finding them is
another issue alltogether.
- Kyle Elmblade
We service HP printers and HP has released a kit to fix this
problem. It is a problem with the seperator pad and spring. Also
HP says DO NOT fan the paper as it causes static electricity and
contributes to the problem. As a side note you need to get some
rubber rejuvinator to use on your pickup rollers, it does alot
better job than alcohol.
- Chris Hayes
We used to have that sort of problem when we stored our paper in a
supposedly dry drawer until we noted
that the problem would resolve on a freshly opened ream of paper.
The placement of a dessicant canister in the drawer along with
the paper solved the problem.
- Joseph Hallare
Printer - Laser - Lexmark 4029 - Drivers
to everyone who sent a solution. The unfortunate thing was that
none of them worked. So after frustration and hair loss I called
lexmark. Tech support is $25.00 per incident. I got on
a very nice gentlemen in Lexington, Kentucky. Who ran me thru
most of the basic tests and then started to get to brass tacks.
We tried the lexmark drivers to no avail. He then asked some of
his higher ups. Who came back and said. With the 4029 with an
IBM label(mine has a small one on it.) you use HP laserjet
series II driver. I added that one and all is ok. Except for the
$25.00 on the phone bill.
Software - Diagnostics
have been searching for quite sometime now for a quality
hardware diagnostic software package to recommend...
a shareware package that can be downloaded from our web
site... and we
believe we have found it:
DIAG by Dominik Marks http://ww3.de/diag/
can download this file, "DIAG", from our web site at: http://nospin.com/download/002.html
are still testing the software at this time and we will have a
full review of it on the web site soon.
mean time, from what I have seen so far, I can highly recommend
this diagnostic tool. It
works with even the latest CPUs and chipsets...
and it is as functional as diagnostic software costing
hundreds of dollars.
think diagnostic software can come in very handy on occasion.
I have used Troubleshooter
as well with success. It
set me back about $300.00, and I can't remember what I paid for
QAFE, but these are the two I use.
If you buy the whole Troubleshooter package it comes with
feedback plugs for serial and parallel cables, a Post-It card,
and a few other nifty things, but I didn't have the money at the
time to get the whole thing.
Sound - Full duplex or half duplex?
> Is there an easy way to determine if a sound card is
full-duplex or half-duplex?
there are several techinques, however the easiest I find is to
try one of the internet phone services, they often tell you
whether it is full duplex or not. For example, http://www.dialpad.com; if you register with them
and open the java applet the program will imediately report your
card as half duplex if it is, it doesn't mention anything if it
is full duplex.
- Herbert Graf
Sound - hi-fi speakers
I am not sure whether the AWE64 has an onboard amp, but it doesn't
matter, if it does don't use it! :) On board sound card amps
have very little power and will distort rather quickly on any
size speaker. Your best solution would be to get an external
amplifier, connect the line out of the sound card to one of the
ins on the amp and the speaker to the amp, this will produce
much better quality sound than computer speakers would.
The connection from sound card to amp will most likely require a
stereo 1/8" plug to two RCA male plugs. The speaker to amp
connection will most likely require bare leads, although it
depends on the jacks on your amp and speaker. Any old amp will
be satisfactory, chances are you have one laying around. If not,
most thrift shops have good ones for really cheap prices.
- Herbert Graf
USB - Not working on VIA MVP3-based MB
Without giving the specific MB model I don't know for sure, but I
have a feeling that the motherboard you have selected uses the
VIA MVP3 chipset. I
checked the Redfox web site and some of their boards do use this
chipset. There have
been problems with this chipset and USB.
However VIA has provided a USB Filter Patch on their web
site. Check it out
or if that is too slow check out http://www.via.com.tw (mirror
sites). After you
download the patch, your problems should disappear.
Please do not install this patch if you are unsure what chipset
your MB uses.
- Eric Greenberg
Video - 50' cables
> Is there any serious loss in performance from extending the
SVGA cable from the standard to a 50' cable? I have read stories
that a booster may be needed.
Well, it depends on what resolution you are using, but
I'd have to say with 50' you will notice SERIOUS degradation at
any resolution you use. I have a 3 meter (9 foot) cable that
degrades 800x600 noticibly, the whole screen is just a little
more fuzzy. Granted I don't have an amazing cable but SVGA
signals need ALOT of bandwidth and the signals degrade very
easily. Just look at the original VOODOO 3d accelerator, it used
a very short (a few inches) pass through cable and the biggest
complaint about that setup was the degradation of the video
signal at higher resolutions due to that cable. A booster will
help but finding a good one is difficult.
run a 50' svga cable with no problems.
Been working for a couple of years now without any
great. cable cost $50.
Video - GeForce not working on Gigabyte MB
I tried to install a Geforce256 (3DProphet by Guillemot) on a
Gigabyte GA-686LX4 motherboard. This board uses the intel 440LX
chipset. About 2-3 minutes after switching on the PC, the PC
Guillemot GeForce card does not work on the Gigabyte 686LX3
because the AGP 2.0 specs require one power supply of 6amps at
3.3 volts for the AGP port and one power supply of 2amps at 5.0
volts for the AGP memory. Unfortunately this motherboard and an
Asus LX motherboard fail to deliver more than 5amps (and 2amps)
causing random crashes. The
Gigabyte 686LX3 and LX4 appear to be almost the same board with
the LX4 having one more Dimm slot.
I would suspect that power is probably your issue.
If you have another video card can you check to see that
everything works with a different video card?
Unfortunately the GeForce is very power hungry and some
users have had to raise their I/O voltage in the BIOS (when the
BIOS is capable of doing this) to get the GeForce to work.
Video - Installing Matrox G200 AGP as 2nd card
>To install a Matrox AGP video card, does the old videocard
really need to be physically removed?
I don't believe you can run two video cards in Win95...unless a
patch has come out that I am not aware of.
You may be able to leave it in the PCI slot without installing it
in 95. Dual monitor support didn't become available until
Windows 98 and was one of it's new features ...but NT4 supports
it. Even then whether or not a particular video card combination
will work has always been a try it and see situation. Some will
cohabitant together and some won't.
- Mark Rode
Video - Voodoo III 2000 card
I bought a computer some time around feburary it is an HP with an
AMDK-2 500. The motherboard inside is an Asus p5s-vm. This
motherboard has what they call an onboard VGA card with 8 mb
allocated from the system ram for video. Well while this is all
good in theory it really was not worth a flip. So i went out and
bought a new Voodoo3 2000 PCI card and installed it. I also
downloaded the newest driver for the voodoo card, it is from
July 1, 2000. The problem that i am having is while i am playing
games the system locks up. I cannot do any endtasks or even get
to the desktop. Just freezes.
did the same upgrade on a similar PC (pentium 2 cpu instead of
amd) with the same card and had the same problem. The fix was to
put an older driver for the video card.
ZIP Drive - Non-proprietary software
I called Iomega and they tell me that their drives are completely
proprietary.... Standard Norton Utilities will not run on their
drives and attempting to do so will destroy them.
what they like to espouse. However, as a former consultant to
Iomega I can tell you that I have used NU without any problems
on scores of Zip and Jaz drive cartridges. You think Symantec is
going to write software that will destroy data files or
hardware? *;-) Probably the same folks who believe that will
tell you a virus ruined your hard drive and you need a
OK here is my problem.....you can not use windows or DOS to
partition or format the drives ..Iomega provides proprietary
software to do this.
and DOS format.com works fine on Jaz and Zip media...I have used
it countless times with /U and /Q switches over the past 5
years. The Zip disks are just overgrown floppies (see that
shutter?). Did you ever use proprietary software for your last
batch of floppies? The Jaz disks are hard drives using the
proven Winchester technology. You can
all of them with Iomega's stuff or use Microsoft's utilities.
Is there any simple way to error check them [disks] and if so how?
Disk Doctor. *;-) Scandisk can also be used.
ZIP Drive - On OS reinstall, won't read disks
I just recently upgrade one of my computors to Win 2000. I backed up
alot of important data on zip disk. Problem now is I can't seem
to access the disk.
I currently use Win 2000 with NTFS and also back up data using a
Zip drive. In the past, I have had installed zip drives marketed
by NEC. I never installed the provided NEC drivers because they
caused the Zip drive to format and save data in a format that
was not recognized by other standard Iomega Zip drives. If you
used the above mentioned driver, once Windows 2000 was
installed, it will use the standard and MS supplied drivers.
Because of this, the system would not recognize the disk until
it is formatted to the standard Iomega zip format.
I don't know if this is your actual problem, however, I have seen
the above scenario allot in the past and would instruct my
clients of this problem. I don't know if there in an NT or 2000
driver for this drive. Have you tried to
format and use a disk with the current MS Iomega type drivers?
- Dennis Noble