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Gaming The Computer Help Thread

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[color=#002E55]Welcome to the PC help thread. The intention of this thread is to provide help for those who need it in a singular thread - rather than having loads of threads lying about the place that confuse people and sometimes leading to people not getting the assistance they want. Anybody with links to more free spyware removers/online virus scanners, feel free to PM me and I'll edit my post to include them here. Also, if anyone has any real tips/solutions for Mac problems, I'd be glad to put them here as well.

Any threads that I see in this forum asking for tech help will be merged with this one. Please stick to the rules and try to use some of the programs/methods that I'm going to provide in this post before posting here. Many of the problems that people experience can be solved by some of these programs. If not, feel free to post and request for help and hopefully someone will be able to help you along the way. ^_^


[b]Spyware[/b] :

Spyware comes in many forms and can do a variety of things to your computer. Some range from startup icons (in the bottom right hand corner, next to the time, in Windows) that monitor your internet activity and pester you to download/buy things, others put toolbars in internet explorer or sit quietly and give certain websites information about your internet activity. Most spyware isn't harmful to your computer, just annoying and a waste of resources. There are two good programs out there that can remove spyware easily (I've included direct download links, these programs cause no harm to computers whatsoever and contain no advertising) -

[url=http://www.download.com/3000-2144-10045910.html?part=69274&subj=dlpage&tag=button]AdAware[/url] is a useful and easy-to-use spyware removal tool. After downloading, installing and then opening it, click "scan now". Unless you want to customise your scanning options (such as only scanning certain folders), click on "use custom scanning options". Otherwise, click on "perform smart system scan" and then "next" in the bottom right. After AdAware has finished scanning your registry and folders it will come up with a list of spyware programs it has found. Unless you think it's wrongly distinguished a particular file as spyware, right click on one of the little boxes on the left and click on "select all objects" and then "next". AdAware will then remove the spyware files you have selected.


[url=http://www.download.com/3000-2144-10122137.html?part=104443&subj=dlpage&tag=button]Spybot Search & Destroy[/url] is a little more advanced than AdAware, but in some respects better at finding spyware. [b]Note:[/b] If you have AdAware installed along with Spybot S&D - AdAware may 'find' spyware located in Spybot's folder. This isn't actually spyware, but records and backups (that don't work anymore) that Spybot keeps, so don't think that Spybot is a piece of spyware, as it's not. Also, if you have Download Accelerator Plus installed, Spybot will distinguish the adverts in the program as spyware. Deleting them will prevent DAP from working, so uncheck them after the scan.

After installing Spybot, open it and click on "check for problems". Spybot will then scan and give you a list of the things that is has found on your computer as spyware. You can choose which you want to keep (such as DAP, if you want it to continue running) by unchecking the little boxes next to each listed file. After you've done this, click on "fix selected problems". Sometimes Spybot will try to create a system restore point. You can prevent this if you wish, but because Spybot detects registry exploits (which Adaware doesn't), it's advisable that you do to allow yourself a chance to restore should you get rid of the wrong file.


[b]Virii/Worms[/b] :

I recommend taking both of these scans, as sometimes one or the other is unable to detect or clean certain virii.

[url=http://housecall.trendmicro.com]TrendMicro's website[/url] provides a free online virus scan which will require you to say "yes" to the download popup window that comes up, so don't be alarmed, it's just the scanning engine downloading part of itself onto your computer so it can run online. You can choose which drives on your computer you wish to scan, and the scanner can either automatically clean files of virii or you can choose to have it ask you at the end of the scan.

[url=http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/com/activescan_principal.htm]Panda Software's[/url] free online scanner is pretty much the same as above, but as mentioned before, can sometimes find and clean virii that TrendMicro's scanner is unable to. It will also require you to download the engine onto your computer so it can scan online. You can select which drives you want to be scanned and if you the scanner to clean the files automatically or let you decide at the end.

[b]Other Exploits[/b] :

As I'm sure a lot of people know, there are a number of exploits people have used to seriously annoy Windows users.

First up is messenger, which brings little boxes up on your screen with only an "OK" button to click (while you're on the internet), and advertises a variety of things I'm sure you aren't interested in buying. To get rid of it, follow these instructions. [b]Note[/b] : If you have multiple Windows accounts, you need to be logged into the account that has administrator access (normally the first account that was created). Click Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services. Scroll down to "Messenger" and double click on it. Click on the drop-down box next to "Startup Type" and then click on disabled, then apply. Once your computer has restarted this change will take effect, and you will no longer get the pop-ups.


Second is the worm, MSBlast, and it's many variations. It's rife on the internet, and most people with fresh Windows installs get it after logging onto the internet. If you get the NT/AUTHORITY dialog box telling you your computer is going to shutdown in 60 seconds, click on Start, then Run. Type "cmd" into the dialog and press enter, which should bring up a DOS window. Then, type "shutdown -a" (without the ""). This will get rid of the box and prevent your computer from shutting down, but your profile will be lost for the period that your computer is booted, preventing from doing small things like clicking once on a link to open a new window, among other things.

However, this will give you enough time to go to [url=www.windowsupdate.com]the Windows Update website[/url] and download the necessary updates to protect you from MSBlast. Also, if your computer does restart, press ctrl + alt + delete after you log on to windows and look for "msblast.exe", then end the process. Although, this will not stop the 60 second shutdown box once it has come up on your screen.


The third is still having the MSBlast variants on your computer, for which there is a program from McAfee Stinger. This standalone scanner detects 32 variants of the MSBlast worm and is a very small download (~720KB), along with requiring no installation. A download link can be located [url=http://download.nai.com/products/mcafee-avert/stinger.exe]here.[/url]


Again, downloading the [url=www.windowsupdate.com]Windows Updates[/url] can prevent quite a few exploits from occuring, but for virii and spyware the tools listed above provide excellent protection. You can also download a free firewall from [url=http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp]Zonelabs[/url], called ZoneAlarm, but it has been known to cause crashes in some systems due it's use of the true vector engine. If you do download ZoneAlarm and start experiencing crashes (and think they may be related), right click on my computer, click "manage", then "Event viewer" and check the Application and System icons for "True Vector Service" errors with a big red 'x' next to them.

Anyone can feel free to PM me with more free spyware killers/virus scanners/tips for people and I'll post them up here. Other than that, feel free to post what problem you're having (if you don't think it can be sorted by the above or you have tried already).[/color]

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Guest Alchemist
These were posted in another forum I visit and I thought they might do some good here also. These are FAQs about different computing needs, grouped into sections. Hope they help.

[b]Top Nine Frequently Asked Questions[/b]

[b]1) 1) Q: When I try to save images from Internet Explorer, why do they get saved as "untitled.bmp"?[/b]

[b]A:[/b]Your Internet Explorer cache is probably full. Go to Tools -> Options. In the General tab, select the "Delete Files" button in the Temporary Internet Files area.
If this solution doesn't work, or if you would like to know more about this problem, the following two MS Knowledgebase articles talk about the situation:

[url]http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;250747[/url]
[url]http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;260650[/url]


[b]2) Q: How do I play these DivX/OGM/MKV/etc video files?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Install the [url=http://hellninjacommando.com/defilerpak/]DefilerPak[/url] It includes support for nearly all MPEG-4 video codecs (including DivX and XVid), the AC3, AAC, and Vorbis audio codecs, and the OGM and MKV video container formats. You should uninstall any other codec packs (like Nimo) before you install the DefilerPak.

If you would rather not install a codec pack, links to the various sub-components in the DefilerPak are listed on its site. They can, of course, be downloaded and installed separately.

If you continue to have problems with OGM or MKV files, try switching to an alternative media player like VLC Media Player. (VLC also works under Linux and MacOS X.)

This problem is patched in Windows XP SP2, but is not fixed in SP1.

[color=#002E55][Number 3 edited - see MSBlast in the first post - Red][/color]

[b]4) I've got some files I can't delete. No matter what, Windows says they're in use. What do I do?[/b]

[b]A[/b]: While booting Windows, press F8 when it says to and start Windows in "Safe Mode - Command Prompt Only" mode. Regular "Safe Mode" isn't good enough, since that still starts the Explorer shell. The "Command Prompt Only" mode starts Windows with nothing but a command prompt and almost no drivers or services. You should then be able to delete that file from the command prompt.

Alternatively, instead of rebooting the whole system, you might try just starting a command prompt and then killing the "explorer.exe" process in the Windows Task Manager. After you've deleted the file, you can then run Explorer again from the Task Manager's Run menu.

These problems usually occur because either an EXE file is partially downloaded and it's been locked by the system, or because of a bug in the Windows XP shell extensions for AVI files. If you don't mind possibly losing some Explorer functionality, you can fix the AVI problem permanently by deleting the following registry key:
[b]HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{87D62D94-71B3-4b9a-9489-5FE6850DC73E}\InProcServer32[/b]
This may have unknown side effects, so do this at your own risk.


[color=#002E55][Number 5 edited - See first post - Red][/color]

[b]6) Q: How do I figure out why Windows 2000/Windows XP is rebooting when it crashes?[/b]

[b]A[/b]: In the Control Panel, double-click on the System icon. On the Advanced tab, click on the Startup and Recovery button. Uncheck the "Automatically reboot" checkbox". This will prevent Windows from automatically rebooting when it crashes; now you'll get a classic Blue Screen of Death error message instead.

The bluescreen should hopefully have some sort of device driver listed in the error message, like "nv4_mini.sys" (an nVidia display driver) for example. This would be a hint as to what device or driver might be causing your system to be unstable.

If no device is listed, then the problem may be related to memory; a significant percentage of unstable systems are caused by faulty RAM. You can test your system's memory with either [url=http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp]Microsoft's memory tester utility.[/url]

Another place to look for crash-related errors is in the Windows Event Log. Go to the Control Panel, then Administrative Tools, then Event Viewer. Look under the System section for error messages.

[b]7) Q: Are there any free CD-ROM/DVD-ROM burning applications for Windows?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] The only totally free burning application for Windows that's anywhere near useable is [url=http://www.burnatonce.com/forums/index.php?showforum=9]Burnatonce FAQ[/url] before using it, especially if you want to burn DVDs.

It is recommended that you scrape together the money for [url=http://www.nero.com]Nero[/url], though, which is generally considered the best CD/DVD-ROM burning application available.


[b]8) Has anybody tried these new optimized settings for Mozilla/Firefox? They're tweaked and they give a big speed boost![/b]

[b]A:[/b] These settings violate the HTTP protocol, and give you a speed boost by flooding the web server with 20-something connections for every single image and page request. There's a reason that they're not the default.

These settings will not only cause many web servers to have problems, but they can also make your web browser be mistaken for a flood attack, which will make the server add your IP to an "ignore" list. Stay away from these "optimized" settings, unless you know exactly what they do and how they work.

[color=#022E55][Number 9 edited, not really useful - Red][/color]

[b]FAQs: Windows[/b]

[b]Q: All of my CPU time is being used by something called the "System Idle Process". I can't kill this process in the Task Manager, so how do I get rid of it?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] The System Idle Process is a not a real process. It is simply there to show you how much of your CPU time is unused. If your System Idle Process is sitting at 97%, then only 3% of your CPU is time is actually being used by all the other processes on the system. That's what the word "idle" means.


[b]Q: How do I format an NTFS partition? I can't do it when I boot from a DOS floppy.[/b]

[b]A:[/b] When you boot from your Windows 2k or XP installation CD, you will have the option to re-partition your hard drive and/or format your partitions during the installation process. You don't need to partition your drive ahead of time, unless you're trying to set up a special partition structure.


[b]Q: When I go into Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer, that little bar at the bottom that tells me drive data (Status Bar) is gone. How do I get this back?![/b]

[b]A.[/b] View -> Status Bar
Alternately, if this isn't keeping the changes, you can do this:
1. Close all Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer windows.
2. Open Windows Explorer.
3. Select Status Bar from the View menu. Verify that you can see the status bar at the bottom of the window.
4. Select Folder Options from the Tools menu.
5. Select the View tab.
6. Click the Apply to All Folders button.


[b]Q: I'm using Windows 2000/XP, and I need to flash my BIOS! How can I get to DOS?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Have a Windows 9x boot disk sitting around? Use that. If not, check out [url]www.bootdisk.com[/url] and make yourself one.

In WinXP, go to My Computer -> right-click on the floppy drive -> Format, check the "create MS-DOS boot disk" option. This doesn't provide ASPI or CD-ROM support, however, for which you will need a win98 boot disk.

[b]Q: I'm running Windows 2000/XP and want to change the order of my drive letters. How do I do this?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Right click on My Computer, go to Manage. From there to go Disk Management, and right click on the drive letter. Go to "Change drive letter and paths."


[b]Q: I'm running Windows 2000/XP and I want to see who is accessing my shared files. (Note: This is similar to netwatch from Win9X machines)[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Method 1: Right click on my computer, go to Manage. From there to go "Shared Folders." Sessions and open files will show up there.
Method 2: Start Menu -> Run -> fsmgmt.msc
fsmgmt.msc is in WINNT\system32, and you can make a shortcut to it. That would probably be the closest you'd get to emulating 9x's netwatcher.

[b]Q: I'm running Windows 9x or Windows XP and would like to be able to turn specific programs off and startup. Is there a simple way to do this?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Go to the Start Menu -> Run and type "msconfig" (without the quotes). This utility will help lead you through some of your startup files.

You can use the msconfig from Windows XP under Windows 2k. You can [url=http://www.thetechguide.com/downloads.html]download it here.[/url]

[b]Q: How would I dual boot Windows 9X/ME with Windows 2000/XP?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Install Windows 9X/ME first. After you have finished installing it, insert the Win2k/XP CD and install Windows (not upgrade). When it asks you to choose a directory, choose a different one from your Win9X/ME directory. It's also a good idea to split your Windows onto two different hard drives or partitions. Once the install is finished, you will get a bootloader option with a list of your operating systems.


[b]Q: How can I change the boot order or boot loading time for my multi boot environment?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Under Windows 2000/XP, right click "My Computer" and go to "Properties." Go to the tab under "Advanced" and click on the button called "Settings" under "Startup and Recovery."

Also, you can find "boot.ini" on your boot partition (invisible and system file). Edit it with notepad (or msconfig in WinXP)


[b]Q: I can't get PS2rate to work in Windows 2000/XP. How do I change my PS/2 sampling rate now?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Go to Control Panel -> Mouse -> Hardware Tab. Press the Properties button, go to the Advanced Settings tab and up the sample rate. Windows 2000 has a maximum of 100R/s, while Windows XP can go to 200.


[b]Q: Why does half my start menu disappear sometimes?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] You need to turn off Personlized Menus. right click on the Taskbar, to to properties. In Windows 2000, just uncheck "Use Personalized Menus". In Windows XP Classic, go to the Start Menu tab, click on "Customize" and uncheck Use Personalized Menus.


[b]Q: How do I find out what version of DirectX I have?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Go to the Start Menu -> Run -> "dxdiag" (without the quotes).
It'll be in the first tab, down at the bottom.


[b]Q: How do I enable DMA mode for my CD-ROM drives?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Right Click on "My Computer" -> Properties -> "Hardware" tab -> "Device Manager" button -> "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers" plus sign -> Right click your IDE Channel (Primary or Secondary) -> Properties -> "Advanced Settings" tab -> "Transfer Mode" -> "DMA if available"

[b]Q: I'm clearing out startup items, but I don't recognize some items. How do I tell the difference between the important stuff and the unnecessary bulk?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Here is a list of startup programs and their descriptions:
[url]http://www.sysinfo.org/startupinfo.php[/url]
and here's another list of processes that might appear in your tasklist and startup:
[url]http://www.answersthatwork.com/Task...es/tasklist.htm[/url]

[b]Q: Windows 2000/XP is running slowly. I notice many system services in the Processes tab of the Task Manager. Can they be disabled, and how do I disable them?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] You can find out what these services are, what they do, and how to disable them by reading the following guides:
Windows 2000: [url]http://www.blackviper.com/WIN2K/servicecfg.htm[/url]
Windows XP: [url]http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm[/url]
BlackViper's recommendations for which services to disable are crap, however: disabling many of these services will break low-level Windows functionality. About once every couple of weeks somebody asks why they can't install DirectX 9 or a service pack, and it turns out it's because they disabled the Cryptographic Service. Don't be one of those people.
Thanks BDA7DD and Jacob.


[b]Q: I have Windows XP and it installs Messenger by default. How do I get rid of it?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Edit the file[b] \WINDOWS\INF\SYSOC.INF[/b]. Substitute your correct Windows directory if necessary. This is a text file that hides some items from Add/Remove Programs. Find the line that starts with "msmsgs=" and edit the word "hide" out of it. Save the file, open Add/Remove Programs and click on the Windows Componenets button. Scroll down, and you'll find Windows Messenger.
If you have XP Service Pack 1, it puts on a utility under the Add/Remove programs and allows users to show/hide (and subsequently install/uninstall) MSN Messenger, Outlook Express, and the like.
Thanks Stuntcock

Alternatively, try Start, Run and enter:
[i]RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove[/i]


[b]Q: The Task Manager in Win2k/WinXP is missing its titlebar and menus! How do I fix it?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Double-click the grey border.

[b]Q: I lost my password in Windows NT, 2000 or XP. How can I get back in it without a legnthy reinstall?[/b]

[b]A.[/b] Grab this utility: [url]http://home.eunet.no/%7Epnordahl/ntpasswd/[/url] and make sure you have the latest version as you're accepting a fair amount of risk with it. However it is your only hope, even Microsoft says you're not supposed to be able to do this, so there you go.

Alternatively, you can shell out $150 for the [url=http://www.winternals.com/products/repairandrecovery/erdcommander2002.asp?pid=erd]Winternals Emergency Recovery Disk[/url], which can change the Admin password on an existing Windows system (as well as do lots of other useful stuff).

[b]Q: My icons in Windows are messed up and are displaying completely wrong! How do I fix this?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Download and install TweakUI and have it Rebuild your icons.
[url=http://www.microsoft.com/ntworkstation/downloads/PowerToys/Networking/NTTweakUI.asp]TweakUI for Win95, Win98, WinNT, WinME, Win2k[/url]
[url=http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/downloads/powertoys.asp]TweakUIfor WinXP[/url]

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Guest Alchemist
[b]FAQs: Media[/b]

[b]Q: Are there any free DVD player applications?[/b]

[b]A[/b]. Try [url=http://www.videolan.org/vlc/]VLC Media Player[/url]. (VLC also works under Linux and MacOS X.)

[b]Q: When I try to download XVid, all I get is source code. How do I compile this under Windows without buying something?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Download the XVid binaries from Koepi instead:
[url]http://www.roeder.goe.net/~koepi/xvid.shtml[/url]

[b]Q: I've installed the DefilerPak, but I've still got some movies that don't have video or audio. How do I find out what kind of codec they need?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Use FourCC.org for more information.

[b]Q: Can I watch RealPlayer videos/QuickTime videos without installing RealPlayer/QuickTime?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] One option is to use the slightly less-obnoxious version of RealPlayer that is available: the [url=http://forms.real.com/rnforms/products/tools/red/]Enterprise Desktop Edition[/url], which is designed for corporate enviroments and so isn't quite as invasive. There's no such creature for QuickTime, unfortunately.

Then there's [url=http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail.php3?fid=1049831315]QuickTime Alternative[/url], which are unofficial hacks of the software from Real and Apple that use Media Player Classic instead. Results may vary.

[b]Q: How can I make captures from DVD movies/media files?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] One option is to get a program that allows screencaptures, such as Media Player Classic, WinDVD or PowerDVD. For media files, you can try something like Media Player Classic, VirtualDub, or NanDub. The simple Save Image function in [url=http://virtualdub.sourceforge.net/]VirtualDub[/url] may give you finer control over frame-by-frame seeking, however.

Another option is to go to your video card properties (right click on desktop->properties) -> Settings tab -> Advanced button -> Troubleshoot tab. Then move the Hardware Acceleration down to "None". This should allow you to take screencaptures from any media player. You may notice degraded performance. After you're done making your screencaptures, put the hardware acceleration back to normal.

For Windows Mediaplayer 9, simply press Ctrl+I. WMP will default to saving it as capture.jpg in your My Pictures folder. You cannot save in any format except JPEG and BMP. This does not work for all formats. It will work in most (if not all) AVI and MPEG container movies, but WMV files tend to have copy protection of some sort which disallows WMP screenshots.

[b]Q: I have a video capture card based off a BT chipset. Are there any better drivers for it besides those supplied by the manufacturer?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Check out the [url=http://btwincap.sourceforge.net/]BTWinCap project[/url] for a set of drivers that are significantly better than those supplied by most manufacturers.

[b]Q: I have a TV card based off a BT chipset (almost all the consumer-level TV cards out there). I don't like the TV software that came with it or I can't find this software. Do I have any options?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Check out huge list of apps at TV-Cards.com.

[b]Q: I want to convert (DVD/AVI/OGM/VCD/whatever) to (VCD/OGM/AVI/DVD/whatever). How do I do this?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Start with the guides at [url=http://www.doom9.net/]Doom9[/url], which cover a huge variety of topics and have huge lists of software.

If all you want to do is rip DVDs to AVI/OGM files, then you might give [url=http://fairuse.free.fr/]Fair Use[/url] a shot. It's a customized version of VirtualDubMod + XVid with a "wizard" interface that usually gives good results. It's not as flexible as doing rips by hand, of course.

[b]Q: I downloaded almost all of an avi movie, but I couldn't get to the end before it's finished. Is there any way to watch the movie?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] First, you can try [url=http://www.videolan.org/vlc/]VLC Media Player[/url], which can play some incomplete video files.

Second, check out a program called [url=http://www.divx-digest.com/software/divfix.html]DivFix[/url]. Just make a copy of the movie file and run this program on it. It should "end" the movie properly and let you watch what you have downloaded.

If your file still doesn't work, try to find someone with a working copy of the movie and use [url=http://www.r1ch.net/projects/fr1x/]fr1x[/url] or a custom bittorrent to repair your file.

[b]FAQs: Hardware[/b]

[b]Q: My new X GB hard drive is only showing up as
[b]A.[/b] Hard drives manufacturers measure a gigabyte in base 10 as opposed to base 2. This means you lose about 2.34% of the supposed size due to measuring differences. Then add on top formatting and file system overheads and you lose some more. As a reference point, my "120GB" drive after formatted to a single partition as NTFS is 113GB.


[b]Q: No, really, my new hard drive is really big and Windows won't see it as the right size! It's only seeing the first 137GB of it. How do I fix that?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] You'll need to enable 48-bit LBA. To do this, you'll have to have Service Pack 1 or newer for Windows XP or Service Pack 3 or newer for Windows 2000. Windows 2003 has support for it built-in, but it may have to be enabled by hand.

Installing SP1 on Windows XP should automatically enable 48-bit LBA. For other OSes, follow the instructions here, or use their provided utility:
[url]http://www.48bitlba.com/enablebiglba.htm[/url]

Here's an article about it at Microsoft:
48-Bit LBA Support for ATAPI Disk Drives in Windows 2000

If this still doesn't work, and you know that your IDE controller supports hard drives this large, try updating the drivers and BIOS for your IDE controller card or motherboard. Old versions of the BIOS and drivers for many add-on Promise controllers do not support 48-bit LBA properly, and updating them fixes the problem.


[b]Q: I just built a new system, and my floppy drive does not work. The light is always on.[/b]

[b]A:[/b] The floppy cable is on upside down. Put it on right-side-up.


[b]Q: My new motherboard/video card combination is performing badly. The DirectX diagnostics say it's running in "PCI Mode". What's going on?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] You don't have the drivers installed for your motherboard chipset. Go get them:

[url=http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/inf/]Intel[/url]
[url=http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce_udp_winxp_3.13]nVidia[/url]
[url=http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=300]VIA[/url]
[url=http://download.sis.com/]SiS (warning: site designed by crackheads)[/url]
[url=http://www.ali.com.tw/eng/support/drivers.php]ALi[/url]



[b]Q: I just built a new system, and my processor is running much slower than I expected it should! (ex. a 1.46GHz running at 1.1GHz)[/b]

[b]A:[/b] You need to change your front side bus from 100MHz to 133MHz or 166MHz or 200MHz (depending on your processor). Check your motherboard manual on how to do this.


[b]Q: I have an Athlon XP processor that isn't running at the same speed as it's rated for (for instance, an 1800+ is not running at 1800MHz).[/b]

[b]A:[/b] This is normal. The "speeds" listed on AthlonXP processors are actually "performance ratings", not the actual speeds of the processors. The speeds of the Athlon XP line is as follows:

[list]
[*]3200+ = 2.2GHz
[*] 3000+ (400 MHz FSB) = 2.1GHz
[*] 3000+ (333 MHz FSB) = 2.167GHz
[*] 2800+ (Barton 333 MHz FSB) = 2.083GHz
[*] 2800+ = 2.25GHz
[*] 2700+ = 2.17GHz
[*] 2600+ (333 MHz FSB) = 2.08GHz
[*] 2600+ (266 MHz FSB) = 2.13GHz
[*] 2500+ (Barton) = 1.83GHz
[*] 2400+ = 2.0GHz
[*] 2200+ = 1.8GHz
[*] 2100+ = 1.73GHz
[*] 2000+ = 1.67GHz
[*] 1900+ = 1.6GHz
[*] 1800+ = 1.53GHz
[*] 1700+ = 1.47GHz
[*] 1600+ = 1.4GHz
[*] 1500+ = 1.33GHz
[/list]


[b]Q: "My brand new computer won't POST! Help!"[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Try stripping out all of the components except for the vital ones - the CPU, the RAM and the video card. If your computer POSTS, add components back in one at a time until you can isolate the problem. Then the check the manufacturer's website for possible fixes or tips on getting their product to work. If you can't find anything, send their tech support an email, and consider RMA'ing the product.

If you still can't get the computer to work, then one of your vital components is at fault. Swap these components with other, known-good components one-by-one until you can isolate the problem.

If swapping known-good parts in makes no difference either, it's very likely that you've got a dead motherboard. Send it back to the manufacturer.


[b]Q: When I turn my computer on, it makes these weird beeps and then just sits there, with a blank screen. What's going on?[/b]

A: Those beeps come from your BIOS, and they indicate that something is preventing your computer from POSTing normally. [url=http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/sys/beep/phoenix/index.htm]Phoenix codes[/url].

Typically, modern motherboards generate beep codes only if there's bad RAM or a problem with the video card, but they're worth double-checking.

[b]Q: I just bought a new hard drive and I want to use it. However, it won't show up in Windows. What gives?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Make sure the hard drive has been partitioned and formatted correctly. There should be utilities that come with your hard drive to do this.

In Windows 2000/XP, you can go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Storage -> Disk Management, and format the drive from here.


[b]Q: I know 3dfx is dead, but where can I get drivers for my Voodoo?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Try [url]http://www.x-3dfx.com/modules.php?name=Downloads[/url]


[b]Q:[/b] (insert CD writing program here) doesn't work under Win2k/XP. It mentions something about a missing ASPI driver.

[b]A:[/b] You need to download an ASPI layer. Check out [url]http://www.nu2.nu/aspi/[/url] for all your info.

[b]Q: I installed a PCI video card (along with an AGP card) to attempt to run dual monitors on my computer. My PCI card "won't start" in WindowsXP. How do I fix this?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Go into the BIOS and set your primary display to the PCI card instead of the AGP card.



[b]Q: What is RAID and how can I use it?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] RAID is an acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. A set of drives is combined, either through hardware or software, into a large "virtual" drive. Depending on what kind of RAID is used, this can either increase or decrease speed and reliability.

For an overview of the different RAID levels, check out [url=http://www.acnc.com/04_00.html]AC&NC's "Get To Know RAID[/url]" listings.


[b]Q: I have [insert soundcard name here] and a Via chipset. I get crackling/popping/skipping sometimes.[/b]

[b]A:[/b] There are a number of approaches to fix this problem.

[list]
[*] Move the cards to different PCI slots.
[*] If you are running Win9X/ME, manually assign IRQs to the individual cards.
[*] Install the Via latency patch
[*] If you are running Win2k/XP and have tried all the above solutions, disable ACPI and then manually assign IRQs.
[/list]

[b]Q: What type of RAM do I have in my system?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] If your system was made by a large manufacturer (Dell, HP, etc) then go to [url]www.crucial.com[/url] and use the memory selector to choose your computer make and model. This will tell you what kind of RAM you need.

If, however, your system was built by a company not listed on Crucial, please post with as much information about your system as possible. Try and have the name and model of your motherboard, if possible.

A third possibility is to use AIDA32 to find the manufacturer of your RAM.




[b]Q: I want to buy an LCD monitor, but I can't find any figures on refresh rates! What gives?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] LCD screens don't refresh in the same way as CRT monitors. In a CRT, the phosphor screen is scanned a certain number of times per second, causing it to glow. If this number is too low, then the time between scans causes the screen to flicker. LCD screens don't do this - the individual pixels change color when necessary. You will never observe flicker on an LCD screen, so the concept of refresh rate is almost irrelevant.

What is relevant is the speed at which the pixels can erase. If it is too slow, you may see a 'ghosting' effect in high-movement situations like computer games or action films. Most modern LCDs have a very fast erase time, but you may occasionally still encounter this problem.

Pixel erase time is most commonly called pixel refresh rate. It is measured by a "rise" and "fall" in milliseconds (ms). Most manufacturers list the rating as a combination of rise and fall speeds, but sometimes only one way is listed.



[b]Q: Will I see a large performance gain if I buy a dual-processor system?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] It depends what you're going to do with it. You'll need an OS that will support dual processing, which means Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, Windows XP (except for Home Edition) or Linux (most flavours support SMP, but check the documentation to be sure). To get the most benefit out of it, check that the applications you intend to run also have support for SMP. Running non-optimised applications (99.9% of games have no support for SMP, for example) will give you almost no benefit, and the cost of buying an SMP motherboard and two processors is quite considerable. If your application does support SMP, however, you can see quite an impressive performance boost, although nowhere near double the performance of a single-processor system.


[b]Q: Where can I obtain drivers for my older hardware?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] First things first, make sure you check your manufacturer's website. If they don't support your product anymore, check [url]www.drivermuseum.com[/url]. If you still can't find drivers, feel free to ask, as someone may be able to help you.

[b]Q: I just installed new drivers on my ATi video card, and now my framerates in Counterstrike (and other Half-Life engine games) went down the crapper. The models in the game have also become slightly distorted. Is there a fix for this, or do I have to go back to the older drivers?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Your card could very well be trying to do TruForm (or NPatches) on its own without hardware support for them. In the Counterstrike console, type
[i]ati_npatch 0[/i]
This should fix your problem.

[b]Q: My hard drive is really slow.[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Try the following:

[list]
[*] Defragment the drive
[*] Enable DMA on the drive (use the method posted above)
[*] Update IDE Controller drivers (from your motherboard manufacturer)
[*] Make sure your hard drive controller isn't in PIO mode. Try removing the IDE/ATAPI channel from the Device Manager and rebooting.
[/list]
[b]Q: My system is locked up and won't respond when I push the power button![/b]

[b]A:[/b] Hold the power button in for 5-6 seconds. This works on laptops as well.


[b]Q: Is my new processor running too hot?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] It all depends on what processor you have. Go to [url=http://users.erols.com/chare/elec.htm]this site[/url] and look up your processor. The temperature it lists is the maximum safe rated tempature.

[b]FAQs: Internet[/b]

[b]Q: My text size in IE got really huge/small![/b]

[b]A:[/b] View -> Text Size -> Medium (or whatever) Alternatively, holding down ctrl and moving your mouse wheel will change sizes on the fly.

[b]Q: I'm using an older ICQ client, and every time I log on, I get the same messages over and over.[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Go to go.icq.com and log on using this. These messages are messages sent to you while you're offline. ICQ2Go will get rid of them, but not any ones that you haven't received yet. Your best bet is to upgrade to a new client.


[b]Q:[/b] I want to run Internet Explorer maximized, but it's not working. How the heck?

[b]A:[/b] There's a few ways to do this. First, if you have any shortcuts to IE (Start Menu, Taskbar) right click on them, go to properties, and in the Shortcut tab there should be a Run: box. Choose maximized.

IE should also stay the same size as the last IE window you closed, so you can also open up one instance of IE, maximize it, close it, and open IE again. It should now be maximized.
You can also open an instance, resize it to the size you want, hold down alt, and then close the window. When you open it, it should be the size you had it set to previously.

[b]Q: What's a good popup blocker?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Either switch to an alternative browser with an integrated popup blocker (like [url=http://www.opera.com/]Opera[/url]), or try one of the following programs to add a popup blocker to Internet Explorer:

[list]
[*] [url=http://toolbar.google.com/]Google Toolbar[/url] (simple, free, highly recommended)
[*] [url=http://www.proxomitron.info/]Proxomitron[/url] (very complicated but incredibly powerful)
[*] [url=http://www.privoxy.org/]Privoxy[/url] (similar to Proxomitron)
[*][url=http://www.panicware.com/product_psfree.html] Panicware Pop-Up Stopper[/url]
[*] [url=http://www.kolumbus.fi/eero.muhonen/FS/]EMS Free Surfer Companion[/url]
[/list]

Future versions of Internet Explorer will likely have popup-blocking functionality built in, as well, although they may only be available under certain versions of Windows.

[b]Q: Cookies don't work in IE6![/b]

[b]A:[/b] Tools -> Internet Options -> Privacy -> Default

[b]Q: How do I disable the debug notification window for IE?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Internet Options -> Advanced -> Browsing -> Check "Disable Script Debugging" or uncheck "Display Notification for Every Script Error" if you want only one error

[b]Q: When I click on a link in IE that should open a new window, the window opens, but it remains blank.[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Click start->run. type regsvr32 urlmon.dll and then click ok. Click ok again on the dialog box that pops up.
See [url]http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;281679[/url] for more information.

[b]Q: I'm trying to view web pages with Java applets in Windows XP, but I don't have Java installed. Attempting to install the Java virtual machine with Internet Explorer's Install On Demand gives the following message: "We're sorry. Automatic installation of Microsoft Virtual Machine is no longer provided for Microsoft Windows XP."[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Sun, the creator of Java, was unhappy with Microsoft's proprietary extensions to the language, and tried through legal action to prevent Microsoft from distributing its own JVM. As such, Microsoft distributes no JVM with Windows XP at all. You can download and install Sun's JVM for Windows here: [url]http://java.com/en/index.jsp[/url]

[b]Q: Is there a way to let Internet Explorer download more than two files from a server at a time?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] To change these limits, use Regedt32 (or Regedit in XP) to navigate to:
[i]HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings[/i]
On the Edit menu, add the following REG_DWORD value names:
[i]MaxConnectionsPerServer[/i] - The number of simultaneous requests to a single HTTP 1.1 Server. The default is 2.
[i]MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server[/i] - The number of simultaneous requests to a single HTTP 1.0 Server. The default is 4.
NOTE: Increasing these defaults is a violation of the HTTP protocol, and should only be performed if [u]absolutely[/u] necessary. [b][u]Some sites may ban your IP address if you make too many simultaneous connections![/u][/b]

[b]Q: How do I disable popup errors in Mozilla?[/b]

A: Add
[i]user_pref("browser.xul.error_pages.enabled", true)[/i]
to your user.js file.

[b]Q: I'm using Norton Internet Security, and I can't post anymore.[/b]

[b]A.[/b]
1) Open Norton Internet Security
2) Click 'Privacy Control'
3) Choose Configure
4) Choose Custom Level
5) Uncheck Enable Browser Privacy, and set Dropdown Menus to None

That should allow you to post just like before without scarificing any core firewall security.

[b]Q: When I click on downloads in Internet Explorer they no longer give me the option of saving to disk and immediately open instead. How do I fix this?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Run Explorer, Tools, Folder Options, File Types. Find the extension of the problematic file, click Advanced and tick Confirm Open After Download.

[b]FAQS: Networking[/b]

[b]Q: How do I change my IP address?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] For Windows 2k/XP:

Right-Click "My Network Places" -> Properties -> Right click "Local Area Connection" (or whatever your connection is called) -> Properties -> "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" -> Properties button -> "Use the following IP Address" circle -> Type in IP


[b]Q: I'm trying to connect to my Windows 2000 (or XP) machine with my Windows 9x machine, but it's asking me for a login! How do I fix this?[/b]

[b]A.[/b]The easiest fix is to turn on guest access on your Windows 2000 (XP) machine.

Windows 2000: Control Panel -> Users and Passwords -> Advanced Tab -> "Advanced User Management" Advanced Button -> Users Folder -> Right Click on "Guest", go to properties, and uncheck "Account is disabled".

Windows XP: Control Panel -> User Accounts -> Click on "Guest", push the "Turn On the Guest Account" button.

If you don't want to enable your Guest Account (a potential security hazard), turn on Windows Networking in the network control panel (on the 98 box). It may already be on if you get a Username/Password prompt whenever you boot up Windows. If so, you probably just set your password to null so you could just hit enter.

Add that username with a null password to the Windows 2000 box and you won't get prompted for a password. Or, add the username with whatever password you have set up.

[b]FAQS: Miscellaneous[/b]

[b]Q: I need some good, free antivirus software.[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Try one of the following:
1. [url=http://www.grisoft.com/]AVG Free Edition[/url]
2. [url=http://www.free-av.com/]AntiVir Personal Edition[/url]
3. [url=http://housecall.antivirus.com/]TrendMicro Housecall[/url] - web-based virus scanner, no install required, full database
4. [url=http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/]McAfee AVERT Stinger[/url] - standalone virus scanner/remover, no install required, limited database, fits on a floppy

[b]Q: Can you recommend a defragmenting program for NTFS disks?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Try one of the following:
1. Diskeeper, a retail program. A trial is available [url=http://www.execsoft.com/downloads/menu.asp]here[/url].
2. [url=http://www.oo-software.com/]O&O Defrag[/url] used to have a free version, but it's no longer on their website.

[b]Q: I need a good, free partition program.[/b]

[b]A:[/b] [url=http://www.ranish.com/part/]Ranish Partition Manager[/url] supports resizing, reformatting (quick and thorough), and handles Linux and FAT partition (no NTFS support, though). You need to boot to DOS on a startup disk to get it to work, however.

[b]Q: How do I access Macintosh Disks Under Windows?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] A free program called Gemulator Explorer will do the job. It is availble at Emulators Inc. It will also access Atari disks/CDs and will also read and write disk images.

There are also a large number of commercial Macintosh disk reader software packages for Windows, which may work better on some systems.

[b]Q: Can a Macintosh read the CDs I write in Windows?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Yes, but MacOS versions prior to OS X will not see long file names.

[b]Q: I want to defrag my system, but no matter what I do, it always says something is writing to the disk and starts over.[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Go into safe mode and run your defrag.

[b]Q: My computer used to shut off automatically when I went to shutdown. Now it just sits at the "This computer is safe to shut off" screen. What do I do?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Go to Control Panel and enter Power Options. Enable APM (Advanced Power Management) and your computer should shut off automatically.

[b]Q: When I try to shut off my computer, it goes through the shutting down process, and then immediately restarts. Is there a way to fix this?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Try turning off any Wake-on-LAN or Wake-on-PCI features in your BIOS.

[b]Q: I'm about to order a component from this store I found on [url]www.pricewatch.com[/url]. Is this store any good?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Your first action should be to check out [url]www.resellerratings.com[/url] and look up your store. If you're not satisfied with the opinions on there, plase feel free to post asking for opinions on the store.

[b]Q: I'm using PHP 4.2.0 or greater, and GET/POST variables aren't being passed to my script. What the hell?[/b]

[b]A:[/b] Since PHP 4.2.0, register_globals defaults to OFF. This means that environment, GET, POST, cookie, and session variables are no longer imported directly into the global namespace (here).

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Guest ScirosDarkblade
[B]Addendum to Top FAQs #4:[/B]
It's possible to delete an unerasable file by using Norton Antivirus's "wipe" feature. It's pretty reliable. I used this to erase a file which didn't want to leave in Safe Mode/command prompt. Real easy: open up the Antivirus main screen, go to "Advanced Tools," and select "Wipe."

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Guest Alchemist
[QUOTE=ScirosDarkblade][B]Addendum to Top FAQs #4:[/B]
It's possible to delete an unerasable file by using Norton Antivirus's "wipe" feature. It's pretty reliable. I used this to erase a file which didn't want to leave in Safe Mode/command prompt. Real easy: open up the Antivirus main screen, go to "Advanced Tools," and select "Wipe."[/QUOTE]

yes, but not everyone has norton. the FAQ tells it in a way that anyone could do it. But that would also work, if you had norton.

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Guest ScirosDarkblade
Norton Antivirus acquisition tip:
Often, stores such as CompUSA will be selling this year's Norton Antivirus for [i]free[/i] (counting mail-in rebates), I'm thinking to replace the current ones in stock with the next year's. In other words, look in their weekly catalogs for their "free software" sales. Often the recent Norton Antivirus/Firewall/Systemworks will be in that list. And, since they come with a free year's subscription to all virus definition updates, you'll be good until the next version's free. Really it's a great system.

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Last week, around Tues (9-8-04) my computer started to run slow and now it is still running slow. This has happen a bit, but not for a long time. Here is what I know:
1. My computer is not running slow of the Free Space I got. It has 9.37 GB left and before it started to slow down, it had 8.32 GB (I deleted some stuff)
2. I don't think its spyware, but it can be possible.
3. It only runs slowly if you leave it on and it doesn't have any response. Ex: if you leave the computer running and leave for 10 min, it would slow down.

If you need any more questions, please post.

[color=#4B0082]Merged this with the Computer Help Thread. - [i]Desbreko[/i][/color]

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I would still run a quick Spyware scan, just in case. Maybe a virus scan as well. That is all I can see as being wrong. What are your computers specs?

That is all I can really say on the matter, not too knowledgable on this stuff, heh. If that doesn't work, wait for a smart computer techie from here help ya.

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Ok. ahah coincidence: Im in computer technician class right now :P

ok. So, have you tried scandisk and/or defragmentor? By running those processes it will help to speed your computer up. Also, when you delete programs, make sure that you go into the control panel and use the "Add/Remove programs..." program.

Try these solutions then get back to me to see if you still hyave the problem.


Falkon

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I have use Defrag and scan with an online antivirus program and a spyware program and it the speed of the computer is still the same.

I tried to use scandisk, but it loads too long. It stayed the same thing for more than 5 minutes.

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What's your name at SA alchemist?

[QUOTE=Dwellers]I have use Defrag and scan with an online antivirus program and a spyware program and it the speed of the computer is still the same.

I tried to use scandisk, but it loads too long. It stayed the same thing for more than 5 minutes.[/QUOTE]
What spyware program did you use?

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[quote name='Spiritbreeze']How do you convert bmp. to jpeg. ?[/quote][color=#4B0082]If you have any image editing software such as Paint Shop Pro or PhotoShop, open the image in that and select Save As from the File menu. You should be able to select what file type you want to save the image as. Or, if you've got nothing else, you can always use MS Paint to do it, though the image quality will drop significantly since MS Paint does crappy jpg/gif compression.

If MS Paint is all you have, I'd recommend downloading [url=http://www.irfanview.com/][u]IrfanView[/u][/url], a freeware image viewer. It'll let you convert images between quite a few different file types, and it will do a much better job of it than MS Paint.[/color]

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[QUOTE=Desbreko][color=#4B0082]If you have any image editing software such as Paint Shop Pro or PhotoShop, open the image in that and select Save As from the File menu. You should be able to select what file type you want to save the image as. Or, if you've got nothing else, you can always use MS Paint to do it, though the image quality will drop significantly since MS Paint does crappy jpg/gif compression.

If MS Paint is all you have, I'd recommend downloading [url=http://www.irfanview.com/][u]IrfanView[/u][/url], a freeware image viewer. It'll let you convert images between quite a few different file types, and it will do a much better job of it than MS Paint.[/color][/QUOTE]
:) thanks! Unfortunatly, I have tried using MS Paint to convert my files, and it didn't work. I don't think this computer could take a downloading of a program. But thanks anyways.

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All right, to begin with I have a 9800 Pro. Just in case my card has something to do with the problems.

1) When I play Call of Duty, and accidently hit the Windows button, or if I have AIM open and the small notification that someone has logged on pops up(I use DeadAIM), my screen goes dark. I am still able to see everything, but it is just much darker than it usually is. It only happens when I hit the windows button, or the AIM thing happens. Any idea why?

2) In the past months, I have tried to install those Omega drivers for my card.Everyone but me seems to get it right away, lol. I uninstall my old drivers and my ati control panel, and begin to install them. But for some reason at this one step, it asks me something that I do not know, and am not able to finish installing. Ill get back to you with that, I am going to try downloading them again.

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[color=#002E55]Try copying and pasting the thing that the installer asks you, somebody may know what it means and be able to help you. If you can't copy and paste, just hit prntscrn, open paint, hit ctrl + v and attach a jpeg image of the problem into another post. ;)

As for the screen going dark, that's almost always a driver program. Are you using catalysts at the moment? If so you could try going back a version or updating them. The same goes for whatever drivers you're using, really.[/color]

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Well I managed to get the Omega drivers to work. But I got this little error thing when I was installing and took a picture of. I clicked continue anyway, but am just curious if anyone would see a problem coming out of this. ^_^;; Attached is a screenshot of the "problem."

Hrmm....it seems to show up all blurry and stuff. Anyone else getting that problem?

Yeah I probably figured it was a driver issue. But I heard bad reviews of 4.9 from friends so I was hesitant to try them. Hopefully the problem isn't still around with these new drivers I have.

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[color=#002E55]If the picture is appearing really small in the window it opens in and you're using Internet Explorer, go to tools > internet options > advanced and scroll down to multimedia. Then uncheck "enable automatic image resizing".

The 'error' you got was something about Windows being unsure whether the drivers you were installing would work with XP or not. Clicking continue shouldn't do anything, it does that with quite a few different drivers. :)[/color]

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All right, phew thank goodness. I was worried for a little. I am using Netscape at the moment, my IE is acting strange and stuff. o_0

I just tried CoD again, and if anything, that little problem appears to be worse. Instead of flickering for a few seconds then going to a darker screen, it flickers quite a bit, and for about a minute before going to the dark screen. The Omega drivers I am using are based off the 4.8. I was using Catalyst 4.7 before in case you might need to know.

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[color=darkslateblue] I've had this problem with my computer lately where when I'm on the internet and whenver a pop-up comes up (both ads and pop-ups I want to come up), a windows box pops up that says 'runtime error!' and shuts down the internet explorer. Any help?[/color]

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Hey, I need some help regarding some very aggressive pop-ups. I can't get rid of several pop-ups, most notably Searchingbooth.com and top-banners.com ads. I have tried everything, Ad-aware, Spybot, SpySubtract, clearing my temp and temporary internet files, doing antivirus checks...

If anyone has any tips on how to help me out here I would be greatful. I don't want to get a pop-up blocker because I know of the disadvantages of using them and the fact that they themselves can install spyware.

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[size=1]Where do you get them? As in, what sites seem to trigger the ads? A screenshot would be perfect.

Also, what AV do you use, and how often do you update it? Apart from checking those things, the only other thing I can suggest is using another browser [i.e Firefox] for your browsing. Check [url]www.mozilla.org[/url] for Firefox.[/size]

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Well, you see...these pop ups don't even need for you to be browsing. All of my windows can be closed and a pop up will still appear, often several at a time. Searchingbooth seems to have dissapaited but a few others have taken its place. I would use a different browser...though truthfully I'm not too comfortable with the idea.

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[font=Verdana][color=blue]From what you've said though, another browser wouldn't fix the problem. My first suggestion, no matter what OS you're using, is to run the update for it (i.e. Windows Update). Especially if you're running Windows XP, install Service Pack 2 and it will put a pop-up blocker in Internet Explorer.[/color][/font]
[font=Verdana][color=blue][/color][/font]
[font=Verdana][color=blue]It seems that it is not the browser that is causing the problem though. You most likely just have ad/spyware which can be extremely hard to remove. Check Add/Remove Programs (Windows) for anything that doesn't seem to fit in there (i.e. $aveNow) and remove it.[/color][/font]
[font=Verdana][color=blue][/color][/font]
[font=Verdana][color=blue]Also, if you're using Kazaa, get rid of it and install something else. Kazaa causes some major popup problems.[/color][/font]
[font=Verdana][color=blue][/color][/font]
[font=Verdana][color=blue]If you can give me some more details, I may be able to help you a little better.[/color][/font]

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