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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-05-14 02:37pm
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Dominus Atheos wrote:
Why the hell does no one ever, ever post what operating system they have? I mean seriously, I could probably count on one hand the number of times someone has asked for help with their computer and actually bothered to mention it. How the fuck do these people expect us to provide help when we don't know what we're working with? Do these people just walk into their mechanics shop without their car and say "the brakes on my car aren't working, how do I fix that?"

Joviwan's question is more or less OS-agnostic and why on earth would you be doing an intensive memory test with a conventional loaded operating system?



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-05-14 02:46pm
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phongn wrote:
Dominus Atheos wrote:
Why the hell does no one ever, ever post what operating system they have? I mean seriously, I could probably count on one hand the number of times someone has asked for help with their computer and actually bothered to mention it. How the fuck do these people expect us to provide help when we don't know what we're working with? Do these people just walk into their mechanics shop without their car and say "the brakes on my car aren't working, how do I fix that?"

Joviwan's question is more or less OS-agnostic and why on earth would you be doing an intensive memory test with a conventional loaded operating system?


Because it works? I've never used that Linux program before, but Windows 6.x (aka Vista and 7) includes a memory diagnostic tool that schedules a diag to run straight from the boot loader the next time the computer restarts, just like Disk Defragmenter. Try it now if you want, just type "memory" into the start search box.

So if he had bothered to mention what OS he had I could have recommended that instead of something that needs to be burned to a disk.

Edit: Windows Memory Diagnostic can also be run from the F8 menu at startup.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-05-14 03:03pm
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It took me approximately 2 minutes to click Phong's link and install a copy of the program to a bootable USB drive. I think it might take like 2 minutes longer to burn it to a disc, because of program start-up and putting media in the drive

Couple things: First, I work with macs, PC's, and (occasionally) the odd linux box. Knowing the Windows version 6-point-whatever's in-house memory diagnostic does jack and squat for someone who does on-site maintenance and support on a scale larger than "mom's computer." I asked exactly the question I needed and got exactly the answer I wanted. Secondly, the majority of the stuff I work on is on XP machines running on a Novell network with all kinds of messed up rights and associations issues, so even if I'd cared to know about a Loaded-OS memory diagnostic, I wouldn't even be able to use it.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-05-14 03:20pm
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Joviwan wrote:
It took me approximately 2 minutes to click Phong's link and install a copy of the program to a bootable USB drive. I think it might take like 2 minutes longer to burn it to a disc, because of program start-up and putting media in the drive

Couple things: First, I work with macs, PC's, and (occasionally) the odd linux box. Knowing the Windows version 6-point-whatever's in-house memory diagnostic does jack and squat for someone who does on-site maintenance and support on a scale larger than "mom's computer." I asked exactly the question I needed and got exactly the answer I wanted. Secondly, the majority of the stuff I work on is on XP machines running on a Novell network with all kinds of messed up rights and associations issues, so even if I'd cared to know about a Loaded-OS memory diagnostic, I wouldn't even be able to use it.


Once again, those are all really, really good things to mention when asking for help. So yes, every time you or anyone else comes into G&C and asks something like "My computer computer isn't working right, how do I fix it?" with out providing any more information, I'm going to mock them.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-05-14 05:12pm
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How can I know what battery type I should buy if I want to buy a replacement battery for my netbook? How can I know which is compatible with what laptop and which is not?



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-05-17 02:02pm
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Zixinus wrote:
How can I know what battery type I should buy if I want to buy a replacement battery for my netbook? How can I know which is compatible with what laptop and which is not?

Go to the manufacturer's website. They should have the OEM part number for the correct/compatible battery for your specific model.. Buy the OEM battery and avoid no-name knock-off Chinese crap sold on eBay.




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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-05-17 04:16pm
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GrandMasterTerwynn wrote:
Zixinus wrote:
How can I know what battery type I should buy if I want to buy a replacement battery for my netbook? How can I know which is compatible with what laptop and which is not?

Go to the manufacturer's website. They should have the OEM part number for the correct/compatible battery for your specific model.. Buy the OEM battery and avoid no-name knock-off Chinese crap sold on eBay.


What if I want to buy a much higher capacity battery than what I was originally sold? How can I know that the battery slot will fit?



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-05-18 08:58am
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Zixinus wrote:
GrandMasterTerwynn wrote:
Zixinus wrote:
How can I know what battery type I should buy if I want to buy a replacement battery for my netbook? How can I know which is compatible with what laptop and which is not?

Go to the manufacturer's website. They should have the OEM part number for the correct/compatible battery for your specific model.. Buy the OEM battery and avoid no-name knock-off Chinese crap sold on eBay.


What if I want to buy a much higher capacity battery than what I was originally sold? How can I know that the battery slot will fit?

Many times, the manufacturer will have a high-capacity/extended life battery listed for a particular device as well as the standard-capacity one. The OEM part is the only one guaranteed to fit.

Connector design and placement varies from manufacturer to manufacturer; so if your particular manufacturer doesn't make an extended-life battery for your particular device, then you're stuck with the aftermarket. Some aftermarket manufacturers produce decent product that fits correctly, doesn't burst into flames, and will have an acceptable pack lifespan. Others don't. If you must go with an aftermarket battery, search for those sold for your particular device that have been purchased and favorably reviewed by other people.




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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-05-19 09:47am
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I've actually closely looked at my battery and found this number: AL23-901.

A goggle search seems to confirm my suspicion that this number gives the battery-docking type. Because it will not only reveal batteries of the type I have but also higher-performance (and likely aftermarket) ones that supposedly fit with my type of computer.
I just don't know what that number's called. But it seems to be standard for ASUS-type laptops.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-05-19 10:22am
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Zixinus wrote:
I've actually closely looked at my battery and found this number: AL23-901.

A goggle search seems to confirm my suspicion that this number gives the battery-docking type. Because it will not only reveal batteries of the type I have but also higher-performance (and likely aftermarket) ones that supposedly fit with my type of computer.
I just don't know what that number's called. But it seems to be standard for ASUS-type laptops.


The other way to do it is to just google your model number before the word "battery", or even "9 cell battery". It's true you may get a few knockoffs, but what some call knockoffs others call after-market. :wink:



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-09-18 09:05pm
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Try this Before Anything Expensive!

Recently I had to troubleshoot a problem in which my brother's desktop stopped “seeing” the internet. We tried everything from resetting the router, plugging it directly into the cable modem, etc; but it would not see the internet.

We began to think that our only options left were these three choices:

1.) Buy a add on wireless-N USB receiver for $60
2.) Buy an internal PCI Ethernet card
3.) Replace Motherboard

Fortunately, I found the following advice online:

1.) Shut down your PC.
2.) Unplug the power cord.
3.) If you have a laptop, remove the battery as well.
4.) Walk away from the problem for at least 20-30 minutes.
5.) When you return, reconnect battery and power cord.
5.) Start as usual.
6.) If this solves the problem, take 20 minutes and post this to all of those message boards that you didn't find the solution to.

Following this advice; the computer following start up once again saw the internet. This seems like a good piece of advice to offer for any random glitch you are facing, before you do something really drastic, like nuke and reinstall, or replacing major system components like the motherboard.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-10-04 11:57am
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On tablet netbooks: can they be even used for drawing or is that exclusive only to the much more expensive (and larger) models? I am not talking bleeding-edge precision, but something at least close to a sharp HB pencil (then again, my pencils are very sharp...).
I am looking at a tablet netbooks at the moment, but they rarely talk about how good is it to draw on them. That is not my primary need for such a device, but I admit, if I were to buy one I would like to be able to draw on it decently.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-10-05 12:28pm
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Nevermind: I have learned since then that you need a resistive touchscreen. Not as snappy and easy to use as a capacitive, but more precise and it can be pressure sensitive.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-10-25 01:16am
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MKSheppard wrote:
Try this Before Anything Expensive!

Recently I had to troubleshoot a problem in which my brother's desktop stopped “seeing” the internet. We tried everything from resetting the router, plugging it directly into the cable modem, etc; but it would not see the internet.

We began to think that our only options left were these three choices:

1.) Buy a add on wireless-N USB receiver for $60
2.) Buy an internal PCI Ethernet card
3.) Replace Motherboard

Fortunately, I found the following advice online:

1.) Shut down your PC.
2.) Unplug the power cord.
3.) If you have a laptop, remove the battery as well.
4.) Walk away from the problem for at least 20-30 minutes.
5.) When you return, reconnect battery and power cord.
5.) Start as usual.
6.) If this solves the problem, take 20 minutes and post this to all of those message boards that you didn't find the solution to.

Following this advice; the computer following start up once again saw the internet. This seems like a good piece of advice to offer for any random glitch you are facing, before you do something really drastic, like nuke and reinstall, or replacing major system components like the motherboard.


Anyone with a laptop computer these days should know this. Because laptops have a battery, they don't really shut down in the traditional sense when you tell them to; for faster booting and some other reasons (for example, so that laptops that have powered USBs can continue to send power to them for charging if a device is connected), some low level functionality is maintained, and that only shuts down if the battery gets completely drained (its also the reason why a battery will slowly lose charge if left in a disconnected laptop) or if you yank the battery and wait for the capacitors to drain (a 30 secondish to a minute wait should be enough though). Desktop computers are the same these days - they don't really shut down completely if they are kept plugged in.

Its a hard reset and if you have something that is glitching do to BIOS bugs or other low-level firmware problems, this will potentially fix it for at least a while (until it glitches again).

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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-10-26 08:13am
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Is it worthwhile when buying a new motherboard to get the newer DDR3 RAM or can I stick with the DDR2? How big is the difference?

EDIT: On a note of case-cooling: I got a few hot summers during which I was worried for my comp's temperature. I am considering buying a good (if budget) case that has an internal fan for extra cooling. Am I being silly or should I cash out with another 10k for such a case?



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-10-26 09:23am
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Zixinus wrote:
Is it worthwhile when buying a new motherboard to get the newer DDR3 RAM or can I stick with the DDR2? How big is the difference?

Non existent(Less than 1%), only upgrade ram from DDR 2 to DDR 3 when the new CPU requires it.


Zixinus wrote:
EDIT: On a note of case-cooling: I got a few hot summers during which I was worried for my comp's temperature. I am considering buying a good (if budget) case that has an internal fan for extra cooling. Am I being silly or should I cash out with another 10k for such a case?

Here's a better solution
10$ from Wall Mart/K Mart ect
Image
It's a box fan, you might want to spend 20$ on a larger quieter one
Open up the side of your case, point the box fan at it, and turn it on. Problem solved. Angle it so the fan is pushing air through the back end of your case (IE 25*-45* angle) turn it on medium and your good to go. The case fans and internal flow dynamics are if you have the computer somewhere hidden. However by taking it out and spending 20$ you can save a good bit of money




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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-11-30 05:48pm
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I've combined a new case and Bean's idea, in the past, and the result is I've built fully 4 computers with this case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811124114.

Sadly, it's no longer available at new-egg, but you can probably find it somewhere else. That 250mm fan is shockingly silent and quite efficient. I have it set to exhaust, so it pulls air in from the front and back. Works well.

Opening up your case and pointing a fan certainly works, and I've done it in the past, but I'd advise it only as a temporary solution because of the much bigger risk of shit getting inside your machine. If you own adventerous pets it's really not adviseable.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-12-09 06:37am
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MKSheppard wrote:
I'd estimate that somewhere in 2010, we will see credible flash USB stick manufacturers offering about 64 GB flash sticks for about $50-70...


Checked just now on Newegg; it seems that we're seeing the first 64 GB sticks at prices above $110+ or more -- generally around $150 or so.

Of course, there's always the "buy three 300 GB HDs for $150 total and rotate your backups between them". You won't have the freshest data possible, but you'll have data, even if it's a couple weeks to 2.5~ months out of date.

EDIT:

Recently, my brother's PSU went kablooey. It was a random crap no name brand which had "WORKS WITH PENTIUM IV" sticker on it. Was 400W, and I replaced it with an Asus or so 350W PSU, and things worked fine; as my brother's computer was fairly not power intensive -- midgrade card, one hard drive.

But one thing I noticed reading the box of the new PSU -- it seems that nowadays reputable PSU manufacturers have surge suppressors built in, so that if they fail, there's a good chance they won't brick other computer components.

Again, this is yet another reason to avoid no name brands.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2010-12-09 12:42pm
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MKSheppard wrote:
But one thing I noticed reading the box of the new PSU -- it seems that nowadays reputable PSU manufacturers have surge suppressors built in, so that if they fail, there's a good chance they won't brick other computer components.

Virtually all PSUs have MOVs built in, even the cheap ones.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2011-01-24 04:45pm
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MKSheppard wrote:
But one thing I noticed reading the box of the new PSU -- it seems that nowadays reputable PSU manufacturers have surge suppressors built in, so that if they fail, there's a good chance they won't brick other computer components.

Again, this is yet another reason to avoid no name brands.

Not necessarily. A surge suppressor that goes into a wall socket can be had for less than a tenner, maybe twenty if you want to protect the base unit and printer as well.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2011-03-20 02:38am
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Am I going to run into any software conflicts in Windows Vista (or any other Windows) if I replace a Core2 Duo with a Quad-core? Or would it necessitate a reinstall?

I'm not replacing the motherboard, and the socket type isn't changing. Just the processor.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2011-03-20 09:02am
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Nope, Windows(and Microsoft software in general) itself will be fine. You just need to power down, disconnect the psu from power so 'soft on' isn't posible and then pull the old CPU install the new. You may need to uninstall each of the CPU cores under "Processors" in device manager if "Control Panel\System and Security\System" CPU info hasn't correctly updated. Either way you will need to reboot after Windows detects the new CPU.

Application which don't handle multithreading correctly are more likely to break because they have more actual real hardware to run on. But most cases they would be noticable broken on a dual-core anyway.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2011-08-17 01:17pm
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Are portable HDDs really that bad when we mean portable? Or is it the fate of the technology to use it as anything other than a more portable backup medium to find that your files on the thing cannot be read?



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2011-08-17 03:06pm
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Zixinus wrote:
Are portable HDDs really that bad when we mean portable? Or is it the fate of the technology to use it as anything other than a more portable backup medium to find that your files on the thing cannot be read?

Desktop-grade hard drives are mostly built to be cheap and not moved much (if that's what you have). Laptop drives are built to take more abuse.



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 Post subject: Re: Computer Rules of Thumb PostPosted: 2011-10-23 06:36am
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A question not warranting it's own thread:

Does cleaning unused disc space (like CCleaner does) can actually speed up the computer? I found this option in CCleaner a few days ago and I wonder what is it's use.



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