Computer info

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Windows restarts without warning.


This issue could be caused by any of the below possibilities.

1.Software issue or error.
2.Hardware issue or error.
3.Heat related issue.
4.Computer virus.
5.Issue with operating system.

Software issue or error

Errors generated by software programs can cause a computer to reboot unexpectedly or without warning. If you are running Windows XP see the below section "For Windows XP users" before continuing.

If you are not running Windows XP or following the below steps still cause your computer to reboot without warning. Boot your computer into Safe Mode, and let the computer run in Safe Mode.

If the computer is still rebooting in Safe Mode the issue is likely not software related but something else, skip to the next section. If the computer is not rebooting in Safe Mode it is likely you have software related issue. We would recommend you run through the basic troubleshooting section for your operating system.

For Windows XP users

Windows XP is designed to automatically reboot each time an error occurs such as a BSoD. Although this may be nice for errors that do not occur often, users who have a re-occurring error may wish to identify the error to troubleshoot it. Below are the steps on how this feature can be disabled and enabled in Windows XP.

1.From the desktop right-click on My Computer.
2.Click the Properties option.
3.In the System Properties window click the Advanced tab.
4.In Advanced click the Settings button under Startup and Recovery.
5.In the Startup and Recovery window uncheck the Automatically restart check box.
6.Click Ok.

Now if the computer generates and error it should not automatically restart and enable you to display any errors your computer may be experiencing.

Hardware issue or error

Some of the below steps require you open your computer. While in the computer, be cautious of ESD.

Any failing hardware component in your computer could cause your computer to unexpectedly generate an error or reboot without warning. If you have recently attempted to add a new hardware device, remove that device to make sure it is not causing your issues.

Make sure you are not encountering any hardware conflicts by viewing Device Manager for errors.

New drivers can also cause this issue, if you have recently performed any hardware driver updates you may wish to try an earlier version of the drivers. Additional information and help with computer drivers can be found on our drivers page.

If you have updated drivers and removed any hardware that could be causing this issue and continue to experience random reboots, it's possible that the memory is bad in the computer.

How can I test my memory to determine if it is bad?
Finally, hardware devices that are not installed properly in the computer can also cause random reboots. Make sure all the cables and expansion cards are connected properly to the computer. The best way to determine this is to disconnect and reconnect all cables and expansion cards.

Computer virus

Computer viruses such as the blaster virus are written to reboot your computer without warning. Usually these viruses will make the computer reboot ever 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes after the computer has booted.

If you believe your computer may be infected with a virus or are uncertain if your computer is infected with a virus make sure your virus scanner definitions are up to date.

How do I update my antivirus program?
Heat related issue

Many computer today are designed to turn off or automatically reboot if the computer, processor, or other device in your computer gets to hot. If you have heard any abnormal noises coming from your computer recently such as a high squealing this could indicate a fan may be failing in your computer.

First, verify the fan on the power supply is working by examining the back of the computer and seeing if the fan is moving and moving smoothly. For all other fans in the computer you will need to either open the computer and verify all fans are working, e.g. processor fan and case fan.

If your BIOS monitors the RPM of the fans enter CMOS Setup and verify it does not report any errors.

What temperature should my processor be running at?
Issue with operating system

If after following each of the above recommendations your computer still continues to reboot it is likely that you are experiencing a Microsoft Windows operating system related issue that cannot be explained. To help make sure this is the case try the below steps.

1.Reboot the computer and enter CMOS setup as the computer is booting.
2.After you have loaded the computer in CMOS setup let the computer sit.
If the computer does not reboot while letting the computer sit in CMOS it is likely that you are in fact experiencing an issue with Microsoft Windows and it is recommend that if you have followed all of the above recommendations that you reinstall Microsoft Windows.

Steps to fix a slow computer


My computer is running slow what steps can I do to fix it?


This issue can be caused by any of the below possibilities.

1.Not enough hard disk space.
2.Left over programs and bad files.
3.Data Corruption.
4.Missing Windows updates / Outdated drivers.
5.Computer is overheating.
6.Corrupt OS.
7.Bad Hardware.


Below are steps for Microsoft Windows users that should help speed up the computer or determine why the computer is running slow.


If your computer has not been reboot recently make sure to reboot it before following any of the below steps.

Not enough hard disk drive space

Verify that there is at least 200-500MB of free hard disk drive space. This available space allows the computer to have room for the swap file to increase in size as well as room for temporary files.

Problems in Windows after installing new software.


I have problems in Windows after installing new software.


After installing any utility, driver, or other software program you can encounter an almost endless list of issues that can be caused by any of the below reasons.

1.Conflict with other software installed on the computer.
2.Issue with program.
3.Improper installation or problems with installation.


Reinstall or uninstall the program

If you're encountering problems with your computer or other programs after installing new software on your computer, uninstall the program and see if the issues persist.

After the program has been uninstalled try installing the program again.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Internet Access

Symptom: I cannot connect to the Internet.

Possible solution: Verify Internet settings, or contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for

Verify that you are using the proper cables for your Internet connection type.
Your computer may have a modem and an Ethernet network adapter (also
called a network interface card, or NIC). A modem uses a standard telephone
cable to make a dial-up connection. A NIC uses a network cable to connect to
a local area network (LAN). Do not connect a telephone cable to the NIC. Do
not plug a network cable into a telephone service line; doing so may damage
the NIC.
For more information about connecting to the Internet, press the Help ? button
on the keyboard to open the Help and Support Center.
Verify that the Web browser is installed and set up to work with your ISP.
Try to connect again later, or contact your ISP for assistance.

Symptom: I cannot automatically start Internet programs.

Possible solution: Log in to your ISP, and start the desired program.

Symptom: Web pages load slowly.

Possible solution: Verify that the correct modem speed and COM port are selected:

1 Click the Windows Start Button, and then click Control Panel.
2 Click Hardware and Sound.
3 Double-click Phone and Modem Options.
4 Select the Modems tab, and then click the Properties button.
5 In the Device status area, verify the modem is working properly.
Note that Web pages do not always load as quickly as files stored on your
computer. Web pages may also load slowly if there is a high demand for the
Web site at that time.

Symptom: The AOL program opens even when it is not being used.

Possible solution: You may want to remove the AOL program.
To uninstall AOL:
1 Click the Windows Start Button, and then click Control Panel.
2 Click Uninstall a program.
3 Select America Online, click Uninstall, and then follow the onscreen
NOTE: Removing the AOL program will not cancel your account with AOL.

Troubleshooting Hard Disk Drive

Computer seems to be locked
up and not responding.

Possible solution

Use the Windows Task Manager to close any programs not responding or
restart the computer:

1 Press the Ctrl key, the Alt key, and the Delete key on the keyboard at the
same time.
2 Click Start Task Manager.
3 Select the program that is not responding, and click End Task.
If closing programs does not work, restart the computer:
a Press the Ctrl key, the Alt key, and the Delete key on the keyboard at
the same time.
b Click the arrow next to the Shut Down button and then click
c If this does not work, press and hold the On button for 5 or more
seconds to turn off the computer. Then, press the On button.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Update Your Computer's BIOS

Determine your needs. Did someone help you update the BIOS last month? Maybe the BIOS has never been updated since you purchased your PC years ago. Will an updated version fix a problem you are experiencing? Answers to these questions will help determine if you need to verify version numbers and whether an update is necessary. Not all BIOS updates are necessary, but for the hardware enthusiast, obtaining the latest BIOS may equate to better performance.

Determine your system's origins. This is an important first step to determine where to locate and download the correct BIOS update version.

* For Desktops, did you purchase this computer as a bundled, pre-built system, or was it assembled from purchased components? The larger, more popular manufacturers and builders include companies such as Dell/Alienware, HP/Compaq, IBM, Lenovo, Sun, Gateway,Acer, etc. For these, visit the manufacturer's site. For a custom system built from purchased components, visit the motherboard manufacturer's website.
* For laptops, visit the laptop manufacturer's site, such as Dell/Alienware, HP/Compaq, Acer, Toshiba, etc.

Discover what update methods are available. Not all BIOS updates are performed in the same manner. The desktop or laptop system or motherboard manufacturer determined in the steps above provide support information about BIOS update methods they offer. Some motherboards can be updated by executing a program from the operating system level after booting from the hard disk. In other cases the system must be booted from a floppy disk; CD or USB thumb drive (using software supplied by the system or motherboard vendor). Some manufacturers will use their own custom application to update the BIOS, others will use a third party utility to update the BIOS while booted from the legacy DOS operating system. The latter may be split into two different files, or bundled together as a CD or floppy image with an extracting application. Download the appropriate updating software and BIOS from your manufacturer's website.

Backup your existing BIOS first! If using BIOS update software executed from Windows or another operating system, backup the existing BIOS image first. Some BIOS update software versions have this functionality built-in (e.g., "Save" or "Backup"), and will advise you to perform a backup first.

Perform the update. Run the downloaded installer or application executable for the BIOS updating software. If the software prompts you for a floppy, use a formatted 1.44MB 3.5" floppy disk. It doesn't matter if the floppy is blank or not because the data will be overwritten if you don't mind wiping the disk.

1. If using a floppy, insert it into the drive and restart the system to boot from it. Some floppy images contain an "autoexec.bat" file to automatically run the BIOS update. Others will just have the update software, the updated BIOS image, and possibly a 'readme' text file containing directions. If there are no directions, but there are at least two files (ie: "A06_123.bin" and "awflash.exe"), follow this example: Enter a command such as "awflash A06_123.bin" and press enter. This will execute the update software and specify the A06_123.bin file to flash the BIOS.
2. Compare the two versions. Most BIOS update software will read the existing BIOS image and determine its version, then compare this to the downloaded BIOS image. If the system's existing BIOS version is older, perform the update. The user interface of BIOS software may vary greatly, yet typically menu buttons or selections such as "Write", "Update", or "Confirm" will perform the BIOS update.

Power cycle the computer after the update is completed. Many update programs will automatically power cycle the computer. Some will request your permission to do so while others will warn about this before starting the update. A few will prompt you to power cycle the system yourself. If you're forced to handle this yourself:

1. Completely power down the PC by either pressing the power button or initiating the power off sequence from the operating system.
2. Flip the master power switch on the back of your PC to the off position, if applicable.
3. Wait a minute.
4. Flip the master power switch back into the on position, if applicable.
5. Power up the PC.

Clear the existing BIOS settings. Only clear the BIOS if recommended. This is not always necessary, depending on what features have changed between the existing version and the updated version. When the PC is powering up, immediately initiate execution of the BIOS utility. For most systems, this is done by pressing
on the keyboard within the first 2 - 10 seconds of turning the computer on. Other systems might use other keys such as

, etc. If you don't know the keystroke sequence for entering the BIOS utility, watch the monitor to see if the computer displays it. To clear the BIOS settings, look for an option to "Restore Defaults" or "Load Fail-Safe Defaults". This may be on the main page of the BIOS utility or on the last page of a tabbed menu. Use the arrow keys to navigate, and follow the on-screen instructions. When complete, save the settings and exit the BIOS utility.

Configure the BIOS. If you know the settings you want, change them now. If you have never changed BIOS settings before, it is not required to do so. Most PCs will function just fine using the default BIOS settings.


* Make sure to obtain the BIOS upgrade software from a reliable source. Downloading a BIOS from sources other than the manufacturer's web site is risky. For example, versions from the same BIOS software developer for one manufacturer's motherboard may not work on a different manufacturer's motherboard. Using the wrong BIOS or version might "brick" the board, thereby requiring either a BIOS replacement or reprogramming of the BIOS by the manufacturer and rendering the computer unable to boot until that is done.
* Make sure the electrical power source is reliable when flashing a BIOS. Any sizable fluctuation or loss of power during a flash process can corrupt the BIOS. Therefore, never power down or reset a PC when flashing the BIOS. If flashing the BIOS from a booted OS, first disable all unnecessary applications and background processes.
* Avoid updating the BIOS unless you know exactly what you are doing. Failure to follow a manufacturer's directions and precautions may corrupt the BIOS as well.

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