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Help Desk FAQ thread
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Snowknight
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 06:23 PM #1 of 24
Help Desk FAQ thread

Grawl had previously created such a thread, and I wanted to get one started again. Feel free to post things you feel should be added to the thread (or, to avoid spaminess, PM me), and I'll stick them in here.

General Hardware Issues:
1. Question: Help! I just turned on my computer and it doesn't display anything; it just beeps at me!
Answer: First, don't panic. That beep it's making does mean something; you'll need to look it up in either the manual that came with your motherboard or on the internet. If you've got a prebuilt PC, you'll want to look on its manufacturer's website for your system specifications in order to find out the motherboard model. (Sometimes, manufacturers' sites will even include a listing of beep codes for each system.) Once you have your motherboard model, most manufacturers either list beep codes on their website (or in the online manual associated with your motherboard) or provide a link to the BIOS manufacturer's site for a listing of beep codes.

Links:
General Phoenix/AWARD BIOS beep codes
More detailed information on beep codes

2. Question: My computer is making a strange noise, help!

Answer: Strange noises are only made by moving parts, so the list of possibilities is somewhat small. Fans are notorious for making a grinding sound when in their dying phase. For that matter, hard drives can begin to make strange sounds when dying. A good method for finding the source of a noise is to remove one of your case sides and listen to the inside of the case. If that does not help determine the source of a sound, then try unplugging some fans--preferrably case fans--to see if the sound dissappears. By process of elimination, you should be able to determine what is making the sound.
With fans, due to their relatively low cost, it is easier to replace them. (Grinding noises coming from fans can sometimes be stopped by cleaning out the fan.) With hard drives, irregular noises--depending upon the volume and frequency of occurrence, may mean nothing: a failing hard drive will be accompanied by other symptoms as well. (Of course, it's always a good decision to back up your data.)

3. Question: My computer doesn't start at all--pressing the power button does nothing.

Answer: Either your power supply is dead or you have a faulty power button (which is rare) or the cable for your power switch is not properly attached to the motherboard or your computer isn't plugged in/the switch on your power supply is turned off. You'll need to refer to your motherboard manual to find the proper placement of the power switch 'jumper.'

4. Question: I bought a 200GB HD, but it's only 188GB! I GOT RIPPED OFF!

Answer: Nope. Computer manufacturers list drives in a different format than what computers actually use. Drives are listed as if 1GB = 1000KB. However computers really see it as 1GB = 1024KB. So while you think your 200GB HD = 200,000KB, since 1GB really equals 1024KB, given you actually do have 200,000KB, you really have 200,000/1024 minus formatting and such. Don't worry, you're not the only one who finds the standard stupid.
Security Issues

1. Question: How should I configure my Windows-based computer to be secure?

Answer: Check out Sir VG's thread on that very subject.

2. Question: On my Windows-NT based (Windows 2000, Windows XP included) PC, I often get the following box when using my computer:

After the time runs out, my computer restarts!
What is this and what can I do to fix it?

Answer: This is the most common (and noticeable) symptom of the "MSBLASTER" worm. You can remove the worm either with a removal tool (from, for example, Symantec) or with an anti-virus application such as AVG. The removal tool is a quick fix if you have this issue, but it might be better to install an anti-virus application if you don't have one. In order to have enough time to download said fixes, shutdown can be averted with the command "shutdown -a". Type this in the Start->Run dialog box to cancel the nag window as pictured above.


Links:
Symantec W32.Blaster.Worm removal tool
AVG Free
Data/file Issues

1. Question: HELP ME MY FILES ARE GONE!!!!!!!!

Answer: Ok, relax. If you haven't done anything since you accidently delete your files, you're safe. Windows doesn't actually "delete" anything, it actually marks the files as free space so they can be written over. But if you don't do anything on that drive, you can recover them. Look for a file recovery program such as "Stellar Phoenix FAT & NTFS". And when it finds files to recover DO NOT RESTORE THEM IMMEDIATELY TO THAT DRIVE. Have them saved to another drive then move them back.

2. Question: I've downloaded a file with a weird extension; what should I use to open it?

Answer: Sites like www.filext.com provide information on what programs use certain file extensions; you can look there to get an idea of what application you should download to view a certain file.

Links:
http://www.filext.com/

3. Question: I have a video file that won't play correctly; either the sound or video doesn't seem right, and I don't know how to fix it!

Answer: You can usually correct this issue by downloading something like DefilerPak (or just ffdshow itself); that should take care of most of your video woes. If, for whatever reason, it does not, you can use Gspot to identify what codec(s) the video requires and then download it after searching for it on Google (or whatever search engine you use).

Links:
DefilerPak
Gspot
I will add more later; I don't have too much time to work on this right now. Feel free to post or PM your own questions and answers and I'll categorize and input them later.

Jam it back in, in the dark.

Last edited by Snowknight; Mar 6, 2006 at 07:27 PM.
Grawl
WHAT IF I HAD DIED?!


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Old Mar 2, 2006, 07:05 PM Local time: Mar 3, 2006, 02:05 AM #2 of 24
Thief

I checked my PC if I made a back-up on this, but I didn't, sadly enough.

There's nowhere I can't reach.
Duminas
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 07:11 PM Local time: Mar 2, 2006, 04:11 PM #3 of 24
Grawl, http://www.archive.org is your friend. :P

Snowknight, do you want my questions about multimedia playback? I wrote a large FAQ-esque thing for RPM about playing back videos--not sure if such would be appropriate here. I'll also give you a few others when I get back home~

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.


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BlueMikey
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 09:29 PM Local time: Mar 2, 2006, 07:29 PM #4 of 24
I've stickied this thread, as long as it is kept well-updated, we'll leave it. I'm all for cutting down on the extra threads for simple fixes.

I am a dolphin, do you want me on your body?
Snowknight
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 09:42 PM #5 of 24
Originally Posted by Duminas
Grawl, http://www.archive.org is your friend. :P

Snowknight, do you want my questions about multimedia playback? I wrote a large FAQ-esque thing for RPM about playing back videos--not sure if such would be appropriate here. I'll also give you a few others when I get back home~
I don't see why not, as I don't see another forum around here that covers that. (I can add a "multimedia" section or somesuch.)

Mikey, I'll try to keep this updated as often as possible.

I was speaking idiomatically.
Kaiten
Everything new is old again


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Old Mar 2, 2006, 10:27 PM Local time: Mar 2, 2006, 08:27 PM #6 of 24
Though not the most asked question, you should tell the pirates out there how to disable Windows Genuine Advantage:
1. Run IE
2. Select "Tools"->"Manage Add-ons"
3. Select "Add-ons that have been used by Internet Explorer" in the dropdown menu
4. Selcet Windows Genuine Advantage
5. Disable it
6. Run Windows Update without the hassle of buying Windows XP!

Also if you have to enter a code:
1. Download the Windows Genuine Advantage code generating program
2. Run the thing in compatibility mode for Windows 2000
3. Copy and paste the code
4. Microsoft now thinks your copy of WinXP is legit!

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
RushJet1
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 10:41 PM #7 of 24
another answer to 3 is that the motherboard is dead (probably by shorting out). check the capacitors for ooze around them (some older boards had this problem) and check for any metal making contact with the board (such as screws on the underside) that may be shorting it out.

FELIPE NO
Kaiten
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 11:02 PM Local time: Mar 2, 2006, 09:02 PM #8 of 24
Another frequent problem is the LEDs misbehaving. For that, download or read the manual for your motherboard and make sure the LED connectors are inserted correctly (I had a HDD Led do this until I flipped the connector over).

What, you don't want my bikini-clad body?
Sir VG
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 11:16 PM Local time: Mar 2, 2006, 10:16 PM #9 of 24
Another general hardware question.

Q) I bought a 200GB HD, but it's only 188GB! I GOT RIPPED OFF!
A) Nope. Computer manufacturers list drives in a different format than what computers actually use. Drives are listed as if 1GB = 1000KB. However computers really see it as 1GB = 1024KB. So while you think your 200GB HD = 200,000KB, since 1GB really equals 1024KB, given you actually do have 200,000KB, you really have 200,000/1024 minus formatting and such. Don't worry, you're not the only one who finds the standard stupid.



Oh, and use this link for the BIOS beep codes, as it covers more info.

http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/sys/beep/index.htm

Jam it back in, in the dark.

Last edited by Sir VG; Mar 2, 2006 at 11:19 PM.
Kaiten
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 12:30 AM Local time: Mar 2, 2006, 10:30 PM #10 of 24
Originally Posted by Sir VG
Another general hardware question.

Q) I bought a 200GB HD, but it's only 188GB! I GOT RIPPED OFF!
A) Nope. Computer manufacturers list drives in a different format than what computers actually use. Drives are listed as if 1GB = 1000KB. However computers really see it as 1GB = 1024KB. So while you think your 200GB HD = 200,000KB, since 1GB really equals 1024KB, given you actually do have 200,000KB, you really have 200,000/1024 minus formatting and such. Don't worry, you're not the only one who finds the standard stupid.



Oh, and use this link for the BIOS beep codes, as it covers more info.

http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/sys/beep/index.htm
Also the same standard is applied to DVDs and floppy disks, while CDs are a perfect 700MB. Another common problem is Windows booting slowly, run msconfig (type "msconfig" using the Start Menu's Run function) and disable any non-microsoft Services and startup programs you don't use.

There's nowhere I can't reach.
Sir VG
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 12:38 AM Local time: Mar 2, 2006, 11:38 PM #11 of 24
Quote:
Another common problem is Windows booting slowly, run msconfig (type "msconfig" using the Start Menu's Run function) and disable any non-microsoft Services and startup programs you don't use.
Note that Windows 2000 does not have msconfig by default. Also, Spybot Search & Destroy has this feature too in the advanced section. You can not only disable items, but you can delete them too.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
Kaiten
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 12:42 AM Local time: Mar 2, 2006, 10:42 PM #12 of 24
Originally Posted by Sir VG
Note that Windows 2000 does not have msconfig by default. Also, Spybot Search & Destroy has this feature too in the advanced section. You can not only disable items, but you can delete them too.
For those Windows 2k users, you can use WinXP's Msconfig found here. Also typing "services.msc" will let you tweak the services much more deeply than msconfig than.

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RushJet1
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 07:02 AM #13 of 24
Originally Posted by Sir VG
Another general hardware question.

Q) I bought a 200GB HD, but it's only 188GB! I GOT RIPPED OFF!
A) Nope. Computer manufacturers list drives in a different format than what computers actually use. Drives are listed as if 1GB = 1000KB. However computers really see it as 1GB = 1024KB. So while you think your 200GB HD = 200,000KB, since 1GB really equals 1024KB, given you actually do have 200,000KB, you really have 200,000/1024 minus formatting and such. Don't worry, you're not the only one who finds the standard stupid.
hahahaa! i had forgotten about that... what a great idea for a question.

also maybe some coverage on the ambiguous memory "pcxx00" ratings and what they really mean, plus what processors typically use what.

How ya doing, buddy?
Sir VG
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 05:56 PM Local time: Mar 3, 2006, 04:56 PM #14 of 24
Quote:
Also typing "services.msc" will let you tweak the services much more deeply than msconfig than.
I don't recommend this for n00bs though. Spybot is probably the best way to go for somebody who doesn't know much about computer.

Quote:
hahahaa! i had forgotten about that... what a great idea for a question.
I remembered the issue, but the terms were escaping me. Thanks to Duminas for helping out, though he should do his explanation, it'll be way better than my crappy attempt.

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
Snowknight
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 05:58 PM #15 of 24
I'm going to add something about, for example, Black Viper's service guide soon. That, and I'm going to come up with more content in general.
(I'll have to badger Duminas about getting his description up here =o)

FELIPE NO
Sir VG
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 06:07 PM Local time: Mar 3, 2006, 05:07 PM #16 of 24
For Black Viper's guide, the site itself is gone. Wayback time!

http://web.archive.org/web/200504010...lackviper.com/

Double Post:
Q) HELP ME MY FILES ARE GONE!!!!!!!!
A) Ok, relax. If you haven't done anything since you accidently delete your files, you're safe. Windows doesn't actually "delete" anything, it actually marks the files as free space so they can be written over. But if you don't do anything on that drive, you can recover them. Look for a file recovery program such as "Stellar Phoenix FAT & NTFS". And when it finds files to recover DO NOT RESTORE THEM IMMEDIATELY TO THAT DRIVE. Have them saved to another drive then move them back.

What, you don't want my bikini-clad body?

Last edited by Sir VG; Mar 3, 2006 at 06:14 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Kaiten
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Old Mar 4, 2006, 07:15 PM Local time: Mar 4, 2006, 05:15 PM #17 of 24
I would also list how to recover files that have been "permanently" deleted from Windows, but WinHex is far too advanced (and isn't freeware), so most people wouldn't be able to use it. Where's a decent free undeleter when you need one?

Jam it back in, in the dark.
Zergrinch
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Old Mar 5, 2006, 05:57 AM Local time: Mar 5, 2006, 06:57 PM #18 of 24
Regarding this ...

In order to have enough time to download said fixes, shutdown can be averted with the command "shutdown -a". Type this in the Start->Run dialog box to cancel the nag window.

Double Post:
Originally Posted by www.sega.co.jp
I would also list how to recover files that have been "permanently" deleted from Windows, but WinHex is far too advanced (and isn't freeware), so most people wouldn't be able to use it. Where's a decent free undeleter when you need one?
Restoration is a nice compact utility for recovering deleted files.


I have also used PC Inspector in the past. It's somewhat more bloated than Restoration.

Both cannot recover re-partitioned or re-formatted volumes. You'll need an industrial strength commercial undeleter for that

There's nowhere I can't reach.
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Last edited by Zergrinch; Mar 5, 2006 at 06:02 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Unforgiven
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Old May 2, 2006, 09:05 AM #19 of 24
There should be a guide for burning ISOs (And playing backups on consoles). Alot of people don't know how to do so and those questions appear quite often.

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
Sir VG
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 03:57 PM Local time: Jul 7, 2006, 02:57 PM #20 of 24
Q) Help my drive is low on space. What's eating it all up?

A) http://www.werkema.com/software/spacemonger.html

Give this free program a try. It gives a visual representation of folders and files. The bigger it is, the more space it's eating up. Just be careful what you delete!

How ya doing, buddy?
Joe Wiewel
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Old Jun 11, 2007, 12:02 PM Local time: Jun 11, 2007, 12:02 PM #21 of 24
4. Question: I bought a 200GB HD, but it's only 188GB! I GOT RIPPED OFF!

Answer: Nope. Computer manufacturers list drives in a different format than what computers actually use. Drives are listed as if 1GB = 1000KB. However computers really see it as 1GB = 1024KB. So while you think your 200GB HD = 200,000KB, since 1GB really equals 1024KB, given you actually do have 200,000KB, you really have 200,000/1024 minus formatting and such. Don't worry, you're not the only one who finds the standard stupid.
Um, 1GB=1024MB, 1MB=1024KB. 1GB=(1024*1024)KB=1048576KB.

So, you might want to change all of the KB's to MB's.

I was speaking idiomatically.
Shively
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Old Jul 27, 2008, 09:28 PM #22 of 24
Would this be the sub forum where you could post a help question on how to perform a certain function with adobe as in how to do something or even request that someone with more talent could do something with a certain picture.. Thanks

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
Old Jul 27, 2008, 09:42 PM #23 of 24
Maybe. You'd probably find some more able people in the Creator's Cafe though.

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FatsDomino
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Shively
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Old Jul 28, 2008, 12:57 AM #24 of 24
Thanks I'll check that out

What, you don't want my bikini-clad body?
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