Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Ctrl-Alt-Del => Topic started by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 11:16:07 am

Title: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 11:16:07 am
As you may have noticed, I'm not well versed in IT.  Can't get to grips with it.  But I do have a PC, which forumites kindly advised me how to set up a few years back.  I haven't really had access to it for over a year, but, even before that, it was a bit sickly.

This could be a long thread, and I shall be very grateful for help provided by the collective wise and knowledgeable counsel of the forumites.

It's XP, and I use it for the interweb (via BT), watching DVDs and Photoshop for my pictures.  I store files on an external hard drive.  I would like to use it to support our GPS.

Problems:

1.  Very slow

2.  Sound on DVDs utterly unusable

3.  Memory Map (which I had on the PC before we got the GPS) misbehaving

There might be other things which I come across in my archaeological excavations.

First thing when I login is an error message, which appeared a while ago:

Quote
SmartBridge Alerts: BTHelpNotifier.exe - Entry Point Not Found

The procedure entry point GetProcessImageFileNameW could not be located in the dynamic link library PSAPI.dll

This gets on my pip, but I usually just click OK, and it goes, without seemingly affecting anything.  But it is dispiriting for the first thing you encounter to be an error message.

Can anyone advise how I can get the PC to relax on this issue? ;D
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on January 23, 2012, 11:25:57 am
I can't help with the immediate problem.

Slowness: could be down to the XP installation being in a mess, or you could do with more memory, or the CPU is just too slow.

DVD sound quality: should be good via a hi-fi or decent-but-inexpensive PC speakers with subwoofer via the line-out socket of an average sound card.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 11:30:44 am
The sound problem isn't the quality, it's just completely fucked up.  Just horrible noises. :(

I was previously advised to download a new programme to play on, but that didn't work, and the PC was unavailable soon after before I could try anything else.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: iddu on January 23, 2012, 12:09:19 pm
Can anyone advise how I can get the PC to relax on this issue? ;D

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061229130855AAmrnaG

Basically, it's finding a 'wrong' pile o'code in preference to what it should be using.

>Not used for some time...
If you have stuff you want to keep saved and verified off PC, then I'd seriously consider just reformatting and proceeding from there on.  The amount of time you spend sorting dross accumulated over time is usually > time spent putting just want you want back
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 01:11:31 pm
I have a number of files called psapi.dll, two Psapi.dll and one called PSAPI.dll.  That is in the folder for the epson 'creativity suite scan assistant', not the BT connection.  Is this right?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 01:14:13 pm
Memory Map's problem is an error message reading:

Quote
The application failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect.  Reinstalling the application may fix this problem

I don't know if I will be able to find the original disks (I've moved twice, and some stuff is still packed in boxes and not very accessible).  Is there an alternative?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: iddu on January 23, 2012, 01:35:16 pm
I have a number of files called psapi.dll, two Psapi.dll and one called PSAPI.dll.  That is in the folder for the epson 'creativity suite scan assistant', not the BT connection.  Is this right?
Very possibly; installations may have placed release versions of their own at installation folder locations at time of installation.

Generally, rename the non-Windows folder ones ".old", reboot, suck it and see; the only thing you're likely to break is the given application (it being insanely reliant upon a specific version of said supporting file - which you can recover by reversing the rename).

If it's not happy with the one it (consequently) finds from Windows folders then life gets more interesting...
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 23, 2012, 01:39:30 pm
As for the speeding up:

How much disk space do you have free?  Check from Windows Explorer, right-click on C: and select properties.

Give us the figures, I'll send you a small application that helps to find out where all the space has gone, and remove it. After that, it is well worth running the defrag utility.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: iddu on January 23, 2012, 01:42:00 pm
Memory Map's problem is an error message reading:

Quote
The application failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect.  Reinstalling the application may fix this problem

I don't know if I will be able to find the original disks (I've moved twice, and some stuff is still packed in boxes and not very accessible).  Is there an alternative?

As in this product -  http://www.az.co.uk/?nid=172 ? Maybe (installer) downloadable, subject to your current version / needs
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: iddu on January 23, 2012, 01:43:34 pm
As for the speeding up:

How much disk space do you have free?  Check from Windows Explorer, right-click on C: and select properties.

And PC spec. r/c "My Computer" -> Properties -> General tab...
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 02:03:38 pm
Seems to be plenty of space.  I think clearing a load of old stuff of has helped with speed anyway.  It used to take an age to start up, but is now faster.

Just looking at all the Properties info.  Seems there are quite a few things I can optimise there.

How do I get rid of Windows Live Messenger, and it's incessant demands for updates?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: iddu on January 23, 2012, 02:09:24 pm
How do I get rid of Windows Live Messenger, and it's incessant demands for updates?

http://help.uk.msn.com/livemessenger/userguide/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4414273

Generally, try GOOGLE FU first[1], with obvious phrasings; if it's all Sanskrit to you, post [ed: sigh ::-)]URLlink used or ask, but most things have been encountered and ranted on by others in the first instance ;D

[ed^2:][1] Obviously, clicking "Yes" to random questions may take you to interesting places that you'd prefer you didn't need a stock of mind bleach for ;D
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 02:16:39 pm
A lot of the answers I've encountered mean absolutely nothing to me. :-[

I trust people here to be able to guide sensibly.

But I'll search more anyway...
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: iddu on January 23, 2012, 02:26:38 pm
A lot of the answers I've encountered mean absolutely nothing to me. :-[
They're no more 'intelligent' than yer average washing machine; a lot faster, yes, but just as dumb - and the babbage boxes are about on the same level ;D

It'll come, in time. Mostly, just stoppinghaving a cup of tea and thinking[1] sorts it out.

[1] e.g.

"I don't want Messenger" ->
"How do I get rid of it?" ->
"How may it have been added?" ->
"Add/Remove Programs" ->
"Peruse list(s)..."->
"NUKE NUKE NUKE..." :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 23, 2012, 02:33:06 pm
Seems to be plenty of space.  I think clearing a load of old stuff of has helped with speed anyway.  It used to take an age to start up, but is now faster.

Just looking at all the Properties info.  Seems there are quite a few things I can optimise there.

How do I get rid of Windows Live Messenger, and it's incessant demands for updates?
How much is 'plenty'?

You need more than 10% free for XP.

I'll try to send  you clear instructions for preventing crap from starting up - will have to wait till I'm home and using an XP machine.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: henshaw11 on January 23, 2012, 03:21:39 pm
The smartbridge/BThelp... error seems to be related to some sort of BT broadband helpdesk support via the web browser, which works with earlier versions of Internet Explorer but not later ones:
http://forums.windrivers.com/showthread.php?t=75854
 - see post #6

Annoying mebbe, but I wouldn't worry about it unless you're wanting to use whatever the bt helpdesk feature was. I'd guess the reason it stopped working would be that as part of the windows automatic updates, it's updated from one version of Internet Explorer to the next one. There may be a later version the BT helpdesk stuff and installing that might fix the problem, or 'just' uninstall/disable the helpdesk stuff

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12349/~/what-is-bthelpnotifier.exe%3F

"We recommend you allow BTHelpNotifier.exe to run all the time and do not try to remove it. "
Yeah, yeah, yeah... ::-)

The latest version of the helpdesk stuff is here:
http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12980

But it sounds like they're not good at keeping it up to date:
http://community.bt.com/t5/Forum-Guidance-Ideas/BT-Broadband-Desktop-Help-suddenly-stopped-launching/td-p/217571

If you want to uninstall it (I'm guessing you never use it, and certainly not of late !):
 
1) Start > Settings > Control Panel (opens control panel window)
2) click 'Add or Remove Programs'
3) once the new window has finished updating, look for smething along the lines of BTHelp.. and select uninstall.

Or if you click through Start>Programs> (Program list), there might even be BTHelp listed, with the option to uninstall it.

Re speed - XP really needs a complete reinstall every few years or more - I've just done mine after about 6 or 7 years and it was really groaning during startup - McAfee antivirus seems to make things worse too..

One thing I found that helped briefly (may have got worse again with my OH generating lots of documents - I dunno) was moving stuff out of My Documents (ie C:\Documents and Settings\<user> to somewhere *not* in the docs+settings folder.




Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on January 23, 2012, 03:26:01 pm
Regarding the BT utility:
I'd simply un-install it.

I'd never install ISP-specific software on any machine.
'Setup' disks provided by any ISP should be dealt with as if they were AOL CDs: disposed of immediately.

IMHO.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on January 23, 2012, 04:41:25 pm
Re Windows Messenger: I think Outlook Express wants it kept installed, otherwise uninstall or disable it via the usual means, or via this utility (that I highly recommend anyway for tweaking Windows XP):

http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4083.html.  X-Setup went bust, hence the free and legal key published on Major Geeks. The program basically rounds up all the Windows settings, including many hidden ones.  You can make your system run faster and smoother with it, by turning off various crap and tweaking certain values.  It lets you know what is and isn't safe to mess with.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: TimC on January 23, 2012, 04:55:30 pm
If you don't use it, you can uninstall Live Messenger (or any of the Live apps) in the usual way. I seem to remember that it's not possible to uninstall OE on XP, but it can be deactivated and replaced with, say, Thunderbird - though I can't really see the point of using local email software when web mail is so good now! I'd echo the sentiment that a complete reinstall of XP is the best answer to any performance problems, coupled with a selective install of your favourite programs with none of the makeweight crap!
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: hazeii on January 23, 2012, 05:10:47 pm
Problems:

1.  Very slow

Hold down the left Control and Shift keys together, and while doing so press 'ESC'.  The "Windows Task Manager" will appear on the desktop.

Click the "Performance" tab. A graph of CPU usage will appear - watch it for a bit, and note the average percentage.

Below the graphs, there is an area titled "Physical Memory" - note the 'Total' and 'Available' fields.

If you can post these numbers, it'll help with finding the the reason for the slowness. You can also click on the "Processes" tab to get a breakdown of how the CPU usage percentage is made up (hint: click on the top of the CPU column once or twice to sort it in order - this will help show what process/application is using the CPU the most).
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: hazeii on January 23, 2012, 05:14:27 pm
I don't know if I will be able to find the original disks (I've moved twice, and some stuff is still packed in boxes and not very accessible).  Is there an alternative?

You can download the memory map program from the memory map website - the valuable bit is the map data, which you've already got on your PC somewhere.

So I'd expect you can just download MM5, then use one of the options (something like "Refresh Map List") to point to the maps already on your PC.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: TimC on January 23, 2012, 05:45:53 pm
You can probably re-download the map data too, having proven the bona-fides of your account.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: tonycollinet on January 23, 2012, 06:22:14 pm
One of the most useful utilities for getting rid of things at start up is:

start-up control panel
http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml

Install it, then look in your control panel for the new icon. Run it, and look in all the tabs, disabling (un-ticking) anything you don't recognise, and stuff you don't need even if you do recognise it. (although don't assume if you disable something relating to a program that it will stop the program running. Many programs load stuff at start-up which are not needed, but just speed operation of that program - while slowing everything else down)

This doesn't un-install, it just stops it loading at start-up. You can't stop your PC working with this, but you may unintentionally disable a program you need. Most likely would be something like iTunes, a virus checker, or a graphics card tray application.

Restart PC - check everything works - if something doesn't  you'll have to work out which item you disabled stopped it (Google the .exe file names from the path column). You can easily re-enable by re-ticking the item.

Speaking of virus checkers - disable any security bloat ware (esp macaffee, but also now, sadly AVG, and also possibly Avast). Replace with Microsoft security essentials.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 07:32:33 pm
Uninstalling Live Messenger: I don't have it in the list of programs.  I do have:

Windows Live Essentials
Windows Live Sign-in Assistant
Windows Live Sync
Windows Live Upload Tool.

Where does that leave me? ???

Instructions are all very well until you're presented with different options.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: TimC on January 23, 2012, 07:37:19 pm
Live Essentials covers all of the Live family of programs - the other items are subsidiary. You may find an uninstall link in the Programs list in the Start menu, or just use Remove Programs in Control Panel.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on January 23, 2012, 07:44:28 pm
Check whether the offending messenger program is 'Windows Live Messenger', or 'Windows Messenger'.

XP bundled 'Windows Messenger' when it shipped, and it was an utter pig to remove.
( Google 'XP remove windows messenger' ).

Then, there was the MSN-branded MSN messenger, which was installable and sometimes un-installable.

Finally, there was Windows Live Messenger, which is part of the Windows Live suite of add-on crapware, which should be removable.

The removal process is different in each case.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 07:50:15 pm
Live Essentials covers all of the Live family of programs - the other items are subsidiary. You may find an uninstall link in the Programs list in the Start menu, or just use Remove Programs in Control Panel.

Thanks Tim - I clicked to remove Essentials, and it gave me a list of options including Messenger to uninstall, so that's now happening.

I don't use OE on this PC.  Nor IE, as it happens.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: TimC on January 23, 2012, 07:52:22 pm
Ok, well that's a couple fewer things to screw it up!
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 07:56:37 pm
Problems:

1.  Very slow

Hold down the left Control and Shift keys together, and while doing so press 'ESC'.  The "Windows Task Manager" will appear on the desktop.

Click the "Performance" tab. A graph of CPU usage will appear - watch it for a bit, and note the average percentage.

Below the graphs, there is an area titled "Physical Memory" - note the 'Total' and 'Available' fields.

If you can post these numbers, it'll help with finding the the reason for the slowness. You can also click on the "Processes" tab to get a breakdown of how the CPU usage percentage is made up (hint: click on the top of the CPU column once or twice to sort it in order - this will help show what process/application is using the CPU the most).


CPU Usage currently between 0 and 45%, but mostly under 7%

Total Physical Memory: 455792
Available: 135000-139000

Processes:

Firefox 65748
svchost 13448
explorer 11364
rundll32  8796
msiexec 6824

That's everything over 5000K

svchost.exe appears several times in the list.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 07:57:25 pm
Ok, well that's a couple fewer things to screw it up!

Yes, it seems that Microsoft products tend to be quite good at screwing things up.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: TimC on January 23, 2012, 08:02:20 pm
To be fair, I find the Live Essentials suite to be pretty good - though I don't use Hotmail or the blogging stuff. But XP has a number of issues which, combined with older IE and OE installations, leak memory and cause a progressive slowdown.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 08:13:11 pm
You can probably re-download the map data too, having proven the bona-fides of your account.

I downloaded a 30-day trial/update, which asked whether I wanted to remove or replace what I had.  I asked for a repair, so I hope I have a full version now.  I can certainly get in and access the maps I initially had.  The one I was trying to buy online when things went wrong (it was for a certain area, so I was lassooing some of SE England) isn't there, but I'll have another go, even though it's 18mths old and may show that I've already used it :-\
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 08:15:02 pm
I'm not sure how useful the Live Essentials suite is, so I left it there.  Just uninstalled Messenger.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: hazeii on January 23, 2012, 08:42:36 pm

CPU Usage currently between 0 and 45%, but mostly under 7%

Total Physical Memory: 455792
Available: 135000-139000

Processes:

Firefox 65748
svchost 13448
explorer 11364
rundll32  8796
msiexec 6824

That's everything over 5000K

svchost.exe appears several times in the list.

Ok, that's pretty good. It shows you are not running out of memory (though I presume you'd only recently started Firefox - what version are you using?). However, if the CPU is spiking to 45% when you're not actually doing anything, it does look like something is gobbling CPU time.

Having svchost.exe apear several times in the list isn't an issue BTW - it's a standard part of windows. All the other items look pretty normal too (however, nasties caught off the interweb can hide themselves from this list).

Is it just Firefox that you find is very slow, or other applications as well?

Also, what PC is it? (clicking 'help' in the File explorer might give you some extra info here).
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: hazeii on January 23, 2012, 08:49:09 pm
I downloaded a 30-day trial/update, which asked whether I wanted to remove or replace what I had.  I asked for a repair, so I hope I have a full version now.  I can certainly get in and access the maps I initially had.  The one I was trying to buy online when things went wrong (it was for a certain area, so I was lassooing some of SE England) isn't there, but I'll have another go, even though it's 18mths old and may show that I've already used it :-\

Unless it's changed recently, the software you download from the website *is* the same as the sale version - although they try to disguise the point, when you buy a CD containing, say, the Lake District, you get exactly the same software but with different map data.

So as you've already paid for the map data, and don't have to worry about having "already used it".

As an aside, I recall when I tried buying a custom area, MM forced an upgrade on me, which f**ked up all sorts of things.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 08:56:06 pm
I can't find the area I think I bought, and putting the disk in just brings me to the main maps menu :-\

£25 down the swanee, I think, but I shouldn't have left it so long to do summat about.  Circumstances etc...

hazeii, yes, I thought those figures looked good.  I realise the 45% was when it was uninstalling Windows Live Messenger.

Probably an old version of Firefox (yes, 3.6.20), as I haven't updated since I started digging.
The XP is 5.1 (service pack 3)
The machine I'll check & get back.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 09:03:33 pm
PC is:

eMachines E4076
Intel Pentium 4 3.06GHz
448 MB of RAM

Or so it tells me... ;D
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: tonycollinet on January 23, 2012, 09:07:00 pm
the 3 gig processor is not too bad - but the memory size is crippling it. Would be well worth upgrading to 2 or 4 GB. Memory is very cheap at the moment*.

Use the crucial scanner at crucial.com to tell you what you can fit. Then buy it cheaper on Amazon.


Just checked prices - older memory tech not quite as cheap - but would still be a very worthwhile upgrade.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 09:19:34 pm
I wouldn't have the first idea how to fit more memory. :-[

I'll Gewgall it.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 23, 2012, 09:25:41 pm
Connect your PC to the web and go to this page

http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/drammemory.aspx?gclid=CK3CoNSK560CFVAhtAodxiMGVQ&cpe=pd_google_uk&ef_id=@u9OUXGcaEIAAEb4:20120123212514:s (http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/drammemory.aspx?gclid=CK3CoNSK560CFVAhtAodxiMGVQ&cpe=pd_google_uk&ef_id=@u9OUXGcaEIAAEb4:20120123212514:s)

Then report back what it says
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Polar Bear on January 23, 2012, 09:28:05 pm
Fitting memory is not that difficult - just slightly daunting if you've never done it before.   We could talk you through it 'live' on YACF   ;)

From my own experience of re-fettling older XP machines I'd say that it is your 512mb of ram that is your biggest throttle - stick 4gb in there.   The machine will only use 3.something gb unless it is a 64 bit installation but you will get maximum memory performance and thus a massively improved machine for very very little moola. 
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: tonycollinet on January 23, 2012, 09:31:20 pm
I wouldn't have the first idea how to fit more memory. :-[

I'll Gewgall it.

It is very easy. Only needs a screwdriver to remove the case cover, and the memory just plugs in and out. Job done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGTT0Vcy0E4
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Polar Bear on January 23, 2012, 09:36:32 pm
Excellent vid that  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 23, 2012, 10:07:26 pm
OK guys, you've talked me into it.  I'll give it a go.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 23, 2012, 10:08:18 pm
The link I sent has a scanner on the page that will report what you have in your PC and what can be fitted.  This is very important - there are lots of different types of memory.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: barakta on January 23, 2012, 10:09:36 pm
Have been reading this thread and snickering at the usual suspects (windows live crapola etc) and absolutely agree re RAM. 2-4GB will make all the difference if you're running windows + anything really. 

Sounds like you've managed to kill a load of dross in that way which windows seems to need.  I usually run crap cleaner and defrag on my work windows box every few weeks although it is beginning to struggle with firefox cos it's not got the CPU yours has and Access is a bloaty pile of poo.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on January 23, 2012, 10:20:49 pm
I suggested the possiblity of more memory being required within minutes of the original post.  :smug:
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 24, 2012, 07:59:44 am
You did.  But I was lacking in confidence, faced with the pile if crap that was my PC.

It's now much better, and I've a bit more confidence.

Next step I think is to clear out the various media players and codecs, and starting again with that side of things.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 24, 2012, 12:10:37 pm
Thanks to everyone who has advised so far.  Worth mentioning that I'll be at work all today, so not near the PC to check things out.  If you give advice and I don't respond, that'll be why. :)
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: iddu on January 24, 2012, 01:42:33 pm
It's now much better, and I've a bit more confidence.
Good man - some percussive maintainance is the next step in gadget fettling ;D
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: GraemeMcC on January 26, 2012, 01:03:34 pm
I went through a similar exercise last year with my old Dell Dim'5100 with its XP-SP3. Eventually opted for a total reinstall.

Can recommend X-Setup-Pro (as listed above) for fine tuning.
CCleaner.exe (google for it) is great for getting rid of cr*p from a whole host of places, either before/in lieu of a total reinstall and for monthly maintenance. Also does a Registry purge/fix.

Sorting the registry is the most effective task on old XP installations - that and more RAM and disabling non-essential programs from loading at boot-up (such as iTunes, Apple-stuff, Java updater, adobe updater, etc) should be the most effective actions you can do to speed things up.

Finally, Firefox 9 runs okay on XP. A lot faster that 3.x.x.  But be wary of some FF plug-ins and add-ons which are no longer XP supported.

I won't advise updating all the drivers, etc. I tried Drivermax and it was just a PITA... If they weren't broke, don't fix 'em.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 26, 2012, 01:46:23 pm
I have updated Firefox, which seems to help. :)
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: TimC on January 26, 2012, 01:48:07 pm
You'll be in the 20th century before you know it! ;)
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on January 26, 2012, 01:53:54 pm
Steady on, chap! :o
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Bledlow on January 26, 2012, 01:55:42 pm
I wouldn't have the first idea how to fit more memory. :-[

I'll Gewgall it.

It is very easy. Only needs a screwdriver to remove the case cover, and the memory just plugs in and out. Job done.
I can attest to the truth of this. I'm mechanically pretty useless (& it's a mechanical job), & the first thing I ever did to a PC (with fear & trepidation) was to add memory to a computer I bought in the mid-1990s. It was much, much easier than I expected: just find the slots, & push in the two bits of memory. It went from 8 to 24 megabytes, & the improvement in performance was immediately noticeable.

I can also confirm that CCleaner is very useful. It's kept my ancient (just coming up to 7 years old) PC & XP in reasonable fettle. Just use it to clean up & defrag every now & again. The more you use the computer, the more often you should run it.  Barakta's 'every few weeks' looks fine for a work computer, but occasional home use means you could get away with much lower frequency.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Bledlow on January 27, 2012, 10:41:52 pm
Well, it was in reasonable fettle, but its minor idiosyncrasy which occasionally required a restart & went away for a while after a disc cleanup has rapidly developed into a major problem, making me fear an imminent disc failure or something equally fatal. Given the age of the machine, I decided replacement rather than upgrade was in order, & have bought a new one, which I'll collect tomorrow. This one is fully backed up.

However, I've been thinking of what's been written upthread about XP & reinstalls. Might it be worth trying to rescue this PC with a wipe & reinstall? I'll still use the new one as the main machine, but it could be handy to have a spare.

Symptoms of the major problem: starts up in a mess. Says it's had a major error. Sometimes starts, but asks if it should tell Microsoft about the problem. Sometimes the screen is scrambled on startup. If I watch it all the way through (it's slow starting up now), it often offers the option of last good configuration, normal start, etc. Selecting last good configuration works - except once, when it didn't, & after a couple of tries I went back to normal start, which worked.

Occasionally, it'll freeze up then blank the screen, & needs rebooting, mostly after CTRL-F - but usually CTRL-F works fine. Only seems to fail when used in Adobe Acrobat, & several documents are open.

It's XP, & 7 years old.

Opinions? Advice?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on January 27, 2012, 10:53:30 pm
The machine will likely be fine after a nuke from orbit and re-install.

As to where you obtain your re-install disks from, well....

Looks like you're stuffed for official disks, unless there's a recovery partition.

That leaves you with the options of:

Buying a copy of windows; Downloading a flavour on Linux; Visiting the Dark Side.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Bledlow on January 27, 2012, 11:12:42 pm
I hunted around & found that I do have a disc.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: GraemeMcC on January 30, 2012, 12:58:15 pm
In which case, if you re-install, you're back at the age of those disks. Umpteen hundreds of Windows updates to be retrieved...
I've been through this and think it was worth it to rebuild the registry from scratch with none of the garbage from temporary installed programs, etc.

Get XP up and running, then get whatever virus protection you use installed and Internet Explorer going, then grab XP's Service Pack 3 update first.
Re-partition the Hard Disk to suit your filing system needs. I set up a backup partition too (30 Gb min) to mirror the system files to.
Then, leave the machine running for a few days whilst it updates itself. ~150 updates if you're lucky.

Then get your browser of choice going and updated, then gradually add in the various plugins, etc (Java, flash players, etc).
Then you can tweak it with the tools in CCleaner, X-Setup-Pro, etc.

But before you add on too much gumph from your own programs, copy the streamlined system files using an image/cloning program, such as Macrium Reflect. So, the next time you need to reinstall, you only need to back-date as far as the age of that image.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Bledlow on January 30, 2012, 10:09:34 pm
Sounds like good advice. Ta.

No hurry, though. The new PC is now up & running with all essential software & connected to the network, so Mrs B can print through it from her laptop anywhere in the house, & back up her essential files via it.

The old PC is currently still in use only because we'll need to use the scanner (for which there are no 64 bit drivers) over the next few days. After that, I'll see if I can get the scanner working in a VM, along with the ancient genealogy software which is the only way to read a large number of data-packed CDs (I know they'll work in a VM: other people have been there before me), & if not buy a new scanner & see if there's anyone out there who wants the old one.

Scanning & reading those CDs are low-frequency tasks, fortunately.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 02, 2012, 09:29:25 pm
Connect your PC to the web and go to this page

http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/drammemory.aspx?gclid=CK3CoNSK560CFVAhtAodxiMGVQ&cpe=pd_google_uk&ef_id=@u9OUXGcaEIAAEb4:20120123212514:s (http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/drammemory.aspx?gclid=CK3CoNSK560CFVAhtAodxiMGVQ&cpe=pd_google_uk&ef_id=@u9OUXGcaEIAAEb4:20120123212514:s)

Then report back what it says

Not had a chance to look at that before today.  Here's the outcome:

Quote
DDR2 PC2-5300

Memory Type: DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR2 (non-ECC)
Maximum Memory: 2GB
Currently Installed Memory: 512MB
Total Memory Slots: 2
Available Memory Slots:  1
512MB
DDR PC2-5200
 EMPTY
 

Each memory slot can hold DDR2 PC2-5300 with a maximum of 1GB per slot.*
*Not to exceed manufacturer supported memory.

 

Although the memory can be installed one module at a time, the best performance comes from using matched pairs of modules.

It offers this as a solution:

Quote
2GB kit (1GBx2) 
DDR2 PC2-5300 • CL=5 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-667 • 1.8V • 128Meg x 64 •   •  Part #: CT2KIT12864AA667

for £25.  Sound like a good deal?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Polar Bear on February 02, 2012, 09:34:29 pm
Looks about right to me.  Pity you cannot go above 2gb though.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on February 02, 2012, 09:37:15 pm
Yes, it sounds fine.
That will make a difference.

You'll need to remove the old 512 stick, obviously.

Suggestions on a use for it can be sent on a postcard to:

Uses For A 512 DIMM contest,
Aberdeen City Council
Torry Recycling Centre
Aberdeen.

( Or a local equivilant ).
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 02, 2012, 09:38:16 pm
Looks about right to me.  Pity you cannot go above 2gb though.

Why would that be?  What's the limiting factor, and can I do anything about it (is it worth it)?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 02, 2012, 09:39:16 pm
Looks about right to me.  Pity you cannot go above 2gb though.

Why would that be?  What's the limiting factor, and can I do anything about it (is it worth it)?

And 2GB will be a significant improvement, I take it?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on February 02, 2012, 09:41:12 pm
The limiting factor will be the motherboard design, and the motherboard chipset.
And yes, 2GB should be a significant improvement.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Polar Bear on February 02, 2012, 09:42:08 pm
Even XP is getting resource hungry.  It used to run happily on 512mb but not any more.  Unless there is a BIOS upgrade for your computer which will allow more memory then 2gb is your maximum unfortunately.  It will he miles better though with 2gb than it is with 512mb. .
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 02, 2012, 10:00:54 pm
And 2GB will be a significant improvement, I take it?

Yes, well worth it, and more significant for you than the difference between 4 and 2GB.  You can only use up to just over 3GB with 32-bit Windows anyway.  Check www.scan.co.uk as well as all the other good retailers you know of.  Any brand of memory will be ok from a reputable seller.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 02, 2012, 10:02:37 pm
Thank you, O wise brains :)
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 03, 2012, 09:38:30 am
Update: Ordered 2x1GB of memory.  Seems pretty straightforward to slot in, but stand be for me asking numpty questions when it comes ;D
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Polar Bear on February 03, 2012, 02:02:42 pm
When you've been successful, can I beg for the old memory module for my charitable good causes old lame pc upgrades please?  Happy to pay for it of course.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 03, 2012, 02:07:35 pm
No problem.  I'll try to preserve whatever packaging the new ones come in to send it on.  And it would be free to you.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Tim Hall on February 03, 2012, 02:10:33 pm
Clarion, don't forget antistatic precautions when you fit it.  I've got a wrist strap I can bung in the post.  Or you can molish a substitute with a bit of wire attached to a suitable earth point (radiator, cold water pipe etc) and wrapped round your wrist watch. 

PB, I've got some RAM ripped from a laptop in my desk drawer. DDR2 5300, not sure of the size, cos the print's too small and I left my glasses at home.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 03, 2012, 02:33:43 pm
How (un)safe is it to plug oneself into the mains?  I mean the earth pin of a UK mains electricity plug.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on February 03, 2012, 03:10:37 pm
Should not be unsafe at all.
That's how the proper anti-static benches here are earthed.
They have a plastic dummy mains plug with only a real earth pin.  On the outer face of the plug is a pop-stud type connector which the wriststrap and mat clip onto.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 03, 2012, 03:43:25 pm
I've already done it.  I wasn't going to admit that if you told me it was dangerous.  :)

But what if another device in the house leaked some current to earth at the same time as I was plugged in?  Couldn't it come up to another socket, so to speak?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on February 03, 2012, 04:06:35 pm
Not so long as your earth is conected back to main earth point near the CU.

What *can* happen is that if the 'earth' conductor ( CPC ) on a ring-main becomes disconnected in 2 places, leaving a section of the ring-main with a floating 'non-earth', then yes leakage caused by mains filters etc on the same non-eathed segment can cause the 'non-earth' to float at half mains voltage.

You'd feel that as a slight tingle.
But the source impedance of these filters is should be high, and that will limit the current available to tingle you.
However, in the case of a fault, it's possible the non-earth could become proper live.

Make sure your earth is a proper earth!
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 03, 2012, 04:19:45 pm
Ta.  How do I make sure my earth is a proper earth without lifting the floorboards, etc?

My computer is not in the same room as the CU.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 03, 2012, 04:22:59 pm
Whoa! What?  Antistatic precautions?  Does this mean I shouldn't wear lycra while furtling about in a computator? ???
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Tim Hall on February 03, 2012, 04:41:54 pm
aye. And don't stroke the cat with the memory module either.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: hulver on February 03, 2012, 04:48:18 pm
Leave the computer plugged in, put switch the wall socket off.

Touch the metal case before you touch the memory sticks.

Should be fine.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 03, 2012, 05:00:37 pm
Also don't vacuum clean the innards of your computer with a brush extension that will charge itself with static as you sweep.  Yes I have been there and killed a motherboard doing that.

Leaving the computer plugged in could be dangerous if the case is connected to earth and your earth is not a proper earth.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on February 03, 2012, 05:28:15 pm
I'd not go so far as saying it's dangerous, quite far from it really.
There would need to be multiple faults present to have a 'live' earth.

-The Ring Main CPC ( 'earth wire' ) broken at 2 places;
-A device with a serious earth-fault plugged into the floating section;
-No RCD protection.

TBH, it's a vanishingly fairly small risk, which I personally don't worry about.

If you want to check your earth continuity, then one way is simply with a multi-meter and a loooong wire.
Buzz it out from the main earth point beside your meter to each socket in turn.

I'd also reccommend equipotential bonding on any tinfoil hats, too  :)
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: border-rider on February 03, 2012, 05:31:38 pm
Leaving the computer plugged in could be dangerous if the case is connected to earth and your earth is not a proper earth.

Not having a functional earth is potentially dangerous in a lot more instances that just when changing memory.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 03, 2012, 05:49:00 pm
TBH, it's a vanishingly fairly small risk, which I personally don't worry about.

Neither will I then.  Thanks again.  I don't even wear a magic hat for cycling, let alone when fixing buggering up electrical things.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Polar Bear on February 03, 2012, 08:26:34 pm
PB, I've got some RAM ripped from a laptop in my desk drawer. DDR2 5300, not sure of the size, cos the print's too small and I left my glasses at home.

Normally I'd bite your hand off but the charity only uses desktop machines - less attractive and thus less likely to walk off.   Thanks very much indeed for the thought though Tim.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: nicknack on February 04, 2012, 01:45:07 pm
Well, I followed the advice above and got a couple of memory modules to upgrade this old XP machine to 3Gb. After 3 false starts (2x"a network cable is unplugged", 1xcompletely seizing up) it seems to be ok. I think it was just doing the old XP thing of, "How dare you fiddle with the hardware? I'm just going to be awkward for a bit to teach you a lesson". Anyway, it seems to running somewhat quicker than it did - it even booted up more quickly.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 04, 2012, 10:52:28 pm
Well, I have my memory.  Need to fit it at some point.  Tomorrow will do if it's too snowy to play out
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: tonycollinet on February 05, 2012, 10:27:10 am
Fitting is easy - cover off. Earth self as described above (pc plugged in, but socket switched off - touch pc metal work - repeat frequently)

Pull memory slot locking tabs outwards on old memory and remove. Push new memory (reasonably firmly) into place (it can only fit one way round - line up notch on memory module with locating tab in slot. When they are pushed into place, the locking tabs will click towards the module, but not fully engage. Push the locking tabs in (to engage with memory module on each side). You may want to try first boot up with the cover still off - to ensure everything is seated correctly. Perfectly safe, all high voltages are safely contained inside the Power Supply. Just avoid dropping anything metal (eg case screws) into the case while the cover is off so as not to damage anything.

Cover back on - Job done.

If you have 4 memory slots (which I doubt) you'll need to make sure you are using the correct two - you may need to download the motherboard manual for this. Your crucial scan says you only have two, so no problem
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 05, 2012, 05:30:04 pm
Indeed.  Job done.  That was an awful lot easier than I expected.  I don't know if it's made a big difference or not, but it didn't cost much, and it was simple with you guys holding my hand :)

Now to sort out the DVDVD player.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Polar Bear on February 05, 2012, 06:09:24 pm
Turn it on, find out.   The machine should actually respond now...    ;)
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 05, 2012, 06:12:09 pm
Cheeky beggar.  And there was me just packaging up the old memory for you... :P
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 05, 2012, 09:26:22 pm
Right.  I knew it had been going too well so far. 

I've deleted a couple of the media players, leaving Windows media player, which ain't good, but I suspected that the others might have been causing an issue.  Oh - and Realplayer, which I think I still need for BBC radio.

But now I don't seem to have any audio output.  Windows says I don't have a decoder or something.

Any clues?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on February 05, 2012, 09:40:05 pm
Well, what *exactly* were you trying to do when the error occoured?
And what was the *exact* words of the error message?

In the meantime, check if all the hardware is in order in Device Manager.

What version of windows?
If Win7, then Win-key+Pause/Break will give you a system overview.
There will be a 'Device Manager' link in the LHS.
Otherwise, goto Control Panel -> Device Manager.

Look through the list of devices.
Look at 'Sound, video, and game controllers'.
Is anything banged out with an error / warning?

If all is well in Device Manager, then go into Control Panel -> sounds, and check it's using the devices you expect.
Sometimes, there may be more than 1 sound device ( eg some on-board MOBO thing, and also an add-in card ).
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 05, 2012, 09:49:49 pm
Thanks.  I realise that was a bit vague.  I'll try the disc again and see what the error message is.

I have XP.  No Device Manager in Control Panel, though.  Might it be in one of the other options?

EDIT: d'Oh!  :facepalm: There's a Sounds and Audio Devices option.  For some reason, it doesn't think that there's a speaker attached.  :-\
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on February 05, 2012, 09:53:02 pm
Disk? so you're trying to play a DVD?

OK, googling:

To open Device Manager, click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System. On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.

<Starts up a VM:>

Or go Win-key+Pause/break
<pop-up appears>
Hardware tab.
Device Manager.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on February 05, 2012, 10:02:54 pm
EDIT: d'Oh!  :facepalm: There's a Sounds and Audio Devices option.  For some reason, it doesn't think that there's a speaker attached.  :-\

OK, then you need to go to Device Manager and see what it says.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 05, 2012, 10:10:38 pm
Is there not even any system sounds?  No bing bong when you plug in a USB device, for example?

The computer doesn't normally know of care if a speaker is attached.  I suspect you just need to ensure the audio driver and its settings are ok.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 05, 2012, 10:12:42 pm
I'm playing a DVD as it's the only audio source I've got, though I've tried Youtube as well.  Actually, now I think about it, I probably have TGL's iTunes on here too.

Error message:

Quote
Windows Media Player cannot play the DVD because a compatible DVD decoder is not installed on your computer.

I don't have Performance & Maintenance on Control Panel.  I'll have to leave it for tonight.

Thanks for your help :)
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 05, 2012, 10:16:46 pm
Try Feanor's alternative suggestion!:

Win-key+Pause/break
<pop-up appears>
Hardware tab.
Device Manager.

Have a play with the audio settings there.  Failing everything else, uninstall and reinstall the audio driver.  And ensure your speakers actually are plugged in!  :)  (properly)
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Feanor on February 05, 2012, 10:24:21 pm
OK, that's a bit more info.

Here's a bit of history:
XP as-shipped could not play DVDs.
Because MS would have needed to pay license fees for the mpeg codecs.

You needed to install a 3-rd party DVD player which would install the necessary codecs.

That would enable not only the 3-rd party player to play DVDs, but also Windows Media Player.

So install a DVD player and all will be well.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 05, 2012, 10:25:58 pm
 Clarion's PC also isn't playing YouTube sound.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: border-rider on February 05, 2012, 10:26:14 pm
The problem there is not hardware, it's the lack of a decoder - a piece of software. XP is a real PITA in that it doesn't come with a DVD decoder. You have to acquire one, or update one you have to work properly

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-pictures/windows-media-cannot-play-dvd-because-a-compatible/64effaa4-8acc-4371-869d-77c46374c9e4

edit: X-post
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 05, 2012, 10:32:09 pm
Clarion's PC also isn't playing YouTube sound.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: border-rider on February 05, 2012, 10:35:59 pm
The specific error message he posted is about a missing DVD codec. The issue with Youtube playback,  might also well be a codec problem in XP

Piling in and messing with hardware drivers may be premature.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 05, 2012, 10:38:05 pm
PB Claz, check if you can get any sound at all from your PC.  It won't be a codec problem if you can't even get a beep out of it.  Or will it?  I don't think so.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: border-rider on February 05, 2012, 10:40:56 pm
The specific error message is that there is no DVD codec, so whether there is or isn't a hardware problem, there is a codec problem.  That's all my post was addressing.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 05, 2012, 10:45:17 pm
Fair enough.  Personally I'd get a squeak out of the computer first, but fix the codec thing first if you like, PB Claz.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Polar Bear on February 05, 2012, 10:47:42 pm
Baggsy, it is Clarion's problem, not mine  :)
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on February 05, 2012, 11:01:33 pm
Sorry, I need a new driver for my brain.  :-[
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Polar Bear on February 05, 2012, 11:03:49 pm
And I need to check what the predictive crap software is doing   :facepalm:
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Kim on February 06, 2012, 12:27:06 am
It's probably worth mentioning that the VLC media player (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-windows.html) bypasses the standard windows codecs, so is something of a swiss army knife[1] for codec issues.  That said, if there's no sound at all, it's probably more complex than that...



[1] In the best tool for the job being the one you actually have to hand sense.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 08, 2012, 05:49:02 pm
When you've been successful, can I beg for the old memory module for my charitable good causes old lame pc upgrades please?  Happy to pay for it of course.

Posted.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Polar Bear on February 08, 2012, 10:32:07 pm
You are a star.  Thanks very much Mr. C  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: GraemeMcC on February 16, 2012, 12:17:23 am
But now I don't seem to have any audio output.  Windows says I don't have a decoder or something.
Any clues?

Been away ski-ing so just catching up and I've had a similar problem, so check this...

Go to the root directory ( c:/ ) via My Computer and right click on C:/ then <Hardware> tab, select your CD/DVD player and click on properties.
Then, in the <Properties> tab for your CD/DVD device, check that the "Digital CD Playback" option is unchecked.

i.e. set your CD/DVD player to analogue settings (unless you feed your PC to HiFi audio equipment with a DAC/digital amp...)

It took me ages to find this out after I'd re-installed Win Media Player 11 updates... Some codec somewhere had over-ridden this. Or some numptie when they (ok, it probably was me) re-setup the system. You need the analogue signal setting to send output through the PC's sound card/devices. The digital output option will divert it direct to an output connector (such as an HDMI or S/PDIF terminal) bypassing all the PC's own sound devices.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 16, 2012, 06:57:38 am
Ah.  Handy hint.  I'll give that a go.  Thanks. :)
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 16, 2012, 03:59:39 pm
Ooh - here's an interesting can.  What is it?  Worms?  OK. *reaches for opener*

I have an HTC android phone (can't remember the model, though Desire S seems familiar).  I was just poking in the revised FNR dates into my calendar, when I realised it would be much easier if the darned thing could sync with my PC (home or work).

Best way to achieve this?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 16, 2012, 09:26:35 pm
Thanks, Capt Contours.  The instructions weren't in quite the right order, but the digital thing was ticked.

Now it says I don't have a decoder.  :-\

Downloaded VLC mediaplayer, and the disc is playing better, but.....still no audio. 

So what's a decoder?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on February 16, 2012, 09:38:49 pm
Ooh - here's an interesting can.  What is it?  Worms?  OK. *reaches for opener*

I have an HTC android phone (can't remember the model, though Desire S seems familiar).  I was just poking in the revised FNR dates into my calendar, when I realised it would be much easier if the darned thing could sync with my PC (home or work).

Best way to achieve this?

I mainly use Google Calendar at home. That will automatically sync with your Android phone. At each end (home and work) I use Google Calendar Sync to sync Google calendar with Outlook. So anything edited on the phone, or using Google Calendar or Outlook at home (Vista) or work (XP) all syncs. Never a bother with it.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 16, 2012, 09:49:21 pm
Ooh - that sounds promising, thanks.  I shall experiment with that once I have sorted out the audio difficulty.

Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on February 16, 2012, 10:06:46 pm
I use Outlook for everything at work. Use Google Cal Sync (2-way sync selected) on work PC which syncs events (only) with Google / Android. At home, just use Google (but if you also have Outlook at home, use G Cal Sync (2-way) to do the job.

[I use Exchange Activesync for work email <> Android, but I don't use its calendar or contacts sync for various reasons - for events, the method above works better for me].
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on February 16, 2012, 10:21:45 pm
I have Outlook at work for work stuffs.  No reason I couldn't use some sort of version for home an all.  I don't want or need work email on my phone. :)
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: tonycollinet on February 25, 2012, 06:42:58 pm
When you've been successful, can I beg for the old memory module for my charitable good causes old lame pc upgrades please?  Happy to pay for it of course.

Hi PB - I've just replaced a 1GB 6400 (800MHz) desktop ddr2 stick with 2GB - is the old stick any use for you (free to good home)?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Polar Bear on February 25, 2012, 06:48:49 pm
When you've been successful, can I beg for the old memory module for my charitable good causes old lame pc upgrades please?  Happy to pay for it of course.

Hi PB - I've just replaced a 1GB 6400 (800MHz) desktop ddr2 stick with 2GB - is the old stick any use for you (free to good home)?

Yes please tc.  Will pm when at a proper pooter.   Many thanks.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Canardly on February 25, 2012, 08:27:30 pm
Clarion I have not trawled all the way through the thread but you can give remote access to a TRUSTED amigo and there are a number of (free) tools out there to enable this. This allows the other bod to take over your pc and run various things such as a deffrager, spyware finders etc and gen tidy up your pc. I have been doing this for my dad for years.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on March 10, 2012, 04:37:28 pm
I use Outlook for everything at work. Use Google Cal Sync (2-way sync selected) on work PC which syncs events (only) with Google / Android. At home, just use Google (but if you also have Outlook at home, use G Cal Sync (2-way) to do the job.

[I use Exchange Activesync for work email <> Android, but I don't use its calendar or contacts sync for various reasons - for events, the method above works better for me].

Sounds like a good plan.  Can I select bits to sync?  I do want my work calendar synced, but don't need contacts or email (please god, no, not the work email! :o )
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on March 10, 2012, 04:45:24 pm
OK, I still have no sound.  I've tried my normal PC speakers, headphones and an Aux input to my stereo.  Nothing.  In Control Panel>Sounds & Audio Devices>Volume says 'No Audio Device'.  >Audio says 'No Playback Device'.  Neither of these allows me any dropdowns or button options, as they are all greyed out. :(

Any clues how to explain to my PC that an audio device is connected?  Other than the Basil Fawlty/ado16 interface, that is?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on March 10, 2012, 04:47:13 pm
You need to reinstall an audio driver.  See if you have a CD or can download a copy for your motherboard or sound card.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Pingu on March 10, 2012, 04:53:26 pm
Go to Control Panel>Sounds & Audio Devices>Hardware & see if any devices have been disabled.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on March 10, 2012, 05:07:10 pm
You need to reinstall an audio driver.  See if you have a CD or can download a copy for your motherboard or sound card.

Sorry, I really don't know about this stuff.  How do I find & download the right driver?  I have no CD. 

Go to Control Panel>Sounds & Audio Devices>Hardware & see if any devices have been disabled.

Everything is reported working OK(not that I know what they all are :-[ )
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on March 10, 2012, 05:56:18 pm
You need to know or find out what handles the sound: motherboard or a separate sound card, and what model it is.  Then you could try the website of the card/board maker.

Sure you've got no CDs that came with the computer in the loft or down the side of your wardrobe?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on March 10, 2012, 06:02:29 pm
No.  No CDs came with it, I'm afraid.

How can I find out the other stuff (ISTR there's a separate sound card).
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on March 10, 2012, 06:07:11 pm
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061005060802AAiLAuq
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on March 10, 2012, 06:14:18 pm
OK, but I don't have a volume button on my taskbar :(
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on March 10, 2012, 06:15:56 pm
You can get to the same place via Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on March 10, 2012, 06:20:27 pm
...than click the Hardware tab when you get the sound properties.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: clarion on March 10, 2012, 06:25:56 pm
Only Properties option I have for that box is for individual bits of hardware, none of which seem to relate to a card.  I note that in 'Legacy Audio Drivers' the Properties tab is an empty list (even though it says the device is working properly.  Something has gone missing, I guess.

I'm very concerned that people keep telling me where to find things, and the options just aren't there.  This might just be too difficult, but I really really don't want to scrap this PC (can't afford to replace it, for one :( ).  It's OK,but just a bit wrong. :(
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on March 10, 2012, 07:19:24 pm
Only Properties option I have for that box is for individual bits of hardware, none of which seem to relate to a card.

It probably will, or it might relate to the motherboard.  Most PCs now have the sound built onto the motherboard, but older PCs have a separate card.

You could try Googling all the info there until some of it makes sense.  Maybe even post all the info here to see if anyone recognises it.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: fuaran on March 10, 2012, 07:25:46 pm
Or open the case and have a look. ie check if there is a separate sound card, and note down the make/model of that, and note the make/model of motherboard.
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Biggsy on March 10, 2012, 07:35:29 pm
If not sure what a sound card looks like, note where the audio sockets are.  Are they on the same large board containing the processor and memory, etc, or are they on a smaller board attached to the main (mother) board?
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: iddu on March 10, 2012, 11:57:37 pm
You could try Googling all the info there until some of it makes sense.  Maybe even post all the info here to see if anyone recognises it.
Or follow the suggestions in thread on running Belarc; this will have a root around and tell you things it finds...
Title: Re: Please Help Me With My PC
Post by: Canardly on March 14, 2012, 08:34:40 pm
Strewth live essentials has now done away with the tool bar including remote assistance presumably because win 7 has remote assistance built in. Grrrrr It wont let you install 7.5 and log in.