Archive for the ‘PC’ Tag

Windows 7 Features, Screenshots, Demo


What to Do When Windows Gets Really Messed Up

“To err is human,” the old joke goes. “But to really mess things up requires a computer.”

This Answer Line collection concentrates on the absolute disasters of Windows computing–the problems that threaten your PC, your career, and your peace of mind. Here’s what to do when Windows throws the dreaded Blue Screen of Death your way, and how to restore your OS even if you’ve lost the original restore CD.

To regain some of your own peace of mind, join the community in our Answer Line forum or send your technology questions to

Why Does My PC Keep Dying With a Blue Screen of Death?

Gael Busson, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

What’s worse than the sudden, unexpected appearance of a blue screen filled with white text? Recurring appearances of blue screens filled with white text. The fewer times you have to read the maddeningly passive-voice observation “A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down…,” the better.
Microsoft calls these freeze-frame moments “stop errors,” but everyone else uses a much more descriptive title: The Blue Screen of Death (BSoD). They occur whenever Windows senses a problem that won’t let it operate properly.

When you encounter a BSoD, there’s not much you can do except mourn your lost data (whatever was in memory but not yet saved to disk), reboot your machine, and go on with your life. If you start getting them regularly, however, you have a problem that must be addressed.

The question is, what’s causing the problem?

The Blue Screen of Death; click for an enlarged image.

Believe it or not, BSoD screens actually contain some useful information–albeit not much. The next time your monitor and mood suddenly turn blue, grab a pen and a sheet of paper and jot these items down before rebooting:

The problem description: Write down whatever text appears between the boilerplate first paragraph (“A problem has been detected…”) and the one that begins “If this is the first time…”
• Technical details: Write down everything that appears under the heading ‘Technical information’.

Once you’ve rebooted, use your favorite Internet search engine to find pages that mention both BSoD and some of the terms that you jotted down. The statement in all caps with underlines instead of spaces will likely be useful here.

If a Web search doesn’t yield helpful information, ask yourself what has changed on your PC lately. Did you add hardware or update a driver just before the problem became common?

Driver Roll Back; click for an enlarged image.

Bad drivers often give Windows the blues. If you recently updated a driver, try reverting to an older version. Here’s how:

1.    Select Start, Run (in Vista, Run is enough), type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter.
2.    Double-click the device in question, click the Driver tab, and then click the Roll Back Driver button.

Conversely, if you recently added new hardware to your system, installing a more recent version of the driver may fix the problem. Check the vendor’s Web site to see whether there’s an update.

A bad RAM module is another potential cause of BSoDs. You can test your modules easily with Memtest 86, a free program downloadable at Memtest isn’t a Windows program, and you must boot it before running it. You can download it as a CD image .iso file. Nero, Easy Media, and other disc-authoring programs can easily burn this .iso file into a bootable CD. Once you’ve burned the CD, boot and see whether Memtest finds any problems.

Overheating is another common culprit. Check your computer’s air vents for blockage. If you have a desktop, open it and use an air canister to remove any dust you find. (If you have a laptop, check with your vendor to see whether you can clean out dust without resorting to professional intervention.)

And while your desktop is open, check the internal connections to confirm that all of them are firmly attached. A loose connection is yet another possible cause of Blue Screens of Death.

As with virtually every other major Windows problem, the fault may lie not in your hardware, but in your Registry. If you can, use System Restore to return that great compendium of necessities and problems to the state it was in on a date before the problem arose.

Or you can try running a Registry cleaner. As I have in the past, I recommend ToniArts’ free EasyCleaner and ChemTable’s $40 Reg Organizer for this purpose.

If all else fails, back up your data and take your PC to a professional. It’s OK to admit that you can’t fix some things yourself.

What can you do with a second Ethernet port?

Purchase a new PC or motherboard soon, and the chances are good that it will come with two built-in network interfaces — either two Ethernet jacks or one Ethernet and one Wi-Fi. Tossing in a second adapter is an inexpensive way for the manufacturer to add another bullet point to the product description — but what exactly are you supposed to do with it? If you are running Linux, you have several alternatives.

Plugging another Ethernet cable into the second jack and hoping for the best will accomplish nothing; you have to configure Linux’s networking subsystem to recognize both adapters, and you must tell the OS how to use them to send and receive traffic. You can do the latter step in several different ways, which is where all the fun comes in.

The big distinction between your options lies in the effect each has on the other devices on your network (computers, routers, and other appliances) — intelligently routing network traffic between them, linking them together transparently, and so on. In some cases, the simplest end result is not the easiest to set up, so it pays to read through all of the alternatives before you decide which to tackle.


Windows XP SP3 hits Windows Update, Vista SP1 makes a comeback


At last the moment you’ve been waiting for. Microsoft wants to hit your version of Windows with an update, and this time you don’t have to go rummaging around the internet to find it: just fire up Windows Update and let Microsoft do all the work. After a few false starts XP users get the much-anticipated SP3 update, which promises speed boosts and some of the fancy security features found in Vista. If you’re a Vista user you’re also in luck, since Microsoft has restarted its Vista SP1 distribution after some compatibility problems with Microsoft Dynamics RMS. Sounds like a party.

6 Excellent Firefox Extensions Made To Save You Time


If you are a die-hard Firefox user then I am sure you are always on the look-out for tips and tweaks to get more out of Firefox in less time and hence be more productive.

Keeping that in mind, I decided to list six Firefox extensions, which I use in my daily life and which have been extremely helpful in saving me a great deal of time. I hope you will find them useful too


1: Hyperwords – All in the Right Click!

Hyper words logoThis is undoubtedly one of the best Firefox extensions available and my favourite too. It adds a huge number of options to the mouse right click, thereby saving you a lot of time.

For example you want to look up the meaning of a word, translate it to a different language, check it in Wikipedia, find the Whois or Google links info about a page, you get all that in the right click. You don’t need to open a separate tab and go to another web page. These were just a few examples and once you install this and explore it, you will be amazed to find the number of options there. See screenshots below.

Hyperwords screenhot 1

Hyperwords screenhot 2

2: Paste Email – No more repetitive typing!

The Paste Email extension helps you to paste repetitive texts in forms or emails with one or two clicks through the context menu / right-click. It is very helpful if you deal with a lot of emails everyday and have to type words like ” See ya ” or ” Thanks buddy ” again and again. This extension will help you to insert these repetitive words easily and save your time there.


3: Read it Later – Just a click to Save!


There may have been times when you are in a hurry and you want to save a webpage for reading later. Now adding it to the Bookmarks could be a little tedious and you just hope if you could have done it with a single click. Thats when Read it Later comes into play. Mark has already described it in great detail here.

4: Shareaholic – The easiest way to share!

If you are active in multiple social networks like Facebook, Stumbleupon etc and you want to share a link with your friends then going to each of the sites separately and submitting the links there could be quite time taking. Here the Shareaholic Firefox add-on comes into the picture. It creates a small button just beside the browser address bar from where you can easily share the link in multiple networks. You can customize it and it also supports Twitter and Friendfeed. It also helps you to email a page if you have a Bzzster email account.


5: Next Tab – Open links in the next tab

next-tabIf you are a heavy tab user like me, then you will find this extension to be very useful.

Lets say if you have 10 tabs open and you click on a link in the first tab. You will find that the link opens at the end and you need to go to the end of the list to check the page. Next Tab firefox add-on solves this everyday problem and helps you to open the link just beside that tab. Simple and effective solution.

6: TinyUrl Creator – Easy Tiny Url Creation

If we want to shorten a long link to a short one we know we can go to and do it from there. This add-on creates an option in the tools menu to easily create a tiny url from a web page. Now I know that you can use the tiny url bookmarklet too, but this is better. Thats because it also saves you from the hassle of copying the tiny url. It saves it directly to the clipboard. See screenshots below.



I hope you like these extensions and they help you become more productive with Firefox.

Make Windows Genuine by a simple trick


Right click your desktop and select new text document.
Open that document and paste the following info.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00  

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion]
"CurrentBuild"="1.511.1 () (Obsolete data - do not use)"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WPAEvents]

In notepad click <file> then <save>. For file type in the save dialog box
select “all files” and for the filename type in License Key.reg or whatever you want. It doesn’t matter as long as it has the .reg extension. Click save. Double click the file thats now on your desktop. It will ask you are you sure. Tell it yes.


If you wanted to check whether ir worked or not go to


and click on “Validate Windows” over on the right