Windows Technical Support Database List View

Here Are Your Search Results

This page shows a complete list of all the PC Tips stored in our database, which you can view by merely scrolling down the page.

Problems With Windows Update - Driver Downloads

You visit (or are taken to) Windows Update and try to download the featured driver updates for your Windows computer (Windows 2000, XP and XP Tablet PC Editions) and nothing happens - the driver downloads seem to hang and will not install. This scenario is documented by Microsoft in a support article and has to do with having too many INF files in the %windir%inf folder.

Check this out for yourself by visiting

.htaccess and page redirection

If you change a file name of one or more of your web pages and a visitor tries to access the old page saved in their browser they will get a 404 page (not found) response from your hosting server. So what's the best way of ensuring all your visitors end up on the right page? Our web design article explains many uses for the .htaccess command.

Find out more..

56K Modem Does Not Report The Correct Connection Speed

If your modem does not report the correct connection speed but says it is constantly connected at 115,200bps then your PC is not using the correct .inf file for your internal modem.

Go to Modems in Control Panel and choose Properties, Extra settings. Add W=2 or S95=41 to this field and click OK (if one does not work, try the other). This should fix this speed reporting problem.

56K Modem Won't Detect a Dial Tone

Check that your modem is set to the right country setting. If you are using a phone extension check that the modem does work on the master socket. Make sure you have no messages waiting on BT?s Call Minder (if you have this service).

75% of online shopping carts are abandoned

It has often been estimated that around 75% of shopping carts are abandoned before the sale can be closed. It is no wonder then that 'abandoned shopping carts' are considered one of the biggest problems for ecommerce websites.

A recent survey by Pay Pal supplies some of the reasons why this cart abandonment seems to happen.

To find out more about this survey and how to improve customer retention see the article - Overall, 75% of online shopping carts are abandoned.

Add items To The 'Send To' Submenu

Send To is one of Windows' most useful features as it provides a way to open files in an application without setting up a specific association for it.

It also provides a convenient way to copy files to a backup disk such as a Zip drive or CD rewriter. Just right-click the file, click SendTo, then pick a target from the list.

   - Here's how to add to the list of targets

Click Start, then Run. Type 'sendto' in the Open box and click OK. A new window will appear showing your SendTo folder (under Windows XP users have their own SendTo folder, so items you add here won't appear when logged in as a different user). Now right-click and drag the target drive, folder or application to the SendTo folder window. When you release the mouse button, select Create Shortcut. When the shortcut appears, right-click it, select Rename and edit the name to remove the prefix Shortcut To. The name of the shortcut is the name that will appear in the Send To menu. Changing the name won't change the actual target of the shortcut.

That's all there is to it. Next time you right-click an object and select Send To, your new item will appear on the list of targets.

Add/Remove Programs List Has Disappeared

The list of Add/Remove Programs on your Windows 98SE or Windows ME PC are held in the Windows Registry at:


Check this location to see if the list is still displayed in the right hand column. If the Uninstall key is blank then Add/Remove Programs will list no entries.

The easiest way to fix this is to restore a backup of your Windows Registry. But this will only work if you spotted the missing list over the last couple of days. Windows 98 and ME backup your Registry each day and store the five most recent backups (this is the default setting).

To restore a Registry backup in Windows 98 you must reboot your PC to a command prompt i.e. restart your PC and hold down CTRL (or F8) as Windows starts. This will bring up the boot/startup menu. When this menu appears press 6 to select 'Safe Mode Command Prompt Only'.

In Windows ME start up your PC using your start-up floppy drive and select 'start your PC without CD-ROM support'. When the A:> prompt appears type C: and press return.

At the C:> prompt type cd windows\command and press return. Next type scanreg /restore and press return. Use the arrow keys to select an entry from the list of backups and press return to select 'Restore'. This will replace your Registry with an earlier version.

When the C:> prompt reappears, restart your PC using CTRL/ALT/DELETE or your reset button and see if the Add/Remove Programs list has returned. If it is still not there the only other option is to uninstall all your programs using their own uninstallers then reinstall them to add their entries back to the Add/Remove Programs list.

Adding more memory modules to a Laptop

Most laptops come with one or two memory sockets, which may leave you with no spare slots for upgrades. In this case you will have to remove at least one module before any upgrade can take place.

The RAM module on most laptops sits behind a removable panel on the underneath of your pc or under the keyboard. The modules slip into a slot and are secured at the ends with clips.

The memory provider Crucial can tell you the type of RAM module your laptop needs -

Adware and Spyware removal

Adware is computer software that displays advertisements on your PC. These are the ads that pop up on your display screen, even if you're not browsing the Internet. (Some companies provide "free" software in exchange for advertising on your display. This is how they make their money.)

Spyware is software that sends your personal information to a third party without your permission or knowledge. This can include information about the Web sites you visit or something more sensitive such as your user name and password. Unprincipled companies often use this personal information to send you unsolicited targeted advertisements.

For help and advice on how to rid your PC of these nasty infections read our article -

'Adware and Spyware removal'

After Upgrading to Windows XP Both Outlook Express Mailbox and Address Book Are Missing.

After upgrading to Windows XP both the Outlook Express mailbox and address book seem to be missing. So where have they gone?

Don't worry, they're still on your hard drive. Though Microsoft doesn't say why it chose not to migrate the old files to the new operating system's user folders during the upgrade, it does explain in perfect detail how to correct this shortcoming.

Visit and read Microsoft Knowledgebase article 313055 that describes all the steps required.

Never used the Microsoft Knowledgebase? Then this link will help - How to Query the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

After You Install an Application Your PC Crashes More Often

The best course of action is to uninstall this latest software addition to see if this fixes the problem. Also check the software vendors website to see they offer a fix for the problem.

Internet security and monitoring tools are common causes of software conflicts. Also multiple copies of DLL files are another potential minefield.

Analysing a Competitors website

An important part of any good SEO campaign is the careful analysis of your main competitors to see how you can emulate their success.

When you start this analysis, you need to make sure you're prepared to do the job correctly. Competitors' website's, if carefully analysed, can give you all sorts of information that you can use to increase the traffic and the popularity of your own website. You can also use this research to analyse your own market.

In our latest article we show you how to go about this important aspect of SEO. Find out more - Analysing a Competitors website

Article Submissions

Submitting to Article Sites is very popular amongst SEO experts, as it not only gives you one way links from relevant sites but also increases the traffic to your website.

It is probably one of the easiest methods to get well established article websites to link back to your website.

What's involved in doing all this? See our article - Article Submissions.

AutoRuns for Windows

This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them.

These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more.

Autoruns goes way beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows Me and XP.

Autoruns works on all versions of Windows including Windows XP 64-bit Edition (for x64) and Windows Server 2003 64-bit Edition (for x64).

To find out more about Autoruns see my article How to Use Autoruns.

Back up a PC

Backing up files is a very important part of maintaining a PC and can save a lot of hassle if your PC ever experiences hard drive failure.

For the best ways to do this see our article -

'Backing Up Your Computer'

Back Up Your Internet Connection Settings

In Windows 95, 98 and ME open the Dial-Up Networking folder in MyComputer and drag the connection icon - using the right mouse button - to your chosen back up location (e.g. ZIP Disc, another drive partition) then select Copy Here.

The Dial-Up Networking file you've created can be copied to another computers DUN Folder, but before using it open its properties and reselect the Modem so that Dial-Up Networking can recognise it.

Backing Up The Windows Registry Before Making Changes

If you need to edit the Windows Registry then taking a backup is vitality important because changes you make to the Registry cannot be undone.

If you have Windows XP, creating a System Restore point is probably the best way of backing up your machine before tweaking the Registry (although a full backup would be better).

If you have Windows 98 or ME, then running 'scanregw' will force a backup of the Registry. In the event of any problems this can be restored by booting to a command prompt and running the DOS version 'scanreg'.

Black Monitor Screen with error message

Your PC seems to boot normally but your display screen is showing a black screen with horizontal lines and you receive an error message which says: 'Attention: Signal Frequency is out of range. Please change signal timing'.

This scenario usually means that your graphics card has failed. However, it is possible that your PC has somehow switched itself into a display setting your monitor does not support. Press F8 during start up and enter Safe Mode. Open the display settings in Control Panel and try changing the display resolution to a lower setting. And reboot.
If you still get the same message this strongly points to hardware failure and your graphics card (or on board video chip) are the prime suspects.

Blog Posting Ideas

Google and all the other major search engines love blog's.

But to grab and keep the attention of the search engines you need to add posts to your blog on a regular basis, weekly if possible. So what can you blog about?

Read our latest article to get a few ideas of what you can use to help create a regular stream of interesting posts - Blog Posting Ideas

Booting up to Win XP you may get a error that reads "Unmountable Boot Volume".

If you see this message when you start up your Windows XP PC - "Unmountable Boot Volume" - this is probably because your boot.ini file is damaged.

This type of error is usually caused by corrupted files from Spyware, Malware, or Viruses, so when you can get to the Windows Desktop and back online, go to the various download sites and install AdAware SE and Spybot Search & Destroy and a decent anti-virus program.

Often this infestation comes from an iffy music site, or when you are downloading free stuff, like programs and other goodies. But this is also a corruption problem that can occur on all brands and models of computers now and again. Fortunately it is usually fixable.

If you have a full version of Windows XP (i.e. not a Manufacturers Recovery Disc) try the following:

Boot to the Windows CD and when you see the WELCOME screen, press the letter R, which will give you a DOS prompt. At the prompt, type chkdsk /p . When that action has completed, type: fixboot then Y when you get the prompt. Now type exit .

Your system should now boot into Windows XP.

If that hasn't fixed the problem try rebooting to the Windows CD once more. When you get to the Welcome page press the letter R. When you get to the prompt type: Chkdsk /r . When done, type: exit .

Eventually your system should now boot back into Windows XP.

If you only have a Manufacturers Recovery Disc and not the Full version of Windows XP you can go to the Microsoft website and download a six disk floppy disk boot set which will allow you to undertake this fix. When using the floppy discs you may find that Windows needs to access your Manufacturers Recovery Disc for a few files so it's best to leave this disc in the drive tray before you begin using the floppy discs.

Please note that if you get the boot floppy set, there are separate sets for Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

BOOTMGR is missing

The "BOOTMGR is missing" error shows its ugly head shortly after your computer is turned on, just after the Power On Self Test (POST) is complete. At this point in the boot process, Windows 7 (or Windows Vista) has only just started to load.

So what are the causes of the BOOTMGR Error?

The most common reasons for BOOTMGR errors include corrupt and misconfigured files, hard drive and operating system upgrade issues, corrupt hard drive sectors, an outdated BIOS and damaged or loose IDE/SATA cables.

Another reason you might see BOOTMGR errors is if your computer is trying to boot from a hard drive or external flash drive that is not properly configured as a bootable drive - it's trying to boot from a non-bootable source.

This problem can also occur when you have two hard drives connected to your computer and you try to Install Windows 7 or Vista on the secondary drive. This causes Windows Set Up to place the BOOTMGR file on the primary drive causing a BOOTMGR error every time you try to boot up.

To find out how to fix the BOOTMGR Error see our article The 'BOOTMGR is missing' error.

Browser Faults - Status Codes

Here are the main status codes and the explanations produced by Internet browsers, normally when a problem occurs.

300 server couldn't decide what to return

301 object permanently moved

302 object temporarily moved

303 redirection w/ new access method

304 if-modified-since was not modified

305 redirection to proxy, location header specifies proxy to use

307 HTTP/1.1: keep same verb

400 invalid syntax

401 access denied

402 payment required

403 request forbidden

404 Requested URL not found

405 method is not allowed

406 no response acceptable to client found

407 proxy authentication required

408 server timed out waiting for request

409 user should resubmit with more info

410 the resource is no longer available

411 the server refused to accept request w/o a length

412 precondition given in request failed

413 request entity was too large

414 request URI too long

415 unsupported media type

500 internal server error

501 required not supported

502 error response received from gateway

503 service unavailable, temporarily overloaded

504 timed out waiting for gateway

505 HTTP version not supported

Other Errors

13: Out of Memory

12007: Internet Name Not Resolved

12029: Cannot make a connection to the internet

If you see status 200 everything is OK

Building Content for your Website

The content you can place on your website and on the Internet comes in five primary forms: Articles, News Releases, Videos, Photos and Social Media Marketing such as blog's, forums etc.

Effective website content can generate targeted traffic, improve conversions, increase average sales value, and even increase customer retention levels.

To read more about this important aspect of SEO see our latest article - Building Content for your Website

Bytes Converter

If you need to find the number kilobytes in a megabyte, or in a gigabyte or even in a terabyte, this converter is just what you need.

Check it out for yourself..

Can only select 640x480 as a Screen Size

This shows you have the wrong driver installed for your graphics card. To check this, right click the desktop and select Properties/Settings and check to see if the display card reads Standard PCI Adapter (or a similar message). If it does, you need to install the correct driver for your graphics card.

For the very latest drivers it's often best to find the manufacturers website and download the driver you need for your card.

Can't Play Audio CD's

If you can hear computer sounds but cannot play any Audio CD's open the Volume Control (right click the speaker icon and select Open Volume Controls) and check that the CD Audio slider is not turned down or muted. If this is all OK then you need to check inside your PC to see if the the cable between your sound card and CD Drive is still connected. If not, reconnect it.

Cannot Access your Hard Drive

If Windows fails to load and you cannot even access your hard drive, try booting from a DOS boot disk to establish whether or not the drive is actually working. If this works, you should be able to view the contents of your hard drive and even reinstall your operating system if necessary.

If your PC will not boot from DOS then the problem can only be one of three things:

1. The Drive itself is faulty and needs changing.

2. The Drive cable is damaged or wrongly connected.

3. The BIOS is incorrectly configured.

You will need to check these three things yourself. Alternatively, engage the services of a pc repair technician to undertake the work for you.

CD's Don't Start Automatically in Windows 98SE

This is usually the result of Auto Insert not being ticked for the drive in question. To check this open Control Panel/System/Device Manager and expand the entry for the CDROM branch. Then select your CD Drive and click Properties/Settings. Ensure that there is a tick in the Auto Insert Notification field. If there isn't, put a tick in the box and click OK twice.

The other area to check is the action defined for the AudioCD File Type. Open Windows Explorer and from the File Menu select View/Folder Options and the File Types. Scroll down the list until you find the entry for AudioCD. Highlight this and check the displayed file type details to ensure that Audio CD's 'open with' CD Player or similar then click Edit and check that the action is Play.

Another option is to find this key in Regedit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Services\CDRom (remember to back up your Registry first). If there is no Autorun key then create a new Dword called Autorun and set it to 1 to enable auto play, or 0 to disable it.

There are two other registry keys that can affect the functionality of a CDRom:

Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer NoDriveTypeAutoRun = 0x00000095


Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer NoDriveTypeAutoRun = 0x00000095

The correct value for each is 0x00000095.

CD/DVD Drives Missing from Device Manager

Around the Internet there seems to be a big problem with CD/DVD drives disappearing from Device Manager, not showing up in the MyComputer overview folder and even being absent from the BIOS.

To see some of the solutions to this wide spread problem see our article - The Mystery of the Missing CD/DVD.

Change the Registered User Name and Company Name

If you buy a PC (especially a second hand one) you may find that the Registered User and Company Name need to be changed. To do this involves changing Registry settings so make sure you back up your Registry before you start.

For Windows 95,98 and ME start the Registry Editor and open Hkey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\
Windows. Then select the folder CurrentVersion. Double click the value RegisterdOwner to change the username and RegisteredOrganization to change the company name.

In Windows 2000 and XP start the Registry Editor and open Hkey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\
CurrentVersion and make the necessary changes.

Changing a laptops hard drive

Changing the hard drive of a laptop pc is far easier than doing the same thing on a desktop. You generally remove a few screws from the bottom of the case, slide out or lift out the old hard drive and put the new one in. It's as simple as that!

Most laptops use a standard 2.5 inch hard drive, but slim ultra-portables may use a smaller 1.8 inch drive. Drives also differ in height, the most common heights are 12.5mm and 9.5mm.

Check your laptop manufacturers website to find out the correct size/height for your particular make and model number. Also check whether you need a SATA (serial ATA) drive or a parallel ATA drive.

Changing the BIOS Boot Order

To change the order of the boot up devices in your PC's BIOS you will need to enter this motherboard component and make a few changes.

So the first thing to do is turn on your PC, or restart it if it is already on.

Watch for an "entering setup" message in the first few seconds after turning on your computer.

This message varies greatly from computer to computer and also includes the key or keys you need to press to enter the BIOS.

Note: The F2 key is common for Intel motherboards and the Del button is common for most other motherboards.

Quickly press the keys or button instructed by the previous message to get into BIOS setup program.

You may need to press the BIOS access key several times to enter BIOS. Don't hold the key down or press it too many times or your system may error or lock up. If that happens, just restart and try again.

To find out more please see the rest of this aricle by QBS PC Help

Checking the Version Number of the Microsoft Virtual Machine

The Microsoft VM is a virtual machine for the Win32(r) operating environment and is shipped in most versions of Windows, as well as in most versions of Internet Explorer.

The VM allows Java Script to be run on a Windows PC and is updated by Microsoft from time to time.

Before downloading an update for the Virtual Machine you will often need to check the version number.

Versions of the Microsoft virtual machine are identified by build numbers, which can be determined by using JVIEW at a command prompt. To do this click Start/Run, type COMMAND and hit Enter. This will produce a DOS Window in which you can now type JVIEW. This shows you the Build Number (version number) of the Microsoft Virtual Machine.

Checksum Error on Boot Up

This suggests a corrupt CMOS memory (where your BIOS settings are held). The CMOS is a small block of memory that needs very little power to retain the information it holds and it runs off the same battery that powers your system clock.

If your PC clock is not keeping good time, a failing battery may be the source of this error. So replace the battery and see if this fixes your problem.

There are also a few viruses around that tamper with the Cmos and corrupt it, so check your hard disk with an up to date virus scanner. If your own scanner reports that your drive is free of viruses there is a fair chance that a hardware fault is causing the Cmos problem.

It is rare for a CMOS to become corrupted by external causes, although static electricity and bad noise spikes on the mains supply can both cause a PC to behave badly. More likely, is that the Cmos itself is faulty (in which case you'll need a new motherboard) or it is getting corrupted during power up, which could be a power supply fault.

Cleaning your PC

Cleaning your computer, computer components and peripherals helps to keep everything in good working condition.

For more information on this important task read our article -

'Cleaning your Computer'

CMOS Checksum Errors

The most common cause of checksum errors is a CMOS battery that is losing power. To fix this, just buy a new CMOS battery and replace the failing battery with the new one.

To read more about these checksum errors see our article - CMOS Checksum Errors

Colour Blender Tool

With the QBS Colour Blender, creating harmonious colour schemes has never been easier!

Common Causes for Driver Errors

Drivers are software modules that your Windows operating system and various programs installed on it use to talk to the hardware and peripheral devices connected to your computer. These modules basically provide instructions to the software on the PC on how to control and communicate with hardware devices.
Driver errors may occur due to many different reasons.
To find out more about the common causes of driver errors please see the full article

Computer Application Errors And Fixes

Because computers have become such an important part of our everyday lives, it is no surprise that computer errors and breakdowns can cause stress, frustration and anger amongst users.

It is important to maintain the proper functioning of our computers by following some simple guidelines that will help prevent, identify and quickly fix computer errors. For help with this see our article - Computer Application Errors And Fixes

Computer Completely Freezes Up at Unpredictable Intervals

Does your computer completely freeze up at unpredictable intervals. Is it then impossible to perform a soft reboot using Ctrl,Alt, Del?.

If a PC locks up completely this usually means that there is a hardware conflict. Check for conflicts in Device Manager, or use the Hardware Conflict Troubleshooter.

You could also try reducing the graphics acceleration. Right-click My Computer, select Properties, Performance tab, click the Graphics button and move the slider to the left.

If these suggestions don't work, try moving the boards around inside the computer so that they occupy different slots.

Computer Display Set at 16 colours and Cannot Be Changed

This is the Windows Default display setting and usually means that your graphics card is not recognised by the Windows Operating System.

Check this by right clicking the desktop and selecting Properties/Settings. Check that the graphics card matches your known hardware. If this shows the wrong display card (e.g. Standard PCI Adapter), click advanced, select 'Adapter' and update the driver using the supplied CD.

For the very latest drivers it's often best to find the manufacturers website and download the driver you need for your card.

Create a basic Contact Form

One of the problem areas of designing a web site is how to produce a good looking and accessible contact form.
To find out how to do this read our web design article 'How To Create A Basic Contact Form'.

Find out more..

Create a custom 404 File Not Found Page

If you own a web site, especially an e-commerce site, you must create a custom 404 page so that you do not lose the people who visit your site by following an old link or by typing your domain name incorrectly.

So what should go into your custom 404 File Not Found page and how do you create one?

To find out more read our latest article - Create a custom 404 File Not Found Page

Create a Killer PPC Advertisement

When it comes to Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising there are only two ways to decrease your spending. You can lower your cost per click (which will lower your position and your click through rate (CTR)) or you can improve your PPC advertisements (which will increase your CTR and your position).

Great ads will attract more clicks for a given amount of impressions, which will be rewarded by Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing with lower bid prices or higher rankings.

The real secret to writing the most popular PPC advertisement on the page is to ruthlessly test and track multiple ads - which is called split testing. By doing this, you will improve your advertising skill over time, and will eventually have a great performing ad with a very high click through rate.

To get a high click through rate your ad must be designed in such a way that it attracts the eye of potential customers. Here are a few tips on how to design the perfect PPC advertisement - Create a Killer PPC Advertisement.

Creating new user accounts in Windows 7

Creating a new user account in Windows 7 is not that different to creating one in Windows Vista so you may already know how to do this.

The important thing to remember is to always create more than one user account. This simple step could save you a lot of problems if your Account gets damaged in some way.

Damaged user profiles are not too common, but if and when they do occur your account can become frozen and is therefore completely unusable.

By creating at least two user admin accounts, if one account does fail you can still fix the problem, rather than having to wipe your hard drive and then reinstall Windows and all your software programs.

To find out more read the full article Creating new user accounts in Windows 7.

CRM for the small business

Even though personalised attention and customer care are easier within a small organisation, small business CRM platforms can streamline the process and make customer satisfaction within your business grow ever higher. Let's take a look at what it takes to install a CRM software solution for a small business and investigate some of the benefits it can have for your particular business. You will soon see just how profitable small business CRM software can be for your company.

To read more about this see our article - CRM for the small business.

Customer Relationship Management

CRM stands for customer relationship management which is a business strategy that helps you learn more about your customers needs and behaviours, so that you can develop stronger relationships with them. And of course, good customer relationships are at the heart of any business success.

To find out more please read our article which fully explains the benefits of a CRM.

Data Erasure

The only way to securely wipe your drive so that no trace of your ownership exists, is to use specialist software that can erase the data thoroughly and leave your drive completely clean! Use the site link to find out more about this.

Dealing with common printer problems

Virtually every computer user will have a standalone printer or a Multi Function Printer/Scanner.

After all we all need some way to print our documents and pictures. Perhaps your printer works without a hitch but most people suffer at least a few problems now and again.

To find out a whole lot more about common printer problems please see the full blog post.

Defrag your Windows Registry Files

The Windows Registry is stored in several large files on your hard drive, and as they grow and shrink they fragment along with every other file on your system. However, because these Registry files are open during a typical Windows session, most Windows XP based defragmentation tools ignore the Registry files completely. The result is that these files become scattered all over your drive which ultimately degrades the performance of your computer.

There are numerous tools that offer to defragment your registry files for you. Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Server 2003 users can grab a free tool called PageDefrag which does defrag registry files. Download your personal copy from the Microsoft web site - PageDefrag v2.32

Defragment your Windows XP Computer

The defragmenter in Windows XP rearranges all of the files on your hard drive, so that programs and files are all stored in one large section of your hard drive instead of being spread out all over the drives surface.

It takes the most commonly used files and moves them towards the inner most part of your hard disk, which in turn will make the access time to that data faster.

For more information on this important task read our article -

'Defragment your Windows XP Computer'.

Designing horizontal and vertical navigation using CSS

To help with speed of download, search engine friendliness and accessibility CSS navigation is no doubt the best solution.
So where do you start? The best thing to do is lay out your navigational links using an unordered list. You can then style this list any way you want using a linked CSS style sheet.

Find out more..

Diagnose Hard Drive Problems

If you have had your PC for several years there is a risk that your computers hard drive might start to develop a few serious problems and finally fail. This is hardly surprising because any piece of hardware that has moving parts and is a precision instrument is likely to fail if it is used often and for a long time.

So what are some of the warning signs that point to a hard drives ultimate demise? Read the QBS PC Help article 'A Hard Drive Developing Problems'

Diagnose PC Memory Problems

Whenever you suspect your memory modules to be bad because of system crashes, lock ups, blue screens or unexplained regular reboots, it would be nice to know how to confirm your suspicions, as some of these symptoms also apply to other hardware problems.

This QBS PC Help article helps you to identify some of the common symptoms of memory problems so that you can decide what needs to be investigated. Find out more....

Direct Memory Access (DMA) - Should You Enable It under Windows 98SE/ME?

Direct Memory Access permits high-speed data transfers between I/O Devices and memory without any CPU management being involved.

This method of data transfer boosts performance for devices that use it, but because there is no CPU management, the possibility of data corruption is higher than for non-DMA transfers.

DMA transfers can also be performed by IDE/ATA Hard Drive interfaces.

You can certainly enable it and see if it works without any trouble. However, DMA is a bit unreliable with certain hard drives and some older motherboards. So if your PC begins to act strangely its best to keep DMA disabled.

So how do you check if it is enabled/disabled on your machine? Just go to Start/Settings/Control Panel/System/Device Manager and check the properties for your hard drive or CD-ROM(s). Make sure you view devices by type, then click the + sign against the chosen drive type (CDROM or Disk drives), highlight your Drive and then click the Properties Button/Settings. See if there is a tick in the DMA field, which shows that DMA is enabled, or no tick showing it is disabled.

Directory Submissions

Submitting your website to Internet directories is a great way to build inbound links and increase your search engine rankings.

Directory submissions should be done when your website is fully functional and ready for viewing. All the pages should have content and all the links should be live. Even if it is only a one or two page site, everything should work. Once your site actually has some content it will almost always get listed in the Internet directories.

To read more about this subject see our article - Directory Submissions.

Disabling Onboard Graphics

Many PC's that ship today have onboard graphic cards and are fine for everyday work and playing some games. However, sooner or later many people will buy a new graphics card to fit into the spare AGP or PCI Express slot on their motherboard and this is where the problems often start.

If you've already tried to fit a new graphics card you may find that Windows XP refuses to use it, and continues using the onboard graphics system.

So where do you go from here?

First remove the new graphics card and get your system back to how it was without the new card installed. Go to Start/Control Panel/System/Hardware and click the Device Manager button. Open the Display adapters link, right click the driver for your onboard graphic card and select disable. Apply the changes and shut down your PC. Now open up your PC and insert your new graphics card into its slot, making sure it is firmly connected, and plug your monitor into the back of the new card.

Switch on your computer and enter the Setup menu to access the BIOS, typically by pressing F1 or DEL as your PC begins to boot.

In the BIOS find the Advanced Features page and select Disable Onboard VGA. The wording and location may vary depending on the make of your BIOS, but you should be able to find it. Press F10 to save your changes and exit the BIOS.

Your PC will now start up and recognise your new graphics card and prompt you to install the new drivers for your card.

Dispose of an old pc

Knowing what to do with an old PC can be a real problem for small businesses and individual home users.

While old computers should not be thrown out with the general rubbish, it can be very difficult to know what to do with them once there usefulness has expired.

Our latest PC Help guide explains how you can dispose of an unwanted computer and how to recycle old PC?s. Find out more.

Find out more..

DOS Commands

Most people know how to use DOS commands like Format and FDISK (if not Microsoft have a superb support bulletin all about these commands (255867) but trying to use other commands, that are found on a typical Windows Start-Up Disc or bootable CD, is often trickier.

Here are a few of the key commands that may be of use.


To view the contents of a directory use the DIR command. At a command prompt type DIR and press RETURN to see all the details of all the folders. If the directory structure is large use the switch /p to pause the display after each screen of information e.g. DIR /p.


The ATTRIB.EXE command is critical for working with three types of files in a DOS environment: hidden files, read-only files, and system files. By following the ATTRIB command with a filename; a plus or minus sign; and the letter S, H, or R, you can add or remove the hidden, read-only, and system attributes from a file.

For example, if you wanted to make every file in your current directory visible, you could use the command below to remove the hidden attribute:

ATTRIB *.* -h

If you wanted to hide a file that was presently visible, you'd enter the ATTRIB command followed by the file name, the plus sign, and an H. The syntax for working with system files and read-only files is identical. The only difference is that you must substitute the H (hidden) with either R (readonly) or S (system). You can also use multiple switches in conjunction with each other.


To display the attributes of a file named "work.txt": ATTRIB work.txt

To assign the Read-Only attribute to the file "work.txt": ATTRIB +R work.txt

To remove the System and Hidden attributes from "work.txt": ATTRIB -S -H work.txt

To hide the directory "c:\hide:" ATTRIB +H c:\hide

To hide the files (but not the directories) in the C:\ directory: ATTRIB +H c:*.*

Change Drives or return to the Drive Root

To change to the root directory (or to another drive) just type the drive letter at the command prompt e.g. C: or D: or A:


Use the CD command to move between directories. If a directory called DOCS contains a sub directory called INFO that you want to access, just type at the command prompt CD INFO.


Although CHKDSK has never completely gone away, the often seen ScanDisk has overshadowed it. However, the CHKDSK command is the quickest and easiest way to see how much disk space is available and if there are any problems with a particular disk. Typing CHKDSK at the command prompt generates a quick report, but if you enter CHKDSK /F this command also repairs any errors that are found. To find out more about CHKDSK type CHKDSK /? and press RETURN. This produces a list of all the available syntax switches that can be used to obtain the required level of functionality.


The COPY command enables you to copy one or more files from one location to another. When typing this command use the /V switch which verifies that the files have been copied correctly. To find out more about this tool use the /? switch e.g. copy /?


If you've ever tried to delete a large directory structure from the DOS prompt, you know how tedious it can be. You must remove the contents of each subdirectory individually before you can erase the main directory. The DEL TREE command speeds things up by deleting a directory and everything in it, including sub directories and their contents.


If you've ever looked at the contents of your Windows CD, you probably know that all the files that make up Windows are stored in a compressed format within CAB files. If you need to replace a damaged Windows file, you can use the EXTRACT command to decompress the file you need.

You can acquire the various syntax's for the command by typing EXTRACT /?


The MEM command allows you to view modules and drivers currently loaded in memory. To use this command, simply enter MEM /C at the command prompt. You'll then see a detailed summary of the machine's memory usage. Remember that you're working in DOS mode, so you won't see anything related to how Windows is using memory unless you use the MEM command while Windows is running. Instead, you'll see how your boot disk is managing memory.


The SYS command allows you to make any floppy disk or hard disk bootable. For example, if you were working on a computer that had a hard drive with a boot sector destroyed by a virus, you could boot from your emergency repair floppy or CD and run the command SYS C: This would add the IO.SYS, MSDOD.SYS, and COMMAND.COM files to the damaged hard disk, making it bootable once again.

Keep in mind, though, that any time you use the SYS command on a disk, the boot files from the source disk (floppy, CD, or hard disk) will be copied to the target drive. So make sure that the target system is running the same operating system as the source disk. For example, you could use a repair disk created on a Windows 98 machine as the source disk for another Windows 98 machine, but you wouldn't want to use a Windows 98 repair disk as the source for a Windows ME or XP machine.


The XCOPY command works just like the COPY command, but there are some very useful switches that you can add to custom-tailor the copy process. For example, supplying the IS switch will tell XCOPY to copy the subdirectories, too. For a complete list of all of the switches available for use with XCOPY, enter the XCOPY /? command.


If you need to edit a file such as 'system.ini' you use the EDIT command. e.g. in the Windows folder (CD\Windows) you would type EDIT system.ini. This gives you a text only display of the file so that you can amend it.

Drivers and DLL files

If you are having trouble with a specific driver for you hardware, or are looking for a DLL file for your Windows installation, your best bet is to search through

Dual-Boot XP and Vista

Dual booting means installing two operating systems on your computer and at start up choosing which one to launch.

To find out how to do this see our article -

'Dual-Boot XP and Vista'

E-commerce Sales Tips

It's no good paying a lot of money to get your e-commerce website well placed in the major search engines if your site puts people off when they arrive to buy your products or services.

To help you get better results read our article - E-commerce Tips.

ems web page styling

Ems and Percentages are considered the "best" units for sizing fonts and layouts in CSS. They are resizeable in all Web browsers that support resizing and they are specified relative to the user's font size preferences, and can therefore adapt to the viewer's screen.

To find out more about ems units see our article 'Why QBS PC Help use ems page styling'.

Fake Security Software

To go online without using security and anti-spyware programs is close to crazy, as its imperative to safeguard your computer against rogue viruses and other malicious codes that litter the Internet.

Yet from our PC repair work their seem to be far too many people who don't have this basic but nonetheless essential protection installed.
It is with this background that a number of unscrupulous 'thieves' have tried to get people to pay for fake security software.

This sort of software is most commonly defined as malware - it is designed specifically to damage or disrupt your computer system. It will also try to trick you into making an unsecured credit card purchase.

To find out how to detect and remove fake seurity software plaease see our article - Fake Security Software

Firefox Browser 1.5 - Problems with downloaded extentions and themes

If your Firefox Browser installation begins to behave strangely after you download and apply an extension or theme you may find it becomes very difficult or even impossible to use Firefox for browsing the Internet.

Before you give up on this excellent browser pay a visit to the Mozilla Knowledge Base and take a look at the Firefox Standard diagnostic as this will solve most problems with your Firefox Profile.

Alternatively, download Firefox 2 which includes a new Session Restore function which will often solve problems like this.

Fitting New Hard Drive but getting Windows Protection Error On Startup

This is usually caused by incorrect jumper settings on the back of the hard drive.

There are usually three different settings: Master, Slave and Master with Slave present. If the settings are not marked on the drive itself or you don't have a manual, you can usually find the settings to use on the Web pages of your hard drive manufacturer.

Folder Redirection feature in Windows XP Home

Log on as the user(s) whose My Documents folder you want to redirect. (You need to have administrator privileges to carry our this re-direction)

Click the Start button, Right-click My Documents, and then click Properties from the list that displays.

In the Properties box click the find target button and specify where your My Documents folder should be located (even on another partition) then click OK.

Format Windows XP

If you would like to Format your Windows XP installation and do a fresh install, this has to be done using your Windows XP CD-ROM.

Run Windows Setup and when you get to the Partition Screen delete your existing Windows Partition and create a new one, remembering to Format the Partition before you try to use it (do not use the quick Format option). Then reinstall Windows XP from scratch.

Found New Hardware Wizard Keeps Appearing When PC is Booted Up

If the 'Found New Hardware Wizard' repeatedly appears when your PC is started up, this generally points to an earlier failed or aborted driver installation.

The usual fix is to let the 'Found New Hardware Wizard' run to completion (i.e. do not cancel this action) or deleting and then reinstalling the offending driver file. If these actions do not resolve the problem and your operating system is Windows XP the next step is to repair your Windows installation using your Windows XP CD-Rom.

Earlier versions of the Windows Software may need to be reinstalled to fix this.

Free Anti Virus Software

Although a lot of people use commercial anti virus software, such as Norton, McAfee and Kaspersky, there are quite a few free programs that perform remarkably well if you avoid the really bad areas of the Internet. For the casual surfer free anti vrus programs can do a great job of protecting a computer from the threat of infection.

To see our top choices check the article - "The best free anti virus software to use"

Free Virus Removal Steps

Viruses, Trojans, worms and hijackers- you would almost think this is a new game or film of some sort - but if your PC is infected with any sort of virus it can be bad news.

In our latest article we show you what steps to take to remove any viruses that have infected your PC.

Find out more - Free Virus Removal Steps


This error message comes up when you try to open a damaged Soundstorm program (part of the nVIDIA NForce software group):

'Incorrect size returned during FXMANAGER_ALLOCATE'

The FXMANAGER_ALLOCATE error occurs when you try to open the Nforce Control Panel and then Control Panel trys to open the soundstorm program (C:\WINDOWS\system32\sndstorm.exe - location of file for Windows XP) and fails, producing the error message.

This damaged sndstorm.exe program needs to be deleted and reinstalled. The only effective way to do this is to completely remove the NForce Drivers from your PC and then reinstall them from the nVidia Software Disc, a manufacturers driver folder on your PC (probably located at the root of your C drive) or from the nVidia web site at:

Get more web traffic

You can always do with more web site traffic especially if you need to earn your living from the Internet.

Unfortunately there are so many suggestions about how to get this extra traffic it's very easy to get bogged down with endless optimizations, link strategy's and website submissions, so is there a set pattern you can follow without getting sidetracked?

QBS PC Help have put together 10 key steps to online success. To read this article please 'click here'.

Getting Inbound Links

If you want to get high search engine rankings on Google, Yahoo and the other major search engines, then your website must have a large number of inbound links.

The more links you have pointing back to your website the more popular your website is considered to be by all the major search engines, and the higher your search engine ranking will turn out to be.

To find out more about building inbound links see our latest article - Getting Inbound Links

Gigabytes, Kilobytes and Bytes explained

People are often confused when they buy a new PC as the amount of space shown on their computers hard drive is always less than the amount they expect. Why is this?

While most manufacturers of hard disk drives and flash drive devices define 1 Gigabyte as 1,000,000,000 bytes, operating software like Microsoft Windows reports the size in Gigabytes by dividing the total capacity in bytes by 1,073,741,824, while still reporting the result with the symbol GB.

To find out more about this Gigabytes confusion see the complete article.

Going Online, PC Asks for Password and Save Password is Greyed Out

For Password saving to work you must have Family Logon or Client for Microsoft Networks installed on your PC or user profiles must be enabled.

If you are presented with a logon dialog box at start up you must not dismiss it with Esc or Cancel.

To see if the appropriate protocols are installed open Control Panel and double click Network. Check to see if either Family Logon or Client for Microsoft Networks are present. If not install them from your Windows Operating System CD.

Hard Drive Replacement and Addition

If your planning to replace your hard drive or simply add another one, this article can help -

'Hard Drive Replacement and Addition'

Help in using CSS for web design

For some useful CSS tips see our article -

'Help in using CSS for web design'

How to both Install & Configure a Broadband Router

This guide explains how to set up an ADSL2+ Modem Firewall Router for a home computer network. In other words, a broadband modem and router that is a single box that connects your multiple computers to the World Wide Internet. Fortunately, most of the newer broadband modem/routers are quite easy to set up, so you'll be connected to the Internet in no time at all!

The exact names of configuration settings on a broadband modem and router will vary depending on the manufacturer and whether it is a wired or a wireless setup, or even both a wired and wireless setup which is probably the best choice for home and small business users. Hopefully the following steps will guide you through the process for all the common kinds of broadband modem and router combo's you might stumble upon.

Once your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has activated your broadband service and you receive your self-installation kit, you are ready to get started.

Read the rest of this article.

How to clean a DVD or CD disc

Here are a few tips on how to clean your CD's and DVD discs.

Before you try any of these suggested methods, remember that CD's and DVD discs are very delicate and you may unintentionally damage the shiny reflective surface if you are not very careful how you handle them. To hold the CD/DVD, insert a finger or thumb inside the centre hole of the CD or handle it by the edges but never touch the shiny surface.

If dust particles are sticking to the CD/DVD surface, use a piece of soft smooth cloth to wipe off the dust.

If the CD/DVD surface feels sticky or greasy, mix some baby shampoo in lukewarm water and use a cotton or soft smooth cloth to gently rub the CD/DVD surface with this solution. Make sure the CD/DVD is completely dry (no water drops) before putting it back in the jewel case.

If there are fingerprint marks on the CD/DVD surface, dip a soft smooth cloth in Isopropyl Alcohol and gently wipe the surface. Never use a petroleum based solvent like Acetone as that will permanently damage the discs surface.

Read the rest of this article.

How To Display The Euro Symbol

To produce the Euro currency symbol Press the [Alt Gr]+[4] combination on any keyboard that shows both the Dollar and Euro symbols on key 4.

How to easily repair and speed up a Windows PC

My Easy PC Repair Guide will take you through backing up your computer and teach you how to rid your PC of all the old junk, temp files and programs you no longer use or need.

You'll also learn the best way to speed up your PC using the tools freely available in the Windows Operating System.

This book will then show you how to increase your hard drive space and teach you an easy method that can prevent unnecessary programs from loading when you first turn your PC on.

These two methods alone can actually make your computer feel far more responsive.

And if other problems do arise my eBook can even help you to replace major components such as hard drives or power supplies.

In fact, my 191 page PC Repair Guide is like having a PC Technician at your beck and call!

To find out more my Easy PC Repair Guide please click here

How to fix Wireless Network Problems

While they are fairly easy to install, wireless networks often have performance problems that are not always easy to solve. For example, your PC may indicate that you have a very weak or intermittent signal strength.

To find out how to remedy this problem see our article - How to fix Wireless Network Problems

How to get Windows 8 installation files onto a flash drive

The need to install Windows 8 from a USB device, like a flash drive, is a common one due to the fact that many computers, especially tablets and smaller laptops, no longer have optical drives.

A Windows 8 install disc will not do you much good if you don't have anywhere to put the DVD!

If you wish to install Windows 8 from a USB device, you'll need to get those setup files onto a USB device. Unfortunately, simply copying them there from the DVD will not do.

Windows 8 is also sold as a downloadable ISO file which, if you choose to buy Windows 8 that way, requires some steps to get it properly copied to a flash drive as well.

Getting the Windows 8 installation files onto a flash drive or other external USB device will take up to half an hour depending on what format your copy of Windows 8 is in right now and how fast your computer is.

To find out more please see the rest of this aricle by QBS PC Help

How to handle problems due to Windows File Extension Errors

Among the various errors that you may come across on your Windows computer, file extension errors are quite common. In this short article we will not get into all the technical details of these types of errors, but we will provide you with a short FAQ to help you deal with Windows file extension errors more effectively.

To find out more see the full article.

How to install a CDRW/DVD Drive

Adding a second CDRW/DVD drive is a great way to give your computer new capabilities without buying a completely new and expensive computer system.

With multiple optical drives, your system will be able to burn and copy directly from one disc to another. This can be very handy when copying CD's or DVD's for safekeeping.

To find out how to add a new CDRW/DVD drive to your computer see our article How to install a CDRW/DVD Drive.

How to Install Windows 7

The first thing to do is check whether your desktop or laptop computer is capable of running Windows 7. If it's already running Vista with a more than acceptable performance, then the answer is probably yes.

If you're unsure whether your current system can run Windows 7, download and run Microsoft's Upgrade Advisor to assess your hardware's capabilities. The advisor actually checks a lot more than the basic system requirements, and it lists every piece of hardware and software you have installed at the bottom of its report.

To find out more about installing Windows 7 please see the complete article.

How to install Windows XP

When you install Windows XP, and as the installation progresses, you will have to provide information about how to configure the operating system. Thorough planning before you start your installation or re-installation of Windows XP can help you to avoid any problems during the installation process.

To help with this take a look at our article - How to install Windows XP

How to remove an unwanted browser toolbar

Many people add to the functionality of their Internet browsers by installing various add-on toolbars. Over time, you can easily end up with multiple toolbars on your Internet browser.

This situation is likely to muddle the browser window and can sometimes even reduce your Internet browsing speed.

To reduce the clutter you will have to remove one or more of your browser toolbars, so how do you go about doing this if you use either Internet Explorer or Firefox as your primary browser? And what?s the easiest way of removing muliple toolbars from Windows XP or Vista?
To find out more please see our latest article - Web Browser Toolbar Removal Made Easy.

How to reuse an old PC

Those of us who have been using computers for a few years often have at least one and in some cases two, three or more redundant computers lying around doing nothing apart from gathering dust. In many cases these computers are still perfectly serviceable.

Find out more..

How to Set Up a RAID Configuration on Your PC

If you are building a PC you might decide to install two or more hard drives. If you link these drives in a RAID setup you can speed up your computers performance and even provide automatic protection against data loss from hard drive failure.

If you do decide to set up a RAID configuration, make sure you have an adequate power supply (PSU). Some RAID Adapters have been known to take more than the normal amount of power to function adequately.

There are many different RAID combinations involving just a few or many hard drives.

See our article - How to Set Up a RAID Configuration on Your PC

How to share a broadband connection

The best way of sharing a broadband connection between two or more computers is to use a dedicated router. To find out more read our article -

'How to share a broadband connection'

How to uninstall Internet Explorer 6.0

As you may have found, Internet Explorer is deeply integrated with Windows making it difficult, if not impossible, to uninstall. However, it can, and sometimes must, be uninstalled.

Check out Microsoft?s Knowledge Base article for detailed step-by-step instructions on how to uninstall Internet Explorer 6.

How to Upgrade a Graphics Card

If you want games, graphics, and other multimedia programs to run faster, upgrading to a more powerful graphics card should be your first priority.

To discover the best way to install a graphics card see this article -

'How to Upgrade a Graphics Card'

How to use Chkdsk to fix shut-down and restart problems

If your copy of Windows XP is using the NT file system (rather than FAT32) and cannot process all the Input and Output requests as your computer shuts down this may force your PC to restart.

If these restarts become a problem a good tip is to run the Chkdsk tool to repair any problems with your disks volume.

To do this Click START and click RUN and then type cmd in the box. At the command prompt type chkdsk C: /R (i.e. repair your C Drive) and hit ENTER.

If the following message appears: ?Cannot lock current drive. Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts??

Type Y and hit ENTER

Reboot the PC and Chkdsk will automatically run and check the drive for errors. It will then attempt to repair these.

This will usually fix the shut-down and restarting problems on most Windows XP machines.

How to use PayPal

PayPal is a long established online payment service that allows individuals and businesses alike to transfer funds electronically. You can use it to pay for online auctions from eBay and other places, purchase goods and services, or to make charitable donations. You can even use it to send cash to someone.

Happily a basic PayPal account is completely free to use. You can send funds to anyone who has a valid e-mail address, whether or not they have a PayPal account. If they don't have a PayPal account they'll get an email message from PayPal about the funds via email, and then they just have to sign up for their own PayPal account. It's that easy!

To find out a whole lot more about PayPal please see the full article.

How to Use Process Explorer v11.21

From the same Sysinternals stable as Autoruns, Process Explorer v11.21 shows a lot of information about which handles and DLL processes have opened or loaded. So with it, you can see what is taking up your CPU's time in real time as well as which process have what handles or DLL?s open.

This tool is really for system administrators and power users but if your careful, and don't delete anything, it does give you a detailed view of what's going on 'under the hood' in your PC.

In our latest article we show you how to use this tool. Find out more - How to Use Process Explorer v11.21

HP Scanjet 3530 - not scanning a document

When I use the HP Director program and click on Scan Document, an error message appears on the screen "An unexpected internal error has occurred" and then gives a few options to try such as restarting the program, restarting the PC or removing and reinstalling the HP scanner software. How do I fix this problem?

This is a well known problem when trying to scan from HP Director.

To fix this, try opening the folder containing the HP Imaging software. This is usually located at C:\Progam Files\Hewlett-Packard\Digital\Imaging\bin and double click hpqdstcp.exe?. Now retry scanning a document and see if it works.

If this suggestion does not help, you will have to uninstall all the scanner software using add remove programs, but disconnect the scanner from your computer first.

Now reconnect the scanner to your PC and start your computer up. The New Hardware Wizard should automatically start up when it recognises the attached scanner. Use the HP Driver Disc that came with your scanner to reinstall all the software back onto your PC.

I use Windows XP SP2 and whenever I try to install a program I get an error message 'Windows installer could not be accessed'.

Windows installer is part of Windows XP Service Pack 2. This error suggests that some components of the installer are missing or damaged or are not correctly registered with the Windows system.

Open the System folder and varify that msiexec.exe is present. If it is open the registry editor and expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\
CurrentControlSet\Services\MSIServer. The value ImagePath should contain the path to this file 'C:\WINDOWS\system32\msiexec.exe followed by a space and /V. If ImagePath does not show the correct file path, amend it to show the right path and then save and exit.

Restart your PC in Safe Mode click on Start, Run and enter msiexec/regserver. This will reregister the installer components.

If none of this works you will have to reinstall the Windows installer program. Download this from

Install a 56K Modem

Installing a 56K Modem into a computer running Windows XP is fairly straightforward because XP comes equipped with a variety of "generic" modem drivers, including modems based upon all the popular chipset's.

In many cases, adding, changing, or removing a modem is based on Windows plug and play. But, sometimes conflicts can occur so this guide runs through all the actions you need to take to successfully install a 56K PCI Modem - Find our more....

Install Windows XP on a SATA Hard Drive without access to a Floppy Disk

SATA drives have now become very popular as they offer a speed increase over the older IDE technology. As a result, nearly all the computers sold today will have SATA drives fitted as standard.

However, there are also many people who have slightly older computers and motherboards and who wish to install Windows XP onto a new SATA drive. For many this can turn out to be very problematic as Windows XP does not provide drivers for all the different SATA controllers that are available.

See our article - How to Install Windows XP on a SATA Hard Drive without access to a Floppy Disk Drive

Installing the Apache Server and PHP 5 on Windows Vista

This tutorial is about setting up a Development Server on a Vista based computer for checking php based web designs. But all the suggestions for installing Apache are still relevant if you want to install a full copy of the server technology for hosting a web site.

To read the full tutorial click here.

Keep your Registry clean and avoid EXE errors

The Windows registry plays an important role in the functioning of your Windows computer. The main reason for this is that the registry is a centralised database of all configuration information related to user profiles, system settings, software, and hardware on your computer.

So, there is rarely anything that happens on your PC without going through the registry. In the process, a large amount of data is added, modified or removed from the registry in a very short time. This makes the registry quite vulnerable to attract unwanted data that may cause it to bloat up and become unstable.

To find out more about the registry and how to clean it see our latest article - Keep your Registry clean and avoid EXE errors

Keyboard Language Settings Not Available under Windows 98SE

If the language setting for your keyboard is greyed out and it says ?old style driver detected' have a look inside your autoexec.bat and config.sys files and remove any lines that contain country.sys or keyboard.sys and try again (These settings are not needed by Windows 98 and more recent Windows Operating Systems).

Loss of Windows Setup Tab in Add/Remove Programs

If your Setup tab is missing the problem is in your Windows/Inf Folder where some of the .inf files have become corrupt.

The likely files are any with LAYOUT in their name and the solution to this problem is to rename the file extensions of these particular files from .inf to .old. To do this open My Computer and select View, Folder, Options, View Tab. Make sure 'Show all files' is selected under Hidden Files and click OK. You will now be able to see the INF Folder and make the necessary changes. Once this is done, reboot your PC. You should now be able to see the Windows Setup Tab.

Lost BIOS Passwords

If you have a problem with a BIOS password you might like to try the backdoor approach. One of the following 'backdoor' passwords may let you into your PC. Its worth a try.

Award Bios - (in upper & lower case): award sw, award_sw, award?SW or biostar.

AMI BIOS - ami,a.m.i.,aaammmiii, BIOS or password.

Phoenix BIOS - phoenix, cmos or BIOS.

Making full use of Windows 7's Libraries

Libraries are a new feature of Windows 7 and can sort all your media and files so that you can easily view them in one place. And the files that are pulled together by the Library can be located anywhere on your computer, even if they are scattered across multiple folders or multiple storage devices.

In many ways, a Library is similar to a folder. When you open a Library, you will see one or more files or folders. However, unlike a folder, a Library can display files that are stored in several folders at the same time. This is an important, difference. Libraries don't actually store items. They monitor folders that contain your files, images and videos, and provide a single access point.

To find out how to use the new library feature see our article - Making full use of Windows 7's Libraries

Making Internet Explorer Your Default Browser

Right click the IE Icon on your desktop and select Properties, Programs and make sure that there is a tick in the box 'Internet Explorer should check to see whether it is the default browser'.

If you added a tick, the next time you use IE select 'yes' when it checks to see if you want to make it your default browser.

Manufacturers Recovery Disc will not reinstall Windows XP

You've Replaced your PC's Motherboard but your manufacturers Recovery Disc will not reinstall your Windows XP operating system and associated files.

The Windows image on your recovery disc is unuseable for two reasons:

1. Your hardware has changed dramatically by installing a new motherboard.

2. The Recovery CD will have been locked to the BIOS of the old motherboard which you have now replaced.

The OEM Copy of Windows on the Recovery CD is regarded as part of your computer and cannot normally be transferred to another PC or even to a new motherboard. So when replacing your motherborard you may well need to buy a full copy of Windows XP.

Memory Errors on Startup or Amount is Being Misreported

This could be because:

1. Your memory modules might not be seated correctly

2. The contacts might be dirty

3. One of the modules might be failing

Try reseating your SIMMS or DIMMS, gently rubbing the contacts with a pencil eraser, and just fitting one memory chip at a time. If you are fitting SIMMS, remember they must be the same size, like 64Mb each, and the same speed, like 60ns. If you are fitting DIMMS, make sure the slowest DIMM is in slot one. Also check that you have the modules fitted correctly.

Microsoft Technical Support

The Microsoft web site is huge and is stuffed full of resources to help you solve almost any problem you might experience when using Microsoft products. From blue screens to driver issues, you are likely to find a solution to your problems or at least a collection of additional resources with which you can further your research.

Here are the main Microsoft Web Site entry points to help you in your searches and some of the Microsoft Support Areas that we often use in fixing PC problems.

How to Query the Microsoft Knowledge Base

Microsoft Office Home Page

Microsoft Windows Support Home Page

Motherboard problems

Outright motherboard failure is fairly rare in a new system, and extremely rare in a system that is already up and running.

Most problems with motherboards result from a bad initial set up or a failure of one or more of the components that are connected to it.

There are a surprisingly large number of possible causes for what may appear to be a motherboard failure. To find out more read our article -

'Motherboard problems'

Mouse Cursor Keeps Freezing or Flickers

This is usually due to graphics acceleration being set too high. Go to System Properties, Performance and choose Graphics. Move the slider one notch to the left and click OK.

Mouse Stops Working When Modem is Used in Windows 98

You have an IRQ conflict between the two devices. Move the modem to a different COM port, as you cannot easily change the IRQ that it uses.

New PC System But No Up To Date Driver For Your Printer?

This is a common problem when people buy a new PC or upgrade their version of Windows and find that their printer divers no longer work. To make matters worse even the printer manufacturer no longer supports the printer, so you can't download the drivers from the Internet.

One possible solution (apart from buying a new printer) is to see if your printer is capable of emulating a common generic printer type like HP LaserJet, HP DeskJET or IBM Proprinter. This information should be in your printer manual. If you can use one of these generic drivers you may loose a few of the features that you had when using the correct driver, but a least you'll be able to print a document.

No Sound From Speakers

This is a common complaint and there are several things you should check.

1. The speaker connections and the power supply

2. The sound level set for the Windows Volume Control on your Task Bar

3. The Multimedia (or Sounds and Audio Devices) Properties in Control Panel

4. Sound Card Drivers in Device Manager

Nothing happens when right clicking on the Windows desktop

There are several things that can cause the loss of 'right click' on your desktop, including viruses, badly configured tweak programs and other malicious code.

The simplest fix (if you do not have a tweak program installed) is to adjust a Registry setting so back up your Registry before you start.

Start the Registry Editor and open:


Look in the right hand pane and see if you can spot an entry called 'NoViewContext Menu'. Also check:


See if the 'NoViewContext Menu' entry is there.

If it is in either location its value should be <1> (<0> for disabled). If it is not present you will need to create this value. Add a new Dword and set its value to <1>.

On Startup, Screen Turns Into a Mess of Horizontal or Vertical Lines

When Windows is started your screen disappears into a mess of fast moving horizontal or vertical lines.

This is caused when your refresh rate is set to a frequency that your CRT monitor doesn?t support.

Reboot in safe mode, go into Display Properties, Settings tab, Adapter. Change the resolution setting to 60Hz and restart. You could change to a higher refresh rate if your monitor supports it.

Organise Your Windows Start Menu

To sort your Start Menu into alphabetical order, right click the opened menu (e.g. Start/Programs) and select Sort by Name.

This also works for your Internet Explorer Favorites Menu.

Partition a hard drive using Windows Vista

To create a new partition (Vista calls it a "volume"), click the Start button, type diskmgmt.msc, and press to open the Disk Management utility.

To create space for a new volume, right-click an existing volume and choose 'Shrink Volume'. Vista will calculate the amount of space you can regain and will open a dialog box where you can enter the size of your new volume (You'll also see the total size before the shrink, the maximum shrink available, and the size of the old volume after the shrink).

After shrinking, right-click the new "Unallocated" space represented in the program and choose New Simple Volume. Then follow the wizard's steps to create and format your new volume.

When you're done, you'll see your new volume represented in Disk Management's graphs. Note that you can shrink only volumes that use the NTFS drive format.

Password Recovery

Have you ever forgotten a password that locks you out of your operating system or program files? Then you need, a site that sells a superb range of password recovery software.

They have custom solutions for a tremendous range applications including Excel, Access, Outlook, Outlook Express, Word, Internet Explorer, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows NT, Acrobat, WordPerfect, 1-2-3, Paradox, Quicken, QuickBooks, Act and WinZip. Visit

Pay Per Click Advertising Tips

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is one of the best and fastest ways of targeting prospective customers to your website, whether you sell a product or offer a service of some sort.

One of the most widely used PPC advertising models is Google AdWords, although Yahoo Search Marketing and MSN Adcenter are similar PPC products.

When you sign up to your preferred PPC provider you select targeted keywords or phrases that your potential customers will use when searching for your product or service.

These Pay Per Click advertisements are usually called 'Sponsored links' or 'Sponsored ads' and generally appear next to or above the natural or 'organic' search results.

PPC advertising is not always easy to do, especially if you have not had any previous experience. To find out more about PPC advertising see our article - Pay Per Click Advertising Tips

PC Fails POST Check With 3 Beeps And a Blank Monitor

Three beeps on power up usually means there is a graphics problem. Remove and reseat your graphics card, clean the contacts of the edge connector, or swap with a different card. For a full list of beep codes see my article -

PC POST Beep Codes

PC Memory Test

To check if your PC memory is faulty, which is often the cause of intermittent errors on start up, try running a memory tester such as MemTest86 from:

PC Monitor Screen turns black and PC automatically restarts

This seems to be a fairly common problem with Windows XP as by default your PC will automatically restart if a windows error occurs while you are using your computer.

To see the error that's making Windows XP restart you will need to make Windows report the error. Right click My Computer, click Properties and select the Advanced tab. On the dialog box under System Failure you will see an option Automatically Restart. Clear this by removing the tick and then click OK to finish.

This will not stop the restart problem reappearing, but you should now see an error message pop up instead of watching your PC reboot. Hopefully you will now be armed with enough information to help identify and fix the program that's causing the problem and fix it.

PC Plays a Sound But The Sound Seems to Stutter

Your Computers Processor may be overworked. Try disabling your Virus Checker and other system utilities.

You could also slightly reduce your Graphic Card's Acceleration by selecting Control Panel/Display/Settings/Advanced/Performance and sliding the Hardware Acceleration pointer back a notch.

PC POST Beep Codes

The computer POST (Power On Self Test) tests a computer, to make sure that it meets the necessary system requirements before booting up.

To see a full list of beep codes for all the main BIOS manufacturers click here.

PC restarts many times and then boots up

If your PC restarts many times and then finally boots up click here to see what this problem might be.

PC Starts and Reports Either 'Bootable Drive Not Found' or 'Operating System Not Found'

If your Windows 98 PC starts and reports 'Bootable Drive Not Found' your boot drive?s active partition has been made inactive. Use fdisk.exe to make it active again.

For 'Operating system not found', your Master Boot Record might have become corrupted. Use a boot disk to start at the A prompt. Switch to the C prompt and then type fdisk/mbr and press [Return] to restore it.

PC starts to run very slowly

If your PC starts to run very slowly and you find your formerly fast loading programs are now reduced to a crawl there are a number of things you can check to help you improve your PC's performance.

The first thing to do is defragment your hard disc. This process will rearrange the data on the disk so that it loads more efficiently. To do this you must close down all your applications, including those sitting on your taskbar and quick launch bar, as any left running will cause the Defrag program to keep stopping and restarting.

Once you have shut down all your applications open My Computer, right click your main hard drive (C Drive) and then click Properties. Select the Tools Tab, then click Defragment Now.

Depending on the size of your hard drive and how badly the files are fragmented this could take some time to complete.

You should also check to see if your PC is infested with unwanted Spyware and Adware. There are some very good free tools to help you do this. See The Software QBS Use Everyday.

Your Virus scanner will also make your programs load a little slower as it checks each software component as it is loaded. Try disabling virus checking to see if makes any difference. If your antivirus program is the problem there is not much that you can do about this, particularly if you have a broadband Internet connection where online security is so vital (you should also run a good firewall program - See The Software QBS Use Everyday.

The final thing to check are your PC's cooling fans. Can you still hear them? If one or more of these fails your PC will start overheating, so your processor may be running slower so as to generate less heat. A good all round tool for checking this and many other parts of your PC is SiSoftware Sandra. Download the free Lite Version from Download Sites for Sandra Lite

PC Startup Problems: Causes & Solutions

Of all the problems that bother computer users, PC startup problems rank high on the list of the most annoying. This is because if your computer refuses to start or show a problem while starting, all kinds of scary thoughts can go through your mind.

To check out some of the solutions to these start up problems see our latest article - PC Startup Problems: Causes & Solutions

PC System Fails CPU Test

How many times have you had your computer freeze with the message System Failed CPU Test appearing on your monitors screen or even spoken to you through your speakers? Hopefully never, because it can be a difficult task to track down the reason for this error message.
There is a ton of advice on the Internet but basically there is a set routine to try. First, don't assume that your PC's CPU is at fault. In fact this is very unlikely.

Find out more..

Ping update services for WordPress Blogs

When you create a new WordPress post, your blog will automatically ping and notify all the ping services that your blog has been updated. This encourages search engines and different blog directories/services to index your updated blog.

So the ping is a useful promotion tool that WordPress provides. The thing is, that the pings are only sent to the default list specified in your blog's admin settings - Settings/Writing/Update Services.

To find out more about the WordPress ping service please see the full article.

Power Related Problems

You switch on your computer and nothing happens. The lack of any electrical power to fire up your PC can be caused by a number of problems. To find out more click here.

Preparing DOS Batch Files

Can I select an item on the Start menu and launch not one program, but two or three or four? Better yet, can I double-click one icon and have one program scan my hard drive, another defragment the drive when the scan is done, and a third start a backup after the defrag?

Yes, clients still ask these questions so you'll be glad to hear that you can accomplish all of this and more with DOS batch files - even in DOS-free Windows XP. As DOS fades from memory, however, fewer and fewer people are comfortable writing batch files.

If you're batch-averse, we recommend Outer Technologies' free Batchrun program, which makes automating multiprogram tasks easy. This nifty utility lets you create batches by dragging, dropping and clicking. You can add commands for such common file manipulations as copying and deleting, and you can instruct the program to wait a pre-set number of milliseconds or until the last program is finished.

To get a copy of this useful program visit -

Pressed Keyboard Keys Produce Strange Characters

If some of your keyboard keys produce strange characters, like an @instead of a full stop, your keyboard is set to the wrong language. Go to Control Panel, Keyboard, and Regional settings to ensure you are set to your local language.

Prevent annoying Pop-Up Windows appearing on your desktop

You can prevent pop-ups appearing by disabling the Windows Messenger Service.

To do this click Start, Run, type services.msc and hit the Enter key. Scroll down the resulting list until you come across Messenger. Double click this and click Stop and the start up type to Disabled.

Prevent MSN Messenger and Windows XP's Windows Messenger Loading in Outlook & Outlook Express

Both MSN Messenger and Windows XP's Windows Messenger (which enables itself by default after installation) set themselves up to launch automatically whenever Outlook or Outlook Express are opened. How can you prevent them launching?

You can turn these instant messaging programs off.

In Outlook 2002, choose Tools/Options/Other and then uncheck Enable Instant Messaging in Microsoft Outlook. Click OK.

In Outlook Express for Windows 98 and Me, select Tools/Options/General and uncheck Automatically log on to MSN Messenger in Outlook Express.

For Windows XP, click Tools, Options, General and uncheck Automatically log on to Windows Messenger.

Windows 2000 doesn't have this problem as it lacks MSN Messenger.

Printer Sharing Across a Home Network

If you have installed a PC network in your home using either network cabling or wireless technology, or a combination of both, you can easily share one or more printers across that network.

Find out how to do this by reading our article 'Printer Sharing Across a Home Network'.

Problem burning files by drag and drop in Windows XP

First check to see if Windows CD-burning service is turned on. Click Start, Run and type services.msc in the box and press enter.

Scroll down the list of Sevices and double click 'Imapi CD-Burning COM Service'. Set the Start Up Type to Automatic then click on Start if the Service is not running. Click Apply and then Close.

Now you should be able to burn files to your CD using drag and drop.

Problems with DVD Drive not reading your disc

If you insert a DVD disc into your computers DVD drive and the light showing the disc is being read stubbornly stays on, chances are that is a far as you will get and the disc itself will not be read or actioned.

The simplest explanation for a problem like this is that your DVD disc needs cleaning. Also make sure that the disc is not scratched or damaged in any way.

If the problem continues try cleaning your DVD-ROM Drive. Blow out any dust using a compressed air can or use a CD cleaning kit, which should work just as well.

You could also visit your drive manufacturers web site and see if there is a driver update for your DVD-ROM Drive.

If the problem still persists you may need to replace your DVD-ROM Drive.

Problems With Internet Explorer's 6 History Display in Win XP

If Internet Explorer's History panel refuses to display By Date, By Site, By Most Visited or By Order Visited Today, the first step is to launch Internet Explorer and select Tools >Internet Options >Advanced >Restore Defaults. Then close and reopen Internet Explorer. If this solves the problem the following steps are not necessary.

If IE6 is still not displaying your surfing history try some or all of the following steps:

1. Click start > run and type in the open box sfc /scannow {enter} and have your windows XP CD handy just in case it's asked for (This will not work in Windows 2000). Check to see if IE6 is now working.

2. Search your hard drive for the "ie.inf" file (this is usually found in the Windows\inf\ or winnt\inf folders). When you have found it right click it and select install. Then reboot your PC. Check to see if IE6 is now working.

3. Reinstall IE6 - click Start >settings >control Panel >Add/Remove Programs and select 'Add Remove Widows Components' from the left hand panel. Untick the entry for Internet Explorer and click Next. Now reboot your PC, go back into Add Remove Widows Components and put a tick back against the entry for Internet Explorer. Now reboot your PC again. This process reinstalls IE6 and may also solve any speed related problems you may have been experiencing with this browser. Check to see if IE6 is now working.

4. If the History display is still not working try the fixes suggested by Microsoft - 'How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP'

Problems with the Power On Self Test (POST)

If your computer beeps irregularly when the computer is turned on, or turns on but does not boot, you may be experiencing a problem with the Power On Self Test (POST).

Find out more by reading this article -

'Problems with the Power On Self Test (POST)'

Professional Data Recovery Services

Kroll Ontrack? Data Recovery is dedicated to recovering and restoring inaccessible data from any type of storage media. Their track record is superb and QBS PC Help thoroughly recommend their technical recovery service to all our site visitors.

Find out more..

Programs cannot be run from the Start Menu ( Windows XP)

The desktop icons and items on the Windows Start Menu are all shortcuts and if they fall to work it is likely that the Registry association for shortcuts is broken.

It should still be possible to run programs by clicking Start, Run and typing a program's name, so try running sfc /scannow. This should restore any system files that have changed or been deleted.

Random Password Tool

If you are looking for a 'strong' password then this simple tool can generate a random password containing 12 characters that you can use to help secure your on-line presence!

Re-flashing a Computers BIOS chip

You should only flash a computers BIOS for a specific purpose, such as with an older PC where you need to use a particular piece of hardware. The only other reason to flash a BIOS is to fix a known BIOS bug that is well documented.

Flashing a BIOS can go wrong and your system could be out of action until you can get a BIOS program restored or you purchase a new motherboard that has a working BIOS chip. To be safe read our article 'Re-flashing a Computers BIOS chip'.

Remove Programs To Boost PC Performance

If you are one of those PC users who are tired of your slow computer, then youíve come to the right place. There can be several issues that may lead to a slowdown of your computer. Out of these, there is one task that can really help to boost your PCís performance, and that task is to get rid of programs you donít need.

To find out more about boosting your PC's perforance please see the full article.

Remove Branding From Title Bar in Internet Explorer

To remove an ISP's browser branding you need to amend a registry setting (be sure to backup your registry before you make any changes). Fire up the registry editor and drill down as follows:


Then edit the WindowsTitle value. This value will only be there if your title bar is branded.

Remove Duplicate Entries from Msconfig - Startup Items

Programs that you disable, by un-ticking a box, still appear listed under the Msconfig Startup tab.

If you are sure that this shortcut to a program is no longer required by Windows it can easily be removed form this list. Any shortcuts that are disabled are moved to a hidden folder called - Disabled Startup Items. To completely remove them all you have to do is track down this folder and delete it.

If you cannot see the 'Disabled Startup Items' folder on your Windows system check that your Windows Explorer Options are set to 'show hidden files and folders'.

Removing Entries From The ADD/Remove Programs List

A program has been uninstalled but there is still an entry for it in the ADD/Remove Programs List. To remove this, fire up the Registry Editor (be sure to backup your registry before you make any changes) and open Hkey_Local_Machine, Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, Uninstall.

A folder in Uninstall should contain a value named DisplayName containing the name of the application. Delete this folder.

Removing Printer Drivers (Win XP)

Go to Control Panel and use Add/Remove programs to delete any printer drivers shown in the list.

Now open the Printer and Faxes control panel right click the printer icon and select delete.

Still in the Printer and Faxes control panel choose File/Server Properties and click the Drivers Tab. Select your printer model from the list of drivers and click the Remove button to delete the drivers from your hard drive.

Removing Vista's Temporary Files

Deleting the temporary files from your computer can help you to keep it running smoothly. Depending on the number of temporary files you delete, you may also find that your PC speeds up a bit.

To find out how to delete all the Temporary files from your Windows Vista PC see our article - Removing Vista's Temporary Files.

Repair Costs

To find out more about our charges, please see our latest price list click here.

Repairing Internet Explorer 6

Open Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs. If Internet Explorer is listed, click on the Change/Remove link. You should now see an Internet Explorer 6.0 and Internet Tools dialog box. Select Repair Internet Explorer and click OK.

If Internet Explorer is not listed in Add or Remove Programs try another method. Open the Folder C:\Windows\inf and find the file ie.inf. Right click on this file and select install.

Replacing a Power Supply Unit (PSU)

You will need only a few basic tools to remove and replace your Power Supply Unit (PSU): a Phillips screwdriver with a No. 2 head (preferably magnetic), a pair of diagonal cutters, and several small or medium-size cable ties.

First, unplug all of the cables attached to the back panel of your computer, then move it to a work area with adequate room to lay it down. Before you remove the back-panel cables, especially the power cord, toggle the PSU's power switch to off as this will cycle down any auxiliary/standby power.

To find out more about replacing a PSU please see the complete article.

Restoring a Registry Backup

To restore an earlier Registry backup under Windows 98 or ME, using your Recovery Disc (you should have created one) boot your PC to a command prompt and type scanreg. Use the menus to restore one of the registry backups that Windows makes each day.

Under Windows XP click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore, Restore my computer to an earlier time.

Restoring Internet Explorers Picture Display

If your web browsing is for some reason limited to text only and you want to restore the picture display in Microsoft's Internet Explorer then read on.

From the toolbar in IE Select Tools/Internet Options and click the Advanced Tab. Scroll down the list until you reach the Multimedia section and make sure the browser is set to display pictures. If setting this field does not restore your picture display open Add/Remove Programs, select Internet Explorer and use the Repair option.

If Internet Explorer is not listed in Add/Remove Programs go to Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/System Information and select Tools/Internet Explorer Repair Tool. Choose the Repair Internet Explorer option and click OK. This should finally restore IE's ability to show pictures.

Safe Mode and It's Uses

Windows Safe Mode is a way of booting up your computer so you can run administrative and diagnostic tasks on your Windows operating system.

For all the versions of Windows the easiest way to get into Safe Mode is to quickly press the F8 key, sometimes repeatedly, just as your computer starts up and issues it's beep. You should then be brought to a menu where you can choose to boot into Safe Mode. Select the option for Safe Mode using the arrow keys and then press the Enter key on your keyboard.

To find out how to use Safe Mode to best effect see our article - Safe Mode and It's Uses.

ScanDisk Halts and System Hangs Forcing a Reboot

This could point to one of two possible problems. Either a program is interfering with ScanDisk so that it crashes or there may be a fault with your Hard Drive.

To eliminate the likelihood of another program causing the problem reboot your machine into Safe mode and run ScanDisk from there.

If ScanDisk still refuses to work you could try one or all of the following:

1. Empty your Recycle Bin

2. Delete any Temp folders and your Temporary Internet Files folder

3. Delete your History and Recent folders.

If ScanDisk still refuses to run try Microsoft Support for a list of common problems and fixes for ScanDisk.

If after all this, ScanDisk still refuses to work you may have a problem with your Hard Drive. Back up your data, FDISK and Format the Drive, reinstall Windows and immediately try ScanDisk before installing anything else. If the problem persists your Hard Drive will probably need replacing.

ScanDisk or Defrag Keep Stopping Because of Disc Activity

To fix this, shut down every program, including all those sitting in the System Tray, any scanner software that is running, any fax software and any screensaver before you start running ScanDisk or Defrag.

If this still doesn't work start Windows in Safe Mode (press the f8 key as Windows starts up) before running these programs.

Search Engine Optimisation Guidelines

Get your site appearing on Google, Yahoo and MSN!

A good and proven Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) company can certainly help you achieve this, but what's involved in optimising a web site?

'Get the QBS free guide to SEO'.

Security for your PC & Online Activities

Your home computer(s) contain vast amounts of information about you and your family members. In all likelihood, your home computer has highly sensitive information sitting on your hard drive such as Inland Revenue tax returns, monthly financial records and bank and credit card account numbers. In addition, your computer probably contains family and other photos that have sentimental value or a music/movie collection you accumulated over a long period of time.

No doubt you want to protect all these files, folders, music and movies from online attacks, email scams and unintentional downloads of damaging spyware, adware and viruses.

And when you are shopping online at your favourite ecommerce store you need secure passwords to stop email harvesting and you certainly don't wont to be fooled by phishing scams when you visit your online bank or credit card account.

To be safe on and offline read our article Security for your PC & Online Activities

SEO Results - How Long To Achieve?

No matter what the scale and cost of your company's Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaign, you will normally have to wait some time to see any real and meaningful results.

It doesn't matter if you, or your SEO expert, are undertaking a massive link building exercise, using social media to improve visibility or even adding regularly to your sites blog and page content, you will still have wait quite a while to see the final results of your SEO campaign.

Just how long you need to wait to get any measurable results depends on a number of factors that might apply to your website.

To find out more about these vital factors see our latest article - SEO Results - How Long To Achieve?

Server Error Codes (HTTP status codes)

If you would like to find out more about server error codes see our article - Server Error Codes (HTTP status codes)

Setting Up a Dual boot System

Windows 2000, NT and XP all have a built in multiboot capability which uses a hidden system file in the C Drive root directory named boot.ini.

Adding the ability to choose which operating system to boot from is merely a matter of adding a line of text to this system file.

First find the boot.ini file and check its properties, to make sure it is not read only. Then open it in Notepad and add a line at the end of the 'Operating System' section that reads: D:\"Microsoft Windows Millennium" (assuming that its Windows Millennium you wish to dual boot with and that Windows ME is on the D partition).

Sharing a printer between Windows 7 and Windows Vista

How can you share your printer between Windows 7 and Windows Vista when it is already attached to your Windows 7 PC? If you follow these steps closely you should be up and running quite quickly.

To find out a whole lot more about sharing a printer please see the full blog post.

Site Hosting Tips

As with trying out any new product or service, you won't really know how good a web hosting company is until you try it. So what areas do you need to consider before choosing a hosting company?

To find out more about choosing the right hosting set up, see our article - Site Hosting Tips

Solve Graphic Card Problems

If your computer keeps crashing when you play games or when you are viewing/amending your digital pictures the cause of the crashes is likely to be a problem with your graphics card or its software device driver or even the DirectX version running on your PC.

Read our article 'Solving Graphic Card Problems' to find out the solution to these problems.

Speakers Produce Hiss or Clicking Noise

Your soundcard might be getting interference from your PC?s power supply.

Try moving the card to a different slot. You should also try disconnecting or muting any microphones you have connected.

Clicking noises are down to cross channel interference between components inside your PC. About the only solution is to move your soundcard further away from your hard drive if possible. If not, fit a small ferrite ring (not a magnet) around the cable between your CD drive and soundcard.

Speed up Windows XP Start menu

In the Registry Editor (Start -> Run -> type regedit and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\desktop, and add a string value named MenuShowDelay (it might already be there), with a value specifying the number of milliseconds (400 is default, smaller numbers are faster).

Try 300 milliseconds and then see how your PC responds. Then perhaps try 100 milliseconds and see which speed up you personally prefer.

Spellchecking Not Working in Outlook Express

Outlook Express uses the Microsoft Word Spellchecker to spellcheck your e-mails so your PC must have a copy of Word or Office installed for this to work. Outlook Express also needs a file named csapi3t.dll which may be missing if you are using Windows XP. If present you will find this file in C:\Program files\Common files\Microsoft shared\Proof. If the file is not there get a copy from

Spybot Search & Destroy

Spybot is a well known spyware and adware remover and does a fairly good job of keeping your PC free from these unwelcome infections.

To find out how to install and use this program see our article - Spybot Search & Destroy

Start Up Floppy Discs for Windows XP

Unlike previous versions of the Windows Operating System, Windows XP does not have an option to create a bootable floppy disk.

For the vast majority of users this will not be a major problem as they will be able to boot up using their Windows XP CD. However there may be situations where a CD-Rom drive is not available for use (i.e. perhaps non working/damaged).

Fortunately you can create bootable floppy discs from the Microsoft website.

This download will need six floppy discs.

Windows XP Home Edition users should visit:

Discs for Windows XP Home Edition

Windows XP Professional Edition users should visit:

Discs for Windows XP Professional Edition

(If you need a Windows 98 Boot Disk then visit

Stop Outlook 2003 from making a noise every time a new email is received?

The play sound option is buried 2 levels deep in Outlooks Options dialog. Go to the Tools menu, select Options and then click on the email options button at the top of the preferences tab.

When the email options dialog opens, click on Advanced email Options about halfway down the dialog on the left hand side.

In the advanced Email Options dialog is a frame labelled "When new items arrive in my Inbox". You will see that the first checkbox is "play sound". Uncheck that for comp[lete silence whenever new mail arrives in your inbox.

The 'NTLDR is missing' error

Unlike Windows 7 and Windows Vista, Windows XP does not utilise BOOTMGR. The equivalent function in Windows XP is called NTLDR (an abbreviation for NT Loader).

There are few different ways that the "NTLDR is missing" error may present itself, with the first listing being one of the most common:

NTLDR is missing Press any key to restart

NTLDR is missing Press Ctrl Alt Del to restart

Boot: Couldn't find NTLDR Please insert another disk

The NTLDR is missing error displays very shortly after your computer is first started, immediately after the Power On Self Test (POST) is complete. At this point in the boot process, Windows XP has only just initially started to load.

To find out how to fix the NTLDR is missing error see our article The 'BOOTMGR is missing' error.

The need for Surge Protection Devices

When you go out and spend a lot of money on a PC it is certainly wise to think about this added layer of protection. Read more about the need for surge protection.

The Very Best Affiliate Marketing Tips

Affiliate marketing is obviously not the easiest thing to do because many people seem have a go at it, but soon give up due to the lack of any real success. So what can you do to improve your chances of becoming an affiliate marketing super star? Here are a few vital tips to point you in the right direction.

The Windows 7 Review

Windows 7 is the operating system that Vista should have been and was clearly designed to fix nearly every bad thing anyone ever said about Windows Vista, especially the much hated User Account Control (UAC), which has been greatly toned down in Windows 7.

To read the rest of this Review see our article - The Windows 7 Review.

Troubleshooting File Type Errors due to Internet issues

If you are a regular computer user then you are bound to face some errors sooner or later. There are certain errors on a Windows PC related to the Internet that can prove to be very difficult to tackle. Take the .docxml file extension error for instance. Though the error message itself gives no clue about what it is, a little research soon uncovers that it is related to XML markup language documents.

What causes these errors?

There are many causes for these errors, and in general it can be very difficult to pin it on one particular thing unless more concrete information is available. The fact is that most of these errors, like those related to the .elm file extension, can be tackled very easily and without much technical know-how. Most of these errors are generic in nature and can be eliminated by following the simple methods listed below.

To read more please click here.

Tune Up Your Windows PC

Keeping your computer up to date and secure is just as important as the regular servicing of your car or motorbike. Like any machine, your computer needs constant care and a regular tune up. If you fail to carry out this important task your PC will gradually become slower and start to develop problems.

Find out how to speed up your PC.

Use MSCONFIG to speed up Windows PC

Its usually true that the more programs you have running on your computer, the more likely it is that your computer will either boot slowly, run slowly or even crash occasionally because of conflicts and badly designed software.

Every time you boot your PC a whole raft of 'hidden' programs load in the background. Some of these 'hidden' programs are essential for the smooth running of Windows and some for the ideal operation of a few programs like software firewalls, antivirus etc.. But there are many more entries that are not essential and do not need to load when your computer is turned on.

Turning off some of these 'hidden' programs can significantly increase your computer's performance and reliability.

Find out how to do this...

Using Facebook as a branding strategy for your Business Website and Business Blog

Facebook has undergone a few changes of late and is now a much more viral experience for you and your potential or existing customers (collectively called Fans in Facebook).

The new Facebook Business Page layout is divided into two distinct areas.

The left-most column is where your brand logo, business information summary, fans, links and admin links can be located. Make sure you write something interesting about your company in this left column.Be sure to include a link to your website here. Your description can be changed at any time, so this is also a great place to highlight a promotion or some other news about your company.

The right hand column is the certainly the largest and is divided into a series of tabs, with the Wall tab generally being the default view.

The Wall acts as a Twitter-style update feed that puts your business news directly on your Facebook Business Page.

When you are logged into Facebook and click Edit Page a third column appears containing blocks of advertising.

As you make changes, add links and share other information on your Facebook Business Page, it automatically appears in the new Wall feed. Updates and Wall posts made by your fans are also shown in this Wall feed. And any updates that you add also appear on all your Fans Walls, so this can be a truly viral experience.

Read the rest of this article.

Using the Windows XP Recovery Console

To enter the Recovery Console in Windows XP, you will need to boot from your Windows XP Setup CD.

When your computer starts up it will start the install routine. Watch for a 'Press any key to boot from CD' message and press a key to force your PC to boot from the Windows CD.

If you do not press a key at this stage your PC will continue to boot to the Windows XP installation that's currently installed on your hard drive. If this happens, simply reboot and try again to press a key and force your computer to boot from the Windows CD.

No user intervention is required in this step. Windows XP is loading a number of files in preparation for either a reinstallation of Windows XP or for use of the Recovery Console.

Note: Do not press a function key if asked to do so during this process. Those options are only necessary when installing Windows XP or reinstalling Windows XP and only then in certain circumstances.

When the Windows XP Home/Professional Setup screen appears, press R to enter Recovery Console. To find out how to use the Recovery Console please see the full article - Using the Windows XP Recovery Console.

Using Twitter to promote your business

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that is free to use and is available to everyone. But there is a certain degree of etiquette involved in any type of social networking, so we have put together a few suggestions about how to promote your business by using Twitter.

To read a lot more about twitter marketing see our article - Using Twitter to promote your business

Visiting a Website and seeing 'Error on Page' whilst browsing with Internet Explorer

Error on Page means that some script code in the page you are viewing has encountered an error. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about this message as it is usually the result of a programming error or a side effect of your browsers security settings.

The best thing to do to suppress this message.

If you are using Internet Explorer select Tools/Internet Options and then click the Advanced tab. In the list of settings, under Browsing, put a tick against 'Disable script debugging' and click OK.

Vista User Profile Service fails to logon

This is a Vista User Profile Service problem and there are certainly a lot of posts across the Internet about this difficulty. It seems to occur when there are two or more user Profiles set up. But there are a small number of single users who also report the same problem. It does not seem to matter whether the users are 'administrators' or 'standard' users.

It seems likely that the affected users Profile has somehow been damaged and is frozen. As a result, Vista has changed the Profile's extension to.bak - a backup file. This makes the user Profile unavailable and so produces the message:

- The User Profile Service service failed the logon.

- User Profile cannot be loaded.

To read our article on how to fix this annoying problem click here.

Voice over Internet Protocol and Skype

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the technology that turns analogue audio signals into digital data that can be sent over the Internet. This allows you to completely bypass conventional telephone networks and their fees and talk via the web for free.

To find out more about this technology take a look at our article -

'Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)'

Volume Control Missing From Taskbar

Go to Start, Settings, Control Panel and double click on Multimedia. Tick the box that says, 'Show volume control on the task bar'. Apply the change and click OK. You will now be able to access your mixer by double clicking on the speaker icon in the system tray.

Warning Messages on your Desktop

A widely reported problem in online forums is annoying pop up windows that appear on desktops that may be innocent but can be very dangerous!

A fairly common pop up say's "Warning - Spyware has Been Detected on Your Computer"

Another common message suggests 'how to get rid of popup's' and if you click it promptly proceeds to download even more spyware and adware.

Severe spyware and adware infections can slow you down while you are online, or even prevent you from using your PC.

So, what causes these messages to appear on your desktop and how can you remove them to improve your computers performance.

See our article - Warning Messages on your Desktop

Web Site Usability

Website Usability refers to how easy it is for your website's visitors to find the way around your website to buy your products or access your important information.

So as a first step, your website must be easy to navigate and be designed in a way that makes it easy for your visitors to find whatever they are looking for.

So what are some of the key usability principles you should employ in designing a user friendly website?

To find out more about this important subject see our article - SEO - Web Site Usability

Web Sites that time out

If you occasionally come across web sites that Internet Explorer cannot load for some technical reason (time-out) and you find that I.E. takes a long time to tell you the site is unavailable, you can shorten this waiting period by tweaking the Registry. Make sure you back up your Registry before you start.

Start the Registry Editor and open HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Internet Settings

Select Edit, New, Dword Value and call it Receive Timeout. Double click this new Dword in the right hand pane, set its base value to Decimal and type in the Value Data field a value of 60000. Press OK and restart. The time-out will now be set to activate after one minute. The Value Data is measured in milliseconds so you can change this Registry setting as desired (e.g. a 30 second delay would be 30000 milliseconds).

Website Accessibility

For some useful tips on designing an accessible website see our article 'Website Accessibility Guidelines'.

What causes that strange whirring noise inside my Computer?

A whirring noise inside your PC almost certainly comes from a loose or damaged fan. But you can never be too sure without opening up your PC's case.

You may even have a hard drive problem developing. But a dying hard drive is more likely to make a loud clicking noise rather than a whirring one. To play safe make an extra image backup of your hard drive, just in case the hard drive is the culprit.

Once your hard drive is protected, start looking for a problem amongst the fans. You need to figure out which fan is causing the problem and see if it is loose or damaged in some way. How you do this depends on whether you have a laptop or a desktop computer.

To find out more about the fans in a PC's case and how to check them please see the full article.

What Type of PC Memory Should I Install?

I often get calls about what memory to install in a PC as part of an upgrade e.g. someone wanting to increase their PC's memory from 512MB to 1GB etc.

The advice I give to everyone is to visit the website of Crucial Technology and use their excellent memory advisor tool. This will examine your PC and tell you exactly what memory you need and even how many slots are free on your motherboard.

If you wish to find a manual for your motherboard try They offer a good range of manuals, for most makes of board, and the manuals can be downloaded in pdf format.

If you do not know the make of your motherboard a clue to its manufacturer may be available as your PC begins to boot up, but you will need to be quick off the mark to hit the Pause/Break key before the info begins to scroll off screen.

Why should you Partition your Hard Drive

The best reason to partition your hard drive is to keep your software applications and operating system on your PC separate from your data files (i.e. music, pictures and other valuable documents you store on your computer).

Discover how to do this by reading our article -

'Why should you Partition your Hard Drive'

Win XP On Desktop PC Not Shutting Down Properly

Does your copy of Windows XP on your desktop machine take a long time to shut down/reboot or even hang when you click the Turnoff or Restart buttons? If so, the cause may well be the Windows Power Options that are set up for your PC.

To check these, Open Control Panel and double click Power Options. Make sure that the 'Home/Office Desk' Power Scheme is selected and all three Settings are set to 'Never'. Now try shutting down your PC to see if there are any improvements in shutdown speed.

If there is only a slight improvement you will also need to disable the power management settings for the USB hub. To disable this, right click My Computer, click Properties, click the Hardware tab, then click Device Manager. Double click Universal Serial Bus Controllers to expand it, right click the USB Root Hub and then click Properties. Click the Power Management tab. Click to clear the 'Allow the Computer to Turn off this Device to Save Power' check box and then click OK.

You may well have more than one USB Root Hub listed in Device Manager, so repeat the above procedure for each one.
Now retest the Shutdown/Restart procedure to see if there are any further improvements.

If your PC is still rather slow at shutting down suspect one or more of the programs listed in your Taskbar (especially virus software).

Windows 7 tips and tricks

If your new to Windows 7 you may have missed some of the tips and tricks that could make your Windows experience even greater.

Read our latest article to see how to make Windows 7 work for you.

Windows 8 Clean Install

Its true to say that most people who buy a copy of Windows 8 will have gone ahead and updated their current Operating System (Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7) to Windows 8, with no easy way to get back to the Operating System they were using before.

Another and often better way to install Windows 8 is as a clean install which involves completely removing your PC's Operating System from your C drive and installing Windows 8 on that same drive as the only installed Windows Operating System.

This clean install is often the best method of installing Windows 8 and is always better than upgrading, say from a previous version of Windows, like Windows Vista.

A clean install of Windows 8 will actually format your C drive and so erase whatever resides on this drive and then install and configure a new copy of Windows 8 for you to use.

To find out more please see the rest of this aricle by QBS PC Help

Windows 98 'Standby' Gone From Shut Down Windows Option

Windows disables 'Standby' if it detects problems when trying to resume from this particular mode.

This can happen if you switch off your PC while it is in 'Standby' mode. To get this mode back again you will need to adjust a Registry setting so back up your Registry before you start.

Open the Registry Editor and expand Hkey_Local_Machine\System\ CurrentControlSet\Services\VXD. Select the Vpowered folder and see if values named Flags and SuspendFlag are present. If Flags is present and has a value greater than or equal to 200, change the value to the current value less 200. Set the value of SuspendFlag to 0 and then reboot your computer.

If this doesn't work, you will have to uninstall and reinstall Advanced Power Management Support. Open Control Panel, System and select Device Manager. Expand the System Devices branch and locate Advanced Power Management Support. Highlight this and click Remove. Reboot your PC and open Control Panel, Add New Hardware Wizard. Let the Wizard install support for APM and then reboot your PC. 'Standby' mode should now be restored.

Windows 98 Keeps Starting Up in Safe Mode

To restore the standard boot up operation locate a file named winbootng.sts in the Windows folder and delete it. If this does not solve the problem and the PC continues to boot into Safe Mode, exit Windows to MS-DOS, or boot from a recovery disc, and execute the following commands:

Atrrib -s-h-r C:\io.sys

Ren C:\io.sys.old

Sys C:

This should restore the normal start up operation of Windows 98.

Windows 98/ME Registry Tools and Root Keys

If you need to amend the Windows Registry always make sure that you back up your Registry settings before proceeding. To do this click START/RUN and type SCANREG. This starts the Windows Registry Checker which checks for any errors - if there aren't any, it asks you if you want to backup the Registry again. Accept the offer!

Windows 98 and ME back up the registry at Start Up once a day and by default keep the last 5 working copies. To increase the number of copies kept you must edit the C:\WINDOWS\SCANREG.INI file by changing the MaxBackupCopies value from 5 to whatever you want it to be.

Once the backup is complete click START/RUN type REGEDIT and press ENTER. Now you are confronted with a list of Registry Root Keys:


This Key stores file associations and related information.


This Key stores the individual preferences for all the Users on your PC. This is mostly the contents of USER.DAT (located in the Windows folder).


This is just the section of HKEY_USERS for whoever is using the PC at the time.


The Key stores information about hardware, software and preference from SYSTEM.DAT (located in the Windows folder).


This links to the section of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE for the current hardware configuration of primarily graphic cards and printers.

HKEY_DYN_DATA (not used by Windows XP)

This key stores information about Plug and Play devices.

If you delete old Keys for the packages you've perhaps uninstalled and you use Windows 98 or ME, you can compress the Registry to improve its performance (this is automatically done in Windows XP). Restart your PC in MS-DOS mode and run SCANREG /OPT to remove unused space and shrink the file sizes.

If there is a problem with the Registry, for example after it's been amended in some way, Windows Registry Checker replaces it with the most recent backup copy. To force Registry Checker to use an older version press F8 as Windows boots up and chose Safe Mode Command Prompt. At the C:\ prompt type SCANREG/RESTORE and chose which backup to choose.

For more tips on optimizing, fixing and tweaking the Registry QBS suggest you visit the Windows Registry Guide at:

Windows Hangs On Start Up as Desktop is Displayed

Try disabling the Windows Start Up Sound from Control Panel/Sounds. If this does not cure the problem the cause is probably one of your system tray applications. The only way to find out which one, is by a process of elimination.

If you are familiar with MSCONFIG then you can disable start up processes and gradually re-enable them to find out which one is causing the problem.

Windows Media Player errors

If you play CD's using Windows Media Player and sometimes receive an error message to say that it has to shut down you may have a problem with your media library database. It may be corrupted and if so, you will need to recreate it.

Open the folder Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Media Player.

If you are using WMP 10.0 the media library database is named CurrentDatabase_219.wmdb. If you are using Media Player 9.0 the filename is CurrentDatabase_59R.wmdb. Rename the appropriate file to something else and restart your PC. Media Player will then recreate a fresh copy of your database.

If the problem is fixed by doing this, go back and delete the corrupted database that you renamed.

Note: The type of error message that shows a database corruption would be something like: 'Faulting application wmplayer.exe version, faulting module msisam11.dll, version 4.0.348.1, fault address0x00006a77'.

Windows Password and How To Remove It

If Windows XP asks for a password when it starts up and you want your PC to boot up and go straight into Windows, then here is how to do it.

Open Control Panel and double click Network. Select the Configuration tab of the Network Protocol and select Windows Logon from the Primary Network Logon drop down list, then click OK.

Now open Control Panel Passwords and select the Change Passwords tab. Click Change Windows Password and enter the old password (if any) and leave the new passwords field blank then click OK.

Windows Recycle Bin Disappears

If your Recycle Bin is missing on your desktop it is likely that your ShelliconCache has become corrupted. The easiest thing to do is delete it and let Windows rebuild it from scratch.
To do this you need to reboot to a command prompt by tapping F8 as Windows begins to load and select 5 from the start-up menu. When the C:> prompt appears type the following commands one at a time pressing Return after each command is typed.

cd windows [Return]

attrib shelli* -h [Return]

erase shelli* [Return]

Now reboot your PC to allow Windows to rebuild the ShelliconCache. You should now be able to see and access your Recycle Bin.

Windows sound problems

There could be a number of reasons for a lack of sound from your Windows PC.

First make sure you've plugged your speakers into your PC, have turned the speakers on and have turned up the volume. And make sure you actually have a soundcard installed - either a separate card in a PCI slot or as an integrated feature of your PC's motherboard.

If there is still no sound issuing from your computer try checking that the soundcard actually exists.

To find out a whole lot more about windows sound problems and how to sort them out please see the rest of this article by QBS PC Help.

Windows Startup and Shutdown - the processes

The processes Windows goes through during Start Up and Shut Down can help you determine where your PC hangs or produces a blue screen. For example the if the POST cannot detect necessary hardware or determine the boot device it will halt and not let Windows Start Up.

By knowing were a problem lies its easier to get help. At QBS PC Help we have several articles that can help track down start up and shutdown problems.

To find out a whole lot more about these Start Up and Shutdown processes please see the full article.

Windows Vista Administrator account

The Administrator account is disabled by default under Windows Vista.

To enable it click Start, Run and enter 'control userpasswords2'. Select the Advanced tab and click Advanced under Advanced User Management. This will open the Local Users and Groups Manager.

Click on Users on the left of the panel and double click Administrator. On the General tab, un-tick the checkbox 'Account is Disabled' and click OK. This will set you up as Administrator.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 Sleep Options

The Sleep option, available under Windows Vista and Windows 7, is a power-saving state that allows your PC to quickly resume full-power operation (typically within several seconds) when you want to start working again.

To find out a whole lot more about Windows sleep and its features please see the rest of this blog post by QBS PC Help.

Windows Vista Review

Windows Vista - read the review.

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor can test your Windows XP PC to see if you can run Microsoft?s latest operating system - Windows Vista.

The Upgrade Advisor tool will scan your computer and create an easy to understand report of all known system, device and program compatibility issues and recommend ways to resolve them. Upgrade Advisor can also help you choose the edition of Windows Vista that best fits the way you want to use your computer.

All you need to do is download, install, and run the Upgrade Advisor.

Download Now: Vista Upgrade Advisor.

Note: The Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor works with 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista. It will not work with Windows 98, Windows 2000, or Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

Windows Won't Detect Internal Modem

Internal modems need to be assigned to COM3 or COM4, which are virtual COM ports. You need to install these first by using the Add New Hardware wizard in Control Panel.

Windows XP &ME System Restore Stops Working

Windows ME and XP both have the excellent System Restore Facility which can get you out of trouble more often than not. But what if this facility becomes unavailable? How can you reinstate System Restore?

Look in your Windows folder for a file named 'wininit.ini' and if you find it, delete it.

Wininit.ini is supposed to be a temporary file used by installers which enables files that are in use by Windows to be replaced or deleted before Windows next starts.

Restarting your PC enables these 'tidying up' actions to take place, after which the wininit.ini file is normally deleted. If this file is on your PC system then it is probably there because an earlier installation or removal of software did not run smoothly. It is this scenario that often causes System Restore to stop working.

Windows XP hangs at "It's safe to turn off the computer after shutdown"

If you've installed Windows XP and it's working well, but it halts on the 'It is safe to turn off the computer at shutdown' screen, instead of actually switching off, what do you do?

In Control Panel open Power Options and select the APM tab. If it shows that your PC supports APM, enable it. This allows Windows to turn off the computer after shutdown.

Windows XP System Restore Not Working

System Restore can stop working if you run short of disc space because it will purge all restore points trying to resolve the lack of space.

System Restore can also stop working for other reasons, so you should first check whether this Windows Service is actually running.

Open Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services and check this services properties. Start it up and set the Startup type to Automatic, so that in the future it will always continue running.

If System Restore fails suddenly, stopping the Service and rebooting usually fixes the problem. To do this open Control Panel/System, select the System restore Tab and disable System Restore. Restart your computer and then turn this Service back on again.

Windows XP Task Manager Display problems

If you open Task Manager (Ctrl/Alt/Delete) in Windows XP (SP1 or SP2) and you only see an open Task Manager Window with no tabs, menu or title bar you have probably clicked on the Task Manager Window border not realising that this action removes all the usual navigation controls.

To put things right again simply double click on any part of the border of this 'minimal display Window'.

To get the minimal view back again double click in the blank area to the right of the tabs.

Windows XP Upgraded and Doesn't Recognize Some of Your Peripherals

You cannot use any device under Windows unless you have Drivers that work with your particular Operating System. So driver problems usually comes to the fore when you upgrade your Operating System from say Windows 98SE to Windows XP and try to use your printer/scanner etc for the first time.

You will find that many drivers for the earlier versions of Windows do not work under Windows XP. To locate drivers, first check your manufacturers website to see if they have any Windows XP drivers for you peripheral. If so, download these and install them.

You could also try a site that has links to all known Windows XP Drivers.

If the manufacturers website or do not have Windows XP Drivers for your particular peripheral, then try installing Windows 2000 drivers. These may work but can sometimes cause Windows XP to become unstable.

If all else fails it may be time to upgrade your printer/scanner etc to a model that will work with the Windows XP Operating System.

Windows/system32/config/system file is missing or damaged

Since the config folder stores important information about profiles, applications and registry settings, any computer with this problem will not normally boot and so you cannot use your Windows CD to log into the recovery console to attempt a repair (as the windows error message suggests).

For help with fixing this see our article - Windows/system32/config/system file is missing or damageds

Wordflood Can Help Your Writing Skills

If you regularly or even occasionally write articles, perhaps for your website, Wordflood might be just the software you need to help you write better.

Wordflood looks like a traditional word processor but it scours your document for synonyms and replacements for words and common phrases.

To find out more about this useful tool see out article - Wordflood Can Help Your Writing Skills

Wordpad and Games no longer show on the programs menu. How do I get them back?

All the items in the Programs menu are just files and folders, and can be easily deleted just like any other links. The best and easiest way to restore Wordpad and games is to uninstall and then reinstall them.

From Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs choose Add/Remove Windows Components. In the Window Components Wizard clear the box beside Accessories and Utilities and click next. This will remove the utilites and games.

Now repeat the entire process to reinstall these items.

Key Windows Support Bulletins & their reference numbers

Windows 7

How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows Vista and Windows 7 (927392)

The update is not installed successfully, you receive a message, and the computer restarts when you try to install an update in Windows Vista and Windows 7 (KB949358)

Windows Vista

The update is not installed successfully, you receive a message, and the computer restarts when you try to install an update in Windows Vista and Windows 7 (KB949358)

Vulnerability in Windows Vista Firewall Could Allow Information Disclosure (935807)

Error message when you use Windows Media Center to burn a CD or a DVD from a folder that represents the root of a drive in Windows Vista: "An error has occurred in burning the CD/DVD" (952983)

After you install a device or update a driver for a device, Windows Vista may not start (927525)

You may experience problems after you resume a Windows Vista-based computer from sleep or from hibernation (929734)

You cannot configure Windows Mail to use a Web-based (https) e-mail account in Windows Vista (926374)

The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool helps remove specific, prevalent malicious software from computers that are running Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000 (890830)

Problems with the network, hard disk drive, or storage drivers cause a program to stop unexpectedly in Windows Vista (937097)

Error message when you reinsert an SD card into a Windows Vista-based computer: "There might be a problem with some files on this device or disc" (937651)

The hybrid sleep feature and the hibernation feature in Windows Vista may become unavailable after you use the Disk Cleanup Tool (928897)

Error message when you try to install Adobe Reader 8 on a Windows Vista-based computer: "The Temp folder is on a drive that is full or is inaccessible" (936645)

How to start the Program Compatibility Wizard in Windows Vista (555917)

Error message when you try to play the World of Warcraft game in Windows Vista: "Display driver stopped responding" (936653)

Music continues to play after you exit Windows Media Player 11 if the Windows Media Player gadget for Windows SideShow is running on a Windows Vista-based computer (936706)

The Help and Support feature stops working when Dreamweaver is configured as the default XML editor on a Windows Vista-based computer (937491)

You cannot play media files that you purchased from the iTunes Music Store after you upgrade to Windows Vista (936649)

You receive an error message when you try to install or to use Apple iTunes software on a Windows Vista-based computer (936648)

The startup sound is not played correctly when you start Windows XP or Windows Vista (321735)

Video performance may suddenly be reduced when certain Windows elements overlap the video window in Windows Vista (932782)

You randomly receive a "Stop 0000000xA" error in Storport.sys when you start Windows Vista (930261)

How to repair the operating system and how to restore the operating system configuration to an earlier point in time in Windows Vista (936212)

When you start a Windows Vista-based computer, the arrangement of Windows Vista Sidebar gadgets changes, or some gadgets do not appear (930277)

How to resolve a Windows Genuine Advantage product key or volume license key validation issue (932300)

Windows XP

How to troubleshoot an unsuccessful installation of Windows XP Service Pack 3 (950718)

How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting (307545)

The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool helps remove specific, prevalent malicious software from computers that are running Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000 (890830)

How to back up and to restore Outlook Express data (270670)

Troubleshooting Internet Connection Sharing in Windows XP (308006)

Resources for Troubleshooting Internet Connection Sharing in Windows XP (308021)

How to troubleshoot missing network connections icons in Windows Server 2003 and in Windows XP (825826)

How to configure file sharing in Windows XP (304040)

System Restore Tool Displays a Blank Calendar in Windows XP (313853)

How to start the System Restore tool at a command prompt in Windows XP (304449)

The Registry Keys and Values for the System Restore Utility (295659)

Troubleshoot Windows XP Problems During Installation (310064)

Windows XP restarts unexpectedly or restarts when you shut down the computer (320299)

How to perform advanced clean-boot troubleshooting in Windows XP (316434)

Windows XP Computer does not shut down properly if Selective Suspend is enabled (315664)

Resources to help troubleshoot shutdown problems in Windows XP (308029)

Create a Multiple-Boot System in Windows XP (306559)

How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP (289022)

Use the Roll Back Driver Feature in Windows XP (283657)

How To Create a Boot Disk for an NTFS or FAT Partition in Windows XP (305595)

Description of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 System File Checker (Sfc.exe) (310747)

How To Move the Paging File in Windows XP (307886)

How to change the logon window and the shutdown preferences in Windows XP (291559)

How to log on to Windows XP if you forget your password or your password expires (321305)

How to use Windows Program Compatibility mode in Windows XP (292533)

The Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation check process does not complete when you try to validate your copy of Windows XP or Windows 2000 Professional (905226)

Redirect My Documents to the home directory or elsewhere (232692)

How to resolve a Windows Genuine Advantage product key or volume license key validation issue (932300)

Windows 2000

How to troubleshoot shutdown problems in Windows 2000 (315409)

Windows 2000 Does Not Shut Down Correctly with Adaptec Easy CD Creator 4.0 or Earlier Installed (285461)

Troubleshooting Advanced Power Management in Windows 2000(242495)

No Desktop or Blank Desktop After Logging On to Windows 2000 (256194)

Windows 98 and ME

Problems Shutting Down Windows 98 Second Edition (238096)

Troubleshooting Windows 98 Start Up Problems (188867)

Error Message: The Comdlg32.dll File Cannot Start (137273)

Windows 98 and Windows Me error message resource center (315854)

Other useful tips to help fix your PC

How to Use the Fdisk Tool and the Format Tool to Partition or Repartition a Hard Disk (255867)

Blank desktop or illegal operations error message after you install Internet Explorer (249191)

The new window that you open in Internet Explorer displays a blank white page (902932)

How to: Extract Original Compressed Windows Files (129605)

A list of Device Manager error codes (125174)

[ SanDisk SDCZ50-064G-B35 64 GB Cruzer Blade USB 2.0 Flash Drive - Black - only £12.45 ]