Computer Repair and PC Support across the UK
15 Jobs Completed for PCIQ
72 Forum Posts
Member since 26th Sep 2006
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I've been using Three for years, and I can use any POP or SMTP email as I like (with both my own domains and things like gmail and yahoo), with and without SSL, through Thunderbird and Seamonkey. I have never used Three's SMTP servers, as I never had any need to. I suspect bad settings or lack of understanding is at the root of the problems here. Or possibly dear old outlook. As far as I'm concerned, Three blocks nothing, not even when abusing your mobile as a wifi access point for multiple computers!
A modern OS will use most of the unused RAM to cache files in order to speed up file reading/writing.
Hallo Wolfgang, most (all?) of us here are based in the UK, and we don't normally ship stuff to South Africa. This battery can be had in the UK for £50 or less. I have no idea what your supply options are in South-Africa? Groeten en Sterkte, Wim
Is this "Do not restart on system failure" option a part of all Windows XP service pack levels? I do think it's time for Peter to call in a professional or reinstall his OS (assuming he has a backup...).
Yes, what you lot are up against is solder trouble: when the industry first stopped using lead, the first generation solder between the chip and PCB has trouble with heat cycles: over time all the solder joints start to crack. Initially, a bit of pressure in the right place allows the system to carry on, but eventually it's down to reballing (an open surgery that involves replacing he solder balls with better solder - very fiddly) or complete PCB replacement. But prices for new laptops are now so low, all that is not cost effective.
OK, but what does it actually do when you try normal mode? Blue-screen-of-death, always reboots or maybe an error message?
I agree, for the hardware upgrades to this machine, you should look at RAM and hard disk: could you let us know what amount of RAM (aka 'memory') you have and what is the size hard disk? Other than that, have you done any system maintenance: clear out old files, defragging, check for malware, etc...
To clarify: wifi card have 2 circular gold snap-on contacts for wires (the antennas), bluetooth modules don't.
If your computer is ancient (windows 98 or 2000): I do have a load of classic PCI network cards, so if you are able to fit it, I can sell you one through my eBAY shop, as I do ship into Europe :-)
What about an "RJ45 USB adapter" or "network USB adapter"? If you have Windows XP or more modern operating system (including linux or BSD), the USB adapter will show up as just another network card, they are quite straight forward to use.
Given your netbook has been refurbished & your symptoms, it wouldn't surprise that the internal wifi antennas are not plugged into the internal wifi card. Belkin has their UK office and a warehouse in my town, so I really wish I could recommend them, but my 6 year+ experience with their drivers & software is very bad: even to the point of shipping the wrong driver CD in their retail boxes... I hope they have finally making improvements. My current batch of trusted USB WiFi adapters are Siemens, so it just goes to show you can't just tar a brand with one brush, you do need some hard earned experience to make recommendations. Netgear/D-link/Belkin will remain on my personal black list, because there's plenty of alternatives which, in my experience, have a better overall track record (3com/HP, Siemens, Linksys/Cisco). That doesn't mean they don't make the odd turkey, mind :-P
Yes, don't forget big brands sometimes get extra-special cheap/neutered chips, or their 'branded' driver works around a BIOS or hardware/manufacturing problem.
You can 'unblow' a motherboard: just identify the components that went bang (or bulged/oozed) and decide about replacing them.
Yeah, you'll need a tech to figure this one out: probably the motherboard or the PSU, but could be any other flaky electrical part or bad connection.
Sorry Jon, I'm a pillock: how is Illiterate breaking the ISP's term of service?
Sounds like file system corruption to me, it'll need an engineer to try and fix it, or to make a backup of your data to prepare for a full reinstall. Feel free to post a job request on the PCIQ homepage, and your nearest Mac tech can get in touch.
Agreed with the above posts, and once you've gone through the intro manual(s), go out on the internet and find a good blog or forum for people who are new to Macs, and just follow/read the articles/posts: you will learn a lot, and it will save you a lot of time in the future, because you 'will just know' where to find the info/app you need. Do not waste your time with magazines: they are just adverts all the way through.
Classic problem, you're not the first and you won't be the last :-) (Don't get me wrong, my Three dongle has been working fine for years.) Can you try your dongle in a different computer?
Yes, you should stick to the default dpi, otherwise a lot of program dialog boxes will become useless. Also, if the increase of font sizes to extra large is not enough, you can try: - upgrading to a bigger monitor (what size do you have now?) - learning to use a 'screen magnifier': this is a piece of software that will zoom in on the bit of screen under your mouse pointer. You can set the magnification level to suit your needs.
In any case, OpenOffice should be kept as the fall-back option in case MicrosoftOffice files get corrupted or you receive a file which your version of MicrosoftOffice or Works can't open. Also, when your recipient does not need to edit the file, you should save as PDF & then email it.
Beware, worn out hard disks can make the same noise...
Bear in mind Diane, that this might be a simple login or software issue. Given that your mac managed to boot and show you a desktop, it is unlikely that you will need high-end data recovery, but that scenario might only be 1 restart away. It is also unlikely that OSX would choose to reinstall or repair itself and destroy all your data in the process.
It's best to turn the machine off and get a data recovery technician to look at it. You can post a job request here on PCIQ and your local tech will ask you loads of questions to figure out what might have happened and which step to take next. Your hard disks might need to be taken out and sent off to a data recovery company.
Interesting. I have plenty of customers who have been on Acer, Advent & Asus for many years. Most are 'light users', but a few of them are accountants using these laptops 6 long days a week, and they seem to be incapable of breaking the little "A" laptops :-) ASUS also has a rather long record (10+ years) of producing quality end-user gear and computer components such as motherboards for Dell PCs. If I need a road warrior workhorse, I do prefer HP business laptops, but the little "A" laptops do very well in home and office environments.
I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they don't have any stock, just a call centre, i.e. they exclusively use drop-shipping, similar to what 90% of the computer channel seem to be doing, but at least they offer a wider range (but never actually deliver...).
I have had bad experience with sparesweb too: they took money for a laptop keyboard but never bothered shipping one out. 2 years and still waiting for stock...
It sounds like someone else setup network shortcuts on your Mac and/or PCs. If you have 2 Macs they should be able to find each other over a system called 'Apple Talk'. I suggest you file a job request on the PCIQ website or start reading a lot of manual :-) First thing a professional would check is to make sure the 2 machines can ping each other's IP address.
You can try plugging in an external mouse. Maybe you somehow turned off the touchpad and its buttons? There might also be a button like that for your wifi. You should have some kind of quick user manual that points all that kind of thing out.
Depending the the size of the drop, it might be worth posting a job request on PCIQ so that a technician can come out and lift the keyboard off your laptop and inform you how much coffee damage there is. When something is spilled on a laptop you should: switch it off, open it up, clean & dry it. Anything else and you end up waiting for the acid (most of our favourite beverages are acidic for some reason) to corrode the motherboard.
Or you could post a job request on PCIQ and that will get you in touch with your nearest Mac technician. I think this error might need a bit of hands-on diagnosing :-) We Mac techs have things like the Apple Hardware Test, so we can figure out if your hardware is OK, and then move on to software troubleshooting.
Yep, the only proper way of fixing the bad nvidia solder is to do a 'reball'. A reflow only works for 6 months at best.
The problem is not overheating: the problem is that the lead-free materials, which nVidia's design engineers have chosen to solder the chip to the board, are not capable of dealing with heat cycles. A bit of an oversight for a consumer computer chip. This is just another example of the lack of internal manufacturing knowledge with nVidia, which has haunted them all their lifetime (anyone remember their RAMDAC trouble?). So a 'reflow' is only a temporary fix, if you are lucky you get another 6 months out of it. The permanent fix is to 'reball', i.e. replace the solder with something more suitable. There's a guy in Peterborough who bothers with this, he's got videos on youtube :-) Reflowing can be automated and done on an industrial scale, but reballing can't, so it isn't cheap :-( However, reflowing can be a great way to recover data from an encrypted hard disk where the encryption is system-board specific.
We really could do with a preview/edit function on here... I meant to say: " HP/Compaq business laptops are ace, that's not where the problem is. The problem lies with nVidia's chipsets, not with the laptop brand. Simply avoid any system that has nVidia chips in them, and you will be fine. nVidia has had design-for-manufacturing, production and quality trouble since its inception. "
HP/Compaq business laptops are ace, that's now where the problem is. The problem lies with nVidia's chipsets, not with the laptop brand. Simply avoid any system that has nVidia chips in them, and you will be fine. nVidia has had design-for-manufacturing, production and quality trouble since its inception.
Knowing windows and given the amount of free space, it's probably to do with fragmentation going nuclear: I've seen files in more than 5000 pieces.
Hi Courtney, you will need to get a replacement set of discs or post a job on the PCIQ system, asking for a tech who can reinstall your operating system from their installation media. Also let them know if you need them to recover your documents, because your machine will need a clean install. In the unlikely event your local PCIQ people are all on holiday, let us know on this thread.
Yep, sometimes a password update goes wrong. So try again, that has fixed it for a fw of my customers in the past.
Maybe: - the replacement panel is lacking some shielding - a cable is running a bit closer to the 'noisy' fan - you have additional faulty/damaged components, such as, but not limited to: inverter, motherboard power circuit, etc... BTW, what's the purpose of having a manual fan boost on these laptops? Doesn't it have heat sensors? Or is this a way to switch the processor or video chip to full speed (some kind of 'gaming mode')?
You can try running it with the battery out, but I think it would be best to raise a job request on the main page of PCIQ. This is likely to be faulty hardware.
Sounds like a hardware problem to me, so your best option would be to post a job request on the main page. One quick one to try: what happens if you leave the battery out and try and start it from the powersupply?
Spot on Jon; my brain was in XP mode for some reason?
I think that last bit should read: and drag a shortcut for the scanner to the desktop
I also tend to convince business and home users alike to only run the HP 'enterprise' driver (or just the built-in windows drivers), rather than these ghastly printer software packs which seem to be very good at slowing down windows and the user. In short: avoid the installation CD and try to stick to basic drivers from Windows Update or the HP 'enterprise' driver (it'll be on the same HP download page as the bloated consumer package).
The factory restore data is normally located on the hard disk. With HP laptops, I make the extra factory restore cdroms: so maybe you've got some system restore discs for your laptop somewhere? Failing that you will need to use the correct windows installation disc in such a way that you can apply/qualify for the license number at the bottom of your laptop. The easy option is to use this site to get in touch with your nearest PCIQ professional: post a job request and he'll pop round to sort out your laptop.
I also have cdroms (green, blue and gold ones) going back to 1996 (why, I don't know. Pictures sure were small back then! ) I only go back to them once in a blue moon (one of my favourite games is backed up on there: Wizardry 7, also webpages from the late nineties), but so far no sign of degradation. I have always kept them in dedicated storage boxes.
Yes, this would be a good time to make a copy onto DVDs (store them cool, dry and in the dark) or an external hard disk dedicated to archives (i.e. not used every week). Also keep a copy on your home server or a recent laptop/PC with big hard disk. You always want at least 2 copies, one of which should be in your field of 'vision' on a regular basis. Otherwise you just forget about them for years and never use them. I keep at least 4 copies of our pictures and camcordings: his & her laptop, file server in the garage and external hard disk. We also keep the best ones on the original device.
Once it got going: - is it responsive - in device manager: are all drivers happy - try copying big files and work out the megabytes per second (should be a combined 3 megabytes per second or more) - is the antivirus happy - is there any indication about windows crash reporting or recent system restoring
Yes, you'll need to put a job request in and one f us will be in touch. Backlight trouble is in my experience often due to a faulty inverter. Which is much cheaper than a new panel or backlight surgery :-)
Yep, it's easier to blame something/one else rather than to engage ones brain, even for techs :-) My pet hate is zonealarm :-P Any piece of software can sabotage anything else, especially on messy operating systems, but always uninstall stuff you don't use any more (especially printers)
No worries Mark, I just picked up your work order, I'll be on the phone in a min.
Yep, the screen assembly is available everywhere, there's even one on eBAY for less than £50 (with cable and inverter). Do let us know if you need us to come out and fit it; it's what we do for a living :-) I'm one the techs covering your area, but I'm ignoring the matching work order at the moment.
I had a quick look around against the laptop model number, but nothing useful came up. Can you figure out the part number of the display panel? Or does anyone happen to know the OEM name or alternative consumer branding for this type of laptop?
I had/have a three mobile broadband link and that can be good enough to be described as broadband... in the right location. However, it all depends on how well your local area is covered, and on the construction techniques used in the building you are in. For example, some houses have some kind of metal mesh in the plasterwork which kills any wireless signal stone dead. Short version: wireless never beats cables :-)
Here's 2 more causes: - too many toolbars (Yahoo, BT, Google, windows live, etc...) => just bring up the program list from the control panel and remove all toolbars. I've seen cases were 2 toolbars was too many. - trojan infection, where the trojan is a bit buggy in fighting with windows and/or the antivirus system => run malwarebytes, spybot, hijakthis and evaluate a different antivirus program (take your pick, but not norton or mcafee :-) ) We do this kind of thing for a living, so feel free to post a job request :-)
I've never used Microsoft Office in my life and I've always used operating systems other than Windows (OS/2, Solaris, BSD, Linux, yes I even ran Ubuntu for a while). There is no reason for you to switch to windows, all the work you produce can be saved into a format that's compatible with people who are stuck with windows.
Also, Microsoft Office is overkill for home users. Try OpenOffice.org, you'll be pleasantly surprised :-)
OK, if the monitor cables don't look like they've been crushed or damaged, then: 1) if you leave the plastic bezels between the keyboard and the monitor off, does it still crash when moved? 2) reseat all add-on components (RAM, hard disk, optical drive, network cards, etc...) If neither of these make any difference, I'd suspect a bad contact between a chip and the motherboard somewhere. Which means it's time to do the old trade-off between buying a new laptop or replacing components, such as the motherboard, hoping you'll hit on the right one early in the process. My gambling money would be on the motherboard, but my cash on saving up for a new laptop.
Ok, let's put 1 and 1 together :-) Customer says: No, the problem does not happen when I move the screen on the laptop to wide open or nearly closed, I think that might be significant. Technician says: I still think its a faulty/loose/snagged screen cable Conclusion: Open up laptop, check cables running between base and screen. Replace as required. Case closed.
Replying to technical requests in forums like this often requires guess work, and we pick the most likely answer based on our experience and what little info we have about the posters capabilities (both to mend and to mess up). My first hunch/idea is often different to Jon's, but I would be getting it 'wrong' as much as anybody else. Jon is doing a great job on this forum and given the amount of work he puts into it, it's no surprise he gets it 'wrong' every once and a while, but he gets it right most of the time. It's easy to look smart when you've got the benefit of hindsight. Try sticking your neck out a bit more often :-) This thread is an excellent example: I've been repairing/building computers for over 10 years, and I've never had a half-bad contact with the optical drive like this, or a loose optical drive without the owner or technician knowing about it? Look back at the initial message in this thread: sure looks like some kind of hardware failure to me and your typical end-user can't fix that, so the initial advice to get professional help is spot on. And then it turns out it's a bad ATA connection or people forgetting about the loosened optical drive! How many times have you seen that with a laptop or its user?
I'm with Jon, on the faulty component, try looking again for a number ending with 'uF' and another one ending with 'V'
Sometimes all windows needs to do is to run chkdsk on the system partition. This can sometimes be triggered by booting from the windows install CD, aborting the INITIAL part of the installation process, take the CD out, and try booting the PC again. All this could be done during a very short onsite visit by your local PCIQ professional :-)
The link you refer to seems to indicate that the replacement component we would need is un-identified. I also have my reservations about the short-circuit testing method. I've done my fair share of leaky capacitor and laptop powerplug replacements, but if we can't identify the component, we are SOL :-( If you have access to the advent tech manuals, you need to try to identify the advent part number for this component.
Agreed, add-ons can clash, especially the toolbars. I refer to it as "Clash of the Toolbars" :-)
I often find the solution to troublesome wifi connection is to "extend" the wifi antenna: - for PCI cards: kit it out with a wifi antenna that has a long lead. - for USB dongles: fit a USB extension lead. Then move the thing about (2 feet often makes a world of difference). If that doesn't help, you have to go wired. The power-over-ethernet things are very convenient, but most of my home office customers just call out an electrician to run CAT5 cables in the walls and/or ceiling. Years ago, I sometimes kitted wifi routers out with an antenna-on-a-long-lead, but things have improved now, which means I no longer have to swear at tiny coax crimps :-)
Hi there, this is most likely a software problem. But how long is a while, and what is being done during that while? Is the PC idle or under running apps, if so which? Peer-2-peer applications can be nasty :-) Also, does the blue screen show a consistent point of failure? For example, the last blue screen problem one I came across was due to an old ATI driver ("ATIxyz.dll"). -- With Friendly Regards, Wim W. ========================================================
Well, where to start :-) Have you ever burnt DVD's with this machine before?
You have some very special hardware problem :-) I haven't had a case like this before, but I reckon you should try and find your local computer repair man for a new powersupply or motherboard? Cheers, Wim PCIQ pro for NN10
Well, HDTVs have come down in price a bit. I've spotted the follwing TV in the January sales for about 600 Pounds: - HDTV capable of 1366 pixels horizontally - 37" LCD screen - has a direct input for a computer's or laptop's VGA connector (no TV out needed) HD movies running of a laptop look very sharp indeed :-) The 40" version could do 1960 pixels horizontally. It makes the purchase of an LCD monitor capable of 1600x1200 look like a waste :-0
Well, maybe you have a separate speaker/beeper in your PC. Best thing to do at this stage is to check if PackardBell can help you go through the software setup, that's assuming the sound(card) came with the PC? How old is your PC?
Waw :-) SBS is very picky and strict. If you simply want to share some files, you can just as well use Windows XP. The most reliable solution is either: - a cheap NAS storage box with RAID1 configuration (check scan.co.uk, http://www.scan.co.uk/search/search.asp?criteria=nas&Submit=Go) - OpenBSD with Samba file sharing (for bigger companies) With Friendly Regards, Wim Wauters email@example.com
What kind of sounds/files won't it play then? If you hear beeps on a modern PC, that means the speaker function is being successfully routed through the sound system and your speakers. Check your volume levels and output settings and make sure you only have 1 set of speakers, people who design flatpanel screens hide the speakers very well these days :-)
Normal TVs have a low resolution (like 800 by 640dpi): if you want to do computer work, you'll need a high definition TV. If the computer is to be used only as a multimedia/video box, then don't worry about which TV to buy. Do make sure your computer can plug into the TV (i.e. it has a video/graphics card with TV out, ATI cards always give the best quality output - unless you can afford Matrox :-) ). The best HD TV you can get these days is "1080 progressive", which translates into non-interlaced (remember those interlaced monitors from the 80-ties that gave everyone sore eyes ?) 1920Ã—1080 dpi, and they are expensive. You will want a HD TV with a seperate VGA or DVI input for the computer, otherwise you are likely to end up at 640by480dpi mode... The middle of the range HD TVs will be capable of 1080i(nterlaced), which is good enough for watching TV, but for computer work you would drop down to the 720p(rogressive) mode which is 1280Ã—720 dpi. Also, TV's are meant to watch TV (no, really?) so: - the cheaper ones will have a cheap LCD screen which will be "slow" = they can't cope with fast moving pictures such as a scrolling webpage. - the cheaper ones will only support 60Hertz (again, because they have a slow LCD screen to cover up to low refresh rate), so you want one of those 100Mhz HD TVs to do serious computer work. Summary: you get exactly what you pay for,b ut once you have identified your dream TV, abide your time for a bargain on it :-)