Computer Related Questions - Volume 117 - Dynamic Dave

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RestoreIT -- is it worth having - buzbee
Recently I built a new PC based on an Intel Core E6400 Duo with an Intel MB. The MB came with RestoreIT on the CD. RestoreIT does an incremental back-up each time you fire the PC up.

After a couple of months of RestoreIt use I am now getting "Error code 0x9006 --- Core error! . . . you may need to re-install RestoreIT" ------- It has happened twice.

This started happening after it had done enough to fill up the available back-up space and had moved on into asking for permission to delete the oldest, to which I clicked OK, for about ten times by now.

What is the view on here?

1) Is this program worth having?

2) Without this program, does XP do a restore point only when you ask it to? (That is probably acceptable to me)

3) What advantage does RestoreIT have over the basic XP back-up? (Not used the XP facility yet)

Thanks for the help.
RestoreIT -- is it worth having - cheddar
Dont know Restore-It though XP System Restore is fine, clearly differentiating between system and data so you can role back without risk of loosing work.
RestoreIT -- is it worth having - buzbee
Thanks cheddar. Perhaps someone else has used it. But if it continues to give me agro it will have to go. I feel I was pressed into installing it by it being on the MB CD. And it probably needs an update to clear the bug yet the website given by the fault requires a program key to be able to look and the CD did not have keys for any of the programs. ugghh.
RestoreIT -- is it worth having - Altea Ego
pressed into installing it by it being on the MB CD

When doing a pristine build, the first thing that goes in the bin is the CD that came with the new Mobo. The drivers are always out of date, ditto the manual, and the free stuff is garbage, I dont even let it near the cd drive.

I always visit the Mobo makers website, and download all the latest manuals, drivers, bios update and utilities onto my own cd.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
RestoreIT -- is it worth having - buzbee
Thanks TVM. That sort of wisdom comes rather late to one like me that builds a new PC about once every 5 years. Only just downgraded my 98SE to the reserve and still got an Epson 740 in full working order -- not that it shows the ink levels on XP so will need to update for that.
RestoreIT -- is it worth having - SpamCan61 {P}
>>2) Without this program, does XP do a restore point only when you ask it to? (That is probably acceptable to me)

Yes, switch system restore off in 'system properties' then invoke it manaully when you want to use it.
RestoreIT -- is it worth having - buzbee
Thanks SpamCan61. What happens when the switch-off box is not ticked? Does it do a restore each time I boot?
RestoreIT -- is it worth having - Stuartli
A System Restore is usually created when you install/uninstall new hardware, programs etc or you can create one manually for any reason.

By default, System Restore is set at 12 per cent of a hard drive's capacity. This was at a time when hard drives were only a fraction of the capacity of today's three-figure GB drives, so you can safely drop it to around four or five per cent on, say, a 60GB drive.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
RestoreIT -- is it worth having - buzbee
Thanks stuartli. I have a 160 GB sata drive split into two 80's as C and D which is loads for what I do so the 12% is OK. Sometime I will put an 80 Gb one or so in.
RestoreIT -- is it worth having - Dalglish

may i suggest you read up on xp-system-restore and restore-it.
i suspsect there may be differences in what these two actually back up for you.
restore-it, if it is the same as the one below, claims :

RestoreIT 7 from FarStone Technology functions similarly to utilities like Symantec's GoBack (or Windows' own built-in System Restore Points feature) in that it can undo system changes and restore a computer to a previous configuration state. It also serves as a more conventional backup utility that can restore data ranging from an entire system down to a single folder or file. While many backup utilities require that you manually reinstall the Windows operating system and the backup utility itself before a restore can be performed, RestoreIT allows you to save a considerable amount of time and effort by performing a complete system restore from a command prompt.

All the information needed to restore data via RestoreIT is held in compressed archive files that the utility stores in a hidden partition on your system's hard drive. It can additionally utilize writable optical media like a CD-R or more appropriately a DVD-R/RW disc (RestoreIT supports single-layer writing at present), or in many cases, an external hard disk.

RestoreIT -- is it worth having - buzbee
Yes I have a few things to learn, Dalglish. I have ditched the Farstone RestoreIT for the present so I need to find out how to force an XP restore point.

I have emailed Farstone for fix for the bug and will think about whether I use it later. I did see that RestoreIT allowed a full back-up option.

I am still left with 'farstone' being listed as active in startup under HKLM and I can't get rid of it. If I delete it, or remove the box tick, it flicks back. Even though there are no longer any RestoreIT files. I am also getting a screen message about 'Service' not being run which may be that. No clue given on screen as to what service. I have a smart registry search utility I can use to go looking for farstone when I can dig it out.

Bit annoying as in all my time with 98SE I had little or no problems. I wrote my own batch file to back up the two Registry DAT files and so even when I had messed up doing a bit of rash registry editing I could just invoke another batch file, in DOS, to put things back. Cleared lots of junk out of the registry. Never had to do a re-install. Don't know if XP lends itself to me doing the same.
RestoreIT -- is it worth having - buzbee
Just to finish off. The unknown screen message was due to another of those beloved freebee CD programs! A motherboard monitor -- off for the winter. The reg search found 6 instances of Farstone still in the registry and I have now deleted them. Now no longer shown in startup. All works OK. OK making XP restore point/s -- did one before the reg edit. Fairly happy now. Thanks.
an update & another update - KB927978 - tyro
First, an update on my question on CRQ 111 -
in which I asked about getting a new Toshiba laptop from Morgan Computers.

I learned that if you if you want something from Morgan, sometimes you have to move quickly, for the one I was looking at was sold out by the time I decided to buy. So I got one of these instead:

The sticker on the box, btw, said "Toshiba Reconditioned" and also said Ex Demo. I'll assume it was reconditioned after being used as a Demo rather than before :-)

I found myself hauled roughly into the 21st century:
1) No FDD. Well, I was expecting that. (If I do want an external one, will any external USB one work with my laptop, or should I get a Toshiba one?)
2) More seriously, no PS2 port for a mouse. That was a surprise. I'm getting used to the touchpad, but I prefer a mouse. I take it that if I want a mouse I should get some sort of wireless one. (What's a good cheap one?)
3) A drive for recording DVDs. Which leads to the question, does it matter whether I go for DVD-R or DVD+R format?

But my big question is with updates. Or, to be precise, a microsoft update: KB927978. Every time I switch off, it tells me that in order to install an update, I need to hit "Turn off". And then it installs update 1 of 1. But it never seems to be installed, because every time I hit the yellow shield on the task bar, it tells me that this same update is available to be installed. What is going on?
an update & another update - KB927978 - Victorbox
I can try to answer some of your queries:

2) Use a wired USB mouse if you don't want to go the wireless route - which will take up a USB port anyway. Don't go too cheap - I bought a £6 Trust wired optical USB mouse from ASDA last week & it is hopeless, but a £12 to £15 Logitech / Microsoft wired optical mouse will probably be fine.

3) Most new CD/RW drives are +/- format now.

4) The update you mention was a pain when it came out. The full download package is here

Save download (don't click "run") to your desktop (reboot to clean everything up if you like) then install by double clicking the download & Windows will hopefully stop offering this update to you. Delete the downloaded file from your desktop after you've used it & you are sure everything is OK.

Hope this helps.
an update & another update - KB927978 - Altea Ego
1) No FDD. Well, I was expecting that. (If I do want an external one, will any external USB one work with my laptop, or should I get a Toshiba one?)

Laptops dont come with FDD any more - any USB one will do, windows xp will find it. (if you need one that is)

2) More seriously, no PS2 port for a mouse. That was a surprise. I'm getting used to the touchpad, but I prefer a mouse. I take it that if I want a mouse I should get some sort of wireless one. (What's a good cheap one?)

Laptops dont come with those ports any more. A lot have now dropped the serial and printer port as well. Everything in laptop land connects via usb. Most laptops only have a few USB ports as well so a small hub is very useful.

3) A drive for recording DVDs. Which leads to the question, does it matter whether I go for DVD-R or DVD+R format?

I assume you mean it does not have one? if that is the case, Get a usb drive, the toshiba internal one will be too expensive. I always use +R media, works anywhere.

Turn auto updates off. Always have your windows set to "notify me about updates" never "auto install" that way you decide how, when, or if you install updates (you can check aorund first to see if any cause problems)

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
an update & another update - KB927978 - cheddar
Turn auto updates off. Always have your windows set to "notify
me about updates" never "auto install" that way you decide how,
when, or if you install updates (you can check aorund first
to see if any cause problems)

Sound advice.
an update & another update - KB927978 - Pugugly {P}
If it was a toss up between a Microsoft or Logitech optial mouse I would go fo the MS beastie. The logitech one I currently have wired cordelessly to my MESH eats batteries as if they were prize cheddar. The MS one was good for months and months.
an update & another update - KB927978 - Victorbox
"The logitech one I currently have wired cordelessly to my MESH eats batteries as if they were prize cheddar."

Couldn't agree more - my son's MESH PC uses a Logitech wireless optical mouse & I forked out for a AA rechargable battery charger recently just to keep the Logitech mouse fed more cheaply.
an update & another update - KB927978 - BazzaBear {P}
I think MESH have changed what wireless system they sell with their systems at some point. I got mine about 8 months ago, and the (Logitech) mouse has a rechargeable battery and a docking station to keep it charged.
an update & another update - KB927978 - tyro
Victorbox & RF, thanks very much.

I dealt with the update as Victorbox suggested, and also turned of auto updates as per RF. When I went to Windows Update manually, it told me that there were no high priority updates that I needed to install, and the low priority ones didn't include KB927978, so I seem to have cracked that one.

Thanks for info about modern laptops. Re DVDs, I actually meant that the laptop came with an internal DVD recording drive fitted, and Iwondered which recording media to use - so you've answered that.

I might add that when I got the laptop, I followed all (or most of) the wisdom that I have picked up on this site over the past couple of years - I installed Firefox and Zonealarm and Avast and uninstalled Norton Internet Security (which came on the laptop) - also installed Open Office. I did wonder whether I should run both Avast and AVG, but decided that was a bit OTT.
an update & another update - KB927978 - rtj70
Some answers:

1) any USB floppy should work but you won't need one... I have one with my works laptop somewhere.... 1.44Mb! Get a USB memory stick - £11 should get you 1Gb.

2) Some laptops (almost certainly the Toshes) should allow for docking stations that have PS2, printer, serial, more USB ports, etc. but just get a good USB mouse

3) You do have a DVR writeable drive on this modern laptop surely?
Blank pictures - L'escargot
On my computer some pictures just show as a blank square containing a small square which contains a red cross. I've tried right-clicking on the red cross and then clicking on "Show Picture" but nothing happens. How do I get the pictures?
Blank pictures - Chicken Vindaloo
It's telling you that the picture or image is missing. I assume you're referring to a web page? There's not a lot you can do unfortunately because what you're after isn't actually there, just a reference to it. Someone has created a link to "fubar.jpg" on a webpage and then forgotten to upload it.

Hope this helps (well, it doesn't really does it!)
Blank pictures - L'escargot
Hope this helps (well, it doesn't really does it!)

It does help, because at least I know it's not my fault. That makes a change!
Blank pictures - Dalglish
Blank pictures


and google.

Blank pictures - Stuartli
Also see:

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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Blank pictures - L'escargot
Also see:

I went through all stages except stage 7 which says "If you are using a third-party Internet security, firewall, or cookie blocking program, contact the manufacturer of the program for information about how to enable scripting, ActiveX controls, cookies, Java applets, advertisements, and HTTP referral information.", and decided it wasn't important enough to pursue it any further. Thanks anyway.
Blank pictures - drbe
>> Also see:
I went through all stages except stage 7 >> --

I did the same and I still can't get pictures - but most videos seem to work. The recent German thread won't work.
Firefox not starting - tyro
Well, it's a good thing I've got the new laptop, because there is a problem on the desktop. Double click on Firefox, or otherwise try to open it, and nothing happens. I've tried rebooting, and I used system restore to take it back a week, when everything was fine, and even though system restore worked, Firefox still refuses to start. IE does work, by the way.

My only clue is that it seems that the problem started about when I got a new 2 gb Disgo USB stick (one of these - ). But it might be totally unconnected. Another thing that happened about the same time is that sometimes documents would not print for no apparent reason. I did go through "add remove programs" to see if there was anything odd looking there, but it all looked OK.

My next step, I guess, is to uninstall Firefox and then reinstall it - fair enough, since I'm actually using an old version. Should I uninstall the old one first and then download and reinstall the new one, or should I do it the other way around? I'd quite like to save my bookmarks.

But if anyone has any other ideas about the source or solution to the problem, I'd be grateful for help.
Firefox not starting - Stuartli
Install it over the current version.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Firefox not starting - Altea Ego
If the previous version was working ok, I would say the same;

As its not, I would say de-install it first.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Firefox not starting - Dalglish
if anyone has any other ideas about the source or solution to the problem ..

Firefox not starting - tyro
Thanks all.
I did what RF suggested, and it worked. It even kept my old bookmarks without me making any attempt to do so.
Windows 2000 - local yokel
I'd like to get a legit copy of Win2k to load onto a P3 laptop - currently has W98 (not 98SE). I've spotted a Dell laptop (or a box of bits of laptop to be more accurate) on a sale site, that comes with a legit W2k Dell CD, the 25 digit code, and the sticker on the case.

Do we assume that I can load the W2k straight from the CD, so long as the code is correct? I won't be using it on any other device, but I don't know that it's not been loaded onto any others. XP can only be loaded 2/3 times before MS block it - does the same apply with Win2K?
Windows 2000 - adverse camber
Not necessarily. Some keys are locked to specific vendor versions of windows and harware. ?I dont know how widespread it is but I dod once have problems with a similar scheme.

Also, check the M$ t&c because they might ban this. I remember one company I did work for having a spat with ms because the first thing they did with any pc was to splat it and put their own image on. m$ wanted to claim an extra licence fee for each install.

or ignore it or install linux.
Update on USB issues from CRQ 116 - cheddar
I have been looking a bit more into this, re the registry tweak quoted before by SjB, below:

Modify the value in:
Hkey_Local_Machine > Software > Microsoft > Windows > Current Version > DevicePath


It seems that if you have %SYSTEMDRIVE% in this setting it creates a file called infcache.1 in the root drive (I have this). This apparently can be deleted though will be re-created when you run the Add Hardware wizard, I assume putting C:\Windows\Inf in this setting avoids this and looks in the Windows directory instead thus allowing Windows to find the controller drivers. However I have been told that this setting should ideally contain - %SystemRoot%\inf - only which has the same effect.

On my machine this has a very long string refering to all sorts of devices so I am concerned about any tweaking.

Any more thoughts?

Update on USB issues from CRQ 116 - SjB {P}
Can you not (a ) cut and paste the registry path and original string in to a notepad file for safe keeping, (b ) create a restore point, and then (c ) try the tweak? This is what I did in case it all went Pete Tong, but as it turns out I have not had a single negative side effect. I still have the notepad file though in case it's needed in the future when my restore point has been overwritten.
Update on USB issues from CRQ 116 - cheddar
Can you not >>

I have already copied the string into Notepad though being a bit cautious I guess, might try it later, thanks.
Update on USB issues from CRQ 116 - JH
I too have a newish Mesh pc and I've had an odd USB problem. I've had the same advice as you and - it's made not the slightest bit of difference! I saved the original reg value, yards and yards of it, edited in the new value, result - no change. So it's at least harmless.

My problem is minor and I've given up on it, though if any of the geniuses who inhabit this site come up with a solution I'll be happy to adopt it. 3 of the 4 rear USB ports are occupied. If I add a 4th device to the rear or front ports (a memory card reader) then I stand a 50% chance of the wireless mouse not working after booting! This is particularly odd as the wireless receiver connects the mouse into the PS2 port via a USB to PS2 converter and the keyboard directly into the keyboard PS2 port.

The reader works if I hot plug it in so it's no big deal but it is very strange. Still, it's a computer, it's what they do. MVS never did this.

Best Antivirus software - SjB {P}
Time and time again, antivirus problems and subsequent recommendations appear in CRC threads. Having last night reached the final straw with trying to stop Norton (2003, not 2007) Internet Security conflicting badly with a Cisco VPN client installed on one of my home computers, I did some research for a replacement.

I found the following set of ranked reviews to be interesting, so share it here:

I'm sure I have read that Kaspersky (or a version of Kaspersky, perhaps with reduced feature set) is free, so will follow this up first. If not, then the price for this product or BitDefender is small beer compared with what infected PCs would mean, so I am quite prepared to pay.
Best Antivirus software - cheddar
antivirus problems and subsequent recommendations >>

Following Norton probs and a dabble with Avast (which I have on the kids PCs) I use F-Secure 2007 AV on my workstation, 2 years free subscription as a Barclays internet banking customer and an upgrade to security suite for only £10 p/a. I have not done the latter because after the nagging I got from Norton I have decided that a simpler though more intelligent approach is better.
Best Antivirus software - cheddar
Interesting article, their review is F-Secure 2006 though I am using 2007 which is even more comprehensive, updates every few hours, they also have a 24/7 support line on a normal 0870 number.
Best Antivirus software - Dalglish
.. I found the following set of ranked reviews to be interesting ..

note what the company says this about its unbiased reviews and commercial links -
.. I'm sure I have read that Kaspersky (or a version of Kaspersky, perhaps with reduced feature set) is free



however, the free does come at a "price" - eg to allow aol to monitor your use of the software etc.

note also that zonealarm now uses the kaspersky engine.

Best Antivirus software - Stuartli
If it's of any interest this is the Norton Removal Tool for removing all traces from your system after uninstalling:

2004 to 2007 version, just released:
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Best Antivirus software - charlesb
Best Anti-virus (and free) that I've used is the AVG Free edition by Grisoft.

Never had any issues with it and it is quite configurable. been in active use for around 3 years now, since dumping Norton, which was plagued with conflicts with other software (most notably Outlook Express).
VW Bora (51) 2.0 SE
VW Touran (54) 1.9 TDI
Best Antivirus software - daveyjp
This is quite opportune as my Norton subscription expired a while ago. I was going to renew it, but NTL broadband have their own anti virus software included in the subscription. I have removed Norton completely and installed the NTL anti virus software and pages now download much quicker. Is this just coincidence or does Norton cause slow downloads?
Trojan Horse Generic2.AVS - PhilW
My AVG virus scanner has alerted me a few times recently of the above. When I press "Heal" it says it is healed, then a couple of days later I get the same warning. Any idea where it could be coming from repeatedly or is it on my computer and keeps "unhealing " itself. I did a google about it and I'm afraid, could not follow the instructions on how to get rid of it.
Any of you knowledgeable people out there know how to "kill" it? Will it have harmed my computer?
Trojan Horse Generic2.AVS - fossyant
You need to turn off system restore, then reboot and do a new scan - viruses get embedded in the system restore file as well so they come back.

Once scanned and cleaned, re-enable system restore (Programs - Accessories - System Tools - System Restore - System Restore Settings)

That should do it !
Trojan Horse Generic2.AVS - Altea Ego
And dont "heal" it, vault it or delete it or some such action.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Trojan Horse Generic2.AVS - PhilW
Thanks fossy and TVM - have done as advised, hope it works!
printer prints extra copies - tyro
For some time now, the first time in any given day that our HP 6L printer is asked to print a document, it will print out a copy of the last document it printed the day before. Any idea why this might be, or how to get it to stop?
printer prints extra copies - fossyant
Is either the printer or the print icon giving any error messages, or is the print queue not clearing correctly ?

It's a handy feature in XP, but it looks like there might be a printing error/or the printer is reporting one that causes the 'queue' to reprint it ?
printer prints extra copies - tyro
No error messages - but it seems that the print queue is not clearing properly.
printer prints extra copies - fossyant
Try playing with the printer's advanced settings in XP - you'll see a fair few options with the spooling.

My printers are set to spool, but to start printing immediately - There are options to hold onto documents, print direct or spool then print. One of these settings should work (I have a laserjet 5 and a couple of inkjets) - these old lasers are just so reliable !
Missing Icons in taskbar - johnny
A colleague has a problem on XP that when minimising an application, it disappears. Task manager shows it as running, and you can restore the application using Alt + Tab , it just doesn't show in the task bar. Has he accidentally switched something off by a combination of function keys?
Missing Icons in taskbar - Victorbox
Go here & scroll down to fix number 240 & see if this helps.

Other suggestions are available with a quick Google.
Missing Icons in taskbar - Victorbox
In fact it is explained a little more clearly here

External DVD/CD combo - Robin Reliant
Can anyone recommend a cheap online source for an external DVD/CD combo drive? My internal one has packed up for some strange reason (I broke the tray off when I knocked my knee against it).

I have USB 2 and I am not bothered about the speed. And before anyone suggests it, I can't be bothered to open the case and muck about fitting a replacement.

Thanks in anticipation.
External DVD/CD combo - Victorbox
I get most of my bits from PC NextDay - good prices & quick service as the name suggests! About 20 minutes to fit an internal CD / DVD drive (remember to set the master / slave jumper) & a fraction of the price of an external one, so might be worth the effort.
External DVD/CD combo - Stuartli
>>I get most of my bits from PC NextDay - good prices & quick service as the name suggests! >>

That's interesting - this company is the subject of considerable concern on at least one major computer magazine's website because of buyers' problems with it.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
External DVD/CD combo - Focus {P}
I've found eBuyer to be good- I couldn't find an external combo driver, but the cheapest DVD R/W (which will read and write CDs) is a Liteon for £36.27 + p&p.
Edge ? - Pugugly {P}
Just had my work Blackberry upgraded - it's on Orange and flicks through the various types of signal it's acquiring it has a new one called Edge. What is it ?
Edge ? - Altea Ego
Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) Or Enhanced GPRS, or 2.75G , its a data link bolt on to ordinary GSM networks rather than going to a full 3G network
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Edge ? - Citroënian {P}
Faster than GPRS but not as quick as 3G.

Sounds cooler though... :-)

-- He\'s a cheeky wind-up scamster and he\'s on the radio....
Edge ? - Pugugly {P}
it does rather - thanks.
Webcam software - Citroënian {P}
Hi all,

Can anyone recommend some free(!) software that will take a photo at regular intervals with my webcam and upload them to my website (via ftp?) automatically.

I'd like to do this with my XP PC (SP2) and a Logitech quickcam messenger, but more interestingly I'd also like to do it with my iMac Duo's inbuilt camera. (in Mac OS, not using the Boot Camp XP) so would need some Mac software to do this.

Cheers in advance,

-- He\'s a cheeky wind-up scamster and he\'s on the radio....
Webcam software - Stuartli
You need motion detection software such as:

There are plenty more, but you may already have the equivalent with your webcam's software (Creative has a version normally).
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Webcam software - Citroënian {P}
Thanks Stuart

I'll have a look through them tomorrow. Found a program called Easy Web Cam which seems OK but I'll have to play with my webpage to get it to work - and it doesn't allow much configuration of the text on the image.

Will post here how I get on

-- He\'s a cheeky wind-up scamster and he\'s on the radio....
Webcam software - Baskerville
On the Mac, can't you use Automator to make Photobooth do this? There's an application called iAlertU (I think) that uses motion detection as an anti-theft measure on MacBooks (when you move the machine it takes a picture, among other things). Can you use that on your iMac? And finally, Apple provides Quicktime Broadcaster for free. I don't know for sure, but you might be able to use that for taking stills.
Webcam software - Mutton Geoff
I've used this software and found it to work well -
Printing Digital Camera Pics from PC - drbe
I don't seem to be able to print off my own digital camera photos from my PC free of charge!

I seem to have several software programmes relating to digital photographyon my PC. Is there a simple free-to-use bit of software that I can download which will allow me to print my digital pics free of charge?
Printing Digital Camera Pics from PC - rtj70
You don't say what operating system or printer but if you have XP you should not need to buy or install anything.

Go to the folder holding the pictures and use the XP Photo Printing Wizard. e.g. select pictures and right click and select print. Or select pictures and click on "Print the selected pictures". The wizard will guide you through printing process, cropping etc.

You can print directly to the right sort of paper or if you're using A4 photo paper can get XP to layout pictures in various sizes for you to cut up later.

If you want to print bordless A4 or 6x4 prints the printer needs to support this.

Printing Digital Camera Pics from PC - Stuartli
Apart from rtj70's suggestion, there's also Picasa2 - a supremely easy piece of photo editing software to use that will do everything you require and display all the photo files on your system. See:

it's provided by Google, but there's no advertising etc although you may need t register with Google; if you don't wish to do this there are earlier versions available at:

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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
The perils of mistyping Google - Victorbox
Beware mistyping "Google" into your web browser

Apparently this website does exist, so beware.
The perils of mistyping Google - Baskerville
All I got was a message: "Firefox prevented this site from opening a popup window."

Ah well.
The perils of mistyping Google - Victorbox
Strange - no pop-ups shown as blocked using XP SP2 & IE6.
The perils of mistyping Google - Baskerville
I'm talking about, not Youtube. Go on, live dangerously.
The perils of mistyping Google - Altea Ego
done it loads of times - nothing like that happens

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
The perils of mistyping Google - Baskerville
Of course it doesn't. It's probably sponsored by Symantec.
Laptop recommendations / deals ? - cheddar

Any recommendations and/or current offers you have come across?

My requirement, mainly business use:

Core Duo, Core 2 Duo or Centrino/Pentium M, I was not impressed with my Athlon 2400+ (1.8 Ghz) Acer compared to previous 1.0Ghz Intel PIII, particularly speedstep so prefer an Intel.
1GB + memory (perhaps 512KB if a good price, I can upgrade)
60GB + h/d
Decent o/b sound / soundcard
Reasonable graphics performance (re Photoshop and future use of Vista, not gaming)
IRO 15" TFT, ideally not widescreen
XP Pro or Vista Business or Vista Ultimate. I use, know and like Pro though should I jump on the Vista bandwagon? Price may rule out Vista.
Built in 802.11g

Up to around £600 ish.

Laptop recommendations / deals ? - Altea Ego

Your list should have 1 cpu on it and 1 cpu only

Intel Core 2 duo. Consider no other. scratch centrino and M from your list.,

YOu should remove from your list - Vista. Graphics card performance sucks big time, both video card vendors drivers are suffering. Rumours abound that Vista SP1 is hastily being prepared. Loads of XP apps dont work,
Vista is a non starter till Q3 2007 at the earliest. (you shoudl of course spec a vista ready PC however - ie a good graphics card)

Aldi have a base unit special coming out soon. not seen the spec yet.

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Laptop recommendations / deals ? - cheddar
>> Your list should have 1 cpu on it and 1 cpu
Intel Core 2 duo. Consider no other. scratch centrino and M
from your list.,

Thanks TVM, do you mean Core 2 Duo only, what about Core Duo (it's confusing isn't it), Core Duo T2300E machines can be had for a good price.

There are great deals on high spec (i.e. XP Pro / graphics / sound) Pentium M machines, a Pentium M 740 was the mobile mutts a few months ago, is it not a worthwhile buy today?

YOu should remove from your list - Vista. >>

Been in two minds though I think you are right.
Laptop recommendations / deals ? - Altea Ego

Its actually called

Intel® Centrino® Duo mobile with Core 2 Duo!

Known as and badged as Intel Centrino Duo

I really would consider no other. Battery life is superb, and performance is x2 anything else.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Laptop recommendations / deals ? - cheddar
Its actually called

There are however two Core Duo mobile processor ranges:

Intel® Core? Duo processor T2300 1.66Ghz to T2700 2.33Ghz all with 2MB cache

... and ...

Intel® Core?2 Duo Mobile Processor T5500 1.66Ghz to T7600 2.33Ghz 2MB or 4MB cache

The former being I assume a dedicated mobile processor (as per Pentium M) and the latter a mobile version of the desktop Core 2 Duo (as per the Pentium 4 M). I assume the latter are more powerful though have not seen any direct comparisons.

(Also FWIW Intel® Core? Solo processor T1300 1.66Ghz and T1400 1.83Ghz with 2MB cache)


Laptop recommendations / deals ? - Altea Ego
T2xxx are Core duo up to 2.33 Ghz

They are beaten by

T5xxx Core 2 duo up to 1.8 ghz - 2mb cache (dont be fooled by the lower CPU speed they are faster than T2xxx and use less power in real world)

in turn beaten by

T7xxx Core 2 duo up to 2.33ghz - 4mb chache

T2's are cheap for a reason! T5's and T7's spank them.

The key word here is Core 2 duo

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Laptop recommendations / deals ? - cheddar
The key word here is Core 2 duo

Can get a Core 2 Duo T5500 / XP Pro / 60GB / 512MB for around £560 inc, not bad, perhaps allow £50 on another 512 RAM in a month or two.
KVM switch recommendations - SjB {P}
As I have failed to find one, recommendations, please, for a KVM switch that meets the following criteria:

Two ports (ie control two PCs from one keyboard, mouse, and screen)
Keyboard hot key switchable instead of pushbutton (so I can mount out of sight)
Built in USB 2.0 hub with at least 2 ports
Externally powered (to ensure hub functionality is not PC power limited)
Supplied with two sets of cables at least 1.8 metres long
Support for 1280x1024 display resolution
Keyboard emulation to guarantee boot detection

DVI support (as I may replaced my analogue flatscreen in future)
Price up to £80 incl VAT

Not required
PS/2 support as my wireless mouse and keyboard are, of course, USB
KVM switch recommendations - Altea Ego
Very Tight spec there SJB, you may have to compromise,
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
KVM switch recommendations - SjB {P}
Very Tight spec there SJB, you may have to compromise,

Thanks, TVM; probably explains why I've failed to find something so far.
Will take a gander at your link this evening.
KVM switch recommendations - SjB {P}
Thanks again, TVM. Last night I managed to repair my broken Sitecom KVM switch, so given that I couldn't improve on its spec for the money I was prepared to spend, I will stick with it.
Cooked motherboard Pt.2 - sine
To those who offered suggestions to my problem in CRQ Vol. 114

I bought a new processor a few weeks ago and that has fixed the overheating. The voltage regulators don't go much above 55C and are about 45C most of the time. Oddly enough they get hottest when you leave the computer sitting in the BIOS.

It's a bit of a shame really as if I'd known the processor had gone bad I wouldn't have tracked down an old type of board. The old stuff seems to attract a premium price. I paid £48 for an unused ASRock Socket A, N-Force 2 motherboard which I guess is reasonable but £30 for a USED Athlon XP 2500+ Barton. Seemed a bit much to me but options were limited.

For some reason although the new board starts up quicker than before, it takes about 4 times as long to hibernate compared to the old board.

Now I think I should get a new AGP graphics card, before they become scarce, to replace my old ATI 7500. I'm not sure if there is something wrong with it but any game is a no go and videos have random speckles popping up all over the place. Its been like that since I bought it 4 years ago.
Reluctant boot - SjB {P}
Typical scenario recently started to happen with my XP MCE home PC:

1) Power up
2) Hear fans spinning flat out
3) Observe no boot
4) Wait, and observe fans still running flat out and no boot
5) Power down
6) Pause
7) Repeat above scenario 1-6
8) Repeat above scenario again 1-6
9) Repeat above scenario 1-6 yet again and observe, finally that fan speed audibly dips to normal running and the boot sequence starts

What typically causes reluctant booting, please?
Dodgy sector of HDD where the boot files reside?
Anything I can do to troubleshoot or rectify?

Many thanks.
Reluctant boot - cheddar
What typically causes reluctant booting, please?
Dodgy sector of HDD where the boot files reside?

Could be. Though have you checked BIOS settings, is the h/d the default boot drive, could BIOS be looking for the floppy / optical drives first? Have you done a BIOS flash?

Reluctant boot - Altea Ego
Well booting your pc is in two parts. The hardware boot (BIOS(s)) and the software. They need to be in that order.

IS your BIOS booting, ie do you see the BIOS screen, if not press the appropriate button to display your bios.

F8, F1, Alt F1 are favourites.

When you look at your bios is should say if its found the drives ( the bios rescans for drives every boot)

If its not found the drives, then no boot. Finding no drives is due to platter not starting to spin (can you hear the drives spin up) or the drive electronics/cable. Drives suffer from whats call "stiction" The surface of the platter has a thin film of lubricant or teflon like stuff. Sometimes this gets warm and acts like glue. The head lands on its parking zone when turned off, sticks to the platter, and the platter wont spin up.

If the bios has found the drives, and there is not boot you have a MBR problem, tho usually the bios posts a message saying "NO OS OR BOOT DISK FOUND"

So its bios, drive or OS bootstrap., MY bet is the drive.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Reluctant boot - sine
If you've recently added any IDE devices there may be a conflict between masters and slaves which could cause this.
Reluctant boot - SjB {P}
Thanks for the help, guys.
No IDE devices have been added.
The problem has been present from day one (ok, day two, to be exact) of this two month old PC, but whereas it used to happen very rarely, now it happens on half the boot attempts.

During the non-boot scenario, as well as the fans running flat out the screen stays resolutely black.
That is black as in no signal black, not black as in generated black.
I know there is no signal because the monitor power light flashes until, eventually, after several cycles, boot starts.

When boot starts it does so normally and always fully succeeds with (in sequence)

1) A scrolling memory count check (correct 2GB found)
2) A (correct) systems check including which bays have drives and which are empty, and if they have drives, what they are
3) A "keyboard present" check
4) Start XP

Boot detection drive sequence is (correctly) M (primary DVD), N (secondary DVD), C (primary HDD)

Like TVM I too worry that I have a duff drive.
Perhaps time to talk to MESH (again!)
Reluctant boot - SjB {P}
I should also add, during operations 1-3 the normal keystroke options to interrupt boot are displayed at the foot of the screen, but I have never used them.
Reluctant boot - billy25
Not sure if this will help, but I had almost exactly the same problem you describe immediately after i fitted an AGP slot graphics card (nvidia). computer behaved exactly as you describe, If you have an Agp card, try removing it, and see if it will boot with on-board graphics, if it will you may have a compatability prob with graphics card.

Reluctant boot - SjB {P}
Thanks for the thought, billy, but initially I used the PC with on board graphics only and the problem was present even then.
Reluctant boot - smokie
Disconnect/remove whatever you can (drives, network card, USB devices etc etc) and reboot a few times to see if it ever blanks. If not, reconnect things one by one, testing along the way, to see if there is a culprit. If it does it without anything connected then it's a motherboard/BIOS problem (or conceivably power supply) - possibly reflashing the BIOS (if poss) could help. In fact it'd be worth checking the board manufacturers page to see if there is a later BIOS anyway.

I have a similar problem when I have one of my USB devices connected at boot time.
Reluctant boot - sine
It sounds like the problem is way before any hard drive detection takes place. The monitor should still run with no HDDs, FDDs or other drives connected.

Assuming you can open the case without voiding the warrenty i would check the RAM and motherboards main power plugs are fitted securely.
It could also be an intermittent fault with the power supply.

>>Perhaps time to talk to MESH (again!)
Might be the best bet, but assume from this you've been unsucessful with them?

Probably a little extreme but you could try unplugging everything, USB ports, keyboards etc, and all the disk drives. Leaving just the RAM, graphics card and monitor and see if it will attempt to start reliably. Obviously it won't get very far though.
Reluctant boot - SjB {P}
Thanks, guys; will try the "unplugging" technique tonight.

>>Perhaps time to talk to MESH (again!)
Might be the best bet, but assume from this you've been unsucessful with them?

No, quite the opposite actually; they really have been very good, it's just that I have had rather more cause for use of their services than I would have hoped for a well built PC using high quality components. The major beefs so far have been four of six USB sockets operating as v1.1 (after much work from us both, successfully solved by MESH advice as documented in another CRC thread in the Backroom), backup CDs not supplied in the box, tv tuner not supplied in the box despite being ordered, and ongoing tv tuner woes (random "tv tuner not found", random losing of all channels when it is found, and random failing to find any channels on scan. Browsing the web I am far from alone, and these three random faults are common; it seems Windows MCE and tv tuners in general are the most flakily designed combination of devices that could possibly exist. Shockingly so, actually; far from consumer friendly and still firmly in geek land)
Reluctant boot - cheddar
Has the problem worsened since your USB registry tweak?
Reluctant boot - SjB {P}
Has the problem worsened since your USB registry tweak?

It has steadily got worse since new, with no sudden jump after the USB drivers registry tweak. I did however try setting the registry back to how it was; it made no difference (though the four back panel USB ports of course went back to 1.1 so I have since re-made the tweak and got 2.0 back)
Reluctant boot - Altea Ego
Sine has already provided the answer.

Your failure to boot is way before disk drives come into factor. I would have said, motherboard/powersupply/video card. However the problem happening with the on board video chip as well indictes its not the video (which has its own BIOS)

Your problem is power supply or motherboard. Make sure you have nothing external plugged in via USB. YOu can then isolate either motherboard or power supply by checking to see if the CPU fan is turning when the boot fails. If it is, the Motherbaord has +5volts and the power supply is probably working ok

Either way this is a return to Mesh Jobbie. Its very undesirable behaviour and its faulty and will get worse. motherboard or power supply or both changed please.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Reluctant boot - SjB {P}
Your problem is power supply or motherboard.

Just completed the "unplug everything" idea.

The wires from the PSU were a massive bunch tightly bundled up with cable ties and with some of the free ends consequently under great tension where they connected with whatever circuit board applied. The power feed to the motherboard was the worse affected, falling free with the slightest movement of the massed bundle. Hopefully this was my culprit.

Having noted where each connector went (some are not unique of course, such as for the two HDDs) I carefully cut the cable ties, unbundled the spaghetti, remade as tidy runs, and strain relieved where possible with a small amount of slack.

Since completion I have done ten trial boots without problem.

Fingers very firmly crossed (or thumbs held, as my Scandinavian colleagues say)
Reluctant boot - SjB {P}
I missed the important bit: "Thank you! "


Value my car