Monday, December 21, 2009

How to restore your personal files after a custom installation

You've performed a custom installation of Windows 7 (or Vista) instead of doing an in-place upgrade. The installation process kept your personal files in a folder called Windows.old. Now how do you retrieve them and move them into your new installation of Windows? You'll find step-by-step instructions in KB 932912 at Click Here

"Inaccessible boot device" error when you start Windows 7 or Vista after changing the SATA mode

If you change the SATA mode of one of your hard drives in the BIOS, so it will use the AHCI specification, you might find that after you restart the computer you get an error message that says "inaccessible boot device." That happens if the drive you changed was your boot drive and the AHCI driver is disabled. You need to enable this driver before you make the BIOS change. To find out how to resolve the issue, see KB article 922976 at Click Here

Friday, December 18, 2009

How to change the timeout on Service Communications

When a service starts, the service communicates to the Service Control Manager how long the service must have to start (the time-out period for the service). If the Service Control Manager does not receive a "service started" notice from the service within this time-out period, the Service Control Manager terminates the process that hosts the service. This time-out period is typically less than 30 seconds. If you do not adjust this timeout period, the Service Control Manager ends the process. To adjust this timeout period, follow these steps:

1) In Registry Editor, locate, and then right-click the following registry subkey:

2) In Control, (in the right pane of Registry Editor) right click and choose New, then DWORD. Notice that New Value #1 (the name of a new registry entry) is selected for editing.

3) Type ServicesPipeTimeout to replace New Value #1, and then press ENTER.

4) Right-click the ServicesPipeTimeout registry entry that you created in step 3, and then click Modify. The "Edit DWORD Value" dialog box appears.

5) In the Value data text box, type 180000, and then click OK. Save this value as a Decimal number and NOT a Hexadecimal number.

Note: TimeoutPeriod is a placeholder for the value of the time-out period (in milliseconds) that you want to set for the service. For example, if you want to set the time-out period to 24 hours (86400000 milliseconds), type 86400000. We set ours to 180000, or 3 minutes. I've had to set it as high as 300000 5 minutes.

5. Restart the computer. You must restart the computer for Service Control Manager to apply this change.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Changing where XP downloads files

Starting in Windows Vista Microsoft changed the default download location for files to the Downloads folder unser the User Directory. If you would like similar functionality on Windows XP you must perform the following steps:

You will need to edit the registry. As always, be sure to back up the registry key first and be careful when making changes to the registry. Here are the steps:
1. Open the registry editor.
2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Internet Explorer
3. In the right pane, double click the Download Directory value
4. In the Value Data field, type the full path to the folder where you want downloads to go by default (for example, C:\Downloads)
5. Click OK

Note that this changes the download location only for the logged on user account.

How to prevent blue screen when installing new motherboard

A new motherboard is the most significant upgrade that you can make to a computer, since the motherboard also determines what processor(s) you can use, how much and what type of RAM you can install, and so forth. Sometimes installing a new motherboard can be tricky and some folks have reported getting a blue screen that says "inaccessible boot device" after the upgrade. Ouch. Here are some tips for preventing that:
1. Before installing the new board, boot into XP.
2. Right click My Computer, click Manager and click Device Manager in the left pane of the Computer Management console.
3. Select the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller.
4. Select your current storage controller.
5. Right click select Update Driver and click "Install from a list or specific location."
6. Select "Don't search, I will choose the driver to install."
7. Select the standard dual channel IDE controller.
8. The first time you boot XP after installing the new motherboard, boot in Safe Mode. XP will install needed drivers. You can also install the motherboard drivers from the disc that comes with it.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Computer Losing Time? Here is how to fix it!

There is a known issue whereby XP may display the wrong time or appear to be losing time. This can be a problem with the time server that the XP machine contacts over the Internet to get the right time, or it can be a problem with your system itself. First make sure you have the "Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server" option checked on the Internet Time tab when you double click the clock in the system tray. If that's already okay, try this:

  1. Log in as administrator
  2. Click Start | Run and type cmd to open a command window
  3. At the command prompt, type these commands, in this order:
  • net stop w32time
  • w32tm /unregister
  • w32tm /register
  • net start w32time
Reboot the operating system

Another cause can be a CMOS battery that is dying. You'll need to open the case and replace it.