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They are far from the fastest available, but they are pretty much perfect for your purposes. There are some very fancy RAM sticks around, but they can cost up to 10 times as much. What you have is your everyday, garden variety modern PC RAM, which is exactly what you need. DDR2-800, which is what you have, is the sweet spot in PC RAM. You can get much better, but there is no point in your system.. huge extra costs for very little actual performance advantage. In some cases, the high end RAM in the wrong system can actually be a disadvantage, or not work at all. maybe could have got DDR2-1066 instead, if you really wanted that little extra, but the performance advantages would have been minimal anyway.Corsair RAM has a good name, but like anything, they have topline and entry level products. TwinX RAM like this is more on the lower end of the scale, but again, any better is totally un-necessary for home computing, and the benefits of spending a whole bunch more cash would have been very small indeed.If I were building you a new computer, I'd have recommended exactly what you have installed.
Windows XP can recognise up to 2GB RAM, or 3GB if you make changes to the boot.ini file. You may be able to fit more in your computer but XP cant use it. Windows Vista can recognise 4GB RAM, but it reserves 1GB for system use, so it will still only show 3GB. No 32 bit OS can use more than 4GB, its a mathematical limitation.If you use a 64bit operation system, you will be be able to make use of 4GB.In my experience, XP works best with 2GB RAM, and VISTA is best with 4GB.You should get at least 800MHz RAM, faster if you can.4x512MB is faster than 2x1GB, which is faster than 1x2GB, but not noticably, so I'd just get whatever the bargains are. Ideally, for your XP System, I'd go for 2x1GB 1066MHz RAM if your board supports it, otherwise 2x1GB 800HMz.
Right click on your desktop and select 'Properties'.Click on the 'Appearance' Tab.Click on the 'Advanced' Button.Expand the 'Item' panel and select anything you want to change.Options will become available for each item where applicable.Click OK when finished to save changes and close any opened windows.These instructions are for changing appearance details in Windows XP.
You can download Powerpoint Viewer 2007 by clicking this link. Powerpoint Viewer is a free Microsoft Product which allows you to view Powerpoint files. http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/8/c/78cd94de-6152-4b6d-adbb-aa4bba6878bc/powerpointviewer2007sp1-kb937158-fullfile-en-us.exe
I'm not certified .. though perhaps some feel i should be certified nuts lol. I just impart my own feelings and knowledge and take all care but no resonsibility…
You are doing exactly what I did.When I was at University, the computing benchmarks were the Tandy TRS-80 and one of the very first Apple Computers.It took 40 minutes to load a simple grid game from cassette tape..which I assume was called Star Trek as the enemies were Klingons lol.I didn't think this would catch on, so I moved in a different direction academically!Many years later, whilst walking down the street and being besieged with http://www.wowthatlooksinteresting.com signs, I made a decision to buy a computer, get online, and learn. That was only 6 years ago. I now write websites, fix and build computers, and have a pretty thorough knowledge of both XP and hardware. I've never had a lesson until I took up fulltime studies in IT last year. The first year of study has taught me nothing that I didnt already know, so I am looking forward to something more challenging this year.I am totally hooked!The way I learned is by making the mistakes myself and finding a way to deal with them. I've destroyed computers completely trying to do things that I wasnt sure of. Throughout, I have found a lot of help in forums like this one. It looks like you are going down the same road 🙂Let me know if you need help when you build your first website ! 😉A reasonably good antivirus and separate anti-spy is fine. In this case, you would of course also use Windows Firewall.I scan daily, its a combined scan because I have a suite but if I had separate programs I would run both daily. This isnt necessary really, once a week is probably fine for both. I just like to keep the computer awake while I have a bath 😉I turn my computer on when I wake up, and off again when I sleep. Rebooting is only necessary if you have a reason - ie the computer is freezing or you have installed software which requires a reboot or something. I was thinking a bumper sticker *I DEFRAG DAILY* would sell well, what do you think? Every couple days would be good for me though lol. Once weekly I would suggest rather than monthly were I you.Dedust the tower, especially any filters, as often as it needs. A routine can be a good idea I agree.I have never run Reg Cleaner or anything like it. I depend on my security suite to protect me, I think twice before I install things, and generally try to observe good habits. I dont think there is a lot more you can do really without getting obsessed about it. If you are happy with what you are doing, and its working for you, then you are doing fine 🙂Some may disagree with my version of O/S maintenance but here it is. At least once a year, I remove all the files I want, one at a time, onto DVD. I leave behind the rubbish I have accumulated. I make backups of all my settings, bookmarks, email folders, and anything else I need. Then I reinstall Windows, update , put all my stuff back, and have a nice clean new Windows installation into which I can install my current favourite programs.
Of course, thats also my point. The anti virus worked. The comment isnt about the signature, and I know you werent saying the virus actually infected your computer. Thats a way I personally havent seen anyone try to spread nasties, and its always good to know. My point is that the anti virus worked. I trust my security suite, and it seems to protect me well enough. Combined with good practices, I am simply trying to say that surfing the net is not all that dangerous, and I think some people go a little overboard on security:)
I agree, its hard to know whats the right thing to do and what isnt. Thats my point here, really. There is so much publicity about this new danger, that new virus etc, that people tend to panic and clutch for straws. I'm not in any way being critical... I did all the same stuff myself when I was new to the net. I'm just trying to save you a lot of angst.. the tiny bit extra that you might gain from moving away from the mainstream stuff is going to cause you more problems than it fixes, generally. I wish someone had told me the same a few years ago!!Sometimes its just better to trust the software that has often cost you money to buy anyway, and just chill 😉
I'm always a little astonished at the quantity of online scanners which exist, and the faith people have in them. Online scanners do have their uses, if you suspect your regular security has missed something or you want a second opinion on a suspected false positive for instance. Even then, I'd be inclined to be very selective about which scanner I used, and stick with those provided by mainstream companies.I understand that people are very security conscious these days, and would like the best protection possible. It's my personal opinion that a good modern internet security suite is more than capable of providing adequate protection to the average user, especially when combined with good practices such as due care when visiting sites or opening attachments. Some of the other tools that are available certainly have their uses, but I think you are all confusing yourselves unnecessarily in the search for total security.There is no guarantee that the online tool you choose to use is not just as malicious as any other form of malware, if you have chosen the wrong one. If you choose to use online tools, I would suggest that you choose only those with a proven track record, and preferably provided by a mainstream and well credentialed company. Everyone likes to think they have found something special, some magic wand which is in some way better than all the rest. Its true, such things do occasionally surface, but in general, any of the major security suites are the best protection you can have.I confess I place all my faith in my security suite. I dont use online tools at all. Very occasionally I might get some small annoying bug in my system, but its invariably one which I have accidentally allowed. This is usually done by just getting lazy and selecting default settings when installing software.. a great way to pickup toolbars in particular. When you install a program with default settings, you are often are giving express permission to the very malware that you are trying to prevent. A lot of 'security' software, especially if its free and no-one has ever heard of it 😉 is in fact actually aimed at using the trust that you place in the word 'security' to achieve just what you are trying to preventThese comments are going to cause a debate here which I will watch with interest lol - but its my own personal opinion that its better to stick with just one complete, mainstream security suite and avoid complicating the issue. New users in particular, after reading about so many nasties on the net, and reading about the latest 'killer virus', tend to install so much extra stuff in their system, and go to so many 'fixit' sites that they actually contribute to their own problems.Antispyware programs in particular should be used very carefully. EVERY antispyware program will come up with false positives. Its hard for any software to be able to decide if a POTENTIAL danger it sees in your computer is not really a vital part of software which you actually want to keep, and you have decided in the installation that you are willing to accept the possible dangers.Some classic examples of this are IRC chat software or P2P programs such as Limewire, or even more notably, Windows Live Messenger. Because these programs have the ability to access the net and because you need to authorise them to be able to transfer files when you install them, they are all POTENTIALLY dangerous. Its a matter of where you draw the line. Most of the mainstream companies have drawn a line, and you wont get Windows Live reported as a bug. The less well known companies are just as capable of writing software that detects all current potential dangers, but they aren't as capable when it comes to sorting the wheat from the chaff. They just dont have the resources.The ONLY totally effective protection against viruses is to permanently disconnect from the internet and your network, and never place a cd or floppy into your computer again... but just how far do you want to go?I've made a lot of money fixing peoples computers after an anti-malware program has removed a bunch of components the client actually needed.With regard to DSTM's original post here, in which he tells us he picked up a virus from a members signature. I'll point out that he didnt pick up a virus at all.. his FREE antivirus program saw and stopped it. So would any quality mainstream security suite. All of the major companies update their virus databases on a daily basis, they all work together and share what new stuff they discover, and they are all just as fast as any online scanner to adapt to new nasties.My personal advice is to install a quality, well known internet security suite, and just trust it. Everyone has their preferences, but it comes down to which one you like, which one seems to work best for you and has an interface you find easy and effective. ALL of the major security suites will do an excellent job protecting you from most nasties on the net.This needs to be backed up of course with decent habits. ALWAYS click the 'custom' button when installing software, so you can actually choose which components are being added. Many of even the most major and reputable software companies will try and sneak in a toolbar or something if you let them by just clicking on default. Most toolbars can also be classified as malware, due to their ability to report various things back to their masters, such as web usage data (used in aiming advertising at you more effectively)NEVER open any file without stopping and thinking first. Do you know what it is? Do you actually want it? What are the risks? Most, if not all, of the nasties will be picked up anyway by your security suite, but its always wise to just stop and consider the risks for a second, especially if its an executable file from an unknown source.STAY AWAY from the places where you can pick up the nasties. These are usually pretty obvious.. porn sites, anything with the word FREE flashing in big letters, anything that says YOU HAVE WON.... its all just common sense in my opinion.Online tools can be useful if you have already picked up a bug. Sometimes they are capable of helping with specific bugs that you have already got. Generally though, for the average user, I think its safer and less complicated to just trust your quality mainstream security suite, develop decent habits, and just relax and enjoy your online experience. Back up your important files regularly, and if you DO pick up something that cant be dealt with, and thats unlikely if you use your head, then its no huge deal to start again. It doesnt hurt to reinstal Windows every now and then anyway.. Windows can get very cluttered and slow after a couple years of constantly modifying it. Just use your brains and plan ahead in case it ever becomes necessary and BACKUP YOUR FILES on a regular basis.I'll stand back now and let the debate run rampant 🙂
And this happened before you tried my advice? omg i am thankful for that lol.. I'd now recommend that if you are a little nervous about changing the boot file, that you suggest to the techies that you had the f8 problem before and could they ensure its not the case this time. Its ironic that you have done all in your power to protect your files, and now you have had a hard disk failure!Having said that, the instructions are valid and if you follow them correctly, you would learn something, which is always a good thing 🙂I'd debate whether Pro is more stable than Home, I personally doubt there is much difference. Pro is certainly a better option though, especially if you want to network the computer. Pro has distinct advantages in security and networking.I'll make use of your disaster as a way of pointing out to everyone... BACK UP YOUR FILES. You were fortunate your files were on the second disk... This is one of the reasons I am a big fan of RAID. A RAID mirror is an identical copy of the first disk, so if your main drive dies, ( I did point out that even new components can be faulty or fail.. !! ) you have an identical drive to fall back on. Perhaps you should speak to your techie regarding a RAID array while you have this opportunity, and seek his advice as to whether its a good option for you.If I only had 2 drives, I would still create a striped RAID0 array though, for the speed benefits. Thats because I regularly back up my files onto disc anyway, but if you feel you cant trust yourself to develop good backup habits, then a RAID1 mirror is a very good idea instead.. In a perfect world, you'd go for 4 hard drives and have both!2x1GB RAM is faster than a single 2GB stick, but the difference is insignificant unless you are doing very high demand stuff like video editing, or you get a kick out of high benchmark scores like gamers do. 99.9% of users would never notice the difference.Seagate does have a good name, but I confess I have had 2 Seagate drives die on me in the last couple years, and I dont use them anymore either. I currently used Samsung and I am very happy with them. I think its just luck of the draw though.You are most welcome to any assistance we can offer. Thats the purpose of this forum, so we can all help each other understand the mysteries of the digital age 🙂
January 2, 2009 at 12:14 am in reply to: Sweet spot MID Range computer (Complete high quality home office) #30754
all of the goodiies sound good, but the main things to achieve a fast system are of course the quad processor, the extra RAM and at least one extra hard drive to provide RAID0 striping. If you already have a motherboard to support these, then you can make a silk purse out of a sows ear with only $550 or so. If your board doesnt support quad core, but your case is reasonably modern and therefore the power supply suits.. you can get a quad core upgrade kit with 4GB RAM and motherboard for about 550 bucks. Add an extra hard drive as well if you only have one, and you have an extremely powerful and lightning fast computer which you have upgraded to for between $600-$650.
with xp, you can modify the boot ini. file to create an option to boot into safe mode in the boot options as you startup.. is that what mitz has shown you how to do?
I cant find any different key to press or anything like that. As far as I can tell, f8 is pretty standard and its just a matter of timing when you press it lol..NOTE : If there is a bootable disc in the CD drive then if the CD drive happens to be the first boot device, pressing any key will cause you to boot from that when you reach that point instead, so ensure that there is no disc in the drive before trying the next step.Turn on the computer and just press f8 at least once per second from the moment you turn on the computer until windows has loaded or your boot options have come up. At least by doing this, you'll be sure of finding the right moment to press it! If that doesnt work, I was going to suggest you modify the boot.ini file to add a safe mode to the boot loader menu. My assumption though is that you are using Vista, which doesnt have a boot.ini file, and I have no experience with the new Vista bootloader. I know you can no longer edit the bootloader with notepad, and that makes it a lot harder...I will research how to achieve this, and put it into as simple terms as I can once I do. I suspect this may take me a little time.In the meantime, perhaps some of our other contributors who are more up to speed with Vista ( dak looks at Mitz and winks .. ) may be able to assist further.I'll get back to you with my own solution ASAP.
thats the model of the chipset, and most likely its an MSI board, but no, not quite what we need.Try downloading Belarc Advisor. Run this excellent free program and the details you will obtain on your system will be invaluable to you in the future. Post back the System Model, if its there (it may not be since its a custom box) and the Main Circuit Board details. http://www.belarc.com/free_download.htmlYou can get the Main Circuit Board details just as easily, and thats what I really need, by simply opening the box and looking for the number printed on it. Belarc Advisor information is very good to have when diagnosing problems though so I would still recommend you do that as well.Opening the box is not as daunting as it sounds. Just undo whatever screws you need to take the side panel off. If there is a fan on the side, you may need to unplug that to get complete access.. its just a matter of plugging it back in and the plug will only fit one kind of connector, so you wont mess that up when reassembling.. any connector the plug fits in is fine. Make sure of course if you are going to unplug a fan that the computer is switched off first.