Category Archives: PC Hardware Installation

Dell Vostro 1000 – Keyboard and Touch Pad Re-connection How to

Recently I acquired a recycled Dell Vostro 1000 laptop computer. Apart from having to order a replacement AC power adapter, this laptop was in pretty good condition. However, I noticed when I installed Windows Vista Business, that a touch pad would flake out when this laptop went to sleep.

It could either be the operating system and perhaps this hard drive needs to get scrubbed and Vista reinstalled. I thought I would try a quicker potential solution by just re-connecting this touch pad from a motherboard. I found out this touch pad connection to motherboard is under a keyboard.

In order to remove a keyboard you must remove a plastic covering at top of laptop that includes a power button. Remove this skinny plastic piece and then you will notice two screws holding down this keyboard. Also, I noticed that this keyboard was not screwed down from under neath this laptop like some keyboards are.

Remove two screws right above this keyboard. Pull up and towards the display screen. Try being careful as you do not want to break any keys off.

Laptop keyboard keys can be a pain in ass to re-connect. These keys can even become impossible to re-connect, which leads you to buying keyboard keys kits, which don't always work or ordering a replacement keyboard. Once you have dislodged this keyboard be careful to not pull out this keyboard entirely, as it is connected to a motherboard via a cable.

You don't necessarily have to entirely remove this keyboard by disconnecting it from motherboard to get to touch pad connection. Right above this touch pad and below where keyboard was positioned, you will notice a small cable with a blue marking connected to motherboard. You want to remove this cable and then re-connect.

Once reconnected place keyboard back where you found it. Place two screws you removed right above this keyboard. Place long skinny plastic piece that includes power button above keyboard. Hopefully, this will solve a flaky touch pad problem.

Darik’s Boot and Nuke – Hard Drive Disk Wipe Data Clearing Tool

I often run across hard drives with blue screens, sluggish, etc. when recycling or receiving a computer repair customer. I have noticed that running a scrub utility often times rectifies these problems.

My preferred scrubbing tool of choice is Darik's Boot and Nuke hard drive disk wipe data clearing tool. Depending on condition, size, etc. of a hard drive, this tool can take hours and even days to complete. However, I have noticed this tool has solved quite a few hard drive problems.

Even after reinstalling an operating system, some systems get blue screens, strange errors, and just overall sluggishness. Also, I make it a habit to run Darik's Boot and Nuke utility on all hard drives that I am going to use when reselling used computers. Currently, I use Darik's Boot and Nuke version 1.07 on Hiren's Boot CD 15.1.

Hiren's CD was created in two thousand eleven. However, many of these tools, including Darik's Boot and Nuke, are still useful. You can download Hiren's Boot CD 15.2 in zip format.

You will need to unzip this file to extract an .iso file that can be burned to CD-ROM or USB flash drive. This will create a bootable CD-ROM with quite a few computer software tools including Darik's Boot and Nuke. This tool set is completely free.

In order to use this tool you want to boot off this optical disc in your optical drive. Once booted you want to select for Darik's Boot and Nuke hard disk eraser in a main menu. This program will then load to a blue window.

I just choose boot by hitting an ENTER key. After a few seconds another screen loads with hard drive information. Look under "Disks and Partitions". Tap your space key to select which hard drive you want to wipe.

I recommend just connecting one hard drive at a time to avoid accidentally wiping a hard drive you didn't intend to. Once you have selected a hard drive to wipe, then press your F10 key. Darik's Boot and Nuke now will start wiping your hard drive.

I never mess with any other settings. I just choose all defaults. This program will notify you if your hard drive has too many bad sectors and or is failing. If you receive these type of error messages this program will not wipe your hard disk.

Also, you may need to adjust BIOS settings for your hard drive if you receive kernel panic errors.

USB 3.0 2.0 – Review of Inateck’s KTU3FR4P USB 3.0 PCI Express Card

I received this product free of charge to review. I tested it with three different operating systems; Windows XP, Vista and Ubuntu Linux 12.04. It came with a drivers CD and molox power to SATA power adapter.

This card is quite small and light weight. I used two different computers. On both machines this card was so short that I could not hook up all my SATA devices at once, because they would not reach this PCI Express card.

However, it is possible that an included molox to SATA power connector might fix this issue. Other than that I have no complaints about this product. I had no problems installing this PCI express card.

Inateck KTU3FR 4P

On both Windows XP and Vista, installation went flawless. I installed drivers from an included CD and device manager reported a properly installed device. I quickly bench mark tested this card with HD tune.

I used a 16 gigabyte USB 2.0 flash drive to test. On both Windows XP and Vista on average speeds were faster with Inateck's PCI express card versus an onboard USB port. What really impressed me was that this card worked out of a box on a machine running Ubuntu Linux 12.04.

Interested in more information about this Inateck KTU3FR 4P PCI express card? You can watch my video review of this product.

Support Asus Motherboard – Get Warranty Support For Your ASUS PC

Just prior to last Christmas you purchased via PC CaseGear a new Asus N53SV SX712V with a twenty four month warranty. Someone accidently tried to put her headphones jack into a Universal Serial Bus port, and that machine just stopped working. A jack was not forced, or stuck and was taken straight out.

What is a process to have it fixed under a warranty? You can try taking out that laptop's battery and also unplugging an AC adapter. Press a power button for sixty seconds to drain any excess electricity buildup.

Plug in that AC adapter and see if it powers on correctly. Once in awhile plugging in devices can cause an electric short. If your still having problems, and your Asus computer is under warranty, then you can browse to this get started with ASUS support web page.

Manage Multiple Windows – How to Dual Boot With an IBM UltraBay

You have a Thinkpad T410. You use a second drive in an ultrabay to boot from and run applications that you do not want to run on an internal hard drive. Can you run Windows 7 in a 32 bit format on an internal drive and as a 64 bit format on an ultra bay drive without any issues?

You are currently running a 32 bit application of Windows 7 on both drives. You want to know if it is safe to install a 64 bit version of Windows 7 on a drive in an ultra bay before you try it. Yes it is as long as you take out your main drive before installing Windows 7 64 bit on your ultrabay hard drive.

Here is how to set it up. Remove a main hard drive from a mainbay. Install a second hard drive in that ultrabay.

Install an operating system in this case Windows 7 64 bit on that ultrabay drive. Put that mainbay drive back into a main slot. Now when booting up, if you do nothing it will boot to a mainbay.

When booting up, you can press an F12 key, it will bring up a boot menu, giving you a choice of which drive to boot into. Then at anytime, you may remove that ultrabay drive to use an optical drive, or ultrabay battery without having to make any adjustments to that system.

MSI MS-6728 Ver 2 – Does Your Motherboard Not Detect Your SATA HD?

You have recently replaced your motherboard and now that you try to boot up, it cannot detect your serial AT attachment hard drive now. You have been trying to boot off of a Windows XP CD, but says it cant detect a hard drive. You have unplugged all cords and put them back in, but still no progress.

Try going into that computers Basic Input Output System to make sure that your computer is detecting your serial AT attachment hard drive. Power on that computer and immediately keep tapping a "Tab" key, DEL, Delete key, or whichever key is necessary to get into that basic input output system. Try this configuration in that basic input output system. Go into a basic input output system, then choose "Integrated Peripherals".

Set settings in that menu option to:

Chip ATA Operating Mode: Native Mode
ATA Config: PATA + SATA
SATA Keep enabled: yes
PATA Keep enabled: yes
PATA channel selection: both
Set SATA as RAID: No

PC Wireless Keyboard – How to Get Your Keyboard Working Again

You have a PC with Windows XP operating system. A wireless keyboard & mouse. As nearly as you can tell everything is working, except you cannot get input from your keyboard to show up on your screen.

You tried changing batteries in your keyboard and tried to re-sync keyboard. You can try removing it's driver from device manager in control panel. Click your "Start" button then select "Control Panel".

Choose "System" then "Hardware". Click a "Device Manager" button. You can right click keyboard and select "Uninstall".

Once keyboard is uninstalled then you can click on a "Scan for hardware changes" icon in device manager. Windows should reload a driver for your keyboard. Make sure to uninstall your wireless keyboard device.

There should be a "Scan for hardware changes" icon towards top of that Device Manager window. It looks like a small computer monitor with an hour glass. If re-installing your driver doesn't fix your issue, I recommend performing a Windows XP system restore.

Also, make sure your wireless keyboard is not disabled or has any errors with it in device manager. A red x next to that keyboard would indicate it is disabled. You can re-enable it by right clicking it and select "Enable" from a small menu.

If there is a yellow exclamation point next to that wireless keyboard then that indicates a problem with it.

Pioneer Computer DVD – How to Burn With Your Pioneer Writer

Pioneer CDRW/DVDRW software was installed on your computer and won't let you burn any files. You've tried to uninstall it, but your D: drive goes away as well. How do you get audio files burned on your drive?

Please install Roxio Creator. It should have DVD burning software. Well once you install that software and if it does have burning software it might have a utility that installs where you can drag and drop files using Windows explorer or through my computer from you C: hard drive to your DVD drive and it will burn them.

So yes you can burn most files once you have that burning software installed.

Inspiron Battery – How to Tell if Your Dell Battery is Dead

You recently purchased a new battery for your Dell Inspiron 1501. Before an old battery died, you got this message before a Windows logo came up. "The AC adapter type cannot be determined. This will prevent optimal system performance.

Please check AC adapter connect properly, remove AC adapter and plug it in again". You just started getting that message with your new battery. Is something else wrong?

There is a known issue with some of Dell adapters when a little metal pin gets bent or broken and a computer can no longer identify that adapter. If you can verify that that pin is bent or broken that would cause that error message and as long as it charges your battery and works then you can ignore that message. If you can't verify a bent or broken pin it might be some Dell software or a faulty AC Adapter.

You can remove Dell Quickset software and see if after rebooting your computer that message disappears. It could be that software indicator is wrong or a bent or broken pin on your AC adapter. You could test it with a Volt meter or take it into a computer shop to test it.

Skype Certified – Skype Compatible Webcams For Windows 2000

What web cam is compatible with Windows 2000 and Skype you ask? You have purchased three of them and non seem to work with Skype. You have installed DirectX, but not sure of which version.

The mystery to you is that you can make a camera work, as long as you don't connect to Skype. You know a camera works. You have Skype 4.2.

You guess you should return this web cam and buy one from Skype, at least you would know that camera is approved. How does this plan sound? You can get a web cam to work without Skype, but when you sign onto Skype, and do a video test, you have gotten two messages.

One is to upgrade your DirectX and another is to update some drivers. You have done both and still Skype won't recognize it. I think a fact your running Windows 2000 might be a root of your problem.

If you haven't already, download and install Skype 4.2, which is compatible with Windows 2000. Also, make sure to install Direct X 9.0, which is needed for video calls. That webcam supports MSN and Yahoo video chat for whatever it's worth.

You can verify your Directx version by going to "Add/Remove programs" in Control Panel. If any other version of Directx besides 9.0 is installed, I suggest removing that version and installing 9.0.

Possibly your webcam will work with Skype, if not purchasing one from them that is certified makes sense.