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[Ed note] This is Spazz’s first post for Windows Guides. We’d like to officially welcome him.

Being new to the writer’s side of things, suddenly you realize how difficult it is to think of something to write. I suddenly got a great deal of respect for writers. Thinking it over many times, I simply couldn’t think of anything, then it happened…

Inserting my flash drive into my PC at work last week and getting the error message that it was not recognized. I found this strange. Then after removing it from the PC, I kept getting the message and it just simply wouldn’t go away. Now my PC remains on and logged in for weeks at a time. This problem bugged me as I knew I encountered it before, but couldn’t quite place my finger on it.

I Google’d the problem and found the simplest answer. By simply switching the PC off, removing the power cord and simulating switching it on without the power cord plugged in, you would remove any “residue” electricity in the electronics of the motherboard, then replacing the power cord and switching it back on properly would solve this irritating problem.

This is a problem easily forgotten.

This reminded me of another problem I encountered twice, with two different versions of Windows. They simply would not log in properly. Whenever you tried, it would just freeze up. On the first occasion, I found by moving it to a different electricity circuit, it would solve this problem. Obviously something had to be wrong with the power supply on this circuits.

The most recent of these two occurrences were with a friend’s PC. He opened a shop and wanted to use his PC in the shop, but could not get Windows XP to log on. I told him to bring the PC to me that evening. It logged on without any problem. The next day he had the problem again at the shop. I told him to take the PC home and try using it there. It has been working without any problem to this very day.

Sometimes strange behaviours may occur like these. Do not rule out your electricity supply as a cause.

What About You?

Have you ever noticed strange behavior in Windows? What did you do to fix it? Let us know in the comments.



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Comments

  • Thomas_mintywhite

    Welcome to the site – great first article. You're absolutley right. “ghost problems” are the worst kind to figure out. On desktop Computers you can also sometimes fix similar problems by moving the faulty device to another slot. I've had to move my network card to another slot because something is wrong with the slot (on the mainboard) where it used to be.
    This can be a loose connecting, partially melted solding etc. which causes glitches, when it gets warm. Same errors are well known in other electronics like your hi-fi, stereo, receiver etc.

  • GoodBytes

    It is hard to determined the problem. It could be a simple driver bug, all the way down to low quality hardware. As people starve to pay the least amount of money at what ever cost for a computer, manufacture I forced to cur on quality.

    For custom computer builder, a common problem I see, is that people do major mistakes.
    1- They get all these fancy menchy hardware, but then they use this 50$ Power Supply Unit. The result, is inadequate power deliver with way too much fluctuation in the current, result in sever system stability, and even damage the computer. Now add a 50$ case + power supply combo (2 in 1) or under 50$ Power supplies, then you get a recipe of disaster as this video form a company which I will not name to not make an advertisement demonstrates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTVEtr14FEA
    Of course, it is to be noted, that this demonstrate very low-end power supplies.
    Basically, you want a one that cost about 150 to 200$ . These power supplies usually come with a 5 or 7 year warranty, and are 80 Plus Silver or Gold certified.

    Now, no OEM offers such low quality power supplies, but they do tend to use low quality ones, as they assume you won't put the computer under heavy load, as you'll just surf the web with it. Unless you go with higher end systems from the OEM of your choice (read: gaming system… even though you won't game, or most business machines under the business section of the manufacture)

    The second problem, is air flow. People get low end computer case, like it doens't mater. Other get cases with like 20 fans (exaggeration). You end up with a noisy, computer, and poor cooling. It's all about air flow engineer. If the fan location and size allow to pass sufficient air with fans at low speed to all your components properly, without having warm air stuck inside (a common problem with some computer cases that has a side case fan), then your computer or a segment of the computer can overheat.
    An example, is that I already had my Ethernet process on my motherboard fail because my old case air flow design prevented all the hot air to come out, accumulating the heat where my Ethernet processor on my motherboard is located. The fix was obviously to wait it cools off, and don't play any games or put the system under load. But the real fix, was a new case with better air flow design.

    Here is my case today:
    http://pages.infinit.net/eps/case1.JPG
    If you wonder, everything is connected, except that top HDD (now gone form my system). Notice the lack of wires everywhere, as everything has been properly managed for maximum air flow. Allowing my fans to run at very slow speed, making the computer very silent. The bottom hard drive is on rubber gourmet suspension system that come with the case so absorb hard drive vibration helping the computer to more quiet.

    Anyway, as it seams a lot of people don't check for those, or don't even stress test their OEM (Dell, HP, Acer, etc..) manufactured computer to see if they are well assembled., you have stories like this that occurs:
    http://www.dailytech.com/Hot+Starcraft+II+is+Fr
    It's no Blizzard fault for pushing one computer at the max it just happen that your untested and/or miss air flow computer has problems.

    Now, another problem, that is actually very common today in some homes, and large businesses, is that get these get these brand new computer with the latest technologies (or even current ones), with SATA, fancy power management support, 64-bit multi-core processors, 4GB+ of RAM, and more (won't go into details), and they put Windows XP. XP which was made in 2001, based very closely on Windows 2000 (released end of 1999), designed for system with low memory (less than or equal to 512MB). Yes it works, don't egt me wrong. But does it REEAAALLY works? No! The OS doesn't even know what half the technology of the computer is. Basically what is happening is that hardware inside the computer goes under “Safe Mode” or “Compatibility” mode (which ever the manufacture wants to call it), so that it's able to work with old dated OS, such as Windows XP. This makes a computer, consumes more power (http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/07/w…), much lower performance, and unable to use all the computer hardware built-in features.

    Then, last but not least, we have incompatible computers that run an modern operating system. Where this modern operating system (Vista/Win7) has drop support for old technologies, rendering the computer to not work properly. [BTW, just to be clear, this is not a Windows exclusive problem, the same holds true for all other operating System out there].

    It is very important that computer are up-to-date all the time, this includes system drivers. The benefit of updating drivers is:
    – Optimized drivers, so more free performance increase for you.
    – Bug fixes, resulting in a proper functional computer without strange issues.

    Also, sometimes, if you have a OEM computer, the company can be slow at releasing the latest drivers from a manufacture, so best to go to the computer manufacture web site.
    Look at your system specification on the OEM (manufacture) of your computer (ie: Dell, HP, Acer, Gateway, etc…), and see who produces the hardware.
    For instance, if you have an Intel chipset, simply go to Intel web site. If you have a Geforce graphic card, go to Nvidia web site, and so on.

  • Maryellen_romero

    I have Windows 7, having problems downloading Nvidia, please need help.


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