Tomasz Sacherski's Blog

Founder of Cocotec

Archive for the ‘windows’ Category

Missing drivers for unknown devices

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After installing and setting up a fresh copy of Windows, more likely you will find that some of the drivers are missing under Device Manager and you see the little yellow exclamation point meaning a driver hasn’t been installed for a device.

The device just shows up as unknown modem, or unknown media device without giving you any hint on what exactly it is.

What you have to do in order to find out which driver you are looking for is to check the properties of the device, find out its vendor id and Google it. In Device Manager, right click on the unknown device and select Properties.  Go to the Detail tab and select Hardware Ids from the drop down list.  The image below shows what you should expect to see.

The Hardware Ids includes a Vendor code and Device code.  In this case, the Vendor code is 8086 and the Device code is 10DE. Simply Right-click on shortest one and paste into Google search box. You will get a search result with sites that should have the right driver for your unknown device.

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November 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm

MSCONFIG Power

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When Windows operating system fails to boot in a Normal way but Safe Mode works fine you can use Msconfig tool as an aid to getting the computer working again.

What you need to do is to perform a Clean Boot which is a method of starting Microsoft Windows in Normal Mode (as opposed to Safe Mode) with the minimum of drivers, startup programs and services.

A Clean Boot is one method that can be used in diagnosing Windows startup problems, especially in cases where there is a software conflict or driver problem.

To perform a Clean Boot, we need to run the MSCONFIG utility.
– on Windows XP – Click Start, then click Run.  Type msconfig in the text box then click OK.
– on Windows Vista and Windows 7 – Click Start.  In the text box where is says ‘Search programs and files’ type msconfig and hit Enter.

When MSCONFIG starts up, it will open a new dialog box with several tabs along the top.

Step 1 – Disable non-microsoft Services
Click the Services tab.
Tick checkbox at the bottom of the dialog box labelled ‘Hide all Microsoft services’.
In the list of services, untick all remaining services.

Step 2 – Disable Startup programs
Click the Startup tab.
Untick all the startup programs.

Then click OK and restart the computer.

When the compuer restarts, only the Microsoft services will run.  No 3rd party services or drivers will startup, and no 3rd party startup programs will be launched.

If this process allows the computer to boot without problems, you can go back into MSCONFIG and start an iterative process of re-enabling services and startup programs and retarting the computer, until you find the service or startup item that causes the problem to reoccur.

Once you have identified the problem software, you can take the necessary corrective action to fix or remove it.

Cocotec – Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

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November 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Create a System Restore point in Windows 7

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System Restore is turned on by default, creating restore points regularly for you. In case you want to create your own System Restore point, here’s how to do it.

Click on the Start button and right click on Computer.  Select Properties from the context menu and the System window will open.

Click on System Protection and the System Properties window will open, with the System Protection tab automatically selected.

Click Create and you will be asked to provide a name to this System Restore point.  Use a meaningful name so if ever you need to restore your system, you will recognise the name you used.

Finally, click Create and the System Restore point will be created.

Cocotec – Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

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November 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Posted in software, windows

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Should shut down your computer properly

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Sometimes we are asked by customers what is right: shutting down their computer by just pressing the power button for a few seconds, rather than going through the Windows shutdown procedure. Holding the power button for a few seconds appears to shut down the computer immediately, whereas a proper Windows shutdown takes maybe 20 to 30 seconds.

Basically it is a very, very bad idea to shut down a computer by holding the power button.

What effect does this have?
Any files that Windows was writing to may now have incomplete or corrupt data, because you didn’t allow it to finish writing properly.
If Windows was writing to the registry, the system registry may now have incomplete or corrupt data because you didn’t allow it to finish writing.
The hard disk arm, not being allowed to park by the side of the disk, may scratch or damage the spinning disk, causing data to become corrupt.

So if you care about your data and want to avoid a costly repair, take a few seconds at the end of the day to shutdown Windows properly.

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November 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Posted in computer, laptop, software, windows

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Display and ClearType Text Tuning

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If you want to tune up your display for image or text display, there is the tools included out of the box. It’s amazing what a difference this makes: by slightly darkening the color of the text and adjusting the gamma back a little, my laptop display looks much crisper than it did before. You’d adjust the brightness and contrast settings on that fancy 42” HDTV you’ve just bought: why wouldn’t you do the same for the computer displays that you stare at every day?

Check out cttune.exe and dccw.exe respectively, or run the applets from Control Panel.

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November 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Windows Vista-Style Taskbar in Windows 7

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Windows 7 taskbar brings new look and functionality to the way how you use operating system. Personally I find new look better then old version, particularly when I’ve got lots of windows open simultaneously. But there are still people around that would prefer a look more reminiscent of Windows Vista. Here is the good news: the look of the taskbar can be customized to the old version:

Simply, right-click on the taskbar and choose the properties dialog. Select the “small icons” checkbox and under the “taskbar buttons” setting, choose “combine when taskbar is full”.

Cocotec – Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

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November 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Display Projection on Windows 7

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Do you wonder how to get your laptop display onto an external projector? That is very easy to do with Windows 7. Simply hit Win+P, and the following pop-up window will appear:

Use mouse or the arrow keys (or keep hitting Win+P) to switch form “clone”, “extend” or “external only” display settings. For broader control over presentation settings, press Win+X to open the Windows Mobility Center, which allows you to turn on a presentation “mode” that switches IM clients to do not disturb, disables screensavers, sets a neutral wallpaper etc. (Note that this feature is also available in Windows Vista.)

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November 7, 2010 at 2:45 pm