Computer Repair Mastery Course
Don't want to purchase a whole new computer, but your hardware isn't all listed in the Windows 7 Compatibility Center (formerly known as the HCL) Or do you have some old, stodgy disk drive, SCSI controller, video adapter, motherboard, or some other piece of gear that you want to upgrade anyway You're not alone. The PC upgrade business is booming, as evidenced by the pages and pages of ads in the backs of computer rags and the popularity of computer swap meets, where precious little swapping goes on except that of hardware components for the hard-earned green stuff. If you want to upgrade your existing computer to support an installation of Windows 7, it can have no ISA devices installed. Windows 7 does not support ISA peripherals, so it seems that ISA has finally become pass . Also, be wary of potential compatibility issues research motherboards and other major components online to learn about Windows 7 issues.
Turn off the computer, open it, and check the cables. Are the power and data cables attached to the drive On SATA drives, be sure the SATA data and power cables are firmly attached to the drive. First-generation SATA drives don't use locking mechanisms on these cables, and they can be easily removed. If you recently installed a new piece of hardware or were mucking around inside your computer case, it's very possible that you unintentionally jiggled a connection loose. If you use an ATA IDE drive, be sure pin 1 (marked as a red or speckled stripe on the edge of the cable) is lined up with pin 1 on the hard disk and motherboard. If you use only 80-wire cables, the cable is keyed, so it can't be installed wrong. However, older, 40-wire cables (often used on CD and DVD drives) are not always keyed. 2. Check the settings on the drive to be sure they are correct. If you have a SCSI drive, check the ID number and termination, per the instruction manual for the drive. If you have an ATA IDE...
In the original version of Windows Vista, SPP worked this way The hardware in your system was recorded when you activated Windows, as already mentioned. If you changed too many items (most notably, your motherboard and hard disk drive), system functionality was slowly reduced. Over time, portions of the OS were crippled and you'd be running in Reduced Functionality Mode (RFM). At first, there would only be subtle events, such as updates or Aero not working, but eventually the desktop would go black, Windows Explorer wouldn't work, and all you could do is browse the Internet.
The very first step to take when you have a disk access problem is to stop, sit down, and think. Although this advice might seem obvious, it is seldom realized in practice. People experience what they conclude is a hard drive problem, open their case, and start ripping out components when, in fact, they have a file system problem that could have been easily resolved by running Error Checking on their drive. Similarly, others start reinstalling OSs when the problem is not software, but a failing CMOS battery or a loose cable that is causing the motherboard to lose sight of the hard drive.
Modern PCs often have multiple playback channels, in both digital and analog formats . Audio playback hardware might be available on your motherboard, on an add-in video card, or on an add-in sound card . It's not unusual to find all three options in a single PC, especially one that has been upgraded extensively. If your hardware and drivers appear to be installed correctly but you're unable to hear any sound, right-click the speaker icon in the notification area at the right side of the taskbar and choose Playback Devices from the shortcut menu. This opens the Sound dialog box from Control Panel with the Playback tab selected . Look for a green check mark next to the device currently designated as the default playback device . If you have speakers connected to an analog output jack but a digital output is selected as the default playback device, click the Speakers Headphones option (the exact wording varies depending on how the driver developer chose to implement it) and then click...
Most of the time this will fix any problems you have with a network card. If this procedure does not fix the problem, you may need to verify that the hardware actually works. You can do this by inserting a second sound card, or by running utilities available online. If you continue to have problems when you add a new card, you need to determine whether the slot in the motherboard is working correctly. Move the card into a new slot and see whether Windows 7 picks it up after you reboot. Make sure to turn off the system completely by unplugging the computer from the wall outlet before you attempt to remove or install any hardware devices. Chapter 5 provides additional information on device troubleshooting.
Every computer you want to connect to your network requires a network interface card (NIC), also called a network adapter. Most computer and motherboard manufacturers include a network adapter on the board, which means that you can probably connect to a network easily, whether you are using a portable computer or a desktop PC, including one you built yourself. You can purchase additional network adapters at any office supply store or computer hardware supplier. Ethernet is the single most common wired network standard in the world, and on desktop machines, integrated network adapters usually fall into this category. All-in-one PCs and portable computers such as notebooks usually include both Ethernet and Wi-Fi adapters. Additional network standards exist, and they work very well with Windows 7, but Ethernet and Wi-Fi have the most use. This chapter discusses Wi-Fi and Ethernet only as network media for shared network resources. Aside from installation and setup differences, Wi-Fi and...
If this procedure does not fix the problem, you may need to verify that the hardware actually works. You can do this by inserting a second network card, or running utilities available online. If you continue to have problems when you add a new card, you need to determine whether the slot in the motherboard is working correctly. Move the card into a new slot and see whether Windows 7 picks it up after you reboot. Make sure to turn off the system completely by unplugging the computer from the wall outlet before you attempt to remove or install any hardware devices. Chapter 5 provides additional information on device troubleshooting.
On computers running Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 with a mix of PCI add-in cards, the operating system takes advantage of the ACPI features on the motherboard to share scarce IRQs among multiple devices . In Device Manager, you can check resource allocations at a glance by choosing Resources By Type or Resources By Connection from the View menu. In the example With PCI and PCI Express devices, try swapping cards, two at a time, between slots . On some motherboards, IRQs and other resources are assigned on a per-slot basis, and moving a card can free up the proper resources . Check the motherboard documentation to see which IRQs are assigned to each slot, and experiment until you find an arrangement that works. If you have problems with PCI devices, the device itself might not be to blame . When drivers and ACPI BIOS code interact improperly, conflicts can result. Check for an updated hardware driver (especially if the...
This procedure fixes the majority of issues you'll find with video cards. However, if you continue to have problems, you will need to verify that the card works correctly. Usually when you have video problems, you can identify them well before you load the operating system. If a video card fails to work correctly, you will not see any POST information from the system. If you are using a video capture or TV tuner card, this does not always stand true, however. If you have problems with these types of cards after updating the drivers in the operating system, you will need to move the card to a different slot to verify that the problem follows the card. If the card works in another slot, you need to check your motherboard for problems with the PCI bus. Make sure to turn off the system completely by unplugging the computer from the wall outlet before you attempt to remove or install any hardware devices. Chapter 5 provides additional information on device troubleshooting.
RAID 0+1 combines data striping (for performance) and mirroring (for safety). It requires four drives and is supported on many recent desktop computers. It provides a high level of data safety against failures and is inexpensive to implement with SATA or ATA IDE (PATA) drives. RAID 1 mirrors the contents of one drive to a second hard disk. It is supported on many desktop systems that are up to several years old, through either a motherboard RAID host adapter chip or the motherboard's integrated chipset. It is inexpensive to implement with SATA or IDE drives.
Some USB hubs may be used by internal devices (such as Bluetooth or wireless network), and some USB hubs controllers supported by your computer's chipset are not hooked up to anything. (Some PCs have header pins on their motherboard that you can connect an optional USB riser card to.) This is why you may see more hubs than USB ports. Overloading the USB hub is usually a temporary condition that is remedied by resetting the hub or the computer. If you suspect a hub is no longer working, you may not need to worry. As most desktop computers have three to six (or more) USB hubs, you don't necessarily need to replace a failed USB hub (as most hubs are built into the motherboard, replacing the hub usually involves disabling it in the BIOS and installing a PCI-to-USB adapter card). Simply connecting the devices to USB ports that route through a different USB hub will solve the problem.
If you still cannot connect to the network, check your TCP IP configuration settings, as discussed previously in the section Configuring IPv4, IPv6, and Other Protocols on page 567 of this chapter. You can also use the techniques discussed in the upcoming sections Using the Command Line to Diagnose Network Problems on page 577 and Fixing Network Problems on page 580 to help you with troubleshooting configuration issues. If none of these efforts resolves the problem, try replacing the network adapter with a second network adapter. This should verify connectivity problems or resolve the issue. If the problem follows the adapter, you can assume the adapter has a problem. If you still cannot connect to the network with a new adapter, verify that the slot in the motherboard works correctly. If your network adapters are integrated into the motherboard, you can still add a different physical network adapter into a slot on the motherboard. You may then want to disable the integrated adapters...
Firmware is implemented in motherboard chipsets. Just as Windows has an interface, so does firmware. The interface between the platform firmware and the operating system that handles the startup process. The way a firmware interface works and the tasks it performs depend on the type of firmware interface. Windows computers can use different types of firmware. Generally, computers with 32-bit x86-based processors use BIOS. Computers with Itanium-based IA64 processors use EFI. Computers with 64-bit x64-based processors use UEFI, which is wrapped around either BIOS or EFI. For the purposes of this discussion, a computer that uses
Windows 7 depends on proper BIOS settings to enable it to detect and use hardware correctly. At a minimum, your drives should be properly configured in the system BIOS, and your CPU type and speed should be properly set (either in the BIOS or on the motherboard, depending on the system). Thanks to some clever work by Microsoft's engineers, Windows 7 boots faster than other 32-bit versions of Windows, but you can improve boot speed further with these tips Today's computer BIOSs include enough arcane settings that it's possible to alter one in a way that prevents proper booting. Before you mess with advanced CMOS settings (not just simple things such as time, date, boot order, power settings, ports, and so on), read the manual for the computer or motherboard. If you decide to change anything, record the old value before making the change. When in doubt, don't alter advanced CMOS settings that affect how the chipset works, whether and where BIOS and video shadowing is used, and so on. By...
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The Ultimate Computer Repair Guide
Read how to maintain and repair any desktop and laptop computer. This Ebook has articles with photos and videos that show detailed step by step pc repair and maintenance procedures. There are many links to online videos that explain how you can build, maintain, speed up, clean, and repair your computer yourself. Put the money that you were going to pay the PC Tech in your own pocket.