• It was the last Dell I will ever own

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    April 15, 2012 /  Technical Help


    I did buy a Mac. I love it and have now bought 2 more for my daughters. It is expensive, but not having to fix things all the time is worth the price. Macs work and they work well.

  • xp disk cleanup skip compress old files

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    June 7, 2009 /  Technical Help

    When running ‘Disk Cleanup’ on a Windows 2000 or XP workstations, you may have notice that it pauses for a long time when checking for files to be compressed. One of things you can to do to save time is to edit the registry file to automatically bypass this step in Disk Cleanup. This is good if you already know that you won’t be using the Compress Old Files feature and just need to clean up unnecessary files.

    1. Click on Start > Run > Regedit (or Regedt32.exe)

    2. Backup your current registry. To do this, click on File > Export and enter a name. (I suggest using the date as part of your name, as in backup-reg-mar-3-2003)

    3. After you have backed up your registry, drill down as follows:
    HKey Local Machine > Software > Microsoft > Windows > Current Version > Explorer > Volume Caches > Compress Old Files

    4. In the right hand pane, double click on the REG_SZ (default) variable to edit it

    5. A window pops up that will have a long string of characters in the Value Data field:

    6. Press DEL to remove (clear out) the value data field, then click OK and then exit the RegEdit program. Note: we are NOT deleting the actual key, just the value assigned to the key!

    7. That’s it, and you don’t even have to reboot!

  • The last Dell I’ll own!

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    February 17, 2009 /  Technical Help

    Having just bought a Dell Studio 1535, at a good price for the spec, it will still be the last Dell I’ll own & I will definitely not be recommending Dell to anybody any more. In fact I can’t think of anything I would recommend any more apart from a Mac! Unfortunately Macs are over priced for their specs, so it’s a difficult dilemma – either pay too much for something, or buy something for a reasonable price, which will have some irritating niggles, and get treated badly by the company you buy it from.

    That gets me to my point about why I won’t buy or recommend Dell any more, these are my reasons:

    • If you do have a problem with your Dell, you will find, by ‘Googling’, that many other people have the same issue. You will also find that, in most cases, Dell really don’t seem to care about these problems and will resist admitting that it could possibly be anything to do with them.
    • Although they sell laptops with Ubuntu, they will not provide any Linux drivers for their printers! What’s that all about?
    • They do not support XP on their latest models. Yet if you search you will find hundreds of posts from people who are upgrading their laptops from Vista to XP (yes I do mean upgrading). Not only are Dell not meeting their customers’ needs by refusing to supply their laptops with XP, they are also not helping customers who have chosen to upgrade to XP themselves as they are not releasing XP compatible drivers for many of their later laptops. This shows a complete disregard to the needs of customers purchasing their hardware. I’m not saying that Dell are alone in this, I’m sure many of the other laptop manufacturers are just as bad, but my experience has been with Dell, (& I’ve used Dell a lot in the past & always recommended them) & so that is what I am writing about. Not releasing drivers for XP is acceptable if new driver releases are to add extra functionality, but usually they aren’t, they are to fix bugs – it is unacceptable to not release compatible drivers which fix bugs. By not supplying laptops with XP & not supporting XP with bugfix driver releases for later models, Dell are restricting the freedom of their customers to use the hardware in their own way & forcing them to accept either compromised functionality, or forcing them to use an inferior operating system – Vista has been slated widely & most experienced computer users do not want to use it, it is probably the worst thing Microsoft have released since ME (it may even be worse).

    So what are my annoying niggles on the Studio 1535 – the onboard mic doesn’t work with the XP drivers, this renders the onboard webcam practically useless. The touchpad is slow & occasionally jerky, this problem has been reported widely by many users & occurs on Vista & XP – search the web for this one, you will find Dell in complete denial about it!

    These niggles are not a big issue for me. I got a good deal on the machine & have a good spec for the price. The webcam was an extra, it being useless because of the mic isn’t too much of a problem for me. The touchpad problem I can get around, by selecting ‘enhance pointer precision’ in control panel, it stops the occasional jerkiness, at the expense of making it a bit slower & I can plug in an external wireless mouse. But, what this has highlighted for me is Dell’s attitude – ‘just give us your money and put up with the problems’. It’s not good enough Dell, so that’s the end of it for me. Next time I’ll probably pay over the odds & buy a Mac!

  • Don’t use this it is dangerous

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    November 23, 2008 /  Technical Help, Ubuntu

    Well just learned an Ubuntu lesson the hard way 🙂

    My daughter had left a session logged on, with some annoying background music repeating. I thought I’d figure out how to log her out via the command line while I was logged on. Always used Process Explorer to do this in Windows, doesn’t seem to be a Linux equivalent (not that I’ve looked that hard). Anyway did a few searches & found this little beauty ‘sudo pkill -KILL -u username‘. I assume it logged her off, unfortunately I couldn’t tell, as I lost any ability to interact with the OS. No mouse or keyboard functioning 🙂 I can only assume that it killed all of the processes associated with her login, including the mouse & keyboard drivers for my laptop! The only way out was a hard reboot. So let this be a warning beware of ‘sudo pkill -KILL -u username

  • Ubuntu Partitioning Problem

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    September 6, 2008 /  Technical Help, Ubuntu

    OK, some more details on the Ubuntu dual boot partitioning problem. This seems to be one that several people have had.


    • When installing Ubuntu partitioning fails with ‘Resize Operation Failure’
    • When using Partition Magic – Error 1529 Information Mismatch In Directory Entry occurs.
    • No amount of reboots or running chkdsk seems to fix it.


    1. Boot Ubuntu from live CD.
    2. Run Partition Editor & resize the Windows partition by a small amount (1 or 2 GB).
    3. Reboot into Windows.
    4. Reboot again, booting Ubuntu from live CD.
    5. Run Partition Editor & resize the Windows partition to the size that you want.
    6. Run install Ubuntu from the live CD desktop.
    7. When you get to the partioning dialogue, select the option for automatic using free space.

    You may not need all these steps, but this is the sequence that worked for me.

    Good luck & enjoy Ubuntu, I’m loving it 🙂


  • Fix your own IPOD

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    August 19, 2008 /  Technical Help

    Last night my IPod 4th Gen 40GB died.

    • It wouldn’t show up in ITunes or explorer.
    • It hung everything that tried to access it.
    • Couldn’t access it through DOS shell.
    • Couldn’t run chkdsk.
    • Graphical error messages like these informing me to contact Apple support appearing on my IPod screen.
      folder sad

    I thought that the hard drive had died & that I had a dead IPod, until my mate sent me this link Fixit Guide IPods and another mate sent me this one replace ipod hard drive.

    So tonight I took my IPod apart to see how hard it would be, with a view to buying a replacement hard drive & fitting it.

    1. I took the IPod apart – easy
    2. Took the hard drive out – also easy
    3. Gave the hard drive a little tap & a shake
    4. Put it all back together again
    5. IT WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    6. Ran chkdsk – no errors found

    Very happy am I!

    So if you think your IPod is dead, think again & Dig Lazarus Dig!!!