My wife and son have identical Dell Dimension E521 PCs that came with Vista. Neither one will recognize that the SP1 update exists. I have tried to update, but every time I check for one, it still tells me that no updates are available. Can you please help me get them updated to SP1?
I built my computer about a month ago—it’s nothing special. I’m running an Intel Pentium D 820 on an Asus P5W DH Deluxe motherboard. For a videocard, I’m rocking a BFG 9800 GTX.
I stumbled upon the System Information at the bottom-left corner of the Nvidia Control Panel recently. When I clicked it, I took note of the plethora of information on the 9800 GTX. What caught my eye was the very last line: BUS: PCI Express x4. That seems off, given that my card uses an x16 interface. What gives?
How far can I safely overclock a CPU if I’m using a stock cooler? I was building a budget rig and when I had money left over, I decided to upgrade from a high-end Athlon 64 to a really low-end 2.2GHz Phenom. I want to up the performance, even by a tiny bit, but I’m hesitant to do it with a stock cooler. Please help!
My Tagan TG900-U96 Turbojet 900-watt PSU recently burned out. I returned it, but it was no longer being supported through the third-party vendor I got it from. The vendor sent me an Apevia Warlock 900-watt PSU to replace my Tagan. I swapped it out, but now when I turn on the computer it won’t boot all the way. I get power lights, and the keyboard and mouse light up, but the monitor never kicks on, nor do the other connected peripherals (external Zip drive, printer, and scanner). What could be going wrong with my computer? I never had this happen with the Tagan. Could something have been corrupted when the original PSU died?
A couple weeks ago I received a Dell Inspiron 6400 from a friend of mine. I was told that he used Windex directly on the screen, which dripped into the bottom of the LCD (between the screen and the housing). It now has a small, permanent “white fire” pattern on the bottom-center of the LCD screen. It appears not to be a physical effect, as I cannot see it when the laptop is off, but I can see it even when the backlight is turned off. What should I do to fix my display?
I finally took the plunge and built my own rig. Everything worked fine until I plugged my Boston Acoustic Digital BA735 speakers into my EVGA 680i motherboard’s onboard outputs: Nothing happened. I received no sound at all. I tried the same speakers with a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer card and got the same result: zilch. Am I missing something here?
Second Opinion is where readers respond to the Doctor, share their wisdom, correct him if he's wrong, and generally show the world what smart, beautiful people you are.
I can’t agree more with the Doctor regarding his advice to Michael Collins (June 2008) on a TiVo as the best option to extend your DVRing capabilities, especially for transferring recorded programs to a computer. The TiVoToGo feature is great. However, the Doctor’s advice regarding the FireWire ports of most cable DVRs is, as Dwight Schrute would say, “False!”
In your June 2008 issue, Frank Buttell mentioned a problem with a disappearing hard drive. I have also had that problem with Vista Ultimate, except my disappearing drive was my DVD +/- RW with LightScribe. I am dual-booting with XP Pro x64 edition and Vista Ultimate (32 bit). The drive is fine in XP, but in Vista, it will randomly disappear. A restart or sometimes a disconnect and reconnect of the SATA cable will solve the problem. So something must be up. What’s going on?
My question regards backing up games using tools like ImgBurn and Daemon Tools. I use ImgBurn to create the ISO from a disk and Daemon Tools to mount the ISO. But for some reason, with half of my games I get the message “Please insert the original disk” when I try to run the game from the ISO. My method works with older games but not newer ones. I understand that some of these games might have some kind of protection on them preventing me from running them off an ISO, but I paid for these games and I should be able to create backups of them. Do you know how I can back up my games so they actually work?
—Sgt. Christopher Basquit
Gotta go forward to go back, Christopher - hit the jump for the answer.
I downloaded BioShock through Steam a couple weeks ago and have had trouble getting it to run. Sometimes it will randomly crash and send me back to the desktop with a message that tells me the display driver stopped working and has recovered successfully. I have to restart the program through Task Manager to get it to run again, but I can only play 5 to 10 minutes at a time. I have an Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT in a MacBook Pro running Vista 32-bit.