March 2010

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Laptop Proc Upgrade

Ask the Doctor LogoI’m considering upgrading my laptop’s CPU but don’t know what to use as a replacement. My laptop is a Dell Latitude D820 with an Intel Core2 T5500. This CPU does not support virtualization, so I am looking to replace it with a CPU that does. How do I go about figuring out which CPUs go with my laptop motherboard? If I am going to void my (very expensive) warranty doing this, I want to be sure that I have the correct part.

—Anne Richley

Read the Doctor's advice for Anne after the jump.

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Mystery Error at Line 544

Ask the Doctor LogoI love my PC, but it has just gone wacko! I keep getting this error on Windows XP: “Parser message: Value creation failed at line 544.”

I put my PC to sleep, but the message pops up repeatedly before it will sleep. Once it returns from sleep, the same message pops up five times, followed by the Classic startup screen. I don’t use the classic theme, but I couldn’t figure out what was going on so I just dismissed the error and kept playing the game I was playing. The next day the error was back. Help!

—Will English

Read the Doctor's advice for Will after the jump.

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What's Rundll Running?

Ask the Doctor LogoI have Windows 7 and when I start a game like the Homeworld 2 demo, my processor refuses to go below 50 percent usage. When I look in the Task Manager the process called rundll32.exe is using 50 percent of the CPU cycles. I ran an Avast scan; there is no indication of a virus. I can fix this by suspending the task and the games run fine without the rundll32 task going. Any idea of why this is going on?

—Ian

Read the Doctor's answer for Ian after the jump.

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Reset Laptop BIOS Password

Ask the Doctor LogoI have an HP Pavilion zv5001us laptop that is about six years old. It has a Phoenix BIOS, if I remember correctly. Whenever I try to access the BIOS, the computer prompts me for a password. I forgot the password and don’t know how to get around it. Thanks.

—Vincent Gonzalez

Read the Doctor's advice for Vincent after the jump.