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<Computer Tips page links: (part 1) (part 2)>
New Daylight Saving
Time & Time Zone Rules and Windows Operating Systems:
Microsoft has released updates for Windows XP, Vista and higher OSes that contain new time zone and
daylight saving time rules. Latest official TZ / DST update offered is KB2794119 [32bit versions only]:
[WinXP] [Win2003] [WinVista] [Win2008] [Win7] [Win8]
For non-supported OSes, get any of the following unofficial TZ / DST updates below:
For Windows 2000, an unofficial KB2769756 update can be obtained here.
For unofficial Dec. 2011 DST/TZ updates for older Windows OSes > [Win95/98/ME] [WinNT4]
(these patches for Win9x/NT4 do not contain the new DST/TZ changes for year 2012 & later)
If you want to adjust the time zone settings manually under Windows, see MS KB article 914387.
To use or not
to use Advanced Power Management [APM]: (not applicable for Vista &
Many PCs made from late 1998 up to now have power management features that are much more reliable
than PCs made before Windows 98 ever came out. Windows 95 OSR2 included several improvements
over previous versions of Windows but Windows 98 allows users total control over all APM features.
If your computer supports either the Advanced Power Management [APM] or the Advanced Configuration
and Power Interface [ACPI] standard use it to its full potential but let the Windows operating system control
power management functions rather than letting the BIOS control them. To do this, go into BIOS setup,
select the power or power management feature and disable ALL timers (or set them to their maximum
settings) BUT have power management enabled (then save your settings & exit BIOS setup). Putting a PC
into 'hibernation' mode shuts down the computer normally but when the Power putton on the computer is
pressed to turn on the PC, it will reload Windows and the desktop exactly as you left it; it's better than
shutting down the PC and turning it on again & going through the whole boot process. Hibernation is best
used with ACPI-based computers using Windows ME, 2000 or higher; some laptop/notebook PCs may
include a hibernation utility that can be used regardless of what version of Windows is used (converting a
hard drive or partition from FAT16 to FAT32 disk format may disable hibernation). If problems occur when
power management features are enabled simply turn off or disable power management completely. If you
want to save power on non-power management computers just turn off the monitor while away from the
computer for a short or long break. For those using Windows ME and are having problems sending it into
hibernation with 192 megs of RAM or more installed download & install the WinME Q296773 hotfix.
MS KB article 296773 is no longer available from the MS support site but nevertheless, the Q296773
hotfix seems to have elliminated the hibernation problem (or at least most of the time) unlike the solutions
mentioned in the Workaround section of support article no. 296773, which were less effective than the
hotfix. There are also other issues & problems with Windows 98 & ME, power management & with 512
megabytes of physical RAM or more installed. See MS articles 253912 & 304943 on how to deal with
the memory problems. Those using Windows 98 2nd edition on an ACPI-ready computer, download &
install the Win98se Q275873 hotfix. For those using Windows Millennium Edition on an ACPI based
machine, get the Q296883 patch from here. Before putting a computer to hibernation mode, close
as many programs as possible if using a lot of programs under Win98 SE, 2000, ME or WinXP. The
Hibernation feature in Win98 FE/SE is only possible under laptop computers and is not available on
desktop computers. Even if your laptop/notebook PC is using Win98 FE or SE, you may have to setup
a "Suspend to Disk" partition, then enable the Suspend-To-Disk power management setting in the
BIOS/CMOS setup program of your laptop and then use the FDISK tool to create a normal partition &
perform a 'clean' install of Win98 with the Portable setup option. If your computer and/or motherboard
has ACPI power management ready features and you are installing any edition of Windows 98, run the
Win98 FE/SE setup program with the "/P J" option to install Win98 with ACPI support. With Win2000
WinME, XP & higher when you setup any of these OSes, if it finds a BIOS date higher than Jan. 1999,
these OSes should automatically install ACPI support. For BIOS dates earlier than Jan. 1999, Win2k
and higher OSes may not install ACPI support and will install APM support instead.
Keep your PC &
monitor clean or close to being dust-free:
Whenever you use your PC for a long time and there are dust & dirt on the computer and/or monitor, take
some time to clean the monitor screen [wipe it with a dry, moist but NOT a wet paper towel]. Also try to
clean the 'inside' of your PC by using a can of compressed air or a miniature vacuum cleaner to blow
away dust from all the computer parts inside the PC.
To 'Flash' (aka.
upgrade by software) or not to Flash your BIOS on your computer:
Most computers now come with BIOS chips that can be upgraded by running some software. To determine
what version a BIOS is using, press a key that enters the BIOS setup program when you turn on the PC or
when restarting the PC. Check with the PC maker's web site on how to upgrade the BIOS first before
actually doing so because if it is done improperly the computer will never boot and you'll have to get a new
one. Upgrading the BIOS by running some software is necessary when planning to upgrade to Windows XP
[or a newer version of Windows like Windows Vista] on a PC that is a few years old or to add support for
newer types of devices. There are some BIOS tools listed at this Majorgeeks.com BIOS page you can use
to check the kind of BIOS and what version it uses. You can use the BIOS Agent program to determine what
kind of BIOS your computer is using [for very old and brand new machines]. After downloading and
upgrading your BIOS you must reset your BIOS settings because in some BIOSes after being upgraded
you may encounter 'invalid checksum' errors when your computer starts up. So after updating the BIOS with
a flash program, go into the BIOS setup program, load the default settings, make a few minor changes if
necessary and save settings to ensure your settings work correctly with the updated BIOS version. Better
yet, download and run the CPU-Z utiliity to gather info about your RAM, CPU, motherboard and BIOS.
Note: The latest versions of the CPU-Z program only work with Win2000 & higher. Win98/ME users can
obtain v1.57 of CPU-Z here as it's the last version to support Win98/ME. However, Win95 users may want
to use the BIOS Info Tool v1.3 to gather BIOS information. If you have an internet conncetion available, you
can use the BIOS Agent Plus tool to obtain BIOS info and more.
How to Tell Between
a Fake and a Real Microsoft Security-Related Email Message:
Click here for information on how to tell whether an email message sent by MS about a security problem
is real or bogus.
from Online Identity Theft:
Go to the OnGuard Online site on how to protect yourself from identity theft.
How to Tell the
Difference Between Genuine and Counterfeit Microsoft Software:
See this Microsoft page on how to determine whether you are using genuine Microsoft software or not.
This applies to Microsoft software starting with Office XP, Windows XP and beyond.
Putting a Hard
Drive in the Freezer as a "Last Ditch" Effort to Recover Data Trick:
This tip sounds crazy but it may sometimes work to get a failing hard drive to work for a while and copy
as many files as possible onto another computer. Read the blog about it here and this Windows Secrets
newsletter article from March 22, 2007.
<> Caution: This tip does not work with some brands or some models of hard drives and can make
things worse than before. Use at your own risk. Otherwise, use a specialized data recovery service
to recover your precious files from a failing hard drive which may be costly.
Installing Windows Media Player 7.1
under Windows 95 & NT4:
Since the Media Player 7.1 setup file refuses to install WMP 7.1 under Win95 or NT4 if the program file
detects either of those versions, just download the modified WMP 7.1 package for Win95 & NT4 and just run
the EXE file to install Media Player 7.1 under either Win95 or WinNT4. NT4 users should install SP6a first
before running the modified WMP 7.1 setup package.
Note: When installation begins, uncheck the 'CD Burning' option when trying to install WMP 7.1 under NT4
as the CD burning feature of WMP 7.1 does NOT work properly under NT4 but works fine under Win95. You
will be able to install updates for WMP 7.1 but that will prevent you from removing WMP 7.1 under Win95/NT4
as installing the WMP 7.1 patches overwrite the setup_wm.exe file with the 7.1 version. To un-install WMP 7.1
under Win95/NT4, overwrite the setup_wm.exe file with the 7.0 version and run that file with the '/uninstall'
switch to remove WMP 7.1 (or you can un-install WMP 7.1 from the Add/Remove programs control panel app).
Do NOT try this with WMP 9 as that version requires Win98 SE, 2k, ME or XP and is NOT compatible
with Win95 & NT4.
Caution: Win95 & NT4 users must install at least IE 4.01 and/or DCOM95 for the setup_wm.exe file to work.
If you keep on getting an error message that WMP7 requires IE 4.0 or DCOM95 to be installed after running
the setup_wm.exe file, re-install IE 4.x/5.x/6.x (under WinNT4) or re-install DCOM95 (under Win95) and then
re-run the setup_wm.exe file.
Un-installing Windows Media Player 9.0
Completely: (do NOT use this tip with Media Player 10 & higher)
Click here to view my wmp9del.htm file on how to remove WMP9 completely under Win98, 2000, ME & XP.
The tip can also be used to uninstall WMP9 under WinME or WinXP without having to use System Restore
to revert back to the older version of WMP. You can also use the tips there to uninstall Media Player 7.1
under WinME since WMP 7.1 will not show up in the Add/Remove Programs control panel app in WinME.
Warning: Do NOT try this under Win2003 or WinXP with SP2 or SP3 installed. Because WinXP SP2 and
XP SP3 contain updated & "bug fixed" versions of WMP9, you cannot remove it without removing the whole
SP2 or SP3 pack. To uninstall WMP9 under XP SP2/SP3, uninstall SP2 or SP3. WinServ 2003 contains
an embedded version of WMP9 and can not be removed unless you have the LitePC applet installed.
Installing Windows Media Player 6.4
version 6.4.07.1121 (NOT build 1112) under Win95, 98, ME & NT4:
I now have two methods of installing Media Player 6.4 build 1121. First method is for Windows 95, 98 or NT4 users that
have the IE 5.01 or 5.5 setup installer file (ie5setup.exe) and is NOT needed for those using IE 6 SP1. Before trying
out the 1st method you need Winzip, the two iesetup.cif files from both IE 5.x & IE 6.0 SP1 AND your IE 5.x installation
files must be on the hard drive and not the CD drive. If you don't have the IE 6 SP1 iesetup.cif file, download the
IE6 SP1 installer (ie6setup.exe), view that file in Winzip and extract the iesetup.cif file onto a temporary folder. The
second method is to simply create a batch file that automatically installs WMP 6.4 build 1121 but requires that at
least IE 5.0 or higher is already installed. Follow the directions carefully. If you are doing this under WinME, use
a third party tool such as CoolKill or WinKill to close the STMGR.EXE file and use the MSCONFIG tool to prevent
'Statemgr' from running at Startup. You may have to restart the computer after installing WMP 6.4.07.1121 with
either method. WinME users should use method 2 as it's the best way to install WMP 6.4 build 1121. After doing
this with WinME, you can re-enable 'Statemgr' from the MSCONFIG tool.
1 - Installing WMP 6.4 with the IE 5.01 or 5.5 setup program:
1. Place each iesetup.cif file onto separate directories. For example, if using IE 5.5 SP2, open the ie5setup.exe file in
Winzip and extract the iesetup.cif file inside to a temp folder like 'c:\temp\ie55sp2', then open the ie6setup.exe file in
Winzip and extract its iesetup.cif file onto a different folder like 'c:\temp\ie60sp1'.
2. Launch two copies of the Notepad program. Open the IE 5.x iesetup.cif file in one Notepad window and the IE 6 SP1
iesetup.cif file in the other window.
3. Copy the entire [mediaplayer] section of IE6 SP1's iesetup.cif file and overwrite the [mediaplayer] section of the IE 5.x
iesetup.cif file using the Copy & Paste method. If you are trying this under Win95, change the Platform line that says
'Platform=Win98,NT4' to 'Platform=Win95,Win98,NT4'.
4. Close both Notepad windows and save changes to the modified IE 5.x iesetup.cif file.
5. Run the IE 5.x setup program to view the License Agreement dialog box but do NOT proceed any further. From this
point, copy the modified iesetup.cif file onto the 'c:\windows\temp\ixp000.tmp' folder and click Yes to overwrite the file.
(the ixp000.tmp folder is created when the IE setup program is run and deleted when the installer is done).
6. Perform a Custom install and select the Windows Media Player and cilck the Next button to install WMP 6.4 build 1121.
2 - Using a batch file (*.bat) to install or upgrade WMP 6.4 to version
1. Open the mplayer2.cab file in Winzip or any archiving utility and extract all the files inside onto a temporary folder
(for example 'c:\temp\mplayer2'). For those using WinME, be sure to disable System File Protection by closing
STMGR.EXE with a 3rd party tool such as CoolKill or Niresoft Task Manager and then run the System Configuration
Utility [msconfig.exe] and prevent 'Statemgr' from running at Startup. Don't reboot yet after closing Msconfig.
2. Create a batch file in Notepad with the following lines:
start /w RUNDLL32.EXE ADVPACK.DLL,LaunchINFSection amov4ie.inf,DefaultInstall
start /w RUNDLL32.EXE ADVPACK.DLL,LaunchINFSection mplayer2.inf,DefaultInstall
3. Save the file as an 'install.bat' file and place it onto the temporary folder where you store the Windows Media Player 6.4
4. Double-click on the INSTALL.BAT file to install Windows Media Player build 1121 and you're all set. If you are using
WinME, restart the computer and delete the wininit.log file after WinME reloads. Then you can use msconfig.exe to
re-enable the 'Statemgr' startup entry and reboot for the change to take effect.
You may want to read
Windows Media Player mini FAQ on how to setup and use any version of
Windows Media Player, including newer versions (WMP 11 for WinXP/Vista & WMP 12 for Seven).
Having problems accessing
your CD burner or DVD burner in Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003 & Vista
after removing the CD burning program? Does Device Manager show yellow exclamation marks next
to your CD/DVD drives or if Device Manager does not detect any CD/DVD drives in Win2000, XP,
Server 2003, Vista & Win7? See MS article 982116 on how to fix the problem.
Microsoft did not
provide official support for USB on Windows NT 4.0 but there were some
vendors that provided USB drivers that do work under NT4. See this page about Windows NT4 & USB.
There are also USB 2.0 drivers that may work under NT4 (from Woodhead's home site).
[click here to go to part 1 of My Computer Tips for Windows page]
[click here to go to my Main page]
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Noel Piring [aka. the ERPMan]
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