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ExpatTech Techblog - hard drive

Dylan Cooper 2011.08.18. 15:20

Custom Desktop Configurations

We have a new service here at ExpatTech. Having made good contacts with several wholesalers of computer parts here in Budapest, we are now designing and building custom desktop configurations for clients.

We can get any type of component required, and can build anything from the simplest computer configuration for basic office use through to high end gaming machines with high capacity video cards and bullet-proof power supplies.

Regarding costs, prices for the confiugartions we build range from 55,000 to 555,000 forints - you can also specify a budget, and we will put together a computer to suit!

Call us on (+36-1) 215 1143 for further details or a quote for your dream computer!

Alexander Dean 2009.02.03. 06:02

primary drive not assigned c:

Everybody knows that the majority computers have the OS on the C: drive and most people are used to this configuration. Although, in most situations, it really shouldn't matter on what logical drive your OS resides, it might be annoying or confusing to some users to not find Windows in the "usual" place. Most of the time when you install windows, it will correctly resolve to the C: drive. However, if the computer comes with removable media drives for memory cards, depending on many factors, Windows might install to a logical drive letter that comes after the removable media drives. If this configuration is undesired, then simply disconnect the removable media drives from the motherboard and redo the Windows installation.

If you decide to stay with your OS on a logical drive other than C:, then you shouldn't experience problems as most programs use environment variables to install. An environment variable is a special DOS level variable used to store useful system information. You can see your systems environment variables by getting to a Command / DOS prompt (start/run/cmd) and typing "Set". As you can see there are variables like "System Drive" that point new programs to the correct logical drive for default installation.

Should you ever run into any suspicious problem during install as I did recently while installing the Flash Player for internet browsing, there is a simple workaround.

Dylan Cooper 2008.11.12. 12:00

Memory, Memory, Memory!

Amazing what can go wrong with a computer, here's another couple of memory issues.

Laptop number one was infested with viruses, and we needed to reformat it and install a fresh copy of windows on it. However, once Windows setup had loaded the necessary files onto the computer, we constantly got an error message stating "process1_initialization_failed" and would then shut down the installation. We tried several fixes, and then went back to the old memory drawing board! On a hunch I checked the specs of the computer, a Compaq Presario 2200, and it turned out that the memory upgrade that had been installed was one grade faster than the motherboard was designed for (runs on DDR2-400 PC3200 RAM, and had been upgraded with two 512MB sticks of DDR2-533 PC4200. DDR2 RAM in general is backwards compatible, meaning that faster RAM can be used in a computer with a chipset designed for slower RAM, it just runs at the slower clockspeed. However, when it came to actually installing and setting up Windows for that particular laptop's configuration, it couldn't handle it and was bombing out. So I reached into the memory drawer, got out a 256MB stick (the minimum to run Windows XP) of DDR2-400 PC3200 RAM, installed Windows XP with no problems, and then reinstalled the faster upgraded RAM, and the computer worked like a charm!

Dylan Cooper 2008.10.28. 22:31

Installing Windows XP on a Vista machine

Now, would you call that a DOWNGRADE? Popular opinion says no, as it seems a majority of computer users prefer the XP platform to Microsoft's latest version of Windows, Vista. The reason is that to date XP has been the most stable of all the Windows OS releases, having the greatest amount of compatibility with a wide variety of software. And it also afforded you a modicum of control over the settings and operation of your computer, unlike Vista that hides everything behind it's "user-friendly interface" and flashy buttons.

So it's no wonder that a lot of people who have purchased new computers and been "force-fed" Vista as their operating system are choosing to switch back to the familiar and relatively easy to use Windows XP.

Depending on your particular model of computer, and in particular laptop, this may not quite be as simple an operation as you may think. Getting anything running on a computer is always a complex marriage between hardware and software and various settings in the BIOS, and this case is no exception.

Dylan Cooper 2008.10.28. 19:20


Never heard of XP Antivirus 2008, or it's cousin Antivirus 2009? You haven't gotten constant popups claiming "Your Computer is Infected!"? Well you've been lucky so far, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, read further on about the world of RansomWare.

The typical characteristics of RansomWare is that they masquerade as either a virus alert, scanner, or removal tool for your computer. You will get various popups and browser windows opening up unsolicited on your computer, with messages telling you about various problems it has identified on your machine, usually with a "click here to fix" attached to it.

Clicking on these is about the worst thing you can do, at best you will be taken to a screen giving you the hard sell to buy a product you don't need, and at worst you will be downloading the virus, trojan or worm itself onto your computer.

Alexander Dean 2008.10.22. 17:21

New Drive In XP

Sometimes when you purchase a new drive (sata or ide) and try to mount on an XP machine via a USB, nothing will appear under "my computer".  This absence isn't necessarily a problem, it just means that your new drive must first be initialized using Windows Disk Management.

To access Disk Management go to Start>Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Mangement... Inside of "Computer Managment", on the right side, you'll see the Disk Management option near the bottom.  With your new drive plugged into the system, click on this option.  The drive should appear on the right half at the bottom of the screen.  Right-click on the drive and use the wizard to initialize the drive.  After this step, the drive will now appear with some unformatted unpartitioned space to the right of the drive.  Right click on this space (not the drive name) to create partitions and even a logical drive.  After finishing these steps, the drive will appear and will be accessable under "My Computer."