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ExpatTech Techblog - hardware

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!

Dylan Cooper 2008.11.18. 13:32

Old School Driver Installation

These days with software downloads all coming pre-packaged with installers, or using Installation Wizards bundled with Windows, it has become very easy for anyone to install new packages or update old software or drivers. The download, unzip, and then click-once-or-twice and watch-it-install culture has became a part of every day computing life, especially since the advent of all the add-ons available over the internet for our browsers and other 3rd party software being given away free to all and sundry.

However, every now and then, particularly with older computers (and I mean like only more than three or four years old!), you come across a situation where you need to actually know how to install a piece of software manually. I had a situation like that trying to install an audio driver on an older Compaq laptop recently, and it was quite a shock to the system!

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!

Nagy Richárd 2008.11.10. 13:07

It's the power button...

Sometimes I also do some computer repair, and I was asked to deal with a computer that does not work at all. It did not power up. First I tested the power supply, it was perfect. I disconnected everything from the motherboard, leaving only the processor and the RAMs. Nothing.

So I decided it must be the motherboard. But then I had a strange feeling, that I should test the power button. I tried it, just for fun. I disconnected the cable of the power button from the motherboard and used the good old screwdriver trick to start up the computer. It worked. Ribanc.

Dylan Cooper 2008.10.28. 22:32

Dirty memori(es)

Here's one from the archives! We had a laptop brought to us a while back that wouldn't boot up. We ran through the normal diagnostic routines on it, checking the basic hardware and peripherals, but nothing seemed out of order.

As a long shot, we decided to remove the memory from the computer, clean it with circuit cleaner and reseat it. And lo and behold, it booted up fine and continued to run properly ever since then.

So if your computer suddenly stops running normally or won't boot up then it doesn't necessarily mean there is a serious problem or requires a major repair. Not that it will always work to do the step above, but there are a myriad of things that can go wrong with your computer, so don't panic, if something goes wrong just get in touch with ExpatTech!