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  • 5 months later...

Drok's Computer Guide



Contents:-If you want to skip to a certain section, you can also use CTRL+F here!

  • How to find simple things about your computer.
  • PC Components and you.
  • Windows Tips 'n' Tricks


How to find your computer specs.


This will run you through some simple steps to find out details about your Computer hardware.

All of this was taken from Twin's guide, with help from Naota.


[/size]CPU & RAM:

Right-click "My Computer" and click properties. That should bring you up to something like this:




Make sure you have the "General" tab selected.


Another way to find your Processor or CPU is to right-click "My Computer" and click "Manage." Click "Device Manager" and then click "Processor."






Right-click "My Computer" and click properties. Then click the "Hardware" tab. Then click "Device Manager."




Then expand the "Display Drivers" list by click the + next to it.




By Twin4819 and Naota.



PC Components and You.

We're going to run through the basic components of a computer now.



Let's get straight to business. A computer is like a woman. It has a mother(board), a graphics card (something to look at), the sound card (voice box. Note: No off switch included in woman version of sound card), a CPU or Processor (the brain) and a memory module (Which remembers everything short term. Such as "Did you put the trash out?". Only the PC version is "Did you defragment your C:\?". RAM is included in the memory module).

Now, as confusing as that was, it was humorous. So in summary, so far:

System Unit =

  • Motherboard
  • Graphics Card
  • Sound Card
  • CPU (Central Processing Unit, also known as Processor)

  • Memory Module
  • Hard Drive

The Motherboard

The Motherboard basically holds everything together. It's the base platform that all components of the computer are attached to. The motherboard is lined with things called Integrated Circuits (IC). These are like microscopic pathways that are capable of carrying elecrical current. Each IC can contain millions of elements of elements, such as transistors. Transistors act like electronic switches, that open or close the circuit for electronic signals.

Graphics Cards

The graphics card is used to handle the GUI, and the other images you see on your computer. Without your video card, you wouldn't be able to see what I'm typing right now.

The video card defines how quickly your computer renders images (how fast they load), and basically tell the CPU which pixels to light up, and in which colour, to let you see what you want.

The problem with some Video cards is that they aren't compatible with certain processors, or less compatible.


Sound Card


CPU (Central Processing Unit)

The CPU is the most important chip on the Motherboard. It interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer.

The CPU significantly impacts the overall computing power of your PC, and manages most of the computer's operations. It contains the control unit, and the arithmetic/logic unit.


Memory Module

During processing, the processor places instructions to be executed and data needed by those instructions, into memory.

Memory stores three basic items:

  • The operating system and other system software that control usage of PC equipment.
  • Applications that carry out specific tasks, like word processing.
  • Data being processed by apps (applications)

Random Access Memory, or RAM for short, consists of memory chips that can be read from and written to by the CPU and other devices. When the computer is booted up, the certain OS files load from things like the Hard Drive into RAM. These remain in the RAM whilst the computer is powered on.

The processor interprets the data that is in RAM. During this period, the contents of the RAM may change.

Most RAM is volatile, meaning it loses the data content when the power is turned off.


The cache is also included in the Memory module. The cache basically stores frequently used instructions and steps. This means the processor can call on these to make processing in a computer, faster.When the CPU needs an instruction, or data, to complete a task, it first searches the cache. This means it has the opportunity of completing a task faster, if it has been done before. Kind of like a human does, eh?


Hard Drive

To summarise the Hard Drive, basically it stores data.



<More coming. Please add your two cents worth if it can complete this guide. I've covered everything I can.>


Written by Jakerius.



Windows Tips 'n' Tricks

Note: Where it says "Open up the Registry, you can do this by going Start -> Run and typing in 'regedit'.


Speed up browsing of Windows 2000 and XP Computers.

Open up the Registry and go to :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Explorer/RemoteComputer/NameSpace

Under that branch, select the key :


and delete it.

This is key that instructs Windows to search for Scheduled Tasks. If you like you may want to export the exact branch so that you can restore the key if necessary.



Make your folders private

- Open My Computer

- Double-click the drive where Windows is installed (usually drive (C:), unless you have more than one drive on your computer).

- If the contents of the drive are hidden, under System Tasks, click Show the contents of this drive.

- Double-click the Documents and Settings folder.

- Double-click your user folder.

- Right-click any folder in your user profile, and then click Properties.

- On the Sharing tab, select the Make this folder private so that only I have access to it check box.


Reset Password disk

Useful if you forget your password and need to access your PC.

- Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click User Accounts.

- Click your account name.

- Under Related Tasks, click Prevent a forgotten password.

- Follow the directions in the Forgotten Password Wizard to create a password reset disk.

- Store the disk in a secure location, because anyone using it can access your local user account.


Disable CD Autorun

- Click Start, Run and enter GPEDIT.MSC

- Go to Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, System.

- Locate the entry for Turn autoplay off and modify it as you desire.


Change IE title bar

Open regedit (Start -> Run -> regedit)

In regedit navigate to this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Microsoft -> Internet Explorer -> Main

change the value of the string "Window Title" to whatever you want on the title bar of Internet Explorer - to have no title except the title of the web pages you are browsing do not enter anything for a value.

Note: I couldn't find this on Windows Home, but I found the reg entry on Windows XP Professional. Also, from this folder you can change several things to do with IE, such as if IE displays the Status (loading) bar or not etc.


Editing the "Send To" Menu

First open - X:\Documents and Settings\username\SendTo (it is hidden) where X is your drive letter and username is your username make and delete shortcuts to folders and devices at will.


Keyboard shortcuts

Copy. CTRL+C


Paste. CTRL+V

Undo. CTRL+Z

Delete. DELETE

Delete selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin. SHIFT+DELETE

Copy selected item. CTRL while dragging an item

Create shortcut to selected item. CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item

Rename selected item. F2

Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word. CTRL+RIGHT ARROW

Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word. CTRL+LEFT ARROW

Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph. CTRL+DOWN ARROW

Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph. CTRL+UP ARROW

Highlight a block of text. CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys

Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document. SHIFT with any of the arrow keys

Select all. CTRL+A

Search for a file or folder. F3

View properties for the selected item. ALT+ENTER

Close the active item, or quit the active program. ALT+F4

Opens the shortcut menu for the active window. ALT+SPACEBAR

Close the active document in programs that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously. CTRL+F4

Switch between open items. ALT+TAB

Cycle through items in the order they were opened. ALT+ESC

Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the desktop. F6

Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer. F4

Display the shortcut menu for the selected item. SHIFT+F10

Display the System menu for the active window. ALT+SPACEBAR

Display the Start menu. CTRL+ESC

Display the corresponding menu. ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name

Carry out the corresponding command. Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu

Activate the menu bar in the active program. F10

Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu. RIGHT ARROW

Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu. LEFT ARROW

Refresh the active window. F5

View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer. BACKSPACE

Cancel the current task. ESC

SHIFT when you insert a CD into the CD-ROM drive Prevent the CD from automatically playing.



Use these keyboard shortcuts for dialog boxes:


Move forward through tabs. CTRL+TAB

Move backward through tabs. CTRL+SHIFT+TAB

Move forward through options. TAB

Move backward through options. SHIFT+TAB

Carry out the corresponding command or select the corresponding option. ALT+Underlined letter

Carry out the command for the active option or button. ENTER

Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box. SPACEBAR

Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons. Arrow keys

Display Help. F1

Display the items in the active list. F4

Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box. BACKSPACE

If you have a Microsoft Natural Keyboard, or any other compatible keyboard that includes the Windows logo key and the Application key , you can use these keyboard shortcuts:


Display or hide the Start menu.

Display the System Properties dialog box. +BREAK

Show the desktop. +D

Minimize all windows. +M

Restores minimized windows. +Shift+M

Open My Computer. +E

Search for a file or folder. +F

Search for computers. CTRL+ +F

Display Windows Help. +F1

Lock your computer if you are connected to a network domain, or switch users if you are not connected to a network domain. + L

Open the Run dialog box. +R

Display the shortcut menu for the selected item.

Open Utility Manager. +U


Helpful accessibility keyboard shortcuts:


Switch FilterKeys on and off. Right SHIFT for eight seconds

Switch High Contrast on and off. Left ALT +left SHIFT +PRINT SCREEN

Switch MouseKeys on and off. Left ALT +left SHIFT +NUM LOCK

Switch StickyKeys on and off. SHIFT five times

Switch ToggleKeys on and off. NUM LOCK for five seconds

Open Utility Manager. +U

Keyboard shortcuts you can use with Windows Explorer:


Display the bottom of the active window. END

Display the top of the active window. HOME

Display all subfolders under the selected folder. NUM LOCK+ASTERISK on numeric keypad (*)

Display the contents of the selected folder. NUM LOCK+PLUS SIGN on numeric keypad (+)

Collapse the selected folder. NUM LOCK+MINUS SIGN on numeric keypad (-)

Collapse current selection if it's expanded, or select parent folder. LEFT ARROW

Display current selection if it's collapsed, or select first subfolder. RIGHT ARROW


Add sound to Windows events

To turn on the Windows XP default sound scheme, follow these directions:


Single-click the Start menu.

Single-click the Control Panel.

Single-click the Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices icon.

Single-click the Sounds and Audio Devices icon or the text labeled "Change the sound scheme."

Make sure you're on the Sound tab and locate the pull-down menu under Sound scheme.

Select the Windows Default option and press Apply. Windows will ask you if you want to save the previous sound scheme. Since there wasn't a sound scheme already loaded, just choose No.


If you look under the text labeled "Program events," you'll be able to sample your new sounds or customize them with your own. Read Customize Events Sounds if you'd like to learn how to do this yourself.


How to cheat in Minesweeper!


- Start Minesweeper,

- Type "xyzzy" without the quotes,

- Hit Shift and Enter at the same time,

- Minimize all application windows that hide the desktop. The uppermost pixel in the top left corner of your desktop will turn black when you mouse over a mine, and white when it's safe to click.


Note: Decrease your resolution to make the pixel bigger, thus easier to see.


If you have any questions about these, feel free to ask.




101 Run Commands!


101 run commands (Start -> Run)



Accessibility Controls


Add Hardware Wizard


Add/Remove Programs


Administrative Tools

control admintools

Automatic Updates


Bluetooth Transfer Wizard




Certificate Manager


Character Map


Check Disk Utility


Clipboard Viewer


Command Prompt


Component Services


Computer Management


Date and Time Properties


DDE Shares


Device Manager


Direct X Control Panel (If Installed)*


Direct X Troubleshooter


Disk Cleanup Utility


Disk Defragment


Disk Management


Disk Partition Manager


Display Properties

control desktop

Display Properties


Display Properties (w/Appearance Tab Preselected)

control color

Dr. Watson System Troubleshooting Utility


Driver Verifier Utility


Event Viewer


File Signature Verification Tool




Folders Properties

control folders


control fonts

Fonts Folder


Free Cell Card Game


Game Controllers


Group Policy Editor (XP Prof)


Hearts Card Game


Iexpress Wizard


Indexing Service


Internet Properties


IP Configuration (Display Connection Configuration)

ipconfig /all

IP Configuration (Display DNS Cache Contents)

ipconfig /displaydns

IP Configuration (Delete DNS Cache Contents)

ipconfig /flushdns

IP Configuration (Release All Connections)

ipconfig /release

IP Configuration (Renew All Connections)

ipconfig /renew

IP Configuration (Refreshes DHCP & Re-Registers DNS)

ipconfig /registerdns

IP Configuration (Display DHCP Class ID)

ipconfig /showclassid

IP Configuration (Modifies DHCP Class ID)

ipconfig /setclassid

Java Control Panel (If Installed)


Java Control Panel (If Installed)


Keyboard Properties

control keyboard

Local Security Settings


Local Users and Groups


Logs You Out Of Windows


Microsoft Chat


Minesweeper Game


Mouse Properties

control mouse

Mouse Properties


Network Connections

control netconnections

Network Connections


Network Setup Wizard




Nview Desktop Manager (If Installed)


Object Packager


ODBC Data Source Administrator


On Screen Keyboard


Opens AC3 Filter (If Installed)


Password Properties


Performance Monitor


Performance Monitor


Phone and Modem Options


Power Configuration


Printers and Faxes

control printers

Printers Folder


Private Character Editor


Quicktime (If Installed)


Regional Settings


Registry Editor


Registry Editor


Remote Desktop


Removable Storage


Removable Storage Operator Requests


Resultant Set of Policy (XP Prof)


Scanners and Cameras


Scheduled Tasks

control schedtasks

Security Center




Shared Folders


Shuts Down Windows


Shutdown Windows in 30 seconds

shutdown -s

Abort Shutdown

shutdown -a

Sounds and Audio


Spider Solitare Card Game


SQL Client Configuration


System Configuration Editor


System Configuration Utility


System File Checker Utility (Scan Immediately) (Requires XP CD. Very useful)

sfc /scannow

System File Checker Utility (Scan Once At Next Boot)

sfc /scanonce

System File Checker Utility (Scan On Every Boot)

sfc /scanboot

System File Checker Utility (Return to Default Setting)

sfc /revert

System File Checker Utility (Purge File Cache)

sfc /purgecache

System File Checker Utility (Set Cache Size to size x)

sfc /cachesize=x

System Properties


Task Manager


Telnet Client


User Account Management


Utility Manager


Windows Firewall


Windows Magnifier


Windows Management Infrastructure


Windows System Security Tool


Windows Update Launches


Windows XP Tour Wizard





So there you go. A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Edited by Dark Light A
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Queen Missy's Guide on Reformatting



A guide on how to reformat your hard drive




WARNING: Reformatting your drive will wipe everything out!






So... you want to reformat your hard drive? Is your computer always laggy and coming up with missing dll errors? Or is it because you can’t get rid of that stuborn virus? Well if you are yearning for a fresh start than this is the option for you.


What ever the case maybe, I must warn you that reformatting is a very long and difficult process and that it should only be a last resort to solving any of your computer problems. In addition to that I would like to remind you that all your data which includes documents, music, videos, etc will all be deleted so remember to back them up.


Ok! Now if I haven't scared you guys too much, lets begin!


What you will need


You must have the following items before you start:

  • Windows Operating System installation CD
    (normally comes with your computer when you bought it)
  • Microsoft Office CD with a valid product key
  • Device drivers
  • Back up files



Just for your knowledge, this is what you'll technically be doing to your hard drive when you follow the 8 steps below

  • Deleting all data on the hard drive
  • Installing Windows Operating System
  • Installing Microsoft Office


  1. Back up all your data
  2. Audit your current PC setup
  3. Set your BIOS to boot from CDROM
  4. Boot from Windows OS installation CD
  5. Install missing drivers
  6. Install Microsoft Office
  7. Restore back up data
  8. Update Windows

1. Back up all your data


Reformatting will wipe away all your data. Therefore it is wise to save all your data on a CD, external hard drive or a separate partition of your hard drive.


These data include:

  • My Documents
    (music, pictures, videos, etc..)
  • Favourites/Bookmarks
  • Program Setup's
    (SwiftSwitch, Mozilla FireFox, Ad-Aware, etc..)
  • Device Drivers
    (These are usually found on the CDs that came with your hardware. If you don’t have these the alternative is to download them from their manufacturer’s website. Most drivers, utilities and troubleshooting materials are usually posted under the support section).
  • Anything that you will need!

2. Audit your current PC setup


Just as an extra precautionary step to backing up the data, it is good to take note of all the hardware devices that are running. To get the brand and model of these devices, follow these steps:


Method 1

  1. Click Start, Click Control Panel
  2. Click Systems, Tab Hardware, Click Device Manager
  3. Print Screen, then print out a hard copy or save it for reference

Method 2

  1. Download free Belarc Advisor ( a utility that will create a report detailing your system, its installed hardware components, software applications and serial numbers)
  2. Run a report and print it out for reference

Method 3

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories
  2. Point to System Tools and select System Information
  3. Expand Componets to identify the devices


3. Set your BIOS to boot from CDROM


To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your computer
  2. Hit the F10 button or any key that enters the BIOS
  3. In the BIOS menu, enter the Boot Sequence from the Advanced BIOS option
  4. Select CD-ROM to be the first boot up device and HARD DISK to be second
  5. Save settings and exit the BIOS

The next time you restart your PC it will boot up from the CD drive.


4. Boot from Windows OS installation CD


The reason why it was important to do Step 3 'Set you BIOS to boot from CDROM' is because it is not possible to run the Windows installation from Windows itself. The aim is to delete the C: drive partition where Windows is installed and re-format it. It's not possible to do this if Windows is booted from the C: drive because it can not delete the partition from which it is running.


To boot from the Windows OS installation CD follow the following steps:

  1. Insert Windows OS installation disk into the CD drive
  2. Restart computer
  3. Follow the prompts and a blue screen will appear (If you get stuck, switch off and on again to re-boot. You may have to do this several times)
  4. Press ESC to bypass the repair and install a fresh copy
  5. Delete the current partition where Windows is installed
  6. Create a new partition
  7. The next window will show the format options:
    Format the partition by using the NTFS file system (quick)
    Format the partition by using the FAT32 file system (quick)
    Format the partition by using the NTFS file system <--- Select
    Format the partition by using the FAT32 file system
    Leave the current file system intact (No Changes)
  8. Follow the remaining prompts to fill in your Region, Language, Keyboard, Time Zone, EULAgreement, Computer Name, Computer Description, Password, Network and you are done!

5. Install missing drivers


Once you get Windows XP up and running, there is a chance that not everything will be working well. It may be hard for you to print, connect to the net or listen to music. To see what's wrong, go to the device manager:

  1. Click Start, Click Control Panel
  2. Click Systems, Tab Hardware
  3. Click Device Manager

It might end up looking this like this:



The yellow question mark indicates that Windows knows that the hardware exist but does not know how to control it. To fix this, insert each driver CD and install the appropriate software that is needed for each of these devices.


If you are finding that you don't have certain drivers then the list that you printed out in Step 2 will help you out. Log onto a different computer and use the net to download these drivers from their manufacturer's website. Most drivers, utilities and troubleshooting materials are usually posted under the support section. Drivers are normally readily available for download, a useful website is DriverGuide. Once you've found them, download the drivers, burn them onto a CD and then proceed to install them onto your own computer.


The two paragraph above was there to prepare you for the worst case senario. In actual fact if you bought a manufactured computer (i.e. Dell, Compaq, Hp, etc) chances are, there is a CD which contains all your drivers and all you would have to do is run that CD and everything will be restored. If you are really lucky most of your devices will be plug and play which means that they will be detected automatically and will work automatically.


6. Install Microsoft Office


Insert Microsoft Office CD into your computer and follow the prompts. When you are asked for the product key enter in the numbers/letters that is found on the CD case.


7. Restore backup data

  • Install all antiviral software, firewalls, and security programs first
    (Absolute must before going on to the net)
  • Run setup of all other programs
  • Copy all your data from your back up CDs

8. Update Windows


As soon as you get onto the net go to Windows Update and patch things up so that everything is up to date and secure. Another thing that is worth updating is your Java software.


9. Congratulate yourself!


You now have a fresh, clean computer!



----------------------- Reformatting Wizards -----------------------


Reformatting wizards make life a lot easier by reformatting your computer without you having to delete partitions, create new partitions and re-install drivers. Reformatting wizards will restore your computer to its original state as you first bought it.


The reason why I have put this down here instead of having it as the first option is because not everyone gets this option. If your computer did come with a reformatting wizard CD which would probably be called something like 'QuickRestore System Recovery CD' then I would highly recommend that you to use this CD to reformat your computer instead.


Similar rules apply when you use the QuickRestore CD

  1. Back up ur data
  2. Audit your current PC setup
  3. Set your BIOS to boot from CDROM
  4. Boot from QuickRestore CD
  5. Install Microsoft Office
  6. Restore back up data
  7. Update Windows

This should restore your computer to the factory image.



----------------------- Questions and Answers -----------------------


This section is for Q&A. Feel free to post a sensible question or if you want to give an answer make sure u got the right information. If u are unsure, don't post. Any constructive criticism will be appreciated. If u got tips on reformatting I’ll be more than happy to add them.



Where do I go for more help?



For more help, post in this thread and me or a Techie will try and help you out. Please refrain from pm’ing me for help on reformatting as my inbox is always bursting and I’m not always here on slams. Having said that post here and we’ll all try to help u out. Everyone else who reads this thread is also welcome to help out, but if u do please post good solid useful information.


For more information visit Windows Reinstall. This site contains step by step pictures of Reinstalling Windows.



I have a virus and I don’t know what to do. Should I Reformat my computer?



No. Reformatting will get rid of your virus but it should be your last option. Reformatting is a very lengthy and tiresome process. Try using anti-virus programs to remove it first.



How often is reformatting done?



If you are finding that you are doing it more than once a year than you should really go and buy some decent anti-virus programs. The average user might need to reformat every 2 – 3 years.



How do I know what file system I have on my hard drive?



Under Windows XP there are two file systems: NTFS and FAT32. To figure out which one you have, double click the My computer icon on the desktop and right click on your C: Drive and choose Properties. Look for the “File system” entry. It’ll either say NTFS or FAT32.



I've done everything you've said but i do not get the option of booting from the CD. It just takes me back to my normal Windows log in.



I would just like to point out that Windows OS Installation CD is different from Microsoft Office XP Professional. The Windows OS Installation CD normally comes with your computer free of charge (You may not need a product key to use it). You need this CD to perform the reformatting. If you have used the Microsoft Office XP Professional instead then don't worry as you have not done anything to your hard drive.



Why did you recommmend to format the the partition by using the NTFS file system?



NTFS is safer and more secure than the others. If your computer is going to be sharing files over a network with A Windows ME, 98 or 95 computer select FAT32 otherwise choose NTFS. (FAT32 was used on Windows Me and 98 was an evolution of the FAT system used on Windows 95). If the drive is brand new and has never been used before then use one of the options that end in “Quick” otherwise proceed with NTFS.



I reboot, the CD runs and then i get a black screen. What is happening?



The black screen you are seeing is MS DOS. Leave the CD in and re-boot (turn off the computer, then turn on). If the same things happen, then reboot. You may have to do this a couple of times before the CD kicks in.







Kaze's Interior Hardware Installation & Configuration Guide


:holiday: Kaze's Interior Hardware Installation & Configuration Guide :(

;) The Ultimate Interior Hardware Installation and Configuration Source (v6.1) ;)


Here, I will be posting useful guides to help all you computer owners achieve maximum performance from your computers. Upgrading, adding, decreasing or fixing, you can find it all here at Kaze's Interior Hardware Guide! All of the below guides were written by Kaze of Sals Realm of Runescape, unless otherwise noted. (Approved by Salmoneus.) Don't forget to check my signature to see the newest upcoming guide! :ice: Also, feel free to PM me if there's a part of the guide you do not understand and would like a further explanation of. You can also post it in this topic.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Before using my guides, I recommend searching on Google for a more professionally written guide on what you need, after all, I'm not a professional computer engineer so my guides aren't perfect. I am not responsible for any errors or damage you may cause to your computer while using this guide. Do not mess around with anything inside the computer that you don't know about. Once again, I am not responsible, and I suggest using a more professionally written guide if you don't trust this one. I also recommend reading the guide over first, and not following it step by step along with what you're doing first. Read it over and make sure you're capable of doing everything it says to do. The guides below were created for the sole purpose of helping people install hardware into their computers and must not be copied or posted anywhere else but Sals Realm of Runescape Forums without my permission. Good luck, enjoy the guides and follow the steps carefully!. :ice:


All guides are labelled with a time consumption level (5mins+), a list of materials needed and a difficulty level (1-10/10).

Difficulty: 1-3 = Beginner Level Procedure, 4-7 = Intermediate Level Procedure, 8-10 = Advanced Level Procedure




Installing a New Graphic Card

Difficulty: 7/10

Time Consumption: 30mins - 60mins

Materials Needed: A graphic card you'd like to install, a screw driver for opening the computer case and screwing the card in/out


Ok, if you're trying to install a new graphic card you're just purchased, it's simple, if you've opened a computer before that is. Ok, so you've ran to the store, picked up the latest graphic card you could find, slapped a wad of cash on the counter, ran out the door and ran home, raging to install the card and start gaming. But wait, how do you do it? That's why I'm here; to help you on your quest of installing that card! :)

Ok, before you even look at this guide, I can't stress it enough. USE THE MANUAL THAT CAME WITH THE CARD BEFORE YOU USE THIS GUIDE. The only reason you should be using this guide is if your guide is too confusing. So, take the card out of the box carefully and place it on a flat surface. NOT carpet. The static of the carpet can fry the card and destroy it completely. I suggest a kitchen counter or a thick wooden table.

Take out the power cord from the computer before opening the computer case. Now, don't even think about opening that computer case without grounding yourself. This means touch something metal, e.g a metal case or poll, to make sure you have no static. You have to do this because one slight shock of static that you can't even feel can completely fry the card and possibly even the whole computer all together, so watch out.

First off, is the card PCI, AGP or PCI-Express (PCI-E)? (If you don't know, look up your card's info on Google or in the instruction manual.) Almost all new graphic cards are AGP and PCI-E. If it's PCI or PCI-E, it should fit in on the motherboard right next to the sound card and other hardware, it usually has a fairly long slot. If it's AGP, there's usually a brown slot (or it can be another color, depending on your mobo) on the motherboard, near or far away from the PCI slots, and it should fit there. If it has a fan on it, make sure the fan is spinning when we test it or the card is broken or isn't connected properly.


Below, is a picture of a graphic card, but yours may not look very much like it, this is a common Radeon X800 GTO graphic card.



Now, we have to locate your old graphic card. When you locate it, unscrew any screws that are holding it in and then slowly take it out without damaging it, and place is on a wooden table or counter; remember, not carpet. Try to not to touch the pins on the card, this can ruin it if your hands are dirty. (not that you should touch the pins in the first place.) Now, put the new card in the port it fits into on your motherboard. Make sure the card is put in the slot in a way that the monitor port is able to recieve access to the monitor cord, meaning it's facing out of the computer case and is visible if you close the case. Below, is a picture of an AGP slot next to some PCI slots. The AGP slot is always smaller than the PCI slot.


AGP and PCI Slots: http://img119.imageshack.us/img119/4310/agp9fz.gif


Once the card is put in properly to the AGP/PCI slot, turn on the computer and make sure the fan is spinning, but plug the monitor into your old graphic card if it's integrated, if you already took out your card, then plug it into the new card. Don't touch the insides of the computer while it's on unless you either want to ruin your computer or get an electric shock. If there is no fan on the card, then make sure the computer screen turns on in the first place when you connect your monitor's cord into the graphic card's port. If it does, you've successfully installed the card from the inside. If it doesn't turn on and you have an integrated card, plug the monitor into that card and start it up.

Right-click on My Computer and click Manage. Click Device Manager and expand the "Display Adapters" section. It should have your new graphics card and your old one in there. Install the new card through the "Add Hardware" Wizard, then disable the old one and your monitor may shut off or ask you to restart. Then just plug your monitor back into the new graphics card and it should work. (Credit to Twin4819 :P). Now, there's the issue of installing it off the CD it came with. If it didn't come with a CD, you'll have to download the drivers off the product's website. Also, once the new drivers are installed, uninstall the old drivers for your old card to prevent causing any technical difficulties between the two.

If the card is properly installed, but the screen is still black, make sure the monitor cord is connected to the card properly and that there are no bent pins on the cord. If it still isn't working, contact the card manufacturer, or get a professional to help. I'm here to help you install it, not fix it. :P Though one thing I can recommend doing is upgrading the card's drivers to the latest version available. (Thanks Dark Light A :P)


The picture below is a picture of a motherboard to help you.


Your motherboard isn't likely to look exactly like that one though, depending on the brand and model. Good luck installing! =)


~ Kaze (Guide posted July 4th, 2006)




Installing RAM (Random Access Memory)

Difficulty: 3/10

Time Consumption: 10mins - 20mins

Materials Needed: Hands, a screw driver for opening the computer case, and however many sticks of RAM you plan to install.


Computer lagging? Ever get the message on your computer saying "Virtual Memory Low"? Well, that means you need more memory. (Duh XD). Memory is a vital source of a computer's funtionability. Without a lot of memory, not a lot of programs can be used at once, meaning you can only run a low number of programs, and even then, you will be lagging a lot. Installing more RAM is easy. First, you must determine what kind of RAM your computer uses. There are basically two major types of memory: Dynamic RAM (DRAM) and Static RAM (SRAM). Dynamic RAM (or DRAM) is used for main system memory. There is also DDR, DDR2 and SDRAM. All of the types of RAM that were listed above are volatile, meaning they lose their memory when the computer is turned off. RAM is measured in MB (Megabytes) and GB (Gigabytes). 1MB = 1 million bytes, and 1GB = 1 billion bytes.

To determine what kind of RAM you have installed, go to Control Panel>>System. From here, you will see a basic overview of your computer's speculations. Here, it usually says "512MB SDRAM" (example), or another number or another kind of RAM. If it doesn't say what kind it is, try downloading a program that tells you about your computer. I recommend EVEREST, a very good program that lets you know all you need to know about your computer; many things I discovered, I never knew about my computer.

Once you determine what RAM you need, go buy the RAM stick and you're ready to install! RAM sticks are about the length of a man's hand from wrist to the tip of the middle finger, on estimate.


Below, is a picture of RAM sticks.



Like always, unlpug your computer from the power outlet and ground yourself to stop static. Once this is done, open your computer case and find out where the DIMM slots are; this is where you put the RAM. Most computers have anywhere from 2-5 DIMM slots. Look back at the motherboard picture link posted above to find out where your computer's DIMM slots are incase you aren't sure. When you find them, find an empty slot. This is where you use common math sense.


If you have 3 DIMM slots and you bought a 256MB stick of RAM, and 2 of the 3 slots has 128MB RAM in them, and 1 has 256MB, obviously, you're not going to replace the 256MB with a 256MB; you wouldn't be gaining anything. You would replace one of the 128MB's for the new 256MB, that way you're gaining 128MB.

256 - 128 = 128MB, for those of you who didn't get it.


Below, is a picture of common DIMM slots, as you can see, they're fairly long.



You will find 2 clips on the ends of the slots that are holding in the RAM. Carefully unclip the 2 sides and the RAM should pop up. Take out the stick carefully; try not to touch the pins. Set them aside on a flat surface, not carpet. Put in the new stick of RAM and clip both sides together, make sure the stick is pushed in well enough. Once you do this, close the computer case and turn on the computer. The first page that comes up on most computers during start up is your BIOS information. This usually includes BIOS version and brand name, processor speed and amount of RAM installed. If you turn on your computer to see that your RAM is increased after you installed the stick of RAM, congratulations, you just earned some more memory. =) If you don't see your RAM when your computer starts, press F* key when prompted to enter your BIOS settings, where most computers can see which DIMM slots have how much RAM installed in them. If you still can't see it somehow, just boot the computer and go to Control Panel>>System to see your system info and see if your memory increased.

However, if your RAM doesn't work and it stays the same, or you get an error message, make sure the RAM is put in the slot properly, make sure the RAM is compatible with your mobo (motherboard), make sure the RAM isn't broken or damaged, and take it to a professional if you still can't find the source of the problem. Good luck installing! :)


~ Kaze (Guide posted July 4th, 2006)




Installing an IDE Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

Difficulty: 8/10

Time Consumption: 60mins+

Materials Needed: The hard drive you plan on installing, a screw driver for opening the computer case, a slot in your computer where the hard drive can fit


Ok, so you have a computer. It's great. It's got a pentium celeron processor, a couple gigs of RAM, a top-of-the-line graphic card, amazing sound card, high-speed modem, and a CD drive to die for. But there's one problem with that, your hard drive is extremely old and small. An important part of a computer is it's hard drive, without that, the computer can't function in the first place, and you won't be able to save any files on it. If you have a small HDD, that means you can only store a small amount of files, obviously. Most newer HDD's that are in stores today range anywhere from 40GB to over 500GB. 1GB = 1024MB.

So, if you want to install a new hard drive, first, you need to know how big it is. If you're going to buy a hard drive, I recommend getting one with 40GB total size or more. Once you get the hard drive, place it on a counter or table-top like you would with any computer hardware, and do the usual procedure of grounding yourself, unplugging the computer's power cable and carefully removing the computer case. Remember: Hard drives are very delicate and must be taken care of with extra caution. Moving the hard drive while it is connected to the power source and turned on is highly not recommended and can ruin the hard drive. I've learned the hard way. HANDLE THE HDD WITH EXTREME CARE.

Now that that's out of the way, let's see where the hard drive will fit in your computer. If you're replacing your old hard drive, your new one can go into the same place as the old one did, once it's removed. So once the power cable is removed, you'll see 2 cables connecting to the back of your old hard drive. A wide, grey cable (usually) and a thinner cable leading to the power supply. The thinner cable is the power for the hard drive; without it, it won't work. The grey cable is called an IDE cable, and it connects to the motherboard as the primary master, slave or seconadry master or slave.


Below, is a picture of the hard drive ports.



Now, once you've carefully removed those cables from the back of the hard drive, NOT the motherboard, the hard drive should now be in the computer case with nothing connected to it. Whip out your screw driver and take out all the screws, but on the last screw, make sure the hard drive doesn't fall down in the case because it could get damaged, remember how delicate hard drives are? Once the old hard drive is taken out, put the new hard drive in the spot of the old HDD and screw it in. Now, the cord that you removed from the old HDD should now be dangling from the motherboard. Plug those into the new hard drive the way they were plugged into the old one. Congratuations, your new hard drive is successfully installed on the inside.


Below, is a picture of primary and secondary ports on a motherboard.



Now, we have to test it. Cover the case carefully, plug in the power, press the power button to turn it on and pray it worked. Your system BIOS should show up, and it might say that you have new hardware installed. If you got the hard drive brand new, it might have an OS (Operating System) already pre-installed to it. If it does, boot it up. The bad thing is you'll lose your old data from your old hard drive. If it doesn't have anything at all on the hard drive, you'll need to boot with an OS CD. Maybe Windows XP, 2000, 98, whatever you want. Install the OS onto the new hard drive and congratulations, we're just about done. Once you install your new OS, go to the control panel and click on "System". Then, click on the hardware tab and go to the Device Manager. (This works on Windows XP, I don't know about earlier versions.) On the device manager tab, click on hard drives and see if your new hard drive is there. If it is, then that's great. Now, go to the control panel and go to "Add Hardware" wizard. Follow the steps and install the new hard drive, and you've successfull completed the procedure. :)

Now, optionally, if you'd like to keep your old files, and I'm sure you would, you'll need to transfer your old files onto the new hard drive. If you want to do that, simply put in the new hard drive, not replacing the old one, but replacing your CD drive. The IDE and power cables fit into the HDD the same way as the CD drive does. Now, boot your old hard drive and you're just about ready to transfer, once you get a transferring program. It's not as easy as dragging and dropping your old files onto the new HDD. I recommend a program like Acronis Easy Migrate or DiscWizard for Windows to transfer your files. If you do transfer your files, you don't need to worry about booting with an OS CD, because it will be the same thing as booting your old files and info, just on a bigger hard drive. So transferring is taking everything from your old HDD onto your new one, no worries about having to re-install Windows.

Now, if your hard drive isn't working so well after a few days, turn off your computer immediately and replace it back with your old one and take the new one to a computer shop to get it repaired and analyzed. Hope you enjoyed my guide on how to install a new hard drive, and I wish you all the best of luck while installing it. :ice:


~ Kaze (Guide posted July 5th, 2006)




Installing an Optical Drive (CD Drive)

Difficulty: 6.5/10

Time Consumption: 30mins - 45mins

Materials Needed: The CD drive you plan on installing, a screw driver for opening the computer case, a slot in your computer where the CD drive can fit, a CD to test it with


(Excuse all the dust...it's a rather old computer. ^_^ )


CD lagging when you put it in? CD's not working in the first place? Maybe it's time for a new CD drive. :) This guy, written by Twin4819, is a guide to helping you install a CD drive into your computer. (A.k.a an optical drive). First off either print this out or write it down if your going to install a drive. Next unplug all the cords from the back of your computer. (Power Cord, Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, etc.) Ground yourself like usual, then open your case and pop the front panel off. Some cases have internal locking mechanisms that keep stuff from moving around freely. For example: This case has a side panel that slides off and front panel that pops off and has locking mechanisms (green) on the inside.


(Link to picture with side panel and front panel off case:



After opening your case and taking off the front panel, you need to (if you haven't before) remove a steel/aluminum plate covering the empty drive slot. Some just break off and some you need to unscrew depending on your case. Look for your Molex connector and your IDE cord which should have MASTER and SLAVE labled on the cord itself. Some of them can be color coded. For example: For my MASTER I have a black connector and for SLAVE I have a white connector. (Link to image with MASTER IDE and Molex connector (IDE cord is the long black one which is hard to see and the Molex connector is the white one): http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/2158/10000842iv.jpg


If you already have a CD drive in your computer (which you should) then most likely it will already have the MASTER IDE cord plugged in and the Molex connector already plugged in. The jumper on the back of the drive itself should be in the MASTER position.


(Link to back of drives: http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/6703/10000827by.jpg )


(Link to jumper positions: http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/5732/jumpers2ui.jpg )


As stated above, if you already have an optical drive installed then it will most likely be your MASTER. Now look on the back of the drive you are going to install. If you're going to keep your other drive in as MASTER then change the jumper on the back of your other drive to the SLAVE position. If you're going to replace your drive that was already installed then just unplug the IDE cord and molex connector and take it out. Then make sure on the new drive you have it in the MASTER position. After you have installed the drive then you can make sure it's in position and screwed/locked in and put your front panel back on. Then put the side panel back onto your case. Plug your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power cord back in. Turn on your computer and if it "freezes" on startup or freezes when loading Windows then you will need to unplug everything and take your case back apart and check all the connections to the newly installed drive and make sure the jumper is in the correct position.


Now, once your computer loads up, you should see a balloon on your taskbar saying new hardware has been found. Click it and install the CD drive though the Add Hardware Wizard. Once you do that, take a test CD that is clean and working and try it out on the CD drive. If it doesn't work, then either the CD is dirty or the drive's IDE cables might not be correctly pushed in. If the CD drive doesn't even turn on, check the power cords and make sure they're tightly inserted. If it still doesn't work, contact the Cd drive's manufacturer or take it to a professional. Good luck on installing a new CD drive!


The guide on installing an optical drive was created and written by Twin4819, all credit to him. It was only edited by myself. Thanks again Twin!


~ Kaze (Posted July 8th 2006)





Installing a 3.5 Inch Floppy Disk Drive (The Standard Size)

Difficulty: 3/10

Time Consumption: 20mins - 40mins

Materials Needed: A floppy drive you'd like to install, a screw driver for opening the computer case and screwing the drives in/out, a free space that it can fit and face outwards in your computer, a floppy disk with files on it to test


A floppy drive: http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/949/floppyuj5.jpg



Over 20 years ago, when CD's were thought to be something that would come and go in a matter of years, floppies were all the rage. Throughout this guide, I will be helping you install a floppy drive. =) Floppy drives are used to hold floppy disks, and floppy disks carry info and hold info on them, but 3.5 inch floppies usually have only a little over 1MB space. (About the equivalent amount to a 1 minute song.) So, you have the floppy drive, an empty slot, a screw driver and a test disk, right? Well, if you do, get ready to put that drive where it belongs - in the computer. :P

First, make sure the test disk is working properly, and make sure it has a few picture files in it to test to see if they open. First, ground yourself to stop static electricity, then unplug the computer power cord and remove the computer case. If you're replacing the old floppy drive, you'll simply need to put the new one in the place of the old one. If you're putting a new one in, you'll need to find an empty spot, which is usually under the CD drive or ontop of the hard drive. If you're installing a new floppy drive, not replacing another one, please skip over this next set of steps.


A floppy IDE cable: http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/7311/floppycablexb9.jpg


First, you should find your old floppy drive. Once you find it, unplug the IDE cable and power cable from it. Remove the IDE cable from the floppy drive only, not from the motherboard, or you'll have to relocate where you took it out from, and unless I'm doing it for you at your house, I can't help you much with finding the floppy drive IDE port unless I use pictures. =P The power cable is the cord with a rectangular shaped end, and it's smaller than the hard drive and CD drive opwer cables. Once you loacte it, remove it, along with the IDE cable. Once you've onde that, slowly unscrew the floppy drive and take it out and place it on a counter, not carpet. So now you have an empty slot to put the new floppy drive in. I suggest cleaning out the dust or dirt that's in the spot of where the old drive used to be before putting in the new one.

Now that you have an empty space, it's time to put the new drive in. Take the new drive and slowly put it in the spot the old one was in. Screw it in, and make sure it's locked in tightly. Now, plug the IDE cable and power cables back into it.


A floppy drive connected to the IDE and power cables: http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/2135/flopconnectdn2.jpg


If you're installing a floppy drive when there is no old one there, simply locate the floppy drive IDE port on the motherboard, which is thinner than the hard drive and CD drive IDE cords, and plug it into the back of the floppy drive. Then, find the power cable from the power supply and plug that into the floppy drive as well.


A floppy disk next to a floppy drive: http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/6512/1i...thfloppygz8.gif


Now, we have to test it. DO NOT put the floppy disk into the drive slot yet. Close the lid, plug the power cord back in and turn your computer on. If the BIOS recognises that there is new hardware installed, great. Once your computer boots up, you should see a balloon in the lower-right corner of the screen saying "New Hardware Found." Click that, or go to the Control Panel and ten double click on "Add Hardware." Follow the steps, install the floppy drive from there, then put the floppy disk into the drive. Now, double click on 'My Computer'. You should see a floppy drive icon. Double click on that, and you've successfully entered the floppy disk. :) Now, double click on the files that are in it to test if they work. If they do, great! You've successfully finished this procedure. Hopefully this floppy disk guide will help you install that drive. :)


~ Kaze (Posted: July 16th, 2006)




Installing an Internal 56k Internet Modem

Difficulty: 4.5/10

Time Consumption: 15mins - 30mins

Materials Needed: Hands, a screw driver for opening the computer case and screwing the card in.


In the 20th century, 56k modems were all the rage. They used to be considered a very fast internet connection. Nowadays, 56k modems are trash, and are sold in run-down computer stores. :P Nowadays, DSL, Cable, Ethernet and routers rule the internet world. So, whether your parents don't want to go through the hassle of buying a better modem, whether you don't want a DSL or cable modem (that would be shocking), or whether you just want to stay with your old-school 56k, I'm going to help you install it from the inside. I'd just like to remind everyone that I won't be helping you connect to the internet, just helping you put the card in.

Below, is a picture of a 56k internal internet modem. As you can see, it has 2 phone jack ports on it.


Okay, so you have your card, a screwdriver and about half an hour spare time, right? Good. Okay, like usual, unplug your computer from the power cord after shutting it down, ground yourself to get rid of static electricity, then slowly open your computer case. Once you open it, you should find an empty IDE port, because pretty much all old 56k modems use IDE or ISA ports. (Refer to the motherboard picture posted above to locate these ports.) Once you locate a port that it can fit into that is empty, slowly put the card in, screw it in and make sure the phone cord ports on the card are facing the outside of the computer case when you close it. That was easy, right?

Once you close the case properly, plug your computer back in and turn on your computer; it should recognize that you have new hardware installed. Once your computer loads up, go to the Add Hardware Wizard in the Control Panel and follow the on-screen instructions to install the card. Now, you have to connect to the internet, which is long, complicated and different, depending on your computer, so it would be hard for me to write a guide on that. :P Good luck connecting to the internet and enjoy your old-school 56k Internal Internet Modem. :ice:


~ Kaze (Posted July 26th, 2006)


More guides coming soon.

Special thanks to: Twin4819 (Assistant Guide Writer), Dark Light A (Suggestions), And everyone else for the wonderful and supportive comments. :)

Comments, suggestions, additions or constructive criticism are always welcome. :king: :D

Edited by Dark Light A
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