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Monday, August 13, 2001
Dr Tribune

Q. I have a Pentium III 866 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 16 MB ASUS combat AGP card, Intel 815 motherboard, 20 GB HDD, Philips 800 watts speakers, Windows ’98 as OS. My problems are:

1) I am unable to hear any sound from any Midi file. The Midi file seems to be playing (in all software like Windows media player, Winamp, PCI Audio Rack) but I am unable to hear any sound. Other audio formats (like MP3, Wave) play well. I don’t have any sound card but use onboard sound.

2) Each time I start my computer (with Win ’98 OS), I have to adjust the pointer speed of mouse (Logitech Scroll) to fast from Control panel > Mouse properties. But next time when I start my computer, the speed of pointer gets slow and I have to make it fast from Control panel. How can I make this setting (fast motion of mouse pointer) permanent?

—Aman, Ludhiana

A. It appears that in your computer the driver that plays Midi file types is either corrupt or is not installed. This stops your computer from playing the Midi files. In order to solve this problem, reinstall the audio drivers again. If you have an onboard sound card, then you can find the audio drivers on the Motherboard’s CD, otherwise you can get it from the CD, which you must have got with your sound card. Regarding your second problem, this kind of behaviour has been reported by many Logitech scroll mouse users. In some cases, this problem was attributed to the duplicate scroll mouse and old driver. However, in most of the cases installing the updated driver for the Logitech scroll mouse can rectify this problem.


Q. I have P III 500 MHz, 128 MB RAM, Intel 810 chipset on mercury motherboard, 10.2 GB hard disk. I would like to know whether I could install Windows XP on my system. If yes, will it work better? I would like to know what is the page-file size and how can I increase it. Is it necessary to increase or decrease it? How can I increase my Net speed?

Akhil Mangal, Kaithal

A. The minimum hardware requirement for running Windows XP is 300 MHz processor with 64 MB RAM at the very least and at least 2.5 GB of free hard disk space. Since your present hardware meets the minimum criteria, all you need to make sure is free hard disk space. Thus if you have necessary hard disk space, then you can have XP on your system. However as of now Windows XP is not available commercially and you may have to wait for its commercial launch later this year. Regarding your second query related to page file size, you have not mentioned the details of your operating system. We would need this information to answer your query.

As far as your third query, there are many points to be considered for increasing the speed of your Internet. Some of the these points are good copper wire line both from exchange and inside your house, lesser additional gadgets like fax machine and extensions, optimal speed of your com port, higher RAM keep both memory and disk cache clear. Always restart your system before you wish to surf the Net for longer hours, this will free your RAM, remove all the temporary files from your system, defrag your hard disk regularly etc.

Q. I have P I PC having 100 MHz with 32 RAM and 2.1 GB hard disk. It works properly from a long period, but from few days it gives a message of stack overflow change in your config.sys file, I changed this like stacks, buffers and files, but it not solve my problem. With this problem System hanged and restart. After a few days of getting this problem, I processed it by resetting it again and again. One day it crashes my hard disk, now the system can’t detect hard disk, not give any message regarding boot failure or any other. When I detect it from CMOS with Auto detect it detect and show heads, cylinders etc but failed to access from the boot. I boot it from floppy, but it gives the invalid derive or invalid media message. Please suggest but should I do, I have an important data on this hard disk I want to recover it.

Vishal Goyal

A. Since your hard disk is still auto detecting in BIOS setup, there are still some chances of recovery of data from your hard disk. First try to load all setup defaults from the BIOS settings and also change your boot sequence to make A Drive as the first option. If this boots your system, then you are through. However, if it does not boot your system and it is still not able to boot from the floppy, then you could be in trouble and would require the help of experts, who deal in crashed hard disk for recovery of data. The problem in your case could be complex also.

Q. I have Pentium III, 700 MHz with Window ’98 SE operating system. When I start my PC it shows Pentium III 700 MHz, but when we see computer information, it shows x86 Family 6 Model 8 Stepping 3. What does this mean? Please let me know about this.

Vaneet Garg

A. This refers to the technical details of processor. The Pentium III processors belong to the X86 family of processors and the other details refers to the type of processor and its speed etc. This is all technical information and is not needed at the user’s level.

Q. I have a Pentium III 700 MHz assembled system with 64 MB RAM, 10 GB HDD, 56.6 Kbps internal modem, Intel 810 Mother board. I use Windows Me as my operating system and Internet explorer 5.5 as browser. My problem is that when I try to connect to the Internet, it gives an error of no dial tone, while the line is properly working and there is dial tone on the other set. Kindly solve my problem.


A. This error could be due to many reasons like wrong connection of your telephone line to your modem, loosely inserted modem card in your computer, delay in dial tone from your phone company etc. In order to solve this problem, first try to locate if there is a delay in dial tone in your phone. If you hear dial tone after a small delay when you lift the phone, then this could be the cause of your problem and you should try to solve it by setting delay in your modem configuration. However, if there is no delay, then the problem can be pinned down to the hardware. You should first start from checking your telephone line. Check that the telephone line cable has been plugged in the socket marked "Line" and not phone. The socket for phone is to add an extension. If the line is being plugged into phone, then this error may occur. However, if it is ok then open your computer’s outer cover and fix the card properly in the PCI slot. This should solve your problem.

Q. I have an assembled P III, 700 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 10.2 GB HDD, and 52x Max Samsung CD-ROM computer. My problem is that when I play the movie in Windows media player or in any other player, it creates many pixels while playing or even hangs the system but the same CD at the same time runs perfectly well on my friends’ computer or any other computer. My friend has the same model of CD ROM. All settings related to CD ROM in control panel and set up on ours computers are perfectly matched. Please help me to overcome this problem. My second problem is that my computer boots slow. I have done Scandisk along with surface scan and defrag many times. My HDD does not contain any bad sectors. Otherwise the performance of my computer is good. Please help me.

Vineet Chawla, Chandigarh

A. You have not mentioned the details of your operating system. This is one of the most critical information for me to solve your problem. So please send us more details about your operating system and your VGA card. However, going by your problem it appears that you either need to reinstall or update your VGA driver, as this could be the main reason causing this kind of problem. Also you may clean your CD ROM by a CD cleaning disk. You should also keep your hardware acceleration to maximum.

Normally, hardware assemblers make the CD ROM as Primary slave, which is not an optimal setting and you should make your CD ROM as Secondary Master. This should also help in solving your problem. However, if it does not solve your problem, please send he necessary details mentioned above.

Regarding your second problem of slow booting process, there are many points, which can be considered. First of all remove all unnecessary programs like scheduler, Yahoo! messenger, MSN messenger, Buddy phone or any other freeware or shareware program from your system tray. This will considerably boost the booting performance of your computer as all these programs are being loaded when your Windows is loaded. Second if you have any anti-virus software installed on your system, then please remove it from your Autoexec.bat file by putting the command rem just before the line, which contains the command line for your anti-virus program. Normally anti-virus programs scan your system including all your disk partitions whenever the computer is started, which is not only unnecessary in most of the cases but also takes long time to scan. This obviously makes your booting process longer. Thus removing your anti-virus program from your booting process would surely make your computer boos faster. Another point, which can reduce the booting time is to disable the floppy seek at startup in your BIOS setup.

For all your computer-related problems contact Dr Tribune at drtribune@tribuneindia.com