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January 2002 Issue

 

Below, find our archived issue of the 5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter.

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August 2000 September 2000 October 2000 November 2000 December 2000 January 2001
February 2001 March 2001 April 2001 May 2001 June 2001 August 2001
September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002
March 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 December 2002 February 2003
April 2003 June 2003 December 2003 January 2004 March 2004 April 2005
May 2005 July 2005        

5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter  

January 2002 Issue

Inside this issue:

1) Notes from the editor
2) Anatomy of a Blue Screen - Part 2
3) Helpful Web Sites
4) The various forms of DSL
5) Tips and Tricks
6) About Encryption
7) Problems & Solutions
8) Contact Information
______________________________________
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[1]  Notes from the editor:
by Vince Underwood

Happy New Year! I wish you all a very prosperous 2002.  May all of your dreams come true!

Welcome to all of the new subscribers and welcome back to all of you 5 Star Supporters.  We just went over one thousand subscribers so there are a lot of you readers out there now! Thanks for subscribing!

As always, I would like to welcome all of the new volunteer techs on board. They are listed in the order in which they joined.

1) Fred Schirmer
2) Robert Orstadius
3) Christopher Hodgkins
4) Bobbi Lusic
5) Mel Vives
6) Greg Hawkins
7) Matthew Hickson
8) Lorenzo
9) Roy S. Jolly

Thanks for all of the help you give so graciously!

You can read a little about each of these and all the other techs at:
<http://www.5starsupport.com/techs.htm/>
______________________________________
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[2] Anatomy of a Blue Screen - Part 2
by former 5 Star Support tech Steven Johnson

Last month we began looking at the Anatomy of a Blue Screen as it pertains to Windows 2000/NT. Many have come to refer to it as the Blue Screen of Death. Once you start getting into how W2K works, you'll start to realize that it is rather well put together and easy to troubleshoot if you know what to look for and know what the messages mean.

PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA This type of Stop message occurs when Windows 2000 tries to read data from memory, but the requested data doesn't exist in memory. The most common causes of such an error are corrupt NTFS volumes, incompatible antivirus software, buggy services, and malfunctioning hardware.

When diagnosing this type of error, the first thing to consider is whether you've recently added any new hardware, especially RAM to the system. If you have added hardware, try removing it to see if the error goes away. If you haven't recently added hardware, try running a diagnostic program to test your existing hardware.

If all of the hardware checks out, the problem may be related to a buggy system service or another type of configuration error. If you suspect this to be the case, boot Windows 2000 into safe mode. Once in safe mode, disable any service that you suspect may be causing the problem. If this still doesn't fix the error, select the Last Known Good Configuration option during bootup.

Finally, check your hard disk for corruption by running the CHKDSK /F /R command. If this still doesn't cure the problem, try booting to safe mode and reviewing your event logs for information that may be related to the problem.

KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR The KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR message indicates that Windows 2000 requested a page of kernel data to be read from the page file, but the requested data couldn't be found.

Like most other errors that I've discussed, malfunctioning RAM and hard disk corruption can cause this error. You should check your error logs, run CHKDSK /F /R, and make sure that all of your cards are seated properly.

Fortunately, this error is slightly easier to troubleshoot than other Stop errors because this Stop message often gives you a second error code. Below, I've listed some of the other codes that you might see and what they mean:
STATUS_INSUFFICIENT_RESOURCES: This message is caused by a lack of non-paged pool resources.
STATUS_DEVICE_DATA_ERROR: This message is usually caused by bad blocks on the hard disk. Running CHKDSK /F /R may correct the problem.
STATUS_DEVICE_NOT_CONNECTED: This message indicates that your computer's disk controller can't communicate with the hard disk. The cause of this problem may be as simple as a loose cable or a bad SCSI terminator.
STATUS_DISK_OPERATION_FAILED: This message is usually caused by bad blocks on the hard disk. Running CHKDSK /F /R may correct the problem.
STATUS_IO_DEVICE_ERROR: This error occurs primarily with SCSI drives. It may be caused by a defective terminator or cable. It may also occur if two drives are trying to use the same resources.

MISMATCHED_HAL This message is displayed when the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) and the kernel don't match. This error is primarily caused by having a single-processor HAL and a multiprocessor kernel or vice versa. It's caused by manually updating the Ntoskrnl.exe or the Hal.dll files.

The error can also occur if there's a mismatch. For example, you'll see this error if you try to use a Windows NT 4 HAL with a Windows 2000 kernel.

The easiest way to resolve the error is to boot from the four Windows 2000 Setup disks. When the setup disks load, press [Enter] at the Setup notification window. When you do, you'll see the Welcome To Setup dialog box. Press R to enter Repair Mode. Next, press C to use the Recovery Console. The Recovery Console functions similarly to MS-DOS. Once inside the Recovery Console, use the copy command to copy the correct HAL and kernel to the hard disk from the original installation media.
The Recovery Console operation will be covered in a future article. Stay tuned.

KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR This error indicates that a page of kernel data couldn't be read from the page file. This error is usually associated with bad blocks on the hard disk or with viral infections, but it can also be caused by hardware failures.

When encountering this type of error, the first thing that you should do is to run the CHKDSK /F /R command on your system. Next, scan for viruses. If you still have the error, start testing the integrity of your hardware. If all else fails, try to delete and recreate your page file in case it has become corrupt.

INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE This error means that Windows 2000 can't access the system partition. This error always occurs during boot up. Unfortunately, this means you can't use the kernel debugger to diagnose this error, because the operating system has not yet loaded.

The most common cause of this error is installing Windows 2000 on an unsupported storage medium. If you're upgrading from Windows NT 4, think back to when you initially installed Windows NT. Did you have to provide a custom disk controller driver? If so, you'll probably also have to do so for Windows 2000. You may have to get an updated version from the hardware manufacturer.

Another common cause of this error is adding a new hard disk. In many cases, you'll have to manually edit the Boot.ini file and point it toward the correct partition. If you have trouble doing so, remember that Boot.ini is a hidden, read-only system file that's located in the root directory of your C: drive.

UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP This error means that one of two things has happened: Either a piece of software has generated a fatal error, or a piece of hardware has caused a fatal error. This error is almost always hardware-related.

When troubleshooting, all of the standard procedures apply. Remove any recently added hardware. Run diagnostic software to test for bad hardware and to test for hard disk corruption. Although faulty RAM is the most common cause of this error, overclocking your processor can also be a culprit.

STATUS_SYSTEM_PROCESS_TERMINATED All of the Stop messages that I've discussed so far have involved some sort of kernel mode failure. There are two cases in which an action performed in user mode can cause a Stop message. The STATUS_SYSTEM_PROCESS_TERMINATED message is the result of such an action.

This error occurs when Windows logon, the Client/Server Runtime Subsystem, or some other user-mode subsystem is shut down. When this occurs, security can no longer be guaranteed, so Windows generates a Stop message. Because such a problem occurs in user mode, the most common cause is third-party applications. The best way to resolve such an error is to determine what you were doing when the error occurred. Once you've identified a problem application, you can contact its manufacturer for a patch.

STATUS_IMAGE_CHECKSUM_MISMATCH This message usually means that a driver or a .dll file has become corrupt. This is an easy error to correct since the name of the affected file is usually displayed within the Stop message. To correct the error, boot Windows 2000 into safe mode and replace the file. You can also run CHKDSK /F /R if you suspect further hard disk corruption.

REGISTRY_ERROR Such an error indicates a catastrophic failure in the system's registry. However, this error can sometimes be caused by failure to read the registry from the hard disk rather than because the registry itself is corrupt. Most of the time though, if you get this error, you'll have to restore from backup.

BAD_POOL_HEADER This is, perhaps, the most obscure error message. In most cases, if you receive this error, it's related to the most recent change you've made on your system. Try undoing the change to get rid of the error.

NMI_HARDWARE_FAILURE This is a generic error message in which the hardware abstraction layer can't report on the true cause of the error. In such a situation, Microsoft recommends calling the hardware vendor. This error can sometimes be caused by mixing parity and non-parity SIMMs, or by bad SIMM Modules That Have Loaded.

Knowing what the error messages mean definitely helps when an error does occur. The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies to computers also. Always check the compatibility of a program or piece of hardware before installing it into your computer.  In addition to checking compatibility, make sure you have a fairly recent (preferably created right before making changes) Emergency Repair Disk. The 1-minute it takes to create that disk may save you several hours of frustration and possibly reinstalling your operating system.

Information compiled from several different sources, mainly from
support.microsoft.com
www.microsoft.com/technet
and others locations.
1:44 AM 12/30/01

Editor's note: Thanks for all of your help Steven--You'll be missed!

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[4]  The various forms of DSL:

There are several forms of DSL, each designed around specific goals and needs of the marketplace. Some forms of DSL are proprietary, some are simply theoretical models and some are widely used standards. They may best be categorized within the modulation methods used to encode data. Below is a brief summary of some of the known types of DSL technologies.

<>ADSL

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is the most popular form of DSL technology. The key to ADSL is that the upstream and downstream bandwidth is asymmetric, or uneven. In practice, the bandwidth from the provider to the user (downstream) will be the higher speed path. This is in part due to the limitation of the telephone cabling system and the desire to accommodate the typical Internet usage pattern where the majority of data is being sent to the user (programs, graphics, sounds and video) with minimal upload capacity required (keystrokes and mouse clicks). Downstream speeds typically range from 1.5Mbps to 9Mbps. Upstream speeds typically range from 64Kbps to 1.5Mbps. 

<>ADSL Lite (G.Lite)

A lower data rate version of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) has also been proposed as an extension to ANSI standard T1.413 by the UAWG (Universal ADSL Working Group) led by Microsoft, Intel, and Compaq. This is known as G.lite in the ITU standards committee. It uses the same modulation scheme as ADSL (DMT), but eliminates the POTS splitter at the customer premises. As a result, the ADSL signal is carried over all of the house wiring which results in lower available bandwidth due to greater noise impairments.
 
<>HDSL

High Bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line (HDSL) is generally used as a substitute for T1/E1. HDSL is becoming popular as a way to provide full-duplex symmetric data communication at rates up to 1.544 Mbps (2.048 Mbps in Europe) over moderate distances via conventional telephone twisted-pair wires. Traditional T1 (E1 in Europe) requires repeaters every 6000 ft. to boost the signal strength. HDSL has a longer range than T1/E1 without the use of repeaters to allow transmission over distances up to 12,000 feet. It uses pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) on a 4-wire loop.

<>IDSL

ISDN based DSL uses 2B1Q line coding and typically supports data transfer rates of 64,128 or 144 Kbps. 

<>RADSL

Rate Adaptive Digital Subscriber Line (RADSL) is any rate adaptive DSL modem, but may specifically refer to a proprietary modulation standard designed by Globespan Semiconductor. It uses carrierless amplitude and phase modulation (CAP). T1.413 standard DMT modems are also technically RADSL, but generally not referred to as such. The uplink rate depends on the downlink rate, which is a function of line conditions and signal to noise ratio (SNR). 

<>SDSL

Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL) is a 2-wire implementation of HDSL. Supports T1/E1 on a single pair to a distance of 11,000 ft. The name has become more generic over time to refer to symmetric service at a variety of rates over a single loop. 

<>VDSL

Very High Bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL) is proposed for shorter local loops, perhaps up to 3000 ft. Data rates exceed 10 Mbps.

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[5]  Tips and Tricks

<>Windows 2000:

If you've got Windows 2000 Server and don't have the cash to shell out for a remote-control program, consider using Terminal Services in remote-administration mode. Click on Add/Remove Windows Components in the Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs icon, and select Terminal Services (but not Terminal Services Licensing). Install Terminal Services in Remote Administration mode, then use the installed client-creation program to create disks to install the client access program on the computer(s) you'll be administering Win2K Server from.

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<> Windows 95/98 Tip:

Although often overlooked and easily forgotten; a current Windows startup or recovery disk can really save the day when something goes wrong.

Go to "Start>Settings>Control Panel>Add-Remove Programs" and click on the "Startup Disk" tab then the "Create Disk" button.

But sometimes you need a start-up disk when you can't get to Windows. Here's how to create one from DOS. First, make sure you've got a disk in your floppy drive, then at the DOS prompt type:

cd windows\command

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<> Internet Explorer Tip:

Microsoft Internet Explorer has a feature that allows you to store your favorites off line.  If you want to save a Web site for viewing at a later date while not having to connect to the Internet, simply click on Favorites and Add to Favorites as usual, and make sure to select "Make Available Off Line."  If you would like to update these pages (when you're online), simply click on Tools and then Synchronize.

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<> Outlook Express:

Auto Sort Your Email

The old Internet Mail in IE 3.0 had an Inbox Assistant to help you sort mail messages as they arrived, but Outlook Express's new Inbox Assistant puts it to shame.

To access the Assistant:

1) Select Tools/Inbox Assistant from the main Outlook Express menu.
2) Click the Add button to create a new sort rule.
3) The old Inbox Assistant lets you select only basic To, From, CC, and Subject criteria, and then only let you move corresponding messages to a new folder. The updated Inbox Assistant gives you many new options, such as deleting messages, autoreplying, leaving copies on the server, or forwarding messages to a different address.

You can even use the Inbox Assistant to sort mail that's already in your inbox. Just set up your sorting rules with the Inbox Assistant, click the Apply To button, and select your inbox. Outlook Express filters through the existing inbox messages and applies the rules accordingly.

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[6]  About Encryption:

Encryption has been around for centuries, Julius Caesar used encrypted notes to communicate with Rome thousands of years ago. This traditional cryptography is based on the sender and receiver of a message knowing and using the same secret key: the sender uses the secret key to encrypt the message, and the receiver uses the same secret key to decrypt the message. For Caesar, the letter A was represented by the letter D, B by the letter E, C by the letter F, etc. The recipient would know about this sequence, or key, and decrypt his message. This method is known as secret-key or symmetric cryptography. Its main problem is getting the sender and receiver to agree on the key without anyone else finding out. Both sides must find some "secure" way to agree or exchange this common key. Because all keys must remain secret, secret-key cryptography often has difficulty providing secure key management, especially in open systems with a large numbers of users, such as the Internet.

21 years ago, a revolution happened in cryptography that changed all this, public-key cryptography. In 1976, Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, introduced this new method of encryption and key management. A public-key cryptosystem is a cryptographic system that uses a pair of unique keys (a public key and a private key). Each individual is assigned a pair of these keys to encrypt and decrypt information. A message encrypted by one of these keys can only be decrypted by the other key in the pair:

The public key is available to others for use when encrypting information that will be sent to an individual. For example, people can use a person's public key to encrypt information they want to send to that person. Similarly, people can use the user's public key to decrypt information sent by that person.
The private key is accessible only to the individual. The individual can use the private key to decrypt any messages encrypted with the public key. Similarly, the individual can use the private key to encrypt messages, so that the messages can only be decrypted with the corresponding public key.

What does this mean?

Exchanging keys is no longer a security concern. I have my public key and private key. I send my public key to anyone on the Internet. With that public key, they encrypt their email. Since the email was encrypted with my public key, ONLY I can decrypt that email with my private key, no one else can. If I want to encrypt my email to anyone else on the Internet, I need their public key. Each individual involved needs their own public/private key combination.

Now, the big question is, when you initially receive someone's public key for the first time, how do you know it is them? If spoofing someone's identity is so easy, how do you knowingly exchange public keys, how do you TRUST the user is really who he says he is? You use your digital certificate. A digital certificate is a digital document that vouches for the identity and key ownership of an individual, a computer system (or a specific server running on that system), or an organization. For example, a user's certificate verifies that the user owns a particular public key. Certificates are issued by certificate authorities, or CAs. These authorities are responsible for verifying the identity and key ownership of the individual before issuing the certificate.

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[7]  Problems & Solutions:
Generated from 5 Star Support

<>Problem:

5 Star Support Q#W1-3168 Recognizing CD-ROM

I have a Dell Optiplex GX1 that used to have IBM OS/2. I wanted to load Win 98. I have since formatted the c drive, it is partitioned into three "parts". C drive (primary DOS) 33%, then extended 33%, and last at 34%. I can only access the machine through a 3.5" floppy drive. I installed a CD drive AFTER I formatted the hard drive and can't get the machine to recognize the CD drive to load Win98 from the CD

Additional information:

My intent was to take a machine with OS/2 and start from scratch. Empty everything on it and start over. The end result should be a machine loaded with Win98 SE.

Diagnose/troubleshooting:

I have deleted the partitions and formatted the drive three or four times already.

<>Solution:

There are several things to look at here. First, did you set up the CD-ROM in the BIOS yet? If not you need to make sure that the BIOS sees the CD-ROM. You machine might allow you to include the CD-ROM in the boot sequence, if it will allow this then setting up the BIOS to allow you to boot from CD-ROM needs to be enabled. If you can do that you should be able to boot windows 98 from the CD-ROM, if that is not an option, please read on.

Second, do you have the windows 98 boot disk? If not you will need access to a second computer to make a bootable DOS diskette.

To make a bootable DOS diskette open up a DOS window from windows 98. Insert the diskette that you wish to make bootable into the floppy drive (caution, this will erase the contents of the diskette) then type the following command:

FORMAT A:/s/u

this will format the diskette, transfer the system files so that the diskette will boot, and unconditionally erase any files that it finds on the diskette prior to format.

You will then need to create a file called CONFIG.SYS on the diskette. Open notepad and enter the following information into the new file:

DEVICE=A:\HIMEM.SYS
BUFFERS=60
FILES=60
LASTDRIVE = Z
DEVICE=ATAPI.SYS /D:MSCD0001

then click on file, save as, then change to the a: drive and enter the name config.sys and hit enter.

create another file called autoexec.bat in the same manner as described above but with the following text:

PROMPT $P$G
A:\MSCDEX.EXE /D:MSCD0001 /M:8 /V /E

Now you will need to copy the following files from the windows 98 CD ROM to the diskette you have just created using this second computer.

FDISK.EXE
FORMAT.COM
EDIT.COM
HIMEM.SYS
ATAPI.SYS
MSCDEX.EXE

Once these files are copied to the bootable diskette you are ready to go.

Now the BIOS sees the CD-ROM and we have the drivers installed on a bootable diskette, assuming that you were not able to set the BIOS to allow the CDROM as a boot device.

Insert the diskette into your computer, Insert the CD into your CDROM. Reboot the computer
once the computer boots and you are at a a:> prompt you should be able to switch over to the CD drive... it should be f: if you have the same drive configuration that you had when you posted the problem.
Change to the CD drive by typing the following
f:
then once you are on the CDROM drive, start the install by typing setup.

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<>Problem:

how to convert mp3 files to wave sound files

<>Solution:

Go to:
<http://www.tucows.com/>
tucows audio conversion remixer mp3 to wav converter

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<>Problem:

Q#W1-3138  Win 98 won't reinstall

<>Solution:

Put in new RAM in a different slot.

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<>Problem:

Failed to load resource .dll file

<>Solution:

I installed Microsoft clean up utility, rebooted. Then I went into Start, Programs, Windows clean up utility, and cleaned all of software that had been giving me a problem.

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<>Problem:

Q#H1-3040  Monitor display problem

<>Solution:

Find video card manufacturer either through documentation or examining hardware.  Then use the add/remove routine and install the new drivers for that particular video card.

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<>Problem:

My computer became a total waste case, whether it was a virus or not...
so I decided to Fdisk and reformat and start with a clean install.
Everything went as planned EXCEPT the resolution is horrible, and everything
is huge, it won't even fit on the screen. I (RT clicked) the desktop,
properties, settings, but it won't give me any options to change them.
What do I need to do?
Gateway PIII 333 20 gig win98 128 ram

<>Solution:

1. Bootup computer
2. Start pressing and releasing F8 until you get menu to click into safe mode.
3. go to start then settings then control panel
4. click on System then device manager....click on Video adapter....click on listing of your video adaptor and remove it....
5. power down...wait few seconds for Power Supply to discharge
6. Power up let it find your video and reinstall the driver...make sure your video adapter driver is in floppy or CDROM...if no driver then put windows disk in ....
7. It should find new hardware and install

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<>Problem:

How to change a two-partition drive to a one-partition drive

<>Solution:

Simplest Solution:  get a boot disk. >Boot to a prompt. >run FDISK again,
delete EVERYTHING including primary DOS partition. >create a new, single partition (you did say you wanted only one partition) and restart the computer. >reinstall win98 >option to format, say YES >once win98 is installed, you may decide for a FAT32 file system vice a FAT16...

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<>Problem:

Q#W2-3366 Unable to start Outlook Express

<>Solution:

1. Open Outlook Express....click on Tools...Accounts...highlight the account and click on Export...it should save it in Document folder...
2. Open Address book...click on File...Export...Address book (WAB) .I usually name it Email Address or what ever...it will save to Document folder also. 
3. After reload...just go back to Tools and Account  and IMPORT...point to the file
4. Go to Address book and File and IMPORT...point to the file

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[8]  Contact Information:

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Regards,

Newsletter Staff

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