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July 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  

July 2002 Issue

Inside this issue:

1)  Notes from the editor
2)  Industry News
3)  Helpful Web Sites
4)  MRAM
5)  Booting to "Safe Mode"
6)  Tips and Tricks
7)  Problems and Solutions
8)  Contact Information
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[1]  Notes from the editor:
by Vince Underwood

Welcome to all new subscribers and welcome back to all of you loyal 5 Star Supporters!  It has been a few months since my last issue, but I think things are starting to settle down for me so I can get back to work on these newsletters. 

There has been lots of new volunteer technicians sign up since my last issue.  I invite you all to take a look at the "Meet Your Tech" page to see all of the new talent.
http://www.5starsupport.com/techs.htm/

I have temporarily closed the 5 Star Store because nothing was being sold so I need to rethink that a little.  If anyone has any suggestions as to what I can do with the store, I would love to hear from you!  All I really want to do is recoup some of the money that is spent publishing this web site.

I have been receiving a few donations lately and I want to thank those of you that believe in this site and want to see it succeed.  I have added a "Donate and WIN!" page. Please visit this new web page to see how you can donate a few dollars to 5 Star Support and win some great prizes!  Since this is the first month for giving away prizes...your chances of winning couldn't be better!!
http://www.5starsupport.com/donate.htm/

Now...just sit back and relax with your favorite beverage of choice and enjoy the 5 Star Support Newsletter!

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[2]  Industry News:

How will the WorldCom situation affect telephone and Internet service?
By Bill Brubaker, Washington Post.
June 29, 2002

Q: I'm an MCI long-distance customer. Should I change carriers?

A: Not now, suggests Gene Kimmelman, Washington director of Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports magazine. "When there's an enormous wildfire out West, everything goes up in flames and the result is a rubble," he said. "But when a company implodes like this, there are significant valuable assets that remain when the dust settles. There is a very strong long-distance and data network here that will not disappear overnight. So there's no reason to do anything immediately."

WorldCom's UUNet is the largest carrier of Internet traffic in the world. Will my Internet service be disrupted?

Unlikely, says Mark Cooper, research director of the Consumer Federation of America. "There's no reason to think the technical functioning of the network will change," he said. "The lights won't go out."

I'm thinking about switching long-distance providers. Should I choose MCI?

It depends on whether you believe that the 17,000 layoffs WorldCom announced Tuesday will diminish the quality of MCI's service. WorldCom chief executive John W. Sidgmore says the service won't deteriorate. "Our dedication to meeting customer needs remains unwavering," he said.

Cooper is skeptical. "If an MCI cable gets cut, which happens every day, and you have half as many trucks to roll out there to fix it, it's going to take longer to fix it," he said. "If you have a billing question and there's half as many operators answering the phone, it's going to take longer."

If WorldCom files for bankruptcy protection, what will this do to competition? Will rates go up?

It's quite possible, especially for businesses that will have one less carrier to negotiate with. "MCI was a big player and you're not going to invent a new company to fill that role very quickly," Cooper said.

Kimmelman agrees. "And the glimmer of hope that someone would break in and challenge our local phone monopoly may go -- poof!"

If I stay with MCI, what should I do?

Be on the lookout for danger signs, such as deterioration of service and price increases. "These are signals that should make you want to look for another company for service," Kimmelman said.

Are there any winners here?

Competitors AT&T and Sprint, of course, and burgeoning long-distance carriers such as Verizon. Even if WorldCom survives, these companies could pick up a substantial portion of MCI's business. "That could have a devastating affect on the ability of WorldCom or its successor to be a meaningful player in the marketplace," Kimmelman said. "If you take away the pot of gold that comes from large business customers, it may be impossible [for WorldCom] to ever get back into the mix."

Does this mean an end to those annoying telemarketing calls I get at dinnertime, asking me to switch to MCI?

Not likely. "Let's look at this logically," Kimmelman said. "Here they are in a financial pinch where they have way overstated their earnings, where they have to cut employees and where they are at rock bottom in the market. They need revenue to stay afloat. I think those annoying dinnertime calls will continue."

Reported by The Washington Post, www.washtech.com.

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[4]  MRAM:

MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory) is a method of storing data bits using magnetic charges instead of the electrical charges used by DRAM (dynamic random access memory). Scientists define a metal as magnetoresistive if it shows a slight change in electrical resistance when placed in a magnetic field. By combining the high speed of static RAM and the high density of DRAM, proponents say MRAM could be used to significantly improve electronic products by storing greater amounts of data, enabling it to be accessed faster while consuming less battery power than existing electronic memory.
Conventional random access memory (RAM) computer chips store information as long as electricity flows through them. Once power is turned off, the information is lost unless it has been copied to a hard drive or floppy disk. MRAM, however, retains data after a power supply is cut off. Replacing DRAM with MRAM could prevent data loss and enable computers that start instantly, without waiting for software to boot up.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has provided funding to help private industry conduct research into the potential of MRAM. Beginning in 1995, DARPA began funding three private consortia researching the viability of making MRAM a general-purpose memory with high density, high speed, and low power usage. Leading the three consortia were IBM, Motorola, and Honeywell. Hewlett-Packard, Matsushita, NEC, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Hitachi, and Siemens also have invested in MRAM research.

Motorola Labs says its "universal memory" allows the integration of several memory options within a single chip, resulting in a chip that uses less power. The chip is a three-volt MRAM with an address access time of about 15 nanoseconds. IBM and Infineon Technologies AG are working on a proposed 256-megabit chip they say could be on the market in 2004.

Development of MRAM basically followed two scientific schools: 1) spin electronics, the science behind giant magnetoresistive heads used in disk drives and 2) tunneling magnetic resistance, or TMR, which is expected to be the basis of future MRAM.

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[5]  Booting to Safe Mode:
by Vince Underwood

How to get to Safe Mode depends on your version of Windows.  See what your screen says when it's starting up if you're unsure.

Note: All these instructions depend on timing.  If you press the key too late, it will start up normally. You'll may have to try several times before it works for you.

<>Windows 95:
While the words "Starting Windows 95" are displayed, press the F8 key (you may want to keep pressing it multiple times as it is starting up).  A menu will display.  Use the down arrow to select "Safe Mode" and press Enter.

If you get the Windows splash screen, try again.  If you turn off the computer while the screen is displayed, it sometimes goes automatically into safe mode on boot.

<>Windows 98:
As the computer starts, hold down the CTRL key. A menu will display. Use the down arrow to select "Safe Mode" and press Enter. 

Some machines may work if you use the technique for Windows 95.

<>Windows Me:
Hold down CTRL as the computer starts until the menu displays.  Use the down arrow to select "Safe Mode" and press Enter.

<>Windows XP:
As the computer is starting up, press F8.  A menu will display.  Used the down arrow to select "Safe Mode" and press Enter.

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[6]  Tips and Tricks:
by Vince Underwood

<>Using BCC in Outlook Express 6

If you would like to send a BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) to many recipients without divulging their email addresses, simply send an email to yourself while entering all of the other email addresses into the BCC text box.

If the BCC text box is not visible, go to View> All Headers.  This will toggle the BCC box into view.

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<>Online Virus Scanning:

If you do not own a Virus program and you feel that you don't really need one.  You should at least visit Trend Micro from time to time to just make sure everything is okay. It's a free service and will give you a little peace of mind.  When you visit, you can register with them so that the next time it will go much quicker, or you can scan without registering.  To check your computer, go to:
<http://housecall.antivirus.com/>

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<>Get the most from your DVD Drive

To make sure that you are getting the most out of your DVD drive, (Windows 98) enable the DMA access, this will increase its speed.  DMA access is supported by most new drives. Here's how:

Click on Control Panel> System> Device Manager icon. Now select your DVD-ROM
Drive and go to Properties. Click on the DMA Box and make sure it is now checked. Then restart your PC for this to take effect. If your DVD does not support this option, Windows will simply uncheck the box.

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<>System Information

Press the Start button, and select the run command. At the prompt, type MSINFO32  a dialogue box will now appear with lots of information about your computer.

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<>Quick Select:

In Explorer, by pressing Ctrl and the "A" button at the same time, it will automatically select all files and folders. This is helpful when moving a large volume of data from one location to another without having to select each file or folder individually. If you would like to deselect a few of the already selected files, while still holding the Ctrl button, click on those files that you don't want.

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<>Windows 98 known bug:

Windows 98 has a known bug that causes it to report incorrect disk space. You may know that you have plenty of disk space, but Windows is reporting a mere fraction of
that amount. To correct this problem, simply run Scandisk.

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

<>Problem:

Continually Writing on Hard Drive

<>Solution:

Go to Start Button,Run
Type (msconfig) choose ok.

You mentioned Real Networks. I have had trouble defragmenting with Real Jukebox and Real Player running in the background.

You will notice on right(Startup)use this to isolate problem by unchecking 1 or more programs and then re-booting computer, this will by trial and error let you know which is causing a particular problem (you may have to reboot several times so uncheck several except System Tray at first to see if problem is here) then go back if successful and do trial and error, if you isolate the problem with 1 or 2 items then leave unchecked.

Real Networks Evntsve.exe was the program running in the background. Following Rogers directions, I unchecked this program under msconfig/startup and rebooted my computer. ScanDisk and Defragmenter ran without any problems. 

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<>Problem:

Problem with rebooting while computing

<>Solution:

Hi, this is a shot in the dark but lets assume it is video causing it.
1. go to Control Panel
2. Click on System then Graphics
3. move the slider to the left 2 places...this cuts back on the Video
Acceleration
4. Reboot the computer.
5. See if it does it now...if not you may need a faster Video Card with more
memory.
Gary
5 STAR SUPPORT

...I moved it one slot and it hasn't been doing it since.

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<>Problem:

After attempting to install a USB analogue video capture device, I lost the ability to synchronize my PDA through Com Port 4, always receiving the message "unable to open".  Looking in the Control Panel under Devices, Ports, only Com 5 was present.  I was unsure in how to return Com 5 back to Com 4 (as the PDA sync software would not recognize Com 5)

<>Solution:

1. Go to Control Panel and click on System then Device manager
2. click on com ports then Com port 5 3. Click on Resources then uncheck use auto settings. Change the 0001 setting to 0003 and click OK. COM Port changed from 5 to 4 and now recognized for PDA synchronization.

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<>Problem:

WAOL, RNAAP, - has caused an illegal operation and will be shut down. Then when you clicked it you shut down whatever you were doing including the Internet.

Solution:

Fred sent me a new WSOCK32.DLL file being that mine was infected with a Trojan hybrids worm and I replaced it, with in twelve to twenty-four hours I think I had at least 10 - 15 techs answer me back on what to do !! This site is great & I will be telling everyone that I know & / or meet about you !! THANKS !!

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<>Problem:

Mobo was inop after installation, normal trouble shooting tree followed (removing peripherals sequentially to isolate).

<>Solution:

Checked voltage from power supply for the 5VDC needed, no "constant" supply was output; R2 the power supply...all better. Thanx Gary.

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<>Problem:

CDMKR32 caused an invalid page Fault in Module Shell32.dll
Question #W2-4767

<>Solution:

NTI has a technical bulletin out about CD maker and your problem. It seems that your version of CD maker may not work with Internet Explorer 6. Please click on this link to read the bulletin @ http://www.ntius.com/support/faq/faq_answer.cfm?QID=80
The solution depends on what version of CD Maker you're running.
...This worked fine for me

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<>Problem:

My computer hangs when I try to shut it down. It only happens when it's been on more the 8 hours (Aprox).  It hangs on the Windows is shutting down splash screen and just stay there for ever, so I have to cold boot it.

Diagnose/troubleshooting:

I reinstalled windows, it didn't solve the problem.

<>Solution:

Hi. Shutdown problems are quite common. You may have too many applications
running for the computer to handle when you want it to shutdown. If you have
more running than you need, try elimination those that start at boot that
are unnecessary. Hit the start button and choose "run". Type in msconfig and
hit OK. Choose selective startup and go to the startup tab. Uncheck all
applications that you don't need at boot up. Explorer and systray must be
checked or you will not run at all.
I've attached a great program that I use to close most running programs.
This works great when installing something and you don't want anything
running that might interfere with the installation, or just prior to
shutting down.
You should also go to windowsupdate.com and download all critical patches.
Actually, do the windows update first.

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[8]  Contact Information:

This Newsletter is brought to you by 5 Star Support - Free Technical
Support. If you find this newsletter helpful, please help support it by making a small one time donation.  
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Thank-you for subscribing to the 5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter.

Regards,

Newsletter Staff

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