Sunday, March 6, 2011

Remember the past posts concerning "Have You Thought About Building Your Own Computer" ?

Dear viewers,

If you remember, late last year, in November and December, I had a couple of posts concerning the title above.

For those who have not read the posts, you can go to the archive on the left of this screen and read them.

I am referring to this again today because I have had people email me concerning the subject.


Here is what you have to do:

1- Post a comment or email me.

2- Let me know how much you are willing to spend.

3- According with your budget, I will post a list of all the best components, how you can order them from computer parts suppliers, such as Tiger Direct , New Egg etc.

I will also post all the building steps in great but simple details, so that you can complete your project successfully and be proud of your work. If you have questions just call me (803) 945-4444 or email me your telephone # and I'll call you. (I have complete long distance telephone service even to overseas, therefore don't worry about my cost for calling you).

Do not be afraid, it is not that difficult and there will be a lot of satisfaction when you are finished.

Let me hear from you, we'll have a lot of fun.

George Freire

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Common Frustrating Problems That Happen Now And Then With Your Computer (CD or DVD Drives Screw-Ups)

Today I am going to discuss a very common problem that happens quite often and that can be very, very frustrating.

People call me many times about this problem:

"My CD or DVD drive is missing, or not recognized by Windows; I can't read CD's or DVD's, I am not able to install a new program or play music, etc. etc.

Believe me folks, it happens all the time and I'm quite sure it has happened to many of you.

Last week a good friend of mine called; he had that same problem, two CD/DVD drives in his computer that were not showing at all on Widows Explorer and would not operate at all except that they would open and close at the touch of the proper button switch.

I told him to bring the computer to my office and I would take care of it. Trying to resolve the problem over the phone would not work because I was afraid that in the process he might screw up the computer even more.

He brought the computer and in 10 minutes I fixed the problem.

HERE IS THE THE WAY TO HANDLE THIS PROBLEM,(It will work most of the time):

There are two possible causes for this problem. One could be a driver that went corrupt or out of date; the other, (in most cases the main culprit), a registry screw up.

First step, (to check the drivers), go to control panel/system/device manager. On the device manager go down the list of items, click on "DVD/CD-Rom drives"; that will expand and show the actual CD or DVD devices. If you see a yellow flag next to them, it means the device is not working properly. Double click on it and then open the "Driver tab" then the "update driver button" and follow directions. THIS MIGHT WORK OUT BUT NOT NECESSARILY. You might also click the "disable" button and reboot the computer.

If this works, fine and dandy, but let me tell you, most of the times it does not..., however it is worth trying.

Now we go to the other step, that works 90% or more most of the time: Correct the registry entry for the CD or DVD drive.

A word of warning, be very, very careful how you do this; if you have never handled registry edits or corrections, I advise that you back up the registry before you proceed, just in case you screw up. (This way you can always restore the registry back to its initial status).

1- Click start, run and then type regedit. This opens the registry editor screen.

2- On the left column of the screen you'll see a column of folders that start with
"HKEY _CLASS_ROOT". Go down the list until you find the folder "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE"

3- Click on the little triangle on the left of this folder and that extends the folder down showing several other sub-folders. Go down until you find the sub-folder "SYSTEM".

4- Click on the little triangle on the left of the "SYSTEM" folder and that again extends this folder down showing several other sub-folders. Go down the list and select "CurrentControlSet". Again click the little triangle on the left. That extends this folder down. Go down the list and select "Control". Click the little triangle again. That extends the "Control" folder down and you'll see a very long list of sub-folders.

5- Go down the list until you find the sub-folder "Class", (normally # 5 or 6 down). Click the little triangle on the left of the sub-folder "Class". This extends to a very long list of sub-folders, each one with with many #'s and characters to its right.

6- Now we have to select the right one, (be very careful because they look very much alike). THE ONE YOU MUST SELECT IS:


(This folder is the DVD/CD-ROM drive class description in the registry)

Now click on the folder itself, (not on the little triangle). This will open the right frame side of the registry Editor screen.

Look for any of the following names on the right frame side of the screen:

If any of the above keys are listed, right click on them and choose "Delete".
7- After deleting the keys, close the Registry Editor by clicking the x on the upper right corner and reboot the computer.
8- After rebooting open "My Computer" or go to Windows Explorer and miracle, miracle, you'll see that your CD or DVD drives are back and in good health again !!
The above may look a little too complicated to do, but really, if you are careful in handling each step as indicated above, it will be a breeze...
I hope I have helped some of you who may have this problem now. For those of you who may have this problem later you'll know now how to fix it.
Have fun,
George Freire