Contact Us

   

ITS Help Desk @ the Manila Campus,
Rm. 305, Gokongwei Hall, De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, 1004 Manila, Philippines

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ITS Help Desk @ the Makati Extension Campus (MEC),
5/F, RCBC Plaza Tower II, 6819 Ayala Avenue, 1200 Makati City, Philippines

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ITS Help Desk @ the Science and Technology Complex (STC),
W401, Milagros del Rosario Building, LTI Spine Road, Brgys. Binan and Malamig, Binan, Laguna 4024, Philippines

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General

  • Why is my computer running slow?

    Probable Causes

    Solutions

    Hard disk drive is short on available disk space. If you have a hard disk drive that is 2GB or smaller, ensure that there is at least 200MB of hard disk drive space free. If you have a hard drive larger than this size, verify that there is at least 500MB of free hard disk space. This available space allows the computer to have room for the swap file to increase in size as well as room for temporary files.
    Hard drive is corrupted or fragmented. Run Scandisk or something equivalent to help ensure that there is nothing physically wrong with the computer hard disk drive. Run Defrag to help ensure that data is arranged in the best possible order.
    Background programs Remove or disable any TSRs/Startup Programs (programs that automatically start each time the computer boots).
    Hardware conflicts RVerify that the Device Manager has no conflicts. If conflicts are present, resolve them.
    Issues with Windows XP Prefetch If you have Windows XP, try deleting all files in the prefetch directory (Prefetch is a feature introduced in Microsoft Windows XP that enables Windows to load portions of commonly run programs when the computer first loads, enabling frequently run programs to load faster) Prefetch files can lower system resources if loading programs no longer being used.
    Computer or processor is overheating Make sure your computer and processor is not overheating. Excessive heat can cause a significant decrease in computer performance. Some processors will even lower its speed automatically to help compensate for the heat related issues.

    If your computer continues to be slow after going over each of the above recommendations it's possible that your computer is experiencing a more serious hardware related issue such as a failing component in the computer. This could be a failing or bad CPU, RAM, Motherboard, or other component.

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  • How do I get rid of the noise my computer makes

    Probable Causes

    Note: To determine which of these components are causing your issue, first, verify that lights on your hardware devices, such as the floppy drive, are not on. If you are only encountering excessive noise when a device is accessed, it is likely that that device is causing your issue. If the noise you are experiencing is occurring the entire time the computer is on, it is possible that any of the below devices may be causing your issue.

    Solutions

    CD-ROM

    A CD-ROM drive normally makes a soft whirling noise. But this noise should only be generated while the CD-ROM is being accessed.

    It is abnormal for a CD-ROM to experience any of the below symptoms.

    • No noise
    • Clicking during accessing the CD-ROM.
    • Noises when the CD-ROM is not being accessed.

    If you are exhibiting any of the above issues, it is likely that the CD-ROM drive is defective and it is recommended that it be replaced.

    Fan

    There are several fans in computers that help provide ventilation to the computer's components. Below is a list of fans that may be causing noises in your computer.

    • Case Fan

      Case fans are fans commonly attached to the front or back of a computer. It is normal for most additional case fans to generate additional noise (usually a low hum). However, you should not expect to hear any type of clicking noise or high pitched noise from any of the case fans. When this occurs it is a good indication that the fan is failing.

    • CPU fan

      Although not installed on all computers, some computer heat sinks may also contain a fan to help with keeping the processor cool. You should only expect to hear a slight hum from the CPU fan. Below are some issues that may cause additional noise from your CPU fan.

      • Cable is hitting the fan causing a vibration.
      • CPU fan is loose causing vibration
      • CPU fan is bad causing additional noise.
    • Power supply fan
    Floppy Drive

    A Computer floppy drive commonly makes several types of noises that may be interpreted as bad noises. Although these noises are commonly loud and can sound strange, it is almost always a normal noise. Below is a list of some of the different times you may notice a noise from the floppy drive.

    • Noise as computer boots

      Each time a PC computer boots, it will attempt to read the floppy disk drive to verify if a disk is in the drive, and if present, attempt to boot from that diskette.

    • Noise as computer accesses floppy

      When attempting to access the floppy disk drive you should hear a noise of the drive detecting and then reading the floppy diskette.

    • Noise when running software

      Occasionally when running programs, utilities, virus scanners, games... the computer will attempt to access the floppy drive. Generally, this is because the program has been written to open programs from the floppy or in the case of a virus scanner check the floppy drive to detect any computer viruses.

    • Noise when computer shuts down

      Microsoft Windows users may notice a noise coming from the floppy or the floppy being accessed when shutting the computer down. This is generally caused by the Virus Protection scanning the floppy disk drive for any viruses before shutting down. We highly recommend this because if a virus happened to be on a diskette within the drive and you were to boot from that diskette, it is very likely the computer would become infected or that software would be erased.

    Hard Drive

    It is normal for a hard drive to produce noise. Normal types of noises you should expect to hear include a low humming or quiet whistling sound.

    Noises you should not expect to hear are any type of repetitive clicking, very noticeable humming or any type of hard thump. If any of these noises are experienced it is recommend that the hard disk drive be looked at or replaced as it may be going bad.

    Modem

    When connecting to the Internet or another computer, you may hear a loud screechy or high pitched noise. This noise is the onboard modem speaker; the two computers connecting to each other. This noise should only be heard when the computer is establishing a connection with the other computer.

    Power Supply

    The power supply is a common hardware component to cause an excessive amount of noise. This component provides your computer power as well as ventilation to the computer. It is possible for the fan within the power supply to become bad or dirty causing the fan to make an excessive amount of noise.

    If an excessive amount of noise is coming from the fan next to where you plug your computer power cable into, it is likely that the power supply fan is failing or bad. We recommend that you first attempt to clean the fan by using compressed air to blow out any dust, dirt, or hair. If this does not resolve your issue, you will need to have the power supply replaced.

    Speakers

    Similar to powered stereo speakers, it is normal to hear a pop or crack from computer speakers when they receive or lose power and/or when the device connected to the speakers is turned off.

    IIf the noise continues after the computer and speakers have been turned on, it is not normal. We recommend that you first attempt to move the speakers to an alternate location to make sure that the noise is not being caused by something around the speakers. If this does not resolve the issue, unfortunately, it is possible that the speakers are failing or a component within the speakers has already failed.

    Monitor
    • Noise when turned on or off

      It is normal for standard computer CRT monitors to make a click, pop, crackle, hum, buzz, or other type of noises when they are first turned on or turned off.

    • Noise when monitor goes into standby mode

      When the monitor enters a "standby mode" or "power savings mode", this is similar to the monitor being turned off. It is completely normal for the monitor to make a noise when the monitor enters this mode.

    • Noise when opening Microsoft Windows or other operating system or when opening a game

      When a computer opens its operating system, for example, a computer opening Microsoft Windows or when a user runs a computer game, it is very common that the monitor will need to switch its resolution of the operating system or game. When switching resolutions it is normal for the computer monitor to make some type of noise and/or for the computer monitor to flick or flash.

    • Noise during normal operation

      If the computer monitor click, pops, or flashes while it is being used, this is not normal operation. It is very likely that the monitor may be failing or a component within the monitor has already failed and could also potentially be a fire hazard. We highly recommend that the monitor be repaired, replaced, and/or looked at by a qualified technician.

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Monitor

  • My laptop’s screen blacks out every few seconds, though Windows seems to be operating underneath. It’s neither a screen saver turning on nor a virus acting out. How do I fix this?

    Probable Causes

    Solutions

    Overheating caused by dust in and around the CPU fan.

    Here's how to clean it without disassembling your whole laptop.

    Tools needed:

    • Small magnetized screwdriver
    • Small flat blade screwdriver
    • Heatsink paste (optional but recommended)

    Instructions:

    1. Turn off your system.

    2. Turn it over and find the small square cover on the bottom that covers the CPU. When the laptop is upright this would be in the in the upper left corner of the computer.

    3. Remove the four screws and remove the cover. You should see a small aluminum square. This is the heatsink and the clogged cooling fins.

    4. You will need a small very small straight screwdriver to get these four screws of the cover out. Be careful where you put these screws as they are very small and may easily get lost.

    5. You should see four screws across the top and bottom of the heatsink. Remove ONLY the four "outside" screws. Do not remove the two screws in the middle of each edge. The heatsink will now lift off of the processor. Use a magnetized screwdriver and DO NOT DROP those little screws into the computer or you will have to remove the entire cover.

    6. Notice how much gunk is on the fan end of the fins. Blow softly through the OTHER end of the fins and blow the dirt off.

    7. Put a small amount of heatsink paste on the CPU surface before replacing the heatsink.

    8. Replace the screws holding down the heatsink and replace the CPU cover. You are done and should notice large volumes of only warm air from the vent.This should return your monitor back to normal operation.

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  • There’s a No Input Signal message on my desktop’s monitor. How do I fix this?

    Probable Causes

    Solutions

    Monitor is not connected properly

    Verify that the monitor is properly connected from its back to the back of the CPU.

    If the monitor appears to be connected properly, verify that a cable is not loose by disconnecting all cables that can be disconnected in the back of the monitor (generally the data cable cannot be disconnected). Next, disconnect the data cable connected to the back of the computer and then reconnect the cable. When connecting the cable in the back of the computer, ensure the cable connection is tight. Most Computers will also have screw ends that can be screwed in to hold the connector in place.

    Bad hardware

    If the connections appear to be correct, unfortunately it is likely that either the monitor or the computer video card is bad. To test which component is bad either connect a different monitor to your computer or connect your monitor to a different computer.

    If another monitor works on your computer it is likely a bad monitor.

    If your monitor works on another computer it is likely a bad video card.

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  • How do I fix a dead pixel on my screen?
     

    Probable Causes

    Solutions

    Hardware issue with the display device:

    LCD or Flat Panel dead pixels

    LCDs or flat panel displays can have components fail within the display that cause dead pixels. Although some users may consider this a defect with the computer hardware, most manufacturers will not replace the LCD or flat panel unless it has multiple dead pixels, generally four or more that are at least one-inch away from each other.

    If your LCD or Flat Panel is experiencing dead pixels it is recommended you refer to your product documentation or contact the manufacturer of that display to determine how many dead pixels qualifies for a replacement. If the display meets the requirements for replacement we suggest you have it replaced.

    Monitor Display dead pixels

    A dead pixel is not a common issue for monitors. However, this issue can still occur. When this does occur, it is common on many monitors that an entire row or entire column of pixels to go out. Most monitor manufacturers do not have a policy or warranty for this issue and when this occurs will generally replace the monitor if in warranty.

    Contact your manufacturer for information on their policy and how to get the monitor repaired or serviced.

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  • What is the proper way for cleaning the monitor?

    Ordinary glass cleaners may pose hazards, depending on the type of monitor you have. Ammonia-based cleaners may dissolve the glue used to attach keys to their sensors in keyboards. If the glass cleaner bounces off the screen during cleaning, you could permanently damage the keyboard. Standard glass cleaners, on the other hand, may damage any anti-glare coatings on LCD flat-panel monitors.

    It is recommended that you use special monitor wipes made for display screens, or a very soft cloth, lightly dampened with water. You can also take a clean sock and fill it with used or new fabric softener sheets. Use the sock to wipe down the screen to prevent dust buildup.

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Keyboard

  • What are the F1 through F12 keys for?

    Commonly known as "function keys", F1 through F12 may have a variety of different uses or no use at all. Depending on the installed operating system and the software program currently open will change how each of these keys operate. A program is capable of not only using each of the function keys, but also combining the function keys with the ALT and/or CTRL keys, for example, Microsoft Windows users can press ALT + F4 to close the program currently active.

    Below is a short-listing of some of the common functions of the functions keys on computers running Microsoft Windows. As mentioned above not all programs support function keys and/or may perform different tasks as those mentioned below.

    F1

    • Almost always used as the help key, almost every program will open the help screen when this key is pressed.
    • Windows Key + F1 would open the Microsoft Windows help and support center.
    • Open the Task Pane.

    F2

    • In Windows commonly used to rename a highlighted icon or file.
    • Alt + Ctrl + F2 opens a new document in Microsoft Word.
    • Ctrl + F2 displays the print preview window in Microsoft Word.

    F3

    • Often opens a search feature for many programs including Microsoft Windows.
    • Shift + F3 will change the text in Microsoft Word from upper to lower case or a capital letter at the beginning of every word.

    F4

    • Open find window.
    • Repeat the last action performed (Word 2000+)
    • Alt + F4 will close the program currently active in Microsoft Windows.
    • Ctrl + F4 will close the open window within the current active window in Microsoft Windows.

    F5

    • In all modern Internet browsers pressing F5 will refresh or reload the page or document window.
    • Open the find, replace, and go to window in Microsoft Word.
    • Starts a slideshow in PowerPoint.

    F6

    • Move the cursor to the Address bar in Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
    • Ctrl + Shift + F6 opens to another open Microsoft Word document.

    F7

    • Commonly used to spell check and grammar check a document in Microsoft programs such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, etc.
    • Shift + F7 runs a Thesaurus check on the word highlighted.
    • Turns on Caret browsing in Mozilla Firefox.

    F8

    • Function key used to enter the Windows startup menu. Commonly used to get into Windows safe mode.

    F9

    • Opens the Measurements toolbar in Quark 5.0.

    F10

    • In Microsoft Windows activates the menu bar of an open application.
    • Shift + F10 is the same as right-clicking on a highlighted icon, file, or Internet link.

    F11

    • Full-screen mode in all modern Internet browsers.

    F12

    • Open the Save as window in Microsoft Word.
    • Shift + F12 save the Microsoft Word document.
    • Ctrl + Shift + F12 prints a document in Microsoft Word.

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  • How can I move the mouse cursor with the keyboard in Windows?

    Users who find it difficult to move the mouse and/or wish to have an alternative to the mouse may wish to move the mouse using the arrow keys on the numeric keypad of their keyboard.

    Microsoft Windows users can enable the accessibility feature to move the mouse using their arrow keys by following these steps:

    1. Click Start, go to Settings, and click Control Panel.

    2. Within the Control Panel, open "Accessibility Options".

    3. Click the Mouse tab.

    4. Check the "Use Mouse Keys" check box.

    5. If you wish to increase the speed or change any other settings, click on the Settings button.

    6. Click Apply and then close the window.

    After performing the above steps you will be able to use the numeric keypad to move the cursor up, down, left, right, and all the diagonals. In addition, you may also use the center "5" key as a left click.

    Note: You must have the Number lock on for this feature to work by default. This can be changed through the settings.

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  • Why are there bumps on the F and J keyboard keys?

    The bumps or nipples found on the F and J keys on the keyboard help users correctly position their left and right hand on the keyboard without having to look at it. For example, without looking at the keyboard you can easily position your left index finger on the F key, and the right index finger on the J key, which then positions all the remainder of your fingers in the correct position.

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Mouse

  • My mouse is not moving the cursor properly. How do I fix this?

    Probable Causes

    Note: These may vary depending on the type of mouse you have connected to the computer.

    Solutions

    Mouse is not clean

    Users who have an optical mechanical mouse (most common mouse for desktop computers) are likely experiencing erratic behavior because dirt had built up in around the mouse ball.

    Optical portion of mouse is blocked

    Users who have an optical mouse are likely experiencing erratic behavior because a portion of the optical eye is blocked (e. g. by a hair strand).

    Moisture or other material on finger

    Users who are using a touchpad may experience erratic behavior because of moisture or other material on the finger such as lotion.

    If you've cleaned the mouse and continue to encounter issues, unfortunately, your mouse is likely defective. One additional test that can be done to help determine if this is the case or not is to connect the mouse to another computer. Otherwise we suggest replacing the mouse.

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  • The wheel on my mouse is not working properly. How do I fix this?

    Just like any other part on a mouse, the wheel or roller on the top of a wheel mouse can also malfunction. Below are some tips on troubleshooting this issue and suggestions if unable to fix.

    For Microsoft Windows users:

    1. Go to Control Panel, and double-click the Mouse icon.

    2. In the Mouse Properties window, click the Wheel tab and try adjusting the number of lines to scroll the mouse, or try changing the mouse to scroll one page at a time.

    3. Click Apply, and then OK. See if the changes helped correct the problem.

    If you're running a mouse not manufactured by Microsoft you may also want to adjust the mouse through the program installed with the mouse. For example, Logitech mice often have software separate from Windows that allows users to adjust their mouse settings. Often, these programs are accessible by clicking a mouse icon in the systray. Finally, if the above suggestions do not help resolve your issue we suggest trying to install the latest drivers and/or software for your mouse.

    Other users

    If you're running a different operating system, we suggest trying to re-install the software that came with the mouse and/or installing the latest drivers for your operating system from the mouse manufacturer’s web site.

    If you still are encountering issues after following the steps above, it is likely that the mouse is defective. We suggest contacting the mouse manufacturer for a replacement or purchasing a new mouse.

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  • My computer cannot detect my mouse. How do I fix this?

    Probable Causes

    Note: These may vary depending on the type of mouse you have connected to the computer.

    Solutions

    Not connected properly

    If you are using a PS/2 mouse verify that it is connected into the PS/2 mouse port and not the PS/2 keyboard port located on the back of the computer.

    Mouse software or driver conflict

    Boot into Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, attempt to move your mouse. If the mouse does work within safe mode, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, point to Settings, and click Control Panel.

    2. In the Control Panel window, go to System, and click the Device Manager Tab.

    3. In Device Manager, click (+) to expand the Mouse category and display all mouse devices currently installed.

    4. Remove all mice devices listed. Once all are removed, reboot the computer and let the computer boot normally into Windows.

    5. If your mouse does not continue to work once back in Windows, it is likely that you're encountering a driver related issue. Attempt to reinstall your mouse drivers. You may want to try doing this through Safe Mode.

    Computer is frozen

    If your mouse was working, however stopped while you were working on the computer, it's possible that your computer may have frozen.

    To determine if this is the case try pressing the Num Lock key on the keyboard. If you're able to turn the num lock on and off then your computer is not frozen.

    However, if you’re not able to turn Num Lock on and off, your mouse is not the problem. Your computer has frozen.

    If you are still encountering the problem after following the recommendations mentioned above, try to hook another mouse which uses the same connection into the back of the computer. If the other mouse works in this computer, try to use the mouse not working in another computer.

    If you are not able to get another mouse to work in your computer, either the computer port is bad or there is a Hardware conflict.

    If you are not able to get your mouse to work in a known working computer, the Mouse is defective.

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Printer

  • How do I fix a printer paper jam?

    When working with any printer it's inevitable that you'll encounter a paper jam. Below are the steps you'll want to follow when this occurs.

    1. Turn off the printer.

    2. Inspect the location or tray the printed paper ejects to. If the stuck paper is visible manually remove it.

    3. Remove all paper trays and any paper that may be stuck between the tray and the printer. If the stuck paper is visible manually remove it.

    4. Open the printer door that allows you to access the printer ink cartridges or toner and look for any stuck paper. If the stuck paper is visible manually remove it.

    5. Turn the printer back on. If you continue to receive a printer jam error try repeating the above steps again. If issue still persists and you see no paper that is stuck in the printer it's likely your printer is experiencing another hardware issue and we suggest contacting the printer manufacturer for additional assistance and/or repair.

    To manually remove paper, pull on the paper with both hands being careful not to tear the paper while pulling it. If you're unable to get to an edge of the paper that allows you to pull it you may need to manually rotate the gears that feed the paper through the printer.

    Preventing a printer paper jam

    As mentioned earlier it is inevitable that you will encounter at least one paper jam during the life of your printer. However, if you're encountering frequent paper jams, following the steps below can help prevent paper jams from occurring.

    1. If your printer has a paper tray, do not fill the tray to capacity. If you're encountering frequent paper jams reduce the amount of paper you place in the tray each time it is filled.

    2. Make sure the tray feeding the paper into the printer is aligned properly and/or the slider used to hold the paper in place in the tray is snug with the paper. Many printers have sliders that allow different types and sizes of paper to be fed into the printer. If the slider is not properly positioned it can cause paper jams.

    3. Use standard office paper. Folded paper, paper with labels, and specialty paper such as hard bound paper can often cause paper jams. If you're uncertain with what type of paper you should use with your printer, your printer documentation lists the types of paper compatible with your printer.

    4. Do not mix the types of paper you're feeding into the printer at one time. If you need to change the type of paper or size of paper being used removed any other paper currently in the printer before inserting the new paper.

    5. Examine the printer for any previous stuck paper in the printer. Previous paper jams, torn paper, printing labels or other foreign objects in the printer can cause reoccurring printer jams.

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  • Why did my printer stop working after I replaced the ink cartridges?

    This issue can be caused by several different reasons. Below are general suggestions that can be done to help resolve this issue or determine the cause.

    1. First, verify the tab protecting the ink from dispersing is not still on the cartridge.

    2. Verify the ink cartridges have been inserted properly.

    3. If a lever has been changed from its original position allowing the ink cartridges to be added / removed, ensure it is back into its original position.

    4. Perform a head cleaning on printer if available.

    5. Verify no software errors are occurring. You may do so by printing a test page.

    6. If you are installing non-manufacturer authorized ink, attempt to use the manufacturer's ink instead.

    7. If any indication lights are flashing or are different, refer to your printer documentation or printer manufacturer's web page for additional information on what the lights are indicating.

    If the above recommendations do not resolve the issue it is recommended that you contact your printer manufacturer.

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  • How do I set a printer as default?

    If the printer is not setup as the default printer, no print jobs will be sent to it.

    If you have installed the printer and are getting an error message about the printer not being set as default, or it is attempting to print to another device that is not installed, follow these steps:

    1. Click on Start, point to Settings, and click Printers.

    2. Under Printers, right-click the printer you’d want to set as default. This should open a dialog box which should have an option for default printer.

    3. Click Set as Default to set the printer as default. A check-mark should appear on its left.

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CD-ROM

  • My CD-ROM tray won’t open. How do I fix this?

    Probable Causes

    Solutions

    Locking device/software installed

    First, verify no locking software is being loaded, which would allow the CD-ROM tray not to open. If you are unable to determine this, reboot the computer and as it is booting up, attempt to eject the tray.

    No power to computer or CD-ROM drive

    If you have recently installed a new CD-ROM drive or you have moved the computer, it is possible that the power to the CD-ROM may have become loose or disconnected. Check the cable connections.

    Bad eject button

    If you are running Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows ME, or Windows XP, open My computer, right click on the CD-ROM drive and choose the option to eject.

    If this ejects your CD-ROM drive tray, it is likely that the button on the CD-ROM drive has become defective and it is recommended that the drive be replaced.

    CD stuck within drive

    It is possible that a CD may have become stuck within the CD-ROM drive. If the CD-ROM drive has a small hole (that is not the head phone jack), using a paper clip, place the paper clip within the hole and attempt to manually eject the CD-ROM tray.

    If the CD-ROM drive is only partially able to be opened, attempt to pull the tray gently to see if it can be manually ejected. If it cannot be opened any further, it is likely that the gears within the CD-ROM drive have become bad, dislodged, or that a CD is positioned in the drive which does not allow it to open.

    Caution: If you are able to open the CD-ROM drive using a paper clip. We do not recommend that you continue using the CD-ROM drive by manually ejecting the CD-ROM using a paper clip. The drive should be replaced and this is not meant to be used as a temporary solution.

    Incompatibility with IDE / ATAPI interface

    If you have an IBM compatible computer and recently installed the CD-ROM drive and are unable to open the drive, attempt to temporarily disconnect the IDE cable to verify that you’re not experiencing an issue with an incompatibility between the CD-ROM and motherboard. Once the IDE cable has been disconnected, power on the computer and see if the CD-ROM drive tray is now able to be opened.

    If the drive is able to be opened with the IDE / ATAPI cable disconnected, it is recommended that you use the interface card supplied with the CD-ROM drive or the ATAPI interface on the sound card / motherboard.

    Bad drive

    IUnfortunately, if after following the above recommendations you are still unable to properly open the CD-ROM drive using the button on the front of the CD-ROM drive, it is likely defective and should be replaced.

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  • Why is my CD/DVD skipping?

    Probable Causes

    Solutions

    Dirty CD

    You may clean your CD/installer with a clean cotton cloth. In doing so, wipe against the tracks, starting from the middle of the CD and wiping towards the outer side. Never wipe towards the tracks; doing so may put more scratches on the CD.

    It is recommended when cleaning a CD that water is used. However, if the substance on a CD cannot be removed using water, pure alcohol can also be used.

    Bad burn or copy of CD or DVD

    If the skipping is occurring on a CD or DVD that has been copied/burned, it could have encountered errors during the creation causing various errors including skipping. To make sure this is not the issue, try re-creating the CD or DVD again.

    Dirty CD-ROM or other disc drive

    In addition to a dirty CD or DVD, a drive can also be dirty from dust, dirt, or hair that got in it. If you're encountering skipping or other read errors with multiple CD or DVD discs, it is possible that the drive maybe dirty.

    To clean the CD-ROM drive, we recommend purchasing a CD-ROM cleaner from your local retailer. Using a CD-ROM cleaner should sufficiently clean the CD-ROM laser from dust, dirt, and hair.

    In addition to cleaning the drive with a special disc designed to clean drives, users can also use a cloth dampened with water to clean the tray that ejects from the drive. Make sure however that it is completely dry before putting it back into the drive.

    Software not playing disc properly

    If you're using a program, such as a media player, to listen to an audio CD, other music files, or to watch a movie, make sure it is not the software program causing you errors by trying a different media player or other software program. Alternatively if you have access to another computer, car audio system, or TV DVD player, try testing the CD or DVD on them.

    CD / DVD scratched or otherwise damaged

    If the CD or DVD has any significant scratches or cracks, it can cause the CD or DVD to skip, stop playing, or not play at all. If you've tried all the above solutions and are only encountering the skipping or other read errors with a single disc, it is likely that the disc is bad and should be replaced.

    Bad drive

    Finally, if you're encountering skipping or other random read errors with multiple different CDs/DVDs, it is likely that the drive itself is bad and should be replaced.

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Universal Serial Bus (USB)

  • My USB device is detected by my computer, but doesn’t work properly. How do I fix this?

    To know what is causing this problem, right-click the My Computer icon and select Properties. Click the Device Manager tab and open Universal Serial Bus Controllers by clicking the plus sign (+). One of the four conditions listed below may be displayed:

    Probable Causes

    Note: These may vary depending on the type of mouse you have connected to the computer.

    Solutions

    If in Device Manager, the device displays the USB port is working properly:

    • There is a physical problem with the device or there is an issue with the device software drivers.

    Try disconnecting the USB device, closing any software for the device that may be open, uninstalling the USB device software driver, and then reinstalling the driver. Connect the USB device to the computer after the software drivers are installed. Refer to the device manufacturer for more information.

    If in Device Manager, the device displays as an unknown device:

    • The device may not be getting enough power.

    If other USB devices are connected to the system, remove all other USB devices (except keyboard and mouse) and restart the computer. Check Device Manager again. If this solves the issue, use a powered USB hub to power more devices.

    Also try disconnecting the USB device, and then close any software for the device that may be open, uninstall the USB device software driver, and then reinstall the device software driver.

    If the device displays under Other Devices:

    • The USB ports are working but the device software drivers need to be installed.

    Unplug the USB device and install the software drivers.

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  • Why did my USB device stop working?

    Probable Causes

    Solutions

    This problem usually occurs to computers using Windows XP because in this operating system, USB Root Hubs are turned off by default to conserve power, causing some devices not to resume correctly after Windows resumes from sleep, hibernation, or computer inactivity.

    To troubleshoot this problem, follow these steps:

    1. Go to Device Manager.

    2. Right-click Universal Serial Bus Controllers, and click Properties.

    3. Go to the Power Management tab, then uncheck “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”.

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  • How do I format my flash disk?

    Formatting your flash disk will erase all data saved in it. Make sure you have backed up your files before doing this. To format the USB Flash Drive, follow these steps:

    1. Close any open applications including any anti-virus software that may interrupt the format process.

    2. Right-click on the Removable Disk icon with the drive letter assigned to your Flash Drive.

    3. With a Right-click, select Format from the drop-down menu that appears.

    4. Optional: Type in a name in Volume label if you have more than one USB Flash Drive and prefer to assign names to differentiate them.

    5. Click on Start button. A warning notice appears that all data will be erased. If you have properly backed up your files, resume and click OK button.

    6. The formatting will only take a few seconds, and a "Format Complete" notice will appear when the formatting is done.

    7. Your USB Flash Drive should be recognized by your system at this point. You can return to using your drive as before.

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  • Why won't a drive letter show up in Windows XP for my USB Drive under My Computer?

    Probable Causes

    Solutions

    Conflict with another Drive in your System

    If you plug in a new USB Flash Drive into your Windows XP system, and it does not show up under My Computer with a drive letter, you may have a conflict with another drive in your system. This tends to occur when a computer has multiple hard drives or CD/DVD drives and one of them if assigned to drive letter "H". To change the drive letter, you will need to open Disk Management then follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management.

    2. In the console tree under Storage, click Disk Management.

    3. Right-click the USB Flash Drive, and then click Change Drive Letter and Path.

    4. To modify a drive letter, click it, click Edit, click the drive letter you want to use, and then click OK.

    Note: An error message may appear when you attempt to assign a letter to a volume, CD-ROM drive, or other removable media device, possibly because it is in use by a program in the system. If this happens, close the program accessing the volume or drive, and then click the Change Drive Letter and Path command again.

    If your USB Drive does not show up under Disk Management and there are drives already assigned to "H", you may need to change that drive letter first. Then plug the USB Drive back into the computer to see if it appears. Now change the drive letter on the USB Drive and then change the original "H" drive back to an "H."

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Scanner

  • My scanner is not working properly. How do I fix this?

    Go through the following steps to see what is causing the problem.

    1. Verify whether cables are connected properly to the back of the scanner

    If the scanner is a parallel port scanner, it is likely that it has two available connections on the back of the scanner. Verify that the cable coming from the computer is connecting to the IN, Computer IN, computer, or similar connection.

    2. Make sure that the scanner is getting power

    If your scanner is not getting power, it is recommended that you check the connections and see whether they are connected properly to the back of the computer and from the scanner to the power outlet. If you have the scanner connected to a power strip and or surge protector, it is temporarily recommended that you connect the scanner directly to the power outlet. If the computer scanner is getting power, you should notice the inside light turn on when the power is first received by the scanner.

    3. Additional parallel port scanner troubleshooting

    If you have another device connected in between the scanner and the computer, turn off the computer and temporarily disconnect the devices connected to or from the scanner. If, after disconnecting these devices, the scanner works, it is likely that another device may have issues or may be unable to work with other parallel devices.

    4. Update the drivers

    Make sure that the latest drivers are installed for the operating system being used on your computer.

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References:

Broncobytes. (2005). Cleaning your monitor. . Retrieved January 15, 2008 from Boise

State University Help Desk web site: http://helpdesk.boisestate.edu/bronco

bytes/1205.htm.

Approved Memory. (2005). Technical Support: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved

September 24, 2007, from Approved Memory Website: http://www.approved

memory.com/faq.htm.

5 Star Support. (2007). Windows XP Troubleshooting FAQ. Retrieved September 21,

2007, from 5 Star Support Web site: http://www.5starsupport.com/faq

/xp.htm.

Computer Hope. (2007). Computer Hope Questions and Answers. Retrieved

September 21, 2007, from Computer Hope Web site: http://www.computer

hope.com/qanda.htm.

Earthtym. (2007). USB Problems and Solutions, Troubleshooting. Retrieved September

21, 2007, from Earthtym Web site: http://www.earthtym.net/USB-

solutions.htm.

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