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Basic Fix for Corrupt File Causing Older Laptop Boot Issue

We see plenty of instances in business settings that still use older laptops with older operating systems installed on them. Many of the roles that these computers play are that of a very specific task, such as a file server for a relatively small group of users in a small department. These may have been in this role for many years and there is no real reason to upgrade them, as it tends to be perceived as an unnecessary expense. “If it is not broken, why fix it” happens to be a saying that applies to many businesses out there to this day when it comes to the computer systems they have on their networks. There is really nothing wrong with this arrangement on internal network segments completely segregated from the Internet.

Recently we resolved a situation which may help anytime a laptop is running say Win2k or XP for example. An error message stating that Windows could not start due to a missing or corrupt file, likely a .dll file, was causing some issue with the boot. This may happen to any computer user so we thought we would share what our approach was to this issue.

Ultimately this was the same install which had been on the laptop for many years. The company maintains a good backup system, and there was no critical data on this particular laptop anyway. Basically the hard drive tested fine and the customer had the Windows install disc available. By booting to this we chose to access the repair options, pressing R here, and then pressing R again at the next screen. Pressing F next will begin a full repair of the install thus replacing the corrupt file which was causing the booting issue.

Typically we recommend keeping an eye on the hard drive for any signs of it going bad after something like this where the customer confirmed that nobody had installed, or attempted to install any other updates or software just prior to the issue. However this was an older laptop which served a minimal, and ultimately easily replaceable, role in the grander scheme of things. While the operating system in this case was Windows 2000 this methodology can be helpful with other similar situations as well. While the vast majority of the cheaper laptops under 200 dollars displayed on Priceit.biz will not be using Win2k, there are going to be very similar steps to attempting to resolve this kind of issue on other Windows operating systems. The key points to always consider however are the data on the drives, which should always be backed up regularly, and the technical abilities of the user. While this is not a complicated process, there are decisions which will need to be made that might be better left to a competent laptop technician.

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Troubleshoot Refurbished Laptops Web Content Issues

Occasionally computer users discover that Flash content on the web does not display as expected in their web browser of choice and at this point they may simply need to make sure that they have actually installed the correct version of the Adobe Flash Player. One example is that you are unable to view YouTube movies on your laptop computer. This can occur on new or refurbished laptops as this will be a third party application issue not relevant to the computer hardware.

We often use a specific process which will typically resolve this particular laptop performance issue. You may even find that you can view Flash content through Firefox but not Internet Explorer. This also helps narrow down the cause as well.

Keep in mind that there are various versions of the Flash player which are available for free download from Adobe. The thing you want to make sure of at this point is that you happen to be getting the correct version for your browser. For example if you are using Internet Explorer on new or refurbished laptops under 200 then you would want to be sure to download and install the version of Flash which is specifically designed for Internet Explorer. If you are using Firefox then you would need to get the version designed for Firefox and so on.

Sometimes users will have an issue where despite the fact that Adobe Flash appears to have been installed on the laptop they are unable to view flash web content on sites such as YouTube for example. In reality the application may not have properly installed itself and a common cause for this situation is that the security software installed on the laptop may have interfered with the proper installation of Flash. The Flash program will appear to be installed, which it is to a point with no error messages, yet it will not function correctly due to an overall incomplete installation.

If it is verified that the correct version of Flash for the particular web browser being used on the refurbished laptop is indeed acquired, here are the steps which we will often use in order to resolve this issue.

This is a common way that laptop technicians will attempt to resolve the issue when YouTube movies won’t play and of not being able to view Flash web content on a computer. Also, the security programs will need to be re-enabled after this process.

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New Cheap Laptops Under Performing

The most common reason for laptops under performing to be running slowly in the computer hardware realm is simply a lack of having a sufficient amount of memory, especially in these days of resource intensive operating systems. Memory is RAM (Random Access Memory) and it is not hard drive space which is a common misconception among many computer users.

Hard drive space is permanent storage while memory is temporary storage, aka volatile storage. Data permanently stored on the hard drive is for example your pictures, your Word documents, your spreadsheet files, and things of this nature. The data stored in memory is the computer programs themselves for example, and they only need to be there when they are actually running. Once you turn off or reboot your laptop everything in memory is removed hence the term temporary storage.

Windows 7 and Vista laptops by design are in a much more resource intensive operating system environment than previous Microsoft operating systems such as the preferred Windows XP. The additional features, especially the graphic enhancements commonly referred to as eye candy require your computer system to meet additional system requirements meaning the hardware within your laptop such as memory and the processor.

One of the main points to be sure you cover is to have at least 1GB of RAM (system memory) installed in your laptop if you plan on running Windows Vista or later on it. This operating system will run on 512MB of memory as is stated in Microsoft’s recommended requirements which is different than the minimum requirements to actually install.

However laptops with Vista and only 1GB of RAM which is double the recommended requirements is going to handle not much more than very basic computing duties such as email, web surfing, basic office apps, etc. After this you will notice a very prominent reduction in overall responsiveness of your laptop computer, especially with any multitasking going on.

When you compare this to Widows XP which has a recommended requirement of 128MB of memory and a minimum requirement of 64MB, you should use the rule of thumb that in order to do the very basic computing duties you should have at least 512MB of memory.

Most refurbished laptops under 200 dollars for example have a decent amount of memory in them already as it is becoming rarer these days that there is an insufficient amount of memory in a laptop. As a matter of fact memory has become so inexpensive that people occasionally buy more than they actually need for what they do with their laptop computer.

Just because you can get an operating system installed and running on the minimum system requirements or the recommended system requirements does not mean that your laptop will be much fun using. The purpose of these requirements is to let the user know what the basic starting point is and certainly does not address overall performance.

We have seen many laptops under performing running Vista on only 512MB of RAM and the user suffers through such a slow and non-responsive computing experience. This does not have to be this way we will always inform them. A simple RAM upgrade will improve the speed and responsiveness of the newest cheap models as well as the laptops under 300 dollars making life much less frustrating.

For example running Windows XP on a laptop with only 128MB of memory which is the recommended system requirements will be a painfully slow computing experience and to run it on the minimum system requirements will basically be unbearably slow.

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Laptops HDD Diagnosing Intermittent Issues

Occasionally there are instances where a customer is having intermittent issues with their laptop and they admittedly are at a loss as to why. This is a very good time to have a laptop technician look into the matter because in all honesty, the intermittent issues can be the toughest to diagnose and resolve.

Some people have issues such as this which are related to the hard drive. One key component for anyone is to keep the important stuff backed up by all means. Quite often the aforementioned intermittent laptop issues are going to be related to the hard drive. This is true of refurbished laptops under 200 just as it holds true for a brand new model. In our experience most hard drives provide many years of life, but as with any product produced there are always those which seem destined to be bad straight from the factory. Most of these luckily enough are going to fail very rapidly, and thus under warranty in most instances.

Some customers will have questions about RAID systems and this is fine in some cases. We have had business owners specifically request custom builds which use RAID, but for laptops the best bet is a constant and reliable data backup strategy. Even if the intermittent issues set in, as long as the information is retrievable then the computer hardware is an easily solved dilemma.

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Laptop Tech no Sound in Media Player

If you ever find that your laptop computer will play sounds in some applications but not in Windows Media Player you may find these laptop tech tips may help you to resolve the issue. You may receive a laptop error message such as "Windows Media Player cannot play the file…" or even "You do not have a sound device installed on your computer…"

This situation can be caused by several reasons and is often due to a conflict with the file. Other times it may be that the sound card is not working as it should due to the drivers not being installed properly.

Occasionally there may be an issue with the compatibility of the current version of DirectX and your version of Windows Media Player.

Check and make sure that the drivers are properly installed for your sound card or device. Make sure that these drivers are not missing or corrupt in the Device Manager. Try to reinstall the most recent drivers for the device by scanning the Windows Update web site or by going directly to the sound device's manufacturer's web site. Occasionally a simple driver update can fix the issue on laptops under 300 dollars just as well as on more expensive models.

Of course in order to do the above you will have to verify that a sound device does exist within the laptop. If one does exist yet it is somehow corrupt you should still be able to address the issue through the Windows Device Manager.

I have found that sometimes another program will be using the sound card or device at the same time and is actually preventing Windows Media Player from accessing it. Try closing all other programs currently running on your laptop computer and then attempt to play the file again in WMP.

If these laptop tech tips do not resolve the issue you may want to check and see that the version of Microsoft DirectX installed on your laptop computer is compatible with your sound card or device. You can download the most current version of DirectX by going to the Microsoft website and then you will be able to install the latest version. These laptop tech tips are often part of what we use to troubleshoot this particular situation and we hope that they may come in handy for you as well.

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Internet Explorer Error Copying File

Receiving an error regarding the copying of a file after it is has downloaded in Internet Explorer. This would read in effect: “Error copying file or folder – There is not enough free disk space” and will typically indicate an issue with available space on the target drive and not an issue with hard drive diagnostics needing to be performed.

This is not a very common issue today but it used to occur more frequently on much older used laptops which were running a FAT32 setup. This would generally be most likely to apply to laptops running a Windows operating system previous to Windows 2000 Professional on the consumer side. This would be even more unlikely on a Domain client in given business scenarios today.

In this scenario Internet Explorer first downloads the file to a temporary subdirectory and then will copy the file to the intended location. This obviously means that twice the file size is required in available hard drive space and when the temp directory and the destination location are on the same partition then this can be an issue if there is minimal available space on the partition.

Taking a look at just how much free space is available on the drive through the properties of My Computer will give you an indication of whether this is the obvious reason for the laptop error. If this is the case you may want to begin a thorough clean up process on the drive but always consider what data is important before you delete anything. You should always make backups of your data.

On much older used or refurbished laptops there may be the possibility that they are using the FAT32 file system which will have a file size limit of 4GB and would likely cause this exact error message. A 4GB file is a huge file even by today’s standards. This almost fills an entire standard DVD disc so keep in mind that this is still a very large file.

Typically the older computer operating system would be for example Windows ME, 98 or 95 as these were not designed to use NTFS. If you’re old laptop uses Windows NT, 2000, XP or above then you are more than likely running on the NTFS file system and not FAT32 so there is not a set 4GB file size limitation. In other words Win2k, XP and Vista laptops are most likely gong to be running on NTFS and this applies to Windows 7 as well.

If this is the case you could try using Firefox to download the file as it is designed to basically adjust to foregoing any temporary directory and DL straight to the destination if hard drive space is an issue.

If you had to DL a 4GB file with an old laptop computer using the FAT32 file system then you could attempt to change the IE Temporary Internet files location to a drive formatted with NTFS. You could also grab the file using FTP in DOS making sure that there was enough room on the destination drive.

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