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Archive for April, 2012

Finding Hardware Tech Support Information

April 27th, 2012 No comments

Major hardware manufacturing companies make sure that they provide online technical support for customers so that whenever they experience problems or issues on their purchase, there is an easy way for them to contact the company to resolve it.

When downloading device drivers from them, downloading manuals, resolving problems with their products or calling them for assistance, you may need to find the technical support information of the company. But if in any case your are not sure which company manufactured the hardware device, below is an easy to follow step by step guide on how you can find the hardware manufacturer’s technical support information on the World Wide Web.

1. Browse different directories of sites for hardware manufacturer support. There are many websites for this, making the search easy for you. However, if you are unable to find the information for technical support that you need from these directories, there are always search engines that you can rely on.

2. When using search engines, the best and most effective way that you can find the information that you need is to use keywords such as the company name and additional keywords such as drivers, support, or technical support. If unfortunately you still can’t find the information that you need, it’s either the company is no longer existing or they have no means of providing online support.

3. If all else fails and you still can’t find direct contact information for the manufacturing company for your device, the next best thing that you can do is go to free computer support forums and ask for help from more technologically inclined people from different parts of the world.

There are many ways for searching technical support and if ever you encounter issues on your hardware device, you can always search the net for solutions.

Understanding What The Device Manager Is

April 22nd, 2012 No comments

Updating device drivers is an important step that you need to take if you want to ensure that your computer performs at its best all the time. However, this would be an impossible task if you do not know what a Device Manager is or where you can access it, since this provides an organized view of all available and recognized hardware devices that are installed in your computer.

What is it used for?

The Device Manager is the part in your computer’s OS where you can manage all installed hardware devices on your computer such as the keyboard, mouse, hard disk drives, USB devices, sound cards, and a while lot more. This is also where you can change hardware configuration settings, check the status of a certain device, manage drivers, enable and disable hardware, and even troubleshoot different issues. Basically, the Device Manager is your master list of all hardware devices that your computer recognizes, making it easier for you to access them one by one.

Accessing Device Manager

There are different ways of accessing the Device Manager and this includes accessing it from the Control Panel, through the Command Prompt, or by typing ‘Device Manager’ in the search box.

Using the Device Manager

As mentioned before, the Device Manager is the master list for all hardware devices that are installed in your computer. This is where you can check out their details and change their settings, if needed.

Below are just some of the things that you can do in accessing Device Manager:

  • Reinstall and uninstall Drivers
  • Update device drivers
  • View the status of a hardware device
  • Roll back a driver
  • Enable and disable a device
  • Find and check the version number of a device driver

Roll Back Drivers In Different Windows 7 and Windows Vista

April 17th, 2012 No comments

Rolling back a device driver in Windows means returning it to the previous version the was last installed for the said device. This is one of the troubleshooting options that you have if in any case a driver update fails to fix occurring problems of if it cases new ones. Basically, this means returning the driver to a working version, or uninstalling the latest driver that you have downloading and automatically reinstalling the previous one.

The specifics on how you can use the Driver Roll Back features depend on what Operating System you have, so below is a short and easy to follow instructions on how to do roll back drivers in Windows 7 and Windows Vista:

Roll back drivers for Windows 7

1. Open Device Manager from the Control Panel of Windows 7, or you can type ‘Device Manager’ in the search box to access it

2. Navigate through the different hardware categories in Device Manager to locate the hardware device that you want to perform roll back the driver for. You can do so by clicking the [+] or the > icon under the major hardware categories.

3. After successfully locating the hardware device, right click on its icon or name and check out its Properties, and click Driver Tab>Roll Back Driver buttons

4. When a message that states, ‘Are you sure you would like to roll back to the previously installed driver software?’ is displayed, click the Yes button. This will restore the previously installed driver.

5. Click Close button, which is located at the bottom part of the device properties screen.

6. When a display message stating, ‘Your hardware settings have changed. You must restart your computer for these changes to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?’, click Yes to automatically restart your PC. Once Windows 7 starts again, the device driver that is previously installed for the hardware device will load.

Roll back drivers for Windows Vista

1. Open Device Manager from your computer’s Control Panel to locate the hardware device that you want to perform a roll back device drivers for. You can do this by navigating through major hardware devices and clicking the [+] icon to see other devices available.

2. Right click on the icon and choose Properties>Driver>Roll Back Driver

3. When a message stating, ‘ Are you sure you would like to roll back to the previously installed driver software?’ is displayed, click the Yes button to perform a roll back driver on the said device. This will restore the previously installed driver. Click the close button.

4. When a display message stating, ‘Your hardware settings have changed. You must restart your computer for these changes to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?’, click Yes to automatically restart your PC. Once Windows Vista starts again, the device driver that is previously installed for the hardware device will load.

device driver update is one of the most important steps that you need to do is you want your computer to perform at its best however, downloading the wrong file can sometimes happen. When it does happen, you can always perform the roll back driver option to troubleshoot the problem.

Device Manager In Windows: How To View A Device’s Status

April 12th, 2012 No comments

Viewing the current status of the hardware in your PC is important to ensure that everything is working properly. Doing this in Windows XP is easy and once you see a yellow exclamation point beside its icon in Device Manager, then you might just have a problem.

Checking the status of different hardware devices can be done by going to the Device Manager and checking out the details available. If there are any problems encountered by your computer, a detailed error code will be displayed, as well as suggestive solutions for troubleshooting the hardware issues you are encountering.

If you are unsure on how to check a device’s status in your computer, below are easy to follow steps on how to do it.

1. Open the Device Manager  from the Windows XP Computer Management utility option. There are still other ways to do so, including typing ‘Device Manager’ in the search box

2. After opening the Device Manager, search for the hardware device you like to check by clicking the [+] icon from major hardware categories.

3. After successfully locating the hardware you would like to check, right click on the text or icon and choose the Properties option, where you can see the device status. This will display the information and current status of your chosen hardware device.

4. If the device is working properly, the status will read:

The device is working properly. If you are having problems with this device, click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter.

5. If the device is not working, an error message will state:

Error Message (Code 00) Click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter for this device

The reason behind the importance of checking a hardware device’s status every now and then is not only to make sure that it is still working, but also to know whether or not it needs a driver update. By updating its driver, you can ensure that it will work the way you want it too and at the same time, enjoy new features offered by the manufacturing company.


How to Rollback a Device Driver to an Older Version?

April 9th, 2012 No comments

Many times Windows shows strange behavior and at times even shows the deadly BSoD due to corrupt or faulty device drivers. People like me want to keep their drivers up to date. But there may be times when after updating a particular driver, the system starts misbehaving.

At one time, this kind of situation caused all kinds of problems but then a feature called the Driver Rollback was introduced into Windows. So, now if you are in such a situation that updating a driver fails or causes problems, you can just roll back to the previous version of the driver. The following steps will help you perform the driver rollback easily. Read on.

1. Make sure that you are logged into Windows XP as an administrator or a user with administrator rights (i.e., an administrator equivalent).

2. Click Start, click Run and then type the command, devmgmt.msc into the Run dialog box and then press Enter.

3. When the Device Manager opens, click the (+) symbol next to the device title to show the device driver you were trying to update.

4. Now, right-click the device you were updating and then select Properties.

5. In the Device Driver Properties, click the Driver tab and then click the button labeled Roll Back Driver.

 

 

6. The driver will be rolled back to the previous version. Follow the instructions on the screen and your Windows XP should be back to normal. Device Driver Roll Back is available in normal mode or safe mode.

Copy or Move Multiple Files using TeraCopy, without Worrying about Errors

April 8th, 2012 No comments

 

  • Do you have to copy or move many files on your computer or from one disk to the other or between your computer and the network?
  • Are you bothered by the Windows copy error dialog box telling you that one of your files has a problem or the file copy stopped due to one or the other error?
  • Do you wish that the Windows file copying should have been better?
  • Do you wish that Windows should have been able to resume copying/moving the other files even when one or a few files couldn’t be copied?
  • Do you wish that when you’re copying lots of data or large files, you should be able to pause the copying, complete the other important task and then resume the copy process?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then you definitely need TeraCopy. But you may ask what is TeraCopy and what other features does it have? Read on to know some of the features of the free version. (There’s also a paid version which has even more features.)

  1. Pause and resume file transfers. Pause the copy process at any time to free up system resources and resume with a single click.
  2. Error recovery. In case of any copy error, TeraCopy tries several times and in the worst case, just skips the problematic file –  it won’t abort the whole copy process like Windows does.
  3. Interactive file list. TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only the files which couldn’t be copied.
  4. Shell integration. TeraCopy can completely replace Windows Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you to work with files normally.

TeraCopy allows you to copy and move files on your Windows system at faster speeds. For this, it uses adjusted buffers. It also uses asynchronous copy to speed up transfers between two or more hard drives. If there’s an error while copying or moving files, it will automatically retry the copy and in case of another failure, will skip the files completely unlike Windows which will just cancel the whole copy operation.

Teracopy also gives you a chance to try and recopy files at the end of the copy operation. It can also take over the Windows Explorer functions by integrating itself into the Windows Shell.  You can make it the default Windows file/folder copier.

This program can also be used as a portable application on small devices such as pen drives and USB sticks. Simply create a folder in that drive and place TeraCopy.exe (from your Program Files\TeraCopy Folder) inside the folder. In short, TeraCopy speeds up file transfers and can pause, resume and verify file copy operations.

TeraCopy is a free download for home computer users (Windows only) and can be downloaded from here.

Why Do I Need a Separate File Copy Tool When Windows has a Built-in Copy Tool

Windows has a useful built-in File Copy Tool and everybody knows and uses it. But that tool is not suitable in cases when hundreds of thousands of files are to be copied, specially when you have to copy an entire disk. Some of the common problems you might face using windows built-in copy tool are as follows:

  1. It can abort the entire file copying process, if it encounters a bad or corrupt file. You will have to start your copy again but still there’s no guarantee that it won’t abort. What is even more frustrating is that Windows won’t tell you the exact path of the file which is causing it to abort.
  2. It does not allow copying files from multiple folders at one go.
  3. It does not provide any sort of customization.
  4. It does not provide any report, whether all files were copied correctly or not.
  5. There is no Stop, Pause or Resume File Copy feature.
  6. The speed of file copying process is too slow compared to some other file copy tools.
  7. Very limited features, when you talk about attributes, files sizes, date stamps etc.

If you want to read some file copying speed comparisions between Windows Copy and TeraCopy, click here.

A similar but hidden free tool from Microsoft called RichCopy (similar to TeraCopy) was the single most popular piece of content published on Technet. So, TeraCopy would get a similar response. You can get RichCopy from here. RichCopy has a few additional features that TeraCopy doesn’t have but TeraCopy still seems to be the favorite.

There would be such an inbuilt copy tool in Windows 8, but until then, it’s better to stick with TeraCopy.

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Finding A Driver’s Version Number in Windows XP

April 7th, 2012 No comments

One of the first things that you need to know about device drivers  would be its version number, so that you know whether or not it already needs installation of new updates or not. If you are planning to update a device driver in Windows XP, you need to check the current version number and compare it with the latest version available, because you might have the latest or best version for the hardware already installed on your computer.

If you are unsure on how to check the device driver’s version number, below are easy to follow steps on how you can do it.

1. Open the Device Manager from the Control Panel

2. Locate the device that you are looking for. This could be done by working through the hardware categories and clicking the ‘+’ icon.

3. After successfully locating the device whose version is you are looking for, right click the name or icon and click on its Properties.

4. Click the Driver tab and look for the Driver Version among the other information stated about the driver. Usually, this is located above the big buttons.

Do keep note however, that you should also pay close attention to the Driver Provider as well. This is because it is highly likely that the device driver currently installed on your computer’s system is a default driver that has little value compared to other device drivers.

When downloading device drivers, do remember to make sure that you correctly choose between the 32 bit and 64 bit device drivers since the device won’t work if you downloaded the wrong version.

Downloading Device Drivers

April 2nd, 2012 No comments

Updating the driver for a certain hardware device would require you to download the driver file from the internet. There are many available sites on the World Wide Web and this usually makes it hard to find the right site where you can download credible driver files. However, you will breathe a sigh of relief and will be saved from all the frustrations once you find the perfect site for download. Below are just some of the sources that you can check for device driver downloads:

1.  Direct from the manufacturer

The best and most trusted place where you can download device driver files would be directly from the hardware manufacturer. Most companies already have their own official website and all you need to do is visit it and download the file directly from their site.

2. Download from trusted Driver download websites

Aside from the manufacturing company, there are also driver download websites that are complete with device driver filesAside from the manufacturing company, there are also driver download websites that are complete with device driver files, which they usually organize by the name of the manufacturing company and year of release.

3. Use Windows Update to download updated device drivers

The Windows Update is also a perfect source for downloading drivers and in fact, ,are done automatically if you want to set it as such. However, do keep in mind that this solution should not be considered a priority and only choice for device driver downloads since the drivers are not readily available and if there ever are files that you can download, are not usually updated.

If for some reason you are unable to download the device driver that you need from the internet, then the Windows Update is worth trying.

4. Download from third party developers

You also have the choice to download the device driver files from a third-party driver developer. However, these files are not usually available and are only designed to meet the needs of a programmer. You may request for it personally or if there are available device drivers for download, do keep in mind that they are not that safe and you are not sure whether or not it is compatible with your system. Therefore, it is still safer to download device driver files directly from the manufacturing company’s website or from a credible website.