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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to add a User Account in Windows 7

This article details how to add a limited user or administrator account to a Windows 7 system. This can be useful when adding users to the system and will allow each of them to have their own customizable interface.

  1. Log on to an administrator account.
  2. NOTE: If unsure which is an administrator account, follow the next two steps.
  3. Click on the Start button in the bottom left corner of the screen.


  4. In the Search Programs and Files box, type Add user.


  5. Click on the Add or remove user accounts option at the top.


  6. Click on Create User Account in the middle of the newly opened screen.

    NOTE: If this option is not available, that means the account that is in use is a limited user account.
  7. Enter the name for the account (usually the name of the user, but it can be whatever is preferred.)


  8. Select Standard User or Administrator. Read the criteria on the page to determine which should be used.


  9. Click on Create Account in the bottom right.

  10. The Account is now created. If a password is desired, click on the newly created account.


  11. Click on Create a Password and fill in the information.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to Determine When Your ESET Product License Expires

If you are not sure when your ESET license expires, there is a way in the program to determine when it will expire:
  1. First, you will need to open ESET NOD32 or ESET Smart Security. Click on the Start button in the bottom left corner of your screen.
  2. Open All Programs, located just above the Start button.
  3. Select the ESET folder and open the ESET Antivirus program or Smart Security program.


  4. This will open the Protection Status page. The date on the “License valid until” line is the date your ESET product will expire.

NOTE: If you just renewed, activated, and entered your new username and password, then this line may not appear. That is normal. It will be displayed after the program does an automatic update.

Resources:
MicroCenter Tech Support Online. ESET Help. http://www.microcentertech.com/eset/

Monday, March 28, 2011

How to Open Elevated Command Prompt with Administrator Privileges in Windows 7

Certain tasks in Windows require running Command Line commands with administrator privileges. In order to do this, you need to be able to elevate the command prompt to administrator privileges. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Click on Start, then All Programs, then Accessories.


  2. Right-click on Command Prompt.


  3. Click on Run as administrator.


  4. Now you should get a command line prompt, allowing you to run text commands with administrator privileges.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Configure Windows 7 HomeGroup

You will need to have a working either Ethernet or wireless network setup (all computers should be able to access the Internet). Also, all computers need to be running Windows 7.

  1. On one of the computers that you has files you want to access, click on the Start button, then Control Panel.


  2. Once that opens you will need to click on Choose homegroup and sharing options under the Network and Internet heading.

  3. Now a window will open up, prompting you to share with other home computers.Click on Create a homegroup.


  4. You will now be prompted to select the items you would like to share. Please make your selection then click on Next.

  5. Now you will be given a password to allow other computers in your network to access the files you are sharing. Once you have written this down, click Finish.



  6. Your HomeGroup is now created.
  7. On the other computers in your network you will need to click on Start then Control Panel.

  8. Once that opens you will need to click on Choose homegroup and sharing options under the Network and Internet heading.

  9. Now you will be prompted to join the HomeGroup that is on your network. Click on Join now.

  10. Now you will need to enter the password that was given to you when you created your HomeGroup, then click Next.


  11. You should now be connected to the HomeGroup. Click Finish.

  12. Now if you open My Computer, you will see the HomeGroup on the tree list on the left.


    All of your shared files will be in that list.

Monday, March 21, 2011

How to Set Up a Tenda Router as a Repeater

This guide shows you how to setup a Tenda router as a repeater. These instructions require that you already have a working Tenda router. If you don't have your Tenda router configured, consult the Tenda documentation on setup.

For the purpose of these instructions, the router that is hooked up to the modem will be identified as "Router 1", and the second router will be identified as "Router 2" which will be setup as the repeater. Before starting, you need to have a wired connection to both routers using a computer and any available yellow port.

  1. Connect the computer to Router 2 using an Ethernet cable. Go from the computer to the yellow port on the router.
  2. Once connected, open your web browser and type in the address bar "192.168.0.1". Press Enter.

    address bar
  3. You will be prompted for a username and password unless they have been changed from the default. The default username and password is "admin" without quotes.
  4. Under SSID, change Tenda to Tenda 1 to identify it as Router 1.

    SSID menu

    IMPORTANT: Make note of which channel the router is using. Both routers need to be using the same channel. You can change the channel by using the drop down menu and clicking Apply to save the change.

  5. Click on WLAN settings from the menu on the left side. The sub categories will be revealed. Click on WDS Settings.

    WLAN menu

  6. In the WDS settings menu, select Lazy Mode from the drop down menu. Click Apply.

    WDS Mode

  7. Next, configure the existing router that is currently connected to the modem. Start by connecting the computer to the router using any available yellow port. Open up a new web page and type in "192.168.0.1" in the address bar. Use the term "admin" for the username and password.

    Address bar
  8. Select WLAN Settings, then WDS Settings. Select Repeater from the drop down menu.

    WLAN menu

  9. Choose Open Scan. All of the available routers in your local area will be displayed. Select Tenda 1 router, then click Apply.
    The router will reboot. Once it reboots, the MAC address from the second router
    will be displayed.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What is eSATA?

External SATA, also known as eSATA was standardized in 2004 as a means of connecting external hard drives to the SATA bus, as USB 2.0 was limited to 480Mbps and Firewire was limited to 400Mbps. External SATA uses a different type of connector that does not have the L-Shape of a typical SATA drive and has recessed pins to prevent damage from electrostatic discharge.

On the left is a typical SATA connector. On the right is an eSATA connector

An external power source is required for an eSATA connection, and so most eSATA hard drives or drive enclosures provide their own source of power for the drive in use.

An example of an eSATA port
Images from Wikipedia, released under the GNU license: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How to Upgrade from Windows 7 32-Bit (x86) to 64-Bit (x64)

Direct upgrade from 32-bit (x86-based) operating system of either Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 to 64-bit (x64-based) Windows 7 OS is not a supported upgrade paths to Windows 7. When the user tries to run 64bit setup.exe Windows 7 installer from within 32bit operating system, the following error message will occur.




If the user attempts to run the setup.exe stored in the root and “sources” folder of DVD disc media or ISO image, the following error will occur:

The version of this file is not compatible with the version of Windows you’re running. Check your computer’s system information to see whether you need an x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the program, and then contact the software publisher.



So how to “upgrade” from 32-bit OS to 64-bit Windows 7? Unfortunately, there is no direct way to perform an in-place upgrade from 32-bit operating system such as x86 Windows XP or x86 Windows Vista to x64 Windows 7, with existing application programs and data retained. The only way to install x64-based Windows 7 on existing 32-bit Windows installation (or vice versa to downgrade from 64-bit to 32-bit OS), is to do a clean install, which indicated by “Custom (advanced)” installation during set up Windows 7 installation wizard.

Here’s the brief guide for user who wishes to upgrade to 64-bit platform from a 32-bit Windows:

  1. Backup and save existing application settings and data to migrate to new system with Windows Easy Transfer. Note that installed programs won’t be migrated or ported over to new Windows. Alternatively, just manually do a backup and copying of all data files and personal documents, photos, images, videos, bookmarks and etc.
  2. Boot and start up computer using the 64-bit (x64) Windows 7 installation DVD disc media or a Windows 7 install USB key flash drive. Setting correct device boot sequence may be required at BIOS. Check out how to access BIOS. User who has Windows 7 ISO should burn the image to a physical disc with a CD/DVD optical burning software such as Nero and Ashampoo Burning Studio, or uses official Windows 7 DVD/USB ISO Download Tool to create bootable Windows 7 USB flash key drive or write to DVD. In Windows 7, it’s also possible to burn the ISO direct from Windows 7 Explorer without third-party software. User with x86 setup1.box and setup2.box ESD Windows 7 installation files or x64 setup1.box and setup2.box ESD Windows 7 installation files should follow steps to create and make a bootable ISO prior to burning.
  3. When prompted by Set up Windows installation wizard, select Custom (advanced).


    The user is free to create, delete, modify, create or format partition volumes and hard disk drives before continuing the setup installation of Windows 7. If user choose to install over a partition or drive with existing Windows, user will be informed that current installation of Windows will be moved to Windows.old directory.
  4. Install and activate Windows 7 as usual.

Tip: For end-user with a Windows 7 upgrade license, media and product key, an existing installation of Windows must exist for the upgrade version product key to be able to entered and activated properly. Thus, do not format the hard disk drive prior to loading the Windows 7 setup even if you intend to clean install, or else user has to use hack to complete the clean install the Windows 7 Upgrade. The user can create or delete hard disk drive or partition during the setup via Custom (advanced) » Drive options (advanced) option (note: a 100 MB system reserved partition may be created by Windows 7 Setup), or let Windows 7 install wizard backup the existing configuration to Windows.old folder, and then delete and wipe clean the whole partition volume prior to install Windows 7.

32-bit setup installer can be read and run in 64-bit operating system, but the in-place “downgrade” is equally not supported, with the following error been shown in compatibility report after a run of compatibility check:

The following issues are preventing Windows from upgrading. Cancel the upgrade, complete each task, and then restart the upgrade to continue.

 - You can’t upgrade 64-bit Windows to a 32-bit version of Windows. To upgrade, obtain a 64-bit version of the installation disc, or go online to see how to install Windows 7 and keep your files and setting.



The above workaround to clean install Windows 7 works to downgrade from 64-bit to 32-bit Windows 7 too.

Reference:
Microsoft Support. 32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions. http://bit.ly/aP3wnH

Microsoft Support. Windows 7 installation problems: frequently asked questions. http://bit.ly/fV9w15

Microsoft Support. Installing and reinstalling Windows 7. http://bit.ly/4Ajb6C

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Install an Add-In Card

Increasing the productivity and functionality of your desktop computer doesn’t have to be limited to how many devices you can plug into the ports. Many motherboards and cases provide expansion slots that can be used to install additional capabilities like updated Graphics, TV-Tuners, Hi-Def Audio cards, and Video capture.

This guide will show you how to install an add-in card to your computer.

Note: Opening up a computer is not without some risk. Before beginning, make sure to completely power off and disconnect your computer from the wall and all other devices including the monitor, mouse and keyboard. Also remember to use an anti-static wristband, or mat to avoid Electro Static Discharge (ESD) which can damage your components.
  1. Locate the slot in which you want to install the card. The diagram below shows a general location for PCI slots, and it may vary by motherboard. There may also be PCI-Express slots on the system, which will be labeled on the motherboard and in the manual.
  2. Remove the metal expansion slot guard from the back of the case. Some are attached by soft metal and can be bent and removed, while others are attached with a screw at the top and will need to be removed that way. For more information, consult the manual that came with your computer case.
  3. Align the card with the notches in the slot and insert the card vertically in to the slot, with the external ports aligned with the expansion slot on the back of the case. Moderate force may be necessary to get the card all the way in to the slot.
  4. Screw in the metal bracket on the end of the card using the notch on the top aligned with the hole in the computer case. Some computer cases use a plastic latch system to hold the card in place. If this is the case, consult the manual that was attached with your computer case.
That’s it! Your add-in card is now installed.

Remember to consult the card manufacturers information on installing any software that came with the add-in card when you get back in to Windows.

Monday, March 14, 2011

How to Install RAM Memory

All computers require some amount of memory or RAM (Random Access Memory). Many motherboards provide slots for as much as 16GB of RAM. Adding more memory can improve performance, allow more multi-tasking, and reduce the time required for intensive processes like video or audio editing.

This guide will show you how to install memory in your motherboard.

Note: Be sure to use proper precautions including an anti-static wristband or an anti-static mat to avoid hardware damage. Before beginning, make sure the memory is the correct type for your motherboard. Avoid touching the metal contacts or chips.

  1. Locate the memory slots on the motherboard as shown in the figure below. Note that your motherboard may have two or more slots, and the exact location may differ.
  2. Determine which slots you intend to install the memory into. If you are installing one module, it will typically go in to DIMMA1 or a similarly named slot. For more modules, consult the motherboard manual for additional information.


  3. Push the retaining clips outward to allow installation of the memory module.
  4. Align the memory module with the slot by using the off-center notch as shown in the figure below.


  5. Insert the memory module and vertically and firmly in to the slot until the retaining clips snap on to the memory module.


That’s it! Your memory module is now installed. Repeat for additional memory modules if necessary.

Friday, March 11, 2011

How to Setup an Email Account in Windows 7

This tutorial will show you how to get an email account set up in Windows 7, including the download and installation of the free Windows Live Mail program.

  1. Visit the Windows Live Mail Download Page and click on the blue Download Now button to start the download.
  2. When prompted to Run or Save the file, choose the Run option and wait a moment as the file downloads.
  3. Click the Open or Run button to run the file and start the installer and wait a moment as the installer opens.
  4. When prompted with the Choose The Programs You Want to Install screen, check the boxes of the free Microsoft programs you wish to install. If you are unfamiliar with these programs or do not want them, ensure that only the Mail box is checked and click on Install across the bottom.


  5. If prompted to Please Close These Programs, make sure all open documents are saved and choose the Close These Programs For Me option, then click Continue.
  6. Wait a few moments as the installer downloads and installs the Windows Live Mail application.


  7. When the screen displays the You’re Almost Done message, check or uncheck the boxes as you wish and then click Continue. If you are not sure which boxes to check, just uncheck them all and click Continue.

The Download and Install Process is now complete. Now you will learn how to set up an email account.
  1. To open the new program, click on the start button in the bottom left and in the Search Programs and Files box, type in "Windows Live Mail" without the quotes and press enter. The program will open.
  2. If you want to make a shortcut of the program on your desktop, follow the instructions from the last step but do not press enter after typing in the name. Instead, right click on the Windows Live Mail icon and choose "Send To » Desktop (Create Shortcut)".
  3. When the program opens, you will be prompted to enter your E-Mail account information. If you do not have this information, contact your E-Mail provider or your Internet Service Provider.

That’s it! Once your account information is in, your E-Mail account will be set up on your new computer.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Microsoft Outlook Won't Launch

This article will show you how to fix the error message “Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot Open the Outlook Window.” This issue seems to be caused by either an add-on or a navigation pane within the Outlook program being moved in to a position that is illegal within the Outlook program.

  1. On the desktop of the computer that receives the error message, close all open windows.
  2. On your keyboard, hold the Windows key and tap the letter R.


  3. In the Run dialog box that opens, type “outlook.exe /resetnavpane” without the quotes.


  4. Click OK and the Outlook application will open. Note that some window pane placements may have to be reset.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What is CrossFire?

CrossFire, also known as CrossFireX is a platform innovation that allows intelligent scaling graphics performance by combining multiple graphics cards in to a CrossFire specific motherboard. CrossFire only works with ATI based cards that are manufactured for CrossFire use.

CrossFire uses proprietary ATI software and a dedicated logic board in each graphics card to render the on-screen graphics or display using two cards with parallel processing, this can increase performance in games or video editing by a wide margin.

Current CrossFire configurations use a ribbon-like connector attached at the top of each graphics card inside the computer to allow communication and data transfer between the two cards.
To use CrossFireX, you need a CrossFireX certified motherboard and CrossFireX Capable graphics cards. It is also necessary to have a power supply capable of supporting the graphics cards.

Example of CrossFire compatible Video Card by Visiontek

Reference:
Visiontek. http://bit.ly/gCPnsO

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What is NAS or Network Attached Storage?

Network Attached Storage/Server or as known as NAS is simply a storage device connected through a local network connection. For example, if a home office has several PCs connected to the same LAN, you can perform regular backups of each system to the same storage location. For both security and a disaster plan, it is critical that you have current copies of your operating system and personal files made on a weekly or at least a monthly basis. NAS is a great solution, because it offers larger storage capacity plus can be access from any PC within the local area network.

There are several options for network attached storage offered by Buffalo Technology, Seagate and Western Digital. Each NAS comes in a various size capacities ranging from 1Terabyte to 8Terabyte which provides 1000 – 8000 Gigabytes of storage capacity. In addition, each server has built-in file encryption and auto-backup features. These servers are also multi-compatible with most operating systems including Windows, Mac and Linux, and can connect up to 10 computers at once.

Here are some NAS product examples:

Seagate Black Armor
http://bit.ly/IyiSK









Buffalo LinkStation
http://bit.ly/OH7WO








Western Digital My Book
http://bit.ly/flMfP5












Shop NAS on Microcenter.com »
http://bit.ly/ffLh3X


Reference:
Seagate. Network Storage Troubleshooter.
http://bit.ly/dItoYc

Seagate Black Armor
http://bit.ly/IyiSK

Buffalo LinkStation
http://bit.ly/OH7WO