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Windows Vista Repair | Vista and XP repair guides - Part 38

Windows Vista Blog

Windows Vista Repair and Resource site

Used Laptops: A Good Idea?

Many people are afraid of buying a used laptop because the don’t think it will be as reliable as a new one. Without the protection a warranty offers, this can be a rather daunting prospect. On the other hand, if you want a deal, and don't demand ultra-high performance, buying used is an excellent idea.

Buying a new laptop is much like buying a new car. The first time you roll off the lot with the new car, it will be very shiny, and all your friends will "ooh" and "ah.” Same with the laptop. As time goes on, you will start to see a lot of other people with the same laptop/car, and it will start to loose much of its initial luster.

Others will get new and better cars/laptops, and you'll still be driving your old one. You might be tempted to sell the old laptop, buy a new one, and start the cycle all over again. However, you’ll find out soon enough that, as with a used car, you won’t get nearly the same value out of it as you would like, even though its not even that old and works fine in general.

What if you could be on the other side of this exchange, and you were the one getting the great deal on the laptop? This is the same principle as buying a used car, and buying your next laptop used will get you the exact same type of value. Why not let that other guy take the big depreciation hit? Of course, you have no warranty, but the price is so low that it won’t likely matter. In the end, you still come out ahead.

One of the neatest things about buying used laptops is that you can get some very inexpensive old models that are perfect for basic applications such as internet, e-mail, and office. My favorite laptop for these uses are IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads, because of their ruggedness. Buy one of these at a low price, reinstall the operating system, and you've got yourself a great little portable workstation.

If you’re a gamer, you can even get a nice little portable gaming rig. It won’t play the latest and greatest games, but with a used Alienware laptop or something similar, you can play many great classic games on the road, with a machine that doesn’t have the same crushing price tag as a new gaming laptop would.

So, is a used laptop right for you? If you're like most people, the answer here is most likely yes. Most people over inflate the risk of the laptop breaking on them, which leads to lower demand, and thus lower prices, for used laptops. You can get a nice used tablet PC, typically quite expensive, for low prices.  If you need the best and fastest, by all means buy new, but if you’re just looking for the basics, give used a try.

Connecting Home PC’s

colored laptop computers

Have you ever thought about networking your smallest laptop at home? If you have a small collection of computers around the house (and a small collection of computer users), you can connect each one of those computers to one another and share data, software, and hardware including a single Internet connection. There are many creative uses for home networking, however it’s an ideal situation when upgrading each computer to the same capability is financially out of the question. On a home network, each computer has access to the equipment of the better machine in the group as if that equipment were their own.

Creating a home network can be accomplished by connecting either an Ethernet cable or Wireless connection. The easiest and cheapest method uses an Ethernet connection, which requires a series of network cards, a cable for each computer, and a router. A network card is used to communicate with every connected computer in the network.

You’ll want to first, select the computers that will connect to each other and then install the network cards inside each of them. Then you’ll connect a cable to each colored laptop computers that will communicate with the server. These cables won’t connect to the server directly. Instead, they’ll connect to the router. To enable Internet access for each computer, this router will need to connect with a modem of the host machine.

You can set up the Windows network on each machine once the hardware is setup correctly. Windows allows you to setup an Internet connection similar to that of a home network. Only this time, you’ll set up a LAN (Local Area Network) connection.

Windows should walk you through setting up a LAN after starting the computer and once complete, you can begin to connect one of your machines to the network. You can do this through Internet Explorer by typing in the address and password required to access the router (the address and password required to access the router will be in the router manual).

Connected to the network, each computer can send files back and forth, open programs on a remote computer, play the sound files and videos located on another computer, and share a single Internet account to browse the web, download files, or chat with someone in an entirely different country.  If a single printer is available on only one computer in the network, every connected PC can send documents to it and print them out. Kids will enjoy the ability to play multi-player games and adults will enjoy the ability to blast a single message to everyone at once or maintain a group schedule.

It’s really advisable at this point to install a firewall application to combat worms, viruses and hacking attempts. Firewalls are a preventative measure – they do not repair. The damage can be reversed by anti-virus or anti-spyware applications. So you should install a firewall on the computer that grants access to the computer, and then install an anti-virus and anti-spyware program on each of the remaining computers in the network.

If you have files that shouldn’t be shared (bank statements, credit card information, etc.), you can restrict their access in one of several ways. You can put them in a new folder and then remove the “read” permissions for that folder. Or you can specify who can (and who cannot) access specific files with a password from within Windows Control Panel.

Taking Care Of A LCD Monitor

The latest monitors to storm the market are the super slim LCDs and Flat Panel Monitors. As appealing as LCD monitors are to consumers, not all people know the positives and negatives to owning one or how to properly care for them.

As a matter of fact, LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is a much more sensitive interface as opposed to the Cathode Ray Tubes which are outdated now. (CRT) and they are not able to take the same abuse as the CRT terminals might be able to.

Anti-Reflection Covering.

LCD’s have an anti-reflection covering of clear film that is damaged easily by ammonia-based cleaner. Using paper towels or any wood-based product to clean your LCD screen can damage it so that it appears cloudy and blurry.

Clean your LCD monitor with accepted cleaners only, and wiping with Pledge and paper tissues could damage it. For the best outcome, turn the monitor off, and then apply wet. (water only) when cleaning your monitor, be sure to use a lint free cloth.  Applying water directly to the screen is discouraged since the water can cause even more damage if it gets into your LCD screen.

Screen savers help prevent damage to your monitors when not in use. An average LCD Monitor consist of a metal grid that charges a pixel to allow the desired color to be displayed.  LCD monitors are made of plastic which are subject to ghost images when left with one image for too long due to ‘burn-in’. Even though it won't cause lasting damage, you should still steer clear of it.

Finally, it is absolutely forbidden to touch your LCD monitor with your bare hands as the pressure applied on the screen will cause damage to the delicate pixels and that in turn would make that pixel turn black and not work.

Images and graphics created on the computer are displayed on its monitor. The best way to do it is selecting the best from several options. Ensure taking good care of your new acquisition, once you have decided on the type of monitor you want.

Check out our website, for more information on 19 computer monitors and flat computer monitors.


Advice About Toshiba Notebook Parts

Recommendations For Upgrading Toshiba Notebook Parts

Everything mechanical, or electronic, breaks down and nearly every computer made is expandable.  This is also true of your Toshiba notebook but to be honest, as far as notebook technology has progressed, it is still not a great idea for you to go poking around in your notebook unless you really know what you are doing.    But there are some upgrades you can do yourself and there are some repairs that can easily done for you by a technician using either generic replacement parts or Toshiba notebook parts.  Then there are the things that look like they cannot be fixed but can be fixed using only Toshiba notebook parts.Then there is the fatal stuff.

So lets look at some typical situations and see if we have a dead notebook or if you can use Toshiba notebook parts to repair it.

Common Laptop Upgrades

Most notebook computers allow for upgrades.  Consult your manual to see what kinds of upgrades your Toshiba notebook allows.  Usually you can upgrade memory and hard drive capacity but once again I would have a professional do it unless you really know what you are doing.

Most hard drive manufactures will be compatible with your laptop although if your doing a memory upgrade or repair you should stick Toshiba notebook parts.  You should be able to determine compatibility by going on line or checking your manual.

The screen for a laptop is not upgradable.  If you need a larger or higher resolution screen then your only choice is buying a new laptop.

Dead Laptop

Notebooks now days are much more durable than earlier days although dropping a notebook that is not in a protective case can cause serious damage to the components and circuits.  Even a protective case will normally not protect a notebook that is accidentally dropped in water.

Parts That Can Be Repaired

Defective notebook screens can usually be repaired although in some case they may not be repaired.  Other components such as the power supply and battery can be replaced if necessary.

Using Toshiba notebook parts the CD-Rom and DVD drive can be upgraded or replaced.

Get more information on computers and laptops visit HP Pavilion Laptop Computer

Utilizing Two Monitors on One Computer Is More Productive

Using Two Monitors on One Computer

You might ask why anyone would use two monitors on one pc but there are reasons.  Known as dual pc monitors, these have a multitude.  A great reason for using two monitors is for someone in the photography market.  For instance, photographers working on digital pictures, trying to view, analyze, and organize, using dual monitors is a huge help.

With a dual computer monitor, you can actually double work and also desktop space.  One of the most common pc monitors is the LCD.  These are aesthetically pleasing and they are very space efficient.  Therefore, one who does not have much desk space would benefit from the flat screen monitor.  Now, for individuals on a budget, a CRT screen is also a great choice but larger.

When it comes to using a dual pc screen, again the greatest advantage is for someone in photography or a person who works with graphics and digital images.  Some of the main benefits include:

Browsing a photo album, putting all photos on one screen in thumbnail view and then looking at the pictures on a full screen on the second monitor whereby the photo could be focused and manipulated.

Editing photographs is also much easier by using dual computer monitors.  For instance, one monitor can be used for browsing photographs on the internet or through some type of photo library and then with the second monitor, pictures can be edited using a special software application program.

Even staying current on email is a benefit of having two screens on one pc.  For home businesses or individuals in corporate America, getting lots of emails is common.  With two screens, one could display all new emails coming in while the other can be used for other types of work.

The bottom line is that dual computer monitors have a number of purposes for home users or individuals in the workplace.  While the pc speed would not increase, productiveness would since the individual is able to stay better organized and multi task in a manner like never before.  This trend has become so popular that it is becoming a normal part of purchasing a pc and screen.

Today, there are a many of computers on the market that are designed to support a dual pc screen without having to pay additional money or time in getting the parts set up.  Therefore, if you have a newer pc, you might already have the ability to work on two monitors on one computer.  To verify, look at the back part of the pc where you would observe two VGA connectors or DVI connectors, or in some cases, both.

If your pc is not designed with a connector for working on dual computer monitors, then you can visit a local pc or electronics store and buy the required parts.  For this, sometimes the hardware is something you could install yourself but there are times when a professional’s help is required.

Get more info on laptop computers visit Computer Laptop Deals


Registry Cleaner – Freeware VS Commercial

Let’s compare both freeware registry cleaner and commercial registry cleaner, highlight each other differences and how to use them for your advantage.

Advantages of freeware:

Pros #1 – No Cost. You need not pay any money to use them.

Pros #2 – Can combine many cleaners for best errors detection and result.

Pros #3 – Some will provide protection for known ActiveX Errors.

Pros #4 – Some will provide auto-backup as well as full backup for Windows registry.

Disadvantage of freeware:

Cons #1 – Not effective when using them alone, must combine few for best result.

Cons #2 – Need human intervention for most of the time, try not to use automatic repairing with freeware registry cleaner.

Cons #3 – Most the freeware cleaner does not provide backup functionality, you need to use regedit and do manual backup.

Cons #4 – You only get limited support or no support at all from the freeware vendors.

Cons #5 – Scan slower, scanning algorithm not optimized.

Cons #6 – Not updated all the time.

Advantage of Commercial software:

Pros #1 – Detect more errors and scan faster, easier to repair even with only one software.

Pros #2 – Auto-backup before cleaning, easily to restore when ever the Windows behave abnormally.

Pros #3 – More advance tools to speed up Windows.

Pros #4 – Some allow schedule scan and auto repair, further enhance user experience with automation.

Pros #5 – Better support from the vendors.

Pros #6 – Provide immune against known ActiveX errors.

Pros #7 – Always up to date following the update of the operating system.

Disadvantage of Commercial software:

Cons #1 – Not free, and some cost a lot.

Cons #2 – Does not guarantee to worth the price unless recommended by reviews.

Cons #3 – Some required monthly recurring charges while most required yearly charges.

Hope the list of pros and cons help you determine when to use freeware registry cleaner and when to use commercial software, you can find the best registry cleaner here or visit the registry cleaner reviews, although there are no strict rules but you can use them as guidelines for your advantage.