Support Alert

                Your pointer to the very best
           tech support information on the Web.

                Issue 64 - 15th November 2001

Welcome to Support Alert, the email newsletter that
points you to the best technical support resources
on the Internet.

Support Alert is free. If you like it, why not share
the good news and email a copy to a friend or work

Support Alert is sponsored by PC Support Advisor and
PC Network Advisor, the standard reference sources for
support professionals.

Check out the following free tutorials available now
at http://www.pcsupportadvisor.com

* Understanding TCP/IP
* How to Dual Boot Windows 2000
* Understanding the OSI 7 Layer Model
* The Windows Registry Explained
* How to Create Bootable CDs
* JavaScript Tutorial
* IPv6 Tutorial

Plus dozens more.



Do you have a PC that crashes randomly for no reason at all?
A machine which might run for days without problem, only to
suddenly hang while you're editing an important file?  Or perhaps
a machine which hangs 2 or 3 times a day, sometimes when you're
not even running any application at all?

If so, I think I might have stumbled across a possible solution.

It all started a couple of weeks ago, when a friend of mine
talked about a problem with one of his PCs.  It had been crashing
at random intervals for many months.  He'd re-installed Windows
and all his apps.  He'd formatted the hard disk.  He'd tested
the RAM and hard disk in a different machine.  He'd taken out all
the non-essential cards.  He'd done a flash upgrade of the BIOS to
ensure that he was running the latest version.  But still the machine
kept crashing at random, 2 or 3 times a day.

In desperation he tried the one thing that he'd never bothered
trying before.  Buried deep in the Advanced settings section of
the BIOS configuration screens were various values concerning the
voltages of the CPU support chips.  Perhaps the problem with this
PC was that the voltage was set slightly too low.  So he increased
the voltage to the next value in the range.

That was 2 weeks ago.  And the machine hasn't crashed since.

Since I heard this tale, I've been doing some research.  And I
have come across 3 more people who have each managed to fix an
unreliable PC by changing the voltage settings for certain chips,
either by adjusting a BIOS value or moving a motherboard jumper.

Interesting, eh?  Maybe Windows isn't always to blame after all.

Robert Schifreen



    - Home PC Network
    - No Freaks Here
    - Registry Info Online
    - Ask the Bank

    - NetSwitcher
    - XP Power Toys
    - Advance Hard Disk Failure Warnings
    - Record Any Sound
    - AudioEdit Deluxe 1.2

    - Terminal Service Problem Fixed (again)
    - IE5.1 Fix for Mac
    - Plug and Play Request Bug
    - IE Cookie Patch

    - Get an iFolder
    - Multiple Monitors
    - Police that Spam
    - The Hat gets to 7.2
    - Burn a CD Online

    - Help users with disabilities
    - Getting AD up and running



Home PC Network
This excellent site contains lots of useful, free information
for anyone who wants to set up a network at home.  So if you're
about to upgrade your PC, don't throw away the old one.  Why
not link them together and get into the world of LANs?  Just think
about the fun you can have with multi-player games around the house.

No Freaks Here
A Support Alert subscriber highly recommends this support site
which, he says, solved 2 of his problems with MySQL and Perl
within 2 hours.  You can't get better than that, we reckon.

Registry Info Online
This excellent site contains just about everything you'll ever
need to know about the Windows registry. So whether you simply
want to improve your knowledge of the registry, or troubleshoot
a particular problem, you'll find the answer here.

Ask the Bank
Answerbank is a great free site where people ask and answer
questions on all sorts of topics.  So whether you want to
know how to reinstall Windows or the distance from the earth
to the moon, someone will post the answer to your query.


Got a laptop?  Sick of having to change your network settings
each time you log in at a client's site, or swap the machine
between the office and your home networks?  You need a nifty
little tool called NetSwitcher, which does all the hard
work for you.

XP Power Toys
Another release of Windows, and of course another release
of the excellent Microsoft Power Toys for tweaking the
system and generally making it work the way you want.
And they're free, too, though unsupported.

Advance Hard Disk Failure Warnings
DiskAlert, from Executive Software, monitors your hard drive
and looks for signs of impending problems.  So you get adequate
warning before a drive dies, ensuring that you can take
a full backup and consider replacing the drive before it's
too late.  It'll even warn you if you're running out of free space.

Record Any Sound
Now this is neat.  A sound recorder which will record, to your
hard disk, any sound which your PC plays.  So if you're using
a client app for an online radio station that doesn't allow
recording of the output, now you can do it. Recommended.

AudioEdit Deluxe 1.2
CoolEdit Pro is probably the best-known Windows app for
recording and editing digital audio files on a PC.  But
AudioEdit Deluxe, now at version 1.2, is a hot contender
and is also cheaper at $40.  Download a 15-day trial now.


Terminal Service Problem Fixed (again)
Microsoft has updated the security patch first issued on October
18th, which fixed a problem with Windows Terminal Service.
The initial release of the patch caused major problems on
Windows 2000 systems.  This has now been fixed.

IE5.1 Fix for Mac
Microsoft has released a security fix for Internet Explorer 5.1
on the Mac under OS X.  The bug could allow a hacker to run code
of his choice on a user's machine.

Plug and Play Request Bug
A bug in Windows 98, ME and XP in the Universal Plug and Play
service could allow a potential Denial of Service attack on
a PC.  Microsoft has issued a fix for the problem.  If you run
Windows ME, check that you get the updated fix, as the original
one didn't work and caused problems on WinME machines.

IE Cookie Patch
A problem has been discovered in Internet Explorer, in the way
that it stores cookies.  It is possible for a Web site to
gain unauthorised access to cookies stored on visitors' PCs
by crafting a non-standard URL.


Get an iFolder
Novell is testing something called iFolders.  An iFolder
is a directory on your hard disk which you can automatically
synchronize with a directory on a remote server, thus ensuring
that you always have an off-site backup of your important work.
Find out more, download the Windows client software, and get
a free demo iFolder account, from Novell's demo Web site.
And no, you don't need to be running NetWare.

Multiple Monitors
Need to know about how to run Windows across more than one
monitor?  This excellent site tells you how to make it work,
and everything else you need to know.

Police that Spam
Spamcop is an online email filter which removes spam and other
unwanted email from the system before it reaches your inbox.
You'll need 2 email addresses, of course.  Publicize one, and keep
the other private.  Spamcop then monitors mail which arrives
in the public box and forwards all legitimate non-spam mail to
the private one.  You simply read the private box and ignore
the public one.

The Hat gets to 7.2
Red Hat Linux is now up to v7.2, with the launch of the latest
release of this leading Linux distribution.  The latest version
includes improved USB support, the 2.4.7 kernel, the Mozilla
web browser, StarOffice, the Gnome and KDE desktop
environments, and more.

Burn a CD Online
We like this.  A file download site that includes the option
of burning your chosen files to a CD and sending it to you
by snail mail.  It costs only $10 per CD, including shipping,
and will save you huge amounts of online time. Clever.


Help users with disabilities
November's issue of PC Support Advisor includes a detailed
roundup of products designed to assist disabled PC users, such
as special keyboards and other input devices.  Read the article
online, free of charge, right now.

Getting AD up and running
Active Directory is the major new feature in Windows 2000
and XP, replacing the WinNT domain structure.  Read all about
it in the latest issue of PC Network Advisor.  And even if
you don't subscribe, you can access the complete article
at the PCNA Web site, free of charge.


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