Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2006 December 31

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December 31[edit]


In Windows cmd.exe, commands like dir.. or cd.. work (with no space). I can even do something like cd..\system. I can't reproduce this functionality in any GNU/Linux shell. I already tried an alias of cd..='cd ..' in bash. That allows me to use cd.. , for instance, but not cd../system . I also tried the same in zsh with global aliases, but it still didn't allow me to continue the string. Any tips on how I could get cd../system (for instance) to work? Superm401 - Talk 05:29, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Try (1) "cd - && cd system" or (2) "cd - && dir system". Basically, "cd -" goes back one directory. Rest is self explanatory. IN terms of spaces, though... you're going to have to have them. Reply back if this works for you.Andrewtheart 07:49, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
That does what I want in this case, but so does just "cd ../system". The spaces are the issue. Superm401 - Talk 07:59, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Oops, sorry for the misunderstanding. Anyway, I'd take "unsigned"'s advice and tweak with the source. Andrewtheart 08:04, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
This is most likely impossible, because of the way most shells parse the input string. Arguments are separated by spaces. You may be able to get the desired behaviour by changing the source for your desired shell or writing your own shell. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
It seems like you understood my problem. I was hoping some sort of alias could alter this behavior. I'll wait for a second opinion, but I may yet tweak the source as you suggest. Superm401 - Talk 07:57, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
An alias replaces a token by a string. Whatever shell you are using needs a way of recognising the end of the token, and in many contexts that needs a space. I do find myself wondering why it is so crucial to get this to work: I guess you are porting a script from cmd, but why can't you just push it through a processor like sed first? Something like:
`sed 's/^cd\.\./cd ../'`
(I haven't used sed for ages, and would usually do this sort of thing in perl, so I may have the regexp wrong; but it's right in principle.) --ColinFine

Help! CD Drive automatically uninstalled![edit]

Hi I was having problem this morning ripping a CD using WMP 11 so I decided to restart Windows (XP Professional SP2). Then my CD Drive doesn't work! It doensn't have the D:\ Directory in My Computer anymore and doesn't respond to any CD I insert. I'm using IBM NetVista Desktop, what do I do! Urgent! Thanks! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:49, 31 December 2006 (UTC).

Okay, let's see. I'm using GNU/Linux, so I'll have to do this mostly from memory. Right click My Computer, click Hardware (at the top), then Device Manager. Do you see the CD-ROM drive listed there? It would say something like CD-ROM or CDRW, or DVD+RW. If it's there, is there a mark (like a question mark, exclamation mark, etc.) next to it? If so, what does the mark look like? Superm401 - Talk 06:36, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Try Start + Settings + Control Panel + System Icon + Device Manager Tab (that's for Windows 98). StuRat 13:39, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
My mistake. You right click My Computer, then click Properties, then Hardware, etc. Superm401 - Talk 18:40, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes I did that and the CD ROM drive is not even there! What do I do?

You can diagnose the problem pretty quickly if you happen to have a knoppix disk. Just pop it in and reboot, and see if your system goes anywhere.

If it doesn't, you will need to replace the CD-Rom drive.

If it does, then you most likely have UDMA enabled through the BIOS for all drives, and your CD-ROM drive doesn't support UDMA with the stock WinXP driver set. WindowsUpdate has very likely decided that you needed an updated driver based on the controller chipset's identification, and has helped you by replacing your working drivers with something newer. You can disable (U)DMA mode through the hardware properties of the controller, or - if your system worked quite well a few days ago, then you can go into System Restore and choose a restore point prior to that date. 'Start - 'All Programs' - 'Accessories' - 'System Tools' - 'System Restore'.

When you start the system, do you see any sort of BIOS screen? On my machine, it shows the processor, the expansion slots, all drives, memory, etc. If you can get this, check to see if your drive is detected at start up. If it isn't, then its very likely dead. Note that you may have to "dismiss" a splashscreen (Like the IBM logo) to see the details. 08:25, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

my nearly dead computer does this from time to time as well. usually, it's the connection to the inside of the computer for me. if you know what you are doing, you can go inside and unplug the CD drive, check the connection, replug it in, and restart your computer. that ussually works for me.Xiaden 18:58, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Canon PowerShot A620[edit]

The focus/snap button, with the zoom in/zoom out switch on my Canon Powershot A620 has come off in my backpack, nothing appears to be broken, but I cannot figure out how to put the button back on. Is there any guide on the internet of the contents of the A620, or does anyone know how to place the button back on? Thanks so much! --Nevhood 06:45, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

I doubt a guide would help you honestly. Andrewtheart 07:55, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Try taking it to a camera shop, or any place that does small appliance repair. Check you backpack carefully for some other tiny parts which held the button in place which may have fallen off. Then again, they may have fallen down into the camera (does it rattle when you shake it ?). StuRat 13:33, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Nope, there's nothing in my backpack, and there's no rattle either inside the camera. There's a metal disc under the button that needs to fit under a small plastic hole on the camera case, the metal apparently bent out of the hole, and I can't put it back. Should I try opening the camera? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nevhood (talkcontribs) 17:54, 31 December 2006 (UTC).
Unless you know what you're doing, it's probably better to let a camera repair place do the work. Even if you remove the batteries, the flash capacitor will probably still be charged. Touching it won't kill you, but it will hurt like hell, and may cause significant electrical burns. --Carnildo 21:32, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

phpBB dates[edit]

On these forums the dates are showing up as, for example, "e1212Sunday495112", which is unhelpful. I don't know if they're broken for anyone else but nobody's said. What could be the problem? Vitriol 11:57, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Looks OK to me. There should be options in the Administrator Control Panel how to format the date in PHP format, I think. (It's been a while since I looked at phpBB) x42bn6 Talk 16:11, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
That might have been good advice if I was an administrator. Vitriol 18:27, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Go to . At the bottom, I think there will be a Date format option. Change it to "D M d, Y g:i a" (default). Superm401 - Talk 19:06, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
That worked. Thank you! For some reason it said "english" in there. Vitriol 11:26, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

e systems e214 fan noise[edit]

hi, just bought new computer but the noise is driving me crazy!

will the fan quieten down after a few weeks or am i stuck with it? TIA —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:36, 31 December 2006 (UTC).

- Well I've never known one quieten down, You probably just need to get new fan, they don't cost much, Howso-Mchowsoson 13:04, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Also, make sure there isn't a wire or cable in contact with the fan blade. That makes a lot of noise and will eventually damage the wire or cable, which is likely to cause a more severe problem with the computer. StuRat 13:27, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Multiple monitor problems.[edit]

I am currently using a TV set as a secondary monitor so as to be able to watch movies from my PC without burning discs.

However, I currently only see part of the desired screen on the TV set, the top, bottom and sides are all missing. I can see more if I change both sets to a lower resolution, but the lowest my graphics card seems to offer is 800 x 600 and with this the TV set still misses some. Okay, I just found a bit of a nswer myself. When I drag a movie in a media player onto my TV, it does not overlap the edges as the desktop background did.

  1. Why do I have a loud humming over the sound of the movie?
  2. Why are there horizontal ghost lines moving up and down my scren?
  3. How do I alter the screen resolution of this TV independantly?
  4. How can I want mirror the contents of my monitor on the TV instead of extending one desktop across both.

Aaron 14:52, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

  1. prob caused by 2
  2. the TV output signal is defective, presumably because the driver is misconfigured (it's sending the wrong kind of TV signal)
  3. that's something your specific video driver is responsible for, and the display properties sheet (in windows, assuming that's what you're running) is responsible for allowing you to set those independently. For the ATI driver I use, it's really obvious (it's in the settings tab)
  4. I think that this is again a display-driver-specific setting
Regarding 1 and 2, if you're in a PAL country, make sure you're sending the right kind of PAL. I don't know what options are really available for NTSC or SECAM. Also, naturally, make sure your display driver is the latest one. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 16:12, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

CD Drive[edit]

The CD drive on my laptop is going slightly crazy. When I insert any type of cd--audio, dvd, any program--the computer slows down significantly and in some cases the cd doesn't work. If there's a cd in my cd drive, no other music will play at regular speed. Sometimes, when I put in a big computer program, for instance, Rosetta Stone, the computer will slow to a standstill and when I end the Rosetta Stone program, the computer screen clears out and all I see is the desktop image for a minute before everything comes back. This is a NEW computer (got it late this summer) and a nice one--a Dell Inspiron with 80 gigs and a nice processor and whatnot. I think there's just some problem with my cd player, which is one of those dvd burning ones. Any tips? Is this a problem that could be solved by giving the computer to a specialist for a day, or is it a problem at all (just normal?) I'd appreciate any help. Sashafklein 19:15, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

I think your machine is still under warranty so I'd recommend to contact Dell technical support and they should resolve the problem. Mahanchian 19:46, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
If it's new and has done this all along, especially, the cable may not be plugged in properly. An intermittent connection would cause many of the symptoms you've described. If that's the only problem, it's easy to fix, just unplug the cable and plug it in properly. Of course, that will require opening the case, so you might want to have them do it for you so you don't void the warrantee. StuRat 00:28, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
If replugging in the power/bus connections doesn't work, I recommend getting a replacement CD-RW drive. They are extremely cheap. My CD drive was having some of the same symptoms recently (slowing down the entire computer, not regonizing discs, etc), and I happened to get my hands on a new CD-RW drive. Installed it within 10 minutes, booted into Windows, and all was good. Andrewtheart 18:17, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Hard drive[edit]

If I was to remove the hard drive from computer A and replace it with computer B's hard drive, will either of them lose memory whilst they are not attached to the computer? Will they format? Or do they keep their memory indefinitely? -- 20:10, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

No, neither drive will lose the data stored on them. They keep their data indefinitely, whether powered or not. Hard drives are special in the sense that they are a type of non-volatile storage (that is, they retain data even whilst not powered). Therefore, you could theoretically switch the disks and be completely fine, as long as you know exactly what you are doing when you plug in the jumper cables and such. (Not to say you wont run into hardware recognition issues when whatever operating system is on your hard drives boots up in the new computer and senses a whole bunch of new stuff around it, but this also shouldn't be an issue, especially with the ingeniously and flexibility of today's operating systems. But that's a different issue). Andrewtheart 20:45, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Many thanks. And I'm fairly certain I know what I'm doing. ;)-- 21:43, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Note, you're supposed to wear rubber gloves when you touch the hard drives, so a stray spark won't damage them. It's not very likely, but just a precaution. StuRat 00:21, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Huh? Rubber is an insulator, so it will encourage static buildup and probably make things worse. Hard drives come with a steel casing, and as long as you only touch that casing, you'll be fine. If you're feeling paranoid, use a grounding strap to discharge any static that builds up on your skin. --Carnildo 23:53, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
You're right on the use of the grounding strap, but I've seen hard drives with exposed circuit boards. And, even those with a full metal case aren't static proof, as the metal can conduct the discharge to the circuitry. I've also seen hard drives with a rubber cover, but that is questionable as it will cause heat to build up and likely shorten the hard drive's life. StuRat 13:39, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Unlike other electronic components, it's possible to handle a hard drive entirely by the metal case even if the circuit board is exposed. --Carnildo 20:55, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

I have to disagree with Andrewheart on one point. He said: "Not to say you wont run into hardware recognition issues when whatever operating system is on your hard drives boots up in the new computer and senses a whole bunch of new stuff around it, but this also shouldn't be an issue, especially with the ingeniously and flexibility of today's operating systems. But that's a different issue" While that might be true with some things, there is one issue that isn't flexable, which is the motherboard chipset drivers that your operating system uses. When you use drivers that aren't the right ones, you can encounter stability issues, seemingly random hardware misfunction, IRQ errors, and a slew of other things. The safest and easiest way to keep the files on hard-drive B in your example is to either burn the files you want to keep onto a CD/DVD and transfer them to the new harddrive (you can also use usb key, etc.) or to boot from hard-drive A while having hard-drive B as a secondary storage device (for example Drive E:) and either transfer the files or access them directly from the drive. 05:36, 2 January 2006 (UTC)DAnyN

On that subject, if either have Windows Product Activation or something similar on them, both of them will want you to "re-activate" or worse. 08:28, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
It's possible to bypass Windows copy-protection by moving enough other hardware with the hard drive. In my experience, if you move the CD-ROM drive and network card with the drive, Windows won't bug you. --Carnildo 20:55, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
You got lucky with the chipsets, ram, cpu, etc... Windows checks 10 things and if 3 of them change, you have to reactivate. Though the NIC counts as 3 changes. It's explained here. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by PiTHON (talkcontribs) 03:30, 3 January 2006 (UTC).

Computer Virus problem[edit]

Hi, my computer has been experiencing problems whenever i virus scan, two viruses always come up. There names are Look2me and Abetterinternet if it is any help to you. They are in the rootkit it seems. Can anyone tell me how to get rid of them?----Giantmungus9 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:40, 31 December 2006 (UTC).

Virus/Spyware scanners are basically the primary way to remove such malware from a computer. If the scanning program you are using will not remove them, I suggest the following. (1) Go here, download that and run it. (2) Go here, download it and run it (get both the Virus scanner and the Spyware scanner). (3) Download and run this. (thanks for the link PiTHON) Hope all of that helps. Andrewtheart 20:50, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
What is the best Mac OS virus scanner now? Any alternatives? I don't mind paying for it. TIA. -Susanlesch 21:00, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Try Norton Antivirus for Mac OS X. Also see Andrewtheart 21:10, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Great! I will get them both. Thank you Andrewtheart, my Virex died a while back.-Susanlesch 00:12, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Norton did great at first. Then I got what geeks call a "kernel panic." I am going to try scanning without scanning compressed archives (might work in my case). -Susanlesch 20:23, 1 January 2006 (UTC). P.S. It's running fine. Probably just some stray electron. -Susanlesch 05:59, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Andrew those were the first 2 pages I googled as well, however the second one is a bad website, it look suspicious to me and googling "" shows a site that lists it as an actual spyware website. For the original question, I would also recommend Spybot S&D. However, some spyware is extremely hard to remove, don't be surprised if its still there after you do a bunch of scans.--PiTHON 21:05, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
  • PiTHON, I got mine from Google. Hope that's safe. Otherwise VersionTracker or MacInTouch are safe links. -Susanlesch 20:26, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Yea, I figured. That's why I said "The "Automatic Removal" programs look promising, although it's safety is questionable as well (which is why you should try the other programs first)." Thanks for double checking for me though. I'll delete them now. Andrewtheart 21:10, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

The video card I'm planning to buy says it needs[edit]

An available hard disk drive power dongle (smaller floppy disk drive connector is not sufficient). What exactly is a "hard disk drive power dongle?"--Taida 22:14, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

[This] connector, the same plug that your hard drive uses.--PiTHON 22:32, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
It's what's called (rather incorrectly) a Molex connector. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 03:22, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I have never heard those things called dongles... 08:31, 2 January 2006 (UTC)