Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 June 27

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June 27[edit]

Undeletable directory in Win XP[edit]

I recently migrated a machine from Windows 2000 to XP. A user's My Documents folder ended up partially inaccessible: the user could only read it, while the admin was completely blocked. The user's problem was easily solved: from the user's account, copy all the files to a new My Documents directory. But now the old copy is still around, it's huge, and NO ONE can delete it, not the user, not the admin, no one. I've tried using the MS-DOS prompt, and I've tried Pocket Killbox. Neither works. Any ideas how I can get rid of this thing? (And, while we're on the topic, why, oh why, did MS remove access to the wonderful NTFS permissions structure in Win XP? And how can I get at it again?) --Tugbug 00:25, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Are you able to delete individual files from the folder? Have a look at this Microsoft support page, it might have a solution for you. Another option is to kill explorer.exe using the task manager, open up the command line and try to delete it again, apparently that can work. Yet another (possible time consuming, depending on your internet connection) is to boot up a live CD (such as Ubuntu), mount the drive and delete it that way. - Akamad 00:45, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Maybe it's a matter of enabling/disabling simple file sharing? Nimur 00:46, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I have an Ubuntu Live CD sitting around; didn't think of using it. And getting rid of simple file sharing looks like the answer to my last question. --Tugbug 01:16, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Have you tried taking ownership of the files? Right click the file, Properties, Security tab, Advanced button, Owner tab, change owner to the current logged on administrator, and click the checkbox to replace owner on subcontainers and objects. -wizzard2k (C-T-D) 01:26, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Inventory of installed codecs[edit]

How do I get a list of what audio and video codecs I already have installed (a) under Windows and (b) under Linux, across multiple media players? NeonMerlin 02:31, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

  • a) Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio Properties, Hardware tab, choose either Audio Codecs or Video Codecs and click Properties, then on the properties tab it will list installed codecs. -wizzard2k (C-T-D) 02:47, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Note that some things are "codec-like" but are not installed as system codecs. These things may be DirectShow filters, Audio Compression Managers, or other application-layer compression/decompression utilities. Nimur 06:52, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
  • b) For linux media players, each one can have codecs in different places, there doesn't seem to be a universal definition. MPlayer, for example, defines all codecs in file called codecs.conf. -- JSBillings 11:51, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Software used by Formula One teams[edit]

What kind of software is used by Formula One teams to analyse telemetric data and do aerodynamic modelling etc? --Fir0002 02:32, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

LCD native resolution[edit]

I want to buy a LCD with 4:3 ratio, but all the 19-inch ones have a native resolution of 1280x1024, which is 5:4. If I buy one of those and change the resolution to 1280x960, to get a 4:3 ratio, will it be as sharp as the native resolution? --Masatran 06:00, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Clarification: If the LCD ignores (1024 - 960) horizontal lines, then it will be as sharp as native...but will it do that? If it will not, how can I get it to do that, in X11? --Masatran 06:10, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Some LCD have a menu to change its action when the signal is not at native resolution, for example letterboxing. NVIDIA control panel in Windows can also alter that, not sure about on X though. Why do you want 1280×960 anyway? Minus the toolbars it will be roughly 1280×960 usable resolution anyways. --antilivedT | C | G 06:29, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't buy an LCD with such a low res anyway. Most LCDs on the market today go much higher. -Wooty [Woot?] [Spam! Spam! Wonderful spam!] 22:18, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Curiously, the monitors at my day job purport to be natively 1280x1024, but in fact they look better at 1024x768 (or at least mine does). —Tamfang 04:24, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

"OP", "GP", in mailing lists[edit]

What do "OP", "GP", etc. mean when used in mailing lists? --Masatran 06:03, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

On the reference desks, "OP" often means "original poster" (the first person who started a topic/question). I don't know if that carries over to your mailing list... Nimur 06:54, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I've seen it in Usenet. —Tamfang 04:23, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
"GP" means "grandparent post". This post will be referred to as a grandparent post. --TotoBaggins 14:46, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
No, it won't. --TotoBaggins 14:46, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it will. I'm referring to the GP as a grandparent post now. --TotoBaggins 14:46, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Touché! --TotoBaggins 14:46, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Thus showing what we all knew: Toto is insane -- Phoeba WrightOBJECTION! 15:00, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Hi-larious! - Akamad 05:34, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Mac USBWireless Utility[edit]

Hi there, I'm having some problems with my internet connection on my iBook G3. When I open the USBWireless Utility, sometimes it scans and connects for a few seconds, sometimes it scans but doesn't locate my Buffalo Wireless signal but finds others in my immediate area, and sometimes it just says "No Device!!" and refuses to do anything. I have never had any problems since I got the USB a few months ago and my windows laptop is working fine with it's wireless card, connecting fine to the Buffalo signal. I have reinstalled the driver and still no improvement. I have been experiencing this problem for several days after updating to 10.4.10 (but not immediately after so I suspect this is not the problem). Everything else seems to be OK, but just no internet. Can anyone help? Manga 12:19, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Panorama creator[edit]

Hi! Do you know about any software that will take six images, representing the six faces of a cube, and turn it into a QuickTime VR file (example) or a similar format? I was thinking about processing images like Escher's Hand with Reflecting Sphere and NASA's image of the day to create views of the world as seen from inside the sphere. —Bromskloss 12:52, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps I should clarify: The six images depict what you see from the inside of the cube. Other ways of specifying what can be seen are also OK. —Bromskloss 15:12, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Instructables has a tutorial on creating Quicktime panoramas using free software which might be useful. — Matt Eason (Talk &#149; Contribs) 15:18, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Connecting Cable[edit]

I have a digital diary SF-4990 How can I link my Diary with my laptop for transfering the data therein to the laptop and consequently edit them?

Where can I find the connecting chord in the UAE?

In the UAE? That's a large place to search! Hopefully you intend to buy it; if it's lost somewhere in the UAE it's going to be hard to find. You can buy a cable in an electronics shop, but you can probably directly order from the manufacturer's website or some other online shopping service. Froogle, by Google, is a good comparative shopping source. Here is a website which might be helpful... Nimur 17:20, 27 June 2007 (UTC)


How can i run my php code?

I have some php code that has been done at school, and is run on the school server, but from home this doesnt work. How can i run my php code when i am on my home computer?

You can download PHP from; they have a Windows .exe installation tool which will set up a command line interface. If you want to use your PHP to create web pages, you will also need an http server such as Apache HTTPD. (Install the http server first, and then when you install PHP, the installer will automatically detect and configure). Nimur 17:16, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Could you go into more detail on how to do this?
There are Instructions for installing PHP on windows on the PHP web site. -- JSBillings 18:53, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I have done something similar recently. Take a look at for an easy-install package that contains PHP - MySQL and Apache in one. JH-man 10:19, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Or take a look at Comparison of WAMPs comparing several packages offering bundled Apache, PHP, MySQL and various other programs for Windows platform. — Shinhan < talk > 13:41, 30 June 2007 (UTC)


I have my Win XP restarting immediately after user accounts appear. I don't know neither the cause, nor the way to fix it. The only strange message I've found is on traditional opening black background: "Primary IDE channel no 80 conductor cable installed". The option of last known good configuration didn't help. Any thoughts? --Brand спойт 18:37, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Not sure how it gets that far, but the message sounds like your hard drive cable fell off? Gzuckier 18:59, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Its possible your hard drive cable is bad, and its getting through the boot process only to crash on a more thorough check when Windows is starting. It would boot up because a few of the conductors are ok, but some may be damaged/shorted. It should be an inexpensive thing to check. -wizzard2k (C-T-D) 01:49, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
The 80 conductor cable simply means that you don't have a DMA66+ cable that has 80 conductors and just have a 40 conductor cable so your BIOS is forced to run your harddrive at DMA33 speeds. It'll just make your harddrive slower, not that the cable is fell off. You should disable auto-reboot when a kernel error (BSOD) had occured when you press F8 at boot up (where you go into safe mode and Last known good configuration) and post the error message in the blue screen to here. A memtest would also help eliminate any RAM corruption/unstability. --antilivedT | C | G 05:00, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

For a possible completely different approach: do you already have Service Pack2 installed on your XP? Is it connected to the Internet? Because there is a famous Internet worm blaster that causes your PC to reboot if it isn't patched. Just a thought, although the description there is slightly different. JH-man 10:16, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

By restarting, do you mean the screen goes black, and then POSTs and tries to reboot in an infinite loop, or do you mean that windows displays a screen like "Windows will now restart", or you get a BSOD? It could be that something is overheating, such as your CPU. It would also help if you told us when this started happening, what you did before it, etc. Computers don't tend to screw themselves up very often, although when they do it's usually windows to blame --ʇuǝɯɯoɔɐqǝɟ 10:23, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the screen goes black and tries to reboot infinitely, but I don't get a BSOD (thus I can't post the error message there as suggested Antilived). Thanks anyway. --Brand спойт 11:25, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes by default it automatically restarts when a BSOD occurs. That's why I've told you to disable the auto restart "feature" and then post the error up here. --antilivedT | C | G 00:13, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

micrsoft outlook / linux[edit]

ok i have two problems 1) when trying to configure outlook 2003 on my xp, sp2 home edition pc i can get it to work with my email address from uni but when attempting to access my hotmail account i keep getting please enter passwword and username box and regardless of what username or password i put in it wont connect, and i set it up to connect to a http server which is what it says to use for hotmail 2) while using virtualbox to run ubuntu on my xp machine i set up a shared folder on my xp machine and went through and set up a folder in the ubuntu desktop that would connect to my ip address but it just says it cant access the folder and none of the files are visible. i'm thinking firewall problem? or incompatibly with ntfs file system?--Colsmeghead 23:11, 27 June 2007 (UTC)