Monthly Archives: March 2009

How to clear up a partial install of Windows XP

If you installed two systems on the computer and you need to delete the partially installed one, you can perform the following steps to clear the boot information from the boot screen menu.
1. Clear the boot information of the redundant Windows XP.
Before we go any further, I strongly recommend you read the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
Title: HOW TO: Edit the Boot.ini File in Windows XP
a. Click “Start”, right click “My Computer” and click “Properties” to open System Properties.
b. Click “Advanced” and click “Settings” under “Startup and Recovery”.
c. Click “Edit” to open the Boot.ini file.
d. Delete the boot information of the redundant Windows XP under [Operating Systems].
e. Make sure that the default boot OS is Windows XP. (The partition number in the “Default” section is the same as Windows XP’s partition number.)
For example, if the Windows XP’s boot information is like follows:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /fastdetect
The Default section should be “default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS”
f. Click “File”-> “Save” and Exit.
2. Delete the system folders of the redundant Windows XP
Note: Be careful to perform this operation.
a. Click “Start”-> “Run”, type in “%WINDIR%” without the quotation marks and press Enter.
b. It will open the normal Windows XP’s system folder.
c. Then, you will be able to determine the system folder of the redundant Windows XP.
If you have any questions or need help doing the above, don’t hesitate to contact me for assisted support.

Your computer is not infected? Really?

People who think they are immune to virus infections because they don’t see a skull and two bones pop up in the middle of their screen or something obvious like that always amuse me. In this case, ignorance is a curse and not bliss. “I don’t need antivirus, I don’t have one installed, I browse the internet and have never had any infection problems.” REALLY?

Let me give you some facts. Scratch that. Let me tell you a little story:

In the beginning of computer and viruses history, one of  the main purposes behind creating and spreading viruses was RECOGNITION. To create a virus and see how far it could spread, or how much damage it could make, and let everybody know about it. It is to that historical age that skulls and bones popping up in your screen belong.

As time went on and by the end of the millennium, a new purpose had emerged: to make a profit out of computer infections. With that change in purpose, it became obvious that a new characteristic would accompany that purpose: STEALTHINESS. In present day, that is the signature of an attack. And it’s working! see how some people believe they’re immune to attacks?

To compound the felony, the rate with which viruses and other malicious software (or malware) are being created has and continues to grow exponentially, thus growing faster than the anti-virus companies can update their ability to detect new malware. So EVEN with anti-malware software installed and kept up-to-date, you are still at risk of getting infected. One out of every 5 computers with installed antivirus protection is infected.

Is YOUR computer infected? Contact me and find out now.

Duplicate e-mails in Outlook 2007

I had this problem with a computer running under Vista. When Outlook 2007 was restarted, it would download duplicated emails. The following is not the only reason this may happen, but in this particular case it was, and you might want to try it if you have tried everything else and hasn’t worked.

The reason in this particular case was the file outlook.srs –  a file that Outlook uses to keep track of received e-mails amongst other things -fails to flag downloaded emails as received. So when Outlook re-opens and looks for new email in the web server, it finds the old emails but thinks they are new, and downloads them again. For this to be true Outlook must have been set to leave a copy of the downloaded emails in the server.

To solve the problem, the following file needs to be deleted:


Where username is your user name. Another way to access this file is to copy and paste the following string in the Windows Explorer address bar:


That will open the folder that contains the outlook.srs file.

If you need help getting this done or have other problems with your Outlook program, feel free to contact me.

Excel 2007 and Goldmine

Goldmine allows for importing records from an Excel worksheet, as long as you can save the worksheet in .DBF format. Excel 2007 however does not support saving as .DBF like Excel 2003 does.

There IS a workaround within Office 2007.

– Save file as a .csv from Excel 2007
– Open Access 2007 and import the csv file
– Then export the imported data from Access into a DBF file!


Hope this helps everyone who needs it!


Memory is the part of a computer system that stores data. Since all computers really do is handle data, memory plays an important role in it.

The amount of memory a computer can store and the speed with which the data can be stored/retrieved dictate a good part of the computer’s power. While there is more than one kind of memory, for the purpose of this definition we’re referring to the physical memory used by the computer to store and retrieve information during the time programs are running. This memory is known as RAM, which stands for Random Access Memory.

Typically a computer’s memory can be or should be upgraded (replaced with bigger memory circuits) at low cost to a consumer.

Why would you want to do that? Without getting technical, if a computer is using most of its physical memory, it will be heavily using the paging file, a big file in the hard disk used as memory. Access times to the hard disk are much slower than to the RAM, and thus when the computer needs to read and write to the memory, it slows down considerably.

That’s why the solution most usually suggested is to increase the amount of RAM.  The other side of the coin would be to ensure that useless programs (we call these bloatware) are not running, as they consume memory but do not necessarily add anything to the computer’s performance.

While upgrading your memory or getting rid of bloatware can be a relatively easy task, it is best done by a professional who knows what they’re doing while performing such tasks in your computer.  This is for a few reasons.  First, choosing the wrong type of memory can result in incompatibility issues, wasting valuable time and potentially damaging the unit. Attempting to remove bloatware without understanding your systems fully can potentially remove wrong applications “ some of which may be vitally needed for the computer to operate at all.
If you can see this could be a problem you are running into, feel free to let me know.  The professionals in my office can take a look and suggest the proper direction you should take to handle your specific situation.

SQL Server 2005 for Outlook 2007 with BCM using too much memory

As most people know, Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager requires an instance of SQL Server 2005 to be installed.

Unfortunately, when unchecked, SQL Server 2005 tends to hug immense amounts of memory, and even though I had installed the maximum amount of memory that could be used by my computer, I still found myself low on physical memory resources. Using task manager to identify the main culprit, I found SQL Server was using several hundred Mb of memory! I set out to research the problem but found no way to regulate the amount of memory using  SQL Server Configuration Manager.

Also found that a number of people had the same problem, and no solution in sight. Until I finally found a tool that allowed me to set the amount of memory SQL Server uses! After applying it, looked at the task manager again – SQL Server was using less than 100 Mb of memory, with the same or better perfomance than before!

For more information or to get help with issue, contact me.

Slow typing in Vista

I’ve had the annoying slow typing syndrome with my Vista Home Premium (SP1) based laptop. At first it seemed that I had perhaps too much software installed. But my computer has a lot of horsepower so it didn’t make sense that it was lagging. So I set out to find the origin of the problem.

The problem was not particular to any program. Lag occurred when trying to move the cursor, scroll up and down a page in Explorer, Firefox, all Office Ultimate 2007 programs. First, I eliminated some variables and all but a few very essential startup items, and all non-Microsoft services, and restarted. Problem was gone. To test out my method I opened a browser window, and in the homepage I typed furiously and randomly as fast as I possibly could, for about 30 seconds. There was no lag at all. Aha!

After utilizing a systematic search and discovery method, I was able to isolate the startup culprit and the problem stopped. That however was not conclusive, but it was a start. So I enabled it and disabled it in succession with its corresponding reboots, and invariably the problem returned or disappeared. Next I enabled every startup item but that one. Still no typing lag! Then I enabled all the services that I had disabled. Restarted and¦ no typing lag!

It seems I succeeded in isolating the problematic startup item. Ok so what does that program do? It was media related, and the first thing I noticed was that my DVDs were now not playing automatically when loaded into the CD/DVD drive, even though autoplay was set to automatically play DVDs with the correct program. Ok, with a special little registry tweak, I was able to change that and voila! autoplay works with DVDs again!

This should not to be construed as a universal solution for typing delays in Vista, since different computers will be slowed down by different situations. But it does illustrate that there are simple handlings to isolate your problems and get you up and running at the speed you are used to operating. Feel free to contact me for more details.

Happy fast typing!