Solved: ‘Blue Screen Of Death’ When Booting From WinXP CD

Here is a quick tip for fixing an issue that caused me some grief this afternoon when I was trying to downgrade an installation of Vista back to XP on an ASUS F6A notebook computer. This fix may well apply to a lot of other systems too.

When I tried booting from my WinXP installation disc, the system began loading all the files and drivers as it normally would and then froze and went to the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death or BSOD. After a lot of rooting around it turned out a setting in the BIOS was the cause of the problem.

To fix it, I simply entered the computers BIOS while it was booting up by pressing F2 (most computers use the Del key). I then went to ‘Advanced’ -> ‘IDE Configuration’ -> Changed ‘SATA Operation Mode’ from ‘Enhanced’ to ‘Compatible’ and then Exit & Save Changes by pressing F10.

Boot from your XP CD and voila! It should work.

Happy XPee’ing 😉

How To Safely Turn On A Power Supply Without A Motherboard

Here is a good trick for you tech-heads out there. Quite often you need to test a power supply to see if it is working correctly and sometimes you may not have a computer to connect it to. Fortunately there is a very easy trick to turning a power supply on with just a small piece of wire or paper clip. Continue reading “How To Safely Turn On A Power Supply Without A Motherboard”

Exchange 2007: Listing All Mailboxes & Associated E-Mail Addresses

Command for Exchange 2007 Management Shell to list all mailboxes and e-mail addresses.

This post may be a little obscure but this command helped me out a lot today at work. I was asked to provide a list of all the mailboxes and their associated e-mail addresses that are on our Exchange 2007 Server.

To do this you simply need to open up the Exchange Management Shell and type in the following command:

Get-Mailbox | fl UserPrincipalName, PrimarySMTPAddress, EmailAddresses

You can then right click in the Management Shell window and click on ‘Select All’ and then press the ‘Enter’ key to copy the contents to your clipboard. From there you can do what ever you want with it.

My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM

Article first published as My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM on Technorati.

Does your computer frequently jam up? Do you seem to be getting a lot of blue screens? You may have faulty memory.

In this article I will try to explain how to diagnose your own faulty memory modules. The process is relatively simple, can save you money and can also be a valuable learning experience if you haven’t had much to do with computer repair before.

The first part of diagnosis is of course being able to recognise the symptoms, which include:

  • The computer freezing up to the point that there is no mouse or keyboard input possible at all.
  • A ‘blue screen of death’ followed by immediate shut down or restart.
  • A failure to boot often accompanied by a series of beeping noises.
  • Crashes during memory intensive tasks such as photo or video editing, gaming etc.
  • Crashes and restarts during Windows installation.

I had the misfortune of experiencing some of these symptoms a few weeks ago when my computer began to freeze during different tasks especially while listening to music on Winamp for a while or within about 5 or 10 minutes of playing World of Warcraft or OFP: Dragon Rising. Luckily for me the fix was easy, all I had to do was remove the side cover from my PC and apply a bit of pressure on each of the memory modules to ensure that they were seated in the DIMM slots correctly. If you don’t know what a memory module or DIMM slot looks like then click on the image above left.

If you suspect that you have faulting memory then ensuring that the modules are pushed properly into the slots would be the first thing that I would try as this is normally the problem 20% of the time. Make sure you check the conditions of any warranty you may have on your PC first as removing the side cover and tampering with components may void it. Continue reading “My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM”

Can’t find the right drivers? How to identify unknown devices in Windows

Unknown devices in Device Manager can be really annoying especially if you have lost the driver disc and can’t identify the device at all to download the drivers from the internet.

If you have ever had to reinstall Windows on a PC before then you probably would have encountered this issue.

Unknown devices in Device Manager can be really annoying especially if you have lost the driver disc and can’t identify the device at all to download the drivers from the internet.

Fortunately I have a trick to make identifying those pesky devices much easier without the use of fancy or expensive software. Whether is be audio drivers, video drivers, printer drivers, any kind of drivers!

Simply open ‘Control Panel’ and go to ‘Device Manager’. Right click on the device you want to identify and select ‘Properties’.

In the device properties window select the ‘Details’ tab. There will be a ‘Property’ drop-down box from which you need to select ‘Hardware Ids’.

In my example I have the value ‘PCIVEN_8086&DEV_109A‘. (See image).

This is the information you will need to identify your device. (The device in this example has already been identified and drivers installed as I didn’t have any Unknown Devices to use as in my screenshot.)

A simple Google search of ‘VEN_8086&DEV_109A’ reveals that my device is an Intel PRO Network card and also a few websites where I can download drivers. Please know that this method doesn’t always neccessarily pin-point your device 100% of the time and some trial and error may be required but it will at least point you in the right direction.

I hope this was helpful and if you have any questions please leave me a comment.