Probz.com/WindowsReinstall.com Newsletter (Winrag) - ( 14th February 2005 )

  Valentines Edition - Love Thy Computer 

Season 2 - Issue 9

 (c) www.Windowsreinstall.com, Mark Walmsley 2005

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Welcome

  

Welcome, its time for issue 9, season 2. Happy Valentines to all and remember not to forget your computer this year. I am sure it would love a Hard Drive upgrade, and if so check out our guides to installing drives larger than 137GB on both XP and 2000. We also have some great guides to setting up and configuring user accounts, and software review for History Sweep, another great way to cover you tracks on your computer.

Anyway that's enough for now, see you all next issue.  

Mark

  

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Anyway, we hope you enjoy this issue, if you wish to have a subject covered, wish to send feedback or have an article of your own you want featured then mail newsletter@windowsreinstall.com

 

    

Software Review - HistorySweep

 

 

HistorySweep is a simple, yet powerful, privacy protection tool which removes the browsing history trail that is created on your machine when you surf the internet. HistorySweep will protect your privacy in four of the top web browsers on the market (Internet Explorer, AOL Browser, Netscape, and Opera) using industry standard encryption to eliminate your history files beyond all practical recovery.

As an extra bonus HistorySweep will also speed up your machine and free up hard drive space by allowing you to remove temporary Windows files which are no longer needed. Additionally, HistorySweep comes with a FREE Popup Killer which will disallow web sites from opening annoying popup windows on your computer.

This software covers all possible places where information could be found, including AOL browser, Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, Firefox, many different toolbar, also Windows, security setting plus much much more. 

You can use this software to erase all your activity, so that nobody at your work, home, or even on the net will be able to tell what you have been up to. 

Our advise, get this essential piece of software now.... 

Review rating: 4/5

Click here to buy online now 

 

  

 

2  Game Review - Sparta – Ancient Wars

 

Sparta is for sure one of the legendary cities of ancient times and home of the mighty and fearless Spartans. Everyone has heard of the storied legend from the war against Troy, where hero Achilles fought a great battle. But someone might know more details from history or Latin at school, than from the movies. Many battles were held against other races around Peleponnes, to guide Sparta to the leading power around the Mediterranean Sea.

IMC is proud to announce a brand new real time strategy game on behalf of a veiled international known development team.

Based on the historical background of Spartans high culture, there will appear huge ancient battles on your screen, enabled by a brand new stunning 3D engine.

The well known Persian Wars will be only a part of a long and amazing journey through the ancient ages of war. In more than 30 diversified and wide missions „Sparta – Ancient wars" will tell a bold and tense storyline to bring the old times back to life again. Three campaigns from different perceptions tell a tale of martial conflicts, diplomatic manoeuvres and familiar tragedies. The rise and fall of legendary races and mighty heroes will catch all your attention.

„Sparta – Ancient Wars" will push the scale of graphics and game play to the next level, thanks to the brand new high-end „Ancient Wars" 3D engine. It supports all Direct X 9 features and graphics at the same quality level as shooters (maybe a bit too much. We surely can not can not compare to HL2 and Doom 3) have today. This was never seen before in real time strategy games! In addition, „Sparta – Ancient Wars" will feature realistic game play and well-balanced battles with many different units. All of them will be able to walk on land, ride on horses or travel on mighty battleships, to deliver stunning battle scenes with no unit limitations on water and on land! Additional brand new innovative features will be unveiled later.

„Sparta – Ancient Wars" is only the first part of a planed series named „Ancient Wars". Its main goal is to deliver innovative and high quality real time strategy based on historical events and timelines, and not to feature myths or legends.

Further information on the development team, the brand new innovative features and more screenshots & artwork of „Sparta – Ancient Wars" will be released in the next few weeks, prior to GDC and E3. First playable scenes will be shown to interested editors behind closed doors at this year's E3 in Los Angeles.

Features:

  • Real time strategy game, orientated on historic timeline

  • Revolutionary „Ancient Wars" 3D Engine providing many innovative features

  • Three campaigns with different races

  • More than 30 stunning missions

  • Awesome directed battles without a limitation of unit numbers

  • Fighting at sea and on land

    Name: Sparta – Ancient Wars
    Genre: Real time strategy
    Platform: PC/CD-ROM (DVD-ROM)
    Release: 2006


 

  

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

3  True Story - The Need for Backup

  

By Kevin J. Vella

Public Relations Manager

Uniblue Systems

http://www.liutilities.com/

 

I really hope that what you are going to read in the next few lines has never happened to you.  It was a Sunday, Sunday the 23rd November 2003 at 4 p.m. to be precise.  I was in my final months of Graduate Business School, working on a paper due the following week.  Also, two chapters of my research project were ready and stashed on my hard drive – no hard copies, just bits and bytes created over a three months.  I was punching away at my keyboard when all of a sudden, my notebook slowed dramatically. I started closing down open applications in the hope of speeding up my machine.  I was not too worried though as this had happened to me before.  My fix was the usual reboot.  While my machine was rebooting I obliviously went to fix myself a sandwich.  When I returned to my desk, I saw a black screen with a one short phrase: “drive C not present, retry, ignore, abort?”  Naturally, I clicked retry. Seconds after the screen went black.  I felt an eeriness seeping through my innards.  I tried rebooting again.  White words, blank screen, panic. Reboot again and again. My mind, glued up. I spent the next ten hours playing with this blessed machine.  The next day, I took the hard drive to her office to try taking an image of the blessed device. The result: nothing, except anger, loss and regret.

I lost 2.5 Gigabytes – two years worth of assignments, documents, lecture notes and articles. On top of that, the notebook that I was using was the same one I used at work.  On it I also had stored four years worth of work documents, brochures, customer databases, emails, email addresses, marketing plans, competitive information, and much more.  Nothing was backed up and hardly little was printed.

Why didn’t I back up?  I honestly thought that disaster happens to other people. I thought of backup as a tedious procedure to take all the files on one drive and individually stick them onto floppies or on some other storage device.  I firmly believed that my hard drive would never die on me while I was studying.  After this episode, I did however buy several USB drives and a CD Burner. I also spent a fortune in CDs to store the individual files I created after 11.22.  

Most people and, sadly enough, most businesses, only react to disaster after the damage is done. This is “OK” because, at least, they are doing something to prevent future attacks. However, can you imagine if I were to put a price tag on the data I lost, the time I wasted in trying to recover the data, the products I bought, the time my colleagues spent helping, the time and money spent to build the customer database?  I put in the region of $50,000 to $75,000 including lost potential short-term revenues for my company. 

My strategy for preventing disaster was seriously flawed. True, you must save and save again however imaging a hard drive in its native format onto a number of media is not a long-term solution.  There are better ways of doing it.  Backup software allows you to take all your data and compress it into an archive that is small enough to be handled on the least amount of storage devices.  My method is expensive and extremely time consuming because there is my physical and constant input while backup software essentially does everything on its own. 

I hope I have raised an urgency rather than mere awareness to the importance of backing up. Over the coming weeks, I will cover two other important aspects – the need for a planned backup strategy (if you have a business) and the features that you have to look out for if you want an all-round robust backup solution.

Ironically, since then I have changed jobs and am now working for Uniblue Systems, the makers of WinBackup 2.0 (to be released on February 24th).  This is how seriously I am taking backing up!

 

    

  

4   Windows XP - Large Hard Disk Support 

 

So you want to upgrade your hard drive to one larger than 137GB. Well unfortunately it is not as straight forward as fitting it and formatting. This will only see 137gb of the drive unless you follow this guide. 

To achieve this requires 48 bit LBA support from the operating system and from your computers BIOS. 

What is LBA ? LBA stands for Logical Block address. This was originally only 24 bits for ATA/ATAPI devices, which meant that the largest hard drive you could use was 137.4 GB (Gigabytes). Now that hard drives have increased beyond this size changes where needed. So came along 48 bit LBA. This has increased the maximum size of hard drives to 144,000,000 gigabytes.

48 bit Bios Support 

First thing you must be aware of is the need for 48 bit support from your Bios, which is located on your motherboard. Without this your large hard drive will not be fully seen. This will mean installing the latest bios update from your computer manufacturer, or motherboard manufacturer.
 

WARNING - INCORRECT INSTALLATION OF A BIOS CAN CAUSE SERIOUS PROBLEMS

There is many ways to determine your bios version, and motherboard make.

To find out the version and mainboard download a file called CPU-Z. It can be found here:  http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php#download . It can tell you a lot about your system.

As you can see by the above image, that my laptop motherboard is made by Hewlett Packard and the version of the bios is KF_KH.f.05. So I went to the HP website, found my computer make and checked out the files. The latest BIOS version for me is KF.KF.F.14. Note the slight difference in the coding, that's why it's best to go to the site and look under the model of your machine or from the model and make of your motherboard.

OEM Motherboard Bios: If the computer is OEM then the best thing to do is to phone the computer manufacturer or go to their website. Be careful that you do this because using a 3rd party BIOS upgrade could leave your OEM version of Windows dormant.

On their website check against your machine make and model number to find bios files available for it and also the make of the motherboard. 

FULL Motherboards Bios: To get the correct bios for your motherboard, just go straight to the manufacturers website.

FINDING Type & Version: The easiest way to find the make and model of a motherboard is to look at it. Yes take the side off your computer and look inside. 90% of computers will have manufacturer and motherboard model printed on it.

To find out the version download a file called CPU-Z. It can be found here:  http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php#download . It can tell you a lot about your system

Luckily Windows XP support for 48 bit LBA support is as easy as installing Service Pack 1 or 2. This enables support for drives larger than 137 Gigabyte. For more information on enabling it in Windows XP with no service pack check out this Microsoft article:

  How to enable 48-bit Logical Block Addressing support for ATAPI disk drives in Windows XP  

To download Service Pack 1 for XP home or Pro then go here : Service Pack 1

To download Service Pack 2 for XP home or Pro then go here : Service Pack 2

 WARNING - EDITING YOUR REGISTRY CAN CAUSE SERIOUS PROBLEMS, DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK

As long as your BIOS supports 48 bit LBA you can edit the registry in all versions of XP to check that XP is enabled for large HDD support:

Click Start, then Run and type REGEDIT and click OK

Go to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Atapi\Parameters\

Next set the EnableBigLba registry value to 1 in that registry key. Exit Regedit and reboot.

Also check out this Microsoft article:

How to enable 48-bit Logical Block Addressing support for ATAPI disk drives in Windows XP

 

   

   

5  Windows 2000 - Large Hard Disk Support

 

So you want to upgrade your hard drive to one larger than 137GB. Well unfortunately it is not as straight forward as fitting it and formatting. This will only see 137gb of the drive unless you follow this guide. 

To achieve this requires 48 bit LBA support from the operating system and from your computers BIOS. 

What is LBA ? LBA stands for Logical Block address. This was originally only 24 bits for ATA/ATAPI devices, which meant that the largest hard drive you could use was 137.4 GB (Gigabytes). Now that hard drives have increased beyond this size changes where needed. So came along 48 bit LBA. This has increased the maximum size of hard drives to 144,000,000 gigabytes.

1 - 48 bit Bios Support 

  

First thing you must be aware of is the need for 48 bit support from your Bios, which is located on your motherboard. Without this your large hard drive will not be fully seen. This will mean installing the latest bios update from your computer manufacturer, or motherboard manufacturer.

WARNING - INCORRECT INSTALLATION OF A BIOS CAN CAUSE SERIOUS PROBLEMS

There is many ways to determine your bios version, and motherboard make.

To find out the version and mainboard download a file called CPU-Z. It can be found here:  http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php#download . It can tell you a lot about your system.

As you can see by the above image, that my laptop motherboard is made by Hewlett Packard and the version of the bios is KF_KH.f.05. So I went to the HP website, found my computer make and checked out the files. The latest BIOS version for me is KF.KF.F.14. Note the slight difference in the coding, that's why it's best to go to the site and look under the model of your machine or from the model and make of your motherboard.

OEM Motherboard Bios: If the computer is OEM then the best thing to do is to phone the computer manufacturer or go to their website. Be careful that you do this because using a 3rd party BIOS upgrade could leave your OEM version of Windows dormant.

On their website check against your machine make and model number to find bios files available for it and also the make of the motherboard. 

FULL Motherboards Bios: To get the correct bios for your motherboard, just go straight to the manufacturers website.

FINDING Type & Version: The easiest way to find the make and model of a motherboard is to look at it. Yes take the side off your computer and look inside. 90% of computers will have manufacturer and motherboard model printed on it.

To find out the version download a file called CPU-Z. It can be found here:  http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php#download . It can tell you a lot about your system.

Windows 2000 support for 48 bit LBA requires installing Service Pack 2 or higher, and then it needs enabled in the registry. This will enable support for drives larger than 137 Gigabyte. 

Check out Registry changes by clicking here

Check Microsoft's page by following this link:

How to enable 48-bit Logical Block Addressing support for ATAPI disk drives in Windows 2000  

To download service Pack for Windows 2000 click on the appropriate link below:

Windows 2000 Service Pack 4Windows 2000 Service Pack 3  -  Windows 2000 Service Pack 2  -  Windows 2000 Service Pack 1

 

WARNING - EDITING YOUR REGISTRY CAN CAUSE SERIOUS PROBLEMS, DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK

As long as your BIOS supports 48 bit LBA you can edit the registry in all versions of XP to check that XP is enabled for large HDD support:

Click Start, then Run and type REGEDIT and click OK

Go to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\atapi\Parameters

Click on NEW then REG_DWORD, and set the value to 1 (On) or 0 (Off)

Also check out this Microsoft article:

How to enable 48-bit Logical Block Addressing support for ATAPI disk drives in Windows 2000    

     

  

6  Windows XP - Tips for user accounts

  

1) Limit other users: If sharing your computer with other work mates or family, make sure you limit the account. Only have one administrator (You) and set the rest up as limited accounts. This will restrict their activities, from uninstalling to installing software.

2) Limit Space other users use: To enable disk quota, right click on "MY COMPUTER" and select properties. Next click on "ENABLE DISK QUOTA", now select "QUOTA ENTRIES", add in the user name that you wish to set the quota on, and then set the size of hard drive space this user is allowed. Click "OK" to activate limitations. 

 

     

  

7  Registry - Custom Login Message

 

Registry - Custom Login Message (Windows XP)

 

This registry tip will add a custom logon message when you login to the PC 

First, before editing your registry remember to always back it up first, just incase you do something wrong. The registry when modified is an instant change and cannot be undone.    

BACK UP REGISTRY: So to open the registry editor click on "START", "RUN", then type "REGEDIT" (No speech marks). The registry editor will now open, click on "FILE" then "EXPORT". From the save window that appear type in a file name (ie regback.reg), now click on "SAVE". Your registry has now been backed up.

TO ADD ENTRY DO THE FOLLOWING: Click on the left hand panel click on "HKEY_CURRENT_MACHINE" , "Software", "Microsoft", "Windows NT", "CurrentVersion" then "WinLogon".

On the right hand panel find "LegalNoticeCaption", double click on it and add the title text that you wish to use, i.e. "WARNING" or "HELLO" or what ever you want. Click on OK to confirm.

Next double click on "LegalNoticeText" and add your message,  i.e. "Don't delete files from my computer" or "Welcome to my computer" or what ever you want. Click on OK to confirm. 

When you reboot a message screen will appear before the login screen with your message. You can put quite allot of text in the message.

 

Disclaimer: This information is provided as is and we cannot guarantee that editing the registry will not cause serious damage. You use this information at your own risk.

 

8 About Valentines

 

Some odd facts about Valentines Day:

Over 80 million roses are sold worldwide on Valentine's Day.

Valentines Day was declared an official holiday in 1537 by King Henry VIII.

Hallmark has over 1,300 different Valentine's Day cards.

The first Valentine's Day card was sent by the imprisoned Duke of Orlean to his wife in 1415

The city of Verona in Italy, setting of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet', receives over 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every year.

Approximately 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are sold in the US every year and the US also holds the record for the biggest heart-shaped chocolate box which was 15ft tall, 15ft wide and weighed over 1,300lbs.

15% of women in the US send themselves flowers on Valentines.

Teachers receive the most Valentine's Day cards every year. Sweethearts receive the least.

Over 1 billion dollars is spent on chocolate for Valentine's Day in the US every year.

The Roman feast of Lupercalia was held on February 14th in honour of Juno, the Goddess of women and marriage.

It's a custom in Wales to send an intricately carved wooden spoon to one's love on Valentines.

3% of pet owners in the US send their pets a Valentine's card.

In the middle ages, people would pin the name of their sweetheart to their sleeve on Valentine's Day and keep it there for a week, hence 'wearing their heart on their sleeve'.

According to superstition, if the first bird you see on Valentine's Day is a Robin, you'll marry a sailor. If it's a Sparrow, you'll marry a poor man and if it's a Goldfinch, you'll marry a wealthy man.

In China, Valentine's Day is celebrated on the 7th day or the 7th month of the Chinese calendar.

The origin of the letter 'X' symbolising kisses comes from the Middle Ages when people who couldn't write would sign documents with an X and then kiss it for sincerity.

Over 930 million dollars is spent on Valentine's cards in the US every year.

In medieval times, they believed that birds and bees chose their mates on Valentine's Day and talk of 'the birds and the bees' continues today.

 

 

  

Conclusion

Well that's it for this month, I hope you all enjoyed this issue, and we look forward to seeing you next month, 

Best Regards

Mark 

webmaster@windowsreinstall.com

 

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