We Have A Problem 085, 02/01/10
realised that the battery on my HP Compaq laptop was dead (I tend to use it
mainly on mains power) and, as it wouldn't charge, I bought a replacement. On
fitting the new battery it wouldn't fully charge. The dealer kindly replaced
the battery in case it was faulty but still no success with the new one. Over a
period of time the battery will charge to about 15 percent capacity but then no
more. What can I do?
Calder, by email
chances of two successive battery packs being faulty are very small, though not
unheard of, especially if they are not genuine manufacturer’s replacements.
my guess is the problem lies with the laptop’s charging circuitry or the System
Management Bus (SMBus). This is the means by which ‘smart’ battery packs
communicate their state of health and charge to the computer. This data is
stored on a microchip inside the battery case. Hopefully your friendly dealer should
be able to confirm whether or not this is the problem by testing the battery
for you, or supplying you with a third battery, just in case the first two were
from a bad batch. If the fault persists then I’m afraid that the laptop will
have to go under the screwdriver, and be warned, it could be a costly exercise
if it is out of warranty!
Coast Slow Down
returned from abroad and have connected to broadband only to find that I only
have 500kbs download capacity rather than the promised 2Mbps resulting in my
computer operating only slightly better than dial-up. BT tells me this is the
best I can expect until an upgrade is completed. The property is only 5-years
old and I live in Plymouth not out in the countryside or the Scottish
Highlands. Can you give any advice as to how I can improve the service? I have
read about web accelerators and various programs available over the Internet.
Wimbush, by email
there is no magic fix and you are at the mercy of BT, the equipment installed
at the exchange and the quality of the line connecting it to your home.
So-called accelerators sometimes had beneficial effects on dial-up connections,
usually by compressing image data in requested web pages before being sent to
the user, but I doubt very much that you would notice any difference, even on a
sluggish broadband connection. However, BT has been known to get it wrong and
it’s worth checking the potential broadband speeds with other ISPs. You’ll
normally find a line speed checker on an ISP’s home page, just enter your
postcode but double-check the results with them, before you sign on the dotted
really are stuck with a slow landline connection see if cable TV broadband is
available in your locality (http://tinyurl.com/yckqdos),
in which case speeds of up to 20Mbps are theoretically available. Otherwise you
could try mobile broadband. The price is coming down all of the time and for
basic web surfing and emailing it can be reasonably cost effective, however,
don’t expect a big jump in speed. Some providers claim up to 7Mbps but in
practice the best most users can hope for is between 1 and 2Mbs and that’s in a
good signal area. In fringe areas it can be a lot lower, possibly below what you
are getting now.
from a Mac
I use a
Mac at home and have an important collection of Safari bookmarks for web pages.
My dilemma is that I will, in future, require those same bookmarks to apply in
Internet Explorer as the schools, where I will be working use Windows PCs
Williams, by email
It’s not a
problem and all you have to do is go to the File menu in Safari on the Mac and
select Export Bookmarks. This will create a standard HTML file that you can
save on a memory stick, or you can email it to yourself as a file attachment.
In Internet Explorer on your PC go to File > Import/Export and click OK. On
the list that appears select Import Favourites, click the Browse button to
locate your saved Safari bookmarks file and follow the prompts.
drive usage on my Vista PC suddenly shot up from 50Gb to 150Gb. I couldn't find
where it was being used until I did a disk defrag. It listed a 98Gb avi file
apparently in the recycle bin. I have never had a file that large so I can't
imagine how it got there. On opening up the Recycle Bin I found it to be empty.
I can find no way of deleting this .avi file because it doesn't appear in any
file or folder.
is you clicked on a web page link and accidentally downloaded the monster .avi
file without realising it. Normally you can get rid of large files like this
without any problems but Vistas’ Recycle Bin does seem to have a mind of its
own and more than its fair share of problems so here’s a simple procedure that
will allow you to permanently empty it and reclaim the space.
Start > Computer then Tools > Folder Options and select the View tab.
Scroll down the list to ‘Hidden Files and Folders’, select ‘Show Hidden Files
and Folders’ and uncheck ‘Hide Protected Operating System Files’ and click OK.
If you now double-click the C: drive icon you should see a folder on the list
called $Recycle.Bin. Right click on it, select Delete and click Confirm. A User
Access Control (UAC) message will now appear with more dire warnings, click
Continue then click Yes or OK on the subsequent warning screens that pop up.
When all of the ‘hidden’ Recycle Bins have gone reboot the PC and the new Bin
that appears should operate as normal.
Maybury 2010 3011