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Archive for Hardware

Getting Processor Information

Monday, 30th June 2008 9:16pm
Once in a while I like to get information about the core components of a machine especially if somebody has just asked me to have a quick look at their machine for one reason or another.

One very hand handy application that I have found to be very useful is CPU-Z which is a freeware utility that provides information about your CPU including processor name and vendor and processor features.

You also get memory information and L1 to L3 cache information including location, size, speed and technology.

One reason the application is so handy especially when you are on the move is you don't have to install it but just click the executable.

Another similar application that does a similar job is SiSoftware Sandra

The free version of this software gives wide ranging of the system and also hardware and BIOS details.

However, this application has to be installed and during installation asks a series of questions which you have to answer carefully.

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Category: Hardware | Comments : 0

No booting but fan runs problem

Sunday, 10th February 2008 2:57pm
During the week I had a problem where on switching on my computer it would not boot but just the fan run and the motherboard light would also go on and the LCD monitor would just say "No video input".

At first I suspected that one of the cables on the motherboard had got loose but on checking every one of them the computer would still not boot even when I tried to boot using the Ubuntu Live CD.

A week earlier the same thing had happened but after a few attempts at starting the computer it finally booted but this time it did not start at all.

I got some very useful threads on TechRepublic and so I went on to follow some of the suggested ideas.

In my case I realised that the problem was with the power supply unit. I took a power supply unit from another box and tested it on the computer and it booted straight away and so I replaced the power supply and the problem is gone and the PC is now booting as usual.

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Category: Hardware | Comments : 0

When a memory module failed

Saturday, 30th June 2007 6:27pm
Last weekend I had one of the most annoying problems with my machine and it took me a while to figure out what the problem was.

In Windows the first thing that fell away was the daily AVG Anti-virus update. Every time it tried to update it would say that the file was corrupt. I just thought that maybe the file was corrupt for real but then when I tried to install new applications on the machine most of them wouldn't install and one of files would be deemed to be corrupt.

The moment I realised that it was a hardware problem was when I logged on to Ubuntu and there were a series of problems with and Konquerer giving error after error.

The drama continued when I tried to log on to Windows and I got this error message:

The procedure entry point GetTimeFormatA could not be located in the dynamic link library kernel32.dll

and I wouldn't be able to log on to my normal Windows login but I could log on to safe mode though.

It is at that point that I decided to run some hardware tests and to start with I decided to run a memory diagnostic test. I used the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool and it quickly showed me that there were problems with one of my two memory modules.

On replacing the faulty memory module, everything was back to normal and AVG Anti-virus updated as normal and all application installations proceeded as normal.

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Category: Hardware | Comments : 0

Comparing hardware performance

Thursday, 19th April 2007 8:27pm
Normally I tend to get computer hardware benchmarks from the monthly computer magazines that I subscribe to and sometimes you can get some detailed analysis of a piece of hardware that can help make a decision if you are thinking of purchasing one.

However, the problem is that these benchmarks only appear when the magazine in question decides to do the test which may not be the time you need the hardware and so I now tend to get the online benchmarks. At the beginning of this week I was actually looking at the CPU Charts on Tom's hardware guide trying to compare the Intel's Core 2 Duo E6600 against AMD's Athlon 64 X2 6000+.

After comparing the performance using the charts against different benchmarks and looking at the prices of these two CPUs, I am now beginning to think that maybe there is more value for money for AMD's Athlon 64 X2 6000+ than Intel's Core 2 Duo E6600.

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Category: Hardware | Comments : 1