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How to perform a clean installation of the operating system on a netbook

In my last blog, I reported on the new Acer Aspire One Netbook (Model AO571h) I had just purchased. It came pre-loaded with Windows XP Home. Since I need to connect to a domain, I needed Windows XP Professional on the netbook.

Normally, I check the hardware manufacturers web site(s) for the latest drivers and download them. Then I just wipe the hard drive clean and boot to the installation media. Once it finished installation I immediately install the specific drivers for the hardware installed, starting with the chipset first.

But the netbook's hardware architecture is new and a standard OEM version of Windows XP does not recognize the hardware correctly. I contacted Acer and was told that they do not support the installation of any operating system other than what was shipped with the computer. But their web site had the drivers for all 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista.

It became obvious that I had to add the chipset drivers to the Windows XP Pro cd. I extracted the chipset drivers and found the instructions for adding the drivers into the installation media. I then created an image file from the installation media and opened it up for editing. I added in the chipset drivers that I had downloaded and saved the file. I then burned it to a cd.

The netbook booted right up on the modified installation media and the setup went flawlessly. I installed the rest of the drivers I had downloaded and it's running beautifully on Windows XP Professional.

Till then,
Scott

Monitor your computer's performance, programs and processes with Task Manager in Windows (Video)

Task Manager provides information about programs and processes running on your computer. It also displays the most commonly used performance measures for processes.

You can use Task Manager to monitor key indicators of your computer's performance. You can see the status of the programs that are running and end programs that have stopped responding. You can also assess the activity of running processes using as many as fifteen parameters.

In addition, if you are connected to a network, you can view network status and see how your network is functioning.

If you have more than one user connected to your computer, you can see who is connected, what they are working on, and you can send them a message.

Open Task Manager:

  • To open Windows Task Manager, right-click an empty space on the taskbar, and then click Task Manager or by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC.

Note:
You might need to be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to perform some tasks.

Programs that are running

The Applications tab shows the status of the programs running on your computer.

On this tab, you can end, switch to, or start a program.

Processes that are running

The Processes tab shows information about the processes running on your computer.

For example, you can display information on CPU and memory usage, page faults, handle count, and a number of other parameters.

Performance measures

The Performance tab displays a dynamic overview of your computer's performance, including:

  • Graphs for CPU and memory usage.
  • Totals for the number of handles, thread, and processes running on your computer.
  • Totals, in kilobytes, for physical, kernel, and commit memory.

Viewing Network performance

The Networking tab displays a graphical representation of network performance. It provides a simple, qualitative indicator that shows the status of the network(s) that are running on your computer. The Networking tab is displayed only if a network card is present.

On this tab, you can view the quality and availability of your network connection, whether you are connected to one or more than one network.

Monitoring Sessions

The Users tab displays users who can access this computer, and session status and names. Client Name specifies the name of the client computer using the session, if applicable. Session provides a name for you to use to perform such tasks as sending another user a message or connecting to another user’s session.

The Users tab is displayed only if the computer you are working on has Fast User Switching enabled, and is a member of a workgroup or is a standalone computer. The Users tab is unavailable on computers that are members of a network domain.

Using Dual Monitors in Windows for users who have impaired vision (Video)

I little while back, I wrote an article on using Dual Monitors. In it, I wrote how a person with a visual impairment could use two monitors. Here's a snippet:

"This scenario also works well for those with visual impairments that require a magnification utility. You can use a larger monitor as the ‘main’ display and a smaller monitor as the ‘secondary’ display. Using the main display for all normal functions, the secondary display shows a magnified view of the main display. And without the need for matching monitors, you could pick up a cheap used one to run as secondary. Try your local Goodwill, Savers, thrift shop, etc."

Here's a video showing how to use dual monitors in Windows for users who have impaired vision.

Till then,
Scott

Using Dual Monitors in Windows (Video)

I little while back, I wrote an article on using Dual Monitors. Here's a snippet:

"With newer computers having the ability to run multiple displays, here is a ‘Geek Tip’ for those of you thinking about using two monitors on one computer. There are various scenarios, I am going to describe just a few. I currently have two systems here with dual monitor setups."

Here's a video showing the two different computer scenarios I have that use dual monitors in Windows.

Till then,
Scott

Managing accessibility programs with Utility Manager in Windows XP

Utility Manager enables users to check an accessibility program's status and start or stop an accessibility program. Users with administrator-level access can designate to have the program start when Utility Manager starts. Users can also start accessibility programs before logging on to the computer by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + U at the Welcome screen.

The built-in accessibility programs available from the Utility Manager are Magnifier, Narrator, and On-Screen Keyboard. Narrator, a text-to-speech program, starts when Utility Manager opens. This gives users who are blind or have impaired vision immediate access to Utility Manager.

Using Utility Manager, you can tell Windows to automatically start accessibility programs each time you log on to your computer, when you lock your computer desktop, or when Utility Manager starts. For example, you can specify that Magnifier start automatically the next time you log on to your computer. This eliminates the need for you to go through the steps of opening Magnifier each time you log on to your computer.

Open Utility Manager by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + U.

Notes:

  • You can also open Utility Manager by clicking Start, pointing to Programs, pointing to Accessories, pointing to Accessibility, and then clicking Utility Manager. Please note, however, that you will have limited program management capabilities. You will only be able to start or stop accessibility programs from within Utility Manager.
  • If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from using Utility Manager.
  • The accessibility tools that ship with Windows are intended to provide a minimum level of functionality for users with special needs. Most users with disabilities will need utility programs with more advanced functionality for daily use.

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Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in all aspects of Computer Repair / PC Repair / Laptop Repair. Since 2008, our expert computer repair technicians have been providing outstanding Computer Repair, Virus Removal, Data Recovery, Photo Manipulation and Website Support.

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