Phone: (978) 422-6850

Fax: (509) 984-2383

Email: info@allatar.com

Allatar Home Page About Allatar Allatar Services Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) How to Contact Us

 

Q: How do you disable the message, you have items to clean up on the desktop?

Q: While using AOL, I somtimes get the error "WOLS caused an invalid page fault in Module (Winmm.dll, or MSACM.dll or WINMM.DLL or USER.EXE) What does this mean?"

Q:My computer seems to be running slower and takes longer to boot. What can I do?

Q: What does defragmatting my disk do ? How do I defragment my disk?

Q: What is Spyware? Is all Spyware bad?

Q: How does Spyware get loaded on my computer?

Q: How do I get rid of Spyware?

Q:Upgrading - How do I upgrade my system?


 

Q: Q: While using AOL, I somtimes get the error "WOLS caused an invalid page fault in Module (Winmm.dll, or MSACM.dll or WINMM.DLL or USER.EXE) What does this mean?

A: There are many reasons why this may happen, but the most common reason is that multiple copies of AOL have been installed on your computer. Our suggestion is to remove all copies of AOL except for the version that you are currently using. If you still have the error message, remove and then reinstall the version of AOL you are currently using.


Q: Q:My computer seems to be running slower and takes longer to boot. What can I do?

A: Some things that you should try to improve performance are:


Q: How do you disable the message, you have items to clean up on the desktop?

A: Right-click on an empty area of the desktop and select the Properties command.  When the Display Properties dialog box appears click the Desktop tab.  Then on the Desktop tab click the Customize Desktop button, this will bring up the Desktop Items display.  To disable the Desktop Cleanup Wizard remove the checkmark from the Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard Every 60 Days checkbox near the bottom of the display.  Click OK to save your changes.  Finally click OK in the Display Properties display to close it.


Q: What does defragmatting my disk do ? How do I defragment my disk?

A: When a file is saved to a hard drive, the system may try to fit the file into a space on the drive that is too small. If this happens, the system will split up a file and put it into more than one place on a drive, which is called "fragmenting a file".

When you open a file, the system has to get bits and pieces of the file from several places on the hard drive. Think of it as an old LP record, what would happen if you put a piece of a song at the beginning, the end of the song in the middle and another piece at the end. It would not sound very good!

Defragmenting takes these bits and pieces of a file and puts them all together on the hard drive. Now the system only needs to go to one place to get the file. Putting the file fragments together makes it work a whole lot better!

Remember, hard drives and CDROM drives are mechanical and are the slowest devices in a computer.

For step-by-step instructions on defragmenting your hard drive, click on the following links:

Step by Step Instuctions for

Windows 2003
Windows XP
Windows 2000
Windows ME

Hint: When defragmenting a Windows ME/98 drive, shutdown all programs running in the background. If this does not work, refer to the links at the bottom of the Deframenting Windows ME/98 page. Remember running defrag in SAFE MODE is slow - start it before you go to bed!


Q: What is Spyware? Is all Spyware bad?

A: Spyware is something fairly new and comes in various forms and implementations. It can appear to do nothing to your PC, cause slow performance or wreak havoc. In general spyware may do several things, including:

Search for and collect information on your hard drive and forward it to a computer on the Internet. This information can include:

Modifies your browser:


Not all spyware is bad. There are some programs that use spyware to help you. Companies
that use Spyware-like programs include Symantec (makers of Norton AntiVirus),
Microsoft and a variety of other companies. Programs that do automatic
updating over the web or monitor your website visit to provide "appropriate
content" are considered "Spyware". There are many legitimate
companies that use Spyware.


Q: How does Spyware get loaded on my computer?

A: Spyware can get onto your system in a variety of ways:

Read licensing agreements carefully- you may be agreeing to download and install spyware


Q: How do I get rid of Spyware?

A: There are a number of programs out there that can get rid of Spyware. The one we recommend is SpyBot. This is actually a free program; however, the company does ask for donations. Another free package is Ad-aware. Both of these companies make money on a professional version and other software.


Q: Upgrading - How do I upgrade my system?

A: The best place to start is Allatar, but if you insist on doing it yourself there are several websites that provide detail instructions on upgrading a computer. One of ourfavorites is Tom's Hardware Guide (www.tomshardware.com). You can get information on just about any type of upgrade you would like to undertake.

What should I upgrade? Memory First! One of the easiest items to upgrade and get the most improvement in your system is Memory. Get the model number of your computer (usually on a sticker on the back of the computer - do not use the model number on the front, it's usually not accurate). Visit the website of the computers manufacturer and find the documentation for your computer. Look up the memory specifications and requirements. Memory installation instructions are also located in this documentation. Memory is cheaper than ever! For Windows 95, 98 and ME we recommend at least 128 MB of memory. For newer versions of Windows (2000, Xp, Xp Pro, etc…) we recommend 256 MB of memory - the more memory you have the better off you are. You can check the amount of memory in your system by Going to the Control Panel and clicking on the System Icon. Open up your PC (use proper static protection) and check for free memory slots. If they are all full you may have to take one memory stick out and replace it with a larger one.

Faster Processor: Although a bit more in price and complication updating your processor can significantly boost the performance of your PC. Systems that can usually benefit from a processor upgrade are those whose motherboards have a socket A, 7, 370, 423, 478 or Slot 1 or A. Confusing - can be! If you purchased a low-end name brand computer you will probably be out of luck if you want to upgrade the processor (another reason to buy from Allatar!). Low-end computers usually are already maximized for processor speed. In any case you will have to visit the manufacturers website to determine how far you can upgrade. For no-name computers you will have to open the computer, find the manufacturer of the motherboard, the model number and revision of the motherboard. Once you have this information you will want to visit the motherboards manufacturer and find the specifications for your motherboard to determine how fast you can make your processor. Motherboard resources and websites can be found at: www.motherboard.org Hard Drive: The cost per MB or now GB of hard drives continues to fall. If you shop around you can easily get drives for less than a dollar per GB! If your computer has one hard drive in it adding a second is relatively easy. Hard drives usually come with complete instructions - just follow them, if not check out www.tomshardware.com and search for hard drive upgrades or visit the manufacturers website.

Video Cards: Most off the shelf computers now come with video that supports 2D and 3D effects and have anywhere from 8 to 32 MB of memory (Be careful here a lot of onboard video devices steal memory from the system memory!). With 64 to 128 MB video cards out there at reasonable prices it is another easy upgrade to do. Video cards usually come with complete instructions - just follow them, if not check out www.tomshardware.com and search for video card upgrades or visit the manufacturers website. Are upgrades worth it? In summary, generally yes, they can be. A lot depends on the age of your system and how much personal effort you are willing to put into it to determine exactly what needs to be done. If you know how to shop for the parts and get good quality parts you will make out on an upgrade.

At Allatar we can evaluate your system and determine what kind of upgrades can be done. Note: The mechanical parts of your system will usually fail before anything else. These parts include the hard drive, fans, floppy drive and CDROM/DVD drives. The worst being a hard drive failure. Hard drives come with anywhere from a 1 to a 3 year warranty. In reality you will get about 5 years out of most drives after that the failure rate starts to climb. If your system is 4 or more years old, think about replacing the hard drive or at least make sure you are doing backups of important data on a regular basis