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* TIP: WHEN SYSTEMS BOOT UNEXPECTEDLY FROM STORAGE DEVICES (contributed by David Chernicoff, [email protected])
I recently rebooted a Windows XP system that had been running for a few months without a problem. When the system came up, it hung just after the power-on self test (POST) and all the device BIOS loads were complete, presenting a blank screen with a blinking cursor.
Thinking that I had some sort of coincidental catastrophic hardware failure with the reboot, I started removing devices from the computer. Fortunately, that system had a number of external storage devices, and when I removed an external USB 2.0 hub, the computer booted normally. I reconnected the hub after the computer started and could easily access all the devices that were connected to it.
This situation confused me, so I took note of the devices attached to the hub. Two of them--a personal digital media player and a Compact Flash reader--were storage devices. I had a weird idea: Perhaps the computer was trying to boot from these devices.
Rebooting the computer and launching the BIOS program confirmed my suspicion: When the Compact Flash reader was attached, the Intel BIOS moved the reader to the first bootable device setting in the BIOS. When I moved the reader to the end of the setting, I solved the problem. If I hadn't left the reader attached during the boot process, I would never have discovered this problem.
These days, removable media devices are easy to attach to computers. You can prevent this type of problem by determining how your system's BIOS handles the storage devices you add.
* FEATURED THREAD: MULTIPLE PROFILES FOR LOGON IDs
Forum member "Zwick" would like to know whether Windows XP Professional lets users have multiple profiles for the same logon ID. For example, if a user logs on as "bill," will he have a choice between logging on to his home desktop and his work desktop, or will he need separate logon IDs? If you can help, join the discussion at the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=36&tid=54752
(contributed by Sue Cooper, [email protected]
* REMOTELY CONTROL AND MANAGE DESKTOPS
NetSupport released NetSupport Manager 8.0, remote control software with increased desktop management functionality. New capabilities include a client hardware inventory feature, the ability to collect information about installed hotfixes and realtime system status, an Internet gateway that lets NetSupport-enabled systems locate one another and communicate through HTTP, Delta file transfer, and integration with Windows Explorer. Contact NetSupport at 770-205-4456, 888-665-0808, or [email protected] . http://www.netsupport-inc.com
* STORE AND PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
DataViz announced Passwords Plus, software that features 128-bit Blowfish encryption to securely store your private information, such as passwords, PINs, credit card numbers, and frequent flyer information. Passwords Plus runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows ME, and Windows 98 and includes a Palm OS application to synchronize your PC with a Palm OS 3.0 or later handheld or smartphone. Priced at $29.95, Passwords Plus can be purchased from the DataViz Web site or from select retailers. http://www.dataviz.com
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