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									Fundamentals of informatics

         Moskow 2006

Fundamentals of informatics

         Training aid

         Moskow 2006

Chapter 1 - Introduction to Operating

An operating system is a program that is loaded into the computer on boot up
that is responsible for running other applications and provides an interface
with which to interact with other programs. This interface can be command
line based like DOS or Unix or can include a Graphical User Interface (GUI)
such as Windows operating systems.
Operating Systems can be divided into 2 groups: Single-process and
multiprocess. Single process operating systems are capable of working on 1
task at a time while a multiprocess OS can work on several processes at once
by breaking tasks into threads. There are several terms related to
multiprocessing systems that you will need to know as follows:
       Multitasking - This is the ability to work on several different tasks
        at a time. This is accomplished by switching back and forth between
        the tasks. There are a few different types of multitasking:
             o   Task Switching - Allows for multiple applications to be run
                 at the same time. The window that is in the foreground is
                 the active window while the other applications run in the
                 background. Used in Windows 3.0.
             o   Cooperative Multitasking - Applications can control the
                 system resource until they are finished. When the hourglass
                 is displayed on the screen, you would be unable to perform
                 any tasks until the system had finished the task that it was
                 working on. If a task caused faults or other problems, it
                 would cause the system to become unstable and force a
                 reboot. Used in Windows 3.x.
             o   Preemptive Multitasking - Applications are allowed to run
                 for a specified period of time depending on how important
                 the application is to the operation of the system (priority
                 basis). This means that even though you may see an
                 hourglass on the screen, you can still launch or use other
                 application at the same time. If a particular task is causing
                 problems or faults, that application can be stopped without
                 the system becoming unstable. Used in Windows 9.x.
       Multiuser - This is similar to multitasking and is the ability for
        multiple users to access resources at the same time. The OS
        switches back and forth between users.

        Multiprocessor - Having multiple processors installed in a system
         such that tasks are divided between them.
Major Windows Components
There are several major components that are essentially the same in most
versions of Windows (9x/NT/2000) that you should know how to get to and
Windows Explorer is the utility used for file management functions in
Windows operating systems. It can be used to move, copy, rename, delete
files and browse through the directory. Explorer displays the file structure in
a hierarchical tree. The figure below shows the explorer interface.
Windows Explorer

                       Figure 1.1: Windows Explorer
There are several ways in which explorer can be launched including right
clicking "My Computer" and selecting explore or clicking the "Start" button
and selecting run and type in "explorer".

My Computer

                     Figure 1.2: The My Computer icon

The "My Computer" icon is located on the desktop and allows you to browse
through the file structure and set many of the file and folder properties. When
My Computer is opened, you will see a window similar to the one shown

                       Figure 1.2: My Computer folder
One of the most important parts of My Computer is the folder options that
can be accessed from the view menu. Folder options has 3 tabs where various
setting can be configured as follows.

                  Figure 1.3: The Folder option dialog box

The general tab allows you to configure how folders and files appear. These
include web style, classic style and customized settings. The web style causes
Windows to behave like a web page using single clicks to open items instead
of double-clicks.
The View tab allows you to set a variety of file and folder options. One of the
most common of these is to check the "Show All Files" radio button in order
to allow hidden files to be shown.

The File Types tab allows you to control which applications open specific
file types. This is otherwise known as associations which can also be
controlled by using the WINFILE.EXE program.

File Extensions
File naming conventions (Most common file extensions):
    bat     This is a batch file, commands may be put in here that run
    cab      Cabinet file. Cab files contain multiple compressed files.
    com      These are MS-DOS executables
    drv      Drivers
    dll      Dynamic Link Library
    exe      Executable files
    inf      Windows software or hardware information file.
    ini      Windows program initialization file.
    html     Hypertext Markup Language (Web)
    sys      System file
    bmp      Bitmap image file.
    gif      Image file.
    jpeg     Image file.
    pif     Program Information File. Used to start MS-DOS applications
    in Windows.
    vxd      Virtual device driver
    zip      Compressed file

Creating Shortcuts

Shortcuts can be created when browsing the file system from the file menu
and selecting "new" then "shortcut". They can also be created in Windows
Explorer or by right clicking a file and selecting "Create Shortcut" from the
drop down menu. New folders can be created in the same manners.

             Figure 1.4: Right click and choose Create Shortcut

Control Panel
The Windows Control Panel is where most hardware, software and
networking settings are configured. The control panel is shown below.

                        Figure 1.5: Control panel
You will need to be familiar with using the control panel for the
trobleshooting and know the various ways to access them. For example, the
Network control panel can also be accessed by clicking on the Network
Neighborhood/My Network Places and selecting "Properties" and the
Display control panel can also be access by clicking on the Desktop and
selecting "Properties".

                 Figure 1.6:The My Network Places icon

               Figure 1.7:The Network Connections window
Device Manager
The System Properties control panel is one of the key control panels that are
used to configure the systems hardware settings. Windows 95/98/2000/XP
System Properties contain a portion called "Device Manager" that can be
used to update device drivers, modify IRQ and I/O settings and troubleshoot
hardware conflicts. A red "X" next to a device denotes that the device is
either disabled or is experiencing a conflict. Windows NT did not include a
Device Manager which is shown below. Windows NT/2000 system
properties are where user and hardware profiles are configured.

                      Figure 1.8: The Device Manager
Note that you can also get to the System Properties by right clicking on the
"My Computer" icon and selecting properties. In Windows 2000/XP, the
Device Manager looks slightly different and can be accessed via the
Computer Management Console. Device Manager can be navigated using the
arrow keys if the mouse is not working. In the image above, you will also see
the Performance tab. This is where file system, virtual memory and graphics
settings can be configured.
The desktop is the first "screen" that you see after Windows loads. All of the
icons on the desktop are shortcuts to other files and applications. You should
be familiar with the Desktop and know that it is actually located in
C:\Windows\Desktop. Below the desktop is the taskbar that contains
toolbars, the start menu and displays active windows.
The start menu is the starting point for most tasks that are performed on a
Windows computer and is pictured below.

                          Figure 1.9: Start menu
You will need to know how to navigate the start menu and which items can
be accessed from here. Also make sure that you know how to use the "Run"
feature in the start menu and how to bring up a command or DOS prompt
from here. In Windows 9x, you would type COMMAND and enter. For
Windows NT/2000/XP the command would be CMD.
There are a number of keyboard shortcuts to know:
       CTRL+ESC - Brings up the Start menu which can then be navigated
        with the arrow keys. Many keyboards have a Windows key that
        performs the same function.
       ALT+ ESC - Cycles through currently open windows.
       ALT+TAB - Displays a menu of open applications that can be
        cycled through by continuing to hit the tab key.
       SHIFT - Will bypass the Autorun feature on a CD.

Chapter 2 - Structure of OS
MS-DOS Overview
Disk Operating System (DOS) is a single user, single-process operating
system that uses a command line interface known as a DOS prompt. Files
with .COM, .BAT and .EXE can be executed from the prompt. The following
is a list of DOS system files in the order that they are called during the
bootstrap process:
       IO.SYS - Located in the Root and defines basic Input/Output
        routines for the processor. Is Hidden and Read Only. This is
        required for OS start-up. IO.SYS runs MSDOS.SYS, CONFIG.SYS
        and then COMMAND.COM.
       MSDOS.SYS - Located in the Root and defines system file
        locations. Is Hidden and Read Only. This is required for OS start-
       CONFIG.SYS - Located in the Root and automatically loaded by
        MSDOS.SYS. This loads low level device drivers for hardware and
        memory drivers such as HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE. Other
        drivers include ANSI.SYS, DISPLAY.SYS, KEYBOARD.SYS,
        PRINTER.SYS and DRIVER.SYS which assigns drive letters to
        floppy drives. CONFIG.SYS is not required for OS Start-up.
       HIMEM.SYS - Controls Extended Memory management in the
        extended memory area. Located normally in C:\DOS or
        C:\WINDOWS and is not required for OS start-up.
       EMM386.EXE - Controls Expanded memory in the upper memory
        area. Located normally in C:\DOS or C:\WINDOWS and is not
        required for OS start-up.
       COMMAND.COM - This is the command interpreter. It is
        responsible for the command prompt and contains all the internal
        commands such as DIR, COPY, and CLS. Located normally in the
        Root directory but can be located elsewhere and specified in the
        Autoexec.bat with a "SET COMSPEC=". This carries no attributes
        and is required for OS start-up.
       AUTOEXEC.BAT - Located in the Root and automatically
        executed at start-up. Runs programs (Prompt, WIN, CLS etc.) and
        set commands (Path, Comspec etc.). Also calls other batch files.
        This is not required for OS Start-up.

The DOS interface is a command line prompt at which commands are
entered and can utilize wildcards such as the asterisk (*). Many of the DOS
commands are internal which means that they are stored in
COMMAND.COM. The external commands are supplemental utilities. The
following list explains the most common commands and utilities.
       MEM - Shows the amount of memory in the system, how much is
        being used, how much is free and other useful memory information.
       DIR - Shows the contents of the current directory.
       CD - Change directories. For example, "CD \windows\system32".
       COPY - Copies a file from one location to another. Example: COPY
        C:\windows\desktop\file.txt A:\. This would copy file.txt from the
        desktop to the floppy drive.
       XCOPY - This command is used like the COPY command,
        however, it copies all files and subdirectories to the new location.
       ATTRIB - Used to display and change file and folder attributes.
        Example: ATTRIB +H file.txt. This would change file.txt to be a
        hidden file. The various attribute options are hidden, read only,
        system and archive. You would set a file to hidden either for
        security reasons or to prevent users from deleting it. Read only is
        used when you wish to prevent users from modifying the file.
        System is reserved for system files.
             o   The Read-only attribute Before you can delete or
                 overwrite a Read-only file, you must remove the Read-only
                 file attribute bit.
             o   The Hidden and System attribute The purpose of the
                 Hidden attribute is to make the file invisible in certain
                 applications' file list display. These are usually important
                 files the OS does not want you to play around with.
             o   The System attribute, just as the name implies are usually
                 files the OS needs to operate. In most Windows systems,
                 you will find about twenty files in the root directory which
                 are marked both Hidden and System. These two attributes
                 are often go hand in hand.
             o   The Archive attribute The purpose of the Archive
                 attribute is to determine whether a file requires a back up
                 (archiving). The Archive attribute is set whenever an
                 existing file is either overwritten or modified. A new file is
                 usually created with the Archive attribute set. When you
                 run the a back up program it will copy these archived files
                 and then clear the Archive attribute, until the file is
                 modified again.
       VER - Displays the version of the operating system being run.
       SETVER - If the SETVER command is loaded in CONFIG.SYS,
        the SETVER command displays the version table and reports a
        DOS version number to programs or device drivers for backward
       FORMAT - Used to mark tracks and sectors on a hard drive and
        create a file system. When using the format command, everything
        on the drive is erased. Can also be used with floppies. If used with
        the /s switch the boot files will be copied to the disk.
       FDISK - A utility used to partition hard drives and repair the MBR.
       MKDIR (or MD) - Make Directory. Used to create a new directory
        as in the following example: MKDIR MyFiles. This would create a
        new directory called MyFiles.
       SYS - Transfers system files to another disk.
       MSCDEX - Provides access to the CD-ROM. Typically, this is
        loaded by the AUTOEXEC.BAT.
       EDIT - Runs the MS-DOS Editor which is an ASCII text editor that
        can be used to edit CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files.
       DEL (ERASE) - Deletes specified files from the hard drive.
       SCANREG - Runs the Windows Registry Checker which checks the
        registry for errors and allows you to backup and restore the registry.
DOS file names must be unique in the directory that they are located, can be
8 characters or less and contain a 3 extension characters. DOS names cannot
contain punctuation marks. The asterisk (*) and question mark (?) can be
used as wildcards in DOS. DOS includes a couple of keyboard shortcuts that
can be used. F1 will type in the previous command entered 1 character at a
time. F3 will enter the previous command with one keystroke.
Memory Management
       First 640KB is Conventional Memory
       640KB to 1024KB is Upper Memory
       Above 1024KB is Extended Memory
       HIMEM.SYS is loaded in CONFIG.SYS as the first driver to
        manage the Extended Memory are and to convert this to XMS
        (Extended Memory Specification). The first 64k of extended
          memory has been labelled High Memory (HMA). DOS can be put
          here by putting DOS=HIGH in CONFIG.SYS.
         EMM386.EXE is loaded in CONFIG.SYS after HIMEM.SYS has
          been successfully loaded. This is used in the hardware reserved
          384KB of space in upper memory (640KB-1024KB) and creates
          EMS (Extended Memory Specification).
         Virtual Memory relies upon EMS (therefore EMM386.EXE) and
          uses hard disk space as memory.
                       FFFF0h    High Memory (DOS in High
                         to      Memory, Drivers,…) First 64 KB of
                       FFFFFh    Extended Memory

        Upper          A0000h
                                 ROM, Screen Buffer, EMS windows
        Memory           to
        (384)          FFFF0h
                                 Free space
                                 TSRs, Drivers, Programs…
                                 DOS and BIOS data
                       00000h    Interrupt table (1KB)

To display the amount of used and free memory in your system, type the
command: MEM
SMARTDRV.EXE is a disk-caching program for DOS and Windows 3.x
systems. The SMARTDRIVE program keeps a copy of recently accessed
hard disk data in memory. When a program or MS-DOS reads data,
SMARTDRIVE first checks to see if it already has a copy and if so supplies
it instead of reading from the hard disk.

Windows 9x Overview
Windows 95 and 98 are 32-bit operating systems. Windows 95 had 2 releases
- The FAT16 original release and later OSR2 which utilized the FAT32 file
system, added personal web server, Active Desktop and several other new
features. Windows 98 had 2 releases as well - The original version and
Windows 98 Second Edition (SE). Below is an outline of the boot process
and the files involved.
    1.   POST - Hardware tests
    2.   Plug and Play Configuration -Windows 9x is a Plug and Play(PnP)
         operating system. In order for PnP to work, the BIOS, hardware and
         operating system must all be PnP compliant.
    3.   Master Boot Record - The MBR is located.
    4.   IO.SYS - The Win95 file IO.SYS, replaces both of the DOS IO.SYS
         and MSDOS.SYS files. This file contains the information needed to
         start the computer. You no longer need CONFIG.SYS and
         AUTOEXEC.BAT to start Windows, but these files are kept for
         some drivers and programs that use still them.
                  DBLSPACE.BIN or DRVSPACE.BIN
    6.   Windows core files are loaded
            WIN.COM - This file begins the loading of Windows 9x
             system files.
            KERNEL32.DLL/KERNEL386.EXE - These files contain the
             core operating system and are responsible for loading device
            GDI.EXE/GDI32.EXE - These files are responsible for loading
             the basic GUI or graphical user interface.
            WIN.INI - Along with WINFILE.INI and SYSTEM.INI, these
             files provide backward compatibility with older 16-bit
             applications and are not required in order for 32-bit applications
             to run under Windows 9x. Most of the functions of these files
             are now stored in the registry files.
    7.   The startup folder is checked for applications to load on startup.

Windows 9x also replaces many of the DOS start-up files such as IO.SYS,
MSDOS.SYS and COMMAND.COM with newer versions.
Windows 9x supports long file names up to 255 characters. Duplicate
filenames (8.3 format) are assigned for backward compatibility (i.e. DOS).
This is done by taking the 1st 6 characters of the filename adding a tilde (~)
and then a number. For example, VERYLONGFILENAME.EXE would
become VERYLO~1.EXE.
In Windows 9x, MS-DOS.SYS is a text file. It contains settings that are
processed during startup. Windows renames the DOS version to msdos.dos
and replaces it with its own version. It is divided into two sections.
Example MSDOS.SYS file

WinDir: Defines the location of the Windows 9x Windows directory as
specified during Setup.
WinBootDir: Defines the location of the necessary startup files. The default
is the directory specified during Setup.
HostWinBootDrv: Defines the location of the boot drive root directory.
BootMulti: Enables dual-boot capabilities. The default is 0. Setting this
value to 1 enables the ability to start MS-DOS by pressing F4 or by pressing
F8 to use the Windows Startup menu.
BootGUI: Enables automatic graphical startup into Windows 9x. The default
is 1.
AutoScan: Enables ScanDisk to run automatically when your computer
restarts. The default is 1. When this value is set to 1, ScanDisk will run
automatically, setting this value to 0 disables this feature.
Logo: Enables display of the animated logo.
Windows 9x Core Components
The Windows 9x family of operating systems are made up of 3 core

Kernel - OS foundation that provides error handling, virtual memory
management, task scheduling, and I/O services.
User - Responsible for the user interface and handles input from hardware
devices by interacting with device drivers.
GDI - Responsible for what appears on the display and other graphics
Windows 9x Registry
The registry is a hierarchical database that contains the system's
configuration information. The registry is made up of 2 files that are located
in the Windows directory:
        USER.DAT - Contains information about system users.
        SYSTEM.DAT - Contains information about hardware and system
The registry can be accessed with the utility REGEDIT.EXE which allows
you to edit and restore the registry settings. The Windows 95 registry is
backed up everytime the machine is booted. The backup files are called
USER.DA0 and SYSTEM.DA0. Windows 98 backs up SYSTEM.DAT,
USER.DAT, SYSTEM.INI and WIN.INI as .CAB files that are stored in the
hidden Windows\Sysbackup directory.
Windows 9x Virtual Machines
Windows 9x utilizes preemptive multitasking for 32-bit applications and
cooperative multitasking for older 16-bit operations. Some of these
applications require complete control of the system's resources and will not
run properly under Windows 9x so the Virtual Machine Manager creates a
special environment for these application known as a virtual machine in
which the applications can be given the resources that they need.
MSCONFIG - Windows 98 comes with a utility called MSCONFIG.EXE
that provides an easy way to edit the CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT,
WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI files. This manager also provides the ability to
back these files up, modify the start-up environment and configure advanced
troubleshooting settings.
SYSEDIT - Provides very similar functionality as MSCONFIG and allows
the 4 files plus PROTOCOL.INI to be edited. It also provides a search
function and Works in Windows 9x.
Windows NT/2000/XP Structure
Windows NT, 2000 and XP are 32 bit operating systems that run in 2
different modes which are kernel (protected) and user. Applications use
Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to pass threads between the 2 modes.
User mode provides no direct access to the system's hardware. The
subsystems of these operating systems are outlined below.
       WIN32 - This subsystem handles support for 32-bit windows
        applications and is also known as the Client/Server subsystem. This
        subsystem has the following features:
            o    32-bit architecture
            o    Multiple execution threads are supported for each process
            o    Memory Protection - each Win32 application is separated
                 and protected from other applications
            o    OpenGL - Support for 2D and 3D graphics cards
            o    2GB nonsegmented address spaces are assigned to each
       NT/2000/XP supports DOS applications via VDMs (Virtual DOS
        Machines). A VDM is a Win32 application that creates an
        environment where DOS applications can run. It does this by
        making the NT Workstation resemble a DOS environment and
        tricks the DOS applications into thinking that they have unrestricted
        access to the computer's hardware. NT can only support DOS
        applications that use VDDs (Virtual Device Drivers) to intercept the
        applications calls to the computer's hardware.
       NT/2000 also supports Win16 applications with the use of a DOS
        application called WOW (Windows on Windows). WOW runs
        within a VDM that runs as a 32-bit process. If a Win16 application
        crashes it will only corrupt the WOW, but will not affect the rest of
        the NT operating system.
In addition to the above, Windows 2000/XP also adds the Plug and Play
Manager and the Power Management Manager
The boot files used by NT/2000/XP are completely different than Windows
9x and are listed below:
       BOOT.INI - Specifies boot defaults, operating system locations,
        settings and menu selections.
        NTLDR reads this file to know how to load Windows. The
        BOOT.INI file has two sections, boot loader and operating systems.
        BOOT.INI contains the information that you see on the bootstrap
        loader screen, and if you have more than one OS gives you the
        choice of which OS to start.

       BOOTSECT.DOS - A file located in the system partition that allows
        the option to boot into another operating system such as Win98 or
       NTDETECT.COM - Hardware detection program that is located on
        the root of the system partition. It detects installed hardware during
        the Windows NT/2000/XP startup sequence. It passes this
        information to NTLDR and places a list in the registry. detects the following components:
                 Computer ID
                 Bus/adapter type
                 SCSI adapters
                 Video adapters
                 Communication ports
                 Parallel ports
                 Floppy disks
                 Mouse/pointing device
                 Floating-point coprocessor
       NTLDR - File that loads the operating system and is located on the
        root of the system partition. It is the bootstrap loader for Windows
        NT/2000/XP, and is responsible for the following operations
                 Enabling the user to select an operating system to start.
                 Loading the operating system files from the boot partition.
                 Controlling the operating system selection process and
                 hardware detection prior to the Windows 2000 kernel
       NTOSKRNL.EXE - The executable file.
       OSLOADER.EXE - This is the OS loader for RISC based systems.
       NTBOOTDD.SYS - File used when the system or boot partition is
        located on a SCSI drive and the BIOS is disabled.
The registry editors included with Windows NT/2000/XP include Regedt32
and Regedit. For Windows 2000/XP, the Regedt32 tool should be used while
Windows NT can use either. Most of the registry keys (the static items) are
contained     in     hive     files which     are    located      in    the
\WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG directory. The 5 hives are SAM, security,
software, system and default.
In Windows 2000/XP most system administration tasks are performed in the
Computer Management Console that contains all of the various Microsoft
Management Consoles (MMCs) in one location.
Windows 2000/XP filenames can be up to 215 characters long and cannot
contain the following: <>\/?*"|
Windows 2000/XP support PnP while NT does not.
Windows 2000/XP have a command called RUNAS, which allows a user to
run specific tools and programs with different permissions than the user's
current logon provides.
              RUNAS [/profile] [/env] [/netonly]
                /user:UserAccountName program
         /profile Name of the user's profile.
         /env Specifies that the current network environment be used instead
          of the user's local environment.
         /netonly Indicates that the user information specified is for remote
          access only.
         /user: UserAccountName Name of the user account under which to
          run the program. Format should be user@domain or domain\user.
         program The program or command to run using the account
          specified in /user.
File Systems
The following are common hard disk configurations.
         Partition - A partition is a portion of a physical hard disk. A
          partition can be primary or extended
         Primary Partition - This is a bootable partition. One primary
          partition can be made active.
         Extended Partition - An extended partition is made from the free
          space on a hard disk and can be broken down into smaller logical
          drives. There can only be one of these per hard disk.
         Logical Drive - These are a primary partition or portions of an
          extended partition that are assigned a drive letter.
         Volume - This is a disk or part of a disk that is combined with space
          from the same or another disk to create one larger volume. This

         volume can be formatted and assigned a drive letter like a logical
         drive, but can span more than one hard disk. A volume set can be
         extended without starting over, however to make it smaller, the set
         must be deleted and re-created.
There are various management tools that can be used to configure drives. The
Disk Management MMC is a snap-in for the Computer Management Console
in Windows 2000/XP (See Figure 2.1). You can create partitions, volume
sets, logical drives, format disks, etc. NT 4.0 had a similar tool called the
"Disk Administrator". DOS and Windows 9x utilize the FDISK utility.

             Figure 2.1: Disk Management in Windows 2000/XP
When discussing Windows file systems you need to understand what File
Allocation Tables (FAT) are. FAT is a table that an operating system
maintains in order to map the clusters (the smallest unit of storage) that a file
has been stored in. When files are written to a hard disk, the files are stored
in one or more clusters that may be spread out all over the hard disk. The
table allows Windows to find the "pieces" of your file and reassemble them
when you wish to open it.
There are several different types of file systems that are explained below:
        FAT16 - FAT16 table entries are 16 bits in length limiting hard disk
         sizes to 2GB. Note that even if the OS supports larger partition
         sizes, the BIOS must also support logical block addressing(LBA) or
         the maximum partition that you will be able to create will be either
         504 or 528 MB.

   FAT32 - Created to allow more efficient use of hard drive space and
    allowed for partitions up to 8GB using 4KB cluster sizes. In order to
    format a drive as FAT32, the "Large disk Support" must be enabled
    when starting FDISK. FAT32 is not compatible with older versions
    of Windows including Windows 95A and NT. In Windows 9.x, the
    CVT1.EXE can be used to convert FAT16 partitions to FAT32.
   NTFS4 - NTFS4 is the file system used by Windows NT that
    provides increased security and reliability over other file systems.
    On an NTFS partition, you can't boot from a DOS boot disk - this is
    one of the security features of NTFS. Additionally, a floppy disk
    cannot be formatted as NTFS. For this reason it might not be a bad
    idea to have a small partition formatted FAT so that you can boot
    into DOS for recovery purposes. In order to convert a FAT partition
    to NTFS, NT includes a utility called convert.exe.
   NTFS5 - This is the native file system for Windows 2000/XP.
    NTFS5 has many new features as follows:
        o    Encrypted File System (EFS) - Windows 2000/XP NTFS
             volumes have the ability to encrypt data on the disk itself.
             Cipher.exe is a command line utility that allows for bulk or
             scripted file encryption.
        o    Disk Quotas - Provides the ability to set space limitations
             on users on a per volume basis.
        o    Defragmentation - Windows 2000/XP now includes a disk
             defragmenter that can be used on NTFS partitions.
        o    Volume Mount Points - Provides the ability to add new
             volumes to the file system without having to assign a drive
             letter to them. This feature is only available on an NTFS
             partition using dynamic volumes.
        o    Compression - In Windows 2000/XP files, folders and
             entire drives can be compressed by right clicking on the
             item to be compressed and selecting "properties" and then
    The convert.exe utility can be used to convert a FAT or FAT32
    partition to NTFS
   HPFS - Stands for High Performance File System and is used with
    OS/2 operating systems. This file system can only be accessed by
    Windows NT 3.51 and OS/2.

Windows 9x operating systems also employ VFAT which is a protected-
mode FAT file system that prevents DOS and the BIOS from accessing
resources. VFAT is the replacement for
SMARTDRV.SYS and uses a driver called VCACHE.
   Operating System          Supported File Systems
   DOS                       FAT16
   Windows 3.x               FAT16
   Windows 95                FAT16
   Windows 95 OSR2           FAT16, FAT32
   Windows 98                FAT16, FAT32
   Windows 98SE              FAT16, FAT32
   Windows NT 4              FAT16, NTFS
   Windows 2000              FAT16, FAT32, NTFS

In addition to the disk administration utilities previously mentioned,
information about a drive can be displayed by right clicking the drive in
My Computer or Windows Explorer and selecting "Properties". In a
Windows XP system, a window like the one below will appear (see
Figure 2.2).

                 Figure 2.2: Properties dialog box
Here you can view the amount of used and free space on the drive, the
capacity and the file system. The tools tab provides access to
defragmentation, scandisk and backup utilities.
Backing up drives allows you to recover your data or even the entire system
if a catastrophe occurs. There are several different types of backup:
        Full - copies all files and marks them as being backed up.
        Incremental - copies only files created/changed since last full
         backup and marks them as being backed up.
        Differential - copies only files created/changed since last full
         backup and doesn’t mark them as being backed up.
        Daily - copies only files created/changed today and doesn’t mark
         them as being backed up.
In DOS backups can be run with the BACKUP command. There are several
switches that can be added to the command.
        /S - Forces all files and subdirectories to be backed up.
        /M - Only modified files are backed up.
        /D - Backs up files modified after a specific date.
        /T - Backs up files modified after a specific time.
The     Windows       98   backup   utility   can     be     accessed    via
StartProgramsAccessoriesSystem ToolsBackup and also via right
clicking on a drive in My Computer and selecting the tools tab as previously
There are several different hard drive utilities that can be found in the various
versions of Windows that are listed below:
        CHKDSK - This utility is run from a DOS prompt and recovers lost
         allocation units on a drive that can occur when an application or the
         system are ended unexpectedly. The /F switch converts the lost units
         into a format such that the units can be viewed and deleted. Can be
         found in all versions of windows.
        SCANDISK - Is a utility that checks your hard disk for logical (lost
         clusters, cross-linked files, directory structure) and physical errors
         on the drive. Scandisk can then repair the damaged areas. All
         window versions except NT come with scandisk. If you are using
         Windows 3.1 you have to exit to DOS and use its version.
         If you do not shut down the computer properly Windows 95 OSR2
         and Windows 98 will run the DOS version of scandisk
         automatically next time you start up your computer.
    Windows 9x provides two versions of Scandisk: a graphical
    windows-based version Scandskw.exe and a DOS-based version
    Scandisk.exe. No matter which version name you type while in
    windows, either from the run box or a DOS prompt the windows
    version will run, you must exit to DOS to run its version.
   DEFRAG - Starts Disk Defragmenter which rearranges files and un
    used space on your hard disk so that programs run faster.
    Files are stored in clusters and over time, as programs read and
    write to a hard disk, these clusters can become fragmented, that is
    spread throughout the drive. Causing the hard disk to jump all over
    the drive to read and write data. What defrag does is realign these
    clusters in sequence, so programs will load faster.
    In windows 98 Defragmenter also uses a process called Task
    Monitor which automatically monitors programs you use and
    records their disk access patterns, and number of times these
    programs are used. This information enables Defragmenter to favor
    more frequently used programs in optimizing the disk.
    When running Defragmenter you should always close all programs,
    and disable any screen savers.
    Windows 2000 automatically optimizes disk use. To optimize a disk
    manually, right-click it in My Computer, click Properties, and then,
    on the Tools tab, click Defragment Now. Windows NT did not
    come with a defragmentation utility.
   DRIVESPACE - This utility for Windows 9x offers many of the
    same features as NT's disk administrator including compression,
    formatting and drive information.
    Windows 2000/XP uses compression similar to DriveSpace in
    Windows 98, but unlike DriveSpace which compress entire
    volumes, it can compress individual files and folders. You can
    compress files and folders only on drives formatted with NTFS, also
    compressed files and folders cannot be encrypted.
    If you add or copy a file into a compressed folder, it is compressed
    automatically. If you move a file from a different NTFS drive into a
    compressed folder, it is also compressed. However, if you move a
    file from the same NTFS drive into a compressed folder, the file
    retains its original state, either compressed or uncompressed.

Chapter 3 - Installations and Upgrades
Operating Systems
Partitioning Drive
Windows 9x
To partition a hard disk use FDISK, this is an MS-DOS-based application
that can be run from an MS-DOS command line or from within Windows 9x
if partitioning an additional hard drive.
With FDISK you can do the following:
    1.   Create a partition or logical drive
    2.   Set the active partition.
    3.   Delete a partition or logical drive.
    4.   Display partition information.
    5.   Change Current Fixed Disk Drive (only If the computer has two or
         more hard disks)
To create a primary MS-DOS partition
        In the FDISK Options screen, press 1, and then press ENTER. The
         Create DOS Partition Or Logical DOS Drive screen appears.
        Press 1, and then press ENTER. The Create Primary DOS Partition
         screen appears.
        If you want the partition to be the maximum size, press ENTER.
         Then insert a Startup Disk in drive a:, and press any key.
If you do not want the partition to be the maximum size, press n, and then
press ENTER. Another Create Primary DOS Partition screen appears.
        To specify the partition size you want, follow the instructions on-
         screen, and then press ENTER.
        If you create the Primary partition to use the entire hard drive, press
         ESC twice to exit FDISK, then reboot the computer to the floppy
If you enable large disk support, any drives created will be FAT32. You will
have to use a boot disk created from the OS you used to partition the drive, as
Windows 95 (original version) and Windows NT cannot read FAT32
partitions (win95 ORS 2 does support FAT32)

FDISK is not needed with Windows 2000/XP as Disk Management prepares
hard disks.
Windows 2000/XP
Disk Management, is a graphical tool for managing disks and volumes. It
supports partitions, logical drives, new dynamic volumes, and remote disk
management. To open Disk Management, click Start, point to Settings, click
Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click
Computer Management. In the console tree under Storage, click Disk

Formatting Drive
Windows 9x
To format a hard disk drive with Windows 98 installed
In Windows Explorer, right-click the drive icon for that disk, and then click
To format a hard disk drive using a Windows 98 Startup Disk
        Make sure a Startup Disk is in drive A: Then, at the command
         prompt, type the following: format c:
        If you are formatting drive C: copy system files to the hard disk by
         typing the following at the command prompt:
                                    FORMAT C: /S
        When the warning message appears, proceed with formatting by
         pressing Y. Then press ENTER.
        When formatting is complete, type a volume label (if you want one),
         and then press ENTER.
        Remove the floppy disks from all floppy disk drives, and restart the
         computer by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.
Windows 2000/XP
The format command creates a new root directory and file system for the
disk. It can also check for bad areas on the disk, and it can delete all data on
the disk. For Windows 2000/XP to be able to use a new disk, you must first
use this command to format the disk.
You must have Administrator rights to format a hard disk.

When you use the format command to format a hard disk, Windows 2000/XP
displays a message of the following form before attempting to format the
hard disk:
         WARNING, ALL DATA ON non removable DISK
         DRIVE x: WILL BE LOST!
         Proceed with Format (Y/N)?_

Windows 98 New Installation
In order to install Windows 9x the following minimum hardware
requirements must be met. The system must be at lease a 486DX, 66MHz
processor or higher, 16 MB RAM, VGA Video adapter and display, 225 MB
free FAT16 hard disk space or 175 MB free FAT32 hard disk space.
Unlike Windows 95, Windows 98 does not have to be installed over another
operating system such as DOS and does not require access to a FAT16
The typical method for installing Windows 98 is to boot the computer from
the installation CD-ROM. This requires that the system's CD-ROM drive is
bootable and that the BIOS is configured for this. First Scandisk will be run
and if no errors are found, the GUI portion of the setup process will begin
which includes the following stages:
    1.   Preparing to Run Windows 98 Setup
    2.   Collecting Information About Your Computer
    3.   Copying Windows 98 Files to Your Computer
    4.   Restarting Your Computer
    5.   Setting Up Hardware and finalizing Settings
    6.   Restart
Upgrade from Windows 3.x to Windows 95
This upgrade is performed by running Setup.exe located on the installation
CD-ROM. When you upgrade from Windows 3.x to Windows 95, you'll find
that settings in protocol.ini, system.ini, and win.ini are used to create the
Windows 95 Registry. These files and any files with the .GRP extension are
saved for backward compatibility.
Upgrade from Windows 95 to Windows 98
This is typically the easiest upgrade and involves loading the Windows 98
CD-ROM and executing setup.exe. This will launch the setup program that
will go through the same stages as for a clean install, however, any usable
information that is available from Windows 95 will be used during the
Note that CMOS antivirus software can cause an upgrade to fail during the
1st stage of the installation process. Information about failures can be found
in the SETUPLOG.TXT file.
If Windows 98 is installed to a directory other than the Windows directory,
all previously installed applications will have to be reinstalled.

Windows 2000 New Installation
For Windows 2000 Professional, the hardware requirements are:
        133 MHz or higher Pentium-compatible processor
        32MB of RAM minimum (64MB recommended; 4GB maximum)
        2GB hard drive with a minimum of 650 MB of free space
         (Additional free hard disk space is required if you are installing over
         a network).
        Windows 2000 Professional supports up to 2 processors.
For Windows 2000 Server the hardware requirements are:
        133 MHz + Pentium-compatible CPU.
        128 MB of RAM minimum (256 MB recommended; 4 GB
        2 GB hard disk with a minimum of 1.0 GB free space. (Additional
         free hard disk space is required if you are installing over a network.)
        Windows 2000 Server supports up to four CPUs.
Before beginning any installation, you should check the Hardware
Compatibility List (HCL) at Microsoft's website to make sure that your
components are supported. If you have items that do not appear on the list,
you should contact the manufacturer to see if they have updated drivers.
If you have a computer that will boot from the CD, then this is probably the
way to go, otherwise you will be creating 4 setup disks using the
makeboot.exe utility on the installation CD-ROM. Just like the NT 4.0
installation, we will start with the text based portion of the setup. You will be
presented with an option to press enter to install Windows 2000. After you
press enter you will read the license agreement and press F8 to accept. You
will now be presented with a list of all of the disks and partitions that are on
the system. Like NT 4 installation, you will have the option to create a new
partition or select an existing one to install onto. Press C and you will arrive
at the option to select NTFS, FAT or leave it the way it is. Files will be
copied to your disk. After a reboot, the GUI based portion of setup will
Windows 2000 is Plug and Play. The first portion of the GUI setup will
detect your hardware and install drivers for it. Next you will have the option
to select the locale for the computer. Then you will enter your name and
organization followed by the license key. After you click next you will be
prompted for the licensing mode and will have the option of per seat or per
server. Next, you will enter the computer's name and an Administrative
password. Now you will see a list of services that you can choose to install.
This will obviously vary depending on which services you will need to use
on your network. Now you will be prompted to enter the date and time zone.
The services that you selected in the previous step will now be installed.
Now you will have the option to select whether you want typical network
settings or want to specify custom settings and configure them accordingly.
Now the install will finish and the machine will be rebooted.
Listed below are the possible upgrade paths:
  Current OS                        Upgrade to
  Windows 95                        Windows 2000 Professional
  Windows 98                        Windows 2000 Professional
  Windows NT Workstation            Windows 2000 Professional
  Windows NT Server                 Windows 2000 Server

There is no direct upgrade path from Windows 3.x

Dual Booting Windows 9x and Windows 2000
Note that Windows 9x is incompatible with drives/partitions formatted with
NTFS and will not recognize them. The following information assumes that
Windows 9x is already installed on the system. When you insert the
Windows 2000 CD-ROM, you should be prompted that the CD contains a
newer version of Windows and will ask if you would like to upgrade the
existing OS or install a new copy. You will want to select new copy or else
the existing operating system will be overwritten. The installation program
will begin copying files to the hard drive and will then need to be rebooted.
Next, your drives and partitions will be displayed and will be prompted to
select a partition to install Windows 2000 onto. If you select the same
partition as the one that Windows 9x is installed on, make sure that you
select the option to keep the existing file system intact instead of formatting
it, otherwise you will lose the Windows 9x OS.
If you choose to install the operating systems onto different partitions, make
sure that the Windows 2000 is not NTFS if you wish to be able to access that
partition from Windows 9x. Furthermore, make sure that the boot partition is
not formatted with NTFS or else you will not be able to boot into Windows

Chapter 4 - Startup Process
Startup Process Windows 9x
ROM BIOS Bootstrap Process
      POST Power On Self Test routines are run.
      The master boot record and partition table are read.
      The Plug and Play BIOS checks nonvolatile random access memory
          (RAM) for input/output (I/O) port addresses, interrupt request lines
          (IRQs), direct memory access (DMA) channels, and other settings
          needed to configure Plug and Play devices on the computer.
          All Plug and Play devices found by the Plug and Play BIOS are
      A map of used and unused resources is created.
      The Plug and Play devices are configured and re-enabled, one at a
If your computer does not have a Plug and Play BIOS, Plug and Play devices
are initialized using their default settings when you start your computer.

Master Boot Record and Boot Sector
    The master boot record (MBR) locates the boot partition by reading
       the partition table located at the end of the master boot record.
    The MBR then passes control to the boot sector in that partition,
       which contains the disk boot program.
    The boot sector copies the IO.SYS file from the root directory into

     Minifile allocation table (FAT) file system is loaded.
     MSDOS.SYS file is read.
     Starting Windows 9x message is displayed.
     If you have multiple hardware profiles in Windows 9x, you must
       choose a hardware configuration to use now.
     LOGO.SYS file is loaded and displays a startup image on the
     If the DRVSPACE.INI or DBLSPACE.INI file exists, the
       DRVSPACE.BIN or DBLSPACE.BIN file is loaded into memory.
     IO.SYS file checks the system registry files.

       IO.SYS file opens the SYSTEM.DAT file.
       The DBLBUFF.SYS file is loaded if double buffering is enabled.
       If you have multiple hardware profiles in Windows 9x, the hardware
        profile you selected earlier is loaded from the registry.
       IO.SYS file processes the CONFIG.SYS file.

Real-Mode Configuration
Some hardware devices and programs require that drivers or files be loaded
in real-mode in order for them to work properly. Config.sys and
Autoexec.bat are only need for backward compatibility.
       CONFIG.SYS file loads drivers into memory. If the Config.sys file
        does not exist, the IO.SYS file loads the following required drivers:
       Windows 9x reserves all global upper memory blocks (UMBs) for
        Windows 9x operating system use or for expanded memory support
       AUTOEXEC.BAT file loads files and terminate and stay resident
        (TSR) programs into memory.

WIN.COM File and the Windows 9x Environment
       WIN.COM file is run.
       WIN.COM file accesses the VMM32.VXD file and loads into
       The real-mode virtual device driver loader checks for duplicate
        virtual device drivers (VxDs) in the Windows\System\Vmm32
        folder and the VMM32.VXD file. If a VxD exists in both the
        Windows\System\Vmm32 folder and the VMM32.VXD file, the
        duplicate VxD is "marked" in the VMM32.VXD file so that it is not
       The real-mode virtual device driver loader checks that all required
        VxDs loaded successfully. If not, it attempts to load the drivers
       Once the real-mode virtual device driver loading is logged, driver
        initialization occurs. If there are any VxDs that require real-mode
        initialization, they begin their process in real-mode.
       Vmm32 switches the computer's processor from real-mode to
        protected- mode.
      VxD initialization process occurs.
      After all the static VxDs are loaded, the KRNL32.DLL, GDI.EXE,
       USER.EXE, and EXPLORER.EXE files are loaded.

Network Environment and Multi-User Profiles
      The network environment is loaded.
      User is prompted to log on to the network
      Programs in the Startup group and the RunOnce registry key are
      After each program in the RunOnce registry key is started, the
       program is removed from the key.

Startup Process Windows NT/2000/XP
Steps prior to boot sequence
      POST Power On Self Test routines are run.
      The boot device is located, and the MBR (Master Boot Record) is
       loaded into memory, and locates the active partition boot sector, and
       loads it into memory.
      From the boot sector NTLDR is loaded into memory.

Boot Sequence
      NTLDR switches the processor from real mode into 32 bit flat
       memory mode.
      NTLDR starts the minifile system drivers, either FAT, FAT 32
       (2000/XP) or NTFS.
      NTLDR reads the BOOT.INI file, and displays the Boot Loader
       Menu. If you have a dual boot system and choose an OS other than
       Windows NT NTLDR will load BOOTSECT.DOS and pass control
       to it for booting.
      If Windows NT/2000/XP is selected, NTLDR will run
       NTDETECT.COM which scans the computers hardware and passes
       this information back to NTLDR.
      NTLDR then loads NTOSKRNL.EXE, HALL.DLL, and the
       SYSTEM hive.
Kernel Load Phase
        NTLDR starts NTOSKRNL.EXE
        The HAL (hardware abstraction layer) is loaded, which hides the
         physical hardware from applications.
        The SYSTEM hive, is loaded and scanned for device drivers, and
         services that should be loaded. These are organized into groups.
         They are loaded into memory but not initialized yet, in the order in
         which they appear in the ServiceGroupOrder subkey of the registry.

Kernel Initialization Phase
In this phase the screen is blue, and initializes the kernel and the drivers that
were loaded during the kernel load phase.
        The kernel is initialized.
        SYSTEM hive is scanned again to determine which drivers should
         be loaded, then they are initialized.

Services Load Phase
The services load phase starts the Session Manager SMSS.EXE. It will run
the programs listed in its BootExecute Registry entry, as well as starting the
required subsystems.

Win 32 Subsystem Start Phase
When the 32 Subsystem Starts it automatically starts WINLOGON.EXE
which starts the Local Security Authority LSASS.EXE and displays
Ctrl+Alt+Delete logon dialog.
Next the The Service Controller (Screg.exe) will check the Registry for
services that are marked to load automatically and will load them.

User Logon
The Boot is not considered good until a user logs on successfully

Safe Mode
When booting DOS, there are a couple of boot options that can be used to
modify the boot process:
       F5 or Left SHIFT - This will bypass the CONFIG.SYS and
        AUTOEXEC.BAT files.
       F8 - Processes CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT one step at a
        time with confirmation required between steps.
For Windows 9x
       F8 or Left CTRL - Displays the Windows startup menu for
        Windows 9x that contains boot options such as Safe Mode. Safe
        Mode is a startup mode in which minimal drivers (mouse, keyboard
        and VGA display) are loaded and is used to troubleshoot boot and
        display problems.
       F5 - Boots directly into Safe Mode.
For Windows NT
       VGA Mode - The BOOT.INI file is responsible for the Windows
        NT/2000 startup screen that lists the operating systems available to
        boot into and VGA mode. VGA mode will only load standard VGA
        display drivers and is used for correcting a situation when a driver
        conflict occurs that prevents normal boot.
       Last Known Good Configuration - This option is presented 2nd and
        if the space bar is pressed, the system will load system configuration
        information from the last successful boot. This option is used for
        fixing problem that arise after installing a new device driver.
For Windows 2000
       F8 - Brings up the Windows 2000 Advanced Options menu which
        contains several choices as follows: Safe Mode, Safe Mode with
        Networking, Safe Mode with Command Prompt, Enable Boot
        Logging, Enable VGA Mode, Last Known Good Configuration,
        Directory Services Restore Mode and Debugging Mode.

Creating Boot Disks
Creating Boot Disk in DOS
DOS boot disks are created by using the command
                              FORMAT A: /S
You should also copy SYS, EDIT, CHKDSK, FORMAT and FDISK onto
the floppy.

Creating Boot Disk in Windows 9x
In Windows 9x, you have the option to create a startup disk when installing
the system.
If the system is already installed and you need to create Windows 95 start
disk, open the "Add/Remove Programs" control panel, select the "Startup
Disk" tab and click on "Create Disk".
In Windows 95, the following files are copied to the boot disk:
  File name                  Description
  ATTRIB.EXE                 File attribute utility
  COMMAND.COM                Core operating system file
  DRVSPACE.BIN               Disk compression utility
  EBD.SYS                    Utility for the startup disk
  EDIT.COM                   Text editor
  FDISK.EXE                  Disk partition utility
  FORMAT.COM                 Disk format utility
  IO.SYS                     Core operating system file
  MSDOS.SYS                  Core operating system file
  REGEDIT.EXE                Real-mode Registry Editor
  SCANDISK.EXE               Disk status and repair utility
  SCANDISK.INI               Disk status utility configuration file
  SYS.COM                    System transfer utility
In Windows 98, you can also create the disk from the DOS command line:
         BOOTDISK       A:
Startup disks created with previous versions of Windows are not compatible
with Windows 98.
The following items have been added to the Windows 98 Startup Disk, that
were not included on Windows 95 Startup Disk.
        Startup Menu
        Real-Mode IDE CD-ROM support
        Real-Mode SCSI CD-ROM support
     file
        RAMDrive
       New extract command: Ext.exe
Contents of the Windows 98 Startup Disk

   File name              Description
   ASPI2DOS.SYS           Real-mode Adaptec CD-ROM driver.
   ASPI4DOS.SYS           Real-mode Adaptec CD-ROM driver.
   ASPI8DOS.SYS           Real-mode Adaptec CD-ROM driver.
   ASPI8U2DOS.SYS         Real-mode Adaptec CD-ROM driver.
   ASPICD.SYS             Real-mode Adaptec CD-ROM driver.
   AUTOEXEC.BAT           Loads startup programs
   BTCDROM.SYS            Mylex/BusLogic CD-ROM driver.
   BTDOSM.SYS             Mylex/BusLogic CD-ROM driver.
   COMMAND.COM            Command interpreter
   CONFIG.SYS             Loads the device drivers.
   EDB.CAB                Cabinet file containing extract utilities.
   EBD.SYS                A file that identifies the disk as a Windows
                          98 startup disk.
   EXTRACT                to expand the file.
   FDISK.EXE              Disk partition tool.
   FINDRAMD.EXE           Utility to find the RAM drive during startup.
   FLASHPT.SYS            Mylex/BusLogic CD-ROM driver.
   HIMEM.SYS              XMS Memory Manager.
   IO.SYS                 System boot file.
   MSDOS.SYS              Boot option information.
   MODE.COM               Lets you change display parameters such as
                          number columns.
   OAKCDROM.SYS           Generic device driver for ATAPI CD-ROM
   RAMDRIVE.SYS           Creates a Ramdrive during startup.
   README.TXT             Document
   SETRAMD.BAT            Searches for first available drive to be a

   SYS.COM                   System transfer tool.

The file contains several utilities
  File name             Description
  ATTRIB.EXE            Add or remove file attributes.
  CHKDSK.EXE            Simpler and smaller disk status tool.
  DEBUG.EXE             Debug utility.
  EDIT.COM              Real-mode emergency text editor.
  EXT.EXE               File extract utility.
  FORMAT.COM            Disk format tool.
  HELP.BAT              Launches the readme.txt for the startup disk.
  HELP.TXT              Text     document      with    information     for
                        troubleshooting Windows 98 when it fails to set up
                        correctly, third-party disk partitioning software,
                        and diagnostic tools.
  MSCDEX.EXE            Microsoft CD-ROM file extension for MS-DOS.
  RESTART.COM           Restart your computer.
  SCANDISK.EXE          Disk status tool.
  SCANDISK.INI          Disk status tool configuration file.
  SYS.COM               System transfer tool.
  UNINSTAL.EXE          Tool for removing Windows 98

Creating Boot Disk in Windows NT
You will need four blank, formatted, 1.44-MB floppy disks. Label them
Setup Disk One, Setup Disk Two, and Setup Boot Disk.
        Insert disk into the floppy disk drive
        Insert the Windows NT CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive
        From Windows 9x click Start, and then click Run
        Type
              CD DRIVE:\I386\WINNT /OX
        From Windows NT click Start, Type
             CD DRIVE:\I386\WINNT /OX
       Follow the screen prompts

Creating Boot Disk in Windows 2000
You will need four blank, formatted, 1.44-MB floppy disks. Label them
Setup Disk One, Setup Disk Two, Setup Disk Three, and Setup Disk Four
       Insert disk into the floppy disk drive
       Insert the Windows 2000 CD-ROM
       Click Start, and then click Run
       Type
            D:\BOOTDISK\MAKEBOOT                 A:
       Follow the screen prompts
Creating Boot Disk in Windows XP
Steps to create a boot disk for Windows XP to access a drive with a faulty
boot sequence on an Intel-processor-based computer:
       Format a floppy disk by using the Windows XP format utility. For
        example, with the floppy disk in the floppy disk drive, type
            FORMAT A:
        at a command prompt, and then press ENTER.
       Copy the NTLDR and the NTDETECT.COM files from the I386
        folder on the Windows XP Setup CD-ROM, Windows XP Setup
        floppy disk, or from a computer that is running the same version of
        Windows XP as the computer that you want to access with the boot
       Create a BOOT.INI file (or copy one from a computer that is
        running Windows XP), and then modify it to match the computer
        that you are trying to access. The following example works for a
        single-partition IDE drive with Windows XP installed in the
        \WINDOWS folder, but the exact value in the [operating systems]
        section depends on the configuration of the Windows XP computer
        that you are trying to access:
        [boot loader]
        [operating systems]
        Windows XP"
    If your computer boots from a SCSI hard drive, you may need to replace
    the multi(0) entry with scsi(0). If you are using scsi(x) in the BOOT.INI
    file, copy the correct device driver for the SCSI controller in use on the
    computer to the root of the Setup disk, and then rename it
    NTBOOTDD.SYS. Change the disk(0) number to represent the SCSI-ID
    of the hard drive you want to boot to. If you are using multi(x) in the
    BOOT.INI file, you do not need to do this.
Log Files
Windows 9x log files are:
BOOTLOG.TXT - This file is created during the first boot after setup. The
creation of a new BOOTLOG.TXT can be done by hitting F8 at startup and
choosing "Logged" mode. The previous copy of BOOTLOG.TXT will be
renamed to BOOTLOG.PRV. This log shows the boot process steps and
whether they were successful or failed.
DETLOG.TXT - This log shows the steps performed in detecting the
system's hardware and is created anytime that hardware detection occurs
such as during installation and when adding new hardware components.
SETUPLOG.TXT - This file is created during installation of Windows 9x
and records all the options chosen during setup.

Chapter 5 - Windows Issues
This section will discuss some of the more common Windows errors and
how to resolve them:
      Windows Protection Errors - This typically is caused by the type or
       speed of the RAM installed in the system.
      Bad or Missing COMMAND.COM - This means that the OS is
       unable to locate the file COMMAND.COM. To fix this problem use
       the make sure that the necessary boot files are located on the hard
       drive. If not, boot with the startup disk and enter the command SYS
       C:\ which will copy the system files to the hard drive (Windows 9x
      HIMEM.SYS not loaded - Check the CONFIG.SYS file and make
       sure that the line Device=C:\HIMEM.SYS exists and that the path
       specified to the file is where the file actually is.
      Error in CONFIG.SYS line XX - This error is usually caused by a
       syntax error in the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT file where
       XX will be the line number that the error occurred.
      Operating system not found - A common cause of this error is
       booting a system with a non-bootable floppy in the floppy drive. It
       can also be caused by missing boot files. To correct this, boot with
       the startup disk and enter the command SYS C:\ which will copy the
       system files to the hard drive (Windows 9x only).

                    Figure 5.1: Windows Task Manager
     General Protection Faults (GPF) - Can be caused by software or
      hardware. GPFs can be caused by damaged core files which may
      need to be replaced or by a corrupt registry which can be restored
      from backup. They can be caused by running an application that is
      not designed for the operating system you are using. The Dr Watson
      utility will write information about these errors to
      DRWATSON.LOG which can be viewed for more information.
     Illegal Operation - Usually caused when 2 or more application
      attempt to use the same memory space. Incorrectly installed
      applications and software bugs. Try reinstalling the application and
      if the errors persist, check with the software vendor for
      patches/updates to the software.
     System locks up - Typically, this is caused by an application that is
      hung and can be corrected by ending the task. To end a task press
      CTRL + ALT + DEL and find the application that is not responding.
      ALT + F4 can also be used to close active windows. In Windows
      NT/2000 the CTRL + ALT + DEL or CTRL + SHIFT + ESC keys
      can be used to access Task Manager (See Figure 5.1).
     Application will not start - Make sure that the file that is executed
      has a .EXE, .BAT or .COM extension. If attempting to run the
      application from a shortcut, make sure in the shortcut properties that
      the path to the application is correct.

Printing Issues
     Print Spooler is stalled - Go to the spool folder which is located in
      C:\Path to system files\spool\printers directory and delete all files in
      this location and resend any uncompleted print jobs.
     Incorrect print drivers - Having an incorrect driver can cause any
      number of problems from pages coming out as garbled ASCII text
      to not having access to the full range of features available for that
      printer. Drivers can be updated by going to the Printers control
      panel, right clicking on the printer and select properties.
     Out of memory - Print jobs have to be spooled to hard disk space. If
      there is not enough hard disk space available this error will occur.
      Try freeing up hard drive space or move the spool folder to a drive
      with more free space.

Other Troubleshooting Tools
Throughout this guide we have discussed many of the Windows
troubleshooting tools. Below is a list of the ones that haven't been covered
       MSINFO - Used to view installed devices and drivers. - Windows
       HWINFO - The Hardware Diagnostic Utility is located in
        C:\Windows\HwInfo.exe and there aren't any shortcuts to it by
        default. In order to run this utility you need to append a /UI switch.
        This "tool" was run during your initial install of Win98 and created
        a record of various hardware settings, drivers, file sizes & dates,
        memory ranges, resource allocation, etc. - Windows 98 only
       Dr Watson - Will generate an error log when certain types of errors
        occur. This information can be accessed by typing drwatson in the
        run dialog box. - Windows 3.x/9x/NT/2000
       ASD.EXE - Automatic Skip Driver Agent identifies devices that
        can cause Windows 98 or Windows Me to stop responding (hang)
        when you start your computer, and then disables them so that they
        are bypassed when you next restart your computer.
       Maintenance Wizard (TUNEUP.EXE) - Allows you to schedule
        maintenance utilities such as defrag and scandisk.
       Signature Verification Tool - Microsoft "Signs" drivers which
        means that they are approved to work on a particular operating
        system. This tool checks files and informs you whether or not they
        have been signed by Microsoft. - Windows 98
       Event Viewer - This tool is a log of system, application and security
        events (successes and failures). Can be used to obtain more
        information about system and application errors. - NT/2000 (See
        Figure 5.2).

                             Figure 5.2:Event Viewer
        SCANDISK - The ScanDisk utility inspects the hard drive for errors
         and corrects them. The standard test will inspect files and folders
         while the advanced test will also checks the disks physical surface.
         ScanDisk is run automatically on startup when the system detects
         that the system was not shut down properly. Scandisk is available in
         DOS 6.x and Windows 9x.
A computer virus is a program designed to spread itself by first infecting
executable files or the system areas of hard and floppy disks and then making
copies of itself.
There are several different categories of viruses as follows:
File infector viruses
File infector viruses infect executable program files such as .com and .exe
files. The can infect other files when an infected program is run from floppy,
hard drive, or from the network.
Boot sector viruses
Boot sector viruses infect the system area of a disk known as the boot record.
Most of these viruses can be cleaned using the SYS or FORMAT command.

Master boot record viruses
Master boot record viruses are memory resident viruses that infect disks in
the same manner as boot sector viruses. The difference between these two
virus types is where the viral code is located.
These can often be fixed by using FDISK /MBR
Multi-partite viruses
Infect both boot records and program files.
Macro viruses
These types of viruses infect data files and are the most common. With the
advent of Visual Basic in Microsoft's Office 97/2000/XP, a macro virus can
be written that not only infects data files, but also can infect other files as
Trojan Horse and Worms
There are 2 other types of attacks that are common via the use of Trojans and
Worms as described below:
        Trojan Horse - These are files that claim to be something desirable
         but are destructive and cause loss or theft of data. Trojans are
         different from viruses as they do not replicate themselves like
         viruses do.
        Worms - These are programs that replicate themselves from system
         to system without the use of a host file.
Most viruses are spread via email and the Internet, but can also be spread via
removable media (i.e. floppies) or across a network. Anti-virus software
should be used to protect against virus threats and "clean" files when a
computer does become infected.

Chapter 6 - Hardware
To build your PC from scratch you will need to purchase all the necessary
hardware. The first thing you must consider before you start to shop around
for your PC hardware is the specification of the hardware. You should think
about what you are going to use your PC for, before buying fancy expensive
hardware. Otherwise you will end up buying hardware which offers advance
features that may not be necessary for your needs and end up wasting your
money. For example, you may be using your PC for word-processing,
spreadsheet and browsing the web. You would not gain much benefit by
purchasing an advance 3D graphics card or having a top of the range
processor. A simple graphics card and a mid-range processor will satisfy
your needs.

Below are sections of all the hardware required to build your system except
the obvious requirement, keyboard and mouse. The purpose of each is
hardware is explained along with some guidance to help you choose your

PC Casing

A desktop or tower case is required to hold all your components together. It
is your personal preference on which one you decide choose. The desktop or
tower cases come two in form factor AT and ATX. Nearly all the cases made
nowadays are ATX as the motherboard manufacturers make majority of their
motherboard in the ATX form. All cases come with PSU (Power Supply
Unit), space to mount your FDD, CD-ROM, HDD etc. The case that I would
be using for demonstration is an ATX Midi Tower case as shown below.

                 Figure 6.1 ATX Midi Tower Casing

A motherboard is a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) that connects your
processor, memory and all your expansion cards together to assemble a PC.
Motherboards come in two forms AT and ATX. Most motherboards made
nowadays are ATX. An ATX motherboard has the standard I/O
(Input/Output) connectors such as PS/2 ports, parallel ports, serial ports, etc,
built onto the motherboard. AT motherboard on the other hand uses I/O cards
and cables which needs to be plugged into the motherboard, which gets a bit
untidy. AT motherboard requires AT keyboard and AT power supply. ATX
motherboard fits into an ATX case and comes with an ATX power supply.
The following is a pictures of an ATX motherboard.

                                                                 Figure 6.2

As you have seen from the image, the motherboard comes with various
expansion card slots and connectors. It comes with 3 different expansion
slots, 1 AGP, 5 PCI and 1 ISA slot. The AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) is
where you would connect and AGP graphics card. The PCI slots is where
you would connect cards such as sound card, modem, tv card etc. The ISA
slot is quite an old type of bus which is handy if you got some old hardware
such as an old ISA modem or sound card. The other connectors includes the
Intel socket 370 CPU connector, the DIMM slot for SDRAM, IDE connector
for connecting your HDD, CD-ROM or other IDE devices, and FDD


The processor also known as CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of a
computer. The faster the processor, the faster it will execute instructions and
run your programs. The leading CPU manufactures are Intel and AMD.

Whichever manufacturer you decide to choose you will have to make sure
that you purchase a compatible motherboard.

The current Intel CPU's includes Celeron, Pentium III and Pentium 4.

The current AMD CPU's includes Duron and Athlon.

Before buying your CPU consider what the system is going to be used for. If
you are going to use your system for word-processing, browsing the web or
other basic tasks, it may be sufficient for you to use an Intel Celeron or an
AMD Duron processor, both of which are available at a very competitive

If the system is going to be used for spreadsheet, databases, graphics and
playing advance games then you should consider an Intel PIII / P4 or and
AMD Athlon processor. These processors are very fast and are capable of
handling most of your computing needs. For building our demonstration PC
we will be using an Intel Pentium III 866Mhz Socket 370 processor, as
shown on the following image.

                        Figure 6.3 Intel PIII Processor


Memory is the name given to silicon chips that stores volatile computer data.
Volatile means that the contents of memory will be lost if the power of the
computer is switched off. Memory stores some of your operating system and
application data while it is being run. The more memory you have in your
system, the more application you can run simultaneously and will provide an
overall better system performance.

Memory comes in many form. The older system uses EDO memory, while
the current system uses SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access
Memory). Depending on your CPU bus, you have to use SDRAM to match
your CPU bus speed. For example, PIII 750 runs at the bus speed of 100Mhz
therefore you need SDRAM that run at 100MHz, known as PC100 SDRAM.
However if you are going to use PIII 866 you will require PC133 SDRAM
which runs at 133Mhz bus speed. You also have to make sure that your
motherboard can support these speeds.

New generation of memories are currently out. Intel P4 uses the rambus
memory known as RDRAM and the new AMD processors uses the DDR-

The following is an image of a PC133 SDRAM that will be used for our
demonstration PC.

                      Figure 6.4 PC133 SDRAM

Graphic Cards

Graphics card provides display output to your monitor. There are many
graphics card manufactures out there who release a new card into the market
nearly every three to six months as it is one of the most competitive hardware
market. While choosing a graphics card consider what you would be using it
for. For 2D applications such as word-processing, spreadsheet etc, a basic
graphics card with around 8MB or 16MB graphics memory will be sufficient
for your needs. It will also allow you to run your monitor at various
resolutions. However, if you require 3D functionality for running 3D
applications or playing 3D games you will require a graphics card with 3D
capability with 32MB or even 64MB of graphics memory. You can buy
graphics card with a PCI or AGP bus.
However, most current motherboards has an AGP slot and you should
therefore use an AGP graphics card if your motherboard has an AGP slot.
AGP graphics card offers much higher graphics bandwidth which results in
higher performance. The graphics card that we will use for our demonstration
PC is a GEFORCE II 64MB AGP card as shown below.

              Figure 6.5 Geforce II 64MB AGP Card
Sound Card

If you require sound for your PC then you will need a sound card. As basic
sound cards are very cheap it is recommended that you consider a sound
card. It offers many benefits such as running multimedia applications with
sound, listening to wave, midi, and MP3 music files or even play your audio
CD's. If you are thinking of playing games on your PC then having a sound
card is a must. One of the most popular sound cards are the Creative's
soundblaster range. We will use a Creatives Sounblaster Live 1024 for our
demonstration PC as shown below.
           Figure 6.6 Creative Sound Blaster Live 1024

Modem stands for Modulator Demodulator. It converts digital signals to
analogue so that it can travel via your telephone line, and vice-versa. A
modem is an essential item if you are intending to connect your PC to the

There are many kinds modems out there based on the Rockwell/Connexant
v.90 chipset. There are two kinds of modem, software and hardware.
Software modems uses your CPU resources to perform its tasks and is run on
a virtual COM port. Hardware modem performs its tasks using the onboard
chipset and therefore does not take up the CPU resources. It also runs on a
physical COM i.e. communication port 3. Software modems, which are also
known as winmodem can only run on a windows operating system, while the
hardware based modem can run on other operating systems like linux.
External modems are mostly hardware based and connect to the serial port.

You can also get external modems that connect to the USB port, however
most of these are software based.
I have decided to use a Connexant 56K v.90 software modem for our
demonstration PC as it performs quite well in terms of download.

                        Figure 6.7 Internal Modem

Floppy Disk Drive

You need a FDD to access floppy disks. Although floppy disks are limited in
capacity, only 1.44 mb, every PCs are almost guaranteed to have a FDD. It is
ideal for storing small files and documents, creating boot disks, and
transferring small files. It really does not matter which make of FDD you
purchase as they are cheap and performs the same task.

                     Figure 6.8 Floppy Disk Drive
Hard Disk Drive

Hard disk drive stores all your data including operating system, applications,
user files and documents. It is a non-volatile storage, which means the
contents of the HDD is not lost if the PC is switched off.

There are two different types of HDD, which are IDE/ATA and SCSI.
Majority of home PCs are equipped with IDE Hard drives. SCSI hard drives
are mostly included in servers and powerful workstations as they offer better
data transfer rate which results in better performance than the IDE drives.
However IDE/ATA drives are not far behind SCSI drives nowadays in terms
of performance with the introduction of the newer ATA100 drives.

The price of IDE/ATA drives have fallen quite dramatically in the recent
years. You can buy a very large drive for a competitive price. It is better to
buy a drive which is quite large as it works out cheaper. The major HDD
manufacturers are IBM, Seagate, Maxtor, Western Digital and Fujitsu. For
our demonstration PC I have chosen use an IBM ATA100 drive as shown

                      Figure 6.9 Hard Disk Drive


Nearly all operating systems and applications software comes on CD. It is
therefore essential to have a CD-ROM drive for installing your applications.
Certain programs requires the CD to be in the CD-ROM drive for that
program to run. For example, various encyclopedia and games. CD-ROM
can also be used for playing standard audio CD's on your PC.

If you are intending to watch DVD movies on your PC then you would
require a DVD-ROM which can perform all the tasks of a CD-ROM as well
as play DVD movies.

CD-ROM's come in various speeds, the faster drive, the faster it will install
your applications. DVD drives specifies two types of speeds, one for the
software installation and other for the DVD extraction. For example a DVD
drive with 16x32x specification means that it is a 16 speed DVD and 32
speed CD. Some of the CD/DVD-ROM manufacturers include Toshiba,
Pioneer, Hitachi, LG and Samsung.

                      Figure 6.10 CD ROM Drive
PC Speakers

A quality sound card would not be much of a benefit without a decent pair of
PC speakers. Most PC speakers are magnetically shielded so that it does not
interfere with your monitor, but there are some budget speakers out there that
are not shielded, so check before you buy. If you are just going to use the
speakers for basic sound and music and are not one of those people who play
CDs on a PC then you can get away with a budget PC speaker.

However, if you play games and CD's then you should consider a speaker
system with a sub-woofer. These would produce high quality sound suitable
for most tasks.

                          Figure 6.11 PC Speaker


It is important that you get a quality monitor that is comfortable to view.
Monitors come is various sizes and refresh rate. 17" monitor are becoming
entry standard monitor. 15" monitors are OK if you are running it at a low
resolution and not using it for long hours. As monitor prices have dropped in
the recent months it is recommended that you consider a 17" or 19" monitor.
You can run these monitors at higher resolution and refresh rate, which
means they are more comfortable to view and you can work with them for
long hours. Monitors are measured diagonally. If a monitor is 17" it does not
mean that it is the actual viewable area. Some 17" comes with a viewable
area of 16" which is good where as others can be as low as 15.6". Monitors
consist of thousands of pixels (the tiny dots you see on the screen). Smaller
pixels produces high definition sharp display. Settle for something which is
at least 0.25 mm dot pitch. If you purchase a 17" monitor make sure it can
handle refresh rate of at least 85 Hz at 1024 * 768 resolution. A 19" monitor
should handle at least 1280 * 1024 at 85 Hz.

                        Figure 6.12 PC Monitor

Chapter 7 - Optional Extras
These are additional add-ons that perform different functions on your PC.
The following sections describe them in detail.

CD Writer (CD-RW)

CD-ReWritable is a very good option for a backup device. It allows you to
backup the contents of your HDD onto a CD-R or CD-RW disc. It also
allows you to backup your existing application CD's. As blank CD's are very
cheap, it is an affordable backup device.

Like all other PC hardware a CD-ReWritable comes in various speed. A two
speed drive can write a full 650MB CD in around 40 mins and a four speed
drive can write it in around 20 mins and so on. CD-ReWritable's are
available in IDE and SCSI interface. You will require a SCSI card if choose
to get a SCSI model.

CD-ReWritable drive is more than just backup device, you can use it to
create your own Audio CD, Photo CD, Video CD etc. You can also use your
CD-ReWritable just the way you use hard drive, using the usual drag and
drop file copy. Most CD-ReWritable's are bundled with software which can
perform all the tasks I have mentioned.

                       Figure 7.1 CD RW Drive

Zip Drive

If you need to transfer large files from one PC to another, you will find
floppy disks quite useless due to their limited storage capacity. A ZIP drive
could be your answer as ZIP disks can store 100 or 250 MB depending on
which model you choose. ZIP disks look similar to floppy disks but are
slightly larger. Data can be written and read from a ZIP disk much quicker
than a floppy disk. ZIP disks can be used in the similar manner to floppy
disks which makes it a simple easy to use backup device.

                     Figure 7.2 Iomega ZIP Drive
TV Card

A TV card gives you the option of watching TV on your monitor. TV cards
are quite useful as it offers more than just watching TV. You can connect
your VCR to the TV card so that you can watch video's too. One of the useful
things about having a TV card is that you can use it for capturing Video.
Using the necessary software you can capture video in various format such
AVI or MPEG files. One of the popular TV card is Haupauge WinTV PCI as
shown below.

                     Figure 7.3 Internal TV Card
Chapter 8 - Assembling your PC (Part I)
If you have purchased all the necessary hardware your are ready assemble
your PC. Before unpacking your components from its original anti-static
bags you must put on your anti-static wrist strap, which will discharge
yourself. It is important that you discharge yourself or there is a danger that
you can damage your components by anti-static shock by touching the
components. If you don't have an anti-static wrist strap you can discharge
yourself by touching the metal edges of your ATX case, although this is not

Now you can proceed to the first step Motherboard Installation.

Motherboard Installation

The first thing you should do is unpack your ATX case. Take off the cover of
your case so that you can access the inside. Place the case on a desk so that
you are looking down towards the open case. Your case should come with
motherboard mounting screws. If your ATX back plate it not already fitted
you can fit it by placing your plate near the ATX back plate cut out and
pushing the plate outwards, it should clip on.

Now place your motherboard on top of the mounting screw holes. Make sure
your ATX devices on the motherboard such as PS/2 and parallel port are
facing towards ATX back plate cut out. Gently push your motherboard
towards the cut out, every devices should fit easily into its corresponding cut
out, as shown below.

            Figure 8.1 ATX Devices on the Motherboard

The screw holes on your motherboard should align with the screw holes on
your case. Place your screws that came with the case into the appropriate
holes and gently screw it on using a screw driver.
The motherboard is now securely mounted to the case. You can now place
the ATX power connector to the motherboard. Your ATX case should come
with a power supply unit (PSU) and should already be mounted to the case.
The ATX power connector is shown on image below.

                   Figure 8.2 ATX Power Connector

Place the ATX power connector on top of the power socket on the
motherboard. Push down the power connector and it should clip onto the
socket. If you try to fit the power connector the wrong way round, it won't fit,
it will only fit one way. So, if the power connector does not go in, it should
go in the other way round.

Processor Installation

Locate the processor socket on your motherboard. I am installing an Intel
PIII 866 processor on a socket 370 as shown on the following image. The
installation would be slightly different if you have a different processor i.e.
Slot1 PIII CPU, P4 CPU, AMD Slot A / Socket A CPU etc.

                         Figure 8.3 ZIF Socket

Raise the brown lever on the socket and slowly put the processor in place.
You have to make sure the pin 1 of your CPU goes into the pin 1 of your
CPU socket otherwise the CPU would not get into the socket, so don't try to
force it in. It will go in gently if you fit it correctly. Now close the brown
lever which will securely hold the CPU in place.

If you bought a retail boxed CPU it would include a heatsink + fan. If you
bought an OEM CPU make sure you got a fan that is correct for the speed of
your CPU, otherwise your CPU will overheat and behave abnormally or
could be damaged. Take off the plastic cover from the bottom of the CPU fan
that covers the heat transfer pad.

Now place the CPU fan on top the CPU and push down the metal clips on the
fan so that it clips onto the CPU socket.

                    Figure 8.4 Installing CPU Fan
CPU fan has a power connector which needs to be connected to CPU fan
power socket on your motherboard as shown on the image above.

Finally, you have to specify what frequency (speed) your CPU is running at.
This can be done using jumper settings, or on some modern motherboard it
can be done in the BIOS, or your motherboard may have automatic detection
for your CPU frequency. Please refer to your motherboard manual for more
details. The motherboard I am using (Abit BX133) has a dip-stick jumper
setting and it can be setup in the BIOS. I have left the jumper setting to
default as I will use the BIOS to specify the CPU frequency. The CPU runs
at the bus speed of 133Mhz therefore I will use the settings 133 *
6.5(multiplier) under the BIOS, which will the run the CPU at 866Mhz.

Memory Installation

Installing memory is quite simple. Find the SDRAM banks on your
motherboard, they should look similar to the banks below. Notice the
memory banks has a white clip on each side. Make sure you release the clips
so it bends to each side.

                    Figure8.5 Installing Memory
Hold each corner of the SDRAM placing it on top of the bank 1. You will
notice that the SDRAM has a cut at the bottom side, it is there to prevent the
memoy going in the wrong way round. If you are holding the SDRAM the
incorrect way you will not be able insert it. Gently push down the SDRAM
and it should clip on to the memory bank. The two white clips will now
become straight holding each corner of the memory. If you have more that
one SDRAM perform same steps as above but placing the SDRAM in
memory bank 2 and so on.

Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Installation

If you look at the rear side of an IDE hard drive it should look similar to the
image below.

                   Figure 8.6 IDE Hard Disk Drive

The IDE/ATA connector is on the left hand side which consists of many
pins. Next to the IDE connector is the jumper setting for the drive. The
jumper should be set to Master, which is the default setting for a new HDD.
Any other device sharing the same IDE cable should be set to Slave.
Different HDD has different jumper settings, lease refer to your HDD
manual for more information. On the right hand side, next to the jumpers is
the power connector. Every device except FDD uses this type of power
connector. Figure 8.7 and 8.8 below shows what an ATA 66 and a power
cable looks like. The ATA 66 cable which is also known as UDMA 66 cable

is an advance IDE cable, which offers higher performance and data integrity
than the standard IDE cable. ATA 66 cable consists of 80 conductor cable
where as the standard IDE cable consists of 40 conductor cable. I am using
an ATA 66 cable because the above HDD is an ATA 100 drive which
requires an ATA 66 cable.

                       Figure 8.7 ATA 66 Cable

                       Figure 8.8 Power Cable

Now place your hard drive into the HDD mounting slot of your case, make
sure the IDE/ATA connector is facing outwards. Screw the HDD to the case
using screws provided with the HDD or the ATX case.

                      Figure 8.9 Screw the HDD

Insert the ATA 66 cable into the ATA connector of the HDD. Make sure the
pin 1 on the cable is connected to pin 1 on the HDD connector. Pin 1 is the
red or pink strip on the edge of an ATA cable. Most new IDE/ATA cables
are designed so that it will only go in one way which will correspond to pin

                    Figure 8.10 Insert IDE Cable

Push the power cable into the power connector as shown. The power cable is
designed to go in one way, so you shouldn't have any problems.

               Figure 8.11 Connecting Power Cable

Connect the other end of the ATA 66 cable to the primary ATA socket of
your motherboard as shown. Make sure the pin 1 on the cable connects to the
pin 1 on the ATA socket.

       Figure 8.12 Connect the Other End of IDE Cable to

And that's it you have successfully installed a HDD.

Floppy Drive Installation

The rear side of a floppy drive looks similar to the following image.

                    Figure 8.13 Rare Side of FDD

The black connector on the left hand side is the floppy disk connector. It is
different from the IDE connector and uses a different cable. The small white
connector on the right hand side is the power connector for the floppy drive.
Figure 8.14 and 8.15 below shows what a floppy drive cable and floppy drive
power connector looks like.

                  Figure 8.14 Floppy Drive Cable

              Figure 8.15 Floppy Drive Power Cable

Place the floppy drive into the FDD mounting slot as shown. Screw the drive
securely into place.

                     Figure 8.16 Mounting FDD

Insert the floppy drive cable into the floppy drive connector. Make sure the
pin 1 on the cable connects to the pin 1 on the floppy drive connector. As you
already know by now that pin 1 is the red or pink strip on the edge of the
floppy drive cable. Most floppy drive cables are designed so that it will only
go in on way, so you can not connect it incorrectly.

    Figure 8.17 Floppy Cable and Power Cable Connection

Push the floppy drive power cable to the power connector. This will only go
in on way.

      Figure 8.18 Connect the Other End of FDD Cable to

Finally connect the other end of the floppy drive cable to floppy drive
connector on your motherboard. Make sure pin 1 on the cable connects to pin
1 on the connector.

Chapter 9 - Assembling your PC (Part I)
How to install CD/ DVD ROM Drive

If you look at the rear side of your CD / DVD-ROM it should look similar to
image shown below.

              Figure 9.1: Rare Side of CD/DVD ROM

On the right hand side you have the power connector. Next to power
connector you have the IDE connector. On the left hand side near the IDE
connector you have the jumper settings for the DVD-ROM. The jumper is set
to Master by default. I am connecting the DVD-ROM on a separate IDE
cable therefore I will leave the jumper setting to Master. However if you are
sharing an IDE cable with another device like HDD, then you would have to
set jumper to Slave, as your HDD would be set to Master. Next to the
jumpers you have the CD Audio-Out socket. One side of your audio cable
connects to this socket and other side connects to the sound card CD-in
socket. This would allow you to listen to Audio CD's on your computer.

                Figure 9.2: Mounting CD/DVD ROM
Mount your CD/DVD-ROM drive into its mounting slot. Use the supplied
screws to screw the drive into position.

                Figure 9.3: Motherboard Connection

Connect the IDE cable to the drives IDE connector. Make sure the pin 1 on
the cable is connected to pin 1 on the drives IDE connector. Pin 1 is the red
or pink strip on the edge of an IDE cable. Connect the other end of the IDE
cable to the IDE socket on your motherboard as shown in figure 9.3. Again,
make sure you connect the cable to pin 1. The IDE socket could be your
primary or secondary socket depending which socket you choose. If your
HDD is on the primary IDE socket and your secondary IDE socket is free,
then it is better to use your secondary IDE socket for the CD/DVD-ROM.

            Figure 9.4: CD/DVD Data and Power Cable
Finally connect the power cable to power connector and connect the audio
cable to the CD Audio-Out socket as shown on figure 9.4.
Graphic Card Installation

Most modern graphics cards are AGP based and connects to the AGP bus of
the motherboard. An AGP bus (slot) looks like the following image. The
brown slot is where you connect your AGP graphics card.

            Figure 9.5: AGP Slot on your Motherboard

Place your AGP card on top of the slot and gently push it down. The card
should firmly sit into position.

                    Figure 9.6: Fixing AGP Card
All you need to do now is to screw the metal plate on the front of the card to
the ATX case. Use the screws supplied with case and screw the card to the

                  Figure 9.7: Fastening to the Case

Sound Card Installation

Most modern sound cards are designed with the PCI interface and connects
to the PCI slot of your motherboard. A PCI slot looks like the slots on the
following image.

Figure 9.8: Empty PCI Slot on your Motherboard
Place your sound card on top of a chosen slot. Gently push down the card so
it sits into position. Once the card is seated correctly into position, screw the
card on to the case.

                   Figure 9.9: Inserting Audio Card

Finally insert the audio cable into the CD-IN socket. The other end of the
cable should be connected to Audio-out socket on your CD/DVD-ROM

                  Figure 9.10: Installing Audio Cable
Modem Installation

Find a free PCI slot on your motherboard (assuming your modem is a PCI
modem). Place your modem card on top of the slot and gently push it down
into position.

                    Figure 9.11: Installing Modem

Once the card has seated correctly into position, screw the card to the case
using the screws supplied with the case.

Now you have installed all the prerequisite hardware devices. You can either
proceed to the finalising stage, or you may want to install optional devices
like a ZIP drive, CD-RW drive or a TV-Card. If you do not want to install
these devices you can now proceed to the finalising stage.

How to Install a Zip Drive

Just like any other IDE device, a zip drive connects to an IDE cable and a
power cable. The rear side of the ZIP drive looks similar to the image below.

                   Figure 9.12: Iomega ZIP Drive

On the left hand side you have the IDE connector. On the right hand side you
have the power connector. In the middle you have the jumpers. You have to
specify if the ZIP drive is being connected as a Master or a Slave device
using the appropriate jumper setting.

Figure 9.13: Mounting Iomega ZIP DrivePlace the ZIP drive into
a mounting slot and screw it securely into position.

                Figure 9.14: Connecting IDE Cable

Connect the power cable and the IDE cable to the corresponding connectors.
Connect the other end of the IDE cable to the IDE socket on the
motherboard. Make sure the pin 1 on the cable connects to pin 1 on the
motherboard IDE socket and on the ZIP drive socket.

CD-RW Installation

The rear end of your CD-RW drive should look similar to the image below.

                  Figure 9.15: Rare Side of CD-RW

It contains all the usual connectors such an IDE connector, a power
connector, audio connector, and a place to set the jumpers. Set the jumpers so
the drive is configured to run as a Master device. It is best to connect your
CD-RW on separate IDE cable. This would avoid problems while you copy
CD's on-the-fly. This means copying a source CD from a CD/DVD-ROM
drive to a blank destination CD in your CD-RW drive without the source CD
being copied to the hard disk first. Copying on-the-fly is less time consuming
than copying the source CD to the hard disk first. However if you decide to
connect your CD-RW drive and another device like a DVD-ROM on the
same IDE cable, it would be fine providing you make an image of your
source CD on a HDD first before copying to your blank CD. You may have
problems such as "buffer under run" errors if you try to copy on-the-fly.

Place your CD-RW drive into a mounting slot as shown. Position the drive
correctly and screw it onto the case.

                    Figure 9.16: Mounting CD-RW

Connect the IDE and the power cable to the drive. If you want to use the CD-
RW drive for playing Audio CD's then you also need to connect an audio
cable to the Audio-out socket of the drive. If you have a CD/DVD-ROM then
the audio cable is usually connected that drive instead of the CD-RW, but
there is no reason why you can't have both.

          Figure 9.17: Connecting IDE and Power Cable

Finally the other end of the IDE cable should be connected to an IDE socket
of the motherboard.

How to Install a TV Card

Installing a TV card is no more difficult than installing any other PCI cards.
Locate an unused PCI slot and place the card on top. Gently push card down
into the slot.

                     Figure 9.18: Internal TV Card
When the card is correctly in position, screw the card securely on to the case.

           Figure 9.19: Fastening TV Card to the Casing

Note that a TV card uses two IRQ (Interrupt Request) one for video and one
for audio. It is best to place your TV card into a slot which does not conflict
with an IRQ of another device. Although IRQ sharing is possible, some TV
cards may behave abnormally if you are sharing IRQ's.

Chapter 10 - The Finalizing Stage
Now that you have installed all the necessary hardware there are still few
more things you need to do before switching on your PC for the first time.
Your ATX case has a power switch which turns the PC on, a reset switch for
resetting the system, a power LED which comes on when the PC is switched
on and a hard drive LED which flashes when data is being written or read
from your hard drive. You also have an internal speaker.

                Figure 10.1: Power and Reset Switch

The switches and LED's need to be connected to its corresponding
connectors on the motherboard. Please refer to your motherboard manual to
locate where the connectors are. Different motherboards place the connectors
in different locations. The connectors for the switches and LED's are
normally grouped together. They should look similar to the image below.

               Figure 10.2: Motherboard Connection
Every cable is normally labeled, they are normally named as follows, but
could be slightly different on your system.

   Power switch                         Power / PWR-SW
   Reset switch                         Reset
   Power LED                            Power LED / PWR-LED
   Hard drive LED                       HDD-LED / IDE LED
   Speaker                              SPK / Speaker

The connectors on the motherboard are also labeled but may be too small to
see. Instead refer to yourmotherboard manual which would provide details on
which pins you should connect the cables to. The image below shows how
the pins may be organised on your motherboard.

Once you have connected all the cables to the correct pins on the
motherboard, you are ready to switch the PC on. At this point you can close
the cover of your ATX case but don't screw it on just yet as you might have
possible problems that needs rectifying.

Connect all the cables to back of ATX case. These includes the main power
cable that connects to the power supply. PS/2 mouse and keyboard that
connects to the PS/2 ports. Monitor cable that connects to the graphics card
port, etc.

Finally the moment has arrived. Switch on your monitor first. Your ATX
power supply might have a main power switch at the back so make sure that
is switched on. Now switch the PC on by pressing the power switch on the
front of the ATX case. If you have performed all the tasks without any
mistakes and providing that none of the main components are faulty, the PC
should boot. When the PC boots you should see the name of the BIOS
manufacturer, such as AWARD BIOS displayed on your monitor. Your CPU

type, speed and the amount of memory should be displayed as shown on
image below.

                 Figure 10.3: The Very First Screen

If your motherboard has a plug and play BIOS and is set to automatic device
detection by default, then you would see your IDE devices being detected
followed by a prompt complaining about missing operating system. If your
motherboard does not detect the hardware, then you need to proceed to the
BIOS setup screen by pressing DEL or F1 or F2 depending on your

Congratulations you have completed building your own PC. You now need
to proceed to the software section which explains how to setup the BIOS,
Hard disk and install an operating system.

If things did not go smoothly and your PC does not switch on then go to the
troubleshooting section for possible solutions.

BIOS Setup
Award BIOS Version 6.00PG Setup:

This is the BIOS setup for Award BIOS v6.00PG. If you have a different
version of the Award BIOS their would be a lot of similarities. If your BIOS
is AMI or Phoenix then the common BIOS features would have some
similarities. Whatever BIOS you have, this setup guide should give you an
idea about how to setup a BIOS. Please note that setting up BIOS incorrectly
could cause system malfunction, therefore it is recommended that you also
follow the BIOS guide provided on your motherboard manual.

Frequency and Voltage Control

        Frequency and Voltage Control is where you can setup up the CPU
        without setting jumpers on the motherboard. You can setup the CPU
        simply by selecting the speed i.e. Pentium III 750 from the list. This
        ensures that the CPU bus, multiplier, voltage etc, is correctly set for
        that particular CPU. However you can manually setup each feature
        if required.

        Once you have finished with the setup press ESC to return the
        previous menu.

                     Figure 10.4: Setting CPU Speed
Standard CMOS Features

      Here you can setup the basic BIOS features such as date, time, type
      of floppy etc. Use the arrow keys to move around and press enter to
      select the required option. You can specify what IDE devices you
      have such as Hard drive, CD-ROM, ZIP drive etc. The easiest way
      to setup the IDE devices is by leaving it set to auto. This allows the
      BIOS to detect the devices automatically so you don't have to do it
      manually. At the bottom, it also displays the total memory in your

                 Figure 10.5: Standard SMOS Features

Advanced BIOS Features

      As you can see from figure 10.6, there are numerous advance
      settings which you can select if required. For most cases leaving the
      default setting should be adequate. As you can see the first boot
      device is set to floppy. This ensures that the floppy disk is read first
      when the system boots, and therefore can boot from windows boot

      The second boot device is the Hard disk and third is set to LS120. If
      you want to boot from a bootable CD then you can set the third boot
      device to CD/DVD-ROM.

                 Figure 10.6: Advanced BIOS Features

Advanced Chipset Features

      Here you can setup the contents of the chipset buffers. It is closely
      related to the hardware and is therefore recommended that you leave
      the default setting unless you know what you are doing. Having an
      incorrect setting can make your system unstable. If you know that
      your SDRAM can handle CAS 2, then making changes can speed
      up the memory timing. If you have 128MB SDRAM then the
      maximum amount of memory the AGP card can use is 128MB.

                 Figure 10.7: Advanced Chipset Features
Integrated Peripherals

       This menu allows you to change the various I/O devices such as
       IDE controllers, serial ports, parallel port, keyboard etc. You can
       make changes as necessary.

                    Figure 10.8: Integrated Peripherals
Power Management Setup
      The power management allows you to setup various power saving
      features, when the PC is in standby or suspend mode.

                   Figure 10.9: Power Management Setup
PnP/PCI Configurations:
      This menu allows you to configure your PCI slots. You can assign
      IRQ's for various PCI slots. It is recommended that you leave the
      default settings as it can get a bit complicated messing around with

                   Figure 10.10: PnP/PCI Configuration

PC Health Status

       This menu displays the current CPU temperature, the fan speeds,
       voltages etc. You can set the warning temperature which will trigger
       an alarm if the CPU exceeds the specified temperature.

                      Figure 10.11: PC Health Status

Load Fail-Safe Defaults

       If you made changes to the BIOS and your system becomes unstable
       as a result, you can change it back to default. However if you made
       many changes and don't know which one is causing the problem,
       your best bet is to choose the option "Load Fail Safe Mode
       Defaults" from the BIOS menu. This uses a minimal performance
       setting, but the system would run in a stable way. From the dialog
       box Choose "Y" followed by enter to load Fail-Safe Defaults.

Load Optimized Defaults

       Like the Fail-Safe mode above, this option loads the BIOS default
       settings, but runs the system at optimal performance. From the
       dialog box Choose "Y" followed by enter to load Optimized

Set Password

       To password protect your BIOS you can specify a password. Make
       sure you don't forget the password or you can not access the BIOS.
       The only way you can access the BIOS is by resetting it using the
       reset jumper on the motherboard.

Save and Exit Setup

       To save any changes you made to the BIOS you must choose this
       option. From the dialog box choose "Y".

Chapter 11 - Hard Disk Preparation
    This procedure explains how to setup a new hard disk. Warning - if
    you are setting up a hard disk which contains data, the following
    procedure would completely erase your hard disk and the data
    would be unrecoverable.

    Before a new hard disk can be used it needs to be setup. This
    involves partitioning and formatting the hard disk. Windows 98 or
    ME boot disk contains the required software to perform this
    procedure. FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.COM are the files required
    in your bootable floppy disk.

    Start the partition and format procedure by booting your PC using a
    Windows boot disk. Make sure you set the BIOS so that the boot
    sequence is set to detect the floppy disk first. If your system has no
    problems booting you will be presented with a Windows boot disk
    menu. This gives you the option to start the system with or without
    CD-ROM support. At this stage you do not need the CD-ROM
    support, so choose the option to boot without CD-ROM support.
    You should end up in the MS DOS prompt A: (A drive).

    From A: command prompt type fdisk. You will be presented with
    following message:

    Choose "Y" to enable large disk support.
You will now be presented with the FDISK main menu as shown

From the menu, choose option 1 - Create DOS partition or Logical
DOS drive. Another menu will present the following options.

Choose option 1 - Create primary DOS Partition. FDISK verifies the
integrity of your drive and will ask you if want to use the maximum
         available size of your hard disk to create the primary partition and
         set it active. To keep things simple we will create one large
         partition. Choose "Y" to use maximum available space. When the
         partition has been created successfully you will be notified by the
         system. Your drive is now known as C: (C drive). Press "Esc" to
         return to the menu. Press "Esc" again to exit FDISK. You need to
         restart your system for the changes to take affect. Leave boot disk in
         the drive.

         When the system reboots, choose start without CD-ROM from the
         boot disk menu. While booting from floppy disk you might get error
         message like "Invalid media type reading drive C" this is OK for
         this stage as the hard disk is not formatted.

         From A: command prompt type format c:

         You will get a message saying "WARNING, ALL DATA ON
         with Format (Y/N)?".

         Don't worry about the message as you do not have any data in the
         new hard disk. Choose "Y". The format will proceed and would
         show you a progress indicator. The time it takes to format a hard
         disk depends on the size and speed of the drive. This could be
         around 5-30 minutes. Once the format is complete you need to reset
         your system. You are now ready to install an operating system.

Installing the Operating System

This procedure demonstrates how to install Windows XP Professional. The
procedure to install Windows XP home edition is very similar to the
professional edition. Since Windows XP Pro is more advance operating
system, it will be used to demonstrate the installation procedure.
The best way install Windows XP is to do a clean install. It is not difficult to
perform a clean installation. Before you perform the installation I
recommend that you check Windows XP Compatibility List at
to ensure that your hardware is supported by XP. If your hardware is not on
the compatibility list you can check your hardware manufactures website to
download the drivers for Windows XP. Save all the necessary drivers onto
floppy disks or CD before you start the installation.

All versions of Windows XP CD are bootable. In order to boot from CD-
ROM you need to set the boot sequence. Look for the boot sequence under
your BIOS setup and make sure that the first boot device is set to CD-ROM.
If you have an older PC and your BIOS does not support boot from CD-
ROM then you need to create boot disks using 6 floppy disks. You can
download the following program from Microsoft which will create the 6
floppy setup disks:
Windows XP Home Edition -
Windows XP Professional -
If your computer can boot from CD-ROM then you can perform the
following steps to install Windows XP:
1. Start your PC and place your Windows XP CD in your CD/DVD-ROM
2. Your PC should automatically detect the CD and you will get a message
saying "Press any key to boot from CD".
3. Press a key to boot from CD and Windows setup will begin. Windows will
start copying preliminary setup files to your computer.
4. You will be asked if you want to perform a new installation, repair an
existing installation, or quit. In this case, you will be performing a new
5. You will be presented with the End User Licensing Agreement. Press F8
to accept and continue.
6. Select the partition where you want install windows. You will have the
opportunity to create and/or delete partitions or just allocate the available
disk space to one partition.
7. The next screen asks if you wish to use the NTFS file system. This is the
recommended file system. If you choose to use FAT32, you will not have all
the security and stability features of Windows XP.
8. Choose to format the partition to either FAT32 or NTFS. You'll also see
two additional choices to perform a quick format of each option. Stick with
doing a full format. When asked to start the format, press the "F" key. The
formatting process may take quite a bit of time depending on the size of your
9. The setup program will automatically start copying files after the partition
is formatted and you will see a setup progress bar.
10. After this is complete the computer will restart. Leave the XP CD in the
drive but this time DO NOT press any key when the message "Press any key
to boot from CD" is displayed. In few seconds setup will continue.
11. Windows XP Setup wizard will guide you through the setup process of
gathering information about your computer.
12. Choose the region and language.
13. Type in your name and organization.
14. Enter your product license key.
15. Name the computer, and enter an Administrator password. Don't forget to
write down your Administrator password.
16. Enter the correct date and time.
17. Choose workgroup or domain name.
18. Register Windows XP if you've installed all the current hardware on your
19. Add users that will sign on to this computer.
20. Log in, to your PC for the first time. You now need to check the device
manager to confirm that all the drivers has been loaded or if there are any
conflicts. From the start menu select Start -> Settings -> Control Panel.
Click on the System icon and then from the System Properties window
select the Hardware tab, then click on Device Manager. This lists all the
devices as shown in figure 11.1.

                     Figure 11.1: Device Manager

If there are any yellow exclamation mark "!" next to any of the listed device,
it means that no drivers or incorrect drivers has been loaded for that device.
Your hardware should come with manufacturer supplied drivers. You need to
install these drivers using automatic setup program provided by the
manufacturer or you need to manually install these drivers. If you do not
have the drivers, check the manufacturers website to download them.
To install a driver manually use the following procedure:
(a) From the device manager double click on the device containing the
exclamation mark.
(b) This would open a device properties window.
(c) Click on the Driver tab.
(d) Click Update Driver push button. The Wizard for updating device driver
pops up as shown in figure 11.2.

               Figure 11.2: Hardware Update Wizard

You now get two options. The first option provides an automatic search for
the required driver. The second option allows you to specify the location of
the driver. If you don't know the location of the driver choose the automatic
search which would find the required driver from the manufacturer supplied
CD or Floppy disk. Windows would install the required driver and may ask
you to restart the system for the changes to take affect. Use this procedure to
install drivers for all the devices that contain an exclamation mark. Windows
is completely setup when there are no more exclamation marks in the device

Chapter 12 - Trouble Shooting and


Below is a list of common problems experienced while assembling a PC.
Please check the list which could have the possible solution to your

        Problem: The PC does not boot, the power and HDD LED does not
        come on, there is no display on monitor.

        Solution: Check that your main power cable is plugged into the
        ATX power supply. Make sure you have connected the ATX power
        connector to the motherboard. Check if the cable for the power
        switch at front of the PC is connected to the correct pins on the

        Problem: The power LED comes on but the PC does not boot, there
        is no display on monitor.

        Solution: Check if the processor is firmly into the socket. Check
        CPU jumpers to verify if CPU frequency is correctly set.

        Problem: The PC does not boot, but is beeping.

        Solution: Different BIOS manufacturers use various number of
        beeps to indicate faults with various hardware. In an Award BIOS
        motherboard you will get following beeps:

                     1 long 2 short: Graphics card is not securely into place,
        or faulty.

                     1 long 3 short: Graphics card is not securely into place,
                     or faulty video memory.

                     Continuous beeps: No memory, or memory not
                     securely into place, or could be faulty.

                 Continuous high/low beeps: No CPU, or CPU not
                 securely into place, or could be faulty.

     Please refer to your motherboard manual to confirm what the beeps
     are trying to tell you.

     Problem: The PC boots but the CPU speed is incorrect.

     Solution: The CPU frequency jumper setting is incorrect. Refer to
     your motherboard manual to set it correctly.

     Problem: The HDD is not being detected by the BIOS.

     Solution: Check if you connected the IDE cable to the motherboard
     correctly, is pin 1 on the IDE cable connected to pin 1 on the IDE
     sockets on both motherboard connector and HDD connector. Check
     if the HDD jumper is set to master and any other device sharing the
     same cable is set to slave. Refer to section on “Hard Disk
     Installation” for more details.

     Problem: I can not access my CD/DVD-ROM in DOS mode, hence
     can not install Windows.

     Solution: CD/DVD-ROM device driver is not installed. Install the
     manufacturer supplied device driver. If you do not have a device
     driver disk, you can use the windows boot disk which will provide
     access to your CD/DVD-ROM, so that you can install Windows.


     To keep a PC running at top performance, here's a handy schedule
     for servicing a computer.

          Action                       When
          Anti-virus Update            Weekly
          BIOS Flash                   Every 6 Months
          Defrag                       Every 2-3 Months
          External/Internal Cleaning   Monthly
          ScanDisk                     Every 2-3 Months

Anti-virus Update

       Having an anti-virus program installed on your computer is not
       enough to protect your computer from viruses. You have to
       regularly update virus definition files form the software vendor so
       that your computer will be well protected from latest viruses.

BIOS Flash

       Why flash the BIOS?
       Like any hardware driver, the BIOS needs upgrading too. As we all
       know, things change quickly in the world of PCs. By maintaining
       drivers and upgrades, programs will better function and be able to
       adapt to these changes. When new technology comes out, your
       computer can't pick a copy of a popular PC magazine and read
       about it. The user needs to tell the computer that it has "new toys"
       and then provide the tools to recognize these items. Some BIOS
       revisions will help in resolving hardware conflicts on new devices.
       Others may help your computer better handle long dates, among
       other situations. Also, some hardware drivers are written to work
       with only certain revisions of BIOS upgrades.
       What BIOS version do I have?
       When you first turn on your computer and POST (Power On Self
       Test) starts to run, you should see the BIOS revision on the screen
       above the memory count. If not, press F2 (or some other
       combination of keys, depending on your operating system) to get
       into Setup. There you will find the BIOS information and you can
       write it down.
       How do I flash BIOS?
       First, visit your PC's manufacturer's Web site to find the most
       current version for your system. Follow the steps outlined on the
       site to download and install the file. Most manufacturers will
       include a "Read Me" file to walk the user through the process, step-
       You have downloaded the file to upgrade your BIOS to level 10 and
       it is in a file called bios10a.exe that you saved in your My
       Documents folder.
       Double click on the file bios10a.exe to run a disk creator. A DOS
       window will instruct you to insert a blank disk into drive A: and

         press <enter>. It will then format that disk and place the program on
         the newly formatted disk.
         You will then be asked to reboot your computer with the new floppy
         in drive A. Next, you will be prompted upon reboot that you are
         about to flash your BIOS, do you want to continue Y/N?
         Choose "Y" and the disk will proceed with the flash. It only takes
         about one minute. Then, reboot the PC without the disk in the A:
         This process is simple and needs to be done about every 6 months,
         depending on the frequency of your manufacturer to release


         Does your computer seem to be getting slower and slower? It may
         be time to defrag your hard drive to improve your computer's
         performance. Here's how:
         By defragmenting the hard drive, the utility rearranges files so that
         all the clusters associated with that file are placed next to each
         other. The next time the file is loaded, all the data clusters are
         contiguous and the drive doesn't have to jump around the disk to
         read the various clusters. This should help speed the computer's
                 Defrag your computer at least every 2-3 months.
         If you're running a version of Microsoft Windows, here's how to
         defrag your drive.
               Click the Start button.
               Click the Programs folder.
               Click the Accessories folder.
               Go to the System Tools.
               Click on Disk Defragmenter.
               Choose the hard drive you want to defragment and follow
                   the on-screen instructions.
                 Be sure not to have any other programs running, especially
                  the screen saver.

External/Internal Cleaning

       No matter how old your computer, it's a good idea to start a cleaning
       regime. Dust and dirt buildup restricts airflow to the computer's
       processor and when heat cannot be displaced, performance will
       suffer and the computer could fail. Even your keyboard needs
       cleaning from time to time.

       It's recommended that you clean the outside of your computer once
       a month. Depending on your environment, you may find that
       keyboards and monitor screens will require cleaning more often. No
       matter how clean your home or office environment, dust happens!

       To clean the keyboard, pick it up and hold it at an angle. Spray the
       compressed air down through the keys to clear any debris. Dust
       forms in places other than the keyboard and monitor. While the fan
       is doing its job pulling air across the motherboard and processor, it
       is also the entry point for dust and debris to the interior of your PC.
       Before you attempt to clean this very important part of your PC,
       power off your computer and remove the power cord before opening
       the case.

       Start with your compressed air and blow the outside of the fan. This
       should be enough to clean it, but if the buildup won't blow off, clean
       the fan blades with a cloth and ammonia solution. Next, blow out
       the inside of the PC. Dust and debris really build up here and in the
       cooling fan of the processor. It is a good idea to give this area a
       cleaning with the compressed air. Do not turn the can of compressed
       air upside down as the liquid will come out and could cause some
       damage. Once this is done, give the general area around the board a
       short, quick blast from your compressed air to this area. Replace the
       case and return the power cord to the back of the PC.

       Now were ready to wrap this up, so let's use some more of our
       ammonia solution and clean the outside of the case and monitor. It
       is important to put the solution on the cloth and not directly on the
       computer. Liquid could leak in to the PC and cause problems to the
       circuitry inside. The more frequently you clean, the less build up
       you'll have. So keep 'em clean and keep 'em running.


         Have you ever seen this message?

         Windows was not shut down Properly, Please wait
         while ScanDisk checks for errors on your hard drive.

         If your machine hangs, you accidentally hit the power button or
         something else causes causes the computer to shut down
         improperly, this Windows utility will check the PC's hard drive for
         errors and lost information. It will then attempt to repair those files.
                 Automatically happens after improper shut down.
                 (Recommended) Every 2-3 months.
If you're running a version of Microsoft Windows, here's how to scan your
disk drive.
               Click the Start button
               Click the Programs folder
               Click the Accessories folder
               Go to the System Tools
               Click on ScanDisk
               Under the type of test choose "Thorough"
               Click Start to begin
                 You can uncheck the "automatically fix errors" if you want
                  to choose how ScanDisk fixes errors it finds.


Chapter 14 - Introduction to Operating Systems
Chapter 14 - Structure of OS
Chapter 14 - Installations and Upgrades Operating Systems
Chapter 14 - Startup Process
Chapter 14 - Windows Issues
Chapter 14 – Hardware
Chapter 14 - Optional Extras
Chapter 14 - Assembling your PC (Part I)
Chapter 14 - Assembling your PC (Part I)
Chapter 14 - The Finalizing Stage
Chapter 14 - Hard Disk Preparation
Chapter 14 - Trouble Shooting and Maintenance

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