The Bug Report

The only Bug that's good for your computer!
A Publication of the Greater South Bay PC Users Group
Volume 20 Number 10
October 2002

A monthly publication of
GS-BUG Inc. (c) copyright 1996.
Reproduction of any material herein by any means is expressly prohibited unless written permission is granted. Exception: Articles may be reprinted by other users groups in unaltered form if credit is given to the author and the original publication.

Editor - Kay Burton







By Dr. John Hanson

  Topics for September
1.  Extra USB ports
2.  Ink Prices
3.  Power Supply Failure
4.  Color Laser Printers
5.  NiMH battery chargers
6.  CD-R Disks - More Info
7.  Olympus Digital Camera 2100
1.   Extra USB Ports:  Many motherboards have only two USB  ports which  come out together near where the mouse and  keyboard  plug in.   Some motherboards have a header that allows for  two  extra USB ports to  come out  some other place on the back or front.
     It’s  useful to have extra USB ports if you have  a  digital camera or flash card reader, etc.  You can get an extender  cable that allows four more  with or  without  extra power in the form  of  a  plug- in power module.  This solution uses up one of  the  USB ports in the back and it could be a fire danger if you leave  the power module plugged in all the time so it would be useful if you had an easy way to turn it on only  when you need it.
     A  better solution for the same price is to buy a  PCI  card that  fits in a motherboard slot and provides powered USB  ports.  I bought one at Frys with two  ports for  about $20 and then Emmett Ingram found a better one with two ports using the newer USB  2.0 which  is much faster for $26 at PC Club.  Then, by  accident,  I stumbled on an even better deal at the Pomona Computer Show.  For only $18 you can get five ports of USB 2.0.  Four of these  ports come  out  in the rear as expected but one is inside so  you  can connect  an  extension  to have ports in the front  or  near  the front.  The vendor’s web site is   Another  vendor had the same   item for $2 more so you might be able  to find  it at other places.  The box is labeled “USB 2.0  PCI  Host Card”.   For  any who get the Dr. Hanson special at  one  of  the recommended computer vendors spend $15 more and get a newer  case with  two USB ports in the front and then you might not need  the card altho it would give you the faster speed potential.
2.  Ink Prices:  We have already mentioned  that  CSI on 190th is a good  place to get ink and Charlie is very good at replacing any that are bad. But be cautious as the generic cartridges for the  Epson C-80  are not identical and may not  stay in place which could  be serious.  One of our talented members decided not to use CSI  for his replacement cartridges because he did not want to take a chance as the clips are diferent than that of the Epson cartridge.
3.  Power Supply Failure:  If your computer doesn’t start at  all when you press the on button it is likely to be the power supply.  One  clue is that the fan is not running but you could also  measure the 5 and 12 volt lines as they are readily available at  any of  the four pin sockets.  I have been very lucky for many  years but last week one failed after only one year and it was a different  brand from the Deer brand I told you that has repeated  failures in the same spot.  Soon I will take mine apart to see if  I can find out why it failed.
4.   Color Laser Printers:  I almost bought one last  week.   The normal  discount price with mail in rebate is $800 for this  2200 Minolta  but Sam’s has it for only $700 and no  rebate  required.  The  week  before  I  had visited  the  Minolta  show  room  near Hawthorne  and  Del  Amo  and was very  impressed  by  the  young  salesgirl,  Jill.  I  was  concerned about the color quality because PC World said the color was “So So” but she showed me on  various models fantastic results with a photograph of a girl in the rain. I  didn’t  see it printed on the low end machine so that is why  I hesitated to buy it along with the fact that it takes four passes to  make  a picture so is very slow at rated 5 pages  per  minute which  in  actual practice may take a minute or  more  per  page.  This  model  is also quite heavy at 110 lbs. and  very  bulky  to lift.
    Minolta has new model  out called the 3100 which is a  single pass machine and it has a built in duplexer so you can print both sides  automatically as well as an ethernet connection.  It  only weighs  77 lbs. and is only $2000 with all this but Jill did  not have  one available so I will wait ‘til she does.  I  want to  print some of my  own pictures I use in my business on her machines  and time them as well as check the quality.
     While Minolta claims about 6,000 sheets per toner  cartridge it  is only for 5% coverage which is only a square 2.1 inches  on each  side.   In my case where my pictures are almost  100%  that would  mean  only 300 sheets if only one color were  used  so  in actuality one might expect 1,000 sheets per set of toners.  A set  of  toners is about $500 which would be about 50 cents  per  side which  is what  Kinkos charges for 1,000 sheets.   Costco  charges only 39 cents  so in general it is less expensive to let Costco  do it  and not have the extra investment of buying the printer.   If you  factor in the cost of the printer, Costco is the way to  go.  On  the  other hand the convenience  of being able to  make  laser color  prints  on  the  spot can be very useful and  in  only  the quantity  I need without paying the much higher price  for  small quantities.
5.   NiMH battery chargers:  Costco has a Panasonic NiMH  charger set with 6 AA cells plus some AAA cells for about $20 which seems reasonable as you can get  4 AA cells of 1800 mAH at Frys for only $2.50  per cell.  I am not a big fan of NiMH technology  but  one  doesn’t have much choice and NiMH is getting better.  The charger says  5 hours for a charge and the little green lites do  go  off after  the batteries are charged but I haven’t timed  them.   But there is one disturbing factor you need to be concerned about.
     The charger doesn’t seem to recognize when the batteries are charged  if you have unplugged the charger and then plug it  back in  again  which makes the batteries overheat and could  start  a fire so make sure batteries are discharged before charging  them.  On  the other hand the charger that came with my  Olympus  digital camera  seems to be more  sophisticated.  This  same problem  could occur with NiCad battery chargers also so be careful.  Users  are at  a dilemma as how do we discharge the batteries if not in  our equipment?   If  you are experienced with electricity  you  could design a discharge  circuit that shuts off at one volt per cell so you  must  know how to make a comparator circuit to  trigger  the discharge relay.  It is not a good idea to go below one volt with NiMH  batteries nor with NiCads but NiCads are very forgiving  if  you do discharge them much lower.
     George  Austin had a problem with a tiny 7.2 volt NiMH  battery in his laptop and the hardware SIG members were not able  to fix  it  so George gave it to me.  What I did seemed to  work  so here  are  the details if you have occasion to try on  your  own.  Apply 9 volts to it thru a limiting resistor so that only one  or two mils flow.  Feel carefully and if it doesn’t get hot after  5 or 10 minutes, leave it for several hours.  Remove the charge and apply a voltmeter and it should read over 8 volts for at least  a week.  Then you can add a 2,000 ohm load to see if  it holds up as George’s  did.  If you have fancy laboratory power supplies it  is a lot easier as you can control both the voltage and the  current but  a  quick and dirty fix would be to apply the nine  volts  as described.  I  used 1.42 volts per cell to get the  9  volts.  In  George’s case  the pin connector is so tiny that I found it easier to  strip  the wires just  enough to put  on  some  clips.   Always strip  in a  different place so the open parts are not  likely  to touch and cause a short.
6.  CD-R  Disks  - More Info:  One of the sharp  experts  at  the Tuesday  Hardware SIG pointed out that one of the best web  sites for    info   on   CD   Burners,   disks   and    software    is:   They  even have a program  that  you  can download to identify CD manufacturers.  It’s called CD  Identifier.  You can also get  info on the  quality of CDs and also on what you can tell from the dye color.  At the main site there are  all these links on the left hand side.
7.   Olympus Digital Camera 2100:  My Kodak 4800 is  a  marvelous digital camera at 3.1 megapixels with great 8 x 10 prints so  why would I buy a 2.1 megapixel camera.  If you do the  math it  seems very foolish but from a practical standpoint I get very useful  8 x  10  prints even when using only one  megapixel.   When  George  Margolis  of the  Orange  County computer club showed his to  me  I was  very  impressed.   In addition, it has 10X  zoom  and  image stabilization which is very useful in low light conditions  where speeds  must  be  slow.  For the $400 cost, it gives  me  another useful  tool  in  my arsenal of cameras for  taking  pictures  of  children moving quickly.
     Many  members of the Digital SIG and others think  you  will benefit  from more megapixels and theoretically they  are  right. Jack Burton, who is a very experienced camera expert, decided  to upgrade from his 2.1 megapixel Olympus to a 4.1 megapixel Olympus C-4040  for  $450 at  Samy’s  Camera.  It  will  be  interesting  to compare the results of his with mine.  Emmett Ingram gets  excellent  results  with his 2.1 megapixel Minolta flat  camera  which just  came  out  and this week another  friend,  David  Griffith, bought  one and so far he is very pleased with the results.

Editor’s Note:  John Hanson is the inventor of Tooties, a  superb self-teaching  system used by millions in schools, homes, and  byeye doctors around the world to improve vision.  He also invented a  new form of psychology  called QET (Quick  Effective  herapy) which  transforms poor students into good students, almost  over-night,  usually  in 5 to 15 days.  He has  also  had  outstanding success  in helping brain damaged people, even years after  their accident.   Why go to therapy for years and spend lots  of  money when  you can improve quite fast with QET?  He uses computers  to document  his cases for his books so that others may benefit  and improve  their  vision and other skills.  Visit his web  site  at for more information.


By Frank Chao

This is the 50th article in the “Internet Talk” series and it resides in the seventh newsletter that is edited by Kay Burton. Last month, Kay started placing “Top” and “Home” buttons at the end of each article in the online version of these newsletters. You can see her wizardry by visiting the club’s Website at .
The new Web page buttons work as follows:
-“Top” takes you to the top of the newsletter
-“Home” takes you to the home page of the GSBUG    Website.
They work great !
Liz and I greatly appreciate Kay’s efforts to enhance both the paper and online versions of the monthly newsletter.
The “Netscape 7” Web browser is now available. You can learn about or download it at
I have been using it since the end of August and it works great. It loads and runs about 20 percent faster than “Netscape 6”.  It continues to do a better and more reliable job of printing Web pages, to both inkjet and laser printers, than any version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
Enjoy !
If you are using Internet Explorer (“IE”) and you get a partial or trashed printout after hitting the “Print” icon:
From within Internet Explorer, highlight the URL in the “Address bar”.
Press the “Control” key of your keyboard. Leave it pressed down.
Press the “C” key of your keyboard.
Release both the “Control” key and the “C” key of your keyboard.
Start “Netscape”.
Click once on the URL in the “Navigation bar” of  your Netscape window in order to highlight the URL that is there.
Press the “Control” key of your keyboard. Leave it pressed down.
Press the “V” key of your keyboard.
Release both the “Control” key and the “C” key of your keyboard.
Press the “Enter” key of your keyboard once.
“Netscape” will probably  take  you to the  same page that you were viewing using Internet Explorer.
If it does so, use Netscape to print the Web page.
If Netscape does not go to the same page that you were viewing in Internet Explorer, you will have to start an earlier page (such as a login page) at the Website that you are accessing. You then have to work your way to the page that you wish to print. Have fun !
I experienced yet another problem with a Pac Bell DSL “Customer Self Install”. Yesterday, Liz and I journeyed to Corona, California to help a friend of hers with a DSL installation. Upon arriving at this lady’s residence, we went through the “Customer Self Install” kit that had just arrived in the mail. This kit was lacking an “Installation CD-ROM”. We then phoned the Pac Bell’s technical support and their help desk person stated that an “Installation CD-ROM” is usually included in “..Self Install” kits. She stated that this was a mistake and that a CD-ROM would be mailed in two days. The help desk person also stated that suggested that we might be able to download enough drivers and software from Pac Bell’s Web site in order to get the DSL connection running. Using my Netzero dial-up Internet access, we accessed this Website and downloaded a copy of Enternet “Point to Point Over Ethernet” (“PPOE”) software. Next, we installed this software into our friend’s Windows 98 computer.  After a bit of a struggle, we also successfully installed a 10/100 Base-T Ethernet PCI network adapter. After this three-hour effort, we were still unable to activate this customer’s new DSL connection. We then installed Netzero software into the computer and helped the future/hopeful DSL customer obtain a free dial-up account, as a temporary means of accessing the Internet. In future weeks, Liz and I will return to her friend’s house to continue our struggles to activate the new DSL Internet connection. Stay tuned !
If Liz and I cannot get this lady’s DSL connection working, we plan to put her on the free version of Juno Web also. Then she will have 10 free hours from Netzero and 10 free hours from Juno for a total of 20 free hours of dial-up Internet access per calendar month, while we struggle with the DSL connection.  Some you will remember that a friend of mine in south Torrance spend over 3 months hassling with Pac Bell Internet before his DSL connection was functional. I never stated that Internet access was easy !
In contrast to stories about problems with installing DSL, I continue to hear success stories about cable modem “self installations”.  At least for the Los Angeles area, cable modems appear to have better technical support and less installation problems, relative to DSL. Let me know if you have problems with installations of either type of Internet connection.

The TRW Swap Meet was cancelled for September 2002. This was a one-time aberration. This extravaganza will resume again on the last Saturday in October.
For information about this swap meet, see
See you there !
If you have any questions or problems, I can be contacted by the following methods:
1. Leave a voice message for me at  (310)768-3896.
2. Send me e-mail at:
3. Send “snail” U.S. Postal Service mail to
Frank Chao
PO Box 6930
Torrance, CA 90504-0030.
Or sell your computer and take up golf instead


Here it is October already. Time for the election of GS-Bug’s officers. I wonder who is running for office this year? I guess the train conductor will tell the members who are at the general meeting.???
Last month I told you about a program that would automatically improve your digital pictures. It is called Digital Camera Enhance (DCE). I used it some more during the month and I still believe it is a pretty good no brainier program. Of course if you want you can move from the default settings and make corrections manually. I found two things that did not make me too happy. First, I found one of the three computers I tried it on would not show the picture you were working on.  It is supposed to show the before and after pictures. It does the work and saves the results which can be viewed with your favorite viewer, but not in the program like it is supposed to. Probably does not get along with the video card. I really do not know and when I contacted the author about it I did not have the problem resolved. If you pick up the trial version and it doe not work, the registered version will not work either. In my case at least. Second thing I do not like is the small size of the before and after pictures. Hard to view the results. The auto working part of the program is using up most of the screen when it could be working in the background and just letting us view the results. Maybe in the next version. Disk # 103 is the free version and 104 is the full 30 day version. I believe the full trial version is the one you want to try out. It really improves the pictures. You can run it in batch mode before burning your pictures to a CD. Remember it does not over write the original so if you do not like the changes, no harm done. Give it a try.
Keith Decker would like to finish up making the photo ID cards for all members. We need you to help a bit. If you do not want a card made send a email message to Keith  Just say “no ID Pic”. Keith can then make a card for you without a picture and mark you off the list.     you want your card with picture, come to the general meeting and we will take a picture. You can also send an attached digital picture to an email to Keith or a hard copy in the mail and we will scan it. This project is scheduled to end at our Dec. Christmas party on Dec. 2nd. So please do not put it off.


                 - by John Sullivan, GSBUG

The Club had given me a copy of the new Version 7.0 of PowerQuest’s Partition Magic, on the condition that I review it for you, both here and at the General Meeting. If you attended the Sept. 2 Meeting, you saw it demonstrated live, and this article will pretty much be just a repeat of that information.
Partition Magic is an excellent software program, which I’ve been using for a number of years, since I first picked up a copy of version 2.5. The new Version 7.0 works with Windows XP, will accomodate harddrives with up to 120 GB as a single partition, supports external USB harddrives and, can merge NTFS partitions, supports Linux Ext 2, and also RAID 0 and RAID 5.  Now granted, a large number of computer users go through their whole lives without ever needing to partition, or re-partition, their harddrives, getting along just fine with the C: drive that came with their computer when it was new. But people who join User Groups, and take time to read newsletters like this one, usually are looking to more with their computers than just read email and play Solitaire.
So what are some of the reasons for partitioning a harddrive into more than just one section? Some people want to run more than one Operating System, (DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Linux, BEOS, etc.) and be able to select which one to boot up into. Other people just like the organization aspect: installing the Operation System in one partition, installing software programs into another, using another for saved work. Occasionally people have a need to hide a whole partition from other people who might be using the computer.
As always, if you’re working with a FAT 16 or FAT 32 filesystem, like Windows 95 or 98, you can use the DOS command “fdisk” to partition your harddrive. But once you have data saved into your partitions, fdisk can only alter the partiton sizes by deleting the respective par titions, then making new ones. Partition Magic can actually Move and ReSize partitions that contain data, without destroying the data! Partition Magic can also convert from FAT 16 to FAT 32, (and back!), and demonstrate how much space on your harddrive is saved by doing so; showing the amount of space regained by changing cluster sizes.
For myself, I wouldv’e bought Partition Magic anyway, had the Club not offered me a free copy in exchange for demo’ing the program. I had just decided to move up to Windows XP from 98, but didn’t want to do an actual “upgrade” to XP (overwriting my Win 98 files with the XP files). I wasn’t sure I was going to like XP, so I wanted to keep my old Win 98 system functioning. Also, I was planning to buy a larger harddrive (about 80 GBs) so I could dabble in digital video editing without cluttering up my normal harddrive, and I wanted to be able to create and resize partitions on it at will.
Before installing XP on my home computer, I was reading up on  it, trying to decide if I needed the Full Install version or the Upgrade version. I figured the Upgrade version would see the old Windows 98 installation, and want to upgrade it. It looked like I was going to have to buy the Full Install version, in order to keep my old Windows 98 intact, although I would have to make a separate partition that I could install XP into. Just in time, I read an article that explained that the Upgrade version doesn’t require that you have a prior version installed, just that you own one. During the XP upgrade installation, the system will stop and ask you to put in the CD from a prior version of Windows, (from Windows 98 up) and will verify that you have a valid copy, then will ask you to put the XP CD back in, and will continue the installation.
To me, it made sense to make a separate partition, and install the XP upgrade into it. This worked perfectly. Windows XP noticed that I had another version of Windows in a separate partition, and asked if I’d like it to set up a “dual boot” system, which is an included feature in XP. Now when I bootup, I get a menu asking which Operating System I want to boot into, Windows XP or Windows 98. For people who are not using XP, Partition Magic comes with a built in Boot Magic utility, which gives you a similar boot menu on startup.
A  caveat to all this is that software programs that are “Windows compliant” usually will write their information into the Registry of the respective Windows system under which you installed the software. This means that most programs that you ran under the first Operating System will have to be re-installed when you install the second Operating System. This didn’t turn out to be a nuisance, though, because I had installed a bunch of stuff under Windows 98, but really didn’t want all that junk under XP. So I just reinstall software if I think I’m going to use it alot. Things that I only use occassionally I still have under Window 98, and simply boot into that system when I want to run them.
Other features of Partition Magic are: Remapping Drive Letters (when a new partition bumps an existing one), Changing Drive Letters (Windows NT\2000\XP only), Retest and Recover bad sectors, Resize the Root directory, Set Active Partitions. Partition Magic also runs Scandisk (Windows 9x and ME) or CHKDSK (NT) and Disk Defragmenter from within the program.
For users who manage a network of computers, Partition Magic is available in a Pro version, which includes the ability to create and manage partitons remotely over the network, make and run Scripts to automate functions, and contains various command line switches.
All in all, I’m very satisfied with Partition Magic, and like I said, had the Club not offered me a copy in exchange for a demonstration, I would have bought it anyway!


Microsoft Corp. has issued a cumulative
patch for its Internet Explorer Web Browser
that also fixes six new vulnerabilities, the
most sserious of which could enable an attacker to take control over a user’s system, the company said.
All currently supported versions of Internet explorer --5.01, 5.5 and 6.0 --are affected, putting tens of milllions of Internet users at risk, Internet explorer is the world’s most popular Web browser.  Microsoft is urging all users to  immediately apply the patch, the company said in a security bulletin.  Versions of Internet Explorer that are no longer supported  could also be vulnerable, Microsoft noted.  A  cumulative patch is one that includes all previously released fixes for a software product.  The six newly patched vulnerabilities are in various parts of Internet Explorer and mainly put client systems at risk, but Microsoft rated the superpatch “critical” for Internet and intranet servers, too.
Three of the six new flaws enable an attacker to run code on a user’s system, while other vulnerabilities could be exploited to read files on a user’s system, Microsoft said.
In addition to fixing the vulnerabilities, the patch package also permanently disables two vulnerable ActiveX controls, one linked to the MSN chat application and one to a feature for terminal services sessions, Microsoft said ActiveX controls are small programs designed to perform a single task  Find the patch here;


By Gene Barlow
User Group Relations
Copyrighted February 2002
During the past few months, I’ve seen a growing interest among user group members to adopt the Windows XP operating system. Questions about how to move to Windows XP are coming up more and more in user group meetings. This article briefly describes the six ways to move to Windows XP, so that you can determine which would best suit your personal needs.
Families of Operating Systems:  For the past several years, Microsoft has offered two families of operating systems to use on personal computers. For the home user, they provided the Windows 95/98/Me family of operating system. This operating system has included five major versions over the years — Windows 95, Windows 95B, Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Millennium. While it may sound like these are several different operating systems, in fact, they are different releases of the same operating system with different names.
While end-users were using the Windows 95/98/Me operating system, businesses were getting to know the Windows NT operating system. This operating system included six different versions over the years — Windows NT, Windows NT2, Windows NT3, Windows NT4, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. While Windows XP comes packaged two different ways - a Home Edition and a Professional Edition  they are both the same operating system with slightly different features to meet the needs of their intended audiences.
Microsoft has told us that Windows Me was the last version of the home operating system that they will release and that Windows 95/98/Me users are expected tomove to the new Windows XP operating system for the most recent version of Windows. All future personal computer operating systems put out by Microsoft will be based on the Windows XP system we now have. This has prompted many users to take a close look at Windows XP and to determine when and how they will move to this new operating system version.
Six Ways to Windows XP:  A look at the documentation that comes with Windows XP will identify one or two ways to take when moving to XP. Upon closer inspection, there are actually three approaches that you can take to move to Windows XP plus a couple of options on each of these three approaches to give you a total of six ways to get to Windows XP. Let’s briefly review the three main approaches and then look at the two options that make up these six ways to Windows XP.
The first way to move to Windows XP is also the easiest way to get there — buy a new computer with Windows XP already installed on it. This saves you the expense and effort to upgrade your current computer to a level that will support Windows XP. It also saves you from installing the new operating system on your computer. All of this is taken care of for you by the computer manufacturer. Microsoft has stated that they expect 90% of their users to take this first approach.
The second approach to getting to Windows XP is to purchase a Windows XP upgrade package from your software dealer and to install it on your computer replacing your current operating system. When you are done, you will have Windows XP on your computer and your old operating system will be gone. I find this approach a bit risky and do not recommend it to most users. If anything should happen while you are installing Windows XP, you might end up with a bad installation of XP and you may also destroyed your old operating system in the process. Select this option only if you have taken a full backup of your entire system before starting the installation.
The third approach is to purchase a Windows XP upgrade package from your software dealer and to install Windows XP on your hard drive, side-by-side with your old operating system. When you are done, you have both your old operating system and your new Windows XP system on your computer. This approach takes a little more disk space to run and some partitioning utilities to set up the hard drive, but it is by far the safest way to move to Windows XP. You will also find that some of your hardware and software may not run at first under Windows XP. This side-by-side approach gives you the ability to continue to run these hardware devices and applications on your old operating system until you can get them to also work on Windows XP. Therefore, you can migrate your system slowly from the old operating system to Windows XP and still have all of your system working on one operating system or the other.
Each of these three main approaches has two sub-options to choose from - a Clean install or an Upgrade install. This refers to how closely you connect to your applications and settings on your old operating system. A Clean install is a total replacement of your operating system with little connections to your past operating system. You will need to re-install all of your applications on your new XP system and then select all of your application settings again after they are installed. This approach may take a bit more work, but it promises you the most efficient system after you complete the installation.
The Upgrade  install retains as many links to your old applications and settings as it can. It is sort of a merging of the new Windows XP operating system with your old operating system, so that when you are done, your applications will run just the same as they did on your old system. While this may appear to be the easiest to do, it may take you longer overall to take this option. Not all of your applications will work under Windows XP and you may need to spend a great deal of time testing out your applications to make sure they work properly on XP.
Which Way is Best for You:  At first, all of these six ways may sound like they should work for you. Actually, it is a bit more difficult than that. Here are some guidelines to help you decide which of the six ways to move to Windows XP is actually the best one for you to follow.
One of the first things to determine is if your computer hardware is powerful enough to support Windows XP. The Windows XP operating system is a robust and stable operating system, but it demands a more powerful computer to run on. As a rule of thumb, if you purchased your computer in the past two years, then it will probably handle Windows XP without too many equipment upgrades. If it is older than two years, then the cost to make many upgrades to the computer may offset the cost of purchasing a new computer instead. Take a close look at your computer hardware to make sure it has the following equipment on it:
· 300 Mhz Processor
· 256 MB RAM
· 1.5 GB of Available Hard Drive Space
If your old computer is not up to these minimum specifications, then you need to buy what is needed to bring your computer up to this minimum level. The cost to do this may help you determine whether to spend your money upgrading an old computer or purchasing a new computer instead.
If you purchase a new computer, you may be able to use most of your external devices on the new computer. For example, your display and printer may work just fine on your new computer, thus saving the cost to replace these devices, too. To be sure that your devices will work on your new Windows XP system, you can download a free tool from the Microsoft website and run it on your current system. This tool is called the Windows XP Upgrade Advisor. After you run the Upgrade Advisor on your current (non-Windows XP) system, you will know which of your devices may not work under Windows XP without obtaining new drivers for them.
The next consideration you need to make is whether your applications will run on Windows XP or not. If you currently run an earlier version of Windows NT or Windows 2000 and your applications work ok on that operating system, then there is a good probability they will also run under Windows XP. If you are using a release of the Windows 95/98/Me operating system family, then some of your current applications may not work unless they are re-installed or new versions of them have been obtained and installed. Low-level utility software is almost certain not to run on Windows XP without a new release of the utility. The Windows XP Upgrade Advisor mentioned above should also tell you which of your applications will work on XP and which ones may not work for you. This information is good to know in advance so that you can be prepared by obtaining the latest versions before you install Window XP.
Tools to Help you Move to XP:  Perhaps the best tool you can use to help you move to Windows XP operating system is PartitionMagic by PowerQuest Corporation. Version 7 of this excellent partitioning utility is designed to work with Windows XP as well as other common operating systems. PartitionMagic will let you create multiple primary partitions in which to install your new operating system. With the BootMagic utility, which comes as a part of the PartitionMagic package, you can switch between your new Windows XP system and your older operating system as mentioned in the third approach above. This is one tool that will make the process of moving to Windows XP so much easier for you to accomplish. Don’t attempt this move without PartitionMagic.
The second tool that you should have is Drive Image v5, which also works with Windows XP. Making changes to your operating system is a serious undertaking that you don’t want to attempt without a full backup of your current system before you start to install Windows XP. Drive Image is one of the best backup utilities on the market and one that you really need to have to accomplish this project of moving to Windows XP.
Finally, I have just completed an  educational CD entitled, “Discovering your Hard Drive” that contains all of the detail steps of these six ways to move to Windows XP. This CD will guide you through the steps of each of these six approaches, besides providing many additional topics to help you better understand and organize your hard drive. This information is difficult to find in other sources and many of the ideas covered on the CD are only found in this one source. This is a must to help you get to Windows XP.
How to Order Products:  User group members and guests can order PartitionMagic v7, Drive Image v5, and the “Discovering your Hard Drive” CD at a significant discount off the list price of these products. PartitionMagic and Drive Image have a list price of $69.95 each, but the user group price for these excellent utilities is only $35 each. That’s the best price you will find on these quality products. Likewise, the “Discovering your Hard Drive” CD is available to user group members and others for only $20. With a $5 shipping fee, the total price for these three items is only $95 delivered to your door.
To order the products, access our secure web site at and complete the order form. Enter the special price code of UGEM02 on the form where required. You can use your VISA, MASTERCARD, or Discover Card to purchase the items or complete the form and mail it with your check or Money Order. As soon as we receive your order, we will ship it via US Priority Mail and your products should arrive at your door in less than a week’s time. If you are not happy with your products, you may return them within 30 days for a full refund of their purchase price.
I hope this has helped you think about when you need to move to Windows XP and how to do it. I plan to write other such technical articles in the future that you can watch for. Thank you for your interest inhard drives and PowerQuest’s products.