Computer Guide

Adding hard drives

by George Skarbek - 6th March2007

To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here


Q: I like to add an additional hard drive to my PC - Pentium 4, 2.4 GHz. The current drive has an IDE drive, does the new one also have to be an IDE or can I install an HD with a SATA drive?

You can only add a SATA drive if your motherboard supports the Serial ATA drives otherwise you will not have anything on the motherboard to plug your drive into as the connections are totally different. Probably the easiest way to find out if you have a SATA controller is to look in your motherboard manual. If you do not then you must purchase an IDE hard disk and remember to set the master / slave jumper on the hard drive correctly as you can have only one master and one slave on one IDE controller.


Slow clock

Q: I have been given an older Windows XP computer. It does not seem to be able to maintain the correct day or time, and even though I update it with the correct day and time, when I next I turn it on, the time and date are up 24 to 48 hours behind the current date and time.
Is it possible to fix this problem?

The clock on a PC is run by a battery, in the same way your wristwatch works and when the battery starts going flat, the watch slows down and then stops. When the computer is on and running on 240 volts, the clock runs OK as the power to the clock is supplied by the computer.

The battery is a low cost item and in most cases it is approximately the size of a 20 cent coin but thinner, and the end user can replace these after opening the case. I suggest that if you are considering replacing it yourself, open the case first and locate that battery and slide it out to ensure that the replacement is the same size and voltage.

Lost space in mail

Q: I only have 15 GB of space to play with. Actually, at the moment I only have 200 MB of space to play with. For some reason, my available space is rapidly diminishing. I don't know why. Anyway, some time ago, I decided to send all of my UB-40 .mp3's to my brother one by one. In order to keep a track of which ones I had sent and which ones I had to send, I decided to store copies of all the ones I sent in my sent items folder. As you can imagine, after a while, I had amassed quite a few large e-mails in my sent items folder and could only imagine how big my Sent items.dbx file was getting. Anyway, just recently, I sent the last one to my brother after which I deleted all the copies in my sent items folder. As such, I expected the file size to go down in order to reflect what was left of the contents of my sent items folder. Just today I discovered, however, that my Sent items.dbx file is still at 164,425,072 bytes. I am still running Windows 98. So, while in DOS, I went to; C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\Identities\ {87c0bb40-9c04-11ec-ad3d-dd93559aa67a} \Microsoft\Outlook Express and discovered in that directory, the following files and respective sizes; Deleted items.dbx - 157,738,224;  Sent items.dbx - 164,425,072

They are both well over 150 MB as you can see. These sizes do not reflect at all what is in those files in Outlook Express. The deleted items folder currently has about half a MB of data in it in three files and the sent items folder currently has about three meg in it in 16 files. The two folders have about three and a half MB of data yet, their respective files consume well over 300 meg! What can I do about this?

This is a common problem with Outlook Express, but not Outlook. When you delete mail from mailboxes the actual data still remains. The DBX is a database and the pointers to where the messages start are removed, but not the data itself. You have to compact the folders to actually remove all the deleted junk.

This is done from Outlook Express. Click on File, Folder then Compact All Folders and now this process will free the space. As you obviously have not done this for a long time, if ever, this process may take a few minutes to complete and it should not be interrupted.

Importing contacts

Q: I have been using Outlook Express for mail and Outlook just for the calendar and contacts which are synchronised with my mobile phone. Can you tell me how I go about importing my email addresses from the Outlook Express Address Book into Outlook Contacts?

From Outlook Express select File, Export and highlight Text File, Export.  Then enter a file name such as C:\temp.csv. The extension must be .csv and using C:\ will put it into the root directory. Then remove the ticks from the fields that you do not use or want and click Finish. Close Outlook Express and open Outlook.
From Outlook, click on File, Import and Export and select Import from another program or file and select Comma Separated Values (Windows) and either click on Browse to look in the root directory or type C:\temp.csv then for the destination select Personal Folders and highlight the Contact folder.
Having verified that the contacts have been imported, you can delete the C:\temp.csv file.

To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here