Computer Guide

Oiling noisy fans

by George Skarbek - 8th April 2008

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Oiling noisy fans

Q: Every now and then the fan in my PC gets very loud I believe that you can give it a touch of some kind of oil. How do I go about it and what sort of oil do I use.

A: You should never have to oil the fans for several reasons. One reason is that the bearings are sealed and oil will not get in. However, in trying to oil them you can make matters much worse. The oil can become spread around when the fan starts and oil will attract dust which then will act as a blanket and can cause overheating which would not have occurred normally.

A sensor on your motherboard will raise the fan to a higher speed if the CPU becomes very hot when there is a high ambient temperature or workload. When the CPU cools down, the speed reverts to normal. The only exception is if you hear mechanical grinding as this means that something may have come loose and is rubbing or jamming the fan. In such a case the fan should be replaced.

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Deleting from DOS

Q: I am having trouble deleting tmp files. In a prior article you say this can be best done from DOS. How do I access DOS with Windows closed.


A: Assuming that you are running XP or Vista, to open a DOS box you click on Start, Run and type CMD. However you need some basic commands to change to the C:\Windows\Temp folder. The Change Directory command is CD and you will have to do several changes to reach the Temp folder. Once you are certain that you are in the correct folder then type DEL *.* to delete the lot. Note that this will not delete subfolders. To delete them there is the remove directory command, RD, but you really have to be very certain of what you are doing with that command.

I suggest that if you are not familiar with DOS, then from Windows Explorer sort the files in your temp folder by date and then you can delete all from yesterday and earlier as there should be no problem of encountering open files and less probability of damage. Unlike a DOS delete, files will go into the recycle bin first. Only if you hold the Shift key when pressing Delete will the files be deleted completely and not go to the Recycle Bin.

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Q: When I have several spreadsheets open at one time, when once they would occupy separate spots on the bar they now all jump together in one spot. Is there a way to keep them separate?  I am running Windows XP.


A: From Windows Explorer click on Tools, Folder Options, then the View tab and ensure that Launch folder windows in a separate process in ticked.

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Jerky movie 

Q: When I shoot movies in movie mode on my Canon digital IXUS 850 IS compact they play back smoothly on the camera but are jerky when I use Windows Media on my computer. Is there anything I can do to improve the quality? I have downloaded the latest update.

A: The most likely explanation is that your computer may not have enough resources to play back the relatively large movie file. The can be caused by several factors. If you are watching the movie that is being transferred from the camera, you may have a USB 1 connection on the computer and it cannot transfer the large file quickly enough. In this case must first copy it onto the hard disk and then watch it.

If you are viewing it from your hard disk, then your computer may not have enough memory to load that file and it loads and displays sections from the disk. As well as that, if the computer is relatively old, say over 5 years, the CPU may not be able to process the images. It is probably a combination of memory and CPU. There is a very small chance that your old disk is extremely fragmented and it takes time to pick up the fragments of the movie from all around the disk, resulting the jerkiness.

In order to view a smoother movie, after defragmenting the disk you should try to temporarily stop the anti-virus software and firewall to gain some more resources for the movie and close down other open application.


 

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