Issue 210 - October 23, 2002

ISSN 1488-3163; PC Improvements © 2002
==== 2212 Subscribers in 57 Countries ====

Welcome to the 210th issue of the PC Improvement News. PCIN consists mainly of news and tips. There is something for everyone, and if this is your first issue, I'm sure there will be something for you. If you give me two or three issues, I know that you will come back for more!

You can reach me at with any suggestions or comments.

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I never play computer games. I just don't see how it is any fun. And now playing games is apparently deadly (read the story below)! I can't believe that someone died of exhaustion from playing games too long. Get a life!

I've been in the process of doing some behind the scenes cleaning up on the web site. You shouldn't notice anything different, but if you come across any errors, I would appreciate hearing about them so I can fix it up.

Graham and Chris

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Second gamer dies after massive binge

"Just days after the first 'internet overdose', another addict has died after a marathon games binge.
The 27 year-old Taiwanese man collapsed after playing computer games for 32 hours non-stop.
Police confirmed that Lien Wen-cheng started playing at the cyber cafe in Fengyuan in central Taiwan at 10.30pm on Thursday.
At 7am on Saturday, a staff member found the man on the floor of the cafe's toilet foaming at the mouth and bleeding from the nose. 'They rushed him to hospital but he was already dead,' local police said.
A police spokesman stated that doctors believe Wen-cheng died from exhaustion, having remained in the same position for too long. The death highlights the danger of such intensive game-playing."

For more info:

Google CEO to Advertisers: Stop Scaring Users

Like many Internet users, Google Chairman and Chief Executive Eric Schmidt is not a big fan of pop-up and pop-under ads. But as the head of an ad-supported company, he also thinks they are symptomatic of Internet advertising's continued inability to harness the connective power of the Internet to improve the user's online experience.
'My view of the world starts with the end user,' Schmidt said in the keynote address opening the Jupiter/IAB Ad Forum on Tuesday. 'It's important the advertising model doesn't scare the user.'"

For more info:

Microsoft offers demos at reputed piracy haven

"In early September, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates staged a Hollywood gala to impress the music and movie industries with his company's latest software for digital music and video, Windows Media 9.
A few weeks later, Microsoft started showing off Windows Media 9 to an audience reviled by the entertainment industry: the Kazaa file-sharing network, where users routinely copy digital songs, films and software for free."

For more info:

Folding@home Scientists Report First Distributed Computing Success

"As you read this sentence, millions of personal computers around the world are working overtime – performing complex computations on their screensavers in the name of science. This growing Internet phenomenon, known as "distributed computing," is being used for everything from the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) to the design of new therapeutic drugs.
Now, for the first time, a distributed computing experiment has produced significant results that have been published in a scientific journal. Writing in the advanced online edition of Nature magazine, Stanford University scientists Christopher D. Snow and Vijay S. Pande describe how they – with the help of 30,000 personal computers – successfully simulated part of the complex folding process that a typical protein molecule undergoes to achieve its unique, three-dimensional shape."

For more info:

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POLL of the WEEK

Last Week's Poll

There was an error in last week's poll that prevented many of you from voting. This week's poll will be the same as last week's. I've fixed the problem and you should be able to vote both in the newsletter below and on the web site.

This Week's Poll

How long does it take to completely rebuild your computer?

< 2 hours
One morning, afternoon or evening
One day
One week
More than one week
I am never finished

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Visit the new and improved PCIN FreeHelp Forum at to post your questions or answer others.


I run three hard drives on my system. One for win98se, and the other two are for storage. I recently re-formatted my OS drive and did a clean install of win98se (something I do 1-2 times a year) After install was complete, my other hard drives were not available in 'My Computer'
All the other times I've done this, I didn't have this problem. I usually unplug my storage drives before a clean install. This time I did not.


Use FDISK to determine if the two other drives contain partitions. (Use 5 to change to a particular drive, then 4 to view the partition information)
(?) Only the first drive is listed.
(!) Check your hardware to make sure the drives are physically attached. Make sure the drives are being seen by the BIOS
(?) The partitions are described as UNKNOWN.
(!) If you have used an operating system other than Windows, Windows NT, OS/2, or MS-DOS to create the partitions they will appear as Unknown. If you used Windows to make the partitions then, 1. Scan the drives for viruses, then 2. Use Norton Disk Doctor (or similar, Not scandisk) to repair the Partition Tables.
(?) The drives contain FAT32 in the listing.
(!) Run Norton Disk Doctor to repair damage to the FAT file system.

To post a response, visit the General Hardware Help forum at and click on the "can't access my hard drives" topic.

Visit to post a question of your own.

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Check out these new or updated pages on the site:

LG GCE-8400B 40x 12x 40x CD-RW Hardware Review Search

Some Useful Registry Tips

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Opening all folders

This was in another newsletter that I receive, but I can't remember which one. It is a good tip.
"You can open all the folders on your hard drive with one simple command. This can save you valuable time in your workday if the file you're in search of is nested several folders deep.
To do so, launch Windows Explorer, select the drive icon, and press the asterisk (*) key on the numeric keypad. When you do, every folder on the drive will open. To close all the open folders, double-click the drive icon to close the tree, and then press [F5].

Find a Radio Station

"Welcome to Radio-Locator, the most comprehensive radio station search engine on the internet. We have links to over 10,000 radio station web pages and over 2500 audio streams from radio stations in the U.S. and around the world."
Check it out at

Outlook Express Help

I came across a web site that looks like it hasn't been updated in a couple of years, but I was surprised at the good content, and also the fact that it is still very useful today. Visit for Eric Miller's User Tips for Outlook Express. There are some very outdated pages with regards to versions of Outlook Express, but the Tips Pages are just as relevant today as they were when they were written.

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PCIN is brought to you by Graham Wing. The opinions expressed are those of the Editor, Graham Wing and the Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Graham Wing and Chris Empey accept no responsibility for the results obtained from trying the tips in this newsletter.

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Graham Wing can be reached at
Chris Empey can be reached at

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