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The Online presence of Inderjeet Sodhi - IT Consultant, Software/E-Security Solution Provider,
Web/WAP developer and Beta Tester


Note: Due to the nature of content, this page is under frequent modifications.

Most people know that I simply love Troubleshooting. A part of my life. Not only computer problems but in general life also I keep screwdrivers handy, ready to open up things! Over the years I have had various experiences while trying to find out cause(s) of various problems and their solutions. It takes a hell lot of time to find out the exact cause of a problem. More so if no one else has ever tried to do it :-)

Given on this page are solutions that I have found to work with various problems. I am providing these to save your precious time. Feel free to mail me for any suggestion/corrections at:
You may also write to me at for any specific queries you may have. Please understand that it may take about a week or more also as I am awfully busy at times.

You might also like to see the Tips and Tricks Page.

Happy Computing...

Symptom  OutExpress Can receive mails from Hotmail or HTTP servers but not from POP servers
Problem You cannot check POP mail using Outlook Express. It either says cannot connect to the server or waits at "connecting..." and then a red cross appears against it. HTTP Mail and IMAP do work without any problem though. 

Most Probably your anti-virus program is playing tricks. These days they have to work real hard. Mail and Internet worms male their life really tiresome so its natural to misbehave ;-). 

Technical Most virus scanners these days use a "wrapper" or port-mapper kind of a thing. When OE connects to a remote server, the antivirus tracks the connection and then scans the incoming content. Then it is delivered to OE if there is no problem. Sometimes here some problem develops due to data corruption at the registry/filesystem level and the AV program does not receive or forward the content properly. 
Solution 1) First make sure there is nothing wrong with your server settings, username and password are correct, there is no downtime mentioned by your ISP and that your mail server is reachable otherwise (from some other computer).
2) Only after ensuring the above, Disable "Scan Incoming Mail" in your anti-Virus program. You may need to refer to your product's manual or help to do it, in case you're a novice.
3) Run OE and check mail now. If it is successful, you've hit the nail at the right point!
4) Now you need to rejuvenate..err..re-install the Antivirus Product.
Symptom Cannot see my CD-R Drive in My Computer

Problem

After installing some (mostly old) SCSI CD-R drives, Windows does not identify these as CD-Rom devices. As a result, you can burn CDs using bundled software but cannot use it as a cd-rom drive. 
Technical CD-Buring Software bundled with these drives use the SCSI card settings to access the media. To use these as CD-Rom devices, some packet writing software or virtual driver maybe needed. 
Solution -----Note: For Windows 9x Only! ----
Once you're sure the SCSI card is installed and working properly then yuo may install a virtual device driver for the device. 
Roxio's DirectCD has a file called cdr4vsd.vxd which is the CD-R helper VSD file for windows 95 as per the description. Copy this file to your_windows\system\iosubsys  (Example: C:\Windows\system\iosubsys) folder and restart your computer. Your Drive will be accessible as a CD-Rom now. The file cdr4vsd.vxd is available for download at www.driverplanet.com and may other places. Just search for the name on google or yahoo.
Symptom  My Notebooks reboots when AC power fails
Problem Seen in some Acer notebooks with Windows XP installed: when the notebook is connected to the AC power and there is an outage, the notebook reboots.
Technical Not known to me. It seemed to be a hardware problem but the tech support says upgrading XP solves the problem. Probably some bug in Power management related software.
Solution Install Service Pack for Windows XP and the problem might go.
Symptom  My computer reboots when I shutdown using Start->Shutdown
Problem On ATX power based systems (which switch off the power when shutdown), shutdown restarts the computer instead of shutting down.
Technical Not sure, but appears to be a mis-interpretation of the shutdown signal. When Windows shuts down, it closes all running programs and sometimes tries to power down devices with such facilities. It seems that on systems with Power Management with ACPI, some of such devices send a reboot signal when they are shutdown by windows (the devices are designed to shutdown windows upon power-down in some cases).
Update: In response, various motherboard manufacturers have stated that this is because of incompatible power supplies. If the power supply is not as per the rating required by the motherboard, this problem occurs. For example, If the power supply cannot supply 0.8A minimum current for a particular board at the shutdown, the system be reboot (due to overload state of the SMPS).
Solution For Win9x/ME based systems
 
a) Click on Start-Run and type MSCONFIG, press enter. b) The system configuration utilty appears. Click on "Advanced". c) Check or uncheck "Disable fast Shutdown". d) Restart the computer and its done.
Symptom  Cannot browse websites; cannot open sites.
System Message Internet Explorer cannot display page or similar
Internet Explorer was Unable to resolve DNS for www.somedomain.com or similar
Problem Corrupted Winsock Files
 

 For Dialup Users

Technical Observe the dial-up connection lights carefully. Press Ctrl-F5 in Internet Explorer and look at the lights. If the one light blink just once when you press F5 and the other light does not blink immediately, then there could be a problem with the Winsock files.  

Now check if the DNS can be accessed first by PINGing the DNS. If you can, and still cannot open any sites then we're on the right path. If you can access the DNS by PINGing but cannot open/browse sites, then restart your computer once and open some site. If it opens, and you're able to open sites for the next few minutes but again the same symptom appears after say, 5 minutes,  then problem is surely with Winsock files. One of the other files used in the whole process (to connect, negotiate, GET and interpret the tcp/ip data) maybe corrupted.  However, If you cannot access the DNS in the first place, then the problem is somewhere else. You may also confirm it from your ISP whether the DNS should respond to PING requests or not. If they say yes it does, then there is a problem in your physical line or TCP/IP files. 
 

 For LAN Users

Technical Try to PING your Gateway first and then your DNS. If your gateway responds but your DNS does not. Confirm from your ISP if the server is configured to reply to PING command (usually it is, but sometimes they block ICMP requests). If it is, but you're unable to ping it, then your TCP/IP files maybe corrupted. Strangely, the "Enable DNS" option under networking options makes use of the TCP/IP files for DNS queries.
Solution(s) 1) Extract winsock.dll, wsock32.dll and wininet.dll from Windows installtion overwriting any existing ones. Note: you have to start in "safe mode" or at command prompt to update these files.
If that does not solve the problem, then read on the next queries.
   
Symptom  Can connect to the ISP, but cannot open sites.
System Message Internet Explorer cannot display page or similar
Problem Corrupted TCP/IP Files
Technical Sometimes the phone line is connected but the tcp/ip data cannot be translated. In fact, the local computer does not request any data from the remote system. This is because it does not understand the browsers request. Again, it may happen because of corrupted DLL, or OCX or VXD  files. This can be observed by looking at the lights carefully. When neither of the lights blinks on pressing "Enter key" after entering the www.addressofsite.com, or the "local" light blinks for a split second and then no light blinks, then its time to update the TCP/IP Files or the Winsock files.
Solution(s) 1) See the above query to reinstall the Winsock Files first then proceed to next step if it does not solve the problem.
2) Remove All services and adapters including dial-up adapter under networking, restart and re-install all services and adapters. This will solve the problem as all files are copied afresh from the Windows installation CD/Location.
   
Symptom  I cannot connect to my ISP, my modem keeps making shrieking noise but cannot connect.
System Message Various
Problem Corrupted Dial-up Networking Files
Technical Sometimes due to corrupted dial-up networking files, the modem cannot handshake with the remote system at the ISP. At other times, it does connect but no data transfer takes place.
Solution(s) 1) Try this first:
Extract winsock.dll, wsock32.dll and wininet.dll
2) Uninstall, reboot and Re-install the Modem
If the problem still persists, then do this:
3) Remove all services(TCP/IP, NETBios, NETBeUI etc) and adapters including dial-up adapter under networking, restart and re-install all services and adapters. This will solve the problem as all files are copied afresh from the Windows installation CD/Location.
   
Symptom  I'm unable to download messages from Hotmail Accounts in Outlook Express
System Message An unknown error occured... (yellow exclamation mark appears against these accounts)
Problem OE cannot use the GET (HTTP functions) properly from MSOE.DLL due to corruption.
Technical DLL Corruption of MSOE.DLL file causes this problem. When Outlook cannot use the function in this file, it presents such a message. Usually this occurs due to corrupt MSOE.DLL which can be due to power failure, virus infection or any unknown reason.
Solution(s) Extract  and replace MSOE.DLL from your Windows/IE CD or location
  Download MSOE.DLL from www.dll-files.com
   
Symptom  My desktop is showing greyish pictures; loss of color; everything has become big and colorless on my desktop/computer and cannot change resolution of my monitor
System Message None or Display properties window pops up everytime the computer is started.
Problem Corrupted Video Drivers or Bad Video Ram
Technical Well another DLL corruption here. Sometimes the Video RAM also goes bad but that is rare. Mostly this is because the drivers of the display adapted go corrupt or get replaced by some non-compliant or incompatible files.
Solution(s) Re-install your display and monitor driver.
   
Symptom  Poor connectivity or low speed of internet
System message none specific
Problem Various
Technical Because connecting to Internet via a dial up modem involves multiple processes and mediums, there are many reasons that can attribute to the poor connectivity.
Solution(s) read these articles:
1) comprehensive article by Inderjeet
2) make sure your baud rate is set at at least the ISP's connection speed (usually 56K).
3) remove any joints in the phone line
4) You may need to get rid of the old wire that connects to the telephone pole at one end and the telephone instrument/computer on the other end.
   
Symptom  Cannot read my newly recorded CD on another computer/Drive
System message various, "Insert Disk in Drive", "Drive not Ready" etc.
Problem Multisession or overspeed burning
Technical Some older CDRoms cannot read Multi-session Disks. A multisession disk is the one wherein we write data in batches. That is, for example, we write my documents today and then tommorrow add more files from "my music" to the same CD. This is possible as the writing software does not "Finalize" or "Close" the CD and more data can be added later. Each time we write data, it creates a session, in the form of a Track. Most CD-Roms these days can read such CDs but some earlier ones cannot read such CDs.

Also sometimes writing data as Mode-2 (mixed type of cd) cannot be read in CD-Roms.

Speeds upto 52X have been achieved to burn the data. However, the media has not been updated as yet to burn at such high speeds. Hence, writing to a CD in high speed CD-RW drives that cannot "calibrate" or find out the maximum speed possible on the media, can also cause this problem. 
Solution(s) close session; close or Finalize CD; write in mode 1; write on a lower speed
Note: Once you finalize a CD, you cannot add more data to it.
   
Symptom  I cannot connect to FTP server
System message Trashed response received or unable to establish data connection or similar
Problem You may need to enable/disable the PASV option in the FTP client
Technical Some ISP have a particular setup wherein they connect to FTP sites via a proxy server while at other times, some ISPs use a firewall to secure their networks. Depending on the network architecture and "hurdles" (each hardware point) involved, you may need to adjust your "use passive" (written PASV in some FTP clients) and "use firewall" options.
Solution(s) contact your ISP and ask what settings to use or apply permutation combinations of  use PASV mode and enable/disable Firewall.
   
Symptom  My computer reboots when the power fails (UPS problem)
System message None
Problem Slow sensing of line status or other
Technical This problem can be 3 reasons: The UPS is overloaded, Batteries have "worn out" or the terminals have been interchanged. Batteries usually last for 2-3 years on an average. If there is a mechanical activity going on, it drags a higher current from the UPS, such as reading a CDROM, and if power fails at such a time, the UPS may trip for a second causing a reboot. This highlights a poor design of the circuit and vendor/manufacturer should be notified. Thirdly, the power system is polarity based. That is, there is a positive (live) terminal and a negative(neutral) terminal. When the UPS is on, but not connected to mains, the polarity can be checked using a line tester and matched with that mentioned on the plug top. if it matches with what is indicated on the plug top, then check that the same poles are used in the wall socket as well. This means that the Live(marked L, usually) of the UPS plug top should go in the Live terminal in the wall socket.
Solution(s) a) Replace the batteries
b) Interchange the terminals of the plug top or wall socket.
   
Symptom  cannot see my computer on the other; network
System message Unable to browse the network
Problem Timeout occurs while trying to negotiate with the remote system or NetBios transporter is not available. 
Technical (Note: This applies only if you can successfully PING the remote computer, that is, the physical connection is OK)
This usually occurs when the system cannot connect and exchange information with the remote system within a fixed time. File sharing uses the NetBeUI Protocol. This protocol is wrapped in the TCP/IP also which means that if TCP/IP is protocol is enabled, you should be able to use NetBios (for file/print sharing) over it. However, sometimes this does not work properly due to many reasons. In such a case, NetBEUI is needed optionally.
Solution(s) Install the NetBEUI protocol in your network settings 
   
Symptom  "Error Loading DLL" in Visual Basic 6
System message "Error Loading DLL"
Problem Corrupted, missing or unregistered DLL
Technical DLL files are the ones which take most of load processing. All functions are mostly stored in DLL files that can be called from any application (if the file is shared). When a VB application is run (at design time), you sometimes see a message "Error Loading DLL". It is difficult at times to identify the corrupt DLL. But if the debugger stops and highlights at, say, ".datasource", then yu can make out that the MDAC library - Microsoft Data Access Components" files are corrupt or have been un-installed/overwritten. Due to this, the application cannot load the functions. Somwtimes it happens when a programs installs an older version of data access components. 
Solution(s) Re-install MDAC type Library by downloading from Microsoft
or search for MDAC at Microsoft site. Note: Check the version to download first.
   
Symptom  Cannot use outputfile in zlibtool ocx control
Problem The control takes the inputfile first and then outputfile
Technical None
Solution Set the fileinput property first and fileoutput later, for example, zlibtool1.inputfile="SomefileIn.ext" zlibtool1.outputfile="somefileout.ext"
   
Symptom  MSN Messenger 6 crops up automtically when I start Outlook Express
Problem When Outlook Express is started, MSN Messenger starts alongwith it. Messenger prior to version 6 could be disabled via Outlook Express' Options but Version 6 onwards uses registry to "attach" itself.
Technical None (Microsoft Feature?)
Solution For Windows XP/NT/2000 users
 
1)Exit MSN Messenger by right-clicking the MSN icon in the notification area, and selecting Exit. 
2)Add the following registry entries, both with a DWORD value of 1:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger\Client\PreventRun 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger\Client\PreventAutoRun


3)Open a command prompt by clicking Start/Run, then typing "command" and clicking OK. 

4)Uninstall MSN Messenger by typing "rundll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %systemRoot%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove" 

5)Uninstall the leftover installation information file by typing "rundll32 setupapi,InstallHinfSection BLC.Remove 128 %systemRoot%\INF\msmsgs.inf" 

6)Allow MSN Messenger to be displayed in the Add/Remove Windows Components dialog in the future (if it pops up again!) by typing "notepad.exe %systemRoot%\INF\sysoc.inf" and deleting the word "hide" from the line that starts with "msmsgs=". It MAY be possible to skip to this step directly and perform the uninstallation directly from the Add/Remove Windows Components dialog, but that method MAY leave unwanted components and has not been thoroughly tested. 

7)Cross your fingers and reboot! You will probably get a message asking you to confirm the removal of some leftover files. Click OK.

(courtesy: SaMark)
 
Liked the stuff? Then you might also like to see the Tips and Tricks Page.
 

this step directly and perform the uninstallation directly from the Add/Remove Windows Components dialog, but that method MAY leave unwanted components and has not been thoroughly tested. 

7)Cross your fingers and reboot! You will probably get a message asking you to confirm the removal of some leftover files. Click OK.
(courtesy: SaMark)  
Liked the stuff? Then you might also like to see the Tips and Tricks Page.
 

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Last updated: August 18 2012 06:37:40.
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