Dell Laptops, Summer 2013

Checking out another Dell for a friend.

I want a laptop and docking bay.

If a Dell, it needs to be a Latitude, they’re the only machines they ship with the old fashioned docking bay interface. We don’t want to connect a screen using USB and we want the machine to be closed while using the desktop periherals.

Here is the Dell E6530 configure page. Here is the docking station link. The laptop needs the E-Series Legacy Expansion Port added in the “Accessorize my Dell” section.

It also needs the O/S version upgraded to 64 bit. It comes without MS Office, soi this’ll need to be added. Wonder if the still do educational discounts, looks like not, since Office 365 seems about the same price.

Maybe the docking station isn’t worth it. Get a cheaper laptop, with a screen port, and buy a new screen with a newer interface standard.

How big is it, how much does it weigh?

Do Laptop Power sell docking stations?

Hitachi Travelstar disk,

Dan’s Dell Inspiron has a Hitachi Travelstar disk. Given that the computer won’t boot, it’s a bit tricky to recover the data.

I have inserted an Ubuntu Live CD into the CD player, and it still won’t boot. I have plugged an external screen into the VGA port, no go.

Questions

  • Do we need to fix the computer before we can recover the disk? Disking say they can read the disk and cut a DVD for us.

Answers

  • My colleague, Jim Barrett has lent me Magic Bridge II which is pretty awesome. I have recovered Danny’s disk, now onto Sue’s.

Links

ooOOOoo

It seems that USB to disk adapters are more common than I thought, I have added the Newertech and IOMEGA links to this page today. DFL 20 May 2011

Dell Dimension 5150c

This was originally entitled “Our New XP Box”. I changed the title when I copied the snip across to WordPress in July 2013.

The snip is called our new box. It isn’t so new anymore, but is about the Dell Dimension 5150c.

Archiving the Pictures

Some years ago, I bought a Freecom DVD writer and decided to back up the pictures to DVD. XP did not originally support DVD writing and I have no idea if that’s changed so I needed to use Roxio Creator to do this.

Making Videos

In the Spring 2008, I decided to try and make some talking heads videos. My endeavours are documented on below Spring 2008

AMCAP

I am not sure where this comes from, but I have been trying to use it to make videos with a USB webcam. Basicaly I can’t get the sound to work. Google helped me find this FAQ.

I can now hear the sound on a Video. The key is to use the volume control to turn up the Recording volume.

Dell Forums

The mucked around with the forums again in Dec 2008. I am not sure the links below work any longer.

They now have an XP Support Centre & self help forum. They also have an all my posts page.

Dell Forums and Safe Mode

I also had reason to create  Windows Boot Menu page on this site. I was doing some housekeeping on my Dell Dimension 5150c and discovered that yet again the Dell Support site had been improved. There used to be tech support articles about the various systems they sold and are in use, but I finally found a reference on to how to bring the system up in Safe Mode, which I have documented. It implies that this is no longer different for each model and that Dell have standardised on F8. Anyway that’s what works on my machine. Interestingly hard to find I tried both Google and Exalead, but eventually found it using Google, of course.

External Disk

I installed an external disk to hold the pictures, music and maybe videos, i.e. the home directories.

Using the Fax

On 14th Sept 2009, I tried to send a Fax to Spain. This was after the new hub/router line was set up. The fax failed several times; I had tried to enter the hotel into the windows address book with a phone compatible fax number i.e. +34… I solved the problem by entering the destination as a one-off and specifying the destination country using a pull down menu. The fax console reported the destination number as 00 34 …., not +34. I used hyperterminal to test the line. This is a nuisance. It seems I need to store the fax numbers as UK specific, although I don’t use the phone much as a fax transmission device.

Action: The computer modem external wiring needs tidying up when the old btconnect line is terminated. i.e. It is currently using the old data line.

Desktop Icons

XP does not have “My Documents”, “My Computer” or “My Network Places” on the desktop. They can be placed their using

        Desktop -> Properties -> Customize Desktop

Security Center (sic) on XP aka the state of my box!

Written shortly after purchase, dated 7th Feb

It seems that XP can only have one security centre solution. The system comes with McAfee and I need Norton. Sadly I didn’t understand this and have had to restart the rebuild.

I have therefore had to trash certain pieces of work. With help I have managed to resolve my W98 systems network problems. (This was caused by one of the auto exec programs blocking the port on the W98 system). The W98 system is now acting as the print server. This came back OK.

I misread the screen configuration parameters and the drivers work out of the box. I have a lovely 19″ flat screen, which seems to be working fine.

Paintshop Pro is now owned by Corel and I have a trial licence. I wonder if my one & one subscription still entitles me to a PSP right-to-use. I need to track this down. Otherwise I need to discover the best way to obtain a right-to-use, otherwise maybe I should bite the bullet and buy Photoshop.

I expect I shall put OpenOffice on the box first, since some of the .doc files I have are too old for MS`Works’ word processor to read. (I shall be installing MS Office Educational Edition, in order to ensure that the MS file types have default methods that invoke the Microsoft programs.)

I need to go back to http://art.gnome.org in order to download some more wall papers.

I have also lost some of the file transfers from the laptop and old W98 system.

Other snips here

See also Help & Support, &  I now have an Audio snip, which deals with installing a Microphone, and the CTMBHA.DLL driver issues as well. Xmas 2006

Alienware

At about the same time that I bought the Dell I also bought an Alienware Aurora, which worked fine for two and half years and then developed a frustrating problem

ooOOOoo

Audio on the Dell

Microphone

I tried to use the microphone to make video’s on the Dell and the sound track is inaudible. Sound Recorder also creats inaudible tracks. I have tried to discover how to audit the sound drivers. There is a Dell Community thread. 17th January 2009

I have just attempted to use both a Creative & Trust microphone on both the rear and front microphone ports of my Dimension 5150C & the Alienware. I am having zero success on the Dell. I bought a new labtec microphone and this works fine on the Dell.

CTMBHA.DLL

I get an intermittent error with CTMBHA.DLL on system boot. I have investigated this in the Dell forums and via google. This seems to be a ‘feature’.

F1 Help and Support

On my Dell Dimension, there’s been a problem with “Help & Support”, it wouldn’t start on using the F1. Dell recommended a pcrestore, which since I had already done once, I didn’t want to repeat. I logged it in the Dell Community forum here… and joe53 referred me to Kelly’s Korner tweaks, line 235.

This is a registry update. I used this to fix the problem and I have documented my process on the Dell site.

Thanks to Joe & Kelly.

Windows boot menu on a Dell

Windows Safe Mode

I am looking to boot my Dell Dimension 5150c into Safe Mode.

See the Dell support page where they state that to get into the boot menu, you must use the F8 button,after the basic input/output system (BIOS) has finished loading, but before the windows XP splash screen is displayed.

keywords: “windows XP” “boot menu” “safe mode” DELL 5150c Dimension