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Monitors and Video Cards
Storage Systems
Communications and Networking
Software
Monitors and Video Cards

Q. There's a thin line going across the computer screen about a third of the way down, and a second one about two-thirds of the way down my monitor.

A. Any monitor using a Sony Trinitron, Mitsubishi DiamondTron or other aperture grille-type CRT has wires holding the aperture grille in place, causing one or more horizontal lines to appear across the CRT. This is entirely normal with these monitors.

Q. My 17" monitor says it can support 1600 x 1200 resolution, but it flickers badly at this resolution. Is my monitor defective?

A. Chances are, the monitor is fine. There are a couple of factors that may be contributing to this flickering at high resolutions. First, your video card must specifically support the resolution setting. Second, your video card's vertical refresh rate usually decreases as the resolution setting increases. Most people find that resolution settings below 70Hz produce noticeable flicker. For maximum comfort, refresh rates of 72-78Hz are usually sufficient, but some users prefer even higher refresh rates.
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Storage Systems

Q. Why can't I listen to audio CD's through the computer from my external CD-ROM drive?

A. There is no physical connection for audio signals between your external CD-ROM drive and your PC. An internal CD-ROM drive usually has an audio cable that connects to your sound card. However, with an external drive, you can only hear audio CDs through the headphone jacks located at the front panel of your drive. This is a design limitation of external CD-ROM drives.

Q. Can I use an EIDE hard drive in my system that came with an IDE controller?

A. Any drive larger than 528MB will require special software, sometimes included with the hard drive, in order to use the entire hard drive under a single partition. The alternative is to purchase an EIDE controller card.

Q. I have an IDE CD-ROM drive and a sound card with an IDE interface. My PC also has an IDE controller. Which port should I use?

A. Technically, you can use either. Your CD-ROM drivers should give you the option to indicate the port where the computer should look for the drive. If you already have two hard drives on the computer's IDE controller, use the IDE interface on the sound card.
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Communications and Networking

Q. I want to connect my two PC's together - what do I need?

A. It depends. If you need to connect two systems together only occasionally, a serial port-based solution may be sufficient. Products like Symantec pcANYWHERE and Traveling Software LapLink are designed for this purpose, and contain the necessary software and cables. If your needs go beyond the occasional file transfer, you will be better served by setting up a simple network. You'll get better performance, and the network can grow with your needs in the future. At the minimum, you'll need a network interface card for each system, some type of cabling and perhaps a network hub. Your account manager can work with you to configure a solution that meets your needs and budget.

Q. My external 28.8K, 33.6K or 56K modem does not connect at any speed beyond 9600. Is this modem defective?

A. Make sure the serial port to which you have connected the modem uses at least a 16550 UART chip. Many utility programs such as Norton Utilities or Microsoft Diagnostics report this information. Your serial may have an older 8250 or 16450 chip which cannot support speeds beyond 9600 bps.
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Software

Q. Can I make backup copies of my Windows 95 (or other software title) install diskettes?

A. Most software installation diskettes use the standard 1.44MB PC format, and can be easily copied. A notable exception is Windows 95. To backup your Windows 95 diskettes, you will need to format the floppies with the 1.68MB format. To do so, you need special formatting software (i.e. FDFORMAT) which can be downloaded from many shareware Web sites.
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