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Your Questions About How To Discover New Hard Drive

Joseph asks…

Our computer tower is making a weird buzzing noise, what could it be?

The computer was working fine last night no noises or anything, and this morning our whole town block had a black out and the lights went out for about 2 minutes. When we turned it back on the buzzing noise started. I checked the back fans, they are working fine. I spoke to a person who works with comps and he said from hearing the noise that he thought maybe it was the front fan. My uncle thought maybe the harddrive was messed up. If the hard drive is messed up wouldn’t the comp not work properly? Do you have any idea what this noise could be?

New Niche Finder answers:

If the computer is working ok, then the most likely cause is a fan.
You will need to open the case to diagnose the problem. If you attempt to do so:


Static electricity generated by you moving, can irreversibly damage some components inside the computer. You are warned!!

Unplug or stop each fan (one at a time)(don’t stick your finger in the turning blades).
When the buzzing stops you have found the defective fan.

P.S. Remember the power supply has its own fan. (do not stick anything in the power supply).

The hard drive will often make a light chattering noise when it starts failing. If you discover that the hard drive failing, save everything that’s important, and replace the drive Immediately.

******** IMPORTANT********
(Duh!!! Don’t save the files on another section of the hard drive – save them on floppies, CDs, DVDs, flash drive, etc.)

Carol asks…

Any tips on cleaning up the hard drive?

I’ve been removing applications to have more space. Running Win XP. After I remove an application using the control panel, it still shows up on program files even after I restart. Plus they show up in the registry. Is it safe to delete programs in program files and/or registry (under software) after I try to remove them using the control panel or uninstall from the progam files. Any other things to clean up the hard drive other than the usual stuff, defrag, clean up, disk scan? Thanks
Yes partitioned 34.5 GB w/ 5.25GB free on C and 2.72 GB w/814MB free on D. So it’s not worth removing app’s under software in the registy. For example, I uninstalled AOL, but it still show up under software in the registry. I’m not going to mess with anything else in registry.

New Niche Finder answers:

You don’t mention how large your drive is or if it is partitioned into multiple drives which makes it hard to answer your question
Right click the Recycle Bin to see properties
You can make the Bin smaller and gain back some GB’s on larger drives
The recycle bin at 10% of 34.5 GB is 3.45GB
If you cut that down to 1 GB or less you would save 2.45 +GB right here
Easy quick free space
I am presuming that your computer is running OK and space is your only issue

Also in System in Control panel you can make the space available for System Restore smaller too
Let us know how many GB’s you saved

As for your other questions don’t mess with the registry unless
you really know what you are doing……..you won’t save much space there anyway
Yes you can delete unremoved folders after using uninstall

There are small cheap programs available that will diagram what is using the space on your drive
i can’t remember any names but should be easy to find with google
I discovered that the log files from Zone Alarm were using 500+MB

Maria asks…

How to discover hidden pictures?

I placed some pictures under Pictures Folder and hid it with the control panel features.

Unfortunately, my laptop crashed and it wouldn’t start.
So i took out the hard drive and use it as an external hard drive.
I manage to retrieve all my pictures but I cant seem to find the hidden pictures.

Any idea where would the hidden pictures be?
Will it show in my old laptop still?

Thank you so much.

New Niche Finder answers:

Hi from France ♫

Perhaps you can try with a software like : ‘Recoveryfile ?

Have a great day,


Jenny asks…

Is there a way to play flash games on xbox 360?

I recently discovered I can save flash games to my computers hard drive from the IE’s cache files or firefox’s “page info” and play them offline. Is there any way I could transfer the .swf files to my xbox 360 and play them in my tv? Im do not want to hack/mod my xbox as i am not looking to do anything frowned upon, I just want to getthese free to play flash games on my 360. thanks!

New Niche Finder answers:

Yes, here is the guide of how to do so… Http://www.engadget.com/2006/01/31/how-to-run-flash-games-on-your-xbox-360/

Good luck!

Susan asks…

What is the BEST version of Linux for an old laptop that had Windows 98 and was upgraded to XP?

What is the BEST version of Linux for an old laptop that had Windows 98 and was upgraded to Windows XP? I have a 3.7 GB hard drive, with about 600 MB free. What version of Linux should I use and where do I download it?
Thanks everyone. I have finally decided. I ordered 3 CDs of UBUNTU, 1 CD of KUBUNTU, and 1 CD of EDUBUNTU. They will be at my home in 6-10 weeks. Then, I will use them as Live CDs, then pick the best one, and install it onto my laptop.

New Niche Finder answers:

With the small amount of free disk, you could only use it as a server, not as a graphic desktop. 600 Mb is the necessary space for that, but you cannot run graphic applications. For a desktop installation you will need at least 1 gig. The best is 2 gigs and up.
I would encourage you to take the entire disk for a Linux installation because if you decide to upgrade Windows XP, it will probably demand more and more space until you will get out of space for your files.
If you decide to do so, First, backup all your files, then, you may divide the disk with 2 partitions: root with maybe 2.5 gigs and the rest of the space make a partition for “home” where your documents reside.
Also for light desktop environments, instead of KDE or Gnome, you should use XFCE or IceWM or Fluxbox, which don´t demand as much memory resources.
You don´t say the amount of RAM or Processor in your machine. Ubuntu and its derivatives needs at least 256 Mb 700mhz processor, maybe 128mb ram should do good. According to Ubuntu forum these are requirements for installation:

Minimum requirements
300 MHz x86 processor, 64 MB of system memory (RAM), at least 2 GB of disk space (for full installation and swap space), VGA graphics card capable of 640×480 resolution, *CD-ROM drive. If your system has less than 192 MB of system memory, use the Alternate Installation CD.
Recommended minimum requirements
500 MHz x86 processor, 192 MB of system memory (RAM), *8 GB of disk space, Graphics card capable of 1024×768 resolution, Sound card, A network or Internet connection

However, I discovered that in some old machines it doesn´t boot or it may be particularly slow. Also, Ubuntu is designed for kind of new machines, depending on your skills, you might tweak I think.
I recommend you these distros that I have used in old machines, first of all, KANOTIX. Kanotix is designed in such a way that you may install in very old machines as well as in i686. I installed in a Dell Inspiron Lr500 with 10 Gigs harddrive, RAM 256 Mb (later upgraded to 512), 500 Mhz Intel Coppermine processor. That PC was manufactured in 1999 and it rocks with Kanotix.
Another option is Mepis 3.1 I installed on a very old computer that even has ISA´s from 1998 and it works good.
Other options that do not require much space and offer some limited applications, are:
Damn Small linux: DSL is a very versatile 50MB mini desktop oriented Linux distribution.

Damn Small is small enough and smart enough to do the following things:

* Boot from a business card CD as a live linux distribution (LiveCD)
* Boot from a USB pen drive
* Boot from within a host operating system (that’s right, it can run *inside* Windows)
* Run very nicely from an IDE Compact Flash drive via a method we call “frugal install”
* Transform into a Debian OS with a traditional hard drive install
* Run light enough to power a 486DX with 16MB of Ram
* Run fully in RAM with as little as 128MB (you will be amazed at how fast your computer can be!)
* Modularly grow — DSL is highly extendable without the need to customize

Mepis: MEPISLite is designed for home users with modest hardware and as an easy way to upgrade from Windows 98. It also provides an alternative to Windows for preinstallation on new computers. MEPISLite contains many of the same programs and features as SimplyMEPIS, with some changes to improve performance on older machines. The most notable changes are that MEPISLite contains KOffice instead of OpenOffice, and Konquerer is the recommended web browser.

Deli Linux: DeLi Linux stands for “Desktop Light” Linux. It is a Linux Distribution for old computers, from 486 to Pentium II or so. It’s focused on desktop usage. It includes email clients, graphical web browser, an office programs with word processor and spreadsheet, and so on. A full install, including XOrg and development tools, needs not more than 350 MB of harddisk space.

The trick is, that DeLi Linux uses only “lightweight” alternative software. If you are looking for the newest KDE, GNOME or Mozilla, DeLi Linux will not make you happy. The test computer is a 486 laptop with 16 MB RAM, and all apps which comes with DeLi Linux are running smoothly.

Puppy Linux: Puppy Linux, started by Barry Kauler, is a small, fully featured Linux distribution. Puppy works swiftly on older systems and is a delight on modern computers including ThinPCs. Puppy boots to a familiar environment for ex-Windows users. Puppy is regularly updated and is well supported and documented. Barry keeps in close contact with users and developers.
If booting from CD, Puppy carries on working even after the CD is removed. Run Puppy from a flash card, or hard disk or USB keydrive/flash drive or a recordable CD/DVD, saving and updating your files on the CD-R or DVD-R. Puppy boots into as small as a 64MB ramdisk. Puppy runs from RAM memory with applications such as the Seamonkey web browser, AbiWord word processor, gFTP client, Gnumeric spreadsheet and a superior set of programs with more available as simple free downloads. Applications start in the blink of an eye and respond to users instantly.

Well, I hope my answer helps you,
Good luck.

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