Category Archives: Laptops

How to fix classpnp.sys blue screen of death (BSOD)

Here is a situation… You’ve installed a new Windows 7 on older laptop and on first boot it resets or shows BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death). You tested hard disk, memory, everything was OK on previous system. What can be wrong?

classpnp.sys BSOD

There are many suggestions on forums about this or similar problem, with no solution. Well, here it is! I had similar problem with old Toshiba M40 laptop, which is intended to work with Windows XP, but my client tried to install Windows 7 and he couldn’t do it, so he brought it to my repair shop. Laptop passed all major tests (RAM, HDD, CPU), but it could not pass the first boot.

I had to pull out client’s hard disk, put it on other laptop and install system without any drivers. After placing HDD back to client’s laptop, first boot of Windows 7 (32 bit) was OK. I was waiting until it installed all drivers, and then tried to reboot. It could not boot Windows even in Safe mode. So, I had to load “Last known good configuration” and after loading system, I disabled all suspecting drivers (network, display, USB, audio, cardbus, camera, wifi, mass storage, but not hard disk controller because this is mandatory driver. Next boot was OK, so I had to find which driver is making problems.

It is very important to make System restore point when everything is OK, so you can revert changes if needed. After making restore point I’ve had enabled one driver and rebooted, repeated this until system could not boot. In my case, there was problem with Texas Instruments CardBus adapter.

In your case it could be some other driver that makes problem, so this is a procedure you should follow until you find unsupported driver that makes classpnp.sys blue screen of death.

Good luck!

 

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When and how to charge Li-ion batteries

Li-ion batteryLithium-ion batteries can be found in most today’s gadgets and devices, from mobile phones to laptops. People just learned something about old Nickel-type batteries and now are using the same technique for Li-ion batteries. Well, this article will help you learn when it’s time to charge Li-ion battery and how to charge it to last as long as possible.

 

 

Charging Li-ion battery

When the Li-ion battery is brand new, it already has some charge in it, and people usually discharge it to zero, because that was the rule for old Ni-Cd or Ni-Mh batteries. Well, time’s changing, now just recharge a new Li-ion battery if it’s below 60%. There is no charge-discharge rule for this type of batteries! So, if you have a new mobile phone or laptop, just use it as you like, but try not to discharge it below 40% and don’t charge it to 100%.

Be aware that discharging Li-ion batteries to zero very often will drastically decrease it’s lifespan. Anyway, it is good to discharge battery to zero once a month, because it will recalibrate it and show more precisely it’s capacity on the mobile phone, tablet or laptop.

Here are some general rules for the best performance and durability of Lithium type batteries:

  • Do not discharge new Li-ion battery to zero at the first use, or this will shorten it’s lifespan.
  • Charge the battery when it drops below 60-80% for the best performance and durability.
  • If possible, turn off the device when it’s charging, it will charge the battery much better.
  • It’s the best to charge the battery between 60 and 80%.
  • Try not to charge the battery to 100%, as it will degrade it if you do this often.
  • Do not charge it at night – when finished charging, disconnect the charger!

Battery storage

If you don’t use the battery for a long time, charge it to 40% and leave it in a cold and dry place, at temperatures from 1 to 10°C if possible, as it will lose only 1-3 percent of its capacity in one year! At temperature up to 25°C, the battery can lose about 4-5% in the first year. If you keep it at 100% charge at 25°C, it will lose 20% capacity in just 3 months!

Conclusion

The batteries will last from 1 to 4 years, no matter how you use them, but there will be great difference in performance if you follow these suggestions. Feel free to discharge the phone to zero if you don’t have a charger, or charge it to 100% if you plan to go somewhere without charger. You can leave it charging at night if you can’t wait to disconnect the charger at 80%. Nothing will happen if you do this sometimes. Do not be a slave to the technology, use it the way you like, and little care about your devices will surely pay off in terms of it’s longer life and your budget.

 

How to speed up your netbook

You can speed up a slow netbook with some tricks. First, if it has single core CPU, install Windows XP and it will work much faster than Windows 7. Then, add more memory (RAM), at least 1GB for Windows XP and 2GB for Windows 7/8. If you have many active programs (bottom right), uninstall some you really don’t need, it will help much.

External hard disk caseHere is the best part. Netbooks are shipped with ordinary hard disk (HDD) installed, but you can pull it out and put a solid state disk (SSD) to get enormous speed up! The big SSD’s are expensive these days, but you can buy cheap 64 GB or at least 32 GB SSD. This is enough for system and common programs, to store some personal data, but not for much videos, music and pictures.

The system and programs require about 7 GB space for Windows XP and about 15 GB for Windows 7. The rest is enough for documents, some images, even for few DivX movies and music. But you can buy external 2.5 inch HDD case and put HDD from netbook into it, so you can carry all of your data, copy images from camera on your vacation, put many videos etc… You can use it only when you come back to hotel or whatever, so you don’t need to carry it all the time.

With this tips you can really use your netbook for traveling almost like your home laptop.

How to buy a good netbook

netbooksNetbooks are very popular these days, even compared to tablets, because they can do much more, it is easier to type and you can install all programs like at home computer. But how to choose the right netbook? It’s not that easy.

The netbooks are made so small (usually 10.1 inch display) to give you mobility while travelling, so they have not much space inside to put all that is needed to be good as ordinary 15.6 inch laptops. The main problem is speed. Most of them has some Atom CPU’s (low power Intel processors) with embedded Intel graphics, working at arround 1.6 GHz. This is really slow for everything except internet browsing and office. Even Youtube video stucks on slow CPU and graphics. You can not later add a faster CPU, so it is very important to choose a dual core CPU! On a single core processor, it is recommended to install Windows XP because it is much faster and resource friendlier than Windows 7 or Windows 8. The loading of Windows and programs depends on CPU speed and hard disk speed.

Display size

Next important thing about netbooks is display size. While most of them has 10.1 inch LED display with resolution of 1024×600 pixels, it is much better if you can buy a 11.6 inch with resolution 1366×768 pixels. With that size, even the keyboard is little bigger, display is pretty good and all graphics can fit on screen. This is very important, as you can work on netbook without much trouble with constant scrolling left-right and loosing buttons at bottom of program windows.

Big capacity battery

6-cell batteryBattery is also important, so choose netbook with 6-cell battery. The little larger size than netbook with 3-cell battery is compensated with almost double working time.

Ordinary netbooks can work about 2-3 hours with standard power settings. Bigger screens and faster processors eat more energy, so think about what is the most important for you. Furthermore, bigger battery raises netbook 1-2 cm from surface, enabling much better cooling.

Overheating

The netbook can get very hot and uncomfortable for use, you can even get skin burns. This is something you can not know until you try netbook, so if you have that option, use it at least 10 minutes with full CPU usage. For example, play some video and pack some big folder into ZIP. After 5-10 minutes, it will get as hot as possible and you can decide if you can use it or not. Never put netbook on some fabric because it can not suck cool air thru holes below, and it can burn motherboard and hard disk. Keep it good ventilated.

One more thing… using touch pad is not much comfortable, so take a wireless USB mouse with you.

See how to speed up your netbook.