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nightthief

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  1. I regularly customize the Vista Start menu folders. As such, let me provide some general advice, and then address your specific questions.Vista's start menu is an amalgamation of two separate directories and their subdirectories. The first of these is the global or all users start menu while the second is the currently logged in users start menu. While these each have default locations which can be altered, the easiest way to locate either one is by right-clicking on the Vista Orb and selecting Explore All Users... for the all users start menu or selecting Explore... for the current user's start menu. (When organizing my start menu, I normally open both directories in different explorer windows and then show the two windows "Side by Side." Anything that appears in either of these directories will appear in the start menu you see when you click on all programs on the Vista Orb (aka Start) Panel. The main difference is that the All Users Start Menu appears for all users of the computer system (so should have any shortcuts to programs you want everyone to be able to access) while the Current User Start Menu is specifc to the logged in user account (so should only contain shortcuts to programs you don't want other users to access). Since my system has only one user, everything goes into my All Users Start Menu directory structure. Vista's Start Menu has one minor annoyance. If a directory exists under the All Users Start Menu at the root level, but no corresponding root level directory exists (even though such could be an empty directory) under the Current User Start Menu, then said directory will appear in the Vista Orb (Start) Panel's All Programs display - but cannot be expanded or otherwise accessed. To avoid this annoyance, I create all my folders for organizing the system under the All Users Start Menu\Programs folder. Those created here display and can be accessed without regard to having duplicate access folders in the Current User Start Menu. Inside the All Users Start Menu's Program folder, I create a set of directories for organizing my installed applications. Among these are Accessories, CD & DVD Support, Emulation, Games, Internet, Multimedia, and System Utilities. Under some of these I have additional directories to better organize the contents. For example, my Applications folder contains subfolders for Business, CAD/CAM, Graphics Arts, Music, Software Development, and Video Editing. I put only the icons to launch individual applications into these organized folders, putting in auxiliary icons needed for a specific program in a subdirectory of the same name as the program's launch icon. All the chaff (readme's, web links, uninstall icons, etc) I discard. this allows me to quickl;y find any application I want by function - while the search bar at the bottom of the Orb Pnel allows me to even more quickly find them by name. As for your questions: 1 & 2> are commonly caused by the existance of dual start menus (one for all users, the other for the current user). Renaming or deleting a directory in the Orb Panel when it exists in both start menu directories, will default to affecting the Current User. The other entry will remain untouched, which will make it appear as if another directory was created after a rename or delete. You can either edit the directories as I do with Windows Explorer or simply delete/rename the second folder to eliminate it. If a folder or icon does reappear after it is deleted from both start menus, then this is likely being caused by a setting in the specific application. WinRAR, for example, has an option to create a program group (aka start menu entry) that is necessary to first create your icons but should be unchecked after you have organized the start menu to prevent WinRAR from recreating the start menu entries. In some cases, there are programs which absolutely refuse to stop recreating their start menu entries or will crash if they are not detected where the installer placed them. In these cases, I copy the icons to where I want them, then right-click on the aberrant folder and set its properties to hidden -> applying only to selected items. This allows me to organize things as I wish, while suppressing the display of the folder the application requires to function properly. 3> May be a function of what I described in the paragraph above, so read it for a potential solution. In other cases, this is caused because the installer for XYZ application failed to properly create a shortcut with the Start In directory properly specified. In these cases, the only choice you really have is to edit those shortcuts to include the proper Start In folder. Commonly insuring the Start-In folder points to the applications actual install folder under Program Files (or wherever you specified to install it) will alleviate the problem.
  2. Please see the following Microsoft page for ordering alternative media (aka 64-bit if you own 32-bit ot 32-bit if you own 64-bit) at a substantialy reduced price (around $10 USD). http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/1033...ia/default.mspx
  3. When you ae in the Vista installer, you will come to a screen which asks for a key. Leave the key field blank and uncheck 'Activate Automatically." When you attempt to go past this screen, Vista will give you a warning and ask if you want to enter a key. Tell it no, and Vista will then prompt you to ask what version of the OS you want to install. It tells you that you must choose the version you have a key for, but you can actually choose any of them. Make your selection and check the acknowledgement message at the bottom and then countinue on with the installation. When the installation completes, the version of Vista you selected willl be running in trial mode - and, more importantly, your friend's legitimate key will not be compromised. Trial mode is a built-in, fully functional demonstration mode of Vista which allows you to see it before you decide whether to buy or not. You can do anything in trial mode that you can ina fully activated copy, with no restrictions. When the trial-mode runs out, however, the OS will enter into what is called Reduced Functionality Mode which allows you to do nothing other than enter a new key, activate the system, or surf the web. All other functionlity is disabled. If 30-days is not enough time for you, Microsoft does allow the trial mode to be extended for 30-days (from the day you extend it, not cumulatively). In order to do this, open a command prompt with administrator privileges and enter the command SLMGR.VBS -ReARM You may do this a maximum of three times - giving a potential maximum of 120 days to test the OS before you make your decision. And before anyone tries to claim this is somehow enabling sofware piracy, this information has been published by Microsoft and is completely within the bounds of their End User License Agreement (EULA). This is a legitimate trial mode which Microsoft has made available to the public.
  4. Please read: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platf...PAE/pae_os.mspx
  5. Direct-Sound is far more than merely an API. In addition to having a programming interface for applications, Direct Sound requires the ability to take exclusive control of the sound hardware and pass that control to the application in question. When in use, no operating system components sits between the the application and the device itself. It is this ability for an application to directly control sound hardware which was removed from Vista - which is why the Direct SOund API is now worthless. The best that can be done is to convert Direct Sound calls through an emulation library. With such a system, the application will believe it has direct sound control, even though it does not in reality. This requires that the emulation library be able to duplicate every function of a specifc sound card in software, and then take action through the interfaces Vista actually has to recreate the desired sound on whatever hardwae the computer has. Fortunately, there is such a project being developed, known as ALchemy. This is an open-source, public project, sposored by Creative Labs) which is building an emulation library which will translate from Direct-Sound to the Open Audio Layer (Open AL) which Vista fully supports. The initial version of this library is designed specifcly for Creative Labs' X-Fi series of sound cards. Furter revisions are planned to expand the support to cover all cards made and sold by Creative in the past few years. While no mention is made of this project being intended for non-Creative cards, I am currently using it on my own system with a Realtek AC'97 sound system. The library is not perfect and still needs a considerable amount of work, but it does improve the compatability of older game titles. (As an example of this is the game Max Payne. Without ALchemy, the sound is very basic and all ambient sound comes through as garbled and very annoying noise. With ALchemy, all background sound is working properly, all regular sound effects have the environmental sounds I expect, but the digital voice-over during the game is completely silent.) You can get more information at http://preview.creativelabs.com/alchemy/default.aspx
  6. See http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/1033...ia/default.mspx to order the alternate media at a significantly reduced cost ($10/per disc).
  7. The AUDIO_TS folder, while present on many DVDs, has nothing to do with the audio heard during video playback. Instead, this folder is used for specialized Audio DVDs (a higher-quality version of regular mmusic CD's). For Video DVDs, all video and sound data is within the VOBS in the VIDEO_TS folder. That you are getting no sound when playing your burned disc means that no sound was burned to the disc when you used Nero. This could be because of the version of Nero you are using, a missing CODEC for decoding the audio from the recorded shows or for encoding the audio into the VOBs for the DVD, or no sound having beien recorded through your TV tuner to begin with. To give you any further guidance, I will need to know what version of Nero used (7.????), what Nero function you used to burn the movies, what program you used to record the video with, and what tv tuner/capture device you are using. IN addition, it would be helpful if you could load one of the recorded TV shows (not from the DVD, but from the hard-drive file it was captured to) and try playing it back on the computer.
  8. Instead of using Creative's drivers, give the kX driver set a try. This is an open-source, professional-quality sound driver which works with the entire Audigy line but provides far higher quality audio output than Creative's own drivers do. Moreover, the driver is fully Vista compatable. It's only downside is that it doesn't support EAX, which is really irrelevant since Vista doesn't support it anyway. Latest Version: http://download.kxproject.lugosoft.com/dow...v3538m-full.exe Suport Forum: http://www.driverheaven.net/kx-project-aud...-support-forum/
  9. Vista 32-bit has a maximum memory space of 4GB. The memory space includes not just your RAM, but also your I/O addressing space, ROMs, and Mapped Video Memory. As a result the usable amount of RAM on a 32-bit system is 3GB, regardless of whether or not you have more installed. To use a larger amount of RAM, you have to be using a 64-bit computer system and would need to install Windows Vista 64-bit.
  10. You can do so, even with the upgrade DVD, by doing the following:1. Install Vista in trial mode: Boot the Vista Installer DVD. Select your language options and click on Install now. When prompted for a cd key, do not enter one. Instead leave the field blank and uncheck the option for activate automatically. (You will be asked to confirm proceeding without a serial and then told to select which version of Vista to install. Select the version your upgrade key is for - Basic, Premium, Business, Ultimate.) When prompted for the partition to install to, select it and then click on advanced disk options on the right. Select format to erase the partition you will be installing to. Follow through with the rest of the installation as normal. 2. Upgrade the trial version to the full version. From the desktop, (re)insert the Vista install DVD. follow the procedures you used to upgrade XP to Vista. --- If you attempt this method and the first phase of installation fails, then there is a conflict between Vista's drivers and a hardware device on your system. In this case, you should remove any superflous expansion cards from your machine and use the bios to disable any ports you do not intend on using. Sometimes it is better to disable everything except the bare minimum to perform an installation (hard drive, dvd drive, video card, keyboard, mouse) and run the installer. After installation is complete, reenable those items which you will want - one item at a time - and let Vista install and test it's drivers. While this may seem cumbersome and is definitely time-consuming, you can find what device is causing the incompatability and either disable it or locate a compatable driver for it so it can be used without crashing the system.
  11. vaughaag, Try updating your video drivers to the latest ones on nVidia's website. Some earlier releases of the driver resulted in a blank screen being displayed when trying to use media center. In addition, you can try holding the ALt Key and tapping the Enter key after Media Center launches. This toggles Media Center between operating in full screen mode (the default), and Windowed mode on your desktop. If you are experiencing any problems associated with refresh rates, screen resolutions, or selected video output, thi s should let us know.
  12. Sorry about that, MtK... RDP is short for Remote Desktop Protocol. In reference to these instructions, it means you should install and use the Remote Deskop Client (you can find it in Microsoft's downloads section of their website) under Windows XP and use that client to access and configure the Vista machine. (From what I understand, this is because some of the XP drivers when used with specific cards cause Vista to come up with a blank black screen during the installation process. The RDP connection, however, will not be blnked allowing you to finish the configuraton. As for the Catalyst Control Center, I do not believe any version of it other than the one with the Vista drivers will function under Vista. (Unfortunately, that version will not function with the XP drier you need to install.) You can always try to install the earlier Catalyst Control Center(from the XP driver), but you will definitely have to install the .NET framework v2.0, first. (Again, a Vista version of this is available through the Microsoft download site.) As an alternative, you might consider installing ATI Tray Tools. (Do a simple google search for it and you should be able to locate it's homepage.) This application runs in the taskbar notification area and provides easy access to all the different driver configurations that ATI's CCC and Control Panel offer - and a whole lot more. I do know that the latest version of this freeware program works fine under either Vista or XP, so should mesh with your new XP driver successfully.
  13. The Radeon 9000 Pro is a Direct-X 8.1 card which is below the minimum required specifcations for running Windows Vista. No Vista drivers are made for it and none ever will be. However, there is a reported method of getting it to function somewhat in Windows Vista using the XP drivers. This method, however, requires that you have a second machine runnng XP and that you install the driver using Remote Desktop: 1) Create a new administrator account with password, or put password on your primary account (administrator). 2) Enable Remote Access (via Safe Mode). 3) Make sure the laptop is accessible through network, worthwhile to give a static IP, or record down the IP address. Also worthwhile to remember the computer name if you have Dynamic IP. 4) Reboot the laptop and leave it connected to the network. 5) Use an XP RDP Client, and access Vista's Remote Access. 6) Connect without username/password from XP RDP Client, and when on Vista's "Welcome Screen" logon with appropriate details. 7) View Device Manager, making sure that System devices > AGP Controller is enabled. Check Display Adaptor > Radeon 9000 is installed. 8) Right-click on Radeon 9000 and update the driver manually with the INF from XP driver. 9) Reboot
  14. From another fourm where success is being reported:
  15. Have you downoaded and installed the current video drivers from ATI? Using the Catalys 7.3 (last version) or 7.4 (current version), I am able to adjust the monitors relative positions with either the Catalyst Control Center or the Vista Display Settings dialog.


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