Archive for December, 2010

Sata2 hard drive does not work on an older machine

I recently purchased a 2TB SATA2 drive to use for backup on my old computer. The computer is old but have a SATA 1.5 Gb connector on the motherboard. The drive uses a SATA2 (3.0 Gb) interface. SATA2 uses the same connector as SATA and I thought they were backwards compatible with eachother. Apparently, this was not the case. The drive was powering up and spinning, but is not able to autodetect the slower interface.

I went to the drive manufacturer’s web site and looked up the manual. In the manual, it indicated that you can set the jumper to the slower interface. I added the jumper and the drive worked right away. Since it is not a fast drive, I am doubtful that SATA2 would have made much of a difference in the performance any way. So if your SATA drive do not work with an older machine and the power and connection appears to be correct, you may want to see if you can lock the drive at the lower transfer rate to get it to work.


December 4, 2010 at 4:27 pm Leave a comment

Cannot set the background of Windows XP, caused by Logmein

I help my mother out by using a product call Logmein to remote login to her machine. As long as the network is working, I can fix most of the problem she has at the other end. Recently, she encountered a problem that me stump for a long time. Apparently, her background picture on her PC disappeared. I login using Logmein to fix the problem but no matter which picture I select, it won’t appear as a background.

Normally, this sort of thing would be either a policy or registry issue. Since she is using XP Home, there are really no group policies. Playing around with Regedit, I was able to trace the cause down to the following registry key:


The key was set to 1. I deleted the key and reboot. Much to my surprise, it recreated the key and set it back to 1. After hours of playing around, I discovered that this is caused by Logmein itself. At some point recently, Logmein updated with a new version and with that update changed a setting where the desktop background is turned off while I am logged into Logmein. The way it does this is to set NoActiveDesktop to 1 when logmein is on and set it back to zero when logmein client is disconnected. The machine must have crashed when I was using Logmein, causing the computer to be stuck in a picture-less state.

December 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm 2 comments


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