Last Friday, a friend of mine asked me to fix his Dell OptiPlex GX 620 having BSOD Unmountable_Boot_Volume.

Ok, here is what I’ve done:

1. Booted the computer to see the problem and confirm it myself. My friend did not know exactly what the error is.

2. Tried booting in Safe Mode knowing that there is really a problem.

3. Then I hit the BSOD Unmountable_Boot_Volume error.

4. Forced reboot the computer by holding the power button.

5. Booted using Windows XP installation disk that comes with the computer (dell)

6. Went to Recovery Console

7. Issued command: chkdsk /r (check disk with repair option), that particular error is caused by dirty or faulty hard drive sectors.

8. Waited for more than an hour to finish the process.

9. While still in Recover Console, I issued: fixboot to fix the boot sectors.

10. Exit Recovery Console and rebooted the computer.

11. Updated the sound card (Realtek Audio Driver) and video card (ATI)

11. Rejoiced! Error is fixed.

Reference on the internet for Windows XP computers are everywhere and this is one thing I like about Windows XP. J

Microsoft Has Sold 300 Million Windows 7 Licences

We already know that Windows 7 has seen a much more positive reception than its predecessor, Windows Vista. Last summer Microsoft announced that it had shipped an impressive 175 million Windows 7 licenses. So how are sales now that the OS has been available for more than a year?

As part of its quarterly earnings call yesterday, Microsoft revealed that the company has now sold 300 million Windows 7 licenses.

“To put that in perspective, 300 million is roughly the combined number of households in North American and in Europe!” writes Brandon LeBlanc on the Windows blo. “Or, to put it another way, if you lined up 300 million Windows 7 product boxes, they would stretch nearly 1.5 times around the Earth,” he said.

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Facebook phone to debut next month

PC World - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's belittling of the idea of burning the social network's brand on a smartphone has done little to squash the rumors that such an animal will be unleashed this year. The latest prediction is that Taiwan-based phone maker HTC will pull the wraps off two smartphones bearing Facebook's brand and colors at an event in Barcelona next month.

The phones will run a "tweaked" version of Google's Android operating system and will prominently display their owner's Facebook messages and news feeds on the phone's home screen, City A.M., the online edition of a London-based free business newspaper, reported today in a story citing unnamed sources.

Another feature will be the ability to e-mail or call friends from information located on a user's Facebook page.

Joe Hewitt, who developed the Facebook app for the iPhone but left the platform in a huff, and Matthew Papakipos, director of engineering at Facebook, are thought to be behind the launch, according to the business newspaper.

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10 Most Memorable Tech CEOs of the Digital Era

Which of these CEOs will we remember in 50 years?

Chief Executive Officer is a title with significant cachet. As a CEO, you may as well be a modern day king of a commercial fiefdom. Your influence within your firm is unmatched, and your leadership determines the success or failure of everyone serving beneath you.

Through a complex series of cascading algorithms stuffed into an Excel spreadsheet, a few coin tosses, the heart of a Wookie, and the brain of a historian, I have determined what I consider the 10 most memorable CEOs of the digital era. With the PCMag audience in mind, favor was given to American CEOs of prominent high tech companies. As for the "digital era," well, that's a fuzzy term that essentially means post-WWII, computer-related companies.

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WD Again Outships Seagate in Disk Drives

Western Digital again shipped more disk drives than Seagate in the fourth quarter of 2010, although Seagate's stronger enterprise presence allowed it to top WD in overall revenue.

WD said Wednesday that it shipped 52.2 million disk drives, versus 48.9 million for Seagate, the third consecutive quarter Western Digital has reigned as the overall leader in disk-drive unit sales.

But Seagate pulled in $150 million in net income and $2.7 billion in revenue, versus WD's net income of $225 million and revenue of $2.475 billion. Profitability has been historically somewhat rare in the disk-drive market, although the industry has worked hard to keep costs under control.

WD topped analyst estimates for unit sales, although Seagate underperformed. Western Digital was expected to ship 51.5 million HDD units in the fourth quarter, up 1.7 percent from 50.7 million units in the third quarter, iSuppli said on Dec 15. Seagate was expected to ship 49.5 million drives, up 0.6 percent from 49.2 million units during the same period.

"Calendar 2010 was a year of tremendous opportunity for the hard drive industry with 651 million drives shipped, that's 330 million terabytes of storage capacity sold into a broadening set of applications and markets,"said John Coyne, president and chief executive officer of WD, in prepared remarks. "At 16 percent, this was the industry's strongest full year unit growth in five years. Rotating magnetic storage remains the dominant technology solution for high volume, mass storage of digital content in both the consumer and commercial markets. Full-year revenue for the industry expanded by some 13 percent to $34 billion.

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PC Growth Slows During the Fourth Quarter

PC growth slowed during the fourth quarter, evidence that in this category, at least, the recovery was not as strong as expected.

Using preliminary figures, Gartner reported that 93.5 million units were sold during the fourth quarter, up 3.1 percent from a year ago, but below Gartner's earlier projection of 4.8 percent growth. Rival IDC said that 92.1 million PCs were sold, up 2.7 percent and under the previous projection of 5.5 percent.

Chipmakers like had begun warning of lower holiday sales as early as September.

The quarter saw no shifts in the rankings of the top five PC vendors, either in the United States or worldwide. Both firms noted that Lenovo grew sharply in the worldwide PC market however, nearly overtaking Acer to become the world's third-largest PC vendor.

IDC blamed the rise of tablets for the slowing PC market, and named the Apple iPad specifically.

"The US market was expected to shrink year over year given the exploding growth experienced in the fourth quarter of 2009," said David Daoud, the research director who oversaw IDC's quarterly PC tracker forecast, in a statement. "Growth steadily slowed throughout 2010 as weakening demand and competition from the Apple iPad constrained PC shipments. In addition to relatively high market penetration and a 'good-enough' computing experience with existing PCs, consumers are being more cautious with their purchases and competing devices have been vying for consumer dollars. This situation is likely to persist in 2011, if not worsen, as a wave of Media Tablets could put a dent in the traditional PC market."

Gartner also noted the tablet phenomenon. "Overall, holiday PC sales were weak in many key regions due to the intensifying competition in consumer spending, said said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a statement. "Media tablets, such as the iPad, as well as other consumer electronic (CE) devices, such as game consoles, all competed against PCs."

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Obama Wants Internet ID for All Americans

These will be IDs provided by online vendors for financial transactions.

CBS reports that the Obama administration is currently working on the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, a cybersecurity effort that essentially hands out Internet IDs to all Americans. Once completed, the new plan will be handled by the U.S. Commerce Department rather than the Department of Homeland Security or the National Security Agency.

"We are not talking about a national ID card," said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke during an event at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. "We are not talking about a government-controlled system. What we are talking about is enhancing online security and privacy and reducing and perhaps even eliminating the need to memorize a dozen passwords, through creation and use of more trusted digital identities."

For now the details surrounding the upcoming security measure are scarce, unusually so according to CBS. However when it was first revealed late last year, there was indication that users would have a smart card or digital certificate that would prove their actual identities. There would be offered to consumers by online vendors for financial transactions.

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Microsoft to put next Windows OS on ARM chips

IDG News Service - Microsoft said Wednesday that the next version of its Windows PC operating system will run on ARM processors, part of an effort to adapt Windows to the fast-growing market for tablet computers, where Apple and Google have gained traction.

It's a big move for Microsoft, whose desktop OS has traditionally run only on x86-type processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. Chips based on ARM designs use much less power and are dominant in smartphones like the BlackBerry and iPhone and in tablets like the Apple iPad.

Microsoft executives made the announcement during a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where tablet computers are the hot topic. CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to talk further about the effort in his keynote address that opens the show Wednesday evening.

The move will bring Microsoft's operating system into the era of "system on chip" processors, such as the ARM chips made by Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, said Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live Division.

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