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Issue #100: June 21, 2009

Welcome, to the It’s Geek to Me 100th issue spectacular!  Hello?  Is anyone out there?  I can’t hear you over the sound of the crickets chirping!  Okay, so apparently getting 100 issues of a weekly newspaper column under my belt is a far bigger deal to me than it is to most of you, my fellow Geeks.  So, we’ll dispense with the celebration, and get to answering some questions instead.  (By the way, if you feel bad about missing the 100th issue blow-out blast, there is another celebration next month when It’s Geek To Me hit’s the big 2.0 – its second anniversary. Watch out for all the flying confetti.)

Q: Just recently, each time I log on to my computer a pop-up appears saying my copy of Windows did not pass “Genuine Windows Validation”.  I have to navigate out of this (resolve now, or resolve later) for my computer to continue booting up and everything else to appear.  How can I get rid of this pop-up?  It is annoying to always have to watch for it when booting up.

– Deb T.
Shalimar, Fla

A: You didn’t really say what happens after the box appears, Deb, other than you “navigate out” of it.  The Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation is Microsoft’s way of making sure the copy of Windows running on your computer is legitimate, licensed, and not in violation of Microsoft’s end-user license agreement.  It seems that either you have not allowed it to run to validate your copy, or your copy failed validation.  If you have not allowed it to run, the answer is obvious.  If it ran and failed validation, it should have given you the reason why, and directed you to a website to help resolve the problem.  Please visit this URL to learn more about the WGA program: You’ll want to correct this problem soon, because without validation, your copy of Windows is not eligible for all the latest security updates.

Q: On boot up I get the message, “Diskette drive 0 seek failure. Press F1 to continue, F2 to enter SETUP”.  I press F1 and all is well from there on but this shouldn’t be.  I have tried various things with SETUP with no good results.  I have GOOGLED the problem and this ends up in mass confusion.  My diskette drive works, at least it plays a CD.  Can you please lead me in the right direction to correct the problem!

– Tom E.
Bluewater Bay, Fla

A:  Tom, I would be shocked to find out that your diskette drive plays a CD, or that a CD even fits into it!  You see, “diskette” refers to a floppy disk –those little 3.5” plastic guys with the sliding metal door on one end.  Your computer is trying to tell you that the floppy drive did not pass its power-on self-test.  Most people don’t even use floppy drives anymore, because of their relatively small storage capacity.  If that applies to you, you can either safely ignore the error, or remove the floppy drive from your computer with no adverse effects.  If you decide to replace it, a new one should cost you under $10.

Geek Quote of the Week: “Data are plural.  Datum is singular.”

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