Archive | October 2010

Sharing USB printer with Time Capsule on Macs and PCs

I was at a client today who has both Macs and Windows PCs. She has an Apple Time Capsule to back up her iMac and wanted to share her USB printer with it, too. Piece of cake.

  1. Connect USB printer to Mac and install it with the correct drivers.
  2. Connect the printer to the Time Capsule and configure it with Airport Utility.
  3. Download and install Apple’s Bonjour for Windows on each PC.
  4. Install the drivers on the PC (which might require plugging the printer in directly).
  5. Use Bonjour to discover the Time Capsule-shared USB printer for each PC.

Voilà!

The client also asked about using the Time Machine with Windows computers. Wouldn’t that be cool if they came out with a Windows version? Yeah, it would be cool.

Acer Aspire 5100: Keyboard and Trackpad not responsive

Client gave me their laptop today saying “I never shut it off. Last night, all was good. This morning, moved the external mouse to wake it up, but it didn’t wake up. Shut it off, turned it on. Nothing. Neither the mouse, the trackpad nor the keyboard work.”

I tried an external USB keyboard. Nope. I can’t even press F2 to enter the BIOS. So, it’s clearly not a Windows issue.

Sadly, the BIOS is set up to first go to HDD, then LAN, then CD/DVD, so I can’t even boot off a DVD. 😦

I’ve done the obligatory search on Google, but so far nothing. I’ve taken the battery out, pressed the power button for 30 seconds with no battery and no charger. I’ve looked for the J2 jumper under the memory to short it out and reset the BIOS, but there is no jumper.

Someone suggested a PC Card to USB adapter, but how will that work? If I plug it in, it won’t work until the drivers are loaded, but since I can’t use the mouse or type, how am I supposed to get the drivers to load? I can hope that the Plug-and-Play will work, but I’m not holding my breath.

I happen to have another client’s Acer handy. Very similar model. I tried the keyboard from one in the other. Nope. I tried an external wired mouse. Nope.

It seems that the optical drive is not spinning correctly. I mean, it feels like it’s sluggish. Does that indicate an electrical problem?

My current thoughts are: BIOS was updated automatically (that doesn’t happen though, does it?), the power to the system is insufficient,  or more serious motherboard failure.

Time for bed. More thoughts later.

Computer Problems? I can help.

That’s my motto, my mantra, my philosophy and my belief. I can either do something myself or I can point you to someone who can.

I’ve been doing this off-and-on for about 20 years, but very seriously for the last 2-3 years. I’ve learned a lot in that time, but I’ve never really “given back.” That’s where this blog comes in.

I have encountered so many different problems: laptops, desktops, iPhones, DVD drives, funky media drives, moving from Windows to Mac, etc. and in most cases, it’s a simple fix or something I’ve seen before. But there are times when something is new, more challenging, or just plain puzzling.

The idea is to document it all here. For my own benefit, but perhaps for the benefit of others. Every time I search for something like “Acer Aspire 5100 keyboard and trackpad won’t respond” I find about a dozen links which are …. well, spam, I guess. I hate the fixya website because you have to sign up to find answers. Then there are those sites which match any search term you send its way with fake text purporting to respond to your problem. But it’s just boilerplate, not real content.

So, I’m going to track my client’s problems here. List the sites I used to find solutions. Discuss why the ‘solutions’ that I’ve seen out there aren’t really solutions. Thinking out loud, you know?

This is mostly for me, but if you find some use in it, enjoy.