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About This Sticky

This was created because we have seen many of these topics over and over again. This is why it is referred to as the "Done to Death" FAQ. So please be sure to read this sticky before posting as it can save you a lot of time and give us more time to help other people out. In addition as per our Rules and Guidelines posts made that contain questions covered in this sticky will be handled as spam. You can help us keep this up to date and/or help us make sure this is as comprehensive as possible by making a post here.

Contents



  • Software
      Section 1
    • I want to test your skills as computer people! Here's a random challenge!
    • I'll help you with computer problems!
    • How do I open this file?
    • I downloaded a movie/anime/song/game and it won't work, help me!

      Section 2
    • I want to make my own version of Gaia!
    • How do I format?
    • How do I update my drivers?

      Section 3
    • How come my DVD from (another country) won't play at home?
    • I have this tiny image and it gets blurry when I make it big!
    • How do I clear out a lot of space?
    • How do I recover a password I forgot?

      Section 4
    • I want to remove the voices/background from this music!
    • How do I play this windows game on my mac?
    • My video won't go onto Youtube!
    • My Video doesn't work but I can hear it! Codecs?
    • What Linux Distro is best for me?/I need a better Linux Distro.

      Section 5
    • How do I burn a DVD video?
    • What technology do you all think looks nice/cool?
    • I think I have a virus!
    • Limewire isn't working!
    • I'll help you with your computer problems for gold!
    • How do I get music off of my iPod?
    • Is there a Gaia App for the iPhone/Blackberry/etc?
    • What browser do you use and why do you use it over others?
    • What OS (Operating System] do you use and why do you use it over others?


  • Internet
      Section 1
    • I need BBCode, signature, profile or general Gaia help!
    • Which internet company is the best?
    • I want to show you my website!
    • My HTML/CSS isn't working right!
    • Check out my Internet Speed/What is your Internet Speed?
    • Show Us Your Desktop!

      Section 2
    • What about some good paid/free webhosting?
    • I need some free image hosting!
    • I'm torrenting and it's slow!
    • Help me with my profile!
    • How do I make/use a Wix Profile Theme?
    • Teach me how to program!
    • Where can I download music for free?


  • Hardware
      Post Here
    • What's your dream machine? Here's mine!
    • What are the specs on your computer? Here's mine!
    • Brand VS. Brand, which is better?
    • My ____ dropped into water, what do I do?



  • Useful Program List

  • Guides and Tutorials
    Post Here
Software 1

  • I want to test your skills as computer people! Here's a random challenge!
    This covers a large range of topics. Mainly topics like "Try to figure this out! I already know how, I just want to see if you do". Chances are, if you know, we know and we've seen it many times before. This main section is for people that actually require help. If you want to have fun with challenges, the subforum (Tech-Talk) is where you want to go.

  • I'll help you with computer problems!
    In this section people post threads with their own problems. If you want to help, go into somebody else's thread and help them personally.

  • How do I open this file?
    If it has any of the below extensions, it is an archive and you can open it with 7-zip (free).
    Rar, cab, arj, lzh, tar, gz, tar.gz, bz2, tar.bz2, ace, uue, jar (Java Archive), zip, 7z, z.
    If it's something else, you can look it up on this site. If that doesn't give you an answer (or you don't know what it's saying), ask us.

  • I downloaded a movie/anime/song/game and it won't work, help me!
    If you downloaded it from a shady site or program in order to avoid paying for it, that is illegal and we cannot help you (both you and us might be banned). Gaia is located in the US, it follows US laws, period.
Software 2

  • I want to make my own version of Gaia!
    There's two main ways to do this.

    A - You install premade forum software (like PHPbb, which gaia was originally made from) along with some addons and have a working community site in a day or so.
    Advantage - It's up and working a lot quicker.
    Disadvantage - People will most likely ignore it at first as yet another unoriginal forum system with rewards, since it won't be unique.

    B - You install PHPbb or other forum software (or even create your own) and modify it yourself instead of using pre-made mods.
    Advantage - It goes exactly as you want it, fully unique to your dream.
    Disadvantage - You most likely will not have a working product for a while. If you want to do it yourself you'll have to learn programming basics and then the languages before you can start building.


  • How do I format?
    There's multiple ways to do it, so we will answer you personally.

    The phrase "formatting" is basically wiping everything from a computer. THIS INCLUDES WINDOWS, so after you format you will not be able to use the computer like before until you install windows. When people say "format" or "reformat", they almost always mean "reformat and reinstall windows". So if you find instructions on JUST formatting (like with DBAN), ignore them.


  • How do I update my drivers?
    Go to the site of the company that made your computer, there should be a "support" or "downloads" section. Go there, find your computer model, and you should find downloads for it.
    Acer
    Apple
    ASUS
    Compaq
    Dell
    eMachines
    Gateway
    HP
    Lenovo
    Sony
    Toshiba

    Most of what you find will be drivers. If it mentions a "download manager", tell it NO. Download the most recent driver for the following things, depending on what it calls them.

    1 - Chipset/Motherboard.
    2 - Video/Graphics.
    3 - Sound/Audio.
    4 - Ethernet/LAN.
    5 - Wireless/WLAN

    If you see multiple different things listed for a category (Like if it lists both an ATI driver and Nvidia driver for graphics), download them both, only the real one will install, the other will be able to realize it's wrong and won't install.

    If you see multiple types for a single download, like there's "Driver", but also a version that offers the software+driver, get the version with the software as well.

    Install them (in that listed order if possible), you might be required to restart after each installation.

    Now, this is a good thing to do in case you need the drivers at all, but if you need to update some drivers it may not be the best thing, as most companies rarely put driver updates on the site (just the initial versions the computer ships with). This can be pretty annoying, as you'll need to go around to individual sites to get the drivers. For example if you want an updated video driver and your video card/chipset is made by Nvidia, you'll want to grab the model number (from Speccy) and then go to Nvidia's site and get the video/graphics driver it offers.

    It is not recommended that you Google "PART # drivers" because that will often just give you "driver sites" that intend to make you pay for them, or sites that will try to sell you a program to update drivers for you when you do not need it. Simply google the site of the manufacturer of the part (for example Realtek for Realtek sound cards) and they should have the latest drivers.

    If you're having trouble finding drivers for a specific product, post the name/model and any info you can, and we'll look it up for you.
Software 3

  • How come my DVD from (another country) won't play at home?
    Most DVDs from one country will not work on most DVD players from another country, due to a thing called "region locking". It's done on purpose. Technically there's nothing wrong with playing DVDs from another country, however, the maker of DVDs and players only want you to be able to play DVDs released in your area. That's to stop you from let's say... if you lived in europe, it'd stop you from ordering a DVD from america, if it was released in america first, so you'd get it before anybody else in europe does.

    It's also used for censorship reasons. The european DVD might have some content censored out that the american one might have left in, because it would be offensive to europeans, but not americans. Europeans in general have no problem with (tasteful) nudity, but will censor out acts of violence. On the other hand, American movies tend to have a lot of violence, and little to no nudity.

    If you can get a "region-free" DVD player, then you can play DVDs from anywhere. Most DVD players you pick up (in major stores) are not region-free. You might have to order a region-free player online specifically. A computer can use something like VLC media player or MPlayer, which has the ability to ignore region coding and play just about any disc.

    If you do purchase a region free DVD player, you will often have to look up instructions on unlocking the region settings. The code will likely be online, but just bear in mind that it is one extra step you'll have to do before watching your foreign DVDs.

  • I have this tiny image and it gets blurry when I make it big!
    It's smaller, thus there is less data in it than in a larger version. Details will be missing, it will be pixelated and/or blurry when you enlarge it because the details "between the pixels" are not there, and won't magically appear. It's like if you take a book, and summarize it into a paragraph. You cannot rebuild the book from just that paragraph, because a lot of detail is missing which cannot automatically be recreated by a computer if it's not already known.

    Depending on what it is, see if somebody will do vector art of it for you, which can be resized with no loss of quality. This, however, takes time and a talented tech artist to do it for you, as they will be manually recreating the entire image... this tends to not work well with real-life images, though. Just anime stuff, and technical diagrams and charts, and it takes time.

    If you want to try it yourself, Inkscape is a free vector image program.
    Easy Trace Pro is a program specifically suited for this, but it is not free.

    You cannot just "enhance image" like they do in CSI/NCIS type shows.


  • How do I clear out a lot of space?
    Download and run the program WinDirStat. It might take a few minutes (or more) to scan your harddrive, but then it'll show you a picture of what is using up space, and where. Bigger things will be bigger squares in the image, and things that are in folders close to eachother will be grouped together, sort of.

    Point at a big square and look at the bottom of the window (the status/info bar at the very bottom) to see what they are and where they are located. If it's part of a game/program you don't use anymore, uninstall the game/program. If it's video files you never watch, delete them, stuff like that. If it's something you don't know about, then tell us the size and where it is, and what it's named, and well tell you if it's safe to remove or not, and how to remove it.

    The OSX version of WinDirStat is Disk Inventory X. It does the same thing.

  • How do I recover a windows password I forgot?
    We cannot help you with this.
    1 - We have no proof it's your computer.
    2 - If we DID tell you how, then anybody would be able to see the info and could use it for bad things.

    The best thing to do would be to take it to a computer repair store, they can do it for a fee.
Software 4

  • I want to remove the voices/background from this music!
    You might not have any luck getting it done, but the below site has some info on doing it.
    Vocal Removal With Audacity.
    Quote:
    There is no universal, reliable way of doing this without having the original multi-track recordings.

    Vocal removal methods often tend to turn stereo sound into mono (by mixing the tracks and removing anything that's present in both, like center-panned lyrics would be). They often introduce distortion and noise, as well as remove instruments other than the vocals.

    "Karaoke" and "instrumental" versions of a song have to be created from the original mixing tracks made by the studio when it was originally recorded. They are not versions of the song with the lyrics removed, they are versions that never had the lyrics added in the first place.

    It is very rare for someone outside the studio to have access to the mixing tracks.


  • How do I play this windows game on my mac?
    A - Buy a copy of windows on CD and use one of the following.

    1 - Boot Camp (Free, but requires you to split your hard drive into two partitions and install windows on one of the partitions. You also need to reboot your Mac and start in windows in order to use it. This is the best way to game, and this will let you get the most of your computer with windows games.)
    2 - VMware Fusion (Costs money. The latest versions add much better gaming support.)
    3 - Parallels Desktop for Mac (Costs money. Good at games, but not great)


  • My video won't upload to Youtube!
    Assuming it's from Windows Movie Maker...
    Answer 1
    Answer 2
    If it's another video editor, it's the same sort of deal.
    If you did not make it with a video editor, tell us what program you used.


  • My video doesn't work but I can hear it! Codecs?
    The container format (AVI/MPG/MP4/MOV) is only part of the video's type.
    • Container
      • Video Codec
        • Resolution
        • FPS
        • Bitrate
      • Audio Codec
        • Channels
        • Sampling Frequency
        • Bitrate

    If any of those parts is "out of bounds" for a specific player, then the video file won't play on the player, even if it's of the correct container type. When you use a converter for a specific platform (such as for the PSP or DS or ipod) or to a specific format, it doesn't convert just the container, it formats every part of the video to certain specifications so it'll play properly, which is partially why it takes so long to convert.

    You can either play the video with VLC (free), or install a codec pack like the CCCP (free) or K-Lite (free).

  • What Linux Distro is best for me?/I need a better Linux Distro.
    Although we would love to suggest a distro to you, it won't be the one you are looking for. This is because like Wine, Cheese, etc. Linux is all about personal taste and need. However we can help you by sending you to this website. Which will help give you an idea of what is the best distro for you and your needs.
Software 5

  • How do I burn a DVD video?
    If you want to burn it so that it plays on normal DVD players, you can use DVD Flick (free).
    If that program won't use your video files, you should convert them to VOB or MPEG-2 first using a free video converter from the list in this thread.

    Once that is done you can use CDBurnerXP and using this guide burn the the files made by DVD Flick so that they can play on a DVD Player using a DVD.

    In DVD Flick you can also do the following: Project settings > burning > Tick "Burn project to disc"

  • What technology do you all think looks nice/cool?
    Go here.

  • I think I have a virus!
    Spyware/Adware/Virus/Trojan/Rootkit/Keylogger Removal Guide.

    In addition you can learn about the various kinds of viruses and other cyber security concerns here.

  • Limewire isn't working!
    Limewire was shutdown after a Federal Court case ruled that it was responsible for Copyright Infringement. For all intents and purposes Limewire is essentially illegal. For more information you can read this article.

  • I'll help you with your computer problems for gold!
    Don't. It's against the C&T rules here and this is commonly referred to as "Guru Threads" which will be considered spam and sent to the Bin.

  • How do I get music off of my iPod?
    This question is a fairly regular question and it's fairly easy to answer. If you are on Windows you can use a program called Sharepod. This will take the music from your iPod and allow you to do what you please with the music if you are using a Windows PC. The other is for Mac and that is called Detune and much like the windows program lets you do what you want with your music.

  • Is there a Gaia App for the iPhone/Blackberry/etc?
    Currently there is only an official app for the iPhone and iTouch. You can get it here.

    There is no Blackberry, Droid, etc app, you can use http://www.gaiaonline.com/wap

  • What browser do you use and why do you use it over others?
    There here.

  • What OS (Operating System] do you use and why do you use it over others?
    Thread here
Internet 1
Internet 2

  • What about some good paid/free webhosting?
    This site has a list of free web hosts and reviews.
    This site does the same for paid hosts.
    The WebHostingTalk forums can provide quite a lot of information.


  • I need some free image hosting!
    Photobucket is one of the most popular, you sign up for an account and it keeps track of images you add. You can do common edits, resize them, and it'll give you the codes you need to show them on websites and forums.
    Flickr also requires an account.

    The below do not require you to sign up, though you should if you want to keep track of your images.
    Imageshack
    TinyPic

  • I'm torrenting and it's slow!
    First make sure that the torrent you are trying to get has seeds. If there are none you will not have an easy time getting the file, and it may just be impossible. Find another torrent.

    If you are using firewall software, make sure your torrent program is allowed to host.

    If you have a router in your home, go here, choose your router, choose your torrent program, and then follow the instructions, you may need to restart afterwards. Then seeds will be able to connect to you so you can download fast.

  • Help me with my profile!
    Yes a lot of the people in C&T know CSS, but not all of them know how to do so for a Gaia Online profile. So please ask in Profile Discussion. They'll know how to help you and even have guides to help you do most if not all of the things you want to do.

  • How do I make/use a Wix Profile Theme?
    How to use a Wix profile.

  • Teach me how to program!
    We get this on a rather regular basis. Programming is not something you can learn over night. It is also difficult depending on what exactly you are wanting to do. Although we would love to sit down with you and help teach you, we can't. However you can read this. That will assist you in learning and understanding several common programming languages. If you need any specific help feel free however to ask in the forum.

  • Where can I download music for free?
    Although there are websites and programs that allow you to download music for free. Many of them are actually illegal as they promote piracy. Which is Copyright Infringement and this isn't allowed on Gaia per our Terms of Service. However there exist many legal alternatives to downloading music without the risk of breaking any laws as the music has been released to the public for free use. Below you can see several such websites.

    http://www.last.fm
    http://www.mp3.com/free-music/free-mp3s
    http://www.jamendo.com
    http://www.garageband.com
    http://www.unsignedbandweb.com

    Sites such as Amazon.com and Rhapsody.com do also occasionally offer tracks from popular bands for free with and without DRM when they are having promotions. The same can be said for programs such as iTunes.
Hardware

  • What's your dream machine? Here's mine!
    Pretty pointless, people will just list the highest specs they are aware of, and the thread will be over.


  • What are the specs on your computer? Here's mine!
    Post your computer specs here!


  • Brand VS. Brand, which is better?
    Brand doesn't matter as much as people want you to think it does.
    What's more important is the specifications of the machine.

    Computer brand names don't "build" machines, they "assemble" them. They take core parts, like the processor and ram and graphics card and harddrives from other companies that make them, and assemble them (with their own cases and accessories) and sell the completed package to you. So you can buy (for example) a Dell that's faster than an HP, and then turn around and buy an HP better than both the Dell and the other HP.

    If you're looking for a computer, tell us your exact needs and we will help you personally.


  • My ____ dropped into water, what do I do?
    Don't turn it on! When you turn it on you risk permanently breaking your device by shorting it out. First, remove the battery as soon as possible. Even if the device is turned off the battery can still cause a short. Next, it is suggest that you put your device into a bowl of uncooked rice for at least two whole days (ideally a week). The uncooked rice is a desiccant, which means it will absorb the water out of the device and help it dry out. Only once the device is completely dry should you attempt to reconnect the battery and turn it on. If it doesn't work you should contact whoever made your device to see if they will repair or replace it. (Water damage is usually not covered, but it doesn't hurt to ask nicely.)
Useful Program List

($) means it costs money.
(?$) means is has a free version, but also a paid which can usually do more.

Graphic/Image Editors
R = Raster, normal pixel-based editors like paint and Photoshop.
V = Vector, editors that are more like flash and Inkscape.
E = Icon Editor
(R) Paint.NET
(RE) The GIMP
(R) Pixia
(R) Artweaver (?$)
(VR) Photoshop ($)
(R) OpenCanvas ($)
(R) Paint Shop Pro ($)
(R) Pixel ($)
(V) Inkscape
(V) Synfig
(V) Adobe Illustrator ($)
(E) IcoFX
(R)Photoshop Express - Requires Account

GIF Editors
The GIMP
Unfreeze
CoffeeCup Gif Animator ($)
ULead Gif Animator ($)
Photoshop ($)


3D Editors
Anim8or
Blender
Maya ($)
3DS Max ($)
Cinema 4D ($)
Lightwave 3D ($)
Bryce ($)

Audio/Video Players
A = Audio/Music Player.
V = Video+Audio Player.
(V) VLC
(V) iTunes
(V) Media Player Classic
(V) Zoom Player
(V) Miro
(A) foobar2000
(A) Amarok
(A) Songbird
(A) Winamp (?$)

Audio/Video EditorsA = Audio/sound.
V = Video.
(A) Audacity
(A) Wavepad (?$)
(A) Goldwave ($)
(V) Windows Live Movie Maker (Windows 7)
(V) Pinnacle Studio ($)
(V) Sony Vegas ($)
(V) Adobe Premiere ($)
(V) VideoSpin by Pinnacle

Audio/Video Converters
WinFF
HandBrake
SUPER

CD/DVD Burning
CDBurnerXP
DVD Flick
ImgBurn
InfraRecorder
Deep Burner (?$)
Nero ($)
Roxio ($)
Alcohol ($)

General Cleanup
CCleaner
BleachBit

FTP Programs
FileZilla
WinSCP
WS_FTP($)
Smart FTP ($)
Cute FTP ($)

Instant Messengers
Pidgin
Digsby
Miranda IM
Trillian (?$)
Skype

Browsers
Firefox
Google Chrome
Safari
Opera
Internet Explorer

Office Programs
AbiWord
Open Office
Lotus Symphony (?$)
Microsoft Office ($)

Audio Composers
Anvil Studio (?$)
FLStudio (?$)

Email Clients
Thunderbird
Outlook ($)

DVD Ripping Software
HandBrake

Screen Recorders/Gameplay Recorders
CamStudio
Fraps (?$)

Software Bundles
Ninite
Guides and Tutorials

C&T has a history of people who like to help and want to help. Below are a list of threads that can be used to help you understand a subject, solve a problem and even teach you something you never knew before.

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