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A little-known Windows Vista audio diagnostic tool

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There is a little-known feature built in to Windows Vista forvista volume control screenshot diagnosing audio problems. Many people have likely never paid much attention to this, but if you are having issues getting your sound to work this may just help. To see what I'm talking about left click the volume icon in the notification area of your task bar. While any sound or music is playing, you should see two colored bars moving. The green bar shows the actual level of the sound that should be playing at. The gray bar shows the level the sound would be if the volume slider was set to the maximum level.

Raymond Chen recently put together a great article describing some common scenarios where these colored bars can help troubleshoot your sound issue. Here are a few of these scenarios below:

Scenario #1 - No Moving Bars at all

This means nothing is playing. There is no sound or music running. Did you forget to hit play?

Scenario #2 - Gray Bar moving, but no Green Bar visible

The gray bar moving means something is playing. No green bar means the volume is too low to hear anything. Try turning your volume up. The green bar should get bigger and you should start hearing sound.

Scenario #3 - Both Green and Gray Bars visible and moving

In this case, the computer is playing music. If you can't hear it, there are several things to check. Are your speakers plugged in? Are your speakers hooked up correctly (to the speaker out port)? Are your speakers on? Is the volume on your speakers turned up enough?


Free tool for burning ISO images to disc

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Being that I enjoy using and trying out different Linux distros, I frequently burn ISO images to discs. If you have ever needed to burn an ISO image, you have probably found that Windows does not come with a tool to burn these files to disc. Depending on where you got your CD/DVD Burner you may or may not have software to do this (Nero, Roxio, etc). If you don't already have software, you have probably also found that it can be expensive for a full featured burning tool. There is a free disc burning utility called InfraRecorder. This great tool is released under GPL 3, which means you can use the software for free. It also means the software is Open Soruce and can have the source code to review/modify if you are the coding type. If you want to download InfraRecorder you can do so here. If you want more information about how to use InfraRecorder you can find guides here.

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