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Packard Bell Easynote Notebook

AC Adapter Voltage SettingsActua Soccer Starts Minimized
Battery IssuesCorrupted Save-to-Disk File
Defective LCD ScreenEPP Mode not Available
External Mouse and TouchpadFrench Keyboard Configured Wrong
How to use the PHDISK utility.Master CD Issues
Maximum Memory SupportedMiser partition lost, run PHDISK
No Video Cable SuppliedPC Doctor Locks My System
PhoneTools 2000 Skins Not AppearingPoor screen quality at 640 x 480
Power LED Changes ColourSave-to-Disk - OE Exception Error
Scrolling desktop in Windows 98se

Miser partition lost, run PHDISK

When I boot my Easy Note notebook, the message "Miser partition lost, run PHDISK" appears on screen in a red warning box, What does this message mean, and how can I do stop this?

When your system goes into Suspend Mode, the entire state of your computer (all open programs and files) is saved on the hard disk drive. If the Power Management software in the BIOS checks for this partition during the POST (Power On Self Test) and cannot find it, the error message above is shown.

A similar message will appear when the memory has been increased in size, because then the computer state will no longer fit on the partition.

The solution is to run the PHDISK program and create a partition for the Save-to-Disk feature.

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Corrupted Save-to-Disk File

When I boot my Easy Note notebook, all I get is a message that my Save-to-Disk file is corrupted.

To boot the system, turn on the power and press F2 to enter the Setup menu of the BIOS. There you can disable the Save-to-Disk option. This will allow you to boot the system and run Phdisk again to recreate the save partition.

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Defective LCD Screen

How many bad pixels on my LCD screen can I have before it is considered to be defective ?

To determine whether an LCD is considered to be defective as far as the number of bad pixels is concerned, follow the steps below. Note that a bad pixel is a pixel that always has the same colour, regardless of what is on the screen :

  • Count the total of bad pixels. If there are ten or more, the screen is defective. If there are less than ten, continue with the next step.
  • Count the number of bad pixels that have the same colour. If there are six or more bad pixels of the same colour, the screen is defective. If there are less than six, continue with the next step.
  • When two bad pixels adjoin horizontally, and when these two bad pixels also have the same colour, the screen is considered to be defective. Note that when they adjoin vertically, or when they have different colour's, then the screen is considered to be OK.

When you have bad pixels, but not in the way described in steps 1 through 3, your LCD screen is considered to be OK.

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Poor screen quality at 640 x 480

When using the LCD screen at a resolution of 640x480 screen (for all LCD models) or at a resolution of 800x600 (for the 13.3" and 14.1" models), the quality of the display is bad.

In general an LCD screen will not adapt to the resolution like a normal CRT monitor will. The BIOS will therefore recalculate the display to adapt to the LCD screen (the so-called screen expansion). This is a general LCD symptom which occurs on every LCD screen as they are digital screens with a FIXED number of dots, while a VGA monitor is based on a beam which can expand the display to the screen size. The same will occur when a system is connected to an external LCD.

There are two ways to deal with this situation.

1. Use the resolution that the LCD screen was designed for (800x600 for the 12.1" screens, 1024x768 for the 13.3" and 14.1" screens).

2. Disable screen expansion manually by pressing "Fn" and "F5" simultaneously. The result of this is that a border will be shown around the displayed area (which will be centred on your LCD screen).

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Battery Issues

Why does the Easy Note battery not charge properly?

Due to the long period of shipping and on-shelf time, it is possible that some batteries may have inaccurate data in the Gas Gauge IC (the IC that keeps track of the status of the charge).

This situation will disappear after a complete charging/discharging process. As soon as the battery has been discharged completely the counters in the Gas Gauge IC will be reset and the battery will be aware of the maximum and minimum charge levels. This process is called the battery calibration.

The Li-Ion battery in the Easy Note will have to be recalibrated in order for the charging process to work properly. There are two utilities to recalibrate the Easy Note battery: DISCHG.COM and the PC Doctor battery run-down utility. The discharge utility will disable the power management feature of the Easy Note so the system will not enter into Suspend mode when the charge reaches the level of 3%. The PC Doctor battery run-down utility will continuously access the hard disk drive, the floppy disk drive and the system resources until the battery is empty. This utility actually performs the same action as DISCHG.COM, but it does not discharge the battery as completely as DISCHG.COM will do.

To use the utility DISCHG.COM, download Battery calibrate C2 from Packard Bell's website and save the downloaded file (DISCHG.COM) into the C:\WINDOWS folder. Restart the notebook into MS-DOS mode and type the command: C:\WINDOWS\DISCHG.COM and press Enter. While the utility is running you will see the following line on the screen (where the ?? are replaced by the actual percentage of the remaining charge):

Battery Capacity = ??% [ BATTERY DISCHARGE UTILITY V1.0A - by FIC R&D ]

When the battery is fully discharged the system will shut down automatically.

The other program to recalibrate the Easy Note battery is the PC Doctor battery run-down utility. To start the battery rundown-utility execute the MS-DOS version of PC Doctor: C:\PCDOCWIN\PCDR.EXE.

When the battery has been discharged with either of the two utilities, restart the notebook with the AC adapter connected to recharge the battery. It will take approximately two hours to recharge the battery up to 100%. Depending on the working load, the battery should typically provide power for two hours.

Battery loses 1% to 2% power per day

The battery loses 1% to 2% power per day, even when the system is connected via the AC adapter to a wall socket. What can I do about this?

To resolve this issue install BIOS version 1.0P (REFBIOS00320500). You should be able to download the file from Packard Bell's website.

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Master CD Issues

Why does the Master CD installation not accept my serial number?

To continue with the restoration from the Master CD you must enter the serial number with CAPS LOCK on.

My Toshiba XM1802B CD-ROM drive is not detected when remastering

I have an Easy Note notebook with the Toshiba XM1802B CD-ROM player (part number 136-244361-002A). When I try to remaster my system the Easy Note Master CD Bootdisk (part number 6756150000) I use does not detect the Toshiba CD-ROM drive and the remastering process will stop. What can I do about this ?

Only systems that were shipped with Master CDs having a part number beginning with 675613 are affected. To get round this you should download and use the generic Master CD Bootdisk (6760030000).

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Maximum Memory Supported

Officially, the maximum memory configuration is 128 MB. However, the Pentium II models seem to accept 256 MB as well, based on two 128 MB memory modules (P/N 802-143157-001A).

Though owners are free to try out this configuration, note that it is not guaranteed to work and may void your warrenty.

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French Keyboard Configured Wrong

I have a Packard Bell Easy Notes which I bought in Belgium. It has a French keyboard, but the keyboard is configured differently, both in DOS and Windows. How can I get the correct keyboard configuration in both situations?

A disk is included with each system in order to correct this situation (REFFIUP01570100).

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PhoneTools 2000 Skins Not Appearing

When I want to change the looks of my PhoneTools 2000 program and select a different skin for it, the graphics are not displayed properly. Why does that happen and how can I make the images appear correctly on screen ?

The reason why PhoneTools 2000 does not update the skin when a different one is chosen, is that the image files used for the skins have the hidden attribute. This attribute makes it impossible for the program to find the images for the skins.

The situation is easily solved by changing the attribute of the image files. To achieve this you can do as follows:

  • Click the Start button, select Programs and click MS-DOS Prompt to open an MS-DOS session.
  • In the MS-DOS screen type: CD\COMTOOLS and press the Enter key.
  • Now type ATTRIB -H *.BMP and press Enter.
  • To close the MS-DOS session, type EXIT and press Enter.
  • Changing skins in PhoneTools 2000 will now work correctly.

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Scrolling desktop in Windows 98se

I have a notebook with a 12.1" LCD display. On this computer Windows 98 Second Edition was preinstalled. When I am in Windows, I find that the desktop is larger than my display so it scrolls when I move around it. How can I prevent the desktop from scrolling ?

The desktop scrolls because the maximum resolution of your display is 800x600 pixels. During the software installation a utility detects the type of LCD in order to determine the default resolution for it. In this case the program did not return the proper values, which caused the wrong resolution to be set for your display. To prevent your Windows desktop from scrolling, the display resolution in Windows can be set to the value 800x600 manually. You can do this following the next steps:

  • Click on Start / Settings / Control Panel.
  • Double click on Display, to bring up the display properties.
  • Click the Settings tab.
  • Scroll the slider in the Screen area section until the 800x600 resolution is selected.
  • Click on Ok, then follow the onscreen messages to accept the changes.

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EPP Mode not Available

The User Manual of my Easy Note states that for the parallel port EPP mode is supported. This mode, however, is not available in the BIOS. What should I do now ?

The BIOS of the Easy Note does not support EPP mode, only Bi-Directional and ECP mode. You should use the ECP mode instead.

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Save-to-Disk - OE Exception Error

When I try to use the Save-to-Disk feature my system generates an 0E Exception Error. What does this mean ?

When you get this error message is means that the hard disk drive is not ready for the Save-to-Disk power management feature. You will have to run the utility PHDISK.EXE to create a partition on the hard disk drive that can be used by the Save-to-Disk feature.

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Touchpad and External Mouse

Why does my Touchpad stop functioning when I connect an external mouse to my Easy Note via the external PS/2 port?

The Easy Note does not support the simultaneous operation of multiple pointing devices. When a PS/2-style mouse is connected via the external PS/2 port, the built-in Touchpad will be disabled, and only the external device will function.

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How to use the PHDISK Utility

I read in one of your articles that I should use the PHDISK utility. Now I wonder what the PHDISK utility does, and what commands I should use?

The Easy Note does not support the simultaneous operation of multiple pointing devices. When a PS/2-style mouse is connected via the external PS/2 port, the built-in Touchpad will be disabled, and only the external device will function.

First, it is important to explain the difference between Suspend and Save to Disk, even though both are power saving states. Suspend saves all information to the system's memory, and will then enter a low power mode. Save to Disk is the "ultimate" power saving state because all power is removed from the system. All CPU, DRAM, peripheral device data are saved to the hard disk, and the system is powered off. In both cases the system is restored to the exact point where it was when it was suspended. There are three different settings for the suspend mode in the BIOS.

The first is to set the option Suspend Mode to Save To Disk. As soon as the system is suspended, the entire state will then be saved to disk.

For the second and third option the Suspend Mode needs to be set to Suspend. This will enable the configuration of the next setting, namely Auto Save To Disk. This can be set to either Off or After 1 Hour. When set to Off, the system will save its state to the memory, and will then remain in low power mode. When set to After 1 Hour, it will first suspend to memory, and will then, after one hour, save its state to the hard disk drive, and power down.

Note that the Resume On Time feature will only work when the Suspend Mode is set to Suspend. Also note that Phoenix's PHDISK utility must be used to prepare the disk for the Save To Disk feature to work correctly.

PHDISK is a utility that creates a file or hard disk partition that is used by the Save To Disk feature, as soons as it is activated. The PHDISK.EXE file can be found on the hard disk drive at the following location:

C:\APPS\PHDISK\PHDISK.EXE

It is very important to run the utility in Safe DOS mode environment only! Safe DOS mode can be entered by pressing F8 during system boot. You will then get a menu from which you should select Safe mode command prompt only. To run PHDISK, use the following command line -

PHDISK [options]

Where the valid options are -

/CREATE (/FILE or /PARTITION) -- Create Save-To-Disk (STD) file or partition
/DELETE (/FILE or /PARTITION) -- Delete existing STD file or partition
/INFO -- Information on STD disk area(s)
/REFORMAT /PARTITION -- Reformat existing STD partition
/EXIT -- Exit to OS without system reboot when its done

Be careful with the option /REFORMAT. It will destroy all data on your harddrive!

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AC Adapter Voltage Settings

Can I use the AC adapter (and thus my Easy Note notebook) in other countries which have different voltage standards ?

The AC adapter that is included with the notebook is a universal AC adapter. It can be used with all voltage standards. All you need is a converter for the power plug itself to make sure it fits in the wall socket.

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Power LED Changes Colour

The power LED of my Easy Note is yellow at one time and green at other times. Is this a problem ?

When you see this, you know that your Easy Note notebook is working perfectly. As soon as you have a battery in the notebook and you are using AC power, part of the power, the so-called "trickle charge", will go to the battery to recharge it. As long as your battery is being charged the power LED will be yellow. As soon as it is fully charged, the LED will turn green.

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Actua Soccer Starts Minimized

I have an Easy Note with a Spanish language configuration. When I start the game Actua Soccer within Windows 98, it comes up minimized on screen. What can I do to play the game maximized?

A quick and easy (and so far only) workaround is to press the Alt + Enter key combination to enable full-size view.

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PC Doctor Locks My System

I have a French Easy Note VX and when I click the PC Doctor System Information icon my system freezes. What can I do ?

A number of French systems are shipped with the System Information icon in PC Doctor which will lock up the system. The solution is to not use the System Information icon for PC Doctor, but note that the diagnose options themselves are not affected. You might want to use the Microsoft System Information tool to diagnose the system. To do so, click the Start button, go to Programs, Accessories, System Tools. At this point click System Information.

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No Video Cable Supplied

I bought an Easy Note VX and I cannot find the video cable. Where is it ?

The video cable provided with the Easy Note VX (with DVD drive) is the wrong colour. The first 150 machines manufactured will be shipped with a non yellow video cable (which is supposed to be the dedicated video colour). The cable will have a red or black colour. The cable connects the Easy Note from the yellow TV-OUT connector to any video peripheral. You can use the red or black cable that will not affect the video quality at all.

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