Hey, again. Just a little background, as it's relevant to my current position: I'm female and 64 years old. I've been out of work for 3 years and am trying to find ways to bolster my SS retirement, which does not support me. I have been teaching basic... BASIC computer lessons to friends, but more and more I find myself troubleshooting and smoothing out speedbumps in their machines. Simple things... getting rid of conflicting software, for example.
I have never undertaken anything like I am doing now, but I'm confident I'll eventually get it done. Also, this is the first time I've enlisted the help of tech board volunteers... usually just studying PC repair books or online information. I know the things I'm asking can be exasperating, but I am posting in the Newbies forum for a reason. I WANT to learn this and taking any of the machines I'm dealing with to a certified tech is not an option.<div>
1. Years ago, I was a mechanic's assistant, working on Volkswagens. (Lived in my van at the time, figured I should learn how to take care of it.) Let's say an alternator went out on a vehicle. Of course it was optimal to install a new alternator. Not everyone could afford a new alternator, though. Some could only afford a rebuilt alternator and then, there were some, who did the rebuilding.
No matter that a seasoned, well worn tech knows it's best to just get another copy, get a new optical drive, or even make a fresh copy from the original, if I do not have those things or the means to get them, does that mean I should give up? What I'm hoping to learn is that it's possible... if it is, to repair these things, even if it's time-consuming and the odds are against me.
2. Here is what I was hoping to find out, and my best guess, since I do not know these things, except marginally. Let's say that the usr*.* files might actually BE to support USRobotics. I'm thinking that most OS installation discs contain software/files to support all sorts of things.
Like, printers. My OS disc probably has all the drivers and everything for 200 - 400 (?) different printers, but I might only ever need one packet of those files or two, during the life of that OS for me. It's great that I can buy and just plug a new printer into my computer and then Windows will fly through its x number of files and find exactly what I need. But, it has hundreds if not thousands more on the disc that I will never need.
If 16 of my missing and now skipped files are for USRobotics modems (actual count) and I'll never have need of those, it seems logical to me that it would not matter that I skipped those files during installation or that I would need to replace them. I have no clue, but it also seems that my Windows installation might work perfectly fine without them, if I never placed a call on the system to retrieve them. Is that correct?
Or, even if they are USRobotics files, maybe USR makes a certain program not necessarily for a specific device, but that the system uses to work with all modems. Where would I look up those files to find out? If they are simply to plug n play a modem by that company and I don't even need them, are almost half my missing files now irrelevant?
3. Using the best case scenario, let's say that the above is true. I don't need to use the usr*.* files, and don't need to replace them, and the system will work fine without them. Further, maybe that turns out to be the case for another set of missing/skipped files, however 10 turn out to be very important to the OS. Is it really a totally bad idea to try to locate certain files on a bona fide, original OS installation disc and then insert them in the proper place in the installed version?
I'm still hoping to get an answer to my question about what CAB files are. I can read all about them in books and online, but there is a difference when a human being, talking to a newbie, describes them. I know when I'm teaching, I often give illustrations to present technical things in a practical (especially visual) way. ("Okay, think of the desktop as an actual desk top. If you add a background, it's like putting on a tablecloth. Same things are still sitting on the desk. RAM is like pulling up a card table alongside the desk