Aspire One BIOS Update Version 3304

The Aspire One currently ships with BIOS 3301 even though there is a later version.  Unfortunately, they do not provide very good instructions on how to upgrade or exactly what the new BIOS fixes.  The rumor is improved fan control.  To install the update, perform the following steps.

Create a FreeDOS bootable USB flash drive

Once you have your USB flash drive, be sure it is formatted FAT32.  Then download the program UNetbootin.  Start up UNetbootin and select the Distribution FreeDOS.  Then towards the bottom select your USB drive letter and click OK.  The drive should now be bootable.

Acquire BIOS 3304

You can download the 3304 BIOS here.  Extract the contents of the zip file and copy them to the USB flash drive.

Boot off the USB drive and install

Start up the Aspire One and hit F12 until the boot screen appears.  Choose to boot off of your USB drive and you will see a UNetbootin screen where you can select default.  You will then see 5 boot options.  Select #5 FreeDOS Live CD only.  Once booted, you’ll be at a DOS prompt on drive A:\.  Change to C:\ by simply typing “C:\”.  You should then be able to see the contents of your usb drive by typing “dir”.  Then type “cd ZG5_3304” if that is the directory where you put your BIOS files.  Then the last step is to type “3304.BAT” to run the install script.  A progress screen will appear.  The install should take less than a minute.


Once the flashing of the new BIOS is complete you can reboot.  You can remove your USB flash drive.  Press F2 at boot to get into the BIOS and confirm that System BIOS Version says v0.3304.


If you encounter any problems, the most likely cause is your usb drive.  You can try to reformat your drive or use a different usb flash drive.

Google SEO and Other Search Engine Results Performance Suggestions

Poor Search Results

So you’ve made your shiny new website but you’re not getting any visitors. That’s probably because you haven’t worked on your search engine optimization (SEO). The primary way for most sites to get visitors is through coming up in the web search results when people are looking for whatever you offer.  If you don’t come up well in the search results, you won’t get many visitors.

Track Your Visits

The first thing to do is setup tracking systems so you know exactly how many visitors you have so you can tell if you are doing better or worse when you work on your SEO. The best choice for this is to use the free Google Analytics. It involves creating an Analytics account and then placing some simple javascript code on every one of your pages that you want to track. You can then log in on the analytics site to see your visitor information at any time from anywhere.

Google vs The Rest

There are several search engines out there.  The big ones are Google, Yahoo, and Live (Microsoft’s search also used on MSN).  The short and ugly truth is that Google rules search and all the others combined don’t equal Google.  This has the advantage of leaving your focus just on the Google results though.  If you do well on Google, you almost always do well on the other search engines as well anyway.


The most important thing when it comes to your Google search results placement is the PageRank of your page.  In Google’s eyes, a page is not a site.  A site is made up of one or more pages and Google only ranks based on the pages, not the site.  So for example, is one page and is a different page.  Your main page might have a high PageRank and your other pages may be low.  Your goal should be to get your main page or wherever you want people to land (arrive to your site) to have a good PageRank.  If you install the Google Toolbar in your Firefox or Internet Explorer browser, you can see the PageRank of each site you visit.  These numbers are not quickly updated by Google so it might take a month or more to see a change there that actually already took place.

PageRank Improvements

So how does one go about getting a higher PageRank?  This is actually the simplest part to understand.  The more links to your page, the greater your PageRank.  The hard part is figuring out how to legitimately get more links to your page.  The way to do this varies greatly depending on your field.  If you make software for example, be sure to list your software on all the software download sites, many of which will let you link directly to your site.  You can submit to open internet directories such as  You can try to list your site on reputable forums in your area of interest.  If you have a good product and people start to notice, you may gain links from others as well such as being mentioned on a blog or newspaper site.  The greater the PageRank of the page that links to you, the more helpful it is to your page.

Relevant Keywords

If you want to show up well for certain phrases in search results, be sure you use those phrases on your site several times.  If you don’t have the phrase, don’t expect to be found when searching for it, no matter what your PageRank.  Hence, it is most important to decide what people might be trying to search for to find your product or service.  If you think people are going to search for “big hats”, then don’t use “Hats that are big” on your site.  Use the actual phrase that you think they will search on.  In general, the more you use a phrase, the better you do but there is a limit.  If you overuse, Google will catch on and actually penalize it.  A good rule of thumb is to make your site still read well to a human.  If it starts to sound weird, you are going too far.  The more unrelated text you have on your page, the more it will dilute the important words.

Keywords in the Page URL

If you want to sell big hats and you make your page,  those keywords will do better in the search results with that page URL.  You can use dashes or not although dashes can help differentiate exact words.  Similarly, if you can buy a domain with the keywords that are most important to you, that can help even more.  You may want to use but would win the search results battle.

Link Keywords

Whenever you are able to get links, it is preferable to use your desired keywords in the link text, also known as anchor text.  This is the text that is displayed in the clickable link.  If you do this, those keywords will get a bonus in the search results.  Unfortunately, with many of your links, you may not have such control but whenever you do, try to utilize that benefit.

Title, Meta Description, and Meta Keywords

There are 3 more useful areas to be sure to use your most desired keywords.  The Title of the page is very prevalent to the human eye and also can get you a bonus in the search results for the words you use.  If you have multiple pages on your site, be sure to use appropriate titles on each page.  Remember that Google ranks pages, not sites.  The same goes for the meta description and meta keywords.  These are hidden items in the html of your page that only search engine robots will see.  Within the <body> tag of your html, you can add the following:
<meta name=”description” content=”Big Hats at great prices in the Washington D.C. Area”>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”big hats, washington d.c., dc”>

The meta description will also be shown in Google search results under your site so it is extra important to make that text short and descriptive to bring in visitors.  The meta keywords help guide Google by telling it what you think your page should do well on.  However, Google will make up its own mind on this so if you list keywords that aren’t found on your site, it won’t help.  Be sure these meta keyword suggestions are also in your page content.

Study the Enemy

A great way to climb the ranks for a certain search phrase is to look at the top results for the phrase you are examining.  Try to figure out why they are the top.  What is their PageRank?  How often do they use the search keywords on their page?  What is in their title or description?  Who is linking to them and can you get similar links?  With the Google toolbar you can install in your browser, you can look at the backward links (links going to the site you are examining).

What Not to Do

It is just as important what you don’t do as what you do.  If you get links on blacklisted link farms or on bad forums, you may be hurting your PageRank and search results.  If you are trying to get a link from a certain page, be sure to check out its PageRank first.  If you list referral (paid) links to other sites, you may be penalized for that as well.  You should also not try any tricks in your html such as links that are invisible to the human eye.  Google looks for such things and will penalize or totally blacklist you for it.  If you have too many links on your page going to other sites (100 or more), you will get penalized for that as well since you’ll appear to be a link farm yourself.


Last but not least, you must be patient.  Most of the changes you can make to your site won’t quickly have any influence in search results placement.  Changes can take weeks to influence the results so don’t rush into conclusions before you give an idea time to work.  The amount of time it takes can actually vary from a few days to about a month.

Antivirus XP 2008 Is Bogus

A recent Sterling, Virginia customer got hit by a fake warning that her computer had been infected by a virus. But it was just a pop-up browser window that, when clicked, actually installed malware on her computer. To add insult to injury, the malware installed is called Antivirus XP 2008. So you think it’s there to help you when in fact it IS the infection.

Antivirus XP 2008 shows a list of files that it claims are infected on your computer. See that the icons used are the same as those used by Windows. If you register the “anti-virus” software in an attempt to fix your computer, the bad guys will have your credit card information.

On other computers, I have seen Antivirus XP 2008 installed on the Windows Desktop background so that your wallpaper background always gave you a warning.

This has become a common computer problem. It is an easy scam to fall for because it looks very close to a real Windows warning.

This is an effective social engineering scam because people are scared of viruses and have grown accustomed to following any computer-generated prompts to remove them.

For this particular computer, I booted into Windows Safe mode and ran Malwarebyte’s Anti-malware program which is free for a couple of weeks use. Luckily the infection could be removed. In some cases, the malware can actually take over all administrator rights to the computer and rewrite the operating system to the extent that the only real alternative is to save your personal files and reinstall Windows.

Acer Aspire One RAM or Hard Drive Upgrade

Aspire One Upgrade Options

The Acer Aspire One comes with 1GB of RAM and a 160GB SATA Hard Drive.  For an idea of its performance, please check out this video.  RAM can be upgraded to 1.5GB by replacing a 512MB stick with 1GB. We recommend the Kingston PC2 4200 1GB Laptop Memory.  The hard drive can be upgraded with another 2.5 inch SATA hard drive such as the Western Digital 320GB 5400 RPM Scorpio.

Performing these upgrades are not a simple matter as you have to completely take the netbook apart.  Do this at your own risk.  It is also a lengthy process so be sure you set aside a good hour of time.


Once you’ve picked out your new RAM or hard drive, you’ll be ready to begin the upgrade.  In addition to a screwdriver, you will need a credit card.  You may also want some bowls to organize screws that get removed and enough space to place removed components.  It is also a good idea to use a towel to cover the screen during the process.  If you are upgrading the hard drive, you will be losing all the data on the included drive.  If you are installing from scratch, then you have nothing else to do.  If you want to duplicate the included OS on the original drive, you will need to run the dd linux command to copy it to your new drive.  To do this, you will need a 2.5 inch external USB SATA enclosure to put the new drive in to copy to.  If you are unfamiliar with this, it is a very similar process to duplicating the drive in a Tivo.

Step 1 – Remove bottom screws 

Flip over the Aspire One so that the bottom is accessible. There are 6 obvious screws to remove on the bottom of the Aspire One.  In addition to that, there are two hidden screws under the back rubber feet.

You will need to peel off the back rubber feet to get to those screws.  I used pliers to slowly peel up the rubber feet.  Try to not touch the sticky side so that they can be reapplied after.  When done, they reapply rather easily.  The 3 screws from the back and front are different sizes to be sure to organize them correctly.

Step 2 – Lift up keyboard 

Flip the Aspire One over so the keyboard is facing up.  There are three clips holding the keyboard down by the F2, F8, and Pause keys.  You need to push these clips back and down with a credit card so they are no longer visible.  After doing this, the clips may pop back up and need to be redone.  Once they are all back, you can slide the credit card under the keyboard to pry it up.  Do not put the credit card under the keys but under the keyboard.  You can then slide the credit card around the sides prying the entire keyboard up.

Step 3 – Unplug keyboard and remove more screws 

Lean the keyboard forward to expose where it is plugged in towards the center.  This cable is held down with a clamp that is on top of it.  You can flip this up to release the connector.  The keyboard should now be loose and can be put aside.  Right below the keyboard connection is a smaller similar connector for the trackpad.  In the same manner, flip up the clamp which will release the trackpad cable.

Step 4 – Remove top panel surrounding keyboard 

Towards the back left above the AC plug is the best place to start prying open this panel.  Push the credit card between the panel and the base to begin prying it open.  Then slide the card completely around the panel which will free it so it can be removed.

Step 5 – Unplug, unscrew, and remove motherboard 

The video cable is towards the upper left. It is held down with tape so first pull up the tape and then pull out the connector.  Towards the bottom middle is another cable held down with black tape.  Lift up the black tape and then slide out the connector leaving the cable dangling.  Towards the bottom right is the Wi-Fi card.  To the right of the card are 2 cables plugged into it.  Unplug these by pulling them directly up then leave them dangling.  The Wi-Fi card is held in with one screw.  Unscrew it and the card will be easy to remove so you can set it aside.  There is a main board to the left and a daughter board to the right.  The main board has just one screw towards the bottom and the daughter board has three screws.  All of these screws need to be removed.

Step 6 – Replace RAM and/or Hard Drive 

You can now flip up the boards to expose the underside where the RAM and hard drive are.  The RAM is on the left and is held down in the typical way with prongs on the sides.  Remove the 512MB card and insert your 1GB card.  It is in properly if the prongs fit into the notches on the card.  The hard drive is to the right and can be separately unscrewed to replace.

Step 7 – Put it all back together 

By this point, hopefully you’ve kept all the components and screws well organized because you just have to do everything in reverse.  When putting the boards down, be sure you have everything flush and tightened so there is enough room for the keyboard to go back in on top of it.  Don’t forget to plug all connectors back in so review the above steps to be sure you do.  The panel around the keyboard will snap in as will the keyboard itself by applying a little pressure.  Before screwing in the bottom screws, you might want to boot up to make sure everything is working.