I decided that I no longer want sean-ward.com to run SweetCron (and I’m not sure I want to update to LifePress) and that I had a lot of junk on my blog; I tidied up a bit and kept the posts that appeared to be the most relevant (to Google anyway). I’m still debating what to use my webspace for, but I’m not sure if much is going to be done with this domain; I may pick up another one (if I can figure out what I want to do with it in the first place).
While looking for a solution to a registry issue last week, I came across this post on the UBCD4Win forums, and a specific quote caught my eye:
Ok… about the registry and some possible solutions. Note that there is no one correct answer for this problem because there can be a number of actual possible causes of a corruption and therefore several possible solutions. Repairing a Windows system is almost an art form so when a tech is working on one.. they will often base what procedure they choose from the way the system acts. This is not something that can be taught.. it just take time for them to learn it.
Truer words have not been said, and I cannot agree more with this statement. While I have worked on computers that are the same make and model with the same issue, the solution is always just a little bit different, owning to how the owner used the computer or the manner in which the issue occurred. Sometimes the standard method for fixing a computer needs to be abandoned due to the way the computer is responding, and this can be caused based on the time it takes a computer to load, a screen to render, or the sound of a fan, hard drive, or CD spinning up when it doesn’t need to.
On a some what related note, one of my staff had dropped off a computer for me to work on back in April of last year. I kept it in my overhead cabinet until this afternoon, where he was giving me grief for not working on it (not that he has asked about it much before hand), and I grudgingly told him I would look at it. The issue had been that the computer would not boot up, or when it did, he wouldn’t be able to access files. He had tried a number of suggestions with using the UBCD4Windows from me previously, but to no avail. I setup the laptop on my desktop and *BOOM!* it turned on. I ignored this computer for almost a year and it now works. After showing the computer who was boss (sticking it in solitary confinement and letting it bask in my computer-fixing presence) it is now ready to continue doing it’s job.
This is not the first time my mere presence has fixed a computer, nor will it be the last; my computer fixing techniques are innate.
I am the Computer Whisperer.
I was working on a students computer, and after a restart following the removal of McAfee Security Suite, Vista did not want to update. The solution was rather simple, once I found it. After some googling, I found this, and the solution was both simple and elegant. The short version: uninstall the wired network connection and have it installed by the system again. While a winsock fix of some kind might have done the job, this was just as easy to do.
- From the Start menu, select Control Panel.
- Select Hardware and Sound.
- Select Device Manager. Click Continue when the User Account Control window appears.
- Under network adapters, remove the wired Ethernet controller/connection.
- If Windows does not re-detect the hardware, select Network adapters (or the name of the computer at the top of the item tree) and from the menu select Action > Scan for hardware changes.
You can read about what I did or you can just click here to go to the steps you need to take.
After using my bluetooth keyboard with my laptop while on vacation, I returned to the apartment and attempted to use it on the desktop. For whatever reason, it stopped working. It wasn’t the batteries, as I could connect and type the passkey, but it would lose the connection almost immediately. The keyboard also connected to the laptop computer just fine. One resolution to this issue was to make sure that the check box for “Drivers for keyboard, mice, etc (HID)” was selected in the bluetooth properties for the keyboard. It wasn’t, but when I tried to check it an hit apply, I got a Bluetooth Service Error “Access is denied” message. I made sure the Bluetooth Support Service was running by checking services.msc, and it was supposedly was running just fine. After reading this thread, I checked the Log On tab for the service, and found that it was running as This account:NT AUTHORITY\LocalService. Once I stopped the service, changed it to Local System account, I was able to select the driver service listed above and my keyboard was able to type.
Sure, this means I cannot go get a Logitech G15 keyboard, but that’s just as well. What really gets me is that there is no reason I could think of as to why that service would…
- No longer work the way it was or
- When it would have changed to log on differently; I used the keyboard on the desktop up until we left
Edit 8/31/08: Paul lists the ordered list of what needs to be done, and I’ll move it up here so that those trying to get the issue resolved can find the info. While Paul does list how I did got to Services, some might be wondering what do you do when the keyboard doesn’t work, as is the case here. There are two methods, listed in step 1:
- Open Services:
- To still type things out, start the on-screen keyboard by going to Start > Programs > Accessories > Accessibility > On-Screen Keyboard. From there, you can then do Start > Run and then type services.msc
- To directly access Services, do Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services
- Find & select the Bluetooth Support Service, right click and select Properties.
- Click the Stop button on the General tab.
- Select the Log On tab, and select the radio button next to Local System account, then click Apply.
- Go back to the General tab and click the Start button.
- Click OK to close the Properties dialog.
- Restart computer to make sure the change takes and things work.
In a previous post, I gave the location of where the search plugins go if you are manually dragging and dropping. With Vista, they tend to go into a folder dependent on the user. So, the new location in Vista is:
Username > App Data > Roaming > Mozilla > Firefox > Profiles > gibberish.default > searchplugins
For me, possibly due to issues from when I upgraded to Vista and copied over some files form XP, have two gibberish.default files; just make sure if you have multiple ones, you pick the correct one.
Recently, I worked on a student’s computer, a Dell desktop of some kind, that had issues starting up. It could begin to load Windows XP (Professional I believe) but would hang prior to the login screen. After some malware cleaning and whatnot, I managed to get past that point, only to then hang at an empty desktop. After reviewing the system even more, I found plenty of remnants of previous malware infections (100s of files) and decided that a format/reinstall would be the best option to make sure everything was taken care of. The big issue, of course, was that the student couldn’t find the installation discs that came with their computer.
Previously, this hadn’t been much of a concern, as we would direct students to the bookstore to purchase a new copy of Windows XP Professional (if they hadn’t already purchased a copy) and then use that to reinstall the operating system. Now that Vista is out, there are either very few or no copies of XP to be found at the bookstore, and some computers come to us that installing Vista on is simply not an option.
I thought I was out of options, but then I recalled that the UBCD has a program that could be helpful, Windows XP Setup Launcher. What it does, is allow you to pick a path to install Windows XP from. You cannot pick the Windows directory itself, as these are the post-installation files, but the computer did have an I386 directory, which has the compressed files that are used in installing Windows. I copied that directory to an external hard drive and ran Windows XP Setup Launcher. Using another UBCD program, Keyfinder, I got the computer’s Windows product key, which I needed to complete the setup process.
There were some issues along the way of course.
At one point, I was getting an error message of some kind because mstask.ini could not be found in the I386 folder. Now, for creating the UBCD, I have the contents of a Windows XP installation CD stored on my computer, and it just so happened that mstask.ini was already there. The contents were simply:
However, in case this was a file that was or needed to be different per computer, I searched for the entire second line shown above. While there were a number of sites that came up, this was the first site listed, and the inline comment for that CLSID of “Makes the task folder work” was enough for me to assume that this was something standard that could be copied over. Sure, most of the information that initially comes up is for Windows prior to XP, but it my assumption was correct, as I was able to continue on to bigger and better errors.
The next error was a pain to deal with, as the installation would through the following message at me:
Windows cannot load internet configuration utility ICFGNT.DLL. The specified module could not be loaded.
This is where I, unfortunately, get forgetful. I wasn’t taking exact notes on this, and as the case was, there were multiple errors going on at the same time that I was trying to resolve. Always remember: fix one thing at a time. In regards to this, I’m sure I did the following, and as listed later, I tried some of these multiple times:
- I will say that this site/forum post offered the most assistance. I applied the edits to txtsetup.sif that are listed, even though I was not using the exact software listed. It didn’t appear to harm the system and I do believe it helped. These were as follows:All added to the [FileFlags] section of txtsetup.sif
BNTS.DLL = 16
TSHOOT.DLL = 16
SNIFFPOL.DLL = 16
SSTUB.DLL = 16
SSDPSRV.DLL = 16
SSDPAPI.DLL = 16
UPNP.DLL = 16
UPNPHOST.DLL = 16
UPNPCONT.EXE = 16
UDHISAPI.DLL = 16
- I downloaded a copy of icfgnt.dll, as I could not really found a copy in the I386 folders I had access to.
Something there did the job, as I was able to get the computer up and running. I had also saved the drivers and dell directories to the external drive so that I would be able to install the hardware Windows couldn’t, and fortunately, everything was there as needed. You’d think that would be the end of it, but you would be wrong; so very, very wrong.
Sure, the computer was running, but one of the Windows Security Alert balloons that pops up after a fresh install caught my eye. If I’m correct, it may have been telling me that the computer did not have any antivirus software installed. I don’t know for sure, as the message was not in English; in fact, it was definitely a Middle Eastern language, but I’m not sure which. For the purpose of listing it, I’m going to say it was Arabic. I didn’t think this was going to be an issue, but then I started to use Windows. Here’s what I remember finding in Arabic:
- All of the Windows Security Center
- The Start menu item for setting default applications and settings
- The Hardware and Remote tabs of System Properties
So, I try the re-installation process again, making sure to do an attended install and not an unintended one, which of course, did not solve the problem. This was starting to bother me, as I could find no real reason why it was happening, then it hit me: everything that was showing up in Arabic was something that had been changed with Service Pack 2. I grabbed one of the SP2 discs we have from a couple years ago and “installed” it on the computer. One reboot later, and all but one item (default applications and settings) was in English. I connected to the Internet and initiated an update of 90-some items, and following that reboot, the computer was, as far as I could tell, all in English again.
Was this computer a pain to deal with? Yes. Did I enjoy working on it? You better believe it. It was nice to have a computer come in that was fubar and find a unique way to solve the problem, which I can now tuck away as an option for further issues I may face. Also, since nothing jumped out at me when I was searching for this, I’m more than glad to add it to the collective knowledge of the web. Just be sure to leave a comment if you find this useful.
My brother is convinced that due my time surfing, I’ve come across many bits of knowledge which I’ve managed to recall when needed. When I mentioned this to a friend, his response was simply a word that might describe the concept: omnipternet. While it may not follow the correct way the word should be formed, the definition is “omnipotence gained by the existence and use of the Internet”.
Surprisingly (or not) the word “omnipternet” cannot be found by a Google search. Really, this post is being done to alleviate that problem.
On the down side, another definition of omnipternet could be “see Skynet“. That’s a lot less comforting, but fortunately, August 4, 1997 has come and gone.
I had already started typing when I started my search for a solution to my problem, and realized that the title I want to use for this post is the exact same as the blog on which I found the answer to the question I had of “installing quicktime on vista”. The answer is straight forward enough, but I certainly want to thank the author, Keath, for his solution to this problem, which is quoted below.
The iTunes/QuickTime installer will fail with a “VBScript not installed” error on some installations of Vista. I’m not sure exactly what leads to this situation as it does not seem to affect all Vista users, but there is a relatively simple fix:
- Click Start, All Programs, Accessories then right click on Command Prompt and select “Run as Administrator”
- cd to your windows\system32 directory
- enter the following command:
This will re-register VBScript and allow the iTunes installer to run.
Now I can get back to what I originally was trying to do, which was watch the trailer for Fallout 3, which I got to from this article on Digg, which I then eventually just went to a direct link to the .mov file.
I saw this error code this past weekend when I was working on my parents’ new laptop, which runs Windows Vista Home (I think that’s the version). It took me a while to figure out, but all it meant was that there was an issue trying to get an update. The reason: the computer’s date had been set 4 years into the past. Once I went and corrected the date, Vista was able to update correctly. Take that, Code 80072F8F!
After testing this on my work computer, I found that this also that the McAfee AutoUpdate will fail to update as well if the computer’s date is in the past as well. So, if you see that error message in Vista, or have issues with antivirus and other programs failing to update, check the date.
First, let me say that Settlers of Catan is a great game. Everyone should try and play it a couple of times. Imagine the fun that you expect to have when playing Monopoly, but actually having fun when you do play! That’s not something that happens with monopoly. Anyway, the link to the Wiki article does a good job of explaining the game for now, which is not the point of this post anyway.
As some of you know, I am colorblind, so when I opened the Settlers of Catan 5-6 Player Expansion box, I gazed upon the new color pieces dishearteningly, as they were brown and green (I think). Anyway, I have always kept these out of game play because I cannot tell them apart. That, and we have only played with more than four people once, and that was only with five.
That was, of course, until this weekend. Here is a set of Settlers of Catan pieces (Settlers Expansion and Seafarers Expansion) that I painted grey… Bridgeport Grey, to be exact. The brown set is no more, and now there are 6 different colors to use with my copies of Settlers. I sorted them by attempting (and failing) to sort them myself until Meghan corrected my apparently obvious mistakes.
I’m thinking that I might paint all my pieces to make my copy of Settlers of Catan a little personalized, possibly get an adobe/stucco color for the buildings and paint their roofs the color of the set and paint the hulls of the ships brown but make the sails the color of the set. Once I know I have a job come the new year, I’m going to consider how I’ll do this. I’m also going some sort of sealant, as the paint is probably going to chip and wear with constant use.