Dyn Ends Free Service

Dyn dropped their free service today or will in the next 30 days.  I used the DDNS portion since I have a dynamic IP address at home.  They want $25.00/year for this service.  No thanks.  Head over to www.noip.com and get the same thing for free.

- Soli Deo Gloria

SIW Pro for Free – Today Only!

Another system info program for your toolbelt:

http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/siw-pro/

- Soli Deo Gloria

ESET Installation Ended Prematurely

I got this message recently after we were hit by a virus.  The only way I could fix it was with a System Restore. Unfortunately, some of the systems did not have System Restore enabled.  Another tech actually figured this out from this posting:

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=314885

Basically, the virus wipes out the Base Filtering Engine service which disable the web filtering portion of ESET.  The resolution is to clean off the virus and then restore this service using the utility provided by ESET.

- Soli Deo Gloria

Sounds from the Past

Sounds from the Plus Pack! for Windows 95/98, Windows NT 4, Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and 2000.  Great for cell phone notifications! :)

http://graywz.deviantart.com/art/Windows-Classic-Sounds-for-XP-183327375

- Soli Deo Gloria

Data Source Names and 64-Bit Operating Systems

To build and run an application as a 32-bit application on a 64-bit operating system, you must create the ODBC data source with the ODBC Administrator in %windir%\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe.

A 64-bit Windows operating system has two odbcad32.exe files:

%SystemRoot%\system32\odbcad32.exe is used to create and maintain data source names for 64-bit applications.

%SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe is used to create and maintain data source names for 32-bit applications, including 32-bit applications that run on 64-bit operating systems.

Yes, you read that right: the 32-bit version of the ODBC administrator is in SysWOW64 and the 64-bit one is in system32.  The Control Panel gives no indication of a 32-bit version and most applications you are running on 64-bit are likely 32-bit.

Source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc645931.aspx

- Soli Deo Gloria

Making CMD More Useful

I found this cool program called ConsoleEmu when someone was asking me today about enhancing CMD’s features, such as CTRL-C and CTRL-V functionality and this fits the bill quite nicely and is free!

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ConEmuTheWindowsTerminalConsolePromptWeveBeenWaitingFor.aspx

- Soli Deo Gloria

Fun with Routers

Now that I had my cool Nexus 7 tablet, I noticed that streaming video from my Windows 7 HTPC was a bit slow.  I had a Linksys WRT54GL running DD-WRT that’s been working great for the past 4 years.  Unfortunately, it only does B and G bands, so I decided to get a Asus RT-N66U with N band support.  It was the big antennas that sold me on it including a “Kickass Award” from Maximum PC.  Unfortunately, upon receiving the router, I could not get anything to connect above 54 Mbps.  The interface was miserable as well with broken English here and there and DDNS just wouldn’t work.  Back to Amazon it went.  After doing more researching, I decided on the Netgear WNDR3700.  It comes with 128MB of flash memory and it has very good DD-WRT support (the WNDR3400, however, does not).  Flashing it to DD-WRT firmware was a breeze.  After getting everything setup, I checked the Nexus 7 only to find it was connected at 65 Mbps.  More research lead to me the fact that 65 Mbps is the top speed for this thing as it only has a single channel wireless card.

The PC in the spare bedroom with a USB Medalink wireless stick faired better at 135 Mbps and my laptop does 72 Mbps.  So much for the 300 Mpbs speed listed on the box :(.

- Soli Deo Gloria

How to Uninstall Programs in Safe Mode

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/how-allow-uninstalling-programs-windows-7-safe-mode.htm

- Soli Deo Gloria

Start Menu Making a Comeback in 8.1

Yes, Microsoft finally woke up and put the start menu back:

http://www.winbeta.org/news/mini-start-included-latest-internal-builds-windows-81-update-1

Should be interesting to see what it looks like.

- Soli Deo Gloria

Fight Club: Me Vs Computer

Luck certainly hasn’t been on my side lately when it comes to computer problems.  I use an old computer as a backup server.  I tried turning it on and NOTHING: no lights, no fans, not even a single sound!  I proceeded to clear the CMOS with the clear CMOS switch, take out out CMOS battery, check all the connections and I still get nothing.  However, there are lights turned on on the motherboard. I also have a little LCD screen connected to it (it’s an Asus Striker II Extreme motherboard) and on it was blinking the message “CPU INIT”.  Doing some Internet searching, some people claimed it was a dead CMOS battery.  This could be a possibility since I lost all power to the house just a few days before. I went to Walgreens the next day and got a fresh battery and: nothing.

I started yanking things out of the power supply and removing memory modules just to barebones the darn thing and still: nothing.  I was ready to throw this PC out, but then I tried one more thing: I removed the USB cable to my KVM switch and the network cable: BINGO!  The motherboard screeched to life…and then died.  I hooked everything back up and then…she booted! I plugged the USB cable back to my KVM and now the PC is behaving.  It was some weird interaction between the KVM switch and the computer.

I then decided to install Virtualbox and a XP VM for testing on the same PC.  Upon trying to run Windows update within the VM, SVCHOST.EXE would go to 99% of the CPU and that was it.  I used WSUSOffline to download all of the XP updates on another computer and then I ran them within the VM.  And then…SVCHOST.EXE went back to 99% CPU.  ARGH!  If you try to change the interrupt priority, Windows will tell you “ACCESS DENIED” even when you are logged in as an Administrator.  This is because SVCHOST.EXE is being run as SYSTEM which has higher privileges than administrator.  Simply run psexec -s -i cmd.ex.  Actually, that should have an extra e at the end, but WordPress has a bug in it and won’t let me save the post without giving a 403 error (I’m submitted the bug to them).

- Soli Deo Gloria