Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Product Review - HP Bluetooth Adapter bt500

Here is a quick mini review of a new item I recently purchased. It is an HP Bluetooth Adapter bt500. It is about the size of a small USB flash drive and has a nice blue LED indicator on the end.

I used this to allow my PC (an older HP Media center PC) to sync my Outlook calendar and contacts to my cell phone. The device was relatively easy to set up. It came with a Cd with the software needed to get the device recognized in Windows.

Once it was installed the hard part was getting my cell phone blue tooth working. ( I had to match the com ports correctly).

When all send and done I was syncing my cell phone to my Outlook contacts and calendar items in under 15 minutes and only spent $20 for the Bluetooth Adapter.

For some of my other product reviews click Product Reviews.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It Fixed It for Me - VMware ESXi server install.

Here is one that I hope someone finds useful.
I recently was installing VMWare ESXi server on a Dell Optiplex GX280. Upon install I was getting an error about an invalid option in Bios and that I needed to Disable "limit CPUID value" or "Support Legacy NT4 OS" in the BIOS. My Dell system did not have any of those options in the bios so I searched for a way to get this installed. What I needed to do was add a boot option to the install command when you first boot off the cd.

Upon booting off the install cd you can press the TAB key to get to a screen to add extra options
The default options looked like
mboot.c32 vmkernel.gz --- binmod.tgz --- ienviron.tgz --- cim.tgz --- oem.tgz --- license.tgz --- install.tgz
What I had to do was to change the about command to look like

mboot.c32 vmkernel.gz nocheckCPUIDlimit --- binmod.tgz --- ienviron.tgz --- cim.tgz --- oem.tgz --- license.tgz --- install.tgz
This allowed the install to continue without checking the COUID limit. After the install finished upon next reboot it will fail to start up because of the same error. I need to press the TAB key again to get to the boot option and add the "nocheckCPUIDlimit" option back one more time.

Once the server started successfully I was able to browse to the server using the VMWARE Infrastructure Client and set the option so it is a permantent option. This is done on the Advanced Tab then click on Advanced Settings. then expand the Kernel otpion in the widnows that pops us and then click on Boot. There will be an option on the right hand side for "VMKernel.Boot.checkCPUIDLimit" Clear the check box and the server should boot correctly the next time.

There may be other ways to get around this error but "ItFixed it for Me"

For more ItFixed it for Me articles please click here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It Fixed it for Me - Manual uninstall of AVG Free 8

I recently tried to upgrade my AVG Free Antivirus version 8 to the new 8.5 version. 
I downloaded the new installer and ran it like usual. It appeared to go through the installer OK, however after the final reboot I did not have any Antivirus software loaded. I decided to uninstall whatever version may or may not be installed but got some errors about not able to stop the required windows services. 

What I ended up doing was open up the Computer Management MMC console and set the AVG services to Disabled then reboot. This would prevent the services from starting on the next reboot. After reboot I was able to run the uninstaller again and it ran successfully. 
(NOTE: there is also an AVG uninstaller found at http://www.avg.com/download-tools) 

I then redownloaded the new 8.5 version just to make sure I had a complete and correct install file. The new installer worked correctly and I now have AVG 8.5 Antivirus.

This may not be the only way to fix this problem but "ItFixed It for Me".

For more "ItFixed it for Me" articles click here.
For my Product Review of AVG Antivirus click here.

Please let me know if anyone else has come across the same problem.


Monday, March 23, 2009

It Fixed It for Me - XP crashes after login.

Here is another strange oddity that I had to fix recently.
I had a user running Windows XP with SP3 that upon log in the desktop items would all come up ok but when the user clicked on anything to open any application the pc would freeze. At first the mouse would still be able to move but after attempting to click on anything else a few times the pc would lock up completely. The only way to recover was to do a hard reboot. I tracked this back to 4 windows udpates that were installed the day the symptoms started. What fixed this issue for me was to disable all Antivirus software and use System Restore to go back to the begining of the week. After the reboot completed and System Restore was successful the machine logged in and all was good again. I am still looking into which of the 4 updates caused this issue.
If you have any suggestions please let me know. As always this may not have been the only way to fix this problem but "ItFixed it for me"

For more "ItFixed it for Me"Articles click here.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Small Batch file to Map a Network Drive

This one may be useful if you have more than one Pc in your home/office network and you would like to make a mapped network drive from the command line. This will allow you to save/open documents in most programs by simply going to the correct drive letter.

To map a network drive open up a command prompt and type:
net use z: \\servername\sharename

To remove the mapped network drive type:
net use z: /delete

You can substitute any unused drive letter in the above commands. Also tha bove command assume you have the correct windows permissions to the network share.

For more command line posts click here

Friday, March 20, 2009

Klok gets Linux Support

If you have tried Klok on Linux, you may have noticed that most for the drag and drop functions didn't work. It turns out that, there were some issues in the air runtime that prevented this from working correctly. I have been told the the AIR 1.5.1 runtime for Linux fixes this issue. I have tested it out with Centos, Ubuntu and I have had one report of SUSE working correctly too. If you are using Linux upgrade you AIR runtime and let me know if you still see issues by submitting a bug report. Please be sure to specify your version of Linux. (Authored by Rob - Developer of Klok)

For more information on Klok see Klok.mcgraphix.com and on our review of Klok here

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It Fixed it for Me - Green Blinking Light on Power Supply

Here is one that might help someone.
I have a HP Media Center PC 7160n that would not turn on. Not even power up the fan.
I tried all of the standard things like
  • holding the power button for 10 seconds
  • removing the cmos battery and then put it back
  • switching the small red power switch back and forth on the back of the power supply
  • checked the UPS the machine was plugged into
  • checked the wall outlet the UPS was plugged into
  • disconnect all devices and hope for a green steady led on the back of the power light
After all of the above steps did not help me. I determined that it was a bad power supply.
I called HP and of course they said that the power supply that I needed was not currently available.
I ended up going to BestBuy and picking up a new power supply. I got the BFG Tech GS Series ATX 12V2.2 450 Watt Power Supply for only $67. This worked out well for me as the old power supply was only 300 Watt.

For more "ItFixed it for Me" articles click here.