Thursday, June 25, 2009

It Fixed it for me - XP SP3 Fails to install

Here is another issue that I figured I would report my findings on...

I was trying to install Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 on a XP machine.
After running for about 15 minutes I got a nasty error
Service Pack 3 setup error. Access is denied.
I tracked this back to permissions being incorrect on various registry keys.
The permissions can be changed from either a virus or malware program or certain security antivurus program that lock down permissions to try to keep out unwanted changes.

Anyway I found this article from Microsoft that lists some methods of fixing this error. The links is http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949377.

The option that worked for me was Method 1 in the Advanced Troubleshooting section.
Basically I had to download Subinacl.exe from Microsoft install it then create and run the small batch file listed in the above article.

The batch file took a while to run but it reset the registry permissions to the proper settings so that I could then install Service Pack 3 without a problem.

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

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

Friday, June 19, 2009

It Fixed it for me - IE8 corruption

This one was an interesting issue. I had a client that attempted to upgrade to Internet Explorer 8.
During the install the pc hung but according to the user finished the install. After the install, when you open IE the tool bars were missing and it would not allow you to click on any links in any page that was displayed. This hung install also caused the "Internet Options" control panel applet to stop working as well.

I could not even go to microsofts site and reload the installer package again as all downloads would just make the screen flash and then nothing would happen.

I pulled out my (invaluable) USB key with my portable apps. On my USB key I had a protable version of Firefox (see my article on portable apps here ). I ran the portable version of Firefox and was then able to go to Microsoft site and download the IE8 Setup file.

After running the IE8 install again the tool bars and links started working again. It also fixed the Internet Options control panel applet to work again.

Im not sure what exactly happened during the first attempted install but downloading the IE8 setup file again Fixed It for me.

For more It Fixed it for Me articles please click here.



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Samsung Omnia i910 Apps - Pocket Putty

Here is another good free app for the Samsung Omnia (or any windows mobile phone for that matter).

This one is called Pocket Putty. It is an ssh terminal to connect to ssh servers.

You can download it from http://www.pocketputty.net/.

I have used this to run commands on my linux server while connected to my wireless network. Granted the screen is rather small but it gets the job done.

For other Samsung Omnia related articles please click here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Samsung Omnia Favorite Apps - VNC

I have been getting a few comments here and there, online and offline aobut which apps I use on my Verizon Samsung Omnia cell phone. I thought I would post a breif description on some of the apps.

The first app I would like to mention that I use regularly is VNC (Virtual Network Computing)
This is available in many versions online so make sure you get the correct version for your phone. I installed this to the phones many menory rather that to a SD or other memory card as I would like it to be available even if the card is not installed in the phone.

This app allows me to connect to any server or pc that is running the VNC server software (also a free version availalbe from realvnc.com). I will not go into how to set the server side software up in this article.

I have used this in my own home to connect to all of my pcs in my house using my wireless network. Once connected to a wireless network I just need to enter the ip address and port that the vncserver software is running on for the pc I would like to connect to.

After I enter the password I can then see the desktop of the pc I connected to. This is similar to a PCAnywhere connection but much smaller screen size for a cell phone.

I have also used this in some of my business clients offices that have wireless network and are running the VNC software on their servers.

Granted if there was a pc available to make a remote connection with I would most likely choose that method. But for anyone that needs to administer remote machines in a pinch I highly recommend using VNC on your cell phone

For more of my other Omnia related posts please click here.



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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Samsung Omnia I910 Game - Bejeweled 2

I have to thank my wife for this one as I have been searching for a while and could not find it.
My wife found Bejeweled 2 for my Samsung Omnia i910. The Windows Mobile smart phone version was on handango.com for $9.99. It installed cleanly and runs well so far.

I will be posting some new articles on other apps that I regularly use on my Omnia.
If anyone has any other decent apps for Verizons Omnia please let me know.

For some of my other Omnia related posts please click here.

Restore Dell Studio 1737 Laptop to Factory Settings

Well I had what is appearing to be a hardware driver problem get the best of me.
I have a Dell Studio 1737 laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit edition that generally is a great laptop, but I have been seeing some performance issues. For no apparent reason and at random intervals the cpu would go to 30-45% utilized and hover there even if the laptop was idle. I have attempted all of my usual tools to try to narrow it down to find what the issue is. ( turning of services, disable devices, update drivers, etc...) The odd thing is if I close the laptop screen and then re-open it after a minute or so the CPU would calm down for a while.

All seem to get me know where. I also used a program called Process Explorer (by Sysinternals) to try and track it down. Process explorer showed that the cpu was hung on Hardware interupts.
This is was lead me down the bad driver route. As I have wasted too much time on this I have decided to just reset the laptop to the factory condition and reinstall my apps.

I have listed the steps to recover the pc back to the factory state in case anyone else has this problem.

  • Restart the computer.
  • When the computer restarts, press F8 until you see the Advanced Boot Options menu.
  • Select "Repair Your Computer" and then press Enter.
  • Choose the language and then click Next.
  • Log in as a user who has administrative credentials, and then click OK. I choose my regular user name and entered my password
  • Click Dell Factory Image Restore.
  • In the Dell Factory Image Restore window, click Next.
  • Select Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition check box.
  • Click Next. The computer is restored to the default factory configuration.
  • When the restore operation is completed, click Finish to restart the computer. My laptop took about 30 minutes to run the restore

Hope this helps.

For more It Fixed it for Me articles please click here


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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It Fixed it for Me - Vista and Wireless Network Problem

Could they make it any harder!?!?!?!

I have a client that just bought a new HP Pavilion Laptop with Windows Vista installed. When attempting to connect to an office wireless network ( WEP encrypted network), the laptop would find the wireless network but would never make a successful connection.

In the Network and Sharing Center showed a Red X on the internet side of the "network map". The wireless network would always be detected as a Public Network instead of a Private Network. Even it I manually set it to Private it would come back as Public on the next reboot.

This laptop had Norton Internet Security Suite pre-installed. I found that for whatever reason the wireless network I needed to connect to had its security settings in correct. To allow the laptop to connect to the office network I had to open up Norton Internet Security and click on Settings next to the Internet Heading. This should bring up the settings window that should include a link to the "Smart Firewall". Under Smart Firewall there is a configure link for Trust Control.
On the left hand side there should be a drop down list that should show you the wireless network you are connected to. If you select that item and then click the Edit link an Edit Network Details window should appear. On that screen there should be another Edit link next to Trust Level that will allow you to change the Trust Level for that network. I set it to Shared (or Trusted) to allow the network traffic to pass to the laptop. Once I changed the setting and rebooted the HP Pavilion was then able to connect to the office wireless network.

This is just another example of why I prefer to not use Norton products in favor of other firewall products such as Zone Alarm.

I hope this helps someone else.


For more ItFIXED it for Me articles please click here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

If Fixed it for Me - Fast User Switching and Netgear Wireless Nic

I recently installed a Netgear WG311 Wireless-G PCI network adapter to a pc that was formerly using the Windows XP Fast user switching ( the login screen that allows you to simply click on your user name to login).

After installing the management software that came with it and a reboot I was presented with a standard login box where I had to type my username and password. If I tried to go to the control panel and set the fast user switching back on I received an error that stated

"A recently installed program has disabled the welcome screen and Fast User Switching. To restore these features you must unistall the program. The following filename might help you identify the program that made the change: mrvgina.DLL"

I searched around and found the following solution. Open up the register editory and go to the following key . (NOTE: always take a backup before making changes)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows NT/Current Version/WINLOGON
Then remove the key named GINAdll
The next login I was back to my fast user switching screen. 

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

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

Friday, June 5, 2009

Product Review - CodeStuff Starter

Next on my Product Review list is a program called Starter by Codestuff. I tested the latest version 5.6.2.9 available from http://CodeStuff.mirrorz.com.

The program is another freeware program that gives you a good insight into what is starting on your computer and how it starts.

The UI is split into sections with a windows explorer like tree on the left and a list of items on the right hand side.
There are several tabs at the top to switch between views for Startup Items, Processes and Services.
On the Startup tab clicking on any item filters the list on the right hand side accordingly. The list on the right has several columns of data available for each item. To disable any items you can simply uncheck its corresponding check box.



On the process tab is a list of all the processes that are currently running on your system. This is similar to the Windows Task Manager Process tab but Starter has added a very handy right click menu option to search the internet for info on the item selected.





On the Services tab is a list of the services (running and not running) on your pc. This is similar to the Windows Services Applet. It allows you to start, stop, pause, restart etc... the services.

The software has an installable version as well as a stand alone version that does not keep any files on your pc (possibly good for transporting the program by USB key)

In conclusion I found this to be a very user friendly, intuitive program that combined widnows tasks as well as added some additional functionality. I will defiantly be adding this one to my list of support programs.

For more of my Product Reviews please click here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Games for Samsung Omnia i910

I am posting the question for the masses to help me out with...
I am looking for a some good games for my Samsung Omnia i910 from Verizon. I have not been able to find any decent games. They can be either free or paid for.
A nice Bejeweled type game would be nice :)

If anyone knows of any please post a comment.