19 February, 2013

Fix Windows freeware - one that works

Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
19 February 2013

The week before the Chinese New Year holiday, I happen to glance upon the bunch of desktop PCs on my table (I occupy the space for 2 persons; the other table is where the PCs are, for proximity and easier maintenance). I thought I saw some error message thrown out in one of the PCs. However, I checked that activities are running fine, so I dismissed that simply as my eye playing a trick on me and nothing to worry about.

Now came the long holiday. At home, I can’t do a remote connection to that particular PC. Still, scheduled programs are still working fine, since 4 PCs are paired, with 2 doing the same thing, alternating on a regular interval. Such is the design, so that if all four are working, the time for execution is cut in two, and even if one of the pairs is down, the work is still done. Unless both PCs in a pair go down, then nothing will get done.

What’s more, there were fewer requests; of course, it was a holiday, so that the difference in time, the time lag, is nothing sort of easily recognizable.

Anyway, the remaining 3 PCs were able to pull through the holiday period, and all the while unmanned.

When I came back to work on the 14th, I found out that 2 PCs were actually giving problem, fortunately, the other one was the pair of the alternate. That means only 1 PC from each pair is properly working. Woo ho! And I was spared from coming back to the office by the faithful pair...

I took a seat and planted myself infront of the erring PC (for I didn’t know about the other one at the time). When the batch job runs, it throws out some error on Oracle dll not initialized, or something like that. I was wondering, nothing has been done so far, and this PC has not been modified for some time, and it’s been running fine. Why now?

When I called up the code in Visual Studio, presumably to run the program in Debug Mode, after setting up the break point and pressing F5, I got a different error, something to do with Visual Studio’s “coloader80.dll” or something, and that prevents me from running the code in Debug Mode. I press CTRL-F5, and I get the Oracle dll error. I press F5, and I get the coloader80.dll error. I’m stuck!

Normally, if we can’t solve a problem, we tend to take our eyes off it, and that is what I did. Thinking hard, I scratched my head, thought a bit more, and then looked around, at the other PCs. To my surprise, I noticed that another PC from the other pair was also giving an error, and it was a different one. This time, the error was something about DMQ dll. I began to wonder why there are several errors, and this is pointing to dll issues. I immediately refused the idea of having to reinstall Visual Studio, at least, and at the most, Windows OS. But I really can’t think of any reason why the errors suddenly come, and errors are different on different computers!

With that initial data, I mused, could it be Windows?

I called up my ever-trusty friend Google, typed “fix windows”, and I saw the list returned by the search engine, made a decision, and then downloaded the freeware. It came from tweaking.com, and the link brought me to majorgeeks.com, so finally I downloaded the program. I then installed it, and called it up afterwards. Having downloaded, installed and run other programs from reliable authors and companies, I am confident about running this Windows Fix freeware. I am a regular user of download.com, even before it was owned by CNET. So perusing the new program, I saw a few tabs, saw what’s offered, and I clicked the buttons.

Basically, it was fixing file association, running chkdsk, etc., etc., and finally, to fix the registry. Of course, there is a mandatory (or rather, a default) mode to back-up registry before the fix is done, and this all went on smoothly. When the PC finally rebooted, and chkdsk completed, I logged in, and when the batch programs were run, the problem was gone!


Without hesitation, I did the same on the other PC. Having completed everything on Windows, reboot was done, chkdsk was executed and finished, and I logged in to Windows. Is the problem fixed? You betcha!

Having fixed the 2 problematic PCs, I thought to myself, “What if the other PCs that don’t show problem now actually have similar issues, and they are only waiting for the opportune time to ruin my holiday?”

I took that as a very strong reason to run the fix program, and when all 4 PCs were done, I saw that the Internet Explorer setting was messed up a bit, restored to its freshly-installed state, where the proxy wasn’t defined. Not a major impact, since I didn’t need to go web surfing yet. The only other effect I saw was in Windows Update, the previously hidden updates were shown again. Not a big deal, since hiding them is quick and easy. Other than that, all the batch jobs were again running fine and all without errors: the Oracle dll error, the DMQ error, and the coloader80.dll error – they’re all gone now!

And after a couple of hours passing, and verifying that there is no ill-effect after the fix-program run, I declared that the program is safe, and it works!

When I got home, I run the fixer on the desktop and laptop PCs, and I could say that it is quite effective, in that my very old desktop got a bit faster. Hope it stays that way until I’m able to buy a new one for my kids.

Till then!

Windows Repair (All-In-One)
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15 February, 2013

HP Fingerprint Reader working (again)

English: A finger print reader
English: A finger print reader (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently reinstalled Windows 7 in my laptop to fix the problem of not being able to run Windows 7 Service pack 1. So they say, in most cases in our everyday life, especially at work, there is no 100% cure or fix. And as almost always, when a solution is applied, it solves one, then out comes another. That is just exactly what happened to me.

And this is not the first time that the fingerprint reader in my HP ProBook 4430s wasn’t working.

The first time was a natural cause, the hardware failed – and it was under warranty that time. My machine was still under warranty, so I got it replaced. But that was only after finding out that it wasn’t working, and our user support endorsed me to liaise with HP support, where I was asked to do a step-by-step procedure, until it was finally declared that 99%, it was the hardware that failed.

And the procedure wasn’t one for the fainthearted: it involves some changes in the registry. So it is for somebody who can take the risk of wiping clean by format the HDD if something wasn’t done right.

Anyway, I followed that procedure to the letter, the reader was declared faulty, the replacement was scheduled, it was done, then the drivers were installed once again, or whatever thing the service guy did, I got my fingerprint reader working (again). So that was some time back in September 2012.

When I chanced upon Internet Explorer 10, and there was a shining promise of it to be the “best” internet explorer, I got so interested that I did not mind reinstalling Windows 7 OS, and as it turned out, all the other softwares that I already have installed currently in my machine. I should say it again, one solution proposed in the Windows forums to remedy the SP1 non-update issue is to do an InPlace installation of Windows 7, wherein somewhere in the installation process updates are supposedly checked, and believed that SP1 will be fetched and applied – but this did not happen. And it was a painful experience, because I have to do it twice – first, it was InPlace, and everything current was collated and dumped into Windows.old, and nothing was left, so that I had to repeat the installation, and the second time around, I did a format of the hard disc.

Anyway, that was done, and first that should be installed first right after Windows 7 OS are the drivers, and I was putting aside those for ProtectTools, primarily the fingerprint reader, because I have reservations about it, I’d had bad experience about it, so that I don’t want it to get in the way.

Anyway, when the driver for LAN and WiFi were done, I suddenly got the message that there are items fetched by Windows Update. It was a whole lot of it, and bunch after bunch, I let then come, applied them, and in the process, alternated Windows Update with driver installation.

I got Windows 7 Service pack 1 installed, so that I managed to install Internet Explorer 10. And yes, it was worth all the trouble in the world.

Now, I was happy reinstalling all the other softwares, but I noticed that I have been used to doing the swiping or sliding of my index finger when a log-in is required. I was almost going to contain myself with having to type my credentials every time, but I can’t get over it. So finally, I gave in, and I went to install ProtectTools Manager, then the drivers for fingerprint validation.

When I was done, I tried to make use of the fingerprint validation, and did it work?


I thought, “What now?”

I went back to the e-mail communication that I had with HP support personnel, and I found, to my dismay, that it was only telling me how to uninstall drivers and manually delete folders and entries in the registry. It wasn’t something to guide me in doing the installation (and anyway, that was done already).

Now I am left to figure this out on my own, so naturally, the web is my first source of help. I searched. I checked a few articles, found some forums with the same question asked before, but on a different HP model. Anyway, the fingerprint reader software was by Validity, and even then, one link that pointed to downloading a driver, well, didn’t help. Then I found one that has a detailed procedure, and if that fails, another solution, a last recourse – Resetting the BIOS.
I’ve edited the registry a countless times, so what is BIOS reset to me?

After a few more tweaks and reboots, and no change on the fingerprint status, my next move was confirmed: RESET BIOS.

I went to that, and with not much time spent tweaking the BIOS, I even made the mistake of thinking that the active selection in the prompts is the black highlight (since the letters are clearer and easier to read). I was wrong, so even this one, I had to do two to three times.

I finally succeeded in resetting the BIOS, and having done nothing else, went to try if the fingerprint reader is working, and it was! That is, after setting up the whole thing in the ProtectTools again, but this is a breeze.

And I have to say, it was a big caution: before resetting the BIOS, make sure that you have other login methods, and not only the fingerprint validation, otherwise, you would be locked out of your machine.

So now I have Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 installed, Internet Explorer 10, and the fingerprint reader working. The three musketeers.


How to get Validity fingerprint sensor working on Windows 8
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13 February, 2013

Unable to run Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (KB976932)

Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
12 February 2013

For about 6 months now, after installing (re-installing, rather) Windows 7, to solve some problems, I’m now stuck with a new one: inability to run Windows 7 Service Pack 1 update, KB976932, which is identified as an important update. I’m not saying it, and while I don’t fully understand what it is, with Microsoft saying it is one update that is important, I was a bit worried.

Anyway, sometimes I forget about it, since my machine is running fine. I’m still able to call up my programs, and I’m still able to modify and run my codes.


I came upon Internet Explorer 10.

I read about its write-up, the usual selling points so that unsuspecting users like me would install it without asking much questions, and that is just what I did. I proceeded to download and install it.

But wait!

Something was detected in my system, and the installer said something like IE10 can’t be installed due to some required update missing.

I checked on Windows Update, several times, and each time, I am told that Windows is Up to Date.

Reviewing the list of updates, there is this one particular patch that is periodically being tried, and always failed. That is KB976932 – Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

Searching over the web, there are many suggestions, of course, and none of them works for my case; there is the InPlace Windows 7 installation, supposedly to do a reinstallation of Windows 7 OS, supposedly to keep intact the programs and files already inside the computer, and supposedly being able to run update from the installation itself, and I do remember seeing this sometime back when I was doing some of the desktop computers at work. That is why I thought maybe this is the answer to my problem. I should mention that this is coming from some Windows forum.

I delayed, thought again then searched for some other possible solutions other than the InPlace Windows 7 OS installation. With no other options, I checked with our User Support guy, and having no factual experience himself, and knowing that I have checked on this item myself, he told me to go ahead.

I did just that…

I managed to run the installation, but I didn’t come to the point in the installation process where updates are downloaded and applied.

What’s more, NONE of my current programs and settings was retained – they were all thrown out and saved into a file called Windows.old.

And that was after doing an InPlace Windows installation.

Since I have made a copy of the installed programs before all this (thanks to CCleaner), I repeated the installation, and this time, formatting C: drive. With nothing to worry about, since there is nothing more to worry about, I decided to format C: drive in the course of re-installing Windows 7. When I was back to Windows 7, I installed all the downloaded drivers (I’m using ProBook 4430s set to 64-bit OS, by the way), and right after completing the drivers that take care of LAN and WiFi, I was connected back to the internet, and at that point, I was running Windows Update alongside installing the rest of the drivers.

To give me at least a bit of encouragement, I managed to complete all the Windows Update items until there was none, and I should mention, KB976932 included!

Then I was able to install Internet Explorer 10. Was it worth it?

You bet!

IE10 is fast – very fast indeed! So much so since IE9 was already getting on my nerves. So my problem of not being able to install KB976932, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, which is deemed an important update, was only solved by doing a clean and complete re-installation of Windows 7.

And I got IE10 as well.

Till then!
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04 February, 2013

Rooting GT-I9103 on ICS Android 4.0.4

English: Android Market on Samsung Galaxy S.
English: Android Market on Samsung Galaxy S. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometime back in December 2012, after my Samsung Galaxy R phone lapsed on its 1-year warranty, my phone just hanged. If I recall correctly, my 3-year old girl was playing with it, and when I found it, it was already off – kids usually drain out the battery – so I didn’t think that there was a problem at all.

When I tried to turn it on, to check if the battery is dead, it turned on, but it stayed at the Samsung logo – it was stuck there, even after waiting for a considerable amount of time (5 minutes, I would say, is already a long time if we are talking of a normal phone, whatever brand that may be). I did what would be normally done: took out the battery, waited a couple of seconds (although recommended is 15 seconds), then put it back in and pressed the power button on, and voila! Still the same: stuck at the logo.

By then I knew that something else happened. Something has gone wrong.

“That was a rooted phone,” I thought to myself... now what?

I tried to go back to rooting the phone and searching for the same kernel that I used before, which are still in my laptop, did it many times, not once, but many times, and every time, it is a failure.

I then went to search in the web for possible solutions, or at the least, a newer version of the kernel, each time typing the phone model GT-I9103 as the selective search string.

I found several, tried again, failed, tried again, failed... many times... until one came out nice and completed the whole process of installing a kernel.

When the phone was finally working (again), I checked everything, still intact, but I noticed that something else is different – and that was when I found out that the kernel that revived my phone was ICS, Android 4.0. The original OS was Gingerbread, Android 2.3. I said, “What a jump!”

I was almost very happy, except that when I checked through my phone, I found that the root privilege was gone! “Should be easy,” I said, so I went right away to rooting my “upgraded” device. Easier said than done, and no matter what I did, I can’t root my upgraded phone. And after trying out so many times, I gave up. I settled with having just “an upgraded, albeit un-rooted,” phone.

Of course, a lot of those apps that I installed before which required root access don’t work anymore, so while the phone was working, it was not as before, it was not as when I had it rooted, and I have the complete control over it. Blast it!

With unsettled mind over my un-rooted phone, I have inside of me a resolve to look out for other means, other ways, other newer releases, someday, somehow, something that will give me back root access to my phone.

Yesterday, that day came!

In my random search, I chanced upon a page that tells about installing CWMR version xxx.xxx, followed by many other articles. I checked on that one, looked through the procedure, and I found that it is very identical to what I have been referencing before, but just that the version of code it is using is newer (supposedly newer). Basically, I found page for the exact search string I used: “root GT-I9103 ICS”.

Having found that, there is also the article on installing CWMR on GT-I9103.

These 2 I tried, and at first shot, I hit the mark. I rooted the phone running on Ice Cream Sandwich OS. But wait, there is more.

My initial version of ICS is 4.0.2. When I was done with the rooting, and also installing the new version of CMWR, I found that the ICS version is 4.0.4. Wow!

What more could I ask for? After rooting my Galaxy R phone, I also got an upgraded version of ICS.

I’m back!

And here are the pages that I referenced in my latest rooting adventure:
How To Root Galaxy R I9103 on Android 4.0.4 ICS
How To Install CWM Recovery v6.0.1.5 Touch on I9103 Galaxy R

As for this page, beware, not that it doesn’t work, but it is not in English! Bummer! Good thing I backed up my phone and it was a very simple recovery method of restoring the phone.
How To Install Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean on I9103 Galaxy R

Till then!
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I rooted my GT-P3100 – EASILY!

English: samsung-galaxy-tab
English: samsung-galaxy-tab (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A week ago, I went to the telecom service provider that services one of my mobile phones (I don’t use more than one; this line is used by one of my daughters). Since it is already one year, I am now eligible for a re-contract, which, primarily, is geared towards having a new phone, while all other things remain the same.

As I found out, the plan had a change, some that used to be free are now chargeable, some limits reduced, etc., etc. Anyway, bottom line is, we got a new phone. And it was a Samsung Tab 2 7.0, paying just a minimum sum, since my plan is a bare essential one, not having data at all. Just the basic set: phone line, talk time, SMS. No internet.

With everybody in the house having a mobile phone, except the 3-year old, our youngest thought to herself, and declared, that the new phone is hers. Who would argue with that?

The phone was broken in, and it was used, charged, installed with apps, recharged, played with, until I can’t hold on any longer, then on Saturday, I stole it away from my daughter while she was busy watching TV, and she didn’t notice that the Tab was gone, and that she had something else to busy herself with.

I took the Tab in the room, and went to search for rooting procedures. Found one that is for beginners, and I said, “What the heck. I ain’t a beginner!” and looked for something more complicated. I did find out, and when I checked through, it was way too complicated, so I went back to the beginner’s method.

I followed the procedure, downloaded the files, and without batting an eyelash, went straight away to rooting the device. I used Odin before, and I used Odin now. I am not new to the procedure, so I did as I can remember, and i believe I did everything correctly, but it hanged!

Before I started with the rooting procedure, I plugged in Tab in, and it was recognized by my personal laptop. However, when I disconnected my Tab, and put it to download mode, plugged it back in, Odin, or rather my laptop, don’t see it anymore. I almost panicked!

At this point, I did about 2-3x cycle of unplugging and plugging back, but still my laptop couldn’t see the Tab. So no choice, I needed to open it so I can take out the battery and hopefully, start all over again.


The Tab isn’t easy to open up. The back cover is quite seamlessly attached to the body, without any nick or opening that is designed for taking out the cover. So I searched the web, then I found one on YouTube, and it was easy, so easy. But when I tried it myself, I had to give up – it isn’t easy after all.

A Chinese would say “Luckily,” but I ain’t Chinese, but I’ll say it anyway, “Luckily...” my work laptop was at home, and it will always be home when I am home, for such is the purpose if being issued a laptop, to be able to support even at home, even from home. I would recall that the other phones were rooted using the work laptop, while some others were rooted using the home laptop.

I took the cables and plugged it in my work laptop, with Odin already open and waiting. Boom! It was recognized ASAP. So I just searched for the same rooting procedure, downloaded the files, and went right to root my Tab 2 phone, a Samsung GT-P3100 unit.

How do I describe what happened next? It was a breeze! And with the initial problem that I went through, it seems that the quick rooting of the Tab was unbelievable, so much so that I can’t believe it at first. I had to install all those apps that is applicable only to rooted devices, and without a single complaint from the apps, my doubt was gradually replaced by a confirmation – the Tab 2 phone has been rooted!

Below is the link on the Rooting Procedure for Beginners, well, there will be times that it pays to go down low, again. Like this time.

Root Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Till then!
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