Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Excessive Drive Thrashing in Vista

September 19th, 2007 Mark No comments

I recently purchased a nice Dell Dimension 9200 Quad Core machine with Raid-0 HDD, running Vista naturally.. I’ve not really had much experience with Vista yet but found that the machine would quite often burst into fits of hardcore disk thrashing for quite a while (i.e. more than 10mins).. this seemed quite strange considering how quick the machine is

Anyway, using the new Reliability and Performance Monitor I could see that a service was writing lots of data to the folder that System Restore uses (i.e. \System Volume Information). Disabling System Restore solved the drive thrashing, however as I am running Vista Business, it also disables the ‘Previous Versions’ feature (this may have been the actual culprit anyway)

Categories: Hardware, Windows Tags:

Dell Sigmatel delayed sounds in Vista

September 14th, 2007 Mark No comments

I’ve now got a couple of machines that run Windows Vista and I noticed with the first machine that Vista’s event sounds were somewhat delayed from the event occuring, e.g. the sound you experience when UAC prompt pops up wouldn’t be in sync with the actual popup of the dialog box, but a second or so later.

Anyway, I googled it and the solution is to disable enhancements for the playback device in use. Screenshot below!


Categories: Hardware, Windows Tags:

Tiscali DSL issue and solution

April 17th, 2007 Mark No comments

Yesterday something went a bit weird with my parents DSL.. it was working all right up until then. Apparently around 4:30pm, the router lost its connection and then reconnected. My dad told me there were a few BT vans in the street so I’m not sure if they were messing with DSLAMs in the green boxes something like that.

Anyway, what happened after the reset had me a bit stumped until this morning when I realised what was happening. The symptoms of the problem were that basically only a few random websites were working.. Google happened to be one of them and a handful of others. The others would sit on ‘loading’ but never actually load the page. MSN messenger wouldn’t work. SSH would work until a certain number of characters had been transferred… that was what made me think of MTU..

So I managed to view a few sites about Tiscali MTU via Google Cache. They all said Tiscali’s recommened MTU was 1500, however that’s what the routers WAN interface was already set to. I Googled a bit more and found BT’s DSL recommended MTU was 1458… 10 seconds later I’d changed the Speedtouch 510v4 to use this value and everything worked!

So there you go, 15 hours of downtime because of some shitty MTU problem! Hope this solves the issue if anybody else encounters such a weird problem!

Categories: Hardware, Internet Tags:

Medion MD40734 XP SP2 SIS AGP fix

December 22nd, 2005 Mark 12 comments

If you’ve got a Medion MD40734 laptop and are having trouble getting Windows XP SP2 to function (garbled/frozen screen on bootup, even safemode won’t work) then this is for you..

You can get Windows working if you boot with your XP CD and go to the recovery console.. then type:

disable uagp35

Now windows will boot but your display will be extremely slugish

That should sort it out for you

Categories: Hardware, Internet, Windows Tags:

New external HDD & Neo2 Plat woes

October 26th, 2005 Mark No comments

I recently purchased a brand spanking new Western Digital 320GB External HDD (WDXF3200JBRNU) as I need to move a lot of data from place to place.

Picture of HDD

It’s worked fine on every machine I connected it to, apart from tonight when I connected it to my main machine at my girlfriends house..

For some reason, none of my USB devices were functioning as USB 2.0.. even though they all are!

After trying a few basic things I then wasted a lot of time reinstalling chipset drivers, etc, etc..

Ultimately it turns out that my previous BIOS update (1.A) broke some USB stuff.. nice one MSI! Funnily enough ver 1.A of the BIOS is no longer available on the site but previous versions are..

Updating to 1.B solved my problem, however I had to re-live discovering the hidden BIOS menus which automatically overclock GFX cards by default (very lame) and disable those options – before that, every Windows boot = garbled video display.

Categories: Hardware Tags:


September 9th, 2005 Mark No comments

I’ve recently purchased a Samsung SyncMaster 913N to use on my main gaming machine as it has a nice 8ms refresh rate.

However, on browsing websites I noticed that the colour was off a bit (I know TFTs can’t reproduce colour as well as CRTs yet).. e.g. on this site, my <pre> code quote’s background was almost invisible rather than a pale yellow..

I’ve since downloaded MagicTune 3.7 and installed it (or was it on the CD?). The colours are much better now, although a quirk is that unless you calibrate under the “Default” bit, you won’t be able to apply the profile at startup – i.e. it won’t auto load any profiles at startup besides the one named “Default” (or Calibration0 in the registry).

Categories: Hardware Tags:

Theme Fixed & Axim X50v arrived!

September 7th, 2005 Mark No comments

Wee, it seems that somewhere along the line the theme download was being cached from my hosting – it turns out I had already changed the right attribute but when I edited the theme on the phones memory stick, only one of my changes was saved..

The attribute in question is Popup -> Highlight -> Background Colour

When I arrived home after work I was pretty chuffed as my Dell Axim X50v has arrived.. I promptly updated to the latest ROM image and downloaded SE_VGA to get true 640×480 resolution.. you can see why they don’t enable that res by default though, everything becomes absolutely miniscule on such a small display

Categories: Hardware Tags:

BIOS Update Part 2

August 23rd, 2005 Mark No comments

[imported from Bloglines]

I remembered that there was a hidden setting in the BIOS which automatically OC’d graphics cards, set to ‘auto by default’

After I disabled this my card was back to normal!

Stupid MSI.

Categories: Hardware Tags:

BIOS Update

August 23rd, 2005 Mark No comments

[imported from Bloglines]

The last thing I did yesterday on my “gaming machine” was install the ATI Catalyst 5.8…

I come to play GTA:SA today and it doesn’t work.. wtf – spinning CD icon then nothing.

Numerous reboots later and still no luck.

  • Disabled reforce
  • Updated BIOS to latest version (1.30->1.A0), Neo2 Platinum MB
  • Restore BIOS settings to overclocked state

No joy

Search on google… find some forum thread about GTA: SA not working after 5.8 driver update! Uninstall 5.8′s, install 5.7′s

GTA:SA crashes after 2mins now

Setting ATI Tool back to use default values seems to work alright – so now I can’t overclock my graphics card

The BIOS update seems to have fixed the stalling on “Detecting IDE drives” which I sometimes get.. strange

So I don’t know if I should restore my 1.3 version of the BIOS with the original settings or what!

Categories: Hardware, Windows Tags:

Belkin F5D7230-4 Wake On Lan (WOL)

August 19th, 2005 Mark No comments

[imported from Bloglines]

I have recently purchased one of these, I would’ve bought the Linksys WRT54G but it was out of stock at aria

Unfortunately I can’t get it to pass on a WOL “Magic Packet” from the Internet & broadcast it on the LAN!

Apparently, sveasoft do a custom firmware that supports this but I don’t know if it will work on my router!

Categories: Hardware Tags: