Windows 10 Update – Causes no Sound Potential Fix

Another customer with a computer problem. This time Microsoft Windows 10 Update fucked up their sound. Microsoft Windows 10 updates causing problems, is nothing new.

Here is their complaint:

"Not working after windows 10 update. Crashed my Creative Sound blaster X-Fi Titanium."

This individual tried removing and reinstall the Creative sound blaster drivers to no avail. I remotely connected to their computer and tried to delete the sound driver completely from their Windows 10 computer. I then tried to reinstall this driver.

However, when I rebooted this computer the sound driver was still missing. I decided to run some malware, spyware, virus, etc. scans. Also, I ran an sfc scan.

You can type the following into a command prompt with administrator rights.

sfc /scannow

I ran both file system clean and registry scans with my preferred PC optimization tool. Also, I tried using more automated driver installer tools as well. No matter what I tried, I could not get the Sound Blaster X-fi Titanium driver to remain installed after a reboot.

Also, I noticed that there were two to three other device drivers missing in device manager. One of them had the exact same error code as this sound driver had. I could not perform a system restore back to before this problem occurred.

This individual claimed that a Windows 10 update had fucked up their computer two weeks prior. As is the proverbial case in Microsoft land, there was no restore point back two weeks prior before this problem occurred. I suggested that they perform a Windows 10 reset this PC.

However, this is different than a Windows 10 system restore. A PC reset will remove all your programs. This individual did NOT want to have to reinstall all their programs.

They balked at this possible solution, and I do NOT blame them. What most likely fixed this problem was a chkdsk scan. You type the following command into a command prompt window with administrator rights.

chkdsk c: /f /r

Next you type in Y for yes when you receive this message:

The type of the file system is NTFS.
Cannot lock current drive.

Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)

On this third party website where I earn supplemental income, answering computer and technology related questions, I often never hear back from a customer. This most times means I fixed their issue. So far this individual has not asked for my continued assistance.

HP Pavilion Slimline – No Power Potential Fix

I received a recent in person computer repair customer. They brought me an HP Pavilion slimline S3507C computer that would not power on. After closer inspection the power button would not engage power.

I tried the proverbial release of any electro static discharge. You want to make sure that the power cable is disconnected from both the back of the computer and wall outlet. Now press and hold the power button for at least 30 seconds.

This did not fix this no power problem. I took the case cover off. You will need to remove three screws on the rear of the computer that tightens down the cover. Now you can remove the case cover.

Also, I had to remove two screws to loosen the multi card reader. The card reader is right next to the power button. The power button on this HP Pavilion Slimline S3507 is a two to three inch wider button.

This power button is attached to the front cover. You can release the front cover by pinching four plastic release mechanisms. Once I was able to get the front cover off, I found the small plastic power button.

With modern computers, many times power buttons are simply one plastic button that presses down on another smaller switch that is often times made out of plastic as well. You want to become careful with the smaller switch because the cables can snap off. Also, the smaller plastic piece that you press down on can break.

I plugged the power cable back into the computer and wall outlet. However, pressing directly on the smaller power switch did NOT engage power. I gently moved the power switch around and kept tapping it. Finally, when I pressed down on the switch, power successfully engaged.

Also, you could try disconnecting the power lead to the motherboard, if you still cannot get the power to engage. I placed the front cover on and booted the computer into Microsoft Windows. I tested using the larger power button on the front cover a handful of times until I was satisfied that I successfully fixed this no power issue.

My computer repair experiences with power switches, are that they rarely fail. However, you could replace the smaller switch that attaches to the motherboard if you still cannot get it to engage power. Many times I notice that the smaller switch that connects directly to the motherboard sticks and does not engage properly.

I notice more power switches that were broken than actually fail.

Epson WF 3720 – Printer Driver Installation For Linux Mint

Another computer support request in the world order. This time a customer needed some help with Linux. I do NOT often receive that many support requests for Linux.

Here is their request:

Hi and I can't seem to get the drivers downloaded for the WF-3720 Epson to Linux.

There can be a steep learning curve with Linux. However, I have used Linux for around fifteen years now. Actually, I am almost more comfortable using Linux compared to Apple Macintosh or Microsoft Windows operating systems. I was able to find a suitable Epson WF 3720 printer driver for Linux Mint version 18.1.

Linux can be a pain in the ass to find hardware drivers for. Here is my response to this Linux support request. You can try to download this Epson WF 3720 generic printer driver. You will need click on "I agree" to view a list of drivers.

You will need to login with your root account or root credentials. Also, you will need to install LSB version 3.2 or newer first.

apt-get install lsb

Since your using Linux Mint you want to select the correct .deb package. epson-inkjet-printer-escpr2_1.0.15-1lsb3.2_i386.deb for Intel processor or epson-inkjet-printer-escpr2_1.0.15-1lsb3.2_amd64.deb for AMD. This individual was using a Dell Inspiron computer with an Intel chip set. Also, this individual requested that I remotely connect and install the driver.

I ran into a few road blocks but was able to finally get the driver installed. First of all Linux can be a bitch when it comes to driver dependencies. Initially, I installed lsb successfully but had to remove it.

I received this error after installing LSB and while trying to install the "epson-inkjet-printer-escpr2_1.0.15-1lsb3.2_i386.deb" driver both via the graphical user interface and command line. Many times I prefer installing hardware drivers and software on Linux via command line, because at least for me the errors are displayed right away. When trying to install via the graphical user interface, Linux errors are NOT necessarily in your face so to speak.

The Package System is broken

epson-inkjet-printer-201303w:i386: Depends: lsb(>=3.2) but 4.1+Debian11ubuntu is installed

I fixed this dependency issue by submitting the following command. This command removed a partially installed Epson WF 3720 driver. I have no fucking idea why, but this driver would partially get installed even though there was a dependency problem.

apt-get -f install

Then the partial driver was successfully removed and I was able to successfully install this Epson WF 3720 driver on Linux Mint 18.1 with this command.

apt-get install printer-driver-escpr

I no longer received that dependency error and was able to submit printing a test page. The only remaining task was the individual had to make sure this printer was set to default. Also, this printer was connected via the network.

I configured this printer as a network connected printer.

Free Spyware Removal – by Using Windows System Restore

Another information technology problem in the world order. This time a customer was infected with spyware. Here is their request:

Porno spyware alert, server rudely is asking for user name and password. Reports URL blocked. Warnings, etc.

This individual was using a Samsung desktop computer. They then called a telephone number that was supplied on screen, but thankfully did NOT trust the individual they were speaking to. They received another on screen warning:

Message says my computer will be disabled if I close page to prevent further damage to our network. What should I do?

Here is my response:

Are you able to access the Internet on that computer? I would try to download some software like Superantispyware to remove any possible spwyare. Update the software first and then run a scan.

Also, you could try to perform a system restore and restore it back to before you were infected. I can research and make sure it is not worse like ransomware. Has it asked you to pay a ransom at all?

It could be a phishing scam, I wouldn't enter any information into any form. Also, it could a scam where you call that number and they ask you to pay them to troubleshoot your computer. This individual rebooted their computer and claimed they no longer received those pop up messages.

However, this does NOT mean that their computer was free from infection. A windows system restore to me is a FREE spyware removal tool. That is because it does NOT require an additional fee and will possibly restore your computer back to before the infection took place.

This is what was described after they restarted that computer:

Blank windows came up, then Yahoo window opened, todays news. We closed and everything seems normal, but very slow. Just opened email.

To save time I recommend running a system restore instead. Choose a restore point back to before you were infected. If system restore does NOT work and or their are no restore points available, then you need to run some antivirus, spyware, malware, etc. scans.

I would NOT just leave a computer that was infected like that alone without trying to at least scan for malware, spyware, viruses, etc.

Java Update Windows 7 – Instructions For Norton Antivirus

I received a request for help with installing a Java update Windows 7. This is their initial communication:

My Java needs update. I am trying to get on line with Norton help line, they said I have to get Java working.

This is perplexing to me that an ant-ivirus developer would use an application like Java, that historically, has had security vulnerabilities. However, apparently Norton anti-virus or one of their security suites, requires Java. You will need to download free java software.

Click on "Free Java Download". You will need to click on "Agree and Start Free Download". You will be asked to either Open/Run and or Save File from a popup window.

Save Java to your hard drive. This was a 68.5 megabytes download at the time of this blog post creation. Once this download completes, then double click this file to begin the installation.

Click on "Yes" at the User Account Control dialogue. You then just click on "Install". Java will begin to install.

You may need to restart your web browswer in order for the Java plugin to load correctly. You can test and verify your Java software. This online tool will tell you what version of Java software is installed on your computer.

Also, it should load your Java web browser plugin so that you know the installation succeeded. I personally only have Java loaded on one computer. There is one application I use that requires Java.

If it were not for this lone application, I would NOT install Java software at all. I do NOT load Java on any of my other computers. Java to me is too much of a security risk, plus this software is bloated at least to me.

Are you interested in anti-virus software that does NOT require Java? Download your FREE 30 day trial.

MAC OS X 10.10 – Upgrade From 10.9.5 Instructions

I received the following request from a customer.

I need to update my computer from a 10.9.5 to a minimum of a 10.10, how can I do that without losing my files?

This individual had a Macbook Professional with Mavericks installed. They were trying to connect a new printer, a Canon TS5100. This install would not get past the set up stage, after loading the Canon installation CD-ROM.

Canon recommended upgrading MAC OS 10.9.5 Mavericks to at least MAC OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Below is my response with some instructions. Usually, upgrading your MAC OS does not affect your personal files. However, you can back your data manually to an external hard drive or USB flash drive.

Also, you can create a Time Machine backup of your computer. You can upgrade your Macintosh with operating system 10.9.5 Mavericks by going into the Apple Store. You will need to download Yosemite.

Once that download finishes, you will be prompted to install or need to double click the download. You will need your Apple ID to enter the Apple store. Also, you will need your Macintosh administrator password.

Without either password, you will be fucked. You may have to upgrade to MAC OS 10.11 El Capitan or MAC OS 10.13 High Sierra instead. You will follow the same steps.

Once you enter in your correct Macintosh administrator password, you will continue on with the prompts. You will choose the destination hard drive. Finally, you will click on "Restart".

Your Macintosh will reboot and upgrade from MAC OS 10.9.5 to MAC OS X 10.10. Congratulations, you have upgraded the operating system on your Macintosh. If you are having problems finding OS 10.10 Yosemite, there is a search tool within the Apple Store, in the upper right hand corner.

Type in MAC OS Yosemite or MAC OS 10.10 and hit your enter key. If you cannot find a download for Yosemite, then search for El Capitan 10.11 or High Sierra 10.13 instead. Once you successfully upgrade your Macintosh to a newer operating system, then you will be able to reinstall that operating system upgrade via the Apple Store.

Click on "Purchases" tab in Apple Store and any operating system you downloaded and installed should be listed. You would just click on "Download" and follow the prompts to install that Macintosh operating system.

Turbotax For MAC – Operating System Requirements

As a computer repair technician, you know when tax season rolls around. I have received quite a few Turbotax help requests. A common theme I have noticed is that Turbotax endusers try to install this software on a Macintosh and are abrubtly stopped.

What many of these users do NOT know is that Turbotax has specific requirements when it comes to what MAC operating system this software maker supports. Turbotax for MAC tax year 2017 requires MAC OS 10.11 which is El Capitan or newer. On the surface this may seem like an easy upgrade.

However, Apple corporation has required an Apple ID in order to upgrade your MAC operating system, for quite sometime now. Many Macintosh users do NOT even know their Apple ID password. Also, amazingly enough to me many Macintosh users do NOT even know their MAC password.

I downloaded the Turbotax 2017 onto my computer. I can?t open it. It says there was a problem.

I updated my computer. It also says I may have to re download it but don?t know how.

This individual was using a Macbook Professional. This Macbook had MAC OS 10.10.5 which is also known as Yosemite. If you do NOT know what version of MAC operating system is installed, you can click on the top menu, then select the Apple icon on top left menu.

Then choose "About this MAC". My other customers had to upgrade to El Capitan which is MAC OS 10.11 before they could use Turbotax 2017. You would use the Apple Store, in order to upgrade your Macintosh.

In the Apple Store on the home page you might see a banner advertising a free upgrade to High Sierra. High Sierra is MAC operating system 10.13. You would just click on the "Free Upgrade".

You would then download High Sierra and then install it. Yes, Turbotax 2017 will work with 10.11 El Capitan and 10.13 High Sierra as long as you have 64 bit Macbook pro. In order to find out if your Macintosh has x64 64 bit support you look for "System Report" on the "About this MAC" in the "Overview" tab.

Click on "System Report" and then on left hand side scroll down until you see "Software". Click on "Software" to expand it and look for "64-bit Kernel and Extensions". If it is marked with a Yes then you have 64 bit MAC operating system installed.

Two warnings before you proceed to upgrading your Macintosh. First, you will need to have an Apple ID. Also, you will need to know your Apple ID password.

Second, you will need to know your Macintosh administrator password. You will need to log in to the Apple Store with your Apple ID. After High Sierra or any other MAC operating system finishes downloading, it will prompt you to enter your Macintosh administrator password in order to begin the installationprocess.

The final task will be to click "Restart" which will reboot your Apple Macintosh and upgrade the operating system. If you do NOT have your Apple ID and administrator password, you will just waste time trying to upgrade. Finally, this might be a gold tip.

One of my customers was in communication with someone from Intuit and told them that next year, tax year 2018, Turbotax will require MAC operating system 10.13 High Sierra.

Plan 9 From Bell Labs – Installation Instructions How to

I finally got around to installing an operating system that you may never have heard of. Yes, that is right Plan 9 from Bell Labs. I installed this free operating system on an old Compaq Evo N180.

This is a laptop with just a Pentium III processor. I will share with you what I learned and the basics to installing this operating system. The first thing you will need is obviously a computer to install this UNIX based operating system on.

I was able to install it on an IDE laptop hard drive. Plan 9 does support SATA hard drives. You can use old school serial and PS2 type mice. Also, you can use old school PS2 style keyboards.

This UNIX operating system supports USB devices ie. USB flash drives, mice, keyboards, etc. I hooked up a three wheel USB mouse to this old laptop. Also, I just used the built in keyboard.

You can try Plan 9 by booting off of a Live CD-ROM. Also, you can use this same Plan 9 Live CD-ROM to install to your hard drive. Also, you can create a Live USB flash drive instead.

I choose to burn a CD-RW with Plan 9 instead of USB. I was able to successfully boot off the live CD-ROM. I choose the default settings but had to specify the video setting correctly.

When I accept the default XGA, Rio, which is Plan 9's windowing manager failed to start. I typed in "vesa" for the video configuration and Rio successfully started. I had to also manually type in "vesa" when I installed Plan 9 on a 30 gigabyte laptop IDE hard drive.

Also, when installing Plan 9 I had to choose the default of [browse] and then immediately press exit, during the mountdist portion of the installation. I have no idea why, but the Plan 9 installation does not detect the distibution path. Thankfully, I read through the documentation and figured this out.

By accepting the default [browse] option, this allows you to browse the installation media. However, you do not want to change to any directories, otherwise this will change the mountdist path. If you do move around the installation media file structure, make sure you return back to where you began.

I thought this was not necessary and a bit odd of a way to tell Plan 9 where to mount installation files from. These two revelations, both vesa and typing exit when selecting [browse] saved me potentially a lot of time. I was eventually able to get Plan 9 installed successfully.

You will need to perform these main categories:

* configfs: choose file system type
* partdisk: edit partition table
* prepdisk: create partition table
* fmtfossil: format file system
* mountfs: mount file system
* configdisg: choose installtion source
* mountdist: mount installation source
* copydist: copy files to hard disk

I referred to Plan 9 from Bell Labs official documentation and this how to install Plan 9 from Bell Labs blog post. I was able to add a user account and create a home folder.

I was able to obtain a local ip address using DCHP. However, I was not able to get domain name server addresses to resolve to their Internet protocol addresses correctly. I could ping out to the Internet using an IP address.

I learned how to add, resize, delete, and move windows. I learned how to use a sam editor. However, I could not figure out how to save changes to files.

Even after installing Plan 9, you can use the default account by typing in glenda when prompted to enter the default of [user]. Glenda is a built in account with a home folder already created. Also, four windows are already configured for you.

Meter, date, readme file, and email file. If you want to just open a terminal, your right click the background and choose "Add". Your mouse cursor will turn into a cross +.

Right click and then move your mouse to configure how big you want this window. You will see term% |. This is your command prompt.

Windows 1709 – Successful Upgrade From Windows 1607 0xc1900208

Another customer had a problem with Windows 10 updates. This time their Windows 1709 upgrade from Windows 1607 failed. They kept receiving two hexadecimal Windows errors.

Here is their initial communication:

It will not update Microsoft Windows 10. It has said on different occasions the following Errors 0xc80248007 and 0xc1900208. I have version 1607 and need version 1709 on another occasion that I have version 14393 but need version 16299 and the latest is that I have an external syskey but require an internal syskey.

The computer is working OK. What is going on!!!!

Syskey.exe is an old school encryption tool also known as SAM lock tool. However, this was retired way back in the Windows 2000 and NT days. I asked this individual if they had encrypted their hard drive, and they claim that they did NOT.

Syskey was an external utility. I performed a search of their hard drive for this tool and did NOT find any traces of it. Perhaps this was one of those proverbial false positive Microsoft errors.

I could not find any information for 0xc80248007 error. Perhaps it was mistyped. However, I did find some information pertaining to error 0xc1900208.

I decided to use Microsoft's Windows update troubleshooter this time. This is an easy and free download for Microsoft Windows 7, 8, and 10. This troubleshooter claimed it found some corruption in the Windows update cache and fixed this problem.

However, I tried using Windows updates in Settings to download Microsoft knowledge base KB4093120 again. What a mistake this was. It took forever to download and then it ended up failing again with the same error earlier in this blog post.

I was able to fix this error 0XC80248007 and upgrade to Windows 1709 by manually downloading and installing KB4093120. I have used this tactic for a few years now. When you manually install a knowledge base download you are using Microsoft's Windows updates standalone installer.

You have to go into "Services" by typing services into a search box, and then stop the Windows update process. Once the process stops, you then set it to "Manual". Double click "Windows Update" in "Services".

Choose "Manual" from a "Startup type:" drop down list. Click on "Apply" and then "OK". Now you want to double click on the KB4093120 download to begin the install.

This download was over one gigabytes in size. It can take awhile to initialize. Also, it will check for other updates not already installed. Eventually, it will start saving updates to the Windows update cache.

Finally, it will begin installing. Eventually, this update will successfully install and prompt you to restart your computer. Click on restart and then your Windows 10 will be upgraded to Windows 1709.

Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap Windows 10 – Potential Fix

One of my customers kept receiving an Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap error message while using their computer. Here is their question:

Two things. Popstate keeps stacking up in email account. Also computer has been shutting down very often stating PC ran into a problem and had to be shut down.

Happens where ever I might be working and shuts me down.

This individual was using a computer with Windows 10 installed. You can try to run an sfc scan in a command prompt window, with administrator rights. Also, you may want to run malware, spyware, and virus scans.

This invidual claims that they keep getting cut off by a message that keeps shutting down their system. They receive an unexpected kernel mode trap error. Are you able to open up command prompt?

You can press ctrl + alt + delete keys at same time. A blue window will open up. You want to choose "Task Manager".

Once in Task Manager, click on "File" then choose "Run new task". Type in "cmd" without quotes. Select a check in the "Create this task with administrative privileges" box.

Press "OK". Type the following command into that command prompt:

sfc /scannow

I would recommend running sfc scannow three times especially if it finds errors on the first try. Also, it is recommended that you disconnect any external devices that might be causing this error. Disconnect any external hard drive, printer, USB flash drive, etc.

Plug each back in one at a time until you find the culprit. Right click the windows logo in lower left corner. Choose "Command Prompt (Admin)".

Type in this command:

sfc /scannow

Run it three times. If you cannot open command prompt with above instructions, then right click windows logo and choose "Search". Type in "cmd" without quotes.

Right click "Command Prompt". Choose "Run as adminstrator". Also, you can run a chkdsk scan in command prompt.

Type in the following command:

chkdsk c: /f /r

Type Y to schedule a chkdsk scan. Reboot that computer and a chkdsk scan should begin.