Sunday, October 25, 2015

How not to ask for help

I'll get the occasional email asking for help, sometimes asking to call, I've probably done it a dozen times, and once even paid international long distance rates to help out a stranger, for free.

This email exchange happened the other day, and in case you weren't sure, this isn't how to ask for help, I've hidden the persons name and phone number, because I'm sure they were having a bad day, and we all need more forgiveness.

I also had to censure some of the email since I don't want this blog to be considered "explicit".

To: mc (that's me)
From: (withheld, let's call them "jb")
Subject: Ntldr missing....PLEASE help sir
Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 10:28 PM
jb: I'm just a step away from getting thin right

10:38 PM mc: ? Where are you in the process? Have you already made the boot disk downloaded from ? Try the YouTube videos on the page to see if they help.

10:54 PM jb: I'm stuck..... And I am utterly lost.... (505) 306­#### J## B#########. Need help lol

10:54 PM jb: I have indeed made the boot disc but getting problems

10:55 PM mc: Don't see the list of 10 options?

10:56 PM jb: No sir

10:56 PM mc: USB?

10:57 PM jb: Yes....complete mayhem

10:58 PM mc: My recommendation on USB is try a different USB stick, not sure why but even I have not gotten it to work on some models, but then works fine on others

10:59 PM mc: And if you have watched YouTube video , do; I think it describes it better than the screenshots

10:59 PM mc: I meant to say "haven't"

10:59 PM jb: If we could talk I could explain

10:59 PM jb: I don't have another USB stick

11:00 PM jb: (505)306­####

11:01 PM jb: XP Dell Dimension A02BIOS

11:01 PM mc: It's 11 o'clock at night here, the rest of the house is asleep. The good news is your data is likely still there, you can get to it by using a live Linux CD or attaching the hard drive to another computer. I will probably still be up for awhile but otherwise this is going to be a tomorrow thing

11:10 PM jb: Ok. Thank you. Just not sure what to do... this is my daughter's computer and she's in the fifth grade and for whatever reason this machine got screwed with and her homework assignment is locked inside the machine a friend of mine sent me a link to make the memory stick boot and it didn't work I got stuck so I thought I'd email you because your information was in there not trying to keep you awake I'm here in New Mexico an hour ahead of you so it's 12:09 a.m. right here but if you feel like getting hold of me tomorrow I would really greatly appreciate it

11:11 PM jb: Is there a sea lion to Mandeville make this work right now possibly

11:12 PM mc: What was that last part?

11:12 PM jb: C: line command

11:13 PM mc: Oh lol What is it doing right now if you boot up without the USB? Ntldr is missing ?

11:14 PM mc: And I assume you have access to another PC to make changes to the USB?

11:14 PM jb: Yes

11:15 PM mc: Oh hey, Hirens boot CD includes my ntldr fix, and they might have an easier way to make it than I do

11:15 PM mc: I'm going to Google Hirens right quick (although I'm always a little hesitant of download sites)

11:16 PM jb: Yes

11:17 PM jb: I am poor and only have this machine.....geez man

11:19 PM mc: Oh... Wait let me back up a second. Do you only have one machine at the place, and it's broken?

11:23 PM mc: If you get to the point of using Hirens, this looks like a legit download: And I believe this is the info on putting that ISO onto a USB:­on­usb­disk Why use Hirens? If following my instructions can't get the USB to get you to the 10 choices

11:23 PM jb: Yes. Xp on a Dell Dimension 3000....only computer in the house besides a droid

11:25 PM mc: Okay, I had started with the assumption that you had already tried to make the bootdisk but were having trouble. If you can't make the boot disk, the troubleshooting steps you could do otherwise is unplug everything USB and try booting PC

11:25 PM jb: You s##k

11:25 PM mc: Even try unplugging the USB keyboard

11:26 PM jb: No help at ALL

11:27 PM jb: All you have to f****** do is call me. And you'll understand what I'm going through Jesus Christ man

11:27 PM mc: It's possible this error can come up if a USB drive is plugged into the PC that isn't set to boot, and the PC is rebooted; that's why I'm telling you to unplug everything USB and try rebooting

11:29 PM jb: Already f****** did that did and its not working if you were to call me it would take like two minutes to figure it out cuz I could explain it to you why would you even put your name and email address out there if you don't really want to help it is beyond me dude this could be taken care of like 20 minutes ago

11:30 PM jb: It's not like I would call you again once the problem is fixed is this machine is never hooked up to the internet or anything this thing would go for another 40 f****** years without a problem

11:31 PM jb: I've unplugged everything dude seriously

11:32 PM mc: There's nothing else you can do tonight then. Not without another computer

11:33 PM mc: You can probably search Craigslist for a local person who fixes PC's for cheap, or if you can go to another place and make the USB stick there and bring it back

11:34 PM jb: I have a laptop

11:34 PM mc: I would recommend stopping right now, getting some sleep, and take the machine somewhere in the morning where you can get help for it.

11:39 PM mc: If you have access to another machine and want to keep working on this, try the Hirens links I sent you earlier.  But I recommend you stop, and look at it tomorrow. Good luck! No need to contact me further, you have the information and someone who can see the machine would be a better option for fixing it than me.

11:41 PM jb: How about you go F##K yourself

I was never sure if he did or didn't have access to a second PC.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tire Pressure Sensor Fault - If it goes away - electronic interference

Tire Pressure Senor Fault

I got this error on my vehicle, and then it went away. I took it into the dealership and they tell me all tire pressure sensor's "trained" correctly and nothing was wrong.

Why did I get the error? The dealership tells me that the pressure sensor inside the tire uses wireless communication to let the car know about the tire pressure, and if something happens to block or interfere with the signal, this is the error message the car will give you.

At the time, I was streaming music from SomaFM on my iPhone via Bluetooth to the Ford Sync speakers, using my passengers iPhone to do Google Maps turn by turn direction, while at the same time my passenger was using an iPad to do research on the next location on the internet.

So if it happens and goes away, ignore it.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Winbook backup

I should flesh this out more later, but for now:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Winbook - Tiny and fun

I got that Winbook TW700 as mentioned in the previous blog post; I also asked the "pay per post" service how they wanted me to post so that I would get paid, and never heard back from them.

My favorite thing about this tiny tablet, is it fits in my back pocket. I carried around an iPad for a few days to test it, and it was always a problem of where I was going to set it down when I needed to do something with my hands.

My biggest complaint, is the size of the hard drive. The specs list it as a 16 gig drive, and I figured that would work just fine; but once you login to the Windows 8.1 stock install, you see a drive of 8.77 gigs, with something like 3 gigs free. The "Recovery Partition" is 5.57 gigs of the drive.

Now there is a micro SD card slot, and the Quick Start guide says the biggest card it can read is 64 gigs, so I got a "fast" (as opposed to "cheap") 64 gig micro SD, and the first thing I did was try and put the "Users" folder onto the it. (The micro SD card is called the "D" drive). I then ran into a problem with the "Windows Store" app not opening, as well as some of the other "tiles" programs. I eventually find out that the micro SD card is on a format called exFAT, which doesn't like some file that shows up in the Users profile that relates to the new kinds of Windows apps. I wrote out on their forums the problem, I don't expect them to come up with an answer, but I expect to find a way to "mklink /d" some of the bigger directories so my data files don't fill up this tiny hard drive.

I did have a success story that I also shared on their forums. You can install programs into C, then do the "mklink /d c:\name d:\name" and program still work. So far I've done this with Hearthstone, Chrome, Teamviewer, and Microsoft Office.

Another thing that's tiny are the system menu's and icons that look oversized on a PC, are tiny on the Winbook; I've had more than a few problems with clicking the right thing. So far I think I have this licked by putting "Magnifier" on the Start Menu, and using it if I am having problems with hitting the right option with my fat fingers; and also by using "Teamviewer" to remote into the tablet, then use a keyboard/mouse to get done all the configuring.

So the tablet was $80 on Amazon, got the 64gig card for $30, then I'm using this great tablet stand, then a USB hub that has a keyboard/mouse/external hard drive plugged into it when I want to use those directly (like if I want to fiddle with the BIOS), and use my regular PC to remote into it if I want to do some file cut/paste mklink /d work since that's fairly time consuming to do via the on-screen keyboard.

Okay, now what do I use this tablet for?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I'll be right back

When people suddenly get the "NTLDR is missing" error on their computer it's not on a system they bought yesterday, it's a system they've owned for years and they don't want to be buying a new system, they need something from that old system, usually locked away in a program, or it's the program itself.

I'm going to try and spend some time either coming up with a "convert your old system into a virtual machine" or "copy your old system onto a new hard drive", I've seen these tablets made by a company called "Winbook" running Windows 7 selling for less than $100, with hardware comparable to older systems. I'm thinking this could make for a fun project, and a reason to post here more often. Also, I was contacted about having some "Sponsored Posts", and I figure that I had better post something else here or it'll all be sponsored posts. See also "Native Advertising"

The title of the post is a reference to the line from the movie "Scream" where one of the characters says "Don't ever say 'I'll be right back', that's the kiss of death in a horror film"; I recall hearing John C. Dvorak mention on a show that if you ever see a blog that's been abandoned, the last blog post will always be "I've been neglecting this blog, but I'm going to post a lot more"; which reminds me of every diary or journal I've ever tried to keep.