2/2022: A Two-fer this month! I put some cycles into a
couple of articles that were almost ready for publication
and here they are!
First, a data rescue off 30+ year old floppy disks. Can I
recover what nobody else has been able to recover? You can
read that here.
public IP address was landing on a particlar block list -
what was causing it, how to trace it down in a NATted
network when all the blocking service sees is your public IP
address, and a host of other things that help you track down
strange problems can be read about
1/2022: Sorry for the big gap between articles. In October
of 2019 I took on a "short term 1 to 6 month contract we can
cancel at any time" - their words, not mine - with an
aerospace company out near Seattle
Washington. Renewal after renewal, I came home occasionally
and in the summer of 2021 came back home to Michigan for all
but one week a month. The project completely consumed me
while I was there leaving little time for writing articles I
thought you would find interesting.
started this article about How To Get Better WiFi at home
over a year ago. Right now it is a work in progress - you'll
see where I left off and all my notes-to-self on things to
complete it. But most of the juicy bits are already there -
you can read that preliminary article
4/2019: Password reset emails never arrive, client (falsely)
blamed, what is the end user to do? I'll get geeky and walk
you through it all here.
9/2018: A client's Samsung Printer / Copier is continuously
rebooting and nobody can print to it. The factory trained
printer tech couldn't find why it was rebooting other than
"when it is plugged into the network it reboots, so I'll
leave it unplugged." I'll show you how to diagnose which
computer is causing all the problems! You can read that
7/2018: A Comcast Business Cable Internet at a local
business seems to be intermittent. I've discovered some
strange things about the modem / router installed and it is
causing problems - those will be documented
1/2018: I've talked more times than I can count about
pictures and sending them over the internet ... and having
to explain over and over again how to not lose quality. If
you want to know how to send / receive a picture without it
looking like complete crap, then you need to read the
article right here!
3/2017: I'm investigating various manufacturers that clone
Canon EOS camera batteries models LP-E6 and LP-E6N in order
to decide who makes good ones. So far I'm seeing a LOT of
crap being sold and mis-advertised - I'm going to expose
them all right here!
3/2017: Microsoft's March 2017 "Patch Tuesday" turned my
main Windows 7 laptop into a black screen mouse cursor only
unusable broken system. Only one window with Explorer.exe
and "The application was unable to start correctly
(0xc0000022). Click OK to close the application." was
visible. What happened, how to diagnose the problem, and the
fix are documented
2/2017: I received a system
that was encrypted with the current version of Cerber
Ransomware - a detailed analysis of what the ransomware did
with whatever forensic analysis I could perform after the
encryption was done can be found
here, along with some hints at recovery possibilities.
5/2016: If you are still on the fence about Windows 10's
free upgrade, here is
how you can make the decision to upgrade after July 29
2016's free upgrade end date and still get your upgrade for
4/2016: How important is the hard drive write cache in your
HP, IBM, Dell, or other server's performance? In getting
ready for adding servers to an existing rack, I had to
improve a backup performance job and
demonstrates how important the write cache is to disk
4/2016: Information on what drives cause HP Proliant Servers
like the DL380 G6 and G7 to think
they have overheating drives when they are just fine can be found
here! If you want to
use way cheaper non-HP brand drives, this article can save you a
whole lot of headaches.
3/2016: Access 2010 Wizards giving you an error message
saying they are not installed or in a bad state? The fix
just might be here!
3/2016: I was re-installing Windows 7 SP1 from factory
restore disks onto a couple of laptop comptuers and Windows
Update failed to update. The answer to making Windows Update
work again can be found
3/2016: I was recently challenged by a client that claimed I
was using an old, broken SSL connection instead of a newer,
stronger TLS connection. How can you prove what security
level your computer is talking at? A tutorial on how you can
find that answer is
5/2015: Another BSOD loop - this one because of a Microsoft
Update that killed my (and other people's) systems. That
solution can be found here!
4/2015: How to get servers that meet your needs for a
fraction of what the big vendors charge - read about that
4/2015: VPN Connection problems got you frustrated? Are you
not wishing any goodness back to Microsoft with Windows 8 or
8.1's upgrade? Things that used to work fine are now broken?
If you are getting "Error 691" when trying to connect your
VPN to your workplace, don't worry because I've got your
answer right here.
3/2015: If you don't configure your systems to report
problems, then a failure will often go unnoticed.
Here are some examples of
how to configure system to prevent good days from turning
extremely bad - and most all these configuration are free!
3/2015: I have a client receiving "501 Connection Rejected
By Policy [7.7]..." email bounce messages. What is happening
and a work around can be found
2/2015: If you've been experiencing jerky stuttering mouse
movement after your system has been on for awhile or even
the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), the answer might
just be explained here.
11/2014: The evil people trying to socially
engineer me called back! I've updated the details of what
they did and wanted - and I've updated the 8/2014 article
with new information which you can read
9/2014: Have you seen error R6016 - "Not
Enough Space For Thread Data"? If you are a software
developer, your answer might be found
8/2014: Evil people tried to socially
engineer me into thinking I've got an infected system. Read
how they showed I had system problems and wanted to help me
fix my PC here.
4/2014: I gave a "Computer
security for normal people - not geeks" presentation at the
Microsoft Store in Troy, MI. This link
will have materials related to that presentation for anyone
that is interested.
1/2014: Are you upgrading or replacing an
old system? If so, you need to make sure your personal data
doesn't fall into evil hands. Here is how you can kill two
birds with one stone - easy DIY data destruction and harvest
some very powerful magnets in the process. All for free!
That article is right here!
12/2013: Working on a project that requires
a fresh install of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Update is
broken before it can do its first update! Searching the net,
nothing I found fixed the problem. On a hunch, I went
through my previous article documenting how Windows Update
was broken on a fresh install of Windows XP and found a
slight change to the same procedure fixed my Server 2003
update problems as well! This is how to fix it!
11/2013: It has been awhile and I've got lots cooking ...
I've done a couple of crashed drive recoveries and have a
cool video of one of them, I've done stuff with Nas4Free and
the bigger 4K sector drives with ZFS and encryption and all
kinds of coolness ... but I'm swamped with projects, so the
articles take a back seat.
now, I'm getting a lot of questions about "how can you keep
things that run under Windows XP operating past Windows XP's
end of support date?" That article (still a work in
progress) can be found here.
4/2013: If your IT folks can't sniff networks, then simple
problems can drag on for months instead of just working like
they are supposed to. Here
is a great example of the power of the network sniffer.
4/2013: Recurring AT&T Microcell issues - and proof via
network sniffing that an issue is not your networks fault
but AT&T's. Once again, the power of the network sniffer is
2/2013: I was at a client with some really flakey network
things happening. You can read one of the more interesting
diagnostic stories and paths I've come across recently
2/2013: If you want your PC to last a long time,
here are a few tips.
1/2013: A deep look behind the scenes of a data recovery,
rescuing data off a dead hard drive.
Read about it here!
1/2013: How about all those offers you see flying across
Facebook, like the one for a free Costco $500 gift card!
What happens with your email - how to get less SPAM - can be
read about here!
12/2012: iPhone battery life too short? Happened to me, big
time. The details of my issue, how it was isolated, and
fixed are answered here!
11/2012: So your CEO just read an article on moving services
into the cloud and wants you to do it.
Here are some things the article probably didn't say,
and some thing that you really should think about.
10/2012: Server services that sometimes don't start right or
can't communicate. Researched, found, and
4/2012: If you need a cheap long term data logging DMM, I'm
writing software to do just that!
You can find details here.
4/2012: Canon EOS Batteries - how to tell which of yours are
good and which aren't? And how do the eBay and aftermarket
batteries compare to Genuine Canon batteries?
That article is here.
4/2012: So you have a Canon EOS camera - what you can do to
squeeze the most life out of each charge of your batteries.
That article is here.
3/2012: Here is an analysis of a commercially sold utility
to tune up your PC and make its performance better. Is it
snake oil or not? You be the judge -
that article is here.
10/2011: The very easy guide to putting ads up on your web
site and making money with it via Google AdSense!
That article can be found here!
9/2011: How to create dynamic SQL queries using simple Excel
formulas that can reach out, query a database, and return
results right into Excel. That
article can be found here!
8/2011: When re-installing a couple of XP
systems from scratch and applying Windows XP Service Pack 3
(SP3), Windows Update appears broken.
This is how to fix it!
1/2011: An application I wrote that ran fine
in Windows XP now looks bad when run under Windows 7 if the
"Make it easier to read what's on your screen" control panel
dialogue box is set to 125%.
What to do to fix this
problem is described here.
11/2010: I'm involved with a client that is
currently under attack by a DDoS Botnet. The story, details,
how we defended, and how we were thwarted from defending
will be detailed here.
Hopefully this will help you & your company if you become a
victim of a DDoS attack.
4/2010: If you are trying to install
software for your Canon EOS digital camera from the Canon
support website and can't find your original EOS software
disk, then this
article will give you what you need!
12/2009: Thinking of changing your track or
pendant lights to LEDs? I want a cable lighting system and
need it LED driven, but can't get comparable specifications.
So I'm ordering a whole bunch of 12V LEDs that mount in
MR11, MR16, and GU5.3 fixtures and am measuring their
characteristics. See the LED
lighting test report here!
you are having problems getting other operating systems
running in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Virtual Server,
the answer might be here!
6/2009: The current trend of the day on the web are
mouse-over pop-up ads. I HATE THEM! They bug me so much,
one particularly annoying site that had them all over the
place and my mission in life (or at least for the next 15
minutes) became making all those ads disappear forever. It
was easy, and I'll show you how you can do it too! Right
here! Kill those mouse over pop up ads
Another hot item I've recently completed -- you've got a Microsoft
Access database (.mdb) file and it runs very fast on your
workstation. But when you copy it onto a network share and
use it there, it runs slower than molasses. Perhaps it
didn't use to be that way. I know why this happens! Read My Database runs fine on
workstation and slow on the network.
4/2009 - A Dell
PowerEdge SC420 server doing the BSOD shuffle every half
hour. What is happening and hopefully what can be done
Are you getting errors
with volume shadow copy, trying to run NTBackup, or other
errors? Your fix might well be here!
A guide on how to be safer
online and minimize your cost to recover from any malware
9/2008 - A guide on how to
recover your system from a particular collection of malware
and other problems it causes.
7/2008 - Anatomy of a Botnet. I sent in a story to Windows
IT Pro, which was turned into an article you can read
here. What got published was very high level and lacked
the technical meat you would need to recognize or repair
such a problem in your organization.
Here is my version of the identifying
and cleaning a botnet article giving all the details and
steps taken. It is a draft, something I just threw
together one day. I hope it helps you!
3/2008 - Here is a how-to on
getting Server 2003 installed on a non-server system board.
3/2008 & 8/2008 - How-To recover
a system from continuous blue screens of death
Microsoft Webcast on the Art of Debugging
- The webcast I did for Microsoft is on using a network
sniffer to diagnose common network and isolate systems /
application issues. The webcast can be found on Microsoft's
site, and I have a link to it in the above article. If you want to become an expert in network
troubleshooting, this is a must-watch webcast!