RyanTAdams.com

Technology Advice by Ryan Taylor Adams

Change Network Card MAC Address in Windows

November 10th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Every network capable device has a unique MAC (media access control) address. In the most basic sense, a MAC address is a serial number that allows one networked device to identify and communicate with another. Normally, there is no reason to change your network card’s MAC address. Doing so may even cause problems if you happen to chose a number that is already in use by another device. However, there are some reasons you may want to change your MAC address:

  1. To get past MAC address filtering on a router or firewall.
  2. For sniffing other connections on the network.
  3. To keep your “real” MAC address out of traffic and security logs.
  4. To pull off a denial of service attack by assuming the MAC of the gateway.

There are also a slew of other reasons for needing to change your MAC address.

Here are two ways to do it in Windows 9x/XP/Vista:

[Read article →]

→ 1 CommentPosted in: Downloads · Guides

Change the Windows Vista Start Menu Power Button to Shut Down

November 10th, 2008 · Comments Off on Change the Windows Vista Start Menu Power Button to Shut Down

The default action for the Power button on the start menu in Windows Vista is Sleep, which puts your computer in a low power (but still “on”) state. Some (most?) users would prefer that the power button shutdown Vista. You can configure this setting easily by using the advanced power settings panel found nested deep in the Control Panel.

[Read article →]

Comments Off on Change the Windows Vista Start Menu Power Button to Shut DownPosted in: Guides

Hide the “Safely Remove Hardware” Icon From the System Tray

October 27th, 2008 · 4 Comments

The “Safely Remove Hardware” icon was included with Windows XP and Vista to provide a “safe” way to disconnect removable devices. According to Microsoft, you are supposed to use this icon, instead of just unplugging your removable devices (such as USB flash drives, eSATA drives, etc.). Realistically, as long as the device isn’t being written too, you can usually just yank it out.

The “Safely Remove Hardware” icon seems to annoy people who either know not to unplug a device while it is in use, or have “removable” devices that stay permanently attached to their computer. Using the program below, you can effectively remove the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon from your system tray.

[Read article →]

→ 4 CommentsPosted in: Guides

QuickBooks Crashes When Using “reconcile” Or “email”

September 3rd, 2008 · 3 Comments

For some time, my QuickBooks Pro software would freeze (and ultimately have to be terminated) when ever I would attempt to “reconcile” my bank statement. Additionally, when printing from other programs I would find that my computer’s default printer had been inexplicably changed to the “QuickBooks PDF Converter” device. Following are the steps I took to correct both these issues.

[Read article →]

→ 3 CommentsPosted in: Guides

How to Backup Your Windows XP Activation Status

August 9th, 2008 · Comments Off on How to Backup Your Windows XP Activation Status

If you have ever installed Windows XP, you know that Microsoft requires you to “activate” Windows. This is usually done with the help of a guided program that runs automatically after Windows starts for the first time. If you are reinstall windows on the same computer, you may have to complete the wizard again. If you re-install Windows multiple times, you may ultimately be prompted to call Microsoft to active your Windows installation.

To avoid re-activating Windows, you can backup your current Windows activation before reinstalling with the following steps. This will only work if you are reinstalling Windows on the same computer.

[Read article →]

Comments Off on How to Backup Your Windows XP Activation StatusPosted in: Guides

Fix for Grayed Out Or Missing Windows Explorer Folder Pane

August 8th, 2008 · Comments Off on Fix for Grayed Out Or Missing Windows Explorer Folder Pane

After installing/uninstall some programs, the “Folders” pane in Windows Explorer may not work anymore. Most often it will just display a gray background and not show the folder tree. Other times, it may show something other than the expected folder tree. If the “Folder” pane on your computer looks like this:

a simple registry fix can solve the problem. [Read article →]

Comments Off on Fix for Grayed Out Or Missing Windows Explorer Folder PanePosted in: Guides

Option to Install Windows is Grayed Out (when Running Network Install)

July 30th, 2008 · 18 Comments

This is not a guide to installing Vista on your m200. This is a follow-up to the original post here. This post is only for those that have tried installing Vista or XP on a laptop using TFTP32 and have experienced a grayed out “Install Windows” button.

[Read article →]

→ 18 CommentsPosted in: Guides

Fixing the “The SYSTEM HAS REACHED THE MAXIMUM SIZE ALLOWED FOR THE SYSTEM PART OF THE REGISTRY” Error

July 24th, 2008 · 1 Comment

All versions of Windows store crucial system and program information in the registry. On some versions (Windows 2000 and NT), the size of the registry is restricted by a setting. If the registry size reaches this maximum set value, an error will be displayed. If you are running Windows 2000 or NT, you can manually increase the maximum registry size. See this article for details.

Windows XP and Vista have removed this limitation. There is no maximum registry size setting. If you are running Windows XP or Vista, and get a error message about the registry exceeding its allowed size, you will need to take other measures:

[Read article →]

→ 1 CommentPosted in: Guides

The Fail-Safe (but Lossy) Way to Remove DRM From Audio Files

July 18th, 2008 · 3 Comments

There are programs available (such as FairUse4WM) that can remove the DRM encryption from audio files without compromising the files quality. Unfortunately, DRM updates, new audio formats, and software patches quickly make this programs outdated. The other method of removing DRM is to play the audio file and record the output. This method doesn’t produce exact copies of the original audio, but it is much easier to use and much more likely to work. SO here is how you do it:

[Read article →]

→ 3 CommentsPosted in: Guides

Getting Around the “cannot Read From the Source File” Error

July 14th, 2008 · Comments Off on Getting Around the “cannot Read From the Source File” Error

There are 2 situations where Windows will present you with a “cannot read from the source file” error:

  1. You try to open/view/edit/delete a file which has already been moved or deleted.
  2. You try to delete a file (or folder) which is still present on your computer.

In the first case, the solution is simple, return the file to its original location. However, if you get the error when trying to delete a file or folder which does exist, keep reading for a fix.

[Read article →]

Comments Off on Getting Around the “cannot Read From the Source File” ErrorPosted in: Guides

Solution to “Cannot Find Proofing.en-us” Error When Installing Office 2007

July 12th, 2008 · 21 Comments

I opted for a download only version of Microsoft Office 2007 for a discounted rate. Ever since I first tried installing Office 2007, the installer gives me error messages about not being able to find files. At first I wrote these off to a poorly designed conversion from the CD media Office normally comes on to the single files installer available for download. Unfourtunatly, a Google search revealed many people, using many different install sources, experienced the same problem. During the initial installation, or when doing a repair install, the Office installer will complain that it “cannot find proofing.en-us\proof.en\proof.cab”. It may also have problems finding “proof.es” or “proof.fr”. Anything you do results in either another error message or the install being cancelled.

The good news is: I’ve found a solution.

[Read article →]

→ 21 CommentsPosted in: Guides

Fix Outlook Express to Properly Handle E-mail (mailto:) Links

July 5th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Many people rely on Outlook Express to send and receive e-mail. One of the most common issues with Outlook Express is that it will fail to handle “mailto:” links on web pages correctly. Clicking an e-mail address in a web page may open a blank window, present an error message, or not respond at all. In any case, the following steps will usually fix the problem.

[Read article →]

→ 2 CommentsPosted in: Guides

Change the Header And Footer of Internet Explorer Printouts

July 4th, 2008 · Comments Off on Change the Header And Footer of Internet Explorer Printouts

When you print a web page from with-in Internet Explorer, the printout will contain a header an footer. By default, the header contains the web page’s title and pagination, and the footer contains the URL and date. You can change the header and footer to include other information too. [Read article →]

Comments Off on Change the Header And Footer of Internet Explorer PrintoutsPosted in: Guides

Remove Old, Moved, Or Non-existent Company Files From the QuickBooks Open Screen

June 27th, 2008 · 6 Comments

When you run QuickBooks you may be presented with a screen such as this:

If you have company files listed that non longer exist, have been moved, or are for some other reason unable to open, you probably want to prevent them from being displayed. Here’s how:

[Read article →]

→ 6 CommentsPosted in: Guides

K-Lite Codec Pack: Play All Your Media Files

June 20th, 2008 · Comments Off on K-Lite Codec Pack: Play All Your Media Files

To play a media file you need two things (in addition to the media file itself obviously): a media player and a media codec. Most of you should have a player already. All versions of Microsoft Windows, in fact, include a media player known as Windows Media Player. There are also plenty of alternative players, namely “WinAmp” and “VLC”. These media players include codecs for some of the most popular media formats, MP3, WMV, etc. But there are thousands of other media formats out there and to play them you’ll need the right codec.

[Read article →]

Comments Off on K-Lite Codec Pack: Play All Your Media FilesPosted in: Downloads

Deleting Files “in Use”

June 11th, 2008 · Comments Off on Deleting Files “in Use”

If you have ever tried to delete a file, while it was still opened by a program, you probably received an error message to the effect of “Cannot delete file: Access is denied”. There are several other variations of this error, including:

  • Cannot delete file: Access is denied
  • There has been a sharing violation.
  • The source or destination file may be in use.
  • The file is in use by another program or user.
  • Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.

All of these mean the same thing. The file is in use by a program, and you can’t delete it until that program is closed. What do you do then when there aren’t any programs actually using the file?

[Read article →]

Comments Off on Deleting Files “in Use”Posted in: Guides

Process Explorer

June 11th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Process Explorer is like Window’s Task Manager on steroids, and then some.

[Read article →]

→ 1 CommentPosted in: Downloads

Fixing the “Unmountable Boot Volume” Error

June 4th, 2008 · 2 Comments

If you’ve turned on your computer, only to receive a “Unmountable boot volume” error followed by a restart, this guide is for you. This error occurs when Windows can’t access the drive crucial system files are on. Spyware or virus infections can cause this issue, in addition to hardware failures. Most commonly though, the issue seems to arise randomly.

[Read article →]

→ 2 CommentsPosted in: Guides

What is the Difference Between Hubs, Switches, And Routers?

May 26th, 2008 · Comments Off on What is the Difference Between Hubs, Switches, And Routers?

If you are setting up a network of more than two devices, cahnces are you will be confronted with all three of these terms. Hubs, switches, and routers are are crucial network components, and they each perform a unique role. Mix them up and your network won’t operate efficently…or at all. So jsut what is the difference between a hub, a switch, and a router? And what are they used for?

[Read article →]

Comments Off on What is the Difference Between Hubs, Switches, And Routers?Posted in: Guides

PHP Invoice System

May 25th, 2008 · Comments Off on PHP Invoice System

I’ve created a simple invoice system to facilitate my business. It will work “out of the box” for many situations, but was designed to be more of a framework which can be tailored to your needs. Here are some of the current features:
[Read article →]

Comments Off on PHP Invoice SystemPosted in: Downloads · Misc.

Troubleshooting Problems When Installing Vista on a M200

May 24th, 2008 · 5 Comments

This is not a guide to installing Vista on your m200. If you are looking for step-by-step instructions to install Vista on your m200, please see the post here. This post is a series of hints and tips that will help you should you run into problems when following the step-by-step guide. [Read article →]

→ 5 CommentsPosted in: Guides

How to Resolve the “NTLDR is Missing” Error on Windows Start-up

May 24th, 2008 · 15 Comments

If the NTLDR becomes damaged, you may get an error message informing you that “NTLDR is missing” when you start your computer. After this error message, you will be prompted to restart your computer at which the same error will be displayed again. This effectively prevents you from being able to access Windows at all. In most cases, you will not even be able to boot into safe mode. Here are some steps you can take to fix the problem: [Read article →]

→ 15 CommentsPosted in: Guides

Changing the URL of Your WordPress Blog

May 16th, 2008 · Comments Off on Changing the URL of Your WordPress Blog

For the regular visitors here, you might have noticed that I have changed this blogs URL from http://personal.ryantdams.com to http://blog.ryantadams.com. Behind the scenes I also moved the actual WordPress files from a folder on my web server named “personal” to a folder named “blog” to better match the new URL. The big problem with changing the URL of my WordPress blog is making sure all the old links (either in my posts, or on external websites) still worked. Here is everything I did to move my blog to a new URL: [Read article →]

Comments Off on Changing the URL of Your WordPress BlogPosted in: Guides

General Fix for Windows Update Issues

May 16th, 2008 · Comments Off on General Fix for Windows Update Issues

If you are having issues with Windows Update, particularly having the installation of updates constantly failing, you can try the following fix: [Read article →]

Comments Off on General Fix for Windows Update IssuesPosted in: Guides

Fixing the “Cannot Find the File Flash.ocx” Error Message

May 11th, 2008 · 10 Comments

Flash is a programming language that many publishers use to create animations, games, and interactive programs for the web. Flash is also used for programs run locally on a users computer. To use these Flash based programs and web applets, the end-user must have Flash Player installed. One component of Flash Player is a file called “flash.ocx.” If this file is missing or damaged, you may get an error message. [Read article →]

→ 10 CommentsPosted in: Guides