RyanTAdams.com

Technology Advice by Ryan Taylor Adams

Entries posted in 'Guides'

Updating PRL From Within CyanogenMod

March 3rd, 2013 · 2 Comments

CDMA phones use a PRL file to determine which systems (towers) to conenct to, as well as to determine if the phone is currently roaming. It is recommended that you update the PRL if you use your phone outside the home (non-roaming) area frequently or if you notice your phone is having difficulty establishing and […]

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Posted in: Guides

Enabling the Built-in Administrator Account on Windows Vista And Windows 7

March 9th, 2011 · Comments Off on Enabling the Built-in Administrator Account on Windows Vista And Windows 7

Depending on how you setup you computer, the default “Administrator” account may be disabled. To enable the account again, you can use the Local Users and Groups management console built-in to Windows.

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Moving the “Users” Folder in Windows Vista Or Windows 7 to a New Drive

March 9th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Windows Vista and Windows 7 include a “Users” folder (default C:\Users) under which all user profile folders are created. This is very much like the “Documents and Settings” folder found in previous versions of Windows. Since each user’s profile folder contains their “My Documents”, “Music”, “Videos”, and “AppData” folders –just to name a few– it […]

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Empty “Debug.log” File Appears on Desktop

December 2nd, 2010 · Comments Off on Empty “Debug.log” File Appears on Desktop

I, and many others, have recently noticed a “debug.log” file appearing on our desktops. The file is empty and there are no obvious indication of where it is coming from. Deleting the file results in it being recreated shortly. The culprit has finally been found! Read on to find out how to remove the “debug.log” […]

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Remove “Browse in Adobe Bridge” From Context Menu

November 7th, 2010 · Comments Off on Remove “Browse in Adobe Bridge” From Context Menu

After installing Adobe Photoshop CS4/CS5, you will find a new item, “Browse in Adobe Bridge” in the right-click context menu of any folder. While this may be useful for those of you that use Adobe Bridge, for me, it was just another item cluttering up the menu. Adobe didn’t include any easy way to turn […]

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Restore the “Dial-in” Tab for Active Directory on Windows 7 (Updated for 64-bit Systems)

August 8th, 2010 · Comments Off on Restore the “Dial-in” Tab for Active Directory on Windows 7 (Updated for 64-bit Systems)

After you install Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 on a computer that is running Windows 7, the Dial-in tab is missing in the properties of a user account in the Active Directory Users and Computers Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. While Microsoft is aware of this problem, they don’t offer a real solution. […]

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Posted in: Downloads · Guides

Fix Remote Desktop Error: “The Remote Computer Disconnected the Session Because of an Error in the Licensing Protocol”

July 20th, 2010 · Comments Off on Fix Remote Desktop Error: “The Remote Computer Disconnected the Session Because of an Error in the Licensing Protocol”

Occasionally, and for no particular reason, my computer will no longer establish Remote Desktop connections to any computer. When trying to connect, I get the error message “The remote computer disconnected the session because of an error in the licensing protocol. Please try connecting to the remote computer again or contact your server administrator.” The […]

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Fix “The Address is Not Valid” Error (unable to Connect to Any Websites)

May 9th, 2010 · 1 Comment

I have seen several cases recently where my clients’ computers are unable to access the Internet (Windows updates, AV updates, websites, etc.) even though the computer has a network connection. Additionally, when trying to visit any website, Internet Explore would redirect to http:/// and display a “address is not valid” error. Fortunately, the solution in […]

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Windows Task Manager is Missing Its Menu And Tabs!

December 17th, 2009 · Comments Off on Windows Task Manager is Missing Its Menu And Tabs!

The windows Task Manager (well know to those of you who have to frequently end hung programs) has the ability to run in “tiny footprint mode” which hides the menu bar and tabs.

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Websites are Erroneously Redirecting to Their “Mobile” Version

December 16th, 2009 · Comments Off on Websites are Erroneously Redirecting to Their “Mobile” Version

Many large websites now offer “mobile” versions that are specially formatted to work better with mobile devices like phones and PDAs. Generally, the website is programmed to automatically detect if a visitor is using a mobile browser and redirect them to the mobile version of the site. If you have the “Creative AutoUpdate” software installed […]

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Windows 7 – Should I Upgrade?

December 11th, 2009 · Comments Off on Windows 7 – Should I Upgrade?

Microsoft’s latest version of Windows, “Windows 7”, was released at the end of October. Now that it’s been out for just over a month, I’ve been receiving the question “Should I upgrade?” quite frequently. Unfortunately, the answer is not cut and dry. It will depend a several variables.

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Restore the Windows 7 Splash Screen

November 27th, 2009 · Comments Off on Restore the Windows 7 Splash Screen

Occasionally, an issue can occur in Windows 7 which causes the Windows 7 splash screen (normally 4 colored orbs) to revert to the old Windows Vista style screen (a green progress bar). While I’m not sure of what initially causes this problem, the solution is simple…

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Prevent Vista From Stealing Program Focus

October 12th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I see that visitors to my site search for this topic frequently, so I figured I should make a post about it. Let me start by saying, I will not be telling you how to change your Windows Vista registry to prevent programs from stealing focus. Why? Because you don’t need to. By default, Windows […]

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Windows 7 Upgrade Path (with Charts)

August 6th, 2009 · Comments Off on Windows 7 Upgrade Path (with Charts)

Microsoft has just released a official chart showing the various Windows 7 upgrade options. Keep reading to see it and get my take on everything.

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Disable Automatic Shortcut Creation for Bluetooth Devices

July 19th, 2009 · 1 Comment

I recently updated the Bluetooth software/drivers on my Thinkpad T400. The latest release seems to be more stable, but there was one annoying new “feature” I found. When ever I would connect a Bluetooth device (mouse, headset, my Palm), a shortcut to the device would be placed on my desktop and in a “Bluetooth Devices” […]

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Solve Network Problems By Resetting the Windows TCP/IP Stack

July 12th, 2009 · Comments Off on Solve Network Problems By Resetting the Windows TCP/IP Stack

There are many things that can prevent you from establishing a network connection. Often times it is an incorrect setting, sometimes it’s a bad driver. Less often, a hardware problem prevents you from connecting. What happens when you’ve checked all those things, but still can’t connect to a network? Resetting the Windows TCP/IP stack will […]

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CD/DVD Drive Not Working (Code 41 Error)

April 2nd, 2009 · 5 Comments

If your CD/DVD/BD drive is not working, and its status is listed as “Code 41″ in device manager, there is a good chance a simple registry edit can fix the issue. Here is what you need to do:

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Fixing Icon Problems By Rebuilding the Windows’ Icon Cache (XP/Vista)

March 29th, 2009 · Comments Off on Fixing Icon Problems By Rebuilding the Windows’ Icon Cache (XP/Vista)

If you have icons that are not displaying correctly (for example, showing a different icon), you may need to rebuild Windows’ icon cache. This does not change any icons, but only clears the cache to get rid of corrupt information. After clearing the icon cache, you may want to increase its size to prevent future […]

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Replace Notepad.exe in Vista with 3rd Party Text Editor

February 5th, 2009 · 2 Comments

There are a plethora of so-called “notepad replacements” available. Some popular ones include Notepad++, PSPad, and Notepad2. All three of these programs can be set as the default editor for text (and other) files, but there are still times when Windows will open a file with plain old Notepad. The solution is to replace the […]

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Enabling And Troubleshooting DMA Mode in Windows

January 6th, 2009 · Comments Off on Enabling And Troubleshooting DMA Mode in Windows

DMA (Direct Memory Access) mode is a high performance mode for transferring data to an from hard drives, optical drives, and other devices attached to an ATA controller. DMA mode allows a computer processor to transfer large pieces of data with very little software overhead, which reduces CPU usage. The alternative transfer mode is called PIO, which is […]

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Take Ownership of Windows Vista Files with Right-Click

December 29th, 2008 · Comments Off on Take Ownership of Windows Vista Files with Right-Click

Windows Vista has a particularly nasty habit of preventing a user from accessing a file they really should have access to. I personally have received “Access Denied” error messages when attempting to delete files I created only seconds earlier. Vista also (intentionally) prevents you from making changes to certain system files, such as the HOSTS […]

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Microsoft SyncToy Leaves .tmp (Temp) Files Behind

December 7th, 2008 · Comments Off on Microsoft SyncToy Leaves .tmp (Temp) Files Behind

I’ve been using Microsoft’s free “SyncToy” program to keep the content on my main computer and my tablet PC synchronized. It works well, and can even be run automatically from the command-line, which opens up all sorts of scheduling possibilities. However, it periodically leaves behind cryptically named temporary files.

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Completely Remove a Damaged McAfee Or Norton Antivirus Installation

November 10th, 2008 · Comments Off on Completely Remove a Damaged McAfee Or Norton Antivirus Installation

I often get calls from customers who 30 or 60 days after buying a new computer begin receiving prompts to “renew” their antivirus subscription. This is a common tactic of McAfee and Norton to get more users. These companies give incentives to computer manufactures to install their antivirus products (along with a 30 or 60 […]

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Posted in: Downloads · Guides

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 […]

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Posted 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 […]

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Posted in: Guides