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I'm a Tech Guy for over 30 Years Knowledge of Computers, Networks, PC Gadgets. This site is to be used to share some of my knowledge and reviews
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ASUS

The company ASUS is one of the greatest computer component I love. I ONLY use ASUS motherboards for my PCs and my low end servers. Why? Over the last 27+ years I have dealt with PCs and mostly the ones I have built are with ASUS Motherboards. They may be a bit more money (but not much for better MB) I believe I have had 4 faulty motherboards over 27 years (not including lightning strikes) 4 OVER 1000’s of motherboards!!. There are a 10+ year old motherboard no matter the manufacture it will likely fail BUT I find the ASUS MB hardly EVER FAIL. There has been times that I had to use other motherboards. ASrock. (the lower version of ASUS) seem to fail early. Gigabyte. The second MB manufacturer that I (at the time) thought were a second replacement. NOT!!!. There were a 2 month time I had a hard time getting an ASUS MB. So for my clients I got a Gigabit MB. Out of the 10 Gigabyte MBs I installed 5 DIED!! within 2 years!! Never would have done this with an ASUS motherboard.

Routers. I use D-link lower routers but most under $50 routers they fail within 3 years. The ASUS routers that I install Tomato Shibby Firmware last for years!. I usually get the ASUS video cards over other manufacturer.

For my preference is ASUS for MB.  ASUS for mid routers. ASUS for laptops better than Acer.

For home phones, TVs, etc I find Panasonic as a great product.

For the pronunciation of ASUS I ALWAYS say ” A SUS” Why? Well the creator named ASUS after Pegasus. How do pronounce the last part of pegasus. NOT A SOOS!!

That is my two cents. How does anyone else feel about ASUS!!

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Cloning Backup Solutions

I have been using cloning software for a long time. There are 3 cloning software I use on a regular basis.

The first one is one of the oldest cloning software. Ghost. It is lately developed from Symantec. I am not sure if its up to date or still supported.  I list it as the first one I have used AND its the one that if the others don’t work I will use. It will allow to copy a failing drive to a new drive. There is no guaranty that the new drive will boot but it should copy the drive. It all depends on how bad the failing drive is.

If I need to just copy to a new drive for a quick backup or going to a larger drive (as long as the drive is not failing) I use Acronis True Image.

It does a decent job of cloning as long as the source drive is not that much damage. I use a boot CD or USB drive to do the copy.

The third option depends on the client. I like Casper. Its a software that will clone the drive while running the OS. I have used this on a number of clients that have Windows Servers that use this as one of the backup options to clone the drive in case a catastrophe happens and I need to boot from a good clone drive. I also normally have a Windows Server Backup (Built in to the OS) just in case I have to restore to a different supported hardware.

I also use Casper as an option to clone several PCs in a new upgrade installations with the same hardware. Really easy to use and implement.

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Liking Windows 10 When Changing Hardware

 I have an old Acer AMD small desktop for 7 years. It has worked great for what I need. I basically have it attached to my main TV upstairs to allow me to run Kodi, Netflix etc. I changed the HD a while back from the standard SATA HD with an older 120GB SSD because I don’t need  the space. Just the speed. Everything was working fine till lately that it was freezing restarting etc. Tried a few things to change but basically feel its the motherboard that was causing the issue. So I got a used i3 desktop. Moved the HD and the Wifi PCIe Wifi adapter. It booted, restarted a few times picking up new hardware and there I was I did not have to install hardware drivers. The motherboard, CPU, chipset, video card are all different and it booted fine and installed all the drivers. They were standard devices so Windows found the drivers fine. If I had a special video card or sound card I likely would have to reinstall the drivers but since the hardware was not something largely normal it worked fine. If I tried to do this with Windows XP I likely would have had to do a repair. Something that I wish was available with Windows 7. Windows 7 might have refused to boot and would have done a new install.

Even after all this I even did not have to activate the Windows. Something that I have done before and I had to reactivate. If I had to do this I was not worried. The PC came with a Windows 7 Key so I could have used this if needed.

 

 

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Administrator On Server Gets Error When Trying To Personalize Desktop Icons

I have seen this on many of my servers when I am a Domain Administrator on a 2012 or 2016 server and try and configure to add Computer icon on desktop under personalize (and other things) I get the following error:

C:\Windows\system32\rundll32.exe

Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.”

Found the solution here.

Basically run gpedit.msc

Then go to Computer Configuration—> Windows Settings—> Security Settings —> Local Policies—> Security Options, then enable “User Account Control: Admin Approval Mode for the Built-in Administrator account”, after all restart Windows to take effect. Figure as below:

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Delete Old Windows Backups

When using Windows Backup on servers it seems that the backup drive can get full. MS is suppose to automatically clean up backups but I find it does not.

For my example I have a backup drive on G: drive. To clean up old backups off this drive you open a command prompt with Administrator privileges then type the following:

diskshadow

Then type one of the following.

To delete just the oldest backup type:

delete shadows oldest G:

To delete all the shadow backups from G:

delete shadows volume G:

 

Info from the following sites

site1

site2

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Outlook Can’t Open Attachments

Have seen this on a couple computers. Usually people running Outlook 2010. After a Windows/Office update they can’t open attachments. In Outlook it will specify something like attachment is unsafe. One of them was .docx. Microsoft does not want you to open their own file format for Word in Outlook!! I understand why they are providing better security but if you can’t open attachments in Outlook that you normally would it gives major problems.

The culprit is an Outlook Security update (KB3203467) for Outlook 2010 or (KB3191932) for Outlook 2016. This update came from June 13th 2017.

Caused by KB3191898 Outlook 2007
KB3203467 Outlook 2010
KB3191938 Outlook 2013
KB3191932 Outlook 2016.

Here is a site that describes others having this issue. Likely will be fixed in next round of updates I hope.

To fix the problem is to uninstall the update from Control Panel-Program and Features-Show updates and search for it. Once uninstalled you will need to hide this update so that it will not come back. For Windows 10 you will need a utility to hide the update.

Addendum

Here is an article from Windows Secrets that also talks about the issue and currently no fix.

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Mapi was unable to load the information service APLZOD.dll

Client with Outlook 2016 with iCloud add-on could not open Calendars. Got the following error:

The set of folders cannot be opened. An unexpected error has occurred. MAPI was unable to load the information service C:\PROGRA~2\COMMON~1\Apple\INTERN~1\APLZOD.dll. Be sure the service is correctly installed and configured.

Its related to iCloud not working. Googled it and there were some suggestions. Here is one.

Another suggestion it could be related to latest Outlook 2016 security update (KB3191932) for Outlook 2016 that came out June 14, 2017 but that was not installed. After trying a few things I had to repair iCloud for Programs and Features. Restarted. Went into iCloud settings and removed the sync to Outlook. Then enabled the sync to Outlook and it solved the problem.

 

 

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Is There A Laptop That You Can Change Battery Easily

I currently have 2 Laptops that I use. I have an 8+ year old Acer Travelmate core 2 duo Laptop I use for work. Rarely used. Battery changed about 4 years ago but now battery does not last that long. I use it to troubleshoot network issues. It still works well. Has a 500GB WD Black drive. Boots decently speed for the age of it. It still works well so I am not complaining. My second laptop I have basically use at home and currently using now. I love this laptop!! The biggest issue about it is that it has a MAJOR issue boot from cold. Its a Lenovo E540. Its an issue that majority ALL users that own it have had. Basically Lenovo says there is no issue. With the amount of users that have the same issue with the same product and they will not do anything unless it was still under warranty and people that did get a replacement still have the same issue. If it was not the cold boot issue (basically it will not boot and the only way to get it to boot is either disconnect the CMOS battery or remove mem (which is very easily done)). Some times it works for the first time. Other times it does not. What I do to prevent this to happen is keep the laptop in sleep mode. If I close the lid it goes to sleep. I have change all settings such that it would take 4 days to not be in sleep mode. I keep it plugged in all the time.

So why do I love this Laptop. First it has a i7-4720HQ CPU. Its a true quad core with HT for a laptop. Second it has 8GB Ram and 128GB SSD HD. The keyboard is the best keyboard on a laptop I have ever dealt with. It has a DVD, full Ethernet adapter, VGA, HDMI full USB ports and a removable battery!! It may be a bit more than most laptops but its expandable and a removable battery!! It currently the 2nd fastest CPU I have at home compared to my sons desktop i7.

It has Windows  10 with no bloatware. It takes fewer than 4 seconds to boot from hibernation. Under 1 second from sleep. It boots extremely fast!! Every PC/ Laptop should do the same!!

So the 2 laptops I have can easily change the battery. I have notest over the last few years is that its extremely hard to find a laptop that you can easily change the battery ( let alone mem or hd).

One example is I have supplied high end  HP Laptops . I liked them because for expand ability was one large back plate with no screws open the option to replace memory, hd and battery. They changed the model and now it takes lots of screws to undue the back plate. (It would not be much to be the way the older way would be!!) . That frustrates me!!

It seems any laptop,tablet and sometimes all in one PCs now a day is a throw away. The companies can make more money if the people change their product ever 4 years rather than upgrade or replace batteries etc!!

 

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Outlook Prints Only One Page Then Stuck

At a clients site that was having printing issues. Could print from any program fine except Outlook. Soon as they printed from Outlook it would only print first page and then nothing else and nothing else could print until turning the printer off then on. Turns out that the page type in the memo style printing from Outlook was A4 type paper and not letter. Changed it to letter and everything is printing fine. Seems changing the type in the memo style stays till you change it again.

Also to set the default paper type in the memo style change it here:

Click on File > Print > Print Options > select “Memo Style” and then click “Define Styles” > Click “Edit” > Then select the “Paper” Tab, and select your paper Type etc.

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Eastlink Arris Modem/Router DG3270 With Maestro Setup With Another Router

I just recently switch from Bell ADSL 10MBit/1MBit service (Fastest Bell can offer at my location) to Eastlink Cable Internet 150MBit/10MBit service. The cost of Bell with Satellite and Phone is more than what I am paying for Eastlink TV/Internet/Phone and I’m getting 150MBit service!!

Now I have a main ASUS RTN-66U router I use with Tomato firmware on it. Its setup with VPN and other stuff I like. Issue is with the new Eastlink Modem/Router it says because its Maestro package I can’t change it to just a modem in bridge mode or it will kill my TV service. My solution for this is I setup a DMZ to an IP of 192.168.0.X I then change my ASUS router to use the same static IP on the WAN side. Now my VPN and other stuff is working!

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