Russ' Do It Yourself Home Workshop

Finding Fixes to Just About Anything and Everything

Fix: LG TV Remote Control Suddenly Stops Working

Posted by Russell Wright on August 27, 2014

Most mornings I get up and work out in my "workout" room where I have an older (circa 2000?) LG plasma TV hung on the wall. 

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Well, I push the button on the remote and nothing happens.  I can see the light on the remote coming on with each press of the button, so I feel relatively certain the remote is not the issue.  However, I took the batteries out and tested them anyway.  They were just fine.

The fact that this happened overnight had me puzzled.  I searched the web and found many people discussing this issue, with many replacing the IR receiver in the TV.  There was also discussion about how the output voltage of the IR receiver varied…sometimes low and sometimes high.  Well, in one of these threads I ran across the "remote control in" jack issue posted by vp123ca.  This made some sense.  There is a switch in the "remote control in" jack that disconnects the front remote sensor when a "remote" remote sensor is plugged in.  Over time, the switch corrodes and disconnects the sensor on the front of the TV.  Due to the age of the TV, I found this to be completely plausible.  But, I wasn’t even sure if I had one of these "remote control in" jacks.

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A quick inspection of the back of the TV validated that it did indeed have a "remote control in" jack!

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So, I got my trusty can of contact cleaner out and "spritzed" it.

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I sprayed a bit of contact cleaner in the hole and then used a male 1/8" jack and worked it in and out (sounds a little risqué’) to facilitate the cleaning.  The results?  FIXED!

Posted in Audio and Video | 6 Comments »

Fix OneDrive/SkyDrive on Windows 8.1 Using syncDriver

Posted by Russell Wright on June 24, 2014

Oh man!  Are you tired of this giant screw-up with OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive)?  I’m tired of wasting my time with MS and reading their non-solutions.  When I found syncDriver referenced in the link above, I decided this might be the fix I’m looking for.  It’s small, it’s simple…and it’s an application…not a part of the operating system!

I installed it, fired it up, told it where to sync the files (c:\users\rwright\onedrive) in a folder I provisioned myself, and it was off to the races!

Look!  It has a user interface!  It actually tells you what’s going on!

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Cool…options!  Exactly what you would expect.

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And…oh boy…wait for this!  You can choose the folders you want to sync!

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Need some proxy-ing to get in/out of your environment?  Thar it is!

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Look, it’s in your tray…because it is…wait for it…an application!

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And look-ee here.  It’s got a right-click menu…just like a reel application!

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So far, so good.  More to come.

2014-06-25 Update:

syncDriver is operating well and I have moved all my documents from my “broken” SkyDrive folder in my old user profile to my new OneDrive, powered by syncDriver, folder in my new user profile.  I used WinDiff to compare the two directories to validate I wasn’t missing anything…except for those in the old SkyDrive folder that hadn’t been kept up-to-date.

2015-07-17 Update:

Okay, now to turn off the original OneDrive sync completely refer to this article.  Basically you are editing this registry setting.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Skydrive]
"DisableFileSync"=dword:00000001

2016-05-12 Update:

Well, my OneDrive has been broken on my Yoga for several months and I just got to looking at it.  syncDriver could not log into my OneDrive account.  However, my OneDrive account and my credentials were just fine.  I was getting an error, “Your IT department made a change that prevents you form syncing your personal OneDrive on this computer” when I viewed the OneDrive settings.  I uninstalled syncDriver, thinking I was going to get rid of it and try to go back to the MS OneDrive sync, but then found there’s a group policy that might be causing the problem.

In gpedit.msc (Group Policy editor) find this:  Local Computer Policy | Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | OneDrive | Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage.  The default for me was Not Configured.  I changed it to Disabled and that appears to have made OneDrive available again. 

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I re-installed syncDriver and it immediately started syncing once again.  Yay!

Posted in Computer Software | Leave a Comment »

Installing Cisco VPN Client 5.0.07.0440-k9 vs 5.0.07.0290 on Windows 8.1

Posted by Russell Wright on June 20, 2014

Being a consultant, I have about every VPN client known to man installed on my PCs.  Recently I was required to use an older version of the Cisco VPN client for one of my clients’ jobs.  They directed me to 5.0.07.0290.  I wanted to see if I could get it installed on my Windows 8.1 (Lenovo Yoga 13) PC, so here’s what I did.

I initially received an error:  VPN Client install – Error 27850.  Doing some Googling, I found a newer version, 5.0.07.0440-K9, which I found I already had on another Windows 7 PC.  So I decided to try it.  Same error. 

I started mucking with the registry to no avail and then found the secret sauce.  It all has to do with some “Deterministic Networks” drivers.  Apparently Citrix acquired Deterministic Networks some time ago, so the fixes are available on their site.

Download Winfix.exe and DNEUpdate64 (are there still people using 32-bit?) from Citrix (Citrix acquired Deterministic Networks).  Here’s the main page.  http://www.citrix.com/go/lp/dne.html

Winfix:  ftp://files.citrix.com/winfix.exe

DNEUpdate64:  ftp://files.citrix.com/dneupdate64.msi

DNEUpdate 32-bit:  ftp://files.citrix.com/dneupdate.msi

  1. Run Winfix and then reboot.
  2. Run dneupdate64 (and then I rebooted, not sure if you need to)
  3. Download later version of Cisco VPN client (5.0.07.0440).  Again not sure if 5.0.07.0290 will work or not.
  4. Put any PCF files in the new Cisco VPN client installation folder so it picks them up or you can import them later.
  5. Run the Cisco VPN client installation (it should work fine).

The installation ran fine and the connection was good.  No problems. 

Posted in Computer Software, Networking | 1 Comment »

Changing the Location (Moving) OneDrive Folder on Windows 8.1 Doesn’t Work

Posted by Russell Wright on June 3, 2014

Best I can tell, moving the location of your OneDrive folder from one user profile folder to another doesn’t work.

Navigating to my SkyDrive (OneDrive) folder in my former user profile (c:\users\Russell)…

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And attempting to change it to my new profile location, c:\users\rwright\onedrive…

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Selecting “Yes…”

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After a little while of Windows churning…

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Just FYI, I’ve tried moving it to a folder named SkyDrive and OneDrive and both give the same results.

If it can’t be moved here, where can it be moved?  And why?

Here’s the response:

Every Microsoft account (user account) will have it’s own files and settings. At the moment, you are trying to move OneDrive folder to a different Users folder (different user account). This will not be possible due to security reasons related to the Microsoft account that you use to access OneDrive.

Again, each user account will have it’s own OneDrive folder (in case it’s a Microsoft account).

Also, you can’t switch between accounts in the OneDrive app. When you sign in to a PC with your Microsoft account, you’re automatically signed in to OneDrive with that account. You can still get to OneDrive files for a different account by going to the OneDrive website.

For reference:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/onedrive-app-faq

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/onedrive/forum/sdfiles-sdsync/how-do-i-change-the-location-of-the-onedrive/09f3e1f0-38a7-4f09-a71b-d92bbc95cace

Please let us know if you have more queries on Windows.

The reference for moving a OneDrive folder is exactly what I tried to do.

How can I move my OneDrive to a different location on my PC?
  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Press and hold or right-click OneDrive in the left pane.

  3. Tap or click Properties, and then tap or click the Location tab.

  4. Tap or click Move.

  5. Pick any folder that’s on a drive formatted with the NTFS file system, and then tap or click Select Folder.

  6. In the Move Folder dialog box, tap or click Yes.

 

And more FAQ information:

Can I sign in with a different account to browse a different OneDrive?

You can’t switch between accounts in the OneDrive app. When you sign in to a PC with your Microsoft account, you’re automatically signed in to OneDrive with that account. You can still get to OneDrive files for a different account by going to the OneDrive website.

 

So, what I want to do is use a new domain account for logging on to my PC and simply “link” my domain account to my existing OneDrive account.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal, does it?  Worked fine on Windows 7.

And then, in this OLD response, Edmond_A says to use the “Unlink” function, which of course he doesn’t detail where one finds it or how one runs it, but I can only assume it’s for Windows 7, since it’s so old.

Edmond_A. replied on April 23, 2012

Microsoft Forum Moderator

You must use the Unlink function and go through the first-run experience where you will have the option to change the location of the OneDrive folder on your computer.

 

If you go online, you can see how to remove PCs, but this appears to be for fetching files and is no longer supported on Windows 8.1, so this appears to be a dead end.  I’ll go ahead and remove Tabula from the list of PCs.

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So if I go to the OneDrive settings, it is not obvious how to set an account for OneDrive to use.  Wouldn’t it make sense here to store the account OneDrive uses to log in?  Isn’t that how it worked on Windows 7?

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When I look at my accounts under PC Settings on the metro side, it shows my domain account and my Microsoft account, but no where can I find how to link a OneDrive account back to my PC.

So my question remains.  How do I associate my domain account to my OneDrive account and move its current location, which is under my previous profile?  This should be easy, guys…

 

Posted in Computer Software | Leave a Comment »

Lenovo Yoga 13 Screen Won’t Autorotate

Posted by Russell Wright on May 24, 2014

There seems to be an outstanding issue for many with the Lenovo Yoga 13 where the screen doesn’t automatically rotate.  I know on mine I’ve had this issue. Here are a couple of things to check.

First, when you are in notebook (laptop) mode, on the right edge of the keyboard portion of the machine is a small button.  This locks/unlocks the screen rotation.

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Reading through this post on the Lenovo support forum gave me lots of ideas of things to check.  I usually go to the end of these types of posts to see if there’s been any resolution, instead of just complaints.  Some of the ideas…

  • Reboot the computer
  • Reinstall the chipset drivers
  • Reinstall Windows
  • Take the computer back where you bought it

What I found in device manager was a message in the device status area that stated something in the Sensor Collection couldn’t start.  Unfortunately, I didn’t capture it at the time.  However, I simply disabled and enabled the HID Sensor Collection and the screen rotation function began working again.

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So, I’m relieved to know it’s not a hardware issue, but what caused this to become “broken” is unknown at this time.

Posted in Computer Repair | 6 Comments »

Moving an ESXi VM from One Datastore to Another

Posted by Russell Wright on May 16, 2014

I installed a Samsung EVO 840 1TB SSD in our Dell R520 that is running ESXi.  We currently have 1TB RAID 0 and 2TB RAID 0 arrays made with Constellation ES.2 drives, so I thought I’d try an SSD to see how much "better-er" I could make it.

To make this work you can use a standard drive tray (purchased from eBay for $11.79) and a 3.5-to-2.5 SATA adapter (also purchased from eBay for $9.99). In this case, I installed a Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD that I also acquired from eBay ($445.00).

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You can see I failed to peel off all the plastic protective coating on the adapter, but hopefully that won’t be a big deal.  Just be sure to install the two screws on the adapter and the SSD prior to installing the adapter in the drive tray!

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I powered everything down and slid it in and then powered it all back up.  I probably didn’t need to do that (hot swap should work), but I wanted to compare the alignment of my adapter with one of the installed drives to make sure it looked like it was going to match up okay.  You never know when you use third party hardware.

Once you get the SSD installed, you can choose to make all or part of it a cache for VMWare to use.  You can set this in the Host Cache Configuration software setting in the Configuration tab of the vSphere client.

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Right-clicking on the SSD and selecting Properties… will allow you to select the amount of space you want to use for a host cache.

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So my goal was to move my SQL VM first.  There are many ways documented to do this, such as using the manual vmkfstools method, as documented in this thread by telecastle.  However, in my experience I’ve found it’s much easier to use VMWare vCenter Converter Standalone to move VMs around. 

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So, let’s do this and see how it works.  One picture is worth 1000 words, so here are some pictures to document the process.

First, you need to get the s/w, if you don’t already have it.  Google "download vmware standalone converter" and you should find it here.  You’ll have to register and log in to access it.

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We are starting a conversion process and selecting the source, which is an ESXi box.

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Make sure the VM is powered off.

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The destination is the same ESXi machine.

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We need to give it a new name…and it can’t be the same as one in the current inventory.

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Select the SSD datastore.  Note that, even though I don’t show it here, you should be careful about what Virtual machine version you choose.  I initially chose Version 10 (wasn’t paying attention) and found that the vSphere client can’t manage any VM over version 9.  Also, it can’t create a VM over version 8.  So, I decided to go back and convert my Version 10 to Version 8.

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The job is almost ready to go.  You have one last time to make some edits.

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Now we’re ready to start it!

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And the job has been submitted and is off and running.  Now just sit back, relax, and exercise your patience.  I don’t know about you, but I much prefer this to the command line stuff.

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Posted in Computer Software | Leave a Comment »

Dropped Connections on SAP and the KeepAlive (rdisp/keepalive) Parameter

Posted by Russell Wright on April 28, 2014

We were experiencing issues with our SAP GUI connections dropping somewhat randomly, but more so when connected wirelessly or through VPN to our SonicWALL TZ 200.  This is probably a result of the SonicWALL aggressively closing connections and therefore causing SAP to drop the connection to the client.  In the SM21 log, a dropped connection entry looks like this.

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There are several parameters in SAP that deal with connections, but we’re not talking about wanting to forcibly log off clients from our demo/test system.  What we want is to keep the connection to SAP alive as long as possible.  SAP OSS note 27320 provides a better definition of a couple of the parameters in question.  The definitions are repeated here for convenience.

rdisp/keepalive
——————–
Parameter for application servers, unit seconds, default 1200.
If the frontend has not sent any data to the application server for "keepalive" seconds, the
application server sends a short "Ping" message to the frontend. The frontend should answer within
the next 40 seconds with "Pong", otherwise the application server assumes that the link is dead and
releases all resources to the corresponding user. An error line "DP_CONN_DEAD" then appears in the
trace file dev_disp.
This usually occurs when a user switches off their PC without carrying out the shutdown procedure.
A value of 0 means that no check occurs.

rdisp/gui_auto_logout
————————-
Parameter for application servers, unit seconds, default 0.
If the frontend has not sent any data to the application server for "gui_auto_logout" seconds, the
frontend closes the user connection and releases the resources.
A value of 0 means that no users are logged off automatically.

One way to carry out this change, use the RZ10 transaction.

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Select the appropriate Instance profile.

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Select Extended maintenance and the Change button.

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Select the Parameter button to add a new parameter.

 

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Enter the rdisp/keepalive parameter and a number of seconds.  I’ve entered 180 seconds (3 minutes) in this case.  Press Enter to validate.

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Select Copy.

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You should see the parameter entered.

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When you back out of the transaction, it will ask you to save your changes.

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You should see a validation that the changes were accepted.

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Now check your work by selecting the profile and selecting Display.

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You should see the rdisp/keepalive parameter.

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You now need to recycle your SAP instance for the parameter to be enforced.

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Posted in Computer Software, SAP | Leave a Comment »

Getting SQL Express to Listen So You Can Connect Remotely

Posted by Russell Wright on April 22, 2014

Dang!  We had a situation where a new tool we were implementing in our back office, BillQuick Web Services 2014, would not use SQL Server since we purchased the "Pro" version and not the "Enterprise" version.  Unfortunately, it appears the trial version we installed has all the enterprise version capabilities and, after entering our license information, we were locked down to the pro version and it wouldn’t connect to the SQL Server anymore.

So, that meant I needed to install SQL Express to support the tool.  Okay, no biggie…except for the fact that SQL Express does not enabled Named Pipes or TCP/IP protocols, by default.  This took me a bit to figure out.

This is not a new problem, as posted by Peter van Ooijen in 2006.  Some things never change…

The easy way to fix this is to use SQL Server Configuration Manager.

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Navigate to the Protocols section for your SQL Express instance and switch it on! 

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And if that’s not enough, you need to change the TCP/IP properties to listen on the correct port.  I set the port to 1077 (one the SQL Server is NOT listening on).  It appears if you set it in the the IPAll section, the same port will be used for each IP address and you only have to enter it one time.

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Oh, and then recycle your SQL server instance!

The connection string to use looks like this.

SQLServer\Instance,Port

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Posted in Computer Software, SQL Server | Leave a Comment »

First Alert 9120B Smoke Detector Keeps Chirping/Beeping

Posted by Russell Wright on April 4, 2014

I had a smoke detector that kept chirping.  Thinking it was a battery problem, I replaced the battery even though the battery that was in it tested out okay.  Now, this is a smoke detector located at the top of the stairs, so I had to get my folding ladder out to get to it.  You know…two ladder feet on a stair and the other two feet of the ladder on the top of the stair landing with 6′-1", 210 lb. me standing on the ladder, reaching for the ceiling.  Not a pretty sight.  And, to make matters worse, the dang thing kept on beeping after I replaced the battery.

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So, standing on the ladder (I didn’t put it away because I thought this might happen), I removed the smoke detector by rotating it CCW to detach it from its base so I could get to the plug on the back.  After unplugging it (and not falling off the ladder) I took it downstairs and removed the cover.  There are three plastic tabs/clips that can be released, one-at-a-time, to allow you to remove the cover.  I took the naked smoke detector out to the garage and fired up the air compressor (what…you don’t have one?) and blew the sensor clean.  I reassembled the detector (snapped it together) and put the original battery back in it and voila, no more chirping!

This detector is located near our attic fan, so I’m thinking it gets a lot of dust and particulate matter blown by it when the fan runs.  However, it looked very clean on the inside, but blowing it out appears to have done the trick.

Posted in Home Repair, Misc Repair | 3 Comments »

Fix Your Logitech H760 Wireless Headphones Before They Become Worthless

Posted by Russell Wright on January 28, 2014

If you’re like me and have a pair of these fairly expensive ($60-$80) Logitech headphones, model H760, you might find their weakness is in the plastic that is part of the headband that connects the headphones together.  Many people have issues with the plastic breaking, rendering them useless.  If you contact Logitech and have a receipt, they’ll probably replace them for you because they’ve had so many complaints. 

I couldn’t find my receipt so I "fixed" them using some tie wraps as shown.  There was enough left of the plastic this seems to be holding.  If you don’t have one of these tie wrap guns,  67076 Adjustable Cable Tie GunI’d suggest you get one for all the "rigging" you do around your home.

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Posted in Misc Repair | 1 Comment »