Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

MS Vista

Skype video not working on an HP Vista laptop

We had a client whose webcam would no longer work on her HP Vista Laptop. There were messages about ‘a failure to render’ and that Directx was not correctly installed.

We got repeated errors while trying to reinstall Directx. We also checked the video in Device Manager and Windows claimed that the drivers were up to date.

We ran Windows Update and found that Vista had not yet been updated to SP1. We updated to SP1 and all current updates. The problem persisted. Continue reading

Copying files from a non bootable Vista machine using Knoppix

If you have a non bootable vista machine it is a good idea to back up the files on the drives before trying any type of major repair such as a Hive replacement or repair install.

One method to do this is to use a Knoppix boot CD. Knoppix is a Linux based OS that will run from a CD.

The steps are straightforward but somewhat involved. Continue reading

Workaround for Vista photo printing

I have an HP Laserjet 1012 on a print server on my soho network. The problem is that it is not visible from the Vista print dialog. I needed to print some docs that were scanned as jpgs

I found an easy workaround. Simply print the pics to a pdf. If you have acrobat, it will be easy to so. If not, you can download a free appp such as cutepdf. Once you have the pages in pdfc formt you should be able to easily print the pdf. Continue reading

Vista home and automatic restart after downloading updates

Vista home has a very annoying tendency to try to reboot after doing an automatic windows update.

Great idea.. let’s make sure the updates get installed. … HOWEVER, tonight I was working on copying files from a client’s dead .. well dying.. laptop. There were tons of family pics so I started copying that over. About 10 minutes later I get the “Click here or windows is gonna reboot” dialog. I set it for four hours but I have a nagging feeling that the system would reboot before the copy was done. I don’t feel like setting the alarm for four hours to make sure I’m back to babysit. Continue reading

Anyone know how to make the Outlook 2007 “Click for more appointments” button stand out?

I’ve found that Outlook 2007 is a little irritating in the way that it presents the “click for more appointments” indicator in the Calendar view.

The problem occurs in the calendar view when you have more than about 3 appointments. Since it can’t show them all, it shows a small down triangle indicator at the bottom right of that day. The problem is that the indicator is a pale pastel. There is very little contrast between the indicator and the background. Therefore it is VERY easy to miss. Continue reading

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