0Enable access to the c$ share on Windows 7 and newer

I have a range of HTPCs running windows around the house, which I largely administer via remote desktop. Occasionally it is useful to access the root of the C drive remotely. Windows has always catered for this by creating some default administrative shares, which are hidden. The C drive is accessed via \\remote-pc\c$ for example. In windows 7 I found I wasn’t able to access these shares by default as they have been restricted (understandably). I needed a way to make them accessible again.
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1Fixed: Media Center PC wakes in wrong resolution

Since I upgraded my HTPC to an AMD A5400 series (from the old E350) I have had a problem where on wake from sleep the resolution would be set wrong (1024×768 I think) instead of the full 1920×1080 that the TV supports. Exiting media center would trigger a resolution correction and then media center could be reloaded without issue. This was not satisfactory as a solution.
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0Inside HDD LogoCloning a system disk

The next job on my festive technical support rounds was to upgrade my old man’s laptop HDD to a new SSD. In the past such upgrades have usually involved other components and necessitated a fresh install of windows, but with this upgrade being just one component, to a Windows 7 PC, I decided time was ripe for a fresh investigation of the possibility of cloning the old drive onto the new
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0DVB LogicFixed: DVBLink media center playready message

I’ve been using DVBLink to share TV around my home for several years. Of all the issues with it, the most dreaded is the “Play Ready” error on Windows Media Center clients. The problem is this error message is meaningless – it is generated by Media Center, and just means it can’t get a signal from the tuner. The failure could be anywhere behind the scenes. Recently my 2 main clients started throwing this error completely out of the blue.
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0Karoo ADSL settings

Having completed the migration of the site to the new server, and with the festive season upon us, I’m back being the family technical support. First challenge of this year was to restore service to my grandfathers broadband which hasn’t been working since he mistakenly pressed the reset button on his wireless router.
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0Media Player Classic - Home Cinema LogoPlay BluRays and DVD’s in MediaCenter with MPC-HC

I’ve long run Windows Media Center on my HTPCs in combination with DVBLink and MediaBrowser. However, recently we have been watching more physical disks than in the past, and I have found various issues with Media Center. Usually I have MPC-HC configured as an external player, but doing this for physical disks proved less than simple. Eventually however, I have managed to get it working flawlessly.

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0Fix grey letterbox bars on LG Plasma TV

I have an LG Plasma TV as part of my main HTPC setup.  Although I calibrated it (and turned off things like dynamic contrast) when I first got it, I have always had an issue with the letterbox bars (e.g. on 2.4:1 ratio films) looking grey – i.e. being lighter than the darkest parts of the film.  I googled to try to find a solution but was eventually convinced by repeated forums that it was just my perception and eventually gave up.

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0Ultrabook logo laptop vaio sonyBluetooth drivers for Sony Vaio unknown device

I was recently asked to look at a Sony Vaio VPCSB which was detecting new hardware on every Windows boot.  The machine was otherwise working well.  Upon inspection I discovered that there were several unknown devices which seemed to be related to Bluetooth.  I reinstalled the latest drivers from the Sony website but this failed to clear the unknown devices.  The search was on…… Read Full Article

0Asus E35M1-I Deluxe Wi-Fi AMD Fusion Mini-ITX MotherboardFixing stability issues with Asus E35M1-M Pro

The basis of my main HTPC is an AMD E350 Brazos in the form of an Asus E35M1-M Pro. I had quite a lot of problems with the system when I first built it, which were caused by issues with the Seagate Momentus XT storage drive I used. These were fixed a good while ago via firmware update from Seagate, and since then the system has largely worked without any issue…. Read Full Article