0GigaByte Dynamic Energy Saver LogoAudio issues with gigabyte power saver

I’ve been suffering from audio distortion issues when playing back movies on my recently rebuilt HTPC. After much testing I discovered a solution – disabling (in my case by uninstalling) the gigabyte dynamic energy saver utility. I am not sure if this tool only causes problems because of my specific configuration of codecs, but it certainly did cause problems across a range of hardware and media players. Disabling it immediately resolved the problem.

0DVD Shrink LogoAutomate DVD Ripping on Windows 7

With my recent HTPC project now working really well, I want to rip my collection of DVDs to my media server for more convenient playback in Windows 7 Media Center (and all the additional benefits associated with Media Browser, particularly the meta data on ratings, synopsis, etc). Ripping DVDs, whilst straightforward is rather tedious. I found an excellent method of automating the process was to modify my autoplay settings with AutoPlay Repair, and point the autoplay to a program called DVD Rip which automates the ripping of DVDs with the well known DVD Shrink.
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0Windows Media Center eHome LogoFixed: Media Center 7 behind taskbar on startup

I’ve had a very irritating problem with my new Windows 7 Media Center HTPC setup. I have 7MC set to load fullscreen on startup (as the PC is a dedicated HTPC), but something I changed at some point was causing the taskbar to show on top of Media Center (i.e. Media Center didn’t have window focus) and therefore my remote control didn’t work until using the mouse function to click on Media Center to refocus it (at which point the taskbar disappears).
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0Creating Windows 7 DVD from digital distribution

I got my copy of windows 7 via digital purchase, and after running the downloaded EXE was left with the contents of a setup CD in a folder. Now i want to do a clean install so I need to create a bootable DVD. A bit of googling revealed the way to do this. Download and install WAIK for windows 7 from microsoft. Install it, and then use the command line as follows…
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0Inside HDD LogoSpeed up SSDs, especially in netbooks

I recently upgraded the SSD in an Asus eeePC 901, and whilst the size and performance were both better, the performance upgrade still wasn’t on par with even a 5+ year old laptop HDD. The problem with most SSDs, especially the cheaper ones, is that they usually have very poor write performance with small files. This can make windows very sluggish and unresponsive at times.
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0Microsoft Office Outlook LogoGet rid of the outlook reading pane

One of the most irritating things in MS Outlook is the reading pane. Not only is it turned on by default, but according to Microsoft there is no way to change this default. Well, I beg to differ….

Below are specific instructions for Outlook 2007. Other versions of outlook will no doubt differ slightly, but it should be possible to find the same settings
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0Windows Media Player LogoSwitching the default WMP to x64 in Windows 7

One of the strangest things in Windows 7 x64 is the presence of both x86 and x64 versions of Windows Media Player 12. Even stranger is that despite Windows Media Center being 64bit only (and therefore requiring 64bit codecs) Microsoft saw fit to set the default WMP12 version to the x86 edition. For those of us who don’t wish to maintain 2 sets of codecs it is desirable to change this default status. However, Microsoft do not appear to have provided a simple way to do this as yet. So here’s how…
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0Inside HDD LogoUpgrading the SSD in an eeePC 901

I’ve recently been asked to upgrade the SSD drive in an Asus eeePC 901. Rather than write about it in detail here I’ll just say that the operation was painless and a great success, mostly thanks to the excellent guide provided at BitTech

I replaced the default 4gig SSD (leaving the 16gig one intact) with a similar speed 16gig drive which cost £43 from ebay

0Windows 7 empty “all programs”

I’ve been using the RC1 (7100) build of Windows 7 and have been largely very impressed, enough so to consider buying upgrades for all my current PC’s. However, I recently had an issue with the “All Programs” menu going blank for no obvious reason. As usual a bit of digging with google offered the following temporary workaround.
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0Nokia 6101 logoGetting a Nokia 6101 working via CA-42 cable with PC Suite

I’ve had some real issues connecting an old Nokia 6101 to a laptop via a genuine Nokia CA-42 cable. Despite repeated attempts to get help from Nokia the problem remained unresolved until recently. The procedure which appears to have resolved the issue is as follows

  1. Remove the nokia cable driver supplied with PC Suite. This can be achieved by downloading the installer for the cable driver, running it, and choosing to remove. This leaves PC Suite intact. but removes the driver for the CA-42 cable which didn’t seem to work.
  2. Download and extract the alternative cable driver, available on the downloads page
  3. Plug in the cable and when windows detects it and prompts for a driver, point it to the extracted alternative driver