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

0adobeRestoring Adobe Application Manager updates

In a recent update to Cre­at­ive Suite 6 Adobe have changed the func­tion­al­ity of the Applic­a­tion Man­ager.  This used to launch the same Applic­a­tion Updates win­dow that is avail­able when select­ing Help: Updates from with­in any Adobe App, but it now launches a login win­dow for Cre­at­ive Cloud, which not all CS6 users have or want.  A simple change will have the ori­gin­al func­tion­al­ity restored

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0Alarm Clock LogoKeeping your HTPC clock in sync

I’ve had a long-stand­ing issue with my HTPC where it loses a minute or two every day.  If I leave it switched on for weeks on end, with only standby util­ised, I find that it starts miss­ing the start or end of TV pro­grammes due to hav­ing the wrong time.  I’ve tried modi­fy­ing the win­dows time ser­vice set­tings to make it update reg­u­larly, but this hasn’t worked.  Thanks to an art­icle on Life­Hack­er I recently stumbled upon I’ve now had an accur­ate clock for a couple of weeks.… Read Full Art­icle