Lenovo IdeaCentre Blue Screen of Death Problem Solved – Stop 0x00000124

One user bought a Lenovo IdeaCentre computer. It came with an Intel Core i7 6th gen processor, one 120GB SSD and 1TB HDD at a good price. We helped him install Windows 7 on it. The machine was stable when I worked on it, but the user reported it crashed repeatedly when he tried to use it. The machine usually crashed with this message:

A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.
The problem seems to be caused by the following file: hal.dll

If you look at the log, you can see this:

Log Name: System
Source: Microsoft-Windows-WER-SystemErrorReporting
Date: 6/2/2016 9:17:02 PM
Event ID: 1001
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Computer: mycomputer
The computer has rebooted from a bugcheck. The bugcheck was: 0x00000124 (0x0000000000000004, 0xfffffa800df4b8d8, 0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000). A dump was saved in: C:\WINDOWS\MEMORY.DMP. Report Id: 060216-10140-01.

I googled for information and a lot of people are saying this is a hardware problem. I did some hardware diagnostic tests, but I didn’t find anything wrong with the system. I then checked Lenovo’s site for driver updates and applied all available updates. After all the updates are applied, the system is still crashing.

I then tried out several drivers, and finally found out what’s wrong with the system. The problem was due to a video card driver. The video card driver was downloaded from Lenovo, but it’s causing the system to crash. I installed an updated version of the driver from Nvidia and the problem went away.

This is the link for the driver download on


Windows Command Line Tool to Delete Free Space on Hard Drive

For those who does not know why we need to delete free space on hard drive, whenever we delete a file, even if we empty the trash can. The file is not actually deleted, it’s only marked as deleted. With proper tool, you can still recover the file. If you are worried about someone might recover your deleted files, you need to delete the free space on your hard drive, so that the files cannot be recovered again.

There are a lot of 3rd party software which does this. However, Windows already has a built in command line tool for this. This tool is available since Windows 8. To use it, it’s quite simple. First, open up an elevated command prompt. Then type in the following command:

cipher /w:e:\

In this example, e:\ is the drive which we want to delete the free space. Substitute it with the drive letter on your system. Note that depending on the size of your hard drive, it might take a while to finish. cipher is a very useful command line tool. It can be used to encrypt directories on NTFS file system. For usage, you can type

cipher /?

to see the details.

Samba Problem after Updating to 3.6.23-30

One CentOS 6 Linux server got the newest Samba 3.6.23-30 update last week. This is a critical update to fix the Badlock bug. After applying the update, we had some machines which could not connect to the Samba service any more. All the machines in the same Active Directory are fine, but other machines could not connect any more.

It turns out the new version of Samba introduced a new option and changed the behaviors of some other options. I tried to play around with the options, but I still could not get it to work with some clients. I finally downgraded the client using the following command.

yum downgrade samba-common samba-winbind samba-winbind-clients samba-client samba samba-doc samba-domainjoin-gui libsmbclient

I also changed the /etc/yum.conf file to add this line to prevent yum from updating it again.


Note that this is only a workaround. I’ll update the post again once I find out how to modify the smb.conf to work with the new version of Samba.

Strange Windows Update Problem on a Lenovo X1 Carbon running Windows 8.1

I helped a user with a strange Windows Update problem on a Lenovo X1 Carbon on Windows 8.1. Initially, all the updates failed. I tried to run the Windows update troubleshooter, but it did not help. Checked the error codes and found that it produced different codes each time the updates ran, so searching for a solution based on error codes did not work in this situation.

Finally got it to work after installing the optional updates first. Here are the steps to install the optional updates first.

  1. Open up Windows Update.
  2. Click on important updates are available.

  3. Uncheck the box. This de-select all the important updates.

  4. Click on Optional and check the box. This selects all the optional updates.

  5. Click on Install to install the optional updates.

How to Extract Driver Files from .EXE File Downloaded from Dell

Dell has driver packs for their enterprise class systems like OptiPlex and Latitude series. It’s very useful if you want to import the drivers to SCCM. However, if you want to prepare those non-enterprise systems like Inspiron, there is no driver package to download. You have to prepare the driver package by yourself.

When you download a driver from the Inspiron line, the driver is an executable (.exe) file. In order to prepare a driver package, you need to extract the files. To extract the driver from the .exe file, open up an elevated command prompt, change directory to the download location and type the following command.

driver_executable /s /drivers=folder_name

For example, the driver executable is called Video_Driver_40NXV_WN_10.18.10.3995_A00.EXE . The actual command is like this

Video_Driver_40NXV_WN_10.18.10.3995_A00.EXE /s /drivers=video

This command extracts the driver files to a sub directory called video. Note that this command might fail for some files. If you do not see any files in the video directory, you can use /e argument to extract every files and inspect them.

Video_Driver_40NXV_WN_10.18.10.3995_A00.EXE /s /e=video

To see other usage for the driver executable, type this to see a complete list of options.

Video_Driver_40NXV_WN_10.18.10.3995_A00.EXE /?



How to Solve Windows 7 Windows Update Hangs Problem

When we built Windows 7 machines lately, we found that Windows Update hangs for some of the computers. We tried a lot of different methods without success. Finally, I found a KB article which fixed the problem. Here are the step by step instructions:

  1. Visit this link and download the update according to your OS. Look for the download in Method 2.
  2. Run the downloaded update.
  3. Reboot your computer.
  4. Try the Windows Update again and you should be able to get it going now.

New Trent Airbender 1.0 Wireless Bluetooth Clamshell Keyboard Case Review

I have had my iPad 2 for many years. I only used it initially to get myself familiar with how it works and how to support it. I found that a tablet is good for checking the web for information and connecting to various social networks through apps. However, the lack of a hardware keyboard really impairs its ability to create a large document or type in a lot of commands. As a result, I didn’t use the iPad much after the initial excitement wore off. I got an opportunity to try this keyboard case and I am very happy with it.

The shipping is fast if you buy it from idealpoint. The keyboard case came in a nice shiny box. The package includes the case and a micro USB charging cable. The build quality is great. The case is made of hard plastic with a matte finish. I like the matte finish because it’s not a fingerprint magnet, compared to a glossy finish, which is. The hinge/stand is made of metal and very strong. The case has cutouts for the buttons, switches, camera, microphone, speaker, headphone jack and charging port. I was able to charge the iPad using a cable, but you might not be able to charge your iPad if you have a docking station (which is normal for most of the cases).

The first row of keys are function keys, including the following: home button, brightness up, brightness down, soft keyboard toggle, cut, copy, paste, rewind, play/pause, forward, mute, volume down, volume up and sleep/lock. The keyboard is a typical chiclet keyboard that you can find on smaller laptops. Even though the keys are smaller than the standard size, I find them easy to type with without my hands feeling cramped. It has dedicated arrow keys and bigger shift keys just like the standard keyboard, which is a plus. You can use the keyboard with iPad in either portrait position (vertical) or landscape position (horizontal). There are two positions (two viewing angles) where you can rest the iPad on the keyboard. You can also fine tune the position by moving the hinge in the back.

One thing I like about the keyboard is that you can use it on your lap, unlike some of the other keyboards on the market. However, what I find odd about the case is when the iPad is in tablet position (lying horizontally on top of the keyboard). The keyboard case works well when you need to use the keyboard, but it doesn’t fold flat when you don’t need to use the keyboard. This makes holding the iPad rather awkward. When you hold the case, it’s more like holding a binder than holding a book.

Installation is really easy- just snap your iPad to the case. Make sure you hear the clicking sound when you press down the corners. If this is the first time you use it, you might want to charge the keyboard first. The keyboard has three indication lights: chrg, battery and pair. When you are done charging, the chrg light turns off and battery light turns blue. Turn on the keyboard by using the on/off switch. You have to pair the keyboard with the iPad first before you can use it. Press the connect button on the keyboard and it puts the keyboard to pairing mode. Go to Settings -> Bluetooth on the iPad to finish pairing. When I first used the keyboard, I noticed there was a slight delay when I pressed a key. However, I don’t notice any delay now that I have used it for a while. I use the keyboard whenever I can and feel like I am using a laptop. I was able to use the keyboard with the remote desktop client and SSH client while typing various commands efficiently. This is a huge thumbs up for me, because I can just take the iPad with me when I am not in my office. I don’t have to carry a heavy laptop with me any more.


  • Touch typing possible
  • Solid build quality
  • On/Off switch to save battery usage
  • Matte finish


  • The case does not fold flat when you don’t use the keyboard.

Overall, the keyboard case transforms your iPad into a lightweight laptop. You can type with speed and accuracy. I recommend this keyboard case to any iPad 2/3/4 owners who would like a keyboard.

Note: I am part of the New Trent Pilot program. I bought the case at a discount in exchange for my review.