Author Archives: amida168

Windows 8 100% C Drive Usage Problem Solved

When I first upgraded my workstation to Windows 8, I did not notice any performance change. The machine was running as smoothly as it had been with Windows 7. However, a few weeks ago, I noticed my machine started to freeze intermittently. I checked the event logs but did not find anything out of the ordinary. I found out what went wrong when I checked the Task Manager. The CPU usage was fine, but Disk 1 (C:) was constantly at 100% usage and caused the machine to freeze. The question was what was causing the C drive usage to be at 100%? I then checked the Processes tab in Task Manager and found that it was the System process. This was not very useful because it was not specific enough for me to pin point the exact cause.

I googled for a solution and there were quite a few people who had the same problem. I tried several solutions but they did not help me solve my problem. This issue had bothered me for several weeks and I was about to reinstall my machine with Windows 7. I decided to give it another try, before I reformatted my drive (and then reinstalled my machine), and did a search again. Finally, I came across this post which solved the problem!

The problem was the Intel Rapid Storage driver. After I installed the latest version of the driver from Intel, the intermittent 100% C drive usage disappeared. Here is the link to the driver that I used:

Intel Rapid Storage Windows 8 Driver

The version I used is 12.5.0.1066 and it was released on 03/22/2013. If the link is broken, you can try visiting the Intel Download Center to search for the latest driver.

Intel Download Center

Note that this solution only applies to the Intel Rapid Storage controller. If you do not have the Intel Rapid Storage controller, do not download and install this driver.

To find out what storage controller you have, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows key and type device manager.
  2. Click on Settings -> Device Manager.
  3. Scroll down and expand Storage controllers to find out what controller you have.
    intel-express-chipset-sata

Once you have identified your storage controller, you can then try to visit the chipset manufacturer’s web site to download the latest driver and see if your problem is solved.

The Fastest Way to Empty Cache from Google Chrome Browser

If you have ever tried to empty or delete cache from Google Chrome, you’ll know that it’s a multistep process. Google has a tutorial for it, so I won’t repeat it here. I’ve just found out a way to do it quickly, and it’s also easier to write instructions for the process.

  1. Copy and paste this string to the address bar and press Enter.
    chrome://settings/clearBrowserData#cache
  2. The clear browsing data dialog shows up, click on Clear browsing data button. chrome-empty-cache

This works on Chrome version 27. If this does not work for some reason, you can try the longer version. My instructions differ from the tutorial provided by Google. Here they are, for your convenience:

  1. Click on the Customize and control Google Chrome icon on the top right corner and select settings. chrome-settings
  2. Enter cache in the Search settings box and press Enter.
  3. Click on Clear browsing data button.
    chrome-cache
  4. The clear browsing data dialog shows up, click on Clear browsing data button.chrome-empty-cache

How to Boot from USB on an Asus CM1855 UEFI Equipped Computer

My user recently bought two Asus CM1855 computers and asked me to install Windows 7 on them. I tried to boot the machine from a USB drive with my Windows 7 installation files. To my surprise, I could not select my USB drive as an option. This machine has the new UEFI firmware that I am not familiar with. After a bit of fiddling, I was able to figure out how to boot from the USB drive. Here are the steps:

  1. Turn on the power and press the DEL key immediately. You may need to press the DEL key repeatedly and make sure you see the UEFI screen. As you can see, only the internal drive is shown on the Boot Priority list even when I have the USB drive connected.
    IMAG0081a
  2. Click on Advanced Mode
    IMAG0082a
  3. Click on Boot, scroll down and change the OS Type to Other OS
    IMAG0084a
  4. Press F10 to save settings and reboot.
  5. Press DEL again when the system boots up. The external USB drive is now an option to choose from. Press F8 to choose the USB drive to boot the machine from.
    IMAG0085a

Lenovo X1 Carbon Unknown Device Driver on Windows 8

I worked on a Lenovo X1 Carbon yesterday. It’s a very capable machine. The CPU is an Intel Core i7-3667U. It comes with 8GB of DDR3L RAM and a Solid State Drive. The performance is amazingly fast. When I installed some software that would usually take half an hour to install on a recent computer, it only took 10 minutes on this machine. It’s even faster than my i7 workstation because of the solid state drive. The only downside to this machine is that the graphic card is an Intel HD 4000 that is not very powerful, but sufficient for business applications. The machine came with Windows 7 pre-installed. The user had requested Windows 8, so I first tried to do an upgrade installation. The compatibility report showed that there were a lot of drivers and applications incompatible with Windows 8. Therefore, I decided to do a clean installation. After installation, I installed Lenovo System Update. This is a utility to install all the necessary drivers and application for your Lenovo computers. You do not have to download each individual driver one by one. This saves you a lot of time. I wish the other vendors would follow suit and have such a utility. Anyway, after I installed all the drivers downloaded by System Update, I found that one device driver was not installed when I ran the Device Manager.  I usually use PCIDatabase web site to identify the device. It did not work in this case, because there is no vendor ID and device ID. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to find that info through Google. The search shows that it’s a iSCT ACPI Virtual Device (INT33A0) for Windows 8 (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit) – ThinkPad X1 Carbon After the driver was installed, there was no more unknown device in the Device Manager.

Movie Maker on Windows 8 Error: Movie Maker Can’t Start

I have used Windows Movie Maker on Windows 7 to make photo slideshows. It worked quite well. With a few clicks, you can produce professional quality slideshows that you can burn to DVDs. When I tried to run the program the first time, I got this error message:

Sorry, Movie Maker can’t start. Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements before trying to start Movie Maker again, and the try to update the driver for your video card if Move Maker still doesn’t start.

movie-maker-w8-error

The message also provides two links for you to troubleshoot the problem. Before I checked the links, I remembered that the Movie Maker was installed before  the Windows 8 upgrade. I tried to download the latest version and install it. Unfortunately, it did not work, either. I received the same error message. I have used Movie Maker on this machine before, so I am pretty sure my computer meets the minimum requirement. I am also pretty sure that my video card driver is up to date because I just updated it a few days ago for Angry Birds. I tried the second link provided by the error message and found a solution to my problem. According to this post, I have to run Movie Maker in compatibility mode. If you are not sure how to do this, here are the step-by-step instructions.

  1. Press Windows key + E to run Windows Explorer.
  2. Navigate to this directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Live\Photo Gallery if you have 64 bit Windows 8. Otherwise, navigate to this directory. C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Photo Gallery
  3. Right click on MovieMaker.exe and select Properties.
  4. Click on Compatibility tab. Check the box “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and select Windows 7.
    moviemaker-w7-compat
  5. Click on OK to close the dialog.

You can now run Movie Maker. If this does not help, there is another post which might be helpful. Give it a try and let us know.

Angry Birds on Windows 8: OpenGL 1.4 Renderer Not Supported

I had trouble running Angry Birds on Windows 7 a few years ago. After my workstation was upgraded to Windows 8, I have not tried to install the game until today.

The game was installed using Intel AppUp. I first installed Intel AppUp and that went well. The installation of Angry Birds also went smoothly. However, an error message popped up when I tried to  run it.

angrybirds-w8-opengl

 

This message was similar to the one I got when I ran it on Windows 7. The problem was due to the graphic card driver. I checked my current driver. The driver on Windows 8 was certified by Microsoft, but it did not work. If you checked Windows Update, there is no updated version of the driver. My graphic card is an AMD Radeon HD 4850. I then visited AMD’s website and downloaded the driver. After the successful installation of the updated graphic card driver, this problem was fixed. Here are the links to the major manufacturers of graphic cards.

Intel

AMD (ATI)

Nvidia

Try to download and install the driver for your graphic card and see if the problem is fixed.

 

Android: Mobile Data Got Enabled Automatically

I recently purchased a Pantech Burst Android phone. It’s a nice budget phone with LTE capability. When I set it up initially, I noticed a strange thing about it. I disabled mobile data at home because I have Wifi access. However, the mobile data feature got enabled automatically when the phone woke from sleep mode.

The first thing I did was to contact Pantech support, but they only suggested that I reset the phone. A factory reset would reset the phone and erase all apps and customization, which meant that all the works I did would be lost. Before doing that, I tried to find a solution that would still retain the customization and files.

An online article pointed the right direction for me to solve the problem. This is the quote from the article.

Apps need a special permission to turn on or off mobile data. There’s no built-in way to search for apps that use a particular permission, but you can look at the list of apps in Settings → Apps. In the “downloaded” list, if you click on a suspect app, you can see what permissions it uses. The permission you’re looking for is “change network connectivity“. Any app with that permission might be connecting or disconnecting networks. If you found one in the “downloaded” list, and you don’t think it should be allowed to do that, there’s a button to uninstall it.

You can also see what permissions each app wants before you install it, in the Play Store’s install screen.

I followed the directions to check my downloaded apps. There were a lot of apps to check. Fortunately, I found it within just a few tries. The culprit for this problem was the app Battery Defender. I have this app on my HTC One X and it works beautifully, but apparently it does not work properly with a Pantech Burst. After I uninstalled the Battery Defender app, my phone does not enable mobile data automatically any more. I have included a screenshot of the permissions. The specific setting is under SYSTEM TOOLS section.

andorid-change-network-connectitivity