Category Archives: Windows

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.

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.

 

Cannot Enable On-Access Scanner for McAfee VirusScan

I recently helped a user with a McAfee VirusScan problem. The On-Access Scanner was turned off and when you tried to turn it on, it would not turn on. The user had just restarted the machine, so restarting the machine again was not an option. I tried to restart the services related to VirusScan, but the services were locked and I could not restart them. This is what I did to enable the On-Access Scanner.

  1. Open VirusScan Console.
  2. Click on Access Protection and click on Task -> Properties.
  3. Uncheck Prevent McAfee services from being stopped and click on OK. mcafee-access-protection
  4. Open up the services manager. You can do so by pressing Windows key + R, and type services.msc and enter.
  5. Stop the following services: McAfee Framework Service, McAfee McShield and McAfee Task Manager.
  6. Start the services mentioned in step 5.

How to Enable Duplex Printing for HP Printers on Windows 8

We just found out that, when a HP printer is installed- even if the printer is capable of duplex printing- it may not be enabled for some computers. You will have to manually enable duplex printing. Here is how:

  1. Click on the printer you want to enable duplex printing in Devices and Printers.
  2. Click on Customize your printer.
  3. If you see a button on the left bottom corner that says Change properties, click on it. If you do not see this button, you can skip to the next step.
  4. Click on Device Settings and find Duplex Unit (for 2-Sided Printing). Change it to Installed.
    duplex printing
  5. If you want to set duplex printing as default, click on General tab and then Preferences …. A new dialog pops up. Click on Finish and then check Print on both sides.

Windows 8 Apps Not Launching

Ever since I upgraded my workstation to Windows 8, I spent most of my time with a desktop and use it like a Windows 7 machine. I rarely use those so-called “Windows Store Apps”. The only app that I use the most often is the Mail app: It allows me to access all my email accounts in one place without going through multiple web sites. However, I recently noticed that the Mail app did not work anymore. I tried several other Windows Store apps and most of them did not work either. The apps just showed spinning circles, and they did not launch at all. I tried to uninstall the Mail app and reinstall it. However, the Store app did not work either! I found a Microsoft article about apps troubleshooting. Their recommendations are to update your app, sync the app license or reinstall the app. They all requires a working Store app to perform. Since my Store app did not work at all, I could not try the recommended steps to solve the problem. At the end of the article, it mentions Apps troubleshooter. It’s an application that can try to fix problems related to Windows Store apps. I tried to run the Apps troubleshooter twice. It found different problems each time. This looked promising, but it did not fix my problem.

w8-apps-troubleshooting

I then searched for other solutions. I came across one article that mentioned how uninstalling anti-virus software might help. I had McAfee Enterprise 8.8 with patch 3 installed in my computer, so I tried uninstalling it. After McAfee was uninstalled, the apps started to run again! If all else fails, you might try this to get uncooperative apps to launch again.