Monday, January 4, 2010

BugCode_USB_Driver BSOD Workaround

A technical post, get off now if you are not familiar with the post title.

It's one of my todo to fresh install my Wind during holiday, at the same time to upgrade Vista to SP2 with hope to resolve some of the problems including problem that prohibited Wind to go on sleep/hibernation mode, as well as version upgrade for other software. Everything went well without hiccup and the rejuvenated Wind ran smoothly, I regained the "new lappy" feeling (hope to resist me from getting a new one. CES is around the corner!!) and I thought I had eliminated the sleep/hibernate problem with SP2 upgrade. Until yesterday, I met the long lost friend...


Blue Screen Of Death, BSOD!

Here's the detail (0x000000FE, 0x00000008, 0x00000006, 0x00000001) in Event Viewer's System Log...


I believe this was the same BSOD (in Vista SP1) before the reinstallation. I did not really have time to investigate and had not seen this infamous BSOD in live due to the "Auto Restart" option in System Properties. Furthermore, most of the times the blue screen happened when I was zzz (when the netbook followed me to dreamland after an hour or 2 of idle). Ok, I told myself I have 24 hours to CSI this problem before I return to hectic work.

A typical internet savvy, the CSI investigation begins at Google. The search engine returned quite a number of informative sites about this problem. However, none really helped to narrow down to the root cause. Then, a search on Microsoft Support gained me further understanding about it, in particular KB930568, KB967102 and also MajorGeeks forum that returned in MS Support search result. Again, all info was very helpful to understand what's wrong but did not offer any resolution to my problem.

I thought it was drivers related, so I reinstalled all related USB drivers including the chipset drivers. Nay, negative. I attempted to reinstall SP2 but it did not allow me to do so. I almost stuck but I observed a symptom.

Coincidentally the netbook was running flat, I found out that this problem only happened when I was on battery mode. In other words, I could reboot, sleep, hibernate without BSOD when I plugged in the power. With other info I learned from other sites such as USB's change of power state and whatnot, this led me to look into the difference between power and battery mode.

First thing came to my mind was the power profile. So I clicked on the power icon on the system tray, followed by More Power Options as shown below...


That opened up the Power Plan Options. I then clicked on Change Plan Settings on the active power plan (the plan that is currently in effect) and then Change Advanced Power Settings...


I scrolled down a little and found there's a setting for USB...


It's different for battery and power/plugged in mode. I changed it to both DISABLED...


Apply and OK. I closed all windows and rebooted again.

Tada! My problem gone!!.

I tried several rounds of reboots, shutdowns, sleeps, hibernates and the bugger BSOD is no longer haunted my Wind! Yoohoo!

It's not end of the story yet. There are other power plans beside the active one (Balanced), so I went in to change all to Disabled for the USB Selective Suspend Setting, though I never change power plans since day 1 using Vista.

There is post-mortem clean up too...


Launch the Disk Cleanup utility, select Files From All Users On This Computer and run the scan on the system drive (typically C drive)...


Check the 3 options as shown above to delete all the memory dump files generated by BSOD. Make sure you DO NOT check Hibernation File Cleaner, you would have more things to troubleshoot later. Click OK and Delete Files.

Done deal!

Certainly this problem is not limited to pre-SP2 as claimed by Microsoft, I had this problem on both SP1 and 2. This is not a solution to the problem, instead, it's a workaround to circumvent so that the OS does not tickle onto the problem. I am surprise that Microsoft did not offer this workaround nor did they publish any hotfix. Sigh.

If this helps to solve your problem, do drop a comment so that other readers can read and benefit. I am not sure if I could offer further help but you are welcome to buzz me too.

Good luck!

p/s: you need a user with administrative privilege to perform some of the tasks above.

Jacko.MY Enhanced!

It's been a month plus I pilot on this new feature. If you frequent Jacko.MY you may have observed the change. It used to be like this...


Now it's enhanced with pictorial recommendation...


Or commonly known as "Related Post".

It was few times that some readers read my posts and emailed or left comments asking further questions. Apparently I covered their questions in another post. On the other hand, sometimes I needed to manually put in the link like this...


I was hoping to have an automated mechanism on it. In addition, recommendation of other posts could be a way to attract and retain readers to read other posts they might like, hence boast the hits.

2 months ago I spent some times to see what's available out there and I found LinkWithin. I tested it in the test blog...


The red boxes should have something shown and I had few technical questions needed assistance. Unfortunately, I got no response after sending few emails to the support mailbox. Damn lousy support! Although it's free service, but the company must know that it's 2 ways win-win situation, that I use the widget and the company get free advertisement!

Then I posted the technical question onto Outbrain.com as it was a little relevant to the Outbrain's star rating widget I use since I started Jacko.MY. On the same day, I received a response and following that I got a dedicated expert from Outbrain to assist me!! The best part, I was informed that Outbrain is in beta stage of testing their widget with pictorial post recommendation! Immediately I dropped LinkWithin and the outcome of the story is what you see in Jacko.MY now, the Outbrain's star rating widget with pictorial post recommendation, or Outbrain called it thumbnail recommendation!

There are still some questions unclear, I guess the expert (Jackie Jennings from Outbrain) was rushing for X'mas and New Year, hope he or she will be responding to me soon. One example, check out some of my posts with few episodes like this and this. Part 2 or other parts are not recommended in the widget. Moreover, sometimes the widget recommends a food post in a gadget post and vice versa. Likely the algorithm needs some tuning. The other thing is on the images...


Sometimes the widget is not able to display the image from the post. Just like the first recommendation above, it only shows some text content.

Well, I believe Jackie will help me on the issue. My thanks and appreciation to him or her for the good support from Outbrain.

I am not sure if this enhanced widget has been officially published in Outbrain but if you want to have the same widget, you may send your request to support [at] outbrain [dot] com. You should get response fairly quick.

Let's see what I can improve further. Comments welcome.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pac Man Ghost in Real Life!


Who don't know Pac Man? Or I should ask, who never play Pac Man? A game that is so popular especially if you own a game console called Atari in early decades.

I love this game. It's is one of the games that follows me everywhere, PC, notebook and even on phone...


A no-brainer game that you can use to kill time anytime anywhere. If you own a SonyEricsson phone, go PlayNow! site and get one which costs you only RM5 (the published price is RM8). Perhaps we can play networked game. Hehe...

I play it day and night, when watching boring TV show, even before sleep time. It's until like Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, Jacko and Four Pac Man Ghosts...


Introduce you the 4 ghosts in Pac Man. I feel like they are just surrounding me 24 hours.

It's one fine night I was enjoying my peeing time, suddenly I saw a shadow flying from the ceiling down to right in front of me! Then I saw this...


Clyde?! Ain't it look like Clyde?!


OMG! Pac Man ghost is after me! I ate them too much in the games and now Clyde is poking me for revenge!

Help!!!

This is the effect of having too much time on gaming. Hehe... Gotta get some rest before I hit to the top in the scoreboard...


Guess I may not have time after Monday for such thing anymore, my last day of leave. :(

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cibai, Microsoft

Cibai, a word that is so well known and spoken among Malaysians and Singaporeans. Or you can mimic Phua Chu Kang, "best in Malaysia and Singapore, some say in Taiwan". Taiwanese variety show even had some "classes" about cibai over here and here.

If you need an official definition of it, Wikipedia-Malay has something about it, or you can find it at Urban Dictionary in English explanation.

Good enough to make you clear? What do you think?

(I know you!) Neh neh! Dirty minded!

I am an Apple fan condemning Micro$oft? Nope. I love Apple but practically I prefer Micro$oft for greater compatibility in day to day use.

Microsoft products pissed me off? Nope, at least not to the extent of yelling that word in the public.

So what am I up to about cibai??!! I am stunned to know that Microsoft has its own definition about cibai.

According to Microsoft, Cibai is...


Nope. I didn't make this up! Check out this website with publication about Cibai from Microsoft. Look at the URL, it's Microsoft Research website and above is an excerpt from the research paper.

My goodness! I didn't know an IT corporate like Microsoft even researched on "cibai"! Perhaps they should have hired Tiger as consultant whom according to papers, has done quite a thorough "research" on ci... err... the same "thing". LoL!

Enough cibai talk? Now I would love to move from infrastructure to application/developer/programmer role in my job, so that I can cibai here and there in front of my bosses. And perhaps my title could be "Senior Cibai Programmer". Haha!

If you think you do not sufficiently master knowledge about cibai, go Borders or MPH to get this book...


Cibai for Dummies. I think the price should be in the range of RM50 which is a good and safe (much safer than research into Jalan Chow Kit) investment to master cibai. Get it asap, while stock last! Hehe...

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, Old Stuff

New year, new stuff.

Nope. I am broke this year, my new year is filled with old stuff. Chinese likes to say, "old stuff don't go, new one won't come" 旧的不去 新的不来. So I was doing housekeeping in my "gadget store room" during this 2-week long leave. It's also a preparation for a mega change soon or later, at the same time may be it can attract some potential buyers to look for some old stuff, so here comes the Jacko's Mega Sale!

Let's start with this...


Some old gadgets still in their good package. My all time favorite, the Nokia 8850 that cost me a bomb in my saving that time...


The SE T610...


HP Mini...


My first PDA, a Compaq 3970...


My first GPS device which is still in use...


Yeah. 2 of them (actually 3). One for my bro and one for cousin, the other for myself.

The MP3/4 player in brand new (never use) condition...


The mini speaker, brand new never use...


And a long serving cordless headphone that I used during nighttime...


Phew~ Let's take a break now. Let me move out another big treasure box and see what I have inside...


It was once upon a time that Jacko became a paparazzi and here's some tools I needed when spying...



The voice recorder and a mini phone.

Now move on to PC stuff...



The 1st gen of PS2 Microsoft mouse and keyboard and HP USB keyboard at the back.

Do you still use this?


I have a full box of diskettes...


Some remote controllers...


I started to build my HTPC decade ago. Unfortunately, it wasn't a really successful one 'cause the concept wasn't common yet at that time, many items (hardware and software) were not mass-commercialized to end users. I haven't given up, Phase 2 is in progress, part of the Mega Project. ;)

Now the DDR5 RAM...



LoL. Nay, don't be fooled by me. Hehe... they are SD RAM, the big player before DDR. I have 19 sticks. Unless something goes wrong when they idle in the storeroom, all of them should still be working from my last test before I kept them into the store with proper silica gels.

There are also some Solaris RAM (what RAM module is that?)...


Some backup tapes...



5 DDS2 and 10 brand new unused Ultrium 1 200GB tapes. Normal home PC users wouldn't see such things as these tapes aren't cheap. Ultrium 1 cost RM450 per cartridge in the past if I remember correctly. Why I have all these? I forgot. Hehe... I guess I got them from some vendor functions, or I asked the vendors to give me some test units in my past job, or from my bro.

Same goes to this pointer cap...


I guess this was from my bro. Let's replace one on my work lappy...


You want one?

Now the cordless headphone partner, a long serving speaker for me to jam some songs during daytime...


The Creative's 4 point surround speakers.

Move on to network stuff. First thing is the stone age 56kbps Tundercom dial up modem...


Is the company still exist? This oldie still working well though.

A D-Link hub when network switch was still expensive for home consumers...


I remember I bought it during the "peak time" at home that I had 2 PC and 2 lappies. It's also part of my investment for my Cisco career advancement beside the big router below...


The Cisco 2500 series router. I used this for my self learning on Cisco networking.

Gosh! There is another box in the store! Let's see...


The old PC powered by AMD K62 450MHz CPU! It's still operational! My test machine for Microsoft certification when VMWare and Virtual PC were still new to me.

Also some other old items...




The surge protector, multi-charger, SIM card backup and the soldering tool. Yeah, I repaired some PC stuff using that.

Lastly, some in-use items in the same box...



My Wind, Linksys WAG54G2 wireless router and Archos AV500 DVR.

Anything caught your eyes? If so, what are you waiting for??? It's Mega Sale time!!! For old stuff?! Hehe...



Buzz me at blog [at] jacko [dot] my. We can discuss, negotiate or bargain or whatever you like to call it. :)

p/s: not all items are for sale.