Aug 18, 2009 2:14 PM
I got some nasty malware yesterday. It restarted my machine, and my user account started rebooting shortly after logging in. Read on for the fix…
I was able to log in as administrator, or in safe mode. Sometimes, right before the restart, I would see a message from Windows Sidebar indicating a problem – something along the lines of, “Windows Sidebar experienced a problem with the following gadgets…”
I guessed that the problem was an IE add-on that restarted the computer as soon as the Internet Explorer process loaded.
The first step was to prevent the sidebar from running the Internet Explorer process. I did this by removing all the gadgets from the sidebar. From the administrator account, I deleted all files in
Jim\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets folder
where ‘Jim’ is my non-admin user account that was experiencing the reboots.
This allowed me to log into the Jim account and not get an immediate reboot. I clicked on the IE icon, and sure enough, it logged me off and restarted the machine.
To prevent IE from running add-ons, I opened regedit and changed the setting from there, as described here:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER]\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Enable Browser Extensions
I changed this value to “no”, and IE started without rebooting the computer.
Jan 26, 2008 2:21 PM
I write about solutions to random computer problems here in the hopes that someone will run across them on Google and save some time. Here's one that would have saved me some time if I had written about it the first time I had to fix it.
I couldn't access folders with access restrictions on my Buffalo Linkstation from my new Vista machine. I had my user set up, and the multiple connections stuff didn't seem to apply.
I found this article that rang a bell for me. Vista has different ways of negotiating permissions over the network. Basically it doesn't use the old, less secure XP method, and the Linkstation doesn't support the new one. The steps in the above link (which didn't work for me, perhaps because I'm not logged in as administrator,) just change a registry setting.
Buffalo actually has a "patch" under the utility section of their downloads page (choose the linkstation option in the droplist.) This is just a registry key file which changes a single key:
Change the value from 3 to 2 and restart. Presto, explorer logs in with the current user and password, as expected. Assuming that this has previously been set up on the Linkstation.
May 25, 2007 7:41 AM
I love the docking station I've got for my Dell work machine, but sometimes the dock/undock process doesn't go as smoothly as it should. I don't think I've seen anything like this since... oh, the early 90's. Vista is suprisingly unusable in one-bit color. It took two restarts to fix this little problem. Sometimes the wireless doesn't want to work, or the spare monitor rearranges itself, or all of my icons get rearranged.
Feb 01, 2007 4:27 PM
If there's one program in Vista that should be absolutely bomb-proof and bug-free, it's Windows Error Reporting. This catches unhandled exceptions from any other program and sends an error report to Microsoft. But I get this:
WerFault.exe is locked up; I have to kill the process to get rid of the window.
I suspect IE7 and/or Windows Media Player - an error report would help me figure it out...
Dec 12, 2006 4:16 PM
Windows Vista has added a quick menu item to open a command prompt for a folder. Right click on the folder while holding the shift key, and choose "Open command window here."
This has two problems: it doesn't work in the folder tree view, and it doesn't set .NET environment variables. My "Visual Studio command prompt here" broke when I upgraded to Vista; it started opening to the last used folder rather then the one that invoked the context menu.
The fix is to find the registry entry for this and change
cmd.exe %1 /K "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\Tools\vsvars32.bat"
cmd.exe /D /K cd "%1" && "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\Tools\vsvars32.bat"
No idea why the former no longer works in Vista...