BenV's notes

Tag: windows

NVidia’s incompetence on HDMI

by on Oct.27, 2012, under Morons, Software

Before today I was still working behind an old 20″ 2006 Acer (al2016W) as primary screen and an even older 17″ secondary screen.
They started to bug me a bit, and after looking around a bit for new screens I ordered 4 new instances of the BenQ GW2450HM.
After reading a very positive review at TFTCentral on the BenQ GW2450HM and
also a forum that was a lot more negative (people who died because of ghosting issues etc) I decided to buy them anyway because they couldn’t possibly
be worse than my current screen.

Today they arrived, so after unpacking them and figuring out how the heck I was going to make space for them on my desk I finally connected them to my PC.
I had windows up and running, which immediately noticed the BenQ that was connected through HDMI. The BenQ happily told me “No Cable Connected” however, but that
was solved by hitting the enter button twice to make it use the HDMI as source instead of the ancient DSUB. They should really stop supplying those connectors.

After unpacking and installing the second screen and connecting it to DVI I noticed a difference.
Both had the same background, but the DVI screen had deeper blacks than the HDMI one!
Nope, it’s not caused by the brightness or any of those knobs, they were identical (factory default) on both screens.

The reason for this is simply: NVIDIA sucks. Hm, that’s a nice trademark that they should register 😉
Yeah, those incompetent assholes again. NVIDIA (sucks) doesn’t care if your left screen looks a bit brighter than your right screen. They only care about getting your money, which is strange because actions like these make it less likely that they’ll receive my money in the future.

Some background on the issue:
When you connect a HDMI device to a NVIDIA (sucks) graphics card, the NVIDIA (sucks) assumes that the device is crippled and can only handle RGB values between 16-235.
Obviously PC monitors can handle the full range of 0-255, which is the default on VGA and DVI. (this is the reason my DVI screen was darker).
This mismatch in communication will fuck up the black colors for starters, but for a real impression check out this forum:
Mind you that the control panel settings that they discuss in that thread didn’t work for me.

Fortunately there’s a solution that does work for me.
This guy over here at wrote a tiny tool to fix your registry and tell the driver to use the full range.
After a reboot everything looks great on BOTH screens 🙂

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Why I hate windows

by on Jun.14, 2012, under Software

Today at work our windows 2008 server is trying to be funny.
First it had updates so it required a reboot. After that reboot it didn’t come back, so my not so computer literate colleague rebooted the windows machine, but unfortunately he also rebooted the (linux) fileserver.
Oh well.

Now for some reason WSUS doesn’t work anymore.
When trying to start the WSUS management console it simply crashes with no explanation whatsoever:

WSUS Management Console crashes

WSUS Management Console crashes when started. Great.

So, I figured, let’s check the logs. Ahaha. So, after browsing through the eventviewer for about half an hour and reading tons of fascinating (but useless) descriptions of successful security things, application notices and other garbage I finally ran into the corresponding event.
Here goes:

De WSUS-beheerconsole heeft een onverwachte fout aangetroffen. Deze fout kan van tijdelijke aard zijn; probeer de fout te verhelpen door de beheerconsole opnieuw te starten. If Als het probleem blijft bestaan:

Probeer de ingestelde voorkeuren voor console te verwijderen door het bestand wsus onder %appdata%\Microsoft\MMC\ te verwijderen.

Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.WsusInvalidServerException — Er is een uitzondering opgetreden van het type Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.WsusInvalidServerException.


Stack Trace:
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.AdminProxy.GetUpdateServer()
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.AdminApiAccess.AdminApiTools.GetUpdateServer()
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.SnapIn.Wizards.OOBE.OOBEWizard.get_AdminApiTools()
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.SnapIn.Wizards.OOBE.OOBEWizard.get_ServerState()
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.SnapIn.Wizards.OOBE.OOBEWizard.SetNavigationItemEnabledStates()
bij Microsoft.UpdateServices.UI.SnapIn.Wizards.OOBE.OOBEWizard.OOBEWizardInitialize()

Suggestions 1 (restarting the console) and 2 (removing some file) obviously didn’t do shit.
Yeah, they reproduced the image above 😉
Suggestion 3 … oh wait, there is no suggestion 3. Fsck.

Just for the heck of it I clicked “Help Online”. What follows is a dailyWTF if you ask me, here’s the screenshot (click it to be able to read the details):

Windows "Help Online"

“Help Online”

Apparently when you click ‘Online Help’ they write a Visual Basic Script file to start a shell which launches a url FROM A FILE … and it fails (color me surprised).
Wonder who came up with this shit.
Oh yeah, the error message the script comes with basically says “Unspecified error”, or literally “Not further described error”.

Anyhow, I still have the WSUS issue. After trying to figure out how the heck IIS is supposed to function with WSUS (I thought the logs might give some insight, silly me) I gave up on that and decided to go with the solid “If it doesn’t work, just reinstall!” approach that normally fixes about every windows problem.

Here goes the uninstaller:

WSUS uninstaller

WSUS uninstaller

For those who don’t speak dutch, it says “Setup is not complete. Microsoft WSUS SP2 has not been removed because an error has occurred. Click Finish if you want to close the wizard.

Mind you, this problem didn’t exist last week. WSUS worked fine, computers received updates, everything was fine. My guess is that this morning’s updates included some .NET update that broke it.
However, due to the lack of useful error messages this is impossible to debug for now.
Thanks Micro~2, another swell piece of garbage you have there.

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Windows Firewall blocking applications

by on Mar.10, 2012, under Software

These days windows has a built-in firewall that’s good enough for most people. However, other than nagging you about “OH NOES YOU’RE ON A NEW NETWORK!!! ALERT!!! ALERT!!!” you need to go through quite a hassle to manually say “Don’t allow this program to make outbound connections“, something that I often want. (for example when running pirated^Wnetwork tests). (continue reading…)

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Diablo 3 Beta and Wine

by on Sep.18, 2011, under Software

This morning my mailbox opened up with an email inviting me to the Diablo 3 Beta. After checking the headers
to make sure it wasn’t another battlenet phishing scam I noticed that the Received headers really came from, and they even signed the mail with a domainkey. Also they didn’t include some link but simply told me to go to battle net and get the goods there.

Diablo 3 Beta Invite

Diablo 3 Beta Invite

Surprisingly they state:

We also invite you to share your Diablo III beta experience with the world! All participants can take screen shots, capture video, and/or publicly disclose information about their beta test experience.

(instead of the usual non-disclosure agreement). So thanks Blizzard and a friend who works there who is no doubt responsible for getting me this invite in the first place 🙂 (continue reading…)

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IE Fascism

by on Aug.25, 2011, under Software

Obviously dealing with windows isn’t my favorite, but it comes along as part of the job.

Today my boss wanted to view some car site in internet exploder, because “Some sites don’t show properly in Firefox, Internet Explorer does a better job sometimes”. So I was like “You mean garbage sites that still write IE specific html… oh never mind, show it :)”

First he showed his problem in Firefox. As far as I’m concerned it looked like a failing search engine on the site and nothing html related, but whatever. (continue reading…)

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Review: Fable 3

by on Jun.05, 2011, under Software

A short summary of my Fable 3 experience so far.

Fable III

Fable 3

First we install it, and immediately we notice the Windows Game Live Garbage Cancer. So far so bad.
However, apart from the login bugging me every time I start the game it works fine.

The game itself looks fine, better than the previous Fable I played at least. The story is pretty standard, you’re a prince and your evil brother – the king – is ruining everything.
You’re the hero who has to murder him. Or something.
So the first thing you do is shake everyone’s hand for 5 minutes, apparently people love you when you shake their hands long enough.
Then you go through the usual “Get kicked out of the castle and start your quest” ritual. Speaking of rituals, did I mention I hate unskippable cutscenes?
Especially when starting the game, who the fuck cares that Microsoft made the game…
Anyhow, after running around a bit and getting your first skills you find yourself in the familiar guild room, a safe place to save your game and switch clothes etc.
Reminded me of Baldur’s Gate’s pocket plane.

Next you go to villages to gather allies. Which means helping them out first. Which means shaking hands, and smashing monsters.
Oh yeah, “prove you’re a hero” so they can teach you how to use your sword and gun in addition to the magic you started off with.
Great great. In the second village your run into you can do minigames like Guitar Hero, only more retarded because there are only two buttons involved.
If that wasn’t easy enough already, they also have Pie Making Hero. Same game with only 3 notes per song. So before you know it you have enough money
to buy several houses. So much for that.

Other villagers give you quests after whistling to them for an hour (did I mention it gets really old, really fast?), and strangely they all need you to get the same hidden
package in the other village, or talk to the same retard in that other village to pass a message.
I’d like to get a list of my active quests, but that isn’t unlocked at this part of the game yet.
So I decided to go on with the story to unlock that part, but just after traveling back to the village my windows decided to BSOD. Probably related to that new NVIDIA driver update from yesterday.
Anyhow, I reboot windows, restart Fable 3, get through the sickening unskippable intro garbage, log into LIVE.
[Windows LIVE] Saaay, your savegame …. isn’t.
[BenV] What?
[LIVE] Your save is corrupt, so we’ll just start the game from scratch again. Would you like a Prince or a Princess?
[BenV] !(@3(@^$*&%^*(@$#(@*$%3*REBOOT*

So much for Fable 3 and windows.

Just tried to get the game working in wine. With some hassle I got through the installation.
However, the game won’t start becaseu FS3Secu.exe crashes. Garbage DRM as always.
Couldn’t find a crack that would bypass this exe though, so no luck for Wine at the moment.

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Mercurial on Windows vs Linux, spot the problem

by on Feb.17, 2011, under Software

Last week I upgraded our fileserver at work from Debian Lenny to Debian Squeeze.
Obviously a ton of stuff got ‘new’ (read: less ancient) versions, including Apache.
Apart from a reboot or two for new kernels and some config fixes everything went pretty smooth.

This week lotjuh ran into the problem that she couldn’t push to the mercurial repository from windows.
Strange, because everything worked fine from linux. Tested from both the windows 2008 server we have here and another windows 7 machine at home, the both broke with the same cryptic message:

c:\tmp> hg clone --insecure https://fileserver/repository
abort: error: _ssl.c:1325: error:14094410:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:sslv3 alert handshake failure

Huh. That’s weird.
Obviously google doesn’t help with this, you get some garbage results on how mercurial didn’t do jack with https certificates before version 1.7 and their struggle to implement it.

After some digging I found this in the apache logs:

[Thu Feb 17 12:10:51 2011] [error] [client] Re-negotiation request failed
[Thu Feb 17 12:10:51 2011] [error] SSL Library Error: 336068931 error:14080143:SSL routines:SSL3_ACCEPT:unsafe legacy renegotiation disabled

Feh. Somewhere old SSL libraries are being used! Windows… .always the same.

In your apache ssl configuration (mods-enabeld/ssl.conf on Debian), add this:

SSLInsecureRenegotiation on

Note that this obviously isn’t a great solution, but it’s the only way to get it to work on windows at the moment.

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Windows Default Tools installation – Ninite

by on Mar.10, 2010, under Software

Windows and Ninite

So after the Adobe Cancer experience yesterday I still had to install a bunch of other things for the helpless windows user.
After I was done with most of that (of course, the good stuff always comes too late) I ran into this tool: Ninite.
They call it “The easiest way to get apps”. Well, from the screenshots it certainly looks that way. No cruft like toolbars and updaters and junk installed, just the application. (continue reading…)

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