Archive for September, 2008
Logitech’s Harmony Remote is a really nice remote. I’ve had mine for a couple years but now the most commonly used buttons are wearing out. Since I have a Tivo the most used buttons are the forward buttons that I use for skipping commercials. These buttons are pretty much unusable now, they will work some of the time but only if you press really hard.
It seems stupid to buy a new Harmony remote every couple of years just because the buttons wore out. So here is how you can fix the buttons. These instructions are for the 676, but should work on most other versions too:
- Open the remote by removing the four screws at the bottom (two are under the battery compartment.
- Pry the remote open.
- Remove the two screws that are holding the circuit board on.
- Take the button piece out and flip it over too see the backs of the buttons.
- On my remote the buttons that were broken had some kind of shiny liquid on them. I’m not really sure what this is or where it comes from, all I know is you need to get rid of it.
- Take a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and scrub the keys and the contacts on the circuit board.
- Put the remote back together, it should now be working.
After I performed the above procedure the remote buttons started working perfectly.
Update 4/8/2010: The buttons stopped working again so I tried the cleaning process again. The buttons look very clean but for some reason the buttons still don’t work. I’m not sure why it would work great the first time but have no effect the second time.
I was looking around online and found a product called CaiKote 44. This product is designed for exactly the type of button repair that I needed. It is a paste that you put on the bottom of the buttons and it restores the conductivity. Application is pretty easy, using the included swabs just spread a thin layer of CaiKote on the button and let it dry for a few hours. Once I put the remote back together it was working perfectly again.
The problem seems to be finding CaiKote. The only physical store that I know of that carries this product is Fry’s Electronics. They sell it for $5.99. It was difficult to find, it took two workers a while before we finally found it. If you go it is located in the electronics parts department near some LCD screen cleaning products.
I haven’t found a good place to buy it online. You can but it from the manufacturer, but they have a $25 minimum order. It is also sold on Amazon here, but as of right now the price is very high, maybe it will drop to a more reasonable price in the future.
I use hibernate when I am done using my Windows Vista x64 machine for the day. Usually I would use sleep but for some reason my DFI motherboard doesn’t work with Vista’s sleep feature. Hibernate usually works fine, but maybe once or twice a month the computer will crash with a bluescreen when entering hibernation. Bluescreen errors are really annoying because Windows doesn’t give the user any useful information as to what is causing the error so it is really hard to fix it.
After some trial and error I’ve figured out how to gain some information on figuring out what is causing the bluescreen. The following steps show you how to determine which binary is causing the error. These steps should work on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows Server:
- Go here to download and install the 32 or 64 bit version of the Debugging Tools for Windows: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/DevTools/Debugging/default.mspx.
- Wait until your computer bluescreens.
- Once the computer reboots open a cmd.exe window. On Vista you must use an elevated permissions window.
- Type this command at the prompt to allow debugging symbols to be found: set _NT_SYMBOL_PATH=symsrv*symsrv.dll*f:\localsymbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
- Go to the location that you installed the debugging tools and type “windbg.exe”.
- Select File –> Open Crash Dump.
- Select c:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP.
- Type in the windbg window: !analyze -v
- Windbg will show you information about the crash. I look at IMAGE_NAME to determine what binary is causing the problem.
Usually I will see a binary that starts with “nv” which means nVidia. My graphics card drivers are usually the ones that are causing the problem. If you don’t recognize the binary then try searching for it online and you’ll probably be able to figure out what it is.
If you can figure out what it is then you can try installing a newer version of the program or driver to see if that helps.
Update: I have confirmed that Rizal’s suggestion in the comments fixes the problem. Add a “--no-sandbox” argument to the Chrome shortcut and Chrome should start working. To do this right click on the Chrome desktop icon. In the Target box add “--no-sandbox” without the quotes to the very end of the box.
Update2: Chrome’s sandbox is an additional security feature that restricts each browser process from accessing anything on the system that it is running on. So disabling it is usually not a good idea. But in this case the browser is so new that people are mostly using it as a test and to verify website compatibility so I think most people are ok with disabling it. As far as I know using the “no sandbox” argument is no worse than browsing with the current version of Firefox or Internet Explorer. Google or Symantec will fix the problem in a future release and you can re-enable the sandbox at that time.
I installed the new Google’s new Chrome browser within minutes of being released. It installed ok but it wouldn’t run at all. As soon as it started up I would get this error:
The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000005). Click ok to terminate the application.
This appears to be caused by Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP). Unfortunately I am running this on a corporate machine and there is no way for me to disable or configure the Symantec software.
Uninstalling SEP is always an option to get Chrome to work. Another less drastic method that was posted online:
I was able to go into SEP – Change Settings – Centralized Exceptions,
click Configure Settings, and add c:\documents and settings\<username>
\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
to the list. However I had to reboot the machine to be able to open up chrome w/out the error message.
For more information read this thread: http://groups.google.com/group/google-chrome-help-troubleshooting/browse_thread/thread/41ef35857180e154/.