Games For Windows Live Stuck On “Signing In”?

Posted: January 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Software, Tips/Tutorials
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Recently I was having trouble getting any GFWL game to work. The store client itself was always fine, but every game was unusable. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the latest client, and even installing an older one from the redist folder of Blacklight Tango Down. I know UPnP works on my router and this computer, so how can that be it, right?

I found this post that mentions resetting the TCP stack and Winsock. This method seems to be mentioned occasionally, but much less than the usual reset router, restart this, reinstall that.

So what you do is open a command prompt (as Administrator if needed), type ‘netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt‘ and the status of each item should say ‘OK’. That user post says to type in the winsock reset command, but I couldn’t do anything further in that window once it completed, so I opened up a second one and typed ‘netsh winsock reset‘.

Now I had 2 cmd windows open, they wouldn’t close, the restart button in the start menu didn’t work, and well, I hit the reset button on my case. Seemed a little sloppy, but my GFWL games are now loading fine! Don’t disable the Windows Live ID Sign-In Assistant service, it appears to be needed.

Last Modified: March 30th, 2011

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Disable Auto-Eject On Empty Drives

Posted: July 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Tips/Tutorials
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Have you tried to double click on a hard drive in MyComputer, only to accidentally click your optical drive and have it eject? This gets annoying if you’re trying to be quiet at night, or if you have one of those cases with a door that covers up the drive bays. Luckily it’s a simple fix, but you won’t be able to use the built in Windows burning functionality. You should be able to still use third-party burning tools like ImgBurn just fine. (In fact I need my options and project files, so I’m never using built in OS stuff anyway)

In the registry, go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Add a DWORD called NoCDBurning and set it to 1.

That’s it. Log off and on again to make it work. This might be just a Vista and 7 feature, but try it on XP if it ejects as well.

Last Modified: July 6th, 2010

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VERY Powerful Batch Rename Application

Posted: May 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Software, Tips/Tutorials
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Here’s a real time-saver. If you ever needed to rename or enumerate a bunch of files, and have been manually doing it up till now, then this is the program just for you. Ant Renamer is full of common actions you might have run into when dealing with larger amounts of files, such as photos of a vacation or frames of an animation.

You can add characters, search and replace strings, use the file date for its name, use EXIF information, or even run a regular expression on your file list. It displays what the output will look like at the bottom as a preview. Finally, there’s an Undo button if you make a mistake.

Check it out next time you have some heavy renaming to do. It’s freeware and even includes source code or translation files if you’re inclined to start modifying it.

Last Modified: March 30th, 2011

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Disable Network Thumbs.db Generation

Posted: May 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Tips/Tutorials
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When I got Vista, I noticed something ‘annoying’ when I was browsing some folders over the network/lan. A thumbs.db file was generated into any folder that included images inside, either from hovering over one with the mouse, or browsing it. This totally messes up your folder list if you need to arrange by the modified date instead of by name, and your folders are weeks/months/years old. This will be a ‘brute force’ method, blocking both network and local thumbs.db generation, without gpedit.msc or any reg keys. Windows 7 probably might work too.

Go here: C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows (you can also paste %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows into your explorer address bar)

Go to Organize>Folder and Search Options>View (or Tools>Folder Options>View in the address bar, push Alt if your address bar is hidden)

(If you are hiding any files, enable the ‘Show hidden files and folders‘ option AND turn OFF ‘Hide protected operating system files‘.)

Enable ‘Always show icons, never thumbnails‘ for now. This will be so you can delete the existing local thumbs.db files. Go into the Explorer folder (so you’re in ‘…\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer‘). Delete everything in here, which should be a bunch of thumbs.db files pertaining to different pixel sizes.

Open the Properties of this Explorer folder and go to Security>Advanced>Permissions>Edit. Turn off ‘Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parent‘, then ‘Remove‘ on the dialogue that comes up. It should say that there are no groups or users with access to this object. Hit Apply/OK and keep OK’ing till you’re done with the properties of the Explorer folder.

Now you can re-enable your thumbnails by unticking ‘Always show icons, never thumbnails’ and go back to your preferred hidden files options as well.

That’s it. Thumbs.db is permanently blocked from being generated anywhere. The OS is blocked from generating them on each folder of a network share that you’re browsing, and also from taking up local space. According to a reply in this thread, they had some ‘save/save as’ issues in Word 2003, but I’m not seeing any issue on Word 2007 or any other application. If you have an issue, post a comment here, and we could probably adjust the permissions to work around that while still blocking thumbs.db generation.

Last Modified: August 29th, 2011

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