Category Archives: Resolving problems

Posts about tricky problems that i want to resolve or when i manage to resolve them. So others don’t have to go through problem solving nightmares…

Gigabyte G27Q monitor bricking itself after F05 update. But not really.

As per my usual Gigabyte tradition, things just have to go wrong with their stuff… Just the other day I was updating its firmware on my Gigabyte G27Q monitor to version F5 which brings some refresh rate fixes. So, I installed OSD Sidekick, downloaded firmware and applied it.

All went well until display went blank during update and monitor began doing what looked like a bricked loop state. Its power indicator was blinking in a weird way with two fast blinks and a longer pause, making weird high pitch noise every time it blinked. Since documentation doesn’t exist on Gigabytes site apart from entirely useless “manual”, I searched online and found someone else had exact same issue on Reddit. Apparently they fixed it by having it unplugged for a day. So I went with that fix. Left it unplugged from power as well as PC (I was using DisplayPort) for the night. In the morning, all excited to finally get to the desktop I plug it in aaaaaand the same thing. Blinking LED, dead monitor. Dafaq?!

Then as I was flipping it around thinking what to try next I realized I only unplugged power, its USB and DisplayPort cables. The HDMI going to PlayStation was still plugged in and I remembered the news about HDMI dongle fooling GeForce cards into allowing mining and I thought, what if presence of HDMI cable alone (even though PlayStation was turned off) is making it fail to operate. So I entirely unplugged it from all power and data sources. Waited a minute, plugged only power cable back and behold, monitor woke up normally. I stuck back in the DisplayPort cable and bam, Windows desktop appeared with OSD Sidekick app still there saying “Finished” in a popup.

Apparently, if you have HDMI plugged in, G27Q monitor will get stuck in a “boot” loop after firmware update. And since the F05 in particular has refresh rate fixes for PlayStation 5, that happening is a very likely scenario since it connects via HDMI.

So, apparently all you have to do to “unbrick” it is to disconnect ALL cables then only plug it into power and turn it on. Once it completes the first “boot”, it will work fine even with all the cables plugged in. What an absolutely bizarre issue that will surely freak out so many users who ventured down this firmware updating route. I just hope they’ll find this blog post and resolve the issue quickly. I can’t tell you have freaked out I was thinking shiny new 300+ € monitor just got bricked and I’ll have to deal with lengthy RMA process. Thankfully I didn’t have to after figuring out the issue myself. I also hope Gigabyte will write down a warning for F05 update that if this happens you need to disconnect it entirely, do a power only “boot” and then connect things back.

Shadow of Tomb Raider sound stuttering and skipping fix

After finally getting RTX 3080 card, I could finally get around finishing the latest game Tomb Raider trilogy. Just to find out the game’s sound in Shadow of Tomb Raider begins to stutter and skip horribly after playing it for few minutes and is even worse when using AirPods 2 where it starts stuttering and skipping right away.

For some dumb reason, this problem happens because game is running at too low process priority. Most games don’t have issues running at Normal process priority. I haven’t ever seen any other somewhat modern game have problems with this actually! However, Shadow of Tomb Raider requires you to elevate SOTTR.exe to High process priority and sound issues go away immediately.

Another gem is, if you Alt-Tab Shadow of Tomb Raider to change process priority in Task Manager, the game then drops refresh rate to 50Hz. So you have to fix that every time you adjust process priority of the game.

I’ve created a tool to specifically address such issues, called Permanent Process Priority Tool and you can download it here. Download the tool, within it browse for SOTTR.exe inside Shadow of Tomb Raider game folder, select HIGH process priority for it and apply it. This will fix audio stuttering and skipping permanently and will apply High process priorrity on game every time you run it.

Excuse my ignorance, but how can game from 2018 have such massive problems because of something this basic? Process priority. HOW?!

How to fix Tomb Raider – Anniversary “Unable to load profile” error

If you’re one of those people who play games over long periods of time (huge game backlogs and stuff 😛 ) and you reinstall Windows or games in between, but want to continue using old save files, sometimes problems happen. I remember Need for Speed: Carbon having such problem where save file had to be from your created profile, otherwise it refused to load it (which is dumb design, but oh well). And Tomb Raider Anniversary is joining that party. Been a while when I decided to play Tomb Raider franchise through and ended up at Anniversary. Loaded it up today and it refused to load the profile with error “Unable to load profile”. Looked up online and only found bunch of people complaining over same thing with no fix. So I figured it out myself.

Here’s how to fix it…

Start the game, get the error, dismiss it and create new profile with different name than your old one. Just call it “NEW”.

Go to game’s profiles folder:

C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME\Documents\Eidos\Tomb Raider – Anniversary\

Look for your old profile, open the folder and just copy ALL the file from your old profile into folder “NEW” (overwrite all files) which is the newly created profile we just created few moments ago. Rename your old profile folder to “OLD” so you’ll know for the next time which is which.

Now go back into game and load the “NEW” profile. The game should load it up without any errors.

Enjoy 🙂

Firefox Tweaker released!

FirefoxTweakerMainPanel

Because Mozilla just can’t stop with their endless fuckups when it comes to browser design, I wrote this tool to quickly and effortlessly revert or change their stupid “features” that are either endlessly annoying, ugly or totally not functional or helpful and I was sick and tired of dealing with incredibly time consuming and clumsy about:config page.

Firefox Tweaker allows you to change few super important (but hidden) settings in just few clicks through an easy to use interface. There is also a safeguard in place which backups settings file on first run so there shouldn’t be any problems.

For any questions, problems or bug reports contact me via e-mail or through micro-page comment section.

Visit Firefox Tweaker micro page for more details:

https://rejzor.wordpress.com/firefox-tweaker/

Increase audio volume beyond 100% in Windows

In general, the audio volume control for Windows has plenty of range for quietest and loudest volume you ever need, especially on PC with stand alone amplified speakers. However, there are cases where you have to work with what you have and you’re just not getting enough loudness even when you already have volume set to 100%. Like for example laptop speakers or bluetooth earphones. Which was exactly my case.

I have a hybrid netbook that often lacks volume even when at 100% and I had the same problem with AirPods 2. On iPhone, I can get plenty of volume from them, but on my laptop, even at 100% volume, they were just too quiet.

There are some audio “enhancers”, but the problem is they mostly refuse to work with bluetooth earphones as they simply ignore them and other tweaks with Windows Loudness Equalization which doesn’t even appear for bluetooth devices. Until I found Equalizer APO. I’ve heard about it before, but never thought it might resolve this. And it has.

Basically, you need to install it, select which device you want to apply it to like so:

APO_Device.png

There might be more devices listed in your case, only select those that you want Equalizer APO to apply to. My other laptop had Realtek device and AirPods 2 listed when I had them connected. Since I wanted volume boost to only apply to AirPods 2, I only selected those. So laptop speakers work like before, but AirPods 2 have boosted volume. In example above, it’s the hybrid netbook that needed some extra boost in volume.

Then you fire up the Configuration Editor which allows you to control the audio:

APO_Preamp.png

Since I only need volume boost, I’ve removed the rest of features using red minus button. And then cranked up the gain to +20dB (you can use less if you feel desired volume has already been achieved or if you can hear audio distortion). The neat thing about this pre-amp is that it works along Windows volume control. So you can still make things very quiet or very loud using regular Windows volume controls, hardware buttons or hotkeys just like before. But you can go beyond original volume when at 100%, depending on boost you set. Equalizer APO also offers other settings like Equalizer so you can maybe boost highs or bass if needed, but that’s for some other topic.

Right now, we solved the low volume when it could play louder. And that’s all we needed here 🙂

AMD systems can use Windows Core Isolation feature after all

As you can read here I had some problems enabling Windows Core Isolation feature on my Ryzen 5 2500U system. Whenever I’ve enabled it, system failed to work in a way that graphics failed to work if I enabled it.

As it turns out, the reason for this was in outdated drivers. Combination of them. There was also BIOS update… But not the usual kind of driver update. I had all drivers installed, chipset and graphic from AMD. Also full Windows Update.

I had to update drivers using Snappy Driver Installer (make sure to create System Restore Point first if there are any problems) and after that, Core Isolation worked just fine. I’ve used SDI quite often before, but stopped. I guess I’m returning to using it regularly.

Fix for AORUS Engine not starting at all

I’ve wrote about this some time ago and have since found a solution and also disappointment finding out Gigabyte actually removed preset profiles from it so it’s all sliders now…

The faulting module causing AORUS Engine to fail is:
C:\Program Files (x86)\GIGABYTE\AORUS ENGINE\GLedApi.DLL

So, go into that folder and just delete the file. AORUS Engine will start. Go to its settings and check for updates. It’ll find something was missing and it’ll download missing RGB Fusion component which is actually the same thing you’ve deleted, but it works fine with that one for some weird reason.

So, here you have it, a silly fix for even more silly fail that Gigabyte STILL hasn’t addressed. Heh.

Control Google Privacy

It’s no secret at this point that Google is a data hoarding hamster, but some realize this after using their services for months, years and even decades. And lets be frank here, Google may offer controls for privacy, but they dug the controls deep into their settings where most users won’t even find or look for them. And no one can really audit if they do anything for real or how much of the data they already sold to 3rd parties and blocking or removing it makes any difference at this point.

But still, there are controls for it and you can use them to at least feel better in worst case scenario lol. Some panels may interleave or share parts of controls, but I’ve listed them anyway for faster direct access.

VIEW AND DOWNLOAD ALL YOUR DATA

Download ALL your data from Google

BASIC GOOGLE CONTROLS

Google Dashboard

Your Google Personal Info

PRIVACY CONTROLS

Google Privacy Controls

Google Privacy Checkup

GOOGLE ACTIVITY

Google MyActivity

Google Activity Control

3RD PARTY APPS WITH ACCESS TO GOOGLE SERVICES

Google Connected Apps

DELETE GOOGLE SERVICES / DATA

Delete individual Google products IRREVERSIBLE!

Delete Google Account IRREVERSIBLE!

I also suggest you sweep through all panels and look at every setting in there and decide whether you want them enabled or not. Also, be aware that controlling activity settings will also affect how their products work. For example, if you disable Youtube Watched Activity, Youtube won’t track what videos you’ve watched (at all) and it also won’t remember where you stopped watching videos if you stop watching them half way through.

What is also a bit worrying is the fact there is ZERO controls for GMail in particular, a service/product which stores by far the most of your personal data.

MSI X99 Gaming 7 BIOS update 7885vHG is garbage

I was getting bizarre random system lockups, freezes, crashes, BSOD’s with things that just didn’t make any kind of sense like SoundBlasterX AE-5 drivers BSOD’ing on every cold system boot or games regularly but entirely randomly without any real meaningful pattern crashing the system like there was a power cut making it look like faulty PSU (which is impossible since I have a relatively new top of the line PSU from BeQuiet) and this was happening for weeks until I ran out of all software and hardware possibilities and looked at the BIOS that I’ve updated ages ago and which was designed to mitigate the Spectre/Meltdown nonsense. It’s version is 7885vHG and it seems to be the root of all these problems. I’ve downgraded it back to H.F version and all the mentioned problems disappeared. Not one crash, freeze, BSOD or anything.

I don’t know what the fuck MSI did here, but BIOS 7885vHG for MSI X99 Gaming 7 is absolute garbage. Not only they delivered it months after it should have been released, it’s also of terrible quality. And since Microsoft patched the vulnerabilities with OS microcode update, there is next to no reason to use this BIOS, especially since it’s such garbage. I also can’t believe my system is the only one experiencing these problems or people just never managed to figure it out it was MSI’s BIOS update doing this.

Well, now you know.

Tomb Raider: Legend NextGen Crash Fix

It has been ages since Tomb Raider: Legend was released and basically since day one we had to deal with random game crashes because of NextGen content that never got fixed by original developers. One moment you’re playing the game, next moment game crashes to desktop without any warnings. NextGen content enables quite neat graphics that still impress me even today, 12 years after game release, but these crashes were super annoying.

Until I found a fix for it. Decided to complete all “modern” Tomb Raider games, so naturally I had to start with Tomb Raider: Legend. And crashes annoyed me so hard I started digging. And found a fix by total chance which was apparently released in 2014 by user “if(TickRate==64){shot.Miss();} ” (yeah, stupid name lol).

But it seems to work perfectly. I was getting crashes in Nepal almost every few minutes, but after replacing the binary, no crashes in exact same spots.

Just download the EXE file below and replace the original in game folder. Patch is meant for Steam version of the game. I’ve checked it with Kaspersky and it seems clean.

DOWNLOAD:

Tomb Raider Legend NextGen Crash Fix