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…

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.

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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

Enhance Android privacy with Blokada app

Are you privacy conscious, but you realized you don’t actually have any options? You can either use a dumb phone, a ridiculously overpriced iPhone or Google infested Android. There are literally no other options unless you sacrifice everything that makes a smartphone virtually “smart”.

So, you’re stuck with Android with all its Google shit. There is a cure for that. It’s called Blokada and it seems to be so effective Google removed it from GooglePlay because it was “going against their business practices” (which just means it blocked their ads and data hoarding). You can also grab it on F-Droid Android software store and if you still have doubts, you can also check Blokada source code

Blokada

Blokada_3_5.png

How does it work?

In an essence, it works as a local VPN, so you don’t have to root your device. Just install it from its webpage (you’ll have to manually allow installation of a 3rd party app, under Android Oreo it should give you access to controls for this directly with the popup, at least on my Xiaomi Mi5 it does) and fire it up. It’ll connect as VPN service, but it’s not really redirecting traffic anywhere, it’s just a neat trick to filter traffic without having to root the phone.

Blokada is using blacklists just like AdBlock, AdGuard or uBlock. It’ll block ads, trackers and even allow you to change DNS to whatever you like.

It gives you a huge selection of various blacklists as well as DNS servers and also has a whitelist where you can exclude apps from filtering in case they get broken or you want to support the devs of that app specifically by allowing ads.

Potential problems

In general, not many apps have problems with it even though I’ve removed most of predefined whitelist exclusions. Some banking apps may refuse to function when any kind of VPN is enabled and since those apps can’t differentiate from actual VPN or a local VPN like Blokada, you’ll at least know what is causing the problem and you need to turn off Blokada entirely for the time you want to use such apps. Whitelisting doesn’t seem to help since those apps seem to detect VPN of any kind is on and just plain refuse to work properly.

Does it work?

Can’t say for sure other than my battery seems to last for quite a bit longer now, I’m not seeing any ads anywhere, not even on Youtube (could be just that I watch videos without ads), but the notifications do show a lot of trackers being blocked and the number of total blocks is in the thousands after just few days of using Blokada. I guess it’s working alright.

Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Mega Pack (MVCRP) released!

I have released a Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Mega Pack (MVCRP) for the convenience of quickly installing all the Visual C++ Redistributable Runtime libraries in one go without silly downloading of each package and then installing one by one. MVCRP delivers ALL current Visual C++ Runtime libraries in a single package that gets installed in a sequence one by one. I’ve decided to still let users click things in them opposed to running them in Silent mode, but it’s still WAY faster than doing everything manually.

Original post with all the extra info and downloads:

https://rejzor.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/microsoft-visual-c-runtime-redistributable-downloads/

Windows Security Center protection status delay fix

WinDefenderNonsense.png

If your Security Center icon in taskbar has a yellow exclamation mark warning or even red circle with cross warning for several minutes after every system restart just because Security Center is trying to figure out what’s the status of your protection software (even when only using Windows Defender!) and goes away after that really long time, this fix will most likely resolve it for you. I don’t know why this nonsense started happening all of a sudden and why it’s happening with all antiviruses except avast!, but I found out the reason.

Windows Security Center service is set for Automatic start with Delay. Which means it takes forever to load on startup and as a result, you see that warning on the taskbar icon forever.

Applying my fix (simple registry file) however forces Security Center to start in a normal, non delayed way which refreshes the status instantly on every system restart, showing green checkmark next to a Security Center shield pretty much instantly. It doesn’t really affect performance or startup time, but it gets rid of the warning/error icon on Security Center, so you instantly know whether there is an actual problem with protection because you’ll get the actual status instantly after startup.

FIX: DOWNLOAD

Update 2018-08-12: Added additional REG file to restore default state

Devastating performance hit from KB4338825 update on AMD A9-9420 APU

For weeks I couldn’t figure out why my AMD A9-9420 based laptop bought in January 2018 became so horrifyingly slow just half a year later I can’t even use it anymore. Sure, it’s an entry level dual core laptop, but it clocks ridiculously high to 3.6 GHz and with single thread optimizations replacing multicore “Bulldozer” microarchitecture it was super responsive. It also has 4GB of RAM which is alright, but it also comes with a 256GB Samsung SSD. It’s not one of those crappy DRAM-less SSD’s, this is basically an OEM version of mid end Samsung Evo drives. Something between 750 Evo and 850 Evo. A well rounded package for not very demanding usage of music, videos, browsing and Youtube.

Except it became so slow opening Start menu takes 1-2 seconds and it opens in laggy way, opening simple JPG image takes up to 10 seconds, opening Opera browser takes like half a minute, playing 480p video on Youtube was lagging and 1080p30 was so slow it literally stalled the whole laptop and even moving mouse across the screen feels like it’s lagging and stuttering. All this at CPU usage of 0-5%. But feels like you’re having a 100% load on CPU by something.

I thought AMD drivers were the problem, but no matter what I tried, nothing changed. So I downgraded Windows 10 April Update (1803) back to Fall Creators Update (1709). And it was fine. Until it updated itself. So, after 5 total OS reinstalls, I managed to pinpoint the problem. This motherfucking KB4338825 update. As soon as it gets installed, laptop becomes the slowest thing in this world. I had to rollback from 1803 to 1709, but there is no way to selectively uninstall and disable fucking KB4338825 update, not even with the tool for this. And if I install April Update (1803), this garbage gets carried over automatically.

So, now I’m literally at a point where I can’t uncheck this update, uninstall this update and block this update from installing and fucking up my laptop. As soon as I’m on build 1709, this fucking update gets installed and fucks everything up.

If Windows Update worked like it did in Windows 7, I could reinstall OS, uncheck this update and I’d be using the laptop normally until I annoy Microsoft enough for them to finally fix this shit. But that’s just wishful thinking. God knows what else is screwing up my main rig because it often feels like it’s performing worse than i did months and years ago down to as simple things as moving mouse which just feels laggy. Sounds oddly familiar to this situation with my laptop, but since PC is so fast, it’s not as dramatic. But I can sense something is off.

So, here it is, if your PC or laptop feels like it’s entirely useless because it’s so slow (despite clean Windows 10 install), it’s because of this shitty update. I’ve left the report on Microsoft’s Feedback Hub, but I’m not expecting much because they won’t give a shit about a single user. Which just shows a sad state of PC industry. Linux is still garbage despite years of everyone saying it’ll overtake Windows and Microsoft just plain doesn’t seem to give a shit about the state of Windows or what its users want, because they know Linux is shit and we have to use their OS whether we like it or not. Which absolutely stinks as hell. And I run 3 systems, 1x Windows 10 Home and 2x Windows 10 Professional, all genuine licensed versions. Absolute fucking disgrace Microsoft.

What’s even worse, I used to have AMD E-450 APU, 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD laptop and it became exactly like this at one point. Which is why I bought this newer, much faster one. Which yet again turned garbage slow with exact same symptoms. Do you know how annoying it feels that I bought a new laptop because some other update fucked up performance of that one for no logical reason and I thought it just got slow somehow? Unless Microsoft is doing this intentionally to screw AMD and subtly force people to buy new laptops and migrate to Intel because everything AMD gets slow as turd “eventually” thanks to these magical updates. After seeing this on 2 laptops with like 4-6 years of age apart, something is going on. And it stinks.