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…

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/

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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.

Windows 10 Core Isolation Control 1.0 released!

Microsoft has introduced several new security features in Windows 10 Spring Update/April Update, one of which is called “Core Isolation” and is designed to prevent attacks from inserting malicious code into high-security processes.

In theory, it’s a great feature. In practice, Microsoft cocked it up. Again. Not with the feature itself, that should work fine, but with controls for it. And I can’t believe this slipped past their QA control given that I noticed the feature being broken in 1 minute after trying the Spring Update.

You can enable it just fine under Security center, but if you for whatever reason want to disable it again, you’re greeted with this message:

BuggedCoreIsolation.png

I’m the bloody Administrator. What the hell? Well, after some fiddling, I managed to figure out the controls for this thing and created a tool to manage Core Isolation externally.

I present you Windows 10 Core Isolation Control tool:

Win10CoreIsolationControl.png

It’s a simple tool to flip Core Isolation controls ON or OFF regardless of what Security Center interface says. I even made it aware in what state Core Isolation is, so you basically don’t have to use Security Center anymore to control it (or check its status).

DOWNLOAD:

Windows 10 Core Isolation Control

Bring privacy under your control again

Took me a while, but when Google fired James Damore for his memo, that was a tipping point for me. It was also a day when I entirely dropped Google Search. And also a day when I decided to start using more and more “independent” alternative services that are more privacy focused. Some are easier to switch to, some are not. But let me tell you, it’s worth it when you realize how these mega corporations are just straight up evil.  From their fucked up internal politics to endless meddling with politics worldwide to how they handle our sensitive private info with next to no regard for anything or anyone. Sure, they offer services for free in exchange for our privacy, but there will be a point when you’ll ask yourself, is my private info and data really worth so little that I trust it to Google instead of paying a relatively small subscription for a secure encrypted private mailbox with nearly same features as found on GMail? It takes some time to realize that, but take some time and think about it.

To make final decisions easier afterwards, here are some tips on what services to use in order to break free from mega corporations mining your personal data…

DNS Service

OpenDNS
Cloudflare DNS

Web Search

DuckDuckGo
Qwant
iquick | StartPage
Unbubble

e-Mail Service

ProtonMail
Tutanota
Hushmail
StartMail
Mailfence
PrivateRelay
Posteo
Kolab
Lavabit
Criptext

Data Storage

MEGA
DropBox

Online maps/navigation

HERE WeGo | HERE Maps for Android
OpenStreetMap

Two-Factor Authenticators

FreeOTP

Web browser

Mozilla Firefox
Vivaldi

VPN

ProtonVPN

 

Summary

After long hours of research and investigation, I’ve dug up these services that are highly focused on privacy and security, are mostly located in countries with most rigorous privacy laws or they are designed in such a way no one can even force them to uncover your data, because only you have the decryption keys. They may not be free, but can you really put a price tag on your privacy when you think about it? Some services cost a bit more a year, others less. Some are even free but with certain limitations like e-mail storage space and less features which kinda forces you to upgrade. But you can evaluate them cost free this way and decide which ones you like.

Suggestions?

If you know any other services that you feel they need exposure here, leave them down below in the comments and I’ll check them out. If I feel they are worthy, I’ll include them on the list above.

Resolving no audio/sound on some videos

I’ve had this bizarre issue where most videos online, be it on Twitter or Youtube had sound, I had sound in Musicbee and in video players, but there were some videos online that were just dead silent. It looked like audio is playing, but I couldn’t hear anything. Couldn’t figure it out for a while till it hit me I’ve done a soundcard driver update recently. The reason was I’m using 2.1 speakers and the soundcard reset itself to 5.1 mode after driver update.

When this happens, videos with mono sound won’t play any audio at all because the mono channel is expected to play on a center speaker which, with using 2.1 speakers, you do not have. Switching back to Stereo mode in soundcard settings forces mono sound from non-existing center speaker into both stereo channels and sound should “appear” again.

So, if you’re having such problem, check your soundcard settings speakers mode to see if it changed by itself to 5.1, causing this problem…

Hope this helps 🙂

Adding custom AdBlock filter lists to Opera browser

As you might know already, Opera comes with integrated AdBlock for quite a while. And it’s generally very fast because it’s an integral part of the rendering engine in this browser. It also comes with widely used EasyList and EasyPrivacy out of the box as well as with NoCoin protection from cryptocurrency mining scripts that can abuse CPU usage during visits on certain webpages. But there are a lot more out there that you can use to filter out of webpages…

How to do it?

OperaCustomFiltersScreenshot.png

 

 

What lists to use?

Most widely used ones are from EasyList and Fanboy. EasyList and EasyPrivacy are already included in Opera out of the box, so you basically only need Fanboy’s lists as an extra.

https://www.fanboy.co.nz/

My favorites are Annoyances List (which includes blocking of social widgets and cookie messages), Anti-Facebook List and Enhanced Trackers List (which also includes Problematic Websites List).

Read the descriptions of lists well because some already contain the others and you don’t want to unnecessarily duplicate them as it will just make browsing slower with no other benefits.

This way I filter out all the nonsense and tracking garbage from websites without using a single extra extension.

How to use the lists?

To use the list, just go to Fanboy’s webpage, right click on “View List” link and “Copy link address”. Paste it in the “Add a site” field and press ENTER. It’ll import the list and it will also regularly auto update on its own.

Congrats! You’ve just removed bunch of nonsense from webpages you visit, keeping them clean and without social networks that track you everywhere you go.