notes to help me remember

Category Archives: Win XP

No Internet Connection (Wired or Wireless)

Had a laptop that would not connect to the internet.  Either wired or wirelessly it would not be able to get an IP address from DHCP.  I found this in the helpful Microsoft knowledgebase article 817571 (  Essentially, the Windows sockets registry subkeys have become corrupted and must be replaced:

Method 1 exports the subkeys, then recreates them, other methods involve copying the keys from an operational, similar computer.

Use Registry Editor to export and delete the Winsock and Winsock2 registry subkeys, and then remove and reinstall TCP/IP on Microsoft Windows 2000 or  Microsoft Windows XP.   To do this, follow these steps.

Export and delete the corrupted registry subkeys

  1. Insert a floppy disk in the floppy disk drive of the computer whose registry entries you are exporting.
  2. Click Start,  click Run, type regedit,  and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
  4. Do one of the following steps, depending on the operating system:
    • For Windows XP, on the File menu, click Export.
    • For Windows 2000, on the Registry menu, click Export.
  5. In the Save in box, click 3½ Floppy (A:), type a name for the file in the File name box,  and then click Save.
  6. Right-click Winsock, and then click Delete. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 for the following subkey:

    Note Each  .reg  file that you save must have a different name.

  8. Right-click Winsock2, click Delete, and then click Yes.
  9. Quit  Registry Editor.

Windows XP-based computer

Reinstall TCP/IP on a Windows XP-based computer

In Windows XP, the TCP/IP stack is a core component of the operating system. Therefore, you cannot remove TCP/IP in Windows XP.

  1. Install TCP/IP on top of itself. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. In Control Panel, double-click Network Connections, right-click Local Area Connection, and then click Properties.
    2. Click Install.
    3. Click Protocol, and then click Add.
    4. Click Have Disk.
    5. In the Copy manufacturer’s files from box, type System_Drive_Letter:\windows\inf,  and then click OK.
    6. In the list of available protocols, click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click OK.
  2. Restart your computer.

This did the trick for me.  I needed to reinstall the TCP/IP for both the LAN and wireless connections.

64-bit Windows Registry, SMART Board Tools

After spending some time trying to find where SMART Board Tools keeps getting started, I learned that 64-bit Windows has separate areas in the registry for 32-bit and 64-bit applications.  I tracked down the entry to start SMART Board Tools in  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Run.  This is the location for 32 bit apps (or 32-bit versions of apps) running on a 64-bit system.

Authorizing Win XP

I swapped out a defective HDD and was happy to find that it already had Win XP installed, which would save me a little time.  When XP started up, however, the computer was unable to confirm the genuineness of the OS installation.  I was able to find this old copy of Microsoft KB321636.

A shorter version:

1. Make a change to the OOBETimer registry key at HKLM\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents (any change will do), and close the registry.

2. Run the system activation program by entering “%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a” in the start/run box.

3. Choose to register by phone, and at the next screen, click on the button on the bottom to change the product key. (I have no idea if the product key can be changed elsewhere, but why bother when this is such a gosh darn obvious place to put the option?)

4. Now go back to the first screen and choose to activate by internet, if need be.

After doing this, the computer still showed the activation star icon in the toolbar, but clicking on this took me to a page that would not display in the browser. A little more checking directed me to:

which diagnoses the ability of the computer to activate.  This showed me that the date was off by a couple of days, and after fixing that the computer validated itself immediately.

Shockwave and Silverlight

Two nitnoid little issues today that seemed rather silly to me.  Completely unrelated, other than both being programs used by different web sites.  The first had to do with Microsoft Silverlight, and the second with Adobe Shockwave.

A teacher was unable to add attachments to her email using Outlook Web Access (OWA).  She was unable to because the dialog box for selecting the file was too small to show the buttons, and the size of box was fixed.  It looked to me that it should have been the normal Windows file select dialog, as this is how it looked on my computer.  When I tried the OWA email attachment function in the Chrome browser the dialog box was large enough to see (and access) the buttons.  It was also large enough to see the message about Microsoft Silverlight (something about more features, I think).  Anyhow, once Silverlight was installed, the dialog box showed up in a much more functional manner.  The silly part is that OWA has no reason to disable resizing the dialog box.  It was completely unusable at that size and at that resolution.

Just to confirm that nothing is simple, I was next asked why the student computers would not run a short online quiz for a webquest.  Ah, well, the quiz requires the Adobe Shockwave Player which was not installed on those student computers.  Though I couldn’t install it on all the lab computers right away, I was to install it on one computer that all the students could use for the short quiz. As you may know, Shockwave is a relatively quick download and install, so it seemed this would be quick and easy.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the install file with me, so installed it from the Adobe site.  Almost forgot to test it, being so sure that it would work.  Looked promising for a moment when I did try it, although I am not sure why the quiz site felt compelled to install it again, but then I got an error.  A blank dialog box popped up with the title “Missing shockwave decompression XTRA'”. 

I googled this and found several references to installing the full version of Shockwave Player rather than the slim version.  Not knowing what version had been installed, I searched until I found a link to download the full install file (don’t really remember what the link was, but it was on the Adobe site).  Installed the full version, still didn’t work, uninstalled and reinstalled, still got same message. 

Finally found this post, which mentioned the file “SWADCmpr.X32”.  Apparently, the official Adobe Shockwave Player install places this file somewhere other than where it looks for it.  Lovely.  Found it in C:\WINDOWS\system32\Adobe\Shockwave 11\Xtras and copied it into C:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Shockwave 10\Xtras (hm, a little odd, since I installed Shockwave 11).  Anyhow, it worked after that.

the SimWelder

So the secretary asked me to go talk to one of the vocational teachers today.  He is not one of those who is fond of his computer, and when he saw me he said something about this thing giving him fits lately.  I assumed he was talking about the computer on his desk, which was comforting because we have several of that model, and they work well, and are generally easy to deal with.  But no, he walked right past that to the corner of the room where sat the SimWelder! I had no idea what a SimWelder was, I couldn’t have told you anything about it, whether it had a processor, or if it had mice running on wheels to power it.  I had previously seen it in action once from across the room, but really had no idea what the heck it was.  I am slightly better informed now.

The SimWelder consists of a Shuttle PC (one of those breadbox shaped PCs), a Pohlemus Patriot sensor thingamajig (connected to a welder simulator and another sensor), and an eMagin Z800 (related to the attached mask with simulator screen).  The teacher reported that he had checked all the connections and had even blown out the PC (very good idea, it tends to get distinctly dirty in that area of the building).  I did notice that there was an envelope leaning against the right side of the Shuttle unit blocking the vents on that side.  The whole unit is in a wood cabinet with two fans on the back.  The Shuttle itself had two case fans and a CPU fan.  Lots of fans.  Must like it cool.

At this point the thing was not starting up, and I really had no idea what it was supposed to do even if it did start up.  It showed a power light on the CPU, but nothing on the display, and it didn’t sound like it was busy with the HDD, though it was a bit noisy to tell.  Looking through some of the materials that came with this contraption, I was pleased to see that it was running Windows XP and that it seemed to have all of its supporting software, drivers, and manuals.  The unit is not connected to the network, or internet, and apparently never has been.  It has a Xeon X3220 2.4 GHz processor with 2 GB RAM.

I tried shutting it down and restarting it once or twice and still got no display.  Next, I disconnected the USB mouse and keyboard, the USB connection to the Patriot, and the video connection to the eMagin.  When I restarted it again, it rebooted into Windows XP.  I checked the Device Manager and discovered that I did not have permissions to update any drivers.  When I checked Documents and Settings I noticed that the Administrator folder was empty.  Huh.  (Guess I will have to explore that another time.)  It showed one USB device not recognized (yellow question mark).  I shut it down, reconnected everything, rebooted (happy so far), and started the SimWelder program.  Mr. Teacher logged in as FJLKSDJF, or something like that, with similar entries for the next couple of fields (guess you can put anything in there) and got to the screen where it checks for the sensor.  It’s called it something else, but I don’t recall what.  The circle on the screen is supposed to go green when it is ready.  It never got ready, it turned red.

After examining the attached components I finally noticed the brightly flashing red light on the front of the Pohlemus Patriot.  OK, so I thought it was on the back, for some reason, probably because it was sitting backwards on the shelf in the cabinet, but the manual informed me that this was, indeed, the front.  I tried shutting down and restarting the Patriot, restarting the Shuttle, and checking the connections, but still got the flashing red light with no connection.  I left to go see what I could find online regarding this hardware.  I was able to find the online manual for the Patriot, read the setup instructions, including a rather specific sequence for setup and connection, and decided to give it another look. 

It turns out I had plugged the USB connector into the slot below the one labeled for it on the Shuttle, so I moved it to the correct spot.  I disconnected one of the sensors, unplugged the power cord at the power strip, and pushed on the power connectors that were covered by a rubber sleeve (apparently covered to keep them connected, seemed a bit loose, but the unit definitely had power).  I started it up and the flashing red light came on, but switched over to a green light in a second or two.  Next I reconnected the second sensor (I think I shut it off first, but not sure) and the green light came on again.

After another reboot everything seemed to be working.  We shall see.

UCService error on shutdown

Was kinda able to find this reference when I Googled this memory error:

You may get an error each time you shut down your computer:  UCService: UCService.exe – Application Error : The instruction at “0x6a624f61” referenced memory at “0x6a624f61”. The memory could not be “read”.
I could only read part of the solution (via Google’s cached text only version).  Fortunately that part had the info I needed. 
Launch services.msc from Start> Run, and you will want to change the SMART Display Controller from automatic to manual by right clicking and going to Properties> General> Start Up type.
Just had to go into services and switch the start up type for SMART Display Controller from ‘automatic’ to ‘manual’.  Hopefully, all the SMART stuff will keep on working as it should.  Haven’t heard otherwise yet anyhow.  It’s been a few weeks since I did this on the first laptop.  I don’t know if that teacher uses the response system or not, but she does use her SMART Board a lot.
So, thanks to whatever school district that posted that on their help site.

Goofy reverse screen on Mac

The display colors on one of the iBooks were inverted (like a photo negative, for those who remember film…).  The key combination cmd-option-control-8 sets the colors back to normal.  Can’t imagine what this is used for.  I’m sure there is a really good use for this feature.

While I’m thinking of it, one of the students accidentally switched the display on one of the Dell notebooks from landscape to portrait.  I think it was Ctrl-Alt-arrow keys to change it.  (Another student had to show us that, sigh.)

Tired of seeing it…

Setting up an ancient laptop (no built in wireless – how handy!).  Getting kinda tired of seeing the same ugly (to me) startup screen (aka splash screen, logon screen, etc).  Anyhow, Ramanathan gives up the location of the registry key to change this, and Microsoft gives up the dire warnings that always (should) go with editing the registry, along with the key to change the logon screensaver.  Pheww.

Locating a Device by IP Address

IP address conflicts pop up here and there, sporadically.  Sloppiness borne of haste on our part, outside devices on our network, or the occasional access point that resets to its defaults.  These can all lead to IP address conflicts.  These are generally just an annoyance, and don’t result in any difficulties.  Tracking them down can be frustrating and not worth the effort.  But I recently got a little frustrated with a persistent conflict and decided to find a tool to help track it down.  I found a handy little utility called Zenmap (ver 5.51) that provides a handy GUI for Nmap.   Available from, this utility spits out useful information gleaned from the item connected to the network at the IP address you enter into the program.  It can show info about the type and name of the device that help identify what is causing an IP conflict on the network.  Helped me find the wireless access point that I had set up with a static IP and no reservation in DHCP (sloppiness, as I said).  Zenmap was kinda fun to use, and other than the single eye logo for the program, I am pleased with it.  (Not so much the logo, just not a favorite of mine.)


Finally figured out how to run a chkdsk when Windows startup results in a reboot.  First of all, at the safe mode startup menu (press F8 when Windows is starting), you can select an option to stop the automatic reboot.  This allows you to perhaps actually read the BSOD (more than one character at a time, anyway).  Then, if that doesn’t give you anything towards opening Windows, the recovery option with a Windows XP install disk puts you at a C: prompt from whence you can run chkdsk.