Windows

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How to Fix Audio Issues with ASRock Motherboards and Windows 8 / 8.1

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music-iconSome owners of ASRock motherboards have installed Windows 8 / 8.1, only to find that despite installing drivers, no sound can be heard from the audio controller.

To resolve this, ASRock has released a little known fix which, after executing, will make a change to the operating system to allow audio to play.

The fix can be downloaded below:

 

Download ASRock Enable Audio Fix

Simply run the executable and reboot the machine.

This worked for my P67 Transformer motherboard.

Disclaimer: I can accept no responsibility for any damage or data loss caused by the installation of this fix. 

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Microsoft is NOT a people company

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I once heard a quote from Leo Laporte – Leoville.com and TWiT Live

“Microsoft is not a people company”

I have been thinking about this, and after careful thought, am inclined to agree with him.
What this means, is that that Microsoft think more about what they want, and what they think would be good to have in their software, and not concentrate on what the public want.
I will give you a few examples:
  • Since the release of Microsoft Windows XP, many business immediately upgraded their computers to the operating system, since it was a great improvement on Windows 2000 and even 98/NT. After the release of Windows Vista in 2007, 87% of 50,000 businesses surveyed in June 2008 were still using Windows XP as their primary operating system, and had not upgraded to Vista. In my opinion, this was because of the bugs in Vista. With the bugs set aside, Vista was mainly aimed at home users, with most of the features based around Aesthetics, Entertainment, and their so called ‘WOW’ factor (as they originally marketed it as). Because of this, there was no reason for businesses to upgrade, since the new improvements and features were not relevant to what the company needed the software for.

    For example, Windows Aero, the new 3D visual style, was not necessary, since the PCs are there to get work done, and not for employees to sit there admiring the interface.
    Also, Parental Controls, another feature aimed at home users, was even on the ‘Business’ edition of Vista. This was completely useless to companies and businesses, since their PCs are most likely to be connected to a network server, which includes more powerful ‘Group Policies’ to regulate the use of their PCs, therefore rendering Parental Controls a waste of space.

  • People who would buy a PC for the home, would require features like Photo and Video Editing, Video watching, and Gaming. Microsoft has tried to facilitate this, by adding ‘Windows Photo Gallery’, which was, to be honest, a pathetic attempt at making decent photo editing software, with few photo organisational and editing tools.
    ‘Windows Movie Maker’, which many people like, had not been improved at all, and was absolutely no competition to Apple’s iMovie, which had more features in 2002 than Vista’s software.
    Parental Controls was a new set of features, designed to limit the amount of access their children had to the PC. Although there are some nice settings included in this, such as web filtering, the others were a complete mess. For example, you cannot block certain programs. Instead, you have to block all programs, and allow a few. In most cases, parents would want to block certain programs, rather than all programs.
These are both examples of how Microsoft do not think about what people really want out of an operating system.
Windows 7, on the other hand is a great improvement to Vista with a slimmed down size and a faster interface. Although these things are good, Microsoft have still not corrected the problem of separating business needs from home needs. Hopefully, one day they will get this right, and produce separate business and home versions.
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Re-Installing Windows

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I’ve had a good few days reinstalling Microsoft Windows. A friend bought the vast improvement, Windows 7 and received it on the day of release. This meant backing up and wiping the entire pc.

Thankfully, he had a second hard drive which meant we could just copy all the files that were needed straight to that hard drive, and since it was about 320GB, he had enough space to replicate it all.

I’m now taking on the challenge of reinstalling my laptop, which is a complete mess. I have files and folders which I use scattered across the hard drive and programs which I have installed and used once (an annoying habit of mine). This has resulted in the entire laptop being 50% slower than it should be. There’s nothing like a clean install of Windows to speed up your pc.
Since I have been doing this, I though I would write a few tips, which will prevent you from going wrong:

  1. Where can I put all this stuff?
    The best thing to do, is to buy the biggest hard drive you can afford, 1TB is a good size and will last you a good while. You can never have too much storage space. Good examples (as of October 2009) are:

    • Western Digital Elements 1TB or MyBook 1TB (only difference is the light on the front and general design)
    • Toshiba 1TB
    • Seagate Expansions 1TB
  2. These can all be bought for around £60-£80 from sites such as Amazon.co.uk and Ebuyer.com.

  3. Can I get this again?
    Go through your Start, All Programs list and look for programs which cannot be downloaded for free or programs which you have paid for.
    Write a list of these down and check off all the programs which you can easily obtain again (such as having a CD/DVD for it or having the download file stored). An example could be Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), you most probably have the disc for this somewhere, unless someone has installed it for you, in which case it is probably a copied version which you really shouldn’t be using, but that’s your decision.
  4. Do I really need it?
    It is also useful to make another list of programs (excluding the list in Tip #1) and tick or cross the ones you want to keep and the ones you really don’t want. If in doubt, check with a knowledgeable friend.
  5. Device Check
    Look at all of the devices which you own, and check whether you have all the discs for them too (this is the last check!!). For example: Printers, Scanners, Cameras etc.
  6. The Dreaded Backup
    The reason I call it ‘The Dreaded Backup’ it purely because you never know what you might have forgotten. This can only be answered by yourself, since you know exactly what files you have and where you keep them. Here is a list of crucial things to back up:

    • XPC:\Documents and Settings or Vista/7 – C:\Users
    • Email – If you use an email client (program) such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express or Thunderbird, there are usually ways in which you can export emails, calendar, tasks etc.Microsoft Outlook – http://bit.ly/hm7r7
      Outlook Express – http://bit.ly/3scNdL
      Thunderbirdhttp://bit.ly/3GGr4Y
    • Favourites – If you use Internet Explorer, you can press ALT, click File, Import and Export, and follow the instructions in the wizard. If you use another browser the process is relatively simple. For Firefox and Chrome, go to the Favourites manager and find the export button.
  7. Ready, Set, Wipe!
    To reinstall Windows, you will need to find out how by looking at the user manual from your computer. For example, on all Dell computers post 2004, there is a built in reinstallation program (just so long as the hard drive has not been changed or wiped since you bought it). This is usually accessed by pressing a key combination at boot-up.
    Other computers may use a Recovery CD (Toshiba, HP and other makes do this).
    If your computer was custom built, it has most likely been set up with a Windows XP/Vista/7 CD. If you have this, consult the ‘builder’ for instructions on how to do this.
    Once you have found out how to do this, it should be a pretty simple process of following the instructions on the screen.
  8. It’s done, now what?
    The first thing to do it to install drivers. Use the disc which came with your computer to do this. Next, get online and install ALL Windows Updates. Use the link in the Start Menu to do this.
  9. Security!
    You will need some Anti-Virus software to stay protected. Use software like AVG Free – http://free.avg.com/ or one which you have bought (Not Norton). (See my other blog post for more info)
  10. Load the Software
    Once you have security software, load all of the programs you have ticked on your lists.
  11. Pile on your Clutter!
    Plug in your External Hard drive and copy all of your files back on. (For Favourites and Emails, Use the import wizards on your software.)

After all that, you should be done. I agree it is a mammoth task, but once it’s done, you will never regret it… unless you’ve forgotten that important folder with all of your work in!!

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