Saturday, January 31, 2015

Plex Media Server Channels blocked on Roku

I installed the Plex media server on a dedicated Windows 7 machine, and proceeded to try adding channels. I tried on the server side and I tried on the client side (the Roku).

But no matter which way I added channels, they only showed up on the server. I found out they were being blocked.

I solved it by opening port 32400 in the Windows firewall. To do this:

  1. Go into Windows Firewall
  2. Advanced settings
  3. Click on inbound settings
  4. Click on new rule
  5. Select port
  6. Under "Specific local ports" add 32400

Monday, January 26, 2015

Smart AC adapter message

I had my HP Envy for one month when I got this message:

The Smart AC Adapter connected will power your computer, but potentially at a reduced performance level. Your computer is designed to vary performance as needed when a smaller capacity Smart AC Adapter is connected. Resource intensive tasks may cause your system not to perform at its highest level with a smaller capacity Smart AC Adapter. Please connect a higher capacity Smart AC Adapter for full performance.

Here are the specs on my computer:

Windows 8.1 (x64) (build 9600)
Hewlett-Packard HP ENVY 15 Notebook PC
2.60 gigahertz Intel Core i7-4510U

My Solution:
In my case, I think it was because I had moved it, and when I moved it, I plugged it into an extension cord and not a power strip. The message didn't come back. However, I did my research anyway, and here are some solutions that other people found. Clearly, this message can come up for multiple reasons.

Solution 1:

  1. Turn the computer off
  2. Remove the power cable and the battery
  3. Hold down the power button for one minute
  4. This should reset the hardware
  5. As you turn it back on, tape the F10 key. This will load BIOS setup
  6. Press F9 to load defaults
  7. Press Fw10 to save and exit
  8. When the computer boots back up, check to see if eerything is working
Solution 2:
  1. Here is a link to a number to give HP a call and see what options they may have to replace the adapter. About a year agp I started seeing the message about the adapter not having sufficient power. I called HP warranty service because I was in the warranty period. I was promised a new adapter and it arrived in less than a week. Great! Oh, but wait - the original adapter is 90 Watts and the replacement only 65. Hmmm, guess what the replacement gets the message about insufficient power. So went back to the original adapter and after a couple of updates from HP stopped seeing the message. Coincidence? Maybe not since others have seen this problem since that time.
Solution 3: 
  1. Do a BIOS update
Solution 4:
  1. Open HP Power Manager
  2. Selecct and apply HP suggested power management.
  3. Close out of HP Power Manager
  4. Message is gone
Solution 5: 
  1. Push the adapter firmly into place
Solution 6:
  1. Plug directly into the wall or in a power strip, not into an extension cord.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

HP Envy Windows 8.1 Recovery Drive D: suddenly full

When I go into elevated cmd prompt and type this:

vssadmin list shadowstorage

I see that restore points are going to D:

However, I also read that HP tends to fill up its Recovery Drive.

So now my recovery drive is a red bar. I don't see anything I've added to it.

I might decide to create a recovery disk and then delete the partition. That red bar is pretty annoying

Monday, January 12, 2015

Crashplan wouldn't remove the backup set

Crashplan wouldn't remove the backup set

I removed a backup set going into Crashplan settings-->backup set. But the backup set didn't disappear from its location.

I waited all night and it still didn't get removed. When I tried to remove it using Windows delete, I got a message saying it was being controlled by Crashplan.

Then I thought maybe I need to pause the current Crashplan backup that's running, so I tried that. The backup set was still in its destination, but now I was able to use Windows delete to delete it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Simple Windows workaround so Crashplan can backup to and from your NAS device

Simple Windows workaround so Crashplan can backup to and from your NAS device

My NAS device is named Obi-wan. Here are the instructions that allow Crashplan running on Windows to see your NAS device and use it as either a backup target, or as a backup source. I'm using my NAS device as a backup source. I did this in Windows 8.

Update: This works with Windows 10 as well.

  1. Run CMD as administrator
  2. Enter this: MKLINK /d c:\obi-folder \\obi-wan\share
  3. Now Crashplan will see the folder. To try it, run Crashplan, go into destinations, then folders, then click "select." It will now be a selection.
  4. To see it as a source rather than a destination, go to one of  your existing backup sets, and under "Files," click on "change." You will see it in the folder structure.

Note: Your NAS device should have a static ip address.

Add additional backup set to Crashplan and back them up to an external hard drive

Add additional backup set to Crashplan and back them up to an external hard drive

For years, I've run Crashplan backup of my entire users folder to Crashplan Central. Somewhere along the way, I realized I want to also backup to someplace local in my house. I thought my Buffalo NAS device would be the perfect destination, but alas, I discovered that if you are running Crashplan in Windows like I am, you don't get that feature, except with a CP unsupported workaround.

Backing up in Crashplan on a Windows computer to a NAS device is broken as designed.

And because I thought I only get one backup set, I hadn't considered an external hard drive as a secondary backup destination. It's not big enough for that whole users folder.

Recently I learned that I can have many backup sets, and that lets me divide up what I'm backing.

So I decided to set up three more backup sets and use three external hard drives I have lying around as their destinations. I have one for pics, one for music, and one videos.

I found Crashplan's documentation hard to understand, so I'm writing the instructions here. What we will do in the rest of this post is to set up a hard drive to back up my music.

  1. Before you begin, I advise using the Windows disk management function to change the drive letter of the external drive to something permanent because external hard drives come and go, you don't want their drive letters changing depending on which USB port you use, and you don't want Crasphlan thinking your destination is no longer in existence just because you've stored away your external hard drive on a shelf someplace for a few days.  I use the drive letters "P" for pictures, "M" for music, and "V" for videos.
  2. Plug in your music external hard drive if you haven't already.
  3. Go into Crashplan destinations-->folders and next to "select a backup destination folder" click "select." A window will open. Click "M" for the Music external hard drive.
  4. Go into Crashplan settings and enable backup sets
  5. Then click on the backup sets button that you just enabled, and there you will see how you can define a new backup set and destination.
  6. Start by coming up with a name for your backup set. Mine will be called "Linda’s Music to Music External Drive."   Click "add" and then type in the name.
  7. You are still in Crashplan backup tab. Now we will choose our destination. Click on "assign." and choose "M" and click "Okay"
  8. You are still in Crashhplan backup tab. You will now choose the file you want backed up. Under files, click "change," uncheck anything that might be checked, and now check the music folder.
  9. Click save
  10. Now just to verify it's working, click on the backup tab. You should now see your original backup still there (mine goes to Crashplan Central) but under that you shouldl see your new backup set name, its source, and its destination, and you should see the job start backing up or it might say "waiting for backup," I think Crashplan will only run one backup at a time, so let it do its thing. If you start one job, it will pause another.

Make your Windows 8.1 computer look like a Windows 7

Make your Windows 8.1 computer look like a Windows 7

  1. During setup, I researched whether I want to use a Microsoft Account or a local user account on my new computer. This is something new in Windows 8.1. I chose a local account, knowing I can always change my mind later. Perhaps in the future I'll want access to all those Windows 8 apps (formerly called Metro Apps) but probably not.
  2. During setup, Windows seems to demand a Windows account, but there's a way out which is kind of hidden. On the page demanding the Windows ID, click on the link at the bottom that lets you "create a windows id." Once you get to that create page, you'll see another link that allows you to create a local user account instead. 
  3. During setup I chose custom settings so I could have the choice of how many tentacles Windows has into my computer. Now setup is done. The rest of the list is in present tense.
  4. Verify that the antivirus that came with the computer  is running properly.
  5. Open Internet Explorer and download and install Firefox
  6. Download Classic Shell.
  7. Be sure and view the readme file that opens when you first install Classic Shell. That tells you how to make Windows Explorer look like the Windows 7 Windows Explorer. It might require some jiggering of settings in Internet Explorer. All I can say about that is...whatever.
  8. Also configure Classic Shell to  make the Start Menu look the way you want.
  9. Immediately go into the search box of the start menu and type in "UAC." Turn off the UAC. This will take effect after the first reboot.
  10. Let Windows updates run on their own accord. Don't force any updates while setting up your computer. It can cause Windows updates errors. 
  11. Remove the Windows 8 lock screen using the regedit method
  12. To bypass the metro screen, right-click the desktop taskbar, select "properties," and then open the Navigation tab in the window that appears. Follow this picture to check the correct boxes. 

Windows 8.1 how to bypass the Metro Screen (the "Start" Screen) on boot

Windows 8.1 how to bypass the Metro Screen (the "Start" Screen) on boot

If you're like me, you want your Windows 8.1 computer to look as much like Windows 7 as possible. Here's how to boot to the desktop:

  1. Right click on the taskbar and select the properties option
  2. Go to the "Navigation" tab and enable "When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of start
  3. Next time you boot, you'll get joy

Friday, January 9, 2015

How to manipulate file structure quickly on a NAS device

How to manipulate file structure quickly on a NAS device

It turns out that if I want to remove a gigantic folder from my Buffalo NAS device, all I have to do is delete it from Ubuntu instead of from Windows. It's instant instead of taking days.

First, though, you'll  have to mount the Windows Share.

How to mount the Windows share in Ubuntu

(note: this is the equivalent of what we're doing in Windows when we "map" a drive)
  1. Install CIFS:
    sudo apt-get install cifs-utils
  2. Create the mount directory
    sudo mkdir /media/windowsshare
  3. Then edit your /etc/fstab file
    sudo gedit /etc/fstab
  4. Add this line to the fstab file where servername is the IP address of the NAS device (and remember to save the file):
    //servername/sharename  /media/windowsshare  cifs  guest,uid=1000,iocharset=utf8  0  0
  5. Now mount the Windows share:
    sudo mount -a 
  6. Reboot
  7. In the files structure, look for windowsshare

How to view Windows hidden folders in Ubuntu

A NAS device can get a pretty big trash can. This trash can is by default, hidden in Ubuntu. Press ctrl+h on your keyboard. All hidden files and folders in the current window will appear. Once the File Browser session is closed, the view will be returned to not show the hidden files.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

How to upload a google doc, sheet or slide to Google Drive

How to upload a google doc, sheet or slide to Google Drive


Suppose you want to upload a google doc from your hard drive. Guess what? You can't.

That's because it's only a pointer to the file in your google drive on the web.

You can only download the google doc as Office format first and then upload it again as Google doc format.

Actually, the download will always be in office format. There's no need for a setting for that. But then when you upload it again, make sure you have changed your settings to say that you want it in Google docs format.