Category Archives: Tech Support

Posts related to IT troubles and computer tech support

Capturing images from a video file

Windows Media Player just doesn’t have the chops for this task. You’re going to have to install a better video player. Don’t worry, it’s free!

  1. Install VLC Media Player:
  2. Open VLC
  3. Load the video file by clicking on the Media drop down, the Open File
  4. Click the Tools drop down, then Preferences
  5. Click ‘Video’ on the left.
  6. In the last box ‘Video Snapshots’ it lists the directory where captured images will go. Take note of this directory or change it to be whatever you wish.
  7. Play the video.
  8. At the moment you wish to capture an image, click the Video drop down, then click Snapshot.
  9. Go to that directory we saw in preferences, and Robert’s your mother’s brother! Images!

Clone error on playing Blu-ray movies in PowerDVD

When trying to play a Blu-ray in Cyberlink PowerDVD and you get the following error:


Cannot initialize secure display session – (Error Code = 0122) You may try the following resolution to solve the problem.
  1. Incompatible graphics driver. Please make sure your graphics drivr meets the minimum requirement criteria. (More information can be found from Cyberlink FAQ Website)
  2. Do not use dual-monitor to playback this movie (Clone Mode)
Please run the BD/HD Advisor tool for more information.

You probably have two outputs on your video card. One is HDMI, and the other is a VGA output, also known as the PC output. Right now, your video card is configured to display on both outputs.

If you have an NVIDIA display adapter and are running Windows Vista, here is how to turn off 'Clone'.

  1. Right click anywhere on the background
  2. Click 'NVIDIA Control panel'
  3. Click 'Set up multiple displays' in the left column
  4. Under 1. Choose the nView display mode to use, select 'Only use one display (Single)'
  5. Under 2. Select the display you would like to use, select the monitor that is connected to your HDMI output. In this case, I selected 'Sony TV XV (2 of 2)'.
  6. Click 'Apply'.
  7. The screen will blank out for a second, this is necessary because we are reconfiguring the screen.
  8. Now play your Blu-ray movie!

Updating Red Hat from the command line using Yum

Normally, I just:

sudo yum check-update
sudo yum update
sudo reboot

Note: A reboot might not be necessary depending on what you are updating.

If yum is having problems resolving some dependencies, or you get the error: “[Errno -1] Metadata file does not match checksum”, try running the command below, then re-running the commands above.

sudo yum clean all

If a “yum clean all” doesn’t fix it, it might be that your satellite server just needs to re-sync with RedHat’s servers. Wait a day and try it again.

If the your system is having trouble communicating with the Red Hat server, you probably need to:

sudo /usr/sbin/rhnreg_ks --force --activationkey=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

For University of Washington, XXX can be found here.

Streaming Video over the internet for Free using Windows Media Encoder

First, you have to download and install Windows Media Encoder. Then go into your Windows Firewall and check the box next to Media Encoder to allow people to connect to your computer as a media server.

Broadcasting Video using Windows Media Encoder

  1. Open Windows Media Encoder on your PC: Click Start / All Programs / Media / Windows Media Encoder / Windows Media Encoder.
  2. Double-click ‘Broadcast a live event’.
  3. Hopefully the defaults are fine. You might need to change the audio and video drop downs to be your webcam or capture card. Click Next.
  4. Make sure the ‘Pull from the encoder’ radio button is selected. Click Next.
  5. Make sure ‘HTTP port’ is ‘8080’ Click Next. (you can choose another port, just substitute it in the link below)
  6. Select the Bit Rate. If many parties are going to connect, or any parties have a slow connection use a lower bit rate. Click Next.
  7. Set archive settings if you want to save a copy, otherwise click Next.
  8. Make sure the ‘No, I want to encode…’ radio is selected. Click Next.
  9. Click Next, then Finish.

Receiving the Broadcast on a client PC

  1. Open Windows Media Player
  2. Right click the Title Bar
  3. Click File / Open URL
  4. Enter: http://mediaserveripaddress:8080/ For example:

HP 1020 Printers disappear because the Print Spooler service terminated unexpectedly

I had a Windows XP computer with an HP 1020 printer that would suddenly not print. The Printers and Faxes window was empty. If you go into the Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Services and right-click Print Spooler, you’ll see the option to start is available, because the service is stopped. When I started the service, the printers appeared again but the service would stop again before I could do anything else.

In the event viewer, you’ll see the following error message:

Event ID 7031 or 7034
The Print Spooler service terminated unexpectedly.  It has done this 1 time(s).  The following corrective action will be taken in 60000 milliseconds: Restart the service.


Event ID 1004 
Faulting application spoolsv.exe, version 5.1.2600.5512, faulting module ZSR.DLL, version 6.20.1625.0, fault address 0x0001f979.

First, I installed the hotfix here: This didn't seem to work, but I can't believe that what I did next was all that was required to solve the problem.

  1. Unplug the USB connection to the local printer, in this case an HP Deskjet 1020.
  2. Restart the computer
  3. The printers now show up, because the Print Spooler has stopped terminating unexpectedly!
  4. Two printers had jobs in the queue, the unplugged local printer and a network printer. Clear all the print queues.
  5. Reconnect the USB connection.
  6. Restart, print stuff, everything should be working normally!

Let me know via comment or the contact tab at the top if this doesn't solve your problem.

Update: Problem did return. I did the unplug the HP 1020's usb connection trick to make the printers show up, deleted the old driver, and installed a new driver from HP. Seems to be working now.

UPDATE 2: Problem did return, again! I have applied two changes, and now the printer has been working for some time. Probably you only need to do one of these two things, but I haven't taken the time to test which is the actual fix. If you figure it out, please post a comment!

First thing to try: (the likely fix) Bypass the Print Spooler.

The crappy HP printer driver is causing the print spooler to crash, so don't have that printer use the printer spooler. You will notice that the application that is printing will "hang" or display a print dialog longer than normal with this change. Not ideal, but better to have a working printer, right?

  1. Click Start, Printers and Faxes.
  2. Right-click the HP 1020 printer, click "Properties."
  3. Click the "Advanced" tab.
  4. Click the "Print Processor" button.
  5. Make sure "ZimfPrint" is highlighted on the left, and "RAW" is highlighted on the right.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click the Radio button for "Print directly to the printer."
  8. Click OK.

You have completed the first thing to try. I did both of these things, though as I've said that may not be necessary...

Thing Two: Disable DEP (Data Execution Prevention)

  1. Right-click "My Computer," click "Properties."
  2. Click the "Advanced" tab.
  3. Click the "Settings" button under Performance.
  4. Click the "Data Execution Prevention" tab.
  5. Click the radio button for: "Turn on DEP for all Programs Execept those I select:"
  6. Select the HP Laserjet 1020 Series Status Application by clicking "Add..." and browsing for: "c:windowssystem32ZSHP1020.exe."
  7. Also select the "Spooler SubSystem App." If it is not already listed, click "Add..." and browse to "C:WindowsSystem32spoolsv.exe"
  8. Also select the "Windows Explorer." If it is not already listed, click "Add..." and browse to "C:Windowsexplorer.exe"
  9. Click "OK" twice.

Done! Reboot the computer, make sure your printer is plugged in, and send things to print to the printer. Now, you should be print-problem free!

Word and Outlook 2007 not spell checking

So a user was complaining that her Microsoft Word 2007 install wasn’t error checking. Of course it worked into 2003, but after the upgrade Word’s spell checker would not highlight misspelled words. It does underline repeated words, which I found strange. Also strange was that when I was logged in as another user (in this case, the administrator), Spell Check worked fine.

Outlook 2007 no longer uses Word 2007 directly for edits, but they do share the same proofing tools. Which for some reason this system didn’t update a registry key properly. Here’s the steps to fix!

  1. Close Word and Outlook
  2. Click Start, then run, then type in ‘regedit’
  3. Browse to this key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftShared ToolsProofing Tools1.0
  4. Delete the 1.0 key and sub keys!
  5. Start Word. Spell check should now be highlighting misspelled words.

This installation is forbidden by system policy.

When installing some software, I got the error:

This installation is forbidden by system policy.  
Contact your system administrator.

Make sure that windows installer service is running. Also, there are local security policy settings and registry keys that can prevent you from running MSI files. This was not problem here. All I had to do was copy the cd to a directory on my hard drive and run the installer from there. Violla! Installation is no longer forbidden! I believe that instead of the system policy being the problem, this program needed write access to the installation directory.

Microsoft Word 2007 slow to alt+tab

Wow, so this one stumped me. If you have two Word 2007 Windows open at the same time, when you switch from one to the other, either by alt+tab or by viewing them side by side and clicking one then the other and you get the hourglass, then this might solve your problem.

My clients were having the slowdown after upgrading to Word 2007. But we have Adobe CS2, and some clients that just have Adobe Acrobat 7 installed. The problem is that there is an Adobe Pluggin in Word causing the slowdown, and not that Virusscan is scanning files for viruses on file opens or some other nonsense.

To disable The Acrobat PDFMaker addin, follow these steps:

  1. Log in as Administrator.
  2. Open Microsoft Office 2007.
  3. Click the Office Button in the upper left.
  4. Click Word Options in the lower right.
  5. Click Add-Ins on the left.
  6. At the bottom, make sure ‘Com Add-ins’ is selected in the Manage: drop down and click Go…
  7. Un-check ‘Acrobat PDFMaker Office COM Addin’ (Or whatever you think might be making Word 2007 slow).
  8. Click Ok.
  9. Close Word.
  10. Open Two Word Windows. Now you can switch back and forth instantly!

This will work for all users on the system!

Adobe Contribute CS3 Doesn’t prompt to replace files.

In fact, Contribute is automatically generating filenames ending in _000 or _001 instead of opening a prompt to replace them when you try to make a link or publish them from your computer.

The problem is that your role isn’t being allowed access to delete files.

But Tony, does replace equal delete in this strange land of Seattle in Washington?

NO! I mean YES! It does, everywhere. Because in order to replace something you sort of have to delete it first, then upload what you really want to be there. Windows file serving permissions work in a similar way.

  1. Open Adobe Contribute CS3, as the Site Administrator.
  2. Click the ‘Edit’ drop down menu, then ‘Administer Websites’, then click the site you want to edit.
  3. Click the role you want to fix, probably ‘Publisher’.
  4. Click ‘Edit Role Settings’ on the right.
  5. Click ‘Folder/File Access’ on the left.
  6. Under ‘File Deletion’ Check ‘Allow users to delete files they have the permission to edit’.
  7. Click ‘Ok’, then ‘Close’.