Posts tagged ‘Hardware’

Windows 7 runs extremely hot on MacBook Pro with Boot Camp 3.1

I was having some issues with the Windows XP installation in Boot Camp on my MacBook Pro, so I decided to turn it into a Windows 7 machine.

Unfortunately, the machine ended up running incredibly hot, even though I was booting it up and not really doing anything processing intensive on the machine.

As it turns out, I found that other users had some luck by enabling the Powermizer mode of their Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT internal graphics card. This would scale back the GPU processing and allow the idle fan speed of about 2000 RPM to properly cool the MacBook Pro.

As is the case with any registry hacks, edits or low level driver manipulation, you can quite easily do more harm than good. Please follow my advice at your own risk.

Alas, there is no setting that I could find for this in the newest 64-bit Windows drivers for the Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT internal graphics card in my MacBook Pro.  After a little digging, I found that I could add the following DWORD values to my registry to enable a lower power mode:

  • PerfLevelSvc (0x00003333)
  • PowerMizerEnable (0x00000001)
  • PowerMizerLevel (0x00000001)
  • PowerMizerLevelAC (0x00000001)

The key that these values were added to was HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Video\{FIND_YOUR_GUID}\0000. You will have to find the GUID to use in the key above, just look at all of the 0000 keys inside of the Video key for the one that has a whole mess of values in the right hand pane, this will likely be it.

E-Tech Sony replacement keyboard woes

For many years, I faithfully used a Sony Vaio VGN-FS742/W notebook computer. This computer was an absolute workhorse, and I never had a problem with it, despite using it heavily for software development as well as the usual e-mail and web surfing activities.

After I let my brother and his family use the computer, an unfortunate incident occurred that involved the cosmetic destruction of the B key on the keyboard. The key worked, but the tabs that held the platform that the keycap sits on broke off, so the B key stuck out higher than the rest of the keys on the keyboard. Unsightly, yes, but still functional.

Alas, my brother had to have a functional and flat keyboard, so I began the process of looking to find a replacement keyboard for a computer that was 5+ years old. The Sony part number for this keyboard is 147915321, and it must be the same keyboard on all VGN-FS series Vaio notebooks.

The first thing that I found was that I was more than likely going to have to buy a used keyboard and hope that it worked just fine. So I ordered one from the E-Tech eStore. The keyboard arrived well packaged, and after I installed it, I tested every single key on the keyboard and found that all of the keys worked except for the V key.

At this point, I should have requested an RMA for a refund, but I mistakenly requested a replacement. After sending the first keyboard back and getting the second keyboard, the situation got worse, as on the 2nd keyboard, quite a few more keys were not working. And of course, at this point my return request for a refund was rejected, as E-Tech is claiming that their keyboards are all tested, and that I check my equipment for failure.

So, as a response, I created this little rant video showing that my equipment is fine:


As I said in the video, I cannot see how they could have tested the keyboard fully, since my hardware seems to work fine with my old keyboard with the B key tabs broken. I am guessing that their replacement keyboards are all pulls from computers that are dropped off at the computer recycling, and for the particular keyboards that I received, the reason the computer was at the recycling center was that some of the keys stopped working.

By the way, congrats to the Ohio Bobcats.  Big win last night.

UPDATE: I still haven’t heard anything from E-Tech eStore regarding my appeal of their RMA request denial. Thanks to Tai Tran (eBay seller ID ttni) who came through with a perfectly working replacement keyboard.

Sansa e250 database rebuild

For some reason, my Sandisk Sansa e250 MP3 player was stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the music that I was copying to it. I tried just about everything I could think of short of formatting the device to get it to see my folders in the Music folder. My device has the latest version 1 firmware upgrade, and I have tried to use both MSC and MTP mode to copy folders to the device, all to no avail.

Finally, I found out that I could force the device to do a database rebuild by doing the following steps, which should work on any Sansa e200 series MP3 player with the version 1 firmware:  (WARNING:  Please do not do this if you are worried about making your device inoperable.  There is always a risk that this will happen when you start futzing with the system files.)

  • Go into the Settings screen and scroll to USB mode, and set it to MSC
  • Connect the device to the computer
  • Once the device mounts as a drive on your computer, browse to the device, look for the System folder, and the Data folder in that folder
  • Delete the file called PP5000.DAT
  • Disconnect the device

Once you disconnect, the device will restart, and it should refresh the database. If you prefer MTP mode, make sure to go back into the settings to change it back.