The other day I was working on a Windows Vista computer and I noticed that the Network Icon in the Notification Area (two small blue monitors with a blue globe in front) was covered up by a red “X”.
This was an indication that the Network List Service (netprofm) was not working correctly. The Network List Service:
“Identifies the networks to which the computer has connected, collects and stores properties for these networks, and notifies applications when these properties change. This service in conjunction with Network Location Awareness enables status of network connections in the system tray. Since the SL UI Notification Service requires Network List Service to be functional, this service should not be disabled.”
I went into services.msc and I saw that the Network List Service was set to Automatic (as it should be), but was not running. All of the Network List Service dependencies were running fine, but try as I may I couldn’t automatically nor manually start the service. It would start for a moment and then shut down. It wouldn’t start up after a reboot either!
Then I found it! Here is the fix:
Click “Start” -> “Run” -> type “dcomcnfg” and enter -> find: Component Services/Computers/My Computer/DCOM Config/netprofm -> right click “netprofm” -> click “Properties” -> “Security” -> “Launch and Activition Permissions” changed to “Customize” -> click “Edit” button -> click “Add..” -> type “LOCAL SERVICE” as the object names, click “OK” -> in “Permissions for LOCAL SERVICE”, select “Allow” for “Local Launch” and “Local Activition” -> “OK” -> “OK”
Professor Randy says:Be patient when repairing computers and don’t give up! The “fix” is probably just “around the corner” and eventually you’ll discover it. That’s how you become a better tech!
I’ve been working on a 32-bit Windows Vista machine for hours and I finally found the fix. The Vista Windows Media Player would not play certain .MP3 files nor any .WMA files. All of these files were purchased legally and they (.MP3 files) would all play perfectly in another media player (ex. Zune, Media Player Classic).
I went through all kinds of attempted fixes but nothing seemed to do the trick until I did these two things in this order:
1)Run System File Checker:
Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.
At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
The sfc /scannow command scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions.
2) Re-register All .DLL & .OCX Files Found In %System Root%\System 32 (there are various ways to do this, but this is what I did):
Merry Christmas! Three years ago my wife and I were in Indiana at Christmas visiting my sister, her husband and the entire family. My brother-in-law was having problems with his computer and I helped him out by fixing a couple of things. He was very appreciative for the help I had given him and wrote the following letter. Today (Dec. 19, 2012) I would like to share with you what my brother-in-law wrote to me on that special Christmas years ago.
“My brother-in-law worked over my computer last night – took him nearly two hours of his time. I sat next to him to learn but I confess even though he’s a good teacher, it made me progressively more nervous.
He opened programs which I didn’t know even existed, which became more and more foreign to me and uncomfortable. Randy was running programs to eliminate files “I didn’t need”. I wondered quietly -”How does he know?” I never delete anything! There was lot’s of “trash” on my hard drive. How did he know? Was it that obvious? It’s true, I admit my hard drive is full of garbage.
Then he ran another program to help me “boot up” faster. I had too many programs which automatically start up and Randy says “slow me down”. I agree that my “boot up” is slow and getting slower, but eliminating things which work automatically sounds counter intuitive to me. Anything that works automatic should be left alone! But off it came!
Next he checked for malware. I asked “what is malware”? His explanation was somewhat confusing but he used words like “spy”, “virus”, “bad”, “let destructive programs into your computer” and “destroy your motherboard”. Enough, enough! The mal was the mal of maleficient, malfunction, malinger, malignant; he was looking into my computers soul; which I saw as a reflection on me!!
Lastly, he was going to run a program which he said could take all night! It was to defragment my hard drive. It helps put things in order – “there is a lot of wasted space”. It was just as well that I went to bed, I’d rather sleep through a defragmentation I thought to myself.
Well, I know this – I’m glad it was my trusted “Tech Professor” doing the cleansing of my computer. It’s not everyone that I would want to let in to see these inner workings.
I couldn’t help but think on the day before Christmas as our family gathered that the little boy whose birth we are about to celebrate had done the same thing for me in a much more important and profound way. Through His love he cleansed my motherboard and His Holy Spirit guides me to keep it clean. There is still a threat of malware but I have His ever presence with me.
So this Christmas – the best gift besides maybe the “Tech Professor” is to let God’s Son cleanse and defragment you and make you whole again. Merry Christmas!”
Professor Randy says:Have a wonderful day! Merry Christmas!!
Just about three years ago I wrote this post about Solid State Drives. I told you that even though I loved Solid State Drives, I advised you not to buy an SSD until the prices dropped (in 2010 the price of an SSD was about $3 per GB).
Well, fast forward to the present and I can now tell you that the time has come to buy an SSD! They are amazing and they are now much cheaper. For example take a look at this one:
A very nice 250GB Solid State Drive for $180.00! Folks, that’s .72 cents per GB, a price drop of $2.28 per GB!! What are we waiting for?
Why SSD you may ask? Consider just a few of the following facts:
1)SSD has no mechanical moving parts (that’s why it’s so fast)
2)Super fast read/write speeds (three times as fast as an HDD)
3)The data stored on an SSD will last a very long time (theoretically over 200 years)
4)SSD will boot your computer in less than half of the time as a traditional HDD
5)SSD uses less power since there are no moving parts (you’ll get better battery life)
Professor Randy says:What else need I say? Please take a look at all of the great SSDs that are available now and “take the leap”. Now is the time to buy a Solid State Drive!
Guest post today by fellow computer repair tech and security guru Brian Meyer. Brian’s Select Real Security website is full of Windows security information, as well as some awesome malware removal tricks and tips. Great stuff!
Programs Won’t Open in Windows
If programs won’t open on your computer, it usually means Windows file associations have become corrupted. When you try to open a program (.exe), you may get one of the following error messages:
Windows can’t open this file.
This file does not have a program associated with it.
Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file
Open With box
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this annoying problem. Follow the instructions below to fix the programs.
Method 1 – Use a Registry File
Method 2 – Use FixEXE.inf
Method 3 – Use CleanAutoRun
Method 4 – Create a New User Account
Note:The problem can also be caused by malware. If the steps on this page don’t work, follow the steps on this page.
If one version won’t open, try the other. Once the fix is complete, restart the computer. If that doesn’t work, go to method 4.
Method 4 – Create a New User Account
You can also create a new Windows user account to fix the problem. After you create a new account, transfer your personal data from the old account to the new one. Your web browser and other programs such as Microsoft Office and iTunes should work in the new account.
I’ve been working with a lot of Windows 8 machines lately. Not only does Windows 8 not have the typical Windows start button, but shutting Windows 8 down is now a four click process (starting with the Charms Bar).
Here is a way to put a single shut down icon on the desktop. One click and your machine will shut down. Enjoy!
First, get to the main desktop screen.
Next, right click on the desktop and select New –> Shortcut.
When the menu appears, click ‘Create new Shortcut.’
When Windows 8 asks you what item you’d like to create a shortcut for, enter the following command: ‘shutdown /s /t 0′. (By the way, that’s a zero. Also, make sure not to include a period or the quotations.) Then click ‘Next.’
Enter a name for the new shortcut (‘Shutdown’ is a good choice) and click ‘Finish.’
Selecting a Shutdown Icon
Next, right click on your brand new shortcut and then left click on ‘Properties.’ A new dialog box will appear.
Click ‘Change Icon.’ When Windows 8 tells you that ‘The file C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe contains no icons, click ‘OK.’
You’ll now be asked to select an icon from a list of images. Pick the one that suits you best.
Once you’ve done that, right click the shortcut again. Select ‘Pin to Start.’ Now your brand new, customized shutdown icon will appear continuously on the operating system’s Start screen.
You can repeat all of these steps to create a new Restart shortcut, as well. The only difference: after selecting ‘Create new Shortcut’ you’ll have to enter the command ‘shutdown /r /t 0′ (zero again). The “r” is for “Restart.”
Professor Randy says:Windows 8 is visually stunning! Using Windows 8 may require a bit of a learning curve, but don’t let that stop you! You can make things easier by employing some simple tweaks like the one mentioned above.
Professor Randy quotes H. Jackson Brown Jr.:“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
I love to repair, service, and upgrade computers! It is so much fun investigating and replacing computer parts with new and better components, and then seeing the increased performance of the finished product.
What I don’t like is to work on computers that don’t have standard designs. Machines that have non-standard parts are a pain to build and repair, and are much more expensive to service and maintain in the long run. Please give me Newegg or TigerDirect industry standard, generic components that will all work well together and interchange seamlessly.
Now there is no doubt that many of the custom form factor computers are very stylish (I actually have a gorgeous 13″ MacBook Pro). Stunning, yes – powerful, yes – efficient, yes. But… more expensive, yes – more difficult to repair, yes – more proprietary in nature, yes! I have to buy a $29.00 mini-displayport adapter just to hook up my external monitor. If I need a part or want to upgrade, I have to get the component from the original manufacturer (in this case Apple).
I’m not just bashing Apple machines either. I have seen many Dell, Sony, IBM, Compaq, etc. machines with nonstandard motherboards, power supplies, and the likes. By creating a machine with proprietary parts, the manufacturer is basically trying to “tie you down” to his brand. Instead of repairing or upgrading these computers, it is often less expensive to just start over with a new generic case, PSU, mobo, etc. while reusing some of the original parts.
So, just as Patrick Henry said (concerning a much more important matter) : “Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death”, I say (concerning a computer repair job): “Give Me Standard Parts Or Give Me More Money”.
Professor Randy says:Wouldn’t it be nice if all computer manufacturers used generic, industry standard design components that would interchange and work well together?