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Printer goes offline randomly in Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10 and Server 2003, 2008, 2012

In our office users were complaining of printers randomly going offline even though other users’ computers on the same network were able to print just fine. Usually they would just reboot the PC or disconnect from ethernet and connect to the office wifi instead and it would start working again.

After much exploring of network and IP related settings the solution actually turned out to be ridiculously simple!

Windows Vista and all versions of windows thereafter automatically enable SNMP for networked printers, and if there’s no response to an SNMP message then it stupidly assumes that the printer is offline.
If you didn’t know,  SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is used to get info from network devices (such as printers, switches, routers, servers etc).
Many network printers support SNMP and will happily reply to SNMP requests. In this scenario i discovered that some do not.

Our printers are all reasonably old Brother HL53250DN or HP CP2015 devices (or similar) which seem to have difficulty with SNMP. Essentially Windows will report the printer as offline randomly because it has just tried to get a response via SNMP with no luck.

The easy fix is to just ask Windows politely to not use SNMP to detect printer status.

1. Right-click on the printer in the Printers window
2. Choose the Ports tab
3. Select “Configure Port”
4. Untick the checkbox “SNMP Status Enable”
The printer should then start showing as online again.

This fix has worked on many versions of Windows on the various PCs, laptops and servers in our offices.

Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 8.1
Windows 10
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2012

If you tried the steps above but the issue presents itself again then you may be able to edit the registry (if you’re comfortable to do so)

To do this…
1. goto HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print
2. Add new DWORD “SNMPLegacy” with value of 1 and restart the PC/Server (if safe to do so)

The issue can occur even if the printer does support SNMP but a firewall or network setting is getting in the way. This happened in one of our other buildings using an older router setup.

If you had this problem and it helped you out please tweet or comment below stating the Windows version and printer model you had the issue with.

Also if you’re feeling generous buy me a coffee via PayPal at https://www.paypal.me/AlanHart or using the link in the sidebar.


Why ALL4 Advertising Sucks – Worst implementation of online advertising ever?

All4 (Channel 4’s online catch-up tv service) sucks and here’s why….

We all know and understand that content providers especially commercial channels make their money from advertising.

Advertising isn’t that much of a deal, we’re all used to it, but when that advertising gets in the way of service users actually accessing the content they want to see, that’s when it becomes an annoyance, and in this case it’s a massive annoyance!

Here is an example of an experience with All4…

To view a catch-up video I have to sit through 6 minutes of ads at the start. (6 minutes! and unskippable! – How anyone can think this is acceptable is crazy)
As i already watched the first 45 minutes of the show a few days previously on live TV I click to skip to the last 15 mins of the hour long show to catch up on the bit that i missed.
I then get hit with 3m45s of more advertising!  (total time wasted = 9m45s)
I then go to pause the video and accidentally hit the skip back button… and get hit with another 3m45s of ads (total time wasted = 13m30s).
I then skip forwards to get back to the spot where i was watching and get 3m45s of EVEN MORE ADS!!

So after watching the last 15 minutes I wanted to catch up on i’ve been subjected to a total of 17m15s minutes of bloody adverts, making my entire viewing experience take more than double the time it should!

This is the most shockingly poor implementation of online advertising i have ever experienced.
On top of all this the video quality is rather poor.

Dear Channel 4 / All4, If you see this PLEASE end this insanity and change your service to make user friendly. At least allow users to skip ads if they’ve already watched at least 3mins of advertising.

I’ve sent Channel 4 a message so will be interesting to see what their reply is.

How bulk delete multiple photos from iphone 6

 

Turns out you can no longer delete photos from your iPhone on your PC…

THIS IS A FULL “STEP BY STEP” GUIDE TO BULK DELETING A SELECTION OF MULTIPLE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS FROM YOUR IPHONE

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE MADE ANY BACKUPS OF PHOTOS YOU WANT TO KEEP BEFORE DELETING THEM!

1. Open Photos App

2. In camera roll make sure you are in “Albums” (bottom right)

3. Scroll up/down to where you want to start deleting from (if you want to keep your most recent photos and videos)

4. Tap “Select” (top right). Then tap the last photo you want deleted and drag your finger across or up (to select more than one photo)

How to bulk delete multiple photos from iphone 6How to bulk delete multiple photos from iphone 6
5. While still holding your selecting finger on the screen, Tap the top of the screen (where the clock is) with another finger.
This will automatically scroll you all the way up to the older images at the top of your camera roll and select everything in between.

How to bulk delete multiple photos from iphone 6
6. Tap delete (Bin / Trashcan Icon) and confirm, wait a few seconds and the photos will be deleted (almost)

How to bulk delete multiple photos from iphone 6
Naturally you would be expecting this to have removed the photos and videos freeing up valuable space for more lovely photos, videos and apps wouldn’t you?

WRONG! THERE ARE A FEW MORE STEPS TO ACTUALLY DELETE THEM…

7. Tap “< Albums” (top left) and scroll to “Recently Deleted”. Then tap “Select” (top right)

How to bulk delete multiple photos from iphone 6How to bulk delete multiple photos from iphone 6
8. Tap “Delete All” (bottom left) and then confirm you really want to delete the photos completely.

IMG_2308IMG_2309

Of course Apple have made this SO intuitive you could have easily figured this all out for yourself, right? ;)

If this blog post has helped you please feel free to say thanks sharing it on twitter/facebook/whatever
If you’re felling particularly generous you can click the “Buy Me a Coffee” PayPal Donate button in the sidebar (down the bottom on mobiles)
or via <a href=”http://www.paypal.me/alanhart”>http://www.paypal.me/alanhart</a>

McDonalds Scraps 5p Charge for Sauce/Dips?

Just picked up a deliciously juicy breakfast from a local McDonalds and it was 5p cheaper than usual…
The guy at the drive thru said that they are no longer charging the silly 5p surcharge for sauces and dips.

Free sauce for everyone?
Unfortunately this isn’t the same in McDonalds restaurants nationwide..

Comment below or tweet me (@alanhart) if your mcdonalds charges or not.

Pin .bat Batch File or Shortcut to Start Menu / Taskbar with Custom Icon – Windows 7, 8 & 10

So you want to pin a batch file or shortcut with a custom icon to the start menu / taskbar in Windows 7, 8 and 10?

Easily add a batch file (.bat) to the taskbar by following these steps:

1. Rename your .bat or .cmd file extension to .exe
2. Right click the newly renamed .exe file and select pin to taskbar
3. Rename the file extension back to .bat or .cmd
4. Shift+right click the newly pinned .exe taskbar icon and choose properties
5. Change the file extension from .exe to .bat or .cmd and change the icon as needed. (for lots of system icons here use the path: “%SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll”)
6. The shortcut will work immediately you’ll need to reboot or just kill explorer.exe in task manager and re-run it to update/refresh the icon if you changed it.

I use the method above to launch .vbs scripts from the taskbar.
Here’s how to create a .bat file to run vbs scripts…

Open notepad to create a blank text file and add one of the following lines
wscript.exe yourscript.vbs (wscript just runs the vbs as a Windows process)
or
cscript.exe yourscript.vbs (cscript runs the vbs in a command/console window)
then save the text file as a .bat file in the same folder as the .vbs script file.

If this blog post has helped you please feel free to say thanks by clicking “Buy Me a Coffee” PayPal Donate button in the sidebar (down the bottom on mobiles)
or via http://www.paypal.me/alanhart

Super Dangerous Dungeons – All Hidden Gem Locations – Where are the Secret Levels?

Here’s how to find all the secret levels and get all the gems on Super Dangerous Dungeons…

Every Super DD dungeon has one secret level containing a hidden gem.
Each gem is located at the end of a secret / hidden level.

Below is a complete guide telling you where to find each secret/hidden level.

Stage 1 – Grass Dungeon

You can access the hidden level in this dungeon on Level 6.

You just need to play the level as normal but double back (see first screenshot below) to where the saw blade starts

you can then walk through the edge of the level and into the secret hidden gem level. (see second screenshot below)

Super-Dangerous-Dungeons_Grass-Dungeon-Stage-1-Hidden-Gem-Location_2

Super-Dangerous-Dungeons_Grass-Dungeon-Stage-1-Hidden-Gem-Location_3

Stage 2 – Water Dungeon

You can access the hidden level in this dungeon on Level 18

Just drop down the gap to left of red button where the torches are lit. (see screenshot below)

Super-Dangerous-Dungeons_Water-Dungeon-Stage-2-Hidden-Gem-Location_1

Stage 3 – Fire Dungeon

You can access the hidden level in this dungeon on Level 25

This one is probably the easiest to spot, just go up middle platforms and jump out the top of level. (see screenshot below)

Super-Dangerous-Dungeons_Fire-Dungeon-Stage-3-Hidden-Gem-Location_1

Stage 4 – Golden Dungeon

You will find the hidden level in this dungeon on Level 36

Make your way to the switch and ignore the key. Flick switch to reverse the moving platforms. (first screenshot below)
Go back up the way you came to get to the first moving platform at top of level and stay on it.
The platform will take you through the left edge of the level – just below where you started (second screenshot below)

Super-Dangerous-Dungeons_Golden-Dungeon-Stage-4-Hidden-Gem-Location_2

Super-Dangerous-Dungeons_Golden-Dungeon-Stage-4-Hidden-Gem-Location_3

The Final Level

Once all gems have been found the final level door is unlocked.
Super-Dangerous-Dungeons_Final-Level-Stage-5-Find-All-Hidden-Gems

Have fun playing!

I hope this helps you and saves you a bit of time finding the secret levels, if it does feel free to say thanks by clicking “Buy Me a Coffee” PayPal Donate button in the sidebar (down the bottom on mobiles)
or via http://www.paypal.me/alanhart

YouTube – Associated website “pending”

After jumping through all the hoops to try and get a website verified on a company YouTube channel (in order to link to the company website via annotations) the associated website was still showing as “Pending”

(here: https://www.youtube.com/advanced_settings)

To fix this, after much frustration and googling I discovered this page in webmaster tools…

https://www.google.com/webmasters/verification/

I added the YouTube user account email to associated users at the bottom and the site was instantly associated in YouTube!

Hope this helps you and saves you a bit of time, if it does feel free to say thanks by clicking “Buy Me a Coffee” PayPal Donate button in the sidebar (down the bottom on mobiles)
or via http://www.paypal.me/alanhart

 

 

LG GPad 8.3 (V500) Tablet Not Turning On? Won’t charge? Appears Dead? Tried everything?

Thought my GPad had completely died, but it lives!

I tried everything i could on all the forums i could find when my LG GPad 8.3 V500 wouldn’t turn on

e.g.
Press and hold the power button,
Press and hold power and volume down together
plugging into a computer and running some LG software etc..

Despite my best efforts none of these thing bought my dead LG GPad V500 back to life.
Even when plugging the power cable in, nothing, not even a “charging” icon displayed.

I then found out that if you hold the power button for 20 seconds it’s the same as a battery pull (removing the battery)
So i did that and then plugged the charger into the Gpad again. Nothing… but then…
after a few minutes of being plugged in something appeared on the display…
…the charging icon!

After leaving to charge for 15 mins i was able to power it on again! (thought i’d leave it to charge for a bit to be on the safe side)

No factory resets, no taking the LG V500 apart to get the battery out, so simple!

Hope this helps you and saves you buying another tablet, if it does feel free to say thanks by clicking “Buy Me a Coffee” PayPal Donate button in the sidebar (down the bottom on mobiles)

DNS Dropping / Not Resolving – Draytek 2820 Router

Had an issue the last few weeks where DNS across the network would randomly just drop/timeout for a period of a few minutes to an hour or so.
Across the entire network (at around lunctime) users would suddenly be unable to access certain websites but strangely applications like skype / outlook etc would still function normally.

I quickly diagnosed that it was a DNS issue as normal web browsing would fail but if i entered the domain’s IP address (using my phone and www.ip-lookup.net to find the domain ip) it would load instantly.
I tried bypassing the local DNS server by changing DNS manually to Google DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) but this also didn’t work while the “blackout” was in progress.

Summary of symptoms…

  • Connection not lost – existing connections stay alive (until bounced/rebooted)
  • Pings to 8.8.8.8 (Google DNS) all successful
  • Unable to resolve DNS through any DNS servers (Local DNS Server, Google DNS, Open DNS, ISP DNS etc) on any machine, laptop, server within the network.
  • nslookup fails with Local DNS server, Google DNS, Open DNS and ISP DNS
  • On router reboot DNS goes back to working OK for a period of time.

Restarting the router (a Draytek Vigor 2820 in this case) would fix the issue but usually DNS resolution would just drop off again sometime after (sometimes a few minutes, sometimes an hour or so).

After much frustration, and the realisation that it had to be something to do with the router, I rooted around in the Draytek Vigor 2820 settings to see what could be causing the DNS to drop off.

The penny dropped when looking at the DOS defence firewall settings. (Firewall > DOS Defence) in particular UDP Flood Defence

The threshold value was set to 150 packets/sec. Draytek recommend 2000 packets/sec for a 20mb connection. So roughly 100 packets/sec for each 1mb
For a more specific calculation see here: http://www.draytek.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=5315&Itemid=293&lang=en

This particular connection is at best 8mb to i set this threshold value to 800. (See screengrab below)
dns-dropping-not-resolving-draytek-vigor-2820

I’m guessing everyone on their lunch breaks was hitting the connection hard with youtube, facebook, twitter, random browsing etc triggering the DoS defence filter.

This has now completely solved this incredibly annoying DNS issue.

Hope this helped you. If it did please share on twitter, google plus, facebook etc or donate a little something towards my next caffeine fix by clicking the [Buy me a coffee] PayPal button in the sidebar!)

HP CP2025 misprint and cleaning when printing multiple pages

Been struggling for a while with an HP CP2025 colour laser printer.

Essentially the CP2025 would print single pages perfectly fine.
However, but when trying to print multiple page documents or multiple copies of the same file, the CP2015 would give a “Misprint” Error and then require the user to tap the OK button to continue.

It appears that some HP CP2025 models have some sort of defect in the paper pickup roller for paper tray 2.
This defect causes a slight delay/hesitation when loading the paper which causes it to go slightly out of alignment, the printer responds to this mis-alignment by automatically going through a cleaning cycle.
As this misfeed happens on the first printed side it spits the paper out without printing side 2 and requires the user to press OK to continue.

SOLUTIONS:
If all trays have the problem…

These settings need to be changed only in printers using the webpage (type the printer’s IP address into your browser) ToolboxFX or EWS utility.
(Note: Leave the OS printer driver / printer properties with default settings.)

hp-cp2025-misprint-cleaning-fix

Screenshot of the webpage

In System Tab and Paper Handling:
Default Paper Size: A4 or Letter
Default Paper Type: Plain
Manual Feed: Off
Tray 1 Size: Any Size
Tray 1 Type: Any Type
Tray 2 Size: A4 or Letter
Tray 2 Type: Heavy 111-130g
Tray 3 Size: A4 or Letter
Tray 3 Type: Heavy 111-130g

Remember to click the [Apply] button!

Note: Tray 2 and Tray 3 availability will differ based on Models.

When I just changed “Tray 2 Size” and “Tray 2 Type” my CP2025 started printing properly again

If this helped you out or even saved you buying a new printer out of frustration tweet me @AlanHart to let me know and click the “Buy me a Coffee” button below to say thanks.

 
A few other thing to try if the above doesn’t work…
(more…)

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