Delete stubborn impossible registry key! Solution / Fix

Trying to delete a stubborn registry entry, i finally found this solution:

It´s really powerful so must be used with a great amount of caution. It deleted the stubborn key instantly.

Under Administrator execution of the Command prompt, enter: psexec -s -i regedit

This will run regedit from the System account.

psexec can be found at:

psexec’s normal use is to remotely interface other systems but it just happens to be able to run things like regedit from the System account.

Disclaimer: If you don’t know how to do this, should you really be poking around in the registry with full access rights? If you think so, look at this post for step by step instructions:

Win7 – Philips Toucam Windows 7 Driver fix – Problem solved! – Post updated for 64 bit Windows7

I had problems using my old Philips TouCam Pro with Win7 since Philips does not offer any drivers for it. I read somewhere that you could hack some drivers but that sounded so complicated.

Here is a driver that works with the TouCam in Win7 (at least 32-bit) right out of the box. Just do like this:

Win7 32-bit procedure, see further down for the Win7 64-bit instructions

1. Download the driver package (click the drive icon under Téléchargement, which is french for download)

2. Unzip the files to a folder of your choice

3. Plug in your toucam, cancel the automatic driver installation window that pops up.

4. Open the Windows 7 Control panel, in the search field there, type ” device ” to find the device manager, open it.

5. Find your unrecognized device in the list, right-click on it and choose “update driver software”, “browse my computer for software” and browse to your folder where you unzipped the files. Click next, ignore the warning and the driver installs.


Win7 x64 procedure: (Credits go to kapyxx! thanx man/woman! 😉 )

1 – Download the Windows 7 drivers for your Philips Webcam SPC900NC VGA CCD with Pixel Plus and install them.

2 – In C: \ Program Files (x86) \ Philips \ Philips SPC900NC PC Camera edit files with Notepad:

To view the line number, select the notepad menu – View – Status Bar, Word Wrap to be disabled if necessary.

In Camvid40.inf:
Line 66 should be replaced with:
% USBVid.DeviceDesc% = USBVidx86, USB \ VID_0471 & PID_0311 & MI_00 [/ code]

Line 69 should be replaced with:
% USBVid.DeviceDesc% = USBVidXp64, USB \ VID_0471 & PID_0311 & MI_00 [/ code]

Line 72 should be replaced with:
% USBVid.DeviceDesc% = USBVidVista64, USB \ VID_0471 & PID _0311 & MI_00 [/ code]

Edit the file with Notepad SPC900.txt

replace line # 2 with:
USB \ VID_0471 & PID_0311 & MI_00 [/ code]

Save and close. (If You Can not save copy the files to another location, edit them and then copy Them back and select “Copy and Replace”

In device manager there should be an unknown device with exclamation mark.
Update driver and select the path: C: \ Program Files (x86) \ Philips \ Philips SPC900NC PC Camera driver will be installed ..

External monitor flicker, laptop ground loop problem solved

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This is one of my most visited posts, so i decided to make an updated version.(2011.02.18)

DISCLAIMER, this is a “quick and dirty” fix that works, and might not be recommended by an electrician, and might be against new electricity safety guidelines. I am not an electrician, I just know this works, but you are doing it on your own risk. That said, here we go:

Are you having problems with a flickering external monitor on your laptop?

Does the flicker go away if you remove the laptop charger?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you probably have a ground loop or ground between the laptop and the monitor.

This is because in the best situation we would like to have only one ground point in any system. Since your laptop is grounded and your monitor is grounded, and we connect these two with a cable, we are essentially creating a loop antenna. This “antenna” picks up noise from the electric system and this is what affects the analog signal on the monitor. This problem can also create an audio hum in your soundcard.

What you need to do is completely disable the ground for one of these devices. For example the monitor. If you are using a European 240V connector just put some scotch tape over the metal strips on the sides of the connector in the socket, that is the ground. Check that the tape does not break when the connector is inserted. You might have to put several layers of tape on the connector. Your monitor will still be grounded, as long as it is connected to the laptop with a VGA or DVI cable.

If you have other connector types you can take a spare power cable and remove the ground prong for the monitor, or you could just use an adapter that only has 2 prongs but accepts three, like this one:

 Grounding Adapter 3-Prong to 2-Prong AC Wall Outlet Polarized Electrical power Grounded Grounding Adapter 3 Prong Outlet Plug to 2 Prong, AC Ground Wire Plug Adapter, Part # 905-100

After this the flickering should go away.

BEWARE your monitor is now ungrounded by itself, so don’t use it in the bath-tub.

Good luck!

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Extreme bang for the buck! – Core 2 Duo E2160 and Radeon HD 3850 512MB

It’s alive, it’s aliiiiive! The beast is born! This is my story about my new rig. Cheap and extremely powerful. If you are thinking about upgrading your PC, take this as a recommendation! Intel’s E2160 and ATI’s HD 3850 is a match made in heaven for gamers on a budget. Low price, great performance. If you have any questons regarding these products or anything regarding building a new computer, just drop me a comment and I’ll try to answer as best I can. Read on friends…

A few days ago my trusty Raeon 9800Pro died on me, and I decided to buy a new graphics card. I realized I’d have to change my motherboard to a PCI-E one, buying an AGP board now is like getting a VHS.  I started looking for most bang for the buck (no not in that way…) and I read Tom’s Hardware’s praise of the Radeon 3800 series. I found a 512MB Asus EAH3850, with custom cooler said to run 20 degrees cooler than the reference design. The DX10.1 compliant 512MB DDR3 card put me back about 190€. I had a new graphics card. Now where to put it?

So, a CPU and motherboard then. Again Tom’s Hardware came to the rescue and praised the overclockability of the Intel Core 2 Duo E2160, so I figured why not. 1.8GHz at standard and was said to overclock to 3 GHz on pretty much standard voltage. Cool, 70€ for a 3 GHz Core 2 Duo can’t be bad. For motherboard I went with the one Tom recommended in the same article, the GA-P35-DS3R, except I went for the same one but without SLI- the DS3. It was 30€ cheaper and I figured I was not going to use SLI anyway. It’s a really high quality board with all solid capacitors, great components and solid build. Unfortunately i got a 2.0 revision instead of the 2.1. The 2.1 has some fancy power saving options, but they don’t work when overklocking so maybe I shouldn’t cry that much. 90€ – And its the size of a stamp:

I figured a new PSU would be needed, I had a 350W for my old Athlon XP system, but having used up about 3 no-name brand PSU’s I decided to go quality here, and I got a Corsair VX 450 PSU. It is rated at 80+, which means It’s efficient (less than 20% of the energy gets transformed into heat). Good for the forest,  good for my electricity bills, and it makes it run quiet. Its large 120mm fan would be my main source of ventilation in the chassis. It has all cables running in black kevlar socks. Well maybe it’s not kevlar but they look cool! The whole thing looks cool, and it came in a white Corsair cloth-bag. I’m gonna use that as my beach bag this summer 😉

Excellent!I also bought 2 sticks of 1Gb PC6400 DDRII RAM. Now, that means the ram can take 800Mhz (I wish they stopped using the PCXXXX markings, It just makes it hard to know the RAM speed.) 19€ a piece, 38€ for 2Gigs. RAM is incredibly cheap nowadays.

The building process
I put the thing together after a hard day of work, and slammed on the stock cooler that came with the cpu, and I mounted everything in my old chassis. From the outside it looks like my trusty gray box, but open it up and you see a monster 🙂

Everything worked great from the beginning, I decided to reinstall Windows XP though, since the upgrade seemed to cause the old install some headache.Even without any overclocking I soon realized this rig was a great gaming rig! It ran Crysis at High settings 1280×800 without problems. FPS was around 40 and very playable. The ASUS included Company of Heroes was smooth, with about 60fps straight trough. 3DMark gave me a score of about 9000 marks. It did run a bit warm though, as if the stock cooler was not really cutting it. I had a 120MM Zalman lying around that I couldn’t use on my old rig so I decided to slap it on instead.

I bought some isopropyl alcohol (No not for calming my nerves, but for removing the one day old heatsink gunk from the CPU), and I followed Arctic Silver’s (no, it’s not a fox fur i think) instructions on how to apply the thermal paste to a Core 2 Duo. Just basically make a string along the center of the CPU, the same way the CPU socket handle is facing. It was a really quiet solution, and about 5-10 degrees cooler. Cool! )

The Overcooking – sorry, ~clocking
The Core2 Duo clocked nicely up to 333Mhz and with it’s 9x multiple it gives me 3.0GHz to play with.

Warning Science Content: With the Zalman heatsink and fan it idles around 33 degrees Celsius (Tcase) and Prime 95 stress test makes the Tcase heat up to 63 degrees. That gives a Core Tjuncition reading of 73 degrees celsius, 28 degrees below Tjunction max at 100′C (Tjunction Delta = 28′C)

The Radeon 3850 Clocked nicely up to 720Core and 950Mem, from it’s standard 668/828. The ATI Radeon 3850 is simply amazing! I have never seen price/performance ratios like this. Compared to the competition it just blows anything away.

Conclusion: A 450€ Killer game rig!
I’ve just managed to hack Crysis to enable the Very High settings (DX10) on Windows XP. The FPS on this Very high setting is around 30 for 1280×800. Not bad considering it’s a 450€ rig! ) I’m happy, I can play all the new games on high setting. My system is extremely responsive,

I’m having a blast!

Check out my screenshots!

And read here about how to enable Very High Quality in Crysis in XP

So what do I say?

Five Gnomes out of Five!

AGP Texture acceleration unavailable

I just fixed a strange problem. All of a sudden overlay mode stopped working when I watched movies. I checked my Dxdiag settings (Start>run>dxdiag) and DirectDraw acceleration and AGP texture acceleration was unavailable.

I reinstalled DirectX and the drivers for my Graphics card. To no avail.

Then in a forum I found the solution:

1. Start netmeeting (start menu>run, type conf.exe in the run box and hit enter)

2. Go to tools and enable remote desktop sharing, install with the wizard.

3. After the wizard finishes go to tools again and uncheck remote desktop sharing.

4. Close Netmeeting.

5. Run Dxdiag (start>run type: dxdiag), AGP texture acceleration and DirectDraw acceleration should be available now! 🙂

All the wonderful colours of warm electronics

Why do we like Saunas and steam baths so much, when computers don’t? Was Alan Turing wrong in thinking that our mind is just a computer? (Since computers don’t like saunas) Why does things go wrong with technology when it gets too hot?

The picture above is of my trusty Radeon 9700 Graphics card, that all of a sudden decided the world needed pink stripes running up and down. And so it created some, five of them to be exact. It also decided that no matter what I did, the stripes would stay. HIS, the makers of the card told me it was a memory issue, so i returned the card for a new one. One without this somewhat annoying fashion statement.

Other times, my computer has managed to produce images making you think it’s not only dust that’s being sucked through the computer’s lungs.

This picture clearly shows, the computer, or at least the graphics card is pretty high… Anyone recognize the game? It’s Microsoft Simulator’s flying Circus, it is!

So what happens with electronics when they get too warm? And how warm can they get?

A normal AMD processor has a critical point at somewhere around 90 degrees Celcius, Memory has to be cooler. GPU’s can top around the same as a CPU, but these temperatures are not recommended.

Well then, what is the recommended sauna temperature? I usually go for around 65-70 degrees C, this way the body can last a bit longer. The same with a CPU. In some saunas a temperature of 110-120 degrees is completely comfortable because of air flow! -Air flow, aha! you think, that’s why I have a big noisy fan in my computer case! -Exactly! There are a myriad of ways how to get better airflow in a computer case. Just like a human, the computer needs to be within a certain temperature to work fine, otherwise… well… the pictures above…

Finally, why does electronic equipment like to be cold? Well i honestly don’t know exactly, other than a temperature too high may cause components to behave differently, or change value causing all kinds of ruckus. In this case, beautiful art.