Category: Technology

Sometimes this will happen on refurbished cartridges.

You can usually gain some life from your toner carts by using this procedure, but not always.

<Should work on Brother 5340, 5250, 5450 and other models too>

1. Turn Printer OFF and OPEN the toner door

2. Hold the GO button as you turn on the printer until all lights are ON

3. Keep holding the GO button until status light goes OFF

4. Press the GO button 2 times

5. The Paper, Drum & Toner light will come ON

6. Press the GO button 6 times

7. Status light will turn RED

8. Close the front

Good Job! You are now a CPT (Certified Printer Technician)

Want 22.5 Gigs of Free Space with your dropbox account? Its easier then you think, they are giving it away but you need to know the secrets!

First, clicking this link will get you a free 500MB because its a referral, yep that was easy, so you can click that link, sign up and already you will go from the 2 Gigabytes up to 2.5 GB, pretty neat huh. **UPDATE they changed the rules slightly  not a big deal but you need to install the software after you folloe the link. You will be installing the software from THEIR site, not mine, some people thought I was hosting the software, but that wouldnt make sense, you should only download dropbox software from DROPBOX, it is the only way to insure it is legitimate. Its very stable. safe and following these directions is the ONLY way you can obtain the entire 22.5 Gigs, so make sure you sign up AND install the software or you will not get the entire amount of free space thats possible. I get credit too, so please help me out if you can by helping yourself out too.**UPDATE

After you have signed up, dropbox makes it pretty easy to get EVEN MORE space! Here are a few steps.

1. Complete 5 out of the 7 steps in the “getting started with Dropbox” on dropbox. They are simple. Things like “Take the Dropbox tour”, “Install Dropbox on your computer”, “Put files in your dropbox folder”,  “Install Dropbox on other computers you use”, “share a folder”, “invite friends”, and “install on your mobile device”, These are simple, quick little tasks that you can do. Remember you only need to complete 5 of them to earn 250 Megs FREE space!

2. Connect your FaceBook account for another 125 Megabytes FREE!

3. Connect your Twitter account for another 125 Megs FREE!

4. Follow Dropbox on Twitter for an additional 125 MB’s

5. Tell Dropbox why you love them, literally a word or sentence and you get another 125 Megs FREE!

Ok, so if you do all of the above, you will earn an additional of 750 MB’s for a grand total of 3.25 Gigs of Free Cloud Storage, but this is just the beginning, the real free space comes next!

6. Connect your camera to your computer and allow it to sync to dropbox. Just upload 2.5 Gigabytes and you will earn an additional 3 GB’s totally free! You don’t have to keep the pictures in there either, if you remove the pictures from dropbox, you get to keep the free space FOREVER!

So, now you just jumped up to 6.25 Gigabytes of FREE online storage! But wait, there is more!

7. This is the big one, with the Dropbox Free account you currently have, you can earn 16 GB more of totally FREE space by simply referring 32 people to dropbox. Once they signup and install dropbox you will earn 500 Megabytes for each referral!

So that brings your grand total too…drum role please…22.25 Gigs of the best online cloud storage available!

See, told you it was easy! Enjoy!


Get FREE Space!

Get FREE Space!

How to properly format an Advanced Format Harddrive for Windows XP is easier than you might think. If you are reading this you’re probably already aware of what an Advanced Format Hard Drive is, but if not, here is the cliff note version. Up until about 2010 most consumer Hard Drives had 512 bytes per sector. Seagate developed a new standard of 4096 bytes per sector and any drive released after January of 2011 is very likely this new Advanced Format, whether it is from Seagate, Western Digital, IBM, or other. This larger 4096 byte sector allows the error checking code to be moved to the end of the sector by combining eight 512 sectors, allowing data to be read more efficiently and eventually allowing for more dense platters, aka bigger drives.

The problem is up until Vista, operating systems in all flavors (including Linux and Mac) did not correctly write to these new drives, they expected 512 sectors and found 4096 sectors, causing them to need multiple rotations to do the same work, basically making them slow and prone to errors. Even with Vista and above you need to make sure you have the correct service pack installed. So what if you have over 500 computers in your environment that still run Windows XP? Simple, buy Seagate Drives because they include firmware on the drives that makes this transition transparent to the operating system. What if your purchasing agent instead purchased something like Western Digital because they were a buck cheaper? Well then you have problems. According to WD you can run a tool to properly align the drive. This isn’t a great idea since you could lose your data and plus the data has already been installed. I’ve also noticed that the Western Digital tool will report the drive incorrectly as aligned when it isn’t so forget that junk tool.

This is what you do, simply download and burn a copy of Parted Magic, it is Free and is the #1 tool for partitioning Hard Drives, Thumb Drives, birds, mice, whatever, ok it only works on drives and disks but whatever.

**** WARNING ***** if you are reading this you better have all your data backed up because this will wipe the drive, you have been warned!

I’m just going to give a quick overview of the process since it is fairly straight forward. Here are the steps, good luck.

1. Boot Parted Magic and choose default

2. Double Click “Partition Editor” on desktop

* If more than one drive is installed, be sure to choose the correct drive on the right top of the screen drop downs.

3. Select “Device”, then “Create Partition Table” from the menu at the top of Gparted (this is the Partition Editor Program)

4. You will get a warning ” This will erase all DATA on the entire disk…” simply click “Apply”

5. Right Click on the drive and choose “New”, change File System to “NTFS” and click “add”

6.Right Click on the New Partition #1 and choose “Format To” and then NTFS, click “Apply”

7. Click “Apply” at top of current window, you will get a message saying “Are you sure you want to apply pending operations?” Click “Apply” to continue.

You should see “All operations successfully completed” just click close, wait for rescan of drives to finish and close gparted.

You can then shut down the computer.

Now when you go to install Windows XP you will come to the section to Partition the drive, just select “Leave the current File System intact (no Change)” Since I use slip streamed installs I dont have the exact screen this will show up on but it will be obvious.

With this process, it’s actually a little quicker to use Parted Magic to create and format your partition, but it is a two step process which is just 1 step too many, so as I suggested at the beginning, simply buy Seagate Drives and don’t worry about this new Advanced Format.

If you want to verify your drive is aligned I recommend the dell utility if you have a Dell, actually it might work on others but I don’t have a machine to test that on. I will include a copy of the file since it is kind of a pain to find on Dell’s Home Page. DELL_ADVANCED-FORMAT-HDD-DET_A00_R306204

To see if you have an Advanced Format Drive, you can, depending on your version of fsutil installed, run an elevated command prompt and type fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo c: you will see there is a section on Physical Sectors and Bytes per sector, if physical sectors say 4096, then you have an Advanced Format Drive.

I just did some testing with a Seagate and they say their firmware handles this transparently, but it appears this is not the case. I will continue to test and update this post ***CORRECTION

I have been using Google Drive seriously for about a year. Making sure to work off the cloud as much as possible. Until now, I have not had any real issues, although, I’ve noticed that Google Drive is much slower than Drop Box, mainly do to the difference in how Google drive and drop box index your files. Regardless, the problem I am having now is probably a deal breaker. Google Drive is crashing my nice new Windows 8 install on my Dell Optiplex 960.

I installed the pre-release of Windows 8 a couple of months ago. Since I have been extremely satisfied with it, I decided to take advantage of Microsoft’s $39.99 deal and upgrade all my machines. The one program I didn’t really test was Google drive, since that runs on my little HP mini laptop that I strictly use for backups. Now that I have a shiny new 2 TB Seagate drive in my Optiplex, I want to use this machine for my backups. I installed drop box and Google drive. The computer restarted once and two other times it informed me that Google drive was having an issue.

Now I would look into this a little bit more, but apparently in December of 2012, Google made it very clear they were not planning on building any new apps for it. “We have no plans to build out Windows apps,” said Clay Bavor, product management director at Google Apps. Apparently, they are not planning on supporting it either.

FYI, I am running the 64 bit version of Google Drive and Windows 8.

Here is the error from my system log:


Log Name: Application
Source: Application Error
Date: 1/22/2013 12:56:33 PM
Event ID: 1000
Task Category: (100)
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Computer: garage
Faulting application name: googledrivesync.exe, version: 1.7.4018.3496, time stamp: 0x509418e4
Faulting module name: python26.dll, version: 2.6.4150.1013, time stamp: 0x4ae54ea8
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x00025e10
Faulting process id: 0xc94
Faulting application start time: 0x01cdf8c865f26729
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Drive\googledrivesync.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Users\Bill\AppData\Local\Temp\_MEI31562\python26.dll
Report Id: 0e26374f-64bd-11e2-be6c-0024e837d4ac
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns=””>
<Provider Name=”Application Error” />
<EventID Qualifiers=”0″>1000</EventID>
<TimeCreated SystemTime=”2013-01-22T17:56:33.000000000Z” />
<Security />
<Data>C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Drive\googledrivesync.exe</Data>

There is a little known “gotcha” when upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows XP.

Microsoft doesn’t make it real well known, that if you upgrade from Windows XP 32 bit to Windows 8, you will end up with the 32 bit version of of Windows 8. You will not get the option to install the 64 bit version “even” if your system is 100% compatible. Really it isn’t the fact that its XP, it’s the fact that it is a 32bit version of the operating system, it can be Vista, Window 7, or any other 32 bit operating system.

This was verified on a Dell Optiplex 745 and a Dell Optiplex 960.

What I did, was actually call Microsoft, explain the situation and simply cancel my order. Then I installed the Trial/beta/pre-release edition of Windows 8 64 Bit which allowed me to upgrade to a legal licensed copy of Windows 8 64 Bit.

After much research, I was able to find this on Microsoft’s website. Which means until January 31st, 2013 instead of paying the special upgrade price of $39.99, Microsoft will get you for the DVD version at $69.99, which is still a fair price for an operating system. You could always do what I did and install a 64 bit version first though. Regarding the special upgrade price, see this article.


Can I upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 8?
Yes, but you can’t do this using Upgrade Assistant. If your PC has a 64-bit capable processor (CPU) but is currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, you can install a 64-bit version of Windows 8 Pro, but you’ll need to buy it as a DVD and perform a custom installation. If available in your country or region, you can buy Windows 8 Pro from a participating retail store. You can also buy it online from the Microsoft Store in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.
Please note that the Windows 8 Pro Pack is used to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro, and is not for cross-architecture installs and does not include any media. If you want to change architectures, purchase Windows 8 Pro.
You won’t be able to keep any files, settings, or apps when you upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit version.”

If you are dying to get Windows 8 and don’t want to break the bank, you better hurry up. Microsoft has Windows 8 at a introductory offer of only $39.99! That price is for the download version of Windows 8. If you would rather have a retail disk, that will cost you $69.99 for a DVD (free standard shipping). Also, as a Bonus you receive the Pro version, Microsoft is really pushing their new operating system and I think this is a great way to convert a lot of the slower to adopt users.

Personally, I have 3 machines to upgrade before the final day, so I will report back how the process goes. According to Microsoft, it is a simple upgrade. Installing the beta release candidate could not have been easier, so I don’t imagine this will be a problem.

Downloading the upgrade is easy, simply go to

  • Click Download Pro to install Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. Depending on your Internet connection, the installation might take several minutes.
  • When prompted by your browser, open, save, or run Upgrade Assistant. You must run Upgrade Assistant to purchase Windows 8 Pro, but you can also run it without purchasing.
  • Follow the instructions in Upgrade Assistant to find out if your PC can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, and then follow the steps to purchase, download, and install. For more detailed information, see How to download Windows 8 orUpgrade to Windows 8.

Check back or sign up for an email alert at the bottom of this page to see how my upgrades go.


Recently we had a problem with very slow logons to one of the Terminal Servers. The terminal server is currently running Windows 2003 Server, but I would bet it could be the same problem on 2008 or even Windows Server 2012.

The problem is with printer caching, usually bloated drivers that get cached when a user logons. HP is famous for having bloated drivers, but Sharp is pretty bad too. We use mostly Sharp copiers across our facility, many, many copiers and lots of Brother printers.  Basically it is a few minute quick fix to get your server working again and then we will automate the process so you can set it and forget it. All we will be doing is deleting a couple of registry keys, so no need to worry, this doesn’t affect drivers or anything, these keys are automatically recreated. Just check these keys and see if you have hundreds or even thousands of entries, if so, you can manually delete the key and your server will return to its lightning fast self. It’s easier and faster to use the script below though.

NOTE: Be patient, the first time we did this it took between 20 and 30 minutes to delete just one key. Also, you will notice if people are currently logging in or logged on that not all entries will be removed, that’s completely fine.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SHARP HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\Install\Software\SHARP

If you have HP copiers, then you will see these keys instead.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Hewlett-Packard HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\Install Software\Hewlett-Packard

This is a temporary fix, I highly recommend creating the cleanup scripts below to make it a permanent solution. I will attach mine to this article, feel free to download and use them, at your own risk of course, but you will notice they are basic one or two line scripts that simply remove some registry keys. If you are worried just backup the key first.

You will need two scripts, one to call a registry deletion of HKLM and HKU, and the other will call the key deletion of HKCU. We put our scripts in the system32 folder so if you put your script else where, just update the location in the script. This is all really basic stuff so I’m not going to go into too many details.

First, Logon as an Admin user and follow the steps below:

Create script in C:\Windows\system32\ called “CleanupSharp.bat” with this code in it:

regedit /s C:\Windows\system32\CleanupSharp.reg

Create a reg file in C:\Windows\system32\ named “CleanupSharp.reg” with this text in it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\Install\Software\SHARP]

At this point, simply run the CleanupSharp.bat script to get your Terminal Server responding normally again. Then move on to the steps below to make it as fast as it can be. This cleans the user hives, which helps a lot, but not nearly as much as the first script, it is very important though so don’t skip this step lazy ass.

Create script in C:\Windows\system32\ called “CleanupSharp-user.bat” with this code in it:

regedit /s C:\Windows\system32\CleanupSharp-user.reg

Create a reg file in C:\Windows\system32\ named “CleanupSharp-user.reg” with this text in it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Now, Let’s automate the process… see below for a zip file with scripts.

Run or open gpedit.msc and go to Computer Configuration->Windows Settings->Scripts and add “C:\Windows\system32\CleanupSharp.bat” to shutdown scripts.

Then go to User Configuration-> Windows Settings-> Scripts and add the other script C:\Windows\system32\CleanupSharp-user.bat to logoff scripts.

Logon as a regular user and that should remove the SHARP current user key on logoff, make sure you logoff then back on to the machine to verify ;-)

If for some reason nobody is logged on to your Terminal Server you can do a reboot and test the shutdown script removes the other keys.

That’s all there is to it! If you use HP, be sure to change the “SHARP” to “Hewlett-Packard”. If you have other copiers or printers, just check them, if there is a ton of lines in the key, then substitute that name in the reg files.

Now enjoy your like new Microsoft Terminal Server :)

Here is the link to the files TS_Printer_Clean


Building a website is pretty straight forward these days. Bringing people to your website is the hard part. Luckily, there are other websites that can teach you everything you need to know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and getting listed by major search engines.


I will be adding links that I personally have used to help get this site and some of my other sites noticed. I will continue to update this post as I learn more about bringing people to my own sites. Please feel free to share with me some of your own sites if you feel they are worthwhile. I will not EVER add anything that I feel is spam, so don’t even bother. I will only add sites that I personally test and feel have a positive effect on getting your websites noticed. This is by far the top site to use, the author is easy to understand and explains in just enough detail.


You gotta check out Alexa, they are the leader in SEO type information.

Sometimes it is important to know what your external IP address is. Whether it is for use on your xbox, or a tech to remote into your computer it can be a handy bit of information. There is a lot of sites that give you that information but the best and fastest I have used is – its just straight forward, to the point, useful information without all the extra crap you don’t need.


An IP address is basically what a computer needs to get you where you are going. When you type in a human readable address like, a computer converts that to a number, for example currently translates to – now isnt it easier to remember instead of that number? Also, if Google needs to change that number they don’t have to inform millions of users, they just point to the new number. So that is with a website, but when you are on the internet, you to must have a number, so that when you try to go to the network, routers and servers know who you are and how to return the information you requested back to you. That, in a nutshell is an IP address :)


So give a shot, besides they have a really cute fat fairy on their site. :-)