Tuesday 24 April 2007

Funny Condom Advert

Remember folks, practise safe sex!

Monday 16 April 2007

Disabling Live Call

I, like thousands of others, use the Mess.be Windows Live Messenger patch to remove all the useless crap from WLM. One option you can choose is to remove the Live Call button from the top of the contact list. Since you have to go through the trouble of signing up to use it, and I already have Skype, I really don’t see the point in having it.

I remove the icon, but Live Call is still started in the background when I click on the Windows Live Messenger icon. This wastes memory, so I found out how you get rid of it completely.

Close WLM if you have it open.

Go to the folder C:\Program Files\MSN Messenger.

Create a new folder, call it LiveCall or something similar.

Move the following files into it:

htc.8.1.0178.00.dll
livecall.exe
pcsexeps.dll
softphone.dll
softphoneps.dll
softphoneres.dll

Now delete any icons for Windows Live Messenger you may have, in the Start Menu, on your Desktop or in the Quick Launch bar, and recreate them (“C:\Program Files\MSN Messenger\msnmsgr.exe”)

The last step is important, otherwise WLM will reinstall the files you just moved.

Now when you run Windows Live Messenger, it’ll run without Live Call being loaded into the background, and may even start up a little quicker.

Tuesday 10 April 2007

Random Crashes

For the past few weeks my PC had been acting very weird. It’s quite hard to explain. After powering it up for the first time everything would be perfectly alright for an unspecified amount of time. Then suddenly it would go completely crazy! Something, I’m not sure what, would crash.

Since I have XP’s Error Reporting turned on, the process dwwin.exe would start to produce the error report, which would then crash, so drwtsn32.exe would start and try to debug dwwin.exe. Then drwtsn32.exe would crash and dwwin.exe would run to produce another error report, and that would crash… and so on. If you looked in Process Explorer you’d see a ridiculous amount of dwwin and drwtsn32 processes, and if I hadn’t killed the process tree, it probably would’ve kept going until the entire PC crashed.

Once things had begun crashing, it would be almost impossible to start any other programs. You’d click on something, and the process would either die immediately, or it would crash and start off another dwwin/drwtsn32 cycle. If you clicked on the icon enough times, eventually one of the processes would run properly. If I rebooted, everything would be fine for a while, then start over again.

Of course I got rather bored of having to kill dwwin and drwtson32 all the time, so I deleted them. Windows complained of course, so I ignored the WFP warning and it went away. Now all I had to deal with were the programs I was trying to run crashing out immediately.

Eventually even that got incredibly tiresome. I uninstalled a few programs, hoping that one of them would show themselves as the cause of all my troubles. I knew that the Nokia PC Suite used to cause me no end of trouble, so I got rid of that too; but nothing seemed to help.

I had a look in the Event Log to see if there was any indication as to what was causing this annoyance. Why it took me so long to hunt through there I’ll never know. It should’ve been my first port of call! I did find something though. A kernel32 error around the time of the first appearance of a crash after a reboot. I tried a search on Google and it threw up only 2 results. Both were reports of the Error Reporting process crashing repeatedly – that sounded familiar. Only the first result gave me any real indication to the cause. Logitech webcam drivers!

I remembered upgrading them about a month ago, which must’ve been the time everything went very wrong. Now I had something solid to go on. I immediately uninstalled my existing drivers, rebooted, and installed the latest drivers.

So far I’ve not seen any crashes, but I’ve still got my fingers crossed. I’m not entirely sure that fixed the problem, but I am really hoping it has. The last time I installed XP on my PC was back in 2004! It would take me forever to get all my programs and settings back exactly how I want them, so I was against having to reinstall everything from scratch. I knew it might be a possibility, I just didn’t want to think about it.

All I need to do now is put the error reporting files back where they belong, and hopefully everything will just work.

UPDATE: It does! Everything is back to normal.

Friday 06 April 2007

My Humps

Alanis Morissette has made a fantastic mournful parody of the Black Eyed Peas song My Humps. You really have to check this one out!

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