Unable to uninstall Audio Driver – Realtek, Sound not working

A system at the office was having the Realtek audio control panel icon showing up in the system tray, with the 3d test working, but windows wasn’t showing the audio device in the sound and audio control panel applet. Instead windows said that not audio playback device was found. As a result no applications were able to play audio.

This post at tomshardware.com provided an easy solution.

Just open regedit and delete the key folder //HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CONTROLSET001/ENUM/HDAUDIO and restart your computer. It should prompt you to install the hardware again.

That fixed the hardware issue and the user was able to view www.abcnews.go.com/whatwouldyoudo happily. :)

Office assistant trouble

We use Windows XP on most of our systems in the office. One problem which often used to occur was that Office applications used to give the error “The Office Assistant could not be started. Please repair the Assistant by running Office 2000 setup and selecting “Repair Office 2000″.”

The usual solution I used to try was opening task manager and terminating all Office processes. Something always used to stay behind.

However while going through theDailyWTF, I randomly spotted the solution. Apparently having Office 2003 and Office 2000 installed together causes some incompatibility with the Office Assistant DLL. The solution involves downloading a patch.
From MS Knowledgebase,

This issue is fixed in the Office 2000 post-Service Pack 3 Hotfix Package that is dated May 13, 2004. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

841530 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/841530/) Office 2000 post-Service Pack 3 hotfix package: May 13, 2004

Configuring Outlook to access Gmail through POP3/SMTP

Many of my users have been requesting me to provide a guide on how to download mail over there dialup connections from gmail through pop3. Even if you are not using dialup, but would like to have an offline copy of your mail in case your internet connection gets flaky, or if you internet connection is slow and you would not wish to wait eternally for pages to load, this tutorial might be of interest to you.

This tutorial illustrates enabling POP3 in gmail and configuring Outlook 2003 for POP3 Access of Gmail

Enabling POP3 in Gmail

1. Keep your Gmail user id and password ready.
2. Open Internet Explorer or Firefox and enter in the address bar mail.google.com

3. If you are not signed in already, you will be asked for your user id and password. Enter the details in the appropriate fields and sign in by clicking on the ‘Sign In’ Button.

4. You will now be signed into the Gmail Web Interface.

5. Click on the ‘Settings’ Link on the top right and you will be taken to the Settings page.

6. Click on the ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’ tab at the top of the settings page and Enable POP3 Access. You have two options. You can either enable POP3 access for all mail that you have ever received or enable only for mail that you receive after enabling. If you enable for the first option, and you already have a lot of mail in your account, it will take some time to download all the mail.

Configuring your Outlook 2003 Client

The steps mentioned below assume you have already configured Gmail for POP3
1. Open Outlook.
2. Click the Tools menu, and select E-mail Accounts.
3. Click Add a new e-mail account, and click Next.
4. Choose POP3 as your server type by clicking the radio button, and click Next.
5. Fill in all necessary fields to include the following information:

User Information
Name: Not your Email ID. Fill in your name here
Email Address: username@gmail.com

Server Information
Incoming Mail Server (POP3): pop.gmail.com
Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP): smtp.gmail.com

Login Information
User Name: username@gmail.com
Password: Enter your gmail password here

6. Click More Settings… and then click the Outgoing Server tab.

7. Check the box next to My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication and select Use same settings as my incoming mail server.
8. Click the Advanced tab, and check the box next to This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL) under Incoming Server (POP3).

9. Check the box next to This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL) under Outgoing Server (SMTP), and enter 465 in the Outgoing server (SMTP) box.
10. Click OK.
11. Click Test Account Settings… After receiving Congratulations! All tests completed successfully, click Close.
12. Click Next, and then click Finish.
13. Download the latest updates for Outlook from Microsoft. This will help prevent the most common Outlook errors Gmail users see. For this visit http://office.microsoft.com/officeupdates or email the Delhi Regional Office for receiving Outlook 2003 updates in a CD.

Error in Pagemaker – Cannot Open File

Officially my designation is Programmer-IT in my organization, though honestly, (and cynically, of course) there is nothing to program over here. The most I get to do is write up some crappy scripts in Linux Shell or maybe some bat files to do some backup or manipulate installers. Oh, did I mention that I administer all the systems in the Delhi Office, set up and maintain all the networking and consult on all technology related installations. However the most interesting part of the day is when a user calls me over with some problem. Actually I marvel at the ways in which fools tend to get around fool-proof systems.
Anyway, I am a bit in the dumps today so forget my rant a paragraph before.
The problem was that Adobe pagemaker was not opening a file which opened quite well a day ago. The error was actually “cannot open file”. As simple as that. And very enlightening.
Since there was no way the hard disk was damaged and neither was the adobe pagemaker installation corrupted (well, by now, I have got a feel for that sort of thing anyway) I tried the usual troubleshooting procedures and stuff. Like some files opened and not some and so forth. So I understood that it was more a issue of something that had a remote chance of occuring that had suddenly become not so remote.
Even tried out some of my contacts and they asked me to send over the files so they could check it out.
Finally after playing around, I found that my highly intellectual friend had actually backed up wav and files from his DVDs (quite a few of them in fact, and why pray would you back up dvds to harddrives) and the space left on his drive was in the order of a few kbs. Pagemaker was apparently unable to create the necessary temporary files, it would appear and thus was retching up the error “cannot open file”.
Politely I enquired “If I could please delete the dat files and wav files and stuff” and after getting ‘an OK’, i went ahead and wiped off the directories. Pagemaker works fine now.
Had a laugh over it with sujeet and rajesh. Life sure has its light moments.

CD burning software could not find a valid recorder error

Update: Using this method causes problems in that the drive is not automatically polled regularly. So if you insert a disc, you will have to open the CD drive in my computer to see the files in it. Use BurnRights bundled with Nero to give burn rights to users. Thanks to Jomon in Kerala for the reminder to update. :)

I was having a bit of a trouble allowing users logged in to the domain to burn cds from their systems. Seems the admins at HO had changed some security setting and domainwide people were facing this problem. Luckily for the Delhi users Jeba Singh Emmanuel was there. ;-) Of course, I got the solution from Ashampoo Burning Studio 2007′s help file.

I needed to change allocatecdroms from 0 to 1 in HKLM/Software/Microsoft/WindowsNT/CurrentVersion/Winlogon in the registry

Voila, CD Burning works. If only the admins had told me this. It would have saved me some 30 minutes.