Memory and SSD hard drive online store

Posted at 5:23:27 PM in Vendors (37)


Crucial used to be my go-to place for memory and SSD hard drives. They have a nice feature that can be loaded from their web site that scans your PC and tells you what memory will work in your system. That feature is still available. They also had excellent delivery and track history. I could order today and get a notice the same day that the order was shipped. \

They now have a new web site that has caused me nothing but problems. My first experience with it rejected my password, so I had to create a new password. It rejected the new password as well and we had to check out as a guest. It took forever for the hard drive to arrive. I needed another drive and I wanted to expedite it so I ordered it to be shipped overnight. I ordered it on Thursday last week and today, Monday, it still hasn't shipped, but at last this time, it accepted my new password... and, as I suspected, it has none of my order history.

I contacted them via their online chat. The individual went to look up my order and could see that they have my order, but his statement to me absolutely floored me. He said, "Thanks for your patience. Hopefully soon the part will get ship to you". Hopefully? No date, no expected date? Only hopefully? Is it possible that I might not even get my drive? I made promises to my client to install the drive and repair his PC and it's simply not going to happen, maybe not ever. I can only hope to accomplish my work.

It appears that Crucial is under new management or they are in serious trouble. I can't tell which it is. If it was simply a stock issue or they had another comparable drive, they didn't say or offer any solution except to refund my shipping cost when and if they eventually get around to shipping it. Now, I must deal with a charge on my credit card that fell off because they couldn't fulfill the order and sometime in the near or far future, it'll suddenly appear causing me additional problems.

I really like their products. I just hope they get their act together soon




Written by Leonard Rogers on Monday, March 16, 2020 | Comments (0)

Windows 10 unable to connect to 2000 server shared folders After update

Posted at 2:00:04 PM in Recovery (44)

It appears that after a recent update to Windows 10, work stations are suddenly unable to connect to shared folders on a Windows 2000 server (I know that support for these machines have expired, but some of them are still around). When trying to access the shared folder the user with get a "Windows Security" pop up requesting the user to "Enter network credentials". Requesting both a user name and password, but nothing works. I tried empty password issues, but none of those work. And I verified that the password had not been changed. I also tried connecting to the folder via IP address instead of the server name. It also didn't work. 

This is what worked:

  1. Start Registry Editor. To do this, click Start, click Run, type Regedit, and then press ENTER.
  2. Locate and then click following registry subkey:
  3. Locate the LmCompatibilityLevel registry value.

    If the registry value is not present, follow these steps to create it:
    1. Select the registry subkey that is listed in step 2.
    2. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
    3. Type LmCompatibilityLevel, and then press ENTER.
  4. Set the DWORD value to 1. To do this, click Modify on the Edit menu, type 1 in the Value data box, and then click OK

The instructions suggested a reboot was necessary, but I found it was not. Access to the folders was available after saving this value. In all the PCs I did this in, LmCompatibilityLevel was missing.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 | Comments (0)

AT&T = Another Totally and Terminally Messed up Order

Posted at 3:49:30 PM in Vendors (37)

In a recent fiasco where we moved a client from Telepacific, who isn't that great either, to AT&T who offered fiber at a reasonable price, we discovered that the support infrastructure at AT&T is horrible. First off, there's huge language barrier. The people who work behind the sales force don't speak English very well and can confuse even the most simple requests. For example, they magically determined the hunt order for the phone roll over without disclosing it, so it took over three weeks to fix that. One of the issues is that one team would has for ports and the other team would ask for phone numbers, so we provided them with the hunt order, listing both the port and the number in the order they were supposed to roll over. It's not a very difficult request, but after a week, their supervisor over the people who can't speak English very well, send an email asking if the hunt was from the port to the number or was it from the number to the port. I have no more hair left on my head. I'm wondering how long they took trying to figure out how to build that rocket ship.

During all this time, only one line would work and there was no hunt order, thus for three weeks we could only handle one call at a time, for everyone else, the phone would ring to a rapid busy signal. This is a classic barrel full of monkey's scenario.

Finally, the hunt group was worked out, but we had to climb the change of supervisors and even then, escalated to tier 2, the first email received after being escalated was, it will take 5 days to fix the hunt group of 6 phone numbers. We placed an order for an analog line, which our sales rep claimed that we could submit through our customer portal. When we logged in with him on the phone, he couldn’t figure out how to do it. What he thought we could do for ourselves managed to delay that order for weeks also. The really sad thing is support always starts with the Sales rep. It’s one guy. How is one guy who works a standard shift suppose to handle technical issues? We call him and have to leave a message and then, in our case, wait for days to get a reply and then when we get the reply, we find that all along he thought we could fix it ourselves. He was wrong.

Now we have a problem with our 800 numbers. Before the order went in, they had the info. We repeatedly asked for a status and found that after the regular numbers had been transferred, the 800 numbers still hadn’t been addressed, no order was put in to move the numbers or to add the numbers and the 800 service to our account. We were now in jeopardy of losing the numbers and we were raising hell about it. Finally, we got an order that showed that the numbers were being moved, the number of hours we’d have included for those 800 numbers service, etc. We felt safe. Guess what? One week into the AT&T service, for which we already have a bill, we now have no 800 service.

I found out after transferring to the AT&T service from another IT professional that AT&T is the worst. If I had only known before we started down this path… if only.


Written by Leonard Rogers on Friday, June 8, 2018 | Comments (0)

Windows update and AVG removal

Posted at 4:53:11 PM in Security (4)

I've run into several PCs that have AVG installed on them and after the Windows update, it can't be removed. I tried downloading the removal utility from AVG's site and it doesn't work either. I did find a removal utility made by avast that will remove AVG. I assume this was created in order to install Avast in place of AVG, not sure. I can't find it right now.

But what I did find out about this particular PC I'm working on today is that the Windows update and the user caused the problem. Here's how it works.

When the system was originally installed, the user did not use an email and Microsoft account to setup the PC. They didn't even use a password. When the recent Windows Update, I believe it was the Creative update, Windows asks again if you want to setup a Microsoft account. This time the user used an email address. After the update, the desktop appears the same, but we can't remove AVG. Even worse, AVG took over the firewall, I believe it was a 30 day trial of Internet Security, and blocked access to name servers. The PC was effectively locked out from the internet. We couldn't do anything about the firewall. The windows control panel access to the firewall services were locked out stating that we had to use AVG to make adjustments. Trying to remove AVG just didn't work with any of the recommendations I could find on the internet.

I finally  into windows > Settings > Accounts and selected sign-in with a local account reverting to the original name that was already used with the same password they had before and I was able to remove AVG using the Control panel Programs and Features. Everything is now back to normal.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 | Comments (0)

Email problems through McAfee's threat-intelligence

Posted at 7:57:06 PM in Spam Management Gateways (6)

 My server:

To the right of the web site is a "next steps" vertical tab. Selecting "Threat Feedback" presents a form to request delisting. 

Written by Leonard Rogers on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | Comments (0)

Best Buy Bad Credit Practices

Posted at 9:44:04 PM in Vendors (37)

This is going to be a rather simple entry. Part of this problem is Bank of America, but the escalation of the problem is entirely Best Buy.

First, I buy a PC and Laptop online. The price is $1026.35. During the processing of the card, I get a Visa pop up, which I've never seen before, which asks for information I've already put on the order, CCV, Exp date, stuff like that. The card is declined. I get a fraud pop up from Bank of America on my phone asking: "Are these your purchases". I recognize them. One, the most recent, is my declined Best Buy purchase. Of course, there's nothing wrong with my bank balance. Bank of America just likes to jigg you ever once in a while so you feel safe. But this is where the problem starts.

I indicate that those are mine and assume that the card remains declined. I look online at my bank account and I see the purchase and then an immediate refund putting the charges back where they were. I think to myself. Should I try again? I say, Yes. but I'm not going to use my Bank of America card again, they just jigged me. So, I use Paypal which is directly linked to the bank card anyway and I get my purchase. Two days later, Best Buy reauthorizes my card for 1026.35. Where they got the idea to do that, I have no idea. I'm guessing the bank sent a "temporary" decline (like, what is that?) and Best Buy decides, lets just see if we can make this sale anyway. We know the customer really really wants these products... Only, on the second authorization, they tell me the PC isn't available. They cancel the item, but still auth my card for 1026.35. Ok. bad enough. I called Bank of America and they tell me the auth will fall off the next day because it's already 3 days old. I think, fine, but then they are going to auth my card again for that laptop I don't need because I already ordered it again...

So, when the charge didn't fall off like Bank of America said it would, I called Best Buy to cancel the rest of that order. They processed the cancelation for the last item and auth'd my card again. Guess for how much? $1026.35, so now, eight days after my original order, I have the product already paid for and in hand, but I still have that damn auth on my bank card.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Thursday, January 26, 2017 | Comments (0)

Windows 10 Adobe Acrobat not listed in default programs

Posted at 9:46:55 PM in Software (15)

Windows 10 comes with it's own app for opening PDF files. It is also part of Microsoft's new browser: Edge. If you have the Adobe's reader installed, it usually does show up in the list of default programs, but Adobe Acrobat X Standard does not. When Windows 10 reverts the default PDF reader back to it's own app, it becomes a real problem to restore the correct default program.

If you have Adobe Reader installed and that's the software you want to open PDFs with, it should show in the Default Programs selection out of the Control panel. If it doesn't, uninstalling and reinstalling (I installed the latest, DC version) should fix that problem. However, if you have Adobe Acrobat, you don't need to reinstall to fix the program that opens your PDFs. Go to the menu and open Edit/Preferences. On the left side, select General. On that page, bottom option, it allows you to pick the default program to open PDFs. It only shows Adobe products there. On mine, it showed both the reader and Acrobat. It was already on Acrobat, but I still pressed the set as default program and it changed all the icons back to the red Acrobat swirl and set Acrobat as my default software to open PDF files. Going back into the control panel, it still didn't show Acrobat as being a program that I could set as the default software. I'm not sure if this is only a problem with Acrobat X or not, but I've seen this problem on other PCs. I reinstalled the reader because that's free and requires no license. But, I don't think reinstalling Acrobat is so easy to do if you don't have the license handy.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 | Comments (0)

Vostro 3550 Laptop update from Windows 7 to Windows 10

Posted at 2:08:49 AM in Installations (47)

When I first started working on this laptop, the hard drive had problems when the person tried to update it to Windows 10. It got stuck in a loop that wouldn't allow them to restore the laptop in anyway. They couldn't continue and they couldn't revert to the original install. In fact, they couldn't even use the restore partition to wipe out the drive and reinstall the original system. So, I installed a new drive and reinstalled the Windows 7. After that was complete, I went to the Dell site and downloaded all of the drivers using the Dell utilities to load all the drivers. Believing the laptop was up-to-date on all the drivers I went to upgrade it to Windows 10. Failed.

It turns out that the BIOS driver that the Dell utility provided was only A09, which when updated to Windows 10, refused to show the screen info on the laptop. I was able to see the screen for a few seconds on an external monitor before it went black. This was enough for me to run the task manager and run the BIOS updates which I found and installed from the Dell site version A11. Everyone said this fixed their problem. I could now see my cursor on the laptop screen, but the screen would still black out leaving only the cursor. I then found that there was yet another BIOS update to A12 that others said fixed their problem, but again, my screen blanked out after a few seconds after logging in.

When I pressed control-alt-del, I would get the lock, change password menu and I could see that without a problem. When I launched the tax manager from that screen, I could see the task manager from but everything else was blank. I launched the control panel from the task manager (File / run new task) and then type in "control panel" and after looking at device issues, I finally looked at the event log and found that every time I launched explorer.exe, it crashed due to the IDT audio driver. So I uninstalled the IDT audio driver and launched explorer.exe from the tax manager and my desktop came back to life. Rebooting the laptop, installed some generic High definition audio drivers and my screen worked with out a problem afterwards.


Written by Leonard Rogers on Saturday, October 10, 2015 | Comments (0)

Changes in Verizon Email settings

Posted at 7:05:04 PM in Vendors (37)

I had a client this morning who suddenly wasn't able to get his Verizon dot net emails. For many years the old settings worked fine, but suddenly yesterday at 8:50 AM or so, he was getting errors and requests to correct this username and password. Of course, the messages was from his Outlook email client that he used to get his mail from the POP email server and Outlook is notorious for giving erroneous error messages. I did a little research and it turns out that Verizon has apparently changed where the original hosts addresses are pointing or disabled those settings altogether. The only clue Outlook provided was that the password was wrong. 

The settings for Verizon changed. The original incoming server was and port 110. (This appears to still be the same address for IMAP accounts, but changed for POP accounts). That changed to and we had to turn on SSL with port 995.

The outgoing mail server was and port 25 (which as always been a problem on Verizon networks, they block port 25, but apparently not for their own mail clients). That changed to also with SSL enabled on port 465.

The username and password worked fine after those adjustments were made. This also included his phone. Modifying the settings to match his email client and the phone was able to send and receive also.


Written by Leonard Rogers on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 | Comments (0)

Windows 10 Free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users

Posted at 6:32:24 PM in Software (15)

I've been doing some previewing of Windows 10 and I've been very impressed so far. The Technical preview had very poor performance, but I installed the latest preview on a PC that was originally configured for Windows Vista. It had 3G memory and I dropped a used 500G hard drive into it. The performance was exceptional. I even installed a graphically intense game to test the performance and while it was marginal, I was still impressed because the PC didn't really have enough RAM and the video card was stock and of course the CPU was old and out of date.

One of the features that I liked about Windows 10 was the start button menu is back (sort of), or at least parts of it are. The most recently used apps still show in the Metro mode (panels instead of a list.. I'm thinking panels are much easier to touch with your finger than a list of fine print options), but the menu allows you to navigate the programs much like Windows 7 or Vista. In Windows 8, with the missing start button, my desktop started getting cluttered with programs that I use most often. The Metro panels never really caught on with me and even on a laptop with a touch screen, I rarely if ever touched the screen.

With the free upgrade being offered by Microsoft for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, It's a great opportunity to take advantage of the new technologies and I can't see any real down sides (except as noted below). See this link for more information on the free upgrade. It won't be available for download until later this year, but Windows 8 users will get a lot out of the upgrade. Windows 7 users my still be reluctant because a lot of features that Windows users have come to love are already there.

One other thing I noticed. Internet Explorer is dead. It's been replaced by Edge which seems to get it's name from the browser using all the windows space to display internet content; meaning the browser fills all the way out to the edge of the window. In full screen mode, there'd be no border. I still prefer Chrome to Microsoft's browser, so I didn't get to really use the new browser much. I struggled for a bit to figure out how to enter a web site. It appears that they have taken the frequent habit of most users who enter the web site they want in the search box instead of the address bar, so there isn't an address bar, per se. In fact, there isn't a place to type on when you open edge (which I could only seem to do from the Metro panel, which isn't gone). You open your web sites in the search function and it will determine if what you want is on the web or on the computer (or both??). My struggles ended when I figured out how to get Chrome installed where I can once again have my address bar.

I'm wondering how radical of a change this will be for web sites that are engineered to work with Internet Explorer. Browsers will inform web sites what browser and browser version they are. Many web sites utilize this information to deliver content or not deliver it and on some of them, they look for the IE and they use a > (greater than) the version, where they don't support IE 8 or 9, but do support 10 or 11, but if the new browser doesn't even report IE, then it doesn't matter what version because these web sites won't even recognize the browser, much less that version. One thing is for sure, you won't be using any version of IE prior to 11 on Windows 10. When Microsoft kills a app (like Outlook Express and the start menu), they kill it permanently.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Monday, June 1, 2015 | Comments (0)