Friday, September 16, 2016

Flag Tweaks to Speed Up Google Chrome

Flag Tweaks to Speed Up Google Chrome (at least as of version 53).

If you haven't installed an ad blocker start there. :)

Go to chrome://flags

"Experimental canvas features"
"Fast tab/window close"
"Experimental QUIC protocol"
"Simple Cache for HTTP"
"Enable loading IPC optimization for small resources"

"Number of raster threads" to 4

Friday, August 26, 2016

Google Cloud Printer Online but Print Jobs show "Error"

Running a Google Cloud Print "server" to host "Classic" printers is a very tedious thing.
It doesn't matter whether you are running the connector in Chrome or the service which requires Chrome anyway. There are simply no tools to operate on printers or jobs in batches. Everything is one by one.
Anyway, I started out with the idea that the Google Cloud Print connector would be print driver agnostic. I have come to find out that this is not the case, and if the GCP connector doesn't like a printer driver you will be in for a hard time. And there are plenty of cases where a printer particular driver meant GCP wouldn't work, even though the printer shows online and available. You send a job
and it starts processing but the status ends in Error with a red box. And of course the "advanced" info dropdown tells you nothing, nor does the connector log file.
After completely reloading everything from Windows on up, I figured this out. Specifically, GCP had a hard time with HP PCL6 drivers, including the Universal driver. With some printers the GCP/PCL6 combo would work fine. But the majority of the time it would not. However, the using the PCL5 Universal driver where applicable worked 99% of the time. The lone failure was one LaserJet P2055dn that wouldn't work at all (even with Windows print jobs)
until I disabled bidirectional communication in the Ports tab. In that case the status of the GCP print job was stuck at "In Progress".
In the past in times of trouble, I've taken to cursing GCP. Now I know the problem is more than likely a print driver compatibility or configuration issue.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Make Chrome work with WIndows Hi DPI scaling settings

Chrome will ignore OS scaling up to 125%. Make sure your scaling is set to 126% or more.
To set this for all users, go to the registry, and go to the following key:
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\Current\Software\Fonts
edit the LogPixels value to be 121 (decimal) or more and restart.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

“Fatal! Inconsistent Data Read” Error booting from USB drive

Problem: When booting from a USB drive you get "Fatal! Inconsistent Data Read" errors. (In my case, after creating a boot drive with YUMI)

Solution: The problem is either the drive is bad or more likely was not formatted correctly. In Windows, open a command prompt and type diskpart. At the DISKPART prompt type list disk. Then type select disk x where x is the number of the disk that corresponds to your USB drive. Then type clean. After that type exit, and go into Disk Management to format as FAT32. Then you can rewrite your data.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dell Inspiron M5030 Restore

Dell Inspiron M5030 Restore
Write the file to a 8GB or bigger USB drive using RMPrepUSB.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


So I am looking at upgrading to SSD drives in about a half dozen Lenovo ThinkCentre M93z All-in-One PCs. I can either get 2.5" drives and use a bracket, or use the mSATA connector on the motherboard. But which is faster? mSATA is typically based on the PCI Express 1x standard. The speeds for each are as follows:

PCIe v1 1x = 2.5Gbps
PCIe v2 1x = 5.0Gbps
PCIe v3 1x = 8.0Gbps
SATA 1 = 1.5Gbps
SATA 2 = 3.0Gbps
SATA 3 = 6.0Gbps

Now the question is if the mSATA slot conforms to PCIe v1, 2, or 3. If it is v3 it will be faster. The chipset on the M93z is the Intel 8 Series/C220. Intel's technical documents show that the SATA controller is capable of SATA 3 6.0Gbps speeds, while the PCI Express implementation is v2.
So this indicates that an SSD mounted on the mSATA slot would max out at 5Gbps, while the SATA connection would allow 6Gbps, making it faster.

The problem with going to SATA route is the way the hard drive is installed. Although many of the other components in this system are laptop form-factor like the RAM and optical drive, a full 3.5" desktop hard drive is being used. There are no SATA cables with the drive mating right up to the connectors. So I can either use a standard 2.5" to 3.5" bracket and find really short cables that may not make the clearance, or I can buy a bracket that features integrated SATA connectors that route down to the spot where they normally would on a 3.5" drive. Fortunately, these exist!

Lenovo just had to make it hard. But of course they probably don't care too much about making it easy to upgrade.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Windows 10 Psuedo-ESR/LTS Option

I am a fan of Extended Service Releases and Long Term Support releases since they tend to stay very stable and cause me less trouble, either personally or by way of the people I support. Which is why Windows 10 was always a bit concerning to me; they can change the OS anytime. However, as long as you are not on the "Home" edition of Windows 10, there is a setting whereby you can defer feature upgrades for several months, making you less of a guinea pig! Of course if you are in a company running the Windows 10 Enterprise Long Term Servicing Branch, you don't need this.

Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security and click on "Advanced Options".
Check the box for "Defer Upgrades".

Note that you can't access Windows Update options in Windows 10 through the classic Control Panel.

Honestly this little tidbit is going to result in me recommending that people avoid Windows 10 Home, so they can do this. Stability first!