A passionate programmer’s findings in the world of internet.

Archive for the 'Troubleshooting' Category

Restore My Bluetooth Places Link

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

I was unable to open or explore My Bluetooth Places for a while. Every time when I try to do so, I get the following error:

The path '::{6af09ec9-b429-11d4-a1fb-0090960218cb}' does not exist or is not a directory.

A forum thread at Tech Support Guy was very helpful. If you are facing the same problem, all you have to do is to add the following key to registry:


Set the value as 'My Bluetooth Places', without the quotes. I am able to explore my bluetooth devices again.

I believe the key could have been removed by certain cleanup programs which are supposed to be doing good to your system but this is certainly a false negative.

Troubleshooting Window XP c000021a Error (Blue Screen)

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

I found some problems with the built-in bluetooth device in my HP laptop. So, I reinstalled the driver. I reboot the machine after installation completed. When the computer boot up, it failed to enter Windows. It only managed to reach the Windows XP boot up screen, then it restart again itself.

After a few rounds of self reboot, I think I could put it into safe mode then use system restore to restore the system back to the time before I install the new driver.

To put a Windows XP machine into safe mode, all you have to do is to keep pressing F8 button when the computer boots up. Then you will be displayed with an "Windows Advanced Options Menu", which you need to select "Safe Mode".

Unfortunately, safe mode didn't work for me. It has the same fate as before. It reboots before it can enter Windows. The next option I tried was Last Known Good Configuration, but still no luck.

Then, I tried Disable automatic restart on system failure in the "Windows Advanced Options Menu", initiated with the same F8 way.

The Windows XP loading screen showed up. Then, I get a blue screen with the following error:

STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}
The Windows Logon Process system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc0000139 (0x00000000 0x00000000).
The system has been shut down.

Now, I got the error code. I start another computer to search for a solution and I found a Microsoft Knowledge Base article titled How to troubleshoot a "STOP 0xC000021A" error. I thought I found the solution, but it asked me to use a command prompt to enable Dr. Watson. Is the guide silly or I'm the one stupid? How do I do it when I can't start anything, even safe mode in command prompt failed.

Another search result points me to this thread: Blue screen after installation on Win XP. The user mentioned:

Turned out that the problem was caused by the installer overwriting msvcrt.dll in System32, causing the crash.

So, my next attempt will try to replace the file using Recovery Console. Copy the file from another computer and put it into a USB drive. Plug it into the failed computer.

Then, start Recovery Console to copy the file.

  1. Put the Windows XP setup CD into the failed machine.
  2. Start/Reboot the computer.
  3. Press any key to boot from CD.
  4. You will get yourself into Windows Setup.
  5. When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
  6. Press number to select the correct Windows XP installation, then enter the administrator password.

Now, I'm in the recovery console. These are what I did:

  1. Check the date and size of the msvcrt.dll. For my case, it is different from what I can find in another computer. The correct size is at around 335KB.
  2. Backup the original DLL in C:\windows\system32.
  3. Copy the file in USB drive to c:\windows\system32\msvcrt.DLL (Note: you may need to try a few drive letters to find your USB drive.)
  4. Enter "exit" to reboot the computer.
  5. Remove the Windows XP CD and USB drive.

And... my HP laptop is working!

Dell System Restore for Windows Vista

Monday, June 30th, 2008

My friend just purchased a new Dell Inspiron 1420 running on Windows Vista Home Premium, with a pink cover. Once we got the machine, we loaded it with some basic software and some photos. Thereafter, all she did was only normal surfing.

After a few hours, the machine began to slow down untill it hanged. After trying out every possible buttons and the system is still not responding, we have no choice but to press and hold the power button to shut it down.

The next time it started up, some of the Windows Vista system files got corrupted. So, the fastest recovery way would be to use Dell System Restore. I was surprised that the first few search results were not Dell Support pages (just like when we search for Windows problem, we normally don't get Microsoft support pages). Most of the pages asked me to press Ctrl + F11 when the system boots up to initiate Dell System Restore.

I failed to initiate the System Restore until I read it at yorkspace.com that I should press F8 if I'm using Windows Vista. The steps after that were very straight forward. A full guide taken from Dell Support page (which I found later) is as follows:

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. Tap <F8> during startup until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears. If the Windows Advanced Options menu does not appear, restart the computer, and try again.
  3. Press the <Down Arrow> until Repair Your Computer is highlighted, and press <Enter>.
  4. In the System Recovery Options window, log in as a user with administrative rights, and click OK.
  5. In the Windows Vista Recovery Environment, click to select your language, and click Next.
  6. Click System Restore.
  7. In the System Restore window, click Next to display the most recent restore points in chronological order.
  8. Click the Show restore points older than 5 days check box for a complete listing of restore points.
  9. Click to select a restore point.
    A good starting point is to attempt to restore from the most recent restore point. If this fails to correct the problem, then try the next oldest restore point until the issue is resolved. Any software installed after the selected restore point needs to be reinstalled.
  10. Click Next and then Finish.

Though I successfully recovered the system, it did not go well the second time. The machine lasted for a few hours for me to reinstall everything, it slowed down and not responding again. I'll get Dell engineers to check up the system.

Recover Deleted Files from USB Drive

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

I accidentally deleted a PHP source file with hundreds lines of source code and I'll have to show the system to my client tomorrow. I know I should backup additional copies, but I always think that "I'll do it later".

I found 2 "undelete" tools which I tried to recover the delete file from my USB drive.

Free Undelete 2.0 (Not working)

The Free Undelete from Office Recovery showed up as the first result in Google. Believing in Google's PageRank, I gave it a try.

After installing it, I start it up. The user interface was very user-friendly. Besides that, the file size is only 1MB.

However, as soon as I click on the scan button, the whole program took about 5 minutes to scan. Before it shows any result, Windows XP Error Reporting box showed up, then followed by messages related to Dr Watson. I had to restart my computer to gain control of everything (even 'End task' in the Task Manager does not work).

I'm not sure why it doesn't work for me, or probably it doesn't work on USB drives?

PC Inspector File Recovery (Recommended)

PC Inspector File Recovery was the next program I found.

Very much different from FreeUndelete, the file size was so much bigger, with more than 5MB and the user interface was awful. It takes a while to understand the buttons.

The good part is, it shows all the result instantly and I can find the file that I needed in no time. It also shows the modified date and condition of the files.

Give it a try when you are having the same fate some day.

One important note: If possible, do not perform any activity on the drive you would like to recover. Activities may include copying and creating files. That means, installing the recovery program itself can pose some risks that your deleted file could be overwritten. You may want to install it now, if you think you might need it some day.

Internet Explorer Unable to View FTP Sites

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Microsoft Internet Explorer has the ability to view FTP site like a normal local folders. This is a feature that lots of people are not aware of or don't really use it. I have always been using some freeware FTP clients for a while and find them don't really improves anything. At times, I would use command line, but when transferring many files, command line is not very convenient.

As I begin using Internet Explorer not too long ago, I never use any other clients since then. It is convenient as it is pre-installed in every machine!

Recently, as I tried to use it on a different computer, I keep getting "Page not found" error. But the FTP server is working fine when I try to access using command line FTP.

After spending sometime to search for solution, I found a setting in Internet options that fixes it. Go to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab > tick Enable folder view for FTP sites.

If you have never use IE for this purpose, I recommend you to try it.

Just type in address bar: ftp://www.yoursite.com

Unless you need some extraordinary functions, IE is good enough.