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

Windows XP: Troubleshooting Blue Screen (c0000218)

September 2nd, 2010

If you work as computer support at any place, blue screen is inevitable. Haven't seen any blue screens on Windows 7 yet, but having more than ten Windows XP's in the company, I'm keep getting complaint calls.

The initial problem reported:

The computer cannot go past the Windows start up logo screen, then it restarts automatically. After restart, the computer asks whether to go into Safe Mode or to start computer normally.

In my case, the computer hangs or reboots automatically no matter which option I choose.

To get actual problem:

Keep pressing F8 on start up to get into Windows Advanced Options Menu. Then select Disable automatic restart on system failure.

By doing so, the computer will continue to load until the blue screen shows up. That's the place where you could get the error message.

The error I found:

Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or alternate

The solution for all kinds of registry problem, in short:

Format the damned PC.

The solution for registry recovery, in long:

The five registry files to be recovered are:

  • system
  • software
  • sam
  • security
  • default

Procedures to copy all registry files from C:\windows\repair\ folder to C:\windows\system32\config\ folder:

  1. Using Windows XP installation CD, get into Recovery Mode.
  2. Go to C:\windows\system32\config folder.
  3. Backup the 5 registry files to a temporary folder.
  4. Copy the 5 registry files from C:\windows\repair\ folder to C:\windows\system32\config folder.
  5. Enter exit to restart to computer.

Procedures to get into Safe Mode to copy last known good registry files to be restored:

  1. Upon start up, press F8 and select Safe Mode to get into Windows Safe Mode.
  2. Get into C:\System Volume Information\_restore{XXXX}\RPXX\snapshot\ (Rule: Check the properties of the folder to get the date of the backup. Always take the latest version.)
  3. You will find these files:
  4. Copy the files to another temporary folder, preferably to be in C:\Windows folder.
  5. Rename all the 5 files to its original name, e.g. _REGISTRY_USER_.DEFAULT to default.

Finally, get back to Recovery Mode to replace the files you have found from System Volume Information to registry original folder (C:\windows\system32\config).

Done. You should now be able to start your computer normally.

This same procedure will help you recover all kinds of registry corrupted problem that you ever get.

I am trying to keep this guide simple and short, for myself, because I found that the guide provided by Microsoft is too lengthy. You may refer to the Knowledge Base page if this guide does not make any sense.

Digi Blackberry on Mac

August 4th, 2010

I remember it took some time to setup my Maxis Blackberry on my Mac. But for Digi, I didn't expect it to be so tough, probably Digi is considered new comer in BlackBerry market, I was unable to find any resources online.

After installing the BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac and connected your BlackBerry to your Mac with an USB cable (cable is preferred than Bluetooth to keep your BB alive), you need to do some configuration in Network settings in System Preferences.

First, you will see a new device detected as RIM Composite Device. Then, these are the things that you'll need to enter:

  • Telephone Number: *99#
  • Account Name: digi
  • Password: digi

Go to the "Advanced..." settings, and set the APN to diginet.

These are the configurations that you will need, which you can't find even in the Digi's FAQ or anywhere (as of posting date). I spent more than 30 minutes talking to different Digi support guys and still they are unable to provide me with these configurations.

As for Maxis, though you can find it elsewhere, these are what I have configured:

  • Telephone Number: *99#
  • Account Name: maxis
  • Password: wap
  • APN: internet.com

Hope these configurations work for you. Make sure you have subscribed to unlimited data package before you do this. You might end up paying big sum of bill because some software on your Mac doing some updates.

Have plans to switch to Digi soon and I could save at least 50% of bill per month.

Notice to Upgrade WordPress

July 26th, 2010

Today, I received an email, a very weird email, titled with a single word "blog", from a very weird person, with the following message in the email:

please update your wordpress installation. it's not secure.

Whoever that is, thanks for reminding. Wanted to do it long time ago, but too busy. Although you sounded like a hacker who would hack my blog if I don't upgrade, but anyway, thanks again.

Upgraded to version 3.0 now, but didn't notice much changes in the user interface from back-end. Shall spend some time to explore soon.

On My New Macbook

May 29th, 2010

After spending few weeks with Macbook Pro, there's so much to share about it. Managed to migrate everything over from PC/Windows and able to do everything I normally do in Windows. I must say, it's a struggle in the beginning. There's a point of time that I almost feel like dumping it and get another PC, instead of wasting time with this piece of junk.

It's not as "advanced" and user-friendly as it was advertised. I still feel that it's strictly for geeks, unless you are using that machine like a netbook, then it wouldn't be much problem for you.

As a programmer with some 3 years working in Red Hat terminal, still I need some time to get use to the file structure as the things are not placed exactly what it were in Red Hat.

Since I normally prefer to get use to the software that comes with the OS, I find that Finder (or you may call it file explorer) is the hardest thing you need to get use to. Many in the web would suggest you to use alternatives, but some how, I managed to adapt to it already.

Switching from Ctrl key to the Command key is the worst part of the whole migration process. Using Windows for more than a decade, why would anyone press Win Key + C to copy a thing?!

However, with all those complaints, it's not really that bad actually. I managed to adapt to the "damn" machine in less than a month. More than 10 years of working in Windows, and I could adapt myself to Mac in less than a month.

My praise for the machine is mainly on the hardware. It's really stable. There's once when some metal accidentally went into the USB port and caused a spark. The Snow Leopard just tell you gracefully that the USB port uses more power than it should be, then it automatically disable to port.

When you are in Windows, it only tells you that you can't remove your pendrive because something is still using it, but in Mac, it tells you exactly what needs to be closed so you could remove your pendrive.

I must say that Apple have put much effort on the little things, and it is these little things that makes them grow to what they are today.

The exterior of the machine, the screen, the keyboard. It all look so perfect that you would always try to protect it, even the power adapter. Apple put so much effort to every small things, like the magnet of the power adapter that suck itself to the port, the sensitivity of the touchpad.

The endurance of the battery is perfect. I have a feeling like using a phone which you would normally charge for a few hours at night and using it for one whole day on the second day. Did you ever bring your phone adapter with you on a normal working day? It almost achieve that, with at least 6 hours of wireless productivity, compared to my last AMD laptop that only runs for at most 2 hours.

I highly recommend people to switch to it, if you don't mind to spend a struggling month to adapt, but once that's over, it's really a great machine to work on. The price of owning one is no longer that high, compared to few years back.

Switching to Mac

May 7th, 2010

Have been looking at Apple products for months, but couldn't make up my mind until now. Finally got myself an entry level 13-inch Macbook Pro.

I must say it's not a cheap deal at the price of RM3,899, but comparing it to high-end Sony, Fujitsu or Lenovo laptops, it's still acceptable.

After spending few hours with it, I think I barely know anything about Mac. Even something as easy as opening command prompt (or it's called Terminal in Mac) requires a google search.

I didn't expect that setting up my Blackberry to work with Snow Leopard would took me almost an hour. Had to explore everything from scratch again. Luckily I had 3 years experience with Red Hat and vi.

Hopefully the Mac would make me revive this blog again, writing some post as a log to remind myself on how to configure my new machine to fit my needs (in case I format this machine some day).

Share with me in the comments (or laugh at me), if you find me posting anything wrong. I'm surely a noob in this new world..