Category Archives: Workshop Tales

Specific fixes and repairs carried out for our customers on hardware and software in the hope that the information may be useful others.

Windows 10 Freezes and Unresponsive soon after log-on – Problem Fix – uninstall McAfee Anti Virus

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The symptoms for this problem are that Windows 10 suddenly freezes shortly after logging in. The screen stops updating, the mouse and keyboard are unresponsive. The particular PC seen with this was a Toshiba Satellite C70-A with Pentium Processor. When restarted in Safe Mode the machine ran and repsonded normally. The issue was caused on this particular machine by McAfee LiveUpdate Anti Virus. By uninstalling the McAfee software in Safe Mode and restarting everything was back to normal. On this this machine the McAfee subscription had already expired.

If you suspect this may be a problem and you have enough time to start the task manager [CTRL+SHIFT+ESC] look for a McAfee Scanner service taking a high percentage of your CPU time!

Sage Payroll Reinstallation Update Problem – Tip – Solution

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When you run the sage payroll installer on a pc that already has or had a previous version installed you will hit the dialogue picker which invites you to choose which installation you wish to update. This might be what you require – if not then there is no obvious method to force a ‘fresh’ installation ignoring whatever happened before, and you might even have a dialogue asking you to choose from an empty [unpopulated] list – you are unable to proceed.

After uninstalling the application and then deleting the program folders etc attempting to by-pass this problem the really critical tip is to look in ‘C:\Windows’.

If there is a ‘Payroll.ini’ file rename/delete it or move it somewhere else if you are cautious.

Obviously take care and back-up data and/or the system if you are working on a live installation.


WiFi Printer unreliable connection fix

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I have been asked to fix various printer connectivity problems that seem to have the same characteristics:

  1. WiFi Printer connected to network/router by wireless only
  2. Windows PC trying to access printer seems to work ok initially then loses connection after some time has passed.

Apple computers do not seem to be affected and switching devices on/off can temporarily resolve the issue. I have seen this affect HP and Epson printers and running an ethernet connection from the router to the printer – if the printer has a network socket – seems to fix the problem.

After following the manufacturers troubleshooting advice many times I now believe this is connected with the intelligent network scanners that the manufacturers install with the device drivers to allow for changes of IP address. If you look at the the Port tab under the printer properties you will see that a special entry (for HP it’s called:  <SerialNo> HP network re-discovery port monitor) has been created. If you find the IP address of the printer and add or select an existing port entry using this IP address rather than the ‘special’ entry the problem may be solved.

This would require updating if the IP address of the printer gets updated by network changes – so perhaps a fixed IP address would be more reliable.


Dell 1720dn Unable to connect to LAN network problem by changing fixed IP address setting

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My client’s Dell 1720dn Mono Laser Printer had been re-located and physically connected to a new router on a different IP segment. 192.168.1.x to 192.168.0.x which stopped communications with the local PCs which were updating their own IP addresses (DHCP) successfully. The printer’s fixed IP could be seen by printing the configuration reports but the old style ‘flashing lamps with two button menu’ system is difficult to use under pressure! The Solution to Fix this is a factory reset:

  1. Power off the printer
  2. Open the front cover (push the button on the left side)
  3. Press and HOLD both the ‘Cancel’ and ‘Continue’ buttons (Right-Triangle + Red Cross)
  4. Continue to hold the buttons and power the printer on.
  5. Continue to hold the buttons until all light cycling activity has stopped.
  6. After the lights have stopped cycling  and the “Error LED” light on the control panel is solid (could take up to 30 seconds), release the buttons.
  7. Close the front cover to complete the Factory Default reset process.


YouTube Video Demonstration


A possible alternative fix that I didn’t try:-

  1. There is a utility on the Install Disk to set a static IP address. Connect the network cable and power on the printer.
  2. Press and hold the Continue button for 2-3 seconds to print a network settings report.
  3. Obtain the MAC address of the printer from the network settings report. The MAC address is the value listed under the Standard Network Card section as UAA.
  4. Insert the Drivers and Utilities CD.
  5. When the Drivers and Utilities CD screen appears, click the Set IP Address link.
  6. When the Set IP Address Utility window appears, enter the MAC address in the box under Discover Print Servers, and then click Discover.
  7. Click to select your printer in the box under Configure Print Servers, and then click TCP/IP Settings.
  8. When the TCP/IP Settings appears, enter the TCP/IP Address, Subnet Mask, and Gateway Address.
  9. Click Apply to save the settings, and then click Close to exit the utility.

Dell Inspiron 1545 lost Wireless connection to router problem fault – Function Keys Inactive not responding

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My client’s Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop running Windows 7 was failing to connect with its wireless router even after re-starting or re-booting both devices. Although not immediately obvious the Function Key functionality/operations were also disabled or non-responsive. Pressing the combination Fn + F2 did not activate or de-activate the Wifi ON/OFF hardware confirmation responses, or any other Function key combinations, like screen dimming. This problem is in essence the same as a notebook pc with a physical hardware toggle switch for the wireless system – but in this case you can’t just switch it back on! The solution to Fix was to go to the Windows Mobility Centre (laptop only Windows feature) – from the start button search type ‘MO..’ then click ‘Windows Mobility Centre’ set the  Function key mode to ‘Function Keys’ Not ‘Multimedia’, close the dialogue, then use Fn + F2 to re-activate the wireless.

Brother QL-700 Label Printer update to Windows 10 problem

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After updating from Windows 7 Professional to Windows 10 on an HP Compaq DC7900 Small Form Factor PC the label printing functionality failed.

Although possible to edit labels with the on-board P-Touch Lite software, when trying to print, an error dialogue opens stating that the PC cannot communicate with the printer. The solution in my case was to update the editor software using the P-Touch Editor Lite Update tool from the Brother Support Site.

As a bonus the software seems to send the labels to the printer much more quickly than before.

Link to Brother Support Site


PostgreSQL 9 installation problem on Windows XP

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PostgreSQL 9.1 on Windows XP Pro 32 bit Installation Failure/problems

After using the Windows Installer for this system the server would not start and could not be started manually from the services management console. Whilst trying to troubleshoot this problem I discovered that reinstalling and changing the default data folder location seemed to resolve the issue. I guess this must be a permissions problem when the data folder is left within the program folder on Windows XP, i had no such problem on an alternative Vista system.

I used the alternative data location of ‘c:\postgresql\data’.

Outlook XP Error 0x8004060c

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My customer reported that his elderly version of Outlook from MS Office XP (2003) had suddenly stopped downloading email and reporting error 0x8004060c, although it was quite happy to send. This is a known problem with local versions of the app using a .pst file to store data rather than MS Exchange. There is a 2gb limit using older versions of the file and 20gb if using a later format.

Solution; split file by creating (or using) an archive, compact file using in-built tool, start using /or/ create a new .pst file possibly in the later format?

Losing Wireless Wifi after windows update

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A HP G61-110SA Laptop/notebook with Windows 7 Home Premium would lose its Wifi connection after windows update. Carrying out a system restore just repeated the problem.
Running Network troubleshooter on the adapter problem produced this result;
‘Windows couldn’t automatically bind the IP protocol stack to the network adapter’

This proved to be an AVG Firewall Module issue, disabling the AVG item in the Network Adapter Properties resolved the issue.