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Τρίτη, 25 Μαρτίου 2014

"An Office 2003 installation on your computer is corrupted and setup cannot continue" - How to bypass this error...

I've been facing this issue for a couple of hours now.. but finally found a way to get through this error.
An Office 2003 installation on your computer is corrupted and setup cannot continue" - How to byass this error...
This is how the error looks like.
On a computer running Windows XP, I could not install Microsoft Office 2010 receiving this message that there was a corrupted Office 2003 installation and there was no way to uninstall it the standard way from the control panel.

After not finding much help online about it, I figured out that an easy way to get through this was to enter the windows registry using Run (Windows Button + R) -> regedit.exe and then remove some entries including the term "Office 2003".

Step 1 : How to keep a full registry backup before doing any changes


Before changing anything in your Windows registry it is always wise to keep a full backup just in case something goes wrong. To do that browse to the top of your registry tree (if you're not already there), right click on "My Computer" and select "Export".



Then browse to the location you would like to keep your safe backup, type a name for it (etc. "FullRegistryBackup.reg") and click on save.



It may take a few moments depending on your registry's size but it will end up saving a full backup of your registry that you could use to restore it.

The screenshots are taken from a computer running Windows 7, however the process is the same in all versions.

Step 2 : Remove the unwanted entries that include the term "Office 2003"


Click "Ctrl+F" to open the search dialogue and search for the term "Office 2003".

It will keep on bringing up a "media" folder including the above keyword in which I kept deleting two keys, until it could be found no more..

Example entries that were found and I deleted :

1.
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Patches\19E2ABCBF39F1054F9ABA52D616029A0\SourceList\Media]
"DiskPrompt"="Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003"

"225"="Office2003Patch;Office 2003 Patch 15161"

2.
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Patches\249F3D89D1A62E34FB414CFE9BCE7A23\SourceList\Media]
"DiskPrompt"="Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003"

"227"="Office2003Patch;Office 2003 Patch 15317"

3.
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Patches\2EA0612E80E42A74DB45F1078F4E30E8\SourceList\Media]
"DiskPrompt"="Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003"

"228"="Office2003Patch;Office 2003 Patch 15309"

etc.

To remove them you can simply right click the two keys and click delete. There are a bunch of those pairs, to me they were about 80 keys to remove so it may take a while to find and remove them all. But thankfully once I was done I tried again and Office 2010 installed just fine.

I hope that I will save some time to others facing the same issue so I'm sharing the fix.


How to restore your registry in case something goes wrong


Just in case something goes wrong and problems occur you can always restore your registry if you have successfully kept a backup as described in Step 1 above. All you have to do is simply to browse to the "FullRegistryBackup.reg" file that you exported from your registry and double click it.

The system will let you know that you are about to modify your registry and you will need to click "Yes" to continue.

Then your registry will be restored to where it was before the changes.


Disclaimer Notice :


WARNING : Keep in mind that modifying the windows registry is a dangerous tactic if you don't know what you're doing and you may end up losing data or needing to reformat your Windows installation if you're not careful enough. Snaked-Bytes will not be held responsible for any damages caused by this method. You are free to use it at your own risk. I was about to do a clean windows installation anyway so I went ahead, tried it and it worked.

Good luck!

Τετάρτη, 20 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

Snaked Shutdown Control - Get control over windows shutdown routines.

Snaked Shutdown Control - Get control over windows shutdown routines.
Snaked Shutdown Control helps you manually control and program your Windows shutdown, restarting processes and gives you the ability to cancel them too.

Especially helpful in the following cases :


* When you need to carefully plan your Windows restart/shutdown process using a long timeout up to 100 days from now.

* When you've been infected by viruses that cause your computer to automatically restart and you need to stop it so that you deal with the infection.
* When running Windows 8 and you find it complicated to shutdown or restart your PC.
* When it's usual for you to be in the need of canceling an accidentally given shutdown or restart command.

Snaked Shutdown Control is free, simple and easy to use for any Windows user's experience level. It's interface is customizable and it supports English and Greek for now.


More translations might be added later. If you would like to help us with a translation feel free to contact us using this formWe hope you enjoy using our software.


The application was developed in C#, it does not require installation as it is a standalone portable executable and it can be run even from USB sticks. However keep in mind that the application settings will be reset if you change the executable's location.



Download Snaked Shutdown Control Application - Get control over windows shutdown routines.


Files included in the zip package :


1. Snaked Shutdown Control.exe

2. Licence.txt
3. Information.txt

Operation Systems Supported :

Microsoft Windows XP (Not tested)
Microsoft Windows Vista (Not tested)
Microsoft Windows 7 (Tested)
Microsoft Windows 8 (Tested)

System Requirements :

Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0

Manual :



Snaked Shutdown Control - Get control over windows shutdown routines - Main window screenshot
The Snaked Shutdown Control main window.
 In the main window of "Snaked Shutdown Control" you can find the main functions of the application restart / shutdown computer after the specified timeout or cancel an already given shutdown command. The current timeout setting is shown on the top of the window. You might wanna check out the settings window before using it for the first time.
Snaked Shutdown Control - Get control over windows shutdown routines - Settings window screenshot
The Snaked Shutdown Control settings window.
In the settings window of "Snaked Shutdown Control" you can adjust the timeout in seconds, minutes, hours or days to a maximum value of 100 (up to 100 days from now). You can also change the language of the application's interface (currently only English and Greek are supported - however more translations could be added if they are requested so feel free to leave a comment requesting one if you really need it). Also you can change the background color of all windows according to what feels better for you. Changing it to black will cause the labels to not be visible anymore. Clicking reset returns all settings to their default values.

We hope that you will be satisfied from this application due to its simplicity and effectiveness. It is freeware with no ads at all under the Lesser GNU Public Licence, and a copy of the original licence file is distributed alongside the application's executable. Moreover if you really like the software feel free to use the donate button in the "About Snaked Shutdown Control" window to support the development of our free software.


We'd love to read your feedback in the comments section.

Τετάρτη, 25 Απριλίου 2012

Snaked Net Check - Get rid of disconnection problems in Windows 7

Snaked Net Check is a useful application we have created in order to avoid disconnection problems in Windows 7. Windows 7 network connection manager suffers from some important issues. While it will most likely attempt to reconnect in case you lose the connection to your internet router, it would not repair the connection in case it enters limited access mode. This can be very frustrating when you need the computer to stay online and work unattended.  So, Snaked Net Check will be very useful to you in case you are trapped in the following scenario:

1. Your Windows 7 computer connects to the internet through a router using an ethernet or wifi network adapter.

2. Immediately or after some time the connection fails or enters limited access mode for no valid reason.

3. The internet connectivity is lost but Windows does not automatically repair the connection.

4. You need to manually run the Windows Network Diagnostics every time the connection fails in order to repair it.

To tell you the truth I was facing the same problems until I'd had enough.. because I used to leave the computer unattended in order to download some large files or torrents and the connection was failing all the time leaving the computer offline and the files corrupted. The worst thing about it is that Windows 7 does not repair the connection automatically. It requires the user's attention.. so the computer can not stay securely online unattended.

So I decided to create an application that actually does that for me and repairs the internet connectivity in case it's lost for some specified time. The application was developed in Visual C# 2008 Express Edition and is called "Snaked Net Check". It is currently in beta stage because there still are some bugs coming up although it does the job pretty well. I will improve it and resolve any issues that appear during this testing. Latest version is Stable 1.1 and it's tested enough to work fine. It is licensed under GNU Lesser Licence as Freeware and you can download it through sourceforge.net here:

Snaked Net Check - Internet Connectivity Testing, Monitoring and Reparing

Download the latest version and unzip all files included in a folder. All 3 files are required to be in the same folder in order for the application to work properly :

1. SnakedNetCheck.exe
2. Licence.txt
3. ReadMe.txt

Operation Systems Supported :
Microsoft Windows 7 (Tested)
Microsoft Windows 8 (Tested)
Windows Server 2008 (Not tested)

System Requirements :
Microsoft Windows .Net Framework 4

No installation needed:
Run the application by double clicking SnakedNetCheck.exe.

User Manual:
Click the "Information" button to read instructions on how to use it within the application or open the "ReadMe.txt" file in any document viewer.

The "Snaked Net Check" main window : 


You can specify a primary action that will be executed firstly in order to repair the connection. Also you can specify a secondary action that will be executed in case the first one fails to repair the connection. You can click on "Silent State" and the application will minimize to tray and run at the current settings. Click on "Change Settings" to adjust the application.

The "Settings" window:


Specify the settings that fit your needs and then return to the main application window. The "Application Settings" include three checks that are automatically saved at the time you select them while the "Server Settings" require that you click on "Save Changes" in order for them to be saved. "Restore" button loads your latest saved "Server Settings" canceling any changes you've made and "Defaults" button sets the server to "www.google.com", primary action to 20 retries and secondary action to 6 retries.

The "Log" window : 


You can view any logged failed attempts to connect to the specified server in this window. You can clear the logged data if you desire by clicking the "Clear" button.

The "Feedback" window : 


You can use this window to leave feedback about the application. Enter your text in the box, then (Optionally) enter your email in case you'd like to receive a reply from us and press the "Send" button to send your feedback. Also, you can use the "Visit Our Website" link to load the "Snaked Bytes" Homepage.

We hope that you will be very satisfied by using "Snaked Net Check" and this is why we created it to be freeware for personal use. However if you'd like to support further development of the application you are free to donate using the donate button. It will lead you to PayPal.com where you will be asked to set the amount that you'd like to donate. We kindly appreciate your donations and honestly thank you for your support!

Πέμπτη, 22 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

How to change your MAC Address in Windows 7 Registry

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1. Why should you change your wifi's MAC Address
2. How to check your current MAC Address
3. How to generally change your MAC Address
4. How to change your Wifi's MAC Address


Hello everyone, recently I came up with an obsession of changing my wifi's physical MAC Address. I've searched around the web and there's a mess going on about changing it on Windows 7, so I'll try to show the easiest possible way to you. There is a lot of applications around promising to do that but you don't actually need an application. The whole process is about creating a key in registry, and I think that's an easy thing to do. Now, let me explain what am I talking about and how to do that.. (If you are an advanced user go straight to the Wifi section)



Why should you change your wifi's MAC Address?


First of all every PC running windows, that is connected to the internet uses a networking device such as an Ethernet or WiFi network adapter. Just like every other device in the world, each one has a unique ID in order to trace where it was manufactured, by whom and when. This unique ID in networking is called Physical MAC Address. More info about MAC Addresses can be found here. What you need to know is that MAC Address is all someone needs to trace your network adapter, meaning where it was designed, where and when you purchased it and all data connected to that purchase. I know, I'm beginning to sound weird now.. but let's get down to the point.


Let's say you carry your laptop and visit a local library or a public wifi access point. You decide to connect to the internet through that access point using your laptop's wifi adapter. Now, by connecting to the access point your PC automatically sends your MAC Address to the access point, while the access point registers your PC Name and MAC Address and grants you the connection. Someone with access to that specific wireless router is now able to see your MAC Address and if that someone has some "bad will" power could harm you using that information. For example someone could use your MAC Address in doing something illegal and the whole matter is going to include you.. You wouldn't want that.


So why would you let anyone access that info? It would be better (and fun too) to change it to a fake address in order to be secure.

How to check your current MAC Address


In order to know which is your physical MAC Address shown to access points when you connect to them, follow the steps below.


1. Open a console window by pressing "Start" and typing "cmd.exe".
2. Type the following command in the command line: "ipconfig /all"


Command Line


3. Press "Enter" and check the results. Scroll up to find your wifi's name.
4. Your MAC Address is in the "Physical Address" field. I've removed the rest of the info.


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How to generally change your MAC Address


First of all, let's note that this whole article is mainly about WiFi MAC Address spoofing in Windows 7. But we'll mention, how to generally change your network device's MAC Address. In most of the cases you could easily change your MAC Address simply by following these steps.


1. Go to the "Device Manager" (Control Panel -> System -> Device Manager)




2. Double-click your networking device.



3. Go to the "Advanced" tab.
4. Select "Network Address".
5. Change your value to your desired address. Make sure it is formed by acceptable 16-bit digits only. (Numbers 0 to 9, Characters from A to F).


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6. Close the window by pressing "OK".
7. Right Click your device -> Disable.
8. Right Click your device -> Enable.

How to change your Wifi's MAC Address


In most of the cases though, your wifi advanced tab does not have such an option so it's a bit more difficult to change it. You could use software in order to do that but there is always a risk when using software to change your registry. You never know what's gonna be changed. So my suggestion is to change your registry manually. In fact you don't actually change anything, you just have to add one value. So let's get down to it. Before starting you need to know your network adapter's name in order to identify it correctly in the registry. So you could go to the "Device Manager" just like above, find your wifi network adapter's name and try to memorize it (Really it's not that difficult..) Now follow the next steps:


1. Click on "Start" and type "regedit.exe" and press "Enter" to enter the Windows "Registry Editor".
2. Browse to the value :
-> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
-> SYSTEM
-> ControlSet001
-> Control
-> Class
-> {4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}


Now notice that the following numbers match different devices.
Click on "0000" and check the keys in the right panel. There is a key named "DriverDesc" which is the description (aka name) of the device.




2. Check the numbers one by one in order to find your wifi network adapter's name in the "DriverDesc" field.




You can see your real Wifi MAC Address in the field DeviceInstanceID that I have hidden with a black rectangle. That is the one that the access point will receive when you connect to it, "IF" you haven't changed your MAC Address manually. Now let's get to the point.


3. Right Click the number of your device (which in my case is 0026) and select
New -> String Value
4. Write down the value name "NetworkAddress" instead of "New Value #1" that will appear. Make sure not to press any spaces.
5. Double Click the new value that was created.
6. Be creative as you enter your desired MAC Address, just make sure you start it in an acceptable form etc starting with 12 then add ten more 16-bit digits (Numbers 0 to 9, Characters from A to F).


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7. Click "OK".
8. Close the Windows Registry Editor.
9. Go to your Device Manager and disable and re-enable your device.


You can now check your Wifi's MAC Address and see if that has been changed properly.


This is Solid Snake..
Thank you all for reading, I hope I got you out of a lot of trouble.

Πέμπτη, 1 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

AMD Phenom II X4 965 125W Black Edition Overclocked Benchmarking

After overclocking, testing and benchmarking for days, on AMD Phenom II X4 965 125W Black Edition CPU, here we get to publish the results. Just keep in mind that we're not comparing video graphics adapters but CPUs so the differences between scores, vary only based on how much the benchmark is CPU dependent. In some cases they are minor in others major. 


System Specifications :


ASUS M3N78-VM
ATi Sapphire Radeon HD4830 512MB Overclocked @ 740/1291 MHz
2x2GB Ram DDR2 Dual Channel Overclocked @ 1024MHz
(Add Air Condition to the cooling... It makes a big difference. ;-) )


Here we go : 


The CPUs in comparison are the following :


AMD Phenom II 965 BE X4 - Overclocked @ 4.363MHz
AMD Phenom II 965 BE X4 - Default Clocks @ 3400MHz
AMD Athlon 5200+ X2 - Overclocked @ 3200MHz


7-zip Benchmark
Measured in MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second)


As we can see in the simple 7z benchmark, the overclocked 965 processor is clearly the winner no matter the number threads in use by the system. Note that 5200+ is a dual core CPU and that's why there is only a slight difference between its score achieved at 2 and 4 threads. But also note the superiority of the overclocked 965 over the default clocked 965 on all 3 cases.

Cyberlink PowerDirector 9.0 - Video Converting
Measured in seconds - Lower is Better

In this test, we simply tried upscaling while changing the encoding type of a high definition video file from 720p .mov format to a 1080p .mp4.

Playback duration : 4 mins 5 sec

Details : 

MOV File Details: (File to be converted)

Video Resolution : 1280x720 @ 30 FPS
Data Rate : 15042kbps
File Size : 443MB

MP4 File Details: (Converted file)

Video Resolution : 1920x1080 @ 25 FPS
Data Rate : 11521kbps
File Size : 341MB



Time taken on 5200+ @ 3200MHz : 6 mins 14 sec
Time taken on 965 @ 3400MHz : 4 mins 34 sec
Time taken on 965 @ 4363MHz : 3 mins 59 sec (Even less than the playback time!!!)

As we can see here the default 965 took only 73% of the time taken by the 5200+. More over the overclocked 965 took only 63% of the 5200+ time. Now keep in mind that this test was done on a small duration video, only 4 minutes and 5 seconds.. in case you would like to do the same test on a normal movie (2 hours duration) the time differences would be much bigger. If you do the maths you'd find out that a 2 hour video using the same data rates would take 3 hours and 2 minutes on the 5200+, while on the overclocked 965 it would only take 1 hour and 54 minutes. Yep.. i bet you get the picture. :-)

Benchmarks

In this section we tested the three CPUs using some commonly accepted benchmarking tools. And when the word "Benchmark" enters our ears, there is only one thing that comes up in our brain.. 3D Mark. For more than 10 years now it has been the basic comparison tool for for most of the pc enthusiasts all over the world. So our review would be incomplete without adding them to the list. We tested 3D Mark 2005, 2006 and Vantage using the three CPUs in our testing list. Let's check the results out..

Keep in mind that the most important bar in all three following charts is the CPU Score one. At least for our review as our comparison is between CPUs and not VGAs.

3D Mark 2005
Measured in 3DMarks - Higher is Better

Check this out.. The 965 overclocked edition is much more than 2 times faster than the 5200+ and 28% faster than the default clocked edition. As we can see the difference between the 3 processors is really high according to 3D Mark's tests. Let's see more of them..

3D Mark 2006
Measured in 3DMarks - Higher is Better

3D Mark 2006 was always known to be really stressing our CPUs and it's still very hard to achieve high scores on its CPU tests. However once again we see that the overclocked edition is almost 3 times faster than the 5200+ and 27% faster than the non-overclocked edition. It's also worth mentioning that the final score shows a 4794 points increase over the old 5200+.

3D Mark Vantage
Measured in 3DMarks - Higher is Better

Once again the overclocked edition of the 965 is 3 times faster than the 5200+ and 26% faster than its default clocks edition. So, let's sum it up..

As we can see the performance difference between the 3 processors is massive when it comes to benchmarking. The 2 extra cores that the 965 has, surely help a lot, but we can also notice that overclocking it helps performance even more. The difference is still huge when we compare the overclocked edition of 965 with the non-overclocked one in these three benchmarks. However these scores don't necessarily define how the system would perform against against some "real life" gaming, but they are still good in order to compare older CPUs with the latest ones. So, we couldn't help it but do some "real" gaming with some of the latest games in the market and share the results with you. Read on..

Now let's talk about games...

We did a lot of benchmarking on some of the latest games on the market, measuring the average, minimum and maximum frames per second the video graphics adapter was drawing at each time, on different game locations and graphic details. After collecting the results we got the averages of each case and then we created the charts so you can clearly view the results.

All test were done using a screen resolution of 1920x1080 using Directx Version 10.1.
All temperatures were ~24 Celsius degrees at all times using air-condition cooling.
All games were set at the maximum detail level possible changing only the Anti-Aliasing levels through each test.


Crysis 2

Crysis 2 has been out for a while, and it makes use of most of the current technologies in the graphics section, so it would be a nice way to benchmark our processors. So here we go. We used the general options (Gamer, Advanced, Hardcore) in the Video Settings of the game just like what most pc users would do. (There is a way to unlock the advanced options but only a few gamers around would try it, so we try to keep the tests as close to real life gaming as possible).

Crysis 2 Gamer
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better


Crysis 2 Advanced
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better


Crysis 2 Hardcore
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

As we can see in these three tests the overclocked 965 gets in the first place, gaining up to 9 FPS depending on the graphics quality. Surely a better graphics card would perform much better but still we can easily notice the difference between the 3 processors.

Red Faction Armageddon

One of the latest and very demanding game we decided to add to the benchmarks is Red Faction Armageddon. It is an open world 3rd Person Shooter-Future RPG with amazing physics allowing you to destroy and re-create almost everything in the map. We tested the processors in three different cases. 

Red Faction Armageddon - No Anti-Aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better


Red Faction Armageddon - 4 x Anti-Aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better



Red Faction Armageddon - 8 x Anti-Aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

As you might have noticed the specific system barely makes it to keep the average of the 30 FPS playable limit, and that happens only with the overclocked 965, and only with anti-aliasing disabled. Once again you can notice the difference in FPS between all three processors. You should also keep in mind that you need a newer graphics card in order to enjoy the experience of this game at maxed detail.

Test Drive Unlimited 2

That's also a gaming choice we'd like to include mainly because in racing games it's all about FPS, if you know what we mean. And this game would be a fine benchmark tool because of the dynamically designed in-game open world and fast pace gameplay. It surely needs a beast of a gaming rig using one of the latest high end graphic cards in order to run properly with no lagging. You'll see what I mean once you check out the tests below.

Test Drive Unlimited 2 - No Anti-aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better

We see that the system performs overly well but still in some cases at high speed driving we see a performance drop of about 6 frames. As we compare the 3 CPUs, the overclocked 965 performs pretty well staying above 30 FPS for most of the time. It's non overclocked edition does also keep up pretty well only it drops more when the load is high. Now as for the 5200+ we could say that this game is almost unplayable at full detail level. Now let's turn that anti-aliasing switch on..

Test Drive Unlimited 2 - 4x Anti-aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better


No big changes, 4x Anti-aliasing seems easy. We notice an overall small drop of about 4 FPS on the 965 while the 5200+ stays almost untouched. However the difference between the overclocked and non-overclocked edition of the 965 becomes even smaller. Remember that we are running the game at maxed details except V-Sync. Check out the 8x Anti-aliasing test below..

Test Drive Unlimited 2 - 8x Anti-aliasing
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better


Well the differences are now somewhat tragic. There is a possibility that something went completely wrong with the game when trying on the 5200+. So let's keep that out of the comparison. Now as for the 965 we see another ~4 FPS drop when running at 8x Anti-Aliasing. And as we can see the ATi 4830 is still fighting.. though the game becomes unplayable. Also keep in mind that it's no ordinary 4830.. it's superclocked at 740/1290 MHz from 575/900 and also it's working under 24 degrees so the performance difference is massive..

Mass Effect 2

Now this was a choice mostly for fun than comparison. This game is not really demanding but we added it as a reference because many gamers around the world find it interesting and they have to know about how this system would behave while running it. Keep in mind that Mass Effect 2 uses a frame-rate limit at 60 FPS. We decided to leave it as is because most gamers wouldn't bother removing that. It's actually pretty smooth playing at 60 FPS. So let's see how it performs.

Mass Effect 2 - Full Detail Level (There's no in-game anti-aliasing option! You could enable it manually on AMD Vision Engine Control Center if you'd like to..)
Measured in Frames Per Second - Higher is Better



The game is smoothly playable on both processors and the non-overclocked edition of the 965 seems to be even more stable. However we can see a fine difference of ~8 FPS between the 5200+ and 965.. Anyway, as we mentioned, this test is just to let you know that with a decent graphics card you can play it at maxed details.

Conclusion
We bet that concludes all the tests. We guess the upgrade from the 5200+ was amazing including the price-performance ratio. The only thing that's stopping us now from the newest games is a better graphics card. Also we might use these results in order to post the difference levels after I upgrade. The AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition is an amazing CPU even non-overclocked but for enthusiasts.. it's hell of an overclocker. Highly recommended!

Thanks for reading!
Solid Snake