CPU Problems?

— CPU Issues Within the Operating System Environment —

Microsoft has this tool called Performance Monitor Wizard

1. services.msc > turn off Windows Indexing Service

2. Turn off automatic antivirus scans temporarily to check for improvements

3. Install & run Process Explorer from http://www.sysinternals.com to see what’s really using the CPU time
> Possibly Delayed Procedure Calls.

4. Uninstall video drivers
> Some video cards, particularly Nvidia

5. Re-install, update and clean up all hardware drivers, particularly chipset drivers

6. Antivirus to check for attacks

7. Bad code making bad system calls or invokes
> Pay particular attention to custom, in-house built software / talk to programmers to gain ideas
> Code must be in harmony with the operating system, particularly the kernel, which makes low level system calls

> System callS flow: Program sends requests >> calls on operating system >> calls on kernel’s service >> create/execute/communicate with processes

> How to think of system calls: [PROCESS]–{SYSTEM CALLS}–[OPERATING SYSTEM]

> Therefore, system calls are the interface between processes and the operating system

8. Upgrade CPU or machine where possible
— CPU Issues at the Hardware Level —

Issues like no POST, bootup difficulties, beeps, heat, video output need to be resolved by someone who understands motherboards. The rundown is something like this:

1. Boot into the legacy BIOS or UEFI and locate the “Diagnostics” option
> Run the quick/summarized diagnostics (do not waste time with the extended diagnosis because it takes forever)
> Take note of the CPU diagnosis

2. Refer to the maintenance manual about the motherboard as issued by the manufacturer

3. Discharge static electricity by grounding your body before working on electronic parts

4. Plug in 4/8 pin CPU power connector located near the CPU socket

5. Eliminate short-circuiting by using “standoffs” and making sure standoffs are not touching the motherboard in the wrong place

6. Verify the card is fully seated

7. Attach ALL power connectors to the video card

8. Boot with only one RAM chip and make sure memory modules are fully inserted and seated properly
– Order of installation with Intel, for example, is starting with bay furthest from CPU

9. Remove plastic covering or guard from CPU and make sure CPU is arranged and placed as according to instruction
– Look for pins that are bent

10. Use thermal paste on motherboard

11. Is the CPU fan plugged and functioning

12. Listen to beep codes issued by the system speaker
– The system speaker the same as the “normal” speaker
— Notes —

This illustrates how important it is to install drivers that are up-to-date and build a computer properly initially

Boot From External Device / Interrupt Windows 8 & 10 Bootup

Method I: Tapping the Keyboard
Note that we used an Acer Aspire V5
1. Start or restart the machine while tapping the F2 key
> Enter the UEFI Setup menu
2. On the top menu, select “Security”
> Enable the UEFI password by creating a password
> The act of entering a password enables or arms the following features
3. Find and disable “Secure Boot”
> On some makes & models, you may have to find and disable “CSM” //see notes below; ignore & override all warnings
4. On the top menu, select “Boot”
> Point to and click on “UEFI” BIOS mode to disable it and enable legacy BIOS
5. Change boot order
> Give priority to the device of your interest
6. Find the option to enable the F12 key
> Enable the tapping of the F12 key for interruption to the boot order
7. F10 to save the new settings, exit and restart
> The system should boot from the device given priority
9. If not, restart while tapping F12
> Pick the device you want to boot from

Method II: Using Windows 8 Itself
1. Startup Windows 8 as normal to the Welcome Screen
2. Hold down the Shift key
3. Navigate to the Shutdown icon and select “Restart” while still holding down the Shift key
4. Windows 8 will boot into “repair” options
> Select “Troubleshoot”
5. Select “Advanced” > “Startup Settings” > “UEFI…” > “Restart”
6. Go to Method I step 2 and run through the steps

– Windows 8 family of operating systems are designed to boot within 200 millisecconds
– It is incredibly difficult to interrup the Windows 8 bootup process because of the 200 ms time frame and the new security mechanisms known as “Secure Boot” and “CSM”
– You must disable “Secure Boot”, the new industry standard that ensures only trusted software / with approved signatures run on class 2 and 3 computers
– Another issue that make it impossible to interrupt the start up of Windows 8 family of operating systems are Solid State Drives
– Each manufacturer implements “Secure Boot” and “CSM” differently, which means the features/buttons to control these operations may vary in how they are featured on the UEFI menu.

Further reading from Microsoft:
– Secure Boot requires a PC that meets the UEFI Specifications Version 2.3.1, Errata C or higher.
– Secure Boot is supported for UEFI Class 2 and Class 3 PCs.
– For UEFI Class 2 PCs, when Secure Boot is enabled, the compatibility support module (CSM) must be disabled so that the PC can only boot authorized, UEFI-based operating systems.
– This may be the reason why you may not have to disable the “CSM” at all [because it is already disabled from factory for class 2 computers].

Are You Truly Secure?

You must all be aware of the hack attacks and blunders of a national and international nature in recent news. Goes without mentioning that they could all have been avoided if only they had taken heed by adhering to simple preventative measures like keeping equipment up-to-date and paying attention to modern technological traditions. It’s not that the Chinese hackers are very smart, it’ only that the government keeps using Windows 2000, 2003 and XP when they’ve been warned over and over. We in the technology professions also know that stock markets do not have to collapse simply because they do not implement fail-over, load balancing, always-up-data-in-motion techniques, all of which are now commonplace. Please do let us know your thoughts. With loving kindness…


Administrator Account on Microsoft Windows

UAC (User Account Control) is a Microsoft Windows feature for controlling the launching & execution of applications. However, the UAC system can be very cumbersome when administering Windows machines.

Scenario: Local account is member of “Administrators” but not the built-in Administrator account [Administrator account is disabled].

– Can change “Always notify”, “Never notify” settings of the UAC system
– At the “Default” third notch, cmd.exe launches in a regular under-priviledged context
– You have to invoke or run as Administrator to execute anything
– This makes working in Powershell quite difficult
– Example: You will not be able to import certain modules using “Import-Module”
– At lowest “Never notify” setting, cmd.exe launches as Administrator
– THIS DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF USING THE UAC MECHANISM because you are essentially disabling UAC
– Machine has to restart each time UAC settings are changed
– Restarting a remote machine is tedious & always risks the machine not powering up or not regaining connection because changes to firewall, network adapter settings & so forth can occur

– If you choose to use UAC, leave the local built-in Administrator enabled & passworded.
– If you choose to not use UAC [by lowering the settings], you may use a custom account that is a “Member of” the “Administrators” group.
– If you choose to use a custom account [that is in the Administrators group], then you decide to log on with a domain account, you may still need to invoke the Administrator account to administer the local machine.
– You must only disable the local Administrator account if you are a seasoned professional with hyper-sensitivity to usage of the Administrator account because you have very first hand information that the most privileged, Administrator, is threatened.
– Because of reasons herein and from a systems administrator stance, you simply must keep the local built-in Administrator account enabled & passworded; any other local account is simply meaningless.

As of this composition, this was tested on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 only.


The single biggest challenge with Microsoft Outlook are those PSTs (Personal Storage Tables), which are never kept in check by the ordinary user till they become unmanageable. It’s best to keep “.pst” files at 20 GB and under or you will run into serious trouble. The current limit is 50 GB as according to our friends at Microsoft.

The next big intellectual challenge with Outlook happens when someone, usually the user, fools around with the profile and data file settings then they lose their address book, contacts and, most of all, the auto-complete feature. The auto-complete feature refers to the lettering {email addresses} that automatically fills up as the user begins to type. Information contained in the auto-complete feature is very temporary and, perhaps, more popular than it’s more stable intermediate solution called “contacts” and permanent solution called “address book”. If you move “.pst” files around chances are you will screw up the auto-complete feature and you will have a tough time with the end user/customer. Personal Storage Tables {file extension is .pst} are databases and databases should always be treated with respect and delicate care.

The best free tool we have used to solve auto-complete, contacts and address book problems is called nk2edit.

Installing Windows on a Computer with No Optical/DVD Drive

Warning: This is a one-way trip; so, you are warned. As you may expect, all data currently on the hard drive will be deleted. We advise you to create a recovery USB stick just in case.  Creating recovery images is painstakingly slow process and may take the whole day. Steps are:

Windows logo {lower left corner of desktop} > Recovery > Create recovery > Insert a USB that is 8 giga-bytes or higher
> Create recovery image

The big battle is for the computer to recognize the USB drive, which will contain the Windows 7 or 8 payload. This means altering the UEFI {Unified Extended/Enhanced Firmware Interface} to legacy-like BIOS settings. Also, you have to do one procedure and restart the computer in order to do the other. If you don’t understand any of this, please find someone with a slight better understanding of how computers work.

Since the system {which means computer} has no optical drive {this is where you would normally place your CD or DVD}, the first thing you have to do is put a bootable Windows 7 image {which means Operating System} onto a USB drive. From any computer, preferably one with 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8, do the following:

  1. Insert your USB flash drive into the USB port on the PC in question
  2. Format the USB stick as an NTFS volume. Make a note of the drive letter assigned to it {we will use the letter “F”}
  3. Start up a command prompt as an Administrator.
    Windows logo > cmd > runas /user:Administrator cmd > enter password when prompted
    {the Administrator account must be enabled}

Prepare the source image

  1. Change drives or point to the Windows 7 image and run the following:
    {you may mount the ISO using a PowerISO or extract the entire image to some folder/directory and point to that folder}

>cd E:  {if “E” is your where the image is mounted or cd somefolder} then type the following

> cd boot

>bootsect /nt60 F:

  1. After you’ve don the above, in Windows Explorer, copy the entire contents of the Windows 7 DVD to root directory of the USB stick.
  2. While you’re at it, you’ll probably want to grab the LAN or wireless driver from the ASUS support site and copy it onto the stick as well {don’t worry about mixing software with operating system content because it won’t interfere}. Keep in mind that Windows 7 & Windows 8 drivers are generally interchangeable but there may be issues, particularly because Windows 8 is a ‘touch-screen’ operating system.

If you have followed the above, the USB stick is now prepared. Don’t insert the USB stick yet. You now have to start monkeying with the UEFI configuration of the computer. The following steps may be out of sequence, depending on your needs and ability:

  1. Shut down the system if it’s running. If you reboot as normal, it will skip the POST and you won’t be able to boot into the UEFI interface. So we will interrupt the boot up process.
  2. Power on the system. While it’s booting, press F9 to enter the UEFI interface {may be F12 or some other function key, depending on the manufacturer of your computer}.
  3. Select Troubleshoot > then Advanced > elect UEFI Configuration.
  4. In the UEFI configuration, go to the Security page and set Secure Boot Control to Disabled > then Reboot.
  5. Go back into the UEFI interface as previously, then into the UEFI configuration. On the Boot page, change Launch CSM to Enabled.
  6. Insert the USB stick and reboot.
  7. Once again, go back into the UEFI interface just to check everything is correct. On the Boot page, you should now see the USB stick. Go to the Save & Exit page > Restart
  8. Select the USB stick from the list of one time boot options and you should find yourself booting into the Windows 7 installer.
  9. Since Windows 7 doesn’t support GPT, you’ll have to nuke all the partitions to proceed with the install. Yes, this means delete all the listed partitions, which includes the recovery and OEM partitions.> Click on Drive Options (advanced) > select each partition on the disk {normally Disk 0} and hit the Delete button.
  10. Proceed with the Custom installation of the operating system

Click on links below for attachment with these instructions:

Install Windows 7 on Asus S400C (No Optical-DVD Drive)

Install Windows 7 on Asus S400C (No Optical-DVD Drive)

We implemented these steps successfully but all original research & work belongs to its posters.