Tag Archives: troubleshoot

Solved: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – Freezing on New Game Start Games Notes 25 NOV 2015

2012 saw the release of the troubled Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning RPG game from Big Huge Games and 38 Studios, which despite some big names attached to it (R.A. Salvatore, Todd McFarlane, Grant Kirkhope, Ken Rolston), and more than just a few high ranking review scores achieved on release, didn’t seem to get much traction with gamers.

kingdoms of amalur reckoning rpg - finesse assassins art

It’s currently on sale from the XBOX store as a digital download for a mere R89, and as a lover of bargains I immediately grabbed it, seeing as it’s always been somewhat lurking on my list of games that I eventually need to get around to experience one day.

Problem though.

After downloading the game and booting it up, every time I tried to start a new game the XBOX would just hang and then completely freeze on the loading screen.

Annoying, but thankfully something that Google quickly turned up a cause for.

kingdoms of amalur reckoning rpg - might armour and sword art

It turns out that if you buy the digital download version like I did, then you most definitely must NOT download the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Online Pass as well (it’s listed as being free on the main Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning page).

The digital download version already has this bundled in, and so if you install the standalone online pass – well let’s just say the system doesn’t really handle that at all very well!

To fix the issue is relatively simple – just delete the downloaded Online Pass.

To do this, from the main XBOX 360 dashboard, head to the Settings menu, select System, select Storage, and then pick Games and Apps. Scroll down to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and press A to enter the menu. Select the item marked House of Valor and delete it.

Fire up Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and voilà, you can happily start a new game, craft your hero, and proceed to slaughter monsters left, right and center!

Related Link: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning | Xbox 360

A Bit of Thermal Paste My Life 19 SEP 2011

Hey, learn something new every day. I’ve at last fixed the problem of the intermittent shut downs of that desktop machine I bought from Matrix Warehouse a year or two ago! :)

Shortly after I purchased it and loaded up Ubuntu as my operating system of choice, I started experiencing the problem of it repeatedly and unexpectedly shutting down on me, causing a lot of frustration and a lot of expensive troubleshooting as I went through the exercise of trying to determine what was causing the issue, looking at both the software and hardware fronts.

I wasn’t successful, was tired of throwing money at it, and after discovering that if I leave it lying on its side it tends to work, I converted it into an Ubuntu server machine and went back to working on my old Intel machine that I had purchased back second-hand from the varsity before I left.

A year or two later, and now that my laptop is in the hands of Rory while he takes a look to see if he can maybe find the cause of its sudden implosion, I need a second machine running and so I decided to reopen the case of the faulty PC.

So on Sunday I took apart the machine and gave it a thorough clean out with a handy old toothbrush, removing all the dust that had collected over all the components thanks to the unconventional position the case now occupies. The heatsink needed a good clean as well, and when I detached it from the CPU I noticed that the thermal strip between the two wasn’t looking healthy at all, prompting me to check on the CPU temperature as a possible cause of the problem…


The BIOS health status screen showed up the problem straight away. The minute I turned the naked machine on, I could literally watch the CPU’s operating temperature rise at the rate of a degree a second, right the way up until it passed the safe threshold and at a 101 degrees Celsius mark, turn the whole thing off.

Being a first for me, I quickly did some research on the Internet on replacing thermal paste, and a quick trip through to Chaos Computers for some thermal paste (they had some from Cool Master in stock which they could sell to me) and Dischem for some pure acetone, resulted in me ready for action.

With Jessica enjoying an afternoon nap, I grabbed some of Chantelle’s cotton earbuds and used the acetone to carefully remove the old and grubby thermal paste from both the heatsink and CPU housing. Then, using the handy template that came with the thermal paste, I carefully applied the brilliant white paste in an even manner on the base of the heatsink, before gently worked the unit back in place over the CPU on to the motherboard.

Excitedly I hooked up the power cable, and hit the switch, watching the BIOS reading with bated breath…

It had worked!! The machine started up colder and the CPU temperature hovered at a constant 31 to 32 degrees Celsius. After a lot of fist pumping into the air (silent of course, wouldn’t want to wake Jessie), I set about first partitioning and installing Windows XP (for my outdated scanner and webcam which aren’t supported well enough in terms of drivers under Ubuntu), followed by a fresh dual boot install of the latest Ubuntu desktop release for normal every day use.

And seeing that this machine now has a nice graphics card thanks to my earlier troubleshooting efforts, I now even get to experience the new Ubuntu Unity desktop shell that has garnered so many divided opinions since its introduction for the very first time!

So yeah, pretty chuffed with myself now, I won’t lie! :)

When Your Zend Framework Project returns Page Not Found Errors but Everything is Configured Correctly CodeUnit 29 APR 2011

It can be pretty frustrating. Your Zend Framework project is configured 100% correctly. Mod Rewrite is enabled and working on your server, the .htaccess file is configured correctly and working, all your controllers are correctly created and specified, all with the necessary index actions, your modules are healthy, in short everything is looking 100% like all the examples taught you. Yet for some reason when you try and browse your site, you keep getting Page Not Found, Controller not specified error messages!

I had this issue recently and it was causing me to tear my hair out in frustration. My project was modularized and I was using a menu in the layout, defined in the application.ini file. Everything looked correct and on my Windows dev box all navigation seemed to be working correctly. However, copy the code over to the Ubuntu server and the navigation suddenly broke. Much frustration later, I eventually twigged as to what was wrong. The URLs contained in my menu.

As we all know, camelCase is the default way to express controller and action names in Zend. However, what we do sometimes forget, is that the default URLs are expressed in lowercase, with hyphens indicating the start of a uppercase letter.

In other words while http://myproject/ViewLogs/ may look right to you at first glance, because it matches the name of the controller perfectly, the correct URL is actually http://myproject/view-logs/.

If you remember that, then you shouldn’t go wrong. (Wish I had, to be honest).

So the simple fix was to change the way I specified my menu, from:

resources.navigation.pages.oslo.pages.sub.label = "Allowed Access"
resources.navigation.pages.oslo.pages.sub.module = "oslo"
resources.navigation.pages.oslo.pages.sub.controller = "AllowedAccess"
resources.navigation.pages.oslo.pages.sub.action = "index"


resources.navigation.pages.oslo.pages.sub.label = "Allowed Access"
resources.navigation.pages.oslo.pages.sub.module = "oslo"
resources.navigation.pages.oslo.pages.sub.controller = "allowed-access"
resources.navigation.pages.oslo.pages.sub.action = "index"

And now you know.

IPCop: Troubleshoot No Internet when All other Network Activity Works CodeUnit 11 FEB 2011

What’s the best way to try and troubleshoot the scenario when we have network connections to everything else but the Internet (i.e. external mail, MySQL, and FTP) works, on our IPCop run network? (And note in this case the IPCop run network usually runs perfectly fine, meaning we not delving into a setup that never worked before.)

Well, because you have all your other external networking protocols in operation, the first thing to verify is that your ADSL connection on the IPCop landing page does indeed show that you are connected (which it should be because you have access to everything else).

This then points to the proxy server giving issues and 90% of the time the solution is pretty simple:

Simply navigate to Services -> Advanced Proxy, scroll all the way to the bottom and hit the Clear Cache button to the right.

Working? Nifty.

Failed Flash & Missing Backups CodeUnit 03 MAY 2010

Sigh. After years of solid and faithful service, despite the lack of care, my Transcend JetFlash 4 GB USB flash drive finally borked and said it’s last goodbyes. But it didn’t go quietly into the night.

No, it kicked and screamed, corrupted and declared itself write-protected. I spent hours combing the Internet, trying out various solutions, tricks and suggestions, none of which worked and none of which could get the drive back into working, usable condition.

From low-level formats to registry hacks and just plain begging and pleading, all was for naught as I finally came to the conclusion that it was dead and dusted, leaving me only with one recourse – to open it up and operate on it in the hopes of a miracle happening.

Unfortunately that was not to be as my clumsy hands sliced the top of a connector clean off its housing and brought with it the finality of the waste bin.

But losing a faithful flash drive was not the worst part of this ordeal. No, the worst part was that I, a software technician of all people, had failed myself in that I didn’t keep any backups of the important data on the drive. Not a single backup whatsoever. Important personal documents, desktop application projects in mid development, databases built up over years, all gone because I was too lazy to keep up a decent backup programme.

But the loss now behind me, I have vowed to change my ways and send out this warning to those of you out there like me – backup your data, synchronize your drives, don’t fall in complacency.

Even if it is just by using the simplicity of rsync or its’ graphical counterpart, grsync, schedule your backups and stick to it – or as I have now done, place a perpetual reminder in your calendar and stick to it.

For you never know when the blight that is drive failure will strike again…

Shutting Down – Again and Again My Life 20 APR 2010

Aaargh, so frustrating! I mentioned a while ago that my newish PC back at home kind of packed up on me some time back, completely losing its video output as a start.

Listening to it and plugging it into various other display sources, I concluded that the onboard graphics must have gone and so looked around on the Internet before settling on a new graphics card which I subsequently ordered from Take 2 for around R500.

A short wait and the card arrived, which I eagerly plugged into the board, proclaimed “There, that should fix it” and hit the power switch, only to see… well nothing. The new graphics card had not solved the problem, meaning that my diagnosis had obviousy been wrong. Doh!

So anyway, this weekend I made some time to try and sort out the issue, taking the machine completely apart and giving it a good dust out, as well as checking and tightening all the connectors and screws that I can find!

With a “Well, maybe this will sort it out”, I hit the power switch and lo and behold, all of a sudden I had video out again – awesome except for the fact that it only lasted a minute or two before the machine without warning simply lost power.

Booting it up again, it became apparent that this was now the new problem and that the video outage had most likely simply been symptom of this new problem.

The losing power thing seems to happen completely at random – it can happen as the machine is still booting up, it can happen while Ubuntu is still busy starting up, or it can strike just as you start thinking that the problem has sorted itself out and open a website to check what might be causing the problem.

At first I thought that maybe the power supply wasn’t pushing out enough power and that the devices were too much for it to handle, so I systematically began unplugging components but to no avail.

So out came the screwdriver and back into the box I dove, giving everything another good dust-over before removing the Power Supply Unit (PSU) and completely taking that apart, cleaning every bit and piece as I came across it.

Slapping everything back together again and hitting the power button proved to be completely… futile.

Sigh. So the power was still coming and going sporadically so I had to make the call as to whether I thought it the PSU or motherboard which is the problem child. Looking at the board I couldn’t see any problem, no popped capacitors or anything like that and so hopped into my car and drove through to Computer Mania at Somerset Mall where I slapped down R600 and bought a nice and shiny 600W power supply that comes with a giant fan and looks pretty damn spiffy.

Back home I installed the new PSU, booted the machine up and yay, “Seems like that sorted it out” – until the machine shut itself down again just ten minutes later.

So the problem still isn’t solved and my ability to diagnose hardware issues lies in complete tatters. Chantelle keeps urging me just to take it in and have it fixed, but my pride as a man simply won’t allow me to do that.

It’s now a personal challenge for me, and one that is bringing no end of frustration. The question now of course is – should I look at the RAM as being faulty or is it the whole damn motherboard itself?

Decisions, decisions…

Fix a snom 300 VoIP Phone NR Error CodeUnit 17 MAR 2010

We currently use snom 300 VoIP phones here in the office and the other day I was asked to troubleshoot a phone that had all of a sudden stopped working. The error that it was coming up with was NR and every number that you tried to dial would result in a ‘forbidden’ error message showing up on the phone.

Now NR stands for Not Registered in snom language and so logging onto the phone’s web interface configuration utility (simply point your browser to the IP address listed on your phone <- grab it by going to the Information -> IPAdr menu option on the phone), I was able to see from the System Information page that the Identity 1 Status was yielding an authentication error.

The next step was to access the Identity 1 menu option and on loading up the page, I could immediately see that the password field for the Login Information had been cleared, meaning that in order to fix the problem I simply needed to re-enter the secret set on the server for that particular extension.

Easy as pie really.

Fixing a Broken Windows Automatic Update in Windows XP CodeUnit 24 FEB 2010

My old laptop (purchased from my old job when I left the University of Cape Town) is still sporting a pretty ancient copy of Windows XP and unfortunately thanks to the various policies and whatnot Commerce I.T. implements on their roll-out equipment, my particular version of Windows Automatic Update simply didn’t work any more.

Great if you don’t particularly like that “I need you to waste all your Internet cap on update downloads” notifications that seem to pop up all the time, but definitely not so great if you realize those updates are actually pretty damn critical when it comes to your online security!

Now not eager to delve into the bowels of my registry once again, I instead turned to the Internet to locate an application that could fix this particular problem for me… and came across the brilliant little DjLizard (Michael Cooke) creation called Dial-a-Fix.

Now according to the site, “Dial-a-fix is a collection of known fixes gleaned from Microsoft Knowledgebase articles, Microsoft MVPs, and other important support forums” and once you load up the simple .exe (no installation required), you will see that it has indeed been designed to repair problems encountered with SSL/Cryptography, Windows Update, Microsoft Installer and various miscellaneous shell problems. Fixing problems like my buggy Windows Update turned out to be as simple as clicking the main Windows Update checkbox and hitting GO!

Mousing over any of the checkboxes or buttons gives you a full list of what DLLs or services are going to be registered, restarted, etc. and in a nutshell, pretty much explains what Dial-a-Fix does: stops services, installs selected software, registers DLLs, restarts services, and removes several rogue policies.

In other words, a lifesaver application.

Oh, and it is designed to work on most 32-bit versions of Windows XP in case you are wondering.

Download the application and use at own risk here.

Related Link: http://wiki.lunarsoft.net/wiki/Dial-a-fix

Problem: Ubuntu’s Totem Movie Player displaying in Grayscale CodeUnit 22 FEB 2010

The other day I got a nasty surprise on my desktop Karmic Koala Ubuntu installation when all of a sudden, Ubuntu’s default video player Totem Movie Player started showing all my videos in a nasty grayscale mode instead of their usual vibrant colourful selves. Now not having changed any system settings or installed any new applications, I was quite perturbed and scratched around trying to locate a solution to this annoying little problem.

And as it turns out, solving this little conundrum is actually pretty damn simple.

All you need to do is start up a video and while it is playing, go to the Edit -> Preferences menu option and select the Display tab on the resulting dialog box. At the bottom of the display tab you will see four colour balance sliders. Try re-setting these to default and if that doesn’t solve the problem on the already playing video, adjust the Hue and Saturation sliders until you get the picture looking exactly how you want it to.

There you go, problem solved! :)

Icky grayscale

Beautiful colour