Wednesday, October 17, 2012

[SOLVED] Windows 7 Tiles View Missing

Windows Explorer tile view

Problem

After fixing my computer that lagging and cpu usage up and down, I noticed that view inside Windows Explorer got changed. The difference clearly noticeable especially on 'Computer' folder. Usually the folder shows the amount of free space of each partition. But it's gone. Turns out the problem is the folder view mode is no longer 'Tile' view as usual, but it changed to 'Extended Tile' view and 'Tile' view option was missing.

I like the 'Tile' view since I can monitor free space on the hard drive easily by displaying graphs, especially which partition contains less or more data. My initial attempt to bring back the 'Tile' view is 'Restore Defaults' at every tab under Folder and search options. Still, the 'Tile' view didn't show up.


Solution

Finally I found a very easy solution on SevenForums.com. Go to this page, download the number "1. To Restore Default Folder Templates for All Folders". It was a bat file, then run it. Immediately after the bat finished running, I checked the view option inside Windows Explorer and voila! The 'Tile' view successfully restored. Read More...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Windows 7 Lagging, CPU Usage Up and Down

Problem and Troubleshooting

Yesterday, my lovely computer running on Windows 7 acted very strange. I noticed that hard drive led indicator turns on and off in persistently since booting. I felt there must be something wrong. After the desktop completely loaded, longer time than usual, the effect became more clear. Mouse move, page scrolling was lagging. My first assumption, it was infected by virus. So I scan with installed AVG antivirus and Windows Defender. The scanning itself took a really long time, and no virus found.

My assumption then changed. If the two antivirus found nothing, the problem must be something else, it could be a hardware issue :( As usual, to identify any problem, I went to Event Viewer. In the Event Logs - System, there were hundreds of error messages saying "The device, \Device\Harddisk0\DR0, has a bad block." OMG and bingo!

Immediately I ran scandisk for all partition in the hard drive and restart the computer. Scandisk usually will solve "light" hard drive errors. Unfortunately, even after scanning twice, I was not lucky. The problem was intact.

Solution

So, Google help me finding some forum with people having some problem. It seems likely that my hard disk got bad sector or similar. People in a forum suggest to scan with hard disk diagnostic tool, provided by hard disk manufacture. Since my hard disk is Seagate ST3500418AS, so the diagnostic tool must be available in Seagate web page. Short story, Seagate has a diagnostic tool called SeaTools. For Windows, there are two versions; DOS mode and Windows mode. The tool is packed in bootable CD image, so you need to burn it to blank CD. Since I didn't have any blank CD, luckily I found a way to install SeaTools to USB flash drive.
Google "install seatools on usb" to find a bundle of SeaTools image and utility to make a bootable USB. The instruction how to install SeaTools on USB usually available at the web sharing it.

Short story (again), before running SeaTools from the USB, I have to make backup of the broken hard drive just in case SeaTools can cause data lost. Although I didn't backup all the data, the backup process took a half day with hard disk in such condition. I also suggest you strongly to make backup of your data first.

After backup, it's time for SeaTools to work. Insert the bootable USB drive, SeaTools will loading, select the target drive and do Basic test. If basic test fail, go with Long test. On my 500 GB drive, it took around one and half hour to complete scanning and 2 errors found. The repairing process itself  ran "semi automatically", just click repair, Ok, etc. After finally the scanning and repairing finished, I restarted the computer, and the problem had gone. yay!

TL;DR

CPU usage up and down, computer lagging it turns out a hard drive problem. Install a hard drive diagnostic tool to USB drive, make backup of data, run the diagnostic tool. Problem solved.
Read More...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shut Down Process Explained


I always wonder what is my computer doing when it takes long time to shut down? Incidentally I found a brief good explanation on reddit.

Just in case you're too lazy to click the link, I copied down the answer here:

The computer does many things when you shut down. This post is going to cover as many as I can think of.

One of the simplest and most important has to do with memory. The computer has to insure that anything that needs to be written to disk, is written to disk. If you don't do this, you could end up with corrupt or invalid files. If you want more detail than that, you're going to have to take a few years of computer science at a college level.

Read More...

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