Acer Chromebase for meetings

The Problem: so you bought a used chromebook or chromebase and you encounter the enterprise enrollment. in other words its asking you for your google credentials but your credentials dont work because your chrome device is managed by the original organization that purchased it..

To return a Chromebase 24 for meetings device to its original (factory) state, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the mouse and keyboard to the device.
  2. Put a paperclip (or pushpin) into the recovery button hole while turning on the device. The recovery button hole is located on the back of the Chromebase device.
  3. Press Ctrl + D.
  4. Press the recovery button with the paperclip again. The device will reboot and the screen will display a red exclamation mark.
  5. Press Ctrl + D. The Chromebase will reboot and start the transition to developer mode. This clears all local data. The deletion takes approximately 10 minutes.
  6. After this process is completed, press the spacebar at the bootup screen.
  7. Press Enter to return to verified mode. The device will reboot and re-enter verified mode.

inside the Acer Chromebase 24

 

this alone won’t likely work, if not, continue:

if you skip this you will get this error: flashromPartialWrite() so read on carefully

you’ll haft to get into the system and remove the rewrite screw. on the Acer Chromebase 24 if a bit difficult to open the case, but very doable. 3 screws at the bottom and then a couple pry tools should do the trick, unlike most laptops, or other all in ones, this particular model is difficult to get in simply because of the rigidity of the plastic and design. lay it on its face, remove the stand, then the 3 screws at the bottom edge, once those are off, its a matter of prying the back off. once this is done, you will see a whole lot of sheet metal covering all the electronics, remove what you can and you’ll find a motherboard and on this motherboard is the rewrite screw, take it off and boot the machine back up.

get yourself into developer mode then type (Ctrl-Alt-F2) to bring up the command prompt then follow the steps below

Type: chronos

Press Enter

Type: sudo su

Space after “sudo”.

Press Enter

Type: vpd -l (lowercase L)

Space after “vpd”.

Once you type vpd -l, this will display the current motherboards information including the motherboards current serial number.

Press Enter

Type: vpd -s “serial_number”=”0000000000X”

Space after “vpd”, Space after “-s”.

The Product S/N will be the Serial Number with the last letter. Make sure the serial number is CAPITAL letters.

Press Enter

Type: vpd -s “Product_S/N”=”0000000000”

Space after “vpd”, Space after “-s”.

The Product S/N will be the Serial Number without the last letter. Make sure the serial number is CAPITAL letters.

Press Enter

If flashromPartialWrite() error displays go back to the Read/Write Copper where you have removed the sticker and re-clean the area with alcohol and try again. Make sure you shut down the chromebook and remove the battery before cleaning.

Type: dump_vpd_log –force

Space after “dump_vpd_log”.

Press Enter

Type: dump_vpd_log –full –stdout

Space after “dump_vpd_log”, Space after “–full”.

Press Enter

You can now type “vpd -l” then Enter to verify that the serial number has changed.

Once the S/N change has been verified

Press F3 + Power

This will reboot the system back to the screen that says, “Chrome OS verification turned off”

Press the Spacebar to re-enable the Chrome OS Verification.

Press Enter to restart the system.

 

adv-entures in video codecs!

Next one up: video codecs that should be obsolete!..

The Problem: you’ve got a video file; avi, mpeg, etc that wont play.

The Solution: your experience WILL vary.

  1. Find what codec was used to encode the video file, to do this.. you can look for the error code that VLC will throw out. or you can download a small little program called G-spot (careful when searching for that) in fact I’ll save you the effort and give you the download link; G-spot download there you go.
  2. Download the actual codec. this part can be fun… or not. in my case I needed the ADV1 codec. which is old and uncommon and generally used for security system and/or CCTV recordings. and of course hard to find. there’s many different developers for codecs so the whole process of searching for them and installing them varies depending on what you need.
ADV1_error

often times no specific error is given for video playback issues. after trying 3 different players, only VLC gave me an error prompt with the information I needed.

a little info about the ADV1 codec for those that are interested; its also known as the Loronix Wavelet codec. Loronix, being the developer, doesnt seem to support the codec any more and as such I was unable to find a download package anywhere on there website. however I did find one single page with a downloadable file. which I’m posting here for convenience.

ADV1 Codec Download: Loronix.Wavelet.codec.v3.0

 

 

toolbars and lots of them

The Problem: toolbars! (see picture) that is all.

Too many toolbars!

The Solution: … simply uninstall

The Backstory: got a call late in the day about a slow running laptop… so I drive out to the clients location, turn on the computer, open a browser window and BAM! …half the screen is literally taken up by toolbars. crazy is what this is!

HP laserjet p2015dn print issues

so your HP printer suddenly stops working.. and you get a blinking indicator light.. if your lucky you may get a little usage out of it by turning it off and on again. but even then it still eventually stops working. and for the rest of us.. it doesn’t work at all.

the HP LaserJet p2015dn

 

The Problem: your printer will not print, you’ve already troubleshooted every possibility you can think of and your suspicious that your HP laserjet p2015dn printer needs a new formatter board.

The Solution: bake your board: other then replacing the board or buying a new printer this is your only viable option.. and even this isn’t full proof.

  • Remove the formatter board and remove the tape near the memory slot (if there). Prop up on four corners and place in a baking pan chips facing up and make sure the bottom of the board does not touch the pan. Preheat regular oven to 350F (177C), place in oven for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool for 30 minutes and put back in printer.

I can vouch for the method above, it worked for me.. there’s a lot of talk about this method in the HP support forums and a lot of users are seeing success to varying degrees (pun intended) I’m adding the how-to here for my own reference and hopefully for someone else to stumble upon.

Magic Mouse scroll not working

I think we’ve all ran into this one a time or two, you’re mouse cant scroll or can only scroll one direction. or it just “kinda” scrolls.. whatever the scenario. its not working right. on a lot of older mice this isn’t a big problem… clean it. but this task isn’t always so easy.

The Problem: your mighty mouse (not to be confused with the newer magic mouse, (see the pic below) will no longer scroll.. sometimes it will only scroll one direction, up, down, etc

the mighty mouse

The Solution: hold your mighty mouse upside down and press the scroll ball against the palm of your hand (preferably against a cloth)  and move your mouse in a circular motion. after a minute or two you should be able to scroll normally.. this is a pretty common problem and apart from taking your mouse apart, this is the easiest, fastest solution… that is of course if it works for you.