can’t type your password at the “Welcome” screen in XP

The Problem: so you’ve logged out of your windows XP computer to find that when you try to log back into your account you cant type your password.

According to Microsoft support this problem may occur if you have installed any of the updates that are described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

884883  Multiple versions of Comctl32.dll may cause both Windows XP style and Windows Classic style windows to appear in Windows XP
  MS06-015: Vulnerability in Windows Explorer could lead to remote code execution
  MS05-016: Vulnerability in Windows Shell that could allow remote code execution
  MS06-045: Vulnerability in Windows Explorer could allow remote code execution
  MS05-049: Vulnerabilities in the Windows shell could allow for remote code execution
  MS06-057: Vulnerability in Windows Explorer could allow remote code execution

The Solution: not necessarily a fix but I did find this work-around that seems to work, use the classic logon screen to log on. follow these steps:

  1. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL two times while the Welcome screen is displayed. For example, press all three keys at the same time, release all three keys, and then press the three keys again.
  2. Type your account name in the User name box.
  3. Type your password in the Password box.
  4. Click OK.

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.

WordPress, Godaddy and forwarded domains

If you’re like me then you do a lot of WordPress work, creating databases, installing and/or customizing wordpress themes, plugins and a host of related duties. that being said, once in a while you run into the occasional “not-so-well-documented” installation problem….

The Scenario: you already have a WordPress blog up and running with a large number of posts made by a client. They decide they want a different domain name.. you do the most practical thing by forwarding the new domain to the old blog. problem solved right?

The Problem: your new domain name forwards to your old blog but the masking is all wrong. so you go to your site using and it works with correct domain listed in the address bar but once you click on a link to a specific post or page it shows your old domain.

The Solution: to do this right, you must have a deluxe hosting plan with Godaddy to properly forward a domain.. and just to be clear, its not technically forwarding as its typically understood to be. Godaddy calls this domain aliasing. and you must have this correct. the problem here may look like its related to a Godaddy setting somewhere but its not. the solution actually resides within WordPress.

be extra careful with the site address field, do you're homework before adjusting

once you install WordPress it remembers its location despite the updated domain alias. to fix this simply go to your WordPress settings under the general section and update the “site address (URL)” section to the new domain. be very very careful with this setting. you could be making more work for yourself if your problem is different then what I’ve described above. has the complete how to on this.. which in my case wasn’t applicable for reasons I’m not entirely clear about but presumably because my URL update was in response to my aliased domain.

Cant log out of google on iphone

The Problem: so you’ve noticed that when you try to log out of your google account through your iphone, nothing happens. no error message, nothing. restarting doesn’t help and neither does clearing your phones history.

The Solution: go to settings, then to swipe down to safari, and clear your history and cookies/data from here. this will fix your problem.

iphone safari settings screen

click "Clear Cookies and Data" to fix your log out problem

Additional Info: there’s some confusion when it comes to internet history so here’s a brief explanation of the terminology;

  1. cookies: files which are used by websites to determine things like whether you’re logged in or not and as who.
  2. history: list of visited pages (which are used to suggest website to visit when you’re typing on the navigation bar/web-address bar)
  3. files/data: this is used by your browser in case you’re loading a page from an earlier session to save time.

Sonic Focus Driver

The Problem: a pop up at startup notifies the user that “Sonic Focus drivers must be loaded for this application to work” and your audio may or may not be working. also noteworthy is that this issue seems to be caused by using windows update to update the audio driver, specifically; “IDT High Definition Audio Codec”. avoid/hide this one if you can.

A Sonic Focus dialog box telling you something you don't want to hear.

The Solution:

1. Go to your system drive, typically your “C” drive
2. Go to Program Files
3. Go to SigmaTel folder
4. You should see an Install Shield Wizard, install it.

Alternative Fix: not necessarily a fix but it will at least get rid of the annoying pop-up.

press Start -> Run, and type “msconfig” in the command box. this will open the System Configuration Utility window.

Click on the “Startup” tab

Find IntelAudioStudio in the Item list.

Clear the checkbox.

Additional Information: check out the intel forums on this exact issue.. it will cover much of what I’ve said here with some additional ideas.. but I can only vouch for what I’ve written here as being something that worked for me, enjoy.