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Defrag: High CPU Usage, Audio Interrupt, Sharing Printers and Files

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Microsoft tech troubleshooter extraordinaire Gov Maharaj and I help walk you through troubleshooting solutions to your tech support problems. If you have a problem you want to send us, you can use the Problem Step Recorder in Windows 7 (see this for details on how) and send us the zip file to DefragShow@microsoft.com. We will also be checking comments for problems, but the email address will let us contact you if needed.

[00:11] - Forever Alone Puffer Fish [link]
[00:33] - Boot Config Data Editor using 45% of CPU  
[04:00] - Audio interface not working correctly with Line 6 USB device plugged in 
[06:15] - Norton Ghost 15 uninstall failed. 
[10:50] - Mouse Without Borders getting error. [link] (new version)
[12:05] - Internet doesn't connect until IE10 runs. 
[13:35] - Using Windows backup tools for backups.
[16:03] - Sharing printers and documents between Vista and Win8. 
[19:16] - Pick of the Week: 3D printed dress and call for 3D printer questions. [link]

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  • RonnieCornyRonnieCorny

    hi

    love the show... regarding the audio interface issue, it's probably caused by USB audio device becoming default audio... I have a similar occurrence with some of my other USB audio controllers changing default audio devices in windows and thus "disabling" on-board devices..

    - ron

  • @RonnieCorny: Default device: good point/good chance that is the case. It probably comes down to the manufacturer/motherboard but I'd love to be able to select output method or even lock it so for example you don't have to unplug headphones to turn the system speakers on.

    At some level this must be possible because Skype always rings on system speakers even though the call audio comes through my headset if my headset is attached I'd rather it ring though it since I talk to people overseas and a very loud ring at 4am isn't very pleasant. Would be a nice setting to have something like headphones always work and still be able to toggle on and off speakers (my headset attaches to the  back of my computer so it is is a pain to switch output methods). I don't recall seeing that anywhere in system settings (might just be something MS has no control over).

  • evildictaitorevildictait​or Devil's advocate

    Let's see if we can get a proper Microsoft response to a question asked in this thread in the Coffeehouse.

    Basically the premise is this:

    Suppose you are an application developer for a point-of-sale type Windows Store App, and you want to integrate the ability for a customer with a barcode scanner to be able to use it. In this scenario the developer of the app is not the manufacturer of the barcode scanner, and the barcode scanner is pretty old and isn't built with a Windows8-app style manifest.

    Is it possible, and if so, how is it possible for a Windows RT device to communicate with the barcode scanner?

    Here's some stuff we've already thought of (all of which have reasons why they are bad).

    1. We could run a desktop app that does the heavy lifting and get the app to talk to it, but this violates the Windows Store Guidelines (3.1).

    2. We could write drivers that expose the device to the app, or even try pushing out a manifest to an existing driver via WinQual but since we're not the manufacturer of the device, this isn't ideal.

    3. We could sideload the app, but that requires an Enterprise licence, or we could even use Windows Intune to sideload, but that requires a regular subscription, and is a bit of an overkill just in order to get a point-of-sale app to talk to a barcode scanner.

    So anyway, is there an elegant solution to being able to get a non-enterprise non-Intune Windows RT app to talk to an improperly manifested non Windows-8 compliant device for application developers that don't make the device (and thus can't change the driver easily) in a way that doesn't violate the Windows App Store guidelines?

  • RonnieCornyRonnieCorny

    @evildictator: couldn't you use the in-built camera of the RT device to "scan" the barcode? I mean, I know the Surface's cameras aren't the highest resolution, but I think they are reasonably sharp to distinguish standard barcodes...

    just a thought...

    - ron

  • evildictaitorevildictait​or Devil's advocate

    @evildictator: couldn't you use the in-built camera of the RT device to "scan" the barcode? I mean, I know the Surface's cameras aren't the highest resolution, but I think they are reasonably sharp to distinguish standard barcodes...

    just a thought...

    - ron

    We thought of that too, but it still doesn't fix the problem that the point-of-sale retailer has a barcode scanner and would like to use that to scan barcodes, instead of picking up the entire Windows RT device and waving it over the product.

  • Dave Williamsondavewill here birdie birdie, get in my belly!

    @RonnieCorny: additionally the camera scanning route is nowhere near the speed and accuracy of a traditional barcode scanner.

  • re: the guitar thingie

    seems like a normal external soundcard, like the ones they add to ultra high end headphones.

  • dan_tdtower Surface Fan

    I was kind of hoping you'd have taped a show four days earlier. Go back and look at the bing image. First thing I did was think of you guys.

    Also, reminder to the person with the Vista->Win7 share issues, this is the last day to get the cheap upgrade to Win8. Printer sharing in Win8 seems to work so much better.

  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    @evildictaitor: I used to work at a company that did barcode hardware and software and granted it's been many years and things have changed, but all the barcode scanners I worked with, like the Symbol 2208, were simply keyboards that keyed nearly instantly. They connected to the keyboard interface and would plug whatever numbers translated from the barcode right into any text field or notepad. 

    So in that respect an old scanner should work okay on a device if it has an old keyboard port. For something like Surface with WinRT, you won't have that port so you have to find another way to connect it. In that case I'd look at a Bluetooth barcode scanner. 

    It looks like Symbol's LS3578-FZ Bluetooth scanner would work. If that device were paired with Surface, it should work like a wireless Bluetooth keyboard, sending the data from the barcode label right to the Surface. Of course, I'd have to test that to be sure, but that's the route I would look at. 

    I just talked to someone named Joe at Symbol Motorola and he confirmed a Bluetooth scanner should work fine with Surface, though he hadn't tested it. If you have more questions you can call Symbol at 1.800.653.5350 and reference case #2773366.  

    Although the camera on Surface should work fine to scan a barcode, it's just not the same as a good CCD scanner for a high volume production.  

    Let me know if there's anything else I can help with. 

  • evildictaitorevildictait​or Devil's advocate

    Thanks Larry. I've passed the message on, and we'll see what happens.

    Just for completeness, would it be possible for you to forward the question to someone on the devices team or Windows team internally at MS to see if they have a creative solution that doesn't require buying new hardware? It'd be nice to get a canonical "do it this way" or "it can't be done", just for completeness if nothing else.

  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    @evildictaitor: Can you send me the exact hardware you're trying to use? 

  • I'm that unlucky Vladimir with the sound card problem.

    "3000 words later..."
    These are important words Smiley, but, anyway, probably I had to write a summary.

    Speaking of the problem, I guess I found a "solution". These professional external audio interfaces, in order to minimize the latency while you're playing a musical instrument (a guitar, in my case), are using ASIO, bypassing the Windows sound sub-system. And, since usually they connect to a PC by using USB, I started to search for a problem thinking about USB ports.

    Later, I noticed that in power options (USB settings), there's something related to a possibility to suspend USB ports. Of course, while using external audio interfaces, we want to avoid any interrupts in the path of the signal. So, I disabled it, but it didn't help. Then, I started to try different USB ports, since as far as I know, there might be problems related to providing all needed power by USB ports to connected devices (depends on a motherboard or a power supply). And fortunately, I found a USB port that allows me to use the external audio interface without killing the on-board audio. So, each time before I'm going to use the external audio interface, I switch the power plan to the "High performance", and connect the external audio interface to that "good" USB port.

    I guess a USB hub with its own power supply can also solve this problem, but in the case when we want to remove any unneeded stuff from the path of the signal, I don't think that this is the "ideal" solution.

    Also, in my email, I mentioned that everything was fine on Windows 7, and this problem started to occur only when I switched to Windows 8.

    Larry, I also was thinking to write an email directly to Line 6, but I wrote to "Microsoft", because I have the same hardware, the same software, the same software versions and the same drivers that I had on Windows 7. I guess it's obvious that something was changed in Windows 8.

    And I had a question in my email that wasn't answered here: How to correctly reboot the sound sub-system? Imagine, for some reason (bad drivers, software; it doesn't actually matter) it stopped working. How can I bring it back (without rebooting the OS (Windows 8))?

  • evildictaitorevildictait​or Devil's advocate

    @Larry:

    "Our devices use the FTDI VCP drivers (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm ).   The most common device we target is the E-Seek M250 (http://www.e-seek.com/product_m250.asp ). "

  • Andrew Richardswindev Andrew Richards

    @evildictaitor: Te main issue you are going to have is the lack of Windows RT drivers - as only a select few vendors are allowed to write them.  If the hardware is usable via an in-box keyboard driver (a HID driver), you'll be OK, otherwise, you'll be out of luck.

  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    @_HaVok_: You're right, important words. I have to trim for the show though. Thanks for the update on fix. I have the problem you mention with my Line 6 Guitar Port on Windows 7. I'm on the phone with Line 6 right now. Come to think of it, I've been plugging into a USB hub with that device, I'm going to try plugging right into the MB tonight. 

    Great piece of hardware though. I'm so happy with it I've gotten rid of racks of effects since using it. 

  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    @_HaVok_: Per Chad Beeder from Defrag Tools: To "reboot" the audio subsystem you would just restart the "Windows Audio" service from the Services control panel. If you are really hardcore you could also restart the "Windows Audio Endpoint Builder" service.

  • evildictaitorevildictait​or Devil's advocate

    @WinDev:

    We are not targeting ARM devices.  We are targeting Intel (which as we understand it is the only way to do what I mentioned before, which is to write a desktop app to proxy communications to the device).  So that's not an issue.  Just talking to a virtual serial port on an Intel device.

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