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Tag Archives: XP

Recycle Bin is corrupted on Windows XP

March 16th, 2011. Published under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I fixed this today using a bit of info I found on here. Google-fu will turn up a lot of different suggestions. Even the Kelly’s Korner registry file failed to work for this one. Once we did see the “The Recycle Bin on c:\ is corrupted. Do you want to empty the Recycle Bin for this drive?” error.

Basically, you make sure you have “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” UN-checked in Explorer, which you find by clicking Tools -> Folder Options -> View tab from an Explorer window. Then you’ll be able to see the hidden “RECYCLER” folder on the root of each drive.

If you rename the RECYCLER folder on the drive that has a corrupted Recycle Bin, then delete something on that same drive, Windows will create a new RECYCLER folder and the problem will be resolved.

I suggest re-checking “Hide protected operating system files” in Explorer when you are done.

My Computer does not show CD or DVD drive in Windows XP

October 14th, 2010. Published under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I have seen this a few times in recent months, so it is worth documenting. The CD or DVD drive does not show up in My Computer, and in the Device Manager it is showing a warning (yellow circle with black exclamation point in it). The description of the warning states something about the drivers being installed but the device is not present, when the device is most certainly present.

The fix is a registry hack. Be sure to export this key before making deletions, in case things go awry. The key to navigate to is:


Delete the following values in the right pane.  Note that both values may not exist.

  • UpperFilters
  • LowerFilters

Restart the computer and your drive letter should return.

CD / DVD drive missing / not recognized by Windows

March 3rd, 2010. Published under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Recently an associate came across this issue, where a Windows XP laptop was not showing a drive letter for the DVD drive. The drive was obviously powered since it would open when the eject button was pressed. In Device Manager, the drive was showing the yellow exclamation point symbol for a device that had a driver issue. The usual action of deleting the device in Device Manager and restarting did not change this; it just came back with the yellow exclamation mark.

Googling for this issue let to several forum posts where the solution was a quick deletion of two values in the registry. The solution, which works for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, can be found at the Microsoft Support site.

A quick reboot after the registry deletions fixed the issue on this laptop.

Disable ctfmon.exe in Windows

May 14th, 2009. Published under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Windows LogoJust unchecking the selection for ctfmon.exe in a program like Windows Startup Inspector or Autoruns doesn’t stop it from starting itself up again. Sure, you can block it with Group Policy, but that is a little heavy-handed.

You can disable it in XP by going into the Regional and Language Options in the Control Panel, choose the Languages tab, and click the Details button in the “Text services and input languages section”. In the dialog that pops up, make sure in the “Installed services” section you have only your default keyboard layout. If there are speech services installed, select them and click Remove. Then click the Advanced tab and check the box for “Turn off advanced text services”.

In Vista, go to the Control Panel, and choose “Change keyboard or other input methods” in the “Regional and Language Options” section. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click the “Change keyboards” button. On the “Text Services and Input Languages” dialog, General tab, make sure in the “Installed services” section you have only your default keyboard layout. If there are speech services installed, select them and click Remove. If you find it still running after restarting Vista, you may have to run msconfig and uncheck the ctfmon.exe selection on the Startup tab.

Remote Desktop (Server) in Windows XP Home Edition

November 14th, 2008. Published under Uncategorized. No Comments.

The folks over at My Digital Life have a blog post that explains how to install the necessary files for Terminal Services and trick the OS so Windows XP Home Edition will allow incoming Remote Desktop sessions.  Frankly, the lack of Remote Desktop in Home edition is the biggest drawback to this version of XP.  Still, I’m a huge fan and pretty much an everyday user of UltraVNC, but that isn’t as easy to set up for non-technical persons like the built-in Remote Desktop application.  Anyway, go check out the article.

Bad USB cable knocks out other USB devices

July 3rd, 2008. Published under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Here’s a lesson learned that took a few hours.  Just last week, someone asked me to help them with their iPhone suddenly not synching their Outlook info.  I confirmed this was actually working previously.  When plugging in the iPhone, Windows XP gives the standard “USB Device not recognized” error message balloon.  Hmm, ok, let’s begin troubleshooting.

I install iTunes and restart.  No go.  I uninstall iTunes, restart, reinstall iTunes, restart.  No go.

Someone else has an iPhone in the office, so let’s see if the first iPhone works with the other computer.  Yes, it does, so the iPhone is OK.  Let’s try this other person’s iPhone USB cable on the computer giving the error.  No, it doesn’t work either, so the USB cable is OK.

Its starting to look like a USB issue, so I pull out my Cruzer Titanium USB thumb drive.  Ah ha!  The thumb drive fails, so there is definitely a USB issue here.  I try the thumb drive and the iPhone in different USB ports.  No go.  I download the latest Intel chipset drivers, pull out all USB connections (there was also an HP LaserJet 3050 All-in-one plugged in), and restart.  After logging in, I plug in the iPhone.  It’s recognized – bingo!  I plug in my thumb drive and it is also recognized.  OK, at this point I’m thinking there was a corrupted USB driver and the issue is gone.  I plug in the USB cable for the HP LaserJet 3050 again and send a test print.  Test print works.

OK, let’s restart one more time to make sure everything is going to work after I walk away.  Unplug the iPhone and put my thumb drive back in my pocket.  Restart.  Plug in iPhone.  USB device not recognized.  What?  But it all just worked fine?!??!

Try my thumb drive again.  No go.  Send a test print.  Test print comes out fine, so the printer is still working.  What the heck is going on here?  I’m two hours into this by now (iTunes installs were slow and restart and logging in isn’t the fastest thing either), and I’m still scratching my head.  I unplug the printer again, and the iPhone and thumb drive work!  I plug in the printer again and the test print works, but the iPhone and thumb drive do not.

Then I notice the USB cable for the LaserJet was rather stretched, since the printer was somewhat far from the comptuer.  The cable didn’t touch the floor anywhere, so coming out of the computer the cable was bent about 90 degrees.  Could it be a bad cable?  I grab another USB cable and swap.  Test page prints fine AND the iPhone and thumb drive work as well!  Bingo.  This is the first time I have ever seen a bad USB cable actually work for the perhiperal it is plugged into but make all other USB devices on the computer fail.

I just hope this post saves someone else from 2.5 hours of frustration.