Splwow64.exe error (The program cant start because dll is missing from your computer)

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I do not know how many of you have ever encountered this error.  I’ve started facing this error quite frequently. This started happening when we had installed Xerox Workcentre 5890 machines in our office. The driver of this machine has been causing some issues on some of the 32 bit workstations. I guess this happens to some other drivers too ( I mean of other manufacturers). But as always there is a solution to every technical issue.

Please follow the steps below to sort out the issue:

  1. Click Start and type in regedit and press Enter. Alternatively press Windows button and R key at the same time and this opens the Run command. Type in regedit and press Enter.
  2. Scroll down to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers
  3. When we expand the Drivers key, we should find the key Version-3.
  4. The sub-keys after this should contain the printer driver configuration information. Delete all the sub-keys that comes under it. At least delete the key that contains the name of the Printer model that is causing issues.
  5. Press Windows button and R key and press Enter. Type in “cmd” and press enter. This would open the command prompt window.
  6. Type in the command net stop spooler . Please note that this is equal to going to Service from Control Panel and stopping the print spooler service.
  7. Navigate to “C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\printers\” and delete files in this folder, if there are any. Normally you might not find files in there, but if there are any, delete them. The folder is so significant because this is where the print spooler stores print files.
  8. Navigate to “C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\x64\3” and delete all the files and sub-folders in here.
  9. Go to the command prompt window again and type in the command net start spooler or just right click on Print Spooler and press Start.

This should solve the issue once and for all.

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Add 32-bit drivers on 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2

Cannot add 32 bit print drivers on Windows Server 2008 R2

This has been one of the most difficult issues that I have dealt with having been an administrator myself. Windows Server 2008 R2 is such a treat to have in one’s organization. But it starts to become a pain when you decide to make it your print server. Wait! Do not ditch your plans to upgrade you print server OS yet.  There is a work around, a very simple one though. But this is being done in different ways according to how stringent are your company’s security policies.

The scenario that I’m talking about here is when each time you try to add a 32 bit driver to your server, the server tries adding the printer driver and in the final stage it comes with a pop up window asking for “i386” files.

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It certainly is looking for ntprint.inf files without which it cannot install the 32 bit drivers. All the happiness that I had of installing this OS had all gone down the drain, the moment I saw this pop up. I encountered this issue when we were trying to add the printer driver for a Xerox WorkCentre 5890 machine that we had in our work premises (I’m sure that you don’t encounter such issues with all the printer drivers).

I had gone through a lot of posts which had suggested that the 32 bit driver be added to a 32 bit workstation in the network and then have it pushed to the server. But this scenario was not going to work in my case because our organization had group policies enabled whereby sharing or pushing files from any workstation to another workstation or server was just out of the question. So I really had to look for a workaround.

That’s when I read somewhere in a Microsoft Technet blog where a lad had written a very simple method when a dozen of others had talked about a lot of other tricks and techniques. The trick is a simple one. On one of the 32 bit Windows 7 or Windows Vista workstations that you have in your network, copy the folder starting with the name “ntprint.inf_xxxxx” from the location C:\Windows\system32\DriverStore\FileRepository\ntptint.inf_xxxxx to any location of the server (Desktop of the server would be fine too) where you are trying to isntall the 32 bit printer driver. Once done, run the “Add Driver” again. The moment it asks for the i386 thingy, just click on “Browse” and point it to the location on the desktop where the folder was copied.

Alternatively if your company security policies allow you to share a folder from a workstation, you needn’t even copy these files to the server. You can just copy them to a different location on the same workstation and share it there. Go back to the server and reach the point where it asks for the ntprint.inf files and point it to this shared location. I haven’t tried this since our group policies never entertained such tricks.

There you go!! It installs cleanly without any hassle.

After having found this work around I had taken up a project whereby every branch server in our network had to be upgraded to Windows Server 2008 R2 and boy didn’t I have a great time? Yes, I did. Indeed!!

Install Cyanogenmod on your Android Device

I have always looked for an answer to this question myself. A few years back, writing on how to have Cyanogenmod installed on your Android device would have been a very difficult thing to do. Be it Samsung or HTC or any other Android device, the first thing that rings alarm bells on every users’ minds would be voiding the warranty of their devices by doing so. Ok, so for all those users (new ones especially) what is Cyanogenmod? According to Wikipedia, “CyanogenMod is an open source replacement distribution for smartphones and tablet computers based on the Android mobile operating system. It is developed as free and open source software based on the official releases of Android by Google, with added original and third-party code”. You can read more about this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanogenmod .

In short, Cyanogenmod is not the normal thing that you see on your Android devices when you purchase it. Cyanogenmod according to me is the original Android with a bit of  tweaks by the developers. What difference does it have with that of the normal phones? Well this is the tricky part. Devices like Samsung, HTC or LG all come pre-loaded with their custom user interfaces and features. For examples features like S-Pen, S-View etc in Samsung and Beats Audio, Blinkfeed with HTC One all are customized by the manufacturers themselves. Howerver Cyanogenmod will be a clean and stripped down version, say Pure Android, but without any of those luxuries provided by the manufacturers. So the question will be why in the hell are we installing Cyanogenmod on these brand new devices. There are some techie freaks who simply love Cyanogenmod and care less about the bloatware that the manufacturers add to their phones which gradually reduces the performance of the devices over time. Cyanogenmod helps particularly for older devices. Devices such as Samsung Galaxy SII or any other device which according to their manufacturers cannot be upgraded to any of the lastest Android versions. This is probably because the hardware of these phones would have gotten outdated and will not run all the extra features that the manufacturer would want to add.

I have a very good example of such an instance. Samsung Galaxy SII , the phone that really changed the way that consumers looked at Samsung phones. I bought this phone when it was the best phone in the world. It was such a hot product in the market. But 2 years after it’s launch, Samsung closed the doors on it saying that it’s hardware couldn’t take any more of the Android updates because of the new features that were being included by Samsung having Galaxy SIII in mind. This really saddened all those hardcorde SII fans, but this was always going to happen. The previous update, Android 4.1.2, had started taking a heavy toll on my SII device. It had started getting painfully slow. This is when I decided to purchase a better phone. An year later, Cyanogenmod announced themselves as a new company with an app in the Play Store to enable installation of Cyanogenmod on devices that it supported. It longer required rooting of your device or any other circus that needed to be performed to have a taste of Cyanogenmod. I downloaded the app successfully installed Android 4.2.2 on my SII and it’s so smooth and fast now.

Cyanogenmod, according to me, fires a new life into the older phones whom their own makers have left to rot. Cyanogenmod too have a  list of devices that they support for which developments are going on. If you have an old warhorse whom you don’t want to or don’t feel like parting with yet,then I would welcome you to the world of Cyanogenmod!

While some may not be of my opinion, I’m not a techie freak or an expert in the world of Android and the devices that it supports, I’m of the opinion that our older devices still have a chance. So let’s breathe a new life into them.

PS: The cyanogenmod is no longer available in the Play Store. You can always go back to http://beta.download.cyanogenmod.org/install and follow the instructions given here.

How to get to BIOS Setup on Lenovo Z400 Laptop

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I had looked for an answer to this question in many blogs and forums but all of them gave very generic answers. It was only very late that an idea struck me. Why not check the manual? Voila! I got the answer.

Before we start to do anything, make sure that the laptop is turned off. Press the Novo button (the button right next to the AC power adapter jack) and the laptop turns on with a few options out of which BIOS Setup is one.

If you still have not figured out where this button is, here is the link to the manual.

http://www.lenovo.com/shop/americas/content/user_guides/z_ug_en.pd

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Error: The selected driver cannot be deleted. The specified printer is currently in use

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For 64 bit machines, please follow the steps below

  1. Log in as Administrator and then remove the printer with the corrupt driver from “Devices and Printers”
  2. Open Services, “services.msc” and stop the print spooler.
  3. In registry, “regedit”, open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Print Processors\
  4. Rename all Print Processors that are listed. Rename all entries like Winprint to Winprint.old, Hpcpp107 to Hpcpp107.old, and so on.
  5. Start the print spooler.
  6. Remove/delete the driver in Print Management MMC.
  7. Reopen registry location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Print Processors\
  8. Rename all Print Processors back from Winprint.old to Winprint, Hpcpp107.old to Hpcpp107, and so on.
  9. Restart print spooler.
  10. Try adding the printer again.
  11. Test printing.

For 32 bit machines, please follow the steps above except for step 3 and 7\

3. In registry, “regdit”, open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\ Windows NT x86\Print Processors\

7. Reopen registry location, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Print Processors\

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Upgrading RAM on a Lenovo Ideapad Z400

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Recently I had decided to upgrade the RAM on my Lenovo Z400 from 6 GB to 16 GB. But after going through many videos and the Hardware Maintenance Manual (HMM) of this model, I figured out that this is one of the most trickiest laptops I have worked on. If any of you have a similar model or a Z500 for that matter, you may follow the instructions given on the HMM and also the steps below. The number of screws and the way to remove the base cover looked all very funny to me, honestly. So here are the steps.

1. Remove the AC adapter
2. Remove the keyboard (see page 33 of the HMM)
Please be very careful when removing the keyboard as the underlying cables are locked tight into the connectors. Make sure that you lift the lock and then remove both the cables.
3. Remove the Optical Drive (see page 36 of the HMM)
4. Remove the base Cover (see page 39 of the HMM)
When removing the base cover, please note that the base cover is locked to the laptop apart from having screws. One needs to be very careful while removing the base cover from one end so that he/she does not end up applying brute force and hence break the base cover. Be patient!
5. Remove the Battery Pack (see page 44 of the HMM)

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Please download the HMM from the link below.

Hardware Maintenance Manual for Ideapad Z & P series

The manual has clear illustrations on how to remove each part and specifically for each model.  By following the steps you will also be able to upgrade or change the Hard Disk on the laptop too!

Please note that for both Z400 and Z400 Touch the methods are different. Please read through the manaul carefully

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