Updating the Firmware on HP Color LaserJet CP4525 via FTP

I came across an interesting incident on on our IT service management software (Service-Now) which was a nice change from the usual stuff I come across. The incident was described like this:

“Good afternoon,
Printer xyz is showing the error message ‘Resend Upgrade’. It is a HP Color LaserJet CP4525.
Can you please look into this?”

A quick look on the products support page on the HP website suggested the printer’s firmware needed to be updated.

Normally, something like this would have been passed onto the Desktop Team but I was curious to learn that the firmware could be updated remotely via FTP and wanted to this job to myself. I wanted to take ownership of the task and see it through to resolution myself.

I arranged with the user to put up an ‘out of order’ sign on the printer so no one disturbs it while I’m working on it remotely.

Here’s a look at the firmware version before the update on the printers Web interface:

firmware-before

The instructions on how to update the firmware can be found on the HP’s product support page for the printer. The firmware I downloaded was “20140127 07.160.6”.

Here’s a screenshot of the firmware reflected on the printer’s Web interface after I updated it:

firmware-after

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App In Focus: MoveOnBoot

I was doing some housekeeping on a users (very old) Windows XP machine today and hit a snag when I couldn’t delete a user’s profile folder from the machine – Windows was complaining that NTUSER was being used by another person or program.

cannot_delete_user

That’s when I came across this neat little software called MoveOnBoot.

MoveOnBoot is designed for exactly the kind of situation I was in. As the name suggests, it can move (or delete) files and folders (that are locked by the OS) to a location of your choice when the PC is rebooted. Continue reading

App In Focus: SpaceSniffer

I received a call on the Service Desk today from a user who reported that he only has 145GB free space left on a 500GB hard disk but he only had 170GB worth of data. He was very keen to know why the math didn’t add up.

spacesniffer-before

I used a nifty little program called SpaceSniffer to work out what was taking up all that space. As you can see below the culprits were the hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys files which were taking up 48GB and 64GB disk space respectively.

spacesniffer

For your information, the Hyberfil.sys file is used by the operating system to store data when the computer is Hibernated. This can be deleted simply by turning off the Hibernation feature on Windows. Pagefile.sys is what the computer uses for Virtual Memory when it needs more memory in addition to the physical memory installed. In this particular case the PC had 64GB of physical RAM hence the size of the virtual memory (by default the virtual memory is the same size as the available physical memory in Windows). I was able to reduce the size to a much more acceptable 10GB. Continue reading

Hidden Image-based Backup Feature In Windows 8.1

I briefly expressed my displeasure at Microsoft’s decision to remove the ability to make backup images from within Windows 8.1 in my last post. As it turns out, however, I was mistaken and the feature is indeed available to users, though it’s not where you would expect to find it.

It’s interesting that the image-based backups feature was not available in previous Windows 8.1 builds but has returned in the RTM build. Even more interesting is where it’s located.

In the screenshot below you can see that image-based backup is missing in the Recovery options in Windows 8.1 RTM.

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Instead, it’s hidden in the File History setting in the Control Panel.

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To access it, right-click on the Start button and launch Control Panel. In the search box on the top right hand corner type “File History” and click on the File History setting. Notice the “System Image Backup” link in the lower left hand corner. It works just as it did in Windows 8 with the option to making a backup image and storing it onto an external drive, DVD, or network location.

What I have below is a screenshot of the File History window taken from a previous Windows 8.1 build (a Windows 8.1 Enterprise evaluation downloaded from the Microsoft website) which shows the feature to be missing in the build. Looks like Microsoft had a change of heart at the last minute and decided to add the feature after all.

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APN Settings For Mobile Data Connection

I had two identical queries this week from a cousin and my brother-in-law about having no data connection on their Android phones – a HTC Desire S and Samsung Galaxy S3.

All they needed were the right APN settings for their network operators (T-Mobile and Three) which were easy enough to find on the Web. This inspired me to write this post here with links to the APN settings for some of the major UK network operators for future reference. I thought it might come in handy sometime.

Everything Everywhere (EE)
Vodafone
O2
Three (3)
Virgin
T-Mobile
Orange
Tesco Mobile
GiffGaff

Mouse Without Borders

Having upgraded to Windows 8 recently I found InputDirector, a software KVM solution, doesn’t work as well on the new OS – the cursor disappears from view when moving it into the second monitor. I’ve been really happy with it on Windows 7 until I upgraded.

In my search for an alternative software KVM solution which is compatible with Windows 8 I came across Mouse Without Borders from Microsoft which, unlike some of the other products I’ve come across, is really easy to set up.

Start off with the ‘server’ pc –the computer which has the keyboard and mouse connected directly. Once installed, simply launch the software and click NO on the ‘Let’s get started’ screen.

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This will give you a Security Code and the Computer Name of the ‘server’ computer which you will need later on.

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vSphere Client 5.0 for Windows 8

I upgraded one of my computers to Windows 8 today. It seems the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant had falsely led me to believe that vSphere Client 5.0 was compatible with the new OS, when in fact it wasn’t.

Try as I might, I just couldn’t get it to install and compatibility mode was of no help either. I tried a few other things too but let’s cut the chase and get to the point here.

In my search for a solution I came across a blog post with direct links to a number of vSphere Client installation files. I can confirm the vSphere Client v5.0 Update 2 is compatible with Windows 8.

UPDATE: This is also works with Windows 8.1 RTM

UPDATE: This is also works on WIndows 10 1507, 1511 and 1607

Faulty Graphics Card and HP Printer

Today’s job at hand was my cousin’s Dell Inspiron 530S which had no display on the monitor and his printer, a HP PhotoSmart C4480, which was not printing anything.

The screen was completely blank after turning on the PC, not even the BIOS screen came up. To cut the story short the culprit was the faulty graphics card with the fan not spinning. A good clean and even oiling the fans couldn’t revive it.

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I gave the inside a pretty thorough clean as i always do every time I open up any PC, especially the CPU fan.

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Once reverted to the on-board video the PC kept rebooting in an endless loop at the Vista boot screen which was easily fixed by restoring Vista to an earlier restore point. I had to use my SARDU multiboot repair DVD for that as I wasn’t given the Vista install DVD with the PC. (I mentioned SARDU in a post very briefly a long time back).

Once booted into Vista I tested the printer and sure enough it was feeding the paper through but wasn’t actually printing anything. I headed over to the HP support website and installed an updated firmware as well as a number of critical updates which solved the problem. (I have no idea if it was the firmware or which one of these updates it was that fixed the issue tbh)

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So there you have it. Another happy cousin :)