Cannot unhide systems files under Windows 2000, XP, 2003 or Vista

System Requirements:

  • Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista

The Problem:

When attempting to show hidden files in the Windows Folder Options settings window, the bivariate “So not show hidden files and folders” / “Show hidden files and folders” radio buttons do not have a pre-selected value.

Optionless Radio Buttons

No matter which of the options you chose your system will not display hidden files through Windows Explorer, and will not save the “Show hidden files and folders” setting.

More Info:

This is invariably caused by a virus infection or spyware such as (but by no means exclusive to) W32/DKR.worm.

You need to ensure that you have fully disinfected your system using AntiVirus and AntiSpyware software before making the changes to restore the functionality of the Folder Options applet. Otherwise you are frankly wasting your time by troubleshooting the problem.

 

Step 1: Why does it do it?

The virus will have modified the default property value of the registry flag responsible for specifying your preference. While Windows Explorer expects to be able to set a DWORD type for the value, the Virus will have changed the registry type to a Reg_SZ, meaning that the system is unable to read to or write to the value – hence you are unable to save your preference change after you have removed the virus from your system.

Note: If you have not removed the virus from your system then there is good reason to believe that the virus itself is preventing you from making any such that so as to prevent its own demise.

Open regedit and navigate to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

Incorrect (Left) : Correct (Right)

Delete the REG_SZ named Hidden, you do not need to manually recreate the DWORD. Don’t celebrate yet, follow step 2 BEFORE you succumb to the spleen bursting need that you now have to view your hidden files. Otherwise you will be doing step 1 again.

 

Step 2: Repairing the Explorer Default Flag Associations

The virus really did not want you to view hidden files on the PC, so in addition to preventing you from changing the setting, it also ensured that should you attempt to fix the problem, Explorer would simply break the setting itself – thus ensuring that there is no way that Windows Explorer is going to show you hidden files.

Navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden\SHOWALL

Fix Explorer

Note the presence of the REG_SZ Checked value, this should be a DWORD value. Its job is to tell the Explorer form what to do when someone selects the Show hidden files and folders option, and currently it is being told to write a string value, not a DWORD.

Delete the CheckedValue REG_SZ, create a similarly named DWORD and set its value to equal 1 as shown in the image below.

Fixed Values

You can now view your hidden files and folders.

Error: “Drivers have NOT been updated. Compatible hardware not found. <>” when installing Hauppauge WinTV NOVA-T-500

System Requirements:

  • Windows 2000, XP, Vista
  • Hauppauge WinTV NOVA-T-500

The Problem:

It is highly possible that this error can be seen on other Hauppauge cards aside from my experience with the NOVA-T-500.

I just took delivery of what has turned out to be a rather disastrous eBuyer order, one of the products was a WinTV NOVA-T-500. If you follow the quick start guide (or even if you don’t) you may wind up being presented with the following error message:

Drivers have NOT been updated. Compatible hardware not found. <<click to exit>>

This happens if you use the CD to install from, download the latest driver package or try to use Windows Update as a means to save you from yourself.

Installer Error Screen Shot

Quite simple, Windows cannot find any driver for the application.

More Info:

My instant feeling of dread that I knew precisely what was going on aside, let me walk you through the problem; but before I do, let me give you the bad new right now – unless you have clumsily managed to half insert the NOVA into the PCTV slot, you will be in need of an RMA number because your board will not work.

 

The NOVA

On inspection the NOVA-T-500 is actually quite clever, Hauppauge have elected to keep their dual-tuner configuration as simple as possible, by sticking to what they presumably know works. The NOVA-T-500 is in effect nothing more than a PCI USB 2.0 Controller card with two USB 2.0 DVB-T tuners and a USB IR adapter connected directly to the controllers internal bus. Creative!

The NOVA-T-500

As you can see this particular NOVA-T-500 has the following model information:

  • WinTV-NOVA-T-500
  • DVB-T
  • 99101 LF
  • Rev D8B5

I actually just wanted to spell that out because I do think that is is quite a novel approach to their card design.

 

Exploring the driver install failure

A trip to device manager reveals a rather disconcerting unidentified, un-startable hardware device is present within the system – and effectively tells that Windows has no idea what to do with it

Device Manager with the NOVA-T-500

Most modern controller devices, while in their uninstalled state will usually have some sort of identifying attribute, yet here all we receive from the NOVA-T-500 is “HOOK”.

Here is the problem. All modern devices, PCI, USB, AGP – you name it – have a Plug n’ Play identifier (PnPID) which informs the operating system over who (in hexadecimal terms) manufactured the device (the Vid) and which device in their product inventory was just connected to a respective system bus (the Pid).

The WiTV NOVA-T-500’s correct PnPID is:

USB\VID_2040&PID_9951 (I believe)

While the PnPID of the device I received was identifying itself as:

USB\Vid_10b8&Pid_0066

To check your PnPID, all you need to do is visit the Details tab for the device properties in the Windows Device Manager (you can also locate it in the registry if you know where to look).

Vid & Pid PnP information

This explains why Windows was unable to locate a driver, the PnPID in the device driver cannot be matched to the one being identified by the PCI device and as a consequence, the driver installation fails.

It is possible, from time to time, to rewrite the driver ID’s (it will break WHQL certification) so that you can force Windows to mount the driver and load the hardware, I have done this several times quite successfully in the past and naturally wondered if this was going to be possible this time around.

 

Why this is not (easily) fixable

I needed to know the correct PnPID for the NOVA-T-500 and after a lightning search on the web, decided to give Hauppauge UK’s support a call. Sadly this was too technical for them, and they wanted me to phone Hauppauge support in the USA in order to out line the problem to a developer rather than to technical support. I did explain the whole EEprom PnPID issue to them, but these are effectively sales guys who have to pass everything back to HQ in the states that doesn’t come up on the expert system/knowledge base.

While I was explaining the PnPID concept to Hauppauge support, I started playing around with the driver files, and in reading through happened to notice that one of them did indeed contain the Vid/Pid combination being broadcast by my device. With finding this, I now have confirmation of what I suspected was the problem. The EEprom was blank!

; Uncomment these on production test systems to enable blank EEprom programming
;%BDA3700.DeviceDesc_cold2% = BDA3700.Device,USB\VID_10B8&PID_0066

For reference the “;” is a REM statement to comment out the information from being read by the Windows Driver loader, however the plain text comment for the section (found in hcw95all.inf, hcw95all_64.inf, hcw99bda.inf and hcw99bda_64.inf should you want to look) confirmed my suspicion. This Vid/Pid is used to program the EEprom of the device at manufacturing. My device had somehow skipped this part of its assembly, been boxed and found itself inside my computer – if it was going to happen, it was going to happen to me, of course it was!

The missing EEprom information explains why the device is identifying itself as “HOOK” to the system, with the EEprom in place, the PnPID tag would be decidedly different, without it we simply get engineering information.

This problem should be fixable by the end use so long as is a run-time reflash procedure and not a JTag style flash prcoess. If the process is JTag based then the card is not a write-off, it can simply be reflashed and sent back out again.

Either way, I have put in a support request to Hauppauge US with the information found in this article along with a request to be contacted by a developer/engineer and I shall see if they are willing to release the flash information so that I can fix it myself.

Hauppauge UK simply told me to RMA it and that they would look out for a bad batch.

 

Update – 15/01/2007

Hauppauge USA never got back to me, despite their promises to do so – shame on you Hauppauge. The replacement device from eBuyer arrived and works correctly, coming with the UK 4.0A release CD. Version 4.1 has been out for less than 24 hours at this point, so if you are a user, do go and update to the latest release.

CDO Error Message “Error ‘80040211’”

System Requirements:

  • Windows Server
  • Internet Information Services
  • ASP
  • CDO

The Problem:

When attempting to send an email using CDO under Windows Server you receive the following unspecific error message from your application debugger or web browser session:

error ‘80040211’
<path>/<file>.asp, line ##

Your application is unable to relay email into the SMTP system.

More Info:

The CDO error message is certainly due to your configuration of the SMTP server, or CDO’s inability to raise the stated SMTP server.

Step 1

A frequent cause of this error message comes from messages with lengthy message lines. It is common place within SMTP systems to refuse to transmit text lines that are greater than around 1000 characters (including the CRLF).

This does not mean that the message itself cannot be greater than 1000 characters, but that individual lines before the carriage return must be less than or equal to 998 characters (the CR [carriage return] and the LF [line feed] count as the remaining two characters).

This rule applies to plain text and to HTML messages. Ensure that your messages comply with this rule.

 

Step 2

Ensure that your ISP does not require authenticated SMTP access. If they do, you will need to modify your CDO connector to include authentication. In ASP this is achieved through the addition of the following lines into the CDO settings.

.Item(cdoSMTPAuthenticate) = cdoBasic
.Item(cdoSendUserName) = “YOUR-USER-NAME”
.Item(cdoSendPassword) = “YOUR-PASSWORD”

 

Step 3

Ensure that your system is able to connect to to the SMTP service port. A quick trick to check for SMTP connectivity without relying upon port scanners is:

  1. Open a command prompt
  2. Type:
    telnet <fully-qualified-domain-name / SMTP Server IP address> 25For example: telnet smtp.www.c-amie.co.uk 25
  3. If the path to your SMTP server is being blocked you will see the following message
    Connecting To <server>…Could not open connection to the host, on port 25 : Connect failed

If your server is unable to access the STMP network, then this error message is consistent with such a failure. The most likely cause of such a block is a firewall rule from a software firewall or a rule configured on a hardware firewall by the network administrator.

An additional consideration to make while checking for connectivity is the impact that Anti-Virus and real-time Anti-Spyware products may have. For example, McAfee Virus Scan Enterprise 8.0.0i makes use of an anti-spyware rule that prevents mass mailing worms from sending email. McAfee will block the SMTP port by default and must be configured to allow IIS (or your application) to relay email.

To reconfigure McAfee Enterprise 8.0.0i:

  1. Open Virus Scan Console
  2. Double click Access Protection
    McAfee Filters
  3. Highlight the “Prevent mass mailing worms from sending email” and click Edit
  4. For IIS 6.0 running in with standard IIS 6.0 application protection add w3wp.exe to the exceptions list.
    Exceptions List
    For application you will need to query the McAfee log file for the executable name involved in the error message. By default this log can be found at:
    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Network Associates\VirusScan\AccessProtectionLog.txt

Windows Vista setup DVD stops during the animated splash screen phase and you are unable to begin the setup process

System Requirements:

  • Windows Vista

The Problem:

When you boot from the Vista DVD the boot process begins, however stalls at the animated splash screen which continues to animate indefinitely without any system activity. At this point you are forced to power down the system using the ACAPI switch.

This issue was observed as occurring on a P4 2.5 GHz running on an Asus P4S333 running the latest P4S533 Beta BIOS.

If you attempt to reproduce the boot using Safe Mode, the system loads disk.sys and then fails attempting to load the next driver (believed to be crcdisk.sys), this is constant no matter how you boot the system.

More Info:

Attempts to change the DVD ROM drive and Hard drive due to common troubleshooting material highlighting that this issue is down to a malfunctioning device on the IDE/SATA bus were of no use in this particular case, however may be applicable in your situation. Test your system with all hard drives disconnected to eliminate Hard disk errors. Attempt to replace the DVD drive or use an alternative DVD drive (cycling SATA/IDE channels) to eliminate your optical drives from the issue.

If you are certain that your drives and the IDE/SATA bus’s present in your system are not faulty follow the next steps:

Check your DVD Installation Disc
Try and get a replacement for the Disc if you can. All Vista Disc’s are standardised (finally) apart from the Enterprise edition. The retail and generic OEM disc’s are also the same so you can therefore download a new ISO image of the disc and burn it. I don’t see any issue with doing this, so long as you have your own legal Windows Vista key to use with the disc, and I think Microsoft should be firstly credited with unifying the disc, and secondly should enable all legal key holders to download an integrated ISO version with SP1 anyway!

 

Unload your PSU
I have been made aware of a fix to this issue which was resulting from an overloaded power supply. This wasn’t related to the fix on the system above, however was in the instance reported to me. Unload the PSU of any unecessary devices and case ‘accessories’ – including all but the required fans (run the case open if necessary for testing).

 

Disconnect any redundant internal drives from the Bus
If you have any drives on the system bus that you do not want the Vista installer to see, and have simply disconnected the molex (power) connector from the drive, be aware that this may still be causing the Vista load sequence some grief. Remove both the power and ATA/SATA ribbon/lead from the disk completely and retry the installation.

 

Disconnect any external drives that are surplus to requirements
In the instance above it was necessary to remove an external firewire drive in addition to the step below before the boot sequence would progress correctly into VGA mode.

 

Use VGA Mode to begin the installation process
This was the second required fix on the P4S333 from the documented instance above. The following allowed setup to continue:

  1. Inset the Vista bootable DVD
  2. Power down the system
  3. Boot the system onto the DVD drive
  4. Immediately begin pressing the F8 key – it must have registered before the first loading screen (with the white status bar indicating file extraction) is displayed on the screen
  5. The screen will return to the animated splash screen
  6. After a few moments a boot menu will appear, from the list, select “Enable low-resolution video (640×480)” from the list and hit enter

 

If the above method and troubleshooting steps still fail to enable the system to boot, repeat the last step, but use Safe Mode and allow the system to boot instead of VGA mode.