Friday, February 20, 2009

Free Image Editor

I came across a free image editor that is very powerful and wanted to share. There are those times that you want to touch up an image but don't have or need expensive software to do the job. You might just need it for a one-time fix or to make custom icons or images with transparent backgrounds. Well, this tool is for you. It can be found at . There is good documentation as well to learn how to use the features.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Got a backup?

It will happen. The day that you least expect for your hard drive to crash, it very well could. Don't be caught without a current backup. It's very easy to do so there really are no excuses. I've found the best way to keep your computer data safe is by investing in an external USB hard drive. Many external hard drives come with software to perform automatic backups on a regular basis. Other software is available that will make a complete image of your drive so that it can be restored quickly and easily including all software, operating system and data. The added protection is worth the investment.

Monday, February 2, 2009

BSOD code: 0x000000FC or 0x0000007E after XP SP3

This was a doosey! I had a situation today where a user attempted to install Windows XP Service Pack 3. After the reboot they got the blue screen of death with error code 0x000000FC. The pc would not boot into Safe Mode either. They exhaused all of their options then called in for support. Below I'll summarize the steps I took to resolve this issue. You can give this a try if you experience these problems.

  • I disabled Data Execution Prevention in the Bios and tried to boot. The BSOD error code changed to 0x0000007E.
  • I noticed that when no usb devices are plugged into the pc it will boot. Of course, that's not a good solution but at least points in the right direction. The usb driver is the culprit!
  • I Replaced the SP3 versions of windows\system32\drivers\usbehci.sys and windows\system32\drivers\usbport.sys with old (sp2) versions using the Recovery Console.
  • I was then able to boot into Windows normally!

This solution worked beautifully on this system and everything is now back to normal. If you're ever in this situation give this solution a try. It may save you a lot of time!