Windows 98 Gaming on Virtual PC VM

I was reading July 2012 issue of Maximum PC and they had some articles on free VM software and some interesting projects with VM software. One of the projects was Windows 98 gaming on a VM created in Virtual PC 2007 SP1. I have tried gaming on VMware Fusion / Workstation Windows 98 VMs with horrible results because the default graphics emulation is not good enough for gaming. Vmware did add the ability to play games on XP VMs and I have had great success with this. However, I was intrigued by another shot at Win98 gaming in a VM even if it was on Virtual PC, which I never thought was that good for VM software.The difference with Windows 98 on Virtual PC is that you can install VM Additions, which improves graphics and mouse performance.

First download Virtual PC 2007 SP1 from Microsoft’s web site.  It’s a little over 30 MB in size. I downloaded the 32-bit version and ran the installer. Then you need to install Windows 98. This may be the toughest part of this process because it requires a floppy to boot from before you can install from a Windows 98 CD (yes we are old school here for sure). First create the VM and virtual hard disk in Virtual PC. Then start the VM and install Windows. I tried using a Windows 98 boot disk image I have used before with VMware products, but Virtual PC didn’t like it. So I had to break out the USB floppy drive and an actual floppy boot disk. After partitioning and formatting the virtual disk, I installed Windows 98. Then I ran the VM Additions which mounts an ISO CD image and runs a quick install. After you should see VM Additions in Add / Remove Programs in Control Panel.

For a game I tried installing and playing Dark Reign, an old Windows 98 RTS. It installed fine, but the mouse never quite worked right. When I tried to click a button in the menu bar, the mouse pointer jumped to the right side of the screen. Dark Reign works fine in XP so I didn’t pursue it in the VM. I haven’t tried any other games yet so I can’t say for sure this is a good solution, although Maximum PC said they ran a couple of games successfully. I may revisit this in the future with some other games and see what happens. But since the software is free, if you have a copy of Windows 98 laying around and an old game to play, this may be worth the effort.

Add an mp3 as a ringtone on a Samsung Galaxy Note

So one of the first things I noticed with the Galaxy Note was a lack of ringtones. A quick Internet search yielded a site with instructions on adding an mp3 as a ringtone on a Galaxy S. The instructions worked perfectly for the Galaxy Note.

From Richard S. (

1. Open any file manager app

2. Look for a folder called Media in the phone’s main directory.
(Most likely it doesn’t exist, so create it by right clicking and choosing New Folder, then rename the folder to be media)

3. Inside the media folder, you need a folder called Audio. Again, if it’s not there create it as above

4. Inside the Audio folder, create subfolders for the sound categories you want to change:
– Ringtones for sound files you want to use for incoming calls
– Alarms for sound files you want to use for alarms
– Notifications for all other alerts such as incoming SMS, emails or alerts from individual apps, etc

(lower/upper case is irrelevant – the folders can be “Media”, “MEDIA”, “media”, etc)

Copy the MP3 file you want to use to the relevant folder

You should now see your MP3 file listed in the menu for selection in the relevant sound settings menu (to access the ringtone/notification settings, press the hard Menu key from one of your home screens, then press Settings then Sounds and Display, or go to settings from within a relevant app)

Alternatively, most audio player apps allow you to set music files as ringtones when playing them, either with a hard press or from the Menu key. Note, the default Android music player does not have this function, which I consider to be a little odd. 

I’m glad someone figured this out because the default ringtones stunk. I’ve never been into adding my own ringtones, but this time it was definitely necessary.

Using SkyDrive as a Mapped Network Drive in Windows 7

During my recent time in class I needed a quick way to save some work and know it would be safe. People kept speaking of online backup and I remembered reading an article in Maximum PC I think about using SkyDrive as a mapped network drive. I did a quick search and found a page on How-To Geek that had a similar step-by-step method.

To do this you need a Windows Live ID (to have SkyDrive in the first place) and an Office 2010 application. Basically you link your Windows Live ID to your Windows 7 username. Then you create a blank document, spreadsheet, etc. and “Save and Send” to the Internet. When you do this Office presents you with the path to your particular SkyDrive that you can then use to map a network drive.

The instructions on the web page are simple and straightforward to follow. SkyDrive seemed a little slow to access this way, but it is certainly easier than going through a web interface to get to your files or save files on SkyDrive.

Kaspersky’s TDSSKiller

I read an article about this utility in PCWorld’s April 2012 issue. The timing was good because I had a computer that I had removed some malware from with Malwarebytes and AVG, but the browser was still occasionally being redirected. I was going to reload the computer, but when I ran across this article I figured I’d give the utility a try. I downloaded the TDSSKiller utility from here. It was a small zip file containing the utility and a EULA document. I extracted the utility to the desktop, ran it, and clicked Start Scan. After several seconds the utility found a rootkit and said I had to restart to remove it. I restarted the computer and ran another scan and this time nothing was found. If you have a browser hijaaking problem you can’t solve, try Kaspersky’s TDSSKiller and see if it helps.

Server Execution Failed

I lost my Internet service the other day so I installed a USB wireless adaptor and connected it to a MiFi device. Internet would not work with both my LAN adaptor and the wireless one, so I turned off my LAN adapter. About the second or third time of doing this I ran into a software glitch and could not go back into the Network Center to enable my LAN adapter. I rebooted Windows and when I tried to open Computer or Network there was a pause and I received the error “Server Execution Failed.” This is on a Windows 7 PC 64-bit with SP1.

I had this error before on another PC and had to create a new profile to fix it. I didn’t want to do that here so after some searching I found a web page that said it had a fix for this error. In my case I had to open Regedit and point My Documents and Favorites back to a local drive instead of a network drive. Luckily this fixed the problem and let me enable the LAN adapter again. I was then free to point the profile folders back to their network locations.

D-Link NAS Power Recovery

I have had a problem for a while with the different D-Link NAS devices we use at offices when there is a power failure. Although it does not occur often, I would have to worry about powering the NAS back on after power was restored. I recently found a setting in some of the NAS devices to have them automatically power on after power is restored.

The original D-Link NAS device I used was the DNS-321. This NAS does not have a power recovery option. However, the DNS-323 (like the 321 except it has a USB port for sharing) and the newer DNS-320 have an option to recover. For the 323 you go to the Tools menu on top, click on Power Management on the left menu, and set Power Recovery to “Enable.” For the 320 you go to the Management menu on top, then click the System Management icon, then click Power Management on the left menu, then expand power Recovery Settings and set Power Recovery to “Enable.” In both cases of course you click “Save Settings” where appropriate.

Hopefully now I will only have to worry about the couple of DNS-321 NAS devices I have if the power fails.

Enable Administrator Account from Command Line

In dealing with that messed up computer mentioned in my last post, I learned a command for enabling the administrator account to use to fix a problem. In this case, the user account was not working and Windows would boot into a limited account desktop from which you could do very little. There were no other accounts available to log into to address the problem and Windows now disables the administrator account by default. However, from the limited account I was able to open a command prompt and type the following command to enable the administrator account:

net user administrator /active:yes

Changing the yes to no will disable an active administrator account.

Yet another reason not to write off the command line.

Easy Dental – Network Update Does Not Work

For dental practice management software it is critical for updates to the system to filter to each computer on the network. In this way, staff can see what patients are present at the office, if patients have broken their appointments, or any other changes that can affect the office’s daily routine. Recently I had to deal with this issue at an office using Easy Dental. I had faced this problem before and knew the source of the problem was in the registry.

An easy way to tell if this problem is happening in Easy Dental is to go to the Reports screen and click on the “Practice Setup” icon at the top. This displays a menu whose last entry is “Network Setup.” This entry lets you specify how often updates should occur on this workstation. If this entry is greyed out, you have a problem.

To fix the problem, close Easy Dental on the computer. Then open regedit and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Easy Dental Systems, Inc.\Easy Dental\NETWORK. Under this key you probably only see one value listed. You will need to create 2 more values: a string value called “NetVersion” (without the quotes) with a value of 1 and a dword value called “UpdateSpeed” (no quotes) with a Hexidecimel value of 15 (the default in seconds). You can adjust the update speed later in the program if needed. This fix was done on Easy Dental 2010, but the procedure should be similar on other versions. You may need to restart the PC for the change to take effect.

To check your fix, open Easy Dental, go back to the Reports section, and click on Network Setup under the Practice Setup icon. Network Setup should no longer be greyed out and should display on update value of 15. You can double-check the fix by making a schedule change on another PC then waiting to see if it updates to the PC you are checking.

Reloading PC without Hardware Driver Disc

I have had occasion over the years to have to reload computers for one reason or another from a standard Windows disc. Recovery discs can be nice because they reload the PC with all drivers and apps installed. But when the owner does not have the driver disc and its a company like E-Machines which don’t always make it easy to find old drivers, you can run into problems. In the past I have done it the hard way looking at the motherboard or expansion cards for a manufacturer and model. Sometimes this works, but with more stuff integrated into the motherboard this can become difficult at times.

The method I have switched to recently is using a USB NIC to connect the PC to Windows Update to see how many drivers I can get from there. I came up with this method because I had a customer with a computer that used to be on dial-up but they switched to DSL. There was a NIC card in the computer but no drivers. I think the computer was supposed to have Vista but had XP on it. So I connected the USB NIC, loaded the driver, and downloaded the internal NIC driver from Windows Update.

The NIC driver is the minimum I like to get from Windows Update because then you can at least remove the USB NIC from the PC. Video drivers are usually easy to get because there are only three main companies to look at. Sound drivers are sometimes a pain though, as well as modems (no one really uses these so you can usually just blow them off), and motherboard drivers.

Another method to use if you just can’t find the driver is to go to and have it scan the PC and tell you what drivers you need. Of course you need an Internet connection first to get to the site so that NIC driver is really crucial to getting the rest of the drivers for the PC. That is why having a USB NIC with drivers handy can help you out in a bind with getting hardware drivers for a computer.