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Posts published in “tech tips”

EMET and Chrome

I own a copy of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro, but found, in this post on, mention of software I had not heard of: Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) by Microsoft.

EMET is intriguing, because it provides an additional amount of security, including EAF, ASLR, and DEP, for apps that may not have been originally configured to take advantage of those technologies. A good write-up on setting the software up is available from TrustedSec.

Now, I am a complete novice when it comes to these security technologies, but I decided to use EMET and attempt to enable all it has to offer, because being ignorant about security technologies and using their benefits is better than just being ignorant. That said, I’ll continue to the steps I took to use Chrome alongside EMET.

Once EMET is installed and configured, it’s immediately evident that Chrome needs some additional attention (what with its constant crashing and pesky un-usable-ness).

To address that un-usable-ness, and because I have OCD, I decided to find which (if any) exceptions Chrome needs to operate without crashing. Luckily for me, it only took, like, 15 crashes to find the right exceptions. Luckily for you, here are the steps to add the Chrome executable and the right exceptions:

  1. Click, ‘Apps,’ from the toolbar
    • emet_chrome_01_apps
  2. Click, ‘Add Application,’ from the toolbar
    • emet_chrome_02_add_application
  3. Browse to your Chrome executable (mine is in C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application)
  4. Enable the appropriate options for chrome.exe
    • emet_chrome_03_exceptions
    • DEP, Data Execution Prevention
    • SEHOP, Structured Exception Handler Overwrite Protection
    • NullPage, Null Page pre-allocation
    • HeapSpray, Common heap spray address pre-allocation
    • EAF, Export Address Table Access Filtering
    • BottomUpASLR, Bottom-Up virtual memory randomization
  5. Disable the appropriate options for chrome.exe
    • MandatoryASLR, Enforces Address Space Layout Randomization on loaded binaries
    • LoadLib, Check and prevent LoadLibrary calls against UNC paths
    • MemProt, Special check on memory protection APIs
    • Caller, ROP mitigation that checks if critical function was called and not returned into
    • SimExecFlow, Simulate the execution flow after the return address to detect subsequent ROP gadgets
    • StackPivot, Check if stack pointer was pivotted
  6. Ignore the greyed chrome.exe, if visible
  7. Click, ‘OK,’ at the bottom of the screen
  8. Close (if open) and re-open Chrome
  9. Enjoy!

Black and Decker Corded Electric Lawn Mower MM1800

Last fall, we purchased this Black and Decker lawn mower, shortly after we purchased our home.

I decided on the model because it’s electric, which is cleaner, easier to maintain (no bad gas concerns), and I wouldn’t have to replace a battery that cost as much as the machine within 3-5 years. Also, I have a smaller yard that a cord can cover and they were on sale. So, there’s that.

Since Spring started, I’ve been mowing once a week. While I’ve had no issues with how the mower cuts the lawn, I did notice that the orange lever on the handle was becoming more and more sensitive to where I had it. I couldn’t keep the lever flush against the handlebar anymore, but had to keep it a half inch off.

Annoyed, I decided to take the lever apart (which I’m apt to do). Of course, i had unplugged the mower first and performed the below fully aware that I am responsible (as you are) for my (your) own actions (you’ve been disclaimed).

Luckily, the lever is held into place using a few screws. Don’t worry, the piece is screwed into a specific spot on the handle to avoid slipping down the handlebar.

I noticed that, much like our hands-free soap dispenser, the lever was just a plastic piece used to complete an electric current between two metal pieces and engage the motor. Unlike the soap dispenser, this switch wasn’t broken, but merely a bit out of place.

After I (slightly) adjusted this switch, I screwed the lever housing back together and plugged the unit in.

With a careful pulling up of the lever to the handlebar, I heard the switch move as it should and the motor started.

Successful, I had a beer and mowed the lawn the next day (don’t hate).

Emerson Hands-Free Soap Dispenser Repair

So, we purchased this Emerson hands-free soap dispenser last year at a discount store for like $10.

We decided on buying this model despite already owning a Lysol hands-free dispenser (link), because the Lysol system requires proprietary soap and is half the amount per container versus a bottle of regular hand soap.

Long story short, the Emerson model allows you to use any soap you want, and that’s appealing and frugal. What’s not appealing is that the craftsmanship is a little shoddy in one major way. Allow me to explain:

On the bottom of the unit is a plastic switch which tells the unit that it is on a surface and, thusly, is safe to dispense without making a mess at the wrong time. This switch, when depressed, forces a metal strip inside the unit to engage the pump action; inversely, when the switch is not pressed, the cycle is broken and the motor will not start. Either way, you will see the red LED on if you’re within range of the infrared sensors. And that is the key to diagnosing a broken switch.

When I was trying to figure out why the dispenser stopped dispensing after a couple months, I noticed the LED would still light up, but literally no sound was coming from where the motor would be. I also noticed the switch was stuck and not depressing (heh). I tried to turn the unit off and back on again by holding down the silver button above the dispensing nozzle, but no luck.

So, I opened the thing. You’ll need a small Phillips-head screwdriver to do the same. And, I’m not responsible should you break the product or hurt yourself (how?).

Start from the bottom, removing the battery compartment and the batteries. Of course, it’s easier to do all of this without having soap in the reservoir. You can tip the unit upside down and pour out the soap, making sure you tip with the reservoir side down.

With the battery compartment open and cleared, on the bottom of the base you’ll see 5 plastic nubs which are used to keep the dispenser a bit off the counter/wherever. Pry those off by sliding a flathead screwdriver or something similar right around the edges, until they pop out.

With the Phillips-head screwdriver, remove the screws from the five holes. There will also be a silver screw near the switch that needs to be removed.

Once all 6 screws are removed, carefully remove the base (it’ll slide off), because there are very thin wires inside that connect the batteries and switch to the motor, sensors, etc.

Now that the unit is open, you can see where the switch is basically just a piece of plastic next to a bent piece of metal. If your switch was like mine (completely snapped), you’ll notice that moving the switch does not move the metal piece at all. Also, if your pump (when working) squirts barely any soap, the reservoir tube is visible (surrounded by a spring) and may need some attention (at your own discretion).

To remedy the faulty switch, you have some options: 1. Flip the switch over and force the metal piece to always be in contact (like I did), 2. Tape or otherwise permanently keep the metal pieces in contact, or 3. Fix/replace the switch (but the same thing may happen again).

The reason I chose option 1 is simple: you can turn the dispenser off by holding the manual button down, thereby negating a need for the switch when moving or refilling it. You can make your own choice. Be careful, though, because you may now have the switch mechanism just floating around in the base and need to plug the hole where the switch was to prevent water coming in & rusting parts.

After having solved the issue, you can put the base back on, ensuring you don’t pinch the wires (I gently stuffed ’em into a hollow side of the top). If the base doesn’t become flush with the top, you’re probably pinching a wire or the switch mechanism is in the way and needs repositioned.

If you have any questions, just ask and I’ll do my best to help. Planned obsolescence is a pain, but can be avoided if you try.

iWin Games Manager and AdminWorker.exe

So, you use iWin Games (Cake Mania, Diner Dash, etc.) and your Games Manager crashes upon startup? More than likely, the error you receive is that C:Program FilesiWin GamesAdminWorker.exe cannot be found. This is how to reinstall Games Manager (without losing your games or purchases) and why that occurred.

Some anti-virus applications show iWin Games (AdminWorker.exe, GLauncher.exe, etc.) as a virus (or Trojan, specifically). When you see the warning from your anti-virus about a suspicious file, odds are that you’re just going to Quarantine or Delete the “threat.” The problem is, as stated, integral parts of iWin Games show as viruses, so you may have just quarantined or deleted a file that’s needed to play your games.

The Remedy:

If you quarantined the file, you can go into your antivirus and remove the file from quarantine. I’d also suggest showing the file as safe with your antivirus.

If you deleted the file, simply uninstall iWin Games (not a specific game, but the program labelled, “iWin Games”). Follow this guide to uninstall without removing your games, preferences, or purchases: How can I reinstall the iWin Games Manager? If the link does not work (iWin may have disabled hotlinking to articles), then you can visit the support page and search for, “reinstall.”

I strongly suggest that, if your antivirus again detects c:Program FilesiWin GamesAdminWorker.exe or another iWin program as a virus/Trojan, to mark the file as safe to avoid this in the future.  More information:

Why I Love and

So, today I received a call that my GoDaddy account had auto-renewed and charged my bank account. “Great…,” I thought, as I had switched’s registrar & host last January.

On the phone with GoDaddy and their rep, Ryan, I was able to have my account’s auto-renew cancelled (which I had neglected to do last year, ##@$!) as well as the charges reversed (pending). I’m just so thankful to have them call– I don’t think any other hosting site would for a simple auto-renew.

That’s why I love GoDaddy, and why I may switch back to them once my current hosting expires. However, as Ryan understood, my loyalty is to my wallet and not a provider (though service like today’s may trump a couple bucks). By the way, the reason why I switched from GoDaddy to my current host was due to a special pricing on hosting, not GoDaddy’s service or raunchy commercials.

Now, why do I love LastPass? Well, it automatically saves generated passwords for sites, meaning if I forget to save a site after changing its password, LastPass is there with the randomly-generated one I may have used. Totally damn excellent. Also, they have a ‘View Deleted Sites,’ option in the case that I accidentally delete a wanted site. Perfect!

windows vista drivers always goes to windows update

i don’t know what i did. perhaps, through my infinite tweaking-dumb, i’ve stumbled upon a rare case of, “make vista always search windows update for drivers, and no where else.” every single time i plug something into my computer, the drivers are never found at windows update. i blame a constant ability to buy niche gadgets and clearance items.

how to make vista find drivers (working!!!!ilovedemonoid):

1. allow windows to find the drivers itself, or try to. when failed, select, “Browse my computer for driver software,” and continue.
2. in the, “Search for driver software in this location:,” box, put, “%systemroot%system32” (without quotes). Also, check, “Include subfolders.” Hit, “Next,” and all shall be right with the world. Driver installation takes a while, but, when/if found, the drivers work almost better than those found in manufacturer setups, simply because the fluff is removed.

Do be knowledgeable about what you’re doing, though, as I, nor any partner of Microsoft, may be held accountable for your actions. I always wanted to say that.

Be well and prosper.


western digital my book is da sux

okay, so here’s the deal: my western digital my book essential 250gb decided to start acting funny. slow boot times (windows vista), slow seek times, etc. i decided, against the hard drive’s decision, to switch from fat32 (default) to ntfs with compression. voila! hard drive is faster, etc. against my better judgment, i also uninstalled the device drivers for the WD, since it started acting a fool and didn’t recognize the NTFS partition. easy to fix: just go to device manager, select the, “Unknown Devices,” and, “Update Driver Software…” select, “Browse my computer for driver software,” point to “%systemroot%system32” and check, “Include subfolders.” yeah, it’ll find a generic, “Disk drive,” driver, which works flawlessly. if you have multiple partitions, you may have to do the same for each, “Unknown Device,” under the device manager. plain and simple. no real reboot required, no shifting of shit, etc.

what i’ve learned:

1) ntfs with vista is faster (and silent) in comparison with fat32
2) %systemroot%system32 is the best place for drivers. and vista sucks at finding drivers. it has an unnecessary knack for only looking through windows update. horrid concoction.

lnkfile shortcuts can **** a ***

In the case that you’re an idiot (much like myself) and change the association of the .LNK file extension (lnkfile):

1) This is for those who cannot double-click to open a .LNK shortcut file, nor can they use the context right-click menu to create a new Shortcut.

2) It’s easy to fix when you realize CLSIDs are the most important part.

3) You can download this from

4) You can just place this in Notepad, beginning with the Windows Registry… and save as a .REG, then import/double-click (make sure to add a blank line at the end via Enter):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



























[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTlnkfileshellexPropertySheetHandlersShimLayer Property Page]


Sony DR-BT21G and Windows Vista

Discovering how to use the new Sony DR-BT21G with Windows Vista ( Asus G1, CSRbetween bluecore 4 ) was a chore. I never knew that Vista did not support A2DP natively in some instances. There are two ways around this, though, and you’re about to learn both of them. One is a hack, and the other is straight-forward:

1. WIDCOMM Bluetooth Stack from Dev-Hack’s forums. ( does work with Vista 64bit )

2. Toshiba’s Bluetooth Stack for Windows Vista by ASUSTek. ( unsure if Vista 64bit compatible )

1) While a hack, this is rather effective, but the worry is that the, “stereo,” sound is reduced to mono quality. I don’t know why.

a. Go to’s, “UnCrippling Bluetooth in Windows Vista,” ( )which contains a link for the WIDCOMM Bluetooth Driver and WIDCOMM Bluetooth Driver Patcher 1.8.

b. Hax away, so you can use various Bluetooth devices with your Vista 32bit/64bit PC.

2) The Toshiba Bluetooth Stack is pretty simple to use, and requires no hacking. The Toshiba Bluetooth Stack for Windows Vista also allows the DR-BT21G to stream Stereo sound, CD Quality at 44100 Hz, 16 bit.

a. Download the appropriate Toshiba Bluetooth Stack from their European site ( ).

b. If you see some annoying, “Look for the device driver automatically,” dialogs, just select to not be asked again. It’s pretty simple.

c. It may help to use your Fn+Wireless keys and disable, then re-enable Bluetooth on your G1 ( or to unplug and plug back in your dongle ) when installing the device during the Toshiba installation.

d. If you experience horrible Bluetooth service, try setting a, “Custom Level,” of security within the Toshiba settings, and disabling Encryption for the A2DP/Headset services.

d. This is from the::unwired blog ( ).

The only problem with either is that I’ve yet to find how to make the AVRCP controls work with Winamp. And, yes, I’ve enabled Global Hotkeys. I’m going to try Bluesoleil next, and I’ll edit with the appropriate information.



Edit: How To Use The Sony DR-BT21G Mic With Windows XP


Tom Jacob’s comment made me look back at this post, and all I can say is that, with the Toshiba Stack ( ) version 6.10.10, you have two options:


1. When discovering the device you must select, “Custom Mode,” and selecting the connection as a, “Headset,” this creates a constant phone call with the computer to allow the mic to work flawlessly. This isn’t the best idea for sound (or battery life), but it does work.


2. Instead of selecting, “Headset,” select, “Handsfree,” which makes it a straight-up Bluetooth voice/sound connection. This is still not a great idea for stereo sound, but it does work quite well for voice and isn’t zapping your headset’s battery by imitating a call.


Logitech Music Anywhere, Windows Vista, and foobar2000

Logitech Music Anywhere barely works with Windows Vista. You must go into, “Playback Devices,” from your, “Sound,” Control Panel app. (or through the speaker tray icon), and select, “Speakers: Logitech Music Anywhere USB Transmitter,” and click, “Set Default.” This isn’t that big of a deal, because the program at least works with Vista through this method, but it makes the tray icon provided by its own software, Logitech Music Anywhere, pretty much useless.

foobar2000 requires the foo_winamp_spam component ( to emulate Winamp half-what properly, and this is also, I assume, required to make the Music Anywhere IR remote control foobar2000. The stop button pretty much stops and plays, and the play/pause is finicky, but, once again, this works.

Maybe I should just switch back to iTunes or WinAmp and make this work 100%. Maybe. Mayb– nah. foobar2000 is lighter, quicker, and more nimble on its component side. Yeah.

musings & scribbles