MVP-HELP for Windows

...where you can have fun AND be secure

How to Stop Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 from Reverting Power Plans to Default

I made some changes to my power plans (and saved the changes), but after restarting my computer I discovered it had gone back to the old Power Saver Plan. I don't use this laptop on anything except plugged-in so Power Saver is a stupid waste of time. Recently I had an inspiration. I reset the advanced values for the Power Saver plan to be exactly the same as the High Performance plan. I rebooted and as usual it went back to the Power Saver plan but when I checked the details in the advanced settings, everything was the way I set it up to be. Who cares what it's called as long as it's still what I want. Good to go.

 

October 12, 2017

 

Skyrim: Darkfall Cave Secret Doors - Playing the Quest Touching the Sky

There's an easy way to get through the first part of Darkfall Cave with Serana in the quest "Touching the Sky." Enter Darkfall Cave and follow the winding path past the waterfall. Kill the Frostbite Spider that is lurking in the shadows on your left but do not then follow the passage to the right. Step past the spider and cut through the webbing to discover a secret door. You will need to use a cheat to get through it, namely "TCL" which is Skyrim's no-clip. On the other side is a ring and chain to open the door so Serana can follow you. The ensuing passage will lead to the place with the torches and the dead girl. To the left of the wooden table but before the lean-to is another secret door. TCL through it and it will bring you directly to the chantry with the snow elf paladin. I scratched my head for awhile as to why these doors existed since you really could only use them to get back to the entrance from deep in the cave. I think they were made by the developers to save time.

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Btw, to enable TCL using the Skyrim console (via the Tilde key under Esc) you need to make sure there are no other target numbers being displayed. Click the screen until they're all gone. Then TCL will work.

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There may be other secret doors in this cave but I haven't discovered any yet. 

Posted December 14, 2016

How to Enable the Stereo Mix in Windows 7 If You Have RealTek Audio

I recently purchased a Windows 7 Notebook computer. I've been rather pleased with it so far. I was working with some sound files and discovered to my consternation that my Windows 7 would not record sounds off the Internet. I have RealTek Audio so tried to download, and then install the AC97 RealTek codec for stereo mixing. It would not install, insisting that the program didn't have the correct certificates for installation. Even when I allowed for that, it still would not install it. 

Google can be helpful, so I tried searching for an answer to my problem. I found it, but it took two weeks. To save others the hassle of the blind alleys and wrongturns I headed along, I thought to post it here. The stereo mix is disabled by default in Windows 7, and also in Vista. I suppose that Microsoft wants people to only use Windows Media Player for sound files, from which of course they profit. Here's what you do:

1. Click START > then open Control Panel,

2. Click on Hardware and Sound > Sound > Manage Audio Devices

3. Click on the Recording tab,

4. Right-click anywhere INSIDE the Recording Tab window (regardless of what it says there) > then from the menu choose Show Disabled Devices and Show Disconnected Devices. The Stereo Mix icon should then appear.

5. Right-click on the Stereo Mix icon and select the Properties window. In Device Usage choose Use this device (enable). Click Apply and Okay. All done!!!

You can now record sounds from the Internet and hookup whatever microphones or MP3 players you prefer. Has Microsoft ever considered that the majority of their games players prefer to use headsets with microphones to communicate with each other? You need the Stereo Mix to make that possible. Next time guys, enable it by default!

Beefs and Bouquets - Likes and Dislikes Online

July 11, 2010: Where's the beef? Today I tried a new game, Star Trek D-A-C. Another Steam game. What an incredible disappointment. I should have known from the cheap price tag. It plays the same as an old 2D game from 20 years ago called, Asteroids. Wow, I cannot believe that this is being offered up as a modern game. I played for 19 minutes, then immediately uninstalled it and Steam. What a waste of money and time. 

My 100% CPU in Windows 7 Fix (also applies to Vista)

My CPU was running continuously at 100%. No wonder everything took so long to open or close. I checked my Task Manager running processes (Processes Tab), watching to see what was grabbing the most CPU percentages. I found two things were causing the problem.

Wmpntwk.exe and Audiodg.exe were the culprits.

To fix the Wmpntwk.exe problem I opened a Run box, and put services.msc in it to call up the Services window. Next, I double-clicked on the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service item. I first clicked the Stop button, then changed the Startup type from Automatic to Manual, and then clicked Apply and OK to save the settings.

For audiodg.exe, I disabled the audio enhancements processed by the file. To disable them, use the following steps:

   1. Right-click the speaker icon in the lower right corner.
   2. Select Playback Devices from the menu. A window with a list of devices will appear.
   3. Double-click the device that has a green checkmark. The properties windows for that device will open.
   4. Click the Enhancements tab at the top.
   5. From the list of enhancements, uncheck all of them, or click the Disable all sound effects checkbox.
   6. Click the Apply and then the Ok button to save your changes and close the windows.
  
I also found after doing this that the audiodg.exe was still frequently spiking to 100% in the Processes list in Task Manager. I checked the Advanced Tab in Playback Devices. There I found my system sound was set to a high Studio quality. I reset it to a lower DVD quality, and put it through even though it gave me a warning box about another application sharing it. When all done I restarted my computer. My CPU is now functioning within normal parameters. No more spikes to 100%. It is now idling between 3% to 8% on average. Wow, what a difference!!!

How to Disable the Nag Screens and Scareware Popups in Avira AntiVir

Avira AntiVir Personal Edition is a reputeable antivirus program, but like so many other freeware applications have done in the past--they've added the Ask Toolbar and WebGuard as extras. If you don't install them when you get their latest upgrade, a popup occurs with each reboot asking you to do so. I hate this stuff so below I explain how to disable both this popup, and the nag screen urging you to purchase the Pro version of the software.

Some people claim that after clicking "Install Later" three times on the Systray popup that wants you to install the Ask Toolbar and Webguard, that it goes away. I kept getting the popup with every reboot, and more than three times. I hate nag screens and popups. I found a way to get rid of it for good.

This method works on all versions of Windows. You make a manual tweak to your HOSTS file. You need to use Notepad with elevated/administrative privileges (you need to be logged onto your computer as an Administrator). You click Start, type in Notepad in the searchbar, then Right-click Notepad up above and select Run as Administrator. Using Notepad go to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc (Vista) and open the HOSTS. (Note: Make a backup copy of the HOSTS before doing anything, putting it in another location.) Using Notepad put this entry at the top of the stack, 127.0.0.1  toolbar.ask.com (there should be 2 spaces between the one and the address) I then hit File > Save and closed Notepad. I rebooted and NO popup from AntiVir. It seems that the HOSTS is not only for your web browsers, but for your entire computer.

These little extras have zero effect on the original antivirus product. It's still good. We've had other products offer these kinds of extras in the past. What's one more? Maybe Avira will realize it's stupidity and get rid of this junk? We can hope. In the meantime there's work-arounds.

I know how to stop the nag screen which urges you to upgrade to the paid version. It's easy to do, and I don't think it's a problem legally if you change permissions for a program on your own computer. On Vista the path looks like this:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Avira\AntiVir Desktop\avnotify.exe

Right-click avnotify.exe and select Properties. Hit the Security tab. In Group or User Names make sure SYSTEM is highlighted, then click the Edit button below (to change permissions). In the Deny column put checkmarks beside Read and Execute, and Read. Click Apply and OK. You're done. No more nag screen with updates.

*Note that if you have another program such as Spybot Search & Destroy protecting the HOSTS, you'll have to disable it before making changes.


**This information is provided "As-Is" without warranty, and confers no rights.

Little Things Make A Difference - A Movie Review

I just saw Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows, Part 2. It was not as good as I expected. However, I would give it at least 3.5 (three and a half) stars for the job of completing the story. The pyrotechnics were good but not unexpected. And, for once Daniel Radcliffe was not directed to portray Harry as a dumbfounded dunce, as he had been in previous installments. J.K. Rowling has said that this is the end of the story, but I suspect there's yet more due in the works simply because there was NO "The End" at the end of the movie. Little things make a difference, especially with movie executives rubbing their greedy little hands together with glee.

Off The Wall: You Don't Need an Antivirus

About ten years ago, I met a guy at a computer cleaning and repairshop who absolutely insisted that antivirus applications were useless. He was a genius at malware detection and removal, and helped me a lot. I considered that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so kept using one anyways. Then just this year it happened that my antivirus flavor of choice became incompatible with my PC (and with me--some programs can get too fussy). I remembered what he said back then. I also remembered, that in Rootkits For Dummies I'd mentioned in it that I'd never had a virus -- only trojans. I use a really great antimalware and antispyware application called MBAM (MalwareBytes AntiMalware). It picked up stuff the antivirus completely missed. So, I round-filed the antivirus. Doing well ever since, with a faster, more robust computer (AV's are resource hogs). And, this is NOT an April Fool's joke.

April 1, 2012

How to Turn Off Windows Media Player in Windows 7

I have found another way to speed up the response and increase the resouces of my little Win 7 Home Preemy Notebook computer. Turn off Windows Media Player. (It's also linked to that DRM process I wrote about which causes spikes to 100% resource use - aka audiodg.exe) I saved over 100 MB of RAM this way (out of 2 GB). I have a freeware I downloaded some time ago called, Windows Media Player Classic. It can play anything Windows Media Player can but when it's off, it's off! It works great with the Combined Community Codec Pack (free).

Windows Media Player is always on. It's checking to see if you have proper certificates for the downloaded music you play, or checking for the latest news on your favorite artists and more. I do not like programs that can go behind my back. I use programs with specific purposes in mind. I don't want them doing anything I don't want them to do.

The reason I decided to turn off WMP on my machine was: I had been trying to watch some videos I'd made some time ago, using a program made especially for viewing and editing them. Every time I tried to open one of these videos, it opened in WMP. I tried telling both WMP and my computer what program I wanted to open these videos. Nothing worked. That bloody WMP kept at it. I was so mad, I was ready to uninstall it. But, I'm pretty sure to uninstall it, would be like uninstalling Internet Explorer which is so much a part of the operating system. So, I decided to just turn it off.

Click on Start, then on Control Panel. Select Programs and Features. On the left, you'll see a blue and yellow shield beside a heading that says,Turn Windows Features on or off. A box will pop-up with checkboxes in it. Find the one called, Media Features. Click the + beside it to see the programs. I unchecked them all, but you may do it differently. It may nag you if you really want to do this? Not to worry. After making this change it will say that you need to restart your computer. Close any other windows you have open and restart it. It will take a few minutes both to shutdown and to reboot.

Since you're turning off WMP, you might as well turn it off in Windows Services as well. The Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service or wmpnetwk.exe. I found some great instructions for this with screenshots here: http://www.mattsbits.co.uk/item-108.html

When you're all done, you'll have a leaner and more robust computer to enjoy! That audiodg.exe file will finally be put down for good. And, you can play what you want, when you want without big business trying to tell you different.
 

How to Fix Absent Video Thumbnails in Windows 8

I recently updated my VLC Media Player. When I opened my Video folder I discovered all the thumbnails that were previously there, were all gone and replaced by VLC's orange cones. To fix this issue, download the K-Lite Standard Codec pack. Since VLC Player is a 32-bit program I picked up the Standard K-Lite pack. If you require 64-bit, they have that too. I simply downloaded the pack and installed it after checking it with my security programs. (It was clean.) I have a habit of always checking material I download before opening it. Codec Guide

**Be cautious when installing new stuff. Lots of installers have extra programs added to them. Be sure to opt-out of them unless you do want them.

Tip added: December 7, 2013

How to Enable a Disabled Wireless Network Adapter in Windows 7

Recently some new WiFi Public Access points became available in my area. I had a heck of a time trying to get my Windows 7 notebook to enable the wireless network adapter. I found the switch on the front edge of the notebook and it was on. No matter what I did, it would not allow me to enable it in the Network and Sharing Center. I decided to check online to see how I might have done it when I disabled it in the past, and found the answer at a Microsoft Answers website. (Thanks guys.)
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You need to open a Run box and start "services.msc" (no quotes) with it. Look for SSDP Discovery and WLAN AutoConfig in the list. Single-click with your mouse for more information, double-click to make changes. Set both to automatic and be sure they are started. You may need or wish to do likewise with UPnP Device Host too. Close out the window when you're done.
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Your wireless Network Adapter should be working now. If not, just enable it. You should check the firewall you are using to be sure it's allowed through. If you're going to be using public wireless access points be sure to have a good antivirus, antispyware and firewall. I'm going to give the new Bit Defender Free AV a whirl and see if I like it. I already have MBAM (MalwareBytes AntiMalware), Spybot Search and Destroy (the old one - it's still updated) and SpywareBlaster. Great programs and all free for personal use. And, don't forget the MVPs Hosts. Very important. See my latest article in the Blog for more info.
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March 24, 2014

MyLockbox Does NOT Protect Your Private Data

In the past I touted MyLockbox as a way to store private stuff in a passworded and encrypted folder. I have since discovered that the files are not encrypted and are easily viewed with any file recovery program. The claims that this program protects anything are entirely false. I would suggest getting something more effective such as Safehouse Explorer http://www.safehousesoftware.com/SafeHouseExplorer.aspx

In any case, I will no longer be using My Lockbox for anything.

February 28, 2015

Deep Space 9 The Fallen: Convergence Mod Where to Find the Cards and Passes

I decided to create a Mini-Walkthrough to DS9 The Fallen: Convergence Mod since there's little to nothing available out there. I was the first person to post a full-length walkthrough to Convergence back in 2007. I've long since lost all my notes on it. The Fallen and Convergence are still very much playable on XP and up. I got it working on Windows 7 a couple times in the past few years. I'll give you some hints and warnings, as well as a few choice cheats but the primary purpose of my stroll thru here will be where you can find those isolinear cards and so-called Military Passes.

One thing I disliked about this mod is having to rescue wounded at almost every level. I prefer to just explore and kill bad guys. One choice cheat is to get all other objectives done without rescuing anyone. Then press TAB and type in "panacea" followed by pressing enter and then "killpawns" (without the quotes) and hit enter again. It will then tell you that all wounded have been rescued. Really, in the game there's no difference between death and rescue. The "killpawns" command kills all NPC's on the spot, both bad and good. "Panacea" enables cheatcodes for all players. It's easier than the other ways.

Unlike the Fallen you can't choose which of Sisko, Kira and Worf you'd like to play. You start with Sisko but you will play as the other two later down the road. Convergence has a LOT of levels, a feature I liked. I felt that the Fallen was far too short. I suspect that the developers felt much the same. Convergence is a logical outgrowth of The Fallen and the orbs of power storywise.

Convergence is much HARDER to play than the Fallen. You need to conserve your ammo and lifeforce as much as possible. Get used to ducking for cover or running away. (if you want a choice cheat on this, use "panacea" followed by "allammo". That'll fix you up. For unlimited life use "god".) Convergence has lots of ambushes. In many, you are clearly outnumbered and outgunned. As my old karate master said many times there's no shame in running away from trouble. For example: If you come to one of those arena-like open areas with a single wounded person in the middle, absolutely avoid it! If you enter and move to where he is lying on his back, over a dozen Cardies will arrive all at once, all guns blazing at you. Both you and the wounded guy will die for sure. There's nothing else of value in that area. When you complete the other objectives you might want to killpawns him.

In Drastic Measures ignore the wounded if you like. The Yellow Engineering Card is on the catwalk on the left of the room after the elevator/lift. Climb up. You'll find the card beside a wounded person.

The red command card in Drastic Measures can be found in the second open arena-like area after the power transmission towers (one is dry and the other is wet). It's beside a wounded person. A little video even shows you where it is.

In The Gauntlet, to get the yellow Engineering card go back along the hallway the way you first arrived. Go left and follow the hallway to the elevator. You'll have to kill three Jem'Hadar, then get on it and go down. At the end of the hallway after the elevator, you'll see the yellow card beside a wounded person. You'll also have to kill another three Jem'Hadar in the hallway on the left. The door further down that hallway needs the red command card so go back up the elevator.

Following the only other way that you can go, the second open arena-like area you come to will have the red card in a back closet. As soon as you arrive at the closet five Cardassians will attack you, first three then two. Dispatch them and get your red command card. However, when you get your red card your previous yellow Engineering card will disappear. I'll tell you how to find it again.

Remember that arena-like open area with the shuttle bay (it's lit up with yellow lighting)? You need the red card to open it. There's a Disruptor Rifle and a Disruptor Cell on the right side of the area. I would not suggest jumping into the shuttlebay opening. You will be attacked by four Cardies. Once you've cleared them from the room below, then you can descend. I got rid of them by lobbing a few grenades down there. Worked great. There's a ladder access close to the door by which you entered.

Down below find the card reader near one of the doors. It needs the red card so you can unlock the doors to the shuttlebay. Facing the card reader the door on your right is the one you want to start with. You'll have to kill three Cardies and disable the forcefield to access the controls. Climb the boxes in front of you where you first entered. Behind the boxes above there's a respirator that you will likely need in a few minutes.

Facing away from the door you came in, there's a closed door on the right. Past this door, left along the corridor you'll have one Jem'Hadar shooting at you. Take him out. At the end of the corridor is a turboshaft with water in it. Kill the two big fish in it before you jump in. If at first you don't see them, wait. They will appear soon. The yellow Engineering Card is near the bottom. If you don't see it at first move around until you do. When you return to the surface, and exit the water, watch out for a single poisonous bat. Have your hand phaser ready.

When Gauntlet is completed your next level is called, "Plausible Deniability" with Kira. When you run past the two electric towers (one dry and other wet in their seperate rooms) you will come to two arena-like open areas, the first of which needs a special code to open the doors. You can obtain the code from a wounded crew at the back of the second area on the left. Just walk into him. I discovered that if you killpawns ahead of time the access code is unaffected by the abscence of the crewman. Just walk into the spot and you obtain it. Needless to say you have to battle a few Grigari and quite some Jem'Hadar doing these areas.

You need the Library Card to get the Red Command Card and the classified Padd. To get to the Library Card reader you have to get to the high area over and above those wet and dry transmission towers. Keep looking and you'll find it. With care and persistence you can walk/climb across the dry tower to the next area, where you will find the reader as well as the other items. Both the red card and the Padd are in a closet inside the room the Library Card opens. One of the closets outside the room has a Grenade Launcher. You're attacked by four Cardassians inside the room.

In Second Chances you need to find the Red Command Card and get it programed. Remember the shuttlebay from Plausible Deniability? The setup is still the same. The room to the right of the card reader in the shuttlebay has the red card up above those boxes at the back near a wounded crewman. As soon as you climb up there you will be attacked by four Cardassians who beam-in. There's also a respirator up there. Go back to the shuttlebay. The doors on the opposite side to the shuttlebay card reader are where we are headed now. The door on the same side as the vertical ladder but in the left-hand corner has a room with a card reader/writer in it. Take the red card there and get it programed. Go back to the side with the shuttlebay reader. Again go to the right door. Go left past the controls and left again. You'll encounter three Cardies near the doors. Go through the doors to get to the barracks areas. The red card gives you access to them. Put it in the reader to the left of the main door. There's two Cardies in the little room beyond and three more in the corridor to the right. The barracks room is a tough room. Try not to rush-in too quickly. Sometimes three Grigari will beam in and do battle with the half dozen Cardassians there. Wait for them to do that, then take out the Grigari, either using the Tricorder and phaser method or using the EM Pulse Gun (available in a secret area earlier on this level). Sometimes they come later and you'll have to battle the six Cardassians. If you face the wounded person on the bunk, the closets on your left hold some things you want. The Padd is in the 2nd one from the right, a grenade launcher is in the 1st one on the right, and a phaser rifle cell is in the 4th one from the right. The other closets at the other end of the room only hold one phaser rifle cell (2nd from right).

The next level is Familiar Territory with Kira again. You start inside a corridor leading away from a turboshaft. Head for the junction ahead. You will get a short video of a prisoner being tortured further on. Turn left at the junction. Nevermind the tortured prisoner for now. Head past the silver/grey brick area and turn left again at the electric arcs. Take cover as you will battle two Cardies, one ahead and the other behind on the other side of the hall. Then head left along the corridor. You'll come to a room of balconies and ladders. Climb the ladders to the highest level. It's best to be on the left or right side of the ladders. When you jump off use the "A" or the "D" key while pressing the spacebar. On the highest level you do the same but as soon as she lands hit the "S" key to pull her back from the opening. There's not as much room at the top. The Red Command Card is on the top level beside a wounded crewman. There's one or two Cardies on each level too. By the way, if she falls down the opening, pressing "W" for forwards will get her back on the ladder. The lower areas/levels are rather hot.

Once you have the Red Command Card head back the way you came. Head right at the electric arcs, go past the silver/grey area all the way to the end. Find cover as you will have half a dozen Cardassians beam in there. When you have dispatched them put the Red Card in the console reader to open the doors to the first orb. No more cards for this level.

Unquestioned Loyalty and Trial By Fire with Worf have no cards. You plant bombs and rescue people. That's it. (Or, you can plant bombs and killpawns people...evil laughter.)

Power Struggle has a Red Command Card. Follow the corridor you start in to the "T" junction and go left. At the silver/grey area go left again. You'll have to battle with Cardassians. In the room on the left the red card is beside the table on the right, on its right side. The rest of the level is up to you, plant bombs, rescue and do battle.

Familiar Territory Part 2 with Kira is next. You need a Yellow Engineering Card followed by a Red Command Card. Go up the elevator when you start. Watch for the Cardie on the right at the next junction after the elevator. Go left. Get ready to shoot more Cardies at the next room. About four or more helpers will beam in to assist you. Head for the big door directly in front of you. Open it and fight the three Cardassians inside. Make your way through the tunnels fighting Cardies and poisonous bats. You'll find the yellow Engineering Card in a room with water under the floor. You'll need to battle Cardies and kill two big fish to get it. Some of the trams actually work. For those that don't I have a tip. Try running along the wall at a bit of an angle just above the water line. If successful you can get along the tunnel quite quickly. Wading in the water is slow and laborious. After you get the yellow card take it back to the main room where the helpers beamed in. Find the door with the card reader and put it in there.

When you find the Red Command Card on top of a big box beside a wounded crewman, head back the way you came unless you want to do three more areas filled with Cardies and nothing else useful. Watch out for the bats. Back at the main room, go to the opening on the far right with no door and a shuttle on the tram. The tram won't work. More bats to watch for here. You can squeeze between the tram and the wall on the right to get in there. Follow the tunnel through to the last loading area with four Cardassians. At the end you will see a card reader on the left of a big door. Five more Cardassians will greet you in the next room. Another five will be on the bridge ahead. All objectives should be completed before you cross the bridge. If you missed any wounded, use the TAB with panacea followed by the killpawns commands. Judging from their attitudes they should have been called, "Hardassians."

The next level is called, "Dominion Control" featuring Ben Sisko. There are no cards here, only military passes. To get your first one, when you enter the darker area tunnels/hallways there's a console on the left that will activate emergency lights. A little further ahead on the left is a wounded crewman with a Phaser Rifle cell beside him. Further along and on the right is another console with a card reader beside it. Don't go there yet. Get out your tricorder as there's some hidden subspace mines nearby. None of the doors in this section of tunnel/hallway will open. When you move towards the next section you'll see a little video of Jem'Hadar beaming in beyond. Be careful here as they come invisibly along the hallway before attacking. You'll get up to ten Jem'Hadar beaming in. It may be a good idea to run away. Instead of running away I found backing away a bit to be useful, turning the door into a bottleneck. Easier to kill them. After they are dispatched, open the first door on your left. When you enter it you'll get a little video of Jem'Hadar beaming-in amongst a bunch of Grigari. Wait until they are done then take out the victors. Head left from this doorway and you will find a Level 1 Military Pass beside a wounded crew woman. Take it back to that first console and reader you found before.

First put the card in the reader, then do the console, then do the blue switch. You'll get another video before you enter. Stupid Jem'Hadar fiddling with controls he knows nothing about. On the side opposite the one with the moving box are some explosive canisters and a couple Jem'Hadar soldiers. Shoot them and blow up the canisters. Go to that spot and you will find the Level 2 Military Pass. You will find the Level 3 Pass beside a wounded crewman on a catwalk later on in the area the Level 2 Pass opens.

The next level is "Hostile Intent." still with Sisko. You get a nice long video at the start showcasing the areas to come. You get to battle Cardassians and Jem'Hadar repeatedly. Also watch out for poisonous bats and crayfish (in the water). Explore all areas and you will have no trouble finding the card you need. It's a good idea to run away from the spot where you first start and find some cover as you're in for Gunfight at OK Corral. Head right. Your Military Passes will be useful here too.

Next level is Odyssey with Kira. Watch out for the Cardassian soldier and the bat. The Red Command Card you need is inside the shuttle hangar near where you start. Turn around and the ladder to get to it is in the right corner. You can bump off a lot of Cardassians by climbing up on the crane nearby and fiddling with the controls. Do that after you get the card. It's on the floor in the water beside a wounded crewman. Then there's only a few Cardies left to shoot.

To get the Padd with the Classified info on it, you have to get across the big room fighting Cardassians and poisonous bats as you go. Facing the way you did when you first arrived you'll find your next destinatination is the ladder in the right hand corner. From floor level climb the box in front of it and then hoist yourself up to it. If you go to the bottom, there's two Cardies to the right on the catwalk. Going to the top, which is where we want to go, there's only one Cardie on the right. After you dispatch him, follow the catwalk around. Kira is so short she fits underneath that collapsed thing. (you'll see it.) JUst before our walkway ends there's a branch to the left. It's broken in the middle of the floor. You have to cross to the other side on the broken girder. Turning your wrist lamp onto setting number two will provide the light you need. When you get across there's two or three Cardassian soldiers in the hallway past the opening. When you get through to the next room, from your high perch shoot the man on the right down below and then the woman on the left. These are the enemy scientists. There's two more soldiers in the room. When you exit, another soldier is there. You exit underneath the collapsed ramp to the right of the closet that has the Padd. Don't forget the Padd.

After you exit go straight across to the door with the reader on the right. Put the Red Card in it. Be ready to shoot four Cardassians. Your last wounded person is here. But if you missed anyone you can always use the killpawns command.

The next level is "Descent" featuring Worf. You will have to fight Grigari, Jem'Hadar and Cardassians. It's DS9 meets the ice planet Hoth. You will find the Red Command Card inside a closet in the chiller room in A3 (this reference will make sense when you do this level). You use the card in a reader in A2. You get the Yellow Engineering Card from the female Vorta there. The rest is a cakewalk. Just don't try to go for a swim. You leave the level from A4.

The next level is Purification with Worf. Go to the Mess Hall. Go upstairs where there's two dining rooms. You want the one on the left as you face away from the stairs. The Red Command Card is close beside a wounded crewman in that Dining Room. The Red Card will allow you access to Security. Inside the security room as you enter are closets on the left. One of them has the yellow Engineering card. Save your game before trying to take it. As soon as you access it a bunch of Jem'Hadar beam into the room. You have a few helpers but they're no match for the soldiers. Try to run away. Take the yellow card to the reader in the first big room you entered on this level. It opens the door opposite the wall of closets. The rest of this level is up to you.

Purification is followed by Destiny with Sisko. There's no cards to find in this level so I just have some tips. Find Shuttlebay E4 with the crashed shuttle in it. Kenneth Stabler  and his Padd are on the upper catwalk. At the end of one of the hallways running beside the Shuttlebay you'll find Chief Engineer Mark Smith. If you use your Level 3 Military Pass in the reader in Shuttlebay E4 you get the "I hate Disco!" ending for this level. If you do it from Shuttlebay E3 you will get the teleporters.

Destiny is followed by Payback with Kira. Avoid the sentry towers. Don't try shooting them. They're indestructable. Best you can do is hide from them or outrun them. From the start watch for the poisonous bats and other wildlife. The sentry outside the main door has the pass you need. He will drop it when you kill him. It's likewise for the door at the refining building. After this just plant the bombs and get back to the runabout. Lots of Cardies will be shooting at you.

The next level is Escape featuring the runabout. Nothing to do here but watch the fireworks. It's the completion of Payback. Sometimes revenge is sweet.

Next is Defiance with Sisko. Get across the lake by going around it or cutting across it with the boat. Be warned that cutting across the lake's surface means you will be shot at repeatedly. Try to avoid the turrets. Be on the lookout for giant landfish (landsharks?) and other deadly creatures. You move across or around the lake, then move right until you come to a fenced area. Lots of Cardassian soldiers. Move to its left side. From there you can shoot the force field generator so you can enter the fenced area. Your targetting reticule will find it on the upper left side. Once you've done that you can get in the fenced area. Go up the stairs and move to the opposite side. At the bottom is a single survivor with the red command card beside him. Get it and move around the facility anti-clockwise. You'll see stairs and a ladder back up. Get on the catwalk and head out of the fenced area. You'll meet lots of Cardassian soldiers. At the first tower you come to, climb up to the second story. Pickup the yellow Engineering card and put it in the reader there. Then use the console. Do the same at the second tower you come to. Next go to the console in between the towers and use it. You might want to stand back a bit for a better view. Kira will let you know when you're leaving.

Denial is not just a river in Egypt. With Worf. There's only one card to find on this level. In the room with the four closets along one wall. The yellow Engineering card is in the closet on the far left. Have fun figuring out how to shutdown the orbs.

Followed by Betrayal with Worf. Betrayal has one Red Command Card. Look for a green door on the second level with a keypad beside it, in the big room across from the room with the auxillary power generator. Inside you will battle four or five Cardassians. Forwards from door then right, keep going then right again. You'll find the card with a bunch of ammo. Where to put the bombs? They aren't cards but okay. Auxillary generator room, at shuttle crane console, and just between the teleport pads.

Then Our Dearest Blood video. All done.

 Posted March 24, 2015

What's the Best Freeware Antivirus Program?

Recently, on a forum board I saw someone asking once again what was the best freeware antivirus available. They got the standard answer that everyone's setups are different so there's no best at all. Quite true. You might ask though where viruses come from, how do they propogate on the Internet and why they were created. Viruses do to your files what a denial of service attack does to a server. It clogs up the works so nothing can move.

I think it would be more appropriate to just simply answer the question. I consider Avast and AntiVir to be the best freeware AV's out there. Both are resource hogs and cannot be turned off if you like to play videogames, but they're the best in my not so humble opinion.

I have already demonstrated a "proof of concept" as to how you get viruses online. I have been online, mostly continuously, for more than fifteen years. In that time I have NEVER gotten a virus nor a worm. Why? I HATE online advertising because it interferes with my reading and research. I eliminate it as much as is possible. I therefore do not get infected. I have at the same time run regularly updated antivirus programs. People who have sold their souls for the money they get from online advertising will claim that this truth is harmful. What if everyone did as I do? Business would just have to find new ways to advertise. Imagine asking PERMISSION to display advertising on any and all computers. Why should advertisers get a free ride on my PC? I consider MY PC to be the same as my home. If politicians want to put a signs on my lawn, they have to ask. That's how I feel about it, and I will not backdown from this truth. My PC is MY CASTLE! I DECIDE WHAT GOES ON IT! No one else.

There's an article on my site here that details how to be completely (or mostly) Ad-Free. I posted it a year ago in my Blog section. http://mvp-help.webs.com/apps/blog/show/41949244-new-wsc-volume-1-addons-means-adsoff

All the best and always take care of your security!

March 28, 2015

Google Strong-Arms the Little Guy in the Name of Suspected Security Breaches

It all started when I tried to logon to an old account of mine on YouTube. My attempt to do so was blocked by Google and my page was redirected. When I checked my email address for that account Google had sent me an email informing me they suspected someone had stolen my password and were attempting to use my account. That was ME you idiots! Since then I have been completely unable to logon nor reset the password to that account. Google can keep the account. I don't want it any more. Am I angry? Very much. How about if we all dump our Google accounts, before Google gets too bossy about our security? I will no longer use Google accounts for anything important, especially since they monitor everything. I have paid accounts with places other than Google. Google can go stick it up their nose!

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Posted September 5, 2015

 

How to Fix the Fifty Saves Limit in Mass Effect 3 the Easy Way

I decided to replay ME3 recently and then ran into the old problem of its 50 Saves limit. The reason for it apparently was because ME3 was originally setup for consoles, not PC's. They didn't bother changing it when they ported it to PC. Lazy bastards. Rather than trying to edit hex files to fix it, there's an easier way. Copy your save folder to a backup location, then delete all but 2 saves from the original file. Keep the Autosave stuff too. Rename the 2 files to 0001 and 0002. Go ahead and use the save file as before. As I get more save folders, I just number them. Piece of cake!

Fallout New Vegas - How to Fix the Endless Loop Loading Screens

I've been playing this videogame for the past couple months. It's a big, open world game with lots of stuff to do, not just the usual quests. Of course it has its share of bugs and difficult passages. At first I played the vanilla game but then got the DLC's or Downloaded Content. It was with this kind of content that I started encountering the endless loop loading screens. It's essentially a game crash that forces you to either turn it off with Task Manager or by signing off your computer to force it to reload. Pain in the ass. To fix it first go to your Gameplay Settings and turn off ALL Automatic Saves. All your future saves will be MANUAL ONLY and preferably INDOORS not outside. If the endless loop does occur, reload your game BUT START A NEW ONE. As soon as you get control of your character from Doc Mitchell at the start, load your previous game save. Don't worry, it will accept it and it will load properly. So far it's working fine.

Posted April 2, 2016