Category Archives: Tips for computer

Installation Problem with Eclipse for Android Development


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Last couple of days, I tried to download the Android development kit (SDK) needed to develop software for Android devices. This was purely for fun. One of the requirements is to download the Eclipse IDE (Integrated Development Environment) software from Eclipse.org. Well, unlike most of the software, Eclipse is written in Java and needs to be installed manually. Sigh!

I ran into all kinds of issues like down-rev Java run time; had to download that. And then there are 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Java. Eclipse 64-bit version needs the Java 64-bit version and Eclipse 32-bit version needs the Java 32-bit version. Then I ran into this issue that Eclipse couldn’t find Java. After Googling around and reading through all the problems people faced, I determined that it’s the PATH that needs to be defined to point to the Java bin directory. I decided to create this Youtube tutorial to benefit others.

awardr.net pop-up malware/spamware – how to remove it

Recently, my computer, specifically, the Chrome Browser got affected by a malware that keeps popping up a Starbucks $100 Voucher Award window which tries to get my personal information (and faking customer traffic to defraud the sponsor, I don’t know which as I didn’t click on it). It has an URL that points to awardr.net. I believe this came from one of my Facebook friends’ entry that I accidentally clicked. From then on, every time I click on the Facebook or some of the URL’s, the Starbucks $100 Voucher Award would pop up to get me to answer some survey questions and perhaps my personal information (as shown below). It was so annoying!

I searched and searched the Google without yielding any solution. Until I decided that I should use one of the Freeware online: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. It found the potential problem but it didn’t remove the file “expertpdf7_d165399.exe” until I removed it manually. It’s located in my “download” directory as “C:\Users\dtsai\Downloads\expertpdf7_d165399.exe (PUP.BundleOffers.IIQ) ” file. And it’s gone. Is it?

It kept coming back. So I then removed all the Chrome Gadgets, which didn’t help. But it’s good to remove all the useless Chrome Gadgets.

However, it didn’t quite do the trick until I completely uninstalled Google Chrome, restarted the computer, and re-installed Google Chrome when it’s finally gone. I believe it had managed to alter the Chrome software somehow. Very scary!

Just to share my experience in case you ran into the same problem.

Security Shield 2012 Removal

My wife’s computer was infected with Security Shield Malware Virus, that kept complaining that her computer was infected with 22 viruses. Of course, it’s a ploy to get you to buy the software to remove them when itself is the virus/malware. I guess it’s a way to con the naive to cough money to them.

Like every computer professional households, the spouse (I) with a better computer knowledge ended up become the IT support person. So I googled around and found the following website that has the fix using Malwarebyte. I tried that but it didn’t work because the Security Shield prevented the network access to update the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

It turned out that one must put in the computer in the “Safe Mode with Networking” by keying F8 before Windows boots up. Then the directions in the website worked beautifully for me. My wife is happy now, therefore I am too.

Clean Install with Windows 7 Family Upgrade Pack

I purchased the 3-license Windows 7 Home Premium Family Upgrade pack from Microsoft Store for $149.99. It was a better deal than I could find on Amazon. All went well until I tried to activate the Windows 7. I’ve got this nasty message that it’s not allowed since this package is for upgrade and not for clean install, though I didn’t have a choice since the hard disk with Vista Windows where I upgraded from crashed and no long accessible and I didn’t want to reload Vista just to wipe it off again. Thanks to Google search and the Option 3 of this link, I was able to activate it without any problem. Honestly, I don’t know why Microsoft is making this distinction between upgrade and clean install as the prices are nearly the same. It just complicates things more and making the users’ lives too difficult especially after the frustration of a disk crash. It’s no wonder Apple is gaining on Microsoft.

iPad WSJ app kept crashing on me – how I resolved it.

Last few weeks I had been bothered by the constant crashing of the WSJ iPad app. It took a long time for the app to download the latest news then it would crash (disappears to the background). I even updated the iOS to 4.3.4 – the latest but it was useless. After many trials and errors, I managed to get it work and would like to share with everyone. Here is how:

I first deleted the WSJ app. Power off the iPad (click sleep/wake and the home button at the same time then swipe the power off) then power it back up with the wake button. Next I downloaded the app from the AppStore again. Voila! It now works like a charm after I entered the user ID and password. Finally, the $2/week is paying off for me. It’s a much more economic solution than the paper version.

2013-11-19 Update: Lately after upgrading to iOS7, the WSJ app has been sluggish and occasionally unresponsive. One other user shares the same experience. Hopefully, this will be fixed in future update of WSJ App.

2013-11-22 Update: This morning I saw that WSJ just released a new update of the app on iOS7, which I downloaded and it seemed to work much better than before – no hesitation when you swipe between articles. Hopefully this is the fix.

Enlarge Usable Disk Partition after a HDD upgrade on My Vista Laptop

I have been annoyed by the limited disk space on my Lenovo T500 laptop. It has a scant 150GB SATA drive and just 140GB space left after subtracting the boot partition (~2MB) and the pre-installed rescue OS partition (~10GB). So I bought a new Hitachi 2.5″ 500GB SATA drive from Amazon to replace the existing one.

First I back up the entire disk of 3 partitions to an external USB2 HDD (> 150GB space) using CloneZilla. I have been using CloneZilla as a regular disk-image backup on a monthly basis.

Then I replace the old HDD with the new HDD. After unscrewing just one screw on T500, I remove the HDD cover. Use the hidden black pull tab to pull the old HDD out. Remove all the screws from the carry case and place the new HDD in the carrying case, screw in all four screws, and insert the entire case back into the slot.

Next, I restore the contents from the external HDD to the new HDD using CloneZilla. This is the reverse of the first step. It takes about one and a half hour to restore it. When it’s done, the new HDD now has 150GB occupying the entire 500GB drive – not good enough.

The trick now is to enlarge the middle ‘C’ partition which is sandwiched between the first boot partition and the third pre-install rescue OS partition. Click on Start then right-click on the Computer and select Manage. This invokes the Management window. Select Disk Management on the left panel. Then a map of the disk space shows up. Since Vista would not allow you to enlarge the ‘C’ partition with the 3rd partition still there, I first need to delete the 3rd partition. It’s OK because I have a backup copy on the external USB drive. Then I am now free to enlarge the ‘C’ (2nd) partition. Right-click on the ‘C’ partition and select Enlarge. Make sure we allow ~11GB (slight larger than the 10GB disk partition needed to restore) for an unused partition.

Lastly, we need to restore the pre-install rescue OS partition from the external USB HDD to the unused partition using CloneZilla’s local_partition_to_local_partition feature. Then it’s done. Enjoy your big disk drive. Be sure to get an external HDD big enough to back up your new big HDD on a regular basis (every two to four weeks).

Firefox’s New Tab Stops Working

For a while, the new tab (the +) button and the Ctrl-T shortcut for my Firefox 3.6.13 no longer worked. This happened suddenly and I didn’t remember what new software I installed to cause the problem. It was frustrating to have a non-functional button/command that I was so used to be using. I tried re-reinstalling Firefox but it didn’t help. So I decided to disable all the extensions and plugins at once. And it did the trick to bring the New Tab function back on. Of course, Firefox wouldn’t be too good without all the extensions and plugins. So now I had to figure out which one of the 20+ extensions and plugins is the culprit.

After 30 minutes of trials and errors, I finally root caused the problem to the Yahoo Tool Bar that came with the Java Standard Edition. By disabling the Yahoo Toolbar and enabling all others, I was able to bring my Firebox back from its handicapped state. I think Yahoo needs to do more software testing before releasing the software that adds more griefs than benefits.