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Member Since 26 Feb 2012
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Topics I've Started

Confusion about Windows licenses

27 July 2015 - 10:51 PM

This is going to get a little convoluted. I'll do my best..

I currently have Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit that I purchased as an OEM license from Newegg. In a month or so (depending on the release date) I intend to upgrade to an Intel Skylake CPU and new Z170 motherboard. It is my understanding that the OEM license is linked to my motherboard, and that a new motherboard thus requires a new Windows product key. However, a significant number of people swear that I can contact Microsoft and free up the license for a new board—if anyone is familiar with this, how is it done, and how commonly is it successful?

Complicating the issue is that I attempted to purchase a discounted copy of Windows 8.1 Pro from an university software provider that my mother has access to. The intent was that I could purchase this copy to install on the new system for a very low price and not have to worry about it. However, the provider's site did a poor job of describing the products and what I ended up with is a product key for a Windows 8.1 Pro Upgrade. My understanding is that I can only use this code to upgrade an existing version of Windows. Am I correct in assuming that? Is there any way I could use this code to clean install Windows 8.1 Pro to a new system?

The fact that the upgrade is for the Pro version means that it could qualify me for an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. So if there's some way to use it on the new system, that would be great, but I think I need a copy of Windows on it first. Basically what I'm looking for is the cheapest and most reliable legitimate way to end up with Windows 10 Pro on my new system.

Video card stuck in clocked-down state during GW2

20 December 2013 - 10:50 PM

Every so often, my framerate in Guild Wars 2 becomes locked to about 25 FPS. And I don't mean in zergs, I mean in places it would normally be 60+.

Usually, this seems to trigger when I adjust settings (particularly resolution, windowed/fullscreen or Vsync), but once in awhile it will happen without an apparent cause. I noticed via MSI Afterburner that when this happens, my video card has clocked its core down to 405 MHz (from 850 MHz). After this has happened, the only thing that seems to fix it is to quit the game and reboot my PC. I think a few times I've had to reinstall my video drivers to get it to stop, but generally rebooting works.

This has been happening for long enough that I've reinstalled Windows and updated my video drivers multiple times without the problem going away. It doesn't happen very often and until now I've ignored it, but its annoying enough at the moment to push me to make this post.

My system:
Core i5-750 at 3.8 GHz
8 GB RAM 1600 MHz
GTX 460 at 850/2000 MHz with Nvidia 331.93 drivers
Windows 7 64-bit

I'm just curious if anyone has any thoughts on this behavior. Thanks.

Looking for a guide to rooting Android

06 October 2013 - 01:15 PM

I'm never seen this discussed here before, but I'm pretty sure its appropriate to the forum..

I'm looking for an in-depth, beginner-to-intermediate guide to rooting Android. I'm aware that by Googling I can find step-by-step checklist instructions to root specific Android devices, and I can find definitions of what rooting is in general, but neither of those cover what I'm after: I want to get started understanding the technical stuff behind it.

I have my old Motorola Bravo that I want to mess around with, and then if I get a little more confident and feel like I have some control over what's going on, I may give it a shot with my Galaxy S3 or Kindle Fire HD.

Monitor switches off repeatedly after system boot

11 August 2013 - 05:57 PM

I normally shut down my computer when its not in use. Every time I power it on, and for up to several minutes afterward, the main monitor turns off repeatedly. As in, the display image and the power light go off. I turn it back on with the power button, and a few seconds later it turns off again.

It continues this way for a few minutes after every cold boot—doesn't seem to happen after a restart. And then it just stops and behaves and its fine. Sometimes it only does it 2-5 times, sometimes it powers off 20+ times for several minutes. Its been doing this for awhile, too. It has never powered off on its own after I've begun regular use. The power-offs begin immediately when the computer is booted and occur during BIOS startup, it doesn't correlate with Windows/drivers loading.

I have two monitors: a Samsung P2350 1080p display as my primary and an older NEC 90GX2 1280x1024 as secondary, both connected to my GTX 460 via DVI. The primary 1080p display is the one having the issue; the secondary monitor always works perfectly. I've tried switching DVI ports and it doesn't seem to make any difference so it seems to be entirely the monitor at fault.

Any ideas what could cause it or how to fix it? Thanks guys.

Getting some random system crashes

20 May 2013 - 10:52 PM

For a little while now (a month or two, maybe), I've been having random system freezes. The entire system stops responding, including the mouse cursor. No ctrl-alt-delete, no error message, no BSoD, nothing. Nothing obvious seems to trigger it. It's happened in demanding games, but its happened just as often when I'm just sitting on my desktop or surfing the internet.

The freezes seem to happen in bursts—e.g. it hasn't happened in a week or so, then I just froze twice in the last 10 minutes. I gamed for many hours without incident last night.

This is what I've checked or done so far without success:
  • Taken apart the system and cleaned out dust. I've reseated the RAM and PCI cards, replaced thermal compound on both the CPU and video card.
  • Uninstalled/driver-cleaned/reinstalled fresh drivers for video card, sound hardware, chipset, USB.
  • Reformatted; reinstalled fresh Windows 7. I also set my BIOS to default when I did this.
  • Checked heat at load and idle for relevant components—its always fine.
  • Triple-checked overclocks for stability. They always pass, and I've crashed at stock settings anyway.
  • Stress tests generate the expected heat and load, without exposing any problems.
  • Windows is not generating any minidump files or problem reports for me to check.
I know there's other things I could try, like individually testing RAM modules. But at this point I want to know if there's anything easier/quicker I could try. If there's more you need to know, like a dxdiag or something, I'd be happy to provide it but I didn't want to dump tons of unnecessary info.