Random Tech Questions you want answered.

PurEvil wrote:

Anyone here familiar with Teamviewer? I've got my network of PC's that I'm trying to set up so that I can remote in without needing to know the password. With my PC (Veloreyn-PC) this is easy because my user account is an admin, so Easy Access always works. However, on my kids' computers (Sabastian-PC and Tristan-PC) I keep them on standard user accounts so that I can have the parental rights time limits set without them just turning it off.

Unfortunately this comes with the side effect that I can grant Easy Access while in the admin accounts for those computers, but not the standard user accounts, which means I have to have a randomly generated password to connect. I tried running Teamviewer as admin within their standard accounts but it doesn't give me access to the Easy Access settings. Does anyone know a way around this that gets me access without a password without having to give my kids admin rights?

I feel like this should “just work” because I’ve set this up hundreds of times and never had that problem. But we use “unattended access” which is different to “easy access” even though it seems like the same thing. Maybe check the security settings to see if you can set that up?

I keep getting DNS timeout errors. Rebooting the cable modem/router fixes it for a time. The thing is, the problem recurs whether I'm set to get my DNS info automatically from Comcast or using Google's DNS servers. I suspect the modem/router unit is going bad. Does that sound right?

Vargen wrote:

I keep getting DNS timeout errors. Rebooting the cable modem/router fixes it for a time. The thing is, the problem recurs whether I'm set to get my DNS info automatically from Comcast or using Google's DNS servers. I suspect the modem/router unit is going bad. Does that sound right?

Are you sure Comcast isn't hijacking your DNS requests? I wouldn't put it past them.

deftly wrote:
Vargen wrote:

I keep getting DNS timeout errors. Rebooting the cable modem/router fixes it for a time. The thing is, the problem recurs whether I'm set to get my DNS info automatically from Comcast or using Google's DNS servers. I suspect the modem/router unit is going bad. Does that sound right?

Are you sure Comcast isn't hijacking your DNS requests? I wouldn't put it past them.

You mean like, redirecting me from Google's DNS servers to their own? I guess that's possible. Not sure how I'd figure that out if they were.

Right now I've got my own computer on a direct line to the cable modem, just to see if anything else on the network is interfering. Unfortunately this process takes a while because it isn't reliably unreliable.

Vargen wrote:

You mean like, redirecting me from Google's DNS servers to their own? I guess that's possible. Not sure how I'd figure that out if they were.

Right now I've got my own computer on a direct line to the cable modem, just to see if anything else on the network is interfering. Unfortunately this process takes a while because it isn't reliably unreliable.

If your router supports it, enabling DNSSEC and using a DNS provider which supports DNSSEC (Google does, also Cloudflare and Quad9 and some others) would help prevent DNS hijacking.

Vargen wrote:
deftly wrote:
Vargen wrote:

I keep getting DNS timeout errors. Rebooting the cable modem/router fixes it for a time. The thing is, the problem recurs whether I'm set to get my DNS info automatically from Comcast or using Google's DNS servers. I suspect the modem/router unit is going bad. Does that sound right?

Are you sure Comcast isn't hijacking your DNS requests? I wouldn't put it past them.

You mean like, redirecting me from Google's DNS servers to their own? I guess that's possible. Not sure how I'd figure that out if they were.

Right now I've got my own computer on a direct line to the cable modem, just to see if anything else on the network is interfering. Unfortunately this process takes a while because it isn't reliably unreliable.

A lookup should specifically return if a domain is non-existent.

C:\Users\deftly>nslookup www.oisgerowocn.com 8.8.8.8
Server: google-public-dns-a.google.com
Address: 8.8.8.8
*** google-public-dns-a.google.com can't find www.oisgerowocn.com: Non-existent domain

I'd try that when you aren't having the problem and again when you are. I believe Comcast is one of the companies that redirects non-existent domains to an advertising page, so if you get an IP address for www.blahdittyblahdittyblahthisisnota..., they're hijacking your requests.

Some recent Googling by my wife has us suspecting the signal coming down the cable. Or maybe going up the cable. Only 3 of the 4 upstream channels are locked, and the power on those 3 is just under the minimum that Google's summary page says they should be.

It could be that my requests just aren't getting out to the Internet reliably. That could explain why I can have one tab showing an uninterrupted Twitch stream while another just shows an error claiming that I have no Internet at all.

Vargen wrote:

Some recent Googling by my wife has us suspecting the signal coming down the cable. Or maybe going up the cable. Only 3 of the 4 upstream channels are locked, and the power on those 3 is just under the minimum that Google's summary page says they should be.

It could be that my requests just aren't getting out to the Internet reliably. That could explain why I can have one tab showing an uninterrupted Twitch stream while another just shows an error claiming that I have no Internet at all.

I had similar modem issues years ago and they were caused by having an amp for the TV signal on the same line as the cable modem. To fix it they had to split the line where it came into the house before it hit the amp so that the modem was isolated from said amp.

Hmm. I don't have any sort of TV hardware plugged into the cable line at all. I suppose it's worth tracing the cable to make sure there isn't any old gear hiding somewhere from before I moved in.

Vargen wrote:

Some recent Googling by my wife has us suspecting the signal coming down the cable. Or maybe going up the cable. Only 3 of the 4 upstream channels are locked, and the power on those 3 is just under the minimum that Google's summary page says they should be.

It could be that my requests just aren't getting out to the Internet reliably. That could explain why I can have one tab showing an uninterrupted Twitch stream while another just shows an error claiming that I have no Internet at all.

Having only three upstream channels isn't too weird. A lot of systems (including the one I used to work for) haven't upgraded to four upstreams yet. Unless you're seeing a channel frequency in the fourth slot and it's unable to lock in and utilize it, that's probably not an issue. If you want, post your signal levels and I'll give you feedback on 'em. I used to be a network tech for Comcast.

If your upstream power levels are down around (or under) 35 dBmV, then the most likely issue is that you're too close to the noise floor and any little blip of interference that hits the node will cause packet loss for you on the upstream. The easiest way to increase your upstream transmit is to add splitters, but doing so without properly terminating the ports can actually cause reflections of the signal within the system.

I'm in kind of a holding pattern now.

I bought a new modem this morning. They've rolled out some faster tiers of service in my neighborhood and we'd need one anyway if we want to upgrade, so I figured I'd give it a try. And if it doesn't work I have 15 days to return it. I plugged it in and the Xfinity activation site popped up. I got a couple clicks in and then got the same no DNS/no Internet error that I'd been seeing before. At that point I stopped and called Comcast. I have an appointment for a technician to come tomorrow morning.

Once that was set up, I figured I'd plug the old modem back in and see if I could limp through the day rebooting as necessary. As of half an hour ago I hadn't had to reboot. Then Comcast called for a followup. They had me swap over to the new modem and activate it. I'm supposed to use the Internet this afternoon and they'll call me back at 7 to see how things are going.

I think I'll go poke through the image thread for a while. That's usually where I would notice the connection issues soonest, what with all the embedded images from various sources.

halfwaywrong wrote:

I don't have the RCA sockets, but I'm thinking that I could use an RCA to 3.5mm cable and plug in to the mic input. Failing that, there's the headphone amp idea that Rykin suggested, though that does start to make things a little more pricey.

Following up on this, if anyone's interested, I've got it working. I'm using an RCA to VGA converter to connect to the monitor, with an RCA to 3.5mm in the line-in input on my PC. Works well enough, currently enjoying Lylat Wars/Star Fox 64 for the first time in a long time!

I cannot figure out which app is periodicallly popping up blank ads on my Android phone. GRRRRR!

I need a new router for 2/3 wired connections and 5/6 wireless connections. Any gaming is done over a wired connection. The space to cover with the signal is pretty small, only about 900 sq-ft total. I've had the same little linksys WRT54 g router for what seems like forever, so I'm pretty out of the loop. Is there a lot to worry about in terms of which router I buy, or will pretty much any old thing from the local computer store be fine?

Can anybody recommend a 3-port (or more) HDMI switcher with a remote that doesn't suck ass?

I have this thing, where changing inputs with the remote is an exercise in increasingly angry button-mashing if it's more than 18 inches or so from the switcher, and if I wanted to walk across the room I could just press the input select button on the box itself.

Middcore wrote:

Can anybody recommend a 3-port (or more) HDMI switcher with a remote that doesn't suck ass?

I have this one. The remote has chunky rubber buttons, but it does have bright green front LEDs.

Kurrelgyre wrote:
Middcore wrote:

Can anybody recommend a 3-port (or more) HDMI switcher with a remote that doesn't suck ass?

I have this one. The remote has chunky rubber buttons, but it does have bright green front LEDs.

I have the same one (Amazon says I ordered it December 2017. I forgot where the remote is because it does auto-switching of inputs. Auto-switching is great, until someone is playing another console and you place your Switch back in the dock to charge and they lose their audio and visual for about 5-10 seconds until the Switch goes back to sleep and the switch auto-selects back.

Cross posting from the build a PC thread... Upgrading a Dell Optiplex 990 prebuild with a gfx card, an SSD, and possibly RAM if there's anything left in the budget.

A question filed under "am I doing this right"?

A guy on Facebook Marketplace has a Corsair CP-9020121-AU-CX550 80 Plus 550W Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply for sale, bought but not used, asking half MSRP.

If my default Dell PSU says it has a total output of 265W, and a card like the GTX1060 draws 120W (1050 draws 75W) then the 550W PSU should be more than sufficient, even if overclocking the card (265+120=385) or one similar?

I've physically measured the PSU in my case, and it's identical to the dimensions of the CX550, so the only thing stopping me from grabbing it, is the wattage consideration, and if I have that correct.

Yes, you should be fine with that PSU. Your optiflex fits any standard psu. I would imagine a good 500-600W PSU probably runs about $40-$50 brand new.

Middcore wrote:

Can anybody recommend a 3-port (or more) HDMI switcher with a remote that doesn't suck ass?

I have this thing, where changing inputs with the remote is an exercise in increasingly angry button-mashing if it's more than 18 inches or so from the switcher, and if I wanted to walk across the room I could just press the input select button on the box itself.

I have a number of these in my classrooms (I do AV support at a university). If you want something a little more high end look into Kramer brand products. If you want something really high end look into Extron or Crestron. Also you might look into surround sound receivers even if you don't need/want surround sound. You can get a refurbished or discontinued model with 6 or 7 HDMI inputs for around $200.

550W is more than enough for a single-GPU system. I would consider 500W to be the baseline "safe" requirement for such a system.

m0nk3yboy wrote:

I've physically measured the PSU in my case, and it's identical to the dimensions of the CX550, so the only thing stopping me from grabbing it, is the wattage consideration, and if I have that correct.

ATX power supplies are a standard. Your case fits and ATX power supply (and has one in it), so basically any ATX power supply is going to fit.

Anyone have recommendations on swapping HD's? I currently have 2 standard platter HDs (2TB + 3TB). Because my case only has room for 2 standard HDs, I'm looking to add one large drive (either 4 or 8 TB) and remove my smallest drive.

Basically the 2TB is 'D:', the 3TB is 'E:', and we'll call the 8TB 'F' for now. I want to move the contents of E: onto F:, and then D: onto E:. D: is currently my steam library, E: is currently my flight sim scenery library. I play a lot of flight sims so the content on E: is actually a ton of files.. lets say its 2 TB of 10MB *.dds files for orthoscenery.

Because my case only fits 2HDs, it is a bit tricky. I know one solution is to get a USB to SATA cable and move E: to the USB connected F:, then D: to the SATA connected E:. Remove the old D: drive, install the new F: drive and maybe rename drive letters so a bunch of things don't break (maybe?). The good news is neither drive has my windows install, so I'm not worried about that part.

Are there any better (read: faster) solutions than that?

Do you have extra SATA and power so you can temporally hook one up that way? If so I would go ahead and swap the drives and then do the temp/open case hookup for the one you are getting rid of.

Yeah, I have plenty of extra SATA/power, so I guess that probably is the simplest solution.

Is just a regular file copy the best way? or is there any benefit/downside to ghosting the drive? As I mentioned, I'm not touching the C: drive, just a bunch of games and other data.

I would use the modern equivalent of robocopy. More robust for moving large amounts of data

TheGameguru wrote:

I would use the modern equivalent of robocopy. More robust for moving large amounts of data

Teracopy free version is pretty solid.

I was wondering if anyone would have any theories on why the Internet at our place stopped working... and then returned to normal.

So Wednesday evening, while streaming the Euro League finals, our Internet access suddenly dropped. Our intranet still worked, I could see all connected devices, but no internet anymore (WAN nor Wifi). I tried to reboot the devices, the modem and the router (unplugging them for a minute and then reconnecting power) to no avail.

Customer service also asked me to reboot the modem/router, twice, so that's 3 rebooting attempts.

But then on Sunday, we had a local power outage while outside the house for fifteen minutes. I turned the power back on, and to my surprise the wifi and wan started working again!

My only theory would be that I needed to unplug the devices for longer than 30s to a minute maybe?

Sounds like something just upstream of your house needed rebooting, and whatever CS rep you talked to wasn't able to figure that out.

That would make sense, that something at the ISP broke, and they didn't know.

My neighbors on the same ISP still had their wifi running though.