Repairing laptops

I used to do a lot of computer repairs. Things like replacing keyboards, fans, speakers, LCD screens, etc.

Early to mid 2000s, you could easily get spare parts for most notebooks and desktops.

Desktops are obviously easier because they usually follow a standard such as ATX. However, lately, I’ve noticed that Dell has its own proprietary power supply units which you can only get from Dell. The good thing is the motherboard still uses the ATX standard. This means I can take an everyday PSU and plug it in, it’s ugly and it’s hanging outside of the case on a desk, but it fixes the computer.

On the laptop front, things have gone down the shitter. They’re making them not be repairable if you ask me. Parts are scarce. Replacement batteries after your warranty run out are non-existent. Before you tell me to run over to eBay or some other surplus store, don’t bother. I have tried purchasing batteries from there and they claim to be true OEM replacements, but they’re not. I’d have to imagine they’re exceptionally good counterfeits.

I tried going direct to the manufacturer which you used to be able to do such as HP’s Part Surfer and 9/10 times the part you’re looking for is no longer being sold.

They call this planned obsolescence.

The one thing I do know is that business class laptops and desktops typically can come with a standard three-year next business day warranty. And in doing so, you guarantee yourself three years’ worth of parts if anything goes wrong. I can’t say for sure how the parts market looks after three years.

The only reason I’m writing this is because I left the computer repair world a few years ago and moved towards supporting small businesses with their IT needs. I help procure desktops and laptops, typically from Dell small business such as their OptiPlex and Latitude offerings. Again, three-year next business day warranty. You can add on, a four-hour window too.

Overall, I agree with the right to repair movement. Computer manufacturers are hurting consumers by not allowing us to repair our devices. Having readily available parts is one part of the right to repair, IMHO. Without it, you’re having to go to places like eBay and hope and pray that the part you order is the right one. They have so many different part numbers for a single laptop model, but most of the time there are a lot of small variances in the actual model.

In closing, the right to repair should be given to everyone. The way these companies hurt consumers is by and large. Planned obsolescence should not be a thing.

PEXUS313AC2V not compatible with VMWare ESXi

I contacted StarTech via their chat and they informed me that this card is not compatible with any version of ESXi. No idea if it’s compatible with Hyper-V. I’ve had luck getting some non-officially supported devices to work properly. No luck this time. I tried to pass it through to the virtual machine, including installing the StarTech official driver. No luck.

VCenter backup via SMB to Synology

I was trying to create a VCenter backup within VCenter 7.0. I had a hard time trying to backup to my Synology. I did some Google-Fu and found that you have to turn on or set the max SMB to SMB 3 on the Synology under Control Panel, File Services, SMB/AFP/NFS tap and then click on Advanced Settings:

Change the Maximum SMB protocol to SMB3:

Apparently VCenter only supports SMB2.1 and 3.0.

Upon setting it to Max SMB protocol SMB3, I was able to create the backup.

The format to enter into VCenter backup will be SMB:\\server\Share. You don’t need to add the SMB port. I hope this helps.

Cannot format a used Windows hard drive in an iMac

I was trying to use disk utility to format a Windows hard drive that I installed into an iMac. I kept getting an error about “MediaKit reports not enough space on device for requested operation.”

I Googled and found this blog:

The article explains how to use Terminal to use diskutil to unmount the partitions and then you can use disk utility GUI to erase and partition the drive.

Fenix PD25 brief review

I finally lost my Fenix PD35 flashlight that I’ve owned for a better part of a year.

It was small and light enough to fit in my pocket with a clip and not bother me. I never knew it was there. I kept the PD35 along with a Benchmade Bugout knife in my right pocket for everyday carry.

After losing the flashlight, I started looking to replace it. I couldn’t find the PD35 and found out it was discontinued. I browsed the Fenix website and came across the PD25. It’s brighter and has almost the same size/shape and weight of the PD35. The only difference to me is the button that changes the light strength.

I’ve noticed it’s hard to find if I’m trying to feel for it. I find it quick if I visibly look for it, but the old PD35 had a nice flat, rubbery texture to the button, and was easily reachable/found via touch. That’s my only gripe. Otherwise, the amount of power it gives out is excellent.

Microsoft Windows 10 calculator always on top

I recently found out that in Windows 10 you can choose to have the calculator app always on top. However, the app that you can always on top is not the full calculator.

Full Windows 10 Calculator
Stay on top calculator

The first image is the full Windows 10 calculator which shows history and you can resize to your heart’s content.

The second image is the stay on top calculator which is gimped – it can’t be resized, it does not show history. My only request is to have the full version be able to be pinned/stay on top of all other windows.

Update for Universal C Runtime in Windows download links broken

If you’re trying to download the Update for Universal C Runtime in Windows from this link:, just know that you’re not going crazy and it’s not down temporarily. Those links are down for good. However, after a Google search, I found this post and a nice developer fixed or found the right download links for all operating systems including Windows Server 2012 NOT R2. Working link:

Lenovo Yoga C740 Ubuntu missing Intel wireless card

If you have a Lenovo Yoga or similar model or even a laptop that Ubuntu just cannot seem to find the wireless card, follow these instructions:

You have to make sure you follow the edit of the answer which is to do the update and install linux-oem-osp1. If you don’t do this, it will not work. Also, reboot. You should see the wireless device show up upon checking it via settings.

Edge Chromium protocol handler always open these types of links in the associated app

I’ve moved my daily browsing habits to the new Edge that is based on Chromium. I have been using it since the very first release. I am now using the stable beta version.

I noticed about a month or so ago that whenever I tried connecting to a Screenconnect session, the protocol handler would always ask me: This site is trying to open ScreenConnect Client, but it would not have the checkbox to allow me to always open these types of links in the associated app.

Edge Chromium protocol handler with no Always open these types of links in the associated app option

I finally decided to try and figure out if there was an option within Edge to enable this again. After checking the site permissions area, I could not find a setting that would allow this check-box to return.

I started searching the web, and through all the BS Google search results, don’t even get me started with that, I found a few other threads where people were reporting the same thing.

It appears that as of Chrome 77 which Edge Chromium is based on, they removed the option to always open these types of links in the associated app.

Their reasoning is because there was no way to undo the always remember option, they decided it was insecure and a security risk, therefore, they removed it completely.

Here is the thread I found:

In the thread, there is a workaround. It entails modifying the preferences file in your default profile.

Hi All, there is a way around this, you can insert a record into the preferences file
found in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default
The file “Preferences”  contains JSON serttings, our example is for a Web Client Print handler, so just added the below:

You must close all instances of chrome including any running processes before you do this or chrome will overwrite the file and get rid of your changes.

And it works.
NB: you’ll have to check your own scheme names to add.
Hope this helps.

I tried modifying the preferences file for the dev version of Edge that I am running alongside the beta and Canary. I went to: %HOMEPATH%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Edge Dev\User Data\Default and tried editing the preferences file found there. When I run Edge, I get an error message saying: Profile error – Your preferences file isn’t valid, or was corrupted. We couldn’t recover your settings. It changes the preferences file to preferences.bad and then creates a new Preferences file.

According to this ConnectWise technical bulletin:, you should be able to add the following: “protocol_handler”: {“excluded_schemes”: {“sc-xxxxxxxxxxxxx”: false}}, to the Preferences file, and it should always remember your choice that you would like to allow this app to run without having click on Open.

I tried it multiple times, placing the code in different areas, making sure the formatting was right. It never worked. I am going to assume that Microsoft block this change. I really don’t know much about how you can modify open-source browsers, but I’d imagine, most if not all that are based on the same source, follow the same guidelines or standards.

If you figure out how to force the new Edge browser to always allow specific protocol handlers to run instead of having to click on Open all the time, please leave me a comment.