This page is intended as a growing
collection of PC-related things that took me a while to figure
out, in the hope of making them easier to Google in the future...
Why does my Windows 8 PC turn itself on at the same time every
[15-Dec-2012] After upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 a few
weeks ago, I found that my PC would power up from Hibernation at
12:53pm (precisely) every day. Eventually it turned out that a
Scheduled Task called mcupdate_scheduled
("Check for Media Center updates") had the flag "Wake the computer
to run this task". This is the issue described in this KB article
from Microsoft - unfortunately this type of article is only easy
to find if you know the magic keyword "mcupdate_scheduled"
Interestingly, Media Center and the mcupdate.exe executable had
been removed in the upgrade to Windows 8, so the task had become
useless anyway and failed with error 0x80070002. Disabling the
task fixed the power-up problem. It should be noted that the "Wake
the computer to run this task" setting overrides the global option
"Sleep" > "Allow wake timers" under "Advanced power plan
settings" for the current plan.
Update: There seem to be other "system maintenance" jobs that can
also make a Windows 8 PC power itself up for things like
installing updates. I am still trying to collect a more complete
How to avoid drive-by downloads of the ask.com toolbar with
each update of the Java runtime (JRE)
[15-Aug-2012] Oracle still continues the questionable practice of
bundling the ask.com toolbar
with each security update of the JRE, even going so far as
requiring the user to opt-out of the installation of the
potentially unwanted additional piece of software.
To avoid this, do not download the "standard" ("Online") version
of the JRE, but instead go here
and install the "Windows x86 Offline" installer - once you
installed this version for the first time, future downloads will
also exclude the ask.com toolbar. This is probably a particularly
good idea if you are installing JRE for someone else who may not
want to be nagged each time there is a new security patch.
Update [17-Oct-2014]: While the above "trick" no longer seems
to work, Oracle have now added an option to the very bottom of their
Java control panel's "Advanced" tab named "Suppress sponsor offerings
when installing or updating Java". Check this, and you should be
done - very useful if you are setting up a PC for someone else.
How-To Geek for more details.
In the German version, the option is called "Sponsorenangebote
während der Installation oder Aktualisierung von Java unterdrücken".
Here are some utilities that helped me out of a bind at least
- ntldrismissing.com -
Miles Comer's "magic" boot disk that can recover from some
situations where a Windows XP machine produces the "NTLDR is
missing" message, for example after defragmenting the hard
disk and accidentally moving a system file to a region that
the default BIOS boot loader cannot access.
- Free EaseUS
partition recovery tool - helped me get back access to
my data partition after a resize with Partition Magic went
wrong, leaving the partition table with incorrect partition
- Vector Magic for tracing
bitmap images to create vector drawings. The online serivce allows
trying out as many images as you like, and lets you download two
results for free before becoming paid.