Thursday, January 5, 2017

PC Software: Installing or Updating Logitech Gaming Software Will Not Progress Beyond Overwolf Installation Option

I recently had to replace my trusty Logitech G502 mouse on my gaming rig due to hardware failure and I selected the wireless G900 Chaos Spectrum as a replacement (yeah, I know, expensive!). Initial installation went smoothly and the mouse worked fairly well but I noticed unusual behavior in mouse movement and clicks especially when the battery was under 40%. After not finding new mouse firmware I noticed a new version of the control software was available.

Running the installer failed at the Overwolf installation option screen. No matter how long I waited or how many times I clicked the Next button, it would not advance to the next step. Uninstalling the older software and rebooting did not help. It turns out the issue was having the USB gaming receiver connected. Removing the receiver allowed the installation to proceed normally. The new software fixed the issue I was seeing for what ever reason (maybe it was the uninstall and reinstall that cleaned up bad settings).

The Logitech Gaming Software installer should warn about having the USB gaming receiver removed from the PC and to use the USB charging cable to run the mouse. I did not see any mention of this in the installer although the installation instructions in the manuals do.

BTW, I don’t install Overwolf. Overwolf allows LED lighting customization on various Logitech products based on game profiles. I don’t particularly find it useful.

See Also:

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Windows: Event ID 153: The IO operation at logical block address {block_address} for Disk 0 (PDO name: {device name/number}) was retried.

If you see an event logged with information similar to the following, you may or may not have a failing disk. I could be a bad driver, cable, or port on the motherboard or add-in card.  You may see sluggishness on access a drive or as I did Steam was having issues writing to a disk and was writing a about 900k instead of multiple megabytes as  expected.
The IO operation at logical block address 0x5d7a68 for Disk 0 (PDO name: \Device\00000032) was retried.

You can determine what command failed and the basic reason why from the Details tab on the event record. This applies to Windows 7 and newer. It may apply to Windows Vista and Windows XP as well. I did not have resources to verify.

At the time of writing, Windows 10 is current and the information below if from Windows 10 with the November 2015 update..

To get to the event viewer, right click on My Computer, Computer, This Computer, or This PC and select Manage. There are other ways of getting to the same location. I find this method easiest.






Under Computer Management, expand Windows Logs and select System.

 
Select a 153 event and then click on the Details tab. Note the disk number on the General tab as you will need it to find which disk is having the issue.

Refer to the graphic above. Make sure the Friendly View radio button is selected. In the In Bytes section, the second byte of line 0028: contains the SCSI command status, SRB status, and SCSI command code. SCSI command status indicates whether the command finished successfully from the drive or device driver perspective whether immediately or with retries. SRB status is the status of the request block used to track and initiate the command. The SCSI command code is the particular disk operation involved as a SCSI command. Even though in most cases the Storport or similar driver is in use (Microsoft provided), SCSI is used for the commands.

In the example above, the SCSI command status is 00 indicating the command did finally complete although it took at least one retry and thus the reason the event was logged. The SRB status of 04 indicates the request completed with any other error than standard errors, and SCSI command code of 8A is a WRITE(16).

  • SCSI command status codes can be found on Wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCSI_Status_Code

    and the T10 documentation:

    http://www.t10.org/lists/2status.htm
  • SRB status codes can be found on MSDN:

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn721875.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396
  • SCSI Operation Codes are found in the T10 documentation:

    http://www.t10.org/lists/op-alph.htm


What this means is a write of 16 bytes was sent to the drive and an OS provided driver timed out the command at least once but it finally completed with an error that is not known. The 04 status may indicate it could not determine if the command really completed even though the SCSI command status is good.

In this case, I was getting a lot of them on a Western Digital Green drive where Steam was installed (to isolate my games from the rest of the system storage). Many IO operation errors occurred at various logical blocks on Disk 0. To determine which drive, click on Disk Management in the Manage window and find the disk noted in the Event ID 153. In this case it was my Steam drive.

I have a good image backup so I restored to another drive and verified Steam works properly there. Every download in Steam or Steam disk write generates an event.

I formatted the drive and did a complete surface scan. No errors found but any programs or applications attempting writes trigger the event. New firmware is not available for the drive and I have another like it running the same version of drivers. Time to replace the drive.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

[UPDATE] PC Software: Steam: DISK WRITE ERROR on Windows 10

Are you getting a disk write error on some Steam games on install or unlock on Windows 10? There is a simple fix for this if other games install without issue.

NOTE: This may or may not apply to earlier Windows versions (Vista, 7, 8, 8.1). I've only seen this on Windows 10.
  1. Close Steam entirely (make sure it is not running).
  2. Open File Explorer and go to the steamapps common directory. The default location is:
    c:\Program Files(x86)\Steam\steamapps\common
  3. Look for files that are 0 KB in size and delete them:

    File listing screen shot
    0 KB file listing in steamapps common folder

  4. Restart steam and try installing or running the game again.
So far this has fixed the issue on my PC.

[UPDATE]

Found two more potential issues.
  1. Corrupt files in the downloading directory

    1. Shut down steam.
    2. Go to your steam installation directory then steamapps in file explorer.
    3. Look for a directory named downloading.
    4. Delete it.
    5. Start steam and retry.


  2. Read only permissions

    1. Shut own steam.
    2. Used file explorer to go the the steam installation directory.
    3. Right click and select Properties.
    4. Uncheck the Read-only option.
    5. Click Apply and allow it to change permissions on all sub-folders and files.

I ran into both new issues after installing the November 2015 Windows 10 update (version 1511). Several games were stuck updating with disk write errors in steam. After fixing permissions and deleting the downloading directory, updates started working again.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

PC Software: Fences move between monitors on SLI or Crossfire changes with multiple monitors

Has this happened to you? A new GPU driver is released, you download it, and install. Then, your Stardock Fences move between monitors. Usually this happens with Fences not created or placed on the primary monitor (monitor number 1).

When SLI or Crossfire (more so with SLI than Crossfire) changes state (i.e. from on to off during driver installation), the monitor resolutions and numbers change temporarily. This may cause Fences, if configured to do so, to move the Fences and resize them to the primary monitor. Occasionally I have seen them move to other than the primary monitor and almost always happens when installing a new driver but not disabling multi-GPU support first. There is an easy work around for this however it disables the auto-layout on resolution changes.
  1. Right click on the desktop or a Fence and select Configure Fences.

  2. Select the Layout and snapping link on the left under Features.
  3. In the Layout auto-adjustments section under On screen resolution changes... select the Don't preserve my desktop layout radio button.
  4. Click the close icon on the title bar to save and exit.

 I've found through experimentation that when SLI mode changes from on to off when installing a new driver or by manually performing the change, the other settings do not work as expected. Your mileage may vary. It could be an issue with my particular set of OS, drivers, hardware, and so on.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

PC Hardware: Why does my PC wake up?

Windows PCs may wake up on their own for a variety of reasons ranging from network adapter settings to Windows configuration. The list is in no order of precedence and covers Windows but could be applicable to Linux and OS X. The configuration details will vary by OS. These may apply to waking from sleep, hibernation, or power off.
  • Network (NIC) adapter settings
    NICs include settings to wake the operating system. These include:
    • Wake on Magic Packet
    • Wake on Pattern Match
    • Wake on Magic Packet from power off state
    • Wake on Link Settings

    These settings are applicable more to an enterprise environment rather than home or small business use. To disable:
    1. Right click My Computer, Computer, or This Computer based on the version of Windows.
    2. On the left select Device Manager in the Computer Management list.
    3. Expand Network adapters in the device tree.
    4. Right click a network adapter and select Properties.
    5. Select the Power Management tab.
    6. Uncheck any of the options dealing with waking the computer.
      Example Intel NIC properties
    7. Click OK to save the settings.
    8. Repeat for any remaining NICs.
  • BIOS/UEFI Settings
    Wake timers in the motherboard/system BIOS or UEFI may cause the system to wake.
    1. Enter the BIOS or UEFI using the appropriate keyboard entry. Check with your PC or motherboard documentation for the exact procedure. Usually pressing the Delete or F2 keys over an over during boot will allow access.
    2. Look for any settings dealing with wake timers or wake parameters. Check with your PC or motherboard documentation for any precautions.
    3. Save the settings and reboot the PC.
  • Scheduled tasks
    Some scheduled tasks may wake the computer. The task can be configured to not wake the PC.
    1. Search for Task Scheduler in the start menu or task bar search and click it to start. You must have administrator privileges.
    2. Examine the Conditions tab to see if Wake the computer to run this task is checked. Be cautious as some of the tasks are vital for system health. To disable the wake feature, click on the Properties option. Be sure to save the changes by clicking the OK button.
    3. Close Task Scheduler when finished.
Windows Task Scheduler
[Update: 10/19/2015]
  • Allow wake timersPower options allow the system to wake up due to timers. To disable:
    1. In the start menu or desktop search, type in Power Options and launch it by clicking.
    2. Click Change plan settings next to the plan current in effect (selected).
    3. Click Change advanced power settings.
    4. Expand the Sleep section of the tree and then Allow wake timers.
    5. Click the Enable link next to Setting to change. Note that Windows maintenance processes may or may not wake the computer if this setting is disabled.
    6. Click the OK button to save and then exit Power Options.
[End Update]

One last item is background applications. Anti-virus, anti-malware, maintenance, and other applications including OS tasks may wake the computer from sleep or hibernation and occasionally from power off. To determine if a background application is causing the issue, examine the settings for each of the third party applications and any Windows settings that may be at fault.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Windows 10: Control Panel or File Explorer windows open twice

I've run into an issue that has plagued me since Windows 10 release. When ever the Control Panel or File Explorer windows are opened, the window opens, immediately closes, and then another windows opens which is then usable. Occasionally these second windows are unresponsive and have to be killed via Task Manager.

If this happens to you, disable the "Launch folder windows in a separate process" option in File Explorer -> Folder Options.
  1. Click on the File Explorer icon on the Task Bar.


  2. Click the File menu at the top and select "Change folder search options".


  3. Click on the View tab and scroll down to "Launch folder windows in a separate process".


  4. Uncheck the option (as shown). Click the OK button to save.
From experience this eliminates the issue.

On a side note, Microsoft support has suggested making sure system files are not corrupted. It did not work for me but it may may for you.
  1. In "Search the web and Windows" on the Task Bar, type in Command Prompt.


  2. Right click Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator". Alternately type Windows-X (hold the Windows key and type the X key) to display the power menu and select the Admin option for command line or PowerShell.


  3. In the Command Prompt (or PowerShell if selected) window, type the following command:
    dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
    The command will take some time. Wait for it to finish before continuing. The command cleans up the offline image using Microsoft online sources.
  4. Now type the following command in the window:
    sfc /scannow
    The command will take some time to complete. Allow it to finish.
Both commands are safe to use and are recommended by Microsoft support regularly.