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Bits & Bytes

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Fixing an Empty Battery Indicator in Windows

empty_battery

Shortly after accidentally dumping water on my computer and letting it dry out, it developed an odd error where the battery always indicated that it was empty even when it was fully charged. I searched unsuccessfully for a fix before finding a simple one of my own. This worked on a Windows 8.1 machine, but a similar fix will probably work on any version of Windows.

  1. Start by opening up the Control Panel
    1. Slide the cursor into the upper-right corner and bring it down along the right edge to open the side menu
    2. In the side menu, left-click Settings to open the right-side Settings menu.
    3. In the Settings menu, left-click Control Panel to open the Control Panel window shown below.

    control_panel

  2. Open the Device Manager
    1. Left-click Hardware and Sound (see above) in the Control Panel to open it.
    2. Left-click Device Manager in the Hardware and Sound window (below) under Devices and Printers.

    HardwareAndSound

  3. Uninstall all of the drivers under Batteries
    1. In the Device Manager and under Batteries, right-click a driver to open the context menu, as show below and left-click Uninstall
      uninstall_first
    2. A dialog like the one below may pop up. Left-click the OK button to confirm the uninstall.
      confirm
    3. Repeat those steps for each driver.
      uninstall_second
    4. When you are finished, the category for Batteries will be gone.
      device_manager
  4. Right-click the main computer icon to open the context menu shown below, and left-click Scan for hardware changes, as show below. This will replace the drivers. However, you may need to restart the computer to reset the battery indicator.
    scan


Fix for Windows 8.1 Apps Crashing – cannot find ms-windows-store: purgecaches

I just had this error and fixed it. The problem displays itself when you try to open an 8.1 app. The app opens and then closes quickly. I looked around for fixes and tried everything that I could, but I had to fix it myself in the end. Other suggested methods are listed below, in case you need them or if you want to try them first. Please leave a comment to let us know which one works.

The solution is simple and avoids having to do a full restoration and wiping out everything. Basically, I did a system restore. Microsoft Windows 8.1 creates restoration points when actions that it considers potentially harmful are performed. Restoration allows you to go back in time to a previous state, and the process is reversible. You can do it like this:

WARNING: Before you perform a restore, be sure to back up your personal files. Contrary to the claims by Microsoft, they will be affected. Cloud storage works well for this. You can put them on One Drive while you perform the restoration.

Method 1 – Restore from a restore point


  1. Open the Control Panel
    1. Move the cursor to the upper-right corner of the screen and pull it down along the edge of the screen until you are over the Settings icon.
    2. Left-click the “Settings” icon to open the Settings menu.
    3. In the settings menu, left-click “Control Panel” icon to open the Control Panel dialog.
  2. Left-click “System Security” at the top-left.
  3. Left-click “Action Center” at the top.
  4. Left-click “Recovery” at the bottom-right of the dialog
  5. Left-click “Open System Restore” to open the System Restore dialog
  6. Left-click the “Next” button to open a list of restore points. If
  7. Left-click the check box next to “Show more restore points” if you like.
  8. Choose a restore point and left-click it to select it. Be sure that your files are backed up and close your running applications because the OS will perform a restart.
  9. Left-click the “Next” button and finish the restoration steps.
  10. Windows should indicate what it is doing. Wait for the restart to log in and test it.

Note: if this did not work, you can follow the steps to completely undo the restoration and try one of the methods below.

Method 2 – WSReset


  1. Make sure that you are logged in with an Administrator account.
  2. Right-click the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of the screen to open the context menu.
  3. Left-click “Command Prompt (Admin)” to open a command prompt. (UAC will request that you allow this to make changes to your computer. Left-click the “Yes” button.)
  4. Enter wsreset in the “Administrator: Command Prompt” window and press Enter.

If this fails, it should give you the message “cannot find ms-windows-store:purgecaches.” Otherwise, open the app store to see if this fixed it.

Method 3 – System File Check


  1. Make sure that you are logged in with an Administrator account.
  2. Right-click the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of the screen to open the context menu.
  3. Left-click “Command Prompt (Admin)” to open a command prompt. (UAC will request that you allow this to make changes to your computer. Left-click the “Yes” button.)
  4. Enter sfc /scannow in the “Administrator: Command Prompt” window and press Enter.

Method 4 – Re-register the Store App


  1. Make sure that you are logged in with an Administrator account.
  2. Right-click the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of the screen to open the context menu.
  3. Left-click “Command Prompt (Admin)” to open a command prompt. (UAC will request that you allow this to make changes to your computer. Left-click the “Yes” button.)
  4. Enter

    powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\WinStore\AppxManifest.XML

    in the “Administrator: Command Prompt” window and press Enter.

Method 5 – Troubleshooter


Try downloading and running the troubleshooter from Microsoft: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=268423

As always, you might want to try restarting your machine after trying these.


How to Stop Losing Saved Flash Games

If you play Flash games with any frequency, you have probably noticed that, after a while, your saved games will disappear. Then you have to start the game from scratch and play through the entire game from the beginning again. Here, we show you how to fix this problem.

Expanding your browser’s cache does not prevent games from being erased. In fact, saved Flash games are stored in a location that is used across browsers. So, you can play the same game and continue your saved progress in any browser. However, you need to follow the steps below to prevent your saved games from being prematurely erased.

First, navigate to a page with a game on it, like this one.

Next, right-click inside the game window to bring up the context menu shown below and then left-click “Settings…” in the context menu.

This opens the Adobe Flash Player Settings dialog shown below. Left-click the “Local Storage” tab so that your settings dialog looks like the one below. Notice that the dialog asks how much storage xoax.net can use. This means that the storage is based on the website that you playing on, but not the game. By default, the value will be something small, like 10 kilobytes. With the default setting, the storage will run out fairly quickly, and you will lose all of your saved games, unless you increase the storage maximum.

To increase the storage, left-click and drag the slider to the right to increase the storage limit. I would recommend setting it to “Unlimited” so that you don’t have to worry about losing your progress. Note that you can see how much space is currently being used too. When you are done, left-click the close button and play some games!

Beware of clearing your browser’s cache. This may cause the Flash games to lose their storage, indirectly.