Monday, September 19, 2016

[SOLVED] "tool dl image fail, uboot is blocked by dl info" Error Message

After re-flashing the ROM of my Lenovo s650, that is the message after rebooting my smartphone. - "tool dl image fail, uboot is blocked by dl info" To fix the issue, you need to re-flash your smartphone using the smart_tool.exe, with the options DA DL Checksum checked.

To do so, follow these steps:

(1) Go to the Smart Phone Flash Tool (SP Flash Tool), click on the Options menu
(2) Click on the Download option, check "USB Checksum" and "EMMC Checksum". Close the window.
(3) On the Download tab, right below the "Download" button, select from the drop down box "Firmware Upgrade"
(4) Repeat the same procedure as your previous flashing. After a successful flash ROM, the smartphone should work again.

[SOLVED] Flashing a New ROM to My Lenovo S650 Smartphone

There are different reasons why a user will want to flash a new ROM (system) to his smartphone. For me, the simple motivation is that my Lenovo S650 is sadly not with Play Store...yes, very bad, which is very common for a phone from China - with the Play Store taken away!

(1) Find a ROM file for the model of your smartphone
The first thing you do is to find a new smartphone Android system (the ROM file). Simply google it, search for your model, like in my case, search "Lenovo S650 ROM download". The search result shows a number of links to download. Be careful of some websites which may like to trap you to advertisement or getting your information instead of generously helping you...

If your smartphone is powered by Mediatek chipset, here is a good source of MTK ROM files for different brands and models:

(2) Extract all the files of the ROM package your downloaded

Often, the downloaded ZIP file is with everything you need. If not, you can still go to here to download the needed tools: http://spflashtool.com/

(3) Install the smartphone USB driver
Either you install directly from the downloaded ROM package file, or you can follow these links to download the needed drivers.

(4) Run the SP Flash Tool program
Either you run the SP Flash Tool program with the ROM package, or you can follow this link or go to the website http://spflashtool.com to download the SP flash tool. 

Run the tool, named "flash_tool.exe". It looks like this:

(5) Go to the "Download" tab, press the "Scatter-loading" button. Select the scatter file, which is located inside the folder of the extracted ROM file. It's named like "MTxxxx_Android_scatter.txt".

From the menu, select "Options". In the Options window, select "Download" at the left side, check both options for "DA DL All with Checksum". Close the Options window.

Just below the "Download" button, there's a drop down box. Select "Firmware Upgrade".

(6) Press the "Download" button. The application is now stand-by waiting until a smartphone is detected as plugged into the computer USB port.

(7) Remove the battery from your smartphone. Press and hold the Volume Down or Volume Up key while connecting your smartphone to the computer using a USB cable, until the flash_tool application showed the status change as the smartphone is detected.

(8) The status bar will show the flashing status. When it's completed, a green check message "Download ok" will be shown.

(9) Close the flash tool application. Disconnect the USB cable and power on your smartphone again.

Additional Reference: https://androidmtk.com/ provides useful information on the MTK flash tools.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

[SOLVED] iPad with Trackpad or "Mouse"

When working with iPad, I always miss my laptop especially when I need to accurately position the cursor when editing text... until this discovery!...

In fact, iPad's on screen keyboard can be turned to a trackpad! In the "trackpad mode", you can move the cursor with ease, you may even be surprised of its efficient and precision positioning of your cursor.

Turn your keyboard into a trackpad - Touch and hold the keyboard with two fingers until it turns light gray. Now drag around to move the cursor.

[SOLVED] Free 100GB Space for Microsoft OneDrive

If you have your OneDrive free account downgraded to a 5GB plan, you're not alone. But now, there are available a number of ways to add free space to your OneDrive. One way is that if you have a Samsung smartphone or tablet, there's a chance that you are actually entitled to the 100GB free space bonus.

Here's how ...

On your mobile device, make sure your OneDrive is up-to-date, if not, go to Play Store to update it. Then, run OneDrive app and go to Settings. Look for the option "Apply 100GB Samsung offer". If the option is there, congratulations! You are entitled to 2 years' 100GB free OneDrive space! Tab on it and simply follow the on-screen instructions.

After successfully applied, the bonus offer should be reflected on your OneDrive account.

There are a number of other vendors out there offering similar bonus space. Try google them... ;>

Thursday, July 7, 2016

[SOLVED] My iPad's Keyboard Does Not Have Arrow Keys

If you have been using a hardware keyboard for your work, you might wonder why there's no arrow keys on the iPad's software keyboard. Although you can tab the cursor at a certain point, all too often it is just not accurate enough.

In fact, iPad's on screen keyboard can be turned to a trackpad! In the "trackpad mode", you can move the cursor with ease, you may even be surprised of its efficient and precision positioning of your cursor.

Turn your keyboard into a trackpad - Touch and hold the keyboard with two fingers until it turns light gray. Now drag around to move the cursor.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

[SOLVED] Microsoft OneDrive Downgraded to 5GB Free Space

Starting July 2016, Microsoft will downgrade its OneDrive free plan to 5GB. If you have more than 5GB of files in OneDrive, you will not be able to change or add anything in OneDrive and all your files will be set to READ ONLY. Sorry.... this is now a trend that service providers like Microsoft and Evernote are moving people to paid subscriptions instead of a free plan. If you are happy to pay a modest fee to Microsoft, you do not need to continue your reading here... just subscribe and you're good. Otherwise, check out for more options...

One option, if you need storage space less than 15GB, switch to use Google Drive. Or, you may carefully group your files and put them in different cloud services like Dropbox, Box, or even iCloud, etc... if you do not mind all the troubles. A quick way to reduce your storage size, move all your pictures and videos to an external hard disk instead of putting them in OneDrive.

If you are thinking of buying a new phone, you may consider ASUS, which offers 100GB Google Drive space for about 2 years. I am sure you can find similar offers from other vendors, ...

ASUS - Redeem Google Drive Space 100GB:

If you are very concerned about what would happen to your files in OneDrive starting July, check this out:

Honestly, no free lunch. Yet, also time for us to rethink how we are using cloud services. At times, we have to admit that we have entered a kind of "lazy" mode and abusing others' "kindness"...

Thursday, June 16, 2016

SOLVED! Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death When Watching TV

I'm using MediaPortal for a few months watching TV, without any problems. After upgraded to Windows 10, MediaPortal continues to work without a problem for many weeks. But just recently, after watching TV for a while, Windows crashed with BSOD... with a message "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart..."

Interestingly, watching web-based TV (Adobe Flash) also crashed Windows...so it's NOT APP. Hard Disk check reported no error. It does not look like hardware failure. And, weird enough, when running Media Portal or web-based TV on my first monitor, Windows did not crash.

Ah....driver problem! My second monitor is with an updated NVIDIA driver.

Download a copy of the latest GeForce 210 driver from official website - http://www.geforce.com/hardware. Installed it... tested....

No BSOD, no crashing...when watching TV.... ;>

Why....it's not my first time heard of report of NVIDIA driver problem with Windows 10...



Monday, May 23, 2016

SOLVED! Microsoft Internet Explorer Not Working After Upgrading to Window 10

After upgrading to Windows 10, the default browser is Edge. However, many websites are still not compatible with it. Very frustrating is that my old Internet Explorer 11 is not working, it keeps loading and just a BLANK PAGE...

If you have similar experience, this may help...

First, you need to find Internet Explorer in Windows 10, click on the magnifying glass at the bottom left corner of Windows 10. Type "Internet Explorer".

Wait! .... instead of left click on it, RIGHT CLICK on "Internet Explorer - Desktop app" and select "Run as Administrator". Now, something different happened, the page loads! Also, some websites with special add-on or plugin modules now works fine! One example, TVB's Pearl channel works properly - http://mytv.tvb.com/tc/live/pearl

Saturday, February 6, 2016

SOLVED! Skype failed to start or connect to server on Windows 10

After upgrading my Windows 7 to Windows 10, Skype failed to work or connect. Even after reinstalling with the latest Skype, it won't work with the following screen..."Sorry, we couldn't connect to Skype." Actually it is nothing to do with Internet connection...

To solve the problem, this is what I've done:
  1. Start Task Manager (Windows Key+X, or right click on the time at bottom right corner), find "Skype". (Press "More details" if you cannot find the app)
  2. Right click on "Skype" and select "Properties"
  3. In the "Properties" of "Skype", go to the "Compatibility" tab.
  4. Check the box "Run this program in compatibility mode for", and select "Windows 7" from the list.
  5. Restart your Skype or restart your computer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

SOLVED! Missing Windows Media Center in Windows 10

Windows Media Center is not part of Windows 10, you have to look for alternatives. My choice, MediaPortal, which is free of charge and as powerful and feature-rich as Windows Media Center.

My primary use of Windows Media Center is for watching TV. Here are some simple steps to configure your MediaPortal so that you can use it to watch TV with the TV capture card.

1) Download a copy of the MediaPortal. My choice is MediaPortal 1 (although MediaPortal 2 will also work)
Download link - http://www.team-mediaportal.com/mediaportal-download

2) Run and finish the installation. Basically you will accept all default settings.

3) After installation, you will see "TV-Server Configuration" on your desktop. Run it to start configuring MediaPortal server end.

a) On the left hand side, expand "TV Servers", select your computer name and select the TV capture card detected (if your TV capture card or USB dongle is not detected, you may have to go to device manager and have the driver updated) Select "Country" of where you're, press the "Scan for channels" button. It will take some time, be patient.

b) Now, on the left hand side, expand "TV Channels", checked if the detected TV channels have been mapped to the card. If not, do it.

c) On the left hand side, expand "DVB EPG", select "TV Epg grabber", make sure all the channels are checked for the "Grab EPG for these channels". This allows you to grab the electronic program guide, which is built into app.

d) Close and save settings for the "TV-Server Configuration".

4) From your computer desktop, find another app called "MediaPortal Configuration". Run it and start in "Expert mode". Here you can adjust various important settings.

a) General\Startup/Resume Settings - look for "Start screen", here you can change to the default monitor to display your live TV. This is very useful if you have multiple monitors and you want to default your TV to display on a certain monitor.

b) General\Keyboard Default Shortcut - here are some shortcuts keys you will love to remember

c) TV/Radio\TV - under "General settings" tab, look for "When entering the TV screen", checked "Turn on TV" and "Directly show fullscreen TV". Under "Subtitle settings" tab, add your preferred languages for subtitles.

5) Press "OK" button to save changes.

6) Now you are ready to start MediaPortal to watchtower TV. Double click "MediaPortal" on Desktop, click on "TV" and press enter (***I hate the problem here that you might find it difficult to start TV, the mouse and keyboard just mess up a bit, take some practice...***)

Just ENJOY your live TV using your TV capture card or dongle now!!