Archive for June, 2011

Windows XP: My monitor does not turn off for power saving

June 26, 2011

I had this problem for a long time in my Windows XP machine. I had set up my monitor to turn off after 3 minutes of inactivity for power saving reasons. I, also, had disabled the screensaver although the last time it was enabled it was set to appear after 1 minute of inactivity. This piece of information will become significant latter on.

The problem was that sometimes my monitor could not go into power saving mode. I had absolutely no idea why such a thing happened and I couldn’t correlate this problem with any user action I was performing each time the problem arose. I knew that I could fix this problem by just clicking Apply in the Power Options control panel applet and I, also, had figured out that the problem disappeared if I adjusted the inactivity period down to 1 minute.

If you don’t want to go into all the technical details that will follow, you may want to know that the cause for this problem is the Adobe Flash player. The problem happens after viewing a Flash video (e.g. YouTube) and there is a bug report for this issue: FP-5216. If you want to learn more please continue reading and/or watch the screen-cast: Part 1 and Part 2.


Windows hooks detector

June 22, 2011

Update 2012/08/26: Added support for Windows 7.

Recently, I had to fix a problem with Microsoft Office Word. The problem was that the normal key combination Alt-Shift for changing the input language was not working. After some time I discovered that the culprit was a rather old piece of software that had installed some Windows hooks targeted at the Microsoft Office Word, which (probably) stopped the propagation of the Alt-Shift key combination before it could actually change the language.

While I was investigating this issue, I noticed that there was no available utility that could detect and report installed Windows hooks. So here I present a Windows hooks detector. It is a command line application accompanied by a system driver, that scans, detects and reports installed Windows hooks.

Also you can download a demo hook application, that installs local and global hooks for testing purposes.

The source code is on GitHub: prekageo/winhook. The binaries are here: Windows hooks detector and demo application. The software has been tested on Windows XP and Windows 7.