[SOLVED] Dolby Atmos isn't working with VUDU on my Roku Ultra!

If you are experience audio playback issues with your home theater system while trying to play UHD movies with Dolby Atmos soundtracks through VUDU on your Roku device, but can play other Dolby Atmos movies through other means (like Blu-Rays), try the following:

  • Start at the Roku Home screen
  • Navigate to: Settings | Audio | HDMI and S/PDIF
  • Make sure the setting is "Auto detect" (not one of the other issues that can force formats)
Roku: HDMI and S/PDIF audio setting configured for "Auto detect"
For a detailed explanation of what was happening with my own system when I encountered the issue and how I came to the solution, see my detailed write-up on it.

I hope this helps save someone some time so you can spend it enjoying those amazing Atmos soundtracks!


[SOLVED] Unable to remote desktop LAN computers after router upgrade

The Fix:

Make your Windows 10 device discoverable (which will convert the network from Public to Private.)

If you were using the computer when the new connection was detected and connected to, Windows 10 should have prompted you when it detected the new network asking if you wanted to make it discoverable.  If you missed that prompt or answered "No" when it asked, you will need to reconfigure that setting.

Steps to fix:

On the machine you want to control, do the following...
  • Hit your "Start" button and type "ethernet"

  • Click on "Change Ethernet settings"
  • On the Ethernet settings view, click the name of the network you need to configure.
    (In my case, it was "Network 11")
  • Toggle the "Make this PC discoverable" switch to "On"
  • Try connecting via Remote Desktop to said machine with another device on your network

Why it Happened:

After upgrading my router tonight, all of my Windows 10 devices detected a new network and automatically decided they would be "Public" and defaulted the device to be undiscoverable.

The problem for me was, one of my devices is a server that has no keyboard or monitor hooked up to it.  I needed to remote in to make sure some services were up and running again.  I had to track down a monitor, DisplayPort-to-HDMI cable and keyboard to be able to access the machine and get it configured so I can remote again.

While frustrating, this is actually a useful feature of Windows 10 to assume that any new network if potentially dangerous and default it to Public.

I hope this helps save someone a few hours of frustration thinking your new router is defective!


[SOLVED] Change login credentials in Remote Desktop Connection Manager v2.7

I love using Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection Manager v2.7.  It's a useful tool and I wish it were still being maintained.  There are some funky things with it that keep it from being perfect (what software is?) but this bugger is the hardest for me to remember the workaround.

I had issues trying to get credentials changed in Remote Desktop Connection Manager after my password expired on the servers in a group. I was trying to get to it by doing:

  • Right-click the group name | Select "Properties"
  • Go to Login Credentials
  • You'll see that the options are disabled
  • Right click the root node of the left pane | Select "Properties"
  • Click on the "Profile Management" tab
  • Highlight the Profile you need to change | Click the "Edit" button
  • Make the necessary changes and click the "Save" button
  • Click "OK" to get out of the Properties dialog
  • Click "File" | Save or Save All
Hope this helps!  I know I'll need to come back and remember this in 75-90 days when the next password reset comes around.


[SOLVED] Samsung Data Migration "An error occurred while writing to the Target Disk" 301001

Make sure your source drive is Disk 1 and target is Disk 2 (whether that is forced via physical connections or configured in your BIOS) -- please leave feedback if there is a better way to articulate this answer!

Read on below for more details if you need them...

Today I was required to clone a Samsung 840 EVO SSD that has been intermittently failing ever-increasingly in the past couple of weeks.  My new drive is an 850 EVO.

I connected the 850 EVO via a Thermaltake USB 3.0 dock.

The Samsung Data Migration software happily detected both drives (although the software listed my 840 EVO as a "Generic- Compact Flash USB device"), but when I started the clone, after about 8 seconds, the software stopped with the following error:

"An error occurred while writing to the Target Disk"
(with the error code 301001)
Perplexed because it detected the drives fine, I began investigating.

After playing around with a few ideas, I had the thought that maybe it didn't like the fact that I was plugged into an external dock.

Unfortunately I didn't have any extra cables, so I had to unplug a secondary internal drive to be able to plug my 850 EVO in.  This worked like a champ and I'm about 46% finished cloning as I'm writing this.

I began writing this with the intent to tell my readers that you need to plug it in to the internal and not use an external adapter.  However, with further investigation, I discovered the following in Samsung's Data Migration Software manual (English - other languages here) under "Limitations" on page 5 of the PDF:
#5. "On systems with two(2) drives of more (e.g. "C:", "D:", and "E:" drives) with the operating system installed on the "C:" drive, only the first two drives will be cloned.  The "System" partition that is created during Windows installation is automatically replicated.
Now I may have read this incorrectly, but it suggests to me that you need the Source disk as your first HD and the Target as your 2nd (whether that's configured through plugging into the correct ports on your motherboard or set in your BIOS I am not certain at this time) for this to work.

I think it worked for me because I limited myself to the two SATA drives so there would be no confusion (though that only happened because I needed to use the storage drive's SATA cable and power.  LOL

I would love to hear from you if you have had a similar situation... especially if you kept more than two drives connected and/or if you successfully used a USB/SSD dock/adapter.  I would imagine those with thin laptops that can't connect a second drive would need that to work.

I hope this helps save someone some time!


[SOLVED] Adobe Flash not working on Windows Server 2012 in Internet Explorer

I've been accessing a web site that uses Adobe Flash.  From a Windows 2012 Server using Internet Explorer, however, it always asks me to install Flash.  No matter how many times I install Flash, I'm constantly told that Flash is not installed and prompted to install it again.  The Flash content never displays.

From searching the web, everything I found talked about enabling the "Shockwave Flash Object" under "Manage Add-ons".  However, I never even see the Shockwave Flash Object under Manage Add-ons, regardless of the number of times I've uninstalled and re-installed Flash.

I finally figured out the answer.  By default Windows Server 2012 does not allow you to use "consumer" level features like Flash.  Flash is installed but disabled, and there is no way to enable it without installing the "Desktop Experience" feature.  Servers are intended to use a web browser for setup of the system, but not for consumer level things like Flash.  You have to install the consumer level features on your server.

To fix this, run Server Manager on your Windows Server 2012 machine.  Select Local Server and scroll to the bottom in the “Roles and Features” section.  In the upper right corner select Tasks > Add roles and features.

Press Next through the screens until you get to “Features”.  Scroll down to the bottom and open up “User Interfaces and Infrastructure”.  You will have 2 of 3 installed.  The missing one is “Desktop Experience”.  Check “Desktop Experience” and press Next until you are finished.  Then reboot your server.  Flash should now be enabled, and you will see "Shockwave Flash Object" in the "Manage Add-ons" dialog.

Here is the link where I found the answer:

Hope this helps!


GoDaddy PHP Upgrade from 5.3.x to 5.4.x Kills Sessions on IIS/Windows

The problem...

I spent a sleepless night on this one, but finally figured it out...

NOTE: This issue should only affect those on the GoDaddy Windows Hosting plan using PHP on IIS, but if I'm mistaken, please post your details and solution [if discovered] in the comments!)

I work on a PHP website that is in the process of being rewritten in ASP.NET MVC.  Because of this, the site has been set up on GoDaddy on a Windows Hosting plan with PHP running under IIS.  All was well through PHP versions 5.2.x and 5.3.x, but tonight needed to upgrade to 5.4 while we wait for the migration to be complete.

The site came up fine until I hit pages that required Session data.  It seemed that Sessions stopped working with my existing code.  After much troubleshooting, I discovered that the sessions were being written on the page setting the data, but when I hit another page that wanted to use said Session data, the Session was blank as if created new.

It turns out that there is a discrepancy on GoDaddy on the session.save_path used for PHP 5.2.x/5.3.x and PHP 5.4.x when hosted on the Windows hosting plan.

session.save_path comparison

PHP 5.2 and 5.3

session.save_path = C:\Windows\Temp\

PHP 5.4

session.save_path = D:\Temp\php\session\

The solution...

Now, I don't know if the directory doesn't exist, or if there aren't proper permissions set on the directory, but for whatever reason, it doesn't like that path.  After reverting back to 5.3.x and discovering the path difference, I re-upgraded to 5.4.x and forced the session.save_path to C:\Windows\Temp\ using a ".user.ini" file in the root of my site on GoDaddy.

What to do...

  • Create/Edit ".user.ini" in the root of your site and make sure it has:
  • GoDaddy Control Panel | IIS Management | Recycle App Pool
    (This will ensure the PHP config overrides in ".user.ini" are loaded and used)
  • Enjoy access to $_SESSION again!
I hope this will save someone else a sleepless night.


[SOLVED] New Media Files Not Showing on DLNA Player From Server

The problem:

When I find cool segments of blu-ray movies or awesome movie trailers I like to show off in my theater room, I have a special place on a computer on my network that I store ripped chapters of the blu-rays or movie trailers.

I love to play them using my Sony BPS-S3100 down in my theater room from said computer on my network.

What stumped me is that, at first, I would add files to the computer, but they wouldn't show up when I would browse the available folders on my blu-ray player.  Old files would show up fine, but the new ones would not.

Thinking it was a caching issue on the side of the blu-ray player, I spent an hour muddling through menus looking for ways to get it to refresh.  I finally found a place in the settings that would allow me to remove my computer from the content server list and re-detect it.  Unfortunately, that didn't solve the issue.

It turns out the issue resides on the computer serving the content.  I assume this information will be relevant to any DLNA server and the clients trying to consume the content.  If not, please leave a comment correcting me where I am mistaken.

(I believe each DLNA server will update media library information automatically on its own schedule, but I have no idea what the schedule is, nor have a desire to wait to have access to my content.)

The solution:

The DLNA server in question must be told to refresh the media library information to apply any changes you have made to your library (whether that is new/modified/deleted files or meta-information stored within the files like ID3 tags, etc.).

I realized I am using Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service.  To force it to update or refresh your media library information, simply click on the "Organize" button in the menu bar, then click "Apply media information changes" (see below.)

The procedure for updating will be different for different types of Media Servers, but if you have found your way to this article and discover the proper way for your DLNA media server to update/refresh your media library information so it can appear on your client, please leave a comment with the steps to do so and I will update this article with the steps for each server.

DLNA Servers & Steps to refresh/update the media library information:

Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service:

  • Open Windows Media Player
  • Click "Organize" >> "Apply media information changes"
    (It will take a little bit of time depending on the hardware in your computer if you need to do the same.)