Windows 10 Tech Preview Update to Build 9926

Category: General

Recently Windows 10 updated to build 9926, which initially felt like the whole PC was being installed again.

It went through the whole 'We're getting things ready' and installing your apps and such as if its a fresh install / refresh. Anyway, I noticed some changes to the UI and thought i'd post up some screenshots.

Windows 10 Start Menu Build 9926

The new larger start menu

Windows 10 Start Screen Build 9926

The new start screen with sidebar

Windows 10 Start Screen Search Build 9926

The start search

Windows 10 Settings Build 9926

The new settings screen

Windows 10 Personalise screen Build 9926

The personalise screen

Windows 10 Display options Build 9926

Display Options

Windows 10 Storage Sense Build 9926

Storage Sense (I haven't looked further into this yet)

Windows 10 Add Features Build 9926

Add Features (Handwriting and Touch?)

Windows 10 Icons Build 9926

The Icons have changed?

I've also noticed there are tiny little blue bars at the bottom of active taskbar pins? These end up with lines in when you have multiple windows open. Not entirely sure on the purpose of these but oh well.
There seems to be a change on the minimise / maximise / close buttons on windows too.

I'll see how I get on with these start menu changes...

Posted 5 days ago (24th Jan 2015) - by

AMD R9 BSOD / Black Screen

Category: Hardware

I recently purchased an AMD R9 290 and like many people I suffered the black screens and BSOD's after install.

AMD R9 290

After much digging and reading the tons of other people that experienced the same issue, I then completely removed the driver with the Guru3D Display Driver Uninstaller. I allowed it to restart my PC, I was then presented with a Windows logon screen, already further than various attempts before.

The next step was installing the latest Beta driver from AMD

The important part of installing this was to Only install the driver. Nothing else, no AMD video, not HDMI (because I use DVI, I guess it would be okay if you're using HDMI), and especially not installing Catalyst Control Center (CCC). Various installs of this on fresh copy of windows regularly seemed to result in CCC crashing when installing first time. 

With the driver installed, and hopefully not a black screen, restart Windows. At this point it should be okay to re-run the installer with CCC enabled.

One of the other things that may be relevant to the BSOD issue is the layout of power pins.

There's an 8 pin connector on an R9 290 and a 6 Pin. I simply used a 6 and a 6+2 pin connector from my PSU and assumed all would be fine, but apparently not. The adapter cable supplied with my card was not a 6 to 8, but a 6 to 7 pin adapter. See below image:

This seemed to solve the BSOD and the buggy BIOS I was getting on POST. By buggy BIOS, I mean tearing, slight unresponsiveness, and an overall generally slow POST.

Hopefully this can help someone else out there get thier card working without an RMA.

Posted 3 months ago (15th Nov 2014) - by

Zeroshell is Awesome

Category: General

Zeroshell is awesome.

You can read more about Zeroshell here at

I live in the UK and unfortunately am connected directly to a telephone exchange, this means no cabinet, and therefore no fibre broadband in the near future.

I've been using Zeroshell for some time now, but recently discovered that it could be used to create a VPN from my home with multiple internet connections to give me an increased bandwidth with failover setup

I have 2 20MB ADSL lines which for some is pretty good, but with tons of internet TV about, and being a web developer, it really isn't. Combined I get a reasonable speed of over 20MB but more importantly an uninterrupted network connection where I can download files while others watch TV and such without and pauses on the streams.

The ideal setup for this is 2 zeroshell boxes linked together, but I went for the dedicated server setup with a local zeroshell box. This involves installing open VPN, creating 2 virtual network interfaces locally and on the dedi. These are configured as 2 separate VPN connections and are then bonded together afterwards. This can then be set on the zeroshell box as the default gateway and hurrah! a working VPN with failover and increased bandwidth!

Support Zeroshell and spread the word. Thanks.

Posted 4 months ago (16th Oct 2014) - by

Windows 8.1 DNS Issue

Category: General

Since upgrading to Windows 8.1, i've been having major DNS issues. On my PC, at work and on my Surface Pro.

Many other people also have the issue and have tried various things such as the following:

netsh winsock reset

or constantly having to

ipconfig /flushdns

Both of which only gave a temporary solution and would soon give me DNS errors again. I tried manual IP configurations, disabling IPV6 and trying fixed DNS such as Google or OpenDNS.

I then tried disabling the firewall for local networks and discovered I wasn't having to refresh pages very often. At all.

Opened up over 100 tabs in chrome from bookmarks, everything loaded fine. Still going fine hours later.

So, is the firewall blocking DNS requests?

It might be, for now i've opened up port 53 and will continue to watch the DNS issue as it can be extremely irritating.

The commands for anyone who wants them (run as administrator)

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="DNS Port 53" dir=in action=allow protocol=TCP localport=53
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="DNS Port 53" dir=out action=allow protocol=TCP localport=53
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="DNS Port 53" dir=in action=allow protocol=UDP localport=53
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="DNS Port 53" dir=out action=allow protocol=UDP localport=53

Posted 7 months ago (21st Jul 2014) - by

Google Play Services cannot be installed to the default location

Category: General

While trying to update Youtube on a friends phone, I was promoted that Google play services needed to be updated. Clicked to update and receive a notification that it cannot be installed to the default location. After playing around simply unmounting the SD card, then updating Play Services solved the issue.

Posted 8 months ago (1st Jul 2014) - by

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