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Coolink Corator DS CPU Cooler
Since its inception in 2007, "Heatpipe Direct Touch" (HDT) technology has become almost an expectation for air-based heatsinks. Previously, dissipative heatpipes were merely welded to the top of the mounting surface, serving only to help remove excess heat in the most extreme circumstances. HDT has allowed huge gains in cooling performance, by directly placing the heatpipes in contact with a processor's integrated...

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Fix: Thunderbird Asks for Master Password Twice

If you're running Thunderbird along with a master password, you might notice an occasional, but annoying problem. On launch/startup Thunderbird prompts for your master password multiple times; and, it will consistently keep asking for the password for every re-launch of the application, regardless of the extensions you are running. Thankfully, there is an incredibly quick fix for this issue:

Navigate to Tools -> Account Settings -> Server Settings -> deselect "Check for new messages at startup" (do this for each email account) -> OK

If you're still having issues with the master password prompt, a definite fix is using either the StartupMaster extension or Master Password+. StartupMaster is a simply forces Thunderbird to ask for your password before launching the main application, whereas Master Password+ is an overhaul of the entire system.

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Fixing the "a disk read error occurred" on boot up

One of the most dreaded, confusing errors your operating system's boot loader could ever throw at you is the infamous "a disk read error occurred. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart". Even after multiple restarts, this frightening error repeatedly displays on your monitor. Fortunately, the solution to this issue is often incredibly simple; and, for the majority of cases, both the boot drive and its data are completely healthy (you can confirm this by plugging the drive into another computer). The error is meant to represent a communication error between your hardware (motherboard and processor) and software (BIOS and the hard drive's "master boot record").

In my experience, running "CHKDSK /R /P", "FIXBOOT", or "FIXMBR" from XP's recovery console or a "Startup repair" through the Windows Vista/7 installation disc will have no impact on the resolution of this problem. So, if you've seen those suggested elsewhere, I recommend skipping those steps. Here is a list of suggestions that you should try one at a time:

1) Unplug the data connector (SATA, IDE, or SCSI) from your drive and blow out both the cable end and the back of your drive with compressed air. Re-seat both sides of the cable when you are finished.
2) Check the data cable for physical damage - try using another cable.
3) Try a different data connection on your motherboard - the port you are using could be faulty.
4) Confirm that you are not daisy chaining any power connectors leading to your hard drive (i.e. if your drive takes a 4-pin Molex connector, make sure that connector isn't part of a fan).
5) Use a different, confirmed functioning, Molex or SATA power-connector
6) If your drive is in a drive enclosure that uses a controller (i.e., 3.5" bay to dual 2.5" bay), remove the drive from the controller and plug it directly into your motherboard.
7) If you are using an older IDE drive with an IDE cable connected to two devices, check that the jumpers on the primary and secondary drive are configured correctly. Try setting both drives to "cable select", if that doesn't work, configure your boot drive as the "master" and the secondary drive as the "slave".
8) Unplug your computer and pull your CMOS battery (if you are unable to do this, reset your BIOS to its defaults through BIOS itself). After waiting a few minutes, reconnect everything and restart the computer. If your drives were configured to run in AHCI, be sure to set this in the BIOS (this is important). This fix usually does the trick for me.
9) Worse comes to worst, you can purchase a new drive and ghost (or clone) the old hard drive's data to the new drive. You can then use your original drive as secondary storage or in another machine.

Your computer should function normally, but be sure to backup (I recommend scheduled backups using "Cobian Backup") important data to a secondary drive and check the SMART status and drive sector health using a program like "HD Tune".

Note: If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to post them here.

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Quickly Remove Dirt 3's Giant Replay Cache File

If you're running Dirt 3 you might immediately notice one major flaw that the game presents for SSD / boot partition users that store their games on a separate, mechanical hard drive - that of the replay cache file. Upon launching the game, a file called "replay.pbf" is created that is usually 1.85~1.95 GB in size. Unfortunately, Dirt 3 doesn't delete the cache file when you exit the game. It instead keeps and constantly recreates the large file. And, it is forcibly stored on your system partition, irregardless of the game's installation directory. It's absolutely bad news, especially if you want to keep the flash memory write cycles down to a minimum on your speedy, but expensive drive. Fortunately, there is a quick workaround for users having this problem. You can download an application called "dirlinker" at this website - it allows you to quickly create what are called "symbiotic links" under Windows XP, Vista, and 7. Keeping in mind the difference of structure, usernames, drive letters, and operating system, you can generally find the cache file here:

[Vista/7] C:\ProgramData\Codemasters\DiRT3\DataCache\<username>\replay
[XP] C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Codemasters\DiRT3\DataCache\<username>\replay

The dirlinker program should be configured thustly, wherein the top directory is the location of your "Codemasters" program data directory and the second directory field is populated with the place you want to move (or, rather link) the directory to:

After running the application you should notice all of the free space once again available on your primary system drive. If you would like to undo the "symbolic link", you merely have to go to the location of the linked folder on your system drive (where the data was before you moved it) and delete the folder with the image of a link on it. Then, you can cut/copy over the original files from the location specified in the second field.

This worked for me; I was initially confused as to why I lost so much space on an unrelated drive after installing Dirt 3 - now I know! If you have any tips of your own, or need help with anything, be sure to leave a comment.

Dead Island "Video.scr" Tweaks & Performance Fixes

If you're running a pretty beefy rig and Dead Island is having freezing or stuttering issues, the fix might be easier than you'd imagine. For most, the problem can be eliminated by quickly disabling animated, rotating, changing, or any other "active" desktop feature. If you're running Windows 7 and have your wallpaper rotating through pictures, you can very quickly disable this feature by right-clicking on your desktop and going into the "Personalize" dialogue.

If the above doesn't work, you can make a quick edit to Dead Island's "Video.scr" configuration file: navigate to "C:\Users\<YOURUSERNAME>\Documents\DeadIsland\out\Settings" or "C:\Program Files (x86)\Dead Island\DI\out\Settings" or "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Dead Island\DI\out\Settings" -> open "Video.scr" in notepad -> add the line VSync(disable) in the main body -> save the file and set it to "Read-only" (within the properties dialogue).

If you're also interested in boosting performance, here is my "Video.scr" file - just change your resolution and drop it into the file (overwriting the current settings list at the bottom of the file):


DisplayDeviceType(0,0.000000,1.000000,1.000000,1.0 00000)

Also, if movement seems laggy, you might want to try alt-tabbing out of the game and opening the task manager via ctrl-alt-del, then right-clicking on the "deadislandgame.exe" process and setting the "priority" to "above normal". This seems to help smooth out mouse controls.

Note: If you have any questions, or need help, be sure to post here! Also, feel free to share any tips you have.

Basal Enterprises HTC Sensation FlexVue TPU Case

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Coolink SWiF2 1201 Chassis & 120P CPU Fans
The name "Coolink" isn't one that is particularly familiar to hardware enthusiasts, especially considering it is mostly available within the European market. Fortunately, name recognition or not, the company has been manufacturing specialty computer cooling products in the OEM sector since 1996; well before companies like Thermaltake and Zalman entered the market in 1999. Not only does Taiwan's Coolink (or, rather...

Beating Jaron Namir in Deus Ex: Human Revolution

If you're stuck on the "Omega Ranch" sequence in which you fight Human Revolution's third boss, Jaron Namir, I have a few helpful tips to help you beat the cloaking, grenade spewing, wall climbing, and laser wielding super-augment.

0) This is just general advice - during your second run through Heng Sha, do not go to the LIMB clinic and get the upgraded biochip. If you do so, Zhao will be able to shut off all of your augments during this boss fight.

1) The fastest way to beat him is if you pre-ordered the game and were given the grenade launcher. When the cutscene ends, if you quickly fire four grenades at his spawn location, he will instantly die.

2) One of the best investments you can make in the game, if you want to make boss fights and robot battles quick, is in the typhoon explosive system augment (each city hub has a LIMB clinic with two PRAXIS kits for 5000 each). I only had to use two pieces of typhoon ammunition to successfully kill Jaron Namir. You literally just run around until he uncloaks and press F2.

3) A more interesting way of fighting him, is to take the turret from earlier in the level and bring it into the boss fight. You will need level four hacking, the heavy lifting augment, and some means to dispatch of the three guards (one of them is a heavy). For reference, this map shows you where you need to find the turret. The player arrow shows the turret's location, whereas the elevator at the top of the screen is the location of the boss battle. It takes a while to carry all the way over, but you get to sit back and enjoy this when you do.

4) If none of those options are applicable to you, stock up on stim packs, painkillers, grenades, have the "flechette" or "Target Seeking System" modification on your combat rifle, and get the gigantic laser rifle during all of the opportunities you are given (in Tong's office and before the boss fight in the locked storage area). The laser rifle will allow you to shoot through glass and the flechette modification allows your combat rifle to shoot around corners. It may take you five minutes of running around to finally kill him, but if you take your time, you'll be able to get him without any augmentations using the aforementioned weapons.

Note: If you have any questions, or need any more help with the boss battle or DX: HR in general, please leave a comment and I'd be glad to help out. I'm on my second play through right now.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Bug Fix

Yesterday, I finally purchased Human Revolution over steam. And, besides some initial technical problems I had with the game, I am definitely enjoying it. I experienced two primary issues with DX:HR. Sound stuttering and delay are most noticeable when you are firing an assault rifle and it becomes obvious that the weapon is making a sound only after the bullet hits your target. The second, less common issue, that I experienced is sound crackling, snapping, and popping. After running the game for more than a minute, the audio begins crackling and becomes distorted in Human Revolution. I monitored my temperatures and there seemed to be absolutely nothing wrong with them. What worked, however, is a bit bizarre. I went into my BIOS and disabled all of my overclocking or RAM underclocking and set absolutely everything to stock (including my RAM to 1600). Then, I downloaded an nVidia overclocking tool and set my factory overclocked GTX 275 back to its "default" clocks. For some reason, DX:HR's engine absolutely hates overclocked systems. I hope this is fixed in a patch, but for now, this should help others get the game running.


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