Synology Migration from my DS209+ to my DS713+

I have just moved my blog from my Synology DS209+ to my new DS713+.

If you see this, it means that the migration is successful ;)

Click to Read More

The setup of the new DS713+ was straightforward and really easy using the setup Wizard of Synology. It took more time to screw the two drives (WD SE 2TB WD2000F9YZ) in the trays. Those trays look cheap (plastic) and fragile, but they are really easy to use, plug and unplug.

1/ I did use http://find.synology.com to search for my new DS. It worked fine and found both the 209+ and the 713+. From there I did start the setup on the 713+. It automatically download the latest version of DSM and install it.

2/ Once installed, a wizard opens within DSM to configured the most important features:

  1. Create a volume with the disks (I didn't create the default "Hybrid RAID (SHR)" as already suggested during the setup. I did a RAID 0 using the wizard instead).
  2. Users and Shared Folders
  3. File Station
  4. Other Packages (I did re-install all my favorite packages): Audio Station, Cloud Station, CouchPotato Custom*, DNS Server, Download Station, Git, Mail Server, Mail Station, Media Server, Photo Station, phpMyAdmin, Plex Media Server, Python, Python 3, Surveillance Station Time Backup, Video Station, Web Console*, Config File Editor*, Webalizer, WordPress
  5. ...

3/ In the Package Center, I did reconfigure the custom "Package Sources" (required for * above):

  1. http://packages.missilehugger.com : 'Config File Editor' and 'Web Console'
  2. http://packages.synocommunity.com : 'Couch Potato Server'
  3. http://www.cphub.net : 'Advanced Power Manager'
  4. http://packages.quadrat4.de : IPKG 'Bootstrap installer', ...

4/ Via the Control Panel  > Terminal, I did enable "telnet"

5/ I did next set a fix IP for the DS713+ on my DD-WRT router (under "static leases" in the "Service" tab) and did connect on the DS713+ via telnet to force it to renew its IP with the command "/etc/rc.network restart"

6/ I did also reinstall the package Perl, BootStrap Installer (Install Ipkg) and iPKGui  (manage ipkg packages) - both from packages.quadrat.de -  and configured the following package source: http://ipkg.nslu2-linux.org/feeds/optware/syno-e500/cross/unstable (name 'cross', type 'scr/gz', file 'cross-feed.Conf')

7/ I did install the "web-Console" package and logged in with admin/admin. Then I did restart the web-console after changing the password via the command (typing also the #) : #users modify admin

Notice: I didn't use Synlogy's migration wizard to backup and restore the full "configuration settings" as I wanted to clean a bit my NAS and restore/reconfigure only what I really still need. More details on migration methods are provided on Synology's wiki.

Click to Read 'Wordpress' Part

1/ Regarding WordPress, once the package installed, I did:

  1. Export the 'wordpressblog' database from my DS209+
  2. I did copy the following folders from the DS209+ on the DS713+
    1. \wordpress\wp-content\icons
    2. \wordpress\wp-content\themes
    3. \wordpress\wp-content\uploads
    4. \wordpress\wp-content\plugins
  3. I did restore that backup on the DS713+
  4. I had to reset the "Header Image" via Appearance>Themes>Customize.
  5. I did check that all the plugin's where enabled. All settings where correctly recovered from the backup restored previously.

I didn't re-install the plugin MultiDomain as I am now using the DNS package of Synology to solve the issue I had in the past when accessing my blog from my intranet or from internet.

2/ I did copy the other webpages in /web from the DS209+ onto the DS713+

3/ I did reconfigure the port-forwarding on my DD-WRT (via the tab "NAT/QoS") to forward the traffic on port 80 to the DS713+ instead of DS209+. I also configured "Wake on Lan" on the DD-WRT (via the "Administration" > "WOL") to be able to wake-up my new NAS although it should run 24/7.

Et voilà... the "web part" of the DS713+ is up and running :P

Click to Read 'Photo Station' Part

1/ To move the Photo albums, I did use Synology's "Main menu" > "Backup and Restore" feature on the DS209+.

  1. On the DS713+, enable the "Network Backup" service (without rsync) via "Main Menu" > "Network Backup". This is going to create a Shared Folder 'NetBackup'.
  2. Back to the DS209+, In the "Backup" tab of the "Backup and Restore" wizard, click create and select "Data Backup type".
  3. In the wizard, type a name for the backup and select "Network Backup (Synology Server)". Let the DS209+ find the DS713+ (clicking into the "server name" combo-box) and use this one as server name for the backup destination (fill manually the password for the username and pick "NetBackup" as shared folder. Keep in mind the name of the "folder" to be created in "NetBackup" to store the backup).
  4. In the tab where you can select application data, configuration, etc... pick
    1. In the "Application" part, select "Photo Station"
    2. In the "Shared folder" part, select "photo"
  5. And finally "Back up immediately after the wizard finished"

2/ Next, on the DS713+, using the same  "Main menu" > "Backup and Restore" feature, I did the restore

  1. In the "Restore" tab, click on "Restore" and select "data".
  2. In the wizard, select "Local Restoration" and keep next "NetBackup" and select the name of the "folder" where the DS209+ stored its backup.
  3. Do not select any "configuration settings to restore"
  4. Select however all "items to restore" in the next screen. You will see that there is a "conflict" for the Shared Folder "photo". No matter, the existing folder on the target will be overwritten.

Et voilà. It's magic: all the photo and thumbnails are restored, including the albums, smart albums, covers, etc...

One thing is however not restored via this process: the users' privileges... I presume that this is because I didn't restore the users table. I had to grant access to the users to each album manually via the "Parameters" > "User accounts" menu of Photo Station.

Click to Read 'Surveillance Station' Part

1/ To move the Surveillance Station settings, I did use also Synology's "Main menu" > "Backup and Restore" feature on the DS209+.

  1. First, I did disable all my camera in the Surveillance Station of the DS209+ via the "Main Menu" > "Surveillance Station" > "IP Camera"
  2. Next, I did delete all the records as I wanted to only migrate the "settings"
  3. Finally, I did a backup of 'surveillance' as I did for the Photo Station here above. I only had to provide another folder-name under 'NetBackup' than for the photo

2/ Next, on the DS713+, I did

  1. "Stop" the Surveillance Station, via "Package Center" > "Surveillance Station" > Action "Stop".
  2. Restore the 'surveillance' following the same procedure as for the Photo Station.
  3. Once the restore completed, "Run" the Surveillance Station, via "Package Center" > "Surveillance Station" > Action "Run".
  4. Go to the "Main Menu" > "Surveillance Station"  > "IP Camera" and re-enable the camera. You can see that not only the camera are restored, but also the patrol settings, etc...

Notice: the paid licences have been transferred !!! What is weird: I was able to re-enable the camera also on the DS209+. Both NAS were then consuming stream from all the camera... I was not expecting the licenses to be usable on several devices ?!

Click to Read 'Audio and Video Station' Part

1/ Simply copy the content of the Shared Folders "music" and "video" from DS209+ to DS713+. Audio Station and Video Station will re-index the files.

2/ Reconfigure Video Station (Collections and Custom Libraries must be redefined)

3/ Recreate your favorite Web Radio Station in the Audio Station

This is a bit of work but I didn't find a backup/restore similar to the one available for the 'photo' and the 'surveillance'. And I didn't want to restore the full configuration of my DS209+ as-is.

Click to Read 'Other' Part

1/ Reconfigure the other port-forwarding rules on the DD-WRT to transfer all required traffic to the DS713+:

  1. Admin: 5000
  2. WebDav and WebDav https: 8000 and 8443
    1. Enable WebDav via "Main Menu" > "Control Panel" > "WebDAV"
    2. Configure the port 8000 and 8443 resp. for http
  3. CouchPotato: 5050

2/ Reconfigure the WorkGroup via "Main Menu" > " Configuration Panel" > "Win/Mac/NFS" > "Windows File Service"

3/ Enable "Recycle Bin", "Windows ACL" and "File Indexing" on required shared folders via "Main Menu" > " Configuration Panel" > "Shared Folder" > (select a folder) "Edit".

4/ Reconfigured the "DNS server" as made on DS209+. Or, use the "Export Zone" > "Complete Zone settings" menu of the "DNS Server" on DS209+ and then "Create" > "Import Zone" menu of the "DNS Server" on the new DS.

5/ Recreate the MySQL Backup Task and the reconfigure Time Backup's tasks.

Click to Read 'DDNS' Part

I also had to register my DDNS' domain name olympe.diskstation.me for my new DS713+ instead of for my DS209+.

1/ Log in https://myds.synology.com

2/ Click on the "Unlink" icon on the row of your old DS.

3/ Select the old DS and click on "Delete" on the right side of the "DDNS status" header.

4/ Go now to the "Control Panel" of the new DS and click on "DDNS".

5/ Click on "Add" and re-register the DS with the domain name that used to be linked to the old DS.

Tips Request Microsoft for an existing hotfix not publicly released

I found a kb (article from the knwledge base) of Microsoft mentioning an existing hotfix but not providing a link to download this one.

Here is a link to request Microsoft for such hotfix without going through the long and expensive process of a phone call,  etc... E.g.: for a dummy kb 1234567: Click here.

Click to Read More

I found a post that give all the requested details on that process: http://www.pesikov.tk/blog/request-download-kb-update-hotfix-directly-without-contacting-microsoft-customer-support-services/

Only notice that you must now use a parameter "ln" in the URL to enforce the language of the page. Ex.: http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=1234567&ln=en-us.

This will bring you to such a support page:

Request Microsoft for a hotfix

Request Microsoft for a hotfix

Tips Mouse entering a ClickLock-like selection mode within Visual Studio

Quite often, when I stop the Visual Studio debugger (possibly mainly when I just did an "edit and continue") the mouse enters a kind of "ClickLock" mode: the text is automatically highlighted between the current mouse location and the location where it was when I stopped the debugger. Impossible to move the mouse (or the cursor using the arrows) without highlighting text (I.e.: doing a text selection)... So, impossible to work anymore as pressing any key will immediately delete the selection.

I found only a few reports about that "issue/behavior" on the web. I still have no idea how to prevent it. But I found a way to halt it when it occurs: Press Alt-Gr + CTRL + SHIFT

Tips Upgrade Fuhu Nabi 2 from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean

I used to root Kids' tablet Fuhi Nabi 2 in order to be able to install Google Play. But I got a notification from Fuhi two weeks ago announcing that Google Play was now available out of the box with their latest update... This one upgrades from Android 4.0.1 to 4.1.1... So, hop, hop, hop, I immediately decided to rollback my tablet to a stock Rom and give a try to that new update. Piece of cake... if you know how to proceed...

Click to Read More

  1. The Nabi 2 had Rom 1.9.37 and TWRP Recovery Image 2.2.2.1.
    • I had a touch screen calibration issue with more recent TWRP. I didn't try to most recent one however (E.g.: 2.6.3.0).
    • Original site of TWRP can be found Here.
    • All TWRP versions tested for Nabi 2 can be found here as well as the native Recovery Image from Fuhu.
  2. Download the stock Rom 2.0.5 and unzip it from your PC onto a SD card under \TWRP\Backups\<device serial number>\abcdstock123, then re-plug the SD into the Nabi 2
    • This is the folder where TWRP did store my backup when I did root the device
    • All Stock Versions can be found here.
    • There should be 4 files: boot.emmc.win, boot.emmc.win.md5, recovery.emmc.win an System.ext4.win
  3. Install PDA.Net, to be found here, if not available anymore on your PC.
  4. Boot the Nabi 2 in recovery mode by pressing both the Volume + Button and the Power Button.
  5. Press twice the Volume - Button to move to the menu "Recovery Kernel"
  6. Press once the Volume + Button to enter the selected menu
    • it takes quite a few seconds to enter. Be patient.
  7. Once entered in Teamwin (TWRP), select "Restore"
  8. Then select "Using external SD" and pick the Stock Rom version 2.0.5 copied on the SD
  9. Only restore System and Boot, but not your data!
    • I presume that all your data, if any, are in gmail, google+, etc...
  10. Once the restore completed, reboot the system.
  11. It will take some time to reboot, installing the various packages, etc...
  12. Once back into Android, go to the "Settings" > "About" > "System Updates" > "Check now" for updates, "Download" it and install. Android will reboot at the end of that update.
  13. This was actually the "first part" of the upgrade from the Stock Rom 2.0.5 to 2.3.11. With that first part, you are not yet running Android 4.1.1. You have to redo the step here above once more to install the "second part".

Notice: I had an issue with the installation of the "first part". I think that the "update" file was corrupted because I lost the Wi-Fi connection for a few seconds during the download. So, I had to restart the operation and it went then well.

I had a bigger issue when I tried to install the "second part" of the update. During the reboot, I got the red triangle dead Android picture... This is because I still had traces of rooted files on the tablet. The update din't recognize some system files and refused to proceed further... Fortunately, there is a solution...

  1. Download the fix OTA2.zip to be found here (named Part2 Work Around)
  2. Copy the zip as is onto the SD card under \TWRP\ and re-plug the SD into the Nabi 2
  3. Reboot into Recovery mode as explained previously
  4. Now, instead of "Restore", select "Install" and pick the file OTA2.zip from the "external SD"
  5. As far as I am concerned, I did a "Wipe Cache/dalvik" after the installation..
  6. Reboot the system.

Et voilà. The Nabi 2 is now running a fresh Jelly Bean with all kids' favorite games re-installed from Google Play. Big big thanks to XDA-Developers' community for providing such a great support!!

Notice: I am now running a US version instead of a UK version... But I don't care as everything seems ok :-P

Click to Read More

I am not that happy about the upgrade...

For sure, the new Android interface for the parents is great. But there is no real change for my kids except that:

  • It's much slower to boot
  • It freezes regularly while my kids are unlocking the screen immediately after the boot. The lock screen start to slide and then freeze in the middle of the screen. I have no choice but hard-reboot (keeping the power button pressed for some seconds)
  • It also freezes sometimes while my kids are playing. Not often but still... I never had any issue in the past.

And a problem that I always had: when charging the tablet, the tablet always completely switch off and it's a real pain to reboot it once charged. I always have to wait a bit (> 1 minute) after unplugging the tablet before being finally able to boot. Possibly due to the fact I am on 230V/50Hz and some kind of protection ? It looks indeed like the tablet refuses to boot because the battery is too hot...

Tips Cropping and printing photos for standard photographic print sizes

As far as photos edition and printing is concerned, I only use two free softwares: FastStone and Paint.Net. I use FastStone to crop pictures using predefined standard photographic print sizes or to print pictures keeping its size...

Click to Read More

Although Paint.Net is really great for editing photo (Ex.: clone and heal details, convert into Sepia, ...) it can't crop using predefined standard print sizes...

Also, assuming that I have a photo with a custom size and a resolution like 600x600 , I cannot print it in its actual size... Paint.Net will always resize the photo to fit the paper (although I do not check the option "fit picture to frame") - or - will print Full page, 13x18, 20x25, 10x15, 9x13, Wallet (9 picture) or Contact sheet (35 pictures). As said by the Team developping Pain.Net : it would mean rewriting the printing functionality from scratch and isn't something we'll do because it would take months if implementation and debugging.

So, I use open my photos with FastStone and use its "Crop Board" as well as its "Print" feature.

If I have to edit the photo, I can open it within Paint.Net directly from FastStone using its "Edit With External Program"...

Notice: I use the "Sepia" adjustment of Paint.Net as the result is much better than with FastStone. I also use the "Clone stamp" of Paint.Net as I can adjust its width, something that I cannot do with FastStone.

Tips View or flush the content of the DNS cache on Windows

Although my primary DNS is my Synology and the IP returned for 'beatificabytes.be' is expected to be the IP of my NAS, Chrome tried to access my blog on the web instead of locally. I thought it was an issue with the DNS and wanted to know how it resolved my domain name.

Click to Read More

Windows is caching the IP resolved by a DNS. So, thinking my DNS was possibly off when Chrome tried to resolve my domain name, I had to view the content of the cache. This can be done with the following command:

ipconfig /displaydns

The result was clear. My DNS didn't answer itself and the domain name was therefore resolved by the DNS of my provider:

www.beatificabytes.be
----------------------------------------
Record Name . . . . . : www.beatificabytes.be
Record Type . . . . . : 5
Time To Live . . . . : 30
Data Length . . . . . : 8
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
CNAME Record . . . . : <myNAS>.diskstation.me
Record Name . . . . . : <myNAS>.diskstation.me
Record Type . . . . . : 1
Time To Live . . . . : 30
Data Length . . . . . : 4
Section . . . . . . . : Answer
A (Host) Record . . . : 91.182.141.78

So, I tried to just flush the cache to see if my DNS would now resolve the domain name. The command to do so is:

ipconfig /flushdns

For information purpose, here are the commands to respectively turn off/on the DNS cache until next reboot:

net stop dnscache

net start dnscache

Flushing the DNS didn't solve the issue unfortunately :(

Neither ipconfig /release nor ipconfig /renew did solve the issue either*... But this post is to keep a note about viewing/flushing the DNS cache only ;)

* To be continued...

Tips Google search via url field vs search page

I just noticed that I can not use Chrome's url field anymore to search on my blog as I did so far... Google is using now my blog's search feature.. EXACTLY the opposite of my expectation!

Click to Read More

As explained here, I use my blog as a knowledge base to be searched using Google.

Concretely, if I want to find something like the processor used on my desktop (named Chaos), I used to type this in the url field of Chrome: beatificabytes chaos

As I am very used to the keyword suggestion feature of Chrome, as soon as I see that the suggestion seems to match what I am typing, I press 'tab' to auto-complete it.

Moreover, I use very often the url 'beatificabytes.be'. So when I type 'bea' as a first keyword, I am suggested 'beatificabytes.be'. I never had any problem with that as searching for 'beatificabytes chaos' or beatificabytes.be chaos' used to be equivalent.

But since a few days, when I type 'tab' to auto-complete 'bea', my keyword is replaced by 'Search beatificabytes.be'. And if I add a keyword like 'Chaos' behind that, Chrome is using the WordPress' search feature of my blog instead of searching via Google. Obviously, the result is disappointing.

So, I have no choice but type now 'beatificabytes' after another keyword. The down side is that in such a case, I don't have the auto-completion anymore on 'bea' :(

Tips NVIDIA GeForce 7600 Go - Support for Audio via HDMI

I recently bought a Yamaha YSP-3300 to play the sound/music issued from my devices (HTPC, TV-box, video game console) while transfering the video to my TV. Unfortunately, my HTPC has a GeForce 7600 Go, and using the most recent drivers available for that graphic card, I had no audio via HDMI. The only solution I found was to install a much older version of the NVIDIA graphic drivers.

Click to Read More

When I did upgrade my HTPC to Windows 8, the only compatible drivers were made available on LaptopVideo2go. It was a modified version of the NVIDIA setup package for Vista: the version 180.70 (to be found in the "Archived Releases" of LaptopVideo2Go : "18x Series" ).

But I had no audio via HDMI. I.e.: it was not working, whatever samples rates or audio format (Dobly, DTS, ...) I was using and whatever audio drivers I was installing (Microsoft HD Audio or HD Realtek).

Notice that Audio via HDMI is definitively a feature of the graphic drivers! With the more recent versions of NVIDIA control Panel, there is an entry to enable audio via HDMI explicitly (or it is made clear when selecting the connector to the screen)

After an upgrade to Windows 8.1, I noticed that a version 307.68 of the NVIDIA drivers was automatically installed. But it also came without audio via HDMI either.

I finally found that the oldest NVIDIA drivers supporting audio via HDMI on my HTPC, whatever version of the audio drivers is installed (Microsoft or Realtek), was the version 173.90.

Notice: the version 174.16 is the last version to support audio via HDMI with the Microsoft HD Audio drivers. But Realtek HD Audio drivers come with some added value, reason why I stick to the version 173.90.

At the "Playback device" level, to get audio via HDMI, I had to select:

  • Either "Digital Audio (S/PDIF)" if using Microsoft HD audio drivers.
  • Or "Realtek Digital Output" if using Realtek HD Audio drivers.

Notice that unfortunately, under Windows 8.1, using any versions less or equal to 174.16 results in display issues:

  • IE starts to flicker when the mouse moves over the current page. This can be solved by enable software renderind instead of GPU rendering: go to “Internet Options” > “Advanced” > “Accelerated graphics” and tick the option “Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering”.
  • All tiles disappear from the Start Screen and it becomes impossible to "search" for files or apps anymore. This is not blocking for me as I did replace the Windows shell by Windows Media Center.

So, I will test those drivers under Windows 8 as soon as I have time to "downgrade" (concretely, reinstall the HTPC from scratch). But I am not expecting any improvement reason why I am already looking for a new HTPC...

Tips Crackling Sound in Center Speaker with Realtek Drivers (Analog)

Since many years, as soon as I was installing Realtek Drivers for my audio chipset on my PC, I had crackling sounds in my center speaker (only) when the PC was starting/stopping to play a sound (I use the Analog plugs). I had no such issue with the native Microsoft Drivers. I finally spent a few hours during those last days to try ALL the settings and found a trick to get rid of that issue : Enable the "Stereo Mix" feature of Realtek and mute it.

Click to Read More

As said above, I had no issue at all (even with volume very high) when playing sounds on my PC if I was using the native drives installed with Windows.

My Motherboard is an Asus P9X79 pro with a Realtek audio chipset.

As I had no such issue with my HTPC Acer Idea 510 (which also comes with a chipset Realtek), I wrote to Asus to get help on that issue (instead of contacting Realtek). They answered (as they always did for others requests I had in the past) that :

In this case it's advisable to test the system with a different speaker set.

The Realtek driver utilizes the full potential of the audio card.
As a result it might be sending different types of signals that might nog be compatible/supported by the speakers resulting in a crackling sound.

I was using initially a Surround EAX System: the Inspire 6.1 from Creative. So, I did replace it with my Surround THX System, a Gigaworks G550W from Creative, that was in use without any issue on my HTPC. But the crackling sound didn't disappear.

I read tips and tricks on probably more that 20 forum (not exaggerating) such as helpdeskgeek which was the most interesting. But without more success.

So, I decided to test ALL the possible settings and combination during hours and hours... And I think I finally found a solution. Don't ask why it works but it does the trick :-D

Here is the configuration of my Speakers. Nothing here is important as the trick is not at that level, but I publish it anyway:

  • As far as the RealTek Drivers are installed, I use the HD Realtek Audio Manager to configure the speakers.
  • I have only a 5.1 system...
    • The cable of the Front Speakers is in the "Front" plug (seems obvious I presume)
    • The cable for the subwoofer and Center Speaker is in the "Ctr Bass" plug
    • I wanted to use the remaining speakers as rear speakers, But they don't produce any sound if connected to the "Rear Spk" plug (whatever configuration I use : 5.1, 7.1, etc.. etc...) I had to plug them in the "Side Spk" plug. I presume the rear plug may only be used with 7.1 speaker systems.
  • However, I configured the speakers as a 7.1 system and unchecked the "rear pair" and as a result, I get sound from the rear speakers too. Concretely, when my PC play a sound for the side or the rear speakers, they both play in the speakers connected to the "Side Spk" plug
  • I am using Sound Effects, Room Correction and DTS Connect. But they don't cause or stop the the crackling sound.

Easy way to reproduce the problem:

  • Open the Windows "Sound" panel:
    1. Right click the "Windows Speaker" in the systray (not the "Realtek Speaker")
    2. Select "Playback Device"
  • Select the "Speakers" currently used as "Default Device" in the "Playback" tab
  • Click "Properties" to open to the "Speakers Properties" window
  • Now, click on the "Sound" window which is behind the "Speakers Properties" windows. As this last one is a modal dialog, you may not access the "Sound" window ans Windows plays a "beep". In addition to the "beep" you ear an horrible crackling sound...

The trick:

  • Back to the "Sound" window you just open to reproduce the problem, go to the Recording tab
  • Select and Enable the "Stereo Mix"
  • Click "Properties" to access the "Stereo Mix Properties" window
  • In the "Listen" tab,
    • Check the option "Listen to this device"
    • Select "Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)" in the list bellow that option
  • In the "Levels" tab, mute the speaker. This is important otherwise you will have "feedback", which is not at all the purpose (It's useful to capture some audio output as explained on HowToGeek)
  • "Apply" if the button is enabled

Now, reproduce the problem again. If the "Stereo Mix Properties" window is till open, simply click on the "Sound" window which is behind... You have a clear "beep" ? Gotcha !!!

Notice: I have not disabled ANY Playback device or Recording Device, such as the "Line In", etc...

There is however a serious drawback. When "Stereo Mix" is enabled on "Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)", the desktop takes more than 30 seconds to be accessible (On Windows 8, the Start Screen appears immediately. The problem will only be experienced if one switch to the Destkop quick after the login). It seems to me that Windows Audio Service has difficulties (?) to start or wait on another service. The Windows Speaker appears disabled in the systray for 1 or 2 minutes before finally becoming enabled. It's not blocking me as I don't often reboot. Instead, I use the "Sleep" mode. I guess that the Audio Service actually wait on the Realtek Speakers/Drivers to be ready as this issue does no occur if one enables "Stereo Mix" on other speakers... People not switching immediately between the Start Screen and the Destkop won't notice the issue.

Edit: 21/09/2014 I finally found the perfect solution:

Click to Read More

NB.: Many other Asustek's users are reporting issues when connecting the Surround Speaker Pair on the Rear Speaker Jack in a "5.1 setup". They don't have any sound coming out of those Speakers.

I read that using "Side Speakers" is the technically correct setting for 5.1. Unfortunately, connecting my Speakers in the "Side" connector with a 5.1 config never worked.

As explained above, my trick was to plug my Rear Speakers as Side Speakers instead, and use a 7.1 config with rear speakers disabled... It works for playing 5.1 movies with MPC-HC or Windows Media Center for example, but not when using Plex Home Theater :(

I finally found a solution as explained here...

I can now play 5.1 movies with a 5.1 config (instead of 7.1) and get sound via the Side Speakers. And icing on the cake, I don't ear the crackling noise anymore, even without the trick presented above :P

Hardwares Dolby 7.1 Wireless Headset "Corsair Vengeance 2100"

I was missing a good microphone on my PC. And googling for that on the web, I actually found many headsets with a microphone. I have already 3 headphones at home... but none with support for high-fidelity, multi-channel Dolby audio. So, I did ask one to Santa Claus : the Corsair Vengeance 2100.

Click to Read More

Corsair Vengeance 2100

Corsair Vengeance 2100

I read a few serious reviews on that headset such as this one before concluding that it would fit my needs and expectations:

  • A wireless headset.
  • Closed
  • Circumaural
  • With a really good microphone with noise cancellation.
  • Cheaper than 150€
  • With enough positive (true/serious/motivated) reviews on the web
  • With a simple and light configuration interface (not like Realtek stuff)

And I am very far from disappointed :-P

Specifications

Headphones:

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms @ 1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 105dB (+/-3dB)
  • Drivers: 50mm
  • USB power consumption: 500mA
  • Connector: USB Type A
  • Wireless range: up to 12m (I was not able to test more than 12m as my corridor is not long enough)
  • Battery life: Up to 10 hours

Microphone:

  • Type: Unidirectional noise-cancelling condenser with adjustable, rotating boom
  • Impedance: 2.2k Ohms
  • Frequency Response: 100Hz to 10kHz
  • Sensitivity: -37dB (+/-3dB)

It took me a few hours, watching movies or playing games, to find the very best position on the head/ears as I am not used (anymore) to headphones. But with that adjustment, it's really comfortable although used for hours.

The main issue, as often with circumaural headphones, is that it is not designed to be used with glasses and especially not with 3D glasses which are thicker than standard glasses. It can even be bloody uncomfortable if like me you keep your standard glasses under the 3D glasses. The most valid option IMO would be to use the 3D glasses with a supra-oral headset, but I dislike those. Note that my nVidia 3D Vision 2 glasses have an increased flexibility to precisely ensure a better fit with gaming headphone (And I have to say that this is true as they are not uncomfortable with my good old Sennheiser HDR 65 - but this one is not a 7.1 headphone). But with the Corsair Vengeance, it's not great.

The quality of the microphone is really good. For testing purpose, you can ear yourself by ticking an option "Microphone check" in the configuration pane of the headset - this one must be downloaded from the corsair website and is really simple to use (There is no CD or user manual delivered with the headset):

Corsair Vengeance Config

Corsair Vengeance Config

If you listen to music while talking to a friend, he will not ear it although you push the volume quite high... And you will still ear your friend :D.  The unidirectional noise-canceling seems to be very efficient based on the feedback I got about the quality.

The microphone may be bent in order to come closer to the user’s mouth as the boom is flexible.

There is no switch to mute the microphone, but it will turn off automatically once one swings it all the way upwards.

As far as I am concerned, I keep "Source Type" on 7.1 and click on the blue "power" button to enable the Dolby Surround (a virtual surround as there are actually only two speakers). Doing so, it displays "Now playing": "7.1 surround" and I can indeed really feel to 3D audio environment. From my own point of view, the audio performance is really impressive :-P not only in games and movies, but also for stereo music. I am right now listening the Trance Top 1000 - 2013 and I really like the surround effect added on such kind of stereo sources. It makes the sound a bit "softer" (it's not my purpose to become deaf anyway) but you are immerse in the music. Otherwise (without the Dolby effect, the sound seems to come from the top-front of the headphone - but is powerful !) Anyway, about sound quality, you have better read reviews written by specialist as I am not the best person to talk about audio.

I noticed for the first time when trying this headset that music played within Chrome (E.g.: via my Synology Audio Station), is stopped if I change any settings related to the "playback device" currently used. I have to refresh the page to restart the music. It's not an issue for me as I keep usually always the same settings, but this can be quickly quite annoying. There is no such issue (sound switched off when changing playback device's settings) when playing music within IE (at least IE 11.0).

After a few more tests with IE vs Chrome, I noticed that IE was up-mixing the stereo sources to fill all the speakers (although the "Speaker Fill" option was not enabled on the headset). That's the reason why listening to stereo music sounds better within IE than  within Chrome. But as a consequence, true 5.1 or 7.1 sources played within IE sounds like crap, the volume being over-boosted. This can fortunately be fixed by enabling the option "Speaker Fill" in the Enhancement tab of the Corsair's Speaker Properties (Right click the systray speaker icon > Playback Devices > select the Speakers Corsair Veangeance 2100 Headset > Properties > Enhancement). I really don't get it but IE seems to fill automatically all the virtual speakers of the headset even without that option enabled. And once the option is enabled, it does it better ?! I spent a few hours playing around with all accessible Speakers' properties and noticed a similar "up-mix" effect within IE when using my Realtek on-board sound card and its 6.1 speakers as a playback device . A behavior that I don't experience within Chrome although I keep the very same speaker's settings.

You can also enable a "Loudness Equalization" if you like such an enhancement. Notice that those enhancements are not available from within the custom Corsair configuration pane.

If you want to test a true 5.1 sources within Chrome, when "Source Audio" is set on 5.1 or 7.1 in the Corsair Configuration pane, try the samples from this site: HTML5 AAC Audio Playback Tests - Multichannel.

If you want the ear how crap is the sound over-boosted by IE, when "Source Audio" is set on 5.1 or 7.1 in the Corsair Configuration pane, watch the video from this site: Dolby Digital Plus demo.

The headset is linked with the PC via a USB dongle that has better be connected with the USB extension cable provided with the headset. Doing so, it can be placed on top of the desk and offers a better coverage (useful if, listening music, you move sometimes in the room).

The volume is very easy to change thanks to the big inline volume controller. That was really a pain with my old Sennheiser as the control were not easy to locate with the finger once the headset on the head...