Tips Extract DVD’s tracks as MKV and merge them

In order to get access from my HTPC to any movie or cartoon at any time (without feeling like a DJ), I extract the content of my DVD as MKV. Sometimes, with some DVD, I obtain several MKV for a single episode. In such case, I merge the MKV’s in a single one. My favorite tools: MakeMKV and MKVToolNix (MKVMerge)

Click to Read More

The Beta version of MakeMKV is always free. It’s the most easiest tool I have tested to extract tracks from a DVD. Only a few steps are required to analyze and decrypt the DVD, list the content and extract it:

  1. Start MakeMKV.
  2. Insert the DVD. It’s automatically detected by MakeMKV.
  3. Press the large “DVD reader” Icon in MakeMKV. If an advanced decryption is required, it will take some times. Once completed, a list with the content is displayed.
  4. Select the titles (tracks) to be extracted (the larger ones are automatically selected as presumed to not be DVD menu).
  5. Select the “Output Folder”.
  6. And press the small “Disk with a green arrow” icon titled “Make MKV”.

One MKV is produced by selected title. This MKV contains everything: not only the video and the various audio tracks of the title but also the definition of each chapters.

To merge MKV, I use a tool installed with MKVToolNix: MKVMerge. The process is also easy and straightforward:

  1. Start MKVMerge
  2. Drag and Drop a first MKV into the “Input files” zone
  3. Press the “append” button to add a second MKV for merging purpose!
  4. Possibly change the “Output filename”
  5. And finally press “start muxing”.

By default, the various audio tracks and all defined chapters are kept in the output MKV.

Tips Volume of my HTPC was extremely low

Although the volume of Windows was still 100%, I recently had to push the volume of my surround system from 8 (as used usually) to 28 to ear the sound of movies and cartoons played on my HTPC.

The problem was Windows 8 did (mysteriously) lost the configuration of the speakers. They used to be configured as 5.1 and appeared to be now configured in stereo.

Click to Read More

I recently tried to upgrade Media Browser from version 2 to version 3 on my HTPC. It was not a success because Media Browser 3 comes with a client part and a server part. If the server part is not running (locally on on the LAN), the client part can’t run either. And the server part might not run on my HTPC because it may only start if the windows shell starts (it’s not a Windows Service but a Startup Program instead) – shell that is not running on my HTPC as it has been replaced with Windows Media Center.

After this trial, I did re-install Media Browser 2. Although I would be quite surprised if that would be true, this is maybe why the configuration of the speakers went back to “stereo” instead 5.1 ?!

To check what was wrong, I had to close Windows Media Center using F4 (as not only it replaces the Windows shell, but it is also run without any “close” feature thanks to the option /mediamode).

I did call the Task Manager (CTRL-Shift-Del) and run a new Task: Explorer, to get a Windows Shell. I was next able to check the Sound System Properties.

  1. Right-Click the “Speakers” icon in the systray.
  2. Select “Open Volume Mixer”.
  3. Click the “Speakers” icon in the “Device” column of the “Volume Mixer” window. This is going to open the “Speakers Properties” window

The Speakers where configured in stereo. I did reconfigured them as 5.1.

Next, in the “Enhancement” tab of the “Speakers Properties” window, I did re-enable the “Loudness Equalization” and “Speaker Fill”.

Spearkers Enhancements

Spearkers Enhancements

I did next log-off and restart a session. The issue was solved.

ProgrammingTips Programmatic access to “Print Dialog” of my network printer is really slow

In a .Net application, I am using the standard “Print Dialog” of Windows 7 x64 to print PDF document on a network printer named “\\Server\Printer”. It noticed on most test machines that the dialog window was taking up to 8 seconds only to open (I.e.: before doing the actual print). Configuring the printer “\\Server\Printer” as a “local printer on port \\Server\Printer” instead of configuring it as a “network printer” is solving that issue.

Click to Read More

I will post the .Net piece of code I am using to open the “Print Dialog” asap. It’s really the most simple one.

I experience the issue with a network Printer “Ricoh Aficio MP C5000”. I didn’t try with another model as all printers I have access to at my Office are the sames.

I looked for a solution to solve this issue without upgrading the network drivers or the firmware of the printer (as far as this could solve the issue as sometimes reported for HP printer) as I don’t have the required privileges to do so.  Here is the trick I found:

  1. If removed the current network printer via Control Panel > Device and Printers.
  2. Add a new Printer
  3. Choose  “local printer” on port  “\\Server\Printer”
  4. Choose the drivers in the list of available ones. Notice: I chose Ricoh Aficio MP C6000 PCL 6 as C5000 was not available.

Next, the “Print Dialog” opened immediately on all workstations where I did test the trick.

As soon as I re-install the printer as a “network printer”, the performance issue is back… Notice however that the dialog window always opens immediately when called from, e.g., MS Office (Word, Excel, …) whatever configuration mode I use for the printer.

Tips “Authentication Error Occurred” with my Samsung Galaxy – Android 4.1.2 – due to Wi-Fi

Depending on the place where I was located at home, when trying to connect my Galaxy via Wi-Fi, I could got or not this infamous message “Authentication Error Occurred”. I did possibly solve it by changing the channel of my access points.

Click to Read More

My experience with this error message is that it really depends on the received signal(s) and possibly having several network with the same SSID.

I have 3 Wi-Fi Access Points in my house. All are configured with the same password and encryption (WPA2/AES), the same SSID and the same channel. This is creating a large and stable wireless network in the house.

But at some locations where I get either a poor signal or two signals of quite the same strength, I get the infamous “Authentication Error Occurred” message with my Galaxy SII (Android 4.1.2) just after enabling Wi-Fi. And I get this message whatever Access Point I am trying to connect from those locations.

At those very same locations, my laptop “Sony Vaio” (Windows 8) can connect without any issue, as well as my tablet “Nabi 2” (Android 4.0.4). Reason why I conclude it’s probably an “Android/Galaxy issue” and not a “Router/Access Point issue”.

Moving from those locations just a few meters away, I can successfully connect quite immediately after enabling the Wi-Fi. But in such cases, although I only moved a few meters away, I get at least one signal much better than the others.

My access Points are “Devolo DLAN 200 Wireless N”. From security/encryption point of view, they only support WPA/TKIP and WPA2/AES. I tried both mode without success.

I also tried to use shorter password (minimum being 8 chars) without success. But I admit I didn’t try to connect using WPS (which is supported by my Devolo and reported by some users on various blog to solve this issue).

I finally tried to completely disable the security/encryption. I did enable the MAC filtering instead. In that mode, the connections succeed really more often, but still not always. And there is at least one location where I can never connect with my Galaxy SII although I can with my laptop and my tablet: my bed :(

During my tests, I was monitoring the wireless signals using “Wi-Fi Analyzer”, to be sure that the signal was kept “fair”. So, loosing the signal for any reason is not presumed to be the issue either, especially as far as I was doing the same test (I.e.: I enable the Wi-Fi and wait for a connection) simultaneously with my Galaxy SII Android 4.1.2 and my Nabi 2 Android 4.0.4.

As the quality of the signal was “fair” and as far as I had no issue in most other locations with free Wi-Fi, I started to consider that the problem was possibly related to some small signal disruptions in my area.

Here in Europe, the frequency 2450 MHz is used by microwave ovens. Those could possibly disturb the Wi-Fi channels 9 and 10. But if your does, change it immediately ! Radiation that escapes from a microwave oven while it is in use may not exceed 5 mW (per cm2 at a distance of 5 cm ). So, if your experience Wi-Fi issues when using your microwave oven, the leakage radiation is probably exceeding a lot that limit (It happens as some of my colleagues already experienced). But I don’t have any special device turned on when I do my tests…

Looking for more information about Wi-Fi signals, I discovered that frequencies from 2400 to 2450 MHz (Wi-Fi channels 1 to 8) are used by “radio amateur”. Those could effectively impact the Wi-Fi signal as their radio signal goes up to 120 Watts while Wi-Fi is usually around ~18-30 mWatts. It would therefore be advisable to check within the neighborhood if anyone has such a hobby. This could likely be the case if the Wi-Fi issues are only experienced during certain period of the day (e.g.: the evening) or during the weekend.

I finally read that channels 1, 5, 9 and 13 are known to be used by some wireless transmitter and camera (at least here in Europe). As I don’t have such devices, and taking into account the info about the frequencies used by “ham radio”, I decided to use the channel 9 or 13.

Concretely I did switch from channel 6 to channel 13 on all my access points and could immediately connect flawlessly from all locations where I was experiencing issues previously. That being said, there are possibly some other locations still to be discovered where I will experience again the problem. But for sure, changing the frequency has an impact on the connection!

Wordpress WordPress: Create a page of Posts

I don’t use menus that simply display all posts from one category as one can do using a custom menu (to be created via the Dashboard > Appearance > Menus). Instead, I use pages with a “custom Template” that displays such post with futher flexibility.

Click to Read More

  1. Create a new “Page Template” (a php file) named “page-of-post.php” and save that one into the root folder of your theme if not yet available: \\<YourSynology>\web\wordpress\wp-content\themes\<YourTheme>\
  2. In this page Template, you should have the code provided at the bottom of this post.
  3. Go to the “Dashboard” > “Pages”, and click “Add New” to create a blank page.
  4. Type a name for your page. This name will be displayed in the menu (Header).
  5. In the “Page Attributes” pane, select “Page of Post” as a “Template” for the new page.
  6. Publish the page
  7. Add now that page to the Custom Menu (via the Dashboard > Appearance > Menus).
  8. Finally, possibly create one “Category Sticky” post which will stay at the bottom of the page and introduce the topic (E.g.: when creating a post, add a category in the “Category Sticky” pane made available via the Plugin “Category Sticky Posts” 0.13 of  Brian Zeligson)

Here is the code of the page Template. Pay attention that I am using the theme ‘twentyeleven’:

<?php
/*
Template Name: Page Of Posts
*/

// if you are not using this in a child of Twenty Eleven, you need to replicate the html structure of your own theme.

get_header(); ?>

	<div id="primary">
		<div id="content" role="main">

		<?php
			$slug = basename(get_permalink());
			$paged = (get_query_var('paged')) ? get_query_var('paged') : 1;
			$args= array(
				'category_name' => $slug, // Change these category SLUGS to suit your use. Ex.: "categ1, categ2"
				'paged' => $paged
			);
			query_posts($args);

			$category = get_category_by_slug($slug);
			if(empty($category))
				$name = $slug;
			else
				$name = $category->name;
			if( have_posts() ) :?>

				<?php twentyeleven_content_nav( 'nav-above' ); ?>

				<?php /* Start the Loop */ ?>
				<?php while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>

					<?php get_template_part( 'content', get_post_format() ); ?>

				<?php endwhile; ?>

				<?php twentyeleven_content_nav( 'nav-below' ); ?>

			<?php else : ?>

				<article id="post-0" class="post no-results not-found">
					<header class="entry-header">
						<h1 class="entry-title"><?php _e( 'Nothing Found in the Category "'.$name.'"', 'twentyeleven' ); ?></h1>
					</header><!-- .entry-header -->

					<div class="entry-content">
						<p><?php _e( 'Apologies, but no results were found for the requested archive. Perhaps searching will help find a related post.', 'twentyeleven' ); ?></p>
						<?php get_search_form(); ?>
					</div><!-- .entry-content -->
				</article><!-- #post-0 -->

			<?php endif; ?>

			</div><!-- #content -->
		</div><!-- #primary -->

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>
<?php get_footer(); ?>

Wordpress WordPress: Sort items in the Header using a Custom Menu

So far, I didn’t configure anything special in WordPress to get my “Home” menu and my various “pages” displayed in the header. I only had to customize WordPress to display a dropdow menu “Categories”. But to sort those items, I add to create a menu via the “Dashboard” > “Appearance” Menu.

Click to Read More

  1. Go to the “Dashboard”, open “Appearance” and select “Menus”.
  2. Create a new Menu. The name of that menu won’t be displayed in the blog
  3. Select that menu as “primary menu” in the “Theme locations” pane.
  4. Add the “Home” entry in that menu. It’s available in the “Pages” pane > “View all”
  5. Add other “Pages” and “Categories”.
  6. Sort them according to your needs.

Notice that using this feature, it’s easy to create one entry for each category. I don’t use this tip however to display all posts from one category. Instead, I create a custom page that displays only those posts. Doing so, I can customize further the display.

Wordpress WordPress: exclude categories from the Home Page

I don’t want my posts from categories “Softwares” and “Wishlist” to appear in the main thread of my blog. In the past, I had to add some code in the “functions.php” page of my theme (twentyeleven) to filter that posts from the home page. Now, I am using the plugin “WP Exclude From Homepage 1.1.2”.

Click to Read More

The code I used to add in \\<YourSynology>\web\wordpress\wp-content\themes\<YourTheme>\function.php was:


/**
* Excludes post in category "softwares" from the home page
*/
function exclude_cat_from_home($query) {
if ( $query->is_home) {

$acats = array();
foreach ( array('wishlist','softwares') as $catName ) {
$cat = get_category_by_slug( $catName );
$acats[] = '-'.$cat->cat_ID;
}
$cats = join(',', $acats);
$query-> set('cat',$cats);
}

return $query;
}
add_filter('pre_get_posts','exclude_cat_from_home');

It was located at the very bottom of the file

Hardwares Cannot flash LSI 9211-8i firmware on Asus P9X79Pro

As mentioned in previous posts (here and here), I had to flash the bios of my two LSI SAS controllers (9201-16i and 9211-8i) in order to solve a compatibility issue with my Asus Striker II Formula. I did flash the bios of both LSI from my Asus P9X79Pro which didn’t suffer the same incompatibility. However, I have never been able to flash the firmware of the LSI using my Asus P9X79Pro… This may only be made from a UEFI shell but I didn’t find any which was able to run the “flash” application of LSI.

Click to Read More

The IR version of LSI’s firmware offers support for RAID features while the IT version is a more “basic” controller. It’s therefore a bit faster than the IR version. As I don’t need hardware RAID for my file server (I am using a software RAID), I have no valid reason to keep the IR version.

First, I tried to simply flash the firmware with an IT version using the sas2flash.exe for windows provided in the package P8 got from LSI (see previous post). I did use the IT version found in that package to be aligned with the bios already downgraded. Unfortunately, a downgrade of the firmware is not supported by LSI (as reported further in this post, there is a solution: clean first the existing firmware)

sas2flash.exe -o -f 2118it.bin

*******************************************************

LSI Corporation SAS2Flash Utility.

Version 8.00.00.00 (2010.11.01)

Copyright (c) 2009 – 2010 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.

*******************************************************

Advanced Mode Set

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Executing Operation: Flash Firmware Image

Firmware Image has a Valid Checksum.

Firmware Image compatible with Controller.

Valid NVDATA Image found.

ERROR: Cannot downgrade NVDATA version 0xd430005 to 0x7010003.

Firmware Image Validation Failed!

Due to error remaining commands will not be executed.

Unable to Process Commands.

Exiting SAS2Flash.

So, I tried to replace the current IR firmware with a more recent version of the IT firmware (found in the package P17)…  Unfortunately, the message reported now that one may not “upgrade” from an IR version to an IT version (as reported further in this post, there is a solution: clean first the existing firmware):

sas2flash.exe -o -f 2118it.bin

*******************************************************

LSI Corporation SAS2Flash Utility.

Version 8.00.00.00 (2010.11.01)

Copyright (c) 2009 – 2010 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.

*******************************************************

Advanced Mode Set

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Executing Operation: Flash Firmware Image

Firmware Image has a Valid Checksum.

Firmware Image compatible with Controller.

Valid NVDATA Image found.

NVDATA Versions Compatible.

NVDATA Product ID and Vendor ID match verified.

Valid Initialization Image verified.

Valid BootLoader Image verified.

ERROR: Cannot Flash IT Firmware over IR Firmware!

Firmware Image Validation Failed!

Due to error remaining commands will not be executed.

Unable to Process Commands.

Exiting SAS2Flash.

So, looking a bit on LSI website, I quickly found I had to clean the firmware (and the bios) before trying to install the other one. Be really careful doing this  as you won’t be able to boot anymore if the PC stops after the cleanup and before you had time to re-install a firmware and a bios!

Unfortunately, the command “sas2flash -o -e 6” required to clean the firmware failed to execute on my Asus P9X79Pro. It seems that this is quite common on motherboards with support for UEFI:

sas2flash.exe -o -e 6

*******************************************************

LSI Corporation SAS2Flash Utility.

Version 8.00.00.00 (2010.11.01)

Copyright (c) 2009 – 2010 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.

*******************************************************

Advanced Mode Set

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Executing Operation: Erase Flash

Erasing Flash Region…

Erase Flash Command not Supported on this platform.

Resetting Adapter…

Reset Successful!

Due to Exception Command not Executed. IOCStatus=0x1, IOCLogInfo=0x0

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.

Exiting SAS2Flash.

Based on the error message “Erase Flash Command not Supported on this platform”, I thought first that it was failing because running within Windows. So I tried next to execute this from DOS, booting on a USB key created with the great Rufus tool (which comes with a FreeDos. So you really don’t need anything else).

Unfortunately, it didn’t work either. The error was now:

ERROR: Failed to initialize PAL. Exiting Program

Again, one can find on the LSI knowledge base that as a workaround, you have to use the sas2flash version for UEFI: sas2flash.efi. It can be found easily in the download section. Indeed, firmware update via DOS is only possible when using H8 motherboards. With X9 motheroards an error message occurs during the writing process, due to the limited “option ROM”.

So, I did copy the file sas2flash.efi into the root of my USB key and did reboot my PC to enter in the UEFI bios system. Once in the advanced mode, I did click “Exit” in the top right corner and got a new menu with an option like “Launch EFI Shell from filesystem device”. This menu actually means that my Asus P9X79Pro does not have a built-in UEFI shell and that I have to provide one myself, e.g., on the USB Key. UEFI Shells can be found here. An adequate one (such as Precompiled x86_64 UEFI Shell v2 binary) must be copied into the root of the USB Key and renamed into Shellx64.efi. Without that shell on the USB key, the PC starts on the next boot disk (I.e.: Windows in my case)

It’s sometimes reported that one could have to copy the shell on the USB key in <USB>:/efi/boot/bootx64.efi instead ?! But it was not the case for me.

So once a Shellx64.efi on the root on my USB key, selecting “Launch EFI Shell from filesystem device” start a new interface where command can be typed. Ex.: “help -b” (without the quotes) to get the list of supported UEFI commands.

First, one has to switch onto the USB key to execute the LSI application sas2flash.efi. In my case, I only add to type “fs0:” (without the quotes) where fs0 is the default mount point of the USB key. Once there, I tried immediately “sas2flash.efi -o -e 6”, but I got “initshellapp: application not started from shell”.

For some unknown reasons, I can’t run that application and LSI support was not able to solve this issue. I still have to contact Asus to check if they can.

However, LSI support told me that I should try to flash the firmware from a motherboard without UEFI support. So I did move the controller back into my Asus Striker II Formula, which was now booting fine since the bios of the card was downgraded to a compatible version!

And on my Asus Striker II Formula, booting with the DOS Key, I did successfully clean the current IR firmware and flash the IT firmware instead.

sas2flsh.exe -o -e 6

*******************************************************

LSI Corporation SAS2Flash Utility.

Version 8.00.00.00 (2010.11.01)

Copyright (c) 2009 – 2010 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.

*******************************************************

Advanced Mode Set

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Executing Operation: Erase Flash

Erasing Flash Region…

Erase Flash Operation Successful!

Resetting Adapter…

Reset Successful!

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.

Exiting SAS2Flash.

sas2flsh.exe -o -f 2118it.bin -b mptsas2.rom

*******************************************************

LSI Corporation SAS2Flash Utility.

Version 8.00.00.00 (2010.11.01)

Copyright (c) 2009 – 2010 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.

*******************************************************

Advanced Mode Set

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Executing Operation: Flash Firmware Image

Firmware Image has a Valid Checksum.

Firmware Image compatible with Controller.

Valid NVDATA Image found.

Valid Initialization Image verified.

Valid BootLoader Image verified.

Chip is in RESET state. Attempting Host Boot…

Firmware Host Boot Successful !

MfgPage2 Mismatch Detected.

Writing Current MfgPage2 Settings to NVRam

Updated MfgPage2 !

Resetting Adapter…

Adapter Reset Completed.

Chip is in RESET state. Performing Host Boot…

Firmware Host Boot Successful !

Beginning Firmware Download…

Firmware Download Successful.

Resetting Adapter…

Adapter Successfully Reset.

Executing Operation: Flash BIOS Image

Validating BIOS Image…

BIOS Header Signature is Valid

BIOS Image has a Valid Checksum.

BIOS PCI Structure Signature Valid.

BIOS Image Compatible with the SAS Controller.

Attempting to Flash BIOS Image…

Flash BIOS Image Successful.

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.

Exiting SAS2Flash.

sas2flsh.exe -listall

*******************************************************

LSI Corporation SAS2Flash Utility.

Version 8.00.00.00 (2010.11.01)

Copyright (c) 2009 – 2010 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.

*******************************************************

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Num   Ctlr            FW Ver        NVDATA      x86-BIOS      PCI Addr

———————————————————————

0   SAS2008(B2)     08.00.00.00  07.01.00.03  07.15.00.00  00:04:00:00

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.

Exiting SAS2Flash.

100% OK !!!

I did next upgrade the firmware from 08.00.00.00 to 17.00.00.00 on my two card (LSI SAS 9201-16i and LSI SAS 9211-8i) and entered the management console (CTRL-C) to disable boot support on both card (as I boot from disks attached on on-board sata controllers). And now, they both work like a charm on my Asus Striker II Formula :)

[EDIT]: Reading again about UEFI support on a french web site dedicated to ASUS laptops, I found that “x86_64 UEFI Shell 2.0” is not supported by some ASUS UEFI firmware because it does not have the minimum expected version (???). It’a said on that forum that “x86_64 UEFI Shell 1.0.” is however well supported. I am quite sure I did test it without success (I was not presented with the interface but got a black screen). But it might be worth a second try… Possibly copying the shell into /boot/efi/shellx64.efi instead of the root (as suggested on this site)

HardwaresTips LSI SAS 9211-8i – Compatibility issues

I already experienced a compatibility issue between a LSI SAS 9201-16i and my Asus Striker II Formula. But as the issues appeared to be solved once the LSI bios downgraded to 7.15.0.0, I decided to buy another LSI SAS controller and give it a try too. The same issue occurred and was solved in a similar way.

Click to Read More

Once the new SAS 9211-8i plugged in my Asus Striker II Formula, the PC didn’t boot anymore. It was “freezing” just at the end of the SAS controller initialization phase. The current bios was 07.25.00.00 and the firmware 13.0.0.57.00 (IR).

Just as I did for the SAS 9201-16i, I did plug next the new SAS controller in my other motherboard, an ASUS P9X79Pro. On that motherboard, the initialization phase passed successfully.

I did send next an email to LSI support to request their package version P8 (firmware & bios) for SAS 9211-8i, the version that made my SAS 9201-16i compatible with my Asus Striker II Formula. Again great support from LSI, I did get the package in less than 24h.

Using the sas2flash.exe for windows provided within the package P8, I did check the current version of the firmware and bios using the option “-listall”:

sas2flash.exe -listall

**********************************************************************************

LSI Corporation SAS2Flash Utility.

Version 8.00.00.00 (2010.11.01)

Copyright (c) 2009 – 2010 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.

**********************************************************************************

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Num   Ctlr            FW Ver        NVDATA      x86-BIOS      PCI Addr

———————————————————————————

0   SAS2008(B2) 13.00.57.00  0d.43.00.05  07.25.00.00  00:03:00:00

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.

Exiting SAS2Flash.

I did backup the current firmware using the option “-ufirmware”

sas2flash.exe -ufirmware SAS9211-8i-backup.fw

**********************************************************************************

LSI Corporation SAS2Flash Utility.

Version 8.00.00.00 (2010.11.01)

Copyright (c) 2009 – 2010 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.

**********************************************************************************

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Executing Operation: Upload Firmware

Upload Successful!

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.

Exiting SAS2Flash.

I did next backup the current bios using the option”-ubios”

sas2flash.exe -ubios SAS9211-8i-backup.rom

**********************************************************************************

LSI Corporation SAS2Flash Utility.

Version 8.00.00.00 (2010.11.01)

Copyright (c) 2009 – 2010 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.

**********************************************************************************

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Executing Operation: Upload BIOS

Upload Successful!

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.

Exiting SAS2Flash.

Finally, I did flash the bios and only the bios as I knew this one was responsible of the freeze, based on my previous experience. I did use the options “-o -b”:

sas2flash.exe -o -b mptsas2.rom

****************************************************************************

LSI Corporation SAS2Flash Utility.

Version 8.00.00.00 (2010.11.01)

Copyright (c) 2009 – 2010 LSI Corporation. All rights reserved.

****************************************************************************

Advanced Mode Set

Adapter Selected is a LSI SAS: SAS2008(B2)

Executing Operation: Flash BIOS Image

Validating BIOS Image…

BIOS Header Signature is Valid

BIOS Image has a Valid Checksum.

BIOS PCI Structure Signature Valid.

BIOS Image Compatible with the SAS Controller.

Attempting to Flash BIOS Image…

Flash BIOS Image Successful.

Finished Processing Commands Successfully.

Exiting SAS2Flash.

Et voilà. Once re-plugged into the other PC, with the ASUS Striker II Formula, this one was now booting fine.

In a next post I will report on my experience trying to flash the firmware, in a attempt to replace the current IR firmware by an IT firmware.

HardwaresTips Enable 3D on ASUS VG278HR Lightboost 27” with NVidia Stereoscopic 3D

I have been really puzzled by how to enable 3D on my Asus VG278HR screen.

Asus VG278HR

Asus VG278HR

It sometimes worked and sometimes did not ?! Actually, it’s quite easy to enable/disable it if all the conditions are met, such as the right refresh rate, the right resolution, the 3D screen as primary display, …

Click to Read More

Requirement to play 3D movies:

  • A 3D screen with a 3D IR emitter: Mine is an ASUS VG278HR
  • A 3D compatible graphic card: Mine is a Nvidia GeForce GTX 760
  • “NVIDIA 3D Vision Video Player”: a player able to play 3D movies with side-by-side frames or up-and-down frames
  • The complete “NVIDIA Control panel”, i.e.: including the nodes “3D Settings” and “Stereoscopic 3D” in addition to “Display”, “Performance” and “Video”. If you are missing those configuration nodes, install the very latest “drivers” from NVIDIA. I am currently using “320.49-desktop-win8-win7-winvista-64bit-english-whql.exe”

Notice: the difference between the ASUS VG278HR and ASUS VG278H is the 3D Infrared emitter embedded in the VG278HR to synchronize the glasses. Once the 3D is enabled, a small green led turns on on the emitter. This is the only way to know that the 3D is enabled. With a 3D screen without embedded IR, an external emitter must be bought. Also, one set of 3D glasses is included with the ASUS VG278HR.

To enable 3D, try first the wizard (should be done at least once):

  1. Right click the desktop > NVidia Control Panel > Stereoscopic 3D
  2. Check “Enable stereoscopic 3D”
  3. Select “3D TV Play” as Stereoscopic 3D Display Type
  4. Click “Run Setup Wizard”

All the screens (if several) will blink and the windows on the other screen will be moved. But finally the wizard will appear. Don’t click into another screen as the wizard would minimize. This wizard welcome screen must be title “Set up NVIDIA 3DTV Play” otherwise, it’s not the right one to be used to enable 3D with the VG278HR.

  1. Click “Next” on the welcome screen.
  2. You should now see a screen asking to “Turn On your glasses”. Press the button on the left side of your glasses. And click “Next”.
  3. On the next screen “Test your hardware setup”, you have to pick the right answers and then click “Next”. With only the left eye opened you should see the green shape only. With only the right eye opened, you should see the blue one only.
  4. On the next screen you “Verify your ability to see stereoscopic 3D pictures”. Select the right answer, accept the health notice and then click “Next”. The right answer is the left one (with a small elevate surface on top of the background).
  5. On the last screen I suggest to uncheck the option to start the demo.

You can experience issues to enable 3D with the wizard, or you can loose the 3D once you close the wizard or far later for some unclear reason. In any case, check bellow for required settings to be able to enable/re-enable 3D. Possibly restart the wizard once every settings is fixed.

Once the wizard completed, you will notice that the 3D is enabled (you see the green led turned on on top of the screen) but the resolution could be 1280 x 720. Ugly ! Unfortunately , if you try immediately to set 1980 x 1080 (which is recommended and supported for 3D) the 3D will probably be disabled. Don’t worry. This is due to the refresh rate. See bellow how to fix that.

If 3D is disabled or can’t be enabled

Check first that the Stereoscopic 3D mode is enabled: Right click the desktop > Screen resolution > select the option “Enable Stereoscopic 3D settings for all supported displays” and click “Apply”.

Next, set the ASUS VG278HR as the main display if you have multiple screens. Otherwise, I notice that 3D is not effective: right click the desktop > Screen resolution > select the ASUS screen > check “Make this my main display” and “Apply”.

Then, check that the Asus refresh rate is 24 Hertz: Right click the desktop > Screen resolution > select the ASUS screen > click “Advanced settings” > Go to the “Monitor” tab > select the refresh rate and “Apply”.

Notice: If 3D is enabled and you select anything above 24Hz as a refresh rate, it will be disabled immediately.

Finally, select a supported resolution such as 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720. If you select one of those resolution while the refresh rate is 24Hz, you should see Resolution: “1920 x 1080 (Recommended, 3D)” in the “Screen Resolution” window instead of simply “1920 x 1080 (Recommended)“. As soon as you click “Apply”, 3D should now be enabled.

Disable properly the 3D

In 3D mode, the screen appears to be grey although it’s really brilliant when 3D is disabled. This is normal as the refresh rate is divided by two (one frame must be generated for each eye).

So, if you want to switch from 3D mode to normal mode, the easiest is simply to disable/re-enable the “Stereoscopic 3D”. I did try various tools and command line without success: Right click the desktop > Screen resolution > deselect or select the option “Enable Stereoscopic 3D settings for all supported displays” and click “Apply”.

Notices:

  1. You have to enable 3D on the screen BEFORE starting your “NVIDIA 3D Vision Video Player”. If you did start it first, restart it otherwise your movie will be played side-by-side anyway.
  2. If your video does not expand to fit the screen and you want that, go to NVIDIA 3D Vision Video Player’s menu File > Aspect Ratio > 16:9