Repair Windows 8 critical files

So some time ago I had a power outage, in the last three years it has happned at least four times and since I don’t have a UPS I had to deal with it like a man and check my disk and discover that critical files were missing or damaged (such as riched32.dll).

Repair Windows 8 critical files with SFC

This is a simple thing to do, boot on a Windows 8 setup image, and launch a the following command:

sfc /SCANNOW /OFFWINDIR=X:\windows /OFFBOOTDIR=X:

Keep in mind that in my case the faulty volume was X: so it may be different for you.

If everything went well, then it’s good. It can fail sometimes for various reasons, but since it never failed on me I can’t help more.

Apparently it is also possible to restor damaged files with DISM, but since I couldn’t use DISM right and always have errors with it I will update this article when in the future.

Asus Xonar DGX

dgx-chips

They once said to me that on board audio is crap, and I should get any Xonar.

I listened and was aware that with great audio, comes some surprises.
I bought an Asus Xonar DGX because it was within my budget and had headphone amps.

My Gaming experience

This is not that bad since I can only come up which two games that had problems.

Star Wars: Republic Commando had no sound if the GX option was turned off, it wasn’t a big deal.

Dead Island had buzzing sound on 7.1. I don’t want to have to change my settings every time I must play a game.

My gaming experience was overall good and smooth.
But I don’t have only games in my life.

My Anime experience

For watching animes I use the Combined Community Codec Pack with Media Player Classic. The playback was alright with my on board sound on my Sabertooth P67.

With the Xonar I had to reconfigure everything. One video could not have a single problem and restore some 7.1 sound.
Some other started stuttering like if the video had to follow the sound.

Getting the good settings was probably not possible and since I can’t watch animes with buzzing and stuttering sound… I had no other choice than popping the card out.

My VoIP experience

This is a bit of an awkward one. I mainly use Skype with people I personally know in real life.
Getting the settings right was really hard at first, but good enough.

After a while I decided to switch to my old desktop mic since people were complaining that they could here in my headset the sound playing. I usually listen to cool stuff.

Getting the settings right without everybody picking up the keys I mashed or my mouse clicks isn’t possible.
The mic got all the sounds, even when I was cooking in my kitchen.

It’s not that bad, right ?

Yeah. You could say that.
But Anime is a big part of my life, and if I must tweak every single game to get it running because I have a sound card… Well no thanks.

I could blame the game developers for that, but Asus is to blame too.

Get PSO2es’ APK file

Update: The game has been release, you can get it on Arks-Layer.

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If you don’t feel like setting up a VPN or if you can’t set it up, there is another way to obtain the game. You’ll need:

  • An android device (2.1+)
  • Google Chrome (on a desktop)
  • A Google Chrome’s extension called APK Downloader
  • Drag’n’Drop skill points

Disclaimer

I’m not responsible of anything. If something breaks or works it’s because of you.
If you follow the instructions, it should work, otherwise the instruction were not followed correctly.

Continue reading Get PSO2es’ APK file

Get Phantasy Star Online 2es (VPN)

Update: The game has been release, you can get it on Arks-Layer.

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After receiving a mail saying that I was chosen for the closed beta of Phantasy Star Online 2: es, I wanted to install it on my phone like anybody who’s supposed to play it.

Like always, things don’t go smoothly: it’s region locked on the Play Store.
I’m using a Nexus 4 running the stock Android 4.3.

Disclaimer

I’m not responsible of anything, if you have a problem with scanning a QR Code you can get Google Goggles. For other problems I consider you know how to read so there should not be any.
Keep in mind that your device is probably not compatible.

Continue reading Get Phantasy Star Online 2es (VPN)

Trine 2 not running on Windows 8

header_292x136This blog could be called the “not running on Windows 8”, and if people actually read this blog they’ll think that I’m trolling them about Windows 8.
Windows 8 is not that bad at all, it just has some small issues with some software not written for it.

I personally think that Trine 2 has some of the best graphics, and the story or the gameplay is not that bad while it’s linear.

There are 3 little steps:

  • Browse to the game’s folder: \Steam\steamapps\common\trine 2
  • Locate trine2_launcher.exe and right-click, then choose properties
  • In the properties window, go to compatibility then tick the box called “Run as admin” or something like that (I have a French system).

Even if you disabled smartscreen and the UAC, programmes won’t run with Admin rights if you don’t ask them too (with a manifest or right clicking then running as admin).

You can now enjoy Trine 2 !

Telltale titles not running on Windows 8

Capture d’écran (35)

Once again some games are not written for Windows 8, especially for the up to date dinput8.dll file !
Apparently this bug feature happens when a controller is plugged in, but I’m too lazy to find out.

The answer to that problem is in a Steam Game Hub thread, thanks to Dolimite.

To enjoy your Telltale title, follow the following steps:

  • Download the dinput8.dll: [Mega] [Mediafire];
  • Copy it in the game folder, for example for The Walking Dead: \Steam\steamapps\common\The Walking Dead

Telltale should really do something…
Enjoy your game !

Named pipes for debugging

piping

During a project for school, I came across the worst problem I could ever have: not having tools to debug.

I had to write a program that would be executed by a PHP script in command line, I decided to write the program in C++.
The program was supposed to receive parameters on STDIN:

  • Money you start with;
  • Number of cycles;
  • Loop: number.

The STDOUT and STDERR was thrown into a pipe to be used by the PHP script, so I couldn’t write in the console any calculation I need to check.
The only way to get an output was to write somewhere else than on the STDOUT and STDERR.

Writing to files

I thought about writing my debugging output into a file, but then I encountered a problem: what if I get an infinite loop ?
I could kill the program.

Writing to files wasn’t really helping with real-time debugging.
And I could easily fill my hard-drive

Writing to a named pipe

Named pipes are the best for real-time debugging !
I could nearly make tea and pour it into a cup.

Since I was running Fedora 18, I could use named pipes so I decided to give it a try, I wrote a simple script:

#!/bin/sh

if [ -e "./debug.pipe" ]
then
        rm -f "./debug.pipe"
fi

mkfifo "./debug.pipe"
while (cat "./debug.pipe")
do
        cat "./debug.pipe"
done

I then needed to write the debugging data directly into the pipe like if I was writing a normal file.

Waking Mars

Waking Mars is an Indie game produced by Tiger Style studio and release on Windows, Linux, Mac and Android.
The game was greenlit, then put on the Steam store during December 2012.

Storyline

In 2097, life is discovered on Mars. When your mission of first contact becomes trapped by a cave-in, you must master the alien ecosystem to survive. Soon you stumble upon more than anyone expected, and with time running out, you will make a decision that determines the fate of a lost planet

Impressions

At first I started playing it casually, because the plot wasn’t really interesting at first. Then I started playing it more and more on my Google Nexus 4, and somehow got addicted to it.
It was a great experience and the game was getting more and more interesting.

I even played instead of sleeping and finished the game in about 5 hours, that’s about as long as Call of Duty’s campaign mode !

I honestly recommend it to anybody interesting in original Indie games.