FIXED! Sprint ATIV S Neo Developer Preview 8.1 Unable to Activate after Reset

There has clearly been an issue with Windows the Phone 8.1 Developer Preview and CDMA phones. The issue was discovered a while ago, but it wasn’t an issue you were aware of, typically, until it was too late. My issue was that, after having to “factory default” my phone, it refused to properly reactivate with my carrier, Sprint. I had texting and voice calls, but no data or picture messages. Some research suggested the APN data just needed to be filled in, but calling Sprint resulted in being told that they don’t give out APN information because they provision over NAI, and their support forum was painfully not supportive.

Complaints aside, there is a way to fix this. Continue reading “FIXED! Sprint ATIV S Neo Developer Preview 8.1 Unable to Activate after Reset”

SOLVED: Windows Defender not starting after December ’14 Update

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that this patch is flawed, and has issued another fix to automatically uninstall KB3004394. Even more fascinating, our experience that this “Windows Defender” update somehow impacted display adapters and video drivers has been confirmed. Continue to read our original post below.

Just the other day, I had the chance to experience this one hands on. We had a computer that would report that Windows Defender could not start automatically, shortly after the computer had rebooted from recent Windows Updates. Windows Defender in Windows 7 is important because it acts as an anti-malware solution, not just an antivirus. So even if you have something like AVG, Symantec, or even Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Defender should be allowed to run in the background.

If you’re tech savvy, you may have even tried to go in to the Windows Services menu and attempted to start Windows Defender manually. If you try this, you will receive an error stating that “The Stub received bad data.” It turns out, there was a flaw in KB3004394, so simply uninstalling that for now will resolve the issue. I will provide the steps for uninstalling that patch.

Continue reading “SOLVED: Windows Defender not starting after December ’14 Update”

SOLVED: Windows not loading, black screen, bars, 12/2014

Update: Our theory from the bottom paragraph has confirmed. Microsoft has confirmed that a flawed Windows Update can impact video drivers, and has issued another fix to automatically uninstall KB3004394.

You may be able to hear sound effects, as though Windows is loading properly, but the screen shows two horizontal bars, and other artifacts and colors occasionally pop up. It appears to be a bad screen or, in the case of our laptop, we thought it was a damaged cable in the hinge. But it turns out this is somehow software related.

Tap the power key. For us, this shut the laptop down. If that doesn’t work for you, you may need to press and hold the power button until the computer shuts off. Once it is off, boot in to safe mode. You should be able to see the screen in this mode. To do this, follow these easy steps:

Press the power button, then immediately start tapping the “F8” Key across the top of your keyboard. Tap it at least once a second, if not twice every second… about the time the computer would normally show the “Starting Windows” screen, you should receive a list of options. Stop tapping “F8” then use the arrow keys to select “Safe Mode” (you do not need “Safe Mode with Networking” at this time) and press Enter. Scary text will likely flash up on the screen, but this is normal, eventually, Windows will load. Things will be off color and the wrong size, but this is normal for Safe Mode.

Now, to fix the Windows Booting issue, you need to remove your display adapter. Again, follow these simple steps:

Screenshot included for instructive purposes, our actual issue happened on an Intel-graphics based laptop.

Continue reading “SOLVED: Windows not loading, black screen, bars, 12/2014”