Thursday, July 6, 2023

Disable the screen resolution dialog for Paw Patrol On a Roll Game (Steam)

 If you are a loving parent/tech-uncle who just wants to make your child have a seamless way to play the "Paw Patrol On a Roll" game purchased from Steam and you either use Steam Link or Steam Deck, the window dialog asking about the screen resolution can sometimes become a nuisance.

There's an old discussion thread on the Steam page of the said game, but seems the OG devs aren't paid enough to maintain support on old games. A very kind-soul under the username "Pahiro" gave some general idea how to do the fix on your own copy of the game. For some technically-blessed people, they were able to understand and make the workaround fix using the Unity Asset Bundle Extractor published in Github performing the following steps.

  1. Download the UABE release from GitHub (nowadays everyone by default is using a 64bit windows machine so please pick that).
  2. Run the AssetBuildExtractor.exe
  3. Select File -> Open, select the "globalgamemanagers" located inside the local game install folder of the Paw Patrol game; by default it is located in... C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Paw Patrol On A Roll\PawPatrol_Data
  4. Click on the first line with the type PlayerSettings, do an export dump as text file
  5. With a notepad or other text editor, look in the dumped text file the integer variable "displayResolutionDialog" and change the value to 0.
  6. Save the modified text file, then back in the UABE click the import dump and select that modified dump text file.
  7. Select File -> apply and save the new globalgamemanagers file (better to backup the old one before swapping them). If it prompts an error saving it, save it with a different file name then just use the file explorer to make the file renames as necessary.
After applying the fix, game launched fine on my part.

Now the backstory has been all said and done, if you just want the actual file (disclaimer: I have no liability should there be unfortunate outcomes when using the file I shared), see this drive link to download the modified globalgamemanagers file.

Hope this helps.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

workaround for Acer E1-572G with HD8750M GPU and Win10 freezes

From the moment I opted to upgrade/format my Acer E1-572G to Windows 10 (since its initial release encouraging those in Win8.1 to avail the free upgrade), it was plagued with driver incompatibilities particularly the secondary AMD/ATI Radeon HD8750M graphics chipset. Initially I found a workaround wherein I left it stuck at the Feb2017 Crimson 17 (version 21.1 driver) release at the time of the 17XX update and kind of left it there throughout 1803 and 1809 release. But when the 1903 update finally popped up, the problem resurfaced and this time neither that old driver or the current Oct 2019 release didn't work and kept on freezing the OS even prior to logging-in. Just doing a fresh install will land you on the same problem.

I relied once again to the old ye faithful Google search and found an interesting post in the AMD community forum describing the same issue. The correct solution came from the user handle "lmarcelus" which described modifying the extracted inf driver file and disable the UIps. I've included the screenshot of his solution for archive sake in case AMD wants to clean house.

 I'm not entirely sure what the UIps is for or how it may affect graphics-intensive apps/gaming but it was worth a shot and actually worked! On my experience, I did a fresh install using the Windows10 1903 update and yes I finished the installation wizard process while staying offline. You will need the drivers ready and at-hand (USB perhaps?) if you don't have a spare PC/device that you can use to download it. Another item you may need to read-up is how to turn off the enforcement of driver signature (hint: through the same way how you boot to safe mode but this time select option 7 or was it 8).

If by chance reformatting is not in your itinerary, best thing I can suggest is to try and boot to safe mode (with no networking) and use the AMD cleanup utility. The tool will remove/disable all the AMD/ATI drivers installed, which will leave you a clean un-initialized video card device listed on your device manager. Only after doing that clean you can then perform the said modifications.

Scrolling further down that same forum page there's another comment by "ax7" (Github user "qbsa") who made a service/script that you can install to your machine to automatically modify any new/updated drivers being installed similar to the solution initially provided. The exact instructions and files are in his GitHub page. I suggest you put the install files (the exe and cmd file) in its own folder somewhere hidden or safe from normal browsing view before attempting to install because those files will need to stay there in order for the script service to remain working.

I hope this helps anyone out there who just wants to bring their laptop with that infernal ATI HD8600/8700M GPU back to working order. Cheers!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Touchpad fix for Ubuntu 18.04 & Acer Nitro 5

I have an Acer Nitro 5 AN515-52 with the Intel i7 and GTX1050ti. For the first few months I just used it as a Windows machine and only relied on the Ubuntu terminal add-on for some remote linux legwork. But after a few months I tempted fate to dual-boot with Ubuntu as I hoped some basic issues would already pass and work out-of-the-distro, which fortunately didn't.

As a backgrounder, I used an Ubuntu 18.04 64bit Desktop ISO sometime Dec 2018. Most of the basic stuff worked except the touchpad. I also read that there might be some issues with Nvidia and the audio output of the HDMI port but wasn't planning to use it just yet.  The touchpad however was a big deal especially I don't usually have a mouse at hand. This once again led me to journey the vast forum pages in the internet to find and eventually compiled the answer in this post.

You may have landed to some answers where you need to install "i2c-tools" package as it was hinted in the BIOS settings for touchpad that you needed i2c drivers, but since you landed here means that didn't work. Changing the BIOS setting from "Advanced" to "Basic" wasn't an option for your either because of the touchpad functions when you go back to Windows.

The next thing I did was to install the Nvidia proprietary driver package, since touchpad input is usually associated with the graphics card... which also did nothing.

Another one would be to install the "xserver-xorg-input-synaptics" package as the default libinput package wasn't enough for our machine... and once again it didn't do anything.

I was about to give up but saw a suggestion in another forum page to sort-of force synaptics to be used for detection of touchpad input. It required you to modify the synaptics xorg config file and made sure to have the following:

Section "InputClass" 
             Identifier "touchpad catchall" 
             Driver "synaptics" 
             MatchIsTouchpad "on" 
             Option "TapButton1" "1" 
             Option "VertEdgeScroll" "1" 
End Section 

Now most of the stuff was already (uncommented) in the config file except the last 2 "Option" lines. I just added those, restarted, and then my touchpad finally worked!

To summarize all what happened or what I did, here's a recap along with some of the commands used (to help those linux beginners):

1) Install "i2c-tools"
sudo apt-get install i2c-tools 

2) [I think this can be optional] Install the Nvidia Proprietary Graphics drivers. You can do this graphically by going to the "Software & Updates" -> Additional Drivers -> enable the Nvidia proprietary drivers.

3) Install the xserver synaptics package and do a restart

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-synaptics 

4) Modify the config file located at /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/70-synaptics.conf (or the XX-synaptics.conf) and append the necessary stuff I mentioned earlier. You can use your preferred text editor. Do a restart once you have saved the settings.

5) End

Here's an output of my "xinput --list" when my touchpad worked. The ELAN touchpad finally showed up after the stuff I did.

⎡ Virtual core pointer                        id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                  id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ ELAN0504:01 04F3:3091 Touchpad              id=12    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                       id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard                 id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                                id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                                   id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                                   id=8    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                                id=9    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Sleep Button                                id=10    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ HD WebCam: HD WebCam                        id=11    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard                id=13    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Acer WMI hotkeys                            id=14    [slave  keyboard (3)]

Credits to the participants/contributors in the UNIX stackexchange I read. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

TP-Link WPA4530 kit review & fix for random disconnect

I've recently purchased a TP-Link WPA4530 kit for roughly less than $70 (3500 pesos) to extend my WiFi coverage and eliminate a particular dead-spot that so happened to be my desktop PC workspace at home. The device I bought is a consumer-based version which is both a powerline adapter and WiFi AC750 access point.

The next few bits is sort of a background of the item I've purchased; sort of a pseudo-review. For those who just need the answer to your "WPA4530 TP-link random disconnect powerline" Google search, scroll down (or click here) to the workaround part

The Backstory

At first I was a bit skeptic about using a "powerline" (powerline communication or PLC) but this is actually an old technology based on data communications used by power distribution companies to monitor and control their power grid. I was willing to try this out because it fell within my budget and I've already tried using a high-power AC2400 router (Asus AC87U) which was a tad expensive for the intended purpose and performed sub-par as I have wanted, but it did the job of removing the dead-spot.

You might think that "hey, why not use those WiFi Mesh network devices" solution compared to using PLC devices. To answer that, I'm not YET a firm believer of that technology, especially if the product hasn't gone mainstream to other manufacturers. I guess that's a good bet for a different scenario where PLC devices are not possible (i.e. old houses with old wiring). 

The Review

Bottom-line, it did work on my setup at home. It does work even if the house layout wiring of the source outlet and destination outlet are at two different circuit breakers, as long as it is still under one master breaker.

I used a universal adapter on the source PLC device (PA4020P) because it was a three-prong and my power outlet was the two-prong ungrounded version located at the ground floor near my gateway router. The wireless device PLC (WPA4530) is plugged at the second floor of the house and has the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WiFi enabled. I also use the in-built ethernet (LAN) port for my desktop workstation.

this photo not mine; was too lazy to take a shot of my own unit
The PLC kit has a rated transfer rate of 500Mbps, but for real-world specs I'm getting a decent 130-175Mbps which is still good and enough for HD streaming for my Chromecast and online gaming using my desktop PC.

Workaround / Fix for random disconnect

For those who may have problems with random disconnection of their TP-Link powerline devices (given you've configured it correctly and have used it for a couple of minutes), I found a workaround based on forums that there is a "power-saving" mode for the PA4020P that turns-off the connection after 5 minutes of inactivity between the PLC devices. The power-save mode is sometimes persistent even after unplugging and plugging it back in. I think this fix is not exclusive for the WPA4530 kit and can also be used for other (older or newer) models.

From the official product page of TP-Link for your model/device, go to the "Support" section and look for the Utility tab. For the WPA4530kit, the link is this one You will need to download and install their TP-PLC utility program. This will let you monitor and manage your TP-Link PLC devices.

Once you have finish installing the program, just play around it and look for the advanced settings for the PA4020P devices and you should see a way to disable the "power saving" mode.

This fix is actually based on an old article (from I read that tells of a tool to disable the power-saving feature of TP-Link powerline devices. However it only provided the old program that no longer support Win8 and above.

By the way, I did not bother updating the firmware as they're still up-to-date once I got it out of the box.

I hope this article helps people out there, both looking for ways to solve their WiFi dead-spot or those who already have this powerline device and looking for answers.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tuxera NTFS for MacOS Sierra Workaround (Toshiba license)

With the release of MacOS Sierra by Apple, you might have opted to update your Mac machine with that new OS especially if your gadget ecosystem revolves on the Apple-sphere of things. Upon completing the long wait of downloading the OS update and its installation, you may think at first that everything seems to work fine. Once you attached your NTFS hard drive thinking it will be a routine access to your files, you notice that it goes back to a "read-only" file explorer view even if you have Tuxera installed.

I got my copy of Tuxera from purchasing Toshiba's external USB3.0 hard drives that included the said software, specifically the Canvio Connect II. The drive is a sweet deal for the price + Tuxera, especially the fact that it doesn't care whether you use your Toshiba external drive or any other brand (boooo to WD and Seagate).

What I initially did and the error I got

The usual course of action to fix Tuxera after a major MacOS software update is to just reinstall it. So I have a copy of the ".dmg" installer of Tuxera somewhere within my directories and proceeded to run it. Once the installer was mounted and clicked on the installer icon, I suddenly got this error prompt about an "Error 1 while launching Tuxera NTFS...".

At first I thought that my installer was perhaps corrupted so I accessed the installer inside my Toshiba HDD, but that was an older variant (2014 I think). When I used that version and after the installer ran smoothly, as expected it didn't work on Sierra.

I initially sought help from Tuxera (via email support) but they told me to ask Toshiba for a solution/fix. Not seeing an email support from Toshiba US, I tried their Twitter account to no avail as well. This left me no choice but to MacGyver my way out of this predicament.

The Fix

This guide of mine is to fix your Tuxera installation on your MacOS Sierra if your license came from your Toshiba HDD.

Step 1a: Go to the support page of Toshiba and download the updated Tuxera for Mac installer

The installer published in this support website will only work if you own any of the following Toshiba external hard drives:
  • Canvio Connect and Connect II (HDTC7 and HDTC8 series)
  • Canvio Slim and Slim II (HDTD1 and HDTD2 series)
  • Canvio AeroMobile (HDTQ112XCWF1)
  • Canvio AeroCast (HDTU110XKWC1)
This installer of Tuxera (2015.2 version) will work on both El Capitan and Sierra.

Step 1b: Specify a different download destination for the Tuxera for Mac installer
When downloading the ".dmg" installer, don't just save it in your "Downloads" folder. I suggest you save it to your "Desktop". This is an important step as this is somewhat related to the error.

Step 2: Disable Gatekeeper
To disable Gatekeeper and "Allow apps from anywhere", follow the instructions from this website...

Step 3: Run the installer
Once you have finished downloading the Tuxera installer and saved it elsewhere (your Desktop), mount and run the installer as normally as you would in previous versions.

Step 4: Keep your Toshiba external HDD at-hand
When you're already inside the installer and doing the usual clicking of the "Next" button, connect your Toshiba external HDD. This will enable the Tuxera installer to detect the hardware and activate the Toshiba-Tuxera license.

Step 5: Restart your Mac and enjoy
Yes you need to restart it so that it will properly load and use the NTFS driver

The reason behind the error

After much digging on why the said installer kept giving me that error was because of a particular feature that Apple included in the Sierra OS, which is something called the "Gatekeeper".

The purpose of the Gatekeeper was to provide another means of security to prevent users from using installers that may contain malicious workarounds/exploits. It also generates a random file path for the application to be installed wherein I'm not really sure why but it is also part of the security and application digital signing.

The Tuxera 2015.2 version was published for the El Capitan didn't have that Gatekeeper functionality. When you run the same installer in MacOS Sierra and the ".dmg" installer was saved inside the Downloads folder, this will screw-up the packaging of the Tuxera installer as it doesn't play ball with that Gatekeeper.

Friday, May 27, 2016

A "semi-legit" speed test of PLDT Fibr 2899

I've recently applied for the PLDT Fibr plan 2899 around April 2016. After almost 4 weeks of follow-ups and service request with the "accommodating" PLDT hotline and dispatcher number, I finally got my subscription installed at our house in Mandaluyong (Barangay Namayan to be exact).

A lot of my friends started asking if it was any good... and I typically start my response of it being expensive. As for the aspect of is the connection any good compared to sticking with existing broadband DSL subscription, that is a bit tricky. Fortunately, somebody gave me an idea to do a "speedtest" of the fiber-based connection going to nodes/servers located outside the Philippines.

Background of the PH internet

Based from the marketing material and advertisements of PLDT, they're saying that you can get speeds up to 50 Mbps (100 Mbps for the first 6 months, but that's just a teaser and will only be "fun while it lasted"). But those speeds can only be achieved if you measure your speed going to servers located on the same PLDT network. What's really important is how fast your internet connection going to outside of the Philippines or even to the other local network competitor (e.g. Globe).

All the content that we usually access are not hosted within the Philippine territory and are typically in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and even the US. The latency, which is the "ms" thing you get when you do a ping test, going to servers located elsewhere is the one that matters the most. The lower the latency value the better; anything < 100 ms is sort of "acceptable" for most cases, higher than 200 ms and you're pretty much screwed especially in online gaming.

My Set-up
  • PLDT Fibr plan 2899, with provided modem configured as a bridged-WAN
  • Asus AC87u AC2400 Wireless Router with stock firmware
  • Intel Core2-based Desktop
    • Windows 10 Pro
    • 4GB RAM
    • RT2870 150 USB Wireless N LAN network card (Belkin) connected as 11n

The "Tests"

Without further delay (unlike what PLDT usually does), see below the screenshot of some "speedtests" I conducted.



West Coast - US

East Coast - US


If comparing it with other internet subscriptions and DSL connections, I believe they're not too different if the latency is the one you'd consider. Bandwidth-wise, definitely it will be faster simply because it now uses a fiber optic line versus a copper line for DSL.

If you want my opinion if you should switch... I leave you with this message...

"With great (bandwidth) power comes great (adult) responsibility"

As long as you think you can afford the monthly subscription fee and if it is available within your area, why not. But as early as now, I'm bracing myself and thinking of ways to re-align the utility costs we have for the household because it is simply expensive for "just" internet (PHP 2,899.00 per month isn't really a joke).

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Error 80040154 when PST migration using GAMME and Outlook 2013

Hi guys! It's been a while since I posted something I encountered or stumbled upon that can help anyone... so here it goes.


I recently got a stint to migrate a client of mine to Google Apps for Work. Their old email set-up was relatively simple, and they asked me to migrate their old email data that was stored in their desktop-installed Outlook 2013 client. Although they're using a 64-bit Windows 7, I'm not quite sure if it was also a 64bit Office 2013 that was installed as they're the ones who did it. Once I exported their data with the "export to file/PST" function of Outlook 2013, I was about to make my move.

What I initially did...

I used one of their workstations (that already has Outlook 2013) and installed GAMME (ver. 5.0.25 to this writing) to be my migration staging area. I then followed and executed the necessary pre-requisites (API and json token permission and service certs). Once I was ready and prepared the userlist file and PST folder structure, I proceeded to start-estimate-migrate using the GAMME tool.

Everything went well initially and passed the testing and estimation. Once I reached the migration part, all the user accounts failed to migrate, with an "Error 80040154" kept showing up for each user.

What wrong?

Initially I thought it was the network but I was easily able to rule that out after some cable management and connected directly to our broadband modem/internet. I also checked if the Outlook 2013 was up-to-date, which apparently it was. I tried and looked for quite a long time across various support materials, forums and How-To manuals of Google for the GAMME tool but to no luck or even a mention of that particular error code.

It led me to conclude that the culprit might be the Outlook 2013 itself as I already had experience in the past that the migration tools Google provides only behaves correctly on legacy (or not a recent release) Microsoft products. Despite the GAMME website saying it supports Outlook 2013, it's not the first time I didn't believe in Google as they have a reputation on not properly maintaining any support/admin tools nor keeping their documentations up-to-date.

My Solution

I used a different workstation without the Outlook 2013 installation and then installed an Outlook 2007 (32bit) and downloaded the Office 2007 SP3 standalone patch since the GAMME tools requires Outlook 2007 SP2 at minimum. Once that's done, I installed again the GAMME tool and made the necessary set-up requirements... then it now works.

Hope I'm able to help anyone out there who might face (or currently in) this same dilemma. Cheers!