Sunday, 29 November 2015

Intermittent Wi-Fi Connection On Laptop


Have you experienced dropping wi-fi connection on your laptop? This problem has just made me scratching my head for a while. All of a sudden, my connection is suddenly disconnecting from the internet, although the router is just  3  meters away from me and other devices, like the apple TV and the iPad seem like not affected with the problem. So it is obvious that the laptop is the problem.

Ruling out the problem

  • What puzzles me is when I run the connection trouble shooting button(right click the signal icon, then click troubleshoot problems), it comes up with a DNS error, which in my opinion is not the case because the other devices can access the internet without the problem. 

  • Checking the firewall did not show an obvious exclusion or blocked internet content, and the setting of blocked content is the same for every device because this is set at my ISP's. So if a device can go to a certain site, there should be no problem for other connected gadgets using the same wi-fi access.

  • I've also tried to forget all remembered wi-fi access by right clicking the same signal button > open network and sharing>Manage wireless network>right clicking and removing (1)the access in question and reconnecting them again to no avail.

  • Or it could be the wi-fi hardware of the laptop? If this is the case then I am convinced I have to buy another laptop or be contented to connect it with wire. As I am thinking about the inconvenience of wires and the tight budget I am experiencing at the moment, my wandering led me to the power options (right clicking the battery>power options) 

which is set to the recommended setting(balanced).

 I changed it to high performance and like magic, the wi-fi soreness is treated. No more DNS error, and dropping internet connection.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Micro SD Unexpectedly Removed

Is your phone with expandable storage flashes the message that the micro sd card is unexpectedly removed? I have this error just today after listening to music extensively whilst sleeping from last night until morning and fell asleep with the head phone on. It was still working fine when I turned it off to get ready for my morning and then  I just noticed it when I tried to load my mp3 collections before I drove off. The error message is on the screen and there's no way of accessing the expandable card, even after restarting it.

So I took off the card from it's slot, reinserted it. I've checked the content by going to settings and storage, fortunately the card is recognized and can be read. My music collection, playlists and everything on it seem working alright. You might have noticed, I did not unmount the card or reformat the card because there are no selection like this when the phone does not recognize any card inserted.

So what could have happened that cause the MicroSD unexpectedly removed?

At this moment I do not have a clear idea that caused it. But I suspect 3 things.

  • Dirty or loose contacts. 

The card and the reader need a connection to communicate with each other in the form of the gold plated conductors on each side. If there is an accumulation of dust particles between them can severe the exchange of data, thus making the card unreadable. Cleaning the contacts should remedy this.

The card becoming loose from the card port may also happen from shock when you drop your device. It may immediately say the message of removal depending the severity of the drop, as it causes misalignment   of the contacts. I suspected that this might have happened to my phone as when I reinserted it, the phone recognised it straight away.

  • MicroSD Card is Faulty

If you can't make your card readable from your phone when you try uninserting and reinserting it, try to get a card reader and connect it to your computer. If it still can be read, make a backup of your files to your computer. Delete everything from the card and try to insert it to your phone. If it can read it, that's the time to format it from your phone.

If it still can't be read by the phone, then it could be the time to buy another one.

  • The Card Reader is Faulty

This can be a very frustrating situation when the built in card reader turns out to be faulty. To diagnose these, throw in a known working card and if the phone does not recognise it, then the reader is most probably the problem. It could either be a software problem just like when you have just rooted your phone, then re updating it again can pick up the necessary and newer driver to operate the reader properly. Or if you have not updated your original firmware, try to see if there is a newer version by checking an update for your phone, which can be accessed when you press the settings, about device then software update.

Or it could be a hardware fault where a wire in the reader breaks or bends causing a discontinued communication between the card and the reader. As most models are integrated with the SIM card port,  bringing your phone to a qualified technician is a safer option. Check your current account or home insurance if you are eligible for a gadget cover if you do not have a dedicated gadget insurance.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

These Could Be Slowing Down Your Old Mobile Phone

I am back to my old Samsung S3 when I lost the Note 3 late last month. The S3 was my reliable mobile phone 4 years ago and handed it down to my son for 2 years. It's operating system remained unchanged as the latest JellyBean variant 4.3 and can still handle the basic of calls, text messages and internet based messaging. The only thing that I annoys me is it is very slow to respond on touches. Sometimes it takes at least 10 seconds to show the dialer window when I want to make a call. The same with the camera, it takes sometime before it is ready to take a shot. The native messaging application makes the screen black and sometimes it does not recover so I am forced to restart the phone by pressing the on/off button and it I am not patient, I take off and put on the battery to speed the restart process. It is not only the the messaging application  that's making this thing happen, but all application has their own moments to turn off the device.

 Whatever is happening these things come to mind causing the havoc.

1. Too much item is in the cache.
2. Apps hogging on resources
3. The processor can not cope up with the application demand.

To address these problems, I need some free tools to help me and make the old phone at least a second chance to be of service.

Delete the cache.

Cache are pieces of information  that the mobile device copies from the web you are visiting for faster loading in case you visit the same page in the future again. But like computers, these data could be outdated and no longer  relevant. And this causes the problem that can cause the browser stops working.

Applications do the same as well, they start collecting and saving files for later reference, for that application to show where you left up the last time you use it. It can really save you data, but it can also be corrupted causing problems.

It is not only the corrupt cache file that becomes the problem but the amount of  space that it is occupying.

There is a built in tool to delete the cache by going to the application information. But if you are talking about  every application, then you do need a tool to help you with this. There are many free applications that can do this but I usually use ccleaner for the job. They are intuitive and so easy to use. Just be very careful where you download it from. To be on the safe side, always use the play store to get your free application.

Kill resource hogging applications

Sometimes the problem lies with the applications we have downloaded. There are applications that can excessively use the CPU power leaving the resources low for others to use. This will result in the sluggish response to touch or even failure to launch.

But the problem is it is hard to pinpoint which one is a resource hog among other running applications as the running apps can be needed in the operation of the mobile phone. It is not just as easy as clearing out the RAM of ongoing processes only to be disappointed that it does not do any difference or worse.

This problem can be addressed by monitoring the run-away applications that are causing the CPU grind into halt. I use one of these apps called Watchdog Task Manager(Lite Version) to monitor which applications are going out of bounce and notifies user to either kill it or ignore by pressing the whitelist. The applications can also be manually killed by visiting the CPU tab(1) and a long press on the apps reveals the selection actions. The CPU treshold(2) is highly customizable even with the lite version. The default setting is  50% (3) meaning when an app does hugs the 50% CPU power, the watchdog  warns you about it and let you make the necessary decision.

With the phone processes ticked(2), it will also notifies(4) and  shows you what Android system task (5) has been taking much of the processing power. 

The processor can not cope up with applications.

Applications are becoming sophisticated these days, specially gaming. They require much computing power and does not slowdown for slower processor. They just grind to a halt. That's the reason why the moments of characters are just like caught up in a stop and go traffic. The processor tries to manage but it can't, causing the phone to increase it's temperature and the battery being hot to touch. It's not only the battery that is having the fever, the processor as well. At this point, there's nothing I can do but to uninstall the games which I do not play anyway.

Not only games that are the culprit in here, there are also applications although might look like harmless and very light uses the phone's resources to operate, like it uses the GPS monitor, bluetooth, camera etc. If you have this kinds of apps, then be sure to exit them properly, otherwise the resources will still be on and continue to run thus making your phone very slow.


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