Tag: Troubleshooting

Skype: Playback Not Supported Error [Solution]


This will be a rather short port. I was using Skype 4.2 when I got the following error message while trying to show someone what sound Skype makes when it rings.

This error has also been reported to occur when call events happen but I’ve not personally witnessed it.

Turns out the solution is simple, but quite awkward. The steps are:

  1. Go to Tools → Options.
  2. Under the General section, choose Sounds.
  3. Click the Enable all Sounds button.
  4. Click the Save button. This is important! Changes will only take effect after you click Save and exit out of the Options window.

Now if you were like me, and trying to test ringtones, you can go back to Tools → Options → Sounds (steps 1, 2 above) and playback your sound (green play button) and you won’t get the error.

An alternative solution, if you get the error during call events is:

  1. Go to Tools → Options.
  2. Under the General section, choose Sounds.
  3. Click Mute all Sounds button.
  4. Click the Save button.
  5. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to return to the Sounds window.
  6. This time, click Enable all Sounds button.
  7. Click the Save button.

Hopefully those steps should solve your problem, and I hope this simple solution is useful to you.

(source: Skype forums)

Windows 7: Solutions to can’t sleep problems.



Hello folks. Sorry for lack of recent posts. Been taken up with uni lately. Anyway, I have recently migrated to Windows 7. I have to say Microsoft has done a magnificent job this time, especially when I compare Win7 and Vista. Performance on Win7 is awesome. And there are lots of usability improvements, which makes 7 a very nice software.

However, I was having a problem: I couldn’t manually sleep my computer. If I did it from the Orb/Start menu, the screen would turn off, the PC would shut for like a millisecond, before starting back up, and prompting me for login.

Turns out there are a few things that can cause this error, and they are easy to troubleshoot. Try these steps if you are having the same problem as me.

1) Update your drivers.

This should be pretty obvious. An old driver might be causing an issue. So just update your drivers, specially for your video card and it should correct any problem. If it still doesn’t work, move on.

2) Try to see which requests are keeping the PC on.

Open a Command Prompt. You can do it by typing “cmd” from the Run menu, or simply open the Start Menu, and type “Command Prompt” in the “Search Programs and Files” bar.

Type this command: “powercfg -requests” without quotes. Then press Enter. You will see a list of programs that could be making requests. Windows Media Player is a usual culprit. Just close them, and it should work. If you have “None.” marked, move on.

3) A specific device is keeping the PC from sleeping

Still in the command prompt, type “powercfg -devicequery wake_armed”. You will see a list of devices that can wake up your PC. For me, I got my Network card, Keyboard and Mouse in that list. Turns out it was my mouse that was responsible for waking up the machine.

What to do? Simple: Go to device manager ( Start Menu – Control Panel (View by: Large Icons, top right)  – System – Device Manager (left sidebar) ). Find your device that you think is causing the problem. For me it was the mouse, but I had to try disabling each individually. So, find your mouse in that list, e.g. Mice and other pointing devices, right-click it, choose Properties and go to the Power Management tab. Uncheck the box “Allow this device to wake the computer“.

Validate the windows with Ok, close Control Panel, and you should be all ok. Try sleeping your computer now.

That’s it for this small guide. I hope it helps you. Step 3 solved my problem. My computer now sleeps when I want it to sleep. 🙂

Firefox displays weird characters as headings (solution)


I am currently using Firefox, latest version that is 3.0.11 at the time of writing, and I encountered a strange problem on some sites, one of which is the famous Smashing Magazine. The headings were displayed using weird characters, or what it would seem, special characters. You can see a screenshot below.

Smashing Magazine with weird characters

At first, I thought it was a problem with character encoding. Changing to UTF-8 did not solve the problem, nor did switching off Auto-Detect from View menu – Character Encoding solve anything. Well, basically, after a lot of trying out solutions, it was not a problem with charset or encoding.

I tried other solutions but none seemed to work. One of them gave me a clue as to what the problem is. It was going to Tools – Options – Content – (Fonts & Colors) Advanced – (uncheck) “Allow pages to choose their own fonts, instead of my selections above”. This rendered all pages without custom fonts, except my default of Times New Roman. The problem was solved.

The workaround indicated that the problem resided with my fonts. I thus went and checked out the website source and the stylesheet and found out that Smashing Magazine uses Helvetica font as primary font for h2 tags. This line was found in the source and stylesheet respectively (I shortened the code with …’s):

<ul class="topic-list">
<h2><a...> ... </a></h2>
ul.topic-list h2{font:44px Helvetica,Arial, ...}

If you don’t know, Helvetica is a proprietary font and doesn’t come with installs of Windows by default. It didn’t come with mine, on both my XP and Vista installs, so I’m assuming it doesn’t come by default.

The Solution:

So what can you do? Apparently, nothing. You cannot acquire the Helvetica font for free and install it. Unless you are willing to pay for it, you are stuck.

Now, if you are crafty enough, you can use some Google powers and try to find the font by… let’s just say, alternative means. I am not posting links here, because I do not encourage piracy. I managed to find a copy of Helvetica somewhere, installed it and problem was solved. You can see the results below.

Smashing Magazine Problem Solved

If you do want to do what I did, you just need to find a copy of Helvetica from somewhere, install it, restart Firefox and the problem should be solved.

Another plausible solution would be for sites with such problems to substitute their fonts for those people do have on their machines. But we cannot require this from site designers. Another way would be to be able to find an addon or similar for Firefox that would allow for font substitution. If you know of such a solution, you are free to share it with us.

A bit of strangeness here is that, since Firefox did not find Helvetica on my machine, it should have used Arial. I cannot understand why it did not.

If you do install the Helvetica font and still get the problem, maybe it’s another font being used and that you don’t have.In this case: check the website source, find which element it is, search the stylesheet for that element, find which font it is and install the font. Restart Firefox, and the problem should be solved.

Hope my solution helps. That’s it! Kinda easy, wasn’t it?

Note: I uninstalled Helvetica after I tested the solution, for those of you who were interested! 😛

PostgreSQL Database Cluster Initialisation Failed Solution


I’ll keep this one short and sweet. For those of you that have tried to install PostgreSQL (mine was 8.3.7-1) on Windows Vista and got the error Database Cluster Initialisation Failed error at the end of the install, read this.

The problem is that Vista has some safety features associated with setting permissions on the Program Files folder. Basically, even if you are an admin, you can’t change permissions on some folders like Program Files and Windows folder itself. This causes initdb to be unable to create some folders and the database cluster. What this means for you is that you need to install PostgreSQL in another folder that is not inside Program Files.

By the way, if you have forgotten your Postgres account password while installing the first time, just open a Command Prompt in Vista (If you don’t know how, Google for it). Then type the command “net user”. You will see a list of users on your computer. Find Postgre’s account. It’s usually “postgres“. Then you need to change its password by typing “net user postgres new_password” where new_password is… well, a new password for the account. You will be needing that postgres account during install. You will need admin privileges to do this change however.

Firstly, uninstall any failed installations. Use the Control Panel or the PostgreSQL installer in the install folder.

During the install, you will be prompted to choose where you want to install the program. Just select a location in another place. Like “C:\PostgreSQL” or something similar. It may even be on your desktop. But not inside Program Files. Not inside Windows folder. However, it’s not as easy. Bear with me.

After the install, you will still see that darned error message (or something like non-fatal error occured). Do not despair!  (For Windows Power Users, we are just assigning Full Control permission to Postgres account on the new PostgreSQL install folder). For other users, read on if you don’t know how to do it.

Go to where you just installed PostgreSQL.  In this case, the C: drive. There, right-click on the folder (usually called PostgreSQL), and go to Properties – Security tab. Click on the Edit button. You will now see some usernames and other stuff. Click on the Add button. In the “Enter the object names to select” box, enter “postgres” and press Check.  Postgres’ user account should appear there. Click on Ok.

Now from the “Group or Usernames” box, select the Postgres account. In the window below, with lots of checkboxes, assign permission “Full Control” in the Allow Column to it. Note, if you don’t want to allow full control, just give it read/write. But I just went ahead and gave it Full Control. (I was tired and annoyed. The “World’s most advanced open source database” had failed to install!). Click on Ok and wait a bit for permissions to be applied.

Then, just do a re-install. Do not uninstall anything. Just run the setup again. It’ll say that a PostgreSQL install folder already exists and other stuff. Just click on Next until the install finishes. If you see “file cannot be copied” errors, click on the “ignore” button when needed.

That’s it. PostgreSQL should be up and running on Vista now. Hope it works for you too as it did for me, and that my guide is helpful to anybody. If it works, or if you have other solutions, let us know. Thanks for reading! 🙂

AVG: Update needs restart solution


I was recently having a small problem with AVG Antivirus 8 Free. The problem was that the Update Manager said that the update was successful, but then “The update needs restart”.

However, the problem was that even if I did restart, the thing would just stay there, saying “The update needs restart”. The biggest issue was that the Virus Definitions were not being updated.

I tried adjusting the settings for Update and other stuff, none worked. However, the solution to this problem is quite easy. So follow these lines if you are having the same problem. Tested with AVG8, since it’s only with it that I got the problem.

First, go to AVG and do “Update Now”. The update will seem to complete, but will say “The Update needs restart” as usual.

Now, head to your install directory, which for most of you will be: “C:/Program Files/AVG/AVG8”.

In this directory, you will find a file named “updatecomps.cfg”. What you need to do is to either delete this file (kind of unsafe, untested) or just rename it to something like “updatecomps.cfg_old” or “updatecomps.old” like I did.

Update: Sidjsns says that the “updatecomps.cfg” file is not found under a “server” subdirectory. Thanks!

After that, go back to AVG and do another Update Now. The Update should proceed normally, and it will ask you for another restart. After that restart, things should be ok. Your Virus Definitions and other stuff will be up to date.

I tested the above and it worked for me. I forgot exactly where I got the solution, but I think it must be some forum. Credits to the person who found how to solve this. Hope this helps. 🙂