How to fix Windows logon interface error

The Default Windows Logon Interface May Not Appear After Installing Third-Party Programs in windows. Also there might be errors with the shutdown screen. Here’s how to restore the fancy windows xp logon screen:

Fix Logon/Restore Welcome Screen:
Click this link for details

This should reset the default GINA in registry. To set it manually, see the following KB article:

The Default Windows Logon Interface May Not Appear After Installing Third-Party Program
Click this link for details

Note that you will need to delete the “GinaDLL” entry rather than assigning a blank data to it.

How to repair scratched DVDs

I did this as an experiment and it worked!

  1. First I use an optical cloth (purchased for $3-5 at a glasses store like Pearle Vision) and the optical cleaning spray. I spray the DVD with a light mist, and then use the soft optical cloth to clean off the DVD surface. You should pull it away from the center toward the outer edge of the DVD. This will reduce any further damage. Pull in a straight line, never go around in a circle to clean the DVD. Once dry, try to see if the DVD works now. If it doesn’t, move onto step 2.
  2. Once clean I take some regular toothpaste (YES! Toothpaste!). You’re using this as a polish. I put some toothpaste on my finger and rub it on the scratched surface area. I usually end up covering about 1/5 of the DVD surface. Then I let it dry.
  3. Once the toothpaste is dry, take the optical cloth and wipe the toothpaste in a circular motion. Repeat this with clean parts of the cloth until you can no longer see the toothpaste. Then I take the cloth and pull from the center of the disc to the outer edge in a straight line similar to step 1.

Once dry and buffed give it a shot. This has worked 75% of the time for me. If this does not work you can start over… clean the DVD again and use a few drops of Brasso polish instead of tooth paste. Let it dry, then rub it off with the clean optical cloth.

Here’s another method to try:

How to use System Restore to save you from spyware

A friend of mine installed some software the other day which included some nasty spyware. We couldn’t figure out what was going on and why the computer had popups and issues with internet. Our last option was Windows System Restore. Do you know about it? I learned that a lot of people don’t! Well here’s a summary of what it is, what it can do, and how to use it.

I found the following from Microsoft’s site under Using Windows XP called: Use System Restore to Undo Changes if Problems Occur

Every time you download or install a new game, application, or software update, you make changes to your computer. Sometimes that change may make your system unstable. Have you ever wanted to go back to the way it was? With System Restore, you can.

System Restore works a lot like the Undo command in Microsoft Word. You can use System Restore to remove any system changes that were made since the last time you remember your computer working correctly. System Restore does not affect your personal data files (such as Microsoft Word documents, browsing history, drawings, favorites, or e-mail) so you won’t lose changes made to these files.

How does System restore work?

Windows XP periodically records a snapshot of your computer. These snapshots are called restore points. Windows XP also creates restore points at the time of significant system events (such as when an application or driver is installed) or you can create and name your own restore points at any time. If you’ve installed a program that has made your computer unstable, you can open system restore, choose a restore point, and return your computer to its previous stable state.

When you run System Restore, a calendar is displayed to help you find restore points. If you don’t use your computer every day, some days might not have any restore points. If you use your computer frequently, you might have restore points almost every day, and some days might have several restore points.

Use System Restore to undo changes you’ve made to your computer

Before you open the System Restore console, you may want to save your work and close all programs since System Restore requires you to restart your computer.

There are two ways to access System Restore > through Help and Support or through your All Programs folder.

  1. Through Help and Support:
  2. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
  3. Under Pick a Task, click Undo changes to your computer with System Restore.
  4. Follow the instructions on the wizard.

Through the All Programs menu:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Point to All Programs.
  3. Point to Accessories.
  4. Point to System Tools.
  5. Click System Restore.
  6. Follow the instructions on the wizard.

Creating a restore point can be useful any time you anticipate making changes to your computer that are risky or might make your computer unstable. If something goes wrong, you select the restore point you just created and Windows XP undoes any system changes made since that time.

  1. Create a Restore Point
  2. Open System Restore. (See step-by-step instructions above.)
  3. Click Create a restore point, and then click Next.

In the Restore point description box, type a name to identify this restore point as seen in Figure 1 below. System Restore automatically adds the date and time that this Restore Point is created.

Read the rest, see screen shots, or bookmark Microsoft’s help pages Right Here!

How to fix the command prompt that disappears (Windows)

I had a problem. My Windows XP Command Line (aka CMD aka Command Prompt aka MS Dos Prompt) disappears when I try to do things. I try to ping and it starts disappearing. I try to run reg edit, it disappears. It wouldn’t do anything. And then I got an error.

NTVDM CPU has encountered an illegal instruction

NTVDM exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows

NTVDM.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows. You will need to restart the program. An error log is being created.

I did some searching and came up with this very very helpful thread titled, well you know it, NTVDM CPU has encountered an illegal instruction

Here’s the solution that was posted:

Step 1

Download Killbox from here to your desktop.
Double-click killbox.exe
Click on Tools > Delete Temp Files and click ok.
Select the option “Delete on reboot”.
Now highlight and ‘copy’ (Ctrl + C) the entire list of filepaths below:

C:\Program Files\MsConfigs\MsConfigs.exe

Click ‘File’ on the killbox menu at the top and choose ‘Paste from clipboard’

The entire list should now be in the “Full Path of File to Delete” field.
To check, click on the dropdown-arrow next to that field.
If you expand it, these lines should all be there.

Then press the red button with a white X in it.
Killbox will tell you that all listed files will be deleted on next reboot, click YES
When it asks if you would like to Reboot now, click YES
If you get a “PendingFileRenameOperations Registry Data has been Removed by External Process!” message then just restart manually.

I reposted the solution from the forum I found it in case it ever goes down and somebody needs this helpful information. I did it, and now everything is back to working as normal. Thank God!

How to make Kare-Kare (Ox Tail in Peanut Butter Sauce Recipe)

Okay you’re probably going “WTF is THIS!?” but hey, don’t knock it until you try it. I’ve seen other crazy but tasty stuff like Thai Moo Kata (with… fish balls) or even ice cream ramen (yeah – not tasty). This is a recipe for making a unique food from the Philippines that will surely leave an impression on your dinner guests! Kare-kare is a Philippine stew. It is made from peanut sauce with a variety of vegetables, stewed oxtail, beef, and occasionally offal or tripe. No Filipino fiesta is complete without some flavorful kare-kare. In some Filipino-American versions of the dish, oxtail is exclusively used as the meat.

Kare-kare (Ox tail in peanut butter sauce)


  • 1 pc 0x tail (1 ½ kilo)
  • 10 cup boiling water
  • 10 cup cold water
  • 1 head garlic, crushed
  • 2 pcs onion, minced
  • 4 pcs tomato minced
  • 2 tbsp annato
  • 1 cup tap water
  • 4 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 peanut butter sauce
  • ½ K of Bokchoy
  • ¼ K green beans, cut into 1″ long
  • ½ K hyacinth bean, cut in 2″ crosswise
  • ½ K Winged beans, cut in 2″ long and thick
  • 1 pc long string beans, cut in 2″ long and thick
  • 1 pc eggplant cut in 2″ long and thick
  • 1 pc banana heart, cut in 2″ long and thick
  • 1 head cabbage, cut in 2″ long and thick
  • 3 tbsp of cooking oil
  • salt to taste

For the Ox Tail

  1. Put the cut ox tail in a boiling water.
  2. Let it simmer for 7-10 mins.
  3. Drain the ox tail.
  4. Clean the ox tail, remove the hair from the skin.
  5. Wash again and rinse thoroughly.

Saute’ the Ox tail

  1. Saute’ garlic, onion and tomatoes in cooking oil.
  2. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir Occasionally.
  4. Add the ox tail.
  5. Cover and simmer for another 3 minutes.
Kare Kare Ox Tail Stew

Kare Kare Ox Tail Stew

The last procedure:

In a pot, pour in the sauteed ox tail. Pour in the cold water and cover. Cook it in a very high fire. When it is already boiling, stir it and lower the fire. Cover and simmer until tender. Stir it occasionally until the bottom of the pot to avoid the ox tail from sticking. When the oxtail is tender, add the peanut sauce (kare-kare sauce). Mix the annato in a cup of water and drain the colored mixture, Add the mixture on the pot with the ox tail.When it is boiling add the hyacinth beans, winged beans, long string beans and Banana heart. Cover and simmer for mins. Add the peanut butter, stir and add green beans and eggplant. Cove and wait for 3 mins. Then add the cabbage, bokchoy, season with salt to taste. Stir it and lower the fire. Let simmer for another 3 mins. Serve hot with Sauteed shrimp paste.


A video from YouTube about how to make kare kare

See more videos here.

(photo credits: source)

How to make 5 delicious coffee drinks

Here are 5 great ways to kick start your day with a little java! The first step to any great drink is having a dependable coffee maker. If you don’t have one, you can get an awesome one right over here!

Name: West Indies Coffee
Ingredients and Instructions:
3 1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of instant coffee
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 dash Salt

Bring to just to a boil, then pour that milk (off the boil) over the instant coffee in your cup of coffee. Then add the brown sugar, add the salt, and stir the drink to help everything dissolve. Bring milk just to boiling. Pour over coffee, brown sugar, and salt, stirring to dissolve. This is best served in coffee mugs, and with the ingredients above you’ll 4 to 5 servings out of it.

Name: Vanilla Almond Coffee
Ingredients and Instructions:
1/3 cup of ground coffee
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
1/4 teaspoon of anise seeds

Using a blender or food processor, put the coffee grinds into the machine. In a coffee cup add all of the rest of the ingredients. Place coffee in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade. In cup, combine remaining ingredients. Now stop the blender and add the mixture to the coffee. Start up the blender again and run it for about 10 seconds more. Then you’re done! Scrape the coffee out and store in the refrigerator. Should make 6 eight ounce servings.

The worlds best coffee starts with you!

The world’s best coffee

Name: Praline Coffee
Ingredients and Instructions:
3 cups of hot (already) brewed coffee
3/4 cup of half and half
3/4 cup of light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoon of butter or margarine
3/4 cup of praline liqueur
And finally some sweetened whipped cream

Combine the hot brewed coffee, half and half, brown sugar, and butter. Cook them in a large saucepan over medium heat until it’s heated evenly, but don’t boil the mixture! Add in the liqueur and served with the whipped cream.

Want to meet up for coffee at a cafe in Asia? Then make sure to check out Dine Mates to connect with other coffee lovers!

Name: Mocha Frappe
Ingredients and Instructions:
18-22 ice cubes
7 ounces of chilled double strength coffee
1/4 cup of chocolate sauce (or chocolate syrup)
2 tablespoons of vanilla Syrup
And finally some sweetened whipped Cream

Take the ice, double strength coffee, chocolate sauce, and vanilla into a blender. Blend it until the concoction is nice and smooth. Pour it into a large tall glass and add a dollop of tasty whipped cream to the top! The end result is a lovely 16 oz frappe

Name: Mexican Spiced Coffee
Ingredients and Instructions:
3/4 cup of brown sugar, firmly packed
6 cloves
6 julienne slices (orange zest)
3 cinnamon sticks
6 tablespoons of coffee grinds

In a large saucepan add brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and 6 cups of water. Heat the pan until ‘almost’ boiling and stir. Now add the coffee and finally bring it to a boil. It should take about 3 minutes. Before drinking it, strain the coffee (to get the coffee grinds out), server in coffee cups, add orange zest for a garnish.

How to tie a tie (windsor knot)

First you’ll need to have a tie. You can find best selling neckties here! Now I want to help you learn how to tie a neck tie so you can dress to impress. Is a special event coming up like New Years Eve, a wedding, prom, or a party? It’s time to step it up a notch!

What type of tie will you be wearing? A full windsor knot, four in hand knot, a bow tie? Here are the basics for tying a tie, windsor knot style. First here’s the picture showing the instructions and it’s followed by a step by step guide, and finally a diagram on how to tie a tie.

How to Tie a Tie

6 Steps on How to Quickly Tie a Tie

  1. Lift up the collar of your shirt and put the tie around the back of your neck. The wide end should hang down about twice as low as the thin end; it can hang closer to your right or left hand, depending on what’s most comfortable for you.
  2. Wrap the wide end around the thin end twice, a few inches below your neck. The wide end should go over the thin end at first. (Images 1 to 3 above)
  3. After wrapping the wide end around the second time, push it through the back of the V-shape made by the partially formed knot. (Image 4 above)
  4. Tuck the wide end through the front loop of the knot.
  5. Gently pull down on both the thin and wide ends below the knot until the knot is tight.
  6. Hold the thin end and slide the knot up to your neck. (Image 5 above)
  7. If the thin end hangs below the wide end, untie the tie and begin again, with the wide end hanging lower than it did the first time.
  8. If the wide end hangs too low, untie the tie and begin again, with the wide end hanging higher than it did the first time.
  9. Flip your collar back down once you and your tie look dapper. (Image 6 above)
How to Tie a Tie Diagram

Three ways to tie a tie

(Credits: 1st image source, 2nd image source)

How to fix BCMLogon.dll error

I thought I’d post about the BCMLogon.dll problem I had with my computer in case other people run into the same error. I had this BCMLogon.dll issue with my Dell Inspiron 9300 Laptop. Apparently it has something to do with the wireless card. I don’t know what happened to create the error and I don’t remember changing any settings recently. Here’s the error my computer gave me:

A recently installed program has disabled the Welcome screen and Fast User Switching. To restore these features, you must uninstall the program. The following file name might help you identify the program that made the change: C:\WINDOWS\system32\BCMLogon.dll

I tried but I wasn’t able to switch to the logon screen. I couldn’t access the Internet either no matter what I tried. I had to go to another PC to figure out a solution to this BCMLogon.dll issue.

Here is a Dell specific solution to this problem that does not involve registry editing.

Something else you can try… In the Dell Wireless WLAN Card Utility > Wireless Networks [Tab] > Edit [Button] > Options [Tab]: Under “Windows domain logon settings”, selecting “Authenticate prior to Windows domain logon” [checkbox] will generate the BCMLogon.dll error. Deselecting it, in my situation, eliminated this error.

That didn’t work for me. Here’s what I had to do in order to resolve the BCMLogon.dll headache and get my computer back up and running. If you follow the steps I provide, you’re going to be editing your registry so do this at your own risk! I highly recommend that you back up your registry before making any changes!

Update: There are two solutions that other people with this problem have shared in the comments section. It seems much easier than what I did so I’ll share them first.

Here’s a solution shared by Pdunn56:

  1. To restore the fast user switching:
  2. Go into the Windows control panel. Choose the ‘wireless configuration utility’
  3. Uncheck the first box that says “Let this tool manager your wireless networks”
  4. Hit okay.
  5. I’m not sure if you need to reboot or not, but that should be it.

The solution that annnnnnnnnnt shared sounds a bit confusing, but if it makes sense to you then go for it. Here’s the solution which I’ll directly quote: all you had to do is in “run” type “msconfig” temporarily disable your wireless card”¦ restart/reboot, enable the “Fast User Switching Feature”, restart/reboot, re-enable your wireless (msconfig) resart/reboot. Done

I hope that works. If not you should check out my solution below. If you have another solution not posted please leave a comment and share what you’ve done.

First step is to back up your registry. I’m using Windows XP so I did it this way

  1. Click Start, click Run, type %SystemRoot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe, and then click OK
  2. On the Welcome to System Restore page, click Create a restore point, and then click Next
  3. On the Create a Restore Point page, type a name for the restore point and then click Create
  4. After the restore point has been created, click Close

If System Restore is turned off, you receive a message that asks whether you want to turn on System Restore now. Click Yes. Then, in the System Properties dialog box, click to clear the Turn off System Restore check box, click OK, and then repeat this step.

Click this to visit and read about backing up your registry if using Windows XP or Vista.

Once you’ve backed up your registry it’s time to restore the Welcome Screen and Fast User Switching. To do this you will need to reset the GinaDLL entry which can be doing using these steps:

  1. Click the Start Button, click Run, then type REGEDIT and hit enter. This will bring up your registry.
  2. Navigate to the Winlogon key. It’s located down the registry tree here:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon
  3. For an extra safety step you should backup the key by selecting it followed by clicking FILE and EXPORT
  4. You’ll see two window panes in the registry. The left side you have Winlogon selected. In the right pane you’ll see GinaDLL. Right-click GinaDLL and then click Delete. (You need to remove the whole value, not just its Value Data)
  5. Close the Registry Editor

You could always upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Windows!

Your problem should be fixed now! If you see no difference you could reboot and then it should be good to go. You can read more about this at the Microsoft Knowledge Base under How To Use the Fast User Switching Feature in Windows XP

How to start frugal college cooking

Every time that I go to the grocery store, I intend to buy lots of things that I can actually cook meals with, but it seems like I always stock up on boxes of macaroni and cheese, chips and soda. Well, I’m going to make more of an effort to fix myself real meals now and even made it one of my New Year’s resolutions.

Frugal savings account

A penny saved is a penny earned!

While I was home I got my mom to help me look up some easy recipes that I should be able to fix without spending too much time or money. While we were researching that I randomly found the site and after I looked through it a little bit, I decided to change over my internet service at my college apartment to it.

Two Sexy Women Cooks

To start frugal cooking you just need to budget your money and use the necessary tools to cook at home, just like these two roommates who are great at helping each other out!

I know that frugal college cooking isn’t going to be the easiest thing in the world to stick to, but I’m really going to work on buying the right stuff to have on hand for it so I can stick to my plan.

This was contributed by Lacey Cloud