4th-gen (2021-) Sienna: Removing 2nd-Row Seats

This article is a collection of information and resources for removing the second-row (middle row) seats on the 4th-generation Toyota Sienna (2021-).

The Situation

2nd-row seats of the previous Sienna generation (2011-2020) were easily removable by pulling a latch. However, the 4th-gen Sienna’s 2nd-row seats are not removable by the user, at least according to Toyota. This is in part because there are now SRS airbags inside the backrests, as seen in this crash test video.

Instead of a quick-release mechanism, the 2nd-row seats are now secured with 4 bolts hidden behind plastic trim pieces. Additionally, the seat airbag connector must be disconnected.

The Procedure

This video shows the process for removing the 2nd-row seats, which involves disconnecting the 12V battery to depower the airbags, prying off seat trim, disconnecting the airbag and seat heater/seatbelt connectors, and removing 4 bolts.

Continue reading

[Guide] Clean Install Windows 10 on Spectre X360 (No AHCI)

I was trying to install Windows 10 Education on my 2020 Spectre X360 14 (which is preloaded with Windows 10 Home), and I realized there’s a few things to watch out for to make your reinstallation successful — particularly a lack of AHCI mode preventing the installer from seeing the internal SSD. Here’s how you can do it.

These steps are based on the Spectre X360 14 but should also apply to similar HP laptops.
Continue reading

PSA: XPS 13 9300 / 9310 not compatible with double-sided SSDs

Unfortunately, double-sided SSDs do not fit in the 2020 Dell XPS 13’s (models 9300 and 9310). The M.2 connector is not raised high enough from the motherboard, so there is not enough space for the SSD’s bottom chips.

As of writing this post, all 8TB and 4TB M.2 SSDs, as well as several 2TB models, are double-sided and therefore would not fit in the XPS 13. This includes the Sabrent Rocket series and the Corsair MP510, whose 2TB version is single-sided but 4TB version is double-sided:

Back side of the 4TB Corsair MP510

Fix Motu M2 / M4 Crackling with Equalizer APO

Problem

When you enable Equalizer APO to process the audio input from your Motu M-Series audio interface, the audio crackles or glitches.

Solution

  1. Launch Equalizer APO’s Configurator.exe. You can find it by searching “Configurator” in Start.
  2. Go to the “Capture devices” tab.
  3. Select “In 1-2“, the Motu input device.
  4. Enable “Allow silent buffer modification“.
  5. Close the Configurator and reboot.

Remarks

Equalizer APO is super useful for changing your microphone’s frequency response or applying VST effects to the audio input system-wide. This picture shows my setup for panning my single mic (left channel only) into dual mono, and then gating out background noise, and then volume equalization using a compressor.

Clean-Install Windows on 2020 MateBook X Pro

Installing a clean copy of Windows on the 2020 Huawei MateBook X Pro is more complicated than on previous generations. Follow these steps set up a clean Windows installation of your preferred language and edition. English speakers who are getting your 2020 MateBook from China will need this.

Preparation

  1. Back up any needed files from your current installation. We will be wiping the disk.
  2. If you need Windows in a different language than the one it came with, you must buy your own copy of Windows. If you’re in university, check if your school provides Windows 10 Education (feature-equivalent to Enterprise).
    1. Reason: the OEM license is single-language only.
  3. Use Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool to create a bootable installation USB drive.
    1. Within the install drive, delete \Sources\ei.cfg to enable the prompt to choose a different Windows 10 edition such as Pro or Education. Otherwise, it will default to the current edition (Home).
  4. [1909 only] Copy Intel’s WiFi driver to the USB drive.

Installing Windows

Continue reading

Disable Power Limits using ThrottleStop

If your CPU frequency is being reduced under load, even at low temperatures (below 90°C), then you probably have power limit throttling. Here’s how to disable those power limits.


Warning: disabling your power limits may cause your computer to run at levels of power beyond its design. Make sure you keep BD ProcHot on. If BD ProcHot kicks in, your VRM is not getting enough cooling and you need to decrease the power limit or improve the VRM cooling.


How do I know I have Power Limit Throttling?

  1. Open ThrottleStop’s “TS Bench” to run a stress test.
  2. Set the Size to 1024M so that it runs longer.
  3. Start the TS Bench.
  4. Open the “Limits” window.
  5. If any PL‘s light up, then you have power limit throttling.

Disabling Power Limits

  1. You need to have ThrottleStop set up. That’s covered in this guide. Make sure you read it before this one.
  2. Open ThrottleStop.
  3. Go to the FIVR menu.


Continue reading

Workaround: Broken “Input Range” Setting in Intel Graphics

The Problem

Comparing between 0-255 and 15-255 input range.

If you’re connecting your laptop to a TV and the black in the image is gray instead, your laptop is not outputting the full 8-bit-per-channel color range. Instead of sending values between 0 and 255, it’s sending 15-255. You could compensate for this in some TVs’ settings, but you’d be losing color definition.

Input Range setting in Intel Graphics Control Panel

Intel defaults to 15-255. There is a setting for this in the Intel Graphics Control Panel (In Video > Color Enhancement), but it doesn’t seem to take any effect… unless you do the following:

The Workaround

  1. Make sure Input Range is set to ‘Full Range‘.
  2. Now go back to the main menu and into the Display page.
  3. In the Color Settings section, Enable ‘YCbCr’.
  4. Wait for several seconds for the setting to revert itself. You should now be getting full 0-255 color range.

You have to do this every time you restart the computer or reconnect the TV.

MateBook X Pro 2019 Changes: What’s Fixed and What’s Not

I will outline what Huawei has and has not fixed in the 2019 MateBook X Pro compared to the 2018 model. You can find the more obvious talking points on The Verge and other normie sites, but here are the small engineering changes that I noticed during my teardown and testing.

Cooling

Screenshot from my teardown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxf_bU6OZXE&t=11974s

  • Huawei has perforated the regions of the heatsink above the CPU VRM. Whereas 2018’s VRM would overheat and cause the laptop to abruptly shut down when the CPU is pushed to around 15W, 2019’s VRM can supply over 30W continuously just fine. The CPU starts thermal throttling way before the VRM has any problem keeping up. I did manage to find the VRM’s limit though: with a fan blowing at the laptop’s bottom, the VRM bumps into a hardware current limit when the CPU reaches about 48W. That’s the maximum power the VRM is designed for.

Continue reading