Category Archives: Guides

Prevent Installation of a Specific Driver WITHOUT Group Policy

You can prevent Windows from automatically installing or updating a specific device or driver using the “Prevent installation of devices that match any of these device IDs” Group Policy, but what if you’re using Windows 10 Home and don’t have Group Policy Editor? You can do the same thing using Registry Editor.

  • For convenience, we can edit this template REG file to our needs and install it, instead of manually creating each registry in Registry Editor.
  • Once you’ve downloaded the REG file, right click on it and Edit. We’re going to replace the Device ID in the template with the correct Device ID of your device.

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My AutoHotkey Script for Typing Special Characters

This is the AutoHotkey script I use to type common special characters, including Spanish accented letters, superscripts, math and science symbols. I’ve also included shortcuts to simulate the media control keys.

You can copy and paste the script, or download a precompiled version that doesn’t require AutoHotkey to run.

You can put it in %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup (navigate to this quickly by running “shell:startup” in the Run box) to have it automatically run at Windows startup.

(‘!’ means Alt, ‘+’ means Shift, ‘^’ means Control, so ‘!a’ means pressing ‘Alt’ and ‘A’ together.)
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You Actually CAN Bring Your Own Android to Xfinity Mobile

Contrary to what Xfinity Mobile officially declares, you actually can bring your own Android phone (BYOD) to Xfinity Mobile. You just need an iPhone that you or a friend have laying around unused.

  1. Bring the spare iPhone to the Xfinity Store and tell them that’s the phone you’ll be using.
    1. If you’re making the switch online, enter the iPhone’s IMEI on the webpage.
  2. After the initial activation, take the SIM card out of the iPhone and insert it into your Android.

Xfinity does not have anything in place to actively block your ‘unapproved’ Android from accessing their network. Your or your friend’s iPhone will remain on their records as associated with your phone number, but you are able to use your Xfinity SIM card in any compatible phone.

There are a few caveats. The rule of thumb for whether your phone is likely is succeed is:

  1. It should be a Verizon-compatible phone. Xfinity uses Verizon’s network. If a Verizon SIM won’t work in your phone, Xfinity won’t work with it either.
  2. If your phone is similar to one that Xfinity themselves have offered, your chances are much higher.

Examples: I have been using my Galaxy S8+ (which I originally got from Sprint) this way without any problems. On the other hand, OnePlus phones on Xfinity can’t send or receive SMS.

Did this work for you? Leave a comment.

Easily Disable Intel DPTF (Power Throttling) for Good

Important: this is no longer necessary; ThrottleStop‘s “Disable and Lock Power Limits” option overrides DPTF. If that doesn’t work, try the following.

If your CPU frequency is being reduced under load, even at low temperatures, you’re probably experiencing power throttling. Most of the time, you can solve this by disabling or raising the power limits, and disabling DPTF explicitly is not required. But sometimes, you need to disable Intel’s Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework, which tries to set the power limit dynamically on your behalf.

Your laptop may have an option to disable DPTF in the BIOS menu. If not:

  1. Install NoDPTF.reg to prevent Windows from automatically reinstalling DPTF.
    1. This registry file is from my NoDPTF project repository on GitHub.
  2. In Device Manager, find all the devices whose names start with "Intel(R) Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework". They may be in the "System devices" list. Right click on each and "Uninstall device". Check "Delete the driver software for this device" whenever available.

This method only works if you have Group Policy Editor (Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, Education).

  1. Open the Group Policy Editor.
  2. Go to Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System/Device Installation/Device Installation Restrictions.
  3. Open "Prevent installation of devices that match any of these device IDs".
  4. Click "Enabled".
  5. Checkmark "Also apply to matching devices that are already installed".
  6. Click "Show".
  7. Now you will enter the device ID of each of the DPTF-related devices. You can find them all by finding those devices in Device Manager/System Devices or by copying all the values from NoDPTF.reg.
  8. Click “OK” and "OK" again. You should see each of those devices become "Unknown device" in Device Manager. That means they are disabled.

Keep in mind: the removal of DPTF will not inherently change anything until you raise the power limits using ThrottleStop or Intel XTU.

Warning: if your computer can’t cool its CPU VRM properly, then raising the power limits may cause it to suddenly shut down. If that’s the case, you need to give the VRM more cooling like I did here.

If any DPTF devices are still present, please tell me their hardware IDs in the comments. (To check hardware ID: right click on the device, Properties, Details, select “Hardware Ids” in the drop-down menu.)

Reversion Instructions

  1. In Registry Editor, delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceInstall\Restrictions.
  2. Reboot.

You’re Probably Doing 3D Printing Tolerancing Wrong. Here’s a Better Way.

Do you use 3D printing to make functional parts? Do your printed parts have slight dimensional errors, such as undersized holes? It is essential to take care of this if you use your FDM 3D printer to make precise or functional parts. Here’s the easiest and most elegant fix, using nothing but your slicer and a caliper.

Because the extruded molten plastic gets squashed by the nozzle and also flows outward toward the sides, everything you print is fattened, creating overall oversized prints and undersized holes.

Fortunately, there are ways to fix this flaw. First, I would recommend against these methods, if you currently use them:

Bad methods
  • Compensating by slightly changing the values in CAD: this is cumbersome if you use different printers or have collaborators, and problematic if you work with assemblies in CAD.
  • Changing the size in the slicer: FDM 3D printers generally have undersized ID and oversized OD, so enlarging or shrinking the size is bound to reduce one problem while worsening the other.

The Elegant Way: Horizontal Expansion

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Fix Equalizer APO Not Working in Windows 10

The Problem

Equalizer APO is not taking any effect in Windows 10.

The Solution

  1. Open the Configurator program by searching for it in Start.
  2. Select your device and check “Troubleshooting options“.
  3. Choose “Install as SFX/EFX (experimental)“.
  4. Restart Windows.

In recent versions of Windows 10, UWP apps like “Movies & TV” may not get processed by Equalizer APO even with this fix.