Monday, October 13, 2014

Installing Windows 7 on Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD7 TH

Following is my computer configuration - 


Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD7 TH ATX LGA1150
G.Skill Trident X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2400
Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" SSD
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM
Corsair Graphite Series 230T Black ATX Mid Tower
Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V
LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer
Hannspree HZ281HPB 27.5"
Asus VG278HE 27.0"
Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD
Razer DeathStalker
Razer DeathAdder 2013 Wired Optical
Creative Labs Creative Fatal1ty
Acer P243WAid 24" 1920 x 1200 Monitor

I attempted to install Windows 7 on this machine. I set the DVD drive as the boot device, and when Windows 7 finished loading files, the installer started, but I couldn't proceed forward because the keyboard and mouse aren't detected by Windows 7. I pluged the devices in different USB slots, but that did not help. 

I did some further research, and I found a setting in the BIOS that needed to be enabled to install Windows 7 successfully. 

Here is a link to the manual - DOWNLOAD MANUAL

Here is the screenshot from the manual that shows the settings - 


1. Go to the BIOS Features section

2. Enable Fast Boot -> Set it to Enable. This will now display USB Support options

3. Set the USB support to Full Initial

4. Save and Exit. 

This should now allow Windows installation to detect keyboard and mouse during installation. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

How To Make MS Excel 2010 Open Documents In a New Instance

This is a registry tweak to make MS Excel 2010 open documents in new instances when they are opened by double clicking on filename in Windows Explorer (or similar programs).

Step 1 - Backup registry

Step 2 - Make sure the backup can be restored

Step 3 - Changes to the registry

There are three values that need to be changed to make Excel documents in a new instance each time for XLSX extension.
- In the registry editor, Navigate to the following path - HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT -> Excel.Sheet.12 -> shell -> Open -> command
- Double click on the (Default) entry
- Now, paste the following at the very end of the value: "%1"
  Be sure to add space after /dde. The value should look something like this: "path" /dde "%1"
- Now, rename the "command" registry entry right below the (Default) entry to "command2"
  Check the screenshot below
- Rename the folder "ddeexec" to "ddeexec2"
  Check the screenshot below

This should allow excel to open files in new instances by default. also disabling DDE in the Excel options does not always work. This fix is for XLSX extension.

For XLS files, make similar changes to Excel.Sheet.8

For XLSM (with macros) files, make similar changes to Excel.SheetMacroEnabled.12

For CSV files, make similar changes to Excel.CSV

NOTE - In order to avoid registry tweaks, excel can be manually opened in a new instance each time, and then the spreadsheet can be opened in that instance. However, that option does not seem to work in Windows 8.1. I went ahead and made registry tweaks in Windows 8.1 and it works fine. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Hassle of Opening an Account With GE Capital Bank

I attempted to open a long term CD, and I did some research on what bank to use on BankRate. I found that GE Capital bank was offering 2.30% APY on a 6 year term. I found this acceptable. 

I called the customer service, and I spoke to them about early withdrawal etc., and after learning about the terms, I filled out the online application form. The application process was simple enough, and it even says on the website that opening an account usually takes 10 minutes - it doesn't say that filling out the form usually takes less than 10 minutes. 

Having filled out all the information, I hit submit and only to be greeted by this message. 

Now, I understand that the federal law requires banks to verify identity and such, so I wasn't concerned about it. I figured I might have to submit some additional information, such as a copy of my visa etc.*

It should be noted that at this point, there was no email confirmation or anything of that sort. Had I  not saved a screenshot, I wouldn't know what my application ID was, in case I ever needed to follow up. 

I waited for over 2 days, and I got no calls or emails from the bank. My patience ran out, and I called them. I spoke to a customer service representative, and I gave her my application ID (which I got from a screenshot - still no email confirmation), and requested for the status. 

After putting me on hold briefly, she informed me that my application has failed validation, and that she couldn't tell me specifically what the problem was for security reasons. I did not know how to respond to that because she didn't offer me any other options, so wished her a good evening, and ended the call. 

I went back to, and I began searching again, and then I noticed that there are two GE banks - GE Capital Bank & GE Capital Retail Bank (I will refer to this as Optimizer Plus Bank from now on). 

So I decided to check their terms, and I found that they have a much better CD, offering 2.30% APY on a 5 year term. 

I decided to open an account here. It turned out an extremely easy process. 

I filled out the application, and I as a proof of identity, I entered my driver’s license information, and in about 10 minutes, my account was open, and I was ready to transfer money into it**.

I sent a note to GE Capital Bank about this on Twitter, and they responded quickly, and asked me to send them my phone number. I gave them my number, and a convenient time to reach me. 

Two days later, I got a call from a customer care representative. She told me she was going to take care of the situation as best as she can, and explained to me that the account department re-reviewed my application and were comfortable with letting me open an account. However, I would have to go through the process of opening the account again. I asked her what has changed between now and then, she told me that the system went through an upgrade, and it was the system that had rejected my application. 

She was very kind, and apologetic, and gave me her name & direct work number, and asked me to contact her if I needed any assistance. 

This would have been good enough for me, had I not discovered that Optimizer Plus Bank is offering the same APY for a lesser term. 

In the end, I decided to go with Optimizer Plus Bank. 

* I am not a US citizen - I am here on a work visa. 
** I received an email reminder from Optimizer Plus Bank after opening my account about funding my account. However, I had to call the customer care to get my account number, and the routing number of the bank because they were not mentioned anywhere on the website that I could find. I don't know if this is standard practice.