Author Archives: Dark

About Dark

Hurrr durr I am a goat

Slow upload on Kimsufi server

Recently I spent far too long diagnosing a slow upload speed on a low-end Kimsufi 2G server with an old SiS900 ethernet adapter. The download speed was full 100mbit, but upload was less than 0.1mbit. The issue did not persist into rescue mode, which led me to assume a software issue.

The symptoms matched an issue with TCP windows, or with half duplex vs full duplex, but neither of those turned out to be the case.

The issue turned out to be IRQ related. Simply blacklisting a few unnecessary modules (parallel port, sound) and disabling acpi solved the issue

Fix for Gigabyte motherboard boot loop on resume from sleep

From what I’ve read, this seems to affect a large percentage of Gigabyte motherboards since S3 sleep became a ‘thing’.

The issue is as follows: on a significantly overclocked Gigabyte motherboard (high end or low end), when resuming from S3 sleep the screen never wakes up and after about 15-20 seconds, the system repeatedly turns off and on again every few seconds. The only way to break this loop is to completely remove power from the PSU for several seconds.

The issue is connected with PCIe power, as evidenced by the various reported fixes of disabling onboard NIC power saving and reverting from Intel/AMD AHCI drivers to the Microsoft default ones.

The real fix is very simple: Use Balanced power mode in windows and check that PCI Express Link State Power Management is set to ‘Moderate Power Savings’ and not ‘Off’. The fact that the default setting of moderate does not have the issue explains why it is not more widely reported.

How to remove ‘SecureBoot isn’t configured correctly’ watermark on Windows 8.1

The ‘SecureBoot isn’t configured correctly’ watermark in question is this:

This guide will remove the watermark by replacing all text with invisible spaces, using a tried and tested method that has been used in earlier Windows versions to remove similar watermarks.

Don’t follow this guide unless you have exhausted all the other options, such as group policy, clearing keys and otherwise fidding with BIOS options. I’m one of the unlucky ones that has a BIOS with UEFI support but no SecureBoot options at all, so this was my only choice.


  1. Install Resource Hacker
  2. Install TakeOwnership
  3. Install Process Hacker
  4. Open C:\Windows\Branding\Basebrd\en-GB\basebrd.dll.mui with Resource Hacker (en-US if American)
  5. Go to String Table > 1 > 2057 and replace the contents of strings 12 and 13 with a space, e.g.:
    12,     " "
  6. Click ‘Compile Script’ then File>Save As and save with the same name but to a different folder (e.g. your desktop)
  7. Right click C:\Windows\Branding\Basebrd\en-GB\basebrd.dll.mui, and select Take Ownership, then delete it and copy the one from your desktop into its place
  8. Open C:\Windows\System32\en-GB\shell32.dll.mui with Resource Hacker (en-US if American)
  9. Go to String Table > 2070 > 2057 and do the same process as above with strings 33108, 33115 and 33117
  10. Click ‘Compile Script’ then File>Save As and save with the same name but to a different folder (e.g. your desktop)
  11. Open Process Hacker and click the ‘Find Handles or DLLs’ button in the main toolbar
  12. In the search box type ‘shell32.mui.dll’ and click ‘Find’
  13. Order the results by the ‘Type’ column
  14. Select all results of type ‘File’ by shift-clicking, ignoring the ones of  type ‘Mapped File’
  15. Right click and choose ‘close’, accepting any warnings
  16. Close Process Hacker
  17. Right click C:\Windows\System32\en-GB\shell32.dll.mui, and select Take Ownership, then delete it and copy the one from your desktop into its place
  18. Reboot

Fix for Samsung 750 and 950 series monitors 120Hz “Not Optimum Mode”

Use 120.8Hz custom refresh rate. Both Windows and the monitor’s OSD will show 121Hz. Actual 121.0Hz will cause the error without fail, it must be a tiny bit below. I guess there is something weird going on with the tolerances in the monitor – I’ve noticed things like mains current spikes contribute to the problem.

This may apply more to HDMI 1440×1080 or 1280×720 than to DisplayPort 1080p.

My exact settings for 1440x1080x120Hz over HDMI are as follows:

DarkELEC Release 3

Just an interim release for now as I don’t have my proper dev environment (TV, Pi-compatible internet connection, etc.). Once I figure out a way of getting networking to my Pi, I’ll throw in the promised features such as USB audio support.

No idea at all if this works (I can’t do much more than play about in the menu with no networking), but it certainly seems a lot smoother and more responsive than r2.

There’s been no significant changes on my part, but likely a very significant amount from upstream (namely the extra codecs, 512mb support, etc.).


More details:

Asus Xonar sound card frameskip issue

Just a little tidbit of information regarding Xonar sound cards: The ‘GX’ mode, while I dread to think how deeply it hooks into DirectX (considering it crashes several old games), must be enabled for anything which involves certain clocks to not develop awful judder on the video side of things.

Basically if you use ReClock or play osu!, or anything of that sort (high fps/fast reaction games), enable GX mode. Without GX enabled, I’ve found there to be intermittent severe frame skip, which is only visible to the eye and not to any kind of software FPS or frame loss counter.

If you have a Xonar card and a high refresh rate monitor (it’s not very clear at 60hz), compare GX on and off with

If I remember correctly, with Aero enabled or Vsync on, the issue is not apparent.

DarkElec Release 2


Finally got DarkELEC to compile successfully with the latest upstream changes from OpenELEC along with a few tweaks that I’ve since forgotten 😛

Observations for this build:

  • Fairly high idle CPU usage (70%+) sadly
  • libCEC works on LG and Sony TVs now, however all input stops working once you begin playing a video (a complete deal-breaker for me personally 🙁 )
  • Built in streaming services still work
  • Overall smoother UI
  • More reliable Wifi
  • Thumbnails aren’t missing/oddly coloured

More details: