Category Archives: Hardware

VW Composition Media M3U playlist bug

Spent the best part of 2 days trying to figure out why the composition media system (same probably applies for discovery media system) in a MK7.0 VW Golf was failing to read M3U playlists, with the error “No playable files found”.

Literally tried every combination imaginable of file paths, separators, line endings, and even went as far as writing a script to generate extended m3u data from a plain m3u, but nothing made any difference.

The fix turned out to be ridiculously simple: have more than one folder on the SD card with MP3 files in it. The software must have a special case for all MP3 files in one folder that (probably unintentionally) breaks playlists. Even a single mp3 file in a second folder is enough to kick it into life.

Incidentally once this fix is in place the M3U support is pretty comprehensive – plain or extended and a variety of line endings and path separators all work fine.

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.

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:

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 http://www.prad.de/en/monitore/testsoftware/pixperan.html.

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