How to download pics and video from Instagram using a browser with no add-ons or extra apps

Yet another Firefox feature you won’t find in Chrome.

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Every guide I’ve seen on how to do this talks about inspecting elements or installing add-ons or apps. None of that is necessary. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Open the image or video’s specific Instagram page (e.g. https://www.instagram.com/p/BOpZDePDQ2b/) in Firefox.
  2. Right-click on the background.
  3. Click Page Info.
  4. In the window that pops up, click the Media tab.
  5. Sort the results by Type.
  6. The pic you want will be one of the Image entries in type, while the video you want will be the Video entry. An example is shown below:
    clipboard01
  7. Select which one you want.
  8. Click Save As…

And that’ll do it. You’ll get the original .jpg upload or an .mp4 video. This method of downloading videos also works for Clippit.tv, with the exception that you might have to play the video first to allow Firefox to sniff it before clicking Page Info.

How to download music from My Mixtapez outside the app

Of course you need a PC to work around a subpar mobile app.

Yes, there’s a My Mixtapez Android app. Unfortunately, it really slows your device down with wakelocks and CPU usage, so here’s how to get music from the site otherwise:

  1. If you don’t have it already, download and install desktop Firefox (I prefer the Nightly builds).
  2. Open the My Mixtapez page corresponding to the song you want download. e.g. https://mxtpz.me/a/108717.
  3. Start playing the song you want.
  4. Right-click the page background to bring up Firefox’s context menu.
  5. Click Page Info.
  6. Click Media.
  7. Sort the results displayed by Type so that Audio is at the top.
  8. The entry corresponding to audio is the song that is currently playing. Select it as shown below:
    clipboard01
  9. Click Save  As… and download the file.
  10. Repeat Steps 3 to 9 for every song you want on the page from Step 2.
  11. Open File Explorer.
  12. Navigate to the location you downloaded the file to in Step 9.
  13. Click the File Explorer View tab.
  14. In the Show/hide group, check  the File name extensions box.
  15. Now that the file name extensions are visible, change them to .mp3 for all the files you downloaded in Steps 9 and 10 via renaming.
  16. In the Show/hide group, uncheck  the File name extensions box (it’s good to leave this unchecked in general as accidentally changing file name extensions can cause serious problems later.)

The files in Step 15 will all be the original, playable mp3 files.

The Page Info feature is one of the main reasons Firefox continues to by my main browser; it’s basically a built-in content sniffer.

How to turn your favorite comics into high resolution wallpapers

That Carol Danvers is something else, isn’t she?

You like comics and you like wallpapers. Did you know that you can extract gloriously high res ones of the latter from the former?

First, you’ll need the comic in CBR or CBZ format. Both are simply RAR and ZIP files, respectively, with the extensions changed. Once you have that, simply extract the file using your preferred archiving tool (I recommend 7-Zip). This will spit out every page of the comic as its own separate image file, which you can then use as you please.

Thanks John C for the tip!

How to fix the “Your computer is low on memory” Windows 10 error message

🎶 If you’re having RAM problems I feel bad for you son 🎶

Ever gotten the error message below?

c37da72e%2d7ed0%2d41a4%2db972%2d188ba5faa332

Your computer is low on memory

To restore enough memory for programs to work correctly, save your files and then clsoe or restart all open programs.

The root cause may be a poorly behaving service installed with Realtek network drivers called RunSWUSB. Disabling it should fix the issue. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Type Services.
  3. In the window that pops up, find RunSWUSB.
  4. Right-click on the above entry.
  5. Click Stop if it isn’t greyed out.
  6. Click Properties.
  7. In the window that pops up, under the General tab, click the Startup type: dropdown menu.
  8. Click Disabled.
  9. Click Apply.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Close Services.

So how’d I figure this out? First of all, it seems to be rare; only 1 of my 3 Windows 10 PCs was afflicted with it. The PC that was having this issue is running Windows 10 Insider Slow Ring and was experiencing errors during the build update process. As part of the steps to resolve those, I performed a clean boot. After the update process successfully completed, I went through disabled services individually to see which were worth re-enabling. Googling this particular one produced this thread about its associated memory leak problems.

If the above doesn’t fix the problem, try performing a clean boot. Then do the following:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Type msconfig.
  3. Hit Enter.
  4. In the window that pops up, click the Services tab.
  5. Check the Hide all Microsoft services box.
  6. Google each remaining service individually to figure out what it does. You may find the culprit eventually.
  7. When you do find it, disable it as previously shown.
  8. Add the offending service to the Microsoft support thread so your findings can help others!

Thanks cartman82 for the fix!

How to uninstall G-DM

Behave like malware, get treated like malware.

If you installed this useless app on your PC and find it won’t uninstall via Control Panel, try any of the following:

Method 1: Rebooting after the 1st uninstallation attempt

The developer, G-Agate, claims this should work, but I never saw any indication to reboot so I can’t confirm it.

Method 2: Stopping the G-DM Service, and then try uninstalling again

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search for Services.
  3. Open the Services search result.
  4. Click the G-DM service in the list that pops up.
  5. To the upper left of the list, click Stop.
  6. Try uninstalling again.

Method 3: Clean boot, then try uninstalling again

  1. Do a clean boot. This should prevent the G-DM service from starting.
  2. Try uninstalling again.

Method 4: Use CCleaner

  1. Download and install CCleaner Free while opting out of Chrome installation and disabling anything that would make CCleaner run in the background or on startup.
  2. Launch CCleaner.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Under Settings, uncheck all boxes in the far left column.
  5. Click Monitoring.
  6. Uncheck all boxes in the far left column.
  7. Click Advanced.
  8. Uncheck Skip User Account Control warning.
  9. Click Tools in the far left menu.
  10. Under Uninstall, find G-DM.
  11. Click Uninstall.

If Methods 1 to 3 fail, Method 4 should work. The developers insist their app isn’t malware, but I consider anything that refuses to uninstall from the Control Panel to be so.

 

How to resolve Error 0x80240fff when installing Windows Insider Builds

Solving problems by turning 1 incomprehensible error into 2 more manageable ones. I thought this only happened to Linux users.

Recently I was trying to update a Sony Vaio Fit 15E laptop from Windows Insider Slow Ring build 14931 to 14965 via Windows Update. The update would complete downloading and commence installing, but would fail during the multiple reboot process, causing the previous build to be restored.

After ensuring I had no SD cards inserted or USB devices attached, here are the steps I took to resolve it:

Defering Feature Updates

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click Update & Security.
  3. Click Advanced Options.
  4. Check the Defer feature updates box.
  5. Retry the update process.

That didn’t work, so I tried:

Running the Windows Update Troubleshooter

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. In the View by: dropdown, select Small icons.
  3. Click Troubleshooting.
  4. Click Fix problems with Windows Update.
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions to fix any problems that are found.
  6. Retry the update process.

That didn’t work either, so I tried:

Deleting the C:\$WINDOWS.~BT folder

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. Check the Hidden items box in the Show/hide ribbon section.
  4. Navigate to the C:\ drive.
  5. Delete the $WINDOWS.~BT folder.
  6. Retry the update process.

That didn’t work either, so I tried deferring feature updates again and rerunning the update process, producing this error:

There were some problems installing updates, but we’ll try again later. If you keep seeing this and want to search the web or contact support for information, this may help: (0x800705b4)

So I tried:

Installing from the ISO instead

  1. Download the latest Slow Ring ISO here. You’ll need to sign in 1st so the page knows you’re a Windows Insider.
  2. Using WinRAR, 7-Zip, or a similar archive extraction tool, extract the ISO file to a folder.
  3. Open the above folder.
  4. Launch the setup file.
  5. Set the installer to keep your apps, files, and settings and let it run.

That didn’t work either, so I tried deleting the C:\$WINDOWS.~BT again and trying to install from ISO as above. This time I got this error:

0x8007042B – 0x4000D The installation failed in the SECOND_BOOT phase with an error during the MIGRATE_DATA operation

Although this error might seem disappointing, it was actually encouraging because it was the 1st one I’d gotten that actually explained what the issue was.

Googling the error produced this excellent post by Andre Da Costa. I had to:

  1. Do a clean boot (see link for instructions. It’s generally a good idea at all times – error or not – to enable clean boot before rebooting from your current build to install the new one. This will prevent existing startup processes from interfering with the installation.)
  2. Disconnect the laptop from the internet (disable Wi-Fi, unplug Ethernet cable.)
  3. Disconnect all non-essential USB peripherals, including mice if you have a working laptop touchpad.
  4. Reboot.
  5. Retry updating from the ISO files.

This finally fixed the issue.

Note that if you have any services or apps you’d prefer to run at startup, you’ll need to manually re-enable them via some combination of Task Manager, System Configuration, and Services.

I hate that the Insider build update process is this unreliable, but issues can be worked around with tenacity and thought.

Thanks to Microsoft employee /u/zac_l for his assistance on this Reddit support thread:

How to find portable 64-bit VLC builds

You could just use the 32-bit build from the download link, but if you’re reading this that was never an option.

Need 64-bit VLC goodness on a machine you can’t install anything on? Portable VLC to the rescue. Find it by doing the following:

  1. Go to http://download.videolan.org/pub/videolan/vlc/
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the latest (highest) VLC version number and click the corresponding link.
  3. Click the /win64 folder link. This will expose 64-bit VLC builds in .zip and .7z archives.

How to use media cards with the Xbox One

Apparently I’m the first person to try this.

After being unable to get my Subsonic DLNA server to show up reliably in my Xbox One S’ Media Player, I decided to use external storage for video playback instead. I was about to drop $50 on a 128 GB USB stick when I remembered I had a 64 GB Kingston Class 10 UHS-1 microSD card laying around. Buying a USB media card reader seemed like a more efficient solution, so I started looking into doing so.

Apparently – nearly 3 years after Xbox One’s release – no one’s bothered to try this. Or at least they never bothered to write about it, because my Google searches and forum posts turned up nothing definitive.

I wound up having to get a couple readers and try them out myself, and both of them worked. This leads me to conclude that the Xbox One does in fact support media cards via USB readers. That said, you definitely want to get the fasest reader, and the crown for that goes to the Kingston MobileLite G4. This is the only reader I found with USB 3.0 and UHS-II support, which should future-proof you for ultra high bitrate (e.g. 4K) playback given a correspondingly fast microSD card. The G4’s only downfall is it supports SD and microSD only, but when’s the last time you saw any other media card in use in the wild?

You can pick the G4 up for as little as $8.95 online, which is much less than the $50 I mentioned earlier.

A local option is the Insignia NS-CR2021 USB 2.0 SD/MMC Memory Card Reader which, as its name suggests, also supports MMC and MMC+ cards. Unfortunately it’s limited to USB 2.0 only and there’s no mention of UHS support anywhere.

How to remove eBay results from Google Shopping searches

People actually buy from eBay? Gross.

Sick of sifting through hundreds of eBay results in Google Shopping? Append -site:ebay.com to your search.

There you go, no more questionable eBay garbage when you’re trying to shop from reputable merchants.

Thanks jscher2000 for the tip!

How to rebuild the Samsung Galaxy S5 GPS NVRAM

Of course you want to return to TouchWiz to fix a problem. Ha, no you don’t.

Note: if you’re not running a custom ROM – i.e. you’re running stock TouchWiz – and need to do this, see Phase 4 only. You’ll need to be rooted.

If you’re running a custom ROM on your S5 and GPS can’t get a fix despite rebooting, battery pulling, flashing new builds, and using all of GPS Status & Toolbox‘s tricks, chances are you’ll need to do rebuild the GPS NVRAM. Here’s how.

Phase 1: Backup your current custom ROM installation.

Instructions (which assume you use TWRP) in Phase 9 here.

Phase 2: Wipe the phone in TWRP.

  1. Boot into TWRP.
  2. Tap Wipe.
  3. Swipe to wipe using the default settings.

Phase 2: Flash the latest baseband in Odin.

  1. Find the latest baseband under the “Odin” heading here. If the files there are .tar archives, you’ll need to extract the .bin baseband files (usually called modem.bin and/or NON-HLOS.bin) from them.
  2. Flash it using instructions in Phase 3 here. You will need to do perform this for modem.bin and NON-HLOS.bin separately as ODIN reboots the phone after each individual flash.

Phase 3: Restore your rooted TouchWiz ROM.

If you don’t already have one of those, here’s how to get one. If you’re setting up a rooted TouchWiz ROM for the 1st time then you don’t have to restore anything because it’ll already be running, so you can proceed to the next phase.

Otherwise:

  1. Boot into TWRP.
  2. Tap Restore.
  3. Tap Select Storage.
  4. Select the folder containing the backup.
  5. Swipe to restore.

Phase 4: Rebuild the GPS NVRAM.

  1. Boot into TouchWiz.
  2. Install Shotcut Master (Lite).
  3. Follow these instructions starting from “Open ‘Secret Explorer’ menu” onward onto the 3rd to last sentence.

Phase 3: Wipe the phone in TWRP.

Same process as Phase 2.

Phase 4: Restore the backup you made in Phase 1.

Same process as Phase 3, but with the custom ROM backup instead.

GPS should be back to working now. I have no idea what causes this problem, but so far this is the most involved custom ROM-related fix I’ve had to do.