Vista Sleep Problems

Vista on my Fragbox2 PC has a problem with sleep mode. When I click the Start > "Power button", it works for a couple of seconds; then I hear a "click" and HD and most of the PC shutsdown but fan keeps on running.

I could not remember if I had updated the firmware on it since I bought it last year but I suspected my Asus P5E-VM DO had something to do with this. Unfortunately, I failed to find anything on Asus forums.

Today, I was trying to locate what key was causing PowerDVD registration reminder to pop-up via Sysinternal Procmon and noticed that my Philips camcorder was constantly querying registry. I decided to disable it.

So, I ran Start > msconfig and while there started to clean up other unnecessary stuff like pesky Adobe Acrobat's acrobat_sl.exe.

That's when I looked closer at two Logitech start-up processes:
  • SetPoint.exe
  • KHALMNPR.exe
I knew that they belong to my Logitech G7 software; the only reason I had installed them was to dynamically increase/decrease sensitivity while playing World of Warcraft. As I quit playing it; there was no reason to keep the software. I checked the forums anyway and found out that someone else was complaining about Vista not going to sleep mode with these running.

I disabled them and rebooted. It worked. Vista sleeps happily now :)


Well, it was not happily ever after :(
I did solve the problem for good though:
Apparently there are two Sleep levels in BIOS; S1 and S3 ( dont know what happened to S2). So, I had to go into BIOS and change sleep level to let it go to 'deep sleep'.


How fast is Google Alerts?

I just got a google alert; which told me that I had blogged "XML++". I recalled that I had created a Google Alert when I heard about the service quite some time ago.

I checked the alert and I had set it to be "comprehensive" and send me alerts "as-it-happens". Hmm, 'as-it-happens'? Judging from the time passed between alert and my previous blog post; it took Google ~1hr to detect my blog entry. That does not sound like 'as-it-happens' to me.

Ps. Umm, and I wonder what's up with the timing? I posted this at 00:20am EDT but see the posted time as T23:06-5:00 ???



Well I could not find a better title for this post as it touches several different but connected subjects as you will find out below...

I've been an Outlook user for over 10 years and I've used it as my contacts manager until recently. Although, I am guessing very few people use it, one of the features I like is the ability to add a picture.

Times have changed. Facebook has pictures, e-mail and other contact information that I would normally keep in Outlook. Still, I would want to have Outlook as my 'authorative source' as I control what information goes in there.

Grand Central (now known as Google Voice) and gmail also has contacts and now that Google separated Google Contacts as a stand alone product; I decided to take my contacts online.

Problem is importing from Outlook to Google Contacts strips many fields, pictures being one of them. Plus there is no product out there that would import updated Facebook information to Google Contacts.

I am quite surprised that it does not exist actually but understand that Facebook is using some measures (like e-mail address is displayed as a graphics file instead of text; so any software that needs to read it need some sort of ocr capability + it may violate Facebook's terms).

All hope is not lost. There are some applications that partially helps:

  • FoneBook is a Facebook application that lets you import some information:
    [Fonebook does not, and will never export phone numbers or email addresses - Facebook does not allow this!! Feel free to join this group to petition for it to change]

    [For a Mac version you might want to try AddressBookSync -]

    Fonebook is used to transfer contacts photos and infomation from Facebook™ to Outlook®. If your phone then supports Outlook® synchronization you should be able to have your contacts photos on your phone when they call you!

    This application works with both Outlook® 2003 and 2007. It is also know to work with most modern Nokias and all Windows® Smartphones/PDAs.

    The application currently copies a contacts photo, profile web address, about me details, status details and if you are using Outlook® 2007 their birthday
  • I also found out that apparently there was an application called Facebook Downloader which made it to LifeHacker but it has been taken down by Facebook for violating their terms.
  • OutSync lets you select Facebook contacts and select their pics with Outlook
  • Gupdate is another facebook application; that attempts to sync Facebook data to Google Contacts. It can also add new contacts if they do not exist. Well, I tried it but it did not seem to do anything for me.
  • There is a .NET application by Koushik Dutta, a software developer, that only attempts to import pictures from Facebook to Google Contacts. Source Code is available too.
On that last note, Koushik was referring to Google Data API & Facebook Toolkit which brings me to the real reason I am blogging this. While digging thru the Google Data API, I saw a link to "The Annotated XML Specification", written by one of the XML co-authors, Tim Bray in 1998.

I was reading thru it, and found the annotations extremely helpful. So, I googled to find more on Tim Bray and found his blog "ongoing"; It's quite entertaining and enlightening.

One of his recent blog entries titled "Nastiness"; his observations and recommendation are simply awesome. He is thinking very clearly and communicating well. I am adding his blog to my Google Reader (so should you :p )!

That article actually dragged me into the incident blog and I have read some extremely well written, thoughtful articles and comments.

For example:


Vista Post-SP2 Black Screen. Is Vista slower?

There are tons of XP vs. Vista posts on web. To be honest, I have a pretty fast PC and never I could care less if Vista is a couple of seconds slower than XP; it's still fast. This post is not looking to make a comparison but it is more about a couple of useful things I discovered when I was looking around post-sp2 upgrade. Here is what happened...

Post-SP2 Black Screen
I've downloaded and installed Vista SP2 on one of my laptops and noticed that there was an extended period of "black" screen during boot time. I did not pay much attention to it but today I noticed the same thing on my desktop post SP2.

Vista Logs
It tickled my curiosity and I started looking around. Soon, I found out that Vista Logs are incredibly detailed and there is abundant information to diagnose such stuff. That is great news because I always hated XP's inability to tell me what was causing slowness during boot. I would sit there and watch for 4-5 mins painfully while my laptop crawls to a start. Of course I tried invaluable Sysinternal tools like Procmon to watch boot process and try to sift thru hundreds of thousands of records which was mostly useless...

So, first I headed to Control Panel to see what was Vista reporting recently:

Control Panel > Performance Information and Tools > Advanced Tools

I have not seen anything in the recent "Performance Issues" section that suggested that I was seeing a degradation of system boot but interestingly enough there was some clue to another issue I was seeing on my Pc recently; it just would not go to Sleep mode...

You will notice that at the bottom of the dialog box; there is a link to the Event Viewer; and that's the beauty of Vista. This basically means that Vista is in fact going thru performance logs and giving you a summary of recent events...

To get to Diagnostics-Performance logs, you can click the link above or open up Event Viewer
Start > run > eventvwr.msc then browse to
Applications and Services Logs > Microsoft > Windows > Diagnostics-Performance > Operational

Under the Operational, you will see tons of events logged. There a couple of Task Categories.
  • Click on "Task Category" and
  • Select "Group Events by This Category"

From category names, it's clear that "Boot Performance Monitoring" is the one that should give us the information we are looking for.

In the screenshot above you will notice that; Vista is in fact telling us about the time it took to boot. There is more, if you click the details tab, there is actually a breakdown of boot time! I think this is a very neat feature b/c I still remember how painful it was for me to use a stopwatch to record each phase of XP boot visually and then try to match them to whatever was recorded by extended Group Policy logs and Event Logs... It's all there; in the event logs now.

When I looked at break-down of boot times, it was not easy to tell what some of them were; so I googled and in fact found an article titled "Microsoft's hidden diagnostic tool unlocks Vista startup secrets". Well, there is not much there other than what I had already found out but it mentioned two parts of boot time:

MainPathBootTime measures the time it takes for the system to load all drivers and services that are critical to user interaction and get to the Windows desktop where the user can begin doing things.

BootPostBootTime includes all the other drivers and processes that aren’t critical to user interaction and can be loaded with low-priority I/O that always gives preference to user-initiated actions that execute using Normal I/O priority.

I tried to find the follow up writing on ZD net but after spending 20mins to no avail; I gave up.
I filtered by Event ID 100-190:
  • On the left pane, right click on "Operational"
  • Click "Filter Current Log"
  • Replace "" with 100-190
And started to look at boot times. Apparently my boot up time was around 80000milliseconds (ie. 80 seconds) but the latest boot time was a whopping 262sec (4.3mins). Unfortunately, there was no smoking gun; and Windows did not report anything unusual in this case.

This may be OK though; because I remembered that I had also installed Office 2007 SP2 and had not rebooted yet; so this might have been the cause of delay. To be sure, I will need to reboot a couple of times and measure them to see if I was still getting 80secs.

During the investigation, I noticed that at times, some apps (McAfee Antivirus, Rawr etc) were causing delays and Windows were reporting such events. By the way, the same log is also used to determine what is blocking a machine from sleeping or causing delays during shutdown.

So, is Vista slower than XP? Maybe but I don't care. With XP, I could never tell what was causing slowness. Now, at least I have better visibility. Overall, I like Vista more.