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USB 3.0 Trouble with Intel Haswell Processor

Intel has reported a problem between the Haswell processor, the next-generation microprocessor that uses 8-series cor-logic sets.

Intel says when a PC system with Core i-series Haswell inside wakes from S3 sleep mode, it experiences issues with devices connected through USB 3.0. Intel defines the issue only as a nuisance for end users, but who will be the real judge of that?

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Clean Windows Registry of USB Drives

Here is a great tool for cleaning Windows Registry of USB drive entries. The program runs in the Windows console and removes all devices that are not currently connected.

To clean up the Windows registry of a USB flash drive, or other USB devices can make your system boot faster and run faster.

For example, each time you connect a USB printer to a different USB port on your PC there are registry entries made which associate the device with the drivers. Windows is trying to be smart and log this information so the next time you connect the device, Windows will know exactly what to do. Meaning when you connect the printer a second time, you don’t see the balloon from Windows saying “Installing Brother driver” or something, it’s just connected and ready to go.

But, for example, lets say you connect your Nikon camera to your PC and you use a different USB port each time, now you have a bunch of registry entries that can make your PC boot slower, run slower or possible give you trouble with that external device.

With all this said, if you are having trouble with a USB drive, or a USB camera, printer or scanner, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is run this Windows registry cleaner utility. Good chance it will solve your problems.

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System Requirements:
WinXP / Vista / Win7
Writes settings to:
Does not write files to host computer
Administrator rights
How to extract:
Download the ZIP package and extract to a folder of your choice. Launch drivecleanup.exe either in the ‘Win32’ folder or ‘x64’ folder.

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Flash Memory Puts Mars Curiosity into Safe Mode

As with any good project, there should always be a back up plan.  The Curiosity for Mars is no different.  The system has a B-Side computer in the event the A-Side computer went down…well guess what, it went down.

There is a theory that cosmic rays affected some of the flash memory on Curiosity causing the A-Side computer to shut down and reboot into Safe Mode.

JPL is currently backup up the A-Side data to the B-Side computer and should reboot by weeks end.  Configuration and data transfer can take a while, then of course the verification process of everything done right.

JPL states:

“The hardware that we fly is radiation tolerant, but there’s a limit to how hardened it can be, you can still get high-energy particles that can cause the memory to be corrupted. It certainly is a possibility and that’s what we’re looking into.”

For updates please visit the NASA website.

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IronKey Workspace Windows 8 PC on a Stick

ComputerWorld did a nice write up about the IronKey Workspace product for Windows 8 operating system.

Read the full article here.

“IronKey storage devices have also been validated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to meet the stringent Level 3 criteria of FIPS 140-2. Combined with the cloud -based IronKey Enterprise Management Service, data security can be managed and audited from anywhere in the world. The IronKey Workspace flash drive, however, is not FIPS-certified.”

The IronKey will boot from any PC or Mac computer.  Boots in about 35 seconds but has an initial configuration time of about 4 minutes.

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USB Flash Drive Power Monitor

Smartronix has a USB power monitor and it’s ideal for those who want to regulate what power is coming from a USB device.  Most notably would be the ability to test power from a suspect defective drive or gadget.  With so many useless USB toys made in cheap factories over seas, one can get a product which plays havoc with your system.  Most problems always come from power.

Granted the power meter probably takes more juice then any USB power gadget your testing, but again, this is designed for the hobbyist or guy troubleshooting some gear.

This is also a good device to test products which claim to fall into the USB-IF specification for a USB device, something like this USB power meter could help prove your case against an overseas supplier who’s not fessing up to their poor quality work.  (can you tell we’ve ran into this problem on multiple occasions !)

Too bad it doesn’t measure calories, otherwise we’d find out just how hard that USB humping dog is really working.

Smartronix webstore, vai Gadgeteer.


  • USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 compatible
  • Large, easy to read LCD
  • Folding Stand
  • Auto Power-Down
  • Peak Hold
  • Measures current in either direction (Host>Device or Device>Host
  • Batteries and USB Cable included


  • Maximum Voltage Reading +/- 19.99 Volts
  • Voltage Reading Accuracy: +/- 0.1 volt from -10V to 10V; 5% from 10.01V to 19.99V; 5% from -10.01V to -19.99V
  • Maximum Current Reading +/- 1999 mA
  • Current Reading Accuracy: +/- 2mA from -500mA to 500mA; 5% from 501mA to 1999mA; 5% from -501mA to -1999mA
  • USB Type B upstream Jack
  • USB type A downstream Jack
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3D Printing

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