Thursday, December 20, 2012

Concerning Your Conection

Once again it's been while a while since I posted a new tutorial or some such, whatever you call these. Inspiration has been lacking recently, and by that I mean no one has asked me to fix their computer.

I should note, Legacy Support is mainly/originally intended to service computer and other tech problems, but there is no reason I cant help with other problems. I approach things with the mindset that whatever it is I can fix it, even if I don't know how to fix it I know how to learn how to fix it, so if you have any problems at all don't hesitate to contact me here.
Computer wont turn on? Legacy Support is here to help.
TV on the fritz? Ill walk you through some things that might fix it no problem.
Lost in your relationship? Calm down, have a seat, lets have a talk.
Whatever it is I've got you covered.

But recently a friend did ask me for help so here we go.

Your Network And You

A friend recently came to me for advice about their network connectivity on her laptop. In a nutshell her laptop lost its internet, that's how it was originality described to me and I'm sure that's how a lot of people put it and that's fine. But when dealing with your average home WiFi network there are several different problems that can cause you to loose your internet, all different and easily distinguishable.

Icons Are Your Friends

Anyone who has used a computer or a phone has seen some variation of this iconic icon invented to graphically represent the strength of an wireless connection.

This happens to be the symbol of a healthy connection. The signal strength is high and constant. It could be higher but nothing is perfect all the time. Now, just from looking at this icon you know several things.
  1. You know that your device is connected to a network. This means that information is being or can be transferred from the device to the router/modem/network and vice verse.
  2. You can presume that the network you are connected to is connected to the internet. This may not necessarily be true, I have connected my iPod touch to a network that has no internet, but this network was not meant to be connected to the internet. Chances are if you are complaining about poor internet connection the network you are using is meant to have internet, or else you might consider not connecting your various devices to networks you know little about.

Now these two things are quite different. For now I'm just going to explain about the different types of connection statuses, the bit about the differences comes afterwards.

The next most common internet connection is this.

This icon means that you have lost your internet connection. In that case you just don't have an internet connection. Your device is only "aware" of itself. No data is being transferred between that device and anything else.

This next icon is similar quite similar.

This icon is the same as the last on, meaning you are not connected to a network, but the only difference is that this also means there are no networks available at all. If you were to have a piece of hardware fail, such as a network adapter, you would most likely see your bars drop and it would show the red X, and then very quickly it would change to this icon here.

I haven't been able to reproduce a scenario on any of my machines where the first network failed icon does not become this icon after a few seconds. They mean effectively the same thing.

This Icon here is a little more specific and tells you two things about your network connection.

This icon tells you that
  1. Your device is connected to what it thinks should be a network but it is not behaving as a network.
  2. The "network" your device is connected to probably does not have an internet connection, and even if it does it is not suitable for your device to use. Typically this icon will show up when your device has a Logical Connection but has no actual network cards or Ethernet cables to use this connection. It's a fairly specific icon and will probably only be relevant if you use networking programs such as Hamachi.

The second to last icon looks like this.

This icon tells you that

  1. Your device is not connected to any network.
  2. There is at least one network visible to your device that it could attempt to join.

And lastly we have this icon.

This animated icon should look familiar to anyone who uses Windows 7. That bluish green spinning circle is found any time Windows 7 is working on some sort of large computation like opening a program or in this case connecting to a network. This icon means that is has found a target network and is attempting to connect with it. It will spin for a few moments and then become one of the icons seen above.

Beyond A Glance

These icons are great for giving you a sense of if something has gone wrong and if so what the problem might be, but if you plan on doing something about it it is best to take a closer look and open the Network and Sharing Center.

To do this navigate down to the bottom left corner of the screen and open the start menu. From here select "Control Panel."

Then select "Network and Internet."

Then select "Network and Sharing Center."

(This can also be done by right clicking on your network icon in the bottom right of the screen and selecting "Open Network and Sharing Center.")

When looking at the Network and Sharing Center you should see something like this.

The two important parts to look at are the three icons connected by two horizontal lines, and the list of networks below them. these will tell you all the information you need to know about what has gone wrong.

Now before I move on I want to mention that there are really only two things that can go wrong with your internet connection. Either your device has encountered a problem and has lost its connection or the network itself is broken and is preventing you from using the internet. There are many many things that could be causing the problems in either scenario, but they are too numerous to cover and I don't believe I have the knowledge at the moment to explain how to fix many of them, especially if the problem is the network. If you  or someone you know are experiencing problems use the information here to find out where the problem is and contact me with specific information, I would be glad to help, but this post in its current form is designed only to give you a place to start so that you are better equipped to handle the problem, not explain how to fix any problem you may have.

But moving on. If your Network and Sharing Center looks like this then your problem is with your network.

In this case I have disconnected my network adapter and the only active network connection is Hamachi's logical connection. My computer is connected to its own Hamachi network it thinks it should be able to access the internet but in this case it cannot because it no longer has any hardware to connect it to the internet.
This is not a common scenario for most people, but it is representative of one that is more common.
In this scenario the logical Hamachi network is representing a regular Local Are Network you would find in most homes or businesses. the piece of hardware i have removed represents a Modem. A Modem is the device that tunnels information from the nearest internet node to your network, and the network distributes that information to the devices that request it.
So, what this means is that if you see an X on the right hand line between your network and the internet the problem has to do with the way your network is setup. Your computer is not the problem. (Unless you have a logical connection like me, but in that case you probably already know what you are doing.

One X on the right, no X on the left = Network error.

On the other hand you might see something more like this.

This time I have disabled both my Logical Hamachi network as well as my physical network adapter. If you see an X on the line closest to your computer and  you do not see the network icon of the sun. If you see the network icon of the sun it means you simple have to connect to a network.
If you do not see the sun icon it means one of two things.
  1. Your computer is the problem and is unable to connect to the network.
  2. your network is off or is invisible to your device.

Now regardless of what the symptoms are, it is a good idea to attempt to connect your computer or device to a different network. One that is unrelated to the network you are trying to connect to at the moment. If this is possible and the same symptoms persist then it's a safe bet the problem is your computer or device. It is very unlikely that two 100% separate networks would have identical problems at the same time. Statistically this does not happen. If the second unrelated network does not show symptoms then it is safe to assume the problem is your network.

At this point all I can suggest to do really is take the offending piece of hardware and reboot it. without specific information about a scenario and with the knowledge i currently have that is the best I can offer you for a generic fix. If that doesn't work then Google is always an option and you should have enough information to do a more specific Google search than "Why doesn't my internet work?"

I hope this helped at least a few of you.
Thank you, and enjoy your internet.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Diagnosing Done Right

The other day My neighbors once again called on me to help them with some computer troubles. It's since been resolved and it was actually a REALLY simple problem, I didn't even really need to do anything, they eventually figured out before I could be available to take a look at it, but that's exactly why I'm writing this.

I like to think I'm good at fixing things, especially electronics, but honestly I don't know nearly enough about much of anything. I don't know what the Kernels in a computer do, I don't know how the circuitry in the motherboard works, hell I don't even know how the master/slave chain works if you have more than one hard drive. But what I DO know is how to diagnose a problem. Anyone can "fix" the majority of problems they encounter if they approach it the right way.

Specificity is Important

My neighbors told me that the computer "wouldn't turn on" and that was basically all I had to go on before I was able to physically see the machine. This is the first reason people have trouble fixing things. They don't really know what problems they are experiencing. If a computer "won't turn on" that might mean that when you push the power button absolutely nothing happens. It might mean that when you press the power button it lights up and then instantly dies. It could even mean that the computer technically powers up but nothing happens on the screen if they are not being specific.

Each one of these scenarios means very different things and if you do not differentiate between them you won't get very far in fixing your problems.

In this particular case the computer would power up if you hit the power button and the lights in the button would light up but then everything would turn off.

Determine What You Already Know

In each of those cases you can infer certain things based on the specific information you have just obtained. If  anything turns on or lights up when you hit the power button you can then safely say that the mechanism that is the power switch works whereas if nothing happens when you press it it is possible that the mechanism itself is broken.

Work Your Way In

Once you have collected all the information you have you want to start checking all potential points of failure starting on the outside and working your way in. For example, if the computer "won't turn on" the first potential point of failure is the power button itself. that is the very first thing that happens when you try to turn the computer on, pressing that power button.

So then you just need to ask yourself, is the button broken? and how can you tell? All you need to do to answer those is determine what you expect to happen when you press it, and whether or not that is what happens will tell you if it is broken. When you press the power button on a computer you expect its state to change. You expect parts to start moving (e.g fans), you expect sounds, you expect things to light up. If any of those things happen then the power button must work because you know that none of them would happen if you didn't hit that button. If nothing happens then the button is one possible problem.

Once you have determined that the power button works or have determined the power button may be broken, replaced it, and the computer STILL does not work you are ready to move to the next potential point of failure. when you press the power button all it does is tells the computer to draw power from whatever source that happens to be. if it's a laptop this would be the battery and if it's a desktop it would be the power supply and the outlet it's plugged into. If the power supply is broken it doesn't matter how many times you hit that button, there is simply no way for electricity to light anything up.

It's important that at each step you refresh your mental list of information. For example, if you are diagnosing the power supply of a desktop PC you need to once again determine what you expect to happen. Typically a power supply will have a fan in it and of course if it works it will be producing current. If you not that the fan starts to spin when you press the power button you now know that the outlet is supplying electricity to the power supply and that current is flowing through it and reaching the fan as well as anything else that lights up or moves or changes its state.

If there is anything that you expect to change states and does not when others act as they should this can tell you a lot as well. for example, if the power button lights up and the power supply turns on but something like a  CD drive or a USB port does not light up/receive power and it should then you can safely assume the fault is between that device and the things you determined to be functional.

Think of the computer as a circuit of information, or a chain of events. Pressing the power button -> Activates power supply -> Processor turns on -> Activates CD drive -> etc. In that scenario if the power supply and power button work and the CD drive does not function as it should (and you have no reason to suspect the CD drive is broken!) then the only missing link is the processor. Now, when i say "the processor" i mean the cpu, the ram, the video card, the sound card, the network card, the motherboard, all that junk. that may be a bit beyond the average user and actually fixing most of it is beyond my skills, but determining that the problem is there might save whoever you actually pay to fix it time trying to look for the problem. What is important is the process of determining information.

Now Put it to Use

In the end the laptop was simply out of batteries. Someone else who didn't know it was "broken" plugged it in to use it and it worked fine then but the battery was drained. If they had diagnosed it properly they would have been able to use their computer again in like five minutes, but instead they spent an entire day just thinking it was going to stay "broken" until I maybe fixed it.

When i press the power button does it light up? Yes.
Move to the battery.
Is there power in it? Yes there must be some.
Is there enough? Idk, let me plug it in.
Does it work now? Yup, it was just drained.

Very simple.

Now, in fairness, they said the battery was no where near empty when they last used it and the lights went on and off really fast so they didn't think it was the battery. Having said that, it never hurts to be thorough and you should assume as little as possible. If you can find out for sure then do it, don't just rely on your own memory or assumptions.

In Summary

If you follow these guidelines your life should be much simpler:
Be specific.
Gather all the information you can.
Start as far out as you can and work your way in one step at a time.

Thank you and enjoy your internet.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Forcing Secure Connections - Something I Missed

On Thursday, October 11, 2012 I wrote a post about forcing any website to use a secure https:// type connection, primarily to fix some security problems Facebook had been having, but they were a bit complicated and required downloading various (sometimes sketchy) extensions and all in all was not "ideal." But it worked so I posted it because something is better than nothing.


Only just now have I realized that all of my instructions were completely unnecessary. Facebook itself has this feature already! When you are logged into Facebook In the top right hand corner click the drop down menu next to your name and click "Account Settings" and in the next page click the "security" tab on the left hand side, check the box in "Secure Browsing" and make sure to click "save Changes."

And now Facebook will always use a secure connection. Simple as that.

Of course, this only works for Facebook so if you are a particularly security conscious person and want secure connections on websites other than Facebook you will have to either check the setting on each website or follow the instructions HERE.

Thank you and enjoy your internet.

Friday, October 26, 2012

To my viewers(?)

It's been quite a while since I last posted here, but that is because fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I haven't had any problems to fix. If I don't have problems I don't have content. Now, I know that there are some people visiting the site, as many as 14 in one day but usually only a couple, but no one is giving any feedback. If you visit the sate please, let me know what you think! tell me what I can do to make it better, if you're having a problem let me know and I'll try to fix it, if anything I've uploaded previously has helped you go ahead and say so. Just leave a comment at the bottom of any post and I'll see it. It only takes a minute.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Forcing Secure Connections

Solution Found!

Recently my friends and I have been plagued by bad connections to Facebook servers giving us a blank page when we try to view any content from Facebook. The cause is a security issue with Facebook, something went wrong on their end, BUT there is something you can do to get around it. You can force a SSL connection.

What is SSL?

Well basically an SSL connection means it is a secure and encrypted communication with a website or domain. You can tell if you are using a secure connection by looking at the address in the URL bar. If it starts with https:// then you are using a secure connection, but a plain http:// is not secure. Having said that, the first thing you should do right now if you are getting the blank Facebook page is to try in the broken browser right now. If it loads normally then this post will explain how to make your browser always replace http:// with https:// (Because you'll notice if you click a link on Facebook it always defaults to a plain http:// even if you started with https:// and you don't want to have to type in https:// to the URL every time and refresh the page.) BUT if it does not load with that link then you have a different problem and this will not help you at all.

So how do I force SSL?

This depends on what browser you are using. Each of the big three have solutions but each is slightly different. Both Firefox and Chrome have extensions you can use to force SSL connections for specific sites and are simple to install. Unfortunately Internet Explorer is slightly more complicated seeing as it does not have support for extensions like Chrome and Firefox do.

For Chrome Users

To fix Facebook on Firefox you will need to go to and click "Add To Chrome" on the Use HTTPS Extension summary and then click Add when prompted.

And That's it! Thats all you need to do, Facebook should work just fine now. The default settings on Use HTTPS are set to force Facebook and Twitter to use SSL connections. I personaly took Twitter off the list on mine but that's up to you if you want to remove it as well.

To remove or add a website to the list simply click the Chrome options button in the top right of the screen (will either be a wrench or three horizontal bars) and select "Tools" and select "Extensions." Then find Use HTTPS on the list of extensions and click "Options" just bellow the extension name. You can then add or remove websites from this page.

For Firefox Users

To fix Facebook on Firefox you will need to go to and hit the big green download button beneath the logo on the top left hand side to download the extension. Firefox may block the extension from installing but you just need to click Allow and then click install when prompted. The last thing you need to do is to restart Firefox to let the plugin take effect.

Once you reboot Firefox if you rebooted when prompted you should see a new tab displaying THIS page. If not then just follow the link there. There you should see links to a VIDEO explaining about Noscript, a link to its FEATURES, and a link to a FAQ.

Now, the first thing you should do is to try to log onto Facebook. If it installed correctly with the default settings you should notice that it will redirect you to the https:// version and Facebook should load normally with the exception of a banner along the top that says "For a better experience on Facebook, enable JavaScript in your browser, or switch to our mobile site." This is because Noscript's default settings turn Javascript off on all sites. to fix this you just need to go down to the bottom of the page and click on "Options" and select "Allow Scripts Globally (dangerous)."

This will tell you that it is potentially dangerous to allow scripts on all sites, and technically this is true but since it is impossible for the computer to tell what scripts are good and what scripts are bad the only way to be "safe" from them is to use none of them, but this would prevent you from using things like Facebook's chat. Go ahead and turn Scripts on Globally, its just as safe as what you have already been doing for years.

This should be enough to fix the Facebook problem but if you want to get more specific you can always visit and use the tutorials on that site.

For Internet Explorer Users

The solution for Internet Explorer requires installing a custom user script. you can find the user script at but in order for this script to be installed you need to go to and download IE7Pro. Now, unfortunately in the process of installing IE7Pro it will try to get you to install a toolbar (optional) and will force you to install some sort of coupon add shopping extension as well. I don't want that on my computer so I'm not going to show you a specific tutorial on how to fix it but you have the link if you want to install it yourself. It's a very simple installation, just go to and click the download button in the center of the screen, it will bring you to a download page and the download should start on its own. It will give you a popup in the bottom asking if you want to run the file, and if you hit yes the install wizard will walk you through the rest.

Once you have that installed you can go to and in the top right corner of the page will be three buttons, "Install Script" "Download Script" and "Add To favorites." If you have IE7Pro installed you should be able to download and then install the script and that should force all Facebook domains to use SSL connections.

Disclaimer: I do not suggest using this as a "solution" to fixing Facebook on Internet Explorer, honestly it looks like spam. I would suggest changing browsers completely and using Firefox or better yet Chrome, butt hat is just my opinion. Take it for what it is.

And there you have it, a solution to the blank Facebook Problem! It's possible you might experience slower responses from Facebook when using these extensions but this is to be expected since you are asking it to do more processes every time you click a link, but I think it's worth being able to use Facebook as it was meant to be used.

Thank you, and enjoy your internet.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Edit: Solution (kinda) See bottom!

After nearly a full day of attempting to find a solution to the Blank Facebook problem everyone seems to be having I can only conclude that the problem is with Facebook itself. Deleting the Browsing Data changes nothing, Incognito/Private Browsing doesn't work, I've run 3 different scans from 3 different anti malware programs and each has come up clean, It seems there is nothing on my computer that could be causing the problems for me at least.

I did find something though. But it suggests its a problem with one of the servers Facebook uses to send out the websites information to a computer.

I opened Chrome, hit F12 to open the console, tried to load Facebook, and was greeted with this:

Everything red in those screenshots is a call to a program or a call to a piece of information that either does not exist or that the browser is not allowed to access. Whichever it may be the problem is with whichever server is hosting the information.

Unfortunately it seems like all we can do is wait until Facebook fixes the servers.

Edit: A friend of mine reminded me of something. There are several different ways to access Facebook. Generally we all just type and we're done, but he reminded me that can be used which gives you the mobile version of the site, and that reminded me that you can also use where the s in https:// (usually just http://) stands for SECURE.

Fortunately the https:// URL DOES WORK on a "broken" browser that has been getting the blank page and should give you all the features Facebook has to offer (Though that may exclude games, I'm not sure I don't play them, that is something you will need to check yourself. Feel free to say in the comments if it does or not.

Unfortunately this probably means Facebook is having security issues. And that's just not good for anyone.

IMPORTANT: If Facebook is blank read this

Facebook Is Blank!

Recently I fixed a neighbors computer, all of that is detailed in The Facebug but I ran across something while fixing their laptop. When you went to Facebook and logged in all you got was something like this:



At the time it was only on Internet Explorer and my neighbor was only concerned with Chrome so I decided to leave it. It's unfortunate that I didn't fix it right then because if I had then I might have had a solution already. As it stands I do not.

It's important to note that this is a 100% different problem than I talked about in The Facebug so if you had this problem and followed the instructions I gave you and got upset that it didn't work this is why.

I'm working on a solution right now but its possible that as Facebook users there is nothing we can do. It's possible that the problem is with Facebook servers themselves, not our browsers. I'm not sure if that's the case but it certainly seems like it. For me I get this problem on Firefox and Chrome (Internet Explorer survived) but it literally happened overnight. I woke up, opened the internet, and Facebook is blank.

The only way I've seen it fixed so far works on Chrome and it just requires you to do a full reboot. Shut your computer down and let it go through all of its shutdown procedures and then once its off boot it back up. My mother did this when Chrome and Firefox had it and now Chrome seems to work again, so no promises but it's as good a thing to do as any.

If you have/had this problem PLEASE write me a comment here on this post telling me what Browser you are using, what Operating System you are running, how long you have had the problem, anything you have tried to fix it, and anything else that seems important relating to the problem. You can never go wrong with too much information.

Thank you, enjoy whats left of your internet.

Edit: Update on the situation HERE.