Fixing Windows 7: erratic iTunes volume

JISHOU, HUNAN — Fix one thing, then something goes screwy — one of the corollaries to Murphy’s Law. This time, iTunes was randomly dropping the playback volume to nearly 10% while a TV show played. (NCIS, if you must know.) This glitch was easier to fix than my “invisible” CD-ROM problem. Win7 by default will automatically drop playback volume if it detects other sound events, like an incoming online call, or in my case, the “knock knock” my QQ app emits whenever someone on my friends list leaves or enters QQ. Apparently, it has something to do with the built-in mike and Win7’s odd idea that my external speakers are headphones. Whatever. Here’s the fix, taken from this forum. This is a default Windows 7 feature. The reason that some people don’t come across it is because some audio drivers which are compatible with the operating system don’t properly implement this feature. Anyways, basically the feature is intended for VOIP communications (but works with other notification sounds, like Windows System noises) to tune out your music if someone calls you or whatever. You can alter or disable it by taking the following steps: 1. winkey -> type “sound options” -> ...

Fixing Windows 7: DVD-ROM drives and USB keys

JISHOU, HUNAN — Windows 7 upgraders, are you having trouble with Win7 not recognizing the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive after the install? China Construction Bank users, is Win7 refusing to see your USB key? If so, read on! Last week, I successfully upgraded my Lenovo laptop from Vista Home to Windows 7 Ultimate. Everything went well, except for the DVD-ROM drive not working. This made it somewhat more difficult to re-install Office, but I got around that by creating a Virtual CD-ROM folder on my hard drive and fooling Windows into installing from that folder. I used PowerISO, by the way. This drive has been giving me problems since I got this computer almost five years ago. I don’t use the DVD-ROM drive much anyway, so I put dealing with the malfunction off for another day. That day came today. Happy New Year! Win7 also did not recognize the USB key from my Chinese bank, which I need to access online banking. That’s a bigger problem than an erratic DVD-ROM drive, so I dove into trying to fix it. China Construction Bank’s USB key imitates a CD-ROM drive, to install the necessary security certificate on first use. When I used ...
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