Honeywell RTH9580 Wi-Fi thermostat: Furnace blowing cold air

Problem:  Installed a new Honeywell RTH9580 Wi-Fi thermostat for my house.  Connected the wires to the appropriate connectors and mounted the unit.  All seem to be working well except when the thermostat would try to initiate the heating process, it would only blow cold air.    I would have to reset the thermostat a few times before the burners would initiate.   Another thing that would happen was that the fan would turn on 30 min before the schedule would call for the heat to turn on.  It was kind of annoying and would wake me up at night with the fan constantly turning on.

Solution:  For the premature fan issue, it turns out that this is a feature of the thermostat was their “Smart Response Technology” which would learn how your home heats and if you had it set to 70 for 6am, it might start heating the home at 5am in order for it to reach temperature by six.   I didn’t like that because I just wanted the heat to turn on at the time I specified.  So I went into the menu – preferences and turned off the “Smart Response Technology” feature.

For the cold air issue, it turns out that I mis-read the settings and the thermostat was setup for an electric heating system.   So I re-ran the setup and made sure it was set to gas and the thermostat and furnace has been working like a champ.

*Love that I can change temp just by using the app on my iPhone!


Internet Explorer 10: Suspicious activity might have been detected popup with a number to call

Problem:  Had a client that had their IE session hijacked by some program.   The session was stuck on a page saying “IE Warning” and a pop up with the following error:

IE - Alert error.  Malware.“ IE – Alert   Suspicious Activity Might Have been Detected.   Browser: IE 10.0   OS: Windows


To fix this please call Support for Windows.

1-877-219-1558 (TOLL FREE) as soon as possible”

First of all, don’t call this number.  It is a scam and Microsoft will not initiate support like this.  Most likely, you’ll get in touch with a person who will try to charge you an arm and a leg to fix this issue.   The other annoying part of this error is that when you click “OK” the pop up keeps appearing.  No way to exit out of Internet Explorer either.  My client felt pretty stuck.

IE Warning error.  Won't let you use IE...Solution:  I was able to remedy the problem using the following steps:

  1. I went into task manager and forced Internet Explorer to shut down.  Took a few tries but was finally able to shut it down.
  2. I then went into control panel and checked Programs and Features to make sure that there wasn’t any malware installed.  It was clean so I then figured it had to be an add-in.  That is usually the case with Chrome.
  3. I stayed in control panel and went to Internet Options and reset IE to defaults. 
  4. Opened up Internet Explorer and went to the “manage add-ons” part of the settings and checked toolbars and search providers.  I noticed that search conduit was had about three different entries within there.  I removed all the instances.
  5. Went into MSCONFIG and checked what services were running.  Found Optimizer Pro and Updater Server were set to run.  I disabled the services and deleted their directories in Program Files
  6. Rebooted the computer and we were back in business.  Checked Chrome but it wasn’t affected this time.  Usually, it does get infected through extensions but luckily I was spared.

What are some of the tricks you use to disable this malware?  Seems like each instance has a different solution. Sometimes we have to get real creative.


Java won’t load in web application in any browser

Problem:  Operating system:  Windows 7 Professional 64bit.  Client’s accounting program is java based and when accessing the web application, java wouldn’t load.  Tried Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer without success.   I went to the “verify java” page and it wouldn’t load on any of the browsers so I knew that this wasn’t specific to the accounting web app.

Solution:  Checked the Add/Remove programs in the control panel and noticed that there were two versions of java installed.  One of which was a 64 bit version.  So I uninstalled both versions and deleted the java directory in Program Files.  Reinstalled the 32 bit version of java and we were back in business.  The web app worked fine after the reinstall..

Note:  I remember firefox warning me that if I had the 32bit version of the browser installed, I needed to install the 32bit version of java as well.  I’m wondering if the 64bit version that was installed was interfering with the functionality of java in the web app.


My plea to Google and Bing

Problem:  Over past few months, I have had to clean up a quite a bit of malware on client PC’s and Macs.   Items like:  Search Protect, PC Optimizer, MacKeeper, zip cloud, System Optimizer Pro, driver support, Boost, Groovorio, Browser Safeguard, snipsmart, RocketTab, toolbars and numerous coupon/savings programs… Just to name a few and there are so much more.

How does this get installed?   

  A user does a search for “Flash Player” or “Java Download” and on the top of the search results are ads that give the illusion of it being the number one result.   So the user clicks on the link and downloads what they think is a legitimate copy of Java, Flash, etc…   This installation file is packed with many versions of the programs mentioned above so the end result is that instead of one program, the user gets 4, 5 or 6 programs that are all taking system resources.  Some make your browsing and ability to do work completely impossible.  Many of my clients ask if this is legal and I’m not a lawyer but since there or poorly placed opt outs, I’m willing to bet it’s legal but it’s definitely not ethical.

Solution:  My plea to Bing and Google is to not allow this deception within their web results and not have an ad so close to the top result.  I know it’s a paid ad and that it’s technically not a search result but the placement of these ads creates the deception and these search engines could do more to protect their clients.    I guess it’s not even the placement of the ad but what the ad links to.  Ads are supposed to guide you to a program or service that could benefit you and these links do not serve anyone except the unethical groups who buy these ad spots.  Google’s famous motto of “Don’t be Evil” doesn’t resonate with me anymore because these ads facilitate said evil.

I’m sure Google and Bing rationalizes these deceptive practices by saying that the user should be more careful or the ad is properly marked but we all know that is a cop out.  They could do more!


No audio or video when Lifesize Icon 600 connects to Polycom unit

Problem:  When trying to connect to a Polycom distance learning unit with my Lifesize Icon 600, I was able to connect but I wasn’t getting any video or audio.  The person on the other side of the connection was receiving my video and audio but nothing for me.   I read up on connecting Polycom and Lifesize units and they don’t like to play together so I’m thinking it’s an incompatiblity between the two brands.   I upgrade my Icon 600 to 2.01 (the latest is 2.08 but that wasn’t available for me because the service contract expired).  After that upgrade, I couldn’t even get the Polycom to answer my calls.  A big step back on this one.

Solution:  Working with Polycom support, we realized that I needed to create a one to one NAT rule for my DL unit on my firewall.  Basically, assign it an external IP address and make sure the traffic it being mapped to my DL unit.  Make sure that you also enable NAT within the Icon 600 network preferences and assign the external IP as well (if you don’t, it will not work).  But we were still facing the problem of the Polycom not answering my calls which was most likely caused by the upgrade of the firmware.   

The Icon 600 has a revert feature which lets you boot with an alternate firmware so I set it up to boot up on the old firmware but for some reason, it kept booting with the upgraded firmware.  No matter what I tried, it stayed on version 2.08.  Last idea: downloaded and installed an earlier version of the firmware from Lifesize (2.03) and finally had success.   Polycom answered and I was now receiving audio and video.

Have you had troubles trying to connect DL units that are different brands?  What have you done to fix it?  You would think there would be some sort of common standard to ensure interoperability between these brands…