Fix: Macbook, Windows 7 and Black Screens

I was recently given an old Macbook (late 2006) and after upgrading it with 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard disc I Boot Camped the crap out of it and installed Windows 7.  As expected pretty much everything worked after installation, something  I have come to expect of Windows 7, however any time I closed the lid of the machine or returned from sleep and hibernation the screen was black though the computer otherwise responsive.

It was only by chance I stumbled upon a now obvious solution to this, look at your screen under sunlight; under certain conditions you will see a picture still as the backlight is switched off.  Press the brightness buttons (fn and f1 or f2) and you will likely get your screen back, this even works at logon.  As for closing the lid, in power options set “Close lid” to “do nothing” and it will not switch off the screen.  Seems to work for me and hopefully will help anyone reading this blog in the same predicament.

Good luck.
Keegan

Automatic Mute on Lock/Unlock in Windows 7

Like a lot of self confessed geeks I listen to music while I’m working on my PC.  At home this isn’t so much of an issue though at work where locking your machine when you leave your desk it gets a little irritating as if I don’t want to irritate my work mates I have to mute or pause what I’m listening to before locking an undo it when I get back.  Today, I figured a way to automate the process in Windows 7.  It may work in other operating systems too, I haven’t any handy to test this on.

  1. Get a command line tool to mute system volume, I’m using the freeware tool “NirCmd” from Nirsoft
  2. Open Task Scheduler (open the start menu then type “Task” or via the control panel
  3. Create the “On Lock” task
    1. Right click on “Task Scheduler Library” and select “Create task”
    2. Name it “Mute On Lock” or whatever you please
    3. In the triggers tab, click New then in the combo box select “On workstation lock”.  Click ok.
    4. In actions click New then enter the following then click ok;
      nircmd.exe mutesysvolume 1
    5. Click ok to save the task
  4. Create the “On Unlock” task
    1. Right click on “Task Scheduler Library” and select “Create task”
    2. Name it “Mute On Unlock” or whatever you please
    3. In the triggers tab, click New then in the combo box select “On workstation unlock”.  Click ok.
    4. In actions click New then enter the following then click ok;
      nircmd.exe mutesysvolume 0
    5. Click ok to save the task

Job done.

Keegan