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windows fixes

How to fix: Can’t see Unicode (UTF8) in Notepad++ on Windows XP

This is a little late to help most people because they have moved on from Windows XP to newer flavors, however there are still some die-hards going to 2019 with the simple PosReady registry tweak.

If you have a full unicode font installed like Symbola on Windows XP, you may still not see proper characters in applications like Notepad++ and instead get double empty boxes in their place.

Windows can’t find your USB devices? Make sure USBSTOR.INF is still there!

I spent a few days trying to figure this out, and apparently all modern versions of Windows suffer from it, yet it’s barely/poorly documented anywhere:

If your usb devices are no longer recognized by Windows, no matter how many times you try to install or update the drivers, go look in c:\windows\inf\ (make sure you can see hidden and system files) and see if you cannot find:


All you have to do is restore/replace them and bingo, everything will work again, I didn’t even have to reboot.

Windows2k (2000), Windows XP, Vista and even Windows 7 suffer from this problem.

Basically my external mass storage (bulk storage) devices suddenly were not being seen when I plugged them in. Reinstalling the drivers was useless and just ended up saying that windows could not find the drivers needed.

Some program uninstalls those two when you uninstall it – I am not sure what, why or how but it’s yet another Windows mystery to solve.