The other day I got prompted or just checked that update for my Windows Phone 8.1 is available. I wasn’t thinking much and just clicked Update. Everything when smoothly, no problems with installation whatsoever.

windows_phone_update

The only problem after this update was that for some, unknown for me, reason MMS messages (images and other rich data) stopped working and by that I mean that I couldn’t receive images nor send them. I was constantly prompted, when someone tried to send me some pictures, with information

Get media content now

Which after tapping didn’t do anything besides showing spinning wheel – or whatever progress indicator it shows – for a while and after ‘it’ figured that it cannot download this content from the server it went back to the same state as it was before, which is inglorious Get media content now.

get_content_now

Two things to notice on this image. First, that this message that you cannot open is being kept for you somewhere on the server (probably servers of your plan provider e.g. Vodafone) and those servers are actually trying to resend it to you after a while (highlighted dates) if you did not downloaded it properly, hence you might get a message from your buddy at really random time and date and he or she wouldn’t have anything to do with sending it to you. When you have no knowledge about this behavior, it could be really confusing..I don’t know how long they keep those messages on the servers but my random guess would be ~2 – 4 weeks, so if you are worried of losing something important, don’t, you can easily fix that before this time passes and get your data message.

Second thing about the image, even if it’s completely not your fault and you had nothing to do with this problem of yours, some people are just haters, like one of my friends, and will just insult your phone, provider and probably you as well because of those problems ;]

Anyway..after some research and trying everything that I could try, with every possible combination, starting from old IT trick which is turning off and on the device, through turning off and on my Mobile Data, checking if Wi-Fi connection has something to do with it and again turning it off and on, then turning on and off Flight Mode and finishing on following some weird steps that should help in this case. Nothing helped, I was still unable to send message and receive MMSs. I was testing it by trying to send a image to myself

cant_send_try_again

No luck..I started to check settings and what are my options to make it work. I went to mobile+SIM system settings and started playing with Highest connection speed, changing it from 3G to 4G and back from 4G to 3G. No luck either..

mobile_sim_settings

Then I checked SIM settings in the mobile+SIM window, but I didn’t find anything that could help with my problem

mobile_sim_sim_settings

I checked messaging options in the Settings –> applications, but there was nothing there that could potentially fix the issue. The situation was hopeless..after quick chat with one of my friends, who had the same problems, he advised me to go to my provider (Vodafone) and ask them for assistance. So I did. The girl that was helping me with it wasn’t perfectly sure what she should look for, and you could feel that she wasn’t particularly familiar with Windows Phone in general. After couple of ‘half blinded’ tries and with a little bit of luck, she finally fixed it.

All you need to do is to re-activate your access point. Unfortunately it’s not that easy as it sounds. Lets open Settings –> access point. You will probably see that there’s already an access point which is configured and active.

access_point

If you want to check – view – it’s configuration, just tap it and hold it until you will be prompted with context menu. As you can see there’s no option like re-activate or re-start or whatever would force it to refresh.

access_point_view

You can go and check if all the fields are populated properly, though, but if your MMS messages were working before, the update or whatever happened, then nothing has changed and it’s all good. If for some reasons you feel like it’s not right, you want to double check or you’re just curios, compare it with your provider specification, values should match

Australian Vodafone access point configuration can be found on the official site, besides that you can find more detailed information how to set up your device with this Set up your phone page – just select your phone manufactured and phone model.

Whatever result you will get from this comparison, if some of the fields are not correct or they all are, you have to create a new access point by clicking ‘+’

adding_new_access_point

If your rich messages where working fine before (and you checked that all the values in your current access point are correct), you can just create a fake access point and make it active which will turn your current one to be inactive.

activating_fake_access_point

afterwards just activate your old access point and it should force it to refresh, and in result it should let you receive and send pictures. If this procedure helped, you can delete the fake access point and enjoy your rich data messages.

If for some reasons it’s still not working for you, instead of creating a fake access point you could create a real deal one, with all the proper values (taken from e.g. official web site of your provider) and activate it, and check if with this configuration you are able to send and receive rich data messages. When this fails, unfortunately you will have to go, as me, to your provider shop / help point and ask for assistance.

Have you found yourself frustrated about Visual Studio acting retarded on the values specified in search dialog ? I sure did. It was so frustrating when I wanted to search through whole project, no matter what file extensions and without ‘Word match’ option turned on. What Visual Studio has to say on this topic ? No can do mister..You specified few days ago, in one of your searches, that you want narrow your results to *.cs files and the search phrase have to match exactly the word, so from that moment on, I assume you want to search for it EVERY SINGLE TIME you open the search dialog..

Yes Visual Studio, you are right, I specified that, but you are just a retard to assume that I wanted those setting to be treated as a default

Anyhow..I was just tired of seeing this window, every time I clicked CTRL + SHIFT + F to search through the whole project, and having to clear those preserved and unwanted settings, that for some, unknown for me, reasons Visual Studio keeps them and treats as default. So annoying..

visual_studio_search_dialog

Unfortunately there’s no easy way of removing those settings. What you have to do is to open the registry and change some values. I’m opening Registry Editor with the shortcut of WINDOW BUTTON + R (opens a Run window) and typing, in it, regedit and hitting enter

run_window_with_regedit

after that you should be prompted with this window

registry_editor

Now you have to navigate to (bear in mind that your version of Visual Studio might be different)

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\Find

registry_editor_visual_studio_find

Locate the Filter # item(s) and DialogOptions. Those are the ones that are responsible for your misery and they need to ‘vanish’. What you want to do is to clear the values of the Filter # ones (set to empty string) and for the DialogOptions you have to change (in my case) WholeWord flag to be 0. BEFORE you start doing changes in the registry ALWAYS make a backup by Exporting.. the registry to a file

registry_backup

Second thing BEFORE making changes to those items (Filter # and DialogOptions) is to close all the Visual Studio instances that you’re currently running. If you won’t close them the settings will keep coming back. My guess is that when you close Visual Studio it updates those values in registry with whatever it has in cache, hence your changes will be overridden. So..having that done we can start making amendments in the registry entries.

modifying_registry_entry

registry_entry_edition

After making those changes, your registry view should be something like so (blanks for Filter # and changed flags for DialogOptions)

registry_edition_finished

Now, your search dialog should get back to normal (default)

First of, you have to have a library that you want to add to GAC. In my case it will be a Microsoft.Smartdevice.Connectivity.dll, which, version 10.0.0.0, you can find on google code.

Secondly, you need to have PowerShell installed on your machine. If you don’t have it, it’s a part of the Windows Management Framework and can be installed from there.

Having those prepared we can start installation process. Run PowerShell as administrator

running_powershell_as_administrator

After having PowerShell window in front of you, we will set alias to gacutil.exe so we could use this executable with a simple alias. What you have to do i is to type Set-Alias command in the PowerShell command and press return (hit enter). You will be asked to specify Name of our alias and Value you want to correlate with this name. The code itself will look like so

Set_Alias_in_powershell_for_gacutil

Bear in mind your Windows version, for me it’s Windows 8.1, hence the path is v8.1A. You can go to the directory

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows

and chose the folder with the version of your Windows. After having this done, we can proceed to the installation with our just created alias. It’s done by just one line of code, which is

gacutil /i “<your_path_to_the_dll_file_you_want_to_install_in_GAC>\Microsoft.Smartdevice.Connectivity.dl”

Remember to put the path in between quotes e.g. “<path>”, because if there are spaces in the path, it will be misinterpreted by the gacutil and installation will fail. For me it looked like so

library_successfully_added_to_gac

In the end you can check if your library is truly in the GAC by going to the path

%windir%\Microsoft.NET\assembly

mine was installed in here

library_installed_in_gac

System_Update_Requirement_Microsoft.SmartDevice.Connectivity_Version_11

I wanted to install, as it later turns out extremely useful tools for Windows Phone development, Windows Phone Power Tools on my machine and soon after downloading installation file clicking Install I got prompted with information

Unable to install or run the application. The application requires that assembly Microsoft.SmartDevice.Connectivity Version 11.0.0.0 be installed in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC) first. More information on this system update can be found by visiting the site here

and I was not able to install it after all. Obviously, first thing I did was to check the Internet what it has to say about this condition. I was a bit disappointed, because all I found was only this thread which states that you have to make some amendments to the sources and then you’re good to go. I truly wasn’t pleased that I have to go through so much effort to just install one tool and what’s worse I had to have this tool for yesterday, because I had to do some storage testing (creating and removing files and directories). Fortunately the one that posted about changing sources provided a link to already prepared package for the Microsoft.SmartDevice.Connectivity and Windows Phone Power Tools problems.

I actually did not check if those sources work because they are compressed with RAR and I did not have any tool to unpack it…who packs things with RAR ? Eh..anyway, I came to conclusion that if this installer is expecting Version 11 in the GAC I will give it to him ;]

I opened GAC directory

Starting with the .NET Framework 4, the default location for the global assembly cache is %windir%\Microsoft.NET\assembly. In earlier versions of the .NET Framework, the default location is %windir%\assembly.

And looked for a folder named Microsoft.SmartDevice.Connectivity, for me the path was

C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\assembly\GAC_MSIL\Microsoft.SmartDevice.Connectivity\v4.0_10.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a

in which you can find another folder with an older or newer version (e.g. v4.0_10.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a) of Microsoft.SmartDevice.Conectivity library. If you cannot find it go to my other post, how to install library (dll) in GAC using PowerShell

Microsoft_Smartdevice_Connectivity_dll_directory

The only one thing you have to do is to create a new directory which will point to “expected version”,

Microsoft_Smartdevice_Connectivity_dll_new_fake_directory

then you will copy the same *.dll that already ‘sits’ in the old / newer version folder to the one that you just created.

Microsoft_Smartdevice_Connectivity_dll_in_fake_directory

Now try to install tools again. You fooled installer that you actually have version that it requires ;]

Windows_Phone_Power_Tools_Installing

You can run into same problem but with Microsoft.VisualStudio.DeviceConnectivity.Interop.11.0 library. If you do, apply same “technic” as with Microsoft.SmartDevice.Connectivity library.

Microsoft.VisualStudio.DeviceConnectivity.Interop.11.0

 

Disclaimer: You have to be aware that this is not actually the *.dll that you should have in the folder that you just created, and other applications that rely on this specific version can just break or do not work properly.

This blog was lacking, from the very beginning, a new comment email notification. Finally, today, I’ve had enough of this feature not functioning properly. I did a research, I asked, as always, google for answers but I couldn’t get it to work easily.

What I found out after couple of google queries, is the official answer on this subject, which states that you should double check three things:

  • First check to make sure you are the author on the post where the comments are getting added.
  • Check the Settings → Discussion page to make sure email notifications are turned on.
  • Check the spam/junk folder in your email program to make sure the messages weren’t filed there by mistake.

I double checked those and all was fine. In that case WordPress official site suggest that you should contact with them about this issue. I didn’t, but feel free to do that. What I did was, to investigate a bit more. I finally found Chad Butler blog who wrote few articles about wp_mail method – which WordPress engine uses to send emails. I started with the one that talks about testing your wp_mail method, and used his code to check if my wp_mail method works:

It did not.

Then I went deeper into his articles and found the one that he writes about troubleshooting with the wp_mail function. He explains in it, why wp_mail method can fail to send an email. Then I read another of his blog posts, which talks about how to turn your wp_mail function to use other email address without using a plugin which in the end took me to the last, but not least, of his blog posts about turning your wp_mail method to use SMTP server without using a plugin. I followed his guildlines and used his code:

I specified my own – taken from web hosting that I’m using – SMTP configuration values, then I created an email address, in my web hosting administration panel, which could be then used as $phpmailer->Uername and $phpmailer->Password and then I pasted the code at the end of my function.php file, but before closing tag ?>. Afterwards I tested it by adding a new comment to one of my posts and waited for the notification.

It came after few seconds! It finally works!

Thanks Chad!