All posts by Tidbytez 1

How to fix “your model is not manifold” error in Cura

You just pulled a file from Thingiverse and now when you try to slice it in Cura it says “your model is not manifold”.  If you just want to make the error go away you can skip to the paragraph “The Fix”  if you don’t want to be “filled in” on why it’s happening in the first place. Little bit of 3D printing humour there for ya.

So what does the error mean?

For a model to be manifold you can think of it as having logically enclosed space in a manner that can exist in real life with an outer geometry that can actually be 3D printed.

So what does non-manifold mean?

There’s a couple of reasons why a model is not manifold and here they are:

  • Self-intersecting
  • Separate Object
  • Hole
  • Inner Faces
  • Overlapping Geometry

Self-intersecting: This is a bit of a weird analogy but imagine punching through yourself. You can’t do that in real life without making a big hole but in a virtual model of yourself you can have the objects of your fist and forearm pass through another body part of your choosing and that’s perfectly fine but in real life you can’t have two objects with mass occupy the same space at the same time so this cannot be printed.

Separate Object: Imagine a model of a figurine wearing sun glasses. If the sun glasses and the figurine were two separate objects and you shrank the figurine by rescaling it to 90% its original size the sun glasses might be left floating in midair. That’s fine for a virtual 3D model but in real life gravity might have something to say about that.

Hole: Pretty self explanatory, there’s a hole in the model and not like a window just a void that makes the model impossible to print successfully.

Inner Faces: Imagine trying to print a model within a model. The slicer reads the code and gets confused because there should only be one outer surface area not two.

Overlapping Geometry: Imagine you have created a 3D model of a house and you’ve accidentally copied the roof and then pasted it back on top of the model over the original roof. The model now has two roofs occupying the same space which cannot be printed.

The Fix:

Ideally you should open the file with some 3D modelling software and fix it manually but if you’re just pulling files from Thingiverse that’s a bit unrealistic. Luckily the following site allows you to upload files and it will try to fix them automatically.

If the process successfully fixes the file it will give you the option to download the file with a brief summary of what changes it made highlighting big changes in red.

Its a great solution especially for low risk models but the onus will always be on you to manually inspect the model to see if the problems have in fact been resolved. Also if you’re working on a super secret product design for a company probably best not to upload the model to be fixed online, but for files you’ve pulled from Thingiverse sure why not they’re already publicly available anyway.

How to use a generic PC controller with GTA 5

So you plugged in the cheap PC controller you bought off eBay or Amazon (say one that is coincidentally shaped like an Xbox controller) and found it doesn’t work with GTA 5?

This is probably because the controller is using the DirectInput standard as opposed to the newer XInput standard. You can read more about these standards from Microsoft by clinking on this link.

GTA 5 (or GTA V if you’re feeling fancy) was not optimised to use the DirectInput standard unfortunately. However if you’re playing the game on PC you should be using a keyboard and mouse like a grown-up anyway, it’s way better for shooters. Ah but GTA isn’t all about the shooting I hear you say and you’re right. I’ll admit I switch to a controller for flying vehciles because they are horrible to pilot with direction keys. Analogue sticks are much better suited to aircraft.

So the workaround for being able to use the cheap generic controller is quite simple but requires using an “Xbox 360 Controller Emulator”.

Download the file x360ce_x64 from the following site by clicking on the “download for 64 bit games” button at the top of the screen.

(Be sure to test the downloaded file with whatever antivirus software you have installed)

Once you are satisfied the software is safe extract the file to the root directory of where you installed GTA 5.

(If you do not know where that folder is try searching GTAV in your Windows search bar. Note a folder called GTA V is often created in the Documents folder but this is not the correct directory.  The correct directory will have application files with the GTAV logo in it. The game maybe in a Rockstar folder or perhaps a Steam or Epic folder, it all depends on who you bought it from.)

Right click on x360ce_x64 and run the file as administrator and you should be given an option button to “Create”.

Click this button and a Xbox controller calibration window will open.

At this point if your controller has a large circular button at its center press it and make sure it lights up otherwise it may not send the right signals when the controller is being mapped.

Click “Auto” and then “Save”.

I found the A, B, X and Y face buttons were not mapped correctly and needed to be mapped manually.

To do this, beside each face button on the emulator interface there is a drop down menu. Click on it for each button and choose the option to record. The interface will highlight which button to press on your controller to map it correctly. Once the buttons are mapped correctly click “Save” again.

After following these steps you should now be able to play GTA V with the controller.

How to fix the right analog stick of a generic PC controller for Fifa Online 3

Fifa Online 3 is a free version of Fifa that is popular in Asia as an esport title. The gameplay and visuals are a little dated but it’s still a solid experience at a great price. You won’t make it through the tutorials however if you are using a cheap generic PC controller (say one that is coincidentally shaped like an xbox controller) as you won’t be able to save penalties. This is because the right analog stick may not be recognised.

The fix is quite simple.

Download the file x360ce from the following site by clicking on the “download for 32 bit games” button at the top of the screen.

(Be sure to test the downloaded file with whatever antivirus software you have installed)

Once you are satisfied the software is safe extract the file to the root directory of where you installed the game. (Note: the game directory will probably not be called Fifa etc. it will likely be a series of numbers)

Open the file and you should be given an option button to “Create”.

Click this button and a Xbox controller calibration window will open.

Click “Auto” and then “Save”, and that should do it.

See the video below for a more visual guide, just don’t download the 64 bit file.

How to fix the “Fatal Error: Illegal characters in path” problem during a WSUS Installation

If your reading this you’re probably at the point of trying to install a new WSUS server on Windows Server 2012 R2 and have received the message “Fatal Error: Illegal characters in path”.

The fix is annoyingly simple.

You may have created a partition specifically for the task, i.e. created a new drive and assigned it the letter E:\, and only referenced the root of the partition assuming the installation would create whatever directories it needs, you know like every other software.

The problem is you cannot specify the root of partition alone, you need to specify a directory, or the partition name, such as E:\WSUS.

A fully qualified path should fix the problem.

What is WSUS?

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) provides a cost-effective patch management solution to deploy updates to domain-joined Windows servers and workstation in a corporate network. WSUS is fully integrated in Windows Server 2012 and can be enabled on Windows clients by configuring settings in Group Policy Objects – GPO.

How to fix winhiip writing to hard drive problem

If you are trying to format a hard drive to be used by a PlayStation 2 you’ve probably already come across excellent content like the video below and the necessary tools to do the job.


However you might, like me, run into the problem of winhiip not being able to right to the drive which will prevent it from formatting the drive correctly.

To resolve this problem you will need to manipulate the drive in Windows “Disk Management”.

Open Disk Management (to open type disk management in Windows search and hit enter)

Find the reference to disk you want to fix and if it has not already been formatted follow these steps:

  • Initialize the disk. (If not already initialized)
  • Right click the Unallocated Space on the disk and click New Simple Volume.
  • Proceed through the New Volume Wizard, setting the Volume size to the maximum disk space and formatting the drive under the NTFS file system. (Only a quick format is needed)
  • Wait for the drive to finish formatting, then right click the healthy partition you just made and click Delete Volume.
  • Open WinHIIP and click Select Drive, then select your drive. Press OK to all errors that pop up upon loading the drive.

At this point you should be able to write to the drive with no problems.


How to list login details, such as name and role membership, for all logins in a SQL Server Instance

The script below will provide SQL Server Instance login details such as:

  • The login name
  • The role membership the login is part of such as sysadmin etc.,
  • Whether or not the login is enabled
  • Whether or not the login is a SQL Server Login or Windows Login etc.
  • Login created date
  • Login modified date
  • Etc.
SELECT SP.principal_id
	,SUSER_NAME(role_principal_id) server_role
FROM sys.server_principals AS SP
LEFT JOIN sys.server_role_members AS RM ON SP.principal_id = RM.member_principal_id;


How to set every database in a SQL Server instance to read only

The following TSQL when executed will create the TSQL needed to set all databases in a SQL Server instance to read only mode.

Typical use cases for this might include creating a copy of databases for reporting purposes or when migrating databases from one server to another.

FROM sys.databases
/*Setting database id > 4 excludes the system databases*/
WHERE database_id > 4


Before you run the outputted script you may need to kill open connections to the databases or certain running activities. Obviously you would want to make sure it is safe to do so before killing any activity.

To kill activities on mass you can use the script in this post.



How to fix the SQL Server Job Error “Failed to decrypt an encrypted XML node because the password was not specified or not correct” encountered with SSIS packages

If you have a password protected SSIS package you may encounter this error.

First off this seems like a very buggy problem and the solution may not work for everyone. Also, as typical, you may find that you are trying to solve more than one problem at once, for instances going from one domain to another seems to confuse matters. So if this solution doesn’t work it may be just part of the solution to your particular puzzle.

If you go to the job step properties you actually see that there are two spaces between /DECRYPT and /CHECKPOINTING.


If you reduce the space to one and run the job again you might get this error:

“Enter decryption password: Missing argument for option “decrypt””

This is because you’ve removed the password from the job associated with the package.

I’ve found that when you edit the command manually by first removing the spaces and then retyping the command with the package password this solves the error.


For example:


If this doesn’t work try scripting out the job, deleting it, and then running the script again.

Good Luck.



How to set a database to single user and back to multiuser

Here’s a quick script to set a database to single user and then back to multi user.

You’ll need to do this when altering the database in situations like database name changes, file name changes or even restores 

Set Database to Single User
USE [master];




Set Database to back to Multi User





How to get the date a web page was published

This posting is particularly useful for anyone looking to use the date a web page was published as part of academic referencing.

Step 1. In your browser open

Step 2. Copy the url of the web page you want to get a publication date for.

Step 3. Paste this url into the search bar of the page and search. The search should return a series of results.

Step 4. In the address bar of the results page go to the very end of the url text and paste &as_qdr=y15 and hit return.

This should update the results page with each link including a publication date.