Fix Plex Roku 2 Glitch and Crash after Firmware 7.7 Update

Recently my Plex app for Roku 2 XD started crashing after a minute or two of playback. Since it was on my toddler’s Roku I just started using Netflix and figured the problem would work itself out. Cut to a month later and my kid being utterly sick of her “Bo on the Go”, “Little Einsteins”, and “Super Why” Netflix rotation, I decided to look into the Plex for Roku crashing issue.

Immediately I found myself at this recent Plex forum post after doing a Google search for “Roku 2 Plex Crash”. A bit of skimming makes it evident that a recent update from firmware 7.6 to 7.7 on the Roku 2 XD/XS models is the reason for the Plex crashes, as well as glitches and crashes in other apps like Amazon and Hulu.

After a bit of reading I ended up at the Roku forum where a Roku Staff member made a reply saying to email him your Roku 2 serial number and he would roll back your firmware to 7.6 from 7.7 as a temp fix. I’m not exactly one for “temp fixes”, plus there were people already bitching that the roll-back was taking too long. I decided to keep searching..

How I fixed Plex Crashing on Roku 2 after 7.7 Update

After a bit more searching I then came across a page with “secret codes” to access Roku hidden settings and even manually install channels, for developing and testing of course. I decided to try checking for updates and was given the option to update to the same build version I already had, so I did it!

Problem solved… so far my kid has been watching Plex for an hour without any problems! I assume something with the original update from 7.6 to 7.7 didn’t go through or got corrupted, and re-updating fixes the issue. *fingers crossed* Here’s the code to use.

Roku 2 Secret Screen (System Info, Factory Reset, USB Test, Cycle Channel Store, Updates, Logging)

Code: Home:5x, FF:3x, RW:2x

Once in the menu just try doing an update. Good luck, and please comment below whether re-installing the 7.7 update via the above secret menu fixed your problem or not!

Roku Secret Settings Codes

I just discovered these “secret codes” for Roku to access hidden menus and settings while trying to fix my Roku after the “7.7” update that made my Plex app start crashing.

Roku Secret Settings


Platform Secret Screen (Temperature, Network/IP/SSID/WIFI Details)

Roku LT, Roku 2 XS, and Roku 3 generally run at 40-45C

Code: Home:5x, FF, Play, RW, Play, FF


Secret Screen (System Info, Factory Reset, USB Test, Cycle Channel Store, Updates, Logging)

Code: Home:5x, FF:3x, RW:2x


Secret Screen 2 (Cycle Ads, Cycle Screenshots, Remote Pairing, Theme Logging)

Code: Home:5x, Up, Right, Down, Left, Up


Channel Version Screen (List of installed Software Versions)

Code: Home:3x, Up:2x, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left


Access Roku Developer Mode (“Side-Load” a Roku Channel)

Insert Code, Note IP/URL, Select “Enable Installer”, Accept Agreement, Navigate to IP/URL in Browser

Code: Home:3x, Up:2x, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right


Bandwidth & Quality Settings Screen (Set Bitrate for Playback)

Code: Home:5x, RW:3x, FF:2x


Antenna Settings Menu

Code: Home:5x, FF, Down, RW, Down, FF


WiFi Secret Menu (Signal strength, TX, RX, glitch/sec, iperf, reset, interference, radio, power)

Code: Home:5x, Up, Down, Up, Down, Up


Roku 3+ Speaker Control Toggle (Enable Speakers+Plus Headphone Jack Volume Control)

Must press these buttons on the remote volume control while the headphone are connected.

Code: Volume Up:2x, Volume Down:2x, Volume Up:3x, Volume Down:3x


HDR Settings (4:2:0 10 bit or 4:2:2 12 bit for HDR)

Code: Home, Home, Home, Home, Home, Down, Left, Up, Up, Up


Network Setting Screen (Not a Secret/Hidden Screen, just a shortcut!)

Code: Home:5x, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right


Reboot Roku (Takes a few moments to refresh/reboot)

Code: Home:5x, Up, RW:2x, FF:2x


Apparently I’m a bit behind because they were featured on SmartUnblock as well as LifeHacker 2 years ago.

Finally Fix Cortana Search Crashing after Two Characters Typed on Windows 10

Yesterday my computer started exhibiting this bizarre behavior where typing two characters in the Cortana Search would crash the entire Taskbar – typing in the start button area would have the same behavior. I immediately tried the basic things first like restarting Cortana, Windows Explorer. I checked Services to make sure the Search service was running. Nothing helped.

(Pro Tip: In order to use the search feature to quickly open apps while this problem persists, type elsewhere and then cut/paste it into Cortana and press enter.)

Fruitless Attempts to Fix Cortana Search Crashing after Two Characters Typed

So like any sane person I immediately did a malware/virus scan with Windows Defender, SuperAntiSpyware, and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, as well as searched Google for answers when the scans were done. I ended up at this page first and ended up running SFC to no avail, which is why I hadn’t already done it.

However, DISM initially wouldn’t run due to an “Access Denied” error and after more Google searching I ended up here, which said an antivirus’ real-time protection could be blocking access to System32. However, I generally rely on good judgment, a firewall, and weekly virus scans rather than real-time protection so I didn’t think that was my case but I decided to check the Event Viewer. There were tons of “Unable to start a DCOM Server: The error: “740” Happened while starting this command” Errors. I decided to check Windows Firewall – Windows Firewall wouldn’t open.

Now I was suspicious. I decided to see if Windows Update had ran recently – it too would not open. So, it had definitely ran and screwed up my PC, which is a windows 7 “upgraded” to Windows 10 machine that’s been up and running for 4-5 years without a clean re-install, a recipe for disaster.. It’s good that I had not tried the other suggestions in the first Google searches for “Cortana Crashes Two Characters Typed” which told me that I needed to run Powershell to reinstall Cortana, or basically just start over and make a new Windows User account.

Cortana Search Crashing after Two Characters Typed because SearchUI.exe 0xc0000005

Event Viewer also showed me a few “Faulting application name: SearchUI.exe, Faulting module name: ConstraintIndex.Search.dll, Exception code: 0xc0000005” errors and after searching google I ended up at this Sysnative post that suggested Tweaking.com’s Repair Tool to fix the issue. Aside from CCleaner I generally stay away from “Repair Tools”, especially unknown registry cleaners and other tools that mess with system files like DLLs.. However, because my PC was screwed and I was losing hope, plus I remembered using Tweaking.com’s repair tool a time before to fix a small issue like thumbnails or context menus, I relented and tried it.

I ran the Preset Repairs for “Windows Update” with two extra options enabled, “27.02 – Repair windows 8/10 App Store (Completely Rest App Store)” and “28 – Repair windows 8/10 Component Store”, all free options. After 20 minutess of watching DOS windows check files and reset permissions and restarting my PC, all was well except Search was still crashing. Back to square one, sort of. At least now I just have one problem to deal with and not a dozen.

ConstraintIndex.Search.dll Key to Cortana Search Crashing – Solved with Regedit and Blind Faith

I did one more Google search for just “Faulting module name: ConstraintIndex.Search.dll, Exception code: 0xc0000005” and ended up at this Microsoft Answers post that suggested making a backup of HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search in the registry and then deleting the whole entry to reset Windows Search. I tried it, and it worked. So far, so good!

Moral of the story… Use Google Search, as many times as it takes! Oh, and Tweaking.com saved the day again, part of it at least.

WordPress Categories to the Body Class CSS Plugin

I needed to make CSS changes to a specific category on one of my WordPress sites, this plugin is the result. My WordPress side project started off as a simple review blog and then evolved into more than it was supposed to be. Because of this, I ended up with categories where I should have had custom post types. Rather than making the custom post types and converting the posts over I used this quick fix to make a certain category display much differently than the rest.

Download Plugin

To be fair and give credit where credit is due – the code came directly from this blog post by Philip Newcomer and I put it into a plugin rather than adding it to my theme’s functions.php file.

Here is Philip’s description of the code:

Here’s a little function that will add each of a post’s categories to the body class of the single post page (assuming your theme uses the body_class template tag)..

To see how to make plugins instead of editing your theme’s functions.php file check out this blog post by Brian Hogg.

Cox Enforcing Flat Data Limits on All Packages – Downgrade Speed to Save Bandwidth!

There are many articles and blog posts around the internet about people that had no idea Cox Communications limits their internet data usage until it was too late, and some were even lied to by Cox employees about data limits beforehand. A few years ago, I was no different.

I’ve been using Cox as my ISP for about six years on both the “Preferred” and then the “Premier” package. At first, I had no idea there were data limits, but since I didn’t have a lot of internet activity it was fine. Then one day I got a letter from Cox in the mail saying my limit had been increased from 400GB to 700GB, Hooray! Right? No…

The Cox Data Limit Problem

I was a bit annoyed that the Cox website’s pages for internet comparison/shopping did not ever mention a data limit back when I initially chose them for my internet service provider. When I set up an installation over the phone the representative never mentioned data limits, neither did the installation guy when he was going through my services with me after setting things up. Cox purposely avoided telling a potential customer and a new customer about data limits, while making information about data limits on their website hard to find as well. I could only find pages regarding data limits on Cox’s website by searching “Cox Data Limits” on Google!

Only recently have they added a mention of the data limits to the website, only instead of saying “1TB Data Limit”, they call it a “1024GB Data Plan”.

coxultimate1tb
Cox Ultimate Lowered to 1TB data – Ultimately SCREWED!

The BIG Cox Data Limit Problem

When I got the letter that my Cox data limit was increased to 700GB I went to the Cox site and found the “Data Usage Meter” for my services after a bit of searching. It turned out that my data limit was initially only 300GB, then was shortly raised to 400GB after I started service. I also noticed that three months before the raise to 700GB I was blowing past 400GB due to Netflix and Hulu streaming plus running a couple dozen online-game bots. I was barely under my new 700GB limit, but since Cox had never charged or contacted me about going over the old 400GB data limit I figured I was fine.

And I was fine, for about 4 years. Then recently I got a Cox email saying they were raising my limit to 1TB! Sweet, right?! Nope… I then read that ALL Cox packages were placed at a 1TB limit, including the crappiest packages who’s customers pay nowhere near what I pay for internet. The worst part is that customers using the highest Cox internet package, “Ultimate”, were downgraded from 1.2TB data limit down to 1TB. What?!? So now, whether you pay $30 or $100 for internet, you will have a 1TB data limit from Cox Communications. What a joke..

Plus, topping off the bad news from Cox, the email informed me that they would now be charging for data overages in my area. An additional $10 per 50GB. Now that may seem fine, but at the time I received the email from Cox I was heavily into game botting with my Sun Fire X4600 M2 server (32-core, 128GB Ram) and was using far more data than I should have been, an obscene amount… The highest I saw was about 4.2TB in a month. At that rate, had I not seen the email from Cox, my bill after their 2-bill grace period, my internet cost would have jumped from $65 up to $705. I think a letter in the mail would have been nice, perhaps even a telephone call?

cox-data-usage
Obscene Cox Data Usage, Even more Obscene Data Limit!

Nope, Cox was ready to send me that $700 bill!

The Cox Data Limit Solution

So what did I do?

First, I rented a root server from Hetzner for $50/mo and moved all my game botting stuff to that. With a monthly limit of 20TB, the Hetzner server should do fine for me… and I was paying $60 in electricity to run my big server, so Hetzner was already saving me money.

Now, I think I’m going to lower my Cox Internet package from 150MB/10MB Premier down to 50MB/5MB Preferred or even the 15MB/2MB Essential since they all have the same 1TB data limit. Essential’s 15MB Download speeds and 2MB Upload speeds are fine for Netflix and Hulu streaming, especially if no other devices are online hogging all the bandwidth.

The only reason I ever even considered upgrading to Cox Ultimate Internet was for the 1.2TB limit. Once I got this latest email from Cox I would have paid up to $150 to have the same speeds I currently have but with unlimited data usage. That means I was willing to pay over double what I pay just for unlimited data, rather than the hassle of having to rent a dedicated server that actually saves me money.. But no, that’s not an option with Cox.

Cox Data Limit Conclusion

So basically.. Cox is charging people extra for faster speeds to hit the same 1TB limit that all plans have, just so they can then charge people even more for every 50GB data you use over the limit! Get slower internet, that 1TB will last longer. 😉