Category: Windows OS-Level Issues

Upgrading Windows 10 Versions
article #1036, updated 33 days ago

When going to version 1607 of 10, it is reportedly supposed to be automatic:

https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/08/02/how-to-get-the-windows-10-anniversary-update/

but can be done by ISO:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki/windows_10-windows_install/how-to-upgrade-to-windows-10-anniversary-update/fab99802-4358-49d9-8278-e9664cd56311

Categories:   Windows OS-Level Issues   Windows Installer and Updates

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The System Update Readiness Tool for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems
article #1034, updated 35 days ago

A 539-megabyte monster! Appears to be designed to solve lots of problems.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20858

Categories:   Windows Installer and Updates   Windows OS-Level Issues

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Record all audio in Windows regardless of "Stereo Mix"
article #1032, updated 45 days ago

In Windows, some audio drivers provide something called “Stereo Mix” and some don’t; this is what is usually recommended if you want to record everything audio happening at once in Windows. But increasingly this doesn’t exist. There are software replacements which do the job:

http://vb-audio.pagesperso-orange.fr/Voicemeeter/

http://www.virtualaudiostreaming.net/

Categories:   Audio-Video   Windows OS-Level Issues

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Enable CLEANMGR.EXE on Server 2008R1/2 and 2012
article #1006, updated 54 days ago

Very useful procedure, does not need a role/feature install. Slightly different on each. Note the locale suffix which will have to be changed. Does not work on 2012R2, from that point we have to enable the desktop experience, which can be done in Powershell using Install-WindowsFeature Desktop-Experience.

Server 2012R1:

copy C:\Windows\WinSxS\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.2.9200.16384_none_c60dddc5e750072a\cleanmgr.exe %systemroot%\System32
copy C:\Windows\WinSxS\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr.resources_31bf3856ad364e35_6.2.9200.16384_en-us_b6a01752226afbb3\cleanmgr.exe.mui %systemroot%\System32\en-US

Server 2008R2:

copy C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16385_none_c9392808773cd7da\cleanmgr.exe %systemroot%\System32
copy C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr.resources_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16385_en-us_b9cb6194b257cc63\cleanmgr.exe.mui %systemroot%\System32\en-US

Server 2008 64-bit:

copy C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.18000_none_c962d1e515e94269\cleanmgr.exe %systemroot%\System32
copy C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr.resources_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.18000_en-us_b9f50b71510436f2\cleanmgr.exe.mui %systemroot%\System32\en-US

Server 2008 32-bit:

copy C:\Windows\winsxs\x86_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.18000_none_6d4436615d8bd133\cleanmgr.exe %systemroot%\System32
copy C:\Windows\winsxs\x86_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr.resources_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.18000_en-us_5dd66fed98a6c5bc\cleanmgr.exe.mui %systemroot%\System32\en-US

Categories:   Windows OS-Level Issues   Cleanup

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Bluescreen at boot with win32k.sys error
article #1022, updated 68 days ago

If Windows 7 won’t boot all the way, if it gives a bluescreen involving win32k.sys, it may be a bad update. Boot into startup repair and rename FNTCACHE.DAT in system32 to .OLD. That forces Windows to make a new one and boot will occur next time.

Courtesy of the excellent Matt Quick.

Categories:   Windows OS-Level Issues   

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Remote Procedure Call Locator (RPC Locator) Service
article #1020, updated 73 days ago

This is a service to be found in many versions of Windows, but its in-OS documentation states that it is present for application compatibility only. And yet on at least one LAN it has been seen to be essential for printing. Research has provided no results. Anyone with input, please contact me by email!

Categories:   Windows OS-Level Issues   

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Download current ISOs for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10
article #1015, updated 92 days ago

A very nice downloader provided by Microsoft:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows8

Categories:   Windows Installer and Updates   Windows OS-Level Issues

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Windows Update freezes / gets stuck while searching for updates, in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
article #1000, updated 144 days ago

This has been happening on long-installed machines for quite a while. But in the last week, four different sets of Windows 7 64-bit install media, over seven different reloads, have had Windows Update get stuck, or freeze, while searching for Windows updates, eating 100% of one CPU core. Several changes in reload pattern were attempted, some of which included WSUSoffline, without success. Profoundly expert help provided the following. Before deliberately attempting Windows Update, we are to install these, in this order:

  1. Servicing stack update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1: September 20, 2016:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3177467
  1. July 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3172605
  1. September 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1:
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3185278

Windows Update may get stuck again, searching for new updates, the first time any of the above is attempted. If this occurs, each time, we do this:

  1. In TASKMGR, terminate process wusa.exe
  2. Restart service wuauserv
  3. Try the install again.

The second time we do each install (after the termination and service restart), the popup for searching for Windows updates comes up for 3-10 seconds, and then we are asked whether we want to install. We then say yes, and it installs. Then we move to the next one of the three!

Categories:   Windows Installer and Updates   Windows OS-Level Issues

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NIC Performance Settings
article #1007, updated 152 days ago

Here are settings useful to maximize performance of a hardware network interface. Virtual guests benefit by these being applied to their virtual host, only. Not all of these exist on every NIC. There are also many settings which should not be touched, or should be touched only when the toucher knows what they are doing! The below have always helped when this writer has found them available to try. Do be warned, the NIC will go offline for 2-10 seconds after you Apply most of these.

  1. Install the most current drivers for NICs and also motherboard chipset. In at least one case, the server vendor had only an outdated and unreliable driver available for download, the one which worked well for years came from Intel’s web site.
  2. “DMA Coalescing” on.
  3. “Enable PME” off.
  4. “Energy Efficient Ethernet” off.
  5. “Green Ethernet” off.
  6. “Gigabit Lite” off.
  7. “Adaptive Inter-Frame Spacing” on.
  8. All offloading on.
  9. “Interrupt Moderation” on.
  10. “Interrupt Moderation Rate” should be “Adaptive”.
  11. “Scaling”, should be “on” or “Enabled”.
  12. “Receive Side Scaling” on.
  13. “Receive Side Scaling Queues” to maximum.
  14. There are cache settings on all server-class NICs, separate for send and receive. They are usually called “Receive Buffers” and “Transmit Buffers”, or “Receive Descriptors” and “Transmit Descriptors”. Set them to the maximum. For current Intel server NICs the defaults are usually 256 or 512, and the maximums are 2048; for a few other kinds, one or the other is 5000 or more; for others it is much less. Each descriptor takes 2K of RAM, which in today’s multigigabyte world is well worthwhile. Some older Broadcom gigabit NICs will yellow-flag if they are set to 2048; for these, set receive to 750, transmit to 1500.
  15. In the NIC’s “Power Management” tab, turn everything off. This may have to be abridged if Wake-On-LAN is used. Some NICs, notably some Realtek, will automatically turn power management back on at boot; this needs to be fixed through group policy.
  16. In SBS 2008, only one NIC (or one NIC team) is permitted to represent the server on the network. If there are two active NICs, you will have to turn one off, or crashes and unpredictable behavior will result sooner or later.

Categories:   Network Hardware & Drivers   Windows OS-Level Issues

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The Davidic User Profile Lesson
article #997, updated 186 days ago

The amazing David Lewis recently discovered something very close to unbelievable. A user profile on a PC — not a user, not a PC — had full administrative rights to a folder on a server on the domain, where the user was explicitly denied such rights. Deletion and replacement of the user profile, eliminated the problem.

Categories:   Windows OS-Level Issues   Security