Category: Windows OS-Level Issues

Download current ISOs for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10
article #1015, updated 210 days ago

A very nice downloader provided by Microsoft:

Categories:   Windows Installer and Updates   Windows OS-Level Issues


Windows Update freezes / gets stuck while searching for updates, in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
article #1000, updated 263 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:
  1. July 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1:
  1. September 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1:

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


NIC Performance Settings
article #1007, updated 271 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 In at least one case, the server vendor had only an outdated and unreliable driver available for download, the one which worked well for years came from Intel’s web site.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


The Davidic User Profile Lesson
article #997, updated 305 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


Download Internet Explorer 11
article #996, updated 307 days ago

Today I found it ridiculously difficult to download IE11 on a Windows 7 box which had not seen updates in a while. If you suffer so, browse here:

Offline installers in many languages.

Categories:   Web Sites   Windows OS-Level Issues


Enable, Disable, and Delete Windows Explorer Shell Extensions
article #995, updated 308 days ago

Rather a neat tool:

Can eliminate a lot of issues in Explorer.

Categories:   Windows OS-Level Issues   


Troubleshooting and Fixing Windows VSS
article #274, updated 326 days ago

Some very interesting info:×8004230f-failed-to-retrieve-volumes-that-are-eligible?forum=windowsbackup

Here are some steps and info:

Here is a Fix-It from Microsoft for Server 2003, which runs quite a few steps automatically, and does not (this is new) necessarily require a reboot:

And lastly, here is a patch from Microsoft which can help a lot in Server 2003, even on fully-updated machines:;en-us;891957

Categories:   VSS   Windows OS-Level Issues


"Complete Internet Repair" tool
article #982, updated 356 days ago

This can do a lot of good:

Categories:   Windows OS-Level Issues   


Login to blank screen, from Vista/2008 through 8.1/2012R2
article #981, updated 356 days ago

If you find that login occurs, but no desktop just blackscreen, add the local users “Interactive” and “Authenticated Users” to the local group “Users”, i.e.:

net localgroup Users Interactive /add
net localgroup Users "Authenticated Users" /add

Categories:   Windows OS-Level Issues   


The New Hunsinger Windows Update Clog Destructifier
article #979, updated 381 days ago

Mike Hunsinger, who has been addressing Windows Update issues with considerable success over time, recently provided for the following writeup. It is useful when:

  • Windows is running slowly or generally unreliably, needs rebooted frequently.
  • The Windows Update service spikes CPU usage over 70% when it runs.
  • When you check for new updates, it just hangs endlessly on “checking for updates”.
  • The last successful update was years ago.


  1. Clean up the system drive.
    • Before Server 2012, use Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe). Be sure to check “service pack backup files” and “windows update”, if the version of Windows you are running gives these as options.
    • Server 2012 and after, use DISM (dism.exe). Run this in administrative CMD:
      dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase
      If it reports “The operation could not be completed due to pending operations.”, you have just been told that a server reboot is necessary and you’ll need to do this again afterwards. After it succeeds, do this:
      dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /SPSuperseded
  2. Run the following as a .bat file to reset Windows Updates caches and working spaces, rereg some dll’s, It works on all versions of windows, may skip some dll’s depending on the OS version:
echo Simple Script to Reset / Clear Windows Update
attrib -h -r -s %windir%\system32\catroot2
attrib -h -r -s %windir%\system32\catroot2\*.*
net stop wuauserv
net stop CryptSvc
net stop BITS
ren %windir%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.old
ren %windir%\SoftwareDistribution sold.old
ren "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\application data\Microsoft\Network\downloader" downloader.old
regsvr32 /s wuaueng.dll 
regsvr32 /s wuaueng1.dll 
regsvr32 /s atl.dll 
regsvr32 /s wups.dll 
regsvr32 /s wups2.dll 
regsvr32 /s wuweb.dll 
regsvr32 /s wucltui.dll 
net Start BITS
net start CryptSvc
net start wuauserv
echo Task completed successfully...
  1. Install .net 4.5.1 from here:
  2. If it says that an =/> version is already installed, run the .net repair tool from here:
  3. Download the latest version of Windows Update from here:
  4. Next update IE or Edge to the latest version using a redist, here’s the one for EI11,
  5. Open IE11 or Edge, add to trusted sites, popup blocker exceptions, privacy exceptions.
  6. Finally, try re-running Windows Update. The “Checking for Updates” may run quickly, or it may take 4-6 hours to populate results.

We have had the best results by updating in batches after this, first any critical SP’s or major Platform Updates. Then security, Office and the others as deemed necessary. Once you’ve completed a couple rounds of updates, the difference should start exhibiting itself with regards to the symptoms named.

Categories:   Windows OS-Level Issues   Windows Installer and Updates