The WINS resolution information was not updated. The record format is corrupt.
article #1227, updated 6 days ago

This error often occurs when a longstanding Windows Server network is given a much newer domain controller. The WINS records embedded in DNS, don’t work anymore; when you try to delete them or change them, you get the error message in the title of this article.

The best thing to do, is PowerShell:

Remove-DNSServerResourceRecord -ZoneName dns_zone.local -Force -RRtype "WINS" -Name "@"

Try that (substituting dns_zone.local for your LAN DNS zone!), then right-click on the zone name, choose “All Tasks” and then “Reload”, then press F5 for refresh. The error-causing situation will go away, you can then reconfigure easily. If there are other zones, you’ll want to repeat for all of them. If there is a WINS record in a reverse lookup zone, the RRtype is WINSR instead of WINS, the result being something akin to this:

Remove-DNSServerResourceRecord -ZoneName -Force -RRtype "WINSR" -Name "@"

Sometimes the actions above only take effect, and show up in the servers, if you reload and refresh (often both) the zones.



When HP Thunderbolt Docking Stations Don't Work
article #1354, updated 9 days ago

Here is the standard procedure, as given just now by an HP tech, to get HP Thunderbolt docking stations to work, when they don’t. The report is that these things are emphatically not plug-and-play, each of these steps has to be done in order.

The order below is consistent for all HP Thunderbolt-equipped laptops and HP Thunderbolt docking stations. The very specifics are correct for just one particular model of each (ia HP Zbook 17 G4 on an HP Thunderbolt Dock G2), as of right now, 2020-02-04.

  1. Update the BIOS.
  1. Set Thunderbolt to no security, in the BIOS.

We need to change thunderbolt security level to no security: Boot into the BIOS via F10, go to Port options, and if it’s set to user authentication or secure connect, change the dropdown to no security. If the option of no security is not available, disable the setting that reads ‘require thunderbolt password to change thunderbolt security’. Once the change has been identified and made, save and exit.

  1. Install Intel Thunderbolt 3 Secure connect. Reboot.

  1. Install or update HP Thunderbolt Dock G2 Firmware. Reboot.

  1. Install or update Intel Thunderbolt 3 FW for HP Zbook 17 G4. Reboot.



New Free Java Implementation by Amazon
article #1353, updated 24 days ago

It’s called Amazon Corretto.



New Windows package manager: OneGet
article #1352, updated 33 days ago

This seems to be quite the tool. Haven’t tested it yet.

Can be installed or updated in 10 with: Install-Module -Name PackageManagement -Force



Disable Windows Defender
article #1351, updated 34 days ago

Currently, the only known way is this sort of effort:

Set-MpPreference -DisableIntrusionPreventionSystem $true `
-DisableBehaviorMonitoring $true `
-DisableRemovableDriveScanning $true `
-DisableScanningMappedNetworkDrivesForFullScan $true `
-DisableScanningNetworkFiles $true `
-DisableEmailScanning $true `
-DisableBlockAtFirstSeen $true `
-DisableIOAVProtection $true `
-DisableRealtimeMonitoring $true `
-DisableScriptScanning $true `
-EnableControlledFolderAccess Disabled `
-MAPSReporting Disabled `
-SubmitSamplesConsent NeverSend `
-PUAProtection Disabled



Clear all Windows event logs in Powershell
article #1350, updated 34 days ago

Try this, in administrative Powershell:

wevtutil el | ForEach-Object { "$_"; wevtutil cl "$_" }



Set local user password to never expire
article #1349, updated 38 days ago

This, in Powershell:

Set-LocalUser -Name "pcunlocker" -PasswordNeverExpires 1



Approaching GPG Key Signing Issues in Arch Linux and Derivatives Especially Without IPv6
article #1348, updated 53 days ago

Code needs to be signed when possible, for safety these days. In Linux, this is done by a very carefully set up public keyserver system. If, in Arch or Manjaro or other Arch derivatives, you see issues happening, try these steps:

  1. In /etc/pacman.d/gnupg/gpg.conf, add this line:
keyserver hkp://

If you don’t do IPv6 on the Internet, the above is essential as is. The default appears to now require IPv6.

Once you have the above set, run the following:

  1. sudo touch /root/.gnupg/dirmngr_ldapservers.conf
  2. sudo pacman-key --init
  3. sudo pacman-key --populate archlinux manjaro
  4. sudo pacman-key --refresh-keys



Best temperature and hard drive monitoring tool
article #175, updated 58 days ago

Currently I am looking at these:

SpeedFan used to be my go-to tool, but it has not had updates since 2016, and I have seen it crash two Windows 10s during its driver install, though it worked after reboot. It will still give you S.M.A.R.T. hard drive info for any individual drives, and it does this better than anything else I know of.



Prevent Hard Water Damage!
article #1347, updated 60 days ago

Sweet Lori and I have rather hard water from our city supply, lots of dissolved mineral content which until recently has gradually coated bathtub and kitchen fixtures et cetera, slowly but very steadily over time. We have had to replace three bathtub faucets, at least two shower heads, and two or three kitchen faucets, over the last twenty-plus years, and every time it was quite shocking to look in the business ends and see the light brown layering of hard-water deposit. I have looked at water softeners, but the space, effort, and expense just did not quite seem worth it, and also I have liked the taste and feel of “softened” water even less than the test of our water! I have looked at osmosis systems and other things, but always the expenses, both initial and ongoing; and with many of them, if you delay the maintenance you can put yourself and your family in some danger, and there’s no easy bypass unless you put in extra pipe or redo what you have. Bleaugh.

Yesterday (2019-12-15) though, I happened to remember that in March of this year, I had begun to try something, a simple derivative of something else I had found online which looked conceivably good. It turns out that this is working well: my best test is the business end of our kitchen sink sprayer-faucet (), and lo and behold, there is no new hard water scale, and what there is is slowly and steadily going away!:

In March that same end was getting to the point of needful replacement, there was layering, significant blockage, and related behavior. Any effective attempt to scrape, clearly would have damaged the device, but now slowly the gunk is going away! I am rather happy about the prospect of not replacing this among other potentially difficult things anytime soon!!!!

So the question is, how is this happening. Well, at first, in March, I was on the verge of buying one of the “electronic hard water descalers” which are made by quite a startling number of companies out there now. A simple Amazon or Qwant search will show you what I’m talking about. I noticed the large size of the plethora, and decided to dig in to see what these things are doing. I did not find nitty-gritty details, but I found enough to convince me that all of these things are driving electrical power or signal of some sort, through one or more coils wrapped around copper or PVC (and not iron) pipes. And the one thing which is absolutely consistent, is that doing this shall generate a magnetic field through that water, regardless of further detail.

And then I happened to blunder into two little companies, out of the huge throng, which were selling strong permanent magnets for exactly the same purpose. They were charging a good bit for those magnets.

So, thought I, permanent magnets are a whole lot simpler than electronic widgets, they need no power, they don’t burn out or short out or any of the other relevant concerns. So let’s try it, and no need to go the expensive specialist route, magnets are magnets, and powerful ones in very relevant shapes abound.

It turns out that a lot of small electric motors these days, are made using rings of “arc magnets”. I found that in our basement (which was subject to some plumbing creativity before we arrived), the city supply 3/4” is reduced quickly to 1/2”, so I bought two sets of ten of these:

from Apex Magnets.

The above picture shows eight of these arc magnets in a circle, but we need 10 to go around our standard 1/2” copper pipe. These are very strong magnets, they can easily do major harm to fingernails and even fingertips; if you don’t have strong hands, get someone with strong hands to do this for you, there is a certain amount of real danger. These are very strong.

And here is how our sets look in place:

Most house supply pipe is 3/4”, more of these will be indicated for this. The results are most happy over here! I am likely to get more, so I can put them on the street-side of the house valve, that should keep the scaling out of that valve. I’ll be looking for other arc magnets sized to hug 3/4” pipe better, too.