Category: Windows OS-Level Issues

Windows 10 Distributed Updates
article #1308, updated 18 days ago

Updates are being distributed to Windows 10 via peer-to-peer methods, in addition to cloud-to-PC. This will be essential to handle the big build files, 4 gigabyte plus, at many sites.



Speed up Windows 10!
article #1300, updated 42 days ago

The amazing Joe Busby showed me a number of things today. First, we remove all sorts of gaming bits which eat resources, and we also remove the built-in Mail and Calendar and BingNews, in administrative Powershell:

Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.XboxApp" | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.XboxGameOverlay" | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.XboxIdentityProvider"  | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.Xbox.TCUI" | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.XboxSpeechToTextOverlay"  | Remove-AppxPackage 
Get-AppxPackage "windowscommunicationsapps" | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.Advertising.Xaml" | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.BingNews" | Remove-AppxPackage 

There is an optional -allusers option for both Get-AppxPackage and Remove-AppxPackage, but it is far from clear what this does if anything, experimentation yielded very gray results.

Another item. Search for “Background apps”. Open it up, and choose which apps run in your background !!!!! None is an option!

And a third. The Edge browser is reloaded by the operating system at boot and after it is closed. Turn it off with registry settings (this is in Powershell):

CD HKCU:\Software\Policies\Microsoft\
mkdir MicrosoftEdge
mkdir MicrosoftEdge\Main
CD MicrosoftEdge\Main
New-ItemProperty . -Name AllowPrelaunch -Value 0 -PropertyType "DWord"

CD HKLM:\Software\Policies\Microsoft\
mkdir MicrosoftEdge
mkdir MicrosoftEdge\Main
CD MicrosoftEdge\Main
New-ItemProperty . -Name AllowPrelaunch -Value 0 -PropertyType "DWord"

And a fourth. “Game Mode” is something which sits in the background eating resources. Its purpose is to semi-automatically record as a digital movie, everything that happens on your screen. It tries to detect and do this automatically, and it gets it wrong a lot, slowing things down, and sometimes, a lot. But Game Mode can be shut off globally. Turn it off with a registry setting here:

CD HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\
mkdir GameBar
New-ItemProperty . -Name AllowAutoGameMode -Value 0 -PropertyType "DWord"

CD HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\
mkdir GameBar
New-ItemProperty . -Name AllowAutoGameMode -Value 0 -PropertyType "DWord"



Windows Search major disk usage
article #1302, updated 47 days ago

If you see that Windows built-in search components (any of several, including the Indexer, Cortana, etc.) are using a lot of your disk bandwidth, run this in an administrative Powershell:

Add-AppxPackage -Path “C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\Appxmanifest.xml” -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register

It appears to reset or reload Cortana or a big chunk of it, and probably disable “Development Mode” too. One web reference stated that the above has to be run in a newly created local admin profile to work.

Also, if you’re in a former (or, God forbid, current) SBS environment, make sure the SBS client is removed, and make sure GPO isn’t automatically reinstalling it.



Change Remote Desktop (Terminal Server) Licensing from Per-Device to Per-User
article #1299, updated 56 days ago

This is easily done in Local Group Policy, on the machine with the RDS licensing server:

Computer Configuration/
Administrative Templates/
Windows Components/
Remote Desktop Services/
Remote Desktop Session Host/



Group Policy: Machine Inactivity Limit (Lock Screen Force) in Security Settings
article #1298, updated 56 days ago

There is a setting in Windows Group Policy which will force lockscreen / locked screensaver after a machine considers itself inactive for a specified amount of time:

This overrides all other related (e.g. screen saver) settings and PC-local settings. It’s located here in group policy:

Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options

and while creating/linking group policy on a server:

Computer Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options



DISM Fixes Windows 8.1 and 10
article #980, updated 144 days ago

Do this:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

and then this:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

and then reboot. This handles a lot of SFC errors and others too.



The WINS resolution information was not updated. The record format is corrupt.
article #1227, updated 154 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 the zones.



Rename desktops in Windows domain from command line
article #31, updated 218 days ago

The simplest appears to be thus:

wmic computersystem where caption='oldcomputername' rename newcomputername

If it is run from an administrative CMD and the machine is in good talking relationship with its domain controller, the PC and also AD rename will complete. If either prerequisite is not met, the rename will fail. A non-admin attempt fails with code 5, DC availability fails with 1355.

There is also tool, part of the 2003 server reskit and included later on, which can do the rename of a desktop from a domain controller:

NETDOM RENAMECOMPUTER OLDNAME /newname:NEWNAME /userd:domain\domainadmin /passwordd:password /force /reboot:0

It causes a reboot of the target machine. /reboot:0 means no delay; the number is in seconds.



DISM Cleans Up Server 2008R2 and Windows 7
article #1158, updated 224 days ago

DISM is great for system image repair in 2012/8.0 and later. But from 2008R2/7 there are lots of things DISM can do to clean up a system. Here’s one:

dism /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

This does much cleaning up of redundant items in WinSxS. There is also:

dism /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase

but /ResetBase eliminates removal of all patches and updates etcetera, so not necessarily best to use. And we have:

dism /online /Cleanup-Image /SPSuperseded

/SPSuperseded eliminates removal of service packs only.



Recreate SBS monitoring database by PowerShell
article #866, updated 228 days ago

Really good article here:

Solves the problem of the database reaching max capacity, and also speeds things up in general.

Short version:

In SBS 2008, run the contents of this zip file in an administrative PowerShell window.

In SBS 2011, start this shell as administrator:

C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Bin\MoveDataPowerShellHost.exe

and then while in the shell, run the contents of this zip file.

If it says “1 row affected”, it’s done, and the messages will point out old MDF and LDF files to remove.

You may notice that the script linked here is just a tad different than the one on the itquibbles page; this one just adds the -force items mentioned as an option on that page.