Category: Windows OS-Level Issues

Preventing System Volume Information buildup
article #1507, updated 27 days ago

The overall cause of buildup of orphan shadows in “System Volume Information” folders, is physical storage not being able to keep up with demand.

The best first steps I have, are to run what I sometimes call general cleanup. After that, I run PrivaZer without checking traces in free space, which saves time and does not affect performance results. PrivaZer cleans up an amazing variety of NTFS issues, even new installs often benefit.

And after that, three registry entries. Here’s Powershell code to get them in and engaged.

$NewMaxShadowCopies = 8
$NewMinDiffAreaFileSize = 128


function setupDWORD {
    param( [string]$regPath, [string]$nameForDWORD, [long]$valueForDWORD )

    # Error out if cannot touch the registry area at all
    If ( !(Test-Path $regPath) ) {
        Try {
            New-Item $regPath -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
        Catch {
            Write-Error ("Could not visit or create registry path " + $regPath)

    # If an existing registry entry exists, store its value to report later
    Try {
        $oldValueProperty = Get-ItemProperty -Path $regPath -Name $nameForDWORD -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
        $oldValue = $oldValueProperty.$nameforDWORD
    Catch {
        $oldValue = ""

    # Report the changes to make
    Write-Output ("DWORD to write: " + $nameForDWORD)
    Write-Output ("at registry path " + $regPath)
    If ($oldValue -ne "") {
        Write-Output ("Original value is " + $oldValue)
    else {
        Write-Output "No original present."
    Write-Output ("New value is " + $valueforDWORD)

    # Report no changes to make, set new registry entry, or error out
	If ($oldValue -eq $valueforDWORD) {
		Write-Output "No change to make."
    Try {
        New-ItemProperty -Path $regPath -Name $nameForDWORD -Value $valueForDWORD -PropertyType DWORD -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue > $null
    Catch {
        Write-Error "Failed!"


setupDWORD "HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Settings" "MaxShadowCopies" $NewMaxShadowCopies

setupDWORD "HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VolSnap" "MinDiffAreaFileSize" $NewMinDiffAreaFileSize

setupDWORD 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows' 'DeleteStaleTaskCache' 1


"Restarting VSS..."

Restart-Service -Force -Name "VSS"





Reestablish Windows Domain Relationship in Powershell
article #1562, updated 32 days ago

If you can get to an administrative or system shell:

Reset-ComputerMachinePassword -Server DC.domain.local -Credential (Get-Credential)



Delete User Profiles in Windows 11
article #1549, updated 112 days ago

Run this:


Then go to the Advanced tab, and click the Settings button in the middle under User Profiles.

This works great under 10 also, but is a lot more hidden in 11.



Install Edge browser via Powershell
article #1491, updated 141 days ago

This works well as of this writing.

[Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = "tls12, tls11, tls"
md -Path $env:temp\edgeinstall -erroraction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null
$Download = join-path $env:temp\edgeinstall MicrosoftEdgeEnterpriseX64.msi
Invoke-WebRequest ''  -OutFile $Download
Start-Process "$Download" -ArgumentList "/quiet"

This is a change to a replacement URL, and it will hopefully be a more lasting kind than the previous. The above works for AMD64 Windows; the URL comes from here:

and there is support for other platforms on that page.



Fix DISM/SFC errors with SFCFix
article #1539, updated 171 days ago

Interesting tool by an interesting community.

And they have volunteers to help, with another interesting tool which does fixes as well:



Problem-fixing power management script
article #1521, updated 212 days ago

This one makes sure general settings are likely helpful, and also deals with two common troublemakers:

# General
powercfg /change monitor-timeout-ac 0
powercfg /change monitor-timeout-dc 15
powercfg /change standby-timeout-ac 0
powercfg /change standby-timeout-dc 120
powercfg /change hibernate-timeout-ac 0
powercfg /change hibernate-timeout-dc 180
powercfg /change disk-timeout-ac 0
powercfg /change disk-timeout-dc 60

# Unhides and zeroes hidden "System unattended sleep timeout" which can cause problems
# including, sometimes, automatic unwanted logoff
powercfg -attributes sub_sleep 7bc4a2f9-d8fc-4469-b07b-33eb785aaca0 -ATTRIB_HIDE
powercfg -setacvalueindex scheme_current sub_sleep 7bc4a2f9-d8fc-4469-b07b-33eb785aaca0 0

# Disable hybrid sleep both AC powered and DC
powercfg -setacvalueindex scheme_current sub_sleep 94ac6d29-73ce-41a6-809f-6363ba21b47e 0
powercfg -setdcvalueindex scheme_current sub_sleep 94ac6d29-73ce-41a6-809f-6363ba21b47e 0

# Reapply current power scheme
powercfg -setactive scheme_current



Extract Windows 10 Key from Running or Nonrunning Machine
article #1519, updated 252 days ago

Try the free version here:



Easy Download of Windows 10 builds
article #1518, updated 256 days ago

Try URLs like this, for an ISO of Windows 10 build 1909:

Unfortunately, lacks the bandwidth for rapid downloads of monsters like those. Here’s a source which can set you up to do it in 10 minutes if your side is fast enough:



Devices and Printers in some Windows 11 circumstances
article #1515, updated 275 days ago

Sometimes, the legacy/traditional Devices and Printers window does not come up in Windows 11. If you see this, browse to this in File Explorer:




Restart All Failed VSS Writers
article #1513, updated 296 days ago

Found by the profound Brigg Bush:

$writers = vssadmin list writers | 
    Select-String -Context 0,4 'Writer name:' | 
    ? {$_.Context.PostContext[2].Trim() -ne "Last error: No error"} | 
    Select Line | 
    % {$_.Line.tostring().Split("'")[1]}

 $ServiceNames = $writers | 
    ForEach-Object {
        switch ($_) {
            'ASR Writer' { $Result = 'VSS' }
            'Bits Writer' { $Result = 'BITS'}
             'Certificate Authority' { $Result = 'EventSystem'}
            'COM+ REGDB Writer' { $Result = 'VSS'}
            'DFS Replication service writer' { $Result = 'DFSR'}
            'Dhcp Jet Writer' { $Result = 'DHCPServer'}
            'FRS Writer' { $Result = 'NtFrs' }
            'IIS Config Writer' { $Result = 'AppHostSvc'}
            'IIS Metabase Writer' { $Result = 'IISADMIN'}
            'Microsoft Exchange Writer' { $Result = 'MSExchangeIS'}
            'Microsoft Hyper-V VSS Writer' { $Result = 'vmms'}
            'MS Search Service Writer' { $Result = 'EventSystem'}
            'NPS VSS Writer' { $Result = 'EventSystem'}
            'NTDS' { 'EventSystem'}
            'OSearch VSS Writer' { $Result = 'OSearch'}
            'OSearch14 VSS Writer' { $Result = 'OSearch14'}
            'Registry Writer' { $Result = 'VSS'}
            'Shadow Copy Optimization Writer' { $Result = 'VSS'}
            'Sharepoint Services Writer' { $Result = 'SPWriter'}
            'SPSearch VSS Writer' { $Result = 'SPSearch'}
            'SPSearch4 VSS Writer' { $Result = 'SPSearch4'}
            'SqlServerWriter' { $Result = 'SQLWriter'}
            'System Writer' { $Result = 'CryptSvc'}
            'WMI Writer' { $Result = 'Winmgmt'}
            'TermServLicensing' { $Result = 'TermServLicensing'}

If ($ServiceNames) { Restart-Service -Name ($ServiceNames | Select-Object -Unique) -WhatIf }

If ($Result) { Restart-Service -Name ($ServiceNames | Select-Object -Unique) -WhatIf }