There are numerous 3rd party applications that require .NET 3.5 and/or .NET 2.0 such as QuickBooks, Profile, and more.  Normally you simply go to: Control Panel, Programs and Features, Turn Windows Features On and Off, select .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) and install.


However with Windows 10 it will want to “Download files from Windows Update” and then fail, primarily when joined to a domain that has WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) enabled, resulting in an Error code: 0x800F081F.


The problem also exists on Windows 8 and 8.1, with numerous suggestions to resolve including removing specific updates.  These updates do not exist on Win 10, but if they relate to your problem see:

To give credit where credit is due, Microsoft’s solutions to the Windows 10 problem are outlined in the following article:

From that I was able to resolve using the following steps. :

  • Attach a Windows 10 install ISO, either by inserting the install CD, USB, or a path to an ISO file on the network.  The latter can be achieved by using the USB/ISO creation tool which downloads the files from Microsoft and creates the ISO from Microsoft:
  • If you are using an ISO file you can mount it so that it can be accessed using a drive letter within Windows 8/10 by highlighting the ISO file and choose manage then mount, from the menu bar in Windows Explorer.
  • Edit local group policy to look for your ISO when Microsoft Update cannot be accessed.  Open group Policy by entering  gpedit.msc  in the search box or from an elevated command line.
  • Locate the following policy: Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | System
  • In the right hand window, scroll down past the folders and locate the specific policy: “Specify settings for optional component installation and component repair”.
  • image
  • Double click on the policy to open it, click the radio button “Enable”, and in the box “Alternate source path” enter the path to the necessary files.  They are located in the \sources\sxs folder of the ISO.  In my case this would be E:\sources\sxs
  • Note: there is an option in the policy to “contact Windows Update directly” but this did not work for me or others.
  • Force group policy to update by rebooting or from an elevated command prompt enter   gpupdate  /force
  • Now you can return to: Control Panel, Programs and Features, Turn Windows Features On and Off, select “.NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0)” and install.  It should locate the files and install without a problem.
  • I recommend a reboot after doing so.

I have had 2 clients unable to print from Internet Explorer 11 during the past month.  After some digging it seems there is a temp folder used in the printing process. 


This folder had no changes for several months and had a corrupt user ID (SID) within the security permissions.  Adding the user account to the security (NTFS) permissions of this folder and granting them “Full Control” resolved the issue.  A reboot is required.

I should have tracked down sooner as when printing, the page was blank with only C:///C:/Users/%UserName%/AppData/Local/Temp/Low/<random doc name>.htm printed at the bottom

I recently came a cross issue with an Exchange server running out of room and after the cleanup, one user only, would receive the message; “Cannot open your default e-mail folders.  Microsoft Exchange is not available.  Either there are network problems or the Exchange server is down for maintenance.”


The same user could also not log into Outlook Web Access.  After verifying DNS was working correctly, and then reviewing the server’s Event Viewer Application  logs at the time of the failure, a MSExchangeIS error with Sevent ID 10018 was noted.  “The mailbox for user 10c98e9d-1bcb-441c-a5bc-1a3fa19336f8: /o=First Organization/ou=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT)/cn=Recipients/cn=John Doe has been quarantined. Access to this mailbox will be restricted to administrative logons for the next 6 hours.”


The Microsoft articles listed below reference this issue and how to resolve.  Assuming there is no corruption with the mailbox you can verify there is a quarantined mailbox by viewing and simply deleting the registry key under:  HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesMSExchangeIS<Server Name>Private-{db guid}QuarantinedMailboxes

I recommend, as always, backing up the registry before doing so.  Then to apply the change restart the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service.

Sign up for the first ever Microsoft online Virtual conference.  Two days of free sessions. 


  • · World-class free online conference that features technical content presented by Americas’ region MVPs that is open to the public
  • · More technical content (Level 200, 300, 400), less marketing
  • · 5 tracks: IT Pro English, Dev English, Consumer English, Mixed Spanish, Mixed Portuguese
  • · Event will be broadcast via Lync using L+ which enhances the conferencing capabilities of Lync
  • · Two full days of sessions with simultaneous webcasts running across all 5 tracks
  • · Thursday May 14th and Friday, May 15th
  • · Start at 8am PT and running until 6pm PT (Pacific)
  • · Day 1: 45 sessions + Keynote, Day 2: 50 sessions
  • · Keynote on Day 1 to be delivered by Steve ‘Guggs’ Guggenheimer, Corporate VP of DX
  • · On Demand content available via Channel9
  • · This event is not just for MVPs, it’s for everyone!
  • #MVPvConf   #MVPBuzz

Conference Promo Video:


I recently came across a Hyper-V host which after a power outage and a dirty shut  down, due the absence of a UPS, could not connect to the Virtual Machine Management Service.  When opening the Hyper-v console the VMs were not listed, and selecting “Connect to Server” resulted in the following error message; “An error occurred while attempting to connect to server ‘ServerName’.  Check that the Virtual Machine Service is running and that you are authorized to connect to the server.”


The Hyper-V services displayed running in the Services management console, and permissions had not changed, however when checking for dependencies for the Hyper-V Virtual Management Service it show no dependencies.  Comparing this to another Hyper-V host reveals the service depends on the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) and Windows Management Instrumentation service. Both of these were running as well.

When services and system information is not present in various consoles, and the WMI service is running, it can often be a result of missing or corrupt WMI files.  You can confirm this by running msinfo32.exe (System Information).  If so, you will receive a message “Can’t collect Information.  Cannot access the Windows Management Instrumentation software.  Windows Management files may be moved or missing.”


If this is the case there is an easy fix:

  • Always have a full backup of your system before making any changes!
  • Note:  Microsoft recommends troubleshooting, and restoring the WMI files rather than deleting them as I describe here.  Deleting the files can affect 3rd party software which may require reinstalling.  For more information see the links at the end of this article.  In this case the WMI checks showed no inconsistencies and a reset failed, so rebuilding was the best option.
  • Stop the Windows Management Instrumentation service, which will warn you that it will also stop the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management and other services, verifying the link between the two.
  • Rename the WMI information file folder to something such as .old  C:\Windows\System32\wbem\Repository.old
  • image
  • Restart the host.   Upon reboot it will recreate the Repository folder and its contents.  You may find the first logon hangs for a few minutes and also it may be slow for a while as it rebuilds the files.
  • image
Additional information regarding troubleshooting WMI:


Not able to attend TechEd North America in Houston?

This year there is a great opportunity to follow online starting tomorrow May12th.  Registration and a schedule of the Live streams can be found at:

For more information and and a Video ‘teaser’ by Rick Claus and Joey Snow visit:



I am pleased to announce my Windows Phone 8 Blog app has been published.  As of yet it is not compatible with Windows Phone 8.1 but should be by the time of “official” release.  The app, which is free,  can be downloaded from:   image

I have had a few questions regarding a message “Office 365 authentication did not succeed” suddenly appearing both in the daily reports and the Alert Viewer of Server Essentials.  The alert viewer suggests changing the admin account (or refresh it) in the Office 365 tab of the Essentials Dashboard, however doing so fails with a message stating you are using the wrong account or password.


In most cases if you log into the Office 365 site using the domain’s admin e-mail account you will find the password has expired and you are asked to update it.  Do so and return to the Dashboard entering the new password which should now allow it to validate and eliminate the error.


The past 8 or more years most of us have managed PC updates using WSUS (Windows Server Update Service) and Group policy.  However, the structure of the modern office has changed to a large percentage of mobile employees who never ‘touch down’ at headquarters.   If these devices do not connect to the domain they do not have updates applied.

A client who has not returned to the office in 18 months, and likely will not for the life of their laptop, recently asked how they could update their machine manually.  Currently they were not able to do so as Windows Update showed “settings are managed by your system administrator”, in other words, by WSUS


It is quite simple to disable WSUS management in the registry, however remember if the device is reconnected to the domain, the WSUS policies will be reapplied.  Therefore you may want to move the device to an OU not linked to the WSUS policy or remove the device in the policy under security filtering.

Disclaimer:  Be aware making incorrect registry changes can have disastrous effects to the health of the device.  Be sure to backup the registry before editing.  To do so see the following Microsoft article; “How to back up and restore the registry in Windows” 

  • Open the registry editor, by entering Regedit in the Start / Run box, and browse to:  HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\
  • Locate the WindowsUpdate  Key and delete it
  • Reboot the PC (may take 2 reboots)
  • Now you can manually update and configure Windows updates to automatically check for and install updates directly from the Microsoft Update site


You may want to consider using a newer service such as Windows Intune to manage your computers, especially mobile devices.

There are many web sites outlining how to reconfigure windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 to allow multiple concurrent Remote Desktop Sessions, basically making a desktop PC a terminal server. On many occasions I have pointed out doing so is a licensing violation, however I confess I have never seen this specifically stated in any ELUA.  I have been privy to discussions with Microsoft where this has been discussed, and Microsoft employees and support site personnel have often posted it is not permitted on various  sites.

Having been asked to verify this I reviewed various EULAs (End User Licensing Agreements) and it seems Microsoft more often explains in detail what is allowed than what us not.  Much like your insurance company doesn’t state in your home owners policy you are not permitted to have bonfires in your basement.  Some ELUAs such the one for Windows 7 mentions; “The single primary user of the licensed computer may access a session from any other device using Remote Desktop”, but does not state you can have multiple sessions.  It does however state you can have multiple users sharing a single session using NetMeeting or Remote Assistance, which means both users are sharing the same desktop and application, not separate sessions.  The intent with this is to assist an end user.

The modification is promoted as a patch, but a patch would be provided by Microsoft. This ‘patch’ was created by someone named DeepXW who on their own web page refers to it as “Crack termsrv.dll, remove the Concurrent Remote Desktop sessions limit”.

Most of the reputable sites explaining the hack also include a disclaimer explaining it is a violation.  I have posted some examples at the end of my ramblings . Sites such as Experts-Exchange have even banned posting the hack as they have confirmed it is a licensing violation.

We also need to consider if this hack were legal, you would also require buying RDP/RDS CALs (Client Access Licenses), and if Office were installed you would only be legit if you purchased volume licensing with one license for each user. The latter two are requirements on any multi-session Microsoft O/S.  The Office 2013 ELUA does clearly state that you cannot have multiple sessions: “Remote access. The user that primarily uses the licensed computer is the “primary user.” The primary user may access and use the software installed on the licensed device remotely from any other device, as long as the software installed on the licensed device is not being used non-remotely by another user simultaneously.”  This same issue applies to third party software which in many cases has the same limitations.

Granted the hack does work, with some occasional Winsock issues, and though the chances of being caught are minimal, if discovered in a Microsoft audit, which does happen, the penalties are stiff.  I strongly encourage folk to approach this in a more secure, manageable, and legitimate way by using a Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Server (formerly called Terminal server).

Sample comments from various sites outlining the hack:

However, be warned. Before you begin, I need to warn you that patching the file and allowing more than one concurrent Remote Desktop session will violate a few lines in the Windows XP EULA. Proceed with caution and at your own risk. I shall not be liable for any damage caused to you, your computer, your data or your dog/cat because of this.  From <>

Desktop, which basically only allows the single primary user of the licensed computer to access a session of the computer. And that essentially tells us that the trick we revealed to enable multiple concurrent user in remote desktop in Windows 7 isn’t a legally licensed, despite that it’s really a good useful hack.  From <

I think you find it is a license violation, as win 7 is single user at time OS.
As with all version of windows you need a license for all current users.
If you “hack it” you have violated the TOS and have voided the windows license.  From <>

A quick note: enabling multiple concurrent RDP users may be against the Windows 7 End User Licensing Agreement (EULA). Please be sure to check the EULA beforehand and know that we do not recommend making these changes in cases where they may violate the EULAFrom <>

Regardless of what solution you come up with, concurrent desktop access (if you are not sharing a single session) is in violation of the desktop Windows EULA.   From <

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