Most people reporting this error are running the AnyWhere Access on Essentials 2016, or possibly 2012, for the first time. However, I have run into this twice in the past few months, rerunning the wizard to renew the public access SSL certificate on older Essentials 2016 servers. Perhaps this is caused by a recent update. Many report waiting a while resolves the issue, but I have not found this to be true.

100% credit for the solution goes to JVH Consulting

JVH advise you need to add 2 registry entries to each of 4 registry keys. NOTE: if you are not familiar with doing so, editing the registry incorrectly can destroy your server. As always, back up the registry before starting.





JVH suggest a reboot may be necessary, but I found simply restarting the Essentials Console was sufficient.


An HP desktop computer recently kept displaying a message: “Failed to create Conexant Audio Factory, the SmartAudio will now exit” every 3-5 minutes.

HP has a web page addressing the issue with 3 possible solutions but none seemed to work.

Ultimately, reinstalling the Conexant application immediately resolved the problem. No need to download, just browse to the executable and double click to run. The file location is: “C:\Program Files\CONEXANT\SA3\HP-NB-AIO\setup64.exe”

Windows 10 will not shut down

Recently after applying Windows updates on a Win10 machine the unit would reboot every time no matter whether “Shut down” or an other option was chosen. Even using a command prompt and “Shutdown /f” resulted in a reboot. Looking into the issue it seems this is somewhat common. The simple fix was to turn off “Fast Start Up” by going to: Control Panel / Power Options / Choose what the power buttons do / uncheck – Turn on fast start up.

A built in feature of Server Essentials, till 2019, is the ability of the server to send a daily “Health Report”. This contains information about the last backup, storage, services and more. I always configure this on all Essentials servers and set to send at 7:00 am for my review later. On 4 of the Essentials servers I manage it seems on the morning of the Daylight Savings change, at 1:00 am it tried to send a report for some reason, failed, and has failed the 7:00 am report ever since.

Though the error shows the problem is the “Windows Server Essentials Management Service” is not running, checking the Services management console shows it is. Simply restarting the service resolves the problem. You can right click on the last report and choose “send e-mail” to verify.

Unfortunately QuickBooks error messages are often misleading and of little help. A prime example of this is the relatively common error message which reads;

“It appears that the QuickBooks software on computer ________ is set up to allow shared access to the company file, but the QuickBooks software on your computer is unable to communicate with it.”

Which also provides the suggested solution;

“The communication problem could be due to a firewall issue. If a firewall is installed on your network, you may need to reconfigure the firewall software.”

Granted the firewall, whether the Windows firewall or a 3rd party firewall, does have to be configured to allow QuickBooks data access, in most cases where people are seeing this message the file has been accessible for some time. Generally during QuickBooks installation the Windows firewall is automatically configured but if you need to review, the QuickBooks site has detailed documentation

The message does indicate QuickBooks can “see” the data but cannot access it, indicating the firewall is at least partially configured. Test if one user can access the file but not multiple. If only one user can connect, fist make sure QuickBooks is not in single user mode. If not, it usually indicates a problem with the QuickBooks Database Server Manager. First make sure the QuickBooks service is running in the Services management console. It will show as QuickBooksDBxx where xx indicates your version (see below). You can also run the “File Doctor’ tool and/or scan for QuickBoks files using the QuickBooks Database Manager console. The latter often fixes this and other connection isssues.

All of those suggestions can be found on many sites, however I recently came across a different issue. When you install Quickbooks it creates a QuickBooks user/service account and a QuickBooks service with a suffix indicating the QuickBooks version/year. See the list below. If you do not uninstall the previous year’s QuickBooks, which is fine, you end up with multiple QuickBooks services in the Services management console. Normally the most recent one will start, but If instead one of the older versions starts, you can receive the aforementioned error message. To permanently resolve, set all older versions to disabled and the newest to automatic.

QuickBooks services created by each version/year of Quickbooks:

QuickBooks ver 2012 QuickBooksDB22
QuickBooks ver 2013 QuickBooksDB23
QuickBooks ver 2014 QuickBooksDB24
QuickBooks ver 2015 QuickBooksDB25
QuickBooks ver 2016 QuickBooksDB26
QuickBooks ver 2017 QuickBooksDB27
QuickBooks ver 2018 QuickBooksDB28
QuickBooks ver 2019 QuickBooksDB29
QuickBooks ver 2020 QuickBooksDB30
QuickBooks ver 2021 QuickBooksDB31

There seems to be an issue with recent server versions where after promoting a server to be a Domain Controller you loose access to several key functions. The main one seems to occur when trying to access “Change adapter Options” which results in a pop up “Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item”. In addition, in some cases when you try clicking on management tools such as Gpedit.msc and Control Panel, nothing happens. You can to try to access these using “run as administrator” which doesn’t always work, or create a desktop icon for the app and click the advanced options check box for run as administrator, but I see these as tedious work arounds.

The issue seems to be related to UAC (User Access Control) which can be “tweaked” with Group Policy. Since this occurred after promoting to a DC, one should use the Group Policy Management console rather than the Local Group Policy editor.

Run the GP Management console and edit the Default Domain Policy or a Computer OU of your choice. Locate the following policy, and enable:

Computer Configuration | Windows Settings | Security Settings | Local Policies | Security Options || User Account Control: Admin approval mode for the built-in administrator account

Once changed, from an elevated Command prompt run:

gpupdate /force

If not prompted to do so, you will need to log out and back in.

You should now be able to access your various admin tools that were blocked before.

Have you ever installed a server evaluation version and later when trying to activate with a legitimate key received the “This edition cannot be upgraded” notification?

Using DISM you can troubleshoot and activate.

It’s recommended to use Powershell, but an elevated CMD window seems to work as well.

You can use the following 2 commands to determine the current version, and to which versions the system may be “upgraded”/changed:

DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition

DISM.exe /Online /Get-TargetEditions

Assuming your license matches one of the target editions you can change and install the product key using:

DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

A few important notes:

-It is very common for this to hang at 10% for quite a while. I find 10 to 30 minutes but there are those that report up to 24 hours.

-Verify the Software Protection service and the Windows License Manager services are set to automatic and running. The first may stop and start on its own as needed.

-When completed it usually requires 2 reboots to complete and the first reboot can be very slow. I have seen 6 hours.

-Though it usually automatically activates with this process, sometimes you have to manually activate after completion of the reboots. Running from the GUI does not work. You need to run from an elevated Command prompt using

Slmgr /ato

Should you need to troubleshoot, there is a log created in C:\Windows\Logs\DISM

More detailed information can be found on the microsoft site: Upgrade and Conversion Options for Windows Server 2016 | Microsoft Docs

Shutdown Event Tracker

Recently after a dirty shutdown one server kept displaying the familiar “Why did the computer shutdown unexpectedly” for all users, at every logon.

Usually a reboot resolves this, but did not. I have heard of this happening over the years due to specific updates, but no updates had been applied recently. Ultimately it required locating the registry key which contains the flags to initiate the popup; \HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Reliability and deleting any subkeys referencing the last event, such as “DirtyShutdown”. These keys get recreated after the next event. Changing values from 1 to 0 will stop the popup, but this disables it all together. Not a good idea. Of course; make sure you backup the registry before doing so and do not make changes to the registry if you are not familiar with doing so.

Recently when trying to do a Win7 to Win10 upgrade I ran into a new issue where the upgrade failed with a message; “Windows 10 couldn’t be installed” which included the detail; “We couldn’t update the system reserved partition”. Research indicates there was insufficient room despite it only requiring about 13 KB of free partition space.

Apparently this must be somewhat common as Microsoft has published a rather lengthy workaround where you delete a folder of fonts in the reserved partition but there are many steps dealing with permissions.

“We couldn’t update system reserved partition” error installing Windows 10 (

I tried resizing the partition with Disk Manager unsuccessfully, though I may have been able to do so with a command line and DiskPart, but before doing so, I stumbled on the following link which uses a free little partitioning tool EaseUS Partition Master. This allowed me to reduce the C partition size slightly and increase the system Reserved partition. Very slick, very easy, and worked like a charm. Windows 10 then installed trouble free.

We Couldn’t Update the System Reserved Partition (Simple Fixes 2021) – EaseUS

Win7 Error 80072EFE

I had to do a clean install of Windows 7 on an old PC for reasons I will not go into. After installing Win7 SP1 and a couple of drivers I ran Windows update but it failed almost immediately with Error / Code 80072EFE “Windows Update encountered an unknown error.”

I tried the familiar Windows update repairs with no success. After some research I downloaded Windows patch # KB3138612, ran it, reboot, and Windows update now worked as it should.

Download Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB3138612) from Official Microsoft Download Center

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