Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Cannot access adapter options or control panel

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.

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.

Couldn’t Update System Reserved Partition

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 (microsoft.com)

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

Outlook Message Body Blank

Suddenly many users alerting that the message body of their e-mails, using Outlook desktop app, are blank. Also they cannot type in the body of a new e-mail or reply. Microsoft has released the following statements:

Latest message, May 11, 2021 7:24 PMView historyTitle: Issue affecting viewing email content in Outlook User Impact: Users may be unable to view email message content within Outlook. More info: Impact is specific to the Outlook client and users with access to other protocols, such as Outlook on the web or the Outlook mobile app, can view message content in those platforms as a potential workaround while our fix is applied. Current status: We’ve identified the underlying cause of impact and are applying a fix. This fix will reach all affected users incrementally over the course of the next four-to-five hours. Once users receive the fix, they will need to restart their email client to apply the fix. In some circumstances, users may need to restart their client a second time for the changes to take effect. We expect to complete this process and restore service for all affected users by May 12, 2021, at 3:00 AM UTC. We encourage affected users who are able to do so to leverage the workarounds described above in the “more info” section of this post while we complete the process of fixing this problem. Scope of impact: This issue could affect any user attempting to view an email message in the Outlook client. Root cause: A recent change to systems that facilitate text display management for content within the Outlook client caused impact. Next update by: Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 12:00 AM (3:00 AM UTC)

“May 11, 2021 6:19 PMView historyTitle: Issue affecting viewing email content in Outlook User Impact: Users may be unable to view email message content within Outlook. More info: Initial reports indicate that impact is specific to the Outlook client and users with access to other protocols, such as Outlook on the web or the Outlook mobile app, can view message content in those platforms as a potential workaround. Current status: We’re continuing to analyze recent updates to the environment and the associated code as we work to isolate the cause of impact. Our efforts are focused on determining the most expedient means of remediating this issue. Scope of impact: This issue could affect any user attempting to view an email message in the Outlook client. Next update by: Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 7:30 PM (10:30 PM UTC)

May 11, 2021 5:28 PMView historyTitle: Issue affecting viewing email content in Outlook User Impact: Users may be unable to view email message content within Outlook. More info: Initial reports indicate that Outlook on the web is unaffected and users with access to Outlook on the web can view email messages there while we work on a solution. Current status: We’re gathering and analyzing data in an effort to isolate the cause of impact. Initial reports indicate that impact is specific to the Outlook client and users with access to other protocols, such as Outlook on the web or the Outlook mobile app, can view message content in those platforms as a potential workaround. Scope of impact: This issue could affect any user attempting to view an email message in the Outlook client. Next update by: Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 6:30 PM (9:30 PM UTC)”

Missing Drive Space

Some users are reporting a sudden loss of drive space. It seems a recently released Microsoft Defender update is generating thousands, and even millions, of files consuming many GB of storage space. The folder where these files are located is C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Scans\History\Store

You can resolve the issue by “checking for updates” under Update and Security (Windows 10) and installing the latest Microsoft Defender update.

Printing issues after KB5000808 & KB5000802

Today started, after patch Tuesday, with many machines crashing when one tried to print resulting in the standard “Your PC ran into a problem….” with a Stop Code: APC_INDEX_MISMATCH error, due to win32kfull.sys

UPDATE: Microsoft released updates today, March 16/21 to resolve the problem but you must manually download and install:

Windows 10 emergency updates released to fix printing crashes (bleepingcomputer.com)

UPDATE 2: It seems the first patch further broke some printers resulting in blank pages or missng content. Another ‘out-of-band’ update was released the 18th.

Windows message center | Microsoft Docs

UPDATE 3: Microsoft halts the rollout for the “emergency” patch for the patch for the patch Tuesday update 😦

Microsoft halts rollout of Windows 10 KB5001649 emergency update (bleepingcomputer.com)

With my clients this seemed to happen with any Office or Windows app, even notepad. However Adobe seemed to be OK and oddly if you just right click on any file and choose print, without opening it, it seemed to be OK as well. Many report updating the printer drivers solved the problem, but doing so in my cases “Windows encountered an error”. Uninstalling the printer and reinstalling with the latest drivers did resolve the problem. Also it seems not all printers are problematic. On one system which had multiple printers, the error occurred when printing to any printer, but just reinstalling the Ricoh C2504 printer eliminated the problem for all printers. Google shows Ricoh and Kyocera printers seem to be the most problematic.

Unable to Open QuickBooks Data File

Several months after every QuickBooks Pro and Enterprise annual upgrade my clients run into an issue where they cannot connect to the QuickBooks database with messages indicating, the application cannot access the database, and H2020 Error, or QuickBooks is unable to open this company file due to the file being open on another computer in single user mode.  Most recently, as per the image below:

I have found over the years the solution is to open the services management console  ( services.msc )  on the server or computer hosting the data, scroll down to locate the QuickBooks service named “QuickBooksDBxx”, where xx = a number relating to the current version.  If you have installed multiple versions over the years there will be one for each year.  You want the one with the highest number. (note in the images below the changes have already been made)

Double click on the service to open the properties for that service and click on the “Log On” tab.  The radio button “This Account” will be checked, a QBDataServixeUserxx” name will be shown, and a hidden password entered.  Change to “Local System account”, click apply and close, then right click on the service and choose start. (NOTE: if you change this setting to service account and want to change back for some reason you will likely need to re-install QuickBooks)

You now need to run the “QuickBooks Database Server Manager” app from the programs menu, in the QuickBooks folder.  Under the Scan Folders tab make sure the folder that contains your data is shown  If not browse to it and select, then click the “Start Scan” button.  It should show “successful” when done and you can choose close.  Assuming you have the same issue, running this wizard before making the change above will result in “failure”.

OneDrive & administrator rights

On a couple of occasions I have run into the following error/message and I see many others have done so based on dozens of posts:

OneDrive can’t be run using full administrator rights.

In my case both machines had been upgraded from Windows 7 with the problem being one is unable to set up OneDrive app and sync locally with Windows Explorer.

The issue is exactly as described by the error. To resolve: Locate OneDrive.exe, the default location is C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\OneDrive then right click on it, choose properties, and under the Compatibility tab uncheck “Run this program as an administrator”

Install Office on Remote Desktop Server

You cannot install a standard version of Office on an RDS server.  Prior to Office 365 you had to buy Enterprise licenses for each user which are quite expensive.  I understand Enterprise licenses are still available and I assume they will still work but you may already have a suitable Office 365 subscription, or you can upgrade to one that will.   Your Microsoft 365 license must include Office Pro Plus, a Business Standard license will not work.  There is an Office Pro Plus license or an E3 or higher license includes Office Pro Plus.  With Office/Microsoft 365 you can use your current licenses but have to download a special installation version and jump through a few hoops.  This method is supported by Microsoft.

(Oct 2020 update: Microsoft has changed the naming of it’s Office 365 subscriptions to new Microsoft 365 names. I believe the minimum license level now is Microsoft 365 Business Premium but be sure to confirm with your vendor. The following is a Sept 2020 article referencing the install with the new licenses https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/deploy-microsoft-365-apps-remote-desktop-services#:~:text=If%20you%20use%20Remote%20Desktop%20Services%20%28RDS%29%20to,installation.%20The%20following%20are%20two%20common%20RDS%20scenarios%3A )

Note: when installing apps on terminal servers in the past you had to put the server in “Install mode” by running from an elevated command prompt 

  •    Change User /Install
  • and to exit Install mode run
  •    Change User /Execute

Though this is still recommended, I tried it without doing so and it worked, but make sure you are an administrator of the machine (local or domain) and all other users are logged out. I recommend a clean reboot before starting.

Create a shared folder such as \\RDS\O365 pointing to C:\Temp\O365  

Download the Office deployment tool from the link below and extract to your shared folder  \\RDS\O365

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36778

Create an .xml configuration file for the download and save to the same folder. I named DownloadConfig.xml 

<Configuration> 
  <Add SourcePath="\\RDS\O365" OfficeClientEdition="64"> 
   <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail" > 
     <Language ID="en-us" />      
   </Product> 
   </Add> 
</Configuration>

Download the custom version of Office.  To do so open an elevated command prompt, change to the directory containing the .xml file  C:\Temp\O365\MayBeSubfolder and run the following command.

setup.exe /download DownloadConfig.xml

This may seem like it hangs, but wait.  I believe it took about 15 minutes with my connection.

Create another .xml configuration file for installation and save again to the same folder. I named InstallConfig.xml

<Configuration>
  <Add SourcePath="\\RDS\O365"
       OfficeClientEdition="64" 
       Channel="Monthly">
    <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
      <Language ID="en-us" />
    </Product>
  </Add>
  <Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="True" /> 
  <Property Name="SharedComputerLicensing" Value="1" />
  <Logging Level="Standard" Path="C:\Temp" />
</Configuration> 

Deploy Office using:  \\RDS\O365\setup.exe /configure  \\RDS\O365\InstallConfig.xml

Note: you must use the full path

Again it may appear to hang, but be patient

If you ran Change User /Install before starting, run Change User /Execute

Microsoft has more detailed information and options to customize the xml files at:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/deploy-microsoft-365-apps-remote-desktop-services

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/office2019/deploy

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