Archive for the ‘Windows 10’ Category

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”

Outlook fails to start

Immediately after Windows updates today on 2 different systems, so far, you cannot open Outlook.  As soon as you open it closes.  Next time you open you get the Open Outlook In Safe mode popup, which also doesn’t work.  After looking at commonalities in the two systems and trouble shooting it seems the issue was the July 14th ‘Patch Tuesday’ update “Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1909 for x64-based Systems (KB4565483)”.  The update includes multiple features but among them is “Updates to improve security when using Microsoft Office products.” Uninstalling the update immediately resolved the issue.

If unfamiliar with doing so go to Control Panel, click on “Programs and Features”, then “View installed updates”, locate the (KB4565483) Update, right click and choose uninstall.  As always you should have a backup of your system before adding or removing updates.

I have also selected “pause updates for 7 days” in case it tries to reinstall before Microsoft has a fix.

Update: It seems this does not always work. Instead you need to roll back Office, however Microsoft has apparently realized the problem and is pushing out the fix.  To enforce, just close Outlook and re-open.  This worked on the latest machine with which I had a problem and there was a message in Outlook about the issue when it did open.  It may not be pushed out to all machines yet so waiting a couple of hours may be necessary.  See the following link from Microsoft regarding details: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/active-investigation-into-outlook-crashing-on-launch-9c59ad4b-813c-432a-afdc-f14717a4528d?ui=en-us&rs=en-us&ad=us

KB4561600 or KB4560960 ‘Breaks’ Printing

On several machines after the automatic installation of Windows updates KB4561600 and KB4560960, printing to some, but nit all, printers no longer works. It seems when you try to print, the application closes immediately and printing does not take place. The simple solution is to locate the most recent drivers, delete the existing printer and re-install using the new drivers.

Remote Access

Many years ago I wrote numerous blog articles relating to VPNs, and primarily PPTP VPNs. Hits on those blog pages are up 300% since the Coronavirus outbreak due to people looking for ways to work from home. I wanted to warn PPTP is an old solution and is considered to be “broken” and very insecure. Please consider other options.

Rather than creating new articles explaining how to configure various remote access methods I thought I would provide some suggestions and links as it has all been written before by very talented IT folk.

Firstly VPNs. I would always recommend using a VPN appliance/router over the server itself. It is more secure, authenticates at the network perimeter not the server itself, and allows more control. Cisco, Sonicwall, Juniper, Watchguard, and others provide very good solutions . However one concern with any VPN solution is the fact that though it is a secure tunnel, it also allows any and all traffic between an unmanaged remote client computer and the corporate network. Viruses can travers the VPN tunnel, should the client PC be hacked the hacker has direct access to the corporate network, and the remote user can easily copy/steal corporate data that they maybe should not. In addition VPNs occasionally just do not work due to network addressing, slow ISP service, or blocked protocols by ISPs.

If you do want to set up a VPN on a windows server, I would recommend SSTP.  Thomas Maurer has a great configuration guide:https://www.thomasmaurer.ch/2016/10/how-to-install-vpn-on-windows-server-2016/

Perhaps a better option than a VPN is a terminal server, now called a remote desktop server (RD Server). I have never seen the RDP protocol blocked, performance is usually better than a VPN, and all data stays on the corporate network. If set up correctly it uses the Remote Desktop Gateway service and SSL which is very secure. You can, if you like, also use this within your VPN tunnel and if using a business class VPN solution restrict traffic to RDP.

Another alternative if you don’t want to set up an RD Server is to configure the RD Gateway service on your server and allow users to connect securely to their own desktops PCs with the same level of performance. This was a built in feature of SBS and Server Essentials 2016 and earlier.  Mariette Knap has a excellent article on configuring the RD Gateway service, specifically on Server 2019 Std:https://www.server-essentials.com/support/setup-rds-gateway-as-a-replacement-for-access-anywhere-from-the-essentials-experience-role

Regardless of what method you use, as soon as you allow any remote access, make sure you configure Group Policy to enforce strong passwords and to lock accounts after ‘X’ wrong password guesses.  (I use 5, and lock out for 30 minutes). You can set this on the server for domain wide deployment or on an individual PC using GPedit.msc. For both it is located under Computer Configuration |Windows Settings | Security Settings | Account Policies .

The other alternative of course is to use cloud based services such as Microsoft’s Office 365 which you can from any where, at any time.  If dong so, make sure you enable multi-factor authentication for security.

I hope this is of some help and please stay safe n these uncertain times.

 

 

 

Cannot open e-mail attachments on HP computer

Recently found on 3 two month old HP computers users could not open Office documents that were received as attachments to e-mails within Outlook. After troubleshooting, discovered it was due to an HP add-on utility “HP Single Click” a security app provided with many HP PCs. This can simply be uninstalled from Programs and Features, however any open apps that use it must be closed. A reboot will insure this. Also a reboot is required after uninstalling. Presumably this was caused by a windows or HP update as it had not been a problem in the past. Perhaps more recent updates have resolved the problem.

Adobe Acrobat opens, then closes

I had a client where Adobe Acrobat XI Standard, on Windows 10, worked flawlessly for several years, but recently documents would open and then after a couple of seconds close with no warning.  Reinstallation and reactivating did not solve the problem nor did many Internet search results such as registry edits.

What did work was to open Adobe and very quickly, before it closed, click  “Help” on the menu bar and then select “Check for updates”.  It did find an update, download, and install.  It worked fine after that.  I suspect a compatibility issue with a recent Windows update may have caused the problem.

100’s of Windows Commands

This is a must have pdf reference file: 

An amazing, free, current, searchable, compilation of hundreds Windows commands with explanations, syntax, and examples of their use.  And, it’s free !

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=56846

Windows Commands

Windows 10 Update Fails error code 0xc1900208

It seems Windows 10 Update fails sometimes, especially with the Fall Creators Update.  It continuously wants to install, you approve, it runs, and fails, often with error code 0xc1900208.   

In troubleshooting I have found most of the time it will install if you click the “Update now” button form the Creators Update Web page.  It seems to check for compatibility, make any adjustments, then Install.https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 

Should that fail to work, you can download the Windows 10 Update Troubleshooter, which will troubleshoot, and offer to repair any issues found.  There is also a troubleshooter for Win  7 and 8.https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4027322/windows-update-troubleshooter 

However, I also recently read about an issue with attached USB drives oddly causing the update to fail.  Recently,  on a PC on which I tried all of the aforementioned options, and had no attached USB devices, I discovered a DVD in the drive.  Once ejected the update installed without a problem.  This strikes me as very bizarre, but perhaps the update searches other available drives for some reason. 

Therefore; I recommend if having issues with Windows updates, try disconnecting any USB devices such as external drives, thumb drives, phones which may be charging, and possibly even USB printers, and don’t forget to check the DVD tray, just in case.

C:\Windows\Temp filling with .cab files

On several systems over the past year I have seen the C:\Windows\Temp folder filling up with large .cab files generated by the system, on a semi-regular bases.  This continues until there is no available drive space and the system becomes unusable.

The short term solution is to just delete all of the files but the problem returns after weeks or months, depending on the initial free drive space.

It seems this is caused by a large log file within the C:\Windows\Logs\CBS folder.  To resolve I created a folder C:\Windows\Logs\CBS_Archive and moved all  CbsPersist_file_number.log files, older than 10 days, to the archive folder.  This seems to have resolved the issue.

.NET 3.5 & .NET 2.0 on Win 10

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.

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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.

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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: http://www.askvg.com/fix-0x800f0906-and-0x800f081f-error-messages-while-installing-net-framework-3-5-in-windows-8/

To give credit where credit is due, Microsoft’s solutions to the Windows 10 problem are outlined in the following article: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2734782

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: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
  • 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”.
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  • 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.
NOTE:  WINDOWS 10

–  I recently had difficulties applying this method to a Windows 10 machine.  I believe it may be related to it being an upgrade from 8.1, but I had to download the Windows 10 trial .ISO file from TechNet, mount it, and run the following command from an elevated command prompt.  (Substitute your drive letter for ‘D:’, and path if necessary)

dism /online /add-package /packagepath:E:\sources\sxs\microsoft-windows-netfx3-ondemand-package.cab

Update:  I am not sure when the change took place, but at least on Server 2016 and newer, during the install with “add roles and features” you will be prompted to point to the location of the files.  No need to edit local group policy.

Net 2.0 -a

 

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