Archive for the ‘Windows 10’ Category

HP- Failed to create Conexant Audio Factory,

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.

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 (

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

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 (

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 (

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.

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:

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:

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:

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.

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