Archive for category Windows

Boot to CD on new Toshiba Satellite

I bought a new laptop yesterday. I ended up choosing the Toshiba Satellite P55-A5312. It seemed to be the best deal for the price range I was looking at. The only thing I’m not so happy about is no removable battery, hopefully that won’t be a problem in the future. I tend to be a control freak when it comes to computers so not being able to replace the battery if I need to is a bit odd for me.

Before I remove all the garbage on the laptop that I don’t really want on it and put the stuff I do use on it, I wanted to make an image of it as a backup. I haven’t bought a new computer in over 4 years now, besides at work. So I suppose I’m a little behind the times. But I found it really odd that the laptop would not boot to the ghost CD that I had in it. I went into the BIOS and changed the boot order. I hit F12 when it was booting up to select the DVD drive, but it went in to Windows anyway. What. The. Hell.

After looking around online since last night I was finally able to find a forum where someone gave directions that worked. I had to disable two options in the BIOS in order for this thing to boot to the CD. It has to do with secure boot, which is a new thing with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2. So maybe I’m not too far behind the times. According to technet it is “a security standard developed by members of the PC industry to help make sure that your PC boots using only firmware that is trusted by the PC manufacturer.” It’s to help prevent rootkits and other forms of malware from booting with the system. Why does that then stop me from booting from a CD when I specifically tell it to do so? I find that slightly annoying. My control freak tendencies are popping up again. I don’t need computer manufacturers or Microsoft to protect me. If I break something it’s my own damn fault.

Whoever you are alexandru1 on the Tom’s Hardware forum, I thank you.

To switch UEFI native mode to legacy BIOS mode (and disable secure boot):

Restart the computer. In Windows 8, from the Start or Desktop screen move your pointer over the upper or lower right corner of the screen. When the Windows Charms appear, click the Settings ( ) charm, click Power, and then the Restart option.
Press and hold the F2 key when the screen goes black, and wait for the BIOS setup utility to launch. If your system cannot boot into Windows 8, shut down the computer completely, then press F2 while powering back on.
Select Security -> Secure Boot, and then Disabled.
Select Advanced -> System Configuration, and then Boot Mode.
Change UEFI Boot to CSM Boot.
To save the change and exit the BIOS setup, press F10.

I ghosted my laptop successfully. I had to re-enable UEFI boot to get it to boot back in to Windows when it was finished.

Source: Tom’s Hardware forum – New Toshiba Satellite – can’t boot from CD or USB

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D-Link Shareport Utility and Windows 7 Pro

I have been using the shareport utility for awhile now but I always had to disable my firewall for it to work properly. It works fine on the Windows 7 home computer, but not on my Windows 7 Pro desktop. I looked around online and it looks like a common problem but I did not see anybody post the solution that worked for me. Simply creating a rule in the firewall allowing the utility itself to do whatever it wants did not work. I turned on logging for the Windows firewall and watched what was happening whenever I tried to print something. It was blocking traffic coming from the other computers on the network. So I created a rule to allow UDP traffic from the range of IPs on my network, which is only a handful of machines. That’s the only shareport related rule I have in the firewall and it works perfectly fine now. The utility will not print if other computers are connected to the printer with shareport, which is why I think the traffic is coming from the other machines on the network – they are just answering back saying they are not using the printer.

Go to your start menu and type firewall in the search box, then click on Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.

  1. Click inbound rules on the left and then new rule on the right
  2. Custom rule, next
  3. All programs, next
  4. You can either leave protocol type to any or change it to UDP, next
  5. Under “which local IP addressses does this rule apply to?” choose “these IP addresses:” and click add. I just put the range of IPs of the computers on my network. Hit OK.
  6. Then allow the connection, next
  7. Only selecting private should work fine for a home network.
  8. Finally, name the rule so you know what it is. I just called it Shareport Utility. Hit finish.

If you want to turn on firewall logging open your command prompt and use either/both of these commands depending on what you want to see:

netsh firewall set logging droppedpackets = enable
netsh firewall set logging connections = enable

By default your log file is %systemroot%\System32\LogFiles\Firewall\pfirewall.log

I was having another issue printing where it would print all jumbled up with text overlapping itself and the colors being completely wrong. I saw a post that suggested going into the printer properties to disable spooling. For my printer it’s under the advanced tab in the printer properties. I told it to print directly to the printer instead – so far so good.

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Skype crashes during video call

I was having problems trying to Skype with my aunt yesterday afternoon. I logged into Skype, tried to call her, but as soon as she would answer Skype threw the error saying that it stopped working and would look for a solution. I never did try calling without video so I don’t know if that’s the issue or not. Whatever the problem is the only way I could fix it was to install the beta version of Skype from their website. I saw on the forums that lots of other people were having the same issue. I looked in the event viewer and saw an error that included:

Faulting application name: Skype.exe, version: 5.0.0.152, time stamp: 0x4cb31516
Faulting module name: KERNELBASE.dll, version: 6.1.7600.16385, time stamp: 0x4a5bdaae

What does that mean? I have no idea. The only thing I can think of is if maybe recent windows updates broke something for Skype. I haven’t changed anything else on my computer recently.  I’m also not sure if this is a Windows 7 thing or not. My aunt has Windows XP still and she was not having any issues, another family member who has Windows 7 also couldn’t Skype with her. So maybe windows update strikes again.

Anyway, go here and download the beta version. It’s about half way down the  page under their windows section if you go directly to Skype’s website.

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WMI Repair in Windows XP

Continuing on my path of figuring out group policy I came across some errors on our Windows XP machines in the event log that I’ve been trying to repair for awhile now. For some reason the printers aren’t deploying to our Windows XP machines and I’m thinking it’s because the machines are having problems pulling the policy off the domain controller.  I also needed to use the system information tool to send to our anti-virus company so they could troubleshoot an issue we’re having with their software. But when I went to system information it said it could not collect the data.  It was event ID 1090, the source is Userenv, and it says:

I’ve been looking up this error for weeks trying to decipher how to repair Windows Management Instrumentation. Nearly every site and forum I found said either to empty the c:\windows\system32\wbem\repository folder, re-register the dll files associated with WMI, or do a repair installation of Windows XP.  I emptied that folder I don’t know how many times.  I tried using system file checker to replace any corrupted system files. I also ran the WMI diagnostic tool you can download from Microsoft to see if that would point me in any other directions, but I didn’t find it terribly helpful – except for one thing I found in the log file that it generates.

I came across the same error when I tried to re-register the dll files and when I ran the diagnostic tool.

!! ERROR: WMI CONNECTION errors occured for the following namespaces:

.1581 14:13:07 (0) ** – Root, 0x80070005 – Access is denied..
.1582 14:13:07 (0) ** – Root, 0x80070005 – Access is denied..
.1583 14:13:07 (0) ** – Root/Default, 0x80070005 – Access is denied..
.1584 14:13:07 (0) ** – Root/CIMv2, 0x80070005 – Access is denied..
.1585 14:13:07 (0) ** – Root/WMI, 0x80070005 – Access is denied..

Access denied? I had no idea why access would be denied. I’m the admin and have full permissions. Well today I finally figured out the problem. Since I was having problems today using the system information tool, I googled that error and came across this forum that had a script in it.  When I tried to run the script the first time on my account I got the access denied errors again.  So I went to the run box and typed services.msc. I looked at the WMI service to see what account it was logging on as, it says local administrator account. Well that’s good, so I next look at the remote procedure call (RPC) service and that one originally said log on as NT Authority or some other network account.

Well I changed that one to local administrator, rebooted the machine in safe mode so that no services were running, and ran the script from that forum again. It took awhile but I noticed it wasn’t throwing any access denied errors. I rebooted the machine, logged in on my regular network account and did not see a single RSoP error in the event log. Success.

Copy this script into notepad or some other text editor and save it as fixwmi.cmd. When you go to save as you’ll have to select all files in the file type so it doesn’t save as a text file.

@echo on
cd /d c:\temp
if not exist %windir%\system32\wbem goto TryInstall
cd /d %windir%\system32\wbem
net stop winmgmt
winmgmt /kill
if exist Rep_bak rd Rep_bak /s /q
rename Repository Rep_bak
for %%i in (*.dll) do RegSvr32 -s %%i
for %%i in (*.exe) do call :FixSrv %%i
for %%i in (*.mof,*.mfl) do Mofcomp %%i
net start winmgmt
goto End

:FixSrv
if /I (%1) == (wbemcntl.exe) goto SkipSrv
if /I (%1) == (wbemtest.exe) goto SkipSrv
if /I (%1) == (mofcomp.exe) goto SkipSrv
%1 /RegServer

:SkipSrv
goto End

:TryInstall
if not exist wmicore.exe goto End
wmicore /s
net start winmgmt
:End

Now I’m seeing another error related to to group policy, but hey, at least it isn’t a WMI error.

Sources:

  1. How to Troubleshoot Service Startup Permissions
  2. Solved: Can’t Collect Information

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Event log errors, CA PestPatrol, and SeaPort

I came across these three problems while trying to figure out why someone’s computer is locking up and taking forever to log in.  Whether they are actually related to the symptoms she has been seeing has yet to be seen.  Hopefully I’ll find out that I fixed it tomorrow when she gets into work.

Errors 1505 & 1508

I saw a lot of errors with both of those codes in the event log.  I wasn’t finding much help until I went to eventid.net and saw one of the comments suggest renaming the UsrClass.dat file.  It just rebuilds the file when you log in next time.  It worked for me.  You can find the file in C:\Documents and Settings\<user account>\local settings\application data\Microsoft\windows.

Computer Associates PestPatrol

We had the old computer associates anti-virus installed a long time ago and and removed it back in October of last year when we switched to something else.  On the same computer I noticed the above errors on, I saw a couple services running that were related to PestPatrol (ppRemoteService.exe).  The strange thing is that there was no entry in add/remove programs for it since obviously we removed it months ago when we installed something else.  Uninstalling it never removed that service so it’s been taking up memory and CPU usage because it’s been running ever since.

I came across this post on their support forum about how to remove it manually.

Go to control Panel: Administrative Tools: Services stop the PestPatrol Remote Service. Open up command prompt and type cd \windows\system32. (if you are using winnt, the command would be cd\winnt\system32) Then type ppRemoteService -unregserver. Now you want to delete using the following command: del ppRemoteService.exe. Check Control Panel: Administrative Tools: Services and make sure PestPatrol Remote Service is gone. Remove the directory c:\Program Files\Common Files\PestPatrol.

Search Enhancement Pack – SeaPort.exe

Apparently this is part of the Windows Live Essentials or Windows Live Toolbar download that you can get.  Microsoft always sneaks things in there that are completely unnecessary.  It’s a service that runs at all times in the background, slowing things down quite a bit in some cases.

You have two options; either disable the service so it doesn’t automatically start every time you turn your computer on, or remove it altogether.

  1. Go to start -> run and type services.msc.
  2. Scroll down to SeaPort and right-click on it and go to properties.
  3. First choose to stop the service, then next to startup type choose disabled.
  4. If you want to completely remove it then go to \Program Files\Microsoft\Search Enhancement Pack\SeaPort\ and either rename seaport.exe or delete it.  This way it doesn’t have a chance to start again if it does try again sometime in the future.

Source:

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Vista automatic login

I found directions online for how to set automatic login in Vista on a machine that’s also on a domain. Normally to set it to automatically log in you can just check a box in the advanced user account settings window. But that box isn’t there if your machine is on a domain. In order to get it to work you have to edit the registry.  This is more so for my own notes so I don’t have to risk losing this in my bookmarks or something.  But maybe it’ll help others.

Doing anything in the registry can really screw up your computer if you don’t know what you’re doing.  Do this at your own risk.

Automatic login on a non-domained machine:

  1. Type netplwiz into the search bar to open the settings box for user accounts.
  2. Highlight the username you want to automatically log in and uncheck the box, users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.
    autologin
  3. Type in your user name and password to verify and close everything.

Automatic login on a domained machine:

  1. Start menu -> type regedit in the search bar and hit enter.
  2. Go to this registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  3. Double-click the DefaultUserName entry, type the user name to log on with, and then click OK.If DefaultUserName registry value name is not found, create the new String Value (REG_SZ) with value name as DefaultUserName.
  4. Double-click the DefaultPassword entry, type the password for the user account under the value data box, and then click OK.If there is no DefaultPassword value, create a new String Value subkey (REG_SZ) with DefaultPassword as the value name.Note that if no DefaultPassword string is specified, Windows automatically changes the value of the AutoAdminLogon registry key from 1 (true) to 0 (false) to turn off the AutoAdminLogon feature.
  5. In Windows Vista, DefaultDomainName has to be specified as well, else Windows will prompt of invalid user name with user name displayed as .\username. To do so, double click on DefaultDomainName, and specify the domain name of the user account. If it’s local user, specify local host name.If the DefaultDomainName does not exist, create a new String Value (REG_SZ) registry key with value name as DefaultDomainName.
  6. Double-click the AutoAdminLogon entry, type 1 in the Value Data box, and then click OK. If there is no AutoAdminLogon entry, create a new String Value entry (REG_SZ) with AutoAdminLogon as the value name.
  7. If it exists, delete the AutoLogonCount key.
  8. Quit Registry Editor.
  9. Restart your computer.

Source:

  1. http://www.mydigitallife.info/2008/06/15/how-to-enable-auto-logon-to-windows-xp-and-vista-joined-as-domain-member/

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Vista start menu – duplicate programs folder

This is just  quick little post about another annoyance I found in Vista.  I noticed that after going to all programs there was a programs folder that had duplicate shortcuts to everything already in the menu.  I never saw that folder before so I have no idea where it came from.  Trying to delete it completely killed my entire start menu.

To get rid of the duplicate programs folder:

  1. Go into the properties of the start menu (right click on task bar and then properties)
  2. Click the start menu tab then the customize button.
  3. Uncheck the “default programs” box.  I’ve had to do this twice so far, the 2nd time I checked the box since I unchecked it the first time.  Doing the opposite of whatever it is set to seems to fix it for some unknown reason.

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