His posts typically reflect real situations that required real solutions. Many of these solutions are compiled from several other blogs or just personal experience and put into a easy to follow process.
After upgrading several workstations for a client, who still has a Windows 2000 server, the Windows 7 workstations would no longer connect to the shares on the Win2K server. To resolve this issue we made several attempts.System Time
The first thing we looked at was the system time on the server. It was off by about 15 minutes. Normally this is not the cause, but to be sure we updated the server time to be in sync with our workstations.
Just Say NO
Promoting your business with as little expense as possible is a top priority for any business startup. Keeping the overhead costs of marketing to a minimum can be difficult when so many solicitors are telling you how they can get you noticed in printed materials, radio, TV, or the Internet for a small fee. The temptations they offer sound good, but the return on your investment (ROI) might not be as good as promised. You need to learn to say "NO" early on. Practice that a few times, go ahead and just say "NO".
While attempting to push an install of Kaspersky Endpoint Security to a client's laptop the installation would fail with an unknown error. After checking the laptop's Application event log I found the following message "Kaspersky Security Center Network Agent - Error 25002. Error while installing: The system cannot find the path specified."
This system was fairly clean and had been check for viruses, so I knew that was not the problem. But someone else provided support and so anything could have been done by the previous admin that could have caused the issue. After researching various installation failures I found that someone had an issue with the junction points not being created correctly in the C:\ProgramData folder, which is a hidden folder for those that don't already know.
Upgrading to Intuit's QuickBooks Enterprise 2013 seemed to be an easy task at first, even though the step by step documentation was next to impossible to find on Intuit's web site. However, it took several hours to track down what seemed to be a simple issue, getting the multi-user mode working again.
Here are some steps to follow for upgrading QuickBooks Enterprise 2013:
The .NET Framework cleanup tool is designed to automatically perform a set of steps to remove selected versions of the .NET Framework from a computer. It will remove files, directories, registry keys and values and Windows Installer product registration information for the .NET Framework. The tool is intended primarily to return your system to a known (relatively clean) state in case you are encountering .NET Framework installation, uninstallation, repair or patching errors so that you can try to install again.
There are a couple of very important caveats that you should review before using this tool to remove any version of the .NET Framework from your system:
After reinstalling Windows 7 and then setting up Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) again, the game would no longer allow the option for choosing which version of DirectX to use. This system was a high end laptop running Windows 7 with an NVidia graphics card that supported DirectX 11.
DirectX 11 is native to the Windows 7 installation and you can verify this by running the command dxdiag from the Start menu. The diagnostics will likely indicate that you have DirectX 11 compatibility but the game will still not detect it correctly.
A client had an HP P2-1394 model H3Z88AA desktop system that would turn on briefly, the drives would power up, the fans would spin, and then the system would shut down. After about 5 seconds the process would repeat. This would continue until either the power was removed or the power button was pressed for several seconds forcing the system to the off mode.
Some technical notes found on similar issues suggested the following:
vCenter Server Appliance with an embedded vPostgres database may stop running with out any warning. After logging into the web user interface (web UI) of the appliance you may notice that, in the Storage Usage on the Summary tab, the database statistics are showing 100%. Attempting to start the vCenter Server services at this point will result in the service running for a brief moment before is automatically shuts down again. This occurs because a disk partition on the vPostgres database contains no free space.
VMware doesn't have any recommended preventative maintenance tasks at this time but it doesn't hurt to establish your own in order to prevent this sort of issue in the first place. There is a retention policy for the database and we will look at why that may not be adequate for some installations.
One of our clients was using Microsoft Office 2010 on a trial basis but it had expired and therefore purchased a license of Office 2013 Home and Business from Microsoft's online store. After installing the software they attempted to run Outlook 2013 which would start and then display an error "Microsoft Outlook has stopped working". We noticed that all of the Microsoft applications provided the similar error messages.Outlook 2013 - Microsoft Outlook has stopped workingExcel 2013 - Microsoft Excel has stopped workingWord 2013Microsoft Word has stopped workingPowerPoint 2013 - Microsoft PowerPoint has stopped working
Our first attempt was to run a repair on the Microsoft Office installation from the Programs and Features control panel. That made no difference. We then attempted reinstalling the software and still had the same issue. We the found a technical note indicating that ABBY-FineReader was likely the cause of the issue. Sure enough ABBY-FineReader 9.0 was installed with some Epson printer drivers. We uninstalled the ABBY-FineReader software, cleaned the registry of any remains, and then rebooted the system. All of the Microsoft Office 2013 applications worked as expected.
Diagnosing e-mail issues is often a time consuming task. Having your e-mail address, especially a corporate domain, blacklisted on a private list is even more troublesome. Each vendor has its own process and Comcast has their own as well.
Reporting Blocked Email
While fixing a client computer I kept having an issue trying to update their Malwarebytes application. Each time the update would attempt to run it would just hang. The system was fairly clean with the exception of one malware application, Babylon Toolbar. The system was also installed with Norton Antivirus, which has not been an issue in the past.
After several attempts to get the update...
Recovering various HP and even some Dell system after a hard drive failure without the recovery DVD's can be frustrating. If the owner forgot to create the DVD's, there is a chance that you can still burn them later once the computer is running again. If the owner created the DVD's and lost them, you might be forced to contact the vendor and purchase a new set.
Well, if the recovery partition is still accessible on the original drive, here is a how to recover from the HP recovery partition that might help get the system recovered to the factory default installation.
Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 requires that you use the http://connect in Internet Explorer on all Windows systems. After upgrading a SBS 2003 system to SBS 2011 I needed to rejoin a Windows XP system to the new server, however, when I attempt to run the utility, I received several different message indicating the I could not connect.
One thing that was not mentioned in many of the other technical articles written about this issue is that this particular system was configured with a static IP address and no default domain. After setting the default domain, the http://connect process worked. Normally this would not be an issue if the workstation had been configured with a DHCP address.
When managing the licensing for Kaspersky endpoints, you typically create a task to add the latest key to the end point. The trouble comes when you forget to uncheck the option “Add this key as an additional key” and then your end point has two license keys associated with it. If you are managing multiple license key files with endpoints that are remote, which you don’t have direct access to, this may seem to be an even bigger issue for you. So how can you remove a duplicate key?
The process to remove a duplicate key may be a two-step process, depending on which key you want to be the final key assigned. For example, if your endpoint’s primary key noted in the application properties is correct and the additional key is the one you want to remove, then you must follow the two step process. But if the additional key is the key you want to remain, you only need to follow the first step to replace the existing key.
A client attempted to install an upgrade to Kaspersky Anti-virus, but the install was interrupted and so the system was left in an unstable state. Continued use of the computer frequently resulted in the following Blue Screen of Death.A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA If this is the first time you have seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps: Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask your hardware or software manufacturer for any windows updates you might need. If problems continue, disable or remove any newly hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select advanced startup options, and then select safe mode.
One of the side effects from this issue was that the hard drive was constantly getting corrupted and several drivers would fail to load. In order to get the system to boot we had to go into safe mode, run a check disk on reboot, and then the system would finally boot and run for a short period of time, which was all we needed.
The SMTP Server Connection Diagnostics Tool is a free utility will enable you to troubleshoot SMTP Server issues more easily than using telnet. It supports both open and SSL connections and contains a built-in library of commands such as EHLO, DATA, RCPT TO, etc.. Nothing to install, just run the executable and step through your commands.
Client's HP Pavilion M9400t was reported as having a noisy fan and then would not boot any longer. The power supply was the primary reason for the system not powering but after replacing the power supply the system would continually reboot. Using the F8 key while booting we were able to force the system to stop on the error and not reboot. This allowed the error message STOP 0x0000007B to be displayed. This error most often is reported when there is a hardware issue.
After backing up the hard drive using Norton Ghost, we went through a series of tests by removing hardware. In this case the video card was an add-in so it was removed but the problem still persisted. Next we checked the BIOS settings and noted the default for the SATA drive was set to RAID. We changed this to IDE and rebooted the system. The system booted normally.
The Search Protect malware is often inadvertently installed with other freeware applications. We won't go into the details of this application, there is plenty of information published already. These days you don't get anything for free, it seems many of these free applications come with malware bundled with them, Search Protect being one of them.
We see this application often on client computers and removing it can be difficult. The application is constantly changing so these steps might work or they might not. But it won't hurt to give it a try.
Most boot sector viruses detected by some of the best commercial antivirus software such as Symantec's Norton Antivirus, Microsoft's Security Essentials, or Kapersky's Antivirus can not be removed by these applications. And in many cases a boot sector virus is capable of alluding these applications unless the drive is connected to a clean system that has the AV software actively running.
What is a boot sector virus? This is a computer virus that infects a diskette or hard drive in the area which contains information about the configuration of the disk. The boot sector is used by many computer operating systems to determine how to access the diskette or drive. These viruses replace the critical boot sector program used to start the computer with their own malicious program often causing frequent computer crashes, allowing other malware infections, and performance issues.
I use to be a frequent visitor to CNET for downloads of trial software and in some cases updates to software which I purchased previously. After my last encounter with CNET I have to recommend to all my clients to stay away from any download from CNET for risk of downloading any number of malware and garbageware onto their computers.
There are allot of good free applications that many of us in the IT field like to use. CNET has been in the past one of the great locations to easily find the utility application you need when you don't have it readily available. We make it a habit to discourage most end users from using any Windows or Mac based tool that can be downloaded from the Internet unless they have extensive experience and intimate knowledge of the system the are using it on. A backup is always a best practice before installing any software.