Tag Archives: windows

Don’t Give Up! Backup…

As an avid tech person and “Google-r”, I have to say that persistence really does pay off. If I can’t figure something out, I’ll usually hit Google and start reading posts related to the issue.  It is astounding how many people post or comment to questions with just the most completely wrong advice on a subject.

My latest issue was very simple – Windows 10 wouldn’t let me do a Windows 7 image backup to my external Seagate drive.

I read a ton of posts with comments ranging from FAT vs FAT32 vs NTFS – I read about Basic vs Dynamic drives – I read about registry settings – I read about GBT vs  MBR – all seemed completely plausible, but I still couldn’t get Windows 10 to write an image to this drive.  I formatted, change types, partitioned – you name it.  Then I forgot about it for a month until I was worried about losing some files so I started digging again.

The issue came down to – get this – DISABLE WINDOWS DEFENDER REAL TIME PROTECTION for the duration of the backup.  It worked perfectly.  I’m not saying people are idiots or anything, just that everyone wants to help out and a lot of the posts are ‘Well, did you try this?  Or did you try that?’, when what you really need is to find someone who overcame the problem.

I’ve seen this time and time again for many situations – posts and comments where people “try” to help, but they repeatedly miss the mark.

So, my advice for those of you looking for help – keep looking and if someone says it can’t be done or you’re wasting your time – keep looking more.  It might just be possible.



Windows – USB Drive is Read Only

I attached a USB drive to my Windows 2008 server today and when I went to copy a file to it, the drive is “write protected”.

I didn’t see a way to undo this readily and I’m not sure how it happened in the first place, but the following commands worked:

  1. Start a Command prompt with elevated administrator access
  2. Type the following commands:
    3. SELECT VOLUME X <ENTER> (where X is the USB drive)
    5. EXIT
  3. Close the command prompt

This worked!

How to export an SSL certificate from Windows 2000

1. Log into Server using Microsoft Terminal Service
2. Click “Start” > “Run” and type “mmc”
3. A new console will open.
4. Goto “Console” > Add Remove Snap-In
5. Click “Add” > “Certificates” > “Add” > “Computer Account” > “Local Computer” > Finish
6. Expand the Console Root > Personal > Certificates
7. You will see your certificate listed there
8. Right Click on your certificate > All Task > Export
9. Export Private Key, you will have to enter a password to password protect the Private Key
10. Specify a path and file name you want to export the certificate to
11. Click Finish to complete

Caspol – Because I don’t trust you

I just had a run in with security on a Windows 2003 server.  I made the simplest little program to run in a cmd window.  It took all of 20 minutes to write and then about 2 hours to find out how to get Windows to trust it enough to run it.  Apparently they took away a tool when they moved to .NET Framework 4 that allowed you to change trust settings.

I don’t know all the details, but this post (and associated utility) really worked out well:



My Favorite Windows XP Batch File of All Time

My Favorite batch file for Windows XP ever only contains one line:

net stop wuauserv

When do you use it?  You use it when you are in the middle of trying to meet a deadline and every 5 minutes, the Microsoft Updater jumps up and says “You need to reboot your machine to complete your updates.”

These three words can take away as much stress as your manager calling to say that the meeting has been canceled and you should go home early to enjoy the rest of your day.

Now, I’m not suggesting you completely ignore updates, just ignore them when they are bugging the heck out of you.


HOW TO: Disable the Automatic Desktop Cleanup Feature in Windows XP

Dear Windows,

Stop asking me about my unused icons.  I use them, okay?  Don’t you have anything better to do?


Disable the Automatic Desktop Cleanup Feature

To stop the wizard from automatically running every 60 days:

1. Right-click a blank spot on the desktop, and then click Properties to open the Display Properties dialog box.

2. Click the Desktop tab.

3. Click Customize desktop to open the Desktop Items dialog box.

4. Click to clear the Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days check box.

5. Click OK twice to close the dialog boxes.

To run the Wizard manually, click Clean Desktop Now on the Desktop Items dialog box. You can perform a manual cleanup at any time, even if you have not disabled the wizard.

via HOW TO: Disable the Automatic Desktop Cleanup Feature in Windows XP.

via HOW TO: Disable the Automatic Desktop Cleanup Feature in Windows XP.

Recent updates require a reboot – or do they?

I have a love/hate relationship with Windows Updates.  I mean, it’s GREAT that they keep everything up to date, but I have this CRAZY thing I do called “work” – and my “work” entails running programs for hours on end and queries that don’t cater well to a semi-random reboot.  I finally turned off automatic updates because I kept coming in expecting to see the results of my 17 hour query, only to see “A recent update required a reboot”.  With that nixed, I now do semi-automatic updates which seem to 9 times out of 10, require a reboot when complete.

Well, sorry – I don’t have time for an update, and I certainly don’t want to see a reminder every 250-350 seconds just in case I forgot.  If my blood pressure and stress could be combined and measured using something similar to a  thermometer, Windows Updates certainly pushes me way over the boiling point with little or no effort.
Fact #1 – Computers should work, especially when I need them.  They should never be down or broken.  They should especially NEVER hinder me from getting my work (or play) done.

Fact #2 – Software should get updated occasionally – about once every 3 to 6 months – not every two weeks or certainly not every week.

Face #3 – A software update should be something I ask for – and when I’m done with it, it should say “I’m done and you can reboot (if necessary) when you are ready” – once.

Definitions of later on the Web:

  • subsequently: happening at a time subsequent to a reference time; “he apologized subsequently”; “he’s going to the store but he’ll be back here later”; “it didn’t happen until afterward”; “two hours after that”
  • future(a): coming at a subsequent time or stage; “the future president entered college at the age of 16”; “awaiting future actions on the bill”; “later developments”; “without ulterior argument”
  • by and by: at some eventual time in the future; “By and by he’ll understand”; “I’ll see you later”
  • late: at or toward an end or late period or stage of development; “the late phase of feudalism”; “a later symptom of the disease”; “later medical science could have saved the child”

There is nothing in that definition that says EVERY FIVE MINUTES.  The windows message after an update says “Restart Now” or “Restart Later”  Not – Ask me again every five minutes.

God forbid I should be typing something something that would inadvertainly cause me to press an enter key or something that would force a restart.  Oh, and don’t worry about saving your work because while I am rebooting I will probably lose all of your work.  Yes, this has happened to me.

Did you ever ask yourself WHY they ask you every 5 minutes to reboot?  I have the answer – it’s because they have even MORE updates waiting to send you and until you reboot (you idiot!) they can’t send them to you to start the process all over again.  Reboots are necessary to finish the unending update process.  If you want to really save time, alter you autoexec.bat file to just reboot – then you won’t have to even be involved.

Possible ways around this :

1 – Format your hard drive and install Linux – This is a little drastic.  Did I try it?  Yes – I went back to windows after trying to install several of my favorite utilities on Linux only to find out how involved this is.  Linux is a terrific alternative if you have an unlimited amount of time to throw at it.  I don’t.

2 – Turn off windows updates completely – Oh, did you read any tech rag this week (not this specific week, just any week in general) – Windows updates are necessary to prevent your next door neighbor’s 12 year old from gaining access to your hard drive because he found a secret back door into internet explorer or office.

3 – Turn on complete automatic updates – then every day when you show up – your machine rebooted at night.  This is especially useful in a production environment where you run applications that take 24 hours – oh, what’s that sparky?  You were waiting on your results?  Too fucking bad – I rebooted and no, I didn’t save anything.

None of these are great alternatives.  What I did manage to find at work this week was the following command:

Go to Start->Run and then type “net stop wuauserv” in the box and press Enter

Viola – no more prompting.  I can reset in three days when I have some downtime.  No more 5 minute – spine tingling – death defying nagging.  Windows – thou doesth killeth me…!

You can put this in a batch file and save it on your desktop.

It’s like one of those stress balls, just in a more compact form.