Saturday, December 31, 2011

Windows Update on Windows 7 failing at Configuring Updates

The Problem
So I had a strange problem. I have over the last couple of months had a problem where occasionally my computer when shutting down would have between 11-24 updates(it rose from the lower to higher) but when turning it back on then it would fail while configuring updates. If you are not aware of when this step is it happens before the computer finishes loading up after a reboot or shutdown. So since it failed it would revert changes and none of the updates got installed. This was on a Windows 7 64bit Professional machine. I ignored it since it wasn't causing me any problems(oddly I find I don't fix problems on my computers as fast as I do others) but it started getting really annoying delaying me shutting it down/starting up. This was annoying because it is a laptop that gets used heavily.

I was getting no error number and they failed whether I installed them while in windows or while shutting down. So I continued to troubleshoot. I even ran the System Readiness Update Tool from this previous post where I used it for previous such problems, which can be found here. It showed I had a clean bill of health.

The Solution
After this I then tried installing just a couple(4 updates) at a time. This worked. So I then continued to install the updates a couple at a time without mixing types(ie: security, critical, and so on). I was through this process able to install all my updates. It appears from this that one or more of the updates caused a problem when installed with some of the other updates. Sadly I don't know which they were. None the less installing updates in bite sized amounts may fix your issue too if you are facing a similar problem. You may even try one at a time. Good Luck and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Phone Lock Samsung Rugby 2 - Steps to Unlock

The Problem
I recently had an issue where one of our mobile phones was returned to me with a phone lock on it. I tried a couple of simple passwords and had no luck.

So after working with Samsung & ATT they gave me the following process to reset the phones to factory default, therefore letting you get around the password.

The Solution

NOTE : This will wipe everything on your phone, that is not on your SD card. Thanks J Gardner. I should had this here earlier.
  • Turn off the phone. 
  • Take off the back cover and remove the battery & SIM Card
  • Put the battery back in and turn on the phone
  • When you get the message "SIM card is missing" (or something like that) dial the following number:
  • *2767*3855#
  • It will reset the phone but wait till it is done and turns back on.
  • Turn off the phone by using the power button(Don't kill by using the battery)
  • Put the sum card back in and put the phone back together
  • Turn it back on
It should now work and start up without a password.

NOTE: It was explained to me this would only work on the GSM version of this phone the A847. Not sure if that is the case or not.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Windows Phone 7 Crashes while setting up Outlook Email to Exchange

The Background
I had dropped my phone one too many times and the front glass had cracked. The phone was still usable but I was tired of looking through cracks. It was also starting to act funny sometimes and not haha funny.
I had an an identical phone just sitting in a box and not being used I decided to finally move across to it. It was fairly painless. The only hitch I hit was while setting up my exchange email account on the phone.

The Problem
I clicked on the "Outlook" account and put in my email address and password. It then after a little while asked me for my username and domain name. This is most likely due to my username being a little different from my email address. I put it in and my domain name and clicked on. After a short period of time I got this message.
At the top it said "...and we've found them!" and then the error message "Oops! We're having a problem that we can't solve at the moment. Try again later."

This was confusing because I have 7 other phones just like this that are working just fine. Here were the differences that had happened between my previous phone and this phone.

  • All email with exchange had been setup pre-mango. Maybe something with Mango didn't jive with my exchange server. I doubt this one.
  • I had changed my username to where it no longer matched(don't think this is the issue)
  • Before we had a private cert and now we use a GoDaddy Cert.
  • I had also setup auto-discover settings to work
I feel this is something with our auto-discover settings(although outlook and other phone OSs don't have a problem with them outside of our network) since I had done this for other Phones to different exchange servers and not had a problem. I can't guarantee this which is why I put this post up.

The Solution
Windows Phone tries to ask for the least amount of email information when setting up an account. If it doesn't work it asks you for more information. Then if it doesn't work a second time it shows you advanced settings. Well I just fed it wrong information till it showed me advanced settings.

I then manually entered all the settings correctly. Since it doesn't need to auto-discover any settings than it instantly creates the email account and starts syncing. This allows you to bypass whatever is causing it to choke. After a short time it should then start pulling down your emails, tasks, contacts, and events.

I am now running it for a week on the new phone and enjoying it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Essential Business Server Forefront Fails to Create Reports

The Problem
Error when trying to generate TMG Report
So as part of a need to start seeing who was sucking down my bandwidth than I decided I would take a look into the reporting that is included with Windows Essential Business Server 2008(EBS) on the Security Server which is Forefront Threat Management Gateway. I opened the Forefront TMG Console and after creating a report I then told it to "Generate and View Selected Report" This resulted in the error to the right popping up.

The report Web Usage could not be generated....

After trying various other variations of the report thinking that maybe there was some problematic data it was still giving me issues. At this point I decided to dig a little deeper into the error.

Error when browsing to site. (Click for Larger)
It was giving me a 500. That wasn't really specific so after some additional digging on the net for troubleshooting they recommended opening the URL in IE. and I should get the Report Server interface. Instead of that I got this screen. This was good because it told me it was a 500.0 error as well as gave me the following more info to use in my searching:

HTTP Error 500.0 - Internal Server Error
The page cannot be displayed because an internal server error has occurred.

Detailed Error Information
Module: IsapiModule
Notification: ExecuteRequestHandler
Handler:  AboMapperCustom-2299220
Error Code: 0x800700c1
Requested URL:$ISARS
Physical Path: C:\Program Files(X86)\Microsoft SQL Server\ MSSQL.3\Reporting Services\ReportServer
Logon Method: Neogitate
Logon User: (My Username)

I then started looking around this path and stumbled on a post about Coldfusion running on IIS7 and this error being created almost identically. The problem for that post was that Coldfusion was running as 32bit and IIS7 was 64bit. The Solution was to run a script that would enable 32bit web apps.

Well just glancing at the task manager I could see IIS was running 64bit and that the reporting server was running as 32bit. I also remembered that for the installation of an update that the EBS Blog had me enable and then disable this particular flag Enable32bitAppOnWin64. After hunting I found that entry

I decided to try this solution.

The Solution
Open an Command Prompt with elevated privledges on the security server and run the below script:
cscript %SystemDrive%\inetpub\AdminScripts\adsutil.vbs set w3svc/AppPools/Enable32bitAppOnWin64 1

After this I restarted the IIS Service. After this when I browsed to the web page it password prompted me. I knew that was a good sign. I then Jumped into the Forefront Report and pulled up my report. This time it worked without an error.

So my problem was either that that flag was set to disable since the beginning(never used the reporting server till now so not sure) or in following their blog entry to install the update for SQL Server it asks to set that flag to disable. They could have meant to just do that on the Management server but since their blog posts are a tad vague and the update was to apply to both so no was y of knowing if it was my goof or theirs.

Either way reporting is working now after hours of time on it. Now on to the next problem.

Friday, September 16, 2011

IE8 Error while installing. "Setup cannot continue because..."

The Problem
I was installing updates on a laptop running Vista x64. Mid install of updates it rebooted and then told me it was uninstalling some updates due to improper install of them. Which was fine. After the computer came back up I continued to install updates. Sadly I couldn't get Internet Explorer 8 to install due to it popping up the error "Setup cannot continue because a more recent version of Internet Explorer has been detected on this computer." I rebooted the computer and still had problems. I would usually ignore this but for other updates to show and progress I needed to get this to work.

I decided I would uninstall IE8 so it could re-install. After jumping into Programs and Features IE8 was no where to be found. So I then jumped online to see how to manually uninstall. Ran across a Microsoft Article showing the steps I had just checked earlier. No Go. They also showed a long command to run to get it to potentially uninstall the app. That didn't work either.

I then stumbled onto a forum post by "Chris Oliphant" on His post was my solution.

The Solution
I downloaded IE8 for my version of Windows. Make sure you have the right version x64 or 32bit. I ran it and got the same error. Leaving the box open I browsed to the Root of the drive. You should a folder there with a long numbers and letters name.

Open that folder and run IE8.msu.(You may need to copy the files elsewhere if you run into issues) It will not check to see if IE8 or 9 are installed and will just overwrite the install of IE8 that is on the computer.

After it is done installing reboot the computer. You can now delete that folder that is at the root of the drive. (Be careful don't delete something else and mess up your computer) Re-run Windows Update and it should then find the additional updates. You are then good to go.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Avaya IP Office Paging Both Overhead & Phones Simultaneously - Updated

The Backstory
At some point in the past we moved to the Avaya IP Office platform for our VOIP system and I have been truly impressed with it. It really has not had any problems. Other than some FAX over IP issues it has been superb. The level of configuration has been great. We did run into another issue which I will mention below in the problem section.

We recently tied a remote location back to our main offices where we had our Avaya IP Office system. We also swapped out the old Avaya Partner system with 1608 and 1616 series phones. After this was done it was brought to my attention that they had an overhead paging system for a large shop and outside the building.

They needed to make this work. This was across a point-to-point T1. They also only wanted to page once and have it go over both systems simultaneuosly. I had already setup paging over the phones which covered the inside of the building.

The Problem
Now the problem was that even at another location where they had a bogen paging system, they had to page the phones and the overhead system seperately. This is because the partner we had worked with and avaya said it couldn't be done. Now if this is true, I don't know, but those I spoke to said that was the case. That was fine for the location where the avaya system was located nearby to do the page interface.

At the remote location their was no avaya system so even though the paging system existed at the remote location I didn't see an easy way to tie it into the Avaya Phone system. After working with a third party vendor they recommended. a MultiTech MVP130-FXS. We said it would tie in the paging system into the system so it acted just like a phone.

Well after much time and paying money for a Third Party IP Endpoint license. I found that it didn't work just like a phone. I also couldn't get it to interface with the Multitech without it issuing a dial tone. This was after some hours of just getting the unit setup. After speaking to Multitech it sounded like I was going to actually need two multitech devices. :(

At this point I was rather frustrated and knew the remote location was starting to get frustrated. I had now spent over $300 dollars and it looked like to get a partial solution(paging overhead and IP Phone seperately) I was going to have to spend more money and more time of which I had already used tons. So out of desperation came the following solution.

The Solution
Overhead Paging System Page In Port
So I had been plugging the analog port of the MVP130FXS into the Page In port of the overhead paging system. I could get ringing and a dial tone over the speakers but paging was a no go. I had a 1608 phone sitting next for me to test dialing the MVP130.

Out of frustration I realized that I could probably plug in anything that made noise into this guy. I took the cord out of the headset portion of the phone and plugged it into the overhead page in port not expecting much. After pulling the headset off the phone a dial tone came blaring out of the paging system speakers.

YAY, progress. So I called that extension and picked the headset off the unit to answer the call, it worked and I could hear my voice across the system now. I realized though that even if I setup the page button to just call this extension than I would still need something to lift the receiver or I would have the same issue as I had with the MVP130.

The paging to phones is sounded through the phones internal speaker. At this point I had my "aha" moment. I took apart the 1608 and found the speaker. It had 2 wires running to it. I took the previously Paging cord which had a RJ11 on one side and the two middle wires stripped on the other side. I then plugged the RJ11 side into the page in port of the overhead, and rapped the two wires around the two connectors of the phone. Giving me what you see below.

The Phone had already been a part of the page group so I had them do a demo test and it worked perfectly. So the end solution is to take a 2-wire from the speaker of the Avaya IP Phone to the page in on your system. This also allows the overhead and phones to page at the same time. This is said not to be possible with the Avaya IP office system.

I actually had to return this phone back to another location and brought a spare 5621 to use in it's place and it worked great. So I believe any phone that worked with the Paging system of the Avaya IP Office would work, but test. What I plan on doing though for long term use will be to purchase a 1603-I from Dell running at $100 with a Power adapter for $8. I will then open the unit up and solder a 2 wire two the speaker connectors and cut out a small hole at the bottom so I can seal the unit back together. I would then attach run that wire directly to the paging interface as needed.

NOTE If this phone is part of a Hunt Group than make sure you turn the ringer volume all the way down so your staff doesn't go crazy hearing the ringing going over the overhead. Also I had a sticky note keeping the receiver trigger from noticing the headset was off the hook.

NOTE 2 The Phone volume can be turned up and down if it is either too loud or quiet across your paging system or adjust it on the system if you can.

The Wrap Up
So instead of spending upwards of $500 to get the equipment and licensing to make a half-working solution I can spend about $120 and have a fully working solution that is quite powerful. You can even setup another paging short code if you want to just page one or the other instead of both at the same time.

Now this is not blessed by Avaya and as typical I am including a warning that this could damage your paging system and you are performing this hack at your own risk. Obviously the phone you are operating on you won't be able to use for a phone but it is way cheaper than the alternative and a great solution for bringing paging to a remote location.

I have not tested this with a Bogen but have another location that I will be testing this on in the next week to see if the Bogen amp will be hospitable to this "Hack."

Update 9/26/2011
I tested another location with Avaya branded paging module tied to a 5621 phone. Worked fine. To the right is an attached picture. I just tied the two lines from the speaker on the phone to the phone system pins on the Paging Module. You may have to adjust the volume on the phone.
Updated 10/18/2011
I ordered a 1603-I with a power adapter. I took it apart and soldered my two wires from a Cat 5e cable two the speaker leads. I then drilled a hole in the back of the case just the size of the cable and routed it out the back and over the the paging interface crimping down the two wires to it. Also mounted the phone to the wall. Sadly the picture freaked out so you can't see the cables running across. As you can see to the right though it looks alot nicer and the phone is actually functional if they need it in there, just don't use the speakerphone.

Fixing HL2070N Toner Life End Error

The Problem
The error on the web interface of printer
We had someone who was having a problem with a printer. It refused to print. I was called in and upon looking at the printer on the computer it showed it was initializing. I tried a test print and nothing happened.

Upon viewing the web interface for the printer interface I noticed that the toner light I saw let wasn't was because it was low on toner but because the device thought it was done or out.

At this point I asked the person about the toner and they said that they had recently replaced it. OK well that wasn't the solution. I jumped online and across a couple of forms I found my solution.

The Solution
The printer uses a digital Eye to see the level ov toner in the device. If you pull out the toner than on either side where the grey(on mine) is  a circle that associates with a window through which the printer can see.

Either due to this one cartridge being faulty or myabe the printer, the printer didn't like what it was seeing or maybe could see through which would indicate no toner. No toner wsn't the case due to great print jobs, new cartridge, and gentle rocking to ensure proper toner distribution . I guess we'll see with new cartridges in the future.

Sticky note blocking toner window 
To overcome this I took one of those small 1"x2" sticky notes and tore out a section and dropped it in front of the clear window on the right side(As shown in the picture to the left).

Putting the cartrdige back in the web interface no longer displayed such an error. I was also then to continue printing. This error has not returned either after a short period.

The hope is that this was just one cartrdige causing the problem but it could mean something failing with that digital eye system. Hope this saves others of you out there money not needed to replace a cartridge or printer.

Friday, August 26, 2011

FMTG / ISA returning error accessing FTP

The Problem
I had a user that was trying to access a FTP site. She was a new employee but was using the same link given to her by the old employee. testing htat link on my machine resulted in the following page popping up. So I knew that my Firewall was involved. This had worked in the past just fine. After checking the firewall logs on the server I could tell it looked fine. The Actual Error read:

Error Code: 502 Proxy Error. The login request was denied. The logon account might have been disabled or logon information might have changed. Log on again to verify that the information was typed correctly. If the problem continues, report the problem to the administrator of the Internet server you are requesting. (12015)

So I could see that it seemed that the firewall was coughing on the credentials. Everything worked after going to Internet Explorer >Internet Options>Connections>LAN Settings>Uncheck "Automatically detect settings." This wasn't really a solution I wanted.

The Solution
I remembered after working around a little that in the past using Windows Explorer to browse to location for FTP would resolve the issue. After having her open Windows Explorer and putting the address in there than she was able to put in her credentials and access the site.

So the FMTG\ISA server didn't like how Internet Explorer was asking for credentials when the client was set to use it as a proxy. Not sure exactly but using Windows Explorer fixes the issue without having to make any changes to your setup.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Office 2010 SP1 Error: There is no disk in the drive...

Ran into an erorr while installing Service Pack 1 for Office 2010. IT was giving me the following error: "There is no disk in the drive. Please insert a disk into drive \Device\Harddrisk1\DR1."

After trying this more times I still got the same error. Searching for this error I couldn't find a definite solution. Although many mentioned trying to unmap network drives and removing any removable media such as USB drives. Well I didn't have anything such thing used.

I did notice though after time that my printer had media card readers on it. I unplugged the USB Cord from the back of the printer. Re-tryed the SP1 install and it worked. So if you run across this issues I hope trying my solution works for you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Unathorize a DHCP server with a "The parameter is incorrect." error

After a migration of DHCP from one server to another I found my self trying to unathorize the old server. One way to do it is to select the Server in the DHCP Tool. Then click "Action" on the menu bar and then click "unauthorize." You can accomplish this alos by right-clicking on the server as well and clicking "Unauthorize."
Upon doing this I discovered an odd problem. After doing this you get the "Are You Sure" prompt. Upon clicking "Yes" then it returns the error below "The parameter is incorrect":
After trying a couple of different things it still stuck. During my migration I had used the command prompt and the netsh tool. So I went hunting on how to unauthorize a server. My search led to some interesting information. You can follow this link to read Microsofts KB explaining how to do what we will do.

The DHCP server information is retained in active directory. So if you have ever uninstalled DHCP, removed a server, or any other such action without unathoirzing the DHCP server they are still listed in AD. You can read more about why it's listed in AD and so on here.

To see what DHCP servers are currently authorized in DHCP open a command prompt and run the following command "netsh dhcp show server". Upon doing this I noticed a server I had used before that was no longer around. These results will give you two pieces of information you will need to deuathorize the servers from AD. The server name and Address.

Run the following command with your servers information filled in"netsh dhcp delete server [servername] [server ip address]". It should give you a command completed successfully if everything went well. You can re-run the show server command to see if it worked.

I used this command to remove the old server  that was no longer used as well as to remove(unauthroize) the server that was giving me the error. Upon doing this I jumped back into the DHCP tool to see if it recognized my change.

Upon right-clicking the server it was showing me the optin to "authorize" the server. This confirmed that netsh worked. I was then able to remove the DHCP role from my server.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Resetting a 5621 to defaults

I have an IP office Phone system. I have two locations with actual IP office systems networked. Due to temporary relocation I had to move many of the phones that were licensed to first location to the second location. DHCP was directing them to the second box which didn't have the user extensions or licenses. So I had to manually configure the phones to point to the 1st location.

Now that the people and their phones are back at the first location I had to reset all the phones back to utilize DHCP. There are two ways to get this done.
  1. While the phone is on and sitting with an extension displayed, press the mute button
  2. Then dial 73738(RESET)
  3. Then press #
  4. You should then get a prompt saying "Reset Values?" Press # again
  5. You should then get a prompt saying "Are you sure?" Press # again
Your phone then will reset its values and reboot.

If your phone can't finish booting for some reason than do the same steps above during the boot process. You know you can follow steps 2-5 because when you press mute for step 1 you will get a beep back.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Word could not create the work file. Check the temp environment variable.

A friend of me contacted me and let me know that he was constantly getting an error while opening word, which said "Word could not create the work file. Check the temp environment variable." But clicking through it allowed you to get into word. This happened every time no matter if he was opening a saved document or just starting word with the normal blank new document. Also he lost his favorites, and his history.

The Word error is right. One of the variables is wrong. You need to browse too the registry to the following key: "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders" Look for any keys that may be pointing to a set location IE: "K:\Todd\Favorites" All entries should use the %USERPROFILE% Variable.

When you find the offending registry keys than you can look around at surrounding ones and most likely correct it. If not then ask in the comments or your friendly tech guy. After fixing these variables you may need to log out and back in. The picture below is for Windows 7 yours may appear differently if working under a different version. Keep that in mind.
Interestingly enough though the locations pointed to a backup external Hard drive. It was pointing to a folder created by the manufacturer backup software. I wonder why this was caused. Anyways it's been a couple of days and no further problems so it didn't revert back.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fortres Grand Cleanslate Review, Found wanting

Need for new softwareRecently we made the move from Windows XP to newer computers with Windows 7 64bit for our library. The software that most places might use Steady State never was setup to work with Windows 7, and has now been discontinued as a whole. Microsoft provides a couple of guides to allow you to do most things that SS did through other methods such as Group Policy. I was game for it but our librarian wanted to use some software recommended to her by another librarian.

Fortres Grand Clean Slate
I looked at the software and based on their website it would work. Grabbed a demo and tried it real quick. Seemed to do what it would say. Sadly I am an Army of one so intense time couldn't be spent testing it pre-purchase. The Academic pricing was great so I thought if it didn't work very well I would yank it off. So I approved the purchase of the software by the librarian.

After getting my computers ready then I installed the software on the computer. After configuring one just like I wanted I was able to export the settings to use with to easily setup the other computers. The feature worked great. Install went by fast I did notice that the software did not have my antivirus listed so I added my Antivirus program as an exception which was pretty straight forward. Left the computers protected and safe.

Problems - Don't logoff
Two days later I came back to resolve some problems with other software and while there someone sat down to the computer and when logging in to the user they went to click on an icon on the taskbar and pow a nice error popped up, "Can't open this item - It Might have been moved, renamed, or deleted. Do you want to remove this item?", and they couldn't do anything. I told them to use another computer and sat down at the computer.

The computer refused to do anything other than letting me open the Start Menu and logoff(We had changed the default to be logoff on the button since logging off is quicker than restarting and patrons are impatient just like me). I went to login as the public user again and the same problem. I then restarted and the problem went away. But after logging off and back in the problem occurred again. The long and short of it, Logging out and back in didn't work. Clean Slate wasn't doing all it needed through a logoff. It needs to restart to do all of its jazz it seems. Still working on this issue.

Setting the default button to be restart resolved the problem mostly but people would still occasionally find the logoff and then the next patron would be welcomed to a beautiful error. called support twice and had no luck so left a message. No go, so I relented and filled out their support form. They emailed me a link to the latest version and told me to update to it. After testing it on one, the problem didn't go away. the next recommendation was to Enable access to full C and registry and see if the problem went away. When it did I was to work down to the tightest it could while still working. I am busy and don't have the time to do this but have deducted that the HD can be left protected and that it seems to be something under the HKLM key. Haven't had time to finish due to another problem.

Problem - Some updates OK others not
Well a couple of days later I receive a support ticket that one of the computers was stuck at 35% update and a day later it still was sitting at the Configuring updates 35% complete. No HD light activity. I force shutdown the unit and restarted it stopped at the same point. I fight on this and while doing that I start updating all other computers 8 in all. 4 of them worked fine, 4 others had problems and wouldn't install all the updates which is what lent to my previous blog entry about the windows update error.

For some reason 4 of the computers were missing necessary servicing files. I was able to get the files and then get those computers going( read the previous blog post if you have a similar issue.) I then had 2 more join the 35% completion computer in the same forever udpating dance. I tried disabling antivirus and checked Clean Slate's Disable all security on this computer. Still no luck they were still saying configuring updates. I was able to restore them to a previous point and they worked but installing updates even one by one caused 2 of them to still have the problem. I left the out of order sign on the computers knowing SP1 for Windows 7 was coming out and hoped it would resolve the problem.

I assumed that since only the Public computers (and not all of them just most of them) were having problems maybe people were force shutting them down and that corruption was causing some problem. Weirdly a chkdsk and sfc /scannow which usually shows corruption listed no problems. Ehh wierder things have happened.

System Imaging also means Service Packs
So I download the standalone installer for SP1 and got it started on two computers. Weirdly after two hours it's still not finished. I check the log and see access denied errors on moving some files it had just extracted. Left the computers hoping the next day they would be good. No such luck. They had popped up with the following error you see to the right.

I closed them out and was quite irritated. Started working with Microsoft support through chat. While doing this. One of the computers had for some reason done a system restore before Clean Slate had been installed. It got my wheels spinning. Maybe it was Clean Slate. I start SP1 install on this computer. About 30 minutes later it is almost done, passing the spot where it usually hung on the other computers and there were no access denied errors in the SP1 Install log.

I then uninstalled Clean Slate on another computer that had not allowed SP1 to install previously. Long story short it installed fine. I then let the Microsoft rep know about this. He did a "Clean Boot" and still weirdly Sp1 failed. So I called with Fortres Grand they explained that the "Disable All Security on this computer" does disable all security, but that when it is such a big change as a service pack then you you need to use the option "System Imaging Support." This apparently disables the driver from loading, for clean slate. I went to System Imaging support and told it to disable Clean Slate for the next 10 reboots. Rebooted and SP1 installed. Did this on all the other computers and the updates that would cause the Configuring Update hang would install and SP1 would install fine.

So solution is with some updates(no way to tell which) and Service Packs to use System Imaging Support to ensure no problems.

System Imaging Solution not a solution
I disagree with System Imaging just disabling a driver, because I was getting access denied errors of copying files to locations, not SP1 hanging because of a goofy driver. So obviously "Disable All Security on this Computer" does not do just that.

Also there is only one place in the whole help file that mentions that you might need to use System Imaging Support for updates and here it is verbatim.

Other Uses
In rare circumstances it may be useful to use System Imaging Support to disengage Clean Slate for certain software updates.
So unless you read the whole manual, which since I don't image right now so I didn't read this section, which was at the very bottom of the help function for System Imaging. You may waste tons of time as I did before you even realize Clean Slate is the issue.

If this was a known issue which since the tech support guy said it right out as well as it is state in the help document(hidden deep within). They should have a Best Practices section that states this kind of info, and also before you buy it. Because the only working solution I can see is that I disable updates, and then every once and awhile I come down use system imaging support and install all the updates. I can't just leave updates enabled and let someone call me when one of them does a "Configuring Updates Hang"(Not really hangs the circle still spins), which then requires me Hard powering off the device.

I think the software is preventing Windows from doing final update steps, which causes Windows to sit there forever. This probably is also why(not for sure) that I was getting the missing manifest error from my previous post.

False Advertising
I am fine with software having a problem but it better be posted somewhere that makes since. Clean Slate is supposed to allow updating. As a matter of fact here is a picture from their site:

The Language there and in the manual conflict. As well as my experience conflicts with that.

You will be hit and miss on phone support based on my experience. Their email support is quick to respond though. Although both times I was told it was probably just a corrupt install and to update my software first without asking for further information like my settings, etc. Which corrupt install wouldn't fly in my situation since I have 8 machines having the exact same problem.

I will be working with them further to hammer out a couple more of my issues, so we'll see how it progresses.

Also Online update doesn't work currently. It failed on my installs so I had to update manually.

The software has huge potential but in it's current state I would recommend looking elsewhere, unless you want you and your patrons to be beta testers. Also you could go this route if you had lots of time. Which I doubt you have if you are reading this article. 

They need to correct their advertising, since it was some critical updates that was causing my "Configuring Updates at 35%" problem. Also they need to create a best configuration document or something so people don't spend the time I did before figuring out you need to use System Imaging Support.

At a future time I will follow up on the product and state my personal thought on the best running practices to keep it running well and see if future revisions fix my problems.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Windows Update Error 80073712 and fixing the problem

So I have a library that I support. Public Kiosk computers are way too much fun to support. While I was down fixing a problem I decided to update all the computers. After running through updates, half of my computers wouldn’t install the updates. I tried a reboot and still it wouldn’t work. I was getting an Error 80073712 and the updates would fail to install.

So I started searching around. I won’t bore you will all the fixes I tried that didn’t work. Below are the steps I took to resolve the issue.
I downloaded the latest Windows system Update Readiness Tool. You can download it from here:
After you download it run it. It will take a while but when it’s done it creates two log file. They are located here: “%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Windows\Logs\CBS\” and called checksur.log (This is only results for this run of the tool) and checksur.persist.log(results from the last couple of runs maybe all of them).
In the log it mentioned missing manifests and said where they should be. I checked there location and sure enough they weren’t there. It said it was missing 296. I ran the tool on the other computers having a problem and one had four missing manifests. Four is a lot easier to work with than 296 so I started with this computer. I then went to one of the computers that was working fine. Found the missing manifests and copied them to a thumb drive. They were located in the folder “C:\Windows\winsxs\Manifests.“
I then went to the other computer and tried to copy them in that same folder. Access denied. I was administrator so tried it again and still a problem. I didn’t want to bork anything so I searched the net and ran across this document which will help you fix other windows update servicing problems as well:
It notates that for missing manifests that you want to copy onto a non-working machine you place them in “C:\windows\Temp\CheckSUR\winsxs\Mainfests” and re-run the System Update Readiness tool. It then will run through the same process and in my case fixed the problem. Make sure that the found errors and the fixed  errors match. If so it fixed all the problems.
You need to reboot the computer then rerun windows update install the updates that it finds. It should then work. Now on one of the 4 computers I had one other problem to resolve but the majority of them worked without a problem. (also one of mine sat at configuring Windows Update 100% for a while, just be patient, or try press Ctrl + Alt + Del)
When you are only missing like 4 files it is ok to search manually and grab the right files, but in my case I had 2 computers missing 296 files. I was not going to do that manually. So I created a script to take the list of missing files and grab them from a working computer. You can download it here. To get the list of files, just copy out the list of files needed from the CheckSur.log and paste them into
notepad. The list starts after “Unavailable repair files:”
You need to get rid of the space before all the files and instead of doing it tediously one by one here is what I did. Copy the text from notepad into excel. It will remove the blank space(a tab) for us by splitting the blank space from the actual filenames into two columns. Copy the Second
column and paste it back into the text file and save it.
Use the script I have uploaded and change the parts to the
folder locations. The Blue change to where you and what you list of missing
manifests is called. The red section change to the folder you want it to copy
the missing manifests. Run it and it should copy all the manifests that are
listed in your file. This prevents you from doing some time consuming
searching as well as most likely making mistakes.
After its done open the folder and Select all check the count. Make sure it matches your count from the error log. If not the computer you are using doesn’t have all the files. Also the link above from Microsoft warns that they Ensure that the computer being used to copy files from is using the same version of Windows and system architecture. To check this then go the link and it shows you how.
You will then follow the steps you I did above. Browse to C:\windows\Temp(It will give you an prompt asking for permission click “Continue.” Continue to CheckSUR\winsxs\Mainfests and copy all the
manifests from your removable media into the folder. Re-run the System Update
Redines tool.
After it completes, reboot and you then rerun windows update. Tell ith
to install the updates it finds.
This was a very unfun problem and I am unsure of what caused it. All the computers are the same and have the same software so why some and not others had the problem is odd. Also remember if you computer is missing files other than manifests than you will need to read the microsoft article and copy the files you find into a different location. Good Luc

Sunday, January 23, 2011

ICOP Model 20/20-W In-Car Video System Review - Updated COMPANY IS BANKRUPT


So one of the agencies I cover is a Police Department. For the in-Car video system they had been using the Flashback system by L3-Communications. The system worked pretty good, but their support was pretty bad, at one time there was a server failure (this is where all the data/videos were stored and get uploaded from the cars) which during this time we were unable to produce DVDs for requests from others and we also had to manually upload all the videos on the cards to a location on a share. This allowed for problems and deleted videos. It took me hassling their support over 3 days at which point on the 3rd day I finally ripped someone up and down before I got someone to take my problem. Sadly this is a case that two other departments in my area have shared as well. Also have had problems with cards corrupting from the units.

So when we had to get 4 recording units for our holding cells and for our interview rooms then I thought it would be a great time to test out another system. The reason why is because it is a costly endeavor, most systems cost a decent price each time and also you have to buy a server, and software so before staking out so much money we decided to try something in a small scale.

So after reviewing a couple of units we decided to try out the ICOP 20W In-Car Video System. I had tried calling their support and they seemed to answer pretty quickly. I had spoken with their sales multiple times. They had demo stands I could use with the units so they could set on the counter. They also said I could extend the Mic and cameras which was good because the install was going to require mounting one the camera and internal mic inside an adjacent room for two of them and for two more about 2 rooms down a hall. Upon receiving the units I saw that the units used standard CAT5 cabling with RJ45 connections, so extending the cameras was easy. I did it myself. The internal mic is just a 3.5mm cord.

One of the things I really like about the units is the standard cabling. It would be a piece of cake to replace any worn or broken cable. Installing them was a breeze. Also the cameras have LEDs on the camera so the officer can easily see that the unit is recording. The simplicity of the units was nice as well compared to the old system they had used.

Interview room systems should be “Stupid Proof” so that an officer can’t delete the video or will know that the system is working. Now here comes my gripes

During install they were to setup the server software on an existing server which was acting as a Domain Controller. Since this was only a test I wanted to keep the cost low. I had explained the server that I had and they said it would work. We paid for on site setup and training. The guy came out and was working on the install on my server for about 2 hours before he realized that their install required Microsoft SQL 2005 Express which couldn’t be installed on a Server that was serving as a DC. So at this point they told me I would have to go with their free software. Wasn’t near as capable sadly, and for uploads to the unit to work it required the user to be running as an Administrator. Something I do not allow.

So after all that I was in a pretty unhappy mood. FIRST rule to any person who is going to sell software, when the person asks if there is anything restrictions you better know all of them. So that was problem number 1.Everything was going ok even though the simplified setup was not as nice. The solution though was to run a virtual version of Server on top of our DC then install the nicer software on it. Not done that yet though due to other issues.

Now this is something of note, not really a problem. After using the flashback unit all parts are contained in one unit. With the ICOP unit you have the actual unit, and a distribution box. Now if you plan on using Ethernet or wireless you are looking at an additional 1 to 2 boxes, for a total of 3-4 boxes. Personally I like less parts, but some people may like the modularness of the system.

Next issue, I didn’t want the officers to accidentally mute the units on accident. So I used their configuration tool to disable the ability to mute the internal mike. So configured the units and then pushed the settings to the units. Later on I got an officer saying they couldn’t hear any audio from their recording. I checked and sure enough the audio didn’t work. I also checked multiple recordings and they all from a certain point had no audio from all the units. So it clicked this was the same time I disabled the mute. The lights on the unit indicated the audio was on though. After working with it I realized that the first time you disabled mute, it was also turning off the audio although the light showed differently. This you could tell because when you re-enable the ability to mute, the light for the audio recording would turn off. You turn it back on and all the recordings would work. Worked with support and this was an issue with the current version of the firmware. YAY I found a bug, not something I wanted to do. So problem number 2.

The 3rd issue is that recently we had some questions we needed to answer. I called support stayed on hold for about 12 minutes and left a message. Two days later no response. So I call in and leave another message. This happened for a total of 4 messages across about a week and a half. Each time I left a message my cell number and was on hold from 12 minutes till the max when it would transfer me to a machine. That is the 3rd and final problem. I will no longer use or recommend ICOP solutions.


Sorry support is a major thing for me. I can’t recommend this solution to anyone at this point. I really like many things about the system, but currently the product still has issues and bugs, I can’t afford, nor anyone else to beta test their product to find all their errors. Also they need to hire a lot more tech support people, because even without bugs you will have calls to support and no one should wait even more than a day not even talking about weeks for a response back from tech support.

Just called sales to see if I could get through to support that way. No go. I couldn't even get a person through sales, and to top it off it said that persons mailbox was unavailable. That is sad if you don't even have people to talk to potential clients you know the company isn't doing so hot.

Friday, January 14, 2011

There is insufficient memory or disk space. Word cannot display the requested font.

Today is a 2 for 1. Just had two problems I ran across today that I thought would be interesting to post.

After installing a new version of Volume Licensed Office 2010 and activating it. I then log out of the administrator account and log into the standard user. Open word and you will consistently get the above error each time you start word: "There is insufficient memory or disk space. Word cannot display the requested font." Now you hit OK and you are fine and can go about your business.

I have had this issue if I follow the above steps on over 20 computers. Doesn't matter if it is standard or Professional. I haven't tested 32bit but this shows up in the 64bit version.

The good news is all that it takes to resolve this problem is a restart. After a restart the problem is gone. The problem only shows it's self in the Word application of Office. Interesting.

This computer has not been contacted yet

So I have SCE 2007 which was part of the EBS 2008 Product. I wanted to deploy some software to them and realized that in SCE the computers I wanted to deploy the software to, where showing up with the following error: "This computer has not been contacted yet." These computers were recently installed so I started to dig.

One of the big things for the communication with the SCE server to work is GPOs. So I looked at the GPOs applied to this computer by running the gpresult /r on the computer(NOTE to see the computer GPOs you will need to be running the command prompt or app as administrator). Below is the result:

From dealing with SCE problems before I knew their was an additional GPO that needed to be applied. Called "SCE Managed Computers" and it wasn't being applied. After looking at the GPO I realized that it required the computer to be a member of the "SCE Managed Computers" group. After looking at the group membership for the computer I did see it was not a member. I added it to the group.

At this point you could wait a while and eventually you would see if the problem was resolved. I wanted immediate results.
  1. Run "GPUPDATE /force" as administrator from a command prompt.
  2. Restart the computer
  3. Run "wuauclt /detectnow" from a command prompt as administrator
Now you need to wait about 5 minutes and then refresh the display of SCE under computers. In my case and hopefully yours it was resolved and the error went away and it had all the beautiful details I was wanting it to have.

Another thing to check if you have the same error is to make sure the computer is getting a GPO that is pointing it to the WSUS on your SCE Server. If it is not than that is another problem to resolve.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Difference between standard and academic versions of Office 2010

So we use Office 2010 and purchase it through volume licensing. I had ordered academic licensing of Professional for my library. Due to some hiccup when I went to retrieve the keys at the computer so I could install it I realized they weren't available. I had already hauled away the other computer so I couldn't return it and she needed office.

I had an extra non academic 2010 Professional license so installed it and put in the key. A Week later I got the academic licensing and product and it appeared I could use the same media install. So I went into office and just changed the key to the academic key and it took it and remained activated.

This is nice and saved me lots of time. Also my portable drive doesn't have to store an additional install folder for office 2010. So the only differences in the two is the license keys you are issued. Nice.