Author Archive for KW

Beware of Microsoft Tricking You Into Installing Windows 10

I’ll keep this short, sweet and to the point. Beware of the “Windows 10 Upgrade” notice!

First, I really like Windows 10, and I encourage people when buying a new computer to get Windows 10. I have also done a fair number of in-place upgrades to Windows 10. All of them were successful upgrades, although I had unique challenges with two of them that took time to resolve.

Microsoft released Windows 10 at the end of July 2015, and made it a free upgrade for most people. In the past six months, Microsoft has been pushing nag messages and prompts to remind you to upgrade to Windows 10.

But, with less than two months to go, Microsoft has upped the nagging to almost full scale trickery. The details can be read in this PCWorld article.

But here is the catch: you may think you are saying “No” to the Windows 10 upgrade by clicking on the X in the top right corner of the popup window. But it’s just the opposite. Clicking on the X is being treated the same as clicking on OK at the bottom of the window.

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Please be careful!

QuickBooks Pro 2016 Fails to Open Company File in Multi User Mode

One of my customers has been running QuickBooks Pro 2016 with no issue in multi user mode since we upgraded to it in January. Server is SBS 2011 (Windows 2008 R2).

Yesterday we were putting in a new router and VOIP phone system. We had an issue with Exchange receiving email after the new router was in place. I ran the “Fix My Network” and then rebooted the server. Meanwhile the tech working on the phones found where he had to make a change to the firewall to open port 25.

Long story short, we did some minor things to the server. But an hour later the customer could not open QuickBooks in multi-user mode, although it did work in single user mode.

That pointed to an issue with the Database Manager Service for 2016 (QuickBooksDB26). Sure enough, the service was not running.

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And when I attempted to restart it manually, it displayed the “started and then stopped” error message:

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I checked to make sure that firewall rules on the server were correct. I even attempted to re-scan using the the QuickBooks Database Server Manager, but it also just told me that the service was not running.

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Most solutions to fix this problem centered around uninstalling and reinstalling the QuickBooks Manager service, which I was not keen on doing.

I kept searching, and then found this solution in the Intuit forum that fixed the issue for my customer:

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Hope this helps you!

Microsoft Phone Business Sold

Lumia 950The writing has been on the wall for this announcement, as far as I’m concerned, since the day Microsoft bought Nokia’s phone business back in 2013.  They spent $7.2 billion to purchase Nokia.

And today it’s announced that they’re selling it for $350 million to IH Mobile and HMB Global.

Aarrgghh …

You can read more of the details here and here.

BrightHouse Becomes Charter Today

In April, Frontier took over Verizon. And the fallout is still being addressed 6 weeks later. Today, Charter takes over BrightHouse Networks, and they promise a smoother transition, according to a Tampa Times article.

“When we acquire Bright House, we acquire the whole company,” Dudley said. “The plan ensures that the company that is running today is running tomorrow. There’s not a switch that gets flipped. We can leave them right in the Bright House infrastructure while we work behind the scenes.”

Let’s hope so!

Bright House

Charter Communications Logo.

Top Support Solutions and Issues for Windows 10

Microsoft’s Technet website posted detail solutions to a wide variety of common Windows 10 issues on May 3rd, 2016.

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/topsupportsolutions/2016/05/03/top-support-solutions-for-windows-10-2/

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Here’s a quick overview of topics covered:

SOLUTIONS RELATED TO …

  1. Installing or upgrading Windows 10 with free upgrade offer
  2. Inability to activate Windows
  3. Installing Windows updates or hotfixes
  4. Common setup, installation and deployment issues
  5. Windows Volume Activation
  6. Installing or upgrading Windows
  7. Configuring or managing the Start menu or the Desktop Shell
  8. Wireless networking and 802.1X authentication
  9. Blank desktop or Start Menu
  10. Sysprep and Imaging

Print Conductor for Bulk Printing of Files

It was in 1978 that F. W. Lancaster addressed the concept of a paperless society. And yet here we are nearly 40 years later and printing is still a big business.

And the forecast does not seem to indicate a downward turn.

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OK, so enough of the bad news. The fact is that we still need to print a lot of things – reports, presentations, graphs, spreadsheets, emails, etc. And perhaps like me, there are times where you need to print multiple files immediately.

I just came across a nice little Windows utility called Print Conductor that will do just that.

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Imagine you have been working on a series of files for a customer – including some Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, a PowerPoint presentation, several logo images, and an Autocad drawing. And now you need to print out all these different files.

Ugh. You’re looking at a time consuming process of opening each document, starting up the associated program, click to Print, and then click to select Printer.

With Print Conductor, you can highlight (select) all the files that need to be printed, and with once click you can have all your various documents printed immediately!

Here’s a screen shot of the main interface of Print Conductor, where I selected 12 PDF documents that I needed to print. As you can see, it was as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Select documents to be printed
  2. Select the printer to be used
  3. Start printing

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Best part of this, besides how easy it is to use this utility, is that this is free for non-commercial use, and $49 per computer for commercial use. Give it a try!

Active Hours in Windows 10

Active Hours is a new feature recently released within the Insider (beta) version of Windows 10, and will be part of the upcoming anniversary release of Windows 10.

Think of Active hours as your business work hours, or the time frame that you most use your computer. By setting Active Hours, you can make sure that your computer will NOT automatically restart after updates are installed during those times.

By default, Active Hours is defined as 8am to 5pm (relative to your time zone).image

To change your Active Hours,

  • Click Windows+I to go to the Settings app
  • Click Update & security
  • Click Change active hours

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Unfortunately, the valid range for active hours is 10 hours. And, keep in mind – you are defining your busiest work hours so as to avoid automatic reboots. Personally, I would have preferred if this would have been the  time frame when we would want reboots to occur.

And for those Group Policy people, yes, Active Hours can be set and changed within the Group Policy Editor.

Go to:  Local Computer Policy –> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Updates and locate the “Turn off auto-restart for updates during active hours” policy.

Disable Chrome Browser XP/Vista Warning Banner

Google has announced that their Chrome browser will not be receiving updates in the future if you are running Chrome on Windows XP or Windows Vista. Read Chrome Ends Support for Windows XP and Vista.

Consider this as just one more way to encourage you to move off outdated and unsupported platforms.

But don’t think that Google is picking on Windows. At the same time, they also announced that Chrome will no longer be updated on Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8 platforms.

In all cases, Chrome will continue to work as a browser. It’;s just that it will no longer receive new features, and more importantly, will not receive new security updates.

But … if you are not quite ready to retire your XP or Vista computer, there’s a simple way to disable the annoying banner that displays every time you start Chrome:

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To disable the banner from displaying:

  • Right click on the Google icon on your desktop or taskbar
  • Click on Properties
  • Click inside the Target: box
  • Position the cursor to the very end, immediately after the final double quote mark
  • Press the spacebar one time
  • Then type:   –disable-infobars 
  • Then click Apply and OK

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And, if you prefer a video of these steps, I found this one on YouTube — kudo’s to DiegoG!

Just Installed Windows 10 Build 14328

I’m on the Microsoft Insider list for Windows 10, which provides beta releases of Windows 10 as Microsoft makes them available.

Over the weekend, Build 14328 was made available, and for the most part, it’s getting rave reviews. Sure, there are things people don’t like, features not yet implemented, and outstanding issues (mostly with drivers) – but overall, it seems to me that Windows 10 is getting pretty stable.

The obvious big change with this build is a somewhat revamped Start Menu, or what Microsoft now calls the “Start Experience”. You still have the list of all apps in alphabetical order, as well as your tile menu.But you now have a selection of important functions, such as Power, Settings and File Explorer along the left rail (see below).

So, if you are on the Insider Build list, give this new build a run. But please remember, it is BETA, which means unexpected bugs can occur, and even system crashes. All that is to say – don’t install BETA software on a production system unless you are willing to take the risk ANDE you have good backup!

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LogonUI.exe and Low Memory Warning on HP

I recently upgraded an HP 700-410xt workstation from Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 10. The upgrade itself went very well, and the user noticed immediate improvement with the various Adobe suite of products that he uses.

However, he reported that the each morning his workstation would have an error message on the screen regarding LogonUI.exe, or a low memory warning:

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Note — he closes all his apps and locks the computer at night. I was able to monitor the computer that evening and identified that the LogonUI.exe service was indeed consuming all available memory.

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I did the normal effort of making sure that Windows 10 patches were up to date, as well as computer drivers. I even went so far as to disable any apps with “live tile” turned on.

Finally, several other MVPs that were trying to assist asked (1) is this an HP computer, and (2) were there any fingerprint or biometric software installed? The answer was YES to both questions. The computer in question had the HP Simplepass program installed, although the user was not using any fingerprint scan device.

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And then it turns out that this issue with LogonUI.exe has been affecting HP computers for at least two years, both on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. In all cases, uninstalling software such as HP SimplePass or HP OmniPass fixed the low memory issue with LogonUI.exe!

I uninstalled HP Simplepass, rebooted the computer, and a day later, the user reported all was fine!

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