Bootstrapper error during Office 2013 installation

I was attempting to install Office 2013 Professional Plus on a new workstation that had already been joined to the SBS 2011 domain. It kept crashing just a few minutes into the intallation with the error message: “Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper has stopped working”.


If you search the Microsoft forums, you will see several recommendations, including:

  • Remove all prior installations of Microsoft Office
  • Make sure that the Task Scheduler is running
  • Try burning the Office .iso to a DVD to do the install

In my case, we were good in all those departments.

Then I came across a forum post that raised the question:

Have you implemented a Cryptolocker group policy at your site?

Oh, my, yes! I quickly logged onto the server, moved the new workstation out of its normal OU. Voila! Office 2013 installed immediately.

Samsung Data Migration and Dell Workstation

I’m working on a new Dell XPS 8700 that was just delivered, with Windows 8.1 pre-installed and a 1TB SATA drive. I ordered a Samsung SSD 850 Pro 500GB drive to use as the system drive. I’ve used the Samsung Data Migration cloning software successfully on a scratch install of Windows 8.1, but this is the first time to try it with Windows 8.1 pre-installed on the computer.

You install the Samsung Data Migration utility onto the computer to the existing hard drive. I then connected the SSD drive to a USB3 port using a USB3 data & power connector.

Note: Do not connect the SSD drive until the Samsung software has been installed.

  • Attempt #1: I ran the Data Migration wizard, and it came back saying that there was an issue with defragging the source disk.
  • Attempt #2: I install Piriform’s Defraggler and did a full defrag (about one hour). I reran the wizard and this time it reported that there was an issue with the source disk. I rebooted the computer and tried again, and received same error.
  • Attempt #3: I then do a sfc /scanow followed by a chkdsk /f c: – both had no issues or errors. I rebooted the computer and tried again. Same issue. I tried plugging the USB3 cable into other ports. Same issue, again.
  • Attempt #4: I then proceed to uninstall all the Dell add-on stuff (data protection, etc.) and then rebooted the computer. Voila! This time when I ran the wizard, we successfully clones the hard drive to the SSD drive.

After powering down the workstation, I unhooked the SATA drive and connected the SSD drive in its place. I powered up the system and it successfully started up Windows 8.1

Windows 10 January Preview Now Available

The January 2015 build of Windows 10 is now available for download for those who signed up for the Windows Insider program. If you’re not signed up, you should be – it’s free!

Windows Insider Program

This release is labeled Build 9926. To learn what’s new in this release, go to the Windows 10  January Build blog page.

Please note: it does NOT include all the new features that were shown during the Windows 10 presentation on Wednesday.


Windows 10 free upgrade for first year!

At the Windows 10 briefing event today (Jan-21-2015) they announced that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for the first year!!!

Read the specifics from Arstechnica

And here is the link to the video of today’s presentation:

Vipre creating thousands of SBS_STDRL temp files

Over this past weekend, I started seeing a buildup of temp files in the C:\Windows\Temp directory. Temp files were named SBS_STDRL_*. My immediate and natural fear was of a virus/hack attack.

The only thing in common with all the systems in question was that they all were running MaxFocus (formerly GFI) Managed AntiVirus program (Vipre). As soon as I stopped MAV from running, the temp files stopped accumulating. Looking at the file dates, this all started on Thursday Jan-15-2015.


I contacted MaxFocus Sunday evening and submitted a support ticket. By then I had systems as few as a hundred files, up to systems with over 100,000 temp files created. Fortunately, the size of these files was only 1K.

For the most part, this issue did not cause a lot of problems. However, I did have several customer servers that were negatively impacted by this issue. They started calling Monday morning reporting of poor performance.

On Monday Jan-19-2015 Threat Track Security (formerly Vipre) released a Notice on temp file issue in their forum acknowledging the issue, plus indicating that these files could be deleted.

We are currently investigating an issue where the SBS_STDRL files in C:\Windows\Temp are not being deleted automatically. These files are generated by Active Protection and through VIPRE scans. This may cause increased scan times depending on system specifications. You can delete these files by running command prompt as admin then entering the following command: del %windir%\temp\SBS_STDRL*

Later that day they posted a follow up indicating that the issue was caused by a bad definition file, and that it had been fixed with definition version 36798.

This issue has been fixed in definition version 36798. Please make sure you have updated your definitions to the latest version to stop this issue from happening. Please note, this will not delete the SBS_STDRL files that are already created, so the instructions in the first part of this should be followed if you wish to remove these files.

By Tuesday morning, all systems were running fine. I utilized a built in script of MaxFocus RMM to schedule a cleanup of system temp files, which included checking the C:\Windows\Temp folder.

Cannot Burn DVD in Windows 8.1 Movie Maker

After upgrading a Windows 7 computer to Windows 8.1, I discovered that Windows 8.1 Movie Maker does NOT offer the ability to burn movies to DVDs. Yes, it was there for Windows 7, but removed in Windows 8.1. Bummer!

If you need a FREE solution, the one I have been using successfully is called DVDStyler.


Quick steps:

  1. First, use Movie Maker to create your content. When finished, select to save it to your disk, creating a WMV file.
  2. You may wish to review the online instructions for creating a DVD with DVD Styler.
  3. Startup DVD Styler. Here are some simple steps for creating your first DVD:
  4. The Welcome screen let’s you define a new project. The three things I do on this page are:
    • Change the wording in the “Disc label” field
    • Set video format to NTSC
    • Set aspect ration to 16:9
    • Click OK
  5. Next you can select a template
    • Change the wording in the “Caption” field
    • Let’s use the default template, so click OK
  6. Now we can customize the DVD and drop in your video file
    • Right click on “Disc Title”, select Properties, then change the text as desired
    • Along the left border, you will see vertical tabs for ‘’”File browser”, “Backgrounds” and “Buttons”
    • Click on “File browser” and a File Explorer frame will open. Browse to locate your video file.
    • Simply drag your video file down to the bottom of your screen where you see the message “Drag your video files from the File Browser to here”
  7. And finally, let’s burn the DVD
    • Insert a writeable DVD in your drive
    • Click on File –> Burn DVD
    • If you have more than one DVD drive on your computer, be sure that the correct DVD drive is selected
    • Sit back and wait until you get the message that the burn was successful.
    • Click  the “Close” button, and pop out the DVD
  8. Multiple copies?
    1. If you wish to burn multiple DVDs, simply repeat the instructions in Step 7 above.
    2. Fortunately, burning the additional DVDs won’t take as long as the first one, as it has already created the temporary DVD output files required.

12th Year as a Microsoft MVP

New Year’s arrived this morning with an email from Microsoft announcing that I have received the 2015 Microsoft MVP award for Small & Medium Businesses. This is my 12th consecutive year to receive this honor.

Dear Kevin Weilbacher,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2015 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Windows Server for Small and Medium Business technical communities during the past year.

Microsoft MVP Banner

Do not install Exchange 2010 SP3 RU8 yet

On Thursday Dec 11, 2014 Microsoft released new updates for Exchange 2007, 2010, and 2013. Read more here.

However, an issue has been identified in the Exchange Server 2010 SP3 Update Rollup 8. The update has been recalled and is no longer available on the download center pending a new RU8 release. Customers should not proceed with deployments of this update until the new RU8 version is made available. Customers who have already started deployment of RU8 should rollback this update.

The issue impacts the ability of Outlook to connect to Exchange.

Please note: this issue only impacts the Exchange Server 2010 SP3 RU8 update, the other updates remain valid and customers can continue with deployment of these packages.

2014 MVP Global Summit

This is my 11th year as a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for the Windows Server Small & Medium Business group. Microsoft is hosting our annual conference for MVPs worldwide this week. I arrived into Seattle on Sunday afternoon, and that evening our group gathered for a great dinner and reception at Daniel’s Broiler located on the 21st floor of the Bank of America building in Bellevue.

Here’s a group photo from this event (I’m 7th from the right)


Why Windows 10 and not Windows 9?

This week Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows would be called Windows 10. Many of us (myself included) wondered “why did they skip calling it Windows 9”?

Today I read of one plausible explanation.

It suggests that there may be plenty of third party Windows programs still in use that have lines of code in their software to perform specific tasks if it was running on a legacy version of Windows (specifically Windows 95 or Windows 98). If so, those programs could include code similar to this:



True? False? I don’t know. But being a long time programmer, I could be convinced. Just look back to the “Y2K” fears 15 years ago:

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, we only stored the last two digits of the year in computer records. So, “12” meant “1912”. None of us programming back then ever envisioned that our software would still be running 30 or 40 years later, past the year 2000. Suddenly, we weren’t sure if ‘12’ was meant to be 1912 or 2012?

I keep thinking to myself … the more things change, the more things remain the same.