Archive for Microsoft

Preview PowerShell Scripts in File Explorer

The ability to preview PowerShell (.ps1) scripts from Window’s File Explorer is not enabled by default, or so it seems. A quick one line PowerShell command fixes that in a jiffy!

  • Right click on PowerShell and select to “run as administrator”
  • Then copy and paste the following:
    Set-ItemProperty Registry::HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.ps1 -Name PerceivedType -Value text

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That’s it! Open up File Explorer and you’ll now be able to preview PowerShell scripts!

P.S. This was tested on Windows 10

Download Microsoft Office 2013 from Office 365

imageMicrosoft Office 365 makes available the most recent version of the Office software for licensed users to download. In this case that would be Office 2016.

But for any number of reasons, there are still cases where someone may need Office 2013. Up until March 1, 2017, Office 2013 was easily available through O365.

Now that we are pass that deadline, the question is: Can we still download Office 2013 for our O365 account users. And the answer is: YES!!!!

My good MVP buddy, Boon Tee, recently posted directions (click here) on where one can still download Office 2013 from Office 365.

SQL Express Backup Utility

The “Express” version of Microsoft’s SQL Server comes with limits, such as 10GB max database. But since it is free, for many small businesses and small database requirements, it fits the bill.

One thing lacking is the ability to do scheduled full and incremental backups of the database.

I’ve used a tool that one of my MVP buddies recommended to me several years ago called Sql Backup And Ftp.

It is one of the easiest utilities to install and setup that I’ve encountered. It comes in both a free and paid version – with the free version limited to backing up a maximum of two SQL databases. The utility allows you to direct backups to a network folder, or to a remote server via FTP, or to a cloud service location, such as OneDrive, DropBox and others.

Give it a try!

Here’s a screen shot of the log of a backup using this utility:

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2012 R2–We Couldn’t Complete the Updates

I’m setting up two brand new Windows 2012 R2 guests servers on a Hyper-V system. When running Windows Updates, I ran into the following frustrating error:

We couldn’t complete the updates
Undoing changes
Don’t turn off the computer

Well, after waiting an hour for this to reset, I went hunting for a solution. Thanks to my MVP friends, Boon Tee and Susan Bradley, I found out the cause and the fix! You can read Boon’s blog post here.

The issue is a conflict with some updates when your guest VM is configured as Gen2 virtual machine in Hyper-V and you have Secure Boot enabled for that VM. The fix is relatively easy:

  • First, you need to force a power off of your hung VM
  • Once it is stopped, go to the Hyper-V Settings for that VM, and disable (uncheck) the option “Enable Secure Boot”
  • Restart your VM and rerun your Windows Updates.

Please note, I generally do updates in batches – 10at a time, doing security updates firsts, then other other updates, then rollups, then .Net updates.

Black Screen after Windows 10 15042 Insider Build

It was recently posted by OnMSFT that a small percentage of PCs may fail to update to the 15042 Insider Build. When that happens, your computer will hang on a black screen after reboot. I know … I just encountered it.

Fortunately, I was aware of the bug before I proceeded, and knew where to go to get the fix. thanks to this post from Microsoft Answers!

Here’s what you need to do:

  • If you computer already is hung, you will need to do a hard reboot (or two) which should force the computer to revert back to the previous version.
  • Then log in, open up an administrative level command prompt, and then type (or copy and paste) enter each of these instructions – one at a time – into the command window:

    reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\system\setup\upgrade\nsimigrationroot /f

    netsh int ipv6 set locality state=disabled

    reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Nsi\{eb004a01-9b1a-11d4-9123-0050047759bc}\28 /f

  • After this, close the command prompt window, reboot, and re-scan for updates.

As always, if you are in the insider ring, it pays to stay up-to-date on insider releases and issues.Insider releases are NOT meant to be run on production machines.

Windows 10 Memory Compression

I came across a very interesting 30 minute video from Microsoft Channel 9 that discusses the evolution of how Windows handles memory – paging, cache, and now memory compression – from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

You can see if your memory is being compressed by going to Task Manager –> Performance –> Memory.

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Here is the video from Microsoft’s Channel 9:

How to Stop Windows 10 from Installing an Update

Have you encountered a situation where Windows 10 will try to install an update that you don’t want installed? Perhaps for a non-existent printer? Or an update that you just aren’t ready to test, like a new video driver?

Windows 10 seems to love doing things automatically, without any real control over what it does. Fellow MVP’er, Susan Bradley, pointed me to a Microsoft driver tool that will allow you to resume control of some of these updates and troubleshoot such situations.

Check out Microsoft KB 3073930 titled: How to temporarily prevent Windows or driver update from reinstalling in Windows 10

  1. When you click on the link, you will be prompted to run or save “wushowhide.diagcab”. Go ahead and select run.
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  2. Click Next to proceed:
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  3. Now you can select to hide updates, or to show hidden updates:
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Security Patch MS16-072 Breaks GPO on SBS 2008, SBS 2011, and Windows Server 2008/2008R2

Microsoft recently released security hotfix MS16-072 last week. This patch attempts to improve GPO security. But as my fellow MVP’s Susan Bradley and Wayne Small have discovered, this new security update can actually break certain GPO based processes, such as WSUS.

Note: Microsoft has not released a fix to this, nor are we expecting them to do so. But the blog posts below offer instructions for manually fixing this issue.

Here are the two blog posts that Wayne Small posted on his site, identifying the problem and suggested work arounds:

Susan Bradley forwarded the following post from Group Policy Central which includes a PowerShell script and further instructions from Microsoft to manually fix this problem.

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!

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.