Archive for the ‘Windows Vista’ Category

WMV videos not playing in Internet Explorer

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

I’ve been working on a frustrating issue with my own computer the past couple of days and finally found a fix.

For some reason, Internet Explorer stopped playing WMV videos.  I could save them and play them in Windows Media Player, but if I just clicked on a link in IE, I would get the less than useful This Page Could Not Be Displayed error message.

I was finally able to resolve the issue by opening an elevated Command Prompt and running “regsvr32 wmp.dll”  This apparently reset the MIME association with WMV files appropriately.

Hope this helps someone;


Book Review–Windows Powershell Scripting Guide

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

 It’s not often I give a book rave reviews, but I only have one small nitpicky complaint about the Windows Powershell Scripting Guide.  That is that the title doesn’t truely convey the usefulness of this book for Windows administrators.

A better title, in my humble opinion, would be:  Powershell Scripts That Do Everything In Windows.

 The first two chapters give a nice basic overview of the Powershell environment, its configuration, and basic language elements (flow control, conditionals, etc.).

 After that, all the rest of the book is about scripts to accomplish many of the day to day Windows administration tasks in Powershell.  Need to read event logs, manage your failover cluster, or configure Server Core?  Scripts to accomplish those tasks and many more are in this book.

 If you want or need to script in Windows, you should have this book for the amazing number of scripts the author includes, if nothing else.



Disabling Services on a Non-Responsive Computer

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

I was faced with a client that had a server rendered unresponsive but somewhat functional by malfunctioning anti-virus software.  The services would either hang upon being stopped, or automatically restart themselves.

 I could not get remote desktop to respond, and was not in a position to go to the client location to investigate.  Thankfully some remote administration utilities were working, and RegEdit was one of them.

 Remember that each service in Windows lives in the Registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\<shortservicename>

 The shortservicename is that same name that you would use with the NET START or NET STOP commands, and can be found by opening the Services Administrative Tool and going to the properties of the service and reading the Service Name Property off the General tab.

 To disable a service from starting, navigate to its key as described above and change the Start value to 4.  4 is the numerical value for the Disabled status.  Then you can reboot the computer and the problematic services will not start.

Hope this helps someone;


One Way to Save Money on your IT Budget

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

One area most businesses struggle with is support of remote users.  While commerical products exist that help solve this problem, they are not inexpensive, especially if you have a large number of remote users.

Free products such as VNC can be used as well, but if your users are protected by firewalls, configuring the network appropriately to allow access can be a hassle, and increase your security exposure.

We have found a free tool that takes VNC, an industry-accepted remote control tool, and adds a web-based proxy as a conduit for remote control of hosts from anywhere, with the permission of the end user.  It is available at

I have personally tested the application while supporting our clients running operating systems ranging from Windows 98 to Windows Server 2008 with no issues.  If you need a way to reduce your travel expenses to remote computers or want to ditch expensive subscriptions to other tools, take a look at Zolved.  It may meet all your needs, and you certainly cannot argue with the cost.

Windows Update Error Code Listing

Monday, February 9th, 2009

It never seems to fail that I always run into at least one PC a month that has problems with Windows or Microsoft Update, and like most people, I do a very poor job of translating psuedo-random hexadecimal error codes into useful information.

Thanks to this website, I found a very comprehensive listing of the Windows Update Error Codes that makes for a great starting point for researching those pesky WU/MU issues.  You can go directly to the error code listing here:

 Hope this helps;


Why to use Vista (even if you don’t use Vista)

Monday, January 19th, 2009

I’ve found that booting from the Vista DVD can be useful, even if you don’t have Vista loaded on a computer.

 For example, I spent a day last week helping a customer recover from a failing hard drive on a Windows 2000 Professional computer.  Of course, she didn’t have the local administrator password, and my password reset disk would not work because the NTFS volume showed a dirty shutdown.

So, how did I get it fixed?  I booted off the Vista DVD, and chose the option to Repair instead of Install Vista.  Vista then tried to auto-detect the installation, and could not find one.  However, if you click next on this screen, it opens up a variety of recovery options, including Memory Diagnostics, the Complete PC Restore Option, and a Command Prompt.

 I was able to start the Command Prompt, run CHKDSK multiple times, and at least get the drive clean enough to reset the administrator password, log in, and image the failing hard drive to a newer working hard drive.

 Hope this helps someone out there;