Category Archives: Windows Administration

[FIX] Armageddon in Firefox: Most add-ons disabled!

Update: It appears Firefox 66.0.4 has resolved the issue. Chances are you have never experienced this problem.

On 4 May 2019, one of the Mozilla digital certificates used to sign Firefox add-ons expired. With this certificate no longer able to verify the authenticity of the add-ons, user across the faced the loss of access to their Firefox add-ons.

If you are blind and can't see this image, don't worry; you are not missing much.
All (or most) of your add-ons have ceased to function. Notice the new “Unsupported” tab.

This post teaches you how to recover from this failure in about 15 minutes and resume your daily routine work as if this has never happened.

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The easy way to work with file attributes in PowerShell

The Internet is littered with mediocre articles that teach the hard way to work with file system attributes in PowerShell. The article that Microsoft’s own Scripting Guy has written is nothing short of excruciating. Today, I am going to show you the easy way.

This article assumes you are familiar with the following PowerShell subjects: Get-Item, Get-ChildItem, Format-Table, ForEach-Object, and $_.

Find out how…

The modern Chkdsk

Microsoft renovated Chkdsk in the ill-fated Windows 8. However, because of Windows 8’s failure, I find none of my colleagues know about the modern Chkdsk goodies. Make no mistake, Microsoft did write a sprawling blog post about it. Unfortunately, brevity is not Microsoft’s strong suit.

In this post, I am going to briefly mention the new Chkdsk features that make an admin’s life a lot easier.

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Downloading updates on WSUS for manual installation

Windows Updates helps users keep their Microsoft software up-to-date, either by downloading them from Microsoft over an Internet connection, or from a local server running Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). WSUS itself downloads them from Microsoft. The whole process is fully automated but it is also possible to download update packages from Microsoft to install them manually, if there is the need.

But how about downloading them from a local WSUS server?

Screenshot: Windows Server Update Services management console

The WSUS management console running on Windows 10

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Upgrading Windows 10 v1709 to v1803, with the wrong Windows Setup disk!

[Updated 16 July 2018]

Today, I came across a computer running Windows 10 Enterprise v1709, and after chatting with the local admin, I plugged my USB Flash Drive in and upgraded it to v1803.

Screenshot: Windows 10 v1803 Setup, ready to upgrade a copy of Windows 10 Enterprise edition

The upgrade went smoothly.

After the installation and OOBE all finished, and I was more than a kilometer away from said computer, I remembered that the Windows Setup inside my USB Flash Drive was created with Microsoft’s official Media Creator utility for my personal laptop. Very legit and all… but it does not contain Windows 10 Enterprise edition! The Enterprise edition can only be procured from the Microsoft Volume Licencing Center. In addition, at the time of the upgrade, the target computer was offline. There was no Internet connection, LAN connection or Bluetooth connection; so, Windows Setup could not have downloaded a Windows 10 Enterprise edition.

To be honest, I am scared. I have not heard that it is possible to upgrade with the wrong edition’s installation image. Fortunately, before the upgrade, I had told the local admin to keep a backup copy handy and be on the look out for any sign of trouble.

Update (16 July 2018): The computer did not experience any problems until a few days ago, when it was reset. The reason behind the reset, as I am told, is nothing particular related to said upgrade; just a plain old Windows 10 making trouble.

Making a USB flash drive for Window setup

This article demonstrates how to copy a Windows installation source to a USB flash drive (UFD), and make that UFD bootable, without using any third-party app. Every now and then, such an article must be re-written to update the sum of knowledge. Only the tools included with the operating system are used. This article assumes you have at least Windows 7. Also, it assumes that the OS you’d like to copy to a UFD is Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 and is already available to you on DVD or in folder somewhere.

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Where can I find BootSect.exe and BootRec.exe?

Update (2019-01-12): Updated with additional info.

BootSect.exe and BootRec.exe are both components of Windows Vista and later. They add boot code to disks and partitions. Both are included in Windows installation sources (DVD, USB flash drive or ISO).

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The definitive guide to stopping forced Windows 10 upgrades (GWX) permanently

Screenshot: Forced upgrade to Windows 10 in progress

Screenshot of the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app, which forces users to upgrade to Windows 10

So… are you annoyed by the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app which hogs your bandwidth and tries to persuade you to upgrade to Windows 10? And you want to put a stop to it? You are in the right place.

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Unregistering and deleting an event log

Today, I’ve decided to write about unregistering and deleting Windows event logs, because searching the web about this subject brings up some very dangerous results with dangerous consequences.

Event Viewer in Windows Vista: In comparison to its predecessor in Windows Server 2003, it has become several times more elaborate to accommodate the vast logging infrastructure introduced in this version of Windows.

Event Viewer in Windows Vista: In comparison to its predecessor in Windows Server 2003, it has become several times more elaborate to accommodate the vast logging infrastructure introduced in this version of Windows.

Problem: A user notices redundant event logs in Event Viewer or PowerShell, i.e. the program with which they were associated are now gone and their contents is irrelevant. These event logs might be occupying valuable disk space, e.g. 128 MB. Deleting them is tempting.

This article requires Windows PowerShell 2.0 or later, which comes with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

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