Category Archives: Windows Administration

Microsoft stops branding competitor as malware

Happy new year, dear readers! 😊

Almost a month ago, I wrote about how Microsoft mistakenly branded Process Hacker a malware, and how their security response team refused to acknowledge their mistake. (As I said before, please apply Hanlon’s razor!)

Approximately 17 days after I wrote it, when I had stopped following up on the issue, Microsoft reversed its decision.

Read the rest of this entry

Process Hacker deleted: Microsoft brands competing product as malware

Update: Added Microsoft’s response. Fixed semantic error.

Update 2: Microsoft stops branding competitor as malware (6 January 2020)

An hour ago Windows Defender incorrectly deleted a benign utility app called Process Hacker from my system. Process Hacker is a free and open-source competitor of Microsoft’s own Process Explorer.

Screenshot of Process Hacker
Read the rest of this entry

The case of File Explorer failing to start immediately on Windows 10 v1909

Recently, after updating Windows 10 to version 1909, one of my workplace computers encountered the following problems:

  • File Explorer takes a very long time (say, 15 minutes or 2 hours) to launch from the Windows taskbar or the Start menu.
  • Most items in the Quick Link menu do not work. 
Read the rest of this entry

Windows Sandbox: first impression

Today, I decided to try Windows Sandbox on Windows 10 v1903.

My first impression of Windows Sandbox: Broken apps, can't mount ISO images
Read the rest of this entry

[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.

Read the rest of this entry

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.

Read the rest of this entry

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

Read the rest of this entry

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. 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.

When the upgrade was done 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 Licensing 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 lookout 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 particularly related to said upgrade; just a plain old Windows 10 making trouble.

%d bloggers like this: