Month: March 2010

The installation failed with: This patch package could not be opened – Fixed.

I have been trying to install the KB958481 patch for Microsoft Dot Net Framework 2 for many hours. Each time the installation would fail with “The installation failed with: This patch package could not be opened. Verify that the patch package exists and that you can access it, or contact the application vendor to verify that this is a valid Windows Installer Patch Package.”

Of course the patch file exists (I am installing it after all) and the patch file came from Microsoft so I would hope it’s valid.  Most of the suggestions seemed to resolve around removing the dotnet framework and reinstalling. All of which I had done in a variety of ways. First by uninstalling the software through add/remove programs and then through Aaron Stebner’s dotnet cleanup tool – neither of which solved the problem.

Eventually I stumbled across a tech posting (made after my initial problem started) in the Microsoft forums (first and second posting that mentioned installing the Microsoft Installer 4.5 redistributable component. After an initial reboot before installing, a reboot after installing, installing the .net patch and another reboot afterwards I was up and running and able to install the other .net patches too.

Enabling powershell to run scripts with registry permissions.

As part of my powershell work I obviously need to run powershell scripts. I tried to run one last night and got the usual message about scripts needing to be signed. I had previously changed the settings on my XP machine, but this was obviously the first time I had run a script on my Windows7 machine.

Running the usual “set-executionpolicy remotesigned” I got the following error message “Execution Policy Change. The execution policy helps protect you from scripts that you do not trust. Changing the execution policy might expose you to the security risks described in the about_Execution_Policies help topic. Do you want to change the execution policy?”

Answering Yes to the prompt I then got the following error message – “Set-ExecutionPolicy : Access to the registry key ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\ShellIds\Microsoft.PowerShell’ is denied”. Sure enough I don’t have permission to this registry key.

I checked with our admin to ensure this wasn’t set in group policy before I started fiddling around. Found out that there is another setting that is user specific that can be set with “Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

After doing this I was then able to run scripts, and more importantly my profile script runs. Seeing as though this is my workstation I don’t really care about anyone else’s powershell scripts on my machine 😉

However, if you want to set it for all users, then set the Scope Parameter to be LocalMachine

To set it domain wide, you need to download the PowerShell group policy templates from Microsoft and follow the instructions to set up a policy.

When Genuine Advantage fails to work….

I’ve had two issues with Genuine Advantage since Thursday – both issues not currently resolved. The first was a server that was restored from a ShadowProtect backup to a virtual machine on ESXI. This is to try and sort out an issue on the original server without causing any more damage to the original server. The restored server boots up fine and allows me to enter my username and password. Immediately after logging in, it then detects it needs to be activated and gives me the option to activate or cancel. If I select Yes to activate with Microsoft it should then jump into the routine of providing a set of numbers and a phone number to call Microsoft (or via the internet). Instead, this server just logs me off. Very frustrating and not useful at all.

Initially the problem was made worse due to the fact that the initial restoration meant that a normal boot insisted AD was corrupt and to go into safe mode to repair but safe mode had the same problem with Windows Activation. After a re-restore I’m not getting the AD corrupt problem but I am getting the Windows Activation issue.  On a side note, it is essential that if you restore a server with shadowprotect that has a C,D and E drive with the NTDS files stored on the E drive, then you need to restore C, then D, then E. If you restore just C and E and specify the drives are C and E, when the machine reboots the E drive will become D and your AD will corrupt itself.

So as you can see I’ve had a troubling week at work doing some restores! The good news is I know how to recover from the above problem but not when Genuine Advantage gets in the way!

The other issue was with a friends Vista machine that had the hard drive fail. I suspect the MBR got corrupted as there was initially no operating system found and my initial repair worked when I told the machine to run diagnostics and fix them and about 5 seconds later the machine was booting. However on the next reboot the system failed again. He then used the HP recovery CD to restore Vista to the machine and then after login Windows (and Security Essentials) was complaining that the copy of Windows was not genuine. However going to the Validate Windows page, the webpage shows that the pc passes with no problems found (although the computer disagrees still). Running the MGADiag tool however returns Validation Status: Invalid License, Validation Code: 50. From the support forums – “Your copy of Windows 7 is using an OEM SLP key.  This type of key only comes win Windows that come pre-installed in a computer built by a large manufacturer.  When an OEM SLP key is in uses, Windows looks to the Bios on the computer’s motherboard for a OEM Bios Flag. An OEM Bios Flag is information found only in the bios of computers built by a large manufacturer that come with Windows pre-installed. An OEM Bios Flag is specific to the Manufacturer and the version of Windows it’s good for. So, If Windows is using an OEM SLP key and the Proper OEM Bios Flag is present in the computer’s Bios, Windows will self-activate”. Of course this is all well and good until the computer does not self activate…..

I’ll update on the both of these issues when I get time to work on the machines and solve the problems.

e000e020 with BackupExec backup job missed last night.

If you have the misfortune to have BackupExec at your client sites, you may have noticed your backups failed last night with “e000e020 – The job was scheduled to run, but the availability window closed before the job could start. There may not have been any destination devices available during the window, or the job may have been submitted to run when the window was closed”

Apparently this is due to Daylight Savings Time – the solution is to rerun the job or wait and see if it runs tonight – Thanks for a really helpful solution Symantec.

When changing password on Twitter – update your plugins too

A while back I changed my twitter password – not realising how many other applications I would need to change…The first thing I had to do was go and change my tweetdeck installations which wasn’t too bad. However, this did mean changing it on three different machines.

This morning I posted a new blog post on IRL and realised that the post hadn’t made it to @helsbyhome on twitter. Checking in I realised I had to change my twitter plugins within wordpress too. These plugins haven’t been working for a couple of months now – oops!

For those of you are are interested, I’m using twitme and twitter updater with Tinyurl – any suggestions on alternatives or what do you use?

Office 2010 almost here…

I’m running the Office2010 beta at home (mainly for Outlook and OneNote2010)  and would highly recommend it when it is finally released. If you are running Exchange2010 then there are even more reasons why you should be running Outlook2010. (Note that a lot of the extra features such as mailtips and access to the archive mailbox are already available with the outlook web access app). If you purchase and activate Office 2007 between now and Sept 30 2010, you will be able to upgrade to 2010 via a free download. You will need a LiveID, the receipt and to register your purchase. More details available at the Office2010 Technology guarantee website.

Windows7 keygen site now owned by Microsoft.

I had an interesting google alert come through the other day that found some of my content posted at a website – (safe to visit.) Ensuring I had noscript switched on, I checked the site out to find that it was just scraping blogs and posting them as content on the website. I sent the host an email to request that they stopped including my site and added a todo to check back in a weeks time.

I was surprised to find a week later (5 days ago) that the site redirects to a bing search for windows7keygen. I checked whois for and found that the domain is now owned by Microsoft – along with another 29,000 domains and it looks like 22,000 of them are hosted on the same server. The domain registrar of Niobe Telekom is also unusual – I suspect that is due to the original owners registration.

I find it rather amusing that Microsoft now have control over the domain but I’m not sure how they managed to get control of it – I’m assuming a windows7 trademark threat? I would have thought that they’d have redirected it to Get Windows7 though.