Windows XP

xcopy is not always my friend :-(

For some reason, one of my xcopy’s did not copy the data but just the directory structure so I’ve lost 35gb worth of downloads and cd images. VERY annoying. I think i’ve got them on another hard disk somewhere but I’ll have to find it. It also wiped out my music but I know I have that safe on my mp3 player – all 35 gb of that!

I’m really thinking that the moral of the story is not to be cheap when upgrading a hard disk and get a really big one so you don’t have to keep shuffling data around when doing upgrades!

Unable to use webdav – fixed

I had a very peculiar issue at a customer site this afternoon. They are attempting to use webdav to a remote server on the internet but was unable to connect. Each time they put their username and password in they ended up with the message “Internet Explorer could not open http://WebSiteName as a Web Folder. Would you like to see its default view instead?” as documented at Kb220930. The solution in this article didn’t help but did point me towards the error log %temp%\Wecerr.txt. This contained the text “The Local Security Authority cannot be contacted” which didn’t help in a google search either.
The weird thing was that logging on as an administrator worked, but giving the user local admin rights didn’t work. However, at least this ruled out the firewall as the domain admin user could use it.
After about an hour I stumbled across the solution in kb269681 which isn’t clear enough to provide the exact solution – but it is straightforward.
Due to a bug in folder redirection it is possible to redirect %appdata% and somehow not have the %appdata%\microsoft\Msdaipp folder exist.
I created the folder and webdav started working.

Hopefully this post will help someone else with this rare and obscure problem.

MORE windows patches

Microsoft released 2 more patches yesterday – the day after I manage to schedule a lot of reboots for my customers for the wmf patch. Thankfully it looks like the machines may not need rebooting judging on my xp desktop experience. Hopefully the same will hold true for the server.
I had one customer box not reboot overnight because the boot.ini had been mysteriously changed to boot to a (non-existent) windows 2000 installation. Fortunately the customer mentioned (when I rang them early this morning) that the problem of not finding ntkernel.exe is solved by selecting the other option in the boot sequence….I’m glad they told me this but it would have been better if they had mentioned the problem before so I wouldn’t have had to get up early this morning in case I needed to make an emergency stop at their site… instead I’m catching up on some blogging.

I must be the only person in the world who wasn’t pleased that Microsoft released the wmf patch early on Thursday last week. Everyone else seems to be so grateful that this happened but it was a nightmare for me. Thursday night I was doing a software audit on a lan and I left it scanning the machines overnight. I came in the next morning expecting to sit down and start analyzing only to find that the machine had downloaded the new patch and automatically rebooted – loosing all the scanning results so I had to start again – not so happy. Before you tell me that you can set automatic updates to not do the reboot – I know – this was on a machine outside of my control AND Microsoft had also previously announced that the patch would not be ready until Tuesday.

Another Windows XP exam passed

I’ve successfully passed the 70-270 exam this morning so I can now return the books to the library and uninstall the training guides from the pc. I didn’t get 100% this time unlike my previous exam so that was a bit of a let down. I thought the exam was a bit hard with loads of questions on RIS and Remote Assistance and even had one question twice (which was either really nice if I got it correct twice or horrible if I got it wrong twice). This exam is one of the electives for my MCSE and It helps the company keep its accreditation and I now have to start work on the next set of exams. I’ve booked a free 2 day course on Small Business Server which comes with some good tuition for the Small Business exam – more details can be found at the USA Partner website. I think you may need to be a MS Partner though to gain access.

Stored passwords in xp

Had an interesting problem today with a user who suddenly couldn’t connect to one of the servers on the network. It turns out they had recently changed their password and had previously managed to save the password in XP. Following the instructions I was able to remove the stored passwords from the machine and when they next logged on all the network drives were connected ok. I managed to get to this point by following the trail from eventid 14 in the system logs with a source id of kerberos and looking this up at and then following the link to the stored passwords page.
I must say this is the first time I’ve ever seen this problem and it had me baffled for a while.
“rundll32.exe keymgr.dll,KRShowKeyMgr” will allow you to delete the obsolete entry.

new msconfig tab

Several people have blogged about the new addon to msconfig that enables you to run extra tools from within msconfig. This thing should really be part of windows update to make life easier for everyone (or rather the techies amongst us who support other people’s machines). Incidentally I was asked to validate my copy of Windows XP AGAIN – I don’t know how many times I’ve had to do this – thought it was meant to be a one off thing.

Solving “Library not registered” errors with quickbooks.

I’m getting the message “library not registered” when attempting to open a navigator in quickbooks with errors on the various qpg files that it tries to open. On speaking to their tech support who had me remove the software, install it, install in safe mode, remove, reinstall in normal mode, then download the updates again (thankfully I had saved the 80mb patch file to disk so I didn’t have to download it again) he then recommended that I repair Internet Explorer as this was the problem. Unfortunately you can’t repair IE in xpsp2 (see KB318378 so I reinstalled xpsp2 again.
At this point, he admitted, several times, that NOONE in support can tell me what ocx’s or dll’s are required by the various pages used in the Navigator pages. I asked who could tell me which files are needed, but he kept telling me to repair internet explorer instead.
I’ve heard Intuit’s support is notoriously bad and I now believe it. I would have expected him to check my internet explorer security settings, popupblocker settings and it was only after about 40 minutes on the phone that he checked what version of quickbooks I was using (pressing F2 gives that information)
He was not interested in the fact that there was an incompatibility issue with Quickbooks Premier 2002 and Windows NT and that I am getting the same type of message. Unfortunately in this case, the pc that has a working copy of quickbooks and the faulty pc have the same version of comcat.dll
From the sounds of it, there is a permission problem in the registry under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\ but whereabouts I am not sure. It’s time to use regmon from sysinternals again to monitor for access denied messages when launching quickbook navigators.
Solution in the extended entry