Windows 7 Screensaver not kicking in – fixed

Had an interesting troubleshooting session this afternoon on a Windows7 pc that was no longer having the screensaver kick in. After checking the screensaver settings were being deployed via group policy, disabling wake on lan and also preventing the network card from waking up the computer/allowing the computer to be shut down, the problem still persisted. Unplugging the wireless mouse (that was a new addition by the user and not the original supplied mouse)  didn’t help either. In the end installing the latest intellipoint software and rebooting the machine fixed the problem. Just installing the software didn’t help.

It was nice that Windows7 had automatically found drivers, but it obviously needed the full software installed to work completely.

Subsequently we found a message popping up on the client pc that said the wireless signal strength was low – so it was probably the mouse trying to check in that was making the computer think activity was occurring on the pc.

Live Communicator 2005 fails to install – fixed

I had a client’s LiveCommunicator 2005 stop working and part of the troubleshooting was to remove the software and reinstall. Unfortunately, when I went to reinstall the software, the installation was interrupted and did not complete. No errors were logged in the event log but by looking at the install log file and searching for “return value 3” (standard practise when debugging msi installs) I found the following “ActivateTimeBomb. Return value 3”.  A google  search only pulled back 3 results, all for Live Communicator which was a good  sign, but I did find a posting on the appdeploy forums that offered a solution.  I had already applied this patch to the server but had not needed to apply it to the client before, but doing so fixed the problem. The patch file can be found from the kb article 974571 or a direct download.

I was suprised to see how little information was available on google and how useless the install process was. The timebomb information was hidden away in the install log and  knowing that “Return Value 3” was the key to a successful troubleshooting session.

Symantec patch now fixes the definitions dated 91231

Yes I deliberately posted the date this way as that is how the shortsighted programmers as Symantec did it. Needless to say, when the year rolled around to 00101 this is a lot less that 91231 so the definitions were treated as old.  It scares me to see that this bug managed to get into the product – did they not learn anything from the Y2K issues?

To make matters worse we found some servers were continually downloading definitions onto the server and in one case filled up 73gb of disk space. The fix for this is to ensure that the endpoint protection manager software is running 11.0.5 – this is a new download and upgrade installation although for one of our clients it meant uninstalling and reinstalling every single pc at that location – not an upgrade at all.

To top it all, Symantec also decided this week to announce the end of life for the v10 of their products – the only version that was actually working with correct definition dates. Although end of life is in 2012, support should really have coordinated with sales to ensure that the notice didn’t go out *this* week.

I think I still have a few servers that haven’t updated, so I will be checking those out next week. If we continue to use Symantec (which I really do not want to do), I’m hoping to look at an MSP installation of the product – one server managing all the clients so I only have one place to check for client status (and only one server to install, patch and configure)

Install Windows7 to vhd notes.

I’m currently trying an install of Windows7 to a vhd on one of my virtual xp machines (to see if it can be done). I’m thinking that this may be possible but we’ll see.
I’m following the instructions on Keith Comb’s Dual boot VHD blogpost but I did find that calling the vhd file c:\windowsrc7.vhd will cause issues as you cannot have the name starting c:\windows.
I’m hoping this is fixed in the RC (I have a feeling my dvd is the beta but i’m not sure) and certainly in the RTM version.
The whole reason I’m attempting this is to test my idea about truecrypt encryption. As I guessed, it is not possible to do this with Windows7 on a truecrypted drive as it sees the drive as raw. My hope is that by decrypting the drive, installing and then encrypting again it will work – time will tell.

Windows 7 Upgrade advisor ran into a problem

I downloaded the Windows 7 upgrade advisor from Microsoft, that is currently in beta on both my work and my home pc to see what the differences were. The work laptop had some warnings but the software fails on the home pc. I get a very unhelpful message of “Windows 7 Upgrade advisor ran into a problem scanning your devices. Upgrade advisor needs to be able to scan your devices to determine if your computer is capable of running Windows 7. Please let us know about this problem.”

Unfortunately there is no UI to send the feedback to Microsoft and there is nothing on the download page either.

footnotes in Word

If you’ve ever tried to create a footnote in Word and got the daft error message that states “Start At must be between 1 and 16383 for this format.” when the Start At is set to 1 (or 2 or 3 or 4 or …) then the fix is to select the entire document apart from the last paragraph mark (turn the viewing of paragraph marks on by pushing the ¶ button on the toolbar) and then copy paste the document into a new document. Hopefully the document is not that big and that you can copy paste with no problems! Thanks to this post on google groups for the answer