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Archive for the ‘Windows 7’ Category

Command Line Activation Tools for Windows and Office

November 21, 2013 2 comments

If your a Windows Administrator, you should be familiar with the following tools. slmgr.vbs is a command line software licensing management tool for Windows. It works with Windows Activation (Retail and MAK) as well as Key Management Service (KMS). You can call it from anywhere in a command prompt. slmgr.vbs has many options including installing a product key, uninstalling a product key, displaying license information, and activating. For a complete list of options, visit the following TechNet article.

opss.vbs is also a command line software licensing management tool but for Microsoft Office. It also works with Windows Activation (Retail and MAK) as well as Key Management Service (KMS).

  • Office 2010 (32-bit) on a 32-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2010 (32-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2010 (64-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (32-bit) on a 32-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (32-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

  • Office 2013 (64-bit) on a 64-bit version of Windows:
  • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS"

For more information on opss.vbs visit the following TechNet article.

You can easily use these tools to install and activate a product key in a batch script and deploy it to a large number of machines.

How to Use a Command Prompt During GUI-Mode Setup

June 29, 2013 Leave a comment

In some cases, it may be helpful to have access to a command prompt during GUI-mode Setup for the purposes of troubleshooting, partitioning the disk, copying drivers, starting and stopping services, starting tools such as Task Manager, or other for other needs.

To gain access to a command prompt during GUI-mode Setup, press SHIFT+F10.

Latest Microsoft Update Causes Issues For Some

April 12, 2013 7 comments

For some, Microsoft’s latest set of patches for April 2013 has caused headaches. Microsoft is investigating behavior where systems may not recover from a restart or applications cannot load after installing security update KB2823324. This marks Microsoft’s second botched update this year. Microsoft recommends that customers uninstall this update. As an added precaution, Microsoft has removed the download links to the KB2823324 update while they investigate.

If you have installed this update but have not yet restarted your computer, you can uninstall the update by going to Control Panel > Programs and Features > View Installed Updates. Select “Security Update for Microsoft Windows (KB2823324)” and choose uninstall. If you manage a large number of machines, you can create a script to uninstall it with the command:

wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2823324 /quiet /norestart

or by using Microsoft’s Sysinternals PsExec

Psexec -d -s \\remotemachine wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2823324 /quiet /norestart

If you were among the unfortunate who installed the update, rebooted, and received a blue screen of death, chkdsk or other type of error, try one of the following procedures:

I suggest you try these in order. All of these require using ‘System Recovery Options’. You can get to this by pressing F8 during startup and choosing ‘Repair your Computer’ or by booting from a Windows 7 DVD or USB bootable media. The first two recover windows using System Restore points. The third tries to uninstall the update from the command line.

  1. Use ‘System Restore’ to restore Windows to an earlier point in time (before the Microsoft Update was installed)
  2. Use ‘Command Prompt’ and issue the command ‘dism /image:C:\ /cleanup-image /revertpendingactions’
  3. Use ‘Command Prompt’ and issue the command ‘dism /image:C:\ /remove-package /PackageName:Package_for_KB2823324~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~~6.1.1.1′

Reboot your computer after performing each step and hopefully you will be able to boot again normally. Good luck.

For more information visit: You receive an Event ID 55 or a 0xc000021a Stop error in Windows 7 after you install security update 2823324

EDIT: Microsoft has released KB2840149 to address the security issue that was suppose to be fixed by the botched update.

The original update created a conflict with certain third-party software installed on user machines. This resulted in system errors that caused the reboot loop. Microsoft immediately pulled the update to prevent any more issues from coming up. Microsoft eventually released a secondary update which removed the first update. If you are running Windows 7, head over to Windows Update to download the latest security fix. If you have automatic updates enabled, you probably already have it.

Sysprep Fatal Error With IE 10 (FIX)

March 15, 2013 42 comments

My fellow system administrators, there is a bug with sysprep and Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 7. My department maintains a Windows 7 image that we use on all our desktops. Today I installed some Windows updates which included Internet Explorer 10. When I tried to sysprep the machine like I usually do I received an error that a fatal error has occurred while trying to sysprep the machine. After looking at the logs (setupact.log and setuperr.log) I discovered what the issue was:

Error      [0x0f0085] SYSPRP LaunchDll:Could not load DLL C:\Windows\SysWOW64\iesysprep.dll[gle=0x000000c1]

It turns out that Internet Explorer 10 was the culprit. Strangely, ‘iesysprep.dll’ does exist within C:\Windows\SysWOW64. I have posted about it on the TechNet forums and it appears I am not the only one having this issue. Another user on the TechNet forums, sgennadi, has posted what appears to be a solution. It calls for modifying sysprep registry values and changing them back from SysWOW64 to System32. I personally have not tried his/her solution. I reverted back to a previous image and installed the new updates again, minus Internet Explorer 10, and sysprep works fine. Personally, I will be waiting for Microsoft to address this in a Windows Update before I upgrade to Internet Explorer 10.

EDIT:
I decided to add the proposed solution here in case anyone wants to fix it themselves. Again, credit goes to sgennadi for the solution.

After installing IE10, open the registry editor (regedit). You should make a backup of the registry before making any changes in the event that something goes wrong. You can do this by choosing File > Export and make sure you select ‘All’ under ‘Export range’.

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep\Cleanup

Locate: Value Name {EC9FE15D-99DD-4FB9-90D5-5B56E42A0F80} Value Data C:\Windows\SysWOW64\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Cleanup_IE
Replace the value with: C:\Windows\System32\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Cleanup_IE

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep\Generalize

Locate: Value Name {EC9FE15D-99DD-4FB9-90D5-CE53C91AB9A1} Value Data C:\Windows\SysWOW64\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Generalize_IE
Replace the value with: C:\Windows\System32\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Cleanup_IE

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Sysprep\Specialize

Locate: Value Name {EC9FE15D-99DD-4FB9-90D5-676C338DC1DA} Value Data C:\Windows\SysWOW64\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Cleanup_IE
Replace the value with: C:\Windows\System32\iesysprep.dll,Sysprep_Cleanup_IE

Now you should be able to run sysprep successfully without receiving the IE10 related error.

Windows 7 receives Internet Explorer 10

February 26, 2013 6 comments

With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft launched the latest version of Internet Explorer; Internet Explorer 10. Windows 7 users, however, did not receive the Internet Explorer upgrade. Microsoft has now released Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7. Internet Explorer 10 will be available through Windows Update in the next few weeks but if you want to download it now you can by visiting the link I have provided below.

Internet Explorer 10

New exploit for IE 7, 8 & 9 on Windows XP, Vista, and 7

September 17, 2012 1 comment

There is a new exploit for Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9 browsers running Windows XP, Vista and 7. Computers can be compromised simply by visiting a malicious website, which gives the attacker the same privileges as the current user logged in. Since Microsoft has not released a patch for this vulnerability yet, Internet Explorer users are strongly advised to switch to other browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, until a security update becomes available.

Microsoft has issue a security advisory about the situation: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/advisory/2757760

UPDATE:

  • Sep 19th, 2012 – Microsoft released a “fix-it” solution. It has been verified working. More information can be found here.
  • Sep 20th, 2012 – Microsoft updates the “fix-it” advisory to revision 2.0.  Requirements clarified: 1) “For computers that are running 64-bit operating systems, the following Fix it solution only applies to 32-bit versions of Internet Explorer.” 2) Before you apply this Fix it solution, you must ensure that Internet Explorer is fully updated by using the Windows Update service.
  • Sep 21st, 2012 – Microsoft releases Security Bulletin MS12-063 and Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (KB2744842). Users and Administrators should install the update as soon as possible.

Google Chrome User Settings with Roaming Profiles

September 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Google Chrome is becoming increasingly popular among users. Google Chrome recently surpassed Internet Explorer in market share. According to numbers from StatCounter, Google’s browser finally averaged higher traffic than Internet Explorer for the first time over a full seven-day stretch. From May 14th through May 20th, the Google’s Web browser garnered a 32.76% share, ahead of Microsoft’s 31.94% and Mozilla Firefox’s 25.47% share. It has grown quite popular among students and professors at my university and among enterprise environments.

A problem was recently reported to me that Google Chrome was not storing user’s information once they logged out of a computer. Looking into the issue, I realized what was going on. Google Chrome stores information in the local application data folder of the user’s profile. This folder is not uploaded when the user logs off a computer.

Windows XP/2003:

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

Windows Vista/7:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

I needed to be able to tell Google to save it’s user data in the Roaming folder which is uploaded when they log off, and not the local application data folder. This can be achieved by passing the user data directory as an argument when running Chrome’s executable but that would require making that change manually of hundreds of computers.

Luckily, Google has provided administrators with tools to make deployment and management easier.

I had recently installed the ADM template that Google provides administrators to set the home page as well as some other common settings for our public laboratory computers. In that ADM template, is the option to set the user data directory to one of your choosing. Google Chrome uses it’s own set of variables rather than using the standard Windows environmental variables.

The current list of Chrome variables on Windows includes:

  • %APPDATA% = ${roaming_app_data}
  • %LOCALAPPDATA% = ${local_app_data}
  • %USERNAME% =  ${user_name}
  • %COMPUTERNAME% = ${machine_name}
  • %USERPROFILE% = ${profile}
  • %PROGRAMFILES% =  ${program_files}
  • %WINDIR% =  ${windows}
  • ${documents} – The “Documents” folder for the current user. (“C:\Users\Administrator\Documents”)
  • ${global_app_data} – The system-wide Application Data folder. (“C:\AppData”)

So what I did was set the user data directory to the roaming data directory like so:

${roaming_app_data}\Google\Chrome\User Data

After performing a group policy update, the machines were correctly storing user’s data in their roaming profiles.

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