Well, I can't remember everything...

Friday, 6 December 2013

Getting Make and Model from WMIC for WDT/MDT

When setting up your driver folders, their names need to follow the WMIC make and model. Here are the commands to get this information.

From an elevated command prompt:

For computer model
wmic computersystem get model

 For computer make/manufacturer
wmic computersystem get manufacturer

Friday, 9 August 2013

Searching for a file using Unix command line

This will search the current directory and all sub-directories for an exact match of string in quotes

find . -name "searchstring" -print
Here is an example with output

[root@cacti /]# find . -name "cacti" -print

You can add asterisks as a wild card. The example below finds any filename that contains the search string

[root@cacti /]# find . -name "*cacti*" -print

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Change Server 2012 or Windows 8 Product Key

From the Start Screen (Modern UI) type

slui.exe 0x3

and press return

A new window should open allowing you to enter a Product Key

Monday, 29 July 2013

Office 2010 SP2 activation fails with error 0x80070190

I have an Office 2010 deployment with SP2 updates copied into the Updates folder.

On a new install, if the Activation Wizard appeared, it would not activate, giving an error

An unspecified error has occurred. Your request cannot be processed at this time. Please try again later. (0x80070190)

It seems the activation wizard is no longer automatically UAC prompting for elevated permissions.

To work around this, there are two options:

Using the Administrative Command Prompt, navigate to

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14


C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14 

Then run

cscript ospp.vbs /act

The software activated using the MAK already provided by the Office Customisation Tool

Alternatively, if you navigate to where Office is installed and right click on an Office program and Run As Administrator eg. EXCEL, POWERPNT, WINWORD

Then GUI activation will succeed

If you are using Windows 7, you can press the Start button on your keyboard and type Word

Microsoft Word 2010 should appear at the top. Then hold down Ctrl & Shift keys, and press return. This will also launch the program as an administrator

The same also applies to Visio and Project. No Office product will activate unless performed from an administrative command prompt or explicitly running the program as Administrator

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

How to tell if you are UEFI booting into Windows

Open an administrative command prompt and type

bcdedit /enum

You should get something similar to this:

Windows Boot Manager
identifier              {bootmgr}
device                  partition=G:
path                    \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi
description             Windows Boot Manager
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {globalsettings}
default                 {current}
resumeobject            {c60ccebc-b3b0-11e2-a58b-f01faf015989}
displayorder            {current}
toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
timeout                 30

Windows Boot Loader
identifier              {current}
device                  partition=C:
path                    \WINDOWS\system32\winload.efi
description             Windows 8.1 Preview
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence        {c60ccebe-b3b0-11e2-a58b-f01faf015989}
recoveryenabled         Yes
isolatedcontext         Yes
allowedinmemorysettings 0x15000075
osdevice                partition=C:
systemroot              \WINDOWS
resumeobject            {c60ccebc-b3b0-11e2-a58b-f01faf015989}
nx                      OptIn
bootmenupolicy          Standard

Look for the path variable.

If it ends in .efi - you are UEFI booting
It will end in .exe if you are booting in the older way

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Windows 8.1 Preview fails to install

Installing through the Windows Store, when the process reached the final stages I experienced a BSOD. Subsequently, the install process rolled back.

The install error given was 0xC1900101 - 0x4000D

Looking at the BSOD information a driver called AKSDF.SYS was the cause. It seems to be some sort of licensing software, though I'm not sure where it came from or what it protects; the install date was around the same time as the installation of Fiery Printserver controller software and X-Rite i1 colour calibration software.

Uninstalling the software did not make a difference to retrying the 8.1 upgrade.

I had to manually delete all files in C:\Windows\ that matched the following pattern:


If I only deleted AKSDF.SYS, AKSFRIDGE.SYS caused a BSOD on the next attempt. So they all had to go.

Windows 8.1 Preview successfully installed after that

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

SonicWall SSL VPN NetExtender, Mac OSX and the Microsoft RDP client

When connecting via NetExtender to a SonicWall SSL VPN appliance, RDP connections to a Windows Terminal Server may not work.

It seems the Microsoft RDP client is launched instead of the SonicWall Java-based RDP client. This fails to connect successfully. However, if you specify the IP address of the terminal server manually it will work, but most end users will not know this IP!

To work around this, create a dedicated bookmark on the SonicWall with the service set to
"Terminal Services (RDP - Java)"

It's also a good idea to install the latest NetExtender client software from Dell SonicWall by visiting

and logging into their demo system. This will update the client software on your computer to the latest version. Useful in case your SonicWall firmware is a few revisions behind!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Install .NET 3.5 on Server 2012 or Windows 8, 10, 2012

Make sure you have the Windows 8, 10 or Server 2012 installation disc in your drive

In the example below, the installation disc is in the D:\ drive

Open an administrative PowerShell command window and enter the following:

Server 2012
Install-WindowsFeature –name NET-Framework-Core –source D:\sources\sxs

Windows 8, 10
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature –online –featurename NetFx3 -source D:\sources\sxs

Wait until installation is complete, then run Windows Update to get the latest patches and fixes

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Upgrade Windows 2012 Evaluation with a full version key

Open an administrative command prompt

DISM /online /Get-TargetEditions
to list the versions you can upgrade to. They are listed under "Target Edition"

To upgrade from Evaluation to Standard use
DISM /online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

You should be prompted to reboot.

This will not work for Evaluation Domain Controllers. See here