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Everything posted by dougdeep

  1. The cumulative update for August 2017 installed over the weekend and the latest backup ran today and finished with no error messages. That's a bit odd since the MS description of the update doesn't show anything to do with backups. Likely, Microsoft updated something else that the backup program is accessing. Problem solved, um, for now.
  2. Whenever I try to run the Backup program on Windows 10, it always ends with an error about some files not being backed up. Getting details about the error shows the Backup program complaining about some of the mapped drives not being on the local machine. There are three mapped drives that point to directories on a NAS machine, but I specifically checked the Backup options to only backup the C drive. Is part of the problem that the Windows 10 Backup and the compatible Windows 7 Backup not one in the same program even though the “advanced” settings for 10 lead to the 7 control panel? I am pretty sure a workaround would be to un-map the NAS directories, let the program run to completion, and then re-map the NAS. Does anyone know the correct way to get the Backup program to work as expected?
  3. Thank you for those suggestions. I went into Services and changed the Recovery tab for BFE to “Subsequent failures -> Restart the Service” and “Restart Service after: 1 minute”. One minute seems to be the lowest it can go in this window (using “0.5” got me an error message). If someone had the documentation on how Microsoft coded the binary value for this in the registry, I’m sure it could be less. Still, one minute is better than the default 5 minutes (300000 milliseconds) and since it takes a bit of time after resume from sleep to display the lock screen and type in the password, that seems to be enough time for the BFE service to restart before Internet Explorer can get running. The event log errors for BFE, Windows Firewall, and other network services still remained but everything seemed to be running before I could even get the Event Viewer open. That made the computer usable but I still wanted to know why it needed to be fixed with a band-aid. Looking at the Event Viewer for items before sleep, I noticed the entry for “Kernel-Power: The system is entering sleep” was followed by a half dozen entries of netwlv64 and event ID 5010. That expands out to: The description for Event ID 5010 from source netwlv64 cannot be found. Either the component that raises this event is not installed on your local computer or the installation is corrupted. You can install or repair the component on the local computer. If the event originated on another computer, the display information had to be saved with the event. The following information was included with the event:\Device\NDMP6 Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection So I went looking for an explanation of this on the internet. It seems to relate to netwlv64 being the Microsoft catch-all driver for discontinued Intel (and other) wireless cards. The wireless card is not responding as expected to whatever commands the driver is trying to send it prior to sleep and it probably not ready for the computer to suspend operations. Consequently on waking from sleep, the wireless card is not ready immediately or is stuck in some confused state. My card always seems to get running eventually but some users report hangs that last until a system restart. Over in the Intel community forum there was a discussion about this event ID and the lack of Windows 8 drivers. One of the users came up with a power shell script to reset the Wi-Fi adapter on wake from sleep. I tried it and it works well. The BFE and firewall errors disappeared in the Event Viewer after sleep. You can follow the discussion for the fix at https://communities.intel.com/message/211923. I can live with this for the time being and I’m hoping that going from Windows 8 to 8.1 won’t make things worse but I think the long range solution is to get a wireless card supported by the factory for Windows 8. For Intel, that means only their wireless-N or Dual Band cards. Plus, it has to fit the compartment in the notebook so this is another rainy-day project. Thank you again for all your helpful suggestions.
  4. Thank you for that link. I tried all the suggestions in the article although some settings were already in use. Another day of troubleshooting produced an observation that if, after sleep, no network connection is attempted for 5-10 minutes then the internet connections will be present and work solidly. To find out why, I started looking in the Event Viewer and found these events present whenever the computer returned from sleep: • Information - Change Reason: System time synchronized with the hardware clock. • Information - The \Device\NDMP6 service entered the Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection state. • Information - The system has returned from a low power state. • Error - The Base Filtering Engine service terminated unexpectedly. It has done this 3 time(s). The following corrective action will be taken in 300000 milliseconds: Restart the service. • Error - The Diagnostic Policy Service service terminated unexpectedly. It has done this 3 time(s). The following corrective action will be taken in 300000 milliseconds: Restart the service. • Error - The Windows Firewall service terminated unexpectedly. It has done this 3 time(s). • Error - The Network Connected Devices Auto-Setup service terminated unexpectedly. It has done this 3 time(s). I looked up all those services on the internet to see what they were. The two biggies here seem to be the Base Filtering Engine BFE) and Windows Firewall. It seems that the BFE is needed to get anything else network related in Windows to work. It is also a prerequisite for Windows Firewall service. So it appears that the BFE is not starting successfully after sleep, at least for a while. All four services mentioned in the Event Viewer will be found running in Services after a few minutes and then the internet browsers work correctly. That notice in Event Viewer that the service will be restarted in 300000 milliseconds (5 minutes) is probably why internet connections will work fine if I wait before trying a browser or mapped drive. How do you go about troubleshooting services like these that start eventually, just not when you expect them to?
  5. Thank you for your suggestions. I tinkered with the computer for hours this weekend to try out your ideas and a few others. Among the things tried: Ran Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware and had them check every file. Only a few tracking cookies showed up. After laptop sleep, tried using HTTP://[numeric address] for several sites including local network but IE and Firefox still said “waiting for [site]”. Found that mapped drives to local NAS devices also do not work after sleep when the browsers are hung up. Windows file explorer at least throws a timeout error and the mapped drives are marked with a red X. One of my NAS devices has FTP and IE and Firefox will not connect to it after sleep, BUT running ftp from the command prompt works just fine (as does ping). If the laptop is hanging after sleep with a wireless connection, turning off wireless and plugging in an Ethernet cable to the same network does nothing. HOWEVER, if the laptop is hanging after sleep with the Ethernet cable, unplugging it first and turning the wireless back on does fix the problem after the wireless connection is established. That last bullet is a clue I'm sure but I don't know how to proceed. After sleep, clicking on the network connection icon (wired or wireless) always brings up assurances that there is an internet connection but it doesn't work correctly. Breaking the network connection and then re-establishing it makes the system create a new internet connection that does work correctly (same as a restart). It seems as though I need to find a way to make the computer break and make the network connection by itself after returning from sleep but is there even a way to let the system know it just woke up and should run some command (like a batch file)?
  6. I have Windows 8 installed on a Dell Inspiron 1318 notebook which has worked well for a year with the exception of internet browsing (using IE or Firefox) not working following sleep. The browsers seem to hang saying “Waiting for [site name]” and eventually time out. Bringing up Networks from the charms bar shows the wireless LAN is connected. There is no problem when the computer is connected to the LAN by ethernet cable. I poked around the internet and see there are others having this problem as well and I tried all the suggestions given. Such as: Make sure the wireless card's driver is up to date.Make sure all the latest Windows 8 updates are installed.Set the power management of the wireless card to “always on”.Try a different wireless card (swapped out the Dell card for an Intel 3945ABG).Try the Ipconfig release / Ipconfig renew method (worked once).Make sure the wireless router has the latest firmware (it does but this problem also appears at a friend's house and at work).Flush the DNS cache.I also found a small shell script in a blog that could be automated to check network connections. The script just pings a server outside the LAN by name every few minutes. If it works, then the wireless card, the LAN, DNS, and the ISP connections must all be good. If it fails, the script just resets the card. I ran the script and noticed it never failed, even when IE or Firefox would hang. The computer seems to have a good network connection – I can ping other computers, get time from an NTP server, and get mail from a POP3 server (using Thunderbird). That suggests to me that the problem is in the browser's connection to the internet and not the computer's connection to the network (I could be wrong, of course). When I checked “Internet Options” there don't appear to be any proxies in the way of connections. Could Windows 8 be closing off ports needed by the browsers to function? Where should I start looking problems?
  7. Thank you for those comments. I always thought of POP3 and IMAP as just different ways to view and transfer email. I would have expected to see comments like "I found IMAP easier to use than POP3" rather than "POP3 is useless and you are stoopid for using it". I know that even email web clients have dozens of options and settings (including Outlook.com) that the average user probably never sees. This subject strikes me as another example of users just mouthing off rather than RTFM.
  8. I was poking around the internet looking for settings to get Thunderbird to work with Outlook.com and kept finding a lot of sites with comments that ragged on POP3 as 'dead' and 'useless'. A lot of the discussion seemed to indicate they could not get their email folder structures to sync correctly across their mobile devices when using POP3. That's fair enough, but I never liked the idea of leaving my email on any ISP's servers for too long anyway lest it evaporate after one of their unplanned outages. I've used both IMAP and POP3 and, on my main ISP at least, the POP3 server seems to respond quicker. I've always checked Thunderbird's "Leave messages on server until I delete them" box to make messages available when I'm on the road. As long as I don't delete it with a web client away from home then it's still there when I start Thunderbird again. I know POP3 is an older protocol than IMAP but is there something else going on that I'm not aware of or considering?
  9. Thank you for that link. It's strange that Microsoft doesn't have a web page like this especially when clicking on an app's details takes you to a Microsoft web page.
  10. Does Microsoft have an alternate way to browse their App store besides the Store app on Windows 8? I'd like to show other people what sort of apps are available for Windows 8 from non-8 computers but their doesn't appear to be any sort of web page for the store aside from Microsoft's app store overview page. I've been searching Google but only finding third party reviews of some existing apps. I'd like to be able to show other people what's available when they ask about apps and I don't have a Windows 8 computer available (or even when I do – I find the App Store presentation to be a bit clunky).
  11. I recently ran into this error message (The system could not find the environment option that was entered) while trying to fix a friend’s computer and thought I’d share my fix. The computer was a slim laptop running Vista Home Premium that I think may have been the victim of some fake anti-malware program. While some things like the control panel would open, any attempts to open things such as system restore or administrative tools would generate the error message. Windows firewall and the anti-virus program were both disabled. It looked like someone had installed and run MalwareBytes Anti-Malware at some point although it would no longer update or scan. Pressing F8 at startup showed no “Repair” option. Safe-mode would work but wouldn’t show any system restore points available. The laptop’s hidden partition restore option only offered to wipe everything back to factory new. I thought about booting from a Vista DVD to get the System Repair option but this laptop had no DVD drive and I didn’t have a USB drive available. Information on the internet suggested that the error message was the result of missing system environment variables. Opening a command prompt window and entering SET showed only a few variables available. Notably, there was no PATH or WINDIR variable. To fix this, I started in safe-mode (RegEdit would only work in safe-mode) and inserted PATH and WINDIR under the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment (setting Windir = C:\Windows and Path = C:\Windows\System32;C:\Windows;C:Windows\System32\Wbem). After that, System Restore began working again on a normal startup and showed several months worth of restore points. Picking an early restore point returned most things to normal while a virus scan and SFC /SCANNOW finished things up. I hope this works for you.
  12. It sounds like a variation of the MS Antivirus Security Center malware that's been around for a while. A friend got that one earlier this month (it was calling itself MS Security Essentials) and I thought it looked very slick. It had all the right styles and logo for Windows Vista/Seven and would have been really convincing except it was on an old XP machine. On startup it would go into its routine before the desktop appeared which makes it a real pain to try and stop (CTRL-ALT-DEL will not bring up the task manager). The worst thing this one did was to set the HIDDEN file attribute on everything in the user's Documents and Settings folder – 'bout gave my friend a heart attack thinking everything had been deleted. I used the methods described over at bleepingcomputer.com, especially the Rkill program, to stop the **** thing from running and then Malwarebyte's Anti Malware to remove it. After scans by two different antivirus programs it said it was clean but it just didn't run quite right. A week after I gave the computer back it returned so this time I backed up all the files and reformatted (and repartitioned). It's time consuming to start over but that might be the safest thing to do.
  13. Thanks. That's a good idea. To run Wireshark I'm going to need a working real network hub (fresh out) or an old computer with two ethernet cards (probably got). Might have to park this as a project for a rainy day.
  14. Several months ago, I copied the household mp3 collection to a Buffalo Terra Station NAS (Raid 5 and plays nice with Windows, Macs, and Linux). On my Windows Me machine I can access individual networked files through most programs but a few throw fits unless I map the NAS drive (give it a logical letter) in windows explorer. If the drive is mapped I can examine any folder on the NAS with windows explorer and there's no problem. If, instead, I get to the NAS in windows explorer through “My Network Places” it seems to set off a flurry of network activity that bogs down explorer and, eventually, the entire computer (I can see the router activity lights from my desk). I tried closing every background program except explorer and systray and it still happens. I did an anti-virus scan – I use Avast 4.8 – which didn't turn up anything. If this were Windows XP I might think it was making an index of the NAS drive (the two XP machines here don't behave like this though). Does anyone have an idea of what might be happening? Is this just something about networking that Microsoft had not figured out back in the day and just work around it?
  15. I just picked up an Asus laptop running Windows 7 home premium 64bit for a friend's daughter who is heading off to college. There doesn't seem to be much chance of connecting to the internet behind the university's secured gateway. Since she is not staying in the college dorms, the computer won't be tied to the university's network. There is WiFi available in all the libraries and student centers but it seems they contracted this service out so I doubt this directly ties to the university's network either. She will have high-speed internet available where she's staying – Roadrunner with a big router. I'd like to set up this machine to be fairly secure since long-distance troubleshooting is a real pain. If this laptop was running XP then I'd set up a passworded administrator account but let it auto-logon to a restricted user account. I don't know about using this approach in Windows 7 though. I know it uses a tamed version of the UAC found in Vista but I was never wild about how easy it was to dismiss the pop-up warnings in Vista. What would you do to set up a laptop for a college bound student. I'd really like to hear of any experiences or suggestions.
  16. For a very small business office (4 machines) I don't much care that Vista Home Basic lacks eye candy such as aero glass or unneeded applications like media center. Most software that says it works on Vista works on any version. What concerns me is that I'm starting to notice that some software claims not to work on Basic. For instance, Adobe Photoshop CS4 system requirements list Vista Home Premium or higher or any version of XP with SP2. What could be missing from Basic (but found in Home Premium) that would keep this software from running provided the computer also met the requirements for memory, speed, and graphics card? I know that some third-party software can hook into Windows OS code to provide some of its functionality but the difference between Home Basic and Premium doesn't seem that great. I also wonder if there is some sort of marketing angle at work when companies like Autodesk describe AutoCad's requirements as "Vista including Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate" (but specifically also lists XP Home and Pro). Does anyone know for sure if Microsoft left something more out of Vista Home Basic than what they show on their version comparison web pages?
  17. I like Window Me also. It's been as stable as anything else around here and I'm too cheap to buy new software. I'll continue to use it for my email and web nonsense until my anti-virus software is no longer supported (end of April 09 according to AVG). After that, it'll become a virtual machine on a larger computer so I can still get at my files and the programs that made them. That said, I don't think I ever saw an OEM installed version of Me that was worth squat. Computers that could run 98 could run Me just as well with similar hardware but manufacturers loaded them up and bogged them down with silly animated help wizards, truncated versions of popular or, worse, unpopular programs and pushed them on unsuspecting consumers. Bloatware basically got its start with Me and it's never been reigned in. If there is fault at Microsoft over Windows Me it's that they cared so little about their own reputation by failing to stop what the OEMs were doing to it. I wasn't a Microsoft shareholder then but I am now and it dismays me to see this happening all over again with Vista.

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