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TFS Build Failure Due to IIS Connection close

November 17th, 2011 by Patrick S

I stumbled across a quirky issue today which was causing scheduled TFSBuild jobs to fail with the following error: “Unable to read data from the transport connection: An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host”. When executing the build definition manually I could not reproduce the issue; the build would run through without any errors.

After a bit of searching it turns out there is a small bug in IIS 7.5 (introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2) which prevents TFS downloading files larger than 2MB over a slow network connection; IIS will expire the idle connection time-out and disconnect mid-transfer.

Installing KB981898 from Microsoft Support will fix this bug and allow TFS builds to run-through without any issues.

-Patrick

Posted in Bugs, Visual Studio | Comments Off on TFS Build Failure Due to IIS Connection close

Call of Duty World At War errors (d3dx9_37.dll & Unhandled exception )

November 1st, 2008 by Patrick S

Edit*: The beta for CoD WAW has now cloed – however the following information still does apply to some users of the RTM game.

I know this isn’t really related to Microsoft in any way but the public beta for Call of duty World At War has just come out and I am a huge fan. You can download yourself a free copy of the game if you go to http://www.callofduty.com/ and register to get a serial number and a download link.

If you are running a Vista machine you will most likely run into some difficulties when running the game for the first time after installation. These errors are:

-Message box displaying missing d3dx9_37.dll (or something along those lines)
-Message Box displaying: “Error during initialization: Unhandled exception caught”

To remedy these problems do the following:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bugs, Uncategorized, Xbox and Gaming | 70 Comments »

Windows Live Mobile Messenger & The Mysterious Trial Period…

January 9th, 2008 by Patrick S

Yesterday (and possibly the day before) a lot of commotion was caused when people started getting “Trial Period” notices appearing when using Windows Live Mobile Messenger.
The message read the following (image):

“Hello! Starting today, your 30 day trial period beings. By selecting OK you acknowledge that your use of Windows Live services continues to be subject to the Terms of Use and Privacy Statement. Data charges from your mobile operator, including roaming fees may apply for using the Windows Live services. At the conclusion of this trial, you will be given the option to purchase a 30 day pass.”:

Here is what actually happened: Microsoft rolled out a direct-to-consumer billing service for the Windows Live client on Nokia S60’s in the UK and Sweden. The only problem was that not just Nokia S60 users got the message but everyone using the Live Service.

As you may know, we offer Messenger services through mobile operators on lots of handsets, not just Windows Mobile. Traditionally, customers have been billed by their mobile operators for many of these services, either directly or through their data package.- Matt Champagne, director of Windows Live mobile services.

Microsoft are considering adding the “direct-to-consumer billing service” to everyone in the future the finial decision has not been made yet.

So…If you were on a Windows Mobile device and not a Nokia S60 and received the message by accident-ignore it!

Posted in Bugs, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Mobile | Comments Off on Windows Live Mobile Messenger & The Mysterious Trial Period…

Workaround for KB 933245 – Lsm.exe Handle Leak

May 25th, 2007 by Patrick S

Consider the following scenario. If you have a computer that uses a high definition audio device, which is running Microsoft Windows Vista, and you are using Windows Media Player 11, handles and memory may be lost because of a leak in the Lsm.exe process.

As you fast forward through your Windows Media Player library, or have a playlist set to repeat, you may lose a large amount of handles in a short amount of time. This can lead to performance degradation and in some cases, “out of memory” error messages and other unexpected behavior. If you review the Task Manager you may notice that Lsm.exe is consuming a large amount of memory.

This issue only occurs if the following statements are true:

  • Your computer utilizes a High Definition Audio Device
  • You are running Windows Vista, or Windows Vista 64-bit.
  • You are using Windows Media Player 11 to play back audio files.

There is a hotfix available from Microsoft to resolve this issue, however in some cases this may not resolve the issue. The following workaround is a method that I have tested on several systems that exhibit this issue and have found that it does indeed resolve the issue.

  • Click on Start, and then click on Control Panel.
  • Click on Hardware and Sound.
  • Under Sound, click on “Manage audio devices”.
  • Select your output device in the list that appears (the default output devices is commonly labelled “Speakers”)
  • Right click on the device and from the context menu click on Properties.
  • In the “Properties” window, click on the “Enhancements” tab.
  • Tick/check the option box for “Disable all enhancements”.
  • Click on OK to dismiss the properties window.
  • Click on OK to dismiss the “Sound” window.
  • Close the Control Panel window by clicking the Close (”X”) button at the top right of the window.

NOTE: You will have to restart your computer in order to reclaim previously lost memory and handles.

This article was posted by MSBLOG’s Kristen Kenny on his personal blog: http://www.canucky.net

Posted in Bugs, Computing, Media Center/Media Player, Microsoft, Windows Vista | 2 Comments »

Run Vista without activation many times… legally

March 16th, 2007 by Zack Whittaker

Microsoft has built into Vista a function that allows anyone to extend the operating system’s activation deadline not just three times, but many times. The same one-line command that postpones Vista’s activation deadline to 120 days can be used an indefinite number of times by first changing a Registry key from 0 to 1.

This isn’t a hacker exploit. It doesn’t require any tools or utilities whatsoever. Microsoft even documented the Registry key, although obtusely, on its Technet site.

But dishonest PC sellers could use the procedure to install thousands of copies of Vista and sell them to unsuspecting consumers or businesses as legitimately activated copies. This would certainly violate the Vista EULA, but consumers might not realize this until the PCs they bought started demanding activation — and failing — months or years later.

The following describes the Registry key that’s involved.

  1. While running a copy of Windows Vista that hasn’t yet been activated, click the Start button, type regedit into the Search box, then press Enter to launch the Registry Editor.
  2. Explore down to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ SL
  3. Right-click the Registry key named SkipRearm and click Edit. The default is a DWORD (a double word or 4 bytes) with a hex value of 00000000. Change this value to any positive integer, such as 00000001, save the change, and close the Registry Editor.
  4. Start a command prompt with administrative rights. The fastest way to do this is to click the Start button, enter cmd in the Search box, then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter. If you’re asked for a network username and password, provide the ones that log you into your domain. You may be asked to approve a User Account Control prompt and to provide an administrator password.
  5. Type one of the following two commands and press Enter:
        slmgr -rearm    or    rundll32 slc.dll,SLReArmWindows
    Either command uses Vista’s built-in Software Licensing Manager (SLMGR) to push the activation deadline out to 30 days after the command is run. Changing SkipRearm from 0 to 1 allows SLMGR to do this an indefinite number of times. Running either command initializes the value of SkipRearm back to 0.
  6. Reboot the PC to make the postponement take effect.
  7. To extend the activation deadline of Vista indefinitely, repeat steps 1 through 6 as necessary

Read full story and other tricks at source.

Posted in Bugs, Windows Vista | 1 Comment »

Server 2003 Critical Patch KB929969=Critical Problems!

January 18th, 2007 by Patrick S

Lets bring it on back to a Windows Server them, I was reading the Windows Server Public news-groups today and stumbled accross a post from a one bpacman regarding Microsofts latest Windows Server update that also applys to XP and Windows 2000 (KB929969-Security Bulitin MS07-004)

The fact of the matter is that many Server 2003 System Admins are in for a surprise when they reboot their servers after 1/12/2007, if they have automated updates enabled.

Why?:
On that date Microsoft pushed a critical patch KB929969.  The patch did not require a reboot, so your system will work fine for days, weeks or even months, but once you reboot…well lets just get into the symptoms:

Your first clue is that your Manage My Server screen will not work and you will get a Script Error complaining about the mys.dll/mys.hta.

Any attempt to open Computer Management, Enterprise Management, DeviceManagement…etc… will result in an error saying that mmc cannot find the *.msc file.

IIS and SQL server will fail.  Any time you hit Cntl F or Search, it will fail.

So what did this patch do to your server?  It removed a file. C:\Windows\System32\msxml3.dll was replaced by msxml4.dll, but this file doesn’t replace the msxml3.dll file effectively.

So what can we do to resolve the problem?:

Resolution:

Break out your Install CD and extract the following two files:

\i386\msxml3.dl_
\i386\msxml3r.dl_

from a DOS prompt you will need to expand these files and install them
in the system32 directory

c:> expand -r msxml3.dl_ c:\Windows\system32
c:> expand -r msxml3r.dl_ c:\Windows\system32

Then you need to register the msxml3.dll file

c:> regsvr32 c:\Windows\system32\msxml3.dll

Reboot the system and your server should be fine.
It seems like this Update from Microsoft has caused System admins all around the world nothing bug problems. But until this update is less buggy it looks as though a lot of servers will remain MS07-004 unpatched.

-Although-the article states that the patch causes all sorts of confusion on a Windows Server (due to msxml3.dll being replaced) it seems that the patch has nothing to do with MS XML only VML [Vector Markup Language] (as shown in C:\WINDOWS\$NtUninstallKB929969$)

So either bpacman is wrong about msxml3.dll being replaced along with the VML update or right I didn’t do enough research-sorry

-Patrick 🙂

Posted in Bugs, MS News, Windows Server System | 6 Comments »

Just in time for the holidays another Microsoft 0-Day

December 24th, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft has received and acknowledged that a new 0-Day exploit is public, and the proof-of-concept code announced for it is valid today on their Security Blog.

The proof-of-concept code targets the CSRSS (Client/Server Runtime Server Subsystem) the part of windows that launches and closes applications, the exploit affects all versions of Windows including the (un)released Windows Vista.
Tested on XP Service Pack 2 the proof-of-concept will cause the computer to crash resulting in a system lockup, system failure (Blue Screen of Death), or simple hard reboot.

Microsoft SRC said today “Initial indications are that in order for the attack to be successful, the attacker must already have authenticated access to the target system. Of course these are preliminary findings and we have activated our emergency response process involving a multitude of folks who are investigating the issue in depth to determine the full scope and potential impact to Microsoft’s customers.”

This is good news for users, as a patch is coming. The potential for attack, rated less critical by Secunia is still problematic if the system is infected by rootkits, or applications designed to allow remote access to a PC. The method of attack, and the way this exploit works, means there is no real protection for end users, other than to ensure you are fully patched, and your malware, spyware, and virus scanning software is running and up to date.

Info Sourced from monstersandcritics.com

Posted in Bugs, MS News, Products, Security, Windows Server System, Windows Vista, Windows XP | Comments Off on Just in time for the holidays another Microsoft 0-Day

Windows XP still seems to have advantages over Windows Vista

November 19th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

This has got me puzzled, flummoxed, baffled, confused, mystified and perplexed… if you would. See if you can try and explain this one because I certainly can’t.

 Windows Vista RTM
 I open up Messenger, click to go to my inbox and once it loads up I see “Office Live Mail”
 and Office Live related advertisements splattered everywhere. Using a @live.com email
 address, in this instance is  and I’m using Windows Vista RTM.

 

 Windows XP Media Center Edition
 I sign into Messenger again and once again I go into my inbox. This time it appears that
 Windows Live Mail (as it’s currently branded) has released to web as there aren’t any
 beta tags, and it’s given me premium services such as no advertisements. I’m using the
 same  account except I’m using a different machine.

What?! I don’t get it – the same account, logging in from two different computers and two different operating systems but from the same network. Anyone got any ideas? Is Windows Live Mail readying for release? (it’s not by the way, but before Christmas definately) Shall I complain that my advertisements have disappeared? (I won’t by the way!)

It’s all very confusing – check your Windows Live Mail accounts – please comment on what you see and if anything’s changed, and if you’ve seen this sort of thing happening before. Thanks 🙂

Posted in Bugs, Windows Live | 4 Comments »

Bug causes Microsoft to push Vista RTM to Nov. 8

October 26th, 2006 by Patrick S

Computer World reports that PC manufacturers which had expected to get their hands on the final version of Windows Vista today will have to wait a couple more weeks for the operating system, according to sources familiar with Microsoft Corp.’s plans.Microsoft originally targeted today for Vista’s release to manufacturing, but a last-minute bug that “took most of the Vista team by surprise” caused an unexpected delay, the Vista team discovered the bug, which “would totally crash the system, requiring a complete reinstall,” in Vista Build 5824 on Oct. 13. The team fixed the bug a week later in Vista Build 5840, he said, but the delivery of the operating system to PC makers was delayed. Therefore the team is now targeting a new date of Nov. 8 for Vista’s release to manufacturing.

Although this dosen’t change my perspective on Vista being a really great operating system-finding a bug at the last minute does put a damper on its credibility….hopefully that’s the only hiccup and Vista will be the very best Operating System out there today.

Posted in Beta News, Bugs, Corporation, MS News, Windows Vista | 3 Comments »

Connect 2.2 Preview

October 11th, 2006 by Patrick S

Is finally here! Go to https://connectbeta.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=3 and take a look around. You can do most of the things you can on the main Connect site, although you’ll find that the available programs list is pretty limited. None of the feedback or sites from the production site are available here, with the exception of the Connect demo site.

Take a look around and see what you think. After you sign in, click the “Manage My Profile” link at the bottom and fill out your profile data in order to be able to submit feedback. Keep in mind that this is a beta site, so the feedback isn’t going to be processed or resolved. Don’t enter your real bugs here- or do, but enter them on the real Connect site as well!

 After you’ve taken a look around, if you have any comments you can file a feedback or suggestion form on the main Connect site at http://connect.microsoft.com/Connect/Feedback.

A couple of notes about the beta site; some issues were found after the deployment to the beta site and have already been resolved internally.

  • File uploads may not work correctly with Firefox 1.5. This is known and has been corrected in a later internal build.
  • Feedback should work with both Opera and Firefox, although some display elements may not be correctly placed or visible in non-IE browsers. These issues have been largely eliminated in our internal builds.
  • After attaching files, you may notice that the “attached files count” on the Feedback Details page always remains 0. This has been corrected in our latest builds.

Source straight from The Feedback Loop

Posted in Beta News, Bugs, MS News, Testing | 8 Comments »

Google becomes Windows Live Search

October 7th, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

 

OK so the title may be slightly misleading, but this is strange:

1) Go to Google.com
2) Type in search then hit I’m Feeling Lucky
3) Have a guess at what comes up.

I find this rather strange because Google and Microsoft are like raaawwrrrr at each other because of sibling rivalry (unlike Apple which is most certainly the black sheep in the family, like the uncle we don’t talk about because he likes wearing women’s dresses and lederhosen for example). But then something like this comes about – I dredd to think what the PageRank is for Windows Live Search… if anyone wants to tell me what it is so I don’t have to bare the agony of installing Google Toolbar for my precious Internet Explorer 7, I’d appreciate it.

Posted in Bugs, Humour, Windows Live | 12 Comments »

WGA service outage

October 5th, 2006 by Patrick S

Earlier this week a server on the backend of the WGA service experienced a bug that resulted in a temporary outage. As a result, some systems were incorrectly flagged as being non-genuine, and we want to confirm for those who contacted us about this that it was indeed an error.  The WGA team has apologized for any disruption this may have caused for our customers.
The bug that caused this issue was identified and fixed within twenty four hours of being discovered.

  1. Here are the specific steps that can be taken now to fix this issue on any affected system that isn’t genuine:
    Delete the data.dat file from C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Windows Genuine Advantage\data (The drive letter will depend on where the OS was installed)
  2. Revisit http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads/validate.aspx to confirm whether the machine is genuine.
  3. Run wgatray.exe /b from the command line to ensure that the latest validation is updated for WGA Notifications.  This command may be absent from the user’s machine and should not be considered an error.  Please ensure that this is run as an Administrator.  A reboot may be required to remove all non-genuine notifications.

The team have also implemented a webpage with special instructions that will receive any traffic from systems that are running on product keys that could have been affected by this issue.

A KB Article has been written to further point the steps to take inorder to fix the problem.

Posted in Anti-Piracy, Bugs, Corporation, MS News, Windows XP | Comments Off on WGA service outage

Generic Host Process for Win32 Service – crashes and burns, but why?!?

October 1st, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Normally I don’t post “personal” entries on here, either to do with my personal life and/or personal problems I’m having with my computer(s) but this one’s being a right pain and I’m actually concerned that other people may be having it too.

If you check out the Microsoft Online Crash Analysis (ID: 1501) then it explains basically what happens. As most of you know, the “Generic Host Process for Win32 Services” is “svchost.exe” in Task Manager. You’ll see that there’s usually at least 5 or 6 of them in Task Manager and it’s a very important service because it hosts other services and handles all the processes from DLL files – basically it’s a very important service and should never really be messed with unless you really know what you’re doing.

I sometimes turn my machine on and it’ll give me an error report saying that the “Generic Host Process for Win32 Services had to close” and it’ll let me report it. After I do so, it’ll take me to the Online Crash Analysis site as given above. Now this has only seemed to have happened on my laptop but on 5 different sets of operating systems and/or re-installations, and the problem only seems to come about after I install all the updates that it gives me. I’ve got Windows XP Media Center 2005 installed at the moment with all the updates, and it still happens. Is it just my laptop, or is it actually an automatic update which starts screwing things up?

There’s a fix available for this problem and it says that it’s a problem that happens when you install the update MS05-012, however it doesn’t freakin’ work! I’m really stumped to be honest – has anyone else got this error or seen it before? Has anyone got any information? Why the hell isn’t Microsoft doing something about it? Here’s my system information here and obviously take out the “sensitive” data – if anyone wants to look at it, feel free and let me know if anyone’s got any ideas.

 

Update by Jabez: According to a comment left by RRasco, the fix #2 from http://www.sizlopedia.com/2007/04/28/fix-generic-host-for-win32-process-error/ worked for him. Give it a shot!

Posted in Bugs, Rants, Windows XP | 29 Comments »

Troubleshooting event ID 12317, “File Server Resource Manager failed to enumerate share paths or DFS paths.”

September 29th, 2006 by Patrick S

A while ago Jabez Posted an article about FSRM: “Access is Denied” is logged in Event Viewer, Browsing Our Friends blog over at “The Filing Cabnit” It seems some light has been shed on the article as well as a small workaround. Please find most of the article below but dont forget to check out their blog to get the full story-You rock guys.

EVENT LOG Application
EVENT TYPE Warning
SOURCE SRMSVC
EVENT ID 12317
COMPUTERNAME   SERVER2
TIME 5/1/2006 12:15:45 PM
MESSAGE File Server Resource Manager failed to enumerate share paths or DFS paths. Mappings from local file paths to share and DFS paths may be incomplete or temporarily unavailable. FSRM will retry the operation at a later time.
Error-specific details:
Error: (0x80070005) Access is denied.

Although this event doesn’t affect quota functionality, the fact that it occurs hourly has prompted numerous support calls from customers. We’ve isolated the cause and the solution for this event…well, most of the cause anyway.

An Event 12317 showing access denied is caused when the NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users group is not a member of the BUILTIN\Users group in the domain. (As you might know, the local BUILTIN\Users group on a domain controller is mapped to the domain built-in group Users. Therefore, the effect of removing NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users from the BUILTIN\Users group on a domain controller has a domain-wide effect.) 

Why does this cause the event error? Because the DFS RPC endpoint is configured to allow both BUILTIN\Administrators access and BUILTIN\Users access, the latter of which is assumed to contain NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users (the default setting). Without NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users in the mix, the NetDfsEnum API fails to enumerate the domain-based roots because the FSRM service is authenticating with that identity. The resulting ERROR_ACCESS_DENIED error causes the event to fire.

What we haven’t solved is why NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users would be removed from the BUILTIN\Users group. We’ve looked for Active Directory guidance indicating this is a best practice, but we couldn’t find any. We suspect that admins might intentionally remove this group in an attempt to increase security.

So, to resolve this event, add NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users to BUILTIN\Users group on the PDC emulator. You can check this by launching Active Directory Users and Computers and looking in the Builtin folder for the domain. The Users group must contain the Authenticated Users group. If it does not, you can add it using the snap-in. Next, stop and restart the FSRM-related services (srmreports and srmsvc) on the file servers where FSRM is running.

If you were one of the 39 people requesting updates on the article that Jabez posted a while back i will alert you ASAP with links to this article and the one at the File Cab.
Hope the information helps-All credit is to the guys at the Filing Cabnit Blog

Posted in Bugs, Windows Server System | 2 Comments »

Installing Windows Vista RC1 in VMWare Workstation

September 14th, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

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If you are trying to install Windows Vista RC1 in VMWare Workstation, you may see setup appear to hang on the text-mode screen that says “Windows is loading files…”.

Actually what has happened is that Vista Setup is already in graphics mode trying to do things, but something about the way it switches the display adapter into graphics mode is not working right on VMWare.

Since Microsoft makes a competitive product, Virtual PC, this is funny that they come out with a major new test release(Windows Vista RC1) that just not work on VMWare Workstation. Or Product team did not test this product with VMWare Workstation? But in my memory, I can recall that Microsoft also using VMWare Workstation before Microsoft has bought VirtualPC.

After researching, I found that there is a workaround, for now, while VMWare works on the problem. Before you install Windows Vista RC1 to VMWare Workstation, you may edit the virtual machine’s .vmx to include the following,

svga.maxWidth = “640”
svga.maxHeight = “480”

You can get Vista installed in VGA 16 color 640×480 mode (it will look awful) and then when you get everything running, install VMWare tools and take out those two lines and you’ll be good to go.

Posted in Bugs, Virtual Machine, Windows Vista | 8 Comments »

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