Posts Categorised: Windows

0windows 8 logoMore WDS errors solved

WDS really is quite an unfriendly sys­tem. Clunky, fiddly, and prone ot fail­ure without help­ful error inform­a­tion. After updat­ing some of my unat­ten­ded files I was no longer able to carry out unat­ten­ded install­a­tions, but have even­tu­ally solved the series of mis­lead­ing errors
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0windows 8 logoAdding drivers to windows 10 boot image on WDS on Server 2012 R2

I have enough PCs in the house that I set up a WDS serv­er to make it easi­er to rein­stall win­dows if any of them go wrong. They have a lot of dif­fer­ent hard­ware and so I needed to add some drivers to the boot image which is from a Win­dows 10 retail DVD. How­ever, I got an error when try­ing to add them because the ver­sion of DISM used by WDS on serv­er 2012 is older than the ver­sion required by Win­dows 10 images
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0Storage SpacesFree up disk space on Windows

Most PCs that I encounter have drives that are full. This was the case in the days of HDD, and with mod­ern SSD typ­ic­ally being smal­ler it is even worse. A full drive will slow your PC down, as well as the annoy­ance of run­ning out of space at a key moment. Here are a good range of ways of free­ing up space
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0Enable access to the c$ share on Windows 7 and newer

I have a range of HTPCs run­ning win­dows around the house, which I largely admin­is­ter via remote desktop. Occa­sion­ally it is use­ful to access the root of the C drive remotely. Win­dows has always catered for this by cre­at­ing some default admin­is­trat­ive shares, which are hid­den. The C drive is accessed via \\remote-pc\c$ for example. In win­dows 7 I found I wasn’t able to access these shares by default as they have been restric­ted (under­stand­ably). I needed a way to make them access­ible again.
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1Fixed: Media Center PC wakes in wrong resolution

Since I upgraded my HTPC to an AMD A5400 series (from the old E350) I have had a prob­lem where on wake from sleep the res­ol­u­tion would be set wrong (1024×768 I think) instead of the full 1920×1080 that the TV sup­ports. Exit­ing media cen­ter would trig­ger a res­ol­u­tion cor­rec­tion and then media cen­ter could be reloaded without issue. This was not sat­is­fact­ory as a solu­tion.
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3windows 8 logoHow to restore a proper UI to Windows 8 & Server 2012

Win­dows 8 and Serv­er 2012 have now RTMed and as expec­ted the good old UI of desktop and start­menu has been replaced with a hor­rible new UI (pre­vi­ously called Metro).  In their ulti­mate wis­dom Microsoft have left no way to switch back to the old desktop/start menu sys­tem, but thanks to vari­ous tweaks and tools it is pos­sible to get 90% of the inter­face restored — good enough to be fully usable.  Below I doc­u­ment the vari­ous steps and tweaks required.

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0windows 8 logoWindows 8: Fix the start menu

So, Win­dows 8 is com­ing in late July (Octo­ber for retail cus­tom­ers).  There are no signs that Microsoft will relent provide an option to switch back to the Win­dows 7 start menu, and instead will force the hor­rible metro inter­face upon every­one.  As a res­ult many of us will undoubtedly stick quite hap­pily with Win­dows 7, how­ever there are 2 reas­ons to use Win­dows 8: being forced to as it will come on all new PCs soon and for improve­ments includ­ing a per­form­ance increase and the new stor­age spaces fea­ture amongst oth­ers.  If you fall into either of these camps but, like me, can’t stand metro, there are now more options avail­able than when I last wrote about this issue.

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0Disable startup repair

Occa­sion­ally my HTPC gets bogged down doing some­thing and in frus­tra­tion the less tech­nic­al of the house­hold may choose to press the tempt­ing reset but­ton to get things going again.  Occa­sion­ally this upsets Win­dows 7 which attempts to launch “star­tup repair”.  Des­pite the name, ‘star­tup repair’ has nev­er repaired any star­tup prob­lems for me, but instead often causes prob­lems by chan­ging set­tings or repla­cing files I don’t want replaced.  So, I’ve decided to dis­able it

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