Tuesday 12 April 2022

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2019 17.0 keeps re building content and effects at startup

Every time you start Adobe PhotoShop Elements 2019 (this is version 17.0 build 20180830.m.125874) you get a message and progress bar showing Building Content and Effects. This can take 2-3 minutes to complete and PhotoShop Elements isn't responsive until it completes. Almost looks like the app has frozen at times. It completes and you can work on your image, but it will repeat the same process next time you load the program.

Adobe PhotoShop Elements Building Content and Effects

It is caused by a missing MediaDatabase.db3 file which should be located in the folder;
C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\17.0\Locale\en_US

In this case the en_US folder had been renamed to en_USupsell_pods by a failed update. Just remove the 'upsell_pods' from the folder name so that it looks like this ...

Next time you start Elements it will rebuild one further time, to create the missing MediaDatabase.db3 file. It then starts a lot quicker on subsequent loads.

Saturday 23 October 2021

Adding a Mitel 5201 phone to a 3300 controller

Previously we've been able to just change the MAC address on the 3300 controller when we swapped out faulty phones, but had some problems with that recently. The phones were appearing on DHCP and in the unprogrammed IP phones list (see under Maintenance > IP Telephone Inventory) but weren't actually picking up the extension number.

The phones start up normally, light flashing for a minute or so before going out for a couple of seconds and then re-appearing solid. Turns out the solid light indicates its in registration mode.

Make sure the previous MAC address of the old phone is cleared from extension number (Users and Devices > Advanced > IP telephones > Single line) and that it doesn't reappear after a few seconds (that would indicate the old phone is still online). Then on the phone you have to type the registration sequence NNNXXXX followed by the Hold key. NNN is the Registration Access Code (System Properties > System Feature Settings > System options) and XXXX is the extension number.

If succesful the light should go out and you get a dialtone. If it fails you'll see the light blink quickly and stay on solid.

I did notice the previous Registration Access Code was ### not sure whether that's what it actually was or if that means its masked. There's also a Replacement Access Code which I guess might get you around having to delete the MAC address of the previous phone.

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Dell OptiPlex 7070 external speaker humming with Realtek audio driver

The external speaker on my Dell OptiPlex 7070 SFF starts humming every few minutes. A quiet low level, deep hum. Sounds a little like the speaker is vibrating on the desk. You can clear it by playing some audio or clicking the volume control button to make it ping. This is happening on Windows 11.

The installed driver is the latest one from Dell using the Command Update software. Its listed as version 6.0.9235.1 (7 Sept 2021). The problem goes away again if you revert to the Microsoft driver "High Definition Audio Device" version 10.0.22000.1 dated 5 June 2021.

To install it right-click on the Windows menu, choose Device Manger then Sound, video and game controllers. Right-click Realtek Audio > Update Driver > Browse My Computer for drivers > L
et me pick from a list and choose the High Definition Audio Device. You can accept the warning about compatibility.

Friday 5 March 2021

HP ProDesk 400 offline missing ethernet network adapter

Possibly the strangest call for a while ... a cat stepped on the keyboard and the computer went offline! Tried all the obvious fixes for airplane mode, reset network, troubleshoot network, BIOS, etc, then spotted there was no ethernet device in the Network Adapters section of the Device Manager. Just the WAN Miniport drivers. You can see in the image a typical list - the Realtek is the ethernet cabled network connection. GBE stands for Gigabit Ethernet.

Looking under View > Show Hidden Devices revealed the Realtek driver, greyed out, not recognised by Windows as a current device. Updating the driver didn't recover it. Uninstalling it removed it completely and it didn't come back when clicking Scan for Hardware Changes.

The fix was to reload the driver from the latest HP download (transferred via USB flash drive from an online computer)

Realtek Ethernet Controller Drivers version 10.32.1206.2018, dated 9 Apr 2019, at time of writing this.

Thursday 6 June 2019

Outlook 2016 with Gmail keep getting prompted for "Sign in with your Google account" IMAP

Outlook 2016 loads up with a Google Gmail or Googlemail account configured and imediately prompts with a Sign in with your Google account prompt. It happens as soon as the Send/Receive runs to download new messages.

You might see error 0x800CCC0E Outlook cannot synchonize subscribed folders.

If you login, it prompts to authorise Microsoft, which you can do. It just doesn't seem to retain that setting and keeps prompting. Everything looks ok and correctly authorised if you look at https://myaccount.google.com/security

The account is an auto setup from the Outlook 2016 email wizard when you Add Account, which configures IMAP with servers imap.gmail.com and outgoing as smtp.gmail.com

In fact the same setup worked perfectly on another computer. Recreating the profile, the account, checking OST, etc would not fix the problem.

In the end, the fix was found to be related to the account having previously been a @googlemail.com account. If you manually change the servers to be:
   *      Incoming server:  imap.googlemail.com
   *      Outgoing server:  smtp.googlemail.com

the problem is fixed and your Gmail in Outlook will work normally.

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Bootrec rebuildbcd or scanos - total identified Windows installations: 0

We've just had a Windows 8.1 Lenovo laptop that stopped booting. It reported attempting Automatic Repair and kept failing and rebooting through the same cycle.

The advanced options after that has failed also gave you you a startup repair option. That wasn't able to fix the fault either.

The usual fix under those circumstances is to go into advanced options, choose command prompt, then load Diskpart. From there you can fix the drive letter order if its got changed, remove unnecesary drive letters. Then fix the boot table using the bootrec command - often a chkdsk followed by deleting/renaming the existing Boot folder, then running bootrec /fixmbr, then bootrec /fixboot, and bootrec /rebuildbcd, will do the job.

The error reported was Total identified Windows Installations: 0

In the end the fix was from the command prompt option, but we had to go into C:\Windows\System32\Config and rename the registry files (Default, Sam, Security, Software, System), eg. default.bak. Then copy the replacement files from the Regback subfolder where there is a recent backup.

The laptop rebooted with no bootrec tweaking needed.

NOTE - Looks like since Windows 10 version 1803, Microsoft are no longer creating a backup in Regback. You can still recover registry files from a Shadow Copy. See this article for details https://theitbros.com/restore-windows-10-registry-from-backup-or-restore-point/

Sunday 9 December 2018

0x800F081F can’t install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 in Windows 10

Had a few instances of installing specific business software or older programs that get a prompt in Windows 10 that .Net 3.5 will be required. They'll either try and add it and fail or you'll attempt to manually install it from the Windows Features section of Control Panel > Programs.

Often you get error 0x800F081F saying that the source files could not be found.

We've regularly seen this in a Windows Small Business Server environment, eg SBS 2008 or SBS 2011. The key fact here is that there's an on-site WSUS server providing local Update Services. Unfortunately it doesn't have the download available for .NET 3.5 for Windows 10 Pro.

There are several recommended fixes involving using a Windows 10 USB installer or downloading the Windows 10 ISO - not always practical on a remote support session - and they don't always seem to work. The best fix and the simplest option we've found to be effective is s asmall registry change, which tells Windows to contact Microsoft directly for Features and Repairs, and not use WSUS.

Use Windows-R for a Run box or type directly into the Cortana Search or Start menu,
which should let you Edit Group Policy, see image above.

Look in Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System, for the setting 'Specify settings for optional component installation and component repair'

Turn it to Enabled and tick the box 'Download repair content and optional features directly from Windows Updates instead of Windows Server Updates Services (WSUS)'

You might need to start a CMD prompt (use Window-R again) and type 'gpupdate /force' to get the new setting to be applied immediately.

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Buffalo DriveStation backup error on SBS Server 2008 (msexchangeis 9782, error code '2155348010')

Attaching a new Buffalo Drivestation 3TB Velocity USB 3.0 backup drive (HD_LXU3) to an old Windows Server 2008, which is part of Small Business Server 2008, reminded us of an error we'd not seen for a few years.

The standard Windows Server backup failed to run within a couple of minutes, despite having been configured for the new drive.

The Event Log showed an Exchange error from source msexchangeis with event id 9782. This was a little misleading, because all the exchange esetuil diagnostics and repairs will show no fault. A little further on in the event viewer you might also see an error that the backup failed with following error code '2155348010' and event id 517, which is a little more useful.

The fault lies with the fact that the Server 2008 Backup doesn't support larger capacity drives with the newer Advanced Format using 4096 byte sectors. It will only backup to a drive formatted with 512 byte sectors. Note that this is referring to the drive format sector size, not the volume or partition sector size.

If you're lucky, the USB drive you've bought had a download that will allow you to reformat the drive. Western Digital (WDC) have the WD Quick Formatter utility. More background detail and a link in this thread https://social.technet.microsoft.com

Buffalo have a similar utility, but its not available on the UK support page! Instead, if you head over to their Japanese support page http://buffalo.jp/support_ap/support/products/hd_lxu3.html and download the DriveFormatter2 program (its in English), you can reformat with 512 byte sectors. Select the correct drive and choose option 2: NTFS (Win 8, 7, Vista)

Thursday 5 July 2018

Avastclear gives error 'stub cannot run installer / updater ...'

We've had a few license warnings for Avast Business Antivirus Cloudcare recently. Usually when upgrading, eg from Cloudcare 4.2.x to 4.3.0. To fix the licence warning you usually need to uninstall the current version, reboot and reinstall the latest. Even then it doesn't always work and using avastclear, the official uninstaller program from Avast / AVG is the way to go. Note that this should be run from Safe Mode.

When you run avastclear you might see the error shown in the diagram here.

"The stub cannot run installer / updater executable 'c:\users\   \appdata\local\temp\_av_iup.tm~
\instup.exe' (code 0x10b)"

Took a while to work this out - you need to be logged into Safe Mode as the local administrator, not a domain admin account.

Then the uninstall will run and reboot.

15/10/18 Update - also seen this warning with some sort of permission issue, had to move the avastclear program to another directory, eg c:\temp or c:\windows\temp
 9/12/18 Update - Permission issue if you downloaded as the domain user then switched to local, try making a copy of avastclear and run that instead

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Update: Lost or forgotten iPad Parental Restrictions PIN code

A quick update to a popular post from a couple of years ago. We talked about recovering the Apple parental control restrictions PIN from an iPad backup file.

Just had to repeat the exercise on another iPad. There's a newer, more useful article at igeeksblog that links to a Windows program called pinfinder.

You can download pinfinder from here

Just spotted that there's an updated version, that seems to show some more useful info

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