notes to help me remember

Category Archives: Operating System

Windows Update Service

Had the update error message:

Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running

Quickly found this helpful instruction from Sheldon Cooper at

Click Start
Type: cmd
Right click on cmd in start menu and select ‘Run as Administrator’
Type: net stop wuauserv
Hit Enter
Type: ren c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution softwaredistribution.old
Hit Enter
Type: net start wuauserv
Hit Enter
Type: exit
Hit Enter

Attempt to download updates

Wrong Network Icon

Had a laptop today displaying the “no network” icon, the boxy one with the red x, while quite definitely connected wirelessly.  I looked around a bit and found Nithyananda’s here on Microsoft Answers.

Here is the post:


To resolve this problem, you must scan and repair the WMI Repository Database on the computer. To do this, follow these steps:

Click StartCollapse this imageExpand this image, type cmd in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
At the command prompt, type the following commands. Pressing ENTER after each command line:

winmgmt /verifyrepository
winmgmt /salvagerepository
Restart the computer.

For more information on this you may visit the Microsoft link.

Windows Vista Security Center does not detect that Windows Live OneCare is installed and active

Ignore the title of the link as it is applicable for Windows 7

Thanks and Regards:
I. Suuresh Kumar- Microsoft Support.
Visit our Microsoft Answers Feedback Forum and let us know what you think.

This worked quite nicely to correct the display.

Tray Icon Says No Internet When There Is!


  • Uninstall network adapter in device manager
  • Scan for hardware changes to reinstall it
  • Wait a few minutes.

And more about it:

So, have been seeing this a lot lately, and am mildly annoyed by it.  Everything seems to be working, but the network icon in the system tray shows a yellow warning triangle with exclamation point (!).  Mousing over it shows the “no internet access” tool tip.  This isn’t a new issue.  I have seen it off and on for nearly as long as we have been using Windows 7.  Everything works, so no big deal you say.  Except that we have hundreds (OK, maybe dozens) of ever vigilant users who are spooked by every dire warning message they see on their computer.  (OK, maybe not every warning, they seem to blithely ignore the most significant messages of impending system failure.)

So, found some good discussion about the issue at the Microsoft Answers site here and here.  Granted, none of this really helped me understand why this might be happening, but I did get rid of the little yellow harbinger of doom at my own workstation.  A minute or two after I uninstalled and reinstalled the network adapter in Device Manager the network icon reverted to its correct, happy self, “internet access”.

Notification Area Icons

On some computers running Windows 7 the notification area hidden icons become messed up.  The notification area icons are what shows up when you click on the little arrow to the left of the icons in the lower right corner of the desktop.  Sometimes these show up with many blank spaces amongst the icons.  Often, the icons I am looking for (such as for safely removing a USB device) are not visible at all.

A couple of changes to the registry, followed by re-logging in, clean this up nicely.  (As ever, make sure you are careful making changes to the registry, and back it up first if you can’t afford to rebuild your whole OS.)

I found these instructions at for cleaning up the notification area:

  1. Click Start and in search box, type “regedit” without quotes and hit Enter. (Click continue/allow if required.)
  2. Right click on Computer on the right hand side and then click on Export.
  3. Name the backup of the registry as tray_notify and click on Save.
  4. On the left hand side of the registry editor, Navigate to the following location –
  5. On the right hand side, delete IconStreams & PastIconStream.
  6. Close the registry editor.
  7. Restart the computer.  (Logging out and back in will suffice.)
  8. Check if the issue is resolved.


Error Activating MS Office

I got error 80070190 when trying to activate Office 2010 on a new setup of Windows 7. This seems to be related to user access, which I wouldn’t have thought would be a problem. Found a post by PaulNSW at that was very helpful:

However I was able to activate it using the administrative command prompt, running the ospp.vbs file in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14

cscript ospp.vbs /act

or C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14 if you have a 64 bit system with 32bit office

The software activated no problem using the MAK provided by the Office Customisation Tool

This activated the installation since the key had already been entered.

Windows 7 Updates Interrupted by Deep Freeze

We use Faronics’ Deep Freeze to prevent changes to our computers.  With Windows 7 we have had a number of incidents where the computers are updated while thawed, but are frozen at the next restart, preventing the installation process from completing.  In these cases, the computers continually restart, completing the installation configuration, then failing to start because they are now frozen and so, rebooting.  I tried starting in Safe mode, but this didn’t change the configure/reboot cycle.  I tried loading the last known good config, also to no avail.  I needed to turn off Deep Freeze, but could not get into Windows to do it.

I found Martin Tjandra’s post here, that led me to do the following:

  1. Boot with a Windows 7 Install disk
  2. Choose an appropriate language
  3. Click on “Repair your computer” link at bottom left of box
  4. Select the “Use recovery tools that can help fix problems starting Windows…” radio button
  5. Select “Command prompt”
  6. Enter “D:” to change to the D drive (or whatever drive Windows is installed on)
  7. Enter “cd windows\winsxs” to change the directory
  8. Enter “ren pending.xml pending_bkp.xml” to rename the pending.xml file
  9. Enter “exit” to close the command window
  10. Shut down, reboot into Windows, and turn off Deep Freeze

From here, I am not so sure of the best way to clean up.  On one laptop, I repeated my steps to go back in and rename the file to pending.xml.  This apparently was not a good approach as I ended up with a persistent update error (80073712), which was immune to the Microsoft Windows Update Readiness Assessment Tool, but which hopefully will respond to the running Upgrade from the installation disk.

On another computer I just left the pending file as I had renamed it and after a couple of reboots, it seems to be happily installing a large number of updates.  Hopefully, this will end up nicely.

I have one more laptop with which to perfect my technique, so I should be able to update this post soon.


No Internet Connection (Wired or Wireless)

Had a laptop that would not connect to the internet.  Either wired or wirelessly it would not be able to get an IP address from DHCP.  I found this in the helpful Microsoft knowledgebase article 817571 (  Essentially, the Windows sockets registry subkeys have become corrupted and must be replaced:

Method 1 exports the subkeys, then recreates them, other methods involve copying the keys from an operational, similar computer.

Use Registry Editor to export and delete the Winsock and Winsock2 registry subkeys, and then remove and reinstall TCP/IP on Microsoft Windows 2000 or  Microsoft Windows XP.   To do this, follow these steps.

Export and delete the corrupted registry subkeys

  1. Insert a floppy disk in the floppy disk drive of the computer whose registry entries you are exporting.
  2. Click Start,  click Run, type regedit,  and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
  4. Do one of the following steps, depending on the operating system:
    • For Windows XP, on the File menu, click Export.
    • For Windows 2000, on the Registry menu, click Export.
  5. In the Save in box, click 3½ Floppy (A:), type a name for the file in the File name box,  and then click Save.
  6. Right-click Winsock, and then click Delete. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 for the following subkey:

    Note Each  .reg  file that you save must have a different name.

  8. Right-click Winsock2, click Delete, and then click Yes.
  9. Quit  Registry Editor.

Windows XP-based computer

Reinstall TCP/IP on a Windows XP-based computer

In Windows XP, the TCP/IP stack is a core component of the operating system. Therefore, you cannot remove TCP/IP in Windows XP.

  1. Install TCP/IP on top of itself. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. In Control Panel, double-click Network Connections, right-click Local Area Connection, and then click Properties.
    2. Click Install.
    3. Click Protocol, and then click Add.
    4. Click Have Disk.
    5. In the Copy manufacturer’s files from box, type System_Drive_Letter:\windows\inf,  and then click OK.
    6. In the list of available protocols, click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click OK.
  2. Restart your computer.

This did the trick for me.  I needed to reinstall the TCP/IP for both the LAN and wireless connections.

Windows 7 memory check

Really, I thought I already posted this, may have, who knows.  I have a laptop just out of sorts.  Windows 7 has a nice built in memory check, as documented at tomstricks:

To run Windows Memory Diagnostic tool in Windows 7, do any one of the the following methods:

Method 1:From Windows 7 Start Menu

  • Click the Windows 7 Start button, type memory, and click on Windows Memory Diagnostic
  • When the Windows Memory Diagnostic screen loads, click Restart now and check for problems
  • You computer will restart
  • The memory diagnostic will run and may take some time
  • Windows will restart and report any errors to you

Method 2: From Windows 7 Control Panel

  • Click the Windows 7 Start button.
  • Select Control Panel
  • Click the System and Maintenance icon
  • Select Administrative Tools
  • Then, click the Memory Diagnostics Tool icon.
  • Click the option to restart your computer now and run the memory diagnostics test or to schedule the memory diagnostic test to run at your next reboot.

Method 3: From Windows 7 Command Prompt

  • Click the Windows 7 Start button.
  • Type cmd in the Start Menu’s search box.
  • Right-click cmd.exe in the search results and then select Run as administrator.
  • Type mdsched.exe in the command prompt and then press enter.
  • Click the option to restart your computer now and run the memory diagnostics test or to schedule the memory diagnostic test to run at your next reboot.

Method 4: From The Windows Boot Manager

  • Restart your computer.
  • Start pressing F8 on your keyboard.
  • This will open advanced boot options screen.
  • Click Esc on your keyboard while you’re in the advanced boot options screen.
  • You’ll be taken to the Windows Boot Manager screen.
  • Press Tab on your keyboard to move to the Tools section of the boot manager screen and then press enter to start the Memory Diagnostics.

If you want to select advanced options after the Memory Diagnostic Tool starts, press the F1 key to modify the type of tests and number of times they run. After you finish making configuration changes to the tests, press F10 to start.

If you have any errors Windows Memory Diagnostic tool in Windows 7 will show up while it scans and a report will be given to you the next time your computer boots up.If you want to stop the memory diagnostic scan at any time press Esc on your keyboard.If Windows Memory Diagnostic tool in Windows 7 finds errors in your memory it’s time to replace your computer’s memory.