notes to help me remember

Tag Archives: Windows 7

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”.

32 or 64 bit capable

I was curious if some of our laptops were 64 bit capable.  Most of them have the same processor, but since they are refurbished the internal components, including the processor, can vary.  Windows 7 includes this information in their Performance Information and Tools.  This Microsoft FAQ has instructions for getting to it.

The short answer is: open Performance Information and Tools by clicking the Start button, typing Performance Information in the search box, and then, in the list of results, click Performance Information and Tools.  In Windows 7, click View and print detailed performance and system information.  64 bit capability is listed in the System section.

No Internet (with wireless connection) in Windows 7

A quick note: we have had a couple of PCs show a wireless connection with no internet.  The PCs are unable to get an IP address from the server.  We have done the following to correct this:

  • Open the Local Security Policy (type “security” in Start Menu search box)
  • Click on “Network List Manager Policies” in left pane
  • In right pane, double click on “Unidentified Networks”
  • For Location type, choose “Public”
  • For User permissions, choose “User can change location”

Check wireless connection to ensure it went through and is providing internet.

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.


Windows 7 Update Settings

Sometimes the Windows 7 update settings are unavailable, that is, grayed out.  The options may be restored to availability in the group policy settings as detailed in this sevenforums thread (as slightly paraphrased below): 

To change the settings in the group policy editor in Windows 7:

1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor (enter group policy editor in the Start menu search box)

2. In the left pane, click on to expand Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, and Windows Update

3. In the right pane, right click on the option you want to change and click on Edit.  Setting this to ‘not configured’ will allow the option to be selected in the Windows Update Settings dialog

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.