Windows 7–New User cannot logon <Solved>

Upon creating a new user and attempting to login, I received the following error message: "The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded." I’m running Windows 7 x64 SP1.

My current setup is: 
C: drive (SSD) Program Files, Windows, ProgramData.
X: drive (HDD) Users, and everything else.

I use the Administrator account as my account. To set up the system, I created a temporary user, logged in, changed the registry to point the Users directory to the X: drive (and moved the Default and Public folders to the X:\Users directory). I then enabled the Admin account and logged in with it. This created my profile on the X drive.
However, I was trying to create another user account to test with. The account is named "Test". I receive the quoted error message upon attempts to log in. I checked the X:\Users folder and there is no profile for the Test account, not even a folder for it. I tried copying the Default profile and renaming it, but no dice. I also verified that the folder seemed to have the proper permissions (Full Control for System, Administrator, Administrators, as the Test account was an admin account as well). There is no entry in the registry under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\ for the Test user, so I got a utility that could find that users’ SID and created an entry for it, but still, I receive the original error message when trying to log in.

I finally solved the problem.  It turns out that the X:\Users\Default folder needed to give the "Everyone" group Read, List folder contents, and Read and Execute permissions. When I copied the Default profile via the user profile screen, it didn’t apply correct permissions; it just inherited those of the destination folder.  Event Viewer showed that Windows didn’t have permission to copy the Default profile to the X:\Users\Test folder.  When I gave the Everyone group permission to the Default profile folder, I was then able to login with new users (and subsequently have them automatically create profiles).

SFC /scannow error 0x000006ba – The RPC Server is unavailable

While attempting to run a System File Check (sfc /scannow) on a Windows XP machine today I received the error 0x000006ba – The RPC Server is unavailable.  I checked the services console and saw that the RPC service was running.  After scratching my head for a few minutes, I decided that the SFC component must have been disabled (as the CD I installed from was a torrented ISO that has the latest updates).  I figured the ISO must have been modified to disable the file checker for whatever reason.

Sidenote for the haters: I have a valid license, but I was deploying about 20 refurbished machines for coworkers and didn’t have the time or desire to install all of the Windows updates that were needed to get the machines fully updated.

Anyway, so after scouring the ultranet for a little bit, I came across an nLite setting that was probably employed when creating the Windows disk I downloaded.  The settings is a registry entry to disable SFC.  It’s located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon.  It’s a DWORD value titled “SfcDisable” and was set to some random hex value.  Change this to 0 and restart, and SFC should now work.  Note: There was another value called SfcDisabled which was already set to 0.  That threw me off for a moment, but then I saw the proper DWORD I was looking for, which was not already zero.

Unable To Install Microsoft Security Essentials <Solved>

I’ve just spent the past hour or so fighting a co-worker’s personal computer, trying to get Microsoft Security Essentials to re-install (she had originally installed v1 of MSE, and when the v2 came out not too long ago and it attempted to upgrade, apparently it hosed her antivirus installation).  Her machine is running XP SP3 32-bit.

The original error code we received was 0x80070002 when trying to run the v2 installer.  I tried to run the v1 installer (downloaded from FileHippo.com), hoping to re-write whatever had become corrupted (as Add/Remove Programs didn’t show MSE as being installed at all).  However, that didn’t do anything, and it ended up failing to install as well.  From there, I went into Program Files and renamed the Microsoft Security Essentials folder so that the installation would be able to write to a fresh folder.  That didn’t work.  Then, I entered the Registry…

In the Registry, I searched for “Security Essentials” and proceeded to delete every KEY (which is the term for the folders) that contained any items referencing Security Essentials.  This took a while.  I re-ran the installation after that, to no avail.

I then went digging around the Application Data folder (C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data) and deleted the Microsoft Security Essentials folder and files.  I also went back into the Registry and searched for “Microsoft Antimalware” and again deleted every key containing items referencing the string I searched for.

At one point, after ripping enough items out of the registry, the error message I received changed.  It eventually  became 0x80070643, 0x80070648 and finally 0x80070645.  I then found a post that described two registry keys that could be causing problems (they appear to be telling the installer to upgrade rather than do a fresh install).  Once I removed these two keys and rebooted, all was well after re-attempting to install.  Below are the two keys I removed.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT > Installer > UpgradeCodes > 1F69ACF0D1CF2B7418F292F0E05EC20B

—Right click on1F69ACF0D1CF2B7418F292F0E05EC20B and delete the key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Installer > UpgradeCodes > 1F69ACF0D1CF2B7418F292F0E05EC20B

— Right click on1F69ACF0D1CF2B7418F292F0E05EC20B and delete the key.

I’m not sure if everything I did is necessary in order to achieve the desired results.  I’d recommend trying to remove the two last keys mentioned first, and if that doesn’t work, do everything else.  As always, keep in mind, removing information from the Registry is potentially dangerous to your system’s health, so make a backup of the Registry before proceeding.

Trouble Installing Windows Live Essentials 2011 <Solved>

Ironically enough, I downloaded Windows Live Essentials 2011 on my work PC to write another blog post about something (that I’ll hopefully get to later).  I had a hell of a time installing WLE.  I kept receiving an error from the installer.  It said: Error 0x80070643. Source: wllogin-amd64.

I tried lots of different things to resolve this issue.  The event log was showing that the installer couldn’t register a certain DLL file.  Knowing this, I copied the needed file from my home PC and tried to manually register it.  I should have known something was off when I didn’t get a message from the regsvr32.exe program when I registered the DLL.  However, I continued on, installing, uninstalling, compatibility mode, disabling A/V, etc.

Finally, when I had just about given up, I browsed to my SysWow64 folder (I’m running Win7 x64), and looked for regsvr32.exe, the file the event log was complaining about.  I had just assumed that the DLL file the installer was trying to register was not able to be located.  I didn’t think about regsvr32.exe being missing.  However, I was surprised to find that I didn’t have regsvr32.exe in my SysWow64 folder.  Instead I had a regsvr32.exe.DEL file.  I removed a virus from my PC a few weeks back.  Perhaps that is what renamed that crucial Windows file.

I removed the .DEL extension, then removed all remnants of WLE (using Installer Cleanup Utility and manually deleting the WLE Program Files folder).  I then re-installed WLE.  It appeared to install all the way through this time, however, the event log showed information events (not errors) suggesting that the Windows Live ID Sign-In Assistant was having trouble installing (this was the component that the problematic DLL file is related to).  When I launched Writer, the splash screen would display for a few seconds, then close, and the process would end.  To fix this (once and for all), I then ran a repair install of WLE, which seems to have permanently resolved the issue.

TL;DR – Make sure the SysWow64 folder has regsvr32.exe, if you’re running Windows x64, or the System32 folder, if you’re running 32 bit.

EDIT: If you’re attempting to troubleshoot a WLE problem, it may be less time consuming to download and install the offline installer rather than using the web setup, as the program will attempt to download various components each time.  The d/l is about 155MB.  Located here: http://g.live.com/1rewlive4-all/en/wlsetup-all.exe

How To: Schedule Winamp Recording

I like to listen to a weekly streaming radio show, but I’m usually not around to catch any or all of the stream.  I then need to scour the interwebz to find a ripped recording of the show, which is usually on Rapidshare/Megaupload/etc.  This method takes a while to find/download (that is, if it’s even available).  I decided I’d rather record the streams myself, but couldn’t find a simple method to do so through Winamp.  I discovered a method that works well and takes only a few minutes to configure.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find a GUI for setting up scheduled recordings, but with a few Scheduled Tasks set we can use a free utility called StreamRipper to record any streaming radio station that can be played through Winamp.

  1. Download Winamp, if you don’t already have it (I’m using version 5).
  2. Determine the URL of your streaming radio station.  In my case, it was http://listen.di.fm/public3/trance.pls.
  3. Download StreamRipper.
  4. Launch Winamp (which will also open StreamRipper) and set the StreamRipper settings (such as directory to save to, etc).
  5. Launch Windows Task Scheduler and create a basic task.  This will be to start the recording.
  6. In the newly created task, set the command to run to be StreamRipper.exe (in my case located at C:\Program Files (x86)\StreamRipper\streamripper.exe).  Set the arguments to be the URL of the stream you wish to record.  Set the start time to be whenever you’d like your recording to start.
  7. Set whatever other options for the task you’d like (I chose to run only if a user is logged on, that way I have the CMD window open to view the task.  I also chose to end the task after running for a certain amount of time, as a fail-safe in case the task doesn’t stop when it’s supposed to, that way my hard drive doesn’t get eaten up and create a 100GB mp3).
  8. Create another scheduled task.  This will be to stop the recording.
  9. On the second scheduled task, set the command to be taskkill.  Set the arguments to be “/f /im streamripper.exe” (without the quotes).  Set the task to run when you want your recording to end.  Again, set whatever other options you’d like for this scheduled task.  I chose to run this one regardless of whether a user is logged on or not.
  10. Test out your newly created task by manually invoking the first task.  Let it run for a few seconds (if you set it to run only when a user is logged on you should see a CMD window open that displays some text referring to your stream).  After that has run for 10 or 15 seconds, manually invoke the second task.  This should end the recording.  Then check the directory you set earlier (using the StreamRipper GUI) to view your recording.  If your recording is in there and you can delete it (meaning the file is not open and still being written to), then you’re all set!  If you cannot delete the file, then the second task probably did not work properly, as the file is likely still being written to.  If there is no file, double check that you have set the path to record to (in the StreamRipper GUI) and that your first scheduled task is configured properly.

That should be it!  If you have any questions, write me on Twitter by tweeting @agreenbhm .

Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 now publicly available

Yesterday marked launch day for the latest generation of Windows client & server operating systems.  Having used Windows 7 for the better part of the past year (during the beta testing stages), I can safely say this is a product any consumer will be happy to have on their computer (except maybe Mac fanboys).  I strongly suggest upgrading.

Microsoft not releasing Windows 7 E

Microsoft announced recently that they will not be releasing a separate “E” version of Windows 7 for Europe to comply with EU regulations regarding Internet Explorer.  Instead, they will release a regular Windows 7 edition with a ballot screen, which prompts the user to select the web browser they would like to download.

Microsoft Connect Windows 7 testers to get free copy

While Microsoft had originally decided to thank the MS Connect testers of Windows 7 with a kind word and a discounted price on a Win 7 upgrade, they have had a change of heart and decided to reward the testers with a free full copy of the upcoming OS. This is for MS Connect testers only, not everyone that downloaded the beta or RC.

Source

Windows 7 RTM available August 6th!

That’s right, Windows 7 RTM will be available to MSDN/TechNet subscribers on Thursday, August 6th. If history tells us anything, it will be sure to hit the torrent trackers shortly after. I’ll be sure to pick my copy up on TechNet ASAP. Let the countdown begin!