Category Archives: Windows

Fixing the Windows 10 Photos App

I recently upgraded a whole bunch of Windows 10 desktops to build 1903. There were almost no issues, but I found a that more than a few had trouble with the Windows Photos app afterwards.

Here’s the collective wisdom I’ve found on how to fix it:

The Windows 10 Photos app is installed per user, so make to sure to log into the computer as the user having the problem.

First, remove the broken Photos app:

Open PowerShell (not as administrator)

Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Photos | Remove-AppxPackage

Once it’s gone, you can re-install it from the Microsoft Store:

Open the Microsoft Store app

Search for Microsoft Photos

Click on the app, then click Get

If asked to sign in, you can click “No Thanks”

Click “Install”

After 15-30 seconds, Photos will begin to download.

That should do it!

Fix: Office Updates and Malwarebytes

If any of you are big fans of Malwarebytes (and why wouldn’t you be?) you may be experiencing crashes in Office 2013 and 2016 under Windows 10.

Microsoft has identified the problem:

The workaround is to use the latest beta of Malware Bytes:

Hope this helps!

Fix: Windows Media Center Can’t Update

If you’re still using Window Media Center to power your OTA cable cutting hotness: go you! We are a dwindling number :p

I recently had a problem where I kept being alerted that the guide data only had 3 days left. Allowing it to download the data did not seem to fix it.

(As a side note: it was also showing the wrong program icons for TV shows.)

The fix it turns out is very simple (so you can hold off buying that Tivo Roamio OTA for now):


Delete all of the files in that folder. There will likely be 3 files and folder:

You will probably be told that you can’t delete one or more of the files because they are in use by some process.
Don’t cancel, leave that message up and continue following these instructions.

Press: Control-Alt-Delete
Choose Task Manager
Click the “Processes” tab
At the bottom, click the “Show processes from all users” button.
Click the column header that says “Image Name” to sort by name (and make your life easier).
Find the process that in the error message when you delete.
Click the process, then click the “End Process” button in the lower-right corner.

In the error message window that said you couldn’t delete, click “Try Again.”
Repeat this process until all of the files are deleted.

Launch Windows Media Center
Go to Guide
You should now see a full schedule of programs.

Restart your Windows Media Center computer to make sure all of the processes you ended are started back up correctly.

Mysterious Blue Box

I was helping someone set up their brand new (and stunningly beautiful) Dell XPS 15. When, lo and behold, a mysterious blue box appeared every time I moved a Window.

Mysterious Blue BoxI Binged, and Binged, and Binged, but could not come up with what this was.

Finally, as I watched a coworker drag a window, I noticed a program briefly appear as the window as being dragged, then close itself once I stopped.

It turns out the XPS 15 came with a program called “Dell PremierColor” which has an ancillary function of making it “easier” to snap windows.

To disable this, first open the Dell PremierColor app (yes, PremierColor is one word…)

Dell PremierColor 1Once it’s open, click the Advanced button

Dell PremierColor 2On the left click Display Splitter

Dell PremierColor 3Uncheck the box next to “Display Splitter on”

Dell PremierColor 4The change will take effect immediately. Now close Dell PremierColor and the mysterious blue box should be gone!

Dell PremierColor 5-Adam

ATI Radeon Mobility X1400 on Windows 10

I’m getting an old Dell Inspiron E1505 upgraded to Windows 10.

Most things are going well, but there are definitely some driver difficulties, the 1st of which are the graphics.

This comes via GreenReaper on the Microsoft forums, but I wanted to replicate it here just in case the post goes away:

(If you trust me, you can skip this whole part and simply download the  zipped Windows 10 Radeon X1400 Win 10 driver)

First, download the driver from the Microsoft Update catalog:

If the link fails, search
For: ATI Technologies Inc. – Display – ATI Mobility Radeon X1400

Open the downloaded cab file, and copy the contents to a new folder.
Create *another* new folder within that folder called: B_72960
Copy all of the files into that folder as well (or it will error)

Reboot into Safe Mode
Click Start->Power
Hold down the Shift key and click Reboot
Click Troubleshoot->Advanced Options->Startup Settings->RebootChoose “Safe Mode” on reboot

When you’ve booted into safe mode, open Windows Explorer

Right click “This PC” and click “Manage”
Click Device Manager
Click the arrow next to “Display Adapters”
Right Click “Basic Display Adapter” (or whatever it says)
Click Update Driver Software
Click Browser my computer for driver software
Choose the folder with the downloaded driver
After the installation, reboot.

Then voi la! Enjoy your accelerated graphics and the beauty of Windows 10! 🙂

Windows 10 High CPU Usage Fix

I noticed recently that Windows 10 was using a high amount of CPU.

Checking Task Manager, could see this was coming from Runtime Broker.exe

A bit of Binging around and I found this solution posted in the Microsoft forums.

Click Start->Settings

Click “System”

runtimebrokerfix1Click “Notification & actions”

runtimebrokerfix2Finally turn off “Show me tips about Windows”

runtimebrokerfix3Runtime Broker should immediately go back to normal.

I’m sure Microsoft will patch this soon, but this should get you by until then.

UPDATE 2016-03-21:

I haven’t had this problem since this post, but it did crop up again in Insider Preview Build 14291.rs1_release.160314-2254.

Repeating these steps, toggling the “Show me tips about Windows” on the off again seems to have fixed it.

I am, however, also seeing high WMI Provider Host cpu usage. It’s constant around 5% on 3 virtual CPUs.

Windows 10 Live ID with Custom Username

[Updated with instructions for latest Preview iso]

I finally got around to installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Loving the speed, Cortana, and new Start Menu! Though I am hoping those icons get some tweaking before release.

I did the really slick “sign in with Windows Live Account” thing, but didn’t like the “adamd” username it gave me.

You will be asked “Who owns this PC?”

If you want to choose your own username, but still have the Windows Live coolness, answer :

“My organization.”

Then “Join a domain.”

You won’t have to join a domain, but you will now be able to create a local account 🙂

Once you’ve signed in

Click Start and choose Store (beta)

start-storeClick the portrait icon

store-manEnter the password you used when you created your initial account during setup

passwordSign in with your Windows Live ID

-to-windows-liveClick Switch

switchAnd voilà! All the handy-dandy fun of using a Windows Live ID with a profile path you’ve come to know and love.


32/64 Bit drivers for Windows Printing

As it’s kind of tricky, here’s the process to get 32 and 64 bit drivers working for Windows 7 clients from a 32-bit Server 2003 print server.

First, sign into the print server. Download the HP 32 bit Universal PCL print driver
Run the self-extractor to unzip the printer drivers
Go to the properties of one of your printers
On the Advanced Tab, click the New Driver button
Choose the driver extracted earlier

Now got a Windows 7 64 bit client
Download the HP 64 bit Universal PCL print driver
Run the self-extractor to unzip the printer drivers
Browse to \[print server]
Click the “View Remote Printers” button just below the address  bar
Right click on the printer you installed the Universal driver for
Windows will tell you that no driver is available and ask if you’d like to install one.
Click yes and browse to the driver you extracted earlier
The printer should now install in Windows 7 64 bit

Finally, go back to the 2003 Server
Go to the properties of each printer
Under the advanced tab, click the dropdown list with the driver names
Choose the Universal PCL driver
This will automatically use both the 32 and 64 bit drivers

**UPDATE** The HP Universal driver may mess with your default tray and tray paper settings

**UPDATE 2** It turns out that the Universal driver is setting the wrong paper type which is the cause of the default tray problems.
To fix this:
Go to the printer properties then Printing Preferences
Go to the Paper/Quality tab
Make sure Paper Type is unspecified