Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

Archive for July, 2010

The Case of the Crashing Email

Posted by William Diaz on July 7, 2010


One afternoon I had the luck of encountering a user who was experiencing random Outlook crashes while. As far as he was concerned, there didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. He would just be clicking through email messages and then, suddenly, he would encounter the following error (but not always):Inbox – Microsoft Outlook: OUTLOOK.EXE – Application Error – The exception unknown software exception (0x…) occurred in the application at location 0x…
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Debunking Common Windows Myths

Posted by William Diaz on July 6, 2010


Good read. I am guilty of some of these tweaks during my earlier PC enthusiasts days. I continue to actually see some of these being used in workplace environments.

http://lifehacker.com/5033518/debunking-common-windows-performance-tweaking-myths

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Go Digging for the Exception

Posted by William Diaz on July 4, 2010


After moving to a new Internet Explorer based employee time management system, I started noticing a slew of reports coming in where IE was crashing when trying to access any of the menus within the browser. The error always presented itself as: “Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime Library. Runtime Error!..
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.Net Cleanup & Setup Verification Tools

Posted by William Diaz on July 4, 2010


I have found a need to use these tools a few times in the past so I thought I would mention them.

The .NET Framework setup verification tool is designed to automatically perform a set of steps to verify the installation state of one or more versions of the .NET Framework on a computer.  It will verify the presence of files, directories, registry keys and values for the .NET Framework.  It will also verify that simple applications that use the .NET Framework can be run correctly.

Read about and obtain from here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2008/10/13/8999004.aspx

The updated version of the cleanup tool contains options to clean up the .NET Framework 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 separately and all versions simultaneously in a single step. The cleanup tool contains logic so that if it is run on an OS version that includes the .NET Framework as an OS component, it will not offer the option to clean it up. This means that running the cleanup tool on Windows XP Media Center Edition or Tablet PC Edition will not offer the option to clean up the .NET Framework 1.0, running it on Windows Server 2003 will not offer the option to clean up the .NET Framework 1.1 and running it on Windows Vista will not offer the option to clean up the .NET Framework 2.0 or the .NET Framework 3.0.

See here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2006/05/30/611355.aspx

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Identifying Unknown Hardware

Posted by William Diaz on July 4, 2010


To see missing drivers for any hardware component just open the System Information utility from Start > Run and type msinfo32. You can also do this remotely with any computer within your network by using the View > Remote Computer option.

Expand the Components heading in the navigation tree and select Problem Devices: Read the rest of this entry »

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Using Setup Logs to Explain Failed .Net Installations

Posted by William Diaz on July 3, 2010


When we began moving from .Net 3.5 to 3.5 with SP1, we started encountering issues where the update was failing on many workstations. Although we were able to work around this by uninstalling all versions of .Net , this was too lengthy a process and also had to be done a case by case basis. When you install .Net, a series of setup logs is written to C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temp. The answer for us resided in dd_NET_Framework30_Setup####.txt, the .Net 3.0 component that could not be uninstalled.

Why is the setup failing? Behind the scenes, the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 attempts to uninstall older versions of the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5. The removal of 3.0 is failing because one or more of the msi files it needs to perform the uninstall cannot be found.

When a .Net setup fails, you can find an entry in the Windows Event Viewer. It won’t tell you what is missing but it will tell you which log to look at: Read the rest of this entry »

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The Case of the Random Internet Explorer Crashes

Posted by William Diaz on July 2, 2010


Some time ago we started to see a rash of complaints where Internet Explorer was crashing while visiting certain sites. Even though we were still largely a mix of IE6 and IE7, I had no problem reproducing the crash with IE8. The error message was rather vague (they often are) and didn’t offer any details as to what was the cause or how to troubleshoot: "IEXPLORE.EXE – Application Error – The Instruction at … referenced memory at … The memory could not be ‘read’":

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