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Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

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Archive for October 5th, 2011

Your Hard Disk is Failing

Posted by William Diaz on October 5, 2011

Sometimes a BSOD is not a sign of a software issue but instead points to a hardware problem and might help explain the symptoms of bad system performance. That was the case recently when a user complained that she was having troubles trying to logon. The workstation was amazingly slow (can slow be amazing?) and then blue-screened on her randomly. My co-worker was handling this but he happens to sit right next to me and I jumped in when I heard the words “blue screen”. I unkindly interjected with “Lets get a minidump.” While he chatted her up, I went about getting her IP, connected via the UNC, went into C:\Windows\Minidump and grabbed the last two mini dumps for that day.

Minidumps excite me. To understand why, you need to have come across a great amount of support calls that usually end up trumping first tier technical support. Often times, these issues are too vague to narrow down if you don’t know how to handle a BSOD, and the incident remains open longer than it needs because it can’t be explained or reproduced immediately. The mini dump provides a means to sometimes quickly resolve what might otherwise become an unexplained system problem.

Minidumps are small, too. Between 64 and 256KB, they only record the smallest set of useful information that could help identify why the system stopped unexpectedly so there would be no problem copying from over a WAN. Once copied over to my workstation, I opened with WinDbg, clicked the !analyze -v  hyper command. Both dumps produced identical results: Read the rest of this entry »


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Group Policy Tab Missing In ADUC for Windows 7

Posted by William Diaz on October 5, 2011

I recently needed to look into the Group Policy tab in Active Directory Users and Computer from my Win7 workstation but it wasn’t there. Normally, I switch to my XP workstation (cause I have been to lazy to explore this missing tab … until now). With Windows 7 and Server 2008, the GP tab can only be accessed from the Group Policy Management Console. You will need to install the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) to access this console on a Windows 7 PC. Afterwards, enable GPMC from the Control Panel > Turn Windows features on or off > Remote Server Administration Tools > Feature Administration Tools > Group Policy Management Tools.


You can then open the Group Policy Management Console from an mmc or running gpmc.msc. Tip: add both ADUC and GPMC to the same MMC.

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