Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

Archive for January, 2012

Resolve Symbols in Process Explorer-Monitor Without Installing the Debugging Tools

Posted by William Diaz on January 31, 2012

Sometimes when you are troubleshooting with Process Explorer, it’s helpful to be able to view functions in threads to isolate a problem. The same goes for Process Monitor when viewing the Stack tab in the properties of an operation. By default, Process Explorer and Process Monitor will point to the dbghelp.dll in the windows\system32 folder, but this is a stripped down version and doesn’t support symbol server functionality. Instead, you need the dbghelp.dll from the Windows Debugging Tools to properly resolve symbols, otherwise you will encounter the Process Explorer Warning box when you click the Threads tab in process properties:
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HTML Parsing Error

Posted by William Diaz on January 24, 2012

When visiting a web page in Internet Explorer 8 with Windows XP, you might encounter display issues where the web page content does not render. Double-click on the yellow exclamation in the IE status bar to reveal the details behind the script error (unless you already have it set to display automatically by default):
You may then encounter “HTML Parsing Error: Unable to modify the parent container before the child element is closed (KB927917)Read the rest of this entry »

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Manually Defeating Win 7 2012 “Scareware”

Posted by William Diaz on January 17, 2012

Leave it to the kids to finally infect my Windows 7 home system. This wasn’t a big deal; this system has since been hijacked by them to serve their Internet gaming addiction, and I had since moved my workload to my laptop. Anyway, I look forward to getting the occasional malware infection, it gives me a chance to explorer different methods for removing them. In this case, I was hit by what is known as Win 7 Security 2012. This may also go by the name of XP Home Security 2012, Vista Security 2012, or Windows XP Internet Security 2012 (and then some). It is part of the Braviax suite, a (somewhat non-malicious) form of “scareware” that attempts to convince you that your system has several malware infections. At the time it hit me, there was no definition for it so it creped past the Microsoft Security Essentials.

Here are some screenshots of some of the windows it presents the infected user with (click to enlarge):

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Another Adobe “Certificate Authentication Failed”

Posted by William Diaz on January 14, 2012

In an earlier post, I was encountering cases where the latest Adobe Flash Player web installer was intentionally being interrupted during download by a third party web filtering host, which resulted in “Internal error… ABORT: Certificate authentication failed, please re-install to correct the problem. (/0)”.

In my latest encounter, I was asked to look at a friends laptop that produced a similar but shorter error: “Host. Certificate authentication failed
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The Case of the IE Hangs and Missing PNG Images (or Killing Two Birds with One Stone)

Posted by William Diaz on January 9, 2012

The initial issue I was asked to look at started with Internet Explorer failing to gracefully exit. Instead, it would just hang and required manual intervention via the Task Manager to kill the iexplore.exe process. I connected remotely to the workstation and ran Process Explorer so I could examine IE’s threads for anything out of the ordinary. Sure enough, I saw the presence of a .tmp file:
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Explaining Regsvr32 (Best Efforts)

Posted by William Diaz on January 6, 2012

After a recent upgrade to a non-Windows component, we started a seeing a few complaints of Windows Script Engine issues, manifesting themselves as Internet Explorer issues or the failure to execute VB scripts on the local workstations. After isolating the issue to a problem registry value for VBscript and JScript, the issue was resolved by re-registering these components. In doing so, I became a little curious about the whole regsvr32 process and did a little investigating into what happens when regsvr32 is executed.

For starters, think of an unregistered DLL like a person without an identity. You exist, but without a social security number, an address, or any other official documentation, you’re just not a functional part of society. If you want to work, contribute, or be known, you need to walk into the local social security office and start by getting an SSN (yes, the Windows registry is a bureaucratic institution).

I use Process Monitor to do a simple trace all regvsr32.exe operations1. In the example here, I am going to unregister and then register a module. It doesn’t really matter which one, but I want to use one where the effects of unregistering it are obvious. I start by un-registering jscript9.dll, the Windows Script Engine for Internet Explorer 9. Read the rest of this entry »

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JScript is not Java (But Kinda Like JavaScript [LiveScript])

Posted by William Diaz on January 5, 2012

Recently, we began seeing a several complaints about missing menus, missing form fields, and search failures in Internet Explorer after a recent upgrade to a component of our AV suite. One of these complaints came to my attention after one of my co-workers also was baffled by missing menus he could not account for in Kronos, an employee time management application that runs in Internet Explorer and relies on the Sun/Oracle Java platform, despite that fact that Java was reinstalled, along with the browser in an attempt to correct.

In all cases, I found that jscript.dll needed to be re-registered to correct. So the question became “Why didn’t installing Java handle that?” The short answer is Jscript is not Java. Jscript can be thought of as an implementation of the Microsoft Windows Script Engine (think VBScript, too). It is based on an open source programming language, ECMAScript, similar to JavaScript (also once known as LiveScript), which was created by Netscape. Some people like to say that MS Jscript was a rip-off of JavaScript, but this doesn’t hold since it is based on open source scripting language.

This Microsoft KB article states “…JScript is a high-performance scripting language designed to create active online content for the World Wide Web. JScript allows developers to link and automate a wide variety of objects in Web pages, including ActiveX controls and Java programs. Microsoft Internet Explorer is designed to interpret JScript embedded into Web pages.”

Anyways, if you are encountering similar issues and are at a loss to explain, try registering this DLL. In Windows XP, this can be done from a command prompt or the Windows Key+R by typing regsvr32 jscript. Read the rest of this entry »

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View .Pages Files Without A Mac

Posted by William Diaz on January 4, 2012

I haven’t come across these too many times, but every now and then a user will receive one of these and not have a way to view from Windows. I took a look for some printable strings in one of these .pages files and could see the universal compression signature within, PK:
image Read the rest of this entry »

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The Case of the Disabled Script Engines

Posted by William Diaz on January 4, 2012

Recently, users began reporting problems with certain functionality in Internet Explorer not working, including problems with the native Windows XP Search fields missing. In all cases, this was resolved by registering Jscript. At the same time, there were other reports of Windows Script Host errors when trying to process logon scripts: “Windows Script Host. Can’t find script engine ‘VBScript’ for ‘C:\path\Filename.”
This was also fixed by registering VBScript. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Troubleshooting | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Forwarding an Email Ad Infinitum Until it Breaks

Posted by William Diaz on January 3, 2012

When trying to view one of the regular emails sent out daily within the firm, users who enabled the preview pane were encountering the following information bar in Outlook: “This item cannot be displayed in the Reading Pane. Open the item to read its contents.
Then upon trying to open the message, the following error was encountered: “Can’t open this item. Out of memory or system resources. Close some windows or programs and try again.”
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