Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

Archive for March 2nd, 2012

SSDs, Windows 7 & Lackluster Boot Performance

Posted by William Diaz on March 2, 2012


I came across a Technet blog recently that described an issue where boot performance on newly imaged workstations with Windows 7 and Solid State Drives was inhibited because the Windows System Assessment Tool was disabled in the image. As a result, WinSAT did not detect the presence of the SSD and treated the drive as a normal hard disk (one with platters). This turned out being a big find because our future Windows 7 also had WinSAT disabled. Read about it here: Windows 7, Solid State Drives and Why A WinSAT Score Matters.

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More Process Crash Troubleshooting

Posted by William Diaz on March 2, 2012


A user called in and requested one of our technicians to assist in removing some annoying autorun applications. Upon opening the Control Panel and going to Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP, the rundll32.exe process was crashing. The same applied for any process that required a CPL to run:
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I was asked to assist and started by going to C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\ Dr Watson. I opened the drwtsn32.log and scrolled to the bottom, confirming that some error in rundll32.exe was being encountered: Read the rest of this entry »

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Unraveling and Resolving An Outlook Crash with Process Monitor

Posted by William Diaz on March 2, 2012


While trying to import documents into our document management system via Outlook, Outlook would just abruptly close on the user. I started the initial troubleshooting by disabling a couple 3rd party add-ins in HKLM and HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\Addins that were not part of the normal image. This can be done by modifying the load behavior of the add-in (see this MSDN article for details), but this had no effect on correcting the behavior. I thought about capturing a crash dump of Outlook but decided to not waste any time there because, at this point, with the add-ins disabled, I likely was not going to see anything but the document management modules in the dump.

Instead, I turned to Process Monitor; perhaps it might reveal what Outlook was doing just before it crashed and give me some important clues. I set a filter to monitor only outlook.exe, dragged an item into the document management space in Outlook and waited for it to crash after clicking Save. Afterwards, I scrolled to end of the log, working my way up. I also added a filter to only include registry activity and then process and thread activity so I could quickly see where Outlook was crashing: Read the rest of this entry »

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