Tag Archive: REBOOT

Automatic Metric Solves Wireless and Ethernet Network Issues

Automatic Metric: Windows 7 Laptop Will Only Connect to Huawei E5372 on UK Three Network, OR the Wired Home Network

Windows 8 Computers Work Fine Though!

Connecting Win7 to wireless and ethernet networks simultaneously

Problem link is shown in red

Automatic Metric is the place to be!

I have two networks essentially:

  • The “normal” wired network (gigabyte ethernet) that links all computers and printers through the Cisco Router.
  • The temporary mobile network that allows the PCs to connect to the internet while we are in temporary accommodation.  It’s a Huawei E5372.

The Issue

After setting up WiFi on the PCs, access to the Ethernet network disappeared – but only for the Windows 7 computer!!!

This meant that file transfers, backup etc between the machines, ceased, as well as access to the wired printer.   The printer worked fine when connected through its USB connection.  It has no WiFi.

In the same way, disconnecting the wireless enabled connectivity to the wired home network (Ethernet).

I searched and many forums had similar “fixes”, none of which worked. e.g.

  • Remove IPv6 leaving just IPv4 on the network adapters.
  • Remove network devices completely and re-install.
  • Try new or updated drivers.
  • Reboot each time.

However, two very small items appeared and worked for me!!  They are network settings, deeply buried and that I’ve never set before.

The Fix(es)

It’s the same in both Win 7 & 8.  Maybe even Vista, but as we know, Vista Means Death.  I did two places that got the Win7 machine to connect to the web through the Mobile WiFi dongle and to the home, wired and routed, network.

  1. Adapters and Bindings
  2. Automatic Metric

So Adapters and Bindings…

Network Adapters And Bindings

Network Adapters And Bindings (as seen in Win8)

  • Network and Sharing Center
  • Change Adapter Settings
  • Advanced on the menu. (Alt+N)
  • Advanced Settings
  • Adapters and Bindings tab
  • Set WiFi at the top

Oh Woe Is Me Again!

At this point, connectivity was still not restored, but it was an interesting setting, totally hidden in Win8!

 And Automatic Metric…

This is the killer setting that worked!!!  You need to do this twice:

  1. once for the Wireless network adapter
  2. and again for the wired Ethernet adapter
Here’s how
  • Network and Sharing Center
  • Network Adapter Wireless - Automatic Metric

    Network Adapter Wireless (Win 7)

    Click the first adapter, the one I need windows to use first.  i.e. The Wireless adapter.

  • Click Properties
  • Scroll down to “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and select it.
  • Click Properties
  • Click Advanced
  • Uncheck Automatic Metric and put a low number (say 1) in the “Interface Metric” box
  • Click OK to save the settings changes.

Now do the second, Ethernet adapter.  Follow the previous method.  However, this time,

  • Network Adapter Ethernet - Automatic Metric

    Network Adapter Ethernet (Win 7)

    Uncheck Automatic Metric and put a high number (say 5000) in the “Interface Metric” box

  • Click OK to save the settings changes.

Conclusion

One commenter on the forum I saw (link to be done) said that just setting the order to 1,2,3 etc wasn’t sufficient.  Setting a large gap between interface metrics did the trick, which is what I did.

What Is Automatic/Interface Metric?

Well, you can do this search, or probably the best answer comes from Microsoft, here.

It sets the priority of network interface access, lowest number first, on an individual machine.

In my case, weirdly, the Windows 8 machines had no difficulty.  The single Windows 7 laptop fell over and caused me immense hair loss until I stumbled across the settings which I have never, ever touched in 17 years of computing and the web!

 

 

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Testing Windows 8 Developer Preview Version

Windows 8 Developer Preview

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

I’ve finally decided to test the next Windows edition, probably to be called Windows 8, although things like that are never certain in Microsoft-land.

Virtual Box

Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation

Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation

I did a Virtual Box install, which is fairly straightforward.  There are many tutorials on-line now which show how to do this, so I won’t do a walk-through. I installed the 64-bit version which I downloaded from MSDN using my licence.  You can get the installs from the Microsoft Website here, which come in ISO format.  You can also find out more from the horse’s mouth here.

You can also set aside a partition on your hard-drive and install to that.  However, Virtual Box is the safe way to go should the partition install fail and corrupt your current installation somehow.

What I will say, is to use more memory allocation to the virtual installation than recommended elsewhere or as the default,  and to use as many virtual processors as your host machine has.….. My machine is an AMD 955BE, which is quad-core running at around 3GHz.  In other words, if you don’t want it to run like treacle, give it plenty processor and memory room;  at least the recommended values for Windows 7.  You can see all of this in the VirtualBox settings screenshot above.

Fast Install (added 24/11/11))

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade

Microsoft, on their MSDN blog, have made a big thing about the rapid installation for Windows 8, particularly for the upgrade route.  See Improving the setup experience.  I can say now that the clean install into the VirtualBox environment was very fast….

Briefly:

  1. You make a virtual machine in Virtual Box
  2. You set it’s parameters – processors, memory size, footprint size, IDE/SATA storage etc
  3. You set the downloaded ISO image to boot from in the settings.
  4. You boot by “Starting” the virtual machine.
  5. You install Windows into the filespace that you’ve previously set aside for it – I gave it a dynamic sized 50Gb.
  6. After that, let windows do it’s thing.  It took 10 minutes or so.
  7. Let it reboot.
Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen

Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen

Following this, you get a green screen from which country specifics are added, a username and finally, you enter your Live.com identity, if you have one, and if you want to!

Appearance

It’s a big green screen.  I don’t have a touchscreen, but it’s obviously designed for one.  It has massive buttons to a host of online services like weather & stocks, plus a few to your computer’s functions.

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

If you log off, you get presented with an American Rockies vista of a lonely winding road.  Essentially, the entry into Windows 8 is like a smartphone.  But what’s it like beneath the surface?

Windows 7 Legacy, and Vista Too!

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Obviously, this is a development preview release, and we can expect more of the same to come.

Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen

But most work has gone onto the main intro screen because beneath the surface, all the various apps and settings controls are the old (current) Windows 7 interface.

Bizarrely, some screens even have vestiges of the green Vista, notably the main screen itself.

Personally, I think it’s very, very dour.  I can’t believe that two years of effort has gone into doing something that Android does on a more than twice-annual cycle….

Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen

Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen

Accessing the menus is the most unintuitive thing I’ve seen for ages!  Following on from the impressive Windows 7, it’s truly not just a user let-down, but somewhat infuriating as well…….    Whereas previously I just typed into the run bar to do almost anything, now I can’t even find programs or files!   No doubt there’s a way – but after Win7, it’s not intuitive and not helpful either.

I hope that’s not the end of the run box, because that feature in Windows 7 is awesome.

Control Panel

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

I haven’t checked through many apps (except a few desktop ones like the weird child-like paint thing and the weather which won’t do anywhere except California) but this is the control panel.

Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen

Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen

You then drill-down to get the old Win7 control panel on “More Settings”.

Initial Investigation Ends

Well that’s it for now.   To say I’m un-impressed by the big green monstrous front doesn’t give my opinion justice.  There doesn’t appear to be an easy way out of the front-screen apps and to have an app made for a  3-inch screen sat on a 23 inch desktop monitor really demonstrates the infantile  apps for what they are.

Way back in the nineties Microsoft tried their in-house Microsoft Network (MSN) which was a disc install that gave you a black desktop that gave dial-up access to features giving almost the same as this big green toy-town monster.

Not happy.

Watch this space as I delve more….

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How to Convert a Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk in Windows 7

How to Convert a Windows 7 Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk When  Microsoft says It’s Irreversible!

Firstly, Do Not Dance with the Devil!

I made the mistake (again!) of trying dynamic disks with my new Windows 7 installation.  I must have been asleep – the use of this system is seriously frowned upon for most users.  It has several pitfalls not least that it’s high-end Windows specific (i.e not home, basic etc), and it’s impossible to clone partitions for backup or moves, say.

But mainly, it’s supposed to be irreversible AND un-do-able!

Dynamic Disk Option

Dynamic Disk Option

To convert from basic to dynamic is frighteningly easy (see screen shot).  The reversing option disappears once it’s done and in virtually all Disk Partition Software,  any ‘partitions’, now called volumes, just show as one big monolithic slab of pale yellow disk that has any possible action greyed out!  This was really bad as it was on the system drive…

You’ll see in the screen-shot that there are 3 disks.

Disk 0 & disk 1 were an effort at user-data mirroring originally until I realised what I pile of poo I’d just landed in.  All the initial  recommendations were negative and the prognosis didn’t look good.  See:

Solution

HxD Screenshot

HxD Screenshot

However, this post gave me a pointer which eventually led to here and the HxD disc editing tool, here.   The Dynamic Disk Converter is a paid for solution and would have worked.  But I tried the Hex Editor approach after a bit more reading around the subject….  WARNING: See my comment on Dynamic Disk Converter here – added 27/7/2010(SP)

The trick, as in Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is 42!

Specifically, all 42‘s must be converted to 07.

The highlighted area contains the bit to edit and the numbers to edit in this area are those in column 02 that are 42.  So change all the 42’s to 07’s in column 02 in the four highlighted lines.  (n.b. The screendump was taken after I’d fixed the disc, so all the 42s are now 07 and some partitions have been deleted.)

That’s all.

Do NOT twiddle anything else.

Caveat

This post in the thread says to just alter one line – this is wrong!  (There’s a confusing addition at the bottom.  This relates directly to my experience, so yes, all real primary partitions are numbered 07)

And this post says to do them all – this is right.  It shows 3.

In my original pre-editted state, I had 4!  Handily, this shows the reason (I think), why you can only have 4 primary partitions on a drive.

Finale and Actual Actions Summary

Current Disks

Current Disks

Now you’ll see I have only two 07’s in the column (in the screenshot above).  These map to the two partitions showing in my Disk Management full screen-shot here.  For some reason, it had ‘remembered’ other volumes I’d made on the disk – that’s why I had 4 to do.

I was quite prepared to buy the paid-for software.  It looked good and worth the cash.  Instead:

  1. I very tediously moved ‘volumes’ into ‘partitions’ onto a third disk I entered into the system.
    1. This later disk needed it’s partitions resizing first to make room.
    2. It was hot-plugged using it’s SATA into the wire from the DVD as I didn’t have any spare SATA wires!  Doh!
  2. The moved data was from disk 0 & disk 1, all relevant stuff going to disk 2.
  3. Deleted all the volumes from Disk 1
  4. I could then set Disk 1 to basic using Windows as per Microsoft instructions.
  5. Moved all user data back to C-Drive volume (I had been in the process of separating data from programs).
  6. Backed up C-Drive volume and system state using Windows 7 Backup tool to new partition ‘BACKUP’ using all of Disk 1
    1. This was in case the following hex stuff failed.  It would allow an easy restore by:
      1. Install windows from DVD onto Disk 0
      2. Use Windows backup to reset system state and all the files & programs on the C-Drive on Disk 0
  7. Now used the Hex editor to edit the disk sector information as described above.
  8. REBOOT (fingers crossed!)
  9. WAHAY! It worked.
  10. Removed pseudo partition remaining on Disk 0 to leave unallocated space  – I think this was due to the invisible 1Mb database that exists on dynamic disks.

Plans

I’ve now got two new hard drives in the post.  When these have arrived and are installed, I’ll use standard tools to move partitions and get user data onto a RAID mirror assembly.  This will increase data integrity and give me a better backup.  You’d think that outboard backups would be fine, wouldn’t you?  Well I bought a Western Digital 1TB Studio Edition which worked okay for a while….

But it ran so hot the eSATA/USB circuitry failed!  I dismantled it and found the drive to be okay – this is the third disk, Disk 2 in the screen-shots!

Now, I have a new system with a better,  heavy-duty power supply, adequate (and quiet cooling), with the whole thing protected behind an APC UPS which I’ve had for a year.  Sticking to basic disks should make backups simpler and the whole thing should be more reliable – certainly more so than the WD Studio thing which is a pile of hot plastic pants.

p.s. added 5/12/2010: read this for my new recommended fast backup solution: http://strangelyperfect.tv/10155/what-is-the-best-backup-for-windows-in-a-small-home-or-office/

p.p.s. added 01/03/2012: I now recommend that folks use the free Easeus software, http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm  This will fix dynamic discs using a familiar graphical user interface so is way less scary.  Thanks to those that pointed this out.

p.p.p.s. added 11/11/2014:  I now find AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition works very well and I use it very much.  It has a large feature set for a free utility.

Stick to basic Disks – you know it makes sense!

Further Reading

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Problems with Conficker or Downadup?

Or How to Disable Autoruns

– to Stop This Particular Infection Route

This is a brief summary of what to do…
  1. Make sure you have a proper anti-virus program running
    • NOD32 is a good one!
    • AVG is too
    • Kaspersky, Trend, CA are also good brands
  2. Make sure your anti-virus is current and updated.  Check like so:
    • Somewhere on your program will be it’s last update
    • For NOD32, hover your mouse cursor over the little icon next to the taskbar clock (bottom right in XP)
    • As well as version numbers, the last update shows in reverse date format – 6 Feb 2009 is 20090206
    • Other programs are very similar and the last update is usually pretty obvious so you don’t need to fiddle with settiings etc.
  3. Disable autoruns as this is a good way for the virus/malware/trojan to get you
    • This is the best and easiest way to do this:
Copy This Text:

REGEDIT4
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\Autorun.inf]
@=”@SYS:DoesNotExist”

Open Notepad:

start -> run -> type ‘notepad’ (without quotes) and hit Enter on the keyboard

Paste Into Notepad:

Now paste the copied text into Notepad

Now Save the File:

Call the file a handy name like “StopAutoRun” but make sure it has a ‘reg’ extension!

So your file should be called something like StopAutoRun.reg

Now Run The Reg File You’ve Just Made:

Double-click the file – your registry will pick up the change and the handy autorun feature will be disabled!

Of course, you may be used to using this “handy feature”.  If you want to keep it, don’t do any of the above but be very, very, very careful about any USB stick you insert into your computer, any CD you insert or play, any video you watch on DVD, and any network you map or connect to…

What About if I’m Already Infected?

How to Clear and Eliminate Conficker or Downadup?

  1. Connect to the internet with a “good”, clean computer.  You may need to borrow one or visit a friend’s house..
  2. Download a clean up program – the NOD32 version is here: http://download.eset.com/special/EConfickerRemover.exe Other Anti-virus makers have similar ones.
  3. Copy the tool you’ve just downloaded to your own PC and run it.   It may take a while and you’ll definately need a reboot afterwards.
  4. Install and/or Update a good Antivirus program (see above at top)

Further Reading and Information Sources

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Visual Studio 2008 Install Problems

As part of my day job, I get a (extremely valuable, it must be said, for which I’m very grateful) MSDN subscription. Recently, I’ve had trouble with Visual Studio.  It used to be 2005 and is now 2008.  They use the Team Foundation Server Developer Edition.  So I decided to re-install….  oh, dear.

After a lengthy download of the ISO image which is nearly 4Gb, it burned apparently okay, but informed me a cab file was corrupt on the install.  So I downloaded at home, which was a lot faster.

Now, on the home PC, I’ve tried 4 installs and it kicks out each time early on in the install process.  The first time I ended up with a weird install that disabled the windows firewall and made the taskbar look odd.

So I rolled back and started manually uninstalling things I thought would conflict…  Each install kicked out soon into the process.

After some time and heavy head scratching, I decided to google for something.    WOW!   I’m not alone.  There are literally trainloads of disgruntled Microsoft developers all fiddling around and getting more and more irate with M$.

Eventually I came upon my solution, and I think it’s the one that will work, which comes from the MSDN website, but not from the help!!!   Granted, a google search puts it top of the list, but if you are a developer and you know you’ve done something wrong and thus thinking as a developer, type “clean up prior to installing visual studio 2008”  into Google gives all the wrong answers.  :-?

The key, is to think like Microsoft help staff and uninstall previous installations in a specific order.  Only people with Asperger syndrome are going to remember this, so here’s are some links.

Uninstalling Previous Versions of Visual Studio 2008 – this is for pre-release versions of VS2008

Uninstalling Visual Studio 2008 – this is for full versions of VS2008.  This page also has a handy tool, a bit like the Symantech Tool for removing Norton, inspiringly called UninstallTool.exe I won’t supply the link, it’s on the page.

There are also links from the above for getting rid of VS2005 properly as well.  And for those with Asperger syndrome, here’s the list:

Manual uninstall instructions

  1. Go to the Control Panel and launch Add/Remove Programs
  2. Remove all instances of Visual Studio 2008/Codename Orcas products
  3. Remove any remaining supporting products in the specified order.
    1. Remove “MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2008”
    2. Remove “Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5”
    3. Remove “Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 Design Tools”
    4. Remove “Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 for Devices”
    5. Remove “Microsoft Visual Studio Performance Collection Tools”
    6. Remove “Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK R2 for Pocket PC”
    7. Remove “Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK R2 for Smartphone”
    8. Remove “Crystal Reports 2007”
    9. Remove “Visual Studio Asset System”
    10. Remove “Microsoft Visual Studio Web Authoring Component / Microsoft Web Designer Tools”
    11. Remove “Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System Runtime”
    12. Remove “Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System Runtime Language Pack” (non-English editions only)
    13. Remove “Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office Runtime 3.0”
    14. Remove “Microsoft Document Explorer”
    15. Remove “Microsoft Document Explorer 2005 Language Pack” (non-English editions only)
    16. Remove “Microsoft Device Emulator 3.0”
    17. Remove “Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 3.5”
    18. Remove “Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 2.0 SP1”
    19. Remove “.NET Framework 2.0 SDK”
    20. Remove “Microsoft Visual Studio Codename Orcas Remote Debugger”
    21. Remove “Microsoft Visual Studio 64bit Prerequisites Beta” (64-bit platforms only)
    22. Remove “Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5”

Good Luck!

Addendum @ 18:30

No.  All the above wasn’t enough.  I’m not sure but it looks like I’ve got two corrupted ISO downloads of the Team thingy.  So…

  • I decided to just install the “Professional” edition which has all I need for now.
  • Before doing so I…
    • removed ALL DotNet i.e. 1 to 3.5 using the M$ tool dotnetfx_cleanup_tool.zip
    • removed all traces of VS using the above tools – again!
    • removed all the bits for Nero Burning software(v6 for me)
    • checked windows update for .. er .. updates, in case any were part of the cleaning process
    • disabled the anti-virus (NOD32)
    • Installed dotNet 3.5

This seems to have worked.  It’s just finishing off the MSDN Library as I type.  next step is another reboot and to install the VS2008 sp1…

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