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Archive for the ‘Computer Repair’ Category

Bluetooth hardware not found on ASUS eee PC 1005HA-PU17

Posted by Russell Wright on December 26, 2009

We got our daughter an ASUS eee PC (netbook) for Christmas which came with Windows 7 starter.  I was replacing the Windows 7 starter edition with a full-up version of Windows 7 Ultimate and, after I was done, the O/S couldn’t see any Bluetooth hardware.  I was pretty sure the computer had a Bluetooth radio in it, so I checked the BIOS and, sure enough, there was a setting to enable or disable the Bluetooth radio.  However, Windows 7 wasn’t seeing it. 

I had previously updated the BIOS to the latest version using ASUS Update with the original Windows 7 starter, so I was pretty sure I didn’t need to upgrade the BIOS.  However, after the Windows 7 upgrade, any time I tried to install the Bluetooth drivers using the latest s/w from the ASUS site, I received an error stating “Bluetooth hardware not found…” or something similar.  I messed with this for two or three hours.

Finally, I decided to go through a BIOS upgrade again.  Essentially, I upgraded to the same version that I already had loaded.  After “upgrading” the Bluetooth hardware was recognized by Windows 7 and everything worked.

Hope this helps someone else who might be experiencing the same problem!

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Windows 7 Suddenly Won’t Boot – Reboot and Select Proper Boot Device or Insert Boot Media in Selected Boot Device and Press Any Key – Repairing the Windows 7 Bootloader

Posted by Russell Wright on November 15, 2009

I had just walked away from my Windows 7 desktop after initiating a download of some VMWare software.  When I came back to it about an hour later I was presented by a boot screen that said,

"Reboot and select proper boot device, or insert boot media in selected boot device and press any key."

This was all very interesting because I hadn’t done anything to reboot the computer.  No power failures or anything like that had occurred.  I’m not even sure what caused it to reboot.  I seriously doubt that downloading the VMWare player had anything to do with my problem.  🙂

My computer is a home built tower with an ASUS P5Q-EM motherboard which was purchased on 2009-10-04, so it’s not very old!  I was thinking “infant mortality failure” but I didn’t want to give in to a hardware problem just yet.  I run a RAID 1 array using two Seagate ST3750640NS drives with Intel Storage Manager.  I’ve been very pleased…until now!

From a h/w perspective, I went through several iterations of disconnecting disk devices on the inside of the tower to eliminate each device as a potential invalid boot source.  I disconnected my CD and DVD drives, two external hdd trays and my USB card reader, just to make sure it wasn’t trying to boot off an invalid device.  I also made several changes to the boot order to insure something weird wasn’t going on there.  Same error.

So, I got the Windows 7 DVD and booted from it and went into the repair mode, which seems to be very similar to what Windows Vista offers.  I let it perform the automatic startup repair.  It reported to have found the problem and fixed it (no valid boot partition), but upon rebooting I was left with the same error.  So, I started digging…

I first started by using the bootrec command line tool to attempt to repair the boot records.  The process most people suggest is:

Bootrec /fixmbr
Bootrec /fixboot
Bootrec /scanos
Bootrec /rebuildbcd

If it doesn’t work, reboot, repeat the above steps and add

Bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force

and reboot again.  This did not work for me, either.  Additionally, the /fixmbr switch reported it worked correctly, but the /fixboot switch reported “element not found.”

This led me to the Nuclear Holocaust recovery process documented in the Neosmart wiki.

I then proceeded to go down the road of creating a new Boot Configuration Data file, which I had never done before.  It seems like this is the replacement (since Windows Vista) for the boot.ini file and you need a special command line tool (BCDEdit) to modify it.  That’s certainly easier…NOT!

Start by deleting the original bcd file (mine wasn’t there to begin with; neither was the \boot directory).
del C:\boot\bcd

I had to re-create the boot directory.
md boot

Create a new temporary bcd file.
bcdedit /createstore c:\boot\bcd.temp

Add an entry to it.
bcdedit /store c:\boot\bcd.temp /create {bootmgr} /d "Windows Boot Manager"

Now, import the temp file entry into the "real” BCD file.

Failure!!!
The store import operation has failed.  The requested system device cannot be found.

bcdedit /import c:\boot\bcd.temp

More searching revealed that I should try setting the partition on which the bootrec exists to ACTIVE.  Following the advice here, I used DISKPART to set the active partition.

—————————————Additional Actions————————————-

From cmd prompt:
DISKPART
LIST disk
SELECT disk #
LIST partition
SELECT partition #
ACTIVE (<< Marks the partition as active)
EXIT (Exits DISKPART)

—————————————Additional Actions————————————-

Then I could continue from the previous procedure of creating the BCD file.
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=C:
bcdedit /timeout 10 del c:\boot\bcd.temp

Now we have a clean, working Windows 7 bootloader. But we need to add a Windows 7 entry to it:

bcdedit /create /d "Windows 7" /application osloader

BCDEdit should return a message with a GUID (the big, ugly unique identifier in bold) for the newly-created entry, something like this:

The entry {c0dfc4fa-cb21-11dc-81bf-005056c00008} was successfully created.

A word of advice.  Use the copy/paste features in the command window to copy the GUID assigned so you don’t have to type it over and over in the next steps.  Do NOT use the GUID displayed here for representative purposes!

Again, you’ll need to use the value that BCDEdit returned, along with the drive letter for the drive that Windows 7 is installed to, and substitute those values into the BCDEdit commands shown.

bcdedit /set {c0dfc4fa-cb21-11dc-81bf-005056c00008} device partition=C:
bcdedit /set {c0dfc4fa-cb21-11dc-81bf-005056c00008} osdevice partition=C:
bcdedit /set {c0dfc4fa-cb21-11dc-81bf-005056c00008} path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
bcdedit /set {c0dfc4fa-cb21-11dc-81bf-005056c00008} systemroot \Windows

 

And, last of all, tell the Windows 7 bootloader to boot the new entry by default:

bcdedit /displayorder {c0dfc4fa-cb21-11dc-81bf-005056c00008}

After completing all these steps and rebooting, I still ended up with a problem. 

“Bootmgr is missing”

To repair this problem, I again booted from the Window 7 DVD and went into the repair mode.  I allowed it to automatically repair the boot problems.  The repair tool reported that the “boot manager is missing or corrupt” and attempted to repair the problem.  After rebooting, it worked!  Everything was back to normal. 

Hope this helps others out there!

Posted in Computer Repair | 96 Comments »

Outlook 2007 Hangs on Startup, When Replying To or Creating Emails, and Whenever Something Important Needs to be Done

Posted by Russell Wright on November 2, 2009

I just set up a new Exchange account through 1and1 internet (I know, I’m taking my chances) and started having problems with Outlook 2007 performance.  I actually added a second Outlook profile with its own Exchange account.  After adding this new profile and account, starting Outlook would sometimes take 5 or 15 minutes.  Once started, I almost hated to do anything because it was likely that, when I clicked on New or Reply, Outlook would hang…possibly indefinitely.  Once it had stabilized, however, it was usually responsive…except for the time(s) when you had to quickly send an email.  It was like the proverbial copy machine that goes down whenever you need to make copies in a hurry.  I did all the things that most people suggest, the main one being disabling all the COM add-ins in the Trust Center (Tools | Trust Center | Add-ins), but still no Outlook love. 

I’m a fan of Google Desktop, but have had problems in the past with Google’s desktop search hampering Outlook.  So, I uninstalled it again.  Miraculously, the next time I started Outlook it started with no hesitation…faster than it has started since I set up my new Outlook/Exchange profile.  In the past I’ve been successful with reinstalling Google’s desktop search product and having Outlook be happy again.  I really like the product…when it doesn’t interfere with me working!  Perhaps I’ll install it again, but not tonight!

An Update

Well, it looks like the Outlook startup problem was resolved, but my latest experience seems to indicate that it is still hanging when clicking Reply or Forward.  Hopefully I’ll find a simple answer to this problem.

Update 2009-11-5

This is a great article that summarizes lots of ideas you can try to attempt to make fix Outlook performance problems.

Update 2009-11-8

I have two accounts that I connect to in Outlook; an Exchange account with 1and1 and a POP account with Verizon.  Between the two accounts I have an OST file, and a couple of PST files in which I store emails.  My PST files are between 500 and 1000 megabytes.  I’ve never experienced any problems with the size of them being an issue.

Update 2009-11-15

Best I can tell, this was all a result of using 1and1 hosted Exchange.  In desperation, I switched from 1and1 to SherWeb and, knock on wood, haven’t seen any hanging issues.  I did a lot of http tracing using Fiddler, and that seemed to indicate that Outlook was waiting on responses from the 1and1 Exchange server for long periods of time.  Not sure what was going on there.

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A problem occurred when windows tried to activate. Error code 0x8007232B

Posted by Russell Wright on October 15, 2009

While installing and activating a volume license edition of Windows 7, I was faced with a problem while trying to activate the new OS.  Each time I ran the activation program from the GUI, I received the error “A problem occurred when windows tried to activate.  Error code 0x8007232B.”

This problem has been discussed on one of the Vista forums so I thought I’d distill what worked for me in a short article.

I had to install the product key using the command line.  To do this, you must first open a command prompt with elevated privileges (runas administrator).

image

Next, use the command line

slmgr -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

where the X’s are your product key.

The installation of the product should be instantaneous.

Finally, activate windows from Control Panel | System and Security | System.

If Windows is already activated, you won’t see the activate link.

image

Posted in Computer Repair | 8 Comments »

Cannot install or upgrade integration services in Hyper-V

Posted by Russell Wright on June 1, 2009

I found this little fix the other day and just wanted to post it as a good solution to the problem I was having.

I was unable to use the mouse (yes, I do know how to use the keyboard) when I opened one of my servers from Hyper-V Manager and was attempting to install integration services to resolve the problem. However, integration services would never install/upgrade. When I was attempting to install integration services, it would throw an error attempting to install the “Windows Driver Framework.” I would get an error “The system cannot find the file specified.” I found this post  that had the solution that worked for me.

Simply delete these two files:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\DRIVERS\wdf01000.sys and
C:\WINDOWS\system32\DRIVERS\wdfldr.sys

and then reinstall integration services.

This may or may not work for you, depending upon your exact problem. My VMs were moved from Virtual Server to Hyper-V.

Posted in Computer Repair | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Expanding a VHD on Hyper-V and the Infamous ‘The volume you have selected may not be extended’ Message

Posted by Russell Wright on March 30, 2009

This topic has been discussed by a number of people, but I was finding things weren’t working as easily for me as those who wrote about it suggested.  So, here’s my take on the process.

The day always comes when you have a VHD that is too small because of all the "junk" you’ve installed.  Then you are left with this problem:

Running out of space!

The process seems simple enough.  In Hyper-V you can easily edit the disk to resize it.  Make sure the VM is off before you begin!

Edit Disk in Hyper-V Manager

Select the disk you want to expand.

Select the disk

Choose the action (expand).

Choose Action

Set the new size.

Set the size

Review your selections and go!

Review your selections

Poof!  It’s done!  Now, if you were to boot up the machine and take a look at Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) you’d see you have some unallocated space.

diskmgmtunallocatedspace

If you start up diskpart from a command prompt, you can list the volumes, select the appropriate volume, and attempt to extend it.  But, you may see a message like this.

The volume you have selected may not be extended

So here’s what I think I’ve found after several trials (and errors)!  From a Hyper-V perspective you need to remove the DVD drive so it doesn’t show up multiple times in the diskpart volume listing.

NoDVD

Now what you want to do is set up your VM to boot off the original, smaller disk and add the expanded VHD as the second hard drive.  Here’s what the VHD settings look like after the DVD has been removed and the expanded drive set as the second hard drive.

VHD Settings with DVD Removed

Now we’ll fire up the original VHD again with our expanded hard drive as the secondary drive.  Open a command part, type diskpart and then do a list volume command.  Select the volume (Select Volume X) that represents your 2nd drive…in this case it is the F: drive or volume 2.  Then type Extend.  Diskpart should find the continguous space and instantly extend the drive.

Select Volume and Extend with Diskpart
Here’s what the successful extension looks like with diskmgmt.msc.
 
Sucessfully Extended
Successful Extension as Shown with Diskmgmt.msc

Shut down your VM and set up a VM with the newly extended drive.  Add your DVD drive back if you need to.  Boot up the VM.  You should now have an expanded drive!  Yeah!

New, Big Disk Drive!
 
You should also be able to use VHDMOUNT from Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1, but this method doesn’t require any additional s/w installation.
 
UPDATE 2010-12-27:
 
If you should find yourself with a dynamic disk and wish to non-destructively convert it to a basic disk prior to using the process, check out:
 

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