Posts Tagged Windows

Error code 0x80070544 when attempting to back up Windows 8 onto NAS over Samba

If you use Windows 7 File Recovery to attempt to backup your system to a NAS device, you may receive the following error:

0x80070544: The specified network location cannot be used.

Verify the path points to a correct network location and that the supplied credentials can be used for write access to the folder.

The validation information class requested was invalid. (0x80070544).

The solution to this is rather simple. You have to prefix your username with the name of the machine where the Samba share is located. So, if you are backing up to diskstationbackups, prefix your username with diskstation.

In my case, my username on that device is mike. So instead of using mike as my username, I had to use diskstation\mike.

It works now. Enough said.


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Get smBIOS UUID using wmic

Microsoft Windows 8 online activation requires that the smBIOS UUID be non-zero.

Here’s a wmic command to check the value of the smBIOS UUID.

wmic path win32_computersystemproduct get uuid

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How to fix “Test mode Windows 7 build 7600” message displayed in Windows 7

Microsoft KB2509241 explains Windows Test Mode a little more, and what causes it, but if you’re seeing it and don’t know why, here’s the easy way to fix it:

Open an administrator-level command prompt and type the following commands:

bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING OFF

That’s all.

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Disable Thumbs.db creation on network drives in Windows

Windows Thumbs.db files can cause a great deal of annoyance when they’re placed on network locations. Not only can it cause extra resource consumption, but can inadvertently lock files and folders that otherwise need to be manipulated.

However, it’s easy to turn off the generation of these files. To do so, just follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type ‘gpedit.msc’ and hit enter.
  2. Go to User Config > Admin Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer
  3. Locate ‘Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files’ and double click on it to edit the policy
  4. Set the Policy to ‘Enabled’ and click Apply, then ok.

That’s it. I don’t remember if it requires a reboot to fully take effect, but Thumbs.db files will not be created or used.

Questions, comments, or suggestions on the above? Please leave them in the comments section below. Thank you!


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Fixing “Failed to open Group Policy Object” on Windows 7

When trying to run gpedit.msc, the following message may appear:

Failed to open the Group Policy Object on this computer. You may not have appropriate rights.

Details: Unspecified error

Fix this by deleting the contents of the c:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy folder.

This will reset your group policy, but it’s already corrupt.

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Automatically disable wireless (Wifi) when Ethernet is available

Having Windows prefer a wired connection is preferable in a number of situations: When your wired connection is faster, or your wired connection needs to be preferred because it’s a private LAN, etc.

As far as I am aware, there is not a way to completely disable the wireless adapter when an Ethernet connection is available, but you can have Windows prefer the Ethernet connection over the wireless, effectively doing the same thing.

To do this in Windows 7, do the following;

Open Control Panel, then Network and Sharing Center, click Change Adapter Settings, then tap the Alt key to show the menu. Click Advanced, then click Advanced Settings.

On the Adapters and Bindings tab, in the Connections pane, reorder the connections using the arrow keys, putting the most preferred (wired) connections on top. This will have Windows automatically prefer the wired connection over the wireless.

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Disable USB Storage by editing the Windows registry

In certain environments, it can be useful to disable the Windows USB storage driver to prevent end-users from using USB devices to copy data from the system.

You can do this easily by modifying the Windows registry.

Click Start, and run regedit

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesUSBStor

and set the Start value to 4.

The default of 3 is shown in the screenshot below.


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Determine if you are running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows

Due to many limitations in the 32-bit version of Windows, and driver signing requirements on 64-bit versions of Windows, it can be helpful to determine which version you’re running. To do this easily, follow these instructions in Windows 7:

Click the Start menu and right-click Computer, then click Properties:


Then, look under System for System Type.


If the line is not present, you are running a 32-bit version of Windows.

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Working shortcuts being treated as broken and deleted in Windows 7

If you have a link to a network drive, folder, or other network resource on your Windows 7 machine, and don’t connect to that network resource often enough, Windows 7 will periodically treat the link as ‘broken’ and delete it automatically.

Windows 7 has an automated maintenance task that runs from Task Scheduler that performs system maintenance and, among other things, automatically deletes those broken links. There are a few different ways to fix or work around this.

This can be extremely frustrating and annoying.

This issue has been discussed in great length on Microsoft TechNet here. A workaround has been discussed by Microsoft here, which is largely to disable the maintenance task (described below). Microsoft has also released a registry fix, available here. However, for users which aren’t comfortable or do have have permission to modify the registry (non-Administrative end-users, for example), the registry fix is not a solution.

The below detail several possible workarounds, but the one that will likely work the best is the following first method:

Method 1: Create links that don’t break

This is the most preferred method, as the scheduled task continues to run, but your links never break.

To do this, start by creating a link to a network resource. For my example, I’m using diskstationhome.

First, create your link in the typical fashion, by right-dragging a network location and selecting Create shortcuts here.

Next, right-click your newly-created shortcut and click Properties

For the target, insert explorer.exe in the beginning, and surround your network path with quotes, like so:

This changes the target of the shortcut to be explorer.exe, and therefore the link will never “break.”

Method 2: Copy your network shortcuts elsewhere

You can copy those shortcuts onto a USB flash drive, external hard drive, or other removable media, so that Windows can’t reach them to automatically remove them.

Method 3: Disable the maintenance task

You can disable the maintenance task that runs. While this isn’t the best workaround, as it disables the other productive features of the maintenance task, it’s not hard to do.

To disable the maintenance task, click Start, right-click Computer, and click Manage.

Next, expand Task Scheduler, and go to Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Diagnosis.

You will see a task in the right pane labelled Diagnosis. Right-click the task and click Disable.

Method 4: Apply the registry fix

This is just a reiteration of the registry fix linked to above, from Microsoft KB 2642357.

Click Start, and run regedit

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsScheduledDiagnostics

Create a New DWORD Value called IsBrokenShortcutsTSEnabled with a value of 0 (zero).

Create a New DWORD Value called IsUnusedDesktopIconsTSEnabled with a value of 0 (zero).

Questions, comments, feedback, or other thoughts to share? Please feel free to add them in the comments below. Thank you!

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Determine if your CPU supports 64-bit in Windows

Windows will not be able to report if you are running a 32-bit version of Windows on a 64-bit machine. It will only report that you are running a 32-bit version of Windows.

You can determine if you are running on 64-bit capable CPU by using CPU-Z, using the instructions below:

Download and run CPU-Z, and look at the CPU tab.

Look for the line labeled Instructions.

If EM64T is displayed, your processor is 64-bit capable.



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