Windows Update Troubleshooter Tool

Several people have had issues with Windows Update, from Windows 8.1 not able to update to Windows 10 not updating to the latest Insider build. Microsoft has a Troubleshooting tool that can help find the issue and correct it.

While this is not a fix all for everything that could be wrong with Windows Update, and it might not fix your particular issue, it is a good place to start. Also, if you are in the Insiders Program, always be sure to check the release notes. There are some known issues that have caused problems updating in the past (Anti-virus could interfere, SD Card could interfere, etc..). This is a great place to start if you are having issues, though, and it does work very fast to fix any issues with Windows Update that you may have.


1. Go to The Microsoft Windows Update Troubleshooter page ( and download the troubleshooter for your current operating system.



2. Run the file. This is a single file that can run on it’s own and does not require any installation. Select “Windows Update” and then click Next.



3. If it runs and cannot detect issues, it may need to be run as an Administrator, which is an option when it runs. The tool will run and check several things.





The Troubleshooting tool checks several things:

    • Default Windows Update data locations have changed?
    • Some security settings are missing or have been changed?
    • Check for missing or corrupt files.
    • Service registration is missing or corrupt.
    • Potential Windows Update Database error detected?


4. The tool will fix any found issues, and you can then close the troubleshooter. You can also click for a more detailed report to see what it did fix. From there, you can go back into Windows  Update and try the updates again.



If you click the View detailed information, you see what was checked and what was fixed.


Read More

Uninstall Programs in Safemode

By default, the Windows Installer service does not start while in Safe Mode. This service allows you to not only install, but to uninstall software. It also does not allow you to start the service in Safe Mode. Here is how to create and start the service in Safe Mode.

1. Open a Command Prompt as Administrator.

2. Type REG ADD “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\MSIServer” /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D “Service” and press enter.

2a. If you are in Safe Mode with Networking, you would type REG ADD “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\MSIServer” /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D “Service” and press enter.

3. Type net start msiserver and press enter.




Now you should be able to install or uninstall software while in Safe Mode. This comes in handy when a piece of software causes issues after being installed.

Read More

Fix Error 80240020 When Updating to Windows 10

Many people are getting an error 80240020 when updating to Windows 10. This is due to an incomplete download or a corrupted download. Here is a solution.

1. Browse to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download.

2. Delete everything within that folder.

3. Open a command prompt as Administrator. Type wuauclt.exe /updatenow


4. Go back into Windows Update and you should see Windows 10 re-downloading. When it is complete, you should be able to upgrade to Windows 10 with no issues.

Read More

Missing Graphics and Icons in Office 2013 – Solution



We recently had a migration to Office 2013 at work. We had an issue on several PC’s where we would have missing graphics on the application – from missing icons, to missing arrows on pull down menus, even the Maximize/Minimize/Close buttons were gone. You can see in this example – the down arrows for the fonts are missing, the File icon (it’s white, but not visible in this shot), and close/minimize/maximize buttons are missing.


After a lot of searching and testing and uninstalling and reinstalling Office, other applications and installing various .Net libraries, we have a solution. It may not be a fix for every situation, but it seems to fix all of our issues on all our machines. The culprit – KB2670838. When we uninstalled the KB, as well as Internet Explorer 10, the issue was resolved. This seems to a common issue with some folks with Windows 7 (and can cause other issues – ‘gfxui.exe has stopped working’, Aero not working,  Desktop Windows Manager service crashing but shows running, etc.).

***Before you attempt to uninstall the KB (it automatically uninstalls Internet Explorer 10, as well) – make sure you download another browser (either install files for IE9 or install Chrome/Firefox/Opera). If you do not have another browser ready to go or ready to install, you won’t be able to download one. There won’t be one installed to do so.***

Here is how to uninstall the KB –   1. Open the Control Panel, click Programs and Features.


control panel


2. In the left pane, select “View installed updates”. Find the KB2670838 entry, click it and select “Uninstall” at the top of the window.




3. Reboot the machine, and when you reopen an Office 2013 application, the missing graphics should have returned.




Now, to get Internet Explorer back (or use an alternative browser), use the install file for your browser of choice. If you are resolving this issue, it’s best to go with Internet Explorer 9 or an alternative browser. Updating to IE10 may bring the same issues.


Read More

Empty Recycle Bin of multiple accounts (Command Line)

Some people share a PC with multiple users, and each user has it’s own mess of files. They also have separate Recycle Bin’s. When a user deletes a lot of stuff, it sits in the Recycle Bin until it is emptied. Some users don’t know that you need to empty the bin occasionally. Here is a quick command line tip to empty all the Recycle Bin’s on your PC – without having to log into the other users accounts. This could also be scripted if you want to have the Recycle Bin emptied when logging in or off, if you wish.

1. Launch the Command Prompt as an Administrator. Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt (you can press Right Shift and left click the shortcut and select Run as different user, if needed).

2. Type in rd /s c:$Recycle.Bin and select Y to delete all the files in the Recycle Bin.


The first window is not using an elevated CMD prompt, the second is using Run as different user as Administrator.

This can help you keep your PC clean and stop your hard drive from filling up completely if you have a user that forgets to empty the Recycle Bin!

Read More

Show All Drives (Even Empty Memory Card Slots) in Windows Explorer

Posted on

Many new PC’s come with a memory card reader installed. When you open Windows Explorer, you can’t really where they are. Windows has an option in the Folder Options that allows you to view all the drives, along with the drive letters assigned to them. Follow these few easy steps to get this as default.

1. Open Control Panel. Start > Control Panel.

2. Open Folder Options.


3. Click the View tab. Then UN-Check the option that says “Hide empty drives in the Computer folder”. Then click OK.


4. Now, when you browse your computer using Windows Explorer, you will notice a few extra drives. Do note that if you try to open one without a card installed, you will get an error.

Read More

Enable Telnet with single command

Posted on

With the release of Vista came the demise of the built in Telnet command. You can add it again using the Programs and Features tool in the Control Panel, but here is how you can do it with a single command.

1. Open a Command Prompt with administrative permissions. Start > All Programs > Accessories > right click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

2. Type (or cut and paste) dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:TelnetClient and press enter.


3. Telnet is now available in Windows.


Credit for this tip goes to Steve Sinchak from

Read More

Clear Pagefile at Shutdown

Posted on

There are times when Windows will store a password in plain text or other information on your PC in it’s paging file. Here is how to clear the paging file when you shutdown your PC. Note: It does increase your shutdown time a small bit.

1. Start Regedit. Start > type regedit and press enter.

2. Navigate to HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management.


3. In the right pane, right click ClearPageFileAtShutdown and select Modify. Change the Value data to 1 and click OK.


When you shut down your PC, the page file will now be deleted giving you an extra little bit of security.

Read More

Disable Hibernation

Posted on

There are times when you want to disable hibernation for your PC, either for speed reasons or to make it do a complete shutdown. Here’s how.

1. Open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges. Start > All Programs > Accessories. Right click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

2. Type powercfg /hibernate off and press enter.

Your PC will not go into hibernation mode from now on. To reverse this, use the same command but replace off with on.

Read More

Enable Verbose Output on Startup & Shutdown

Posted on

There are times when Windows takes a long time to start up or shut down, with nothing to show what it’s doing. With a simple registry hack, you can enable verbose output which will let you know what the system is doing when it is starting up or shutting down. Here’s how.

1. Open Regedit (Start, type regedit and press enter).

2. Navigate to HKLM > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies > System.


3. On the right pane, right click and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.


4. Name the new value VerboseStatus and press enter.

5. Double click the new VerboseStatus key and change the value to a 1. Click OK.


6. Exit Regedit and restart your PC to see the changes.

Read More