A moan, a groan, my life story and how me, a technically minded person just can't seem to fit in with anybody.

Archive for the 'Inner Geek' Category

Mathmatically proven that women equals problems

In school you always get tought that anything that can be proven by mathmatics must be true. Well here is some simple secondary school mathmatics that proves that women are equal to problems.

All men know that to get a woman you need time and money:

But over time we know we make money, so time is equal to money:

So from that we can safely say that a woman equals money times money or better put woman equals money squared:

However money is the root of all problems?

So we can replace money with root problems. In maths you should know that root and squared cancel each other out so you are left with woman equals problems:

So there we have it WOMEN = PROBLEMS!!

WSUS – Unable to connect to the server yourserver.yourdomain

Recently at work we installed the latest version of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) but we had a few issues with installing it. When installing we were getting the error: Unable to connect to the server yourserver.yourdomain. My work colleague spent hours searching forums and help topics but nowhere had the answer. In the end all it appeared to be was drive compression! WSUS will not install or function if the place where it stores the updates is compressed. To turn off, right click the folder where you’re installing to, properties, click advanced button. On the new window that opens un-tick the box “Compress content to save disk space”. You will notice folders and files that are compressed when the names are in blue. Hope this helps you.

Make Portable/Removable Hard Drive/Memory Stick Bootable

I’m not going to babble on here because if you have found this post you just want to know how it’s done.

Here is what you need:

A portable/removable hard drive/memory stick (USB) that is capable of being made into a bootable device. Some of these devices cant be made bootable; if you are unsure if yours can be made bootable then contact the manufacture. I have successfully made portable Maxtor, Western Digital and Freecom USB hard drives bootable ranging from 40GB to 320GB in size. I have also made a handful of generic USB sticks bootable ranging from 512MB to 8GB in size so it should be unlikely you will have a device that cannot be made bootable.

You will need a computer that can boot from a USB device.

You will also need an existing boot disk of some sort. I find what works best is a Windows 95 boot disk. If you are going to use a floppy or CD then you can get images from

So now lets get prepped! Now we are going to use a fat32 partition for our boot partition. Now the max size for fat32 partition on Windows 95 is, have a guess, 32GB so if you have a portable drive that is 320GB then you will need 2 partitions. The second partition can be NTFS and can fill up the rest of the drive, but the first partition must be fat32 less than 32GB. Just as a side note will tell you what cluster size to use depending on what size your partition is.

Now have you set up your Windows 95 boot disk? If you have downloaded the ISO then burn it to a CD and if you have downloaded the diskette image then run it and get the image on the floppy disk.

Shutdown your PC and insert floppy/CD and plug in your USB device. I would recommend you unplug any other hard drives in your system so that you don’t have any confusion later on and so that you don’t accidentally break your windows install on your PC.

Tell your PC to boot from floppy or CD and wait for Windows 95 to start. You will be presented with:


Now type fdisk and hit enter:


What you are going to do here is set your USB device to the active partition this should be under option 2 on fdisk (This is the FAT32 partition). Once you have set the partition to active you should now see a capital A on that partition. Press escape a couple of times and you will be prompted to reboot. So go ahead and do that, then boot back into your floppy or CD.

Now your USB drive should be set as C: so type dir C:

[code]A:>dir C:[/code]

You should see no files and it should tell you the space available of that drive, it should match the size of the partition. Now lets copy the contents of the floppy or CD to your USB device. Type copy *.* C:\*

[code]A:>copy *.* C:\*[/code]

Once that has coppied type in sys C:

[code]A:>sys C:[/code]

This copies the system info to the USB device. Now just need to set up a Master Boot Record so type fdisk /mbr

[code]A:>fdisk /mbr[/code]

Ok so we are all done now, so reboot and try booting up off your USB device. Now you should see your usual A:> just as if you booted off CD or Floppy.

So that’s about it, you can load up a load of useful DOS utilities. If your using a hard drive with an NTFS partition you might want to put on your new bootable USB device a program called NTFS4DOS. This will give you access to NTFS partitions from DOS. Also another handy utility is Ghost. This will allow you to take an image of any hard drive and put it in one handy file. With that one file you can then restore that image, ideal for taking an image of a fresh install of and operating system and then restoring when you come to reinstall. This will save you having to redo the windows install and reinstall all your software, patches and user preferences.

So there we have it, if you have any problems or want to know more just leave a comment and I will get back to you ASAP.

Windows XP explorer.exe missing or corrupt

So here’s a new one, recently at work we have had a number of XP Pro machines login but failed to load up explorer. The first thing you would attempt would be to start task manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete), start a new task and start explorer. Now when we did that we were getting an error saying that explorer was missing or corrupt. So we opened up CMD to browse the Windows directory only to find explorer was there and seemed fine…

We came across a fix to rename explorer to explorer2.exe and update the registry with regedit to point to the new explorer2.exe. This worked and proved there was nothing corrupt or missing but it wasn’t an ideal solution as it was quite long winded.

The problem started to appear with more and more PC’s on our network, this is no longer a coincidence. The problem is happening on different service packs of SP so we know its not an SP related issue. After doing a bit of searching around I found something called FixO. After running this and rebooting the PC explorer was now working great and it kept explorer as same name etc. You can get it here: FixO – Repair explorer.exe

Still this was a long way around script but at least it can be scripted into the login script. Anyway one of my work colleges found another solution, which seems to cure the problem but no idea why. It’s a simple one-line registry edit.

Open notepad and put the following in:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\explorer.exe]

Save the file as a reg file. Then run this file in regedit, this simply removes the offending registry key that is causing problems. If you want you can just get the file here: Reg Fix – Fix No Desktop

So we still don’t know what’s causing this but we do have a temporary solution.