Windows 10: How to fix Error Code 0x800F081F when installing .NET Framework 3.5

Problem

When you select to install .NET Framework in the Windows Features list in the Control Panel, it does not complete. After asking if you’d like to use Windows Update, it then gives you an error code 0x800F081F

Solution

  • Insert Windows 10 installation CD or mount the ISO
  • Open an administrator command prompt
  • Type the following command (substitute correct drive letter)
    Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3 /All /Source:D:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess

Getting USB Drive Redirection to work with LTSP, xFreeRDP, and Windows Server 2012 R2

Problem

You’re using LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project) and xFreeRDP to allow computers to boot from the network and connect to a server running Windows Server 2012 R2.  You add the parameters in LTS.CONF to allow USB redirection, but you still cannot get the USB drives to show up.

Solution

In my experience, these are the two steps that are often missed:

Step #1: Enable sound redirection

When using LTSP to connect to a server running Windows Server 2012 or later, you MUST enable sound redirection first, or USB direction will not work. This step isn’t necessary in Windows server 2008.

For example, instead of using the following line in LTS.CONF:

           SCREEN_07 = "xfreerdp -f --no-nla --ignore-certificate --plugin rdpdr --data disk:usbdisk:/media/root --
           192.168.11.22

Use this one:

           SCREEN_07 = "xfreerdp -f --no-nla --ignore-certificate --plugin rdpsnd --data alsa -- --plugin rdpdr
           --data disk:usbdisk:/media/root -- 291.168.11.22

Obviously, you’ll want replace the IP at the end of the lines above with the IP of your own terminal server. Keep in mind that if you’re using a newer version of xFreeRDP, the format of the options may be different. There have been changes made in the later versions. More information can be found here

Step #2: Set the policy on the server

You also need to be sure you have the ‘Do not allow drive redirection’ policy disabled on the Windows terminal server. This setting is found in the group policy editor at:

Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Device and Resource Redirection

Once you take care of these two items, you’re typically good to go!

How to disable registration reminder on Quicken 2003

Problem:

After installation Quicken 2003 nags you to register each time you launch it (see Figure 1), but if you click “Register Now”, it gives you an error (see Figure 2).

Solution:

While holding down the CTRL & SHIFT keys on your keyboard, select the “Online” menu and click on “One Step Update” (see Figure 3).  You’ll get a message saying “You will no longer be prompted for registration” (see Figure 4).

Notes:

This procedure probably works on other versions of Quicken.  If you’ve tried it on another versions and can verify that it works, please let us know so we can update this post.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 4

 

How to change the Windows 7 logon screen background image to the default

1365011437A lot of computer makers put their own background image on the Windows sign-in screen  Some of them are OK, but in many cases I prefer just the regular Microsoft default.  Here are the steps to change it back to the default:

Warning:  The steps below require editing the Windows registry.  If you mess with the wrong things in the registry, you can cause serious problems with your computer.

  1. Launch the registry editor by clicking Start, typing regedit and pressing ENTER.  Click YES if you see a security prompt
  2. Browse to the following location:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Authentication\ LogonUI\ Background
  3. Double-click on OEMBackground and change value from 1 to a 0
  4. Restart your computer

As an alternative, you can download this reg file and run it to make the changes automatically.  Right-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” to save the file to your computer.

How to install and use the OpenVPN client exported from pfSense

OpenVPN and pfSenseIn the world of open-source router & firewall software, pfSense is my favorite. It has features that rival some of the best commercial products, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to use it. pfSense has several options for allowing remote VPN (virtual private network) connections. OpenVPN is one of these. Once the pfSense box is configured to allow connections from OpenVPN clients, the system administrator can add users and export pre-configured installer files to allow those users to connect and work over any Internet connection of reasonable speed. Here are the steps needed to connect to a pfSense-protected network.

1. Install the OpenVPN client
Install the OpenVPN client using the pre-configured installer exported by pfSense and provided to you by your system administrator. Hopefully, this was provided to you on portable media such as a CD or USB thumb drive. Sending the installer by email defeats part of the security benefit of using VPNs because the installer could be intercepted on the way to its destination.

2. Set the client to run as administrator
If you are using Windows XP, you may skip this step. Locate the “OpenVPN GUI” icon on the desktop. Right-click on the icon and click Properties. Click the Compatibility tab, and place a check beside “Run this program as an administrator”.

3. Connect to the remote network
Take note of the icons that appear in the system tray (bottom-right of the screen beside the time display on the Windows taskbar), and then double-click the OpenVPN GUI icon on the desktop. You will see the OpenVPN icon appear in the system tray area. Double-click that icon to connect the VPN. You will be prompted for the username and password provided by your system administrator. Once the connection is established, you’ll see a message show up in the system tray indicating that you are connected.

4. Connect to the remote computer
Now that the VPN connection is established, all you have to do is use the remote desktop software included in Windows to connect to the computer of your choice. That is normally found in the Start menu under Accessories. Look for Remote Desktop Connection. If you wish, you can place this icon on the desktop by right-clicking on it and clicking Send to > Desktop (Create shortcut). When you start Remote Desktop Connection, enter the name of the computer you wish to connect to. You will also be prompted for a username and password to sign into the computer.

In the future, connecting will just be a matter of repeating steps 3 and 4. In the near future, I will be posting some additional tweaks that automate the process even further.

How to install Word and LibreOffice templates with a login script on Windows Server

Document Template ImageAfter some research and experimentation, I finally figured out how to push out Word and LibreOffice templates to client computers on a Windows Domain using a few commands in a login script. In our environment, we have a mix of Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Office 2010, and LibreOffice 4.x.x. This method seems to work with all three.

To start with, I placed the template files (.dotx and .ott) in a subfolder named templates and placed that within the netlogon folder on the domain controller. That way they are available for copying by the login script.

Here are the lines I added to the login script:

xcopy "\\server\netlogon\templates\Invoice Template.dotx" "%appdata%\microsoft\Templates\" /y
mkdir "%appdata%\LibreOffice\4\user\template"
xcopy "\\server\netlogon\templates\Invoice Template.ott" "%appdata%\LibreOffice\4\user\template" /y

Both destination folders use the %appdata% variable which should work in all modern versions of Windows. The destination folder referenced in the first line is already created when MS Office is installed, so the script just copies the template. The second two lines are for LibreOffice. Since the user templates folder is not created automatically, we first issue a command to create it (this line will harmlessly error out once the folder is already there) and then copy the template.

I’m still testing this in our environment, but it seems to be working well so far. I’ll update and edit this post if/when I notice any problems.

Asus E35M1-I Motherboard w/ AMD e350 Processor & Proxmox VE 1.9

Here is a video that gives an overview of the new motherboard I installed in my home server. It uses a fan-less, dual-core processor that is capable of hardware virtualization, making it perfect for the use of a hypervisor like Proxmox VE 1.9. Those looking to purchase the board can click here to go to the product page on Amazon.

From TWAIN Device to Web Application

ScreenshotAt my place of employment we recently purchased a piece of software to design and print identification cards.  We were planning to use the software to make employee badges.  I did not have an opportunity to try out the software in advance because no trial version was offered.  However, the vendor made a good sales pitch, so I shelled out roughly a thousand dollars to purchase the software.

It turned out to be one of the most difficult-to-learn software packages I have ever attempted to use.  After laboring for  five hours, I still had not figured out how to print a single ID card.  I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I’m not the dullest, either.  There had to be a better solution.  Not wanting to spend more money, I decided to build the software myself.

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DIY Network Attached Storage

Today I spent the afternoon building a NAS (network attached storage) appliance.  I have been looking for a better place to store virtual machine backups, and this seems like a good solution.

I started with a 2U rackmount case, the Norco RPC-230.  I like this particular case for several reasons: First, it has a shallow depth that allows it to be mounted without rails, and it is sturdy enough that it won’t sag.  Secondly, being 2U allows for a standard off-the-shelf power supply unit.  I do not like scrambling to hunt down an odd-ball power supply when my server goes down.

I went with a fan-less mini-itx motherboard from Asus that comes with a dual-core Intel Atom processor already integrated.  This is one of the few Atom boards that met my three qualifications:  four SATA ports, no fans, and a decent price.

For storage I selected two identical Seagate 1 Terabyte drives. The data on these will be mirrored (RAID 1).

I finished it by installing the fabulous and open-source FreeNAS version 8 on a 8 GB USB  thumb drive, freeing the entire RAID pair to be used for storage.

For reference, here is a list of all the hardware for the appliance, cleverly linked to my Amazon affiliate account: