Folder Redirection Broken After GPO Changes

miqrogroove
2014-03-02T19:19:51+00:00

I am learning quite a bit about the Windows 2012 environment thanks to a recent server migration.  The biggest lesson so far deals with Folder Redirection, and the effects of repeated adjustments to the GPO settings.

Under certain circumstances, folder redirection seems to get “stuck” showing either an old folder path or none at all when the user goes looking for their documents.  The Group Policy Results tool seems to confirm that the Folder Redirection settings are not being applied at all for the user/computer profile that is stuck.  Frustratingly, I couldn’t find any problem with my Group Policy configuration.

No amount of logging off and on, adjusting permissions, or messing with Group Policy seems to have any effect.

In the end, I was able to clear up the problem by running this command:

gpupdate /Target:User /Force /Logoff

The key here is the Force option, which successfully resets the folder redirection policy for that user profile, and perhaps all the profiles on that particular computer.  Problem solved!  Windows 8.1, Windows 2012, and possibly other versions are affected.

2 Mar 2014

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16-bit Color Limitation in RDP

miqrogroove
2014-02-09T16:06:08+00:00
GPO Editor showing the path to the color policy.

This Policy Needs to be Enabled

If you’ve ever been under the mistaken impression that the RDP client controls the color settings for remote connections, then you came to the right place for help.

Windows XP and Windows 2003 servers won’t show more than 16-bit color depth to RDP clients requesting 24-bit or better color.  You can confirm this by looking at the display settings in the control panel of the remote server.  As a result, black text looks like funny shades of purple, photos look slightly posterized, and any color-critical tasks may be impossible to accomplish by remote control.

To fix this problem, you must enable the following policy:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Terminal Services > Limit maximum color depth

Set the Color Depth field to 24 bit and click OK.

I can’t explain why Windows would be limited in this way by default, but it is.

9 Feb 2014

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Regarding GoodNotes 4

miqrogroove
2014-01-07T11:16:44+00:00
Screen shot of GoodNotes version 4.

iTunes Import for GoodNotes Templates

I’m receiving questions about a new version of GoodNotes that doesn’t allow direct imports of new template pages.  Here are my thoughts so far.

In GoodNotes 3, the easy method was to download a new template in Safari, choose “Open in GoodNotes”, tap the new page on the bookshelf, select Change Template from the menu, then add the Current Template and adjust its settings.

In GoodNotes 4, it is still possible to download pages and write on them, but I see no way to add them directly to the list of templates.  This does not prevent creation of multi-page notebooks, but it does become problematic for creating notebooks offline or trying to swap to a custom template on an existing notebook.

I was able to install custom templates in GoodNotes 4 through iTunes synchronization.  The less complex method is to tap the “Wi-Fi File Transfer” on the GoodNotes Options menu.  This requires a second computer to connect to the iPad’s web server through a wired or wireless LAN connection.

Another alternative is the monumental task of installing iTunes on a second computer, making a physical USB connection, dealing with a variety of error messages, and struggling to transfer files while the program attempts to fill up my network drives with 64 GB of backup data.

Bottom line:  You can keep GoodNotes 3, if you have it, and wait for better features in new versions, or you can deal with iTunes synchronization to install the templates you want.

Questions and comments are welcome.

Previous Post: White Templates for GoodNotes

7 Jan 2014

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Microsoft Updates Crippling Windows 2003 Servers

miqrogroove
2013-12-11T01:43:24+00:00

The updates bug I described in Windows XP back in October is now also locking up server computers.

I’ve had it with this.  Microsoft has clearly lost control of its security patches.

As of today, I am disabling Automatic Updates across the board; all devices and all versions.  Up-time is more important to me than monthly patches.

11 Dec 2013

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Microsoft Updates Crippling Windows XP

miqrogroove
2013-12-11T13:08:44+00:00
Screen shot of the related Neowin article

Check out the comments on this website.

As reported at Neowin, your Windows XP computer may be locked up due to bad updates being sent by Microsoft.  Two of mine were 🙁

The solution, which I found in the comments section of that article, tested, and confirmed on my own computers:

  1. Disable the Automatic Updates service.
  2. Stop the Automatic Updates service (reboot if necessary but do not kill svchost.exe)
  3. Install the correct update from Microsoft.  That link is for computers with IE8 only.  For older versions, check the article I mentioned above.
  4. Reboot the computer.
  5. Reset the Automatic Updates service to automatic and start it. (If you want more updates.)

This is a truly shameful problem for Microsoft’s reputation.

December 7, December 11, More Problems

The subsequent updates released by Microsoft have caused the same problem to occur again.  I’ve updated the link above with the newer patches.

To find newer patches, you have to do a complicated search at the Microsoft Download Center.

Per my latest article about Windows servers, I am now recommending everyone disable the Automatic Updates service on all Windows-based computers.

31 Oct 2013

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MySQL Password Errors at BlueHost

miqrogroove
2013-08-30T05:54:30+00:00

Since August 12 (about two weeks now), I was getting this error from the MySQL program mysqldump:

Warning: Using unique option prefix pass instead of password is deprecated and will be removed in a future release. Please use the full name instead.

I’m not sure what changed or what got upgraded, but I was able to track down the problem.  It has nothing to do with command syntax.

In the account directory, which is the one with the account name, one level above public_html, or just “~” on the command line, I found a file named “.my.cnf” with the “pass=” option in it.

To fix the problem, find that file and change “pass=” to “password=”.

I have also forwarded this information to the BlueHost help desk.

30 Aug 2013

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Manual Duplex Print in Windows 8

miqrogroove
2013-08-17T17:08:43+00:00
Acrobat print dialog for back sides

Print Back Sides

Among the many problems in Windows 8 is the poor driver support offered by Hewlett Packard.  The drivers are hard to find, do not install correctly if at all, and lack many features compared to older drivers.

HP dropped manual duplex printing support for Windows 8, which means it’s now up to each application to add this functionality.

In Adobe Acrobat, this can be done with some care and attention to detail.

Step 1:  Load Paper Upside Down

When duplex printing manually, some types of laser printers give different results depending which side you print first.  If you print the “front” side first and then the “back” side, you might end up with curled paper.  To avoid or prevent this, you will have to flip the blank paper over and print the “back” side first.

Due to the way paper is manufactured, it always has a grain direction, a concave side, and a convex side.  Usually the grain is in the direction of the longest edge, and the concave side of the ream of paper faces the package seam.  This can be determined by standing the paper on its short edge and watching which way it tends to curve, or by simply experimenting with which side gives the best results.  If you normally print on the concave side of the paper, then that is what I mean by the “front” side.  Printers are normally designed to use the concave side as this prevents the document from going limp in your hand when you hold it from the edge.

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17 Aug 2013

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Client Certificate Authentication in IIS 6

miqrogroove
2013-06-21T16:43:07+00:00

Client certificates are a cool technology that, once setup, eliminate the need to use your password on your own website from your own devices.

This article wont run through the entire procedure for setting up a web server, Windows domain, file permissions, server certificates, or a certificate authority.  I just want to convey some of the configuration pitfalls that exist in IIS 6.

Step 1: Enable Client Certificate Mapping

The IIS Secure Communciations dialog box

Start with these settings.

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21 Jun 2013

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Windows 8 Network Browsing Problems

miqrogroove
2013-12-11T13:28:17+00:00
Screen shot showing the Advanced Sharing Settings area of the Windows 8 control panel.

Check if these are disabled.

Network browsing in Windows has always been a fragile system plagued with bugs and configuration pitfalls.  If you’ve arrived at this page to find a solution, rest assured you are not alone.

I recently encountered a Windows 8 problem where the “Network” folder only showed the local computer and file shares.  When trying the “net view” command, the response was “A remote API error occurred.”  Not at all helpful, is it?  The Windows 2003 domain controller was not experiencing any problems, and the Windows 8 computer showed up normally on the server.

Symptoms Identified December 8, 2013

After struggling with this dysfunctional operating system for seven months without a solution, I found the pattern that would help identify the main problem.

With only Windows XP and Windows 2003 machines on the network, everything works fine.  Computers can see and browse each other without any problems.

With only Windows 8 and Windows 2003 machines on the network, network browsing may or may not work, depending on the Windows 8 network client configuration.

In a mixed environment of Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows 2003 machines, the Windows 8 machines are sometimes able to browse the network.  However, once the Windows XP machines are shut down, the Windows 8 machines are never able to browse the network.

Once I had all these variables figured out, I came up with a list of settings that are compatible across all versions.

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14 May 2013

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Supermodel Archive Retired

miqrogroove
2013-04-22T16:11:35+00:00

The Carmen Kass website archive was removed today as part of my ongoing plan to make my domains more professional and less cluttered.  I originally coded this area more than 10 years ago and the last update was in 2006.

The more recent “Fashion World” archive was created by a friend and will still be available on her separate subdomain for now.

 

22 Apr 2013

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Website Updates

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