IE10, desktops.exe and noframemerging

Today I upgraded my Windows Server 2008 R2 server to IE10.
Having used it on my work pc and my various Windows 8 installations for a while I thought it’s time to upgrade my server.
A quick install and reboot and it’s all done.

As I use my server for most of my work, it’s on all the time as it hosts Yodacam and is accessible remotely, it is a god send to have it all there when you need it.

I use Desktops from SysInternals to split up my work on to 4 separate desktops to keep the clutter to a minimum. My desktops are split into the following

Main Desktop – various email accounts, web browsing, Excel, Word etc
Development Desktop – php/ websites, mysql and any think
[Undisclosed] Desktop – used for an [Undisclosed] task
Remote Access Desktop – for RDP/TS sessions to various computers and servers

I was working away on the Main Desktop and the Remote Access Desktop when i needed to do some work on some php files. Loading up a IE10 browser windows resulted in nothing showing. So I clicked it again but still nothing. I checked Task Manager and could not see anything that looked like a hung iexplore.exe process but there was nothing.

I then switched to the Main Desktop only to find several new IE10 windows open on the desktop. It would appear that every time I clicked the IE icon it would open a new window on the main desktop, which is not how it was in IE9.

I done a bit of digging and found a switch for IE10, `-noframemerging` which said `Internet Explorer 8 and later versions. Prevents Internet Explorer from opportunistically merging new frame processes into existing frame processes.`

I created a new shortcut to IE10 and added the -noframemerging switch to it. Now every time i load up a IE10 window it opens on the correct desktop.

Oh and Yes i know other browsers are available to use and I now there are other multiple desktop programs out there, but I am used to using IE and Desktops.exe and will continue to do so. GOI

MSE 0x80070645 Error

Today I had a call from my brother saying that he is having some problems updating his Microsoft Security Essentials on his W7 PC. After running through a few things with him and having a remote session we still weren’t any further, so I suggested that he drop it off so that I could take a `Hands On` look at it.

I was somewhat miffed that I couldn’t install a simple piece of software like Microsoft Security Essentials so made it my job to do so.

While I was waiting for the machine to arrive I have a quick look around on TechNet for the error code 0x80070645 and after sifting through a fair few results it looked like I had 3 options!

Reinstall the operating system – Seriously? Who does that these days?
Put in a support call to Microsoft – Again, seriously?
Install a different Antivirus – Yeah ok I get that, but that is not the point here.

Not willing to do any of those, mainly because I pride myself on trying to fix all computers that come my way without doing a reinstall or getting top level help. 99.49% Fix rate will tell you how serious I am about that.

I tried most things that were suggested by others that were in the same situation.

Microsoft Security Essentials Removal Tool (
That run and said that it had finished ok, but after a reboot MSE still failed to install with the same 0x80070645 error

Manual removal off all files, registry settings and services etc. using a script.
That run with errors as there were some files etc. that were missing because of the former uninstallation. Again after a reboot MSE refused to install with the 0x80070645 error.

I manually checked the file system, registry and services to see if there were any stragglers left over, but there were none.

I tried the install again and when the install failed again I checked the MSE installation log and found an error when it came to remove the mpfilter.sys driver which was odd as there was no mpfilter.sys driver on there?
I extracted all the files from the MSE installation and looked at the mpfilter.inf file to see what had been missed of the uninstallation, but could not see anything that was.
I copied the mpfilter files back to the computer and tried to install the driver again, finally having to recreate the service manually. I then tried to do the install again, and this time it got a bit further according to log, but it still failed with the same 0x80070645 error.

This was now a right pain as I had to copy the files over and recreate the service every time I wanted to run the MSE installer to trouble shoot the next thing that was wrong. More searching on TechNet and further afield did not give me anything else to go on.

I then tried one of my random thoughts – what happens if I install Forefront Endpoint Protection Client on the machine? I had looked at Forefront Endpoint Protection a while back as part of my TechNet subscription.

So I installed FEP, expecting it to fail given some of the similarities, but it installed with no problems, went off and updated and done a full scan. I saved the FEP install logs so that I could take a look and compare it to one of the failed MSE install logs that I had.
I then removed FEP and rebooted and thought I would try and install MSE again.
To my surprise MSE installed fine, updated and done a scan – no sign of the 0x80070645 error.

I saved the install logs so that I could compare the FEP install against the MSE install, but sadly my USB key stick with all my tools, utilities, scripts and install logs decided to die on me! Not a major problem as most of it is somewhere else, but the log files I could not get back.

So, I’m not sure why that happened or what the FEP install did that was different to the MSE install but it did fix the problem. I will have to wait for another machine to turn up with that error before I can take a proper look at the logs to work it out.

Thankfully, another awkward computer fixed.

Windows 8 – well almost

I have just spend a good few hours trying to get Windows 8 on my laptop, so I could get a bit more involved with it.

You would think that in today’s world things would be easy enough to do – installing the latest Windows Operating System should be one of those. Hmmm not quiet

I download an iso of W8Pro x64 and burnt it off ready to install. I pop it in the laptop, boot from it, put in my key and let it install. I come back about 30 mins or so to find an error message on the screen – Error Code:0x80070570

A Quick look on the Knowledge Base that is Google tells me that there could be something up with the hard disk or the DVD media, but as the laptop had W7 on it and had no problems and the DVD was a fresh burn of an iso I used to install the last W8 Hyper-V machines I gave the disk and the dvd rom drive a clean and tried again.

Again I wander off while it’s doing its stuff and then come back a bit later, again to find the same error message! This time I binned the DVD media and burnt a new copy off in case there was some kind of burn issue.

Again I wander off and go and do some more stuff, leaving it not so long this time before I came back. Again I find the same error message! Ok, so this time I downloaded a different ISO and burnt it off. I then booted and went to install that.
This time I sat there watching it, only for it to do the exact same again!

Last thing I could do was to swap the hard disk with another. So I done that, put the DVD back in, booted and let it do its install.

This time, I paid more attention to it, watching it as I was doing some web dev. Yet again it done the same thing at about 11%!

So, still got problems and I have swapped the hard disk and the DVD media, I don’t have a laptop to swap to see if it was that, but then it was working ok with W7 4 hours before I tried to install W8.

Again, I started an install off, paying even more attention to it. It got to 10% and the DVD stopped flickering and spinning, so I checked the mouse worked and then got a CMD prompt up to see if I could get to a log file. No sooner had I typed in DIR than the DVD started to spin up again?! Seriously what is that all about. So I left it carrying on copying more data only for it to do the same again. Another DIR caused it to spin up again. This went on for a good few time until it seemed to carry on ok. So I done the off and went down stairs.

A little later I came back up to find what looked promising, but turned out to be a hung machine – or so I thought. No mouse, no keyboard – no nothing! Bloody thing! So I pressed the power button getting myself ready to have to start again, only to find that it flickered and suddenly sprung back into to life! It then carried on doing its stuff and installed W8.

Really have no idea what was going on there, as I have never seen anything like that before. But it is now installed and working fine!

Another one fixed

Today I done one of the things that I love doing – helping someone out.

I was given a laptop that was knackered and on it was the users personal and company data. Added to the already stressful situation of it being knackered was the fact that there was no backup of the data! Needless to say, they were not in the best of moods and were way from happy.

The situation reminded me of a time at my old company, where some one else was asked to look at one of the bosses computers. I had previously fixed it twice before so was surprised to not do it again.
Anyhow, I sat and watched not one, not two, not three, not four but five people spend time looking at this computer on and off with each other. It took them all day to get it working, well when I say get it working, they said that they installed a dodgy copy of Windows 7 on it and said it would be much better than the operating system that it had on it before?!?!?
Vista may be many things but it was a legal copy and it had been working fine for several years.
I had to have a laugh to myself, while thinking – Idiots!! Any proper technician would not do that, but then …..

So, back to the problem in hand, several hours later I had managed to get all the important and critical data off of the knackered disk and go about setting the laptop back up again.

Its nice to get a good feeling of helping someone out, while kind of saving their life.

Hyper-V Upgrade

I have finally upgraded Satan, my home server which is now running in its 4th reincarnation, to hardware that supports Hyper-V.

Given the MCITP certification that I am currently working on, it made sense to have access to a Windows Server 2008 R2 training infrastructure that I could access remotely and that was separate from my main Server.

It was a bit of a faf to get it going, I had to upgrade the BIOS on the motherboard 3 times to get Hyper-V to be supported. For some reason updating the BIOS caused the OS to fail to load, and at gone 01:30 in the morning I couldn`t be bothered to figure out why that was!

Satan V4 is now up and running the following hardware spec –
Windows Server 2008 R2
Intel Core i5-3550 CPU @ 3.30GHz
16GB of PC3-10666 1333MHz Ram
Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H Motherboard
2 x 500GB SATA – Raid 1

Now I just have to install all my software, scripts and support tasks the same as the old server 😐