Windows 10 bug – Can’t change IPv4 properties on VPN connection

Capture
For some reason currently when you click the properties button on the IPv4 protocol on a VPN connection in Windows 10, it doesn’t do anything.
I usually go in there and uncheck the “Use default gateway on remote network” setting.
That way my internet bound traffic goes out on my connection and only the traffic meant for the network I’m connected to goes through the VPN connection.
The first computer I tried to make that change on made me think it was just something buggy with that machine. After trying to setup a VPN connection on another computer and getting the same results I figured there was something else going on.

Thankfully you can still change the setting through PowerShell

You can run get-vpnconnection to list your VPN connections and get the name then to set the Gateway setting:

set-vpnconnection -name “Your VPN tunnel name” -SplitTunneling $True

Source: Mike McGruire’s blog

Internet Explorer’s Meet your new browser page keeps coming up

Internet Explorer (version 11 in my case) keeps popping up the “Meet your new browser” page every time I opened the application.
Use these steps to stop it:

  1. GPEDIT.MSC from the Start button search bar
  2. Expand User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Internet Explorer
  3. Double click “Prevent running First Run wizard” (in the right pane)
  4. Set it to Enabled and set Go Directly To Home Page from the drop down.

Windows network locations can show your email address

Opening Windows explorer gave me a bit of a shock when I noticed a device on my network was broadcasting my full email address.  Shock might be a bit dramatic, but I was concerned for sure.  I’d rather not see something like that being broadcast.  Maybe it only shows up on my home network but I don’t like it.  So, after some poking around I found the culprit in the media streaming options.  To get there go to the Network and Sharing Center.

NetworkSharing2

 

Click “Change advanced sharing options.”
Scroll down to the “All Networks” section and click the down arrow.

Advanced

Click the “Choose media sharing options…”
On this screen you will see the email address that was being broadcast as the name of your library.

email

I took this a step further and decided to turn off the media sharing so the devices don’t even show up.  I’m not sharing anything through these devices anyways.  I’d rather turn on the things I want than have them on by default.  In Windows 8 I was able to just tell the machine to leave the homegroup and that made those devices not show up.  Windows 7 devices still showed up.  To get rid of these I had to stop the actual Windows Media Player Network service.  I first tried setting the service to manual but something else kept starting it back up when I rebooted so I disabled it.

Windows 7 problem renaming folders – Could not find this item

My Windows 7 installation started throwing an error every time I created a new folder, renamed a file or tried to move a file.  It would say “Could not find this item.”

Deleting the following registry keys then restarting the explorer.exe process fixed it.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\FolderDescriptions\\{2112AB0A-C86A-4ffe-A368-0DE96E47012E}]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\FolderDescriptions\\{2112AB0A-C86A-4ffe-A368-0DE96E47012E}\\PropertyBag]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\FolderDescriptions\\{491E922F-5643-4af4-A7EB-4E7A138D8174}]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\FolderDescriptions\\{491E922F-5643-4af4-A7EB-4E7A138D8174}\\PropertyBag]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\FolderDescriptions\\{7b0db17d-9cd2-4a93-9733-46cc89022e7c}]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\FolderDescriptions\\{7b0db17d-9cd2-4a93-9733-46cc89022e7c}\\PropertyBag]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\FolderDescriptions\\{A302545D-DEFF-464b-ABE8-61C8648D939B}]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\FolderDescriptions\\{A302545D-DEFF-464b-ABE8-61C8648D939B}\\PropertyBag]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\FolderDescriptions\\{A990AE9F-A03B-4e80-94BC-9912D7504104}]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\FolderDescriptions\\{A990AE9F-A03B-4e80-94BC-9912D7504104}\\PropertyBag]

Found the solution here.

Windows 7 Tweaks

These are tweaks that I use and have done on most computers I load.  Some of these tweaks are just because of my personal preferences and some are for speeding up Windows.  They involve editing registry keys and turning off system services and other settings.  Use at your own caution.
The links are to .reg files containing the registry settings.  You can save the file and view it in a text editor to see exactly what it’s going to do.

  • Remove Libraries in Windows Explorer
  • Remove home group from Windows Explorer
    • You need to leave a home group if you joined one before doing this.
    • Disable the home group listener and home group provider services.
  • Remove Shared Folder Synchronization – from an elevated command prompt:
    REG DELETE HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{6C467336-8281-4E60-8204-430CED96822D} /f
  • Right clicking My Computer tweaks – Registry File
    • Adds Device Manager
    • Adds Manage
    • Adds Services
  • Speed Tweaks:
    • Disable the Windows Search service
    • Turn off transparency
    • Set power options to High Performance
      Disable “Turn off hard drive after…”
    • SSD related
      • Disable Prefetch and SuperFetch (registry and Windows Service)
        Registry File
      • Disable drive indexing
      • Turn off Windows write-cache buffer
      • Turn on Trim
        To see it’s current state from a command prompt:
        fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify
        0 = enabled, 1 = disabled
        Enable Trim: fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0
      • Disable disk defrag scheduled task and Windows service
    • TCP Optimizer
    • Turn off system restore
    • Turn off page file (if you have a decent amount of ram)
      Also disable ClearPageFileAtShutdown and LargeSystemCache
      Registry File
  • Some other userful tweaks from computingunleashed.com
    Registry File
    Does the following:

    • Programs that are hung will be terminated quickly
    • Menus will be shown faster.
    • Adds – Take Ownership when you right click on files or folders.
    • Disable searching for a program that no longer exists when you click on a broken shortcut.
    • Adds – Copy To and Move To options to the right click context.
    • Speeds up “Open With” right click menu option, gets rid of the search the internet choice.
    • Speeds up the navigation in Windows Explorer by disabling searching for network printers and scheduled tasks on network.
    • Disables the “low disk space” message notification in your system tray.
  • Black Viper Windows services guides

Activate Office 2010 manually

Microsoft-Office-2010-Logo

To force Microsoft Office 2010 to activate manually open a command prompt (I assume with elevated privileges):

For 32bit:

cscript “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\ospp.vbs” /act

For 64bit:

cscript “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\ospp.vbs” /act

This is assuming that you’ve given Office a product key.  I also think this will work for Office 2013 by changing the Office14 to Office15 because that same ospp.vbs script is present in my copy of Office 2013.  I’m not sure if this works for retail versions of Office.  I only deal with volume licenses in my environment.

Add “Run as Different User” to right click of icon on Windows 8 start screen

By default right clicking on an icon on the Windows 8 start screen gives you the option to run an app as administrator but that just runs the app as the logged in user with elevated privileges.

What if you want to run the app as a totally different user?  You have to tweak a local group policy to add it.

Press the Windows key and R to get the Run dialogue box.

Type:  gpedit.msc

Navigate to User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar

In the right Window pane look for: Show “Run as different user” command on Start
If you click the Setting column it’ll sort the settings alphabetically.

Click Enabled then Ok.

To force the change to take effect press the Windows key and R again.

Type:  gpupdate /force

RunAsDiffUser

Now you should see Run as Different User when you right click an icon on the start screen.

RunAsDiffUser2

 

Remove “Test Mode” from desktop of Windows 8.1

Windows-8-1-blue-logo

Windows 8.1 released today.  I’ve been using it since they released it to Technet and MSDN subscribers last month.  It’s had an annoying “Test Mode Windows 8.1 Pro Build 9600” message on the desktop since I installed it.  I finally took time today to find out how to get rid of it.

Launch a command prompt as Administrator.

Type:  bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING OFF

Reboot.

No more Test Mode message.

Windows81TestMode

Update (10/20/2013):  I’ve had one commenter say this doesn’t work for non-Pro versions of Windows 8.1.  I haven’t verified this.

Internet Explorer Maintenance settings within Group Policy not getting applied for Internet Explorer 10

internet-explorer-10-logo-600x273

I’m a big fan of Microsoft.  I prefer nearly all of their products to the competitors.  Windows RT?  Love it.  Windows Phone?  Love it.  Microsoft Office?  Mostly love it.  Hotmail, SQL Server, Windows Server, Windows 7 and 8, Exchange Server and more I use and like a lot.  Sometimes though I have to scratch my head and wonder what someone at Microsoft was thinking.  Exchange 2013 brought a lot of good improvements.  The web interface for managing it is great.  There’s several things they changed that I’m still scratching my head about (mailbox delegation, anti-spam functionality and a few others).

Today I’m scratching my head about changes to Group Policy regarding Internet Explorer 10.  I have a handful of generic domain accounts that I don’t want on the internet.  They can access a few internet sites but mostly just intranet sites are allowed.  Up to this point I use Group Policy – Internet Explorer Maintenance settings to control that stuff.    You can enforce proxy settings and exceptions.  So, I make these generic users have a proxy address of 127.0.0.1 for all internet traffic and I feed it a list of exceptions I want to allow.  It’s not full proof, I know.  A slightly savvy user could get around these restrictions a few different ways but I’m not concerned with that.  I just want to make sure I’m doing something to block the normal user.

Here’s another head scratcher.  Why are there all kinds of Internet Explorer settings under the Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Internet Explorer and yet no connection settings there?  Why not just put the connection settings there and be done with it?  There’s probably a perfectly good explanation for that, surely.

Anyways, I’ve been loading several new Windows 7 machines and I noticed they were able to access the internet after running all of the Windows updates.  What’s up with that?  Well after much head scratching and running gpresult and web searches I finally find a document about how the Internet Explorer Maintenance settings were deprecated in favor of the Group Policy preferences.  Here is a document about the replacements as well.

Ok, I’m used to change.  I try new phones and tablets and devices all the time.  I can adapt.  I poke around and try to setup a set of preferences for IE 10.  You have to create the preferences in the Internet Settings of your group policy.  It’s a little funky.  You have to right click and select new.  Well I do that and there’s two items “Internet Explorer 5 and 6” and “Internet Explorer 7.”  Huh?  I’m doing the group policy editing on a Server 2008 machine with Service Pack 2 installed.  There’s no option for IE 8,9 or 10 (Oh, and what happens when 11,12 and 13 come out?).  Sheesh.  (What’s the gorilla have to do with this post?  Nothing.  His look is how I’m feeling at this point.)

More head scratching, more web searches and finally I find someone that says you can only make Internet Explorer 10 preference settings on a machine with Group Policy editor  running Windows 8 or Server 2012.  I haven’t deployed Windows 8 just yet but my workstation is running it.  So, I install the Remote Server Administration Tool for Windows 8.1.  This give me the Group Policy editor, I launch it using a Domain Admin account and now I can see a set Preference settings for “Internet Explorer 8 and 9”  and “Internet Explorer 10.”  Sweet!  I’m almost there right?  Nope.

Next I go through and create a set of preferences for Internet Explorer 10 and I set the home page and the proxy settings and the exclusions.  Go back to the Windows 7 machine I started with and run gpupdate /force.  Open Internet Explorer and……only a few of the preferences I configured are set.  The proxy address isn’t and the exclusions aren’t.  Seriously?  I’m getting tired and irritated by now.

More head scratching, more web searches and I run across a forum post where someone explains the green lines and the red dashed lines that are on the settings screen.  I saw them but didn’t really take notice of them.  Well the red dashed lines means that setting “may” getting applied and the green line means that setting will always get applied.   There’s nothing on the screen that indicates this nor is there anything that says that you can change it from red dashed to green.  You have to hit F6 on the setting to change it from red dashed to green.  You can hit F7 to change it from green to red dashed.

IE10GroupPolicySettings

After changing those things and running gpupdate /force on my Windows 7 machine the settings are applied and all is well.  Until someone at Microsoft decides to change it to something else.  Or IE 11 comes out.  Or the moon becomes full.

How to launch XBMC on startup in Windows 8

I’ve yet to find a device or software that I like as much as XBMC for streaming videos from a local network on a TV.
My Roku tends to get used mostly for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Pandora.  There still not a good local network streaming app on the Roku that doesn’t rely on transcoding.  I like the pure experience of viewing a video file, no matter the type (avi,mpg,mp4,mkv,etc.)   XBMC does this and gives my videos a good looking interface.  For this reason I use a small PC (Intel NUC with Core i3, model DC3217IYE) for streaming videos from my local network.

I recently upgraded my HTPC to Windows 8 which like a lot.  The problem is the Windows Start Screen gets in the way and doesn’t easily let a desktop app run full screen at start up.  I poked around the web and found a few methods for getting it running but didn’t really like any of them too well.  Putting a shortcut in the start up folder doesn’t necessarily work.  There’s a group policy you can change that sets XBMC to be the default interface but then you can’t easily get back to the desktop when you want to.  Then I found XBMC launcher and it took care of my whole setup with minimum configuration.

The application is perfect and super easy to use.  It even adds some power icons to the desktop and or start screen.

Because of the nature of the internet and how things tend to disappear sometimes I have a copy of the current install (version 4.0) on my site here.  You should try to get it from the XBMC site itself though to make sure you have the most recent version.