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Getting Windows 10 to Install Using qemu and kvm

I use a lot of different VMs for testing software and running one-off programs. My setup is a 16GB Dell Precision Laptop with an i7 quad core running Ubuntu (really "Elementary OS" which is based on Ubuntu, but eOS has a super-slick desktop that I really like) and a 1TB SSD. I use kvm to host my various VMs which include versions of Ubuntu, Windows 7, etc. When I get around to it, I'll switch to Docker or Rocket and use the container model, but for now it was just easier to build (or clone) a tiny VM when I need it.

I've been using this VM setup for a while and it worked fine with WinXP, Win7, Ubuntu, etc, but when I wanted to copy my Win7 image and upgrade to Win10, I faced a LOT of frustration. All the combinations of configuration on the KVM panel failed to get past the 0xc1900101-0x30018 error and the "The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during BOOT operation. 0xC1900101 – 0x20017" error I would get. The Win10 upgrade would fail and I'd be back to starting over.

I tried a bunch of suggestions (mostly change my video card, change my disk interface from IDE to SATA or SATA to SCSI or... etc.), but none of those things helped.

I finally figured it out after reading about similar problems with KVM and Windows 8.1 upgrades to Win 10...

Running Dropbox as a Service on Windows Server

If you need to run Dropbox as a service, you need to convince Windows Server to run it as a service. That's easy enough using the old "srvany.exe" toolkit program that let's you run "any" program as a service.

Basically, you will install dropbox, grab srvany.exe, create a service entry, add a registry setting, start the service, then you're up and running.

Here are the details...

RDP, Terminal Server, and 2 Annoyances

I use terminal server a lot with my clients. I was trying to set up RDP sessions to run a certain program and quit (rather than just opening up an RDP session and running the program from there). I do this so that I can run a program and get out. For instance, I have some web-based server management interfaces that are only available from inside the network (like for the phone systems) and if I just want to go in and fix something, I don't want to have to run a VPN session and I don't want to get a full desktop to start a browser, so I just fire off the browser as a program in an RDP session and I'm in and out!

However, I was running into 2 annoyances:

1) I would set up an RDP session to run one program, but the session would hang when the program exited. The session would stay hung so that when I came back and re-connected, I got the same hung desktop session back!

2) No matter what I changed in the RDP settings or on the server, every time I opened an RDP sessions file, my window would have scroll bars with my desktop bigger than the window that RDP opened!

Both were pretty annoying and had different solutions.

Java Installation Issues on Windows 7 64-bit; Error 1335 with Data1.cab

As most people now know, java being installed (and seldom updated) on nearly every system running Windows has created major security problems, what with all of the security holes being "day one" exploited.

The proper solution (as is the case with most security problems) is to remove something when it isn't specifically needed!

When I looked at my own system, I had disabled java from being activated by the browser (disabling the add-ins for chrome, IE, Firefox, etc.) so I was relatively safe from website/ad based attacks, but I also found that I was running three different installations of java including two for 32-bit and one for 64-bit.

I figured the easy thing to do was remove all of them, then add back the freshest version of one I needed for my Eclipse IDE to work.

Uninstall went fairly well, but I had problems when I tried to install the 64-bit version of java. Every time I installed it, I would get:

Error 1335: The cabinet file Data1.cab required
for this installation is corrupt and cannot be used.

I tried lots of different things from the googles, but it took a combination of things to get it to finally install...

Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory Password Complexity and Other Settings

I don't use Active Directory and Policies enough to remember which is the proper place when I want to adjust the draconian password complexity settings on a Windows 2008 Server.

Here's how...

Excel 2003 Crashing on Cut or Paste

I had a user report that, all of a sudden, anytime they cut or pasted something in Excel 2003 running on Windows 7, Excel would crash.

We'd had a problem before with Skype and Bluetooth causing Excel to crash, but when I checked this setting in the registry, it WAS set to zero as needed:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Excel\Addins \BtOfficeAddin.BtOfficeIntegration.1\LoadBehavior REG_DWORD 0x0

Change the LoadBehavior key from 3 to 0, if needed. In this case, it was already 0.

So, that left the user still having the problem...

Windows Server 2008 Shutdown with a 0x500ff Reason Code

I had a client that had a new Windows Server 2008 R2 server shutdown spontaneously.

In reviewing the logs, I saw where the system went into shutdown, but I couldn't tell why. All I had to go on was a 0x500ff reason code.

Resources I found to help diagnosis this issue included:

Systems Shutting Down with 0x500ff:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2001061

Shutdown codes:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa376885(VS.85).aspx

None of these were really helpful, though, because the problem was kind of my fault. You see, we had installed the server, but it wasn't in its final secured location. It was sitting in an empty office. An empty unlocked office.

When some kids came in to the facility to hang out and wanted to use a computer, they tried a few times to log in, couldn't, and powered the server down, since it wasn't "working".

Oops. Looks like I have to get the server physically secured sooner, rather than later.

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