Windows Server 2016 not activating

When tying to activate via settings was getting Error Codes: 0x87E10BC6 and 0x800705B4

To resolve.

In Run, Type slui 3

Press enter

Enter product key

Click next to Activate

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Outlook 2010 Stuck in Safe Mode

Outlook 2010 would start in safe mode every time.

This was caused by Microsoft patch KB3114409 released in December 2015.

Removal of the patch resolves the problem.

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Stop Server Manager Loading After Logon

On newer Windows Servers, Server manager opens after logging on.

This can simply be disabled by:

Open Control Panel > Open Administrative Tools > Open Task Scheduler.

In Task Scheduler drill down to Microsoft\Windows\Server Manager.

Find the task named ServerManager, with the Description “Task for launching Initial Configuration Tasks or Server Manager at logon.”

Disable this task or delete the Trigger Action.


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Cannot add Google as a search provider in internet explorer

Could not add Google as a search provider in IE.  The button to click to add was not click-able.

This was caused by Microsoft patch 3038314.  This was released 14 April 2015.

To resolve I merged the following into the registry.


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{69E838CD-0DFC-450B-B674-181F2E91D433}]



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Sharepoint 2010 message – Some files can harm your computer

When users were opening word files from a SharePoint library, that they had read access to, they would get a pop up message:

Open Document

Some files can harm your computer. If the file information below looks suspicious……..

open doc message

This was resolved by adding the SharePoint site to the Internet Explorer trusted sites list.

I rolled this out Via GPO, adding the trusted site with a registry addition.

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Remove suggested contacts from Iphone contacts

Newer versions of Outlook have a feature called Suggested Contacts that auto populates a contact folder called Suggested Contacts.  This can be frustrating on an Iphone as it can make the contact list too large.

To stop showing the suggested contacts:

On the Iphone open Phone > Contacts > Groups > Find the account and untick suggested contacts.



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SQL 2008 R2 – Connection issues from application – connects 2nd time

Had a problem where an application had issues connecting to another applications SQL database.
The application would freeze and after a delay come up with SQL related errors.
Troubleshooting was difficult as some users would not freeze and it only happened in certain areas of the application.

However when testing the connection with Excel I found that it would fail the 1st time connecting and then work the 2nd time. It did not matter if I used Windows Authentication or SA.
To test in Excel:
In Excel > data tab > from other sources > from SQL server > enter servername\instance\name > select log on credentials.

Excel connect to SQL

After clicking Next it would time out, but would then work if I tried to connect again.

I then searched online and found the following post:

I then opened SQL Server Configuration Manager > SQL Server Network Configuration > Protocols for DATABASE > dbl click TCP/IP > IP Addresses Tab > found IPAll > TCP Dynamic Ports was 61288 (port numbers can be different to this)

SQL IPAll port setting


Opened Windows firewall and added a inbound rule for this port number.

Tested in Excel and found it would connect 1st time now using Windows or SA authentication.

Tested in application and found connection issues resolved.

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GPO logon Script not running – Windows Server 2012R2

A VBS script called by “User Configuration\Policies\Windows Settings\Scripts\Logon” was not running on a Windows Server 2012 R2 RDS.

Microsoft have added a new feature to Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 that delays any scripts in the above location by 5 minutes.  So they will not execute until 5 mins after logon.

To disable this feature set the following to 0:

“Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\Group Policy\Configure Logon Script Delay”


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Windows Server 2003 not shutting down

Was remotely logged onto an old Windows SBS 2003 Server via RDP and installed some backup software.  A restart was required at the end of the install and I selected the option in the installer to restart.  Server did not restart.  After a few minutes I selected start > shutdown > restart.  Lost my RDP connection.

Pings from another server never stopped.  Could not RDP back onto the server.  Connected to services and event logs from another system and could see the server was still running and did not look to be shutting things down.  Left for a while and found not change.

From another server ran: shutdown /r /f /m \\servername

Received the message: A system shutdown is in progress. (1115)

Downloaded PSTools > extracted

From the other server ran: pskill \\servername winlogon

Pings from another server then stopped.  Server restarted and reported an unexpected shutdown, but at least I had gained access to the server again.


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GPO Drive Map not Working

A drive set to map via GPO on a Windows 7 system was not working.

Application event log had error id: 4098. “……. The network path was not found”.

This was fixed by changing the share path in the GPO from \\servername\share\ to \\servername\share

Note the \ (backslash) is removed from the end.

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