Almost Scammed

Almost Scammed

My sister in-law purchase a new computer from what I deem a respectable retailer and to be clear, I think this is the still the case.

You can imagine my surprise and shock, when I received a call from her and she explained she was trying to install office and somehow managed to end up on a call with some guy who was telling her, it wasn’t the computer but there was a problem with the firewall and she had Trojan’s, which aren’t viruses, it’s different… 

This guy wanted to spend 40 – 45 mins on the computer to resolve the issue, of course he wanted ¬£200. 

At this point I didn’t understand how this had happened.. How was it that she was on a call with some scammer that she called them. 

After checking over the computer and ensuring it was OK, it was and after asking some questions.  

She had purchased Office with the computer and off course wanted to install/activate it… she clicked on Cortana and asked Cortana to active, the default behavior for Cortana when it can’t answer directly, is of course to perform a Bing search, she then clicked what she thought was the correct link.

She had gone to the following site (I haven’t shared the URL as I don’t want to help them)  which looks fairly legit to anyone who hasn’t seen the genuine office activation page.

She typed in the key and of course it failed with an error. 


I haven’t been able to replicate the voice search performed by Cortana and get the same result as she can’t quite remember what she said. 

I have checked the source of the page and can’t see any evidence of the Product keys being harvested. 

Be safe out there fakes, it’s really easy to get caught out.   



Windows Movie Maker for Sale?

Windows Movie Maker for Sale?

Over the weekend I was sorting out a few files and found a few “WLMP”, Windows Live Movie Maker Files.   I opened one using VS Code and it very nicely listed all of the “assets” used in the project. 

So I could rebuild the video using another application or download Movie Maker, now I knew Microsoft killed Movie Maker back in January, but I hoped I would find a download.  I did not, which was amazing to me that Microsoft had managed to get it off the web. 

I did find one site, so I downloaded it, then sent the file up to virus total and it came back clean. Great, so I installed it and when I opened it, I was presented with the following dialog.


Odd. So I played around with it and of cause it wouldn’t allow me to publish to YouTube or export to the project to a MP4 without buying it.  So I decided to take a look at the icon properties. 

Now looking at the properties and I noticed the exe is called “WinMovieMaker.exe”, so I took a little look in the folder and found the following.

If I run “MovieMaker.exe” it works no problem! 

How is this site allowed to get away with this, I feel sorry for all the people who must be paying to “unlock” this.  This is a valid reason why Microsoft should allow Movie Maker to be opened sourced like Live Writer was. 

Visual Studio 2017

Visual Studio 2017

So I decided to install Visual Studio 2017. I have a 128GB SSD that I purchase a few years back now, I know I’m due an upgrade. ūüôā

I wanted to play around with the Xamarin bit’s. So I selected what I wanted and it came to 40GB’ish, no problem I have a 1TB mechanical HDD.. so I changed the install location to D:\ drive.

As you can see from the screenshot above, I have selected D: drive and you can see the Android SDK bits selected to be installed top right. 

So I click install and it fails with out of disk space error. What the installer doesn’t make you aware off is the Android SDK bits are installed to the C: drive! 

As you can see the SDK grabbed 10Gb of the C: drive.  

So there you go, make sure you have disk space available on your C: drive.

The most frustrating thing is a little warning would save a lot of wasted time.

I have logged this on user voice after tweeting Visual Studio.

You can go up vote it here.

Happy coding and have fun! ūüôā

SSRS Save Report With Custom Filename – ASP.NET MVC

I spent some time with this one.. ¬†As you can’t use the Report Viewer as you can with Web Forms, I have been using the URL¬†Access to grab the form pass parameters and download.

The problem with this approach is that there is no way to change the name of the file that is downloaded.

This is the solution that I’ve come up with.

public ActionResult GetPDFReport(int? id)
   string filename = "Generate Filename Here"

   NetworkCredential nwc = new NetworkCredential("username", "password");
   WebClient client = new WebClient();
   client.Credentials = nwc;
   string reportURL = "http://servername//ReportServer?PO&rs:Format=PDF&rs:ClearSession=true&Param1=" + id;
   return File(client.DownloadData(reportURL), "application/pdf", filename);

Have fun! ūüôā

Replica is inconsistent in DPM 2012 R2

If you keep receiving the “replica is inconsistent” error message, check the following:

  • Windows Backup Installed.
  • Windows Update has been run to ensure the agent is the latest version.

If those have been checked, then you may have run into a known issue.  WinRE, the Windows Recovery Environment partition is getting in the way, you can disable it by disabling WinRE on the server you wish to protect by running the following command:

reagentc /disable

Now check replication again and it should now return OK.

Ensure you reenable WinRE with the following command:

reagentc /enable



A policy is in effect on your computer which prevents you from connecting to this print queue

I received this error after browsing to \\server\printershare, right clicking and selecting connect, it proceeded as normal then the error was thrown, removing KB3170455 will resolve the issue.

You can check if it’s installed by opening PowerShell and run:-

get-hotfix KB3170455

this will return a list it if it’s installed. ¬†You can remove from the command line (doesn’t appear to be a PowerShell cmdlet at this time) by running: –

wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3114409 /norestart /quiet

KB3170455 seems to be the causing this issue and removing it will resolve the issue. I’ve not figured a how to install the printer without removing this update. ¬†If you have one then please post it in the comments.

Excel 2010: Excel HyperLinks to images open in Internet Explorer Rather than Default App.

This issue can be annoying, it requires the registry to fix, all the normal rules apply when editing the registry.

  1. Run  regedit.exe
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT -> jpegfile -> CLSID
  3. Right-click on ‚ÄúDefault‚ÄĚ (the Value Name) and select ‚ÄúModify‚ÄĚ
  4. Change ‚ÄúValue data‚ÄĚ from {25336920-03F9-11cf-8FD0-00AA00686F13} to {FFE2A43C-56B9-4bf5-9A79-CC6D4285608A}


Remote Desktop fails with “This computer can’t verify the identity of the RD Gateway”

When connecting to a recently installed Small Business Server 2011 using the Remote Web Access, the following error:

“This computer can’t verify the identity of the RD Gateway “”. It’s not safe to connect to servers that can’t be identified. Contact your network administrator for assistance.”

would appear when trying to connect to a remote server or computer.

Note: These steps are best performed with Internet Explorer, as it involves downloading ActiveX controls.

  1. From a remote computer, go to your server’s website. This will usually be “”.
    You will see a message saying “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate.” Click “Continue to this website (not recommended).”
  2. Login to Remote Web Access.
  3. You will see several options – click on Public in the Shared Folders group.
  4. Open the Downloads folder, then click on Install Certificate to download it.
  5. Close all open Internet Explorer windows.
  6. On your computer, extract the downloaded zip file.
  7. Run InstallCertificate.exe. When asked, choose to Install the certificate on my computer.
  8. You will see the message “The certificate is installed. You can connect your computer to Remote Web Access now.”
    At this point a certificate called serverDOMAIN-CA has been installed in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities for the current user and for the local machine.
  9. Open Internet Explorer, and go back to your Remote Web Access site.
  10. Attempt to connect to the server or other computer. You should see the following warning:

    Tick the Don’t ask me again box, and click Yes to continue.

You should now open up a Remote Desktop Connection to the chosen server / computer.


Windows 7 : Windows Update Not Updating. FIX!

NB: This is not my work, I wanted to post here for reference as it seems to work, original post :

Windows Update has become quite problematic for Windows 7 users.¬† For the past year or so, we’ve been working to find a solution that will work for you.¬† We have found one that works very well indeed for most.¬† We know for certain this works well for September 2nd Tuesday, known as Patch Tuesday. Which is today, and onwards till October 7th.

You want to ensure you get all your Windows Updating done before the next Patch Tuesday, October, 8.  From that point onwards, there will be a very significant change in the way Windows Update works.  Some may like it a lot.  Some may dislike it intensely.

We emphasize that for this to work, you must follow exactly as this describes.

There are two main types of Windows 7 installations: 32 bit or 64 bit.  You need to know what is installed in your computer.  Click the Start globe, type system in the box. Choose System information in the list.  The techie shorthand for 32 bit is x86 and for 64 bit is x64

1.   Start Windows Update and change the Setting to Never check for updates.  Close the Windows Update window.  Some members recommend you return the setting to what ever you used before this operation, after you complete Windows Update. IF you do leave the setting at NEVER, Windows Update will no longer be automatic.  From this point onwards, you are responsible for starting and installing updates.  We recommend you do that a few days following the 2nd Tuesday each month.

2.   Restart your computer.

3.   The process starts by ensuring that there is nothing running that will prevent the update from working properly.  Click on the Start globe and type services into the text box.  Click on Services in the list that pops up.  In the window that then pops up (its alphabetic), find Windows Update.  Right-click on it (left-click if your mouse is set for left-handers) and choose Stop.

4.¬†¬† You are now going to download and install either one or two updates manually.¬† In most cases only the first (KB3172605)¬†of these is needed.¬† If that produces a result that says the update is not appropriate for you computer, you need to first install the 2nd of these (KB3020369), then install the first (KB3172605).¬† Choose the one that is for your machine — 32 bit (X86) or 64 bit (X64).


32 bit

64 bit


32 bit

64 bit

5.   After restarting your computer, wait about 10 minutes until Windows Update completes its tasks.  Do not use the computer for any other purpose during this wait period.

6.   Start Windows Update.  It will take only a few minutes (unless, of course it has been many months since the last update) to come up with a list and download the updates you select.  The process is quite normal as it always was from this point onward.

If your computer has not been updated for a long time, it may take longer.