How to Clone Windows with Clonezilla when the Destination Disk is Smaller than the Original – OR – Cloning a Large Drive to a Smaller SSD

I’ve done this probably about 7 or 8 times now over the last couple of years when it comes to swapping out workstation hard drives with SSDs and it’s pretty much become second nature at this point, but I think the world could use a good write up on this because I’ve wasted countless hours acquiring this knowledge.

So, for today’s lesson, we will be cloning a Windows 8.1 installation from a 500GB desktop hard drive onto a 250GB SSD. Basic knowledge of how to use tools like the command line and Disk Management are assumed. Continue reading “How to Clone Windows with Clonezilla when the Destination Disk is Smaller than the Original – OR – Cloning a Large Drive to a Smaller SSD”

Windows Update Error 80073712 When Installing KB2943357 – OR – How to Repair Corrupted Windows Update Files on Windows 7 or Server 2008

Starting with Windows 8 and Server 2012, you can more easily fix corrupted updates using the “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth” command, but what about on Windows 7 or on Server 2008? Well, to be honest, it is kind of a pain in the ass and quite a lengthy process.

This seems to be a prime candidate for some sort of automated batch or PowerShell script that could parse out the bad updates from the log file, extract the needed files from the KB .msu packages, move them to the temp directory, and then re-run the System Update Readiness Tool. Lord knows it would save a lot of people some time and headaches but I don’t know whether it is even worth the hassle of programming it all seeing as how mainstream support for Windows 7 will be up soon and extended support will be around until 2020. That and I’m sure a lot of people have been suckered into upgrading to Windows 10 for free as well. It’s ok, there’s nothing in that giant wooden trojan horse that they just carted into your living room. Your data is safe and there are absolutely zero privacy concerns, trust them. Go back to sleep zombie.

Anyways, if you have installed any Server 2008  or Windows 7 operating systems in the last say year or so, you probably have noticed that Windows Update gets broken almost every single freaking time and it is quite cumbersome. So here is the cliff notes version on how to repair your corrupted Windows Update files.
Continue reading “Windows Update Error 80073712 When Installing KB2943357 – OR – How to Repair Corrupted Windows Update Files on Windows 7 or Server 2008”

Windows 8.1 – Disable IPv6 Components

While trying to troubleshoot some issues with a user’s flaky VPN connection (they could get connected but couldn’t ping anything on the company network), my first guesses were that it was either a routing issue and that IPv6 might be the culprit or that it could be an MTU issue. In searching for the answers on how to disable IPv6, I had stumbled across a blog article that, while seemingly helpful at the time, had some misleading information on it that caused some rather undesirable results. It gave me an incorrect registry value setting of “0xffffffff” that actually caused Windows to take an extra five seconds to boot.
Continue reading “Windows 8.1 – Disable IPv6 Components”

Windows 8/Server 2012 – Install A Theme for All Users

On Windows 7, 8, and Server 2012, themes can be downloaded from Microsoft here and are typically installed on a per user basis in the following directory:

%localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Themes

To install a .themepack file for all users, it requires a bit of manual intervention. Today when searching for the answer, I found this perfect blog article that explains exactly how to do it so there’s no real point in re-writing it all verbatim here.
Continue reading “Windows 8/Server 2012 – Install A Theme for All Users”

Cisco VPN Client Won’t Connect on Windows 7 x64 via 3g Modem

It turns out there is no support for WWAN connections on the 64 bit Cisco VPN Client (version 5.0.07.0440-k9) so the client will connect but you can’t ping anything on the remote network and you will only see packets showing a bypassed status on the statistics page. Fortunately for some, you can resolve this issue by doing the following:
Continue reading “Cisco VPN Client Won’t Connect on Windows 7 x64 via 3g Modem”