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I do not see Windows 7 service pack 1 in my Windows Update

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is now available for the general public at the Microsoft Download Center. You should soon be able to see it being offered in your Windows Update too.

If you do not see Windows 7 SP1 being offered in your Windows Update, the following could be the reasons:

  • Windows 7 SP1 may not be yet available for you in your market. Run Windows Update and see if it appears. Be patient. it will appear in a day or two.
  • Either Windows SP1 is already installed or a pre-release version of Windows 7 SP1 has not yet been uninstalled.
  • Another update, eg Windows Update KB2454826, has to be installed before Windows 7 SP1 will be available.
  • A program on your computer, eg SafeCentral, is preventing Windows 7 SP1 from being installed. If you have used vLite to customize your Windows 7 installation, you could face a problem too. Certain Intel drivers are also know to create problems.
  • System files that are required to install Windows 7 SP1 are missing from your computer or damaged. Run system file checker and see if it helps.

In case installing SP1 from Windows Updates does not work for you or if you still don’t see it in your Windows Updates, try downloading it directly from Microsoft and then installing it.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any problems IT Solutions Support Team

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Windows 7 SP1 RTM Installation Error 0x800F0A12

February 21, 2011 2 comments

According to some reports, attempting to install Service Pack 1 RTM on top of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 can produce the following error message: 0x800F0A12 accompanying the failure of the deployment process.

Microsoft explained that the exception is caused because the SP1 RTM installer finds it impossible to access the system partition that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 build.

No access to this portion of the HDD means that the files contained cannot be upgraded with the new resources featured by Service Pack 1.

By default, during installation, both Windows 7 and its server counterpart create a 200 MB system partition on the hard drive, which is not accessible through Windows Explorer.

However, both platforms can still leverage the system partition even though end users cannot browse its contents.

Microsoft explains that there are a few reasons why this area of the HDD can become inaccessible, leading to such issues as SP1 RTM installation error 0x800F0A12.

The software giant enumerated a total of four reasons:

“•The system partition isn’t automatically mounted, or made accessible to Windows, during startup.

“•A hard disk containing the system partition was removed prior to beginning SP1 installation.

“•Windows is running on a storage area network (SAN), and access to the system partition has been disabled.

“•A disk management tool from another software manufacturer was used to copy (or clone) the disk or partition on which you’re trying to install SP1.”

fix for this problem. For example, they can mount the system partition themselves by firing up Command Prompt with administrative rights, and entering the following command: mountvol /E.

Of course, in scenarios in which the HDD with the system partition has been removed, customers will need to return the hardware in order for SP1 RTM to take advantage of the system partition.

Microsoft advices those running Windows from a SAN to visit the SAN manufacturer’s support website, or to ask the company directly for guidance on how to access the system partition.

“If a disk management tool from another software manufacturer was used to copy (sometimes called clone) disks or partitions on your computer, the SP1 installer might not be able to identify the correct system files.

“Turn off your computer and physically disconnect any external disks or drives that aren’t required for starting Windows. Turn on your computer, and then try installing SP1 again,” the company noted.

If you need any help and support please don’t hesitate to contact us

Microsoft sets Feb. 22 as Windows 7 SP1 public launch

Microsoft today announced that it had wrapped up work on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1), and would start delivering the major upgrade on Feb. 22 through Windows Update.

The company said it had reached the “release to manufacturing,” or RTM milestone for both Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, and was shipping the code to PC and server makers today.

Customers who subscribe to either TechNet or the Microsoft Software Developer Network (MSDN) can download Windows 7 SP1 starting Wednesday, Feb. 16, the same day companies with volume license agreements can grab the upgrade.

The general public must wait until Tuesday, Feb. 22, when SP1 hits the Windows Update service. Microsoft typically reserves the last Tuesday of each month for shipping non-security updates.

Microsoft has said several times that Windows 7 SP1 would not include any new features specific to the operating system, but would instead be composed of the security patches and nonsecurity fixes that had already been issued via Windows Update.

The only additions to SP1 include an updated Remote Desktop client designed to work with RemoteFX, a new technology that debuts with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. RemoteFX is designed to improve the graphics performance of Windows 7 virtual machines hosted on Server 2008 R2 SP1 systems. Windows 7 SP1 also supports “Dynamic Memory,” a feature in Server 2008 R2 SP1 that lets IT staff adjust guest virtual machines’ memory on the fly.

Today, Microsoft touted the benefits of Windows 7 SP1 to corporations, claiming that RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory would let computer makers design and sell low-cost clients that run Windows 7 in a virtual machine.

 

 

 

Windows 7 Tip of the Week Master Libraries

Windows 7’s new Libraries features is one of the biggest changes to Microsoft’s latest client OS, and while their use doesn’t require a major rethinking compared to the previous scheme of physical and special shell folders, there are indeed some interesting and unique wrinkles to libraries. This week, I’d like to provide some pointers for getting the most out of libraries.

As a refresher, libraries replace the old special shell folders from previous Windows versions–My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, and so on–with virtual folders that work much like physical (i.e. “normal”) folders but offer additional features. The key differentiator between libraries and folders is that libraries are not containers like physical folders that map to a single location in the file system. Instead, they aggregate content from multiple folders, providing a single view of all that data in a single place.

If you’re familiar with how relational databases work, then this comparison might make sense to you: In database-speak, physical folders are like SQL tables, because they contain data. You can filter and sort that data in different ways, but the data you see will always encompass only that single location. Libraries, meanwhile, are like SQL views: They provide a more malleable way to view data, often from multiple locations, all in a single place. The data you see in a view could come from two or more tables, just as the data you see in a library could come from two or more folders.

Customize which folders are aggregated

By default, Windows 7 includes four libraries: Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. And each of these libraries, by default, displays content from two locations, one in your own user profile, and one in the Public user profile. So the Documents library is an aggregated view of My Documents and Public Documents, Music is an aggregated view of My Music and Public Music, and so on.

Windows 7 Tip of the Week: Master Libraries

You don’t have to accept these defaults however. In each case, you can add additional folders to the mix and, just as important, you can also remove folders from the library view. To do so, open Windows Explorer and navigate to the library you wish to edit; I’ll use the Documents library in this example. (In Windows 7, new Explorer windows open with the Libraries view, and libraries are available from the Navigation pane.) Then, click the Locations link, which can be found under the Documents library heading and will read “2 locations” by default. When you do so, the Document Library Locations window opens.

Windows 7 Tip of the Week: Master Libraries

From this window, you can perform a number of tasks:

Add and remove library locations. If you don’t want to utilize one of the default library locations, you can remove that folder from the list of locations. For example, you may not care about the Public Documents folder, as I don’t. So you can select it and then click the Remove button. To add a location, click the Add button. A standard File Open dialog will appear, allowing you to navigate through the file system, including to network-based locations.

(Well, some network-based locations: Windows 7 requires that the server-based system have the latest version of Microsoft Search installed since libraries utilize this technology’s indexing functionality to work. If you have a Linux-based NAS or other incompatible network storage device, you’re going to have to get creative. Fortunately, there’s a handy and free third party tool, the Win7 Library Tool, that will help you connect otherwise incompatible network locations to your libraries.)

Configure the default save location. By default, files you copy into a library are saved into what’s called the default save location, and this location, by default, will be your “My [whatever]” folder. So the default save location for the Documents library is My Documents by default. But it doesn’t have to be. Once you’ve configured other folders as locations in the library, you can change the default save location. To do so, right-click on the location in the Locations window and choose “Set as default save location.”

Change the location display order. By default, locations within a library are visually ordered in the order in which they were added. And with the default locations, the “My” folders are always listed before the Public locations. You can, of course, change this as well. To do so, open the Locations window for the library in question, right-click the location you wish to change, and choose “Move up” or “Move down.”

Custom view styles

Libraries are visually differentiated from physical folders by a small header that includes the name of the library (i.e. Documents library), a Locations link, and, on the right, a set of unique Arrange by options. These Arrange by options are not available in standard folder views and they can be quite interesting, especially for highly visual content like pictures.

The standard Arrange by view in each library is folder, which causes the library to use standard folder views. The other choices vary by library:

Documents: Author, Date modified, Tag, Type, Name

Music: Album, Artist, Song, Genre, Ratings

Pictures: Month, Day, Rating, Tag

Videos: Year, Type, Length, Name

Windows 7 Tip of the Week: Master Libraries

If you’re a real power user, you’ll recognize this as the Stacks interface that debuted quietly in Windows Vista, which did include virtual folder technologies, but not in an obvious way. Stacks are visual representations of a query, essentially, an in the above figure what you’re seeing is a Pictures library sorted by month.

Create your own custom libraries

You aren’t stuck with the libraries that God, er ah, Microsoft gave you. That’s because Windows 7 lets you create your own libraries. The reasons you might do so are many, but one possibility is a project you’re working on–perhaps a book like “Windows Phone Secrets”–that needs files from multiple places on your PC and, perhaps, your home network.

To create a new library, navigate to the Libraries view in Windows Explorer (or just open a new Explorer window). Then, right-click a blank spot in the window (or, the Libraries node in the Navigation pane) and choose New and then Library. A new library icon will appear with the name, New Library, highlighted so you can rename it. Do so.

Windows 7 Tip of the Week: Master Libraries

If you attempt to open the library, you’ll be told that it has no included folders to display. So click the Include a folder button to display a File Open dialog you can use to navigate to the correct location. Once that’s complete, you’ll receive a standard library view, and you can use the Locations link to add and remove location, determine the default save location, and so on.

Note that custom libraries can be shared on a homegroup, just like regular libraries. And some applications–notably the latest versions of the Zune PC software–can add their own libraries. (In the case of Zune, a new Podcasts library is added.) If you delete a custom library, none of the content it aggregates is deleted, just the library file.

Restore the default libraries

Finally, if you’ve mucked around with your libraries too much and wish to return them to their default state, you can do so by right-clicking the Libraries node in Windows Explorer and choosing “Restore default libraries.” This will not affect any custom libraries you’ve created, but it will return your Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos libraries to their default states, with two locations and the default save locations.

Windows 7 Tip of the Week Get Free TV Content with Media Center

Windows Media Center is one of the most innovative and entertaining technologies Microsoft has ever added to Windows. Essentially a wonderful, remote control-accessible (“ten foot”) front end to all of your digital media content, Windows Media Center helps you enjoy live and recorded TV shows, and digital videos, photos, and music. Media Center is equally at home in your living room or bedroom as it is in the home office, or on a laptop during a cross-country flight. And in Windows 7, the Media Center environment has been evolved with added functionality and an improved user interface. It’s also been made available in more versions of the operating system instead of just one or two as it was with Windows XP and Vista. Thus, it will reach a far wider audience than it did previously.

Despite this, Media Center remains a hidden gem, of sorts. Few users utilize this nice interface, and even fewer use it for its original purpose of watching live and recorded TV shows. The reason is simple: Setting up Media Center to record TV shows is complex and time consuming, and can be unreliable. And few people have the required TV tuner hardware, or the patience, to make this exercise worthwhile.

Fortunately, you don’t have to connect your PC to your cable box to enjoy TV and other video content. In addition to working ably with your own digital videos, and with some third party services like CinemaNow and Amazon On Demand, Media Center provides access to a number of other TV and TV-like services that give you a taste of what this environment has to offer. Two of my favorites are Internet TV and Netflix.

Internet TV

Internet TV began life as MSN TV, but now it’s a fully integrated part of Media Center, or at least it is once you install it. To do so, launch Media Center and wait. After a few moments, you’ll be prompted for the install. (If you aren’t, try quitting and re-launching Media Center. It will appear eventually.)

Windows 7 Tip of the Week: Get Free TV Content with Media Center

Once Internet TV is up and running, you can access it in two ways. In the TV menu on the Media Center home screen, you’ll see a new Internet TV option. Or, you can simply click Guide instead to bring up the normal Media Center program guide; the Internet TV “channels” are available right at the top.

Windows 7 Tip of the Week: Get Free TV Content with Media Center

Internet TV provides access to full shows, both new and old, as well as TV show clips. The quality is good at best–it’s your basic video streaming, after all–but some of the content is decent. I’ve lost more than a few hours watching some full episodes from the original Star Trek series, for example.

Windows 7 Tip of the Week: Get Free TV Content with Media Center

Internet TV can’t give Hulu or even YouTube a run for their money, but then neither are integrated into Media Center, at least not yet. For now, Internet TV provides decent and free TV content that anyone can enjoy: All you need is Media Center and an Internet connection.

Netflix

If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you’ve probably heard of the Netflix Instant Queue, which augments the service’s traditional DVD rental offering with Internet-based streaming of TV shows and movies; it comes free with any Netflix subscription, including the low-end, one-movie-at-a-time version, and can be accessed from the web, from dedicated set-top boxes (Roku), video game machines (Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii), and from other devices, including some Blu-Ray players. You can also access Netflix from Media Center, and this is a nice interface for doing so.

Like Internet TV, Netflix will need to be installed first. (It will be advertised in the Movies menu.) Once that’s up and running, logon to your account and you can access your Instant Queue, DVD Queue, and a number of related views, including movie recommendations.

The nice thing about the Netflix interface in Media Center is that you can manage your queues too. As you watch content in the Instant Queue, you can delete it directly from this interface, and you can browse DVDs, add them to your queue, and reorder items as you like.

Netflix isn’t free, but the service’s Instant Queue feature has grown into an excellent reason to subscribe. I’ve heard complaints that much of this content is older, but that’s changing too, and there’s now a lot of decent content in there, and it’s getting better all the time.

Fix: Windows Easy Transfer couldn’t open the file in Windows 7

If when you use Windows Easy Transfer in Windows 7 to restore data from the spanned migration store, you receive the following error message: Windows Easy Transfer couldn’t open the file

… then here are a few trouble-shooting steps you may want to try out!

This issue occurs when the spanned migration store files are not in the same location, or the spanned migration store is corrupted.

So first, verify the location of the migration store files

To do so, Open Computer folder and in the Search Computer box, type *.mig* and hit Enter. Note the location of all files that have a *.mig extension such as *.mig, *.mig01, and so on.

Make sure that all files that have a *.mig extension are in the same folder. If they are not in the same folder, follow these steps:
– Select a folder in the migration store.
– Select all the *.mig files that are listed in the Search Results window and that are not in the migration folder and copy-paste them in the selected folder.

Try to run Windows Easy Transfer again.

If it doesnt help, try to copy the migration store files to another location.

To do so, right-click an empty area of your desktop, point to New, and then click Folder. Name the folder Migration Temp, and press Enter.
Now open Computer folder and again search for  *.mig* files. Copy-paste all these files into the newly created Migration Temp folder on your desktop.

Now run Windows Easy Transfer, and point to the Migration Temp folder location when you transfer files and settings to the computer.

More at KB980870.

Install Group Policy and AD Tools on Windows 7

November 26, 2009 1 comment

Group policy and Active Directory are very important in any organization with more than a few computers.  When I loaded Windows 7 on my work PC one of the first tasks I had to do was install the Group Policy Management client (GPMC) and the AD tools such as Active Directory Users and Computers MMC.  The two tools that I need to manage our domain based group policies and AD accounts.  Installing the tools is a little more complicated than a typical download and setup so let’s get started.

First, you need to download the Remote System Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 7 fromMicrosoft Downloads. Make sure you download the correct version for your bit version of Windows 7.

x86fre_GRMRSAT_MSU.msu for the 32-bit version of Windows 7.

amd64fre_GRMRSATX_MSU.msu for the 64-bit version of Windows 7.

After you have the file downloaded, double-click on it and click Yes on the Windows Update Standalone Installer screen shown below.

Click I Accept on the license screen and the components will now be installed after a few minutes. Once installed, you will need to turn on the features that were just added.  The install you downloaded did not install the features on your computer, it just added the features to the local repository of Windows features you can turn on or off.

Next, click on the Start Button and type in Turn Windows features on or off and hit Enter.  Scroll through the list and locate Remote Server Administration Tools.  First let’s install the Group Policy Management Client by expanding Remote Server Administration Tools, Feature Administration Tools and then check Group Policy Management Tools.

Now for the Active Directory tools: Under Remote Server Administration Tools expand Role Administration Tools, AD DS and AD LDS Tools, AD DS Tools and check Active Directory Administrative Center and AD DS Snap-ins and Command-line Tools.

Finally, click OK and the new features will be installed.

Now you can run the Group Policy Management client by clicking on the Start Button and typing in gpmc.msc and then hit Enter.  For Active Directory Users and Computers type in dsa.msc and hit Enter.