Oct 082018
Microsoft Windows Logo

If you are running Microsoft Windows in a domain environment with WSUS configured, you may notice that you’re not able to install some FODs (Features on Demand), or use the “Turn Windows features on or off”. This will stop you from installing things like the RSAT tools, .NET Framework, Language Speech packs, etc…

You may see “failure to download files”, “cannot download”, or errors like “0x800F0954” when running DISM to install packages.

To resolve this, you need to modify your domain’s group policy settings to allow your workstations to query Windows Update servers for additional content. The workstations will still use your WSUS server for approvals, downloads, and updates, however in the event content is not found, it will query Windows Update.

Enable download of “Optional features” directly from Windows Update

  1. Open the group policy editor on your domain
  2. Create a new GPO, or modify an existing one. Make sure it applies to the computers you’d like
  3. Navigate to “Computer Configuration”, “Policies”, “Administrative Templates”, and then “System”.
  4. Double click or open “Specify settings for optional component installation and component repair”
  5. Make sure “Never attempt to download payload from Windows Update” is NOT checked
  6. Make sure “Download repair content and optional features directly from Windows Update instead of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)” IS checked.
  7. Wait for your GPO to update, or run “gpupdate /force” on the workstations.

Please see an example of the configuration below:

Download repair content and optional features directly from Windows Update instead of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

You should now be able to download/install RSAT, .NET, Speech language packs, and more!

Sep 042018
Microsoft Windows Logo

Microsoft is ending extended support for Windows 7 on January 14th 2020. With Windows 7 reaching it’s end of life, I highly recommend that you start planning your upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

When support ends, no more security patches or Windows updates will be available for the product. Expect numerous zero-day exploits to be released shortly after the product reaches EoL.


Important Points

  • Test all your applications (line of business applications) compatibility with Windows 10 before deploying
  • Test the OS compatibility on your infrastructure (example, SBS Small Business Server requires modification to support Windows 8 and Windows 10 properly)
  • Compare man-hours and support costs for an upgrade vs the cost of new computers which come pre-installed with Windows 10

More information can be found at https://www.digitallyaccurate.com/blog/2018/09/02/microsoft-windows-7-support-ending-january-2020-windows-7-end-of-life/

Jun 172012

I was just watching the Canadian television show “Continuum” and noticed something very interesting. Half way through the episode, a character shows video footage off a tablet… What does this tablet have? The Windows logo as a back-lit button!

On the eve of two major announcements both from Microsoft and Nokia, could this be a marketing/advertising blitz?

Windows Tablet on Continuum show

Windows Tablet on Continuum show #2









I’m taking credit for spotting this!

Mar 042012

I decided to take advantage of boxing day sales last Christmas and picked up the Logitech Z906 speaker system. Noticed these bad boys had a number of different types of audio input connectors so I went out and purchased a TOSLINK (Toshiba Fiber Optic audio) cable and hook it up to my computer that way. I’ve never played with a multi-speaker setup, nor fiber optic audio cables.

After getting everything unpacked and hooked up, I noticed that the computer could NOT send multi-speaker output unless the stream was dolby encoded. So all games, applications, and software that supported multi-speaker output could not take advantage of the speakers, UNLESS it used dolby audio.

In order to get multi-speaker working, I had to use the traditional set of 3-4 X  3.5inch stereo cables. When using this output, games (including Counter Strike), apps, etc… could now use the multi-speaker output.

Just thought I’d write this up in case it saves someone some time. I spend over a day trying to find out why I was having these issues. P.S. In the end, I still use TOSLINK as I find the audio quality way better, even though it is in fact just stereo (2 speakers).