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August 11, 2020

Free Windows assistance offer still valid for two weeks!

Two weeks ago, I offered assistance for those in lock-down at home because of the global pandemic. My idea was that some private users without direct access to a company help desk might not be able to fix their Windows issues because most PC shops are closed by decree.

Since then, I have received 19 messages asking a question or requesting assistance. Out of those 19, closer inspections shows that 8 of them match the typical “Hi Kari, please could you help me with this?” emails I get regularly. From the remaining 11 messages, 7 emails and 4 direct messages on Twitter have been because of my offer. Not much, but still enough to let me know word is getting out.

Only three of those requests have required a remote connection to the problem PC. Unfortunately, one of those connections was useless because the user’s issue was Internet disconnecting all the time. We simply could get a connection long enough to do or learn anything useful. For this user, I sent email with instructions for a possible fix. I’ll update this after the user replies.

Here’s more information about three of the most interesting (in my subjective opinion!) issues we have fixed as a result of this offer:

Hyper-V wrong server name

A user described an interesting issue: For some reason, Hyper-V Manager showed a different server name for the local computer, not the computer’s real NetBIOS name. The difference was only one letter, where Hyper-V Manager dropped the last letter from the NetBIOS name. Not understanding what might cause that kind of issue, I suggested that the user simply remove the wrongly added server from Hyper-V Manager, then add the local computer again as a server (see title image on top of this post).

This works.

Using FFU imaging as only backup

A fellow Finn asked me if FFU imaging could be used as the only backup solution. Capture FFU image after a clean install, then capture a new one on weekly basis.

OK, theoretically it will work. An FFU image is a sector by sector copy of a hard disk or SSD, and can be restored to any PC with a disk same size and bigger. FFU images are faster to capture than for instance making a full system backup with Macrium Reflect. However, as they are always full images and missing differential and incremental options, I cannot recommend using FFU images as the only backup solution.

I told the user my about approach. I capture an FFU image every time after a clean install or deploying a new image, before I start using the computer. That’s my “start from scratch” image. From there on, I will use Macrium Reflect with its “Grandfather, Father, Son” backup plan:

Click to open enlarged in a new tab.

Read more about FFU imaging: Windows FFU image – Faster capture & deployment

Bypass VPN

The most interesting question I got came late last night per email, a minor issue I myself had some time ago: certain websites not working if connected using a VPN connection. I resolved my issue by using static routing. Instead of replying to the user with full instructions, I decided to post them here on Win10.guru, and just send a link to that person: Using Route command to bypass VPN

I will post more about issues users have had when my offer ends. My free assistance offer is valid until Sunday next week, May 10. Don’t hesitate to contact me!

That’s it for now.

#StayAtHome – #StaySafe


Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

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