File History Command Line Tool

There’s a command called fhmanagew.exe that comes with Windows 10 (not sure about Windows 8.1, but I assume so).  The full path is c:\windows\system32\fhmanagew.exe. This tool is used for managing certain aspects of File History, and contains a few undocumented features.

From what I can tell,  Microsoft has only mentioned the -cleanup argument which is used like: fhmanagew.exe -cleanup <# days> [-quiet]

A couple examples:
fhmanagew.exe -cleanup 365
fhmanagew.exe -cleanup 30 -quiet

I used strings.exe by sysinternals (a Windows port of a handy *nix tool for extracting raw strings from a binary file) to analyze fhmanagew.exe and found the following arguments are available: Continue reading “File History Command Line Tool”

Office 2016 and licensing error 0x8004FC12

Several people on the TechNet forums (and other interwebz sites) have encountered error 0x8004FC12 with Office 2013, 2016 and even Windows. It seems most of these cases have gone unresolved or only gotten fixed by refreshing or reinstalling Windows. I recently found myself in the same boat. When I would try to activate Office 2016, I received the error:

“We’re sorry, something went wrong and we can’t do this for you right now. Please try again later. (0x8004FC12)”

The application event log had:

“Acquisition of End User License failed. hr=0x8004C12”.

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Debugging Windows Service Projects (C#)

Many developers find it annoying to debug the built-in Windows Service projects in Visual Studio. You can’t simply create a new project and click the “Run” button in Visual Studio and expect it to run with a debugger attached, like you can with most other project types. Normally you would install the service, start it, and attach a debugger to the process, but this is a hassle and doesn’t help much if you need to debug issues in the OnStart method.

To solve this problem and help with diagnostics, I typically add some boilerplate logic to my Windows Service projects. By passing in command line args to my service .exe, I can either have it launch in a light-weight debug console or make it wait to call the OnStart method until a debugger is attached.

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Launching RDP from KeePass 2.x with auto-login

Configuring KeePass to launch RDP:

If you manage all of your RDP connections through KeePass, you may notice there’s no direct or easy way of launching Remote Desktop Client and automatically logging into a remote machine.

The following few steps will help guide you through configuring KeePass to automatically launch an RDP connection through a menu item or accelerator key on that entry in KeePass.

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Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10: N, K and KN Special Editions

Many MSDN customers may notice Windows editions (Starter, Professional, Ultimate, etc) that have N, K, or KN designations.  I’ve wondered what these were and if I should avoid using them.  After some research, this is what I’ve found:

Windows N: Has multimedia support removed from the OS install.  This is the version sold to the European market and is missing Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, and Windows DVD Maker.  This was due to sanctions by the European Union (EU) against Microsoft for violating anti-trust laws.

Windows K: This edition is sold to South Korean markets and comes pre-installed with links to other competing instant messaging and media player software.

Windows KN: Is a combination of K and N.  It has links to other competing IM/MP software, but also does not include Windows Media Player, Windows Media Center, or Windows DVD Maker.

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Changes in registry startup key between Windows XP and Windows 7

Several days ago I had an issue reported where one of my applications was causing a strange folder to open when the user logged in to their computer.  My application is supposed to auto-start when the user logs in to their computer, but it was never starting on these computers – only opening a strange folder.  After doing some testing, I discovered this was happening on Windows XP machines, but not Windows 7 (and presumably Windows Vista).  I did some research and discovered that Windows XP and Windows 7 interprets paths slightly differently from the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run registry key.

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Installing Windows 7 on an HP p2-1334 Desktop PC

I had so much trouble getting Windows 7 to load on the HP p2-1334 Desktop PC.  The only OS option it comes with is Windows 8, which I actually like quite a bit, but it’s for one of the staff I work with and I didn’t feel like training them on it – plus it wasn’t the Pro edition so I couldn’t join it to the domain without upgrading.

I decided it might be nice to throw together a small tutorial on loading Windows 7, and hopefully help at least one poor soul out there. I’ve also read complaints about not being able to change the boot priority (despite the fact that this is an option in the BIOS), which I will also address here.

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