Windows 8.1 VPN Connection Freeze/Failure

I had a problem recently on Windows 8.1 where trying to create a VPN connection would just cause the Windows interface to freeze and no connection made. After clicking connect, a number of different WAN Miniport adapters appear in Device manager under Network adapters (they may also be visible by clicking View > Show hidden devices) with yellow exclamation marks. They are mostly different types of VPN connections such as PPTP and L2TP. The way to fix them is to uninstall and then reinstall the devices – unfortunately, they aren’t as easy to remove as normal devices and do not allow you to uninstall. These are the steps I followed to uninstall and reinstall the devices;

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Windows 8 to 8.1 Upgrade Breaks IIS

After performing an upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1, my IIS server returns a 503 error for every page on every site. It turns out that the culprit is the URL Rewrite Module (v2). The fix for the issue is very easy;

  1. Uninstall the URL Rewrite Module from Programs and Features.
  2. Reinstall from either the web or the Web Platform Installer.
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Event Viewer Logging in C#

I spent the morning writing a Transport Agent for Exchange 2010 (another story!) to log some emails to disk. As it was on a remote server and remote debugging wasn’t possible, I decided to log some details to the event log. Now this must be the first time I’ve had to write the logging mechanism myself because I’ve never come across this before. When you try to use the EventLog.WriteEntry method you need to pass the source of the message (i.e the application name). So when I did this I get the following exception:

The source was not found, but some or all event logs could not be searched. To create the source, you need permission to read all event logs to make sure that the new source name is unique. Inaccessible logs: Security.

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NT Kernel & System using Port 80

I had been trying to set up Internet Information Services (IIS) under Windows 7 to use PHP and MySQL to save myself the trouble of having both IIS and XAMPP installed. After a short time I managed to get it running rather easily using the Web Platform Installer. This was great apart from a couple of small annoyances when developing PHP applications. After a few weeks of use, I decided it was about time to switch back to XAMPP as it removed all of the annoyances I had encountered – here, I ran into a couple of problems!

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Disable Windows 7 Automatic Reboots

One of the most annoying features of Windows is its ability to restart your machine automatically once you’ve installed Windows updates. This issue becomes even more annoying if for instance you leave things running overnight to continue next morning, or leave your machine running while you go grab some lunch. Thankfullly it really quick and easy to fix.

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Deploy .Net 3.5 Using Group Policy

Something that’s cost me a lot of time recently is trying to install  the .net 3.5 Framework to multiple computers in a domain using Group Policy. You would think, being a Microsoft product that the installer would be provided as an MSI as well as an EXE to ease deployment through domains. This however, is not the case.

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