Thursday, December 12, 2019

Macintosh - Box Drive causes Finder to go to Not Responding for 5+ minutes

I recently ran into this issue with a user who upgraded to MacOS Catalina.  This user stores much of their data in Box Drive and uses it regularly.  After they upgraded to Catalina, anytime they clicked the 'Box' folder in Finder, Finder would stop responding for a long time.  Eventually, it responds and he can use it.

I did much troubleshooting trying to find what was causing this issue. I didn't find anything online that was helpful.  I uninstalled and reinstalled Box Drive, which did not help.  One test I conducted that was helpful; I logged on with my profile and accessed my Box drive.  It worked fine.  That told me this was most likely due to something in the user's profile.

I used Activity Monitor to explore the 'Open Files and Processes' associated with the Box process.  I recorded the output in the box to get the different paths where it stores and uses data.

To make this post short, if you run into this issue, you can try the following steps:

  1. First, make sure Box is not running.  You can end the process from Activity Monitor if needed.
  2. Rename this folder (replace <username> with their username)  /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Box to /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Box.bak
  3. Open Box and see if it works normally now.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Annoying Ads in lower right portion of desktop with Google Chrome?

Block websites abusing the notifications functionality of Google Chrome from popping up ads on your machine

I worked on a system that would get large, annoying, sometimes bizarre, ads in the lower right portion of the desktop, right above the systray.  In this particular case, they were coming from

If the ads say Google Chrome - some name then you can remove them by following the steps below:

  1. Click the 3 dot menu item in the upper right portion of Chrome
  2. On the menu click 'Settings'
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the Settings menu and click 'Advanced' (if Advanced options are already exposed you will see them listed under 'Advanced')
  4. Under 'Privacy and Security' click on 'Site Settings'
  5. In the list of Site Settings, click on 'Notifications'
  6. You should see 'Ask before sending', make sure the slider is turned on
  7. Under allow, look for any websites you don't want to be allowed to automatically pop up things, like ads.
    1. To the right of an unwanted site, click the 3-dot menu item
    2. On the menu that pops up, choose 'Block'
    3. Repeat this for any and all sites you want to block
  8. You can close the Settings window once you have made the above changes
  9. Hopefully, those annoying ads will be gone now

Monday, June 17, 2019

Jamf JSS, JSS Importer, and Spruce

I recently found out about Spruce (Spruce).  Spruce can help clean up a JSS server.
From the author's GitHub page: " Spruce looks for objects on your JSS which have no current usage, are out of date, or are otherwise crufty"

My JSS server uses a self-signed certificate.  I have JSSImporter already configured and working.  When I went to use Spruce I would get this error:
requests.exceptions.SSLError: HTTPSConnectionPool(host='', port=8443): Max retries exceeded with url: /JSSResource/distributionpoints (Caused by SSLError(SSLError("bad handshake: Error([('SSL routines', 'ssl3_read_bytes', 'sslv3 alert handshake failure')],)",),))
I had installed python-jss using 'sudo pip install python-jss'

Event though Spruce reads the JSSImporter preferences file for connection information, it would not successfully connect to my JSS.

I found a resolution.  In my case I needed to edit this file:

Near the bottom of the file I changed:
to this:

After this change my sslv3 error went away and Spruce was able to connect to the JSS server.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Windows 10 with Ubuntu: Install error CanonicalGroupLimited.UbuntuonWindows cannot be found or cannot be accessed

CanonicalGroupLimited.UbuntuonWindows error message

On Windows 10 Enterprise build 1709 I installed the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Next I open the Microsoft Store and did a search for Ubuntu. That gave me the option to Launch which then triggered the install. The last step was a shell prompt asking me to setup a user and passphrase. After that I could use the Ubuntu command line shell (bash).

Later on, something went wrong and I stopped being able to use Ubuntu. I cannot remember for sure but I think I wanted to uninstall and reinstall. I removed the Windows Subsystem for Linux (control panel>add remove features>turn windows features on or off>Windows Subsystem for Linux - unchecked the box, clicked ok, and rebooted when prompted). I then put back the subsystem by going back and checking the box.

 After than, I went to the MS Store and tried to launch Ubuntu. I started getting the error about unable to access ...CanonicalGroupLimited.UbuntuonWindows... from C:\Program Files\WindowsApps. I tried many different recommendations to resolve this issue. I finally found something that worked.

 For me, going to the Start Menu on Windows and right clicking the Ubuntu tile and choosing uninstall seemed to remove the bits that were causing this issue. After uninstalling Ubuntu from there (it is not listed in the add remove programs list) I was able to go back to the store, launch, and it reinstalled successfully. Many of the issues described in this thread (and proposed solutions) did not work for me but the above steps did. I did not know about the uninstall by right clicking the tile in the Start Menu. I had thought that maybe there were leftovers in the registry or file system that made Windows think Ubuntu was fully installed when it was not. By being able to trigger the uninstall, that allowed Windows to reinstall and thereby fix the issue. I wanted to share this potential solution as so many other attempted solutions did not work.

The above steps may also work for the other Linux distros in the Microsoft Store, or possibly other MS Store installed apps.

BTW - some people have success by using the diagnostic/repair tool
It appears some temp file paths get changed and cause a breakage.  For me the repair tool did not work.

Also, the repair tool insisted UAC needed to be enabled for Ubuntu to work but that is not the case. The UAC is not required.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Updating Offline Windows 10 with NTLite and enabling .Net 3.5

For imaging I use an extracted .ISO of Windows 10 Enterprise, apply updates using WHDownloader and NTLite, and make settings changes.

One thing missing that needs to be included is the Feature .Net 3.5.  Without this, problems will most likely occur down the road.  This is not listed as an option in NTLite.
But there is an easy solution.  Click on the Updates page of NTLite.  Now browse to your extracted ISO of Windows 10. Specifically to \Sources\SXS

Drag the file and drop it on the Update page.  It will now get installed with the other updates you have selected into your updated install.wim.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Visual Studio 2015 error mscorlib mismatch when Entity Framework runs transformation

I was following the instructions on this page Databinding with WPF when I ran into an issue at the Updating code generation for data binding step.  I was getting an mscorlib version mismatch error.  I could not compile the project.

I had noticed that changing ICollection<T> to ObservableCollection never did the regeneration of the entity code.  Running 'Run Custom Tool' on the .tt file also did not work.

After some searching I came across this page mscorlib mismatch when Entity Framework runs transformations.  I installed the vs14-kb3151378.exe updated mentioned in the comments section. After the install and reopening my solution in VS 2015, the mscorlib error was gone.  The project would successfully compile.

Some posted in the comments about changing the SQL server authentication off of Integrated but I know for many of us that is very much undesirable.

If you run into this issue and have not installed KB3151378, if you are a candidate for the install, I recommend it as it may solve the issue for you too.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Outlook error 0x8000ffff attempting to add data file (.pst)

I encountered this error using Office 2016 (32-bit)  on Windows 7 x64.  Logged on to the system as a User, I opened Control Panel>Mail>Data Files and attempted to add a new data file under my default Exchange account.  All efforts led to the Error code: 0x8000ffff.

This error apparently occurs due to the path I took to add the new data file.  To successfully add a new data file use this:

Open Outlook 2016
Click File>Account Settings (big button to the right)>when it drops down click Account Settings.
This will open the Account Settings for the account in the same view as going through the Control Panel, except now a data file can be added without error.

Click Data Files tab>Add>Select the location for the file, and type the name in the box>Click OK.
The file should successfully be added this time.

Macintosh - Box Drive causes Finder to go to Not Responding for 5+ minutes

I recently ran into this issue with a user who upgraded to MacOS Catalina.  This user stores much of their data in Box Drive and uses it reg...