Tag Archives: Windows 10

SSH on Windows 10

I remember that they (Microsoft) mentioned the bash shell on Windows 10 a while ago and other Linux/Ubuntu integration stuff but at the time it seemed to be just a gimmick.

But since I’m looking into Nagios and some Windows monitoring I now the need to daily connect to my Nagios server making configuration changes. So far I’ve been using good old Putty/WinSCP and it works well. Then I started looking at a way to generate configurations files for some Windows machines and upload them automatically via PowerShell (or it could end up being another tool created in C# eventually). This is how I stumble across the Windows 10 built in SSH functionality – it’s been there for at least a year! (since build 1803).

That means you can simply use the ssh command in a Windows command shell (or PowerShell) and send commands to your Linux server. To start it simple open a command prompt (cmd.exe) and run ssh:

As can be seen it supports all the basics of any ssh client.

So that cover the basics. The real power comes when you start mixing it with PowerShell and proper scripting and/or batch files.

One very interesting (and incredibly useful) example is something Scott Hanselman posted – how to automatically log into a remote linux machine – see this.

Windows 10 upgrade survival guide

So I’ve been through the process to upgrade 3 machines (2 laptops and one desktop so far) to Windows 10 with a 33% success rate… yeah, I know that does not sound that promising. The other 66% I managed to fix with ‘resets’ which is basically a fresh install. In the end that comes to (technically) 99%. There are a few things that isn’t 100%… (small) things that are still causing some headaches – this guide is not about them.

So I decided to create this post to help others with the process. This will not be a all-out guide to upgrading because I’m sure I didn’t experience ALL the troubles you can have while upgrading to Windows 10.

Before the install

First tip I have is to rather use the Windows 10 Media creation tool to download the full ISO ( https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 ). The reasons for this are simply because then you have control over the download and if that fails the actual upgrade process does not fail at the same time. Secondly, you can then use the same ISO image to upgrade multiple machines without having to download the same ‘stuff’ multiple times.

Second tip is to prepare your machine for the upgrade by backing up (always a good idea) and cleaning any unused stuff – like uninstall applications which you really don’t use anymore as all applications whether you use it or not has to go through the upgrade process (be part of it) and can increase the duration time of the upgrade. The same applies to any unused hardware and drivers. Just get rid of them before you start. Unplug any external USB flash/hard drives. The Windows 10 upgrade process also checks for compatibility in case you missed something that is not compatible. Also, save of make a copy (or even a screenshot) of any saved passwords (e.g. those that are stored in your browser).

Thirdly it is useful to have a backup of all your drivers (yes, even those that you don’t even have the original disk for anymore!). I use a simple too like DriverBackup! ( http://sourceforge.net/projects/drvback/ ) but you can use any similar tool. In some cases Windows 8.x drivers should be compatible with Windows 10 (but don’t quote me on that). If for some reason Windows 10 did not recognize your hardware after the upgrade you can try to point device manager’s check for updated drivers to this driver backup directory.

4th’ly check for any outstanding Windows updates (yes the upgrade tool can also do this but it is better that you do this manually and you get to choose what/when/how this gets installed).

Lastly uninstall your anti-virus software (yes, that thing that hogs your machine worse than a virus itself). Some (possibly all) anti-virus software have been known to cause problems while doing Windows upgrades. You can re-install your anti-virus software after the upgrade if it is supported (might need to be upgraded to a Windows 10 compatible version in any case).

The Install

All of this and you haven’t even started the upgrade yet! phew… hehe

To start the upgrade process you can either create a DVD from the ISO using you favorite DVD burning tool (even Windows explorer in Windows 7 have an option to burn to DVD) or you can use a tool to open the ISO like a zip file (e.g. 7-zip which is free – http://www.7-zip.org/ ) and extract all the files somewhere on your hard drive. Once this is done simply run the Setup.exe in the root directory of this DVD/extracted directory. At this stage choose the option NOT to ‘also download updates’ (since you already did that during tip number 4).

The rest of the install process is mostly automated – with multiple reboots… crashes… bluescreens… just joking. If it does crash it should roll back and restore the previous version of Windows (this I’ve experienced a few times with the Insider previews so it does work). Just sit back and relax… right…

Post installation

Post the installation you are given some options to choose privacy options. For my taste I choose to disable most of them (like the typing and advertising settings which are enabled by default). Also, the Wireless Sense stuff I also disable (old habits of not trusting others…). When prompted for default apps you can choose to customize and then un-tick the ones presented as replacements. In my opinion the default should be to keep you existing default apps (like browser, music player etc) and have the new Microsoft alternatives as suggestions – not forced down you computing throat.

Wrap up

Ok, so once the setup/installation part is done and you are back at your desktop there are a couple of things to check and make sure all is happy in Windows 10 land. One of the first things I always check after such an upgrade is that all hardware (drivers) are properly installed. You can check this (in Windows 10) by right clicking on the new Start button (yes right-click on the start button actually does something useful – if you come from Windows 7 world) and choose ‘Device Manager’. Check for any yellow/red warning triangles (usually it should be very obvious as the tree nodes will be expanded by default showing the problem components). At this stage you can right click of the problematic component/tree node and choose ‘Update Driver Software’.

Try the online search option first as that ‘should’ get the latest available driver if any exists (and the device has been recognized). If it doesn’t work to ‘fix’ the device then try the same procedure again but this time choose the ‘Browse my computer…’ option and specify the driver backup directory as created in tip no. 3. (or if you happen to have the original disk that came with the device… what?? anyone keep those disks?? hehe). If this does not work try searching the manufacturer’s web site for updated drivers. Chances are that they won’t have Windows 10 drivers yet as it takes time to create and certify those drivers. In some cases Windows 8.1 drives ‘may’ work but… don’t quote me on that either. If all of this does not work then.. it just wasn’t meant to be… for now 🙂

Troubleshooting (Update)

If for some reason after this upgrade you experience problems like hardware devices bot working (even if drivers are installed and seems to be ok) or you get Blue screens of death (yes, they’re still blue) you can try to do a Windows ‘Reset’. This is rather destructive as far as your applications goes but at least your ‘Data’ files stay in tack.

If you can get into Windows (in case you don’t have Blue screen of death on login) you can go to Settings -> Recovery and Choose the ‘Reset this PC’ option. Choose to keep your files… unless you don’t want them anymore…

Alternatively if for some reason can can’t do this from within Windows itself make/obtain a bootable image (DVD or of your machine supports it – USB) and boot up from it. After selecting the languages and stuff on the first screen you will see a ‘Repair’ option on the second screen you get. From there you can select ‘Troubleshooting’ (or something like that since I don’t have that screen open now) and then ‘Reset this PC’. Remember to choose ‘Keep my files’. After that it will start (re)installing just like a full installation, multiple reboots etc. and eventually back at the login screen. At that point you’ll have a fairly ‘blank’ Windows installation with nothing but the default Windows applications installed. Your files will still be there but any applications you use that didn’t came with Windows itself will need to be reinstalled. Sometimes this actually might be a good thing to get rid of all the crap one has installed over the years…


All-in-all I think Windows 10 does have more positives than (drumroll) negatives. There are things I really don’t like about it but then there are some I do (like). Once you get it up and running it does seem to be worth the trouble. Happy Windows 10ing… (but I will miss my Windows 7)

Windows 10 upgrade blues

I’ve been the (un)lucky one that hit the issue where a number of my test VMs all fail to upgrade from build 10159 to 10162. Despite trying all those integrity scans (chkdsk c: /f /r /x) or cleanups (Disk cleanups with remove previous builds) it always failed at around 40%. This was happening on multiple machines (VMs) – some on VirtualBox and even one on Hyper-V.

Checking the setuperr.log file it always seemed the following line was the culprit:

Error      [0x018046] CSI    0000013b (F) Failed execution of queue item Installer: ServiceModelReg Installer ({79675b3f-2054-4efd-aa9d-e1830916be47}) with HRESULT HRESULT_FROM_WIN32(52).  Failure will not be ignored: A rollback will be initiated after all the operations in the installer queue are completed; installer is reliable[gle=0x80004005]

Unfortunately the Internet (Google and Bing) wasn’t kind finding any help on this. Then out of desperation I looked at some of the ‘earlier’ errors which seemed to be ignored and that is all related tp IIS App pool (since I have IIS and Visual Studio 2015 RC installed). I even tried uninstalling Visual Studio on one instance but still no luck. In a moment of almost pure madness I launched the ‘Windows Features’ from Control panel and simply removed IIS from the current installation (including HTTP Activation from the .Net installs). It does not make sense that Microsoft would break their upgrade process due to one of their own technologies but there you have it!

Rerun the upgrade again and… whola it works.

Update: I’ve now confirmed this on 3 different machines. 2 VirtualBox VMs and one Hyper-V VM.

Update 2: Seems the problem is more about having both .Net 3.x and 4.x HttpActivation features on at the same time – http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/insider_wintp-insider_install/bug-upgrade-81-to-windows-build-10162-fails-if/228b1433-823e-4cd4-90da-72be01c592fb?auth=1


Windows 10 in VirtualBox video driver crashes (fix)

I’ve been running a copy (actually 2) of Windows 10 insider preview (build 130 currently) and regularly experience the issue where the video driver provided by VirtualBox crashes and the resolution drops to a standard size using the default Windows 10 display driver. The issue is Oracle (makers of VirtualBox) has not created a new video driver for Windows 10 yet – it is still the default one for Windows 8.x so it probably hasn’t been tested and optimized properly for Windows 10.

To fix the video drive I used to restart the VM which then restores the video driver and restores the resolution prior to the crash. Fortunately I came across some forum posting about another issue I know about on Windows 8 on ATI GPUs where the mouse cursor becomes corrupt that suggests to simply go to Device Manager and disable and then enable the video driver itself to fix the problem. Turns out this also works for Windows 10 video driver crashes. Doing it should not ‘break’ anything since the video driver is in a crashed state anyway when you disable it. After enabling it again Windows 10 automatically restores the previous resolution and all is happy in Insider Preview land again…

Update: I found a way to automate this solution using PowerShell! Using device-management-powershell-cmdlets I created a script that disables and then re-enables the display driver. e.g.

Import-Module "C:\Program Files\Common Files\DeviceManagement\DeviceManagement.psd1"
$DisplayDevice = Get-Device | Where-Object -Property Name -like "VirtualBox Graphics Adapter for Windows 8*"
Disable-Device -TargetDevice $DisplayDevice
Enable-Device -TargetDevice $DisplayDevice

This is assuming you copied the downloaded module to “C:\Program Files\Common Files\DeviceManagement”

Update: I probably should say ‘Touch Wood’ but ever since I upgraded to VirtualBox 5.0 I haven’t had any Display driver crashes again (on Windows 10 build 10166)

Windows 10 guest in VirtualBox – better GPU driver support

Just a heads-up for anyone that might be having issues with display driver issues in VirtualBox. There is an updated (test version) of the VBoxGuestAdditions add-ons available. See the following thread:


Direct download link: https://www.virtualbox.org/download/testcase/VBoxGuestAdditions_4.3.27-99864.iso

In the thread they also make other suggestions like turning 3D acceleration off if you can’t do anything else.

PowerShell ISE on Windows 10 (10049 preview)

Just a quick tip how to get to the PowerShell ISE in Windows 10 which they (MS) seems to be trying to hide away… 🙂

Launch the normal PowerShell command window – “All Apps – Windows System – Windows PowerShell”. Once it is running pin it to the taskbar. Now if you right click on the pinned icon it will include a menu option under Tasks for ‘Run ISE as Administrator’ and ‘Windows PowerShell ISE’.

You can then launch the ISE and pin that to the taskbar as well if you like…


Upgrading Windows 10 from 10041 to 10049 issues

I’ve been running a copy of Windows 10 (build 10041) in a VirtualBox VM and had major problems trying to update it to build 10049 (yes on the fast track). Other than the fact that the update/install takes extremely long it also seems to get stuck at 30% – after having being running for more than 24 hours already! I tried multiple times and each time it got stuck at the same time.

So I ventured out on that thing the Internet and found possible related posts of other people having similar issues (on VMWare or even physical installs) – all complaining about the 30% mark where things get stuck. One suggestion caught my eye – sorry, lost the original link to that but basically it suggests disconnecting the network (or pulling the network cable on physical install) just after the update download finished. Additionally some VMWare people suggested removing their VMWare client tools.

So I tried the same on my VirtualBox install. First I uninstalled the VirtualBox client tools. Then I started the install (download). Once the download finished (again…) I disconnected the network (unticked ‘Cable Connected’) and whoa! The install jumped to 30% almost straight away, stayed there for a minute or two (almost made me think this is all for nothing..) and then the progress bar started moving again. Another reboot around 75% and then all were done! Wow!

Well, at least now I’m ‘back’ at build 10049 waiting for the next one (10051)…