Reseat and clean contacts on memory modules

Computer memory can fail and it usually causes reliability problems, unless ECC memory is used.

My preferred memory testing tool is: Memtest86+

 

Normal procedure is to test memory modules individually in different memory sockets, to identify the failing memory module or socket.

This entails reseating the memory modules. (Before handling memory modules please take anti-static precautions)

Modern memory buses use high frequency low voltage signals. They need a good electrical connection to work reliably.

Sometimes the process of reseating the memory modules can solve the problem, if it was caused by an electrical connection issue.

 

If memory tests continue to fail and the memory module is out of warranty, before replacing it you can try cleaning the contacts on the memory module for dust, dirt or corrosion.

I suggest using a piece of cloth with rubbing alcohol.

After cleaning, test the memory module again. If memory tests can run without errors for 24 hours, then the problem is likely fixed.

Run diskpart clean twice

When trying to clear a USB memory stick with diskpart I encountered this error:

DISKPART> clean

DiskPart has encountered an error: Access is denied.
See the System Event Log for more information.

 

The System event log contained this error from VDS Basic Provider:

Cannot zero sectors on disk \\?\PhysicalDrive2. Error code: 5@0101000F

 

The problem was solved simply by running clean again:

DISKPART> clean

DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

 

After that a partition could be created and formatted.

 

Warning: Always be very careful when using diskpart.

In order to avoid data loss make sure to list disks, select the correct disk and list disks again before running diskpart clean.

Windows file permissions: High Mandatory Level

I encountered a problem when following the guide: WinPE: Create a Boot CD, DVD, ISO, or VHD

 

I chose to create a new .vhdx file directly under C:\ for testing in Hyper-V

Later I moved the .vhdx file to C:\Hyper-V

I actually got this dialog when moving the file, but just went ahead with Continue without considering the implications.

00_Administrator_permission_to_move_this_file

 

When I tried to attach the .vhdx to a virtual machine I got this error message:

01_User_Account_does_not_have_permissions

Failed to modify device ‘Virtual Hard Disk’.

User Account does not have permission to open attachment.

 

I checked the file permissions and noticed:

02_High_Mandatory_Level

Integrity level: High Mandatory Level

 

I also checked the permissions with:

C:\>icacls c:\Hyper-V\WinPE_amd64_PS.vhdx
c:\Hyper-V\WinPE_amd64_PS.vhdx BUILTIN\Administrators:(I)(F)
NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(I)(F)
BUILTIN\Users:(I)(RX)
NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users:(I)(M)
Mandatory Label\High Mandatory Level:(I)(NW)

Successfully processed 1 files; Failed processing 0 files

 

The high integrity level was causing the problem, but how to remove it?

The easiest solution was to lower the integrity level with:

icacls c:\Hyper-V\WinPE_amd64_PS.vhdx /setintegritylevel medium

After that the file could be attached and used.

 

Conclusion

If high integrity level on a file causes problems, it can be lowered with icacls.

Generally avoid creating files directly under C:\, because it can lead to problems like this.

Change Windows PE keyboard layout

I was experimenting with Windows PE for deployment and servicing.

The default keyboard layout is American. I wanted to use Danish keyboard layout instead.

The keyboard layout can be changed to Danish with:

wpeutil SetKeyboardLayout 0406:00000406

 

Be aware that the setting does not affect the initial cmd window.

It will however affect all other programs run hereafter.

Another cmd window (with the new keyboard layout) can be opened with:

start cmd

(Dont’t close the initial cmd window. That will make Windows PE restart)

 

Microsoft has a list of locale IDs: Locale IDs Assigned by Microsoft

As another example the locale ID for Swedish is 0x41d, so Swedish keyboard layout can be set with:

wpeutil SetKeyboardLayout 041d:0000041d

 

The same principle applies to other languages.

Replace default Windows 10 Intel graphics driver

After installing Windows 10 I experienced problems with screen corruption, (unwanted) screen cloning and occasional graphics driver crashes.

The graphics driver also seemed to cause performance and stability problems for some programs.

Intel Graphics driver version 10.18.15.4256 installed by Windows Update worked poorly for me.

 

Windows 10 forces particular driver updates as standard.

I wanted to use the latest Intel graphics driver to avoid the problems described above.

 

This was accomplished by:

1. Identfying the CPU using CPU-Z and finding the latest compatible graphics driver at: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/

2. Downloading and unpacking the .zip driver package.

3. Updating and choosing the driver using Device Manager.

4. Disabling driver updates.

 

I found a number of ways to disable driver updates here:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/take-back-control-driver-updates-windows-10/

The method that worked for me was changing the value of registry key SearchOrderConfig from 1 to 0.

Under: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DriverSearching

Conclusion

The default graphics driver delivered by Windows Update may not be the most reliable version.

In some cases it can be relevant to install a different driver version and disabling driver updates.