Tag Archives: Windows

When Windows automatic update suddenly stops updating Windows automatically

Recently we noticed that some of our test and dev servers were not updating automatically through Windows or Microsoft update.

It was real pain to find why this happened. There are numerous threads in the Internet about failed Windows update, and it is very hard to find the right answer. Luckily, I found a post in CNET forum from Jim Sheehy from Sequel Data Systems. He supports more than 800 desktops and he is writing about three possible causes of Windows update failure:

  1. The Windows Update Temporary folder is corrupted. (%windir%\SoftwareDistribution)
  2. Update Agent 3.0 is not installed properly. (Download latest Update Agent)
  3. Installer 3.1 is corrupted. (Reinstall Windows Installer 3.1 or …)

Read more at CNET forum: Help! My Windows automatic updates suddenly stopped working.

Microsoft’s PowerShell hangs when output is captured using Windows API

I was debugging a program that uses Windows API (Creating a Child Process with Redirected Input and Output) to capture stdout of Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell.

Script passed to PowerShell (-File switch) didn’t execute and PowerShell just hanged until killed by Task Manager.

It turns out that you need to use undocumented parameter “-InputFormat none”:
C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -InputFormat none -File file.ps1

This is discussed in MS Connect site: PowerShell.exe can hang if STDIN is redirected.

Similar issue at StackOverflow: Silently executing a PowerShell script from WiX Hangs PowerShell.

Windows API PlaySound error / silence

Today stumbled at strange behavior of Windows API function PlaySound in combination with SND_FILENAME flag.

There are two scenarios:

  1. No sound is played, and PlaySound returns success (TRUE) in combination with SND_ASYNC;
  2. No sound is played, and PlaySound returns failure (FALSE) when using the same wav file, but without asynchronous flag.

The cause is, that system where this is happening is Windows Server 2008 R2, which is apparently missing some WAV codec. Files coded with different codec works.