Windows 10 Start Menu and Modern Apps do not open

Out of a sudden, the start menu on my Windows 10 computer didn’t respond anymore. I noticed I was unable to open the calendar anymore as well. It caught my eye the system installed a patch (KB3093266) yesterday and decided to remove it first before continuing with my troubleshooting. After removing the patch and rebooting the system, the start menu was still not behaving as it should.

I decided to boot the computer in “safe mode” (msconfig > boot) and check if the start menu works in safe mode, which was not the case. I have to admit, it was a long shot… but you never know!

Eventually after some Google magic I found the solution on the Microsoft forums. Open a PowerShell with administrative privileges and execute the following command: “Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}“.

The execution can take some time (up to 2 minutes). Any errors listed in the powershell command can be ignored. Upon completion the Start Menu and the Modern Apps open successfully again.

Windows 10 Setup throws an error message: “something happened”

Microsoft released Windows 10 yesterday for all persons holding a valid Windows 7 or Windows 8 license key. Installation / upgrade is free of charge!

When I tried to upgrade my existing Windows 8.1 workstation to Windows 10, I encountered some troubles in launching the Windows 10 setup. The setup tool can be found on this location ( Two different versions can be obtained:

  • 64-bit application which is the first choice to install/upgrade an existing system.
  • 32-bit application for the computers with a 32-bit processor (yes, they are still around :) ).

The tool allows an in-place upgrade of the system, as well as the creation of media to deploy the operating system on another system.

Continue reading

Remove Open Firmware Password on Mac

Recently somebody asked me if I could look at her Macbook Pro which was not booting anymore. When I wanted to start the system with an OSX installation disk (booting with the “option” key pressed in), I was asked to provide the password put in place. Needless to say, I -nor the owner- knew the password.

After some research I found out the password can be easily removed by following this procedure:

  1. Power off the system.
  2. Alter the RAM configuration by adding – or removing a DIMM. In my case I removed one DIMM as the system was equipped with two slots.
  3. Start the system while holding the key combination: “cmd + opt + p + r” (PRAM zap). Keep pressing the keys until you heard three times the startup sound or chime.
  4. Power off the system and reinstall the removed DIMM.

And that’s it! You successfully removed the Open Firmware Password on your mac device!

Macbook Pro is unable to connect to AppleTV by using Airplay

So I have a Macbook Pro which is mainly used for daily operations, such as:

  • Browsing the internet in my couch;
  • Streaming music over the wifi to the Apple-TV device.

Today after reinstalling my Macbook with OSX 10.9.4 (OSX Mavericks), I was unable to connect to the Apple-TV by using the Airplay function for sound (alt + click on the sound icon). Quickly I discovered the system was falling back on the internal speakers. I rebooted the Apple-TV without success.

I kept an eye on the internal log (console) during the connection process of the system. But I was a bit astonished it remained pretty much empty without clear indication of the root cause.

Eventually I found out by rebooting the system *duh*, the issue disappears. If you are unable to restart the system, the issue can be resolved by executing the following command: “sudo kill `ps -ax | grep ‘coreaudiod’ | grep ‘sbin’ |awk ‘{print $1}’`“.

Hopefully this saves you some time..

About Wake-On-Lan & Windows 8(.1)

Recently I bought myself a new computer at home and I wanted to access it from remote. LogMeIn (Free) is my preferred choice! You can also do it by using TeamViewer. Another option is tunneling, but that seems a bit overkill.

In order to properly configure your system to wake up when a Magic Packet is received, a set of different configurations changes is required.

Continue reading

List logged on users command line

Most geeks prefer a command line manner to perform operational activities. The commands below allow listing logged on users for a particular server, as well as the ability to kick them. This can be handy when you receive a “The Terminal server exceeded has exceeded the maximum number of allowed connections”-notification.

C:\Users\ruben renders>qwinsta /SERVER:SAMPLE
0 Disc rdpwd
rdp-tcp 65536 Listen rdpwd
console 4 Conn wdcon
User01 2 Disc rdpwd
rdp-tcp#26 User02 1 Active rdpwd

C:\Users\ruben renders>rwinsta 2 /SERVER:SAMPLE

Continue reading