.NET Framework Fail Microsoft Uncategorized

#Microsoft, your .NET patching is really beginning to annoy

You know the score, you install or update something within the .NET framework and that friendly mscorsvw.exe kicks off recompiling assemblies for you (a good thing) and takes up nearly all your CPU.

But when you have an occasionally used machine, it might be nice if it did not do it for each of 10-20 patches for the framework.  And not in turn for each one.  It’s bloody annoying, especially when that machine has been turned on especially for an unplanned piece of work.
Is there a good reason it cannot be run once, after the last patch is applied?  Or is that just too sensible…
(added later)

Yes I know you can park the jobs, or run them later, or drop the priority.  But the whole point of the patching is to be done under the covers, and just done seamlessly and easily.  Not to intrude so much!

.NET Framework Six Nations Succeed Uncategorized

An afternoon of fixes, and I\’m in a good mood for the #6Nations tomorrow!

This afternoon, after some interesting supplier negotiations on behalf of a client I had some “free time”. So I looked at the “problems I really ought to look at” list.

Item 1
Patching my first and oldest server. This machine is an elderly, but perfectly serviceable dual processor box running Windows 2003. Having successfully sorted out the horrendous .NET Framework updates last year it was still objecting to a few minor Windows patches applying properly. For once, the simple step of applying a few at a time fixed it all. I’m not going to try to work out why, just take satisfaction that the box is doing what it should for once!

Item 2
I needed to replace a laptop just before a trip to the US last year, and had some fun and games whilst out there. Ever since the laptop would not let me logon with my own id. It always happened when time was at a premium so I could not be bothered. So looked around a bit more and found by accident (whilst rebooted the old server that still hosted a roaming profile), that the machine would boot when the roaming profile was missing. This led to Error message when you log on to a Windows Vista-based or Windows 7-based computer by using a temporary profile: \”The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded\”  which identified bad profile data in the registry. Now this made some sense, I think I may have wiped the local copy of the profile in the US, and not done anything more about it later. A swift deletion of the keys, a reboot, and voila! I’m in.

Now for dinner, some R&R and the Six Nations tomorrow. Come on England!

PS. For the record, the original google search term was: windows 7 64bit logon pauses cannot create profile

.NET Framework Microsoft Problem Uncategorized

When altering service startup options

If you read my previous post on sorting .NET I hope you will have noted the technique of setting services to manual or disabled whilst working on a server to prevent both slow startups and failures (or accidental user use of the service) during remediation.
Hoist, petard…
I’ve being trying to sort my vCentre boot problem this evening.  Event logs and other stuff not helping.  Eventually… …spotted I’d left a crucial service in disabled mode.  Nice of Windows to tell me a dependant service was not started!
.NET Framework Microsoft Problem Uncategorized

.NET Framework patching failures, and how to fix them

I’ve experienced a number of machines recently that just obstinately will not take the most recent patches for the 2.0 and 3.5 version of the .NET Framework.  Either patching through tools or directly through Microsoft Update just doesn’t work.
I’ve developed a process now for fixing this, it’s painful – and if it’s a windows 2003 server and you let it try to do its normal job in the meantime it might go horribly slow in the middle!  My biggest problem was a physical server that ran Backup Exec – when I was mid fix the whole server borked and the reboot took about 90 minutes – ouch.
So to the steps, firstly download the tools you need:
Now to fix things
  • Whatever function the box is installed for (and I’ve seen this problem on desktops and servers), pick a good time to take the box down – this normally takes about an hour
  • Take backups – several, including system state so that you can recover if it goes wrong.  If you are working in a virtualised world then snapshots may well be your friend (and worth taking a few during the process)
  • Configure the server to not run any facilities on it after reboots (set services to disabled or manual – I prefer disabled), remove items from the startup menu and so on.  You will be rebooting this computer a few times and you want it to be quick, and you don’t want (what will be) temporarily broken apps to fail to start.
  • Run the Windows Installer Cleanup (don’t be worried about the Microsoft Office branding – this is the right tool!) – for each .NET framework listed

  • In this case select each of the first 3 items, and click remove.   You will see command windows opened minimised (have a look if you are interested!)
  • When all instances of the .NET framework are removed, run the .NET Framework Uninstaller.  The application does not install it is a directly executed file
  • You will be asked to confirm you want to run it, and then confirm the licence. 

  • You can use the drop down to clean up each version 1 at a time, or just select all.  If you h
Editor’s note – in theory you can run this first.  I don’t because a) it takes a lot longer that way, b) the .NET Framework uninstaller tended to fail for me on some machines
  • Check the logs, and then assuming all is well, reboot the machine.
  • Now you are rebooted, install each of the .NET frameworks you should have (on Windows 2003 server I have 2.0, 3.0. and 3.5) one at a time (this will be time consuming).
  • Once the last framework is installed, reset your applications to work correctly and reboot
  • After reboot run Microsoft Update (or your patching tool of choice) and you should find the Frameworks fully patch and all is well again.
  • Depending on choices and operating system – you may get a reboot after this, so your choice as to when to return functionality to the machine may be dependent on this possibility.
There are no guarantees and your mileage might vary, but this is the most successful approach I have found.

All usual caveats apply !