Category Archives: Windows

Windows 10 search not finding applications

I recently did a clean install of Windows 10 on my primary workstation. After installing most of my apps again, I noticed that the search function in the Start Menu was only finding some of the applications I had installed. Instead of clicking on shortcuts to launch applications, I’ve grown accustomed to using Windows Key to search for the app I want to launch; a habit that stems from my time spent on a Mac using Command-Space bar to search for and launch applications. Not being able to find every app that is installed was very annoying; also puzzling since I had just done a clean install of Windows. In googling this problem, I found different answers regarding rebuilding the index cache, checking the Windows Search service, reinstalling Cortana, or deleting some registry key. I didn’t find a solution until I stumbled onto this Reddit thread – apparently if you disable background apps under Settings > Privacy > Background apps it prevents Windows Search from working correctly.

Funny enough, this answer is in the first result from my Google search above but I didn’t see it until I wrote this post; I just never bothered to scroll down far enough.

Windows Deployment Services – Event ID 772 and Capture Boot Image failure

I recently tried to set up Windows Deployment Services (WDS) on Server 2012 R2 in my home lab environment; WDS has been around since Windows 2003 and sadly I’ve never tried using it until now. It allows you to deploy Windows operating systems quickly by allowing workstations to PXE boot from a WDS server; you no longer need a DVD or USB stick with Windows on it in order to image a desktop or laptop. You can simply boot a machine via PXE and select the appropriate image to install; you can also include driver packages to be installed automatically or build your own custom images by capturing a sysprepped machine.

Installing Windows Deployment Services is straight forward; if you’ve added a Server Role before like DNS or DHCP then you’ll be familiar with the process. You can read more about it here. I already had a 2012 R2 VM running as a Domain Controller; I added the WDS role first and then the DHCP role as I needed to provide DHCP Options 60, 66 and 67. I initially only added options 66 and 67 for the server IP and boot path; I didn’t immediately notice a way to specify Option 60 and tried PXE booting my notebook anyway. The PXE boot process failed (connection timeout) and I noticed the Event Log on the WDS Server had one error concerning Event ID 772:


After looking up Event ID 772, I found the issue was due to having WDS and DHCP running on the same machine; it seems they both listen on some of the same ports which why the error log mentions “some other application is already using the port.” I fixed this by enabling the following options in the WDS Server properties:


These options can also be enabled by command line:

After enabling those options I was able to successfully boot from an install image I had added. Next I tried creating a custom install image based the Windows install that was already on my notebook. I created a capture image by following the TechNet instructions but it gave an error when I tried to boot from it; the error was a “Windows failed to start” message similar to this one:


I don’t know how but someone in this thread figured out that mounting and unmounting the capture image resolves the issue. I issued the following commands to fix my capture image:

Now I could boot my capture image and after fixing my issue with sysprep, I was able to capture and upload the Windows install on the notebook (complete with applications and drivers) to the WDS Server. I installed the image I captured but ran into an error message as Windows was booting: “Windows could not finish configuring the system”.

Sysprep – Windows could not finish configuring the system error

After installing a custom image on a notebook via Windows Deployment Services, I received the following error message as soon as the machine started:


I found this thread and decided the first solution was a bit more complicated than what I wanted to do at the time; I was about give up and chalk up the error message to a compatibility issue with some software I had installed but I decided it would be best to figure it out and know for sure. Then I found this blog post which coincidentally references the same TechNet thread I was looking at earlier. The author of the blog writes that the correct solution was booting into Safe Mode first, waiting for the error and then rebooting again solved the issue; I tried this on my notebook and it worked. It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I noticed the person who posted the first solution in the TechNet thread was using ESET Antivirus; I also have ESET on my notebook which is probably what caused the issue in the first place.

Sysprep – LaunchDll: Failure occurred while executing ‘drmv2clt.dll,Sysprep’

I was trying run Sysprep on a spare notebook in order to test image capture via Windows Deployment Services when I received a rather unhelpful error message: “A fatal error has occurred while trying to sysprep the machine.” After looking into the error log I found something more useful and ran a search for drmv2clt.dll sysprep and found the following thread:

The OP of the thread figured out that the issue was due to the “Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service” – as soon as I disabled the service I was able to run sysprep successfully. It is interesting how this thread dates back to 2009 and how another poster writes that this issue was fixed in Windows 7 RTM; I was running sysprep on a notebook running Windows 7 SP1 with all current updates.

Create USB installer for Windows 7

Sometimes I don’t remember all the commands for creating a USB installer for Windows 7; most of the time I google “ars technica usb install” to look at their great article. But here are the commands I like to use (slight variation from Ars Technica):

Open a command prompt window as administrator:

Now you can copy the contents of your Windows ISO to your flash drive and boot from it to install Windows.