Internet Image Search

Do you use Google Images or Bing. Images to look for resources online? Do you do it on your class based computers or even in the staff wor. the k room if you have one? You should be aware that these services bypass some filtering used by LEAs.

Why does this happen?

From what I can tell google images and Bing Images uses a cache (or local copy) of these images as a thumb nail so they can better categorise and speed up responses. As they plough through the internet sorting, categorising websites they keep a log and the images are given a unique name not related to the subject in the image. This would be a reason why they make it through the filters at a thumbnail level. However clicking on the image and then navigating to the website the image belongs to tends to be blocked so some level of normal protection is returned.

HTTPS also plays a part. The secure nature of https means that filtering software is unable to read the information being requested by the end-user. LEA’s can’t simply block all https traffic as it isn’t all bad and most of it is needed. In the old days this wouldn’t have been a problem but thanks to the big brother approach in America and lots of other country’s people and service providers i.e. google, bing, Facebook now offer this https as a standard feature. Thus protecting the end user by making it difficult for filters to see what is good internet browsing and what is bad.

If https was blocked and the image features of search engines was blocked productivity in schools would drop so how can you better protect your students, staff and hardware?

A three prong approach:

1) Training
Staff and students need to be shown how to search the internet safely. What words should and shouldnt be used. What combinations of words should be used. A well planned and structured session of CPD for the staff and a good ICT lesson on ICT and online safety will help.

2)Safety default safety features
Google and Bing have safety features that turn on a more restricted view of the internet. These features are good but aren’t 100%.

3) Software protection
End point protection through 3rd party applications can offer a quicker response to issues highlighted to ICT staff. A response from the LEA can sometimes take a while to filter down to the school.An application like Sophos can be used to block specific websites as well as categories. Using this we can force all of the clients to update and block the offending websites within minuets, next update check or when the computer first boots. This feature is limited within Sophos but it gives a broad stroke using url’s rather than letting you enter key words.

I should point out that most LEA filters are set to a high standard response times are generally an acceptable length of time when you are dealing with student protection.


Windows 8.1 – Useful Tip #3

Did you know that the Windows 3.5 dotnet framework is disabled in Windows 8, 8.1 and Server 2012 that’s because they all ship with 4.0 dotnet. To enable this feature so older software (the type we use in a school all the time) you need to have two things:

  1. The install media for the relevant OS
  2. Run this command DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:NetFx3 /All /LimitAccess /Source:d:\sources\sxs

Source:d is the location of the media in this case d: you just need to change it to match the path for your media. I have tried it using the install DVD and mounting an ISO directly on the OS we need to enable the feature on. – Good to know for Virtual Machines :)

Bill Gates Windows 8.1 issue.

Who or what was said behind the doors at this office. Oh to be a fly on the wall for a day.

” REDMOND, WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Bill Gates’s first day at work in the newly created role of technology adviser got off to a rocky start yesterday as the Microsoft founder struggled for hours to install the Windows 8.1 upgrade.” –

Just a reminder that you need to take everything with an open mind when you read things online. Who knows how true this article is it just made me laugh at the thought… enjoy.

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HP Laptop Probook Not Powering Up – Quick Tip

Has your HP laptop stopped working all of a sudden do you see a amber light flash several (I counted 8) times above the power port and then it goes out? If you have these sort of issues then the below steps might help.

  • Remove the battery and power cable
  • hold down the power button for 60m seconds
  • let go of the power button and plug the power cable back in.
  • Let Windows boot as normal then do a clean power down…
  • Put the battery back in and boot up.

If this has worked for you then you should double check the HP website for a BIOS update for your laptop. If they haven’t got one then this little tip might be worth saving in the memory banks.



Happy New Year

2013 has been and gone quicker than a SSD OS boot. However its been a year of firsts: Spencer our Spoodle and the latest member of the family our daughter Nia.

I hope you all have a great 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by Neil. No Comments

Support for Windows XP & Office 2003 Ends soon…

So Microsoft have called an end to support for Windows XP and Office 2003 next year, April the 8th to be exact. So all those schools that are for some reasons running Windows XP it’s time to update to Windows 8.1 or even Windows 7. 

If you have bought your licenses outright may I suggest you take a look at the Microsoft School Agreement. Its a good way to keep your school up to date with the latest software at no additional cost.

Check out the XP support site for info about the End of XP .

You have been logged on with a Temporary Profile

Every now and then you might see a user log on to a computer with a temporary profile and deleting the users via:

  • System
  • Advanced System Settings
  • User Profiles
  • Delete selected user

This is the best way recommended by a quick internet search but even after a doing this and restarting the computer you can sometimes still get the “Temporary Profile” message when the user next logs on. This is sometimes due to some information being left over in the registry about the user. I find that 99% of the time checking the registry and removing anything to do with the users profile in question sorts the problem:

So please try the following steps to see if it helps:

  1. Load up regedit via the run box (Windows + R then type regedit)
  4. Microsoft
  5. Windows NT
  6. CurrentVersion
  7. ProfileList
    • Go through the long numbers folders listed within and look for any that have the faulty username in it.
    • CentralProfile, ProfileImagePath and other containers in the list should have the name.
  8. Delete the highest entry for that profile and restart the computer.

Your user should now be able to logon and not suffer from the temporary profile issue. If you want to reset the offline files check out this post.

4 Updates You Need for IE10.

Internet Explorer 10 is now live and kicking for Windows 7 users… If you want to make sure your users are getting the latest technology from Microsoft (Other browsers are available) then you will need to make sure you have the following 4 updates already installed on your clients or being pushed out from your WSUS.

    • An update for the Segoe UI symbol font in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2 is available
    • An update that provides new APIs for conversion between local time and UTC in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2 is available
    • Microsoft Security Advisory: Insecure library loading could allow remote code execution
    • A platform update is available for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

So far I have no complaints about IE 10 it does what I want it to in fact it does rendering and loading of pages a lot quicker than IE 9… You will also need to make sure SP1 is installed on your Windows 7 Machine.

WSUS Connection Error – Windows Internal Database Failure

One day I was plodding along happily running WSUS on my server and then the next day bang I couldn’t for the life of me connect to the server via the management console. I double checked the Windows Internal Database and found that it wouldn’t start… something funky had happened during the last round of updates and hotfixes id applied the evening before…

Windows Update is a must for me I need it and no matter what I tried I couldn’t get the thing to work. Days of searching and looking through forums and other TechNet sites I failed. But some how I have managed to get it up and running again. So if your interested keep reading this (what I can only imaging will be a long post) and I will list the steps I took to get it back up and running. A quick note -



Windows Internal Server needs to be removed:

Run following command:

  • On 32-bit platforms: msiexec /x {CEB5780F-1A70-44A9-850F-DE6C4F6AA8FB} callerid=ocsetup.exe
  • On 64-bit platforms: msiexec /x {BDD79957-5801-4A2D-B09E-852E7FA64D01} callerid=ocsetup.exe

Next you need to carry out some registry edits and delete some files to…

I would recommend a full registry backup/export before starting…

Delete the following Directories and Registry keys:

  • HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\WSUS
  • HKLM\Software\Microsoft\UpdateServices
  • HKLM\software\Microsoft\windows\currentversion\installer\userdata\s-1-5-18\products Look under Each GUID > InstallProperties  On the right side look for a with Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP Delete the GUID
  • HKLM\Software\Classes\installer\Products\25B648799C414CF4EB36EF60FA054124 (Look through each GUID.  The default GUID for WSUS is 25B648799C414CF4EB36EF60FA054124) On the right side look for a with Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP
  • HKLM\System\CCS\Services\WSUS:  and others
  • HKLM\System \CCS\Services\WSusCertServer
  • HKLM\System \CCS\Services\WsusService
  • HKCRoot\wsuscertserver.certmanager
  • HKCRoot\wsuscertserver.certmanager.1
  • HKCRoot\wsuscertserver.Utilites
  • HKCRoot\wsuscertserver.Utilites.1
  • MWUS Installation Failed (Error 0×80070643: Fatal error during installation.)Also Delete All of the WSUS Folders for: HKCR\wsuscertserver.certmanager

Delete the following from IIS:

  • WSUS Administration Virtual Directory
  • Application Pool > WsusPool
  • Reboot the server

Rename the following folders:

  • Stop the “Update Services”  service
  • C:\Program files\Update services (Delete everything in the Update Services folder but leave the “Common” Folder)
  • C:\WSUS  (Be sure to rename on all drives)

Download WSUS 3.0 Sp2:

Run the setup:

  • Select radio button for “Full Server Installation Including Administration Console”
  • Choose the drive that you would like for the installation to be Installed.  :\WSUS
  • Choose the drive for the Database option of :\WSUS
  • Select Next until you get to the Database usage.  Choose the “Create new database”
  • Select Next all the way to the End of the installation.
  • If you get an error message towards the end of the of the installation and a role back occurs delete the entire folder: C:\Program files\Update services
  • Run the setup file again
  • If you are able to make it all the way through the setup and able to synch your WSUS server as you wanted to were done! If however you get the error message below when you entered the proxy details please try the next step below.

WebException: The request failed with the error message:

<html><head><title>Object moved</title></head><body>
<h2>Object moved to <a href=”%2fmicrosoftupdate%2fv6%2ferrorinformation.aspx%3ferror%3d15″>here</a>.</h2>

at System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHttpClientProtocol.ReadResponse(SoapClientMessage message, WebResponse response, Stream responseStream, Boolean asyncCall)
   at System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHttpClientProtocol.Invoke(String methodName, Object[] parameters)
   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.ServerSyncWebServices.ServerSync.ServerSyncProxy.GetAuthConfig()
   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.ServerSync.ServerSyncLib.InternetGetServerAuthConfig(ServerSyncProxy proxy, WebServiceCommunicationHelper webServiceHelper)
   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.ServerSync.ServerSyncLib.Authenticate(AuthorizationManager authorizationManager, Boolean checkExpiration, ServerSyncProxy proxy, Cookie cookie, WebServiceCommunicationHelper webServiceHelper)
   at Microsoft.UpdateServices.ServerSync.CatalogSyncAgentCore.SyncConfigUpdatesFromUSS()
Download a hotfix for the WSUS


Points of interest.

  • I have deleted all of my previously downloaded update patches and have started from scratch.
  • WSUS and the clients should start to report back to you in a couple of hours.
  • Patches and updates reported as needed by a client but aren’t on the server should be downloaded automatically
  • Double check your rules if you have any.
  • If you want to force some clients to check in with the server then see this post Client Side Windows Update for the commands needed to force a call back to the server.

Hope this helps.

Windows Update Server – Useful Tip #1

Just a quick tip. If you are running out of space on your update server. Run the clean up wizard and follow the onscreen wizard. Delete any unused or surpassed updates. This can delete GB of data from your server. If your worried about new clients missing the old updates dont worry! From what I have seen the server will download the needed updates again for computers that are missing the updates. I run the clean up wizard once every two months.