Friday, July 31, 2009 #

Can I delete $NTUninstall folders in the Windows directory? ( just move them instead!)

Many posts will tell you that you should not delete the system directories entitled $NTUninstall... within your Windows or Winnt directory, and they are correct.  HOWEVER, if you are asking the question, you're most likely running out of space on your C: drive or you wouldn't be concerned about these files.  So what about moving them to another drive?  Well, I found out this options seems to be OK, as long as you know you must put them back if you need to uninstall a patch.

The $NTUninstall folder contains valuable information about each update and KB patch you install - it saves your old files so you can restore them if something goes wrong.  Each patch is also written to the registry - a good article about removing the registry and the entries can be found at

 After I installed Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, my drive was down to less than a gig of space - I needed to move files off.  So, I created a folder on my D: drive and moved the $NTUninstall files to that drive. 

Then I found that my browser had stopped working due to the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, as did my Commtouch AntiSpam software! After much googling, I discovered it appeared to be due to KB 951748 - a security patch for DNS client that caused the DNSAPI to randomly select a port rather than use the static port 53.  While the change Microsoft made to the DNSAPI wasn't very well documented, it appears to really have impacted folks with Zone Alarm.  At any rate, I needed to remove this KB, and was very concerned since I had moved my $NTUninstall files. 

But sure enough, I moved the $NTUninstallKB951748 directory from my D: drive back to my C:Windows directory, went into the Control Panel->Add/Remove Programs, clicked on "View Updates" (an important step in viewing your updates!), found the KB patch, and removed it.

I am writing about my real life scenario to illustrate the reason you should keep your $NTUninstall files.  But, I'm also writing to show you that there is an alternative if you need disk space that can work - move them to another drive, but DO NOT delete the registry entries for them.  When you need to restore, drag them back to your Windows folder.  Oh, and if you have lost your ability to browse the internet, consider removing KB951748.

Happy computing!


posted @ Friday, July 31, 2009 10:07 AM | Feedback (0)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 #

Windows XP error STOP: c000021a {fatal system error} windows subsystem system

Alright, so if you've googled the above error, you, like me have probably just installed Windows XP service pack 2 or 3 and are now experiencing the Blue Screen Of Death after you login to Windows XP, with the following error:

STOP: c000021a {fatal system error} The windows subsystem system has terminated unexpectedly....

I've gone to many blogs and tried to figure out how to solve this issue.  Some blogs point to anti-virus issues, so this is what led me to my solution - disable all anti-virus/firewall items.  Before I found the solution below, I had tried going into "Safe Mode" and uninstalling my Symantec Virus Protection, but you can't run Uninstall in Safe Mode!!!  It seemed like a catch 22!

The solution that worked for me is as follows:

1) Boot into Windows XP in Safe Mode (hold down the F8 function key when you turn on your computer, and you'll be given the option.

2) Go into your Services tab - Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services.

3) Scan down the list for ANYTHING Symantec - double click on it, and where it says "Startup Type", click "Disable", then click "OK".  There should be about 5-10 items that are Symantec based.  I also had "PC Tools Spyware removal" running - I disabled that as well.

4) Look for Windows Firewall or Windows Defender - disable both of those.

5) Now, close out, reboot, and login regularly into Windows XP.

6) Now you should be able to uninstall Symantec Anti-Virus.  Your machine should be stable enough to run Windows Update and get your machine back to a stable state.  While I was uninstalling Symantec Anti-Virus, I got a few errors, but Windows XP didn't crash to the blue screen.  After I uninstalled Symantec Anti Virus and Windows Defender, I rebooted my computer.  Then I was able to use the machine without the blue screen of death.

NOTE: I don't know how to get Symantec Anti-Virus back on your machine - if you take it off, make sure you know how to reinstall it or you may not be able to - but at least you'll be able to use your machine!

Obviously, this isn't a magic bullet for all blue screens of death.  But in my case, because I was running anti-virus, I believe Symantec was trying to quarantine some of my files.  I've seen enough other people with similar problems to blog about it - I hope your problem is solved with the above steps!



posted @ Wednesday, June 10, 2009 9:37 AM | Feedback (0)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 #

Offbeat: PC streaming choppy audio to home stereo via Motorola DC800 Bluetooth Receiver

Call me late to the game, but a friend just told me about internet radio - I absolutely LOVE it.  Between that and my iTunes on my Dell LatitudeD830 laptop with Bluetooth, I decided to buy a Motorola DC800 bluetooth home stereo adapter, thinking it would be a much better solution than being tethered to my stereo by a long cord.

I bought one off eBay and waited anxiously for it to arrive.  When it did, I installed it, paired it (very easy if you've ever paired a bluetooth device), sat back and started streaming beautiful music.   If....  you.. beautiful...

Yes, to my dismay, my bluetooth endeavor was some of the worst quality music - choppy, high pitched shrills.  I was horrified.  After trying about twenty different things, I went into my audio settings ( Control Panel -> Sound Speech and Audio devices -> Sound and Audio Device Properties).  On the Audio tab, my devices were all set to my Sigma Tel Audio. 

I went to the Volume Tab, selected the Advanced button at the bottom, then clicked on the Performance Tab. I set my Hardware to "Basic" (moving the slider bar down as much as possible).  I then hit Apply. 

The next time I came back in, my audio drivers had "Bluetooth Wave" added, and perfect sound quality was being streamed to my stereo!!!


Before I got my DC800, I had a cable directly to my stereo.  This provided superior quality when compared to the bluetooth.  But, I like the ability to sit across the room so I'm willing to accept a bit of degradation.  And it really isn't degraded that much.  Now I'm free to work while listening to iTunes or Pandora.  I highly recommend the DC800 if you can get one cheap.  Don't expect CD quality, but it is better than many FM stations in our area.



posted @ Wednesday, May 13, 2009 4:53 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, April 25, 2008 #


Welcome to my blog.  Currently it's basically some technical Microsoft .NET, Oracle and SQL Server stuff I figure out and want to contribute to the cause, but who knows where it will go!

For techies, the blog software I'm using is - SubText.  It was surprisingly easy to set up.  If you look under their installation procedures, you'll see there is even a 5 minute presentation that guides you through the setup process.  One thing that wasn't mentioned in the setup process was that you need to override the 404 error message in your site's IIS configuration under "Custom Error Messages" and set it to /SystemMessages/FileNotFound.aspx - something that was frustrating at first as blog posts were not displaying.

posted @ Friday, April 25, 2008 5:42 PM | Feedback (1)

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