Windows Media Center – Slap in the face

It would seem that Microsoft has abandoned Windows Media Center early with a big slap in the face to existing users. Earlier this spring Microsoft announced that WMC would not be available in Windows 10. Great I won’t upgrade, I can still use my WMC with Windows 8.1, 7 or Vista right? Wrong!

Shortly after the official release of Windows 10, Microsoft also decided to switch TV guide providers from Zap2it to Rovi (This was to align the guide that was being used within Xbox One). So what is the issue, well if you already use WMC, you already know. Rovi works for a handful of people, the rest of us are left without any guide information. You are left with Windows Media Center no guide information.

No guide = no recordings = unhappy.

Most of us have spent countless hours trying fixes and workarounds that we’ve Googled to no avail. There are countless forums and posts all with the same common theme.

Nice job Microsoft. Good job testing this out. By the ridiculous amount of complaints on, I assume no testing was done. Microsoft has at least acknowledged there is an issue and is working on it based on a post at the Green Button. I implore you to express your dissatisfaction to Microsoft at the feedback link above.

As a loyal WMC users since it came out with XP, I’ve very disappointed that this transition was not done properly.

In the mean time, stay tuned, I may share my successes or frustrations attempting to find a replacement media center.

Access Denied when accessing a new disk on Windows Server 2012 in ESX

Recently I struggled with adding a second disk (anything other than C:) to an ESX guest running Windows 2012.   I could add the disk.  I could see it in Disk Management, initialize the disk and format it.  When I went to access it… Access Denied.  Windows was unable to access the disk.

After much searching I seemed to remember a buddy of mine having this problem.  Turns out it was the same.  I searched my email and found the solution he sent me.  Thanks Craig!

The cause is the HotAdd/HotPlug capability in ESXi.  It had to be disabled.  Once that was done, Windows could see the disk again.

Here’s the KB article from VMware:


WordPress, Wow!

I don’t know why I didn’t switch years earlier.  No offence to my old blog software, but I’m in awe of WordPress.  It is so mature and simple to use.  The features are amazing.

Please Read: If you didn’t find your post.

I recently updated my Blog Software and some of the links from other sites may be broken.  All the posts have been migrated.  I’ve created redirectors of my old URLs to most of my popular posts, so hopefully there is little interruption.

Here’s a small list of quick links of some of my more popular posts:

Change the default way a user is displayed in the GAL and AD.

Add extra columns to Active Directory Users and Computers display

Creating a 2003 AD external trust through a firewall

Multithreaded ping sweeping in VB.NET 2005

If you don’t see the post you want, please use the search box at the top right to search for the post.

Sorry for any inconvenience.


Blog Changed

I took the plunge and decided to change my blogging software.  I’ve been using BlogEngine.NET for the last 6 years and it has served me well.   I originally chose BlogEngine.NET as I am a programmer and I was familiar with .NET and C#.   If I wanted, I could customize my blog the way I like it.  Other than tweaking some themes, that never happened.

I decided to switch to WordPress for some features and options that I wanted.  It was also becoming arduous and time consuming doing the upgrade process with BlogEngine.NET.   I still have to find a theme I like, but will most likely port my old theme.


Site down

Sorry the site was up and down for a few days.  I was upgrading versions and had some issues.  Hopefully all is stable once again.

Updated website

It’s been a long time, but I finally updated the website to a newer version of BlogEngine.NET.  I had to make a theme change as my custom theme wasn’t compatible.

Update to Minecraft Starter

I updated the Micecraft starter with an option to allow it to go into the system tray.

I updated the file on the main post with the latest version.


Minecraft Starter for Windows

The other day when I was at work, my son accidently stopped his Spigot Minecraft server by issuing the wrong command from the Minecraft GUI (darn owner rights).  Needless to say, he couldn’t use it until I got home and was able to fix it for him and his friends.

I decided to make my own starter app for it.  Other apps like FireDaemon and SrvAny can do it, but I wanted to write my own.   Free is good too as FireDaemon isn’t free.   Works great for patching as I just patch the server and the starter will gracefully shut down the server and start it backup after the patching.

Features I have added to the starter:

  • Graceful shutdown of Minecraft, Bukkit or Spigot  (issues save-all and stop commands)
  • Option to Auto start
  • Option to Auto Restart – if shutdown accidently, or crashes hard, it will restart within 30 seconds.
  • Option to minimize the starter to the system tray.

So I just have the server autologon with a limited account, then run the starter in the startup folder.  Also make sure Java is in your path.

Anyhow, here’s the program written in .NET 4.0.  If you need the .NET framework, you can download it here (opens in new window).

Hopefully someone else might find it useful.  If you have any comments or suggestions.  Let me know.

Here’s the link:



Z10 after three months

My random reboots are finally gone after the OS update from to  I’ve been running the latest OS for a few weeks now and it is solid.