Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fixed: H&R Block Tax Software is not compatible with your current resolution

Today a customer had a problem.  When they tried to install this year's H&R Block tax software they received this error.
"H&R Block Tax Software is not compatible with your current resolution.  Please review the minimum specifications, make the necessary changes, and retry the application"

This laptop has a 1920x1080 display, so it's unlikely that the display isn't big enough.

I found the problem.

It looks like the H&R Block software doesn't like the display scaling in Windows 10.  Here's how to fix it.

The fix is to turn off the display scaling before running the installer.  Here's how.

Right-click the desktop and select "Display Settings"

On the "Customize your Display Settings" screen, make a note of the current setting of the "Change the size of text, apps, and other items:" slider.  Then slide it left to 100%.

Then run the H&R Block installer.  It should work now.

Optionally you can re-enable the display scaling back to its old setting after installing.  The H&R Block Tax software will display a warning about the resolution, but it still works.

I hope this helps someone.  The H&R Block support forums weren't very useful for this issue.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Summoners War:Farmable Giants GB10 Team

I've been sucked into an Android phone game called Summoners' War.  It's awesome!

I found a working Farmable auto team for Giants GB10.  These guys don't have great runes; there might be 3 6 star runes on all of them combined.

Sigmarus (leader) - Fusable
Belladeon - Light secret dungeon
Bernard - Farmable in Tamor desert
Shannon - Shop or Unknown scroll (common)
Veromos - Fusable

    Thursday, December 8, 2016

    Fixed: Windows 10 Desktop Background Black Screen

    My customer has 50,000 or so retail kiosks that they are rebuilding from Windows 7 to Windows 10.  An interesting problem popped up with these.  When we build a Windows 10 machine in the Windows 7 OU, the desktop background doesn't appear.  Instead, we get a black screen.


    A bunch of troubleshooting later, we discovered that this occurs because Windows 10 can't write to the Hkey_Current_User\Control panel\Desktop section of the registry.  There is a deny permissions entry that forbids it.

    How on earth would this setting get there? 

    Skip a bunch of troubleshooting, and ... we set it, unintentionally, via GPO.

    This comes from a User side Group Policy setting:

    Administrative Templates >> Control Panel >> Personalization >>  "Prevent changing desktop background"

    This insidious setting creates a deny permissions entry in the registry.  Even worse, this is a tattooed setting.  Removing the GPO does NOT remove it.


    Removing the GPO setting caused all of our new machine builds to work properly, but unfortunately does not fix the tattooed broken systems.

    To fix the in-state systems we either rebuild them (For us, they are kiosks and this is easy.)  or ...

    1. Remove the deny permission entry with a scheduled task script.
    2. Change the desktop background to a new background to force it to refresh.


    Fixed: Office 2016 install hangs when running Setup on Windows 7

    My customer is moving to the MSI version of Office 2016, and has hit a painful problem in one of their Windows 7 builds.

    We've added the installer to the SCCM machine build task sequence, and it hangs while installing.  Two hours later the task sequence times out, tosses an error, and dies.

    I discovered that the Office Installer was running this command:
    "C:\WINDOWS\system32\wusa.exe" "hotfixes\Windows6.1-KB2999226-x64.msu"
    ... and that was causing the Windows update agent to peg a CPU core and do something it never finishes.

    The fix for this is easy.  Before running the Office 2016 installer, stop the Windows Update service.  Don't disable it, just stop it.

    The command to do this is
    "sc stop wuauserv"

    The service will automatically restarts on the next reboot, and after the installation I found no other issues with the system.  You can uninstall, reinstall, modify, and update Office normally.

    Sunday, August 14, 2016

    Second Thingiverse Post / Thing I made: Whirlpool Dishwasher Part WP8268846 (AP6012267)

    I successfully modeled and printed a pair of replacement basket clips for my Mom's dishwasher.

    Here is the thingiverse Link: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1720070

    ... and the completed parts:

    Installation is pretty easy.

    Squeeze this clip and slide the drawer-slide stop up.

    With that off, the wheels slide right off the end.

    The wheels snap on to the new 3d printed brackets, and the brackets snap on to the dishwasher basket.

    Note: The brackets are in the wrong spots in this picture. 

    The rear brackets go in the rearmost basket hole.  The front brackets go in  the fifth hole from the front.  If you put these in the wrong hole then the basket won't slide all the way out.

    My family is laughing at me for buying a $200 3d printer to make two $20 parts.  Let them laugh, one day I will rule the world.  :D

    Friday, August 12, 2016

    First Thingiverse Post / Thing I made: Tiny Screwdriver handle

    I published my first thing on Thingiverse:


    It's a small "thumbdriver" handle for 1/4" hex bits.

    I am enjoying my new printer very much.

    Thursday, August 11, 2016

    I made a thing... Poorly: Replacement Contigo Water Bottle Button

    Just before bedtime my daughter brought me her water bottle and asked if I could fix it.

    The button and stem, on the right, are what release the valve so water can flow.  It's from a $7 Contigo water bottle, so no big deal.  I offered to go get another with her before school tomorrow, but the she said the magic words.  "Can you make a new one on the 3D printer?"

    Yes Daughter, yes I can.

    So I modeled it in Fusion 360:

    Then printed it out and viola! One functional, if not very attractive, replacement water-bottle button.