Remove Skype Preview from Windows 10

I use Skype for my calls and so download and install the application on my PCs.  However on Windows 10 it pre-installs Skype Preview which I found takes over the normal Skype application and therefore doesn't allow me to send/receive calls.  Simplest solution I found was to uninstall Skype Preview using Powershell.  

Open PowerShell as administrator and run:-

Get-AppxPackage *skypeapp* | Remove-AppxPackage

Install SSL Cert from GoDaddy on IIS 8 in Windows Server 2012 r2

1) Create Cert Request
Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
Click the Server
Under IIS grouping find “Server Certificated” and double click it:-

Under Actions (right hand side) click “Create Certificate Request…”

Enter in some details e.g.

Click Next

Select Bit Length 2048

Create an output file – click finish.

2) Import to Go Daddy

Open the Text File that you created above and you will have a load of characters – this is the key.
In Go Daddy purchase the SSL Certificate e.g. * or click Manage if you already have one.
In the next screen click the ReKey & Manage button:-

Expand Re-Key certificate + tab and you will see:-

Copy/Paste the text from the file you created above and click Save. Then click the “Submit All Saved Changes”
Then wait a few minutes whilst it is processed.
Once Complete click the Download button and save the zip file.

3) Install on the Server

Follow the instructions on the Go Daddy WebSite at:-
IIS8 Install a Certificate
But the most important bit is to reboot the server otherwise the Certificate will not work.

If you find that your Certificate seems to disappear when you “Complete Certificate Request…” this is because your certificate hasn’t been correctly keyed for the server so please re-do Step 2 above.


Entity Framework determine storage version SQL Server 2016

Using latest Entity Framework 6.1.3 with Visual Studio 2015 and connecting to SQL Server 2016 developer edition, I had the following error:-

Could not determine storage version; a valid storage connection or a version hint is required.


In Visual Studio Solution Explorer.

Right Click over the Entity Framework .edmx

Open with and select XML Text Editor

Search for "ProviderManifestToken=" and either you will have XXXX or in my case I had 2012 in this value.  So I changed it to 2008 and now my code works.

Adding Windows 10 PC to a domain using VPN

As a remote worker I needed to join my newly built Windows 10 PC to the domain using Windows VPN.

  • First login to the machine as a local admin
  • Setup a VPN to the company and connect
  • Join the PC to the domain
  • Reboot
  • Log back in as local administator
  • Connect VPN again, switch account
  • Try logging on with your domain account and you will probably see this error:-

The Group Policy Client service failed the sign-in.  The universal unique identifier (UUID) type is not supported.


If you log back into the local administator account you will notice the VPN has been disconnected which did not happen in Windows 7.  The fix is simply to create a VPN that stays connected when you switch account.

So login again as the local administrator and run powershell as administator, then enter:-

Add-VpnConnection -Name NAMEOFVPN -ServerAddress VPNADDRESS -AllUserConnection $true -SplitTunneling $true -AuthenticationMethod MSChapv2 -TunnelType Automatic -EncryptionLevel Required -PassThru

Connect to the VPN which using NAMEOFVPN you used in the PS Script.

Switch accounts and try to login as a domain user and you will not see the error again.

Pyramid Analytics - Problem exporting content

Using Pyramid Analytics and trying to export content of the report (or just export the report to PDF)

After I clicked the "Click here to get file" I got the following error:-

System.ServiceModel.Security.MessageSecurityException: The HTTP request is unauthorized with client authentication scheme 'Negotiate'. The authentication header received from the server was 'Basic realm="SERVERNAME"'. ---> System.Net.WebException: The remote server returned an error: (401) Unauthorized. at System.Net.HttpWebRequest.GetResponse() at ......

This seemed strange as everything else on the site was working fine.


The problem was with a setting on the IIS that was running the site.

Open IIS, find BIOffice6 under the Sites.  Click Authentication and make sure everything is Disabled apart from Asp.Net Impersonation and Basic Authentication.  For some reason my setup had Windows Authentication enabled which was causing the error.  E.g you settings should look like:-

Excel Automation as a Scheduled task on Windows Server 2012 R2

Migrating some Excel Automated code using C# off an old Windows 2003 Server onto Windows Server 2012 R2 and using Scheduled Tasks to run I notice it was failing.  User linked to the Scheduled Task has correct permissions and it is being run with highest privileges.  Excel installed and I can run the code manually fine as that user.  Plenty of threads about the issue but the only thing that worked was:-


Windows 2008 +

Add 2 directories:-




Windows 2012 r2

Add 2 extra directories:-




SQL Server error "Invalid attempt to GetBytes" on T-SQL queries

Whilst trying to do a simple query in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio e.g.

SELECT TOP 10 * FROM dbo.DatabasePerInstance

I was getting the following error:-

An error occurred while executing batch. Error message is: Invalid attempt to GetBytes on column 'DateAdded'.  The GetBytes function can only be used on columns of type Text, NText, or Image.

Thought it was a bit strange as is a really basic type of T-SQL.  However I running Management Studio 2005 and this SQL Server I was connecting to was SQL Server 2008 r2.


Run the same version or higher Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio to do the T-SQL.  Once I loaded up 2014 Management Studio no more errors.

Windows 10 crash IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL using Hyper-V And WiFi

On my HP Windows 10 Laptop I was using Hyper-V and WiFi and the host Windows 10 PC was crashing with:-


The Windows 10 Laptop has been find so it seemed to be something to do with Hyper-V.  Looking online it seemed related to either to Memory (built-in memory on this laptop so unlikely) or driver issues (more likely).  

I guessed it might be the WiFi driver which was an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160.  So I updated the driver and now no more crashes, phew.

To do this fix.

  • Open Control Panel
  • Security and Maintenance
  • Administrative Tools
  • Computer Management
  • Open "System Tools" and select "Device Manager"
  • Open "Network Adapters"
  • Select the Wireless adapter, in my case "Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC3160"
  • Right click "Properties"
  • Click "Driver" tab
  • Click "Update Driver"
  • Click "Search automatically for updated driver software" and let it download a new driver if it finds one
  • Restart and all should be well

SQL Server Database Backup Failure Operating system error 665

Had a SQL Server 2005 FULL Backup failure each night for the largest database (around 45GB).  Looking at the SQL Server Logs I notice the following error:-

BackupMedium::ReportIoError: write failure on backup device 'D:\BACKUP\SERVER_DATABASE_FULL_20160103_202215.bak'. Operating system error 665(error not found).

Looking at possible solutions:-
  • Backup HD drive is heavily fragmented, but as this is a SAN then that is not really possible.
  • Drive is compressed
Checking the drive and yes it was compressed so the network guys turned this off and bingo all we managed a full nightly backup.