Windows 7 Boot Sector Repair

The Scenario

I was working on a dual booted MBR style disk which had Windows 7 and Ubuntu installed. I was asked to remove the Ubuntu partition(s) and extend the Windows partition. The user had a backup of all data from the Ubuntu partition, not the Windows. The GRUB boot loader was in operation.

The Solution

I began by backing up the disk.

I then booted into Windows and inspected the disk partitions via Disk Manager and (thankfully) found that Windows had been installed first, shrunk and then Ubuntu installed. This was apparent by seeing the order of partitions on the disk from left to right. I then deleted the 2 Ubuntu related partitions at the end of the disk (both were present after the Windows OS partition) and extended the Windows partition into the recovered space.

Then I rebooted into a Windows Recovery environment via a USB install I’d been supplied with and let Windows attempt a start-up repair, that failed and no valid Windows partitions were displayed, which might be normal if GRUB is controlling the bootloader but I’d have expected Windows PreInstalled Environment to detect the local partition.

I then opened a command prompt and ran the following commands:

bootrec /fixboot

-This ran successfully

bootrec /fixmbr

-This failed to complete, unable to find device or somesuch

bootrec /rebuildbcd

-This failed, it was unable to write to device

I spent a good hour attempting to manually rebuild the bootloader via bcdedit commands which eventually failed until I came across a thread suggesting the issue is booting from Windows 7 USB media.

I then dug out an old Windows 7 DVD and booted from that and voila, the above commands worked successfully. I did have to trash c:\boot\BCD via the commands:

attrib c:\boot\bcd -s -h
move c:\boot\bcd bcd.old

and then set the OS partition (no 100MB System partition on this disk) to active before running them successfully. I also then launched the Windows Startup Repair from within the DVD repair tools to correct any faults with active partitions etc. Following that the system booted.

Hope this helps someone, what should have take 15 mins ended up taking me 2 hours!

Intel Network ProSet Fails to Uninstall

I recently struggled to upgrade my Intel(R) Network Connections driver installation from v22.4.10 (unsupported in Windows 10 1703) due to a corrupted uninstaller.


When attempting to install the latest supported driver (v22.6.6.0) the installer attempts to call any currently installed versions’ uninstaller and then fails with error 1703.


After much reading up I came across this post from days gone by referring the the last nuclear approach of MZIZAP .
That led me to search for modern alternatives which led me to the Windows 10 Helper utility

Launching that and first running it to repair the uninstaller and then again to forcibly remove it did the trick, I was then able to install the latest version.


I hope this helps someone else.

Subinacl.exe Microsoft Service Permissions

A nice little tool to manage service permissions on Windows name subinacl is available at

Default install directory is “C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Resource Kits\Tools”
Usage example for the ‘spooler’ service and the user domain\username:

subinacl /service spooler /grant=domain\username=top



xcopy /C/H/R/S/Y c:\ d:\

/C = Continues copying even if errors occur
/H = Copies hidden and system files also
/R = Overwrites read-only files
/S = Copies directories and subdirectories
/Y = Overwrites existing files without asking


robocopy c:\ d:\ /MIR /R:0 /W:0

/MIR = Mirror entire directory structure (can use /E instead)
/R:0 = 0 retries for read/write failures
/W:0 = 0 seconds between retries

Credit to:

Tracerplus : Change Connect Project via Text

Tracerplus Connect software makes a hardcoded reference to the linked Tracerplus Desktop project. However if you need to relocate the directory of the Desktop project that will break the Connect references to the fields and cause the synchronization to fail.

If you move the Desktop project the following workflow may be best:

  1. Stop the Connect Server service
  2. Move the Desktop project (via export > import)
  3. locate the “.tce” file in the Connect project directory and replace all occurrences of the string :

    with the new directory, so if the new dir is “D:\TP” it would become:


Microsoft WSUS Rebuild

To re-install WSUS with a clean database i.e. no previous configuration:

Run Windows Powershell as Administrator and use the following commands:

  • Uninstall-WindowsFeature -Name UpdateServices,Windows-Internal-Database -Restart


  • Post restart, delete EVERYTHING in the C:\Windows\WID\ (for Win 2012 r2) folder.


  • Then run the following command to re-install WSUS:
    Install-WindowsFeature UpdateServices -Restart


This only works on PowerShell 3 or higher.


I had to run the postinstallation tasks manually via Powershell using the WID db, if using SQL you need to add in sql_instance=

C:\Program Files\Update Services\Tools\WsusUtil.exe content_dir=”<<dir of update download location>>



Adobe Photoshop CS3 Crashing When Exiting

It’s very old now but still in use somewhere … Running on Windows Ent x64 and crashing when exiting.


Resolved by renaming / deleting the preference file “Adobe Photoshop X Prefs.psp”.
Users/[Username]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop [version #]/Adobe Photoshop [version #] Settings