SysPro Policy Reporter

A colleague showed me this cool free tool called "Policy Reporter".

Policy Reporter makes it much easier to understand how Microsoft implements Policy Processing, which is not really transparent...

It reformats the log provided in %systemRoot%\Debug\UserMode to give a more meaningful display.

It provides a Tree structure on the left which shows major events reported in the Log. Selecting an entry in the tree structure displays that section of the log in the view window.

It also has a "Performance History" tab that loads Group Policy Performance information from the registry, including the time taken to apply the policies and what policies were applied.

It also has some other nice features such as 'Search' and 'Export to Excel'.

Note: You must activate Verbose logging to get detailed information. Policy Reporter assists in doing this.


Windows Vista SP1 RC1 Issues

One of my computer is locking up almost every day. I leave it alone at night, when I come back in the morning I see it BlueScreened. I googled "Stop 0x00000077" or "KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR" and tried to find something that would explain my BSOD with Vista to no avail... and decided to try Vista SP1 RC1.

I downloaded the stand-alone version and tried to install it. It bluescreened half way there after half an hour or so (well, it said SP1 update can take hours in the screen so half an hour is great).

I tried on my other Vista machine and it even did not get that far. Then, Microsoft refreshed RC1 and I decided to try it again as my Vista keeps on locking up.

So, I browsed to Windows Vista Service Pack 1 page, and downloaded Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh (Build 17128) – released 01/11/08. When unpacked it has 3 files in it. I ran the cmd, which entered a registry key that enabled me to see an Update for Vista SP1 Control Panel > Windows Update > "Check for Updates".

Update actually installed 3 files, rebooted. Then I went back to Windows Update and clicked "Check for Updates" but it did not find anything. I waited and tried a couple of mins later. This time it finally found SP1 RC1. I clicked install and it froze on me after a few mins.

I tried a couple more times suspecting that whatever issue was causing my lock-up , it was preventing update from finishing. And Windows Update was able to finish the download but it failed to install it. Error code: 80070005. Unfortunately Vista help did not list this error code.

After some search, I realized that many other has seen the same issue and the only solution I saw was Aaron Stebner's blog entry. Apparently, MS messed up permissioning and Windows Update does not have enough permissions to write some reg keys/files.

I followed the instructions mentioned. I do not know if this will work for me yet. I will post a follow up later.

[Update - 01/21/2008]
I ran the script from Aaron's page. It did a lot of things but failed to reset permissions on 7 keys. I rebooted and tried again, it kept on failing. I also tried running SP1 update but it too failed...

I looked into the error Kernel_Data_InPage_Error, I was getting. I had the following error codes: 0000007A (0xC020BF84, 0xC00009C, 02a266860, 0x82FE130D)
ntfs.sys - Address 82FE130D base at 82EF8000 Datestamp 47214597

So, there are 4 block of error codes:
1st set is about Lock Type (0xC020BF84)
2nd set is the I/O status (0xC00009C)
3rd set tells us about Current Process when BSOD occured(02a266860)
and 4th set mentions the memory code where error occured.

As per this article at MSDN, my issue was 0xC000009C, or STATUS_DEVICE_DATA_ERROR, is typically due to bad blocks (sectors) on the hard disk.

As my Page File was in C drive, probably there was some bad blocks in the C drive. Unfortunately, chkdisk did not help. So, I moved the page file to my other drive.

No lockups since then. And to my surprise, Vista SP1 RC1 installed successfully today!


Bill Gates last day at Microsoft from CES 2008

Earlier this evening Bill Gates gave his final Microsoft keynote at the 2008 CES show in Las Vegas. Throughout the keynote he made many references to what he will do with his free time once he retires from day to day operations at Microsoft. It turns out, Bill has big plans in addition to his foundation after all.

read more | digg story


Disposable Web Accounts

So, we are in 2008 now. After taking the final two weeks of 2007 off, I am back to work and catching up with e-mails & diggs. As I was looking at the most popular technology content in the last month, I noticed the subject above.

5 “DISPOSABLE” Web Accounts to Keep Your Identity Safe is the actual title of a wonderful post from

BugMeNot was already one of my favorite firefox addons. I especially liked "" service...