fix and repair

Cannot Install SP2? Stuck on "Checking Product Key"

I recently had a Dell D505 laptop in the workshop that refused to install Service Pack 2. Each time, it just stopped on "Checking Product Key"

The product key was correct but it could get no further - the Update process would then use 100% of the CPU and had to be closed manually.

After searching the net, I found a few other users with the same problem and generally the solution was to reinstall Windows with SP2 slipstreamed into it already. Since this was already a fresh install after a hard disk failure, I was not keen on this plan.


0x00000051 after Windows 2003 SP1 upgrade

We recently had a client who applied Windows 2003 Server Service Pack 1 on their Dell Poweredge 420SC server. On reboot, they were greeted with the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD) with the error message.


The server would then reboot and then do it all again. Safe mode and Last Known good configuration made no difference.

After searching the net, it turns out that this is a known problem on older Dell Poweredges that have had a factory install of Windows on.


AOL Email test relays

Sending email to AOL customers can be a tricky business. Especially if you are say running your own mail server on an ISP connection like a lot of small businesses do, typically with Exchange on Windows 2003 Small Business Server.

AOL have given one minor tool to help you avoid the bouncebacks, (typically by changing your configuration so your email is sent through another SMTP 'smarthost' like an ISP's SMTP server)


Recent Microsoft Update causes Office and Explorer file actions to freeze

A recent MS automatic security update (during the second week of April 06) looks like it might cause problems on machines with HP printer and scanner software installed.

The symptoms are Office apps freezing when you try to save or open files using explorer.

If you take a look in Task Manager and see a process called VERCLSID.EXE then you might be affected. If you have tried multiple times to open or save a file then you will have multiple instances of this process.

To resolve the issue, take a look at the KB article at