HDD performance running at 100%

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I thought it would be useful to share this post in the event anyone experiences this issue.

A friend contacted me recently and mentioned that he was experiencing performance issues with his laptop. Upon investigating I launched task manager and clicked the performance tab. As shown below, I found that his HDD was running at 100%

After some investigation, I found that there was a disk defrag scheduled to run daily which was causing the disk to run at 100%

Disabling this task allowed for the HDD performance to stabilise.

Here is the result after disabling the defrag schedule.

If you’re experiencing this issue, it’s worth checking if there is a defrag schedule configured.

Click start > search and click Defragment and Optimize drives

Powerpoint icon appears when launching Outlook

Reading Time: < 1 minuteWhen launching a remote desktop or Citrix session (Windows 2008 R2 or Windows 7), you find that when launching an application such as Outlook, the icon at the bottom of the task bar is Power Point instead of the Outlook icon.

This is a known issue which Microsoft are aware of. A hotfix has been provided for download. For hotfix, click here

Disable Ease of Access High Contrast via Group Policy

Reading Time: < 1 minute1. Logon to your domain controller and access Group Policy Management Console

2. Create a new policy and link it to the required OU which stores your computers or edit an existing policy

3. Within the policy navigate to Computer Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Security Settings > File System

4. Right click File system > click Add File

5. Type C:\Windows\System32\Utilman.exe

6. Click OK
   Add in the Everyone group and deny Read and Execute, List Folder Contents and Read. Click apply
   Click  Yes, select “replace existing permissions on all subfolders and files with imnheritable permissions” and click OK

7. Reboot a machine and test again. May need to wait for replication to occur around the network.

Always test before applying to live environment

Manage Windows 7 Group Policies on Windows 2003 server

Reading Time: < 1 minute1) Logon to a Windows 7 machine
2) Download and install the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 from here
3) When installed, access Control Panel
4) Click Programs and features
5) Click ‘Turn Windows Features on or off’ located at the top left corner
6) Expand ‘Remote Server Administration Tools
7) Expand ‘Feature Administration Tool’
8.) Select ‘Group Policy Management Tools’ and click OK
9) Once installed, you can access Group Policy Management tools from your start menu and add new Windows 7 policies to your Windows 2003 server.

Windows 7 hangs at welcome and then black screens

Reading Time: < 1 minuteWhen you login to a Windows 7 machine on a domain, the logon process hangs at the welcome screen for 30 seconds and then black screens. You can still move around your cursor but can not see the desktop. After a few minutes the desktop may load.

I experienced a similar issue, tried all the usual known issues/fixes such as adding a desktop background instead of using a solid colour etc etc.

At the end I found the issue was related to a policy called ‘Run Logon Scripts Synchronously’

I disabled the policy and monitored the network for a few weeks. Found that it did not cause any issues with drives mapping via script.

But disabling the policy ‘Run Logon Scripts Synchronously’ resolved the logon issue.

The policy can be located at:

1) User config
2) Expand Administrative Tools
3) Expand
4) System
5) Click the Scripts
6) Right click the policy ‘Run Logon Scripts Synchronously’ on the right hand side, click enable and OK.