“Fix” is a bit of a loose term for this solution because it will restore your computer to a workable state without losing any files or applications, but you have to disable Windows Updates so the affected update doesn’t continue to be downloaded over and over again.
Update: There is now a patch out to fix this: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4090913/march5-2018kb4090913osbuild16299-251. Note that when I checked for updates using Windows Update, it downloaded the bad patch again, so I uninstalled that and downloaded the patch linked from the article above (Actual link to download the update is http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4090913).
If you encounter the blue screen of death with the message “Inaccessible Boot Device” and a frowny face, you’ve probably just updated Windows and the computer attempted to reboot.
I will not take any credit for this fix, as I spent several days looking for ways to resolve this problem when it affected machines in my office. A huge thanks goes to reddit user zosan for providing this excellent, step-by-step guide:
How-To: Fix "INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE" caused by Win10 Spectre builds 16299.125 or 16299.192. from pcgaming
Hopefully Microsoft resolves this sometime soon so updates don’t have to be disabled too long.
In an earlier post, I wrote about how to setup auto-forwarding for a user’s email if they are on an extended leave from the office. One of the interesting problems that has arisen once that employee returned was that their email folder was still showing up in my list of mailboxes in Outlook 2016, even after the forward was disabled and delegate access was confirmed as being removed/never setup in the first place.
Resolving the issue involves a little bit of Powershell, and while the script code isn’t terribly difficult, I did have to piece it together from a couple of different sources and deal with the fact that I had MFA (multi-factor authentication) enabled on my account.
In the end, I disabled MFA briefly on my account while I executed the script below. I was unsuccessful being able to connect to Exchange Online via Powershell with MFA and gave up because I didn’t think it was worth my time to troubleshoot for something that was fairly insignificant for my use case.
Below is the script I used:
Every once in a while I come across a problem where I open an Excel document and am notified of external references, even though I’m certain the document doesn’t or shouldn’t contain any external references. A common message is:
This workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe
In order to find these references in Excel 2016, click the “Data” tab at the top. Then, under the “Queries and Connections” section, choose “Edit Links.” From there, a dialog will pop up showing any links and allowing you to check the status of the links. If the links are truly broken, checking the status should confirm that.
To break the connection, you can simply choose “break” with the appropriate connection selected. Any cell where a value was dependent on the connection was be converted to the current value, so you shouldn’t lose data by breaking the connection – it will simply no longer update along with the connected data source.
Every once in awhile I get the urge to clean up emails and get rid of a bunch of stuff I just don’t need. On one hand, it’s nice to be able to reference old emails, but on the other you risk exposing your personal information to potential evil-doers (hackers or even mining/advertiser information if you’re using a freemail account like Gmail). Do you really need those emails from 8 years ago? Probably not.
Anyway, regardless of the motivation, here are some useful filters that I use:
Gmail filters listed below are all performed by typing the unbolded text from the bullets below into your search box. You can combine them in any way you like – just put a space between each filter
- All unread email: label:unread
- All emails sent or received prior to a specific date: before:2018/1/1
- All emails without a label: -has:userlabels
- All emails not in the inbox, sent, drafts, or chat folders: -in:inbox -in:drafts -in:sent -in:chat
- All emails with attachments: has:attachment
- All emails at least as large as a certain size (in bytes – example is about 5MB): size:5242880
Outlook is a little bit different as it offers some pretty powerful features such as search folders, but filtering can still be performed by using the search box for most items
- All unread email (multiple options):
- Choose the folder you want
- On the right side of the mail pane, there is a dropdown that defaults to “All.” You can select “Unread” from the dropdown to see only unread
- Create a search folder
- On the left pane (of the default view) that shows your email folders, scroll down to the bottom of the Data File/Account where you want to view unread messages
- Look for a folder called “Search Folders”
- Right click on “Search Folders” and choose “New Search Folder”
- Select “Unread Mail” from the list in the popup window that opens and hit OK
- Drag the new “Unread Mail” search folder into your favorites (Optional)
- All emails received prior to a specific date: received:<2018/1/1
- All emails sent prior to a specific date: sent:<2018/1/1
- All emails with attachments: hasattachment:yes (or has:attachment)
- All emails with an attachment matching a specific file extension: ext:jpg
- All emails at least as large as a certain size (in bytes – example is about 5MB): messagesize:>=5 MB