Category Archives: PC

How to view the status of a Windows 10 backup

For some really inexplicable reason, there is no progress bar when doing a backup using the built-in backup feature in Windows 10. This is really annoying for me, since I do the backup to a NAS that I normally do not have turned on and I therefore need to know when I can turn it off. I also need to know when it is safe to turn off the computer running the backup.

There is a non-obvious trick however.

In the backup settings, click on “Go to backup and Restore (Windows 7)”:

This brings up a window where there is a progress bar showing the progress of the current backup (if any):

Backup status window

Why a CMD window flashes and how to solve it

I have had a disturbing issue at work for a couple of days. Once every hour, a black window (probably a CMD window) would pop up for a fraction of a second on the screen and then disappear. I had no idea whether this was a virus, spyware, some other kind of malware or something benign.

Fortunately, a colleague of mine had the google skills to find the cause and the solution to the problem. It turned out this was caused by a scheduled task from Microsoft Office called OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerRegistration. By starting the Task Scheduler and drilling down to Task Scheduler Library -> Microsoft -> Office, this task is shown and it can be disabled by right clicking on it and selecting Disable:

Where to find the offending scheduled task

Some more googling reveals that this is a bug Microsoft is aware of and that it probably will go away in some future update:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/msoffice_officeinsider-mso_win10/officebackgroundtaskhandlerregistration-flashes-a/2600497e-78e4-41a1-9040-461cd2c3ea13

How to upgrade a secondary disk in Windows

The 1 TB D-drive on my desktop Windows 10 computer was starting to get full, so I bought a new 3 TB drive to replace it with. After some googling, it seemed like the free version of AOMEI partition assistant would be a good program to copy/clone the contents of the old disk onto the new one. I let it run overnight and in the morning it was done. I then removed the old disk and only kept the new one plugged in.

This is where my trouble began. I had intended to just change the drive letter (if necessary) so that the new disk would also have the drive letter D, just like the old disk. This can normally be done by opening Administrative tools/Computer Management/Disk management (Administrationsverktyg/Datorhantering/Diskhantering in Swedish), right clicking on a drive and selecting “Change drive letter”. After doing this, I got an entirely unhelpful error message saying “Incorrect parameter” (Felaktig parameter in Swedish).

After some googling, it seemed like it might work in safe mode (felsäkert läge), so I managed to get the computer into this mode by holding down shift while clicking restart and navigating through the various menus that ensued. This however did not help. Still I got “Incorrect parameter”.

While in safe mode, I tried another tip I read during the googling, namely to make changes to the registry. This turned out to be successful. Here is what I did:

  1. Open the registry editor by pressing Win+R and typing regedit.
  2. Click to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\MountedDevices.
  3. Scroll down in the right pane to entries starting with \DosDevices.
  4. Select all the \DosDevices entries and save them (Archive/Export) to a .reg file on the desktop in case things get messed up and have to be restored.
  5. If there is an entry for the drive letter you want to use (\DosDevices\D: in this case), delete it. (Do not delete the entry for C:!)
  6. Change the name of the entry for the new disk so that it becomes \DosDevices\D:
  7. Reboot

After this the new drive with all the contents from the old D:\ showed up as D:\!

I am not sure it was necessary to be in safe mode while doing this, but maybe it was. I now realize that a reason changing drive letters was so complicated might be that I had the swap file pagefile.sys on the drive I wanted to change letters for. Maybe it would have also worked if I had moved the page file to C:\ before trying to change letters for the secondary disk. Or maybe this had nothing to do with the issue.

There are very many posts on the internet about upgrading the system disk C:\ (which should be harder I guess), but it was a bit more difficult to find this information about how to get the upgrade of the secondary disk to work. I hope I will remember that I wrote this the next time I need to upgrade a disk…