Sunday, May 22, 2016

Honda Civic -- Unsupported USB Error Message

I was consistently getting the error message "Unsupported" on my Civic car stereo whenever plugging my USB flash drive into the USB socket found inside the center console. After reading through some posts online, I saw that the solution to reformat the USB was hit and miss; worked for some not others. The other solution was to uncheck the Quick Format option.

I tried to reformat using the recommended FAT32 file system and trying both format options. These didn't work for me. After further digging around of various posts, I remembered that the USB I was trying to use was temporarily used as a Windows boot-up USB and that it's Master Boot Record was written for this.

My solution was to use DISKPART, a disk partitioning utility that comes with Windows. I stumbled across the link and thought that it may work if I followed the instructions up to the point where I would install the OS onto the USB.

If you do this, you will need to be very cautious. I don't think it would overwrite your Windows OS partition but please be careful. The basic steps I took: I cleaned the USB (removed its partition), created a new primary partition, and formatted the partition to FAT32 file system, and then copied my music files back onto the USB drive.

Here are the details for the steps I took:
  1. Open a command prompt as Administrator
  2. Start DISKPART from there; type it in + hit enter.
  3. Type in select disk N + enter where N is the USB drive. You may have several partitions on your laptop or PC so this is where you need to be careful. It's most likely the highest numbered N in the listing. If you have any doubt, please stop here.
  4. Type in clean + enter. I had to do this twice since it gave me an error the first time. Once you see the DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk message, you can go on.
  5. Type in create partition primary + enter.
  6. Type in select partition 1 + enter.
  7. Type in active + enter.
  8. Finally, type in format fs=fat32 + enter.
From there, you can copy your MP3 files to the drive. If you want to be sure before you spend a lot of time copying a bunch of files, you can copy a small folder, go test it in the car, and then continue from there.

Good luck. I hope this helps someone as it did for me.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Windows Home Server 2011 Backup Fails

...with the source VSS and the event ID 8194. This was causing my backups from a client computer to WHS to fail consistently. This is a security/permissions issue where the Network Service does not have permission to activate a COM service.

I spent about two hours searching for the answer until I found this from

The second (preferred) way to work around the issue is to make an adjustment to the default COM service activation permissions - allowing Network Service (and possibly Local Service) user account(s) to activate the IVssWriter callback interface. This method has the benefit of permanently fixing the issue in one place and allowing the VSS Writer service(s) to run at the privilege level that Microsoft intended. Any COM object accessed (by a process running as Network Service) still has the ability to enforce security restrictions it so chooses.

Make this fix by doing the follow: Start | Run | dcomcnfg. This brings up the Component Services application.
On the left pane navigate to Component Services | Computer | MyComputer.
Right click on MyComputer and select properties.
Select the COM Security tab and select the Edit Default button under Access Permissions.
Use the Add... button to add the "Network Service" account to the permission list.
Verify that ONLY the Local Access box is checked and click OK.
Close Component Services.
A reboot is then required to make the requested changes to COM Security.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

IIS Advanced Logging

I recently needed a solution to reduce the size of extremely large log files created by Internet Information Services (IIS).
We recently added a new feature to our Web server application that required polling the server on a regular basis. Every client browser with a current session was making new server requests about every two minutes. The result was that our log files went from about 200MB per day to over 1GB per day and this caused the server's storage to fill up at least once per week.
After researching this, I found that the Advanced Logging IIS extension would solve this issue at Advanced Logging allows a much higher degree of control over the standard IIS logging that is available:
  • Select which fields to log.
  • Ordering of the fields.
  • Filter only for the desired logs.
  • Choose the name of the log file.
  • Create more than one log file.
  • etc.
Here are the steps I took to install IIS Advanced Logging. This required a simple Microsoft add-on for IIS7 to be installed on that machine. It took just a few minutes.

  1. Download (see link above) and install the Advanced Logging extension.
  2. Ensure normal logging is turned off. Standard logging is unaffected by Advanced Logging. Since we have an overwhelming number of logs coming in, turning this off prevents storage overruns.
  3. Enable Advanced Logging at the server level. By default, this is disabled after installation.
  4. Edit the Log Definition – this gave me control over two things:

  1. I can select which fields get logged out. At first I was trying to match what the standard log fields were but then realized some of these were unnecessary; i.e. server IP.
  2. I can set a filter to ignore the those excessive client requests here.

  1. Recycle the Portal’s App Pool. Apparently the logging doesn’t start until then.

Making Adjustments
To tune Advanced Logging, open the IIS Manager Console, select the server and the see the Features View. You should see the Advanced Logging icon under the IIS grouping.

Open Advanced Logging, select the only Log Definition listed (in the list-view), and click the Edit Log Definition... link button. You’ll see the Selected Fields that are logged to the output file. These fields can be reordered, added, or removed. Below the Selected Fields group, there is the Filter group where I filter only (allow logging for) requests that do NOT contain the ‘/signalr/poll’ in the URI-Stem field.

A few things to keep in mind:
  • Changing these settings will recycle the app pool and reset everyone’s session.
  • Adding another Log Definition will create another log file output.
  • Logging is output to ...\inetpub\logs\AdvancedLogs (by default)  instead of the standard logging location of ...\inetpub\logs.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Windows Update Horks My User Profile

Ugghhh. I just upgraded my computer and received the error, "The User Profile Service failed the logon". This disallowed me from logging in. After the panic settled, I grabbed my Kindle tablet and Bing'd the error message. Fortunately, it didn't take long to find the steps to fix this on

It did involve rebooting into Safe Mode, digging into the Windows registry, modifying some settings, and rebooting. Thankfully, there was no more drama.