Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Struggles

Fittingly I had this post fully composed and was cleaning up the formatting in the Blogger WYSIWYG in Chromium when the browser page jumped back and I lost it all…maybe I brushed the laptop touch pad and it interpreted it as a gesture action. Don’t know. This current build of Chromium seems jumpy. I had the same thing happen on some general web-page browsing as well.

So my new blog posting process is to compose fully in WLW (at least that works). Then copy/paste into the Blogger WYSIWYG editor. Using anything but Chromium. We’ll see how that works.

So what I was trying to post is that these past two days have been filled with struggling against a series of random events during normal pc maintenance around the Valca home.

I spent several hours last night working on updating Lavie’s Dell Inspiron laptop; mostly Windows updates and third-party browser updates. Then I went through her “Programs & Features” and worked though each of those seeing if they had updated versions. Many did. So I took care of those.

I discovered that while the WiFi was working normally again under Win 8.1, the “Dell Wireless WiFi + Bluetooth Driver” install package listed in “Programs and Features” was corrupted. I couldn’t remove it. I wanted to be sure I had the installer package on hand in case a future Win 10 upgrade borked it again. Luckily I both found it - Dell Wireless 1703 WiFi+ Bluetooth Driver Driver Details – and was able to use it to do a repair/reinstall to get it on clean again under Win 8.1.

Of course, iTunes wanted to be updated, so I used the Apple Software Updater but it complained about the “iPod Service” not being able to start so the install kept failing. I then tried to download and run the iTunes package rather than using the updater but that failed at the same point.

I found this post Service ‘iPod Service’ (iPod Service) could not be installed... over in the Apple Support forums and followed “rickybpta” steps.
  • close SysInternals's Process Explorer ( if you have it and it's open )
  • close all Task Manager(s)
  • close Windows Services console ( services.msc )
  • close all command prompts ( cmd.exe )
  • open a cmd.exe as Admin
    • run: sc create "iPod Service" binpath= "C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe"
    • close all command prompts ( cmd.exe )
  • open Windows Services console ( services.msc )
    • look for "iPod Service", see if it's not Disabled. If so, start it
    • close Windows Services console ( services.msc )
  • Run iTunes.msi again ( previously downloaded via the Apple Software Update's Only Download function )
That did the trick and it went on without any other fuss.

While I was doing all this work Lavie’s laptop seemed sluggish. In fact it has seemed that way to me for some time (Lavie shrugs) and I’ve been considering upgrading it to a SSD drive.  I was monitoring the performance using System Explorer’s process tree and Task Manager graphs but not really seeing any clues.

Then I opened up Resource Monitor and focused in on the file activity. I was shocked to see that the process that was doing all the file reads/writes was Classic Shell. To see if this could be responsible I closed out Classic Shell and the system sprang to life again. It seemed much more responsive and snappy again.

Lavie is going to see if the system seems better with Classic Shell after all the clean up work and then with it turned off before she considers letting me disable/remove it.

I’ve also followed this tip to add a semblance of a Start – All Programs list to the task bar. It’s a great tip and one I like to do for our Win 8.1 tablet users.
That service work alone on Lavie’s laptop should have been enough for the weekend.

However, I ran into a new round of issues on my workbench laptop this morning.

First off, VMware Workstation Player offered me an update to 12.1.0.  Sure.

Only the installer failed and left me with an error that “"Service VMware Authorization failed (VMAuthdService") could not be installed. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to install system services.”

I tried a few more times with no success.

I then downloaded the setup file directly from VMware and tried an install with the /clean switch but it said it couldn’t find an installed version.

Checking the Windows Services found a series of VMware related services that were “present” but looked like they were marked for deletion.

I walked though this VMware KB: Cleaning up after an incomplete uninstallation on a Windows host KB but wasn’t finding any remnants at all of the previously working installation.  So it looked like it had been taken off ok.

So I just rebooted the system and indeed the VMware service items were gone.  I tried the installer again with fingers crossed and the installer went on smoothly and the app ran again with no issues.


And no sooner had I completed that task than GlassWire wanted to update to a new version as well.

So I went though the download/install process and it seemed to go on OK, but when it opened up it could not reconnect to the Glasswire service.

When I checked the Windows Service for it again it also showed marked for deletion.

So I uninstalled Glasswire, rebooted reinstalled Glasswire but again it could not attach to the service.

I checked the service again. It was present and set to Automatic but stopped. When I clicked “start” the service launch crashed with an error I didn’t capture.

Rinse-repeat-same result.

The updated Glasswire version 1.1.36b was doing fine on the upgrade process on Lavie’s laptop and my other Win 7 x64 laptop so I’m not sure what was the issue here.

Next I found an even newer version Same issues.

Finally I found the original Glasswire version 1.1.32b on one of my duplicated (but not recently sync’ed) USB drives.

That installed fine. The Glasswire service started automatically, and the app reconnected with no issues. So I’m leaving it there for the moment on this system.


Claus Valca.

Windows Live Writer Goes Open - Hurray - WLW breaks - Booo!

Well I was all set to excitedly post news about the announcement that Windows Live Writer has gone to an Open Source project release.


Only I got an account/password error during installation when configuring it up to the Blogger system.

Oh well, let me just launch my original WLW installation and go from there...

Turns out it looks like Google has timed it's depreciation of the WLW authentication method so it now will not work.


Per a comment in the thread by "Hirschy" earlier today...

The issue is well known and is being worked on as part of the Open Live Writer project, please see for progress
The reason it's not working is that a few years ago Google deprecated the authentication process that Live Writer uses,  i.e. Google declared it as obsolete because it is not secure enough for the modern web, and developers should stop using it ASAP. Unfortunately Live Writer was not updated to use the new more secure OAuth 2 standard. Google removed support for it back in about May this year, then temporarily re-enabled it for Blogger / WLW, now it looks like they have pulled it for good.
It's not straightforward to fix, certainly more than a couple of lines of code. If you want to comment, please post to the GitHub issue via the link above, as that will be read by the developers. They will not generally be following the MS forums as it's no longer an MS product.
Convert Google Blogger ClientLogin to OAuth 2.0 · Issue #5 - OpenLiveWriter/OpenLiveWriter · GitHub

And as "ronmartmsft commented on the issue page:
This could not have happened at a worse time given how many bloggers rely on the holiday season for income. It seems that Google has taken the release of this product as a green light to finally deprecate the legacy auth leaving Blogger users stranded.
Track here -!msg/blogger/lw_sNsyySKI/FyMxf1DBBwAJ
I must agree.

The initial excitement I had at a new WLW release...even if missing spellchecking at this stage was heavily tamped down with the breaking of the original WLW posting to Blogger.

It's not clear to me yet if other alternative blogging clients that can interface with Blogger will also hit that brick wall.

I'm composing this post in the Blogger web page UI but that won't do for regular posting.

So until this sorts out -- please be patient while the blog posting at GSD slows down.

Bummed for the moment.

--Claus Valca