Category Archives: General

Service Unavailable In IIS

In IIS 6.0 I created an application pool for a new application and set the identity to a Windows domain account.  When I tried to load the application I was greeted with “Service Unavailable”.  The Windows system event log showed the two messages below:

A failure was encountered while launching the process serving application pool ‘xxx’. The application pool has been disabled.

The identity of application pool ‘xxx’ is invalid, so the World Wide Web Publishing Service can not create a worker process to serve the application pool.  Therefore, the application pool has been disabled.

In order to fix the problem I added the application pool account to the IIS_WPG local group on the web server.

Changing The Windows 8 Developer Preview Screen Resolution

Out of the box the display resolution in the Windows 8 Developer Preview was 800 x 600 on my Dell Latitude D430.  The maximum resolution offered by Windows was 1024 x 768.  However, the native resolution of the D430 is 1280 x 800.  In order to run Windows 8 at the native resolution of the display I installed the Windows 7 graphics driver from the Intel website.

Google Chrome Hangs With Waiting For Cache

After updating to Google Chrome 13 my browser was unusable.   Every time I tried to load a page the page never loaded and I just got the message in the bottom left of the browser saying “waiting for cache”.  Deleting the %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default fixed the problem.

Windows Live Messenger 2011 Hangs On Sign-In

I installed Windows Live Messenger 2011 on a new HP laptop, but found that Messenger hung after signing in.  The problem is related to Internet Explorer (IE) 9’s hardware acceleration and the integrated graphics on the Core i3 CPU.  The laptop has switchable graphics and when running on the AMD GPU Messenger doesn’t hang, but it does hang when using the graphics on the CPU.  The resolution is to either disable IE 9’s hardware acceleration, or just use the discrete AMD GPU.

To disable IE 9’s hardware acceleration:

Open IE

Press ALT and choose Tools -> Internet Options from the menu

Go to the Advanced tab and select “Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering*”

Click OK and restart IE

Cleanup Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Backup Files

If you’ve installed service pack 1 for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 and you’re happy you won’t need to uninstall it, you can cleanup the service pack backup files by running the command below from an elevated command prompt.  This uses the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool

DISM.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /spsuperseded

The command freed 1.6GB on my Windows 7 desktop and 1.8GB on a Windows Server 2008 R2 Std server.

You can do the same for Windows Vista with vsp1cln.exe for service pack 1 and compcln.exe for service pack 2.

You must use the Role Management Tool to install or configure Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

If you try to install the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 on a Windows Server 2008 R2 server, you’ll get the error “You must use the Role Management Tool to install or configure Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5”.  This is because the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 is already installed, you just need to enable the feature.

Open Server Manager, navigate to Features, click Add Features and tick .NET Framework 3.5.1 Features. Click Next to install.

Where Did HyperTerminal Go?

If you’re using a version of Windows since Vista  need HyperTerminal you’ll find it’s no longer part of Windows.  If you only need remote shell access, you can use the Windows Remote Shell (WinRS).  If you need to troubleshoot modems go to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Phone and Modem Options.  However, if you need to connect to serial devices as you did with HyperTerminal you’ll need to download an alternative, my favourite is Putty

Forcing An Application Uninstall

I had an issue where an application was erroring every time I tried to open it.  I tried to uninstall the application, but this failed as the source files were no longer available.  I tried to install the latest version of the app, but this failed because an older version was still installed!  Having downloaded many of the free uninstall utilities and got no where I decided a brute force approach was worth trying.  Searching through the registry I found the entry for the application:


I wanted to trick the new version of the app so it couldn’t tell I had an older version already installed.  I renamed the above registry key to:


The new version of the application installed perfectly and has been working ever since.  This technique may not work with all applications and should be a last resort, but it worked for me.