Windows | Search & WIFI cannot type

There are situations, especially while using Windows 10 gen OS (Windows 2016+ Servers included) a user might not able to type inside

  • Windows Search Textbox
  • WIFI Password Textbox

For some strange reasons, typing inside these text boxes are supported by “CTF Loader”(C:\Windows\System32\ctfmon.exe)” & that is loaded into computer’s memory normally after a restart/reboot.

This is facilitated by one of the Windows Tasks & certain attempts like using KMSPICO tool to activate Microsoft software, which is ILLEGAL and many times breaks this Task.

So, how do we fix it? There are two different approaches

  • Rebuild the Task
  • Using Registry

We’ll see both methods in detail now.

1# Rebuild the Task

If the KMSpico tool or other reason corrupts the Task, you will not find any entries in the folder “TextServicesFramework”

Edited image for demo.

when an intact task should look like below

So how do we recreate this task, that is a custom handler?

Browse to “C:\WINDOWS\System32\Tasks\Microsoft\Windows\TextServicesFramework” & check whether you can find a file “MsCtfMonitor” inside the folder. If you cannot find the file in this folder, copy the file from another Windows machine that has the same version.

Copy the file to desktop and add the extension “.xml” to it.

Opening the file with notepad or another text editor should look like the following:

Go back to Task Scheduler and right click on “TextServiceFramework” and select “Import Task”

Point to the xml file that you have created in the desktop & apply. This should create a new task under the folder “TextServiceFramework”

Restart and confirm you can type in the search box and WIFI password text boxes. Alternatively you can use the Task Manager to check whether “CTF Loader” has been loaded.

2# Registry

Remember, registry entries might get removed through updates/new versions. However, as a temporary measure you can use the following hack to address the keyboard issues.

Make a full backup for the Registry. You must know, tampering registry could force you to a fresh installation of the OS!

Once a full backup for the Registry is made, browse to “Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run”

Create a new string key and call it anything that you want. Example

I have called the string key as “CTFLoader” and for the Value make sure to enter “ctfmon”=”CTFMON.EXE”

Reboot the computer and check whether the typing issues resolved. Alternatively use Task Manager to check whether CTF Loader has been loaded.

Although both fix the typing issues, the right way is to recreate the missing Task. Choose wisely & don’t pirate! We know many interesting software are pricely and many of us cannot afford them. There are free alternatives for maximum pirated software like

And many more software that you need for Office/School/Home works! Piracy not only breaks the businesses that develop them, helps cyber criminals to unleash attacks like Ransomware through serial number generators and patches.

Hope this has helped you today.

Windows 10 | Windows cannot connect to the printer

There are times when you come across the error “Windows cannot connect to the printer” (error 0x000003e3) while trying to connect to a shared printer that is connected to another Windows 10 computer.

Quite possible that the drivers installed on the source machine is either not compatible with the client/target machine or not getting copied to the target machine. Now, install the correct version of printer driver to the target machine and try to connect again. There could be few other items you must check and insure for a successful connection.

  • Make sure both the computers network property shows the connection as either domain or private.
  • Make sure you have File & Printer sharing enabled for the network

That’s all folks

Oracle Application R12 | Using Microsoft Edge Chrome for versions 11 & 12.0.xx

Updated on 8th October 2021 for Microsoft Edge Version 94.0.x.x & for Windows 11 that comes without Internet Explorer (or it doesn’t allow you to start Internet Explorer)

A much easier method is available with versions later than the one I used earlier.

Step# 1. Go to Edge settings (type edge://settings in the address bar and select “Default Browser”

Change “Allow sites to be reloaded in the Internet Explorer mode” to “Allow”, that will require you to restart the browser. Please restart

Step# 2. Now enter the address of your Oracle Application in the address bar and wait for the login page to load. Once loaded, click on the “three dots” menu by the extreme right of the browser and select “Reload in Internet Explorer mode”

This will open another dialog box as seen with the above image. Toggle “Open this page in Internet Explorer mode next time” and click “Done” button, that will produce more notifications like the one you could see with the below image.

It asks you to leave the Internet Explorer mode and another button “Show in toolbar”. This is an interesting button, clicking that starts showing a small tool button in the tools area and the button will reload the current page in “Internet Explorer mode”.

That’s all. Just click the toolbar button and your Oracle Application login page will be loaded in “Internet Explorer mode” immediately.

Toggling the switch to “Open this page in Internet Explorer mode next time” in the “Step# 2” adds an entry to “Internet Explorer mode pages” area for your current page and the entry is valid for next 30 days. Microsoft is expecting you to modernize your “page” within those next 30 days ;). Once this entry expires, you must get the “Open this page in Internet Explorer mode next time” dialog box once again.

October 8, 2021 update ends here.

After 25 years ever since it was launched, Windows 11 will be the first OS that is not shipping with Internet Explorer.

How does this matter to Businesses those use Oracle Application versions 11 & 12.0.xx? Well, currently Internet Explorer is the only one browser that allows to load Oracle JRE (NPAPI client) for Oracle Forms, on which much of the Oracle module rely.

Oracle Applications has patched the latest releases with a technology called JWS (Java Web Start), that let’s the users to download a jnlp file from the application and Oracle Java Run Time to start in desktop mode (without being loaded in a browser session) loading Oracle Forms. Well, this enhancement is not available for Application versions 11 & 12.0.xx

Microsoft was expecting a huge cry from the Businesses that use Oracle Applications/legacy implementations those cost millions of dollars and fine tuned for Internet Explorer. Cutting these businesses could mean loads for Microsoft, So they have integrated “IE Mode” into their chromium based “Edge browser”, which is the default browser on Windows 11. IE Mode makes Edge Chrome to “act” as if it were Internet Explorer for legacy Web based applications & loads NPAPI clients like JRE.

Today let us see how to configure Microsoft Edge Chrome for Oracle Applications.

Start Microsoft Edge Chrome & open “Settings”

Click on Default Browser & spend a moment to check currently set options.

Let us change few of those settings like shown below.

Let Internet Explorer open sites in Microsoft Edge -> Change to Allow

Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer mode ->Change to “Allow”. This will require you to restart the browser.

You must add the sites those you want to open in IE mode by clicking “Internet Explorer mode pages” Add button. Such pages will have maximum 30 days validity. Without, JRE will not load and will prompt you to download it from the default location.

Now, let us click the restart button & give it a try.

That’s all folks.

Microsoft ODBC Driver 17: A previous installation required a reboot of the machine for changes to take effect.

Today I was trying to install SSMS SQL Server Management Studio 18.9.1 & the installation was stopped with a message “Microsoft ODBC Driver 17: A previous installation required a reboot of the machine for changes to take effect”

Abiding, I went ahead to reboot & instead pressed the shutdown button. After restarting the PC, tried to install SSMS once again and the installer gave up mentioning the same message.

All I needed was “reboot” the machine. Microsoft is sometimes, grr.

Install Oracle Database 19c on Windows 10

This time let us see how to install Oracle database 19c on Windows 10. This installation is not much different from Oracle 18c installation.

You can download the 19c Installation media for Windows from the below link.

Database Software Downloads | Oracle

Once downloaded, you have to extract the package to a folder. Please note, the extracted folder or the folder from which you will execute “Setup.exe” is going to be 19c Oracle Home. So, name the folder wisely. For example, I have extracted the files to a folder D:\Oracle\19c

You can start the installation by right clicking the Setup.exe and running as “Administrator”.

This will kick start the installation.

We will not create a database along with the software installation. Hence select “Set Up Software Only”

I suggest you to create a normal user (no administrator privileges) “oracle”, that will be used for all your future Oracle software installations. If you don’t have an account explicitly created yet for Oracle, the installation gives you an interface to create one. It’s your choice.

Please remember, earlier I said, the folder where you have extracted the installation media is going to be Oracle 19c home, aka Oracle Home. Rename the folder with an appropriate name before going ahead with the installation.

You will be asked to provide a location for Oracle Base. To content within the Oracle Home, you can specify a path like “D:\Oracle\19c\database” or “D:\Oracle\19c\db” or a folder name of your choice.

After few basic checks, the installation will proceed now. I strongly suggest you to assign a STATIC IP for your computer, prior continuing.

That’s it. No hacks, no modifications to config files or anything such to get the software installed on Windows!.

You can use “Database Configuration Assistant” for creating new database. We will see how to create a new database now. This time we will be creating a CDB (Container Database) and one PDB (Pluggable Database). You may go ahead with creating a single instance database when asked to choose between.

Select “Advanced Configuration”

You can choose between a normal database or Container database with PDB at next step. If you don’t wish to create the database as a container, uncheck the option “Create as Container database”. If you chose to continue with creating your database as container, I suggest you to leave the defaults as it is, other than the PDB name. If you need more PDBs, may add later to the container.

Leave the defaults, unless you know what you are doing.

If you are setting up the database for the LAB/Learning purposes, you may ignore these. However, for production instances, you must configure the Recovery area & setup archiving.

You can create a LISTENER for your database now. If you other Oracle database LISTENERs already running, choose a port number that wouldn’t raise a conflict.

Optionally you can setup Database Vault & Label Security at this step ;)

Okay, we need your attention here. Oracle automatically allocates 40% of total available physical memory for the newly created database. As I mentioned in the previous step, if you have more than one database running from the same computer, you must adjust the available memory to avoid choking the resources.

You may leave the defaults untouched here & you can change this value as sys admin when needed.

WebLogic Repos insist upon “AL32UTF8” Character Set & unless you have specific reasons to change the Character set, leave the defaults. If you are planning to migrate a legacy application that uses a different character set like Arabic (AR8MSWIN1256), please read this post

As per the post, you can use a different character set for a PDB starting from Oracle database versions 12.2.

We do love Scott bit too much, if yes, go with sample schemas (Trust me, you need it)

Enterprise Manager configuration is totally optional. If you choose to, will install an Express edition of Oracle Enterprise Manager (means more resources)

As usual, for a LAB environment I will go with same password for all accounts.

I would suggest you to accept the defaults at next step & change the passwords and unlock accounts as and when needed.

That should complete the installation and creation of database for 19c. Have comments? Please post them to me.

Windows 10 | Uninstall pre-installed/bundled software & apps

Windows 10 comes with a number of apps, usually we call them as bloatware in the mobile phones segments. Today we will see how to get rid of most of those pre-installed or bundled apps and a method to re-install the Microsoft Store app. By uninstalling the bundled software, trust me, you are going to save hell loads of bandwidth and storage.

Prerequisites: I am expecting you to have moderate experiences with Windows OS, as the below instructions might require you to open PowerShell as an administrator. For a fail safe situation, I will ask you to have minimum one more user account created and signed on prior you try to remove the pre-installed apps from your user account.

Once PowerShell console opens, you should able to see something like this on top of the console window “Administrator: Windows PowerShell”.

Before uninstalling the pre-installed apps, that includes “Microsoft Store”, we have to make a note of the Store application package name. Please note, the package name changes between builds, hence you must run the below command from your own Windows 10 machine, ie, do not copy from this post.

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name "Microsoft.WindowsStore"

So for my Windows 10 box, I need to copy the value for “PackageFullName”, that is


Side note: Please give extra attention to “PackageUserInformation”. This element lists all the user accounts those already have the “Microsoft Store” app installed. My work laptop (this machine) has four User accounts (default Administrator account disabled) including the domain user account. For my local and domain accounts, the store app is already installed and for other two accounts the app has been staged. Ie, not yet installed.

Please copy the “PackageFullName” element value to a notepad and save the file on the desktop with a name that you could remember.

In the same PowerShell console issue the below command

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage

This is going to start uninstalling the pre-installed apps. There will be some funny Red color texts, highlighted bars over the PowerShell prompt. Don’t get panicked. Based on the resources available this might take a while to finish. Once the PowerShell prompt returned, you will see that all the pre-installed apps are gone… for good!

However we need the Microsoft Store app back for downloading the most essential apps like Calculator, Mail client & few other. In the same PowerShell console, construct a command like below. Please make sure you will replace the package name with the one you have copied to the text file earlier.

Add-AppxPackage -register "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsStore_12011.1001.1.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\appxmanifest.xml" –DisableDevelopmentMode

Microsoft Store app should be installed instantly and you can proceed with installing your essential apps from the store now.

Like all other times, I ask you not to proceed, if you don’t know what you are going to end up with!

One much detailed information you can find here [Guide] How to Uninstall and Remove All Built-in Apps in Windows 10 – AskVG

VirtualBox | Windows 10 Guests too slow

I’m a huge fan of Oracle VirtualBox. Actually I have almost 10 different VMs (many of them were never used over years) scattered everywhere within my home network. Then I had this Windows 10 VM, that always had troubles.

Environment: HOST (HP PROBOOK 440 G7

Windows 10 Pro 64Bit, i7-10th Generation Processor with 8 CPUs, 32GB RAM, NVMe disk for OS and Crucial MX500 series 1TB SSD for data/Virtual Machines & Windows 10 guest has the configurations as seen with the image.

In addition to, for the VDI with fixed size, I have exclusively set “Solid-state Drive” flag. If you have a keen observation, I have selected “Hyper-V Paravirtualization” for “Acceleration” and I don’t have Hyper-V enabled :). Well, I didn’t hear any complaints (yet)!

After reviewing many posts and answers over VirtualBox forum, I have made few changes those I felt could make some differences, and I feel my VM responds much better after those changes.

Disable Transparency. This makes your Windows 10 VM respond much faster (not just “seems faster®” ;) )

Setup your box for best performance.

Reboot the Virtual Machine. I have seen slight gains with the booting time, however once logged in the VM is snappier than ever. I cannot help you, if you are using VM for something fancy that depends upon the Graphic processing. For a server side software like Oracle database where the performance matters, I think this is the only one go with current VirtualBox/Windows 10 setup.

If you are interested to see how long it takes for my VM to finally let me log in, watch the below video.

Leave me your comments!

OneDrive isn’t signed in

Updated on: 23rd November 2020

Well, it looks like the bug that Microsoft is dealing with is not something simple. Yesterday I was forced to change the password for my account, which has Administrator privileges due to some “too much gaming” by my 6 years old ;)

Immediately after the password change and restart, I started getting the message “OneDrive isn’t signed in” & one more thing I noticed was Microsoft Edge’s Sync profile account signed off. I always had a feeling that Microsoft Edge has something to do with the entire mess & I am not sure whether observing the above has any relevance as I am using individual apps to sign in, than using the live account globally.

The one positive thing until is, the entered credentials are still holding up & I was not asked to enter them once again today morning after cold reboot. It looks like Microsoft has messed up the Windows Credential Manager thingy little too deep this time!

**23rd November Update end***

“OneDrive isn’t signed in Please enter your sign-in info to start syncing again.” One of the little annoyances I had to live with post Windows 10, 2004 update.

After long “Googling” I came across multiple suggestions, none of which truly resolved my issues with OneDrive “automatic” signing in. Following couple of leads, I landed on to “Windows Credentials” and found that the OneDrive credentials were missing after a long shutdown & reboot.

This helped me to start finding details about cached credentials being “Expired” after a long interval between shutdown and reboot. I couldn’t find anything very specific explaining about this behavior until this moment.

Then I decided to uninstall OneDrive for a fresh installation. I uninstalled OneDrive, rebooted the box, reinstalled the software and tried various combinations like rebooting, cold reboots for next couple of hours to insure that the cached credentials were holding up. Started this thread and went to sleep the same night & next morning found that the cached credentials were once again missing!

While we were migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7, initial days the OS was plagued with unexplained bugs, causing this blogosphere :). One of the major issues we dealt with was corrupt profile for domain users, those required us to drop and recreate them on client machines!

I applied the same with this case, and did the following:

  • Enabled the “Administrator” account (You need minimum one account with Administrator privileges to carryout below)
  • Made necessary backups for the user account from which I was having OneDrive sign on issues. Please note, by deleting the user folder, you might lose some valuable data. So make sure adequate backups are made prior you delete the user account and related folders
  • Deleted the user account
  • Restarted & deleted the user folder (mandatory)
  • Re-created the user profile with same username!

Now Windows Credential Manager is holding up OneDrive credentials after 72 hours & I think this could be one of the possible fixes among many others!



RSAT: Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10

The last standalone package for Remote Server Administration Tools was released for Windows 10 Version 1803 & the same was integrated into Windows 10 as optional packages with later versions of Windows.

There are many detailed installation instructions floating over dozens of tech blogs and sites, explaining how to enable/install RSAT on Windows 10. Today we will go through a quick how to without breaking much sweat & details.

As a Windows Domain Administrator, I need the following features at times:

  1. Active Directory Users and Computers
  2. DNS Manager

For the rest, usually I use the remote desktop connection to domain controllers.

Please note, with each version of Windows 10, there might be minor changes with the way software is installed. Hence, make sure that you double check your version of Windows 10 before attempting the below instructions. These instructions are valid for Windows 10, Version 2004 with September 2020 cumulative updates.

Open Add or remove programs (Modern App management console)

Click on “Optional Features”

Click on “Add Feature” that will open up a list of available optional features. Remote Server Administration Tools or RSAT could be filtered by entering RSAT in the search area.

As I needed only “Active Directory users and computers” and “DNS Server” components, I chose them. You might need more components to be available to carry out your server administration. Choose everything that applies to your requirements & Press the “Install” button.

That’s all. Now you can access the features those were installed based on your selection from the start menu or by searching for them in the taskbar search box.