Windows – How to connect to a Remote Registry

October 30, 2013

Often you need to make changes to the user’s Registry to solve issues.

But that is easier said then done, even if you are an administrator Sad smile

(giving the conditions that you had not set all prerequisites already using Group Policy settngs)

So here we go :

– first get a version of MS Sys Internals – PStools    In my case the latest version 2.0, did not work !   So I went back to version

Once you start the PSEXEX cmd make sure you use the –h parameter to run with elevated permissions.

-h    If the target system is Vista or higher, has the process run with the account’s elevated token, if available.

Example :

PsExec.exe -h \\PC_NAME cmd

Once started you can see in the CMD prompt windows that you connected correctly.


Now run the following cmd :

netsh firewall set service REMOTEADMIN ENABLE SUBNET


Next start on your machine AND the remote PC the following cmd :

net start RemoteRegistry


Check on both sides if it is started.

Now you are ready to connect to the remote registry using the GUI


Enjoy !

Windows – Disk Space Cleanup – Software Distribution and more …

October 15, 2013

Sometimes you run out of disk space on a PC or even a Server !!

Especially on the C drive this will become serious to keep everything running smoothly.

Apart from deleting the rubbish, you can follow this procedure to free up major disk space.

Follow this procedure to get rid of the overload in :


1. Is it safe to delete files in ?C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download

Yes, taken in account you follow these steps :

net stop wuauserv
rename c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution Softwaredistribution.old
net start wuauserv

Verify that the new software distribution folder created when you restart the update service. You will notice it will create the missing subfolders again and populate ONLY the downloads that you are missing and not the whole historical downloads.

Restart the computer and del the folder if you have no issues.

Software Distributions Downloads is auto cleaned after a couple of weeks.
Purging more often than that can be done by stopping the service, clearing the downloads dir, then restarting WAU.

This will save you a lot of Gb’s !!

If this is not sufficient you can apply this try to relocate the folder and all the Gb’s to a different drive.

How to relocating the C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution folder

1. First stop the Windows update Service


Copy the folder and files to a new drive with enough space like the “D drive” in my case


On the “C Drive” rename the original folder to


Delete all the subfolders and data from this folder (which had copied to the D drive see above)

Create a new blank C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution folder

Next create a Symbolic link using Junction  from this new blank folder in the C drive to the copied folder on the D drive.

You can use this tool if needed

junction "C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution" "D:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution"



Tip :

The JUNCTION.EXE tool is not needed anymore ! In fact it is outdated compared to the built-in tool MKLINK.

As of Windows Server 2008r2 you better use this command line tool.


See here for the difference between /D and /J

net stop wuauserv
mklink /D "C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution" "E:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution"
net start wuauserv


Keep in mind that the LINK Directory may not yet exists !

So you need to delete the C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution before creating the link.



Check the result after restarting Windows Updates Service again.

Use this command :

dir /AL /S C:\windows


Done !


2. Is it safe to delete the  WinSxS folder

You should not be purged entirely, but you can clean up older and duplicate cache files with DISM:

Windows 7 / Windows 2008r2 use this command :

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded

Windows 10 / Windows 2016 use these commands :

dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /AnalyzeComponentStore


Windows 2016 Example


Next if cleanup recommended run this command

dism /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup


Also see here for more clean-up options :

System => Storage =>  Free Up space now …


Activate Storage Sense




See here for more info :

Then, cleaning up temp spaces, such as with Disk Clean-up helps.


Clean-up System Files


Ultimately remove some Restore Points



3. Resize DataStore.edb Database

Run these commands


net stop wuauserv
esentutl /k %windir%\softwaredistribution\datastore\datastore.edb
net start wuauserv


net stop wuauserv
esentutl /d %windir%\softwaredistribution\datastore\datastore.edb
net start wuauserv

Reducing Windows Database

Windows.edb is located here :



Change the Windows Search service so that it does not automatically start. To do this,

Run the following commands in cmd.exe using Admin privileges :


Run the following commands to perform offline compaction of the Windows.edb file:

Sc config wsearch start=disabled
esentutl.exe /d %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb



Run the following command to change the Windows Search service to delayed start:

Sc config wsearch start=delayed-auto
net start wsearch




After Compacting it is save +/- 1 Gb Smile

You can do the same for the datastore.edb



net stop BITS
net stop wuauserv
esentutl.exe /d c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore\DataStore.edb
net start BITS
net start wuauserv

Actually you can do this for any EDB database you find on your system ! Winking smile

Like for example the Internet.edb


4. More tips on how to recover space is :

1. Windows – WSUS Database CleanUp Tool

2. Windows – Reading & Removing CBS.Log


Enjoy !

Windows – Internet Explorer Development Tools F12 annoyance

October 14, 2013

Sometimes you encounter this annoyance pressing F12 to get the IE Development tools to pop up.

But nothing happens Sad smile


You can see the window is active in the background though ?

Solution to fix it is the following :

Select the Developer Tools window – right click it and select Maximize


Next when the window is open. Click on the window title bar and drag it to resize.


Done !