Tag Archives: Windows

How to fix broken iCloud photostream sync on Windows


  • Your iPhone is set to back up your photos to iCloud
  • iCloud on your Windows machine is configured to download your photos
  • iCloud isn’t downloading your photo stream.


  1. Open the Task Manager by hitting Ctrl+Shift+Esc
  2. Click the Processes tab
  3. Click Name to sort the processes by name
  4. Find the Apple Photostreams Uploader and Apple Photostreams Downloader processes. End both of them.
    • In Windows 7, these will be called ApplePhotostreamsUploader.exe and ApplePhotostreamsDownloader.exe
  5. Hold down your Windows key, and hit R to open a Run prompt
  6. Type %appdata% and hit Enter
  7. Open Apple Computer > MediaStream
  8. Delete everything in the directory
  9. Log out of your Windows account, and log back in (or just reboot, if you find that easier)
  10. Once you’ve logged back into your Windows account, open the iCloud control panel again
  11. If the Photos checkbox is empty, check it
  12. Click Options, and make sure the photo options are configured how you want them
  13. Click Apply

In a few moments, your photos should start downloading.


iCloud isn’t very smart about a great many things. Here are a few:

  • If you changed the location of your downloaded photos, it will redownload what it can, creating duplicates.
  • In the iCloud 2.x days, your downloads and uploads were usually split into a Downloads and Uploads directory, and you could change the directories if you wanted. That’s not true anymore. Instead, iCloud 3.x creates a “My Photo Stream” directory, and sticks your downloads in there. Anything you’ve shared with other people, or that other people have shared with you goes into “Shared”. If you want to push a photo from your computer to iCloud, put it into Uploads

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How to install iCloud on Windows Server

iCloud sync stops working, or you get an error message on startup that says: The procedure entry point _objc_init_image could not be located in the dynamic link library objc.dll’ and will not start.

Apple has configured newer versions of iCloud (version 3+, I believe) to only work on Windows 7 or 8, but there’s no reason you can’t use it on Windows Server operating systems.

You’ll need about 3 minutes, and two utilities.

  1. Install 7-zip.
  2. Install Orca, a Microsoft-provided MSI editor.
    • Orca is bundled with the Windows SDK, and getting it out of that bundle isn’t straightforward, so I’ve extracted it, and zipped it up so you can get it as a standalone program.
  3. Download the iCloud control panel installer, if you haven’t already
  4. Open iCloudSetup.exe with 7-zip.
    1. Right-click it
    2. Select 7-zip > Open with 7-zip
  5. Extract the appropriate version of iCloud somewhere (usually this is iCloud64)
  6. Open Orca, and open the iCloud MSI you just extracted
  7. Go to the LaunchCondition table
  8. Change this line:
    • From: (VersionNT >= 601) AND (MsiNTProductType = 1)
    • To: (VersionNT >= 601) AND (MsiNTProductType = 3)
  9. Save and quit

You should then be able to install iCloud on your Windows Server OS using the MSI you just modified.

How to install pip on Windows

This is a distillation of the instructions at The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python, mostly for my own future benefit when I inevitably forget how to do it:

  1. Install Python, if you haven’t already
  2. Install distribute by running the distribute_setup.py script:
    1. wget http://python-distribute.org/distribute_setup.py
    2. python distribute_setup.py
  3. Use easy_install to install PIP. PIP is actively maintained, and supports package removal (unlike easy_install)
    1. easy_install pip

This took a grand total of about 60 seconds to complete.

How-to: Pin Eclipse to the Windows 7 taskbar

Before you begin, close any and all instances of Eclipse.

The Eclipse IDE for Java doesn’t come with an installer like most Windows packages do; it’s a zip file containing the program and the libraries it needs to run. As a result of this, and the fact that it’s written in Java, it has some non-standard behavior characteristics on its edges. One of them is the inability to pin the program to the taskbar like you can with most Windows programs. Another is the fact that when you tap the Windows key and type “eclipse”, eclipse.exe often doesn’t show up. (It might if you put it someplace besides %ProgramFiles% or %ProgramFiles(x86)%, I haven’t tested.)

No Eclipse in Windows search

I use the Windows 7 taskbar heavily, because I like being able to launch programs using Win+[number]. My desktop and laptop are configured identically, so Win+1 always opens Chrome, Win+5 is always iTunes. If you launch eclipse using Windows explorer, and then you try to “pin” the program to the taskbar, you discover that you can’t:

Can't pin Eclipse to taskbar

Well there’s a workaround. Buried in this bug report, you’ll discover that if you edit your environment variables, you’ll be able to pin eclipse to the taskbar. (You’ll need to be logged in as an Administrator):

Edit system environment variables

Edit Windows path variable Java

Add the path to the JRE to what’s currently there, followed by a semicolon. In my case, that would be:

C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin;

While you’re editing environment variables, it might not hurt to put in the path to the JDK, so if you ever decide to do Java development outside Eclipse, you don’t need to resort to setting the path by hand every time you launch the CLI. For me that’s “C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_22\bin;” but it will change as newer versions of Java are released. If you do this, make sure you put the JDK path after the JRE path. For non-development purposes, you’ll generally want to be using the latest version of the JRE.

My new path looks like this:

C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin;C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_22\bin;C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;[etc]

Click OK, and launch Eclipse from explorer as you normally would. You should now be able to pin Eclipse to the taskbar, giving it a home among the rest of your permanently docked programs. Doing it this way means you won’t see two icons when Eclipse is open, which is what happens if you drag eclipse.exe to the taskbar without editing the system path.

Pin Eclipse to Windows taskbar

Gives you:

Eclipsed docked in the taskbar

Bullets for a snowy Wednesday

A smattering of things I’m consuming: