Thursday, 24 December 2009

your out of office settings cannot be displayed because the server is unavailable

I'm going to try my best to help anyone out stuck in this situation because it took me ages to sort out! BUT please note that my scenario may not be the best or the easiest or even the most accurate!

So my scenario was I had Server 2003 standard with Exchange 2007 VLK enterprise, all clients with Outlook 2007 couldnt enable OOF (Out Of Office) they had to go into Outlook Web Access to enable it.

After some initial digging I found out that I had to look at the certificate in exchange incase it was invalid as well as check the autodiscover service to make sure it points to the right place.

1. Check your certificate!

2. Check in outlook the autodiscover settings
what URL's are pointing to where by holding control and then right clicking on the outlook icon in the system tray then select test autoconnection. This will show you the URL's it is using.

3. Internal / External URL Check
Check your URL's for Outlook within the Exchange Management Shell
"Get-WebServicesVirtualDirectory | fl InternalURL,ExternalURL" run this command and make sure that the URL's are correct. You should change them if not, then try again.

Does this help anyone...?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. MAPI32.DLL is corrupt or the wrong

I installed Office 2003 from a disk and couldnt open Outlook after some issues with Access.

The error was as below:

Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. MAPI32.DLL is corrupt or the wrong
version. This could have been caused by installing other messaging software.
Please reinstall Outlook.

Reinstallation does not work so I'll save everyone some time here hopefully, the only resolution I've seen and used here is to rename a simple file at the following path:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033

Which is MSMAPI32.DLL.

Please, please, please don't rename MAPI32.DLL this wont work, it is MSMAPI32.DLL just simply change the extension and it will 9/10 times be sorted.

Did I solve your problem? Buy me a virtual beer by clicking on a Google ad :). Thanks!

Friday, 13 November 2009

SBS 2008 hangs on Applying Computer Settings

I have to admit, out of all server installs I have ever done, I have probably had one of the worst experiences ever recently with 2008 SBS.

I thought I would blog about this problem simply because I was in a mess and I'm sure anyone else in this scenario would want to get out of it just as quickly as I did!

My Scenario
At first the clients were complaining that the Exchange was down, I noticed that the store service wasnt running so quite rightly I tried to start it but it wasnt having any of it. I went to Event Viewer and it had items like "Cannot connect to Active Directory" and "Exchange topology not starting" amongst many others. My most stupid mistake at this point was to reboot the server which is where I ended up watching a spinning wheel at "Applying Computer Settings".

I couldnt think what it was until I found that it could be affected by IPv6 at which point it became clear that this definately was the problem, I had turned it off the day prior to troubleshoot a vista application issue.

I found one fix on the net but it didnt help my situation unfortunately, it may still work for others though. You simply go into the registry and navigate to the following:

a.In the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.
b. Type DisabledComponents, and then press ENTER.
c. Double-click DisabledComponents.

5.Enter "ffffffff" (eight f’s), and then click OK.

My Resolution
So I rebooted into Safe Mode with Networking and logged on as the Domain Administrator (The first time it told me there were no logon servers available to service my request) I tried again and it was fine!

Go into Network and Sharing Centre, Manage Network Connections, Go to Properties on the connection and tick IPv6.

You can then reboot the machine and it will boot up ok. (I will also add that it looked like it wasnt going to work, it still spun around applying personal settings for around 3 minutes before it booted so be patient.)

Good luck to anyone else who gets this problem and I hope the above helps!

Did I solve your problem? Buy me a virtual beer by clicking on a Google ad :). Thanks!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Sophos Anti Virus not updating (could not contact server)

I found quite a neat little trick, whether or not the following technical processes are by design I dont know but I assure you this has worked for me loads of times.

If you see Sophos Anti Virus with a red shield in it, first thing I used to do is rename the Cache folder in Program Files and then click update. Job done, it updates we can all go home with a smile on our faces.

What I noticed recently was that this didnt fix the problem at all, it generally made a bit more of a mess.

So, if you find that the Cache folder has an update in there (Usually 68Mb+) Navigate to: C:\Program Files\Sophos\AutoUpdate\cache\savxp and click Install Sophos Anti Virus, this will run you through a quick WinInstaller and then update the program.

You will probably have to reboot at this point, you can choose to reboot, usually I just log off ;) (As im sure most IT pro's do)

Finally just re-enter the update credentials into the Sophos program and re-check for updates.

Works like a charm

Did I solve your problem? Buy me a virtual beer by clicking on a Google ad :). Thanks!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

iTunes no burn option for burn to disc

You know, usually I dont blog about my personal endeavours AND I certainly avoid writing about Apple if I can but I felt sorry for others who may be in this scenario so decided to write up my experiences here.

I like to think of myself as reasonably competent technically so to find that I couldnt manage to burn a cd audio disc from iTunes was a pretty big blow, holding back my integrity I decided to do some good old fashioned 'Google-ing'.

Many, if not ALL posts pointed to Edit, Preferences and then under the "Burning Tab". So I started going through but hang on, what burning tab?! I havent got one. After looking on multiple sites all telling me the same thing, I figured I was on my own.

So I looked through advanced settings, import settings, creating AAC versions, I was literally seconds off leaving iTunes to burn in good old fashioned windows before I decided to simply right click on the Playlist I wanted. Only to find the option there, right in front of my face!

Why people say look in advanced options, look out for a burn disc in the top right corner... I have no idea! Folks the answer is simple if you want to burn a CD in Windows using iTunes just right click the playlist and select Burn.

End of, I hope that helps relieve some people.


Did I solve your problem? Buy me a virtual beer by clicking on a Google ad :). Thanks!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Cannot create FAX.TIF in Outlook 2007

I have personally been having this problem and living with it for far too long, today was just the last straw for me. This believe it or not was actually a really easy problem to fix too!

I analysed Outlook and how it used attachments to find that they were all stored in a temporary secure folder in preparation for you opening them in the Outlook QuickPreview, this being said if one particular file becomes corrupt that extension is then inaccessible to outlook entirely.

So the resolution is simple, find the folder and then delete the data.


Go to Start
Type "Regedit"
Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12\Outlook\Security
Then take note of the value for "OutlookSecureTempFolder"
This is where the folder is, finally navigate to this folder and delete all of its contents.

Hey presto, you dont even have to close outlook for this to work, it is sorted instantly.

Good luck.

Did I solve your problem? Buy me a virtual beer by clicking on a Google ad :). Thanks!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Spell Checker not working in Word 2007

This was a very odd one, a client approached me saying that whenever she was typing there was no "Red squiggles" under her mistakes. Assuming the best that maybe it was simply turned off of there was something slightly amiss here I logged on to see the problem myself.

Lo and behold it was true, even clicking check document didn't correct any issues!

So after much head scratching, initially I came accross a document in Microsoft's support assembly that showed Word runs with separate Add-on entities which can sometimes be disabled.

So running with this in mind, I did the following and sorted the problem.

Click the Word Office button
Click Add-in's
Select the drop down box
Select Disabled Add-in's
Enable the Dictionary spell check!

All sorted :)

Monday, 7 September 2009

CRM 4: Unable to Load Client Print Control

At first I saw this message a few times and the resolution wasn't too difficult at all, after a short while of Googling etc it became apparent that an Auto Update had messed up the SQL reporting services ActiveX client and so needed another update applying.

Solution: Install the fixes below on the necessary servers and then reboot each server.

CRM Server:

Microsoft Report Viewer Redistributable 2005 Service Pack 1

SQL Server (If Different):

Security Update for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (KB954606)

To finish, open the reports window and click print, you still get the error but this time you get an ActiveX control to install, install that and rerun the report. You can now print fine.

HOWEVER - Please Note

Be warned, this only happened to me once but it might be that on Server 2008 once you have applied the update the Reporting Server doesnt even let you run reports never mind print them. I got a 404 permission denied when navigating to http://servername/reportserver and also got an error in Event Viewer
"Web service request ListExtensions to Report Server failed"

The resolution I found to this was to go into IIS 7, navigate down to ReportServer in Sites and click on Handler Mappings, then click any of the sub items and on the left click "Edit Feature Permissions" Check the Script box as well as Read box.(Not Execute). You find at that point it should run fine.

Good luck anyone else in this scenario, love to know if this works for you!

CRM 4: Cannot publish a workflow that has a send email task

I found to fix this you had to change the web.config, other people have assured me this should only happen when you change the web.config file manually but we didn't so...who know's. The fix seems complex but is all to common and after a while seems quite common.

Open the Microsoft CRM Web site web.config file in an editor like Notepad and add the following section to it in order to continue publishing workflows:

In the section

…multiple lines here

CRM 4: Workflows not running at all

I've only seen this once and I think it was due to bad installation, since we had to change hostnames and port numbers AFTER the install, so it may not happen to many people but if it does... hopefully this will save you some time :)

*You want to go into your SQL Server Management studio and then go to, your CRM_CONFIG Database.

*Expand Tables and look for the record "Deployment Properties"

*Right click and select "Open Table"

*Navigate down to "AsyncSdkRootDomain" and then accross to "NVarCharColumn" and fill in the correct hostname and port number (Usually something like 'CRM:80')

*Do the same for "ADSdkRootDomain" and "ADWebApplicationRootDomain"

Monday, 8 June 2009

This product type does not match the list of supported product types

I got this message installing a HP CM1312 on an SBS server, how on earth it is justifiable that an SBS server doesnt meet requirements is beyond me, obviously this being a network shared printer this was no solution so I had to install it.

Even going to the HP website you get the same installer package so you can't use the add printer wizard... a few hours with HP later and finally we cracked it.

So to get past this error simply hold down CTRL + SHIFT when pressing Cancel on the installer, this will then keep the installer running passed the error and works a treat.


Did I solve your problem? Buy me a virtual beer by clicking on a Google ad :). Thanks!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Method 'post' of object 'IOWSPostData' failed

Realistically I'm talking about two different problems in this post HOWEVER I found them directly linked in my scenario so maybe you will too.

First Error: Method 'post' of object 'IOWSPostData' failed

This is caused by a failed application add-in contained in Excel 2007;

You need to modify an XLA file within Excel to resolve this problem - Please also remember to always backup files before modifying them.
To make this change, open the Excel Add-In EXPTOOWS.XLA located in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\1033 by default. (Enable Macro's as opening)

Once opened, press ALT + F11 to open the VB editor and ADD the following line:
IVer = 2

Sub Initialize(List, Title, URL, QuickLaunch)
strQuickLaunch = QuickLaunch
aTarget(iPublishURL) = URL
aTarget(iPublishListName) = List
aTarget(iPublishListDesc) = Title'
lVer = Application.SharePointVersion(URL)
End Sub

Sub Initialize(List, Title, URL, QuickLaunch)
strQuickLaunch = QuickLaunch
aTarget(iPublishURL) = URL
aTarget(iPublishListName) = List
aTarget(iPublishListDesc) = Title'
lVer = Application.SharePointVersion(URL)
lVer = 2
End Sub

Finally save the document and ignore the valid signature warning, then try again you should find it now works. (You should IVer = 3 as well if at first you don't succeed)

I at this point didn't however, we were then presented with the following error:

"The selected range cannot be converted to a list before publishing or the existing table is invalid"

Finally to fix this problem the best solution we had was to manually create the list columns from the excel worksheet into a new sharepoint list and THEN import the data into those columns this then got around the problem.

If anybody has had these problems I would be interested in hearing your accounts and resolution methods or if the above worked well.. Answers on a postcard please :).

Did I solve your problem? Buy me a virtual beer by clicking on a Google ad :). Thanks!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Introduction to Windows 7

For anyone keeping in the loop with Microsoft's new Operating System 'Windows 7' see below the beginning of what appears to be 7; Windows 7 introductory video's.

Introduction to Windows 7

James O’Neill and Jamie Burgess get you up to speed with Windows 7 and look back at some of the improvements made since Windows Vista. They discuss the fundamentals of performance, application compatibility and safer browsing.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Download Windows 7 Desktop Wallpapers & Theme's

Windows 7 RC comes with lots of free themes, wallpapers and gadgets but there are others available for those who like to show off your pretty new operating systems and laptops...yes you know who you are..

Microsoft has launched a Personalize section in the Windows 7 Beta website where you can get them for free.

To grab your themes and papers visit the following URL:

Monday, 11 May 2009

Office 2007 Service Pack 2 Download

Just in case you havent already heard Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Office 2007 has now been released for download to public.

For more details follow the link: Download Now

Fixes for the following problems have been announced:

Microsoft Office Access
• Lets you export reports to Microsoft Office Excel.
• Supports memo fields in the mailing label wizard for addresses.
• Fixes issues that occur in the import data wizards, in report printing and previewing, in macros, in Excel integration, and in date filters.
• Includes updates to Access Developer Extensions.
Microsoft Office Excel
• Improves the charting mechanism in Excel 2007. This includes better parity with Office 2003, improved robustness, and targeted performance improvements.
• Adds a chart object model to Word and to PowerPoint.
• Improves shapes that are surfaced in Excel. This includes better parity with Office 2003 and targeted performance improvements.
• Improves the method by which Excel prints graphical content, especially when it prints to PCL printers.
• Adds conversion rates to the Excel Euro Currency Tools add-in for the Maltese lira and for the Cypriot pound.
Microsoft Office Groove
• Improves Groove 2007 form tools. In particular, international users in certain locales will benefit from correct interpretation of spaces for digit grouping in currency values.
• Limits the number of file-sharing workspaces to 64 to make sure that all workspaces can be synchronized. This limit applies only to adding new file-sharing workspaces. If you already have more than 64 file-sharing workspaces, you can continue to use them.
• Optimizes synchronization reliability.
Microsoft Office InfoPath
• Fixes for overall security and stability in InfoPath 2007
• Provides improved compatibility between InfoPath forms and other Microsoft products, such as Groove and Outlook.
Microsoft Office OneNote
• Improves SharePoint sync functionality. This helps reduce the load on SharePoint servers, and it helps produce fewer sync errors.
• If the OneNote tray notification icon was previously dismissed, the icon will now appear in the notification area. Additionally, this icon can now be dismissed only in the Options dialog box in OneNote.
• Adds support for Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for the Japanese language.
Microsoft Office Outlook
• Performance improvements that apply to the following general responsiveness areas:
o Startup
Removes lengthy operations from initial startup.
o Shutdown
Makes Outlook exit predictably despite pending activities.
o Folder View and Switch
Improves view rendering and folder switching.
• Calendar improvements
Improves underlying data structures and the general reliability of calendar updates.
• Data file checks
Greatly reduces the number of scenarios in which you receive the following error message when you start Outlook:

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Ok, Ok I joined Twitter

I did have a few requests recently from different people asking why I wasnt on the infamous and ever growing more popular Twitter, so yes folks, I've taken the leap and I have now joined. If you wish to follow me you can do at:

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Small Business Server 2008 Migrating

If your looking at Migrating a Windows SBS 2003 server to an SBS 2008 box I would definately recommend a read of David Overton's new Book "Small Business Server 2008, Installing, Migrating and Configuring" I have a copy and was also able to attend a training course delivered by David last weekend through Amitpro. SBS2008 and migrating to SBS2008 seems like a heavy handed, daunting task but looking at it after going through the migration techniques and following the steps (which is all it takes to be fair) makes the whole process look and feel so much easier.

Although without a doubt I'm pretty sure when it wants to go wrong, it will and I'm sure that not every migration will I walk out with a big grin on my face however knowing the steps to take and having a feel for how the process works is without a doubt an excellent idea.

If you're interested in reviewing or purchasing David Overton's book. Click Here

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

IT Supplier Directory

I don't know what people think of this, it looks to be a new site but I was fortunate enough to meet the owner who is looking to raise the profile of his new business venture, listing out the IT suppliers within the UK.

If people are interested in signing up to what may well be a good site to have your details on you should check it out at:

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Windows 7: "An unexpected network error has occured" when accessing Network Drives

a Very Very strange one on Windows 7, after logging onto the domain successfully accessing Mapped drives just gave the error "An unexpected network error has occured" there is nothing logged in Event Viewer or next to no diagnostics to run to figure out this problem.

After a little testing I found that you can access the server manually running its DNS name and then disconnect and re-map the drives you use and this clears the error.

Probably not the best fix - but a fix none the less,

If anyone has any other solutions feel free to post.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Windows 7 Beta Exam Available Soon

The first Windows 7 Beta exam - 71-680: TS Windows 7, Configuring is to be available in a week for Beta testing. If you pass this test it will be added to your transcript and even better - it is free!

Registration for this exam opens on April 27th with the testing period running from May 5th through Mat 18th. You need to hurry though as there are limited beta slots available and once they are gone, registration will close.

To register for this exam use the WIN7J as your registration code when you contact Prometric:

Thursday, 16 April 2009

How to clear the print queue manually when prints won't delete

So your working away on your PC and you send a print but it fails, your out of ink, out of paper or just plain unlucky. You restock your printer but the failed print wont clear in the Queue, the solution is simple:

1.Click "start" and go to "Run"

2.Type "services.msc" at the prompt which will open the Services

3.Scroll down the alphabetical list in the right window pane until you come
to the entry with the name "Print Spooler"

4.Right-click this entry, then select "stop". This will stop the computer
running the process that holds your print queues.

5.Leaving that window open for now, click again on "Start", and then click
"My Computer" to open a Windows Explorer window.

The usual path to the spool folder is
C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS, but yours may be slightly
different. Your windows drive may have another name for instance, but this would
be uncommon. So click on your Windows drive (usually C), then double-click on
the Windows folder, and then find the System32 folder and double-click on
that. Windows may warn you that you are about to view system files, but click
"View files anyway" message and search out the "spool folder". Within the
Spool folder is your Printers folder, and you should open

7.Delete every file within this folder to empty the jammed print queue
(pressing the "ctrl" and "a" keys will select all files and then you can just
hit "delete").

8.Close the explorer window now that we have emptied the cleared spool files,
and return to your Services window. we must re-start the Print spool
service, and do so by right-clicking the Print Spool entry and selecting
"Start" from the list. Close the services window and try printing again

Friday, 3 April 2009

OWA - Access to the following potentially unsafe attachments

Ever wondered how to get around the potentially blocked attachments notification, well wonder no more. It is actually very simple.

Simply modify the below registry keys to make the extension you require exempt.

Location: HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeWeb\OWA
Value: Level1FileTypes
Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: ade, adp, app, asx, bas, bat, chm, cmd, com, cpl, crt, csh, exe, fxp, hlp, hta, inf, ins, isp, js, jse, ksh, lnk, mda, mdb, mde, mdt, mdw, mdz, msc, msi, msp, mst, ops, pcd, pif, prf, prg, reg, scf, scr, sct, shb, shs, url, vb, vbe, vbs, wsc, wsf, wsh

Location: HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeWeb\OWAValue: Level2FileTypes
Type: REG_SZ
Value Data: ade, adp, asx, bas, bat, chm, cmd, com, cpl, crt, exe, hlp, hta, htm, html, htc, inf, ins, isp, js, jse, lnk, mda, mdb, mde, mdz, mht, mhtml, msc, msi, msp, mst, pcd, pif, prf, reg, scf, scr, sct, shb, shs, shtm, shtml, stm, url, vb, vbe, vbs, wsc, wsf, wsh, xml, dir, dcr, plg, spl, swf

Easy as that.. you can also add extensions to block by file type too.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

How to: Change the timeout setting in SharePoint 2

I've had issues in the past where users were having timeout issues with SharePoint sites on SBS 2003.

Particularly users with custom form sites or lists that require a lot of data entry will notice that after 15 minutes they are disconnected.

So to extend this default you need to make the following change:

1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.

2. Double-click Web Sites.

3. Right-click the virtual server that you are referring to, and then click Properties.

5. On the Web Site tab, in the Connection timeout box, increase the amount of seconds to a more appropriate number.

6. Click OK.

This should resolve the problem.

Cannot view secure web sites (HTTPS)

If you cannot view or access secure web pages, you may see issues similar to below:

*You cannot get into hotmail and yahoo email accounts.
*Cannot view secure web sites
*Cannot get into bank web sites
*Cannot update Anti Virus

The resolution is unbelievably easy..

1. Click Start.
2. Click Run.
3. Type regsvr32 softpub.dll
4. Click OK.
A pop-up should display with the message Dll Register Server in softpub.dll Succeeded.
5. Job done, try again if it fails restart IE.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Microsoft Office Outlook Hotmail Connector

With the free Microsoft Office Outlook Connector you can view and manage your Hotmail in Outlook.

Manage your Hotmail contacts in Outlook or in Hotmail itself — the Connector will keep them synched up when you make changes.

The Connector also enables you to link your Windows Live Calendar and Outlook calendar — making it easier for you to keep on schedule.

Download it now for Microsoft Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2003.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

TS Server 2003 - Turning off Internet Explorer Enhanced Security

Turning off Internet Explorer Enhanced Security mode isnt always easy on a Terminal Services server when your users arent the most profficient.

I found the best way to disable this if you find you have to; is to incorporate the following into group policy as a registry file.

Copy all text after the break line into a text document then save it as a .reg file.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap]

Friday, 20 March 2009

Internet Explorer 8 — Now Officially Launched

The long awaited Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 has now been made officially available to general public,

With long awaited features included such as:
InPrivate Browsing
Browse the web without saving your history with Internet Explorer 8's InPrivate Browsing. Now you can shop for that special gift with confidence knowing your family won't accidentally find out or use a shared computer without leaving a trace

Web Slices
Keep up with changes to the sites you care about most. Add a Web Slice and you won't have to go back to the same website again and again for updates on news, stock quotes, online auctions, weather, or even sports scores.

Accelerators let you map directions, translate words, email your friends, and more in just a few mouse clicks.

Click Here to download

Friday, 13 March 2009

SMTP: Advanced Queue Failed to Deliver Message in ESM

We noticed a while ago that emails were suddenly disappearing without trace, no NDR being genereated. The email just seems to disappear.

There are multiple ways to resolve this issue but I'll explain my method which will hopefully point most people in the right direction.

Firstly you need to find out exactly what the issue is, in my case we tracked the message in ESM and found the message was received by the server but then never delivered with the message; "SMTP: Advanced Queue Failed to Deliver Message in ESM"

You should enable message tracking, by right clicking the mail server in ESM and checking the tracking box on the general properties page.

Review the log file to find the exact event id from the exchange server.

An example of my case is as follows:
10:33:38 GMT SERVER2K3 1019
10:33:38 GMT 1025
10:33:44 GMT SERVER2K3 1026

You should use the following link to reference the event ID's

Message tracking event IDs in Exchange Server 2003

Event 1026 is most likely caused by the 3rd party Anti Spam software
running on exchange server.

Either the message was detected as spam or there may have been some corruption in the message. McAfee GroupShield installed on the Exchange server can also cause this.

We actually found that by disabling the scanning function in Group shield this resolved the error.

I have also however noticed in the past that GFI can cause this issue to, you should look in the Program files directory under GFI for any emails, you will most likely find them there.

Did I solve your problem? Buy me a virtual beer by clicking on a Google ad :). Thanks!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Your client does not support opening this list with Windows Explorer.

I recently came accross a client who recieved this message when they tried to use a sharepoint (V3) list:

"Your client does not support opening this list with Windows Explorer. "

Obviously this isnt a very helpful message but after a short while of searching through events and web pages I found the following Microsoft Article which helped to resolve the issue. It is caused by a long URL or List name exceeding 100 characters.
Microsoft have noted the problem and now released a patch for download so you can clear this problem.

Support Link:

How to make an External Drive Bootable

This is something that used to drive me crazy and probably still would had I not simply taken a few minutes to think a little bit about my options.

The scenario was simple Windows 7 RC from Microsoft's website as an ISO installing onto an Acer Aspire one with NO CD DRIVE!

So I had to go down the USB root, well the answer is actually really simple,

Firstly make sure your external drive is formatted as NTFS then secondly go into computer management (Right click My Computer and Click Manage) and right click your disk.
You then see an option (Set as Active) this will set the partition as Active as it states (Which also means bootable).

Copy your ISO onto the drive and boot, hoorah!

I think this is limited to Vista though...not sure anyone willing to try this on XP please let me know how this goes..

Saturday, 7 March 2009

File could not be found documents.doc

I first saw this when opening a word document from outlook as an attachment, I may be mistaken though this could happen in more scenarios.

Most of you will be glad to hear, the fix is simple!

Go to Start > Run, type "Winword /r"

Monday, 2 March 2009

LSASS.EXE - System Error / Rebuilding Active Directory Indices. When booting windows server 2003

LSASS.EXE - System Error, security accounts manager initialization failed because of the following error: Directory Services cannot start. Error status 0xc00002e1.

I know everyone's scenario's when seeing this message are pretty varied but I found a nice way to fix this within an hour providing you have a similar setup.

In my particular case I had two servers an SBS 2000 (oh dear I hear you cry) and a Standard Server 2003 running SP1. The 2K3 machine was rebooted and upon reboot we were presented with the above error.

So to fix try the following:

1. Reboot the 2K3 server into "Directory Services Restore Mode" then logon to the machine locally, in my case I didnt know the restore password (results of taking on machines from other support companies.)

-If this is the case go onto the second server, right click "my computer" and select manage, within the new window, right click the "Computer Management" header and then click connect to another computer, you can then connect to the server you can't log into and reset the local admin password.

2. So first things first now your into the server you need to check the database files, go to start, run, and type "cmd" to open a command shell. The type the following:
ntdsutil files info
You should see similar the below:

Drive Information:

C:\ NTFS (Fixed Drive ) free(533.3 Mb) total(4.1 Gb)

DS Path Information:

Database : C:\WINDOWS\NTDS\ntds.dit - 10.1 Mb
Backup dir : C:\WINDOWS\NTDS\dsadata.bak
Working dir: C:\WINDOWS\NTDS
Log dir : C:\WINDOWS\NTDS - 42.1 Mb total
temp.edb - 2.1 Mb
res2.log - 10.0 Mb
res1.log - 10.0 Mb
edb00001.log - 10.0 Mb
edb.log - 10.0 Mb

You need to make sure that these files exist and the directory is there before you continue.

3. You can now do an integrity check by typing the following:
ntdsutil files integrity if you get an error here then continue, otherwise try a reboot and it should fix the issue.

4. Next check is a semantic check, do this using the following command:
ntdsutil "sem d a" go
If this fails however try the following:
ntdsutil "sem d a" "go f"

5. Try a defragment:
5a - Type 'ntdsutil'
5b - Type 'compact to "c:\TMP"'
If defragmentation succeeds without errors, follow the Ntdsutil.exe on-screen instructions. Delete all the log files in the log directory by typing the following command:
del drive C:\ pathToLogFiles \*.log
Copy the new Ntds.dit file over the old Ntds.dit file in the current Active Directory database path that you noted in step 2.

Note You do not have delete the Edb.chk file.
Restart the computer normally.

I personally still had issues at this point, with the server refusing to access these files with JET errors. So from that point had to do the following:

6. Modify the following Registry key entry:

In the right-pane, double-click ProductType. Type ServerNT in the Value data box, and then click OK.
This will make the server a member server, reboot and log on locally to continue.

7. Once booted, you now have to simply run dcpromo from the command line and make a test fresh domain. I used testdomain.deleteme again once this process is complete, reboot.

8. You have now got your self a domain controller again, simply run dcpromo again to uninstall AD services from this new DC and once again reboot.

9. Finally if this applies, use ADSI edit to rip out the domain controller from Active Directory on the other server and then run dcpromo to join the server back to the existing domain.

Doing it this way, I lost no data and all security permissions were retained within the folder structure - My method was constructed using a variety of the below links and other sources, it may or may not apply to your circumstance but your answer will be in there somewhere if not.

Did I solve your problem? Buy me a virtual beer by clicking on a Google ad :). Thanks!

Additional Links:
KB 258062 - NTDS Util Checks

KB 232122 - Performing Offline Defragment

KB 332199 - Force Demoting a Domain Controller

KB 332199 - How to remove data in Active Directory after an unsuccessful domain controller demotion

Friday, 27 February 2009

70-653 - SBS 2008 Configuring


I finally got round to this exam today; following in the footsteps of others as it were but all in all a great day, passed with a pretty good 823 out of 1000 :)

MC TS: SBS 2008 :)

A tip for anyone taking this exam by the way; mine mainly consisted of Migration questions with a few basics slapped around it. I'd advise watching the technet SBS 2008 training webcasts that were released although they can be a bit monotonous at times they are well worth the watch.


Thursday, 19 February 2009

Exchange 2007 - How to Purge Disconnected Mailbox

A feature that took me a little while to click onto was the process of purging Mailboxes. In Exchange 2003 it was simple, delete the user, enter the exchange console, run the cleanup agent and then purge or reconnect.

In exchange 2007 this ability seems to have left the Exchange console and entered the shell world...

Should you face this scenario of having to rebuild an Exchange Mailbox the process of purging is as follows, firstly remove the mailbox in the Exchange console as normal then enter the Exchange Management Shell.

You need to run two commands (Remember - Case Sensitive):

List all of the disconnected mailboxes in the domain so you can find the GUID.
Get-MailboxStatistics | where-object { $_.DisconnectDate -ne $null } | Select DisplayName,MailboxGuid

Then modify the following command with the GUID of the Mailbox you wish to delete:
Remove-Mailbox -Database "Mailbox Database" -StoreMailboxIdentity -confirm:$false

Be careful though when deleting Exchange Mailboxes before you even get to the purging stage make sure you don't accidently delete the user account which is very possible in Exchange now that it has the added Active Directory Integration.

Did I solve your problem? Buy me a virtual beer by clicking on a Google ad :). Thanks!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Outlook 2007 - Out of Office could not be displayed

If you are using Outlook 2007 with an SBS 2008 server you may notice the above error message when you try to enable Out of Office.

The Out of Office feature will work correctly in Outlook Web Access and in older versions of Outlook, it will only be broken in Outlook 2007.

Although not entirely sure we think the issue may occur if Microsoft Framework 3.5 SP1 has been installed on the Small Business Server. The issue is caused by a problem with the Framework package and is described in KB article 958934

To resolve this issue you have to obtain the hotfix from the article 952883

Monday, 16 February 2009

Exchange 2007: An internal transport certificate expired

I guess the main reason for this posting is more informative than to help people solve this but I was astounded when I did more digging into it. I had users calling me saying they were receiving Exchange dialogue boxes telling them the certificate was invalid or had expired.

Following up I found the below in Event Viewer:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: MSExchangeTransport
Event Category: TransportService
Event ID: 12014
Date: 16/02/2009
Time: 09:18:53
User: N/A
Computer: SERVER2K3-SBS
Microsoft Exchange couldn't find a certificate that contains the domain name server2k3-sbs.DOMAIN.internal in the personal store on the local computer. Therefore, it is unable to support the STARTTLS SMTP verb for the connector Default SERVER2K3-SBS with a FQDN parameter of server2k3-sbs.DOMAIN.internal. If the connector's FQDN is not specified, the computer's FQDN is used. Verify the connector configuration and the installed certificates to make sure that there is a certificate with a domain name for that FQDN. If this certificate exists, run Enable-ExchangeCertificate -Services SMTP to make sure that the Microsoft Exchange Transport service has access to the certificate key.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: MSExchangeTransport
Event Category: TransportService
Event ID: 12015
Date: 16/02/2009
Time: 09:18:53
User: N/A
Computer: SERVER2K3-SBS
An internal transport certificate expired. Thumbprint:C7635A3F281FD2CB8E046A19D19************

For more information, see Help and Support Center at

It would appear that Microsoft have now put in place a 1 year certificate expiration for Exchange 2007, meaning that quite simply every year users will see this message until you manually recreate the certificate. The way around this is to obviously purchase a certificate from a higher authority but not everyone wants to pay out on something they see no sense in having.

to rebuild this certificate simply go into Exchange Management Shell and then type:
"New-ExchangeCertificate" followed by "Y" to confirm.

More resources and info on this can be found in the following links:
New Exchange Cmdlet

Certificate Use in Exchange 2007

Friday, 13 February 2009

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 Beta released!

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 Beta is now available on the Microsoft Download Center. Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 enables IT pros to manage roles and features that are installed on remote computers that are running Windows Server 2008 R2 (and, for some roles and features, Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003) from a remote computer that is running Windows 7.

It includes support for remote management of computers that are running either the Server Core or full installation options of Windows Server 2008 R2, and for some roles and features, Windows Server 2008. Some roles and features on Windows Server 2003 can be managed remotely by using Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7, although the Server Core installation option is not available with the Windows Server 2003 operating system.

Role Administration Tools:

Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) Tools
Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) Tools
Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) Tools
DHCP Server Tools
DNS Server Tools
File Services Tools
Hyper-V Tools
Remote Desktop Services Tools

Feature Administration Tools:

BitLocker AD Password Recovery Viewer
Failover Clustering Tools
Group Policy Management Tools
Network Load Balancing Tools
SMTP Server Tools
Storage Explorer Tools
Storage Manager for SANs Tools
Windows System Resource Manager Tools

Microsoft My Phone 'Beta'

With the ever growing Windows Mobility market showing no signs of slowing down, Microsoft have begun developing a new service to be announced at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona next week called MyPhone (Currently codenamed "SkyBox")

According to the My Phone Web site, "If your phone is lost or stolen, or if you upgrade to a new phone, you can easily restore the contacts, calendar appointments, photos and other information that you stored on My Phone to a compatible new or replacement phone."

Users will be limited to 200MB of storage space for the service, which will initially be available in a limited, invite-only beta for Windows Mobile

A look into the new Windows 7 Kernel

Quite an interesting and technical video by Mark Russinovich where he describes the changes to the Windows 7 kernel and how it is know capable of supporting 256 processors!

It is quite extensive though so sit comfortably before you click the link!

Video here:Link

Thursday, 12 February 2009

New Tech: Google Latitude

Google latitude the new and very cool feature from Google in association with Google Maps. Simply download the latest version of Google maps and from the right hand menu select Latitude.

You are asked to sign into your google email account; from which point you can add friends as easy as searching for there email addresses. It's that easy to setup!

Once connected to your friends, although not 100% accurate you can see your friends locations...the best i've seen so far using GPS is a distance of 40metres.

No more sneaking off to the pub though after work guys if your wife has a smart phone eh...

Download and More Info here:Google Latitude

Active Desktop Recovery Error

Clicking "Restore My Desktop" just will not do anything, how many times have I seen this one... to be honest there are probably a fair few fixes to this I have used a couple in my time yet the best I have found has to be this:

Go to Start > Run

Type "regedit"

Modify the following entry:
HKeyCurrentUser\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\SafeMode\Components

Change the DeskHTMLVersion key (Decimal) from 272 to 0, press ok, close down regedit and press Ctrl + F5 together.

The original desktop should now be back to normal.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Simple SQL Backup

A great little application designed by the guys at Kraft Software Solutions, it quite literally does 'what it says on the tin' and well.

Home Page & Download Link

My Own Backup Script For Small Business Server 2003

This is one of my personal favourites,

It's a combination of NTBackup (For Active Directory, System State and Registry etc) Robocopy (For file shares) and SendEmail (for confirmation the backup worked).

All instructions come with my script; it's ideally suited for companies with USB external drives although it could be customised for tape drives or external FTP drives.

I wrote it for a few of my smaller clients and it seems to do the job quite well; it also backs up Exchange by stopping the services and copying the Priv1 + Pub1 databases, this provides easy restore access in the event of a disaster. Simply rebuild the server and then remount the Exchange databases and voila.

I'd be interested in people's opinion's on this...

Download Link Here: Download

Monday, 2 February 2009

440 - Login Timeout (Outlook Web Access)

I have seen this error often the resolutions tend to be quite simple though either:

1) The IUSER anonymous account password is corrupt or has been reset.

To Fix:
Go to Active Directory, All Users, Right click IUSER_*SERVERNAME*
and reset password.

The go to IIS Manager, Right click the default web site, go to properties,
select Directory Security Tab, then click "Access and Authentication".

Replace the password with the new password you reset the account to then apply to all subcontainers when requested.

Restart IIS and this should resolve the issue.


2) The IUSER doesnt have permissions to view the Authentication module in OWA

To Fix
Start IIS Manager.

Expand Server_Name, expand Web Sites, expand Default Web Site, and then expand Exchweb.

Right-click bin, and then click Properties. On the Virtual Directory tab, verify that the Read check box is checked.

Expand bin.

Right-click auth, and then click Properties. On the Directory tab, verify that the Read check box is checked.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Vista Can't Log In - Credential Manager Server

I have now seen this a few times and so thought I would save a fair few people a few hours of head scratching, when logging on to your laptop / PC with Vista you get a message along the lines of "Cannot logon to the credential manager service."

My resolution that worked for me several times goes as follows:

1) Boot the machine up in safe mode by hitting F8 at boot

2) Log on as the Domain Administrator (Or Local Admin)

3) Enable the Local Admin Account (Not Enabled By Default In Vista) by right clicking My computer, selecting Manage and then clicking Users.

4) Reboot the machine and log on using the Local Administrator account (which will now work)

5) Go into HP Security Protect Tools Security Manager for Administrators
6) On the Left go to "Setting"

7) Uncheck "Use credential manager to log onto windows"

8) Log off the machine and logon as the normal user again.

If this doesnt work for you there are some other suggestions regarding the TPM drivers etc in the following link:

Monday, 26 January 2009

ActiveSync error: 85010004 / 80072f12

Synchronising WM5/ WM6 to a SP1 Server 2003 running Exchange server 2003 SP2 you receive one of the above error messages or one of the following:

"Your Microsoft Exchange server does not have permission to synchronise with your current settings. Contact you exchange administrator "

You are most likely to see this message if the following Conditions are true:
* The Exchange virtual directory on an Exchange back-end server is configured to require SSL.
* Forms-based authentication is enabled.

The following Article helped me resolve this issue, simply re-create the Exchange virtual container without SSL limited to only access from the system itself and then one short registry change later you will find it works.

See link:

Thursday, 22 January 2009

SMTP: message submitted to categorizer

Messages just appear to be falling into the realms of Cyber space with this error, when running the tracking console in ESM you simply see the message:
SMTP: message submitted to categorizer

To Resolve:

I've found this to be two seperate issues, most commonly issue one will work.

Resolution 1
It is Anti Spam that is causing the issue - submitted to categoriser is not a standard entry in exchange, meaning its been sent out of exchange to be sorted for spam. I can't stress enough that checking your quarantine or your instant delete settings will solve this issue.

Resolution 2
It's an issue with the listing in exchange for the GC, follow the below steps to resolve.

Step 1.
Open ESM, expand "Servers", right click on the server and select "Properties", click "Directory Access", select "Global Catalog Servers" from the dropdown and uncheck "Automatically discover servers" (Bypass the warning) and add the GC (Servername in SBS environments) manually.

Step 2.
Then Restart exchange services to find that all mail begins to deliver to store as per normal.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Remote Desktop Connection - Fatal Error 5

When connecting to another machine using Remote Desktop (RDP) you may experience the error "Fatal Error 5" as per general google search instructions: although you can continue working by opening another RDP connection window, most people would agree this is more of a workaround than a fix!

After some troubleshooting it looks like this issue is caused by corruption in the default.rdp file usually located in My Documents, simply renaming this file to default.old will do the trick...

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Server 2003 - unable to establish any network connectivity

An un-official state of emergency was declared when receiving this problem!!

Microsoft Windows Standard server 2003 (presumably also applies to SBS 03)with two network cards was unable to access the internet and the local network even though both cards are showing connected in the Status panel.

After checking all of the IP services and settings were correct, I tried a Network connection repair to get the message "Windows was unable to repair the connection, unable to clear the arpcache" Seeing this error before, I cleared the cache manually in DOS and repaired the RRAS Service...Still no joy.

The actual resolution was in relation to the IPSEC service not starting correctly and upon manual startup you are presented with:

"only one usage of each socket address (protocol/network address/port) is normally permitted."

As you may or may not know if the IPSEC service fails to start, the server will be running in Block mode and it will block all network connectivity to the server.

To fix this you must enter the registry and correct the following:


Select ReservedPorts

and make sure the entry reads as follows:

1645-1646 - Used by IAS
1701-1701 - Used by L2TP
1812-1813 - Used by IAS
2883-2883 - Used by AUTD
4500-4500 - Used by IPSEC

Please note a reboot is required once making the change

For further details see this related link.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Windows 7: Problem Steps Recorder

A great new feature to Windows 7 is the; “Problem Steps Recorder” is an advanced variation of screen capture software.

The software records your interaction with the system by means of stages, keystrokes and it also gathers additional technical info in the background. Once finished compiles all of this information into one single MHTML report for the user to send off to their helpdesk.

You can view the report as a web page, a slideshow, or even dig into the raw XML to expose greater detail like the X&Y coordinates of the mouse.

To try the “Problem Steps Recorder” for yourself, type and select “psr.exe” in the Windows 7 start menu.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Exchange 2003 to 2007 Migration (Exmerge)

Just some little handy tips to share around in regards to migrating users from a Microsoft Exchange 2003 server to the all new singing and dancing Exchange 2007.

As most of you will probably know just from looking at the new Exchange management console it isnt quite as easy as copying and pasting the priv1.edb or Exmerging in and Exmerging out the old data.

The techniques are now slightly different:

Although the method is the same there is a slight change if you are doing this for a Server 2003 with Exchange 2007 or an SBS 2008 with Exchange 2007. If you are runnning SBS 2008 then you must download the Exchange Management Tools and the Windows Powershell add-on from the Microsoft site and run this on a 32-Bit machine seperate to the SBS box. (Please note that if you are doing import mailbox procedures then you need to download Exchange 2007 SP1 from the site)

So first step then is the data extraction; from 2003 this is very basic and straight forward using Exmerge from Microsoft you can take out all of the previous mailboxes into PST's and store them on the new server.

The second step is to go into the Exchange management shell and enter the following commands bearing in mind that all scripts are case sensitive.

Grant the Administrator Account full access to all Mailbox's:
"Get-Mailbox | Add-MailboxPermission –user Username –AccessRight FullAccess –Inheritancetype all"

Begin the import procedure for all users
"Get-Mailbox -Database “SERVER\Mailbox Database” | Import-Mailbox -PSTFolderPath "

This will then go through the motions for importing all of the pst files into their correct user accounts.

If you want to look at importing an individual mailbox to an individual user then the process is again very similar but the command is as follows:
"Import-Mailbox -Identity -PSTFolderPath "

Typing -whatif at the end of a command in Exchange powershell runs a simulation of the command without actually doing anything with the data.

Did I solve your problem? Buy me a virtual beer by clicking on a Google ad :). Thanks!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Microsoft Windows 7 Beta Available for Download

Just in case you havent already heard the new Beta release of Microsoft's Forthcoming Operating System: "Windows 7" has today been officially released to MSDN and Technet subscribers.

You can find the Beta download link via the following link:

Thursday, 8 January 2009

"Command line error." When installing Web Parts into WSS 3.0 with stsadm.exe

This is an odd problem that I came accross when deploying a new Web Part solution to my training server through the command line. After pasting the command that I had copied from the web I received "Command Line Error". The solution is to write the command without pasting it!

A too easy to be true solution...but I assure you it works. The logic behind this is that when copying from one source to another you lose the true encoding in the pasted text and so (The hyphen in particular) doesnt get read by the command line.

The explanation originates from the blog in the related links.