Oct 18, 2011

Set Default Wallpaper on Windows XP

This is an old one, but I wanted to get it online as a reminder...

Now this can be done via GPO...but to avoid locking the Wallpaper down, this quick registry hack will set the first wallpaper for any new logons...while allowing the flexibility for the user to make a change whenever they see fit...

1. Enable 'Show Hidden Files'

2. Regedit

3. Highlight HKEY_USERS, File->Load Hive

 - Navigate/Open "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\NTUSER.DAT"

 - Name it DefUser (or whatever)

4. Add the absolute path of the wallpaper to key:

HKEY_USERS\DefUser\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper

5. File-->Unload Hive

6. Disable 'Show Hidden Files'

Reminders in Outlook Not Popping Up

When Reminders in Outlook (2007/2010) do not properly display the Reminders Window Popup, below is a series of troubleshooting steps to attempt a repair.

I worked with a user having this issue...and while these steps did not work for me, the Hotfix below did.  So I thought I would outline all troubleshooting steps I came across to hopefully help someone else out...

1. Check the 'Show Reminders' Setting is enabled:

    2007:  Tools -> Options -> Other -> Advanced Options -> Reminder Options
    2010:  File Tab -> Options -> Advanced -> Reminders

    2007: Ensure "Display the reminder" is checked.
    2010: Ensure "Show Reminders" is checked.

2. Attempt to re-apply the 'Show Reminders' Setting:
    2007:  Tools -> Options -> Other -> Advanced Options -> Reminder Options
    2010:  File Tab -> Options -> Advanced -> Reminders

    Uncheck 'Show Reminders'...Press OK, (OK again for 2007), then close Outlook.
    Open Outlook, Check 'Show Reminders'...Press OK, (OK again for 2007), then close.  
    Open Outlook again and test...

3. If using reminders from the calendar on Exchange, ensure mail is delivered to the Exchange inbox (and not the inbox from a PST file).

    2007: Tools -> Account Settings 
    2010: File Tab -> Account Settings

4. Start Outlook with "/cleanreminders" switch:

    Start -> Run, type "outlook.exe /cleanreminders", then test...

5. Try with "/cleanfreebusy" switch:

    Start -> Run, type "outlook.exe /cleanfreebusy", then test...

6. Try with "/resetfolders" switch:

    Start -> Run, type "outlook.exe /resetfolders", then test...

7. If all the above fail, use MFCMapi.exe to delete the Reminders Folder...and recreate with /resetfolders switch:

    Ensure Outlook is closed
    Download MFCMapi.exe for your version of Office (i.e. x86 or x64), and run
    Click "Session" -> "Logon and Display Store Table" -> Select the profile -> OK
    Double-Click the Exchange Account -> "Expand Root Container"
    Right-Click "Reminders" in the Left Pane, Delete (Check box for 'Hard Delete')
    Start Outlook with /resetfolders switch (as seen in step 6 above), and test...

8. If the issue still is apparent (as with my case), the last resort was to enable logging and contact Microsoft Support.

NOTE:  Once logging is enabled, the "logcalb#" files which contain the Reminders info are encrypted and can only be viewed from Microsoft Support...(I searched everywhere and could not find a tool to read these files).

    2007:  Tools -> Options -> Other -> Advanced Options
    2010:  File Tab -> Options -> Advanced -> Other

    Check (Enable) the "Enable troubleshooting logging" 
    Click OK (OK again for 2007), Restart Outlook.

    * Ensure to disable logging when resolved as it will continue to generate LARGE files...

9. (SOLVED) In my case, once I opened the call with Microsoft, they had me run this Hotfix which finally solved my issue:


Jul 19, 2011

An error occurred while the wizard was checking the current Windows product license. Error Code: 8: 0x8007000e

So...I have a Windows Server 2003 SP1, and started receiving numerous “Windows Product Activation” errors:

An error occurred while the wizard was checking the current Windows product license. Error Code: 8: 0x8007000e
Now, the system has been properly activated, so why the events?  Apparently, the error code 8: 0x8007000e points to limited resources available (i.e. low memory).  Answer:  Memory Leak!

First thing to check is memory utilization.  This can be accomplished by viewing the 'Processes' tab in Task Manager.  Sure enough, my winlogon.exe process was using over 2GB of memory!?!  Definitely a problem...

So, just like 99% of the time, a reboot fixed it!  Although, a reboot will not stop it from returning...

The MS article KB912354 outlines this issue as a known bug in SP1.  It identifies the winlogon.exe and licdll.dll as the culprits, which can easily be remedied by upgrading to SP2. 

Hope this helps someone!  Good luck!

Jul 5, 2011

Dell OMSA Login issue with Computer Names containing Underscore

So I can successfully log into every one of my Dell servers via Open Manage Server Administrator, except for a few servers that are named with an underscore (or understrike, low line, low dash, underbar)...i.e. Server_Name or Exchange_A

Not sure the exact reason for the issue, but I do have a fix...!

Instead of navigating to the server via Computer name, use the IP Address! 

Instead of:     https://Exchange_A:1311/

Alternatively, you can log onto the server locally and use “localhost” or loopback address...

I should also note that on the servers I am seeing this issue, I am running version 5.2 and 5.4 of the OMSA software...

To ensure this issue doesn’t reappear, update all Favorites/Bookmarks with the IP...

Hope this helps!

Jun 30, 2011

Deploy Adobe Reader X

Quick post for remembering the basic steps for deploying Adobe Reader X via GPO...

Start by registering to download Adobe Reader by selecting the "Distribute Adobe Reader" from here.

Once you have the exe, run the following command to extract the msi:

<path >\AdbeRdr1010_en_US.exe -nos_o"Reader10" -nos_ne 

Browse...dump the files to the distribution share...then run the Adobe Customization Wizard X  (Download from here).

At this point, you can customize the install however you want (Click ‘File->Save Package’ when complete)

Now the distribution share is ready to go...time to configure the GPO!

1.       Open Group Policy Management MMC
2.       Under Computer Configuration, drill down to Software Installation
3.       Select New Package->Browse to the MSI, and select “Advanced” when prompted
4.       Click the “Modifications” tab, and select “Add”.
5.       Browse to the .mst file (which is created from the Adobe Customization Wizard)
6.       Press OK, and you are done!

As always, test before deployment...(Virtual Machines are your friend!)

Jun 29, 2011

Slipstream Office 2010 SP1

Quick blog post to remember the commands for slipstreaming service packs into an Office Distribution point...

First, your distribution point should contain all the files/folders off the Office installation media.

Basically, what you want to do is extract the contents from the Service Pack, and place the files in the ‘Updates’ folder.  This will ensure that each time Office is installed fresh, that it will integrate the service pack immediately.

So, first step is to obtain the service packs:

Navigate to the:  Office 2010 SP1 KB2460049 article to download:

NOTE: Choose the Service Pack based on version (x86 or x64) of Office you have installed.

Once you have the files, run the following commands:

NOTE: This example uses the path "C:\Office2010_SP1Download\" as the folder containing the service pack, and "C:\Office2010x86\" as the source of the Office Installation media.

For x86:
"C:\Office2010_SP1Download\officesuite2010sp1-kb2460049-x86-fullfile-en-us.exe" /extract:"C:\Office2010x86\Updates"

For x64:
"C:\Office2010_SP1Download\officesuite2010sp1-kb2460049-x64-fullfile-en-us.exe" /extract:"C:\Office2010x64\Updates"

That’s about it!  Now you can open the ‘updates’ folder, and you should see all the service pack files...

As always, test it before deployment...(Virtual Machines are your friend!)

Good Luck!

First Post

After a lot of deliberation on which platform to choose...Dave's IT TechBlog is online!

Originally, I built a CentOS web server in an Oracle VirtualBox Virtual Machine...installed WordPress, and it seemed to be a great option (lots of features and flexibility)!  After playing with it for a while...and a few unforseen reboots from the kids...I decided a cloud service like Blogger is the better choice. plan is to blog about the different issues and fixes I find throughout my day as a Systems Administrator.  Whether it is a BSOD error code, found bugs, best practice, or just something I find interesting...expect to see it here!

I am playing a lot with templates and layouts right now, so don't be surprised if everything looks a little crazy?!? 

That is about it!  First post is complete...!!